Judy (Becker) Bryant wrote (December 28, 2005)
We’re writing this letter on our way to Iowa City – literally. We’ve been so busy lately that we didn’t get a chance to write until we got in the mini-van and pulled out the laptop. The boys are watching DVDs and Rommel is asleep on the floor, so it’s a good time to write.
The boys have enjoyed some great successes this year. Ben, who turned 6 in May, is in first grade. Last spring, his story, “The bird and the alligator” (a tale of cross-species friendship) won the kindergarten Young Writer’s competition, so Ben got to attend a writing conference at USF for a day. Also in the spring a piece of his artwork was selected to represent his school at a District art show downtown. Ben’s reading is coming along, he especially enjoys math, and he is always eager to complete his homework so he can “get smarter.” He also tested and qualified for the gifted program which will begin next year. Cub Scouts is proving to be a fun extracurricular activity. Ben’s most recent accomplishment is finally losing two teeth.
Sam turned 9 in August and has shot up this last year to nearly five feet tall. He continues to participate in Cub Scouts, this year in Webelos. In the spring, Sam’s Cub Scout Pinewood Derby hedgehog car (adorned with nails as quills) won the design competition at the Pack, District, and finally Council level. Not to be outdone by Ben in the writing department, he wrote an award-winning story “When Santa overslept,” which was published in the school’s literary magazine. And a couple weeks ago his speech about Ben got him to the school finals of the Tropicana speech contest. He had fun at several summer camps including robot camp at our museum of science and industry and, with Ben, a Busch Gardens camp.
As you would expect, Judy gave several media interviews about children dealing with hurricanes again this year. Fortunately there was only one day in October when USF and our public schools were closed. She kept busy at work as Area Director of the department’s Cognitive and Neural Sciences program. Last spring she went to Atlanta for a developmental conference. This fall she chaired a search committee for a new faculty member, reviewed grant proposals for the NEH, and found time to volunteer at the boys’ school. Reading occasionally to Sam and Ben’s classes and presenting at the Great American Teach-In were especially fun. The highlight of the year was a trip to Berlin at the end of the summer. Along with her good friend Ganie DeHart, Judy presented research at the meeting of the International Association for the Study of Child Language. A book chapter describing this work was recently published, and they will be presenting symposium papers about it at a conference in Australia next summer. They visited a number of Berlin sites significant to Judy’s mother Ruth, who left Berlin in 1939. For part of this time they were joined by a childhood friend of Ruth’s who was visiting from England. The most significant event was finding the graves of Ruth’s paternal grandparents in a Jewish cemetery on the outskirts of town.
Dave’s year was just as exciting, particularly when he went to Mississippi as part of the relief effort following Hurricane Katrina. Joining colleagues from the Brooksville Police Department, he spent several days in Pascagoula providing security and searching for bodies. The devastation as well as the spirit of some of the people were truly unbelievable, and Dave recounts his experience in an article published in the national Mensa journal. Earlier in the year Dave attended a firearms instructors school in Mississippi and a chemical weapons instructor school in Cape Coral, taught at Judo camp in Ohio (where he was promoted to third degree black belt), and was a guest speaker at the national Mensa conference in New Orleans in July. In his new part time job for the police department, Dave is doing applicant screening, internal affairs, and major crimes. He is also getting more involved in training on use of force issues. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement for Dave to maintain his sworn Officer status and for a small agency to get an experienced interrogator with some other useful talents. His private polygraph business is thriving and provides him with many stories about the peculiarities of human nature.
On a sadder note, our family became a little smaller this year. Our cat Sydney, who was 12, died in February.
Our current road trip is much shorter than the one we took in June and includes Rommel (who loves snow and car trips). For that trip we drove to Iowa to visit Judy’s parents, up to Toronto for a few days, and then over to Webster to see some of Dave’s family. We also took camping trips at Disney with the Cub Scouts in January and to Payne’s Prairie and Gainesville in March, and spent a day at the Kennedy Space Center a few weeks ago.
We’re glad we finally had time to let you know what we’re up to. We hope that all our family and friends are doing well, and we look forward to hearing from you. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and happy New Year!
Kevin Kelly wrote (December 23, 2005)
OK…so I’m going to be a Grand Papa, what’s the big deal!
He returned home from Iraq on leave in May, and the two of them “connected”. Last Saturday he returned home to stay (yea)!
It is truly a special Christmas for our family.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS…to you and yours, and remember, you’re only as old as you feel!
Rodica Ionasescu wrote (November 3, 2005)
The college basketball season is about to start, and my son will be playing for the Mountain Hawks, at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, which is in the Patriot League in Division 1. Do not look for Ionasescu as a last name – his name is Philip Anderson. At 6’10” he will be playing as a forward. Some of the games will be televised on DirecTV, some only on local channels. Please root for him. He’s a freshman in the School of Engineering.
Arnie and Julie Moore wrote (November 2, 2005)
Hey Dave and All,
Just wanted to let everyone know that we survived Hurricane Wilma with only a few bumps and scratches. The storm was very fierce at our house and lasted a total of about 6 hours. The front or leading edge was about 4.5 hours and the trailing side the remainder of the time. The eye passed directly over us and only lasted about 15 minutes before the rear eye wall hit us. It was very eerie going out during the eye and seeing the storm all around us. The rear eye wall was much more severe and was some what scary to watch our windows breath as the intensity of the storm peaked.
We were lucky in that our house suffered only minor damage that I can fix myself. We did lose one tree and had one of our cars bashed by flying limbs. The biggest problem was lack of electricity for 10 days with it finally being restored this morning. The entire area here has been without service since the storm with about 80% restored as of today. We take our power for granted and when we do not have it, it surely changed our life for a few days. We have not been in school for two weeks but it looks like we will return on Monday. It was nice having the time off but it has not been a vacation and we will have to make up some of the time.
As we always do we learned a lot about preparation from this storm. We already had a generator and chain saw but we found the need to buy battery camping lanterns and more D Batteries. We will be more prepared next time and we may just head out of the area, it was a thrill ride I’m not sure I want to take again.
Well all for now and thanks for letting me blow off a little steam
Arnie and Julie from Hurricane Central
Dave- Larry Weldon, via e-invite, pulled off the biggest surprise birthday party for Bonnie (Tappan) Weldon last night at La Casa in Iowa City. Karen and I met Bonnie in the parking lot at 6:30 just going to get a “carry out” only to be totally shocked five minutes later to be the guest at a party for approximatley 75 or so guests awaiting her arrival in their party room. This was GREAT!
Bonnie had numerous pictures being taken of her wearing a brightly colored sombrero (is there a solid black sombrero anywhere, maybe if you are Amish!) with this big placard on her back that said 50.
Good food and drink, and local celebrities such as Steve Riggan, Brenda Bradley, etc showed up for the event.
Talk to you later, Dave, BA
My wife Susan and I will be going out to dinner with Bill Petrak and his wife, Cindy tomorrow night. I found out that you do not have their email address on the list, so Cindy gave it to me so they can start to get West High News updates.
Got to see my brother, Neil at the first week of October when he came up from Atlanta to the Iowa Homecoming game. I brought my saxophone along and went Beer Banding with Neil and the rest of the Alumni band. My two daughters were there, too, one still trying to graduate from Iowa, the other one goes to UNI, but is dating one of the Hawkeye defensive tackles. It was a great weekend getting to see everyone over at Mom’s house.
Next week, I get to do it all over again at Iowa State’s Homecoming, and will be participating in the over 250 strong member Iowa State University Alumni Marching Band, playing Bari Sax. For the first time, there will be more alumni than undergraduates in the combined bands on the field at half time. This year, even Susan will get to participate by holding onto the huge American flag that will be unfurled at half time.
Have a good week and we’ll keep in touch.
Sheila (Potter) Cole wrote (October 9, 2005)
Thanks for all your work and posting to keep us alums in the know! Just wanted to pass along something from another West High Alum. I have a (much)younger brother, Jim Potter, who graduated in 1985 and now lives in the New Orleans area. Recently he had a article written in the Iowa City Press Citizen about the plight of the schoolchildren in Jefferson Parish where he and his wife Marykathryn are teachers. Marykathryn sent me this excerpt (below)
If anyone in the class of ’73 is interested in helping have them email to me scole55 AT cox.net and I can pass along information. Our family is truly thankful that Jim, Marykathryn and their son Jacob were able to evacuate safely and their home was spared.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
Monday, October 3, 2005
Schools Helping Former Student
By Rob Daniel
Iowa City Press-Citizen
A former Iowa City student who is a teacher in Louisiana is looking to his former schools to help hurricane victims in his new home.
Jim Potter, a 1985 West High graduate and a former student at Wood Elementary and South East Junior High, is looking for help for John Clancy Elementary in Kenner, La., and the surrounding schools of Jefferson Parish outside of New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina devastated the area on Aug. 29, and the Jefferson Parish Public Schools have been closed since then. They are due to reopen today, with about 600 students, plus an unknown number of students surrounding parishes whose schools have been closed for the year because of the hurricane, Potter said.
“We’re hoping to get an influx of their students,” he said. “They’ve discontinued the school district for the most part. Right now, we’re at a loss of what our enrollment is going to be.”
Potter’s home sustained little damage from the storm, as did Clancy Elementary. However, many of the students and the new students lost everything, including the clothes they are required to wear as part of the school’s uniform policy.
“Of course, the kids may not have anything,” Potter said. “But the school district is not going to make them buy new uniforms.”
To help them, Potter said he wanted to gather as many white T-shirts as possible from the schools he attended in Iowa City.
“It’s a sense of belonging and being uniform through the system,” Potter said about the uniforms. “We’re hoping to get as many as we can get. Whatever we get, we’re going to be doling it out everything.”
Potter said he hoped to use a print shop at a high school in Jefferson Parish to print Clancy Elementary’s logo on the donated T-shirts.
South East Junior High Principal Deb Wretman said her school has raised more than $6,000 in hurricane relief funds, donating the money to the American Red Cross. She said she did not know how much more students could give, but she was willing to use South East as a drop off point.
“I think it’s a terrific idea,” she said. “I said when we fill up a box, we’ll let Jim know. The sooner the better.”
Potter said two of his brothers who still live in the Iowa City area, Roger Litton and Jerry Litton, have persuaded their companies — Plumbers Supply and Contractors Tool and Supply — to donate the shipping of the shirts.
As of Sept 9th, I became a dialysis patient again.
Don’t despair for me, actually, I feel alot better, as I was alot sicker than I realized. Along with the dialysis, I am still being treated for the blood infection I had until Oct 15th.
Since I missed 2/3 of the summer in many ways, I am going to try and make the best of it for the fall. My wife’s mother lived to the ripe age of 92 and we had a roaring memorial service for her.
Thank you to everyone who was pulling for me, I am grateful.
Just to let everyone know:
My mother passed away a week ago on Tuesday September 27th. She had fallen and broken her hip a couple of weeks ago, and developed complications, which she wasn’t able to recover from. She decided to stop her dialysis and go back to her apartment at Melrose Meadows in Iowa City and pass away peacefully. I took her back to Melrose on Friday the 23rd and cared for her until she passed away. All of my brothers and sister were able to come and help during the hospitalization and then her last few days Richard and I were with her. So she was able to see all of her five children, say goodbye to numerous friends, eat some of her favorite meals and have the comfort of being in her own bed, with her familiar things around her and her loving cat at her side. Melrose Meadows was helping me care for her instead of Hospice which gave her the additional comfort of having nurses that she knew and loved versus interjecting new people at the end.
When it became evident that she was going to pass away, we phoned our siblings that weren’t there that day so that she could say her last goodbyes. She had communion an hour before she died and several good friends said their goodbyes just 15-30 min before she died. My brother and I held her hands and tearfully told her that we loved her and would miss her dearly. She had a very full and happy life and died with dignity in the manner that she chose. I’m grateful that I was able to be there when she passed on. Her life long friend, Kay Fischer, helped me give her a bath after she died and dress her in her favorite outfit that she would later be cremated in. Her funeral was on Friday Sept 30th. We hope that she felt honored in everything that was said and done for her.
I cannot imagine my life without my mother.
Thanks for all the updates and news, etc. from our classmates. I have managed to have sporadic e-mail contact with Chris Wilhite and Sam Maihack, but I live very far away from most everyone, which makes getting together pretty tough. Although folks are welcome to come for a visit if they’re in or around beautiful Switzerland.
I thought I’d write back as I saw Sue Hansen’s comment on taking her students to Europe, and thought there must be other former classmates that come over as well from time to time…
As of October 17, we will be living in a new home at:
CH-8707 Uetikon am See
It is only about 4 miles from where we live now, also has a view of Lake Zurich, but also of the alps : ) The new place is about 9 miles from downtown Zurich.
If I get over to our international headquarters (in Bedford, MA) I’ll definitely look you up!
I’m still 49 for a couple more months, but it’s sneaking up on me too….
All the best
Turning fifty this year was okay for the mind but hard on the body. Thanks for keeping up the board I enjoy hearing about every one. This month I have spoken to Mike Reed in Connecticut, David Asprey in Westpalm, Mark Kozik in Denver and Armond Pagliai. Brings back fond memories of IC. Hope the fall finds all of you well.
Gene Hartsock wrote (September 8, 2005)
Friday, Sept 9th at High Noon, I am going to surgery to get set up for dialysis. They have to put in one temporary access so they can immediately dialyze me, and one permanent access for continued dialysis. I will have to have 4 treatment starting Friday, and next Tues, Thurs and Sat, and hope that will knock some of the “bugs” out of me.
The past month has been terrible, even though I had my best Shoe Repair Business in the past 13 years. (it probably kept my mind off my troubles).
Thanks to all of you who have expressed concern, hopefully I will rebound with this treatment and have a contented life again.
By our next reunion (35th?) this could be a distant memory, with a new transplant again. 🙂
Patty (Kennedy) McBride wrote (September 5, 2005)
Dear Dave & everyone,
Just wanted to let you know some good news. I got a job offer from Santa Clara University to work in their student health. I had applied for the job earlier in the summer and gone back for a second interview and they finally decided yesterday. I am very happy. Although it means a longer and more difficult commute for me, it also means alot of stability which is something that I desperately want in my life right now since I’ve split up with my husband. It provides health and retirement benefits, and the most amazing thing is that if I work there for 3 years, I can get my children’s tuition FREE. So Katie could get her 4th year paid for (she’s going there for college) and I could get all of Graham’s schooling paid for. So I’m thrilled about that. In addition, it’s a very pretty campus and always buzzing with activities and events which I can participate in. And the energy of college students is contagious! I will probably start October 1st, unless I can break away sooner from my current job.
Katie Collins Bretz wrote (July 21, 2005)Dave,
We are having a good summer. We spent my 50th birthday on Cedar Key in Florida. Both my girls and two friends came along. My sister from Tennessee came as well as my stepmom from Florida. We had a great time, kayaking with dolphins, tried some fresh clams,and visited a natural spring with manatees( although there were no manatees at this time of year).
My youngest, Hailey, is going to Iowa State this fall in graphic design. We bought Cyclone football tickets which pleases my husband. I will be bold and wear my Hawkeye t-shirt at the ISU Engineering tailgate!
Hannah is graduating from Roosevelt University in Chicago in December. She will have a degree in Vocal Jazz Studies.
Thanks for all your work on the website- I enjoy hearing about everyone.
Katie Collins Bretz
Sue Hansen wrote (July 16, 2005)
I thought I would throw in my experiences for this summer too.
I returned about two weeks ago from a trip to Europe also. I take my junior and senior students to Europe every other year. This summer, we started off our trip with a cruise up and down the Rhine River in Germany. The castles are wonderful and it was such a relaxing way to start our “Amazing Race”. Tom and I call it that because we are on the run the whole time in order to see everything we’ve signed up to see. Afterwards, we boarded a bus to see the Cologne Cathedral. This is huge!
We finished our day by arriving in Amsterdam. Our group consisted of 14 students, Tom, myself and groups from Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. We walked through the heart of Amsterdam, visited the Anne Frank house, took a canal cruise and visited a diamond factory. We also took side trips to Volendam and Schaans Zwaans (however that is spelled) which were so Dutch and so nice. The kids saw wooden shoes being made and many bought some to bring home. What a lovely sight in the airports as they decided to wear them home.
We stopped in Brussels to see the Royal Palace, Manneken Pis and the Grande Place. While in the Grande Place, my brother, from my host family from when I was an exchange student, surprised me with a visit. It was short but sweet.
We then went to Paris. The kids had a chance to try out their French. We saw all the sights there that the normal tourist sees. When we left Paris, we boarded the Eurostar to go through the Chunnel on our way to London. We were in all those tube stations that were later tragically bombed. We saw all the sights and even took the kids to Abbey Road to sign the wall and cross Abbey Road like the Beatles did for their album cover.
We finished up our trip in Scotland. We saw castles, the lochs and Trossachs, lots of kilts and went to the Falkirk Wheel Experience which is a boat lift from one canal to another. It was a wonderful trip.
I’m so thankful that we weren’t in London during the bombings. I can’t imagine what it would have been like dealing with 14 teenagers who were scared plus having to call the parents to reassure them that all was well. The students have really been stunned by the bombings often remarking, “we were just there”. We were lucky.
Have a wonderful summer!
Dave Gerlits wrote (July 15, 2005)
Today, your esteemed webmaster hit the big Five Oh. When people ask me how it feels to reach this age, I said?”Age of Fifty, Feeling Nifty!”
I took today off from work, and Bobbi and I drove from Franklin, MA to the picture postcard New England town of Shelburne Falls, MA, in the Massachusetts Berkshires, to buy my birthday presents. It took a couple of hours to drive from Franklin to Shelburn Falls, MA, but it was worth it.
I’ve been meditating ever since my next door neighbor Becky (Gilpin) Milne introduced me to Transcendental Meditation and my friend Mark Zanger gave me my first mantra back in 1977. I meditated through Navy Officer Candidate School, Nuclear Power School, and even in the Missile Compartment and Torpedo room of my submarine.
I drifted away from TM to Zen, and Bobbi bought me a meditation cushion and mat a few years ago. Well, the mat has been looking a little threadbare, and the cushion has been smushed flat, so Bobbi figured I needed a new set of meditation gear.
She found a little family company called Sun and Moon Originals online , and she set up a visit.
Their directions were good, and we found their shop upstairs over a car repair shop. As we walked up to the shop where he and a staff of 3 make the cushions, the look and smell reminded me of my Grandpa Campbell’s mattress making shop that I used to visit when I was a pre-teen. It’s amazing how powerful memory is, especially when triggered by smell.
When we got inside, we asked for the woman who talked to Bobbi, but she wasn’t there. Instead, the founder of the company Brian Summer, welcomed us, showed me the regular Zafu (meditation cushion) and had me try out the Cosmic Cushion that he designed himself. It’s shaped like a whale’s tail, and it’s a dream to sit on!
We went to lunch at the Bridge Street Cafe in downtown Shelburne Falls, where we had cold cucumber soup, some fine sandwiches, and, as our waitress said, “the best chocolate cake you’ll ever taste.” (She was right!)
Like our kids always used to say when they were young, this truly was “the best birthday EVER!”
Mark Ferguson wrote (July 12, 2005)
Here is my vacation note for this summer. Susan and I did an “Amusement Park” tour of THREE parks in a week. We started off going to “Worlds of Fun” in Kansas City on the 4th of July, complete with fireworks. We then headed to Branson, MO and Silver Dollar City for three days (this is one of the places we honeymooned). We have to say this amusement park was the best of the three parks. The park is built into the middle of a forest, so even though the temperatures were above 90 degrees, we still kept comfortable. While there we went on the Branson Belle, a show boat, for our 26th anniversary. The show was wonderful and it was a great sunset view from the top deck on Table Top Lake.
On Thursday, July 7th, while still in Branson, we got a call from our son, Brian, who is studying in London this summer. All the students from Iowa State happened to be on a field trip to the Rolls Royce Plant the day of the bombings. He called us to say he was OK, and that the college cancelled all travel for the weekend, the weekend he was supposed to visit the friends we have in Telford, halfway between Birmingham and Manchester. Unfortunately for Brian, he will be unable to get up to see them on this trip to England since classes are done tomorrow. It was really a same, since Brian wanted to have some R & R the last weekend before finals this week. We are just thankful that none of the Iowa State students were involved in the terrorist attacks in London. Our hearts go out to our British friends and people of London, the place where just one year ago to the day, Susan and I were getting on the tube at that same King’s Cross station. Isn’t that a scary thought!
We finished our tour by coming home and going to Adventureland in Des Moines with park passes from my company, who was hosting a company park day. There were many roller coaster rides this week, and lots of splashes in raging rivers and log flumes. We had a very relaxing week.
Hope everyone else’s vacations go well, and nobody else gets a phone call halfway through with a scare like we did.
Keep in touch.
Arnie Moore wrote (May 27, 2005)
After reading all these family updates I thought I would throw in my two cents.
We are still in Ft. Lauderdale and I’m still teaching high school. I primarily teach computer programming, JAVA and BASIC, but teach math and a few other courses that I am certified for. Julie is at the same hospitalshe started out at but is now in case management. We both are tiring of our careers but due to economics and age we will probably be doing this until we retire.
Our oldest son, Ben, graduated last May from the University of Florida in Engineering. His first job landed him in Scranton, Pa. working for a company that does contract work for the government. His job is located on an army base and he is currently going through the process of getting a federal high security clearance. So far, except for the weather he seems to be enjoying what he is doing.
Our other son, Quin is just finishing his sophomore in high school. Lets be diplomatic and say he can be a challenge. He is like so many of the kids down here, lots of ability but lacking that innate motivation to excel. Hopefully he will see the light soon and really start to shine.
Some of you may have known my younger brother Tim. He lives in the Amana area. About two weeks ago his 16 year old son was killed in a freak accident in South Amana. The story was carried in the Press Citizen with some of the detail either left out or was misinterpreted. It was the first time in 10 years that my entire family got together, which was nice, but the occasion was tragic.
After graduating from UoI a number of years ago I remain a true Hawk fan. The Hawks have played New Years Weekend here 3 years in a row in Florida and we have not missed a one. Below is an updated photo of Julie and I taken at Universal Studios after the CapOne Bowl game. If they come down here again and of you come along, please look us up, we have had as many as 17 people camped at our house for these games.
Nancy (Hug) Montier wrote (May 27, 2005)
Dave, Well, I just spent the last couple hours browsing through our site. What a wonderful bunch of people we are! And, imagine that every class, everywhere, is at least as stunning, that’s good! Thanks for connecting us.
Here’s a little update on me after 32 years or so. I went to U of I taking pre-med, then to Iowa State to major in bacteriology and follow in my Dad’s footsteps. Got married, moved to California and ended up graduating from University of California, San Diego in 1980 with a Computer Science degree just at the beginning of the personal computer wave. My husband was a computer genius type – we started a company that wrote and sold a compiler; we were bought out by the premiere software company of the time, Digital Research. We ended up divorced with no children, and I eventually married Bill from Pasadena (met him at Club Med in Mexico – so romantic!)
We just celebrated 20 years together. He works for Union Pacific railroad as a locomotive engineer (weird schedule to deal with). He was going for a second degree in electrical engineering when he answered an ad for train engineers. We’ve lived in the Bay Area just southeast of San Francisco for 17 years. We have two children – Andrea, almost 20 and going to a local junior college trying to figure out what she wants (sounds like her mom!) and Billy, graduating from high school in a couple weeks. Andrea and Billy are both really social, popular, engaged people without much interest in academics. Andrea wondered if she was adopted when I told her I was a shy, nerdy, geeky, bassoon player in high school!
I quit the computer field 6 years ago (the stress of 20 years of startup companies and technology deadlines and a family made me quite ill with auto/immune conditions)and took up a new career – coaching people instead of making software work. Whew! I love the process! I work with people individually and in groups to clarify and achieve their passions. If you know of any groups in Iowa City I could do presentations for, I’d love to have a great reason to come to Iowa more often. I work most often with men and women our age wondering what’s next or filling in what’s missing and with young people just through high school or college ready for the next phase. I do phone work.
That’s it from here. Thanks for “listening”!
Sheila (Potter) Cole wrote (May 26, 2005)
I too was motivated by Bonnie’s wonderful news to update a bit since it’s been 2 years that I last wrote. It is wonderful to hear that Patty’s health has been good and sad to hear about Gene’s and your daughter’s health issues. Gene and his family as well as Bessie and your family are in our prayers.
Congrats on Henry’s graduation and good luck to him in his new endeavors!
Meanwhile back in Phoenix we’ve been busy since I last posted in 2003 (oh my God, where does the time go?) I cracked the books and graduated with my BS in accounting and management in August 2004. Since the requirement for the CPA exam has gone up from 120 credit hours to 150 I jumped back into school this January in the Master’s degree program to get the additional 30 hours I need. The kids wonder if I will ever be done going to school!
Our youngest son, Kass, who was going to move to the Midwest decided to stay in Phoenix and has proposed to his longtime girlfriend Sara. They are being married this June 25th and we all are very excited for them. June will be a busy month for weddings/bridal showers for me. I will be in Iowa City for the wedding of my step-brother’s son (Roger Litton, class of ’74) James to Erin Brandt the weekend before my son’s!
Our middle son Nathan went back to Iraq in September of 2004 for 7 months. He was based at Camp Fallujah on the outskirts of Fallujah the entire time. This tour was definitely more worrisome than his first back in 2003. Even though that tour was combat “on the run” it was only for a month or so and there were the news reporters and networks that closely followed the soldiers and marines. This time it was much different and communication with him was sporadic. His unit was involved in retaking Fallujah from the insurgents and saw lots of action. Unfortunately Nathan lost 2 very good friends in combat and had one other wounded so badly his life has been permanently altered. We did get “the call’ from him at the end of DecemberŠthe one parents don’t want to get “I’ve been wounded” He received shrapnel to his right arm but recovered well and stayed in Iraq until his tour was up. He did receive the Purple Heart for his combat wound.
I must brag on a little, I went to Camp Lejeune, NC with Nathan’s fiancé to welcome his unit home from combat at the end of March. Whatever your politics are on the war I find it hard not to support the troops. It was such a heart warming experience to be there when those young men got off the buses and met their families. Melissa and I were wrecks; we’ve never cried so hard, tears of joy with so many families. He is home on terminal leave now; he is not re-enlisting and will be finished June 15th. His new goal in life…to join the Phoenix Police force, on the SWAT team! More gray hair for Mom and Dad!!! Oh, he too, is marrying this summer, in August, with that wedding will come a 5 year old step-grand daughter for Hugh and I.
KJ the oldest is getting serious about his girlfriend and has started talking wedding. They are waiting until next year to make any big plans. They figured Hugh and I have enough going on this year for weddings!
Hugh and I are enjoying our adult children and our “alone” time together now that we are “empty nesters.” Egad! Look how long this has gotten, I’ll not take up any more space but will wish everyone a great Memorial Day Weekend!
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
Patty (Kennedy) McBride wrote (May 18, 2005)
Hi Everyone, Here’s My Update:
Last month was my 3 year anniversary finishing breast cancer treatment. So far, so good! I am healthy and all of my tests are negative for cancer. I thank God for all my blessings.
I’m working as a family practice Physician’s Assistant at an office about 1/2 hr from my house and truly enjoy my work and the great doctors that I work with.
My daughter, Katie, is 18 and is a senior at Foothill High here in Pleasanton, CA. She’s been accepted to Santa Clara University which is a private university that’s highly thought of around here. She received a partial scholarship which will help since it’s crunch on the pocketbook. She’ll stay in the dorms there although it’s only about 40 minutes from where we live. She has several friends who are going there as well.
Graham is 13 and stands 6’1″ tall. (they asked him to sit on his heels in our picture below) He’s in 7th grade and doing well. He adjusted very well to our move and subsequently to us divorcing. He’s very social and will be on student council next year and in the leadership program. He plays baseball, basketball and umpires younger kids in baseball. He’s on the golf team for his middle school and he loves it.
My struggles in life since our reunion include my husband and I splitting up. Pretty tough after 24 yrs of marriage. We’ve been separated since Oct ’03 and are trying to get our divorce finalized. I think my children have finally adjusted to the change but it was a rocky time that first year. Then, my ‘ex’husband almost died last month from a serious infection that got into his bloodstream. It was incredibly miraculous that he survived. The doctor had basically written him off at one point when his heart, liver, lungs & kidneys were all shutting down. Now he’s “fine” but weak. So the kids and I have certainly been through a fair amount of stress. Glad to have it behind us!
Life is certainly a constantly changing and challenging road. I just try and appreciate all of the joys and happiness that seem to go hand in hand with the challenges.
Gene Hartsock wrote (May 15, 2005)
Here in the Twin Cities It was 70 degrees the day we came back from Iowa City on the monday after Easter. I think it has hit 70 or 80 just once since!!
But the dramatic evidence of the cool temps is that our flowers seem to have a longer life because they haven’ had to wilt under the sun. My wifes tulips lasted twice as long, and our lilacs have maintained their beauty for a long time also.
My oldest Rob (27) is engaged to be married this coming Jan 06 to a girl from his high school that he actually met in Germany on a field trip. When they got back, they started seeing each other more, and now they are going to be gettig married in Jamaica… She went to school to help Autistic Children and their families. ( they are planning to bring us along to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, also!) This will be the first time I have been off of the continental USA.
My youngest son Andrew (22) graduated from Northwestern Bible College in Roseville Minnesota with a degree in communications (Journalism) He finished in 3-1/2 years because he was able to get some post secondary education in high school out of the way before college. My oldest son also went to school for Journalism in the TV-Radio Broadcasting business and is a FoxSportsNorth TV sports camera man.
Mothers Day was my 13th anniversary of my kidney transplant. Unforunately, It looks like I may need to get back on the kidney transplant list sometime soon, as my kidney is beginning to fail again. The doctor says I qualify right now for the transplant list at this time, but I need to start getting a work up on my general health to make sure I am still a viable candidate I probably will be on dialysis sometime in the near future if I don’t get my numbers turned around.
There is no Business Like Shoe Business…. I still own a shoe repair business in the Midway area of St. Paul Minnesota.
Laura (Walters) Anspach wrote (May 3, 2005)
Just a short note for now. Congratulations on Henry’s graduation and accomplishments as well as his acceptance for the Fulbright and acceptance to Boston U.
Justin will be graduating in three years with a double major in history and anthropology from Grinnell College. He, too, has been inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Unfortunately, he decided to graduate early – too late to get any teaching assistantships or to be accepted into the program he wanted – Soooo, we don’t know what is going to happen now.
Nicholas is completing his first year of college at Iowa State in Mechanical Engineering. He is ranked as a sophomore due to AP credits. This week we got news that he had 120 out of 120 on one of his Calculus tests. Last weekend we got to hear him sing Haydn’s “Creation” along with the four Iowa State choirs and Simon Estes.
Dave Gerlits wrote (April 14, 2005)
Hello Everyone,I hope everyone had a Happy Easter, and is looking forward to a fine Spring. I know we are, as this winter in New England has seemed like one continuous snow storm!
The big news is that Bonnie (Tappan) Weldon and her husband Larry are Grandparents! Way to go, Bonnie!! Bonnie had sent me pictures from the blessed event, and I posted them on our web site in this year’s Bulletin board. I’ve posted thumbnails of the pictures, and if you want to see the larger photo, just click on the thumbnail to see it. I want to offer Janet (Pate) Barber a special thanks for emailing me today about the pictures, as it reminded me that I needed to spread the Good News!
Mark Ferguson had received the pictures the same time I did, and sent me a copy of his reply to Bonnie that I added to the bulletin board as well. Mark catches us up on his family’s new in his post that I added below Bonnie’s.
I’d also like to thank Keith Gormèzano for helping me find one of our not missing but temporarily misplaced classmates. Dale Furhmeister’s email address stopped working, and Keith helped me get back in touch with Dale. Dale has moved to Colorado Springs, and I’ve updated his directory entry and email address to reflect his new locale. Maybe Dale will drop us a note and let us know how he’s doing out there in the Rockies.
Things have been quite busy for our family since the new year, and we’ve gotten a lot of good news. Henry’s graduating from college this spring with a double major in Religion and Philosophy from Wheaton College, and after a long, long wait, found out that he has been accepted into the PhD program in the Religion Department at Boston University. That was good news, but even better news is that he’s been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Korea! If you’re interested in learning more, here’s a link to the news story on his college’s web site. He also was invited into Phi Beta Kappa, so this year has been a wonderful reward for all his hard work.
Bessie came home from Millbury House last month, and has been doing well. I’m very proud of the wonderful progress she’s made in managing her life over the last year, and she’s looking forward to going back to school this summer.
Bobbi’s been home this week, recovering from some surgery last week. She’s doing well, but gets tired easily, and so is taking full advantage of the rest she can take staying home. Her procedure went well, and we’re looking forward to a full recovery.
My new job is going fine, and they have hinted that I may be going to Zagreb, Croatia, to work with some folks from a nearby nuke plant this fall. Sounds interesting!
I hope everyone is doing well, and that you all have a great spring!
To all of our family and friends,
Here is our new bundle of joy.
Parents: Matt & Jessica Weldon
Baby: Jazlyn Jade Weldon
Born: April 3, 2005
Time: 12:54 am
Weight: 8lbs 12 ozs.
Height 21 1/4 inches
Lots of black hair and adorable
Looks just like Matt did when he was born
Larry & Bonnie
Congratulations on your new granddaughter. You are ahead of us.
Our three kids are still finishing up college: Krista is a super senior at Iowa, Valerie is a junior at UNI, and Brian is a freshman at ISU playing Rugby for the Cyclones. His team just won the State Collegiate Rugby Tournament at UNI last weekend. My wife, Susan and I picked up Grandma in Iowa City and drove to UNI for the games.
Not one of our kids are married, yet, but Krista has a steady boy friend who has graduated and lives here in West Des Moines near us. Valerie is dating one of the IOWA defensive linemen, Alex Willcox. Brian is just playing the field and has the girls calling HIM! Glad to see all is well with everyone there.
Dave Gerlits wrote (February 27, 2005)
I just wanted to touch base with you all to bring you up to date on the most recent class news.
I think the most important news for our class was our response to news that Jane Svoboda Ahrens had lost her son Sam in an automobile accident. I would like to extend my personal thanks to Patty (Kennedy) McBride and Rodica Ionasescu for sending me the information that I passed on to the class. Our class responded, as we always to, with heartfelt support and compassion for Jane and her family. Our response really meant a lot to Jane and her family. We were there for her when she needed us, and I’m proud of our class for being the warm and supportive community that it is.
On the lighter side, we have some updates from our classmates that I wanted to pass on.
The good news is that, even though I’m still struggling with converting our Web Site back to a Mac friendly format, I HAVE been able to update the site with PageSpinner, so that I’ve been able to post the updates to the web site.
Sue Davison Haigh has reconnected with us, and I posted her email address, and updated her snail mail address. She had also sent me a chatty little note, but my struggles with the web site kept me from posting it. She had told me that she wanted to tell us about her family, so when Sue and I are ready and able, we’ll fill you in on Sue’s life and family.
Alan and Janelle (Gibson) Huey have new email addresses, and I’ve posted them to the site. I thought it was cool that they have gmail addresses, Google’s email service that set a new standard for on line email. This service is still in its “beta” phase, and folks can only get gmail addresses by invitation.Brenda Bradley wrote and let us know that her family will be moving to a spiffy new home as of March 1st. I posted the new address in the directory.
My family is doing better with every passing day. Our son Henry will be graduating this spring from Wheaton College, and has applied to a number of graduate schools to continue his studies in Religion and Philosophy. He’s also in the running for a Fulbright Scholarship to study Buddhism in Korea while teaching English at a Korean middle school. We can’t wait to hear from the schools he’s applied to, as well as the Fulbright folks.
Bessie has been in the Millbury House group home for almost a year, and we’re happy to say that she feels ready to move on with her life. We’ll be having a big Treatment Team meeting with Bessie, Bobbi, her Department of Mental Health caseworker, our Mental Health Advocate, and the director of Millbury House to assess the best “next step” for Bessie. She wants to come home to live with us and go back to school in our town at Dean College, and we want to help support her in building the life she wants. If you could send us all of the positive energy you can spare, we would really appreciate it, especially since they’re predicting a big snow storm for the day of the meeting.
I’ve been in my new job as Principal Scientist doing Probabilistic Risk Assessment for about a month now, and so far the job is great. Good people, interesting work, and plenty of it. I’m working for Framatome ANP, an international company that designs and builds nuclear power plants around the world, and it’s been nice seeing more of the nuclear industry in the short time I’ve been with the company.
Bobbi has been the Educational Data Analyst for Programs and Instruction here in the Franklin, MA school district for a year, and she really enjoys the job. She’s one of the few data analysts that works with and for a school district, and her work is getting some notice by other school districts in the state. She’s a trendsetter, and it’s fun watching her career grow!
Well, that’s all for today. I don’t know about you, but I’m really eager for spring to get here. Take care, stay well, and have a great spring!