Lynn Hogben Eclipse Update

Speaking of the eclipse, my husband Jim and I went to Indianapolis for the path of totality and fortunately had great weather (photo attached).

FYI I don’t think I’m the only one in our class who saw totality. At least 2 of my UHigh classmates who graduated from West were within an easy drive to totality, in Indiana and Maine, and I know the classmate in Indiana had good weather.  

Martin Andersen Update

Dear Friends,

I wanted to bring your attention to the newly-released movie “Maestro”, about the life of musician Leonard Bernstein starring, and directed by, Bradley Cooper. I was one of the musicians hired to play in an orchestra featured in several scenes of the film. I haven’t seen the movie yet; but it’s possible I’ll get a few seconds of screen time, being seated on the first stand of violas, right in front of Cooper playing the 25 year old Berstein making his 1946 conducting debut in Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic. Lots of fun being inside the elaborate process of making this part of the story come alive.  

The film is receiving favorable reviews – NY Times link below:

‘Maestro’ Review: Leonard Bernstein’s Life of Ecstasy and Agony – The New York Times

Participating in this production had a particularly personal meaning for me, because Leonard Bernstein was responsible for my interest in taking up the violin in the first place. Beginning at age 5 in Omaha, Nebraska, I would watch Berstein conducting the New York Philharmonic in a series of “Young Peoples’ Concerts” NBC television broadcasts on Sunday afternoons. This was the origin of how that child, long ago, became fascinated with orchestral classical music, and especially the strings.

Many years later, my orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, was chosen as the orchestra to celebrate Bernstein’s 70th birthday with a gala concert in Carnegie Hall. The program we performed was entirely his compositions: Candide, West Side Story, On the Waterfront (shot in Hoboken NJ!), Jeremiah Symphony, etc. He was in attendance – and he mingled with the musicians afterwards; so I was finally able to meet the man who inspired me so many years ago.

Happy Thanksgiving!


[Webmaster’s Note: Maestro will begin streaming on Netflix on December 20, 2023.]

Paul Roberts at the Englert Theater


Our classmate Paul Roberts plays banjo with the Burlington Street Bluegrass Band. Classmate Jackie (Dague) Nicholson wants us to know that Paul and the Band will be opening for the Del McCoury Band at the Englert Theater on November 8.

Here is the announcement, sent out by the Burlington Street Bluegrass Band.

There is no bluegrass at the Wildwood next Wednesday, as the The Burlington Street Bluegrass Band will be opening for the Del McCoury Band at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City, 7:30 PM on Wednesday, November 8th.  Del McCoury has been a giant in bluegrass music for six decades.  Del and his band have been awarded nine International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainer of the Year trophies, two Grammy awards and enjoy membership in the legendary Grand Ole Opry.  You can learn more about the Del McCoury Band and purchase tickets here: fear, the BSBB will be back at the Wildwood on November 22nd and again for two more shows in December – 12/6 and 12/20.  Til then, we hope to see you at the Englert!“I consider myself traditional at heart, but I don’t have any boundaries. I’m just a guy that likes to sing and play music. Whatever strikes me to do I’ll do it. Without wrecking things.”

Del McCoury

Jeff Hartzler and the 50th RAGBRAI

Good morning Dave.

I just got back from riding the 50th anniversary RAGBRAI. RAGBRAI was started in 1973 by John Karras and Donald Kaul, reporters for the Des Moines Register. They invited a few friend to ride their bicycles across Iowa from the Missouri River to the Mississippi River. 120 people made that first ride. The next year 2000 made the trip.

This year there were 20,000 registered week long riders and 9000 registered day riders. In addition there were 8000 to 10,000 unregistered riders. 

I ride with a club called “No Name”. We are a loose knit group from all over the United States. This year we had 24 riders and 4 support personnel. 

This years ride was designed to be 500 miles in honor of the 50th anniversary. 

It was the 6th longest and 6th hilliest on record. We were also blessed with high temperatures of 96 to 99 degrees. The route always offers the opportunity to ride a 100+ mile day in honor of John Karras. Due to housing locations I was able to ride two 100+ mile days. The group decided to cut the last day short and finish at the Mississippi  in Muscatine rather than Davenport. That saved us 30 miles, 3 hours and the massive congestion trying to find our support vehicles and get back to Des Moines. In all I rode 520 miles, ate lots of pie, sweet corn, burgers, and brats. Drank 8 to 16 16 ounce bottles of fluids daily, and only lost 2 pounds.

I am taking 2 weeks off and competing in a ballroom dance event in Kansas City before getting back on the bike. 

That’s all for now. Be safe and hug your loved ones. 

Jeff Hartzler