Class Bulletin Board

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.  

Mark Ferguson Update

I met with a group of West High Swing Choir members and the current choir director for a zoom meeting this week, since I was a member of one of the first swing choir groups formed in 1972-73. Sadly, I found out during the meeting that Larry Kelly, the former choir director has passed away this past year. BUT, we are attempting to form a group of alumni swing choir members to put together a concert with West’s current Swing Choir. 

We have over 100 members (some from the ‘70s, ‘80s & ‘90s) so far interested in forming an alumni swing choir group to hopefully perform a few musical selections at a West High Spring Swing Choir concert in April 2025. I think I was one of the oldest members on the zoom call, but recognized Amy Baum from the class of ‘77 while on the call. We will use this concert as a fund raising effort for the Swing Choir. I will post any updates to our plans for the concert in the new Class of ‘73 Facebook page for more information as I know more.  

Barb (Crandall) Prosser Update

Take care, Dave, you and your witty column will be missed dearly by me. I am so sad that I wasn’t able to attend the 50th Reunion, I had just had ‘Custom’ Ankle surgery, At Ankeny Medical Park Surgery Center, in Ankeny, Ia  the Thursday before. Then I was ‘Absolutely No Weight Bearing’ for 10 WEEKS!! THAT was horrible!! I am better now, AND back in Iowa City!!  That was a Loooooonng 13 months in Johnston,  Ia!

Dave, I hope this isn’t the last time I chat with you.  You are a great guy!

IF you want to ‘cut & paste’ any of this information,it’s fine with me! Go Hawks!!

Barbara Prosser 

Paul Roberts Update

Well, they did a colonoscopy for the first time since receiving the cancer diagnosis. The doc said things looked good and I don’t have to have another one for 3 years! She did remove a couple of small polyps that have been sent to pathology. She didn’t see anything concerning about them but wanted to be sure. As it says in the post-colonoscopy instructions I’m resuming normal activities, such as EATING. Things are good and I’m feeling better than I have for a year and a half.

Thank you again for all of the prayers.

Paul

Holiday Greetings from Christina and Martin Andersen

Martin and Christine at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Palm Desert, CA

Dear Friends,

As fear and disruption caused by the Covid pandemic continue to recede, life seems to be returning to what it once was. But, when considering other world events – overhanging clouds of existential geopolitical and environmental threat – one can feel strongly that living on this planet has somehow permanently changed. Nevertheless, because time and health and the people we love are our most precious personal commodities while living this life on Earth, shouldn’t we savor these good things and cultivate gratitude for them? Perhaps this is something to reaffirm as we enter a new year. 

Christina:

Chris remains busy at Christina Andersen Floral Design, her 25th year in business. (She says: Yikes!!!) CAFD earned another Hoboken Green Business Award for Chris’ earth-friendly practices, such as composting, recycling, and choosing a 100% wind power electric supplier. At the awards ceremony, she received a special shout-out from Mayor Ravi Bhalla – who also happens to be a frequent CAFD client (as was former Mayor Dawn Zimmer). 

Martin:

Martin abides at New Jersey Symphony, completing his 44th season as the orchestra celebrated its Centennial year. You’ve already heard about his participation in the film Maestro (reduced to five seconds of obscure screen time 20:25 in), now also on Netflix. He is once again teaching at Stevens Institute of Technology, as well as keeping busy with private students and the NJSO’s youth orchestra program. And of course, the usual time-intensive involvement with the musician committee/music union. 

Christina & Martin:

We enjoyed three trips this year. June found us attending a McIlwain (Chris’ family) reunion in Rockford Illinois. Had not gotten that many – 40, comprising three generations – together ever before. We made our yearly trip to Palm Springs, California to visit Martin’s mom. At 93, Ruth enjoys good health and lives in her own home, with the help of her friends. (Martin made another visit in June, after attending a union convention in Las Vegas.) In August we returned to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for the Grand Teton Music Festival. One afternoon, sipping drinks with new local friends Terry and Gary Trauner on their backyard patio, Chris spotted the sudden appearance of a large bull moose making its way through the edge of their property, barely ten yards away. Chris commented that it must be such a common occurrence for them; but Gary replied that it never gets old.

In addition to our usual time spent in Grand Teton National Park, we were able to get away for a few delightful days in nearby Yellowstone, which we had not visited in a decade. Yellowstone being such a vast and varied place, it was a delight to see both the old familiar sights, and a few new ones, including recently-built visitor lodges and facilities which we viewed with mixed feelings. While there, we acquired a piece of “ledger art” from an indigenous artist, Evans Flammond, who was exhibiting his works at the Yellowstone Tribal Heritage Center, a stone’s throw from Old Faithful Inn. We had a social Christmas and Holiday season, celebrating Christmas Day at Chris’ sister Melinda’s home in Brooklyn with family and friends; New Year’s Eve with many friends a few blocks from our place at the home of Susan Copeland and Brian Mynard; and New Year’s Day back in Brooklyn.  

We’re looking forward to spending two weeks in the mild winter desert weather of Phoenix, Arizona and Palm Springs at the end of January. We’ll be visiting Chris’ brother Morgan and wife Laura living in Scottsdale, and Martin’s former colleague Toni Thompson in nearby Mesa. Then on to Palm Springs, to spend time with mom and enjoy even more warm, dry air. 

January 5th was our 33rd wedding anniversary. 

Wishing you a fine 2024.

Love,

Martin and Chris

Mark Ferguson Remembers John deSalme

Dave,

Thank you for posting about John doSalmes passing. He was a good band instructor and encouraged me to switch from clarinet to Bass Clarinet and Contra-bass Clarinet in our concert band. He also encouraged me to switch over to Baritone Saxophone for Jazz band, one type of music I really enjoyed, and that switch was paramount in my musical journey. I loved Bari-Sax so much that I joined the Iowa State University Cyclone ‘Varsity’ Marching Band as their very FIRST marching Bari-Sax player.  I am still a member of the ISU Alumni Marching Band to this day and often see people from West High, like Julie Kent Larson in the audience.

I often wondered if John was still directing bands somewhere.  He gave me the gift of music and I still enjoy playing every year in the ISU Alumni Marching Band. I even have a vanity licence plate that reads, “BAR1SAX” in liew of being the FIRST bari-sax marching band member and alumni member.  

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Mark Ferguson