1967; Summer 2017

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Patricia “Pat” Rosner Kearns

Enjoyed seeing so many people this past reunion weekend! Congrats to co-chairs Sue Bracken and Ginny Price Bracken for an amazing job, and those who put the memory book and art show together! Will leave details to the Hood mag report of the reunion. Susan Wadia-Ells says her book, Busting Breast Cancer: Our Personal and Political Revolution…with four simple steps to stop breast cancer before it starts (Sept. 2017) is the first book on breast cancer prevention, based on the metabolic theory of cancer. Tom Seyfried, Boston College, has written the foreword. Susan blames editorial demands for missing the reunion but held one in New England this spring. Ginny Munson Hammell was at the reunion but the exciting news is: “FINALLY will reach grandmother status (spoiler alert – it’s a boy ) in July!!!, courtesy of daughter Hillary who does employment law (representing plaintiffs) of course in CA.” Ginny invites “y’all” to come visit her during the winter in Boca Raton. During her months in Alexandria, Ginny serves on the Board of Community Lodgings, a transitional housing program. Ginny hosted alums at the   amazing Trading Room she’s donated to Hood this weekend. French House roommates Judy Lehman Ballinger, and Cheryl Wray Kirk will perform at the reunion chapel service and participate in the art show with Kris Campbell Joyce.  Otherwise, “BJ and I journeyed in February to Cuba for my art/teaching. We were based in Havana at the Melia Cohiba next to the famous seawall, the Malacon”, known as the living room of that city. We journeyed with some basic medicines (such as aspirin) and art supplies for the people via Caritas Cubana, a Catholic relief organization in Boston for Cuba. After 31 years at Chilton Hospital in Pompton Plains, NJ as Director of Dietetics, Leilani (Lani) Chen Viney retired in 2011.  After retirement, she says “I was able to focus on my passion for ballroom dancing” and does so competitively, competing in a Blackpol, England open pro/am championships in May, finishing 3rd in her division. Lani writes: Son, Jonathan, and family live in Ithaca, NY where he has a medical practice, and daughter-in-law Marnie teaches at Cornell and doesn’t see enough of grandchildren, Liala, and Owen.  Lani serves on the Board of The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation, sending children with kidney disease to summer camp where they are mainstreamed with all of the other children. The camp has a dialysis unit and full medical staff there to take care of the kids.  She writes, “I helped set up the meal program for the kidney kids for the Foundation while at Einstein in the Bronx in 1975. Who knew I would end up on their Board 37 years later.” Edie Ryll Mathews says she’s “been lucky:  my husband’s job with Delta brought us to Atlanta, Robert Shaw’s city.  Always loving choral music, I auditioned for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and was accepted, singing for three years in the ’70’s, when my children were very small.  Then I worried about Mr. Shaw dying, so I auditioned in 1988 and got back into the chorus, where I’ve been ever since.  This chorus, although volunteer (unpaid), is very strict; we audition again every year.  The Atlanta Symphony has won numerous Grammy’s, including several for best choral performance.  I’ve really used my music major, teaching piano all this time, and doing 17 years of choral conducting, as well.  I’ve benefitted from Dr. Allen Bonde’s excellent teaching and even taught two sight singing classes à la Mr. William Sprigg!  We have three children, who all live in Atlanta.  One has just married this past October, so we are hoping for a grandchild down the road. Judy Lehman Ballinger, who – as noted above – performed with former classmates at the reunion,  mostly “spends time painting in my spacious home studio, selling scarves and other art at our art coop gallery, visiting our 9 grandkids, selectively responding to political outrage, and trying not to notice which part of my body doesn’t work as well as it used to. Reunion was fantastic.” Personally, grandson Ozzie arrived in May, joining Karolina, Max, Laszlo and Isaac.  My son, Neil, is headed for law school and daughter Johanna runs the Pavillion at the National Gallery in DC.  With Josh is in NoCal, Neil in KY, and Max in north Georgia I spend a lot of time going East-West to see the grandkids. Still working – running a nonprofit in Fairfax, VA helping the homeless get back on their feet.  Pat Rosner Kearns

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