1969: Winter 2015

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Sayre Roney Steere

Once again, unsolicited, I received an email from Esther Kofod Whitfield, who is practically a neighbor of mine in nearby Tallahassee, Fla. She reminded me that she was one of four “foreign” students at Hood in 1965. She transferred to the Corcoran School of Art in 1967 where she met her future husband, The Libyan, which is the title of her new book. In it she tells of her 5 years in Libya during the horrific years of Ghaddafi’s rule. The book in many ways is a memoir, with actual events, accurately chronicling Libya’s historical and political facts. She has since divorced and is now happily married to Ron Whitfield, a chiropractor. Esther has a son and a daughter and two grandchildren (her time at Hood, by the way, is mentioned in Chapter 2). Another published author is Valerie Dietz Polansky. She recently wrote Quick Review Cards for Medical Laboratory Science as well as updated a previous medical publication. She claims now to be fully retired allowing time for her and Gary to travel in their motorhome. Year 2014 found them visiting the Canadian Maritimes––Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Carolyn “Kip” Cantagalli Dumaresq is also officially retired from the position of secretary of education of the Pennsylvania Dept. of Education–after 45 years in the education system! She and her husband have purchased a new log home on 14+ acres with a pool and a training center for their three Border Collies whom Kip shows in agility. Meredith Owen Atkinson and husband George are both retired allowing them to spend a couple of months each year visiting their daughter and family in Truckee, Calif., and their son in Park City, Utah where the cross-country skiing has been fabulous. Meredith continues to teach a literature class in her hometown of Norwell, Mass. Sue Korff Hammer continues to raise alpacas and drive around in her ’64 GTO convertible! Mary Anne Thune Lasko gets together occasionally with Joy McGinnis, both of whom were stunned at some of the changes on the old college campus. Virginia Pagan Schragel is pleased to announce she has been breast cancer free for five years. Life is good for her and her family. Jill Stanley checked in from Alaska with news that her daughter Rayna Green in her 5th year of studying sacred music at Hebrew Union College will be ordained as a (Jewish) cantor in May. Jill is the director of the local Reform synagogue choir and spends a great deal of time dancing–square dancing, round dancing and Israeli folk dancing. Bettina Smith Tucker has endured a couple of life-changing events recently. She lost her husband Hal almost two years ago and in April 2014 she retired from her 15-year position as a woman’s advocate and court advocate for victims of domestic violence in the midcoast region of Maine. Last summer she managed to coax roomie Sharon MacDonald Sayles from her summer home in the Adirondacks on Gull Pond to visit Tina’s summer home on the Maine coast in Round Pond–a big reunion after 7 years. Speaking of “roomies,” my dear friend Cindy Kannapel Weiss and husband Glenn are about to embark on a cruise through the Hawaiian Islands–a somewhat belated 45th anniversary celebration. Cindy won’t have to wait long upon her return for the birth of her third grandchild! All is well with me, Sayre Roney Steere, here in the Florida Panhandle. I’m winding up my stint as a district director within the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs with one more obligation ahead of me–a convention in Boca Raton in April. Last summer we traveled out west, visiting daughter Joan and family in Seattle – with a camping side-trip to the Orcas Islands, then on to Palo Alto, Calif., to see daughter Doris. The West Coast crowd all came here for Christmas, making this Grandma mighty happy.

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