1. 1953: Winter 2013

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    Sincere condolences to the family of Charlotte Endres Asch. Condolences to Nadya Klotz Giusi on the loss of her husband Valerio. By now you should have received the packet from Hood reminding us that our 60th reunion is coming up in June. Reunion chairperson is Sally Kuhns Giarratana, and she is working hard to make sure this is a memorable occasion for all. Please plan to attend. Once again, Peg Church Smith-Loeb is taking a class at Fordham Univ. in New York and going to the theater. She viewed the exhibit Monet Gardens at Giverny at the Bronx Botanical Gardens, and having visited the actual garden at Giverny she felt they had done a wonderful job of recreation.

    Penny Fradd Vahsen and her youngest son went to Ireland for the Navy-Notre Dame game in September, then on to Rome for a seven-day cruise along the Riviera. The 156 U.S. Naval Academy graduates that she has sponsored over the years gave her an 80th birthday party in June with speeches, good dinner and gifted her with a new Camry. Jane Fruechtemeyer Dillon and Oscar have had medical problems this past year, but Oscar continues to do his research and Jane still enjoys reading as much as she is able. Judy Rank Loposer and Ken are “doing fine for a couple of seniors” and enjoy being with their family in Walla Walla, Wash. Does anyone remember the song Daddy Get your Daughter Out of Debt? Jerry Griffith Macomber was in the midst of co-coordinating the annual Christmas child for her church. The congregation is involved for just 1½ months, but it is a year-round job for Jerry from wrapping, storing and much more. Jerry also does a workshop for quilt squares—they are wonderful gifts made with love. Oppie Keeler Ludwig was awaiting Hurricane Sandy. They had been flooded twice in the past six years, but had no damage from Hurricane Sandy. Nadya Klotz Guisi’s husband Valerio passed away in June. They had been married for 56 years. Nadya recently finished a novel Magic & Pasta that will come out in early 2013. It is a love story that parallels their loves, but is not a memoir. Nadya is writing, teaching and has her family therapy practice—all of this has been a great help to her.

    Janet Peek Clancy survived Hurricane Sandy and the snow that fell after. She has been going to San Francisco for about one month to be with her sister who had an aneurism in her brain, with significant brain damage. She realized that we never stop learning, as she navigated the hills of San Francisco with help from a global positioning system, and handled a dog that would rather run free than walk on a leash. Pam Presbrey Grinnell had been on the East Coast for several months, celebrating her 80th birthday with friends and family. Her grandchildren continue to give her much pleasure—they include one attorney who is a newly graduated magna cum laude. They all have interesting jobs or are in college or college preparatory school. Her first great-granddaughter was born this past May. Congratulations! Bev Rosenberg Sager also had some problems with Hurricane Sandy, but wrote to say she had been to Cuba and it was nothing that she had expected it to be. She spent Thanksgiving in California with her son and his family, and planned to go on a trip to Caicos in February. Katherine Sponsler Patten took a trip on the Elbe River this past June. She hopes to attend reunion in June if her daughter will be able to drive her. It is hard to believe it will be 60 years since graduation, but “I play bridge with women a little older than that,” said Katherine.

    Jan Van Fossan was in the midst of a bad rain storm the day my email arrived and followed up with a note that she had a bad fall that injured her hip and shoulder. She did speak with Betsy McCain McAlpine ’51, who is her big sister, about her reunion. Marilynn (Lynn) Phillips reported that it was a good year. In the summer, her youngest son Chip brought his Chinese wife and three children to visit. With a scientifically oriented 8-year-old granddaughter and 6-year-old twin grandsons, she was busy. She had not seen them for five years. Lynn had her family reunion of sons and families for the first time and it was special. In August, she had to put down her beloved Sheltie, FiFi. “That was heartbreaking. I am lonely now, but my health is excellent. Activities include church groups, Tennessee Rock and Mineral Society, orchids, teas and many social functions. I am painting again, with one for each family for Christmas,” said Lynn. She walks daily on the golf course behind her house and designs and makes jewelry with precious stones but has not completed her courses with Gemological Institute of America. She even made a formal dress in two days to attend a dinner with her grandson Andy. Betty Gerstmyer Allen wrote that her second Windstar cruise was in August to Greece and Turkey. The first was two years ago in the Caribbean on the five-masted sailing ship Wind Surf carrying 300 people. The Windstar is a four-masted sailing ship and carries 140 people; 99 of the individuals had to do the cooking and be the cabin stewards. She got to know all on board and had a fabulous time. “Looking forward to the reunion in 2013,” said Betty.

    The Essex family had no real problems due to Hurricane Sandy, just the inconvenience of no phone and so forth for four days. Our youngest granddaughter had a Bat Mitzvah in Orlando the weekend before Thanksgiving. We stayed at the Shades of Green hotel for the military and were able to take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom one night—it was great fun for the kids and me. My whole family was together for Thanksgiving. It started with a high school football game in the morning and ended with a delicious dinner surrounded by family and friends—a true blessing. I wish you all a happy holiday season. The Truxal Scholarship was awarded to Kathryn Kopasek ’14. She is secretary to the Ionic Society and the Hood College Choir, a member of Alpha Lamba Delta and Phi Alpha Theta, which is the history honor society. Congratulations.

    Class Reporter:

    Johanna Chait Essex
    (516) 487-1883
    johalessex@aol.com

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