Audrey Heyman Rooney
Gretchen Beckhelm: “After 21 wonderful years in Florida I moved back to Iowa in June to be close to my family. I may need to hibernate through my first Iowa winter in 61 years! My new condo in a Cedar Rapids retirement community was completed in November. Until then I enjoyed living all summer with sister Babs”. Gretch has fond memories of 2 Hood “careers”: four years with the Class of ’60 and five years in the ’40s when she and Babs lived in Meyran with their House Mother Mom. Margret Cederholm Bonito left her psychotherapy practice in July. Maggie is still an active potter with two shows coming up, and enjoys the company of inspiring professionals “a pleasure only exceeded by visits to Hood where the ceramics program is dazzling.” Planned Parenthood and women’s health issues are among her list of causes. She is active in the Garden Club of Essex Fells, NJ where her team crafted a Scottish Yule theme for Drumthwackett, the Governor’s Mansion, in Princeton. Daughter Lisa is a journalist sophomore art major at Skidmore; granddaughter Ava is a sophomore art major at Skidmore, and son Andrew is director of operations and CFO of a restaurant group in Manhattan. Maggie misses being an actress. She’s considering doing volunteer work for Actors Equity. For fun, she’s learning Mahjong. Grace Elliott has learned to play bridge after her retirement move to Leisure World of Maryland. Her partners include 89, 96 and 101- year old grandes dames who are her mentors and inspiration. In October Barbara Taylor Hyde hosted a dinner party for Barbara Bailey Reinhart, her wife Sally Stott and mutual friends. Barb and Sally spend winters in Florida, summers in Vermont. I’m busy with church activities especially our Food 4 Kids program when we pack bags of food for needy elementary children to take home for the weekend. The program which I started with 10 women helping now has about 40. Where there is a need, the ladies meet it and I am the chief fundraiser; imagine that!! Ann Wareham and I are signed up for Hood’s Dutch waterways trip in early April. I see Ann when I have oncology appointments in NYC which is great. Looking forward to skiing again this winter, family is well, I have no complaints! Sally Fletcher Murray reports the birth of twin grandchildren in December 2016 and the final return to the U.S. of her sister Nancy Fletcher Artlett ’59 in July. Both families gathered at Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, VA, in August to welcome Nancy home and celebrate her 80th birthday. In September Sally, daughter Susan and Sue’s two sons spent a fun weekend with Anne Kurka Woods at her home in Pittsford. In October Sally and Nancy visited the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, FL for a fundraiser and benefit. The Center, founded by their mother, Eleanor Fletcher, is a multi-million dollar sea turtle education, research and rehabilitation facility. Sally continues to be involved in election and education boards and activities. “We’ve had less travel this year than usual” writes Karen Nordberg Sanders. In early June we celebrated Don’s 80th in Bermuda. In October we drove from home in Golden, CO, to Purdue to see one of our nine grandsons perform. Three generations of trombonists in the family! Don plays in two bands and we both sing in our church choir and with a larger Chorale. We were in Texas in November for a granddaughter’s wedding and will spend Christmas in Georgia. We enjoy being close to our youngest son’s family in this beautiful state! Maryann Whitehead Scherzo and John celebrated his 80th birthday in Denmark while on a Baltic cruise with his brother and sister-in-law. John continues with his CPA practice and they manage to travel after every tax quarter. “Been living on Mercer Island, WA for 37+ years, and have no desire to relocate…both daughters and three grandsons live nearby. If you’re near, stop by!” Ellen McDougall Schlachter still lives in her “little old (1700’s)” house in Northport, NY. After graduation she taught junior high school for ten years, resigning when son Jim was born in 1973. After her husband’s death in 1994 a friend persuaded her to work with pre-schoolers which she enjoyed for 8 1/2 years. She is now fully retired. On the phone recently with Sally Fletcher Murray, the two conspired to relate a Home Ed Lab anecdote, also starring our late and beloved Ellen Perry Croll. While lab teacher Miss Ezzard was entertaining lunch guest Dean Sherrill in the adjoining dining room, Sally and McDouge were fetching a casserole from the oven in the nearby kitchen. The casserole went straight from oven rack to floor and with straight faces they scooped it all back in the dish and served it, Ellen muffling hysterics. Audrey Heyman Rooney in her eighth year back in the Bluegrass, is still reveling in the completion of a Poetry Gauntlet 100-poem challenge in December. A four-day retreat in the east Kentucky hills was a perfect place to polish it off, what will become of the collection is a project for the New Year. The Kentucky Bach Choir went from strength to strength with the B-minor Mass in March and a Bachtoberfest benefit in October. The fourth Audrey Rooney Vocal Competition finals are April 14. Our Friends Meeting is a continuing gift to my life, singing, and widening circle of kindred souls. Stuart Croll sent the following words from Ellen Perry Croll’s Grand Canyon graveside service to Sally Murray asking that she share: Stu writes: All went well. Everyone was tense and emotional but we got through it. The graveside service, minimal but adequate, was done by the local Grand Canyon Community Church pastor. Most of his comments were based on the obituary that I wrote with your help, but he paraphrased well and included the 23rd Psalm and verses from Corinthians which I cannot recall but were most appropriate. Riley put a note in the grave but later she sent an Instagram to her friends along with a picture. I suspect the essence of her note to Ellen was what she wrote to her friends. For some time now, I have been saying that you are not moving on but doing things in a different way. She might have picked up on that but she did it in a very philosophical and poetic way. From Riley’s Instagram: “You may feel like you are sitting at the edge of a cliff with no idea how to return. But as life continues you find yourself coming back to the real world and steady ground. . . .you are not really moved on, but living in a new and different way.” Thank you all who sent news. Special thanks to best Kentucky girlfriend Dr. Nancy Coleman Wolsk, Mt Holyoke ’61, for priceless help at the computer. Please send your stories to me: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 859 317-8341.Old-fashioned letters and postcards particularly welcome! 227 Owsley Ave; Lexington, KY 40502.