Class Notes 2016

posted by Jim O'Connor

As you might have heard I visited the Class of '66 50th Reunion to see what was going on. My old Theta Xi brother, Brian Grimes ‘66, was the Reunion Chair and did a fantastic job.  Having said that I'm sure that we can surpass them in every way.  More about that at a later date.

Rob Boas has done some traveling -- Guatemala and Honduras to see Mayan ruins and a sailing/hiking trip to the Greek Dodecanese Islands. His daughter will be getting married this September but before that he will host a mini reunion for some ex-roommates including Dr. Len Goldstein.

Speaking of Len, he writes that he has semi-retired from his practice. Only three days a week now. His wife Maria has retired completely from her practice and is "enjoying a second career as a painter.  

Dr. Rich Ratzan has also retired. He spent his entire career as an ER doctor while his wife, Susan, was a pediatrician. Now he spends time with his children and grandchildren and volunteers one day a week at Trinity's Watkinson Rare Books Library and one day a week at the Hartford Medical Center Library (also Rare Books). "I arrive home (from the libraries) with a hear beat about 20 and a smile on my face!"

Bob Tuttle loves the Bantam lunches in Naples, FL. They are hosted by Mike Wallace '57. Bob and his wife Elizabeth go to all the lunches and another Trinity related event during their January to April snow birding.  He would "love to see other Bantams fleeing the freeze". So if you're planning to go to Southwest Florida next winter give Bob a call or email. He's at bob.tuttle@aya.yale.edu.

Another classmate who has finally fully retired is Luke Terry. He just completed his last term on the Board of Trustees. He has always been an active alumnus as a Trustee, starch supporter of the Football Team and also the Squash Team. Luke spent 41 years at Credit Suisse and has a 16-year-old son who is heading to Luke's old school, Deerfield Academy.

Allen Elstein is in his fourth year of writing biographies "of my remarkable and unremarkable relatives. Sometimes I am even part of the story."  Alan also gives walking tours of the parts of Boston tourists rarely see.

Bob Ebinger has been living in Livingston, Montana for the past twenty years. Bob spent two terms as a State Legislator and is now very active in historic preservation and re-purposing old buildings for use as high end condos. He and his wife, Robin, traveled recently to China and Morocco. They also built a rustic cabin "off the grid" but have since jumped back onto the grid with water, a shower and a flush toilet, "more user friendly for family and guests."

I continue with my non-fiction writing for Young Adults and volunteer work at NY Presbyterian Hospital and God's Love We Deliver. I am also trying my hand at gardening at our house in Madison, CT. Unfortunately about 50% of the plants I put in are either eaten by rabbits or just up and die. What's left is pretty.

Keep our 50th in mind. President Fox predicts it will be the 50th Reunion by which all other 50th Reunions will be measured and found wanting.  So don't miss out.

posted by Jim O'Connor

Nate Rath had a mishap that landed him in the hospital for about six weeks. He gave me a mini-testimonial for the "Life-Alert". He was wearing one around his neck and pushed the button and before he knew it he was in the hospital in Waterloo, Iowa.   Now he's doing rehab and hopes to be back home by the time you read this.

Jim Oliver is in fine shape but reports that his wife, Suzanne, had a total knee replacement in January and "it was VERY successful." She walked half-a-mile with the aid of a cane two weeks after surgery. Go Suzanne!

Steve Griggs writes "I've been fortunate to keep up with guys from back in the day. Regulars have been Pete Strohmeier, Luke Terry, Bob Brickley, Bob Moore, Bob Miller, Cal Wick, John Davison, Tom Sanders and an occasional cameo by the likes of Bill Fox. Great guys and all in good health. Since retiring from coaching at Yale I continue to dabble in part time coaching. My wife Trish and I are the Platform Tennis pros at two clubs in CT. I also mentored the new boys’ soccer coach at Hotchkiss this past fall.” 

I hope all of you are in good health and will drop me a line to tell me what new adventures are underway in your lives.

From the Alumni Office:  David Gerber was recently elected president of the American Society of Comparative Law.

posted by Jim O'Connor

Mike Billington spoke in Gyeongju, South Korea at the founding conference of the Silk Road Universities Network. There were university presidents and institutional representatives from over 20 countries present.  Mike was the principal author of the 370 page EIR Special Report "The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge," which has been translated to Chinese with a Korean edition coming soon.

Geoff White writes that he is “still practicing architecture on the east coast.  Busier and more excited about it than ever.”  Geoff and his wife Eleanor split their time between Middlebury, Connecticut and Martha’s Vineyard.

The Whites hosted David and Willa Downes on Martha’s Vineyard.  There were picnics on the beach and two person games of thumper.  Either before or after visiting Geoff and Eleanor the Downes flew to Brazil where they visited Bob and Suzanne Fowler at their house in Bahia. Bob and Suzanne live in Brazil part of the year and Northampton in the summer.  

Rick and Josie Stultz have also been spending time in Northampton, Massachusetts.  Their son is an ER nurse at a hospital in Springfield and their daughter is getting a master’s degree in agriculture at UMass. “The plan is that when our daughter falls off her tractor our son can take care of her. There’s a lot of cuteness in North Hampton with our daughters two little girls (three and five). Rick is semi-retired — still manages some commercial real estate.  

Robin Tassinari and his wife, Anne, recently celebrated the birth of their 10th grandchild, Maggie Shanahan. “A great Irish name, but then again, Anne was on O’Leary.”

Gil and Mariette Campbell are right behind the Tassinari’s in the grandchild sweepstakes.  They now have nine.

Chris Doyle is wondering how Members of the Class of 1967 feel about the college’s “calamitous drop in national ratings during the tenure of former President Jones.”  You can reach Chris with your opinions about Jimmy Jones at ChrisDoyle3453@verizon.net.”

Judge Ray Reynolds Graves recently discussed the place of fraternities and sororities with Mark S. Schlissel, M.D., Ph.D., president of the University of Michigan.  Dr. Schlissel and Ray agree that “Greek Life is a positive aspect of the college experience, but more steps must be taken to encourage self-policing of student conduct.”  

Rob and Suzanne Boas hosted a reception at their home on Cape Cod for about 50 Trinity alumni/spouses/offspring in August.  Jerry Hansen, Trinity’s former Director of Alumni Relations, was there along with fellow Class of ’67ers Bob Moss and Len Goldstein.

Rick Ludwig has been busy driving around the country — Atlanta, the Blue Ridge Mountains, New Haven (for pizza) and “Finally an awesome trip to northwest British Columbia to Langara Island for salmon fishing with the family including my son’s new bride. 300lbs+ of fish came home with us. And my son’s bride never fished before and caught the first one!! 

Jesse Brewer traveled to Hopkins Village, Belize and reports that “almost all the fish are gone everywhere that large populations have access to the water.  The fishing is great in the marine reserves out on the cays, but near to shore it is spotty at best, even where there are endless expanses of ideal habitat. Everyone get ready to become a vegetarian. Not a promising outlook, especially considering the importance of DHA in neuron cell walls and that seafood is our main source of DHA. ‘Idiocracy’ here we come.”

Rich Ratzan retired from Emergency Medicine last August but is still working per diem a little longer “NOT a lot longer.”  He and his wife, Susan, have four children and four grandchildren. Rich and his son Noah spent two weeks traveling in Northern Spain and then he and Susan spent ten days in Morocco. “Happy and no complaints!  Hope this describes everyone reading this as well.”

John Ray and his team mates are still tearing up the Northern Virginia Senior Softball league.  They captured the conference title last summer.  John plays short field and third base. He and his wife, Loretta, took a Road Scholar trip to the Monterey area where they were impressed by the depth of the drought in California.

Bob Tuttle writes that he’s making up for “all the days spent in the Physics Lab by going back to school to take courses in Harlem Renaissance Poets and Censorship in the Media.

George “Chip” Whitehead was honored with the Point of Light Award for his work finding young leaders from minority communities. In 2005, Chip founded the Youth Leadership Academy in Salisbury Maryland. The Academy’s goal is to “Make sure that nontraditional candidates (for leadership training) don’t fall through the cracks.”

Joe Brand writes, “I have Parkinson’s Disease. I’ve had it for maybe 15-20 years, but it only began to affect my life about eight years ago. This disease was really getting me down, as it not only forced me to retire from a satisfying career in neurobiology, it was also robbing me of the simple things in life. I had serious balance problems and fell often. Three years ago my neurologist recommended I look into a neurosurgical procedure known as Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS).  I had this procedure on May 6, 2013 (Freud’s birthday). Electrodes are placed in specific areas of the brain that are known to be active in this disease.

Results?  I can only describe the results as miraculous. This is not a cure for me… well I got my life back. If anyone wants to know more, just email me at brand@monell.org.”

Joe’s letter demonstrates that we are an amazing class filled with amazing classmates. Keep our 50th Reunion in mind.