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Sunday, June 8, 2008

1968's 40th HS Reunion

June 6 marked the beginning of my 40th high school reunion. I graduated the day RFK died. The night before graduation we watched RFK win California and South Dakata, the most populous and the most rural states, primaries. Then he was shot right in front of us. Our graduation was marred, but it happened outside on a very hot day by the Victory bell in front of Ford Hall, June 6, 1968.

This weekend was glorious, take a look.

Video of us raising the '68 flag. Yes you may have to turn your head in the beginning.

Those attending:

Chris McWilliams
Duke Duquenne
Don Klock
Doug Fuller
Emil George
Jim Cain
John Kawie
Mole Haberle
Marc Griggs
Paul Wainwright
Peter Homans
Richie Halpern
Chip Keeney
Ted Nellen
John Robinson
Fred Ruder

Paul Wainwright writes:

The high point was seeing my classmates -- especially John Kawie. John has had an amazing recovery from a stroke about 10 years ago, and put on a riveting monolog about his experience on Friday night. His story is something I will always remember. Also, on a lighter point, John settled an old debt with me -- 40+ years ago, John and Beau Evans were running a little business that required little "mug shot" photographs of classmates. Something to do with making little ID cards or something. During dinner on Saturday, Fred Ruder, who is now a wiz with money, pointed out that the actual value of my "product" was considerably more than the $1 that I recall charging for my services. He used the term "delayed payment" to describe my situation, and with that information I marched off, found Kawie, and demanded payment. With his one good arm, John reached in his pocket, fished out a dollar bill, and paid up. That dollar is now hung on my darkroom wall. I will never forget it, or John and Beau, and all of the classmates my photographic services helped. When I next see Beau Evans, I'll collect payment from him too.

Another person I haven't seen in 40 years is Peter Homans. For those of you not at reunion, you would never recognize him. Peter had his growth spurt after leaving Williston, and looks like someone I wouldn't want to pick a fight with, not that I would want to. He has taken his musical talents, gotten 2 degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music, had a successful "day job" as an investment advisor (he started his own company), and is now able to pursue musical composition full time.

Another amazing "after Williston" story is Ted Nellen, who taught English at Williston for a year quite a while ago, and is now teaching -- in fact I think he has founded a school -- in New York City. The many gin & tonics on Saturday night have made this part of my memory a little fuzzy.

Yet another "after Williston" story: Duke Duquenne now runs a smoking cessation clinic. Whoda thunkit.

The Class of 1968 flag made an appearance (actually I had forgotten about it). It was made by Mole Haberle, with the help of Ruth Stevens, and 40 years ago it was hoisted up the flag pole early in the morning after one of our pranks. Mole brought it back, and while in the process of hoisting it at 5 in the morning was stopped by Campus Security, which seems to be much more elaborate than the single night watchman we had during our time there. After an explanation, he was allowed to proceed. It was prominently displayed in our class photo that was taken for the Bulletin.

The Saturday dinner was quite an affair -- much more elaborate than the typical Reunion Dinner because it was also the celebration of the successful end of the Capital Campaign. Wow, what a party!

Our few meals in the dining hall were consumed next to the Jeff Roberts Memorial Stairwell. Maybe I should drop the word "memorial" because Jeff is not dead yet, but he was sorely missed at reunion. Jeff -- where are you?

Letters to Paul from our classmates:

Hi Paul,

It would be nice to go back for the 40th. I attended the 30th for 3 hours, as there was another reunion at the Clarke School in Northampton on the same day. I think there were just 30 of '68ers who showed up. My wife was wondering how I managed to be able to follow all these conversations without using a sign language interpreter, to which I replied that these friends knew how to talk to me. I will not need to worry about the 50th as all of us probably will be wearing hearing aids, so the playing field will be relatively level. I do have new cochlear implants in both of my ears and I'm hearing much more than I've ever heard, but I need to figure how to comprehend speech, heh?
It so happens that I was unable to switch my working weekends, so I have to work June 7th and 8th. I was hoping to see John Kawie's show with an interpreter...perhaps next time.

I'll be there at the next reunion as I will have been retired by then and I look forward to reading about the reunion in the next Bulletin.
Jarlath Crowe

Dear Paul,

Thanks so much for your recent messages. I truly regret that I^Òm not able to join you and our classmates for this weekend^Òs reunion. I would have loved to be there with my wife but I'm tied in numerous things this week and the next and couldn't make the arrangements.
June 6 brings to my mind lots of memories. There's no question that many of my best days were spent at Williston, sharing wonderful times with fellow students and teachers.

If you see this message on time, please extend my warmest thoughts to everyone present at the reunion, particularly to yourself, John Kawie, Rabbi, Dave Duquenne, Ted Nellen, Chip Keeney.

I'm truly sorry to miss this occasion after 40 years.
All the best,
Carlos Urrutia Valenzuela.
Oficinas / Offices: Carrera 7 # 71-21 Torre B - Piso 4
Correspondencia / Mailing Address: Calle 70 # 4-60
Bogotá D.C. -
Tels. (571) 346 2011 / 540 5433 ext. 222
Fax. (571) 310 0586 / 310 0609

Hi, Paul.

Great to hear from you and recently from the Mole. I'm sure you guys will have a great time at the reunion. Extend my best wishes to all. I was recently telling a friend of the many pranks/events of our senior year. It brought back fond memories. If you see John Robinson, have him drop me an e-mail. The e-mail address he had at Raytheon hasn't worked for a number of years.

Occasionally, over the years, I have exchanged e-mails with Bill Maid, who has worked in southern Japan for FedEx (formerly Flying Tiger) for most of his career - partially a result of my sending him letters from Japan while travelling there during the summer after I graduated from Union.

During the '90's I was living up in and I still take one or two short business/pleasure trips up to the Lakes Region each year. I'll be up in in late June and again in early July and a third trip in a month just wasn't in the cards. I've also been traveling a lot for pleasure this year and, occasionally, I've got to do a little work. I'll look forward to the 50th. My hiking and travel legs should be on the decline by then.
Well, I've gotta get to work.

Best regards,
Larry 'Rabbit' Shapiro, member of the Great Class of '68

Hi Paul,

I'll be with you in my thoughts. I also think I do have some Super-8 (or possibly Normal 8) movie film material taken during my school year. I should make an effort to have that converted to a DVD. Reserve that for the 50th reunion!

.. the hot topic is reunion 2008 and unfortunately I won't be able to make it. For one thing I have a seminar sheduled for Friday with five students giving their presentations. Secondly, and more severe, I am pretty broke with having to finance three kids through University. My daughter just finished her Master in Economics and is looking for a job, the boys are still in the middle of their Bachelor - at age 28 resp. 24!! Ah well ...

So you guys, have a good time, I'll be thinking of you and let the pictures flow!

Lutz Wegner
P.S. I'll make a small donation to keep our giving record up. Unfortunately, these donations are
not tax deductable in Germany ;-(


I'm not quite sure where the time went to but at least I can still remember everything. Who knows how long that will last. Although I won't be at the reunion physically, do know that I will be there with fond thoughts in spirit with all you guys. And of course Heppy Spence Baker and Phil. And Mr. Lassone too.

Best regards from the west coast,
Andrew Wenick

Hi Paul,
I had hoped to come to our 40th reunion; however, it is just not going to be possible. We are planning on going to London (and perhaps) Paris this summer so that William, who is now 15 years old, can get exposed to culture and the weak dollar. To that later point, I am consuming all our frequent flyer miles. Then there is work, and not enough vacation time.

Thanks for the photo. It brings back great memories. We truly got a great education and great schooling at Williston, which is something I mention to William (through the Mark Twain quote: never let your schooling interfere with your education) often. Of course he then uses it back at me to argue about doing something other than his homework.
William is going to a local private school, where the latest controversy is about the Headmaster committing to replace their darkroom (needed renovation and relocation). The school then switched to creating a state of the art digital photo room. The students started calling him a liar, and other things (but not the Pin). What is a state of the art digital photo lab anyway but other than a good Mac and a big laser printer? Give me smelly chemicals any day.

Take care,
Russell Creighton

I would love to be there but I have a Diocesan Convention the same days.

Ted Babcock

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