July/August 2020

’61 Class Notes July/August 2020

At the suggestion of Jack Allen  [mailto:springny@pipelinelcom] we have linked a classmate’s name to their email address so if you want to contact them directly just Ctrl+click on their names.

Jud (David) Koehler [mailto: judkinoh@yahoo.com] Most of us ’61ers have reached 80.  My three kids came from far and wide to take me to dinner and an Indians baseball game for my birthday last summer.  When we arrived at the ballpark, we found that my son had bought our tickets from a fraudulent online source and they were no good.  As we walked further along, we were approached by a ballpark employee who asked me “Are you a veteran?” (I was wearing my Navy veteran ballcap instead of the Indians cap I normally would have worn.)  I said, “Yes”, and he said, “I have four tickets here that I’m supposed to give to a veteran as a part of our salute to veterans tonight.”  Our free seats were located directly behind home plate. They even displayed us on the “Jumbotron” screen as part of the salute.  Coincidence? No!  Someone upstairs had His hand on my 80th.

Bill Bayfield [mailto:billbay-3@comcast.net] We have four classmates who live here at The Landings on Skidaway Island outside Savannah, Ga. (George Longstreth, Walter Hough, Al  Townsend & myself). We get together once or twice a month and solve the problems of the world. We had all planned to work in April as marshals on the 18th hole for the Korn Ferry Savannah Golf Championship. I am still involved with golf as a rules official and was scheduled for 13 events this year.

Austin Pendleton [mailto:aucape2@gmail.com] I was in a show called “The Minutes”.  We were in preview performances for a little over two weeks and were three days away from our official opening night, when Broadway rightfully pulled the plug.  Now we’re waiting to see when Broadway will re-open. It was said that it’ll be mid-June, but that was immediately laughed away So, who knows.  Our producer, Jeffrey Richards, is determined to get us re-opened when the time does come. Every two weeks the whole cast gets on Zoom and runs through all the lines. So, what else am I doing during this time?  First, I’m trying to answer all my unanswered emails, of which, when I started, there were 660.  The other day I got it down to a little over 200.  Now it’s back up to 340, or something like that, because when you answer peoples’ emails, they answer you BACK. I’ve also re-arranged all the books in our apartment.  At first this drove my poor wife a little crazy, but we know now what books are in the house and where to find them.  There were wonderful books we didn’t even know we had…!!!  My new plan is to read absolutely all of them.  We’ll see how far that goes. Other re-arranging I’ve done around the house has also driven my wife a little crazy, and she’s been right. We watch MSNBC every night for three hours, from Rachel Maddow, to Lawrence O’Donnell, to Brian Williams – a heavy dose. Then, in order to be able to sleep, we watch, from midnight to 1:00am, two re-runs of Golden Girls, which provides a gentle landing for the night. I hope everybody else in our class is faring well, keeping healthy, staying safe, and wearing masks and gloves.

Robert Hackmann [mailto:rjhackmann@yahoo.com] Jane and I are holed up in Bend, OR, two doors down from our daughter, Hilary, and our two young granddaughters – a good situation.  Given the CV restrictions and abundance of caution we are not returning to our home in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.  Perhaps this is not all bad as everything there has been cancelled for the summer, including the BSO at Tanglewood, so we are missing only friends whom we talk to via various video chats.  We are trying to make it to Salt Lake City to visit our son and two more of our grandchildren, but that plan is uncertain because of the CV. We are part of the east coast liberal elite so find the politics in central Oregon quite interesting.  In general, central and eastern Oregon is Trump country where there is widespread distrust and hatred of the federal government and the Democrat dominated Oregon legislature.  Bend is liberal, but the rural west element is just beyond the town line. The state historically is quite racist and, in its past, had a strong KKK presence.  While that is past and the Willamette valley is liberal, the hinterland is strongly rooted in the 19th century. As my brother, Kent [YC ’59, Saybrook] has pointed out, stressful times often result in either a strong left or right shift. It is up in the air as to whether we will descend into an era of American fascism under the Trump party or move away from this.

Joseph Schwartz [mailto:schwartzjoseph@hotmail.com] Marilyn and I thoroughly read the NY Times and Wall Street Journal after sleeping an hour more than usual and then have a full English, deli or Spanish style breakfast. We watch Governor Cuomo’s excellent corona virus briefings and then it’s nearly time for lunch! Afternoons are time for virtually “attending” classical music concerts from  Carnegie Hall or Concert Artists Guild, listening to lectures from a large menu of educational and cultural institutions, talking and “seeing” friends from afar in New Zealand, Spain, Israel and Brazil and from the States, participating in Bible and folk art classes, and doing our exercises on the terrace to offset sore buns from so much sitting. Evenings involve trying out new recipes, especially Chinese and Italian cuisine, and watching pre-recorded TV programs, such as nature documentaries, detective drams and old-time movies. We also take long walks in either Central Park or the Hudson River Pathway wearing our face masks. And, there’s no excuse for not having the time to practice the classical guitar that I’ve been playing (that’s a generous description) on and off for so many years. It’s a full day! While the pattern of life has changed, and our on-site community service and educational volunteer activities have been on hold, we consider ourselves fortunate to have each other and to be in good health. There are many ways and reasons to count one’s blessings.

Maysie Starr [mailto:starrmaysie13@gmail.com]  I have relished the peace and quiet of our mandated isolation with less phone calls, communicating more with children and grands, conducting virtual cooking classes, writing poetry, reading a lot and packing up for my move 3 minutes away, literally over the hill ( we have hit that milestone have we not?) to a CCRC: The Hill at Whitemarsh. It has been a period of renewal, much like the way we grew up: knowing how to happily entertain ourselves. Remember?

Dick Munich [mailto:rlmunich@gmail.com] has migrated to their summer home in Newport, RI, is getting to know his wife of 58 years all over again, launching into Proust, and contemplating the final retirement from the psychotherapeutic part of his psychiatric career. Staying in touch with Westley, Kass, Ullman, Brumberger from our class.

Richard Strub [mailto:rlstrub@hotmail.com] I guess we shut-ins are finding ways to amuse ourselves, but, have we cleaned up all that junk that we have been accumulating for the past 50 years? In New Orleans, we do not have basements!! While going through old photos I found some great nostalgia pieces: the first was a picture of Hardy Will and me at the airport in the summer of 1960 getting ready to board our plane for that obligatory ‘summer grand tour’ of Europe. We were standing by the plane in our suits, white shirts and ties!! When is the last time you saw a tie on someone in an airplane? Also found a pic of me, Tom Singleton and some high school buddies in our tuxedos hamming it up before a dance. Those were the days. Got a call back from Tom and a letter from Hardy. All have escaped the virus as have Ann and me.  Hope all are well and using this time to clear out closets and spend a little time going down memory lane.

Fred Truslow [mailto:fjtruslow@aol.com] Aura and I returned from Lima, Peru, on an evacuation flight March 24  (quite efficient and comfortable) and have been locked down ever since.  While there I translated a book about a fascinating educational project in the Andean highlands that shows how to create almost from scratch a rural primary school system, bilingual in Spanish and Quechua. Thinking about that beats fretting about viruses and our precious skins.

Jamie McLane [mailto:jmclane@profexa.com] Like everyone else, Meg and I have been hibernated/insulated/isolated/masked for the last many weeks in our small condo high in the sky overlooking Sarasota Bay. Other than watching the brown pelicans and terns dive for fish every afternoon and boats of all sizes and types float by, we find this time to be a positive, reflective, soul enhancing period: reading more books, including that great story by Herman Wouk: “Winds of War,” which I missed those many years ago;  learning how to zoom – weekly family zooms (FL, Seattle, LA,), Whiffenpoofs of ’61, orchestrated by John Walsh, Happy Hours with friends, two different book clubs, etc.; discovering the many Haiku poems and songs I had written since the 80’s and putting them together as prelude to a potential  book of poems; reaching out to friends, classmates, nephews and nieces, and cousins whom I have not talked to for years;  Face Timing 2-3 times a week with our 1 year old grandson in Seattle (8 grandchildren range from a current Bates graduate to this 1 year old); watching old movies for which we never had time; watching very little depressing news; enjoying Meg’s very imaginative dinners; and trying to keep balanced with long walks along the shore and botanical gardens. Peaceful, quiet and thoughtful time together. We are so fortunate.

From various newspapers: Peter Beard, a flamboyant, swashbuckling New York photographer, artist, naturalist, socialite died in April in the woods near his Montauk, Long Island home. He had suffered from dementia and had experienced at least one stroke. Peter is best known for his death-defying photographs of African wildlife, captured most notably in the book, “The End of the Game”, which documented the vanishing romance of Africa and the tragedy of the continent’s imperiled wildlife, particularly the elephant.  He made his first trip to Africa in 1955 with the great grandson of Charles Darwin and ended up, after Pomfret School and Yale, living and working in Kenya for many years. He is survived by our classmate, Sam Beard  [mailto:s.beard@jeffersonawards.org], and his older brother, Anson Beard, Y’58. The family commented: “Peter died where he lived: in nature”. As one of our classmates said: “Peter lived a life about which many of us dreamed. His writing contributed greatly to my own enthusiasm for Africa”.
These are links to related newspaper articles:
Remembering Peter Beard, The King of Old Montauk
Peter Beard, Wildlife Photographer on the Wild Side, Dies at 82

Louis R. De Mattheis,80, formerly of Verona, NJ and recently of Marco Island, FL, died on April 3, 2020 in Morristown, NJ. Louis graduated from Orange, NJ High School and received an ROTC scholarship from Yale University where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He then served in the US Navy as a Lieutenant Commander living with his wife, Annette, on various naval bases around the world before ultimately settling in Verona, NJ. Louis earned a master’s degree in Business from Seton Hall University. He retired from PSE&G when he was just 40 to pursue his dream of investment real estate through his real estate management company, De Mattheis Management Co., LLC. He continued this real estate career for many years, before ultimately retiring in 2000. He has been permanently residing in Marco Island, FL since then. Louis De Mattheis was predeceased by his beloved wife, Annette (nee Martoccia) De Mattheis in 2001.

Charleston Mini: October 27-30,2020; Kansas City, MO Mini: October 14-17, 2021; 60th last weekend in May or 1st weekend in June 2021.