March/April 2021 Class Notes

From Howard Burdett: “For the past 25 years, my wife Jane and I have researched our family lines. We found the information in past censuses to be particularly helpful. We also found many omissions and errors in those censuses. In an attempt to help ensure completeness and accuracy in the 2020 census, I became an enumerator for the current census. Enumerators follow up on addresses from which there were no responses to the initial census questionnaire. For several weeks, I donned my 2020 census identifying gear and COVID-19 face mask, mounted my four-wheel-drive SUV, and headed into the north woods of Michigan in search of those individuals clinging to their guns and bibles who never responded. I had many notable experiences and added a few hundred individuals to the count for northern Michigan.”

Peter Sprague writes: “I have been sequestered in Berkshire County, but am busy and having fun. About two years ago, I was on Sara O’Brien’s CNN program. We received a text message from the deaf actress Marlee Matlin, who asked for a video copy of the four-minute episode with closed captions. I had just seen a wonderful revival of Children of a Lesser God at the Stockbridge Theater. Her text message caused me to wonder how I could talk with Marlee. I read her autobiography, which included her efforts to successfully lobby Congress to put closed captions on televisions. She prevailed and now televisions all over the world have closed caption capability.
“I decided if I wanted to talk with people with hearing disabilities, I could put closed captions on me. I started and found a partner, a 31-year-old kite surfer from New Jersey, whose family had a history of deafness and hearing disability. We are a next-generation ‘wearable.’ Basically, doctors, nurses, company execs, conference attendees all wear plastic or paper identity badges. We are making these badges intelligent and ADA-approved. We will be manufacturing 200 ‘BADGERS’ in early December to be tested, primarily in medical facilities. BADGERS can also translate your words into 75-plus languages. You can demo BADGERS on Google meet, ZOOM, etc. Incidentally, if you are over 70 and file a patent, the Patent Office processes it in about a year, instead of 3–4 years.”

The following notes are some of the responses to Lou Allyn’s inquiry about lost souls in the class:

Rick Hauser writes: “Thanks for the checkup. The last the class knew about me, I had gone down in a pirogue on the Amazon. Nope! Here I am. Cheers! I have been on the senior staff, Mozan/Urkesh Archaeological Project, and a research associate at the International Institute for Mesopotamian Area Studies. I was the founding partner of Beyond Broadcast, which created the four-part adaptation of Hawthorne’s classic The Scarlet Letter, hailed by television critics as ‘an American masterpiece’ and ‘an authentic electronic masterwork.’ My direction of another romantic drama, Trinity Rep’s Feasting with Panthers, still stands as ‘an innovative example of television theatrical adaptation at its best.’”

David Freund writes: “Charles Lawrence and Steve Lander were both classmates who matriculated with me from Scarsdale High. Charles, my roommate, did not return after freshman year. Steve, who was always somewhat of a nonconformist, left Yale and lived in Germany. Gordon Fitch, another ‘beatnik,’ was an intelligent and creative individual who lived near me sophomore year in JE. I credit him with my love of Bach’s music, which he played constantly. He roomed with or near Joe SabbatinoRichard WeinertElliott Lichtman, and Nelson Kasfir. I believe he graduated, although he does not appear as such in the YAA directory.”

Jamie Hunter writes: “Latham Smith is a famous tugboat builder/owner/captain recognized in the New Yorker a few years ago. He owns a shipyard on the St. Johns River in Florida where he built oceangoing tugs Elsbeth I, II, III and Rhea, and several salvage barges. His boats are noted for their unique and sturdy design. He and his wife now live in Minnesota. See”

Andy Block writes: “Bill Wynn was with us freshman year but dropped out and never returned. I saw Jim Torrens in Singapore 30 years ago when he was in the state department and assigned to the embassy there. Maybe he could be found by a classmate who has access to a state department alumni directory.”

Laz Schneider writes: “Avery Colvin was in Carnegie Studies and disappeared before May freshman finals. I rediscovered him on Facebook. No doubt he would not remember me, but I remember him. He discovered Fanny Hill in the rare book room, which probably had a partial causative relationship to his missing finals.”

Phil Champlin writes: “James C. Roberton was a former classmate at Bethesda–Chevy Chase High School, former roommate in Calhoun College, USMC officer, Stanford Law. You can refer to a thoughtful and heartfelt tribute he wrote for some of his fellow Marines at”

Tom Johnson reports: “Our classmate Bruce Bloxom died on October 9. His wife Anne passed seven weeks earlier. Bruce had his doctorate in psychology and had several academic and non-academic posts before retiring in Carmel, California.”

Herschel (WorthAinsworth Auxier Jr., age 81, died on May 6, 2020, with his wife, Sandy Burnett, and family by his side at the E. T. York Hospice Center. Worth was a quiet man of many talents: pilot, landscape contractor, accountant, and handyman. Worth was a devoted father and collector. He had a natural inclination for turning “junk” into something useful again and again. Worth was most at home in the outdoors feeling the breeze, sunshine, or rain. He wouldn’t mow until after the wildflowers were finished blooming. Please remember him with a walk outdoors.

James Sumner Jones, 80, died of Parkinson’s disease on November 11, 2020, at his home in Bethesda, Maryland. His wife of 52 years, Penelope Ann Townsend, was at his side. Born in Wheeling, West Virginia, he attended the Hill School and graduated magna cum laude from Yale in 1961 and from Harvard Law School in 1964. After army basic training, he joined the law firm of Purcell & Nelson in Washington where he participated in the first variable annuity filing with the SEC. He later opened his own law firm, Jones and Blouch. He served in the US Army Reserves and later in the Navy Reserves. He was a lifelong student of ancient and Biblical history, archeology, and Mesoamerican culture. He taught himself to read Mayan glyphs and had especially fond memories of trips with his wife and three children to Mexico and Guatemala. Hekept a boat, First Venture, in Annapolis and sailed for many years on the Chesapeake Bay. He also was an avid windsurfer and spent many weekends windsurfing on the Potomac River. He had a talent for making anyone feel important and interesting, no matter whom he encountered. His family will remember him fondly for playing his bagpipes as a Sunday morning alarm clock and surprising them by diving into their swimming pool in full scuba gear during a birthday party.