to Mexico, e-mail me; I’d love to see each of you again, and the weather here is perfect yearround. Sorry not to have made the reunion, but the schedule of a trip down the Danube from Vienna to Bucharest, upon which we were traveling with friends from Oaxaca conflicted. Bill, I have retired completely from politics. Once, when I was commissioner of Human Rights in NYC I thought of getting into it, but I found I was totally inept and absolutely not cut out for anything remotely concerned with people. But, I enjoy hearing from you and hope our paths will cross again soon.” Dave Penning has some good news, “Hobe, good to see you at our Taft reunion. What we lacked in quantity, we more than made up in quality. (Like fine old wines.) I was honored by the FAA with a Master Pilots Award. Only slightly more than 1,000 of these have ever been issued! The award is based on 50 or more years of continuous flying without accident or incident. In my case, I soloed in 1954. Who says getting older has no benefits?” Hal Leeds writes, “I have little news other than the arrival of a granddaughter, Casey, in April—the first girl out of eight grandchildren—and my being smitten with viral pneumonia from June through early Aug.” Larry North reports, “Our homeowners assoc. came ‘this close’ to getting one of our amendments passed by the Fla. Senate in the last session, so we think we have a good shot for success next time around. The doors in my metal valve are working well, so that is good. Cardiologist is very pleased and predicts I’ll outlive my annuity. Golf is frustrating, but due to my short-game skills, I still manage to shoot my age now and then. If only I could get the muscles to obey the messages the mind is sending! I know what I want to do and how to do it, but my muscles send back this obscene message:‘Not this time, old man! This shot is going into the bunker, lake, weeds or woods. Ha!’” Our most prolific historical author is surely Harlow Unger. He wrote your scribe an actual snail-mail letter, which I will excerpt: “I know you’ll be pleased to know that my 17th book, The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation’s Call to Greatness, was published in Oct. (see p. 6). It has already been named the main selection of the History Book Club this fall and received favorable prepublication reviews. Fifth pres. of the U.S., James Monroe transformed a fragile little nation into a glorious empire. Monroe’s predecessors— Adams, Jefferson and Madison—left the nation bankrupt, its people divided, its borders under attack and its Capitol in ashes. As pres. he led the nation to greatness by seizing Fla. and extending U.S. borders to the (then) impregnable natural defenses of the oceans, lakes
Fred Chesman ’50 with eight grandchildren: from left, Tucker, 4, Collin, 6, Devin, 4, and Hope (on Fred’s knee), Kyle, 2 (on other knee), an unhappy Samantha, 10 months (held by Fred’s son, Spencer), Dylan, 4 months (held by Jessica, Spencer’s wife), and (in front) Jake, 19 months, supported by the sister-in-law of Melissa Chesman ’89
and rivers that rimmed the nation. Monroe was the only pres. other than Washington to win reelection unopposed.” Finally, a late Aug. e-mail is self explanatory: “Mr. Hoblitzelle, my name is Richard Durham ’54, and I am younger brother to the late Bull Durham of your class. In reviewing your 1949 write-up for the 60th Reunion, I noticed a letter from Ed Borcherdt. In his remarks he noted that he went to Quantico with my brother, and I also noted that he said he had served as pres. of the National Korean War Memorial in D.C. My oldest brother, George, was killed in 1952 in action in Korea at the age of 24 and is listed in the Korean War Veterans Honor Roll. Just thought it most interesting that the world would be this small. George, by the way, graduated from Salisbury.” Naturally, I wrote Richard, thanking him for the note and told him that we had met at several Taft reunions, since his reunions coincide with ours. ’Tis a small world, indeed. Your secretary reports that Ro and I bought a new Winnebago motor home just a few weeks after reunion. It’s 38’ long, has three slide-out rooms, a king-sized bed with a Sleep Number mattress and a bunch of other features that we knew we wanted, having learned a lot from our two other Winnebagos. We spent the first two weeks of Sept. in Clinton, Conn. I hope that you are all well, or mending, and that you will try to think of things in your life to share with us for the next issue.
1950 60th reunion Class Secretary: Archie Fletcher, Fletcher Chicago, Inc., 1000 N. North Branch St., Chicago, IL 60622, firstname.lastname@example.org; Head Class Agent: Arthur J. Stock, 75 Grove St., #332, Wellesley, MA 02482, email@example.com; Reunion Chairs: Ben Chapman, firstname.lastname@example.org; Don Taylor; Class Agents: Ben Chapman, Stanley E. Clarke, 48 Richland Dr., Belfair, Bluffton, SC 29910, email@example.com; William H. Dowd Jr., 153 DeForest St., Watertown, CT 06795-2103, firstname.lastname@example.org; Archie Fletcher
Tony Carpenter splits his time between Greenwich, Conn., and Vero Beach, Fla. His latest accomplishment was shooting his age on the golf course—a feat many desire, but few achieve. Fred Chesman is still working as he gets older, but also plays tennis. He is proud of his nine grandchildren and two dogs. Syd Kleeman, living in Holland and retired, is now able to read a lot of things he never got to during the old working life. Syd did come over to N.Y. for a week in April to see his brother who came up from W.Va. John Franciscus spent July and Aug. at Harbor Springs, Mich. He and wife Verena also spent some time at their Canadian farm in Echo Lake, where Taft Bulletin Fall 2009 47
Quarterly magazine of the Taft School