Class Notes: September/October 2020

Class Notes: September/October 2020

By John M. Pinney

Despite Maryland governor Hogan’s science-based COVID-19 policies, a combination of testing and warm summer weather are weakening the resolve of Marylanders and have boosted our local case count a lot faster. We’re still the third-lowest county in the state, but growing crowds of mask-less visitors to St. Michaels are making us locals nervous. 

There is some hopeful news on the possible rescheduling of our 55th: David Roscoe and I spoke with Karen Jahn of the YAA, and their current plan (subject to change) has us penciled in for June 2021, likely co-reuning with ’66. Karen and her YAA colleagues have been working hard to address the complicated logistics of doubling up reunions and have actively sought input from all classes affected, no easy task. Another bit of good news: after unavoidable delays, our 55th class book should have arrived and given you an alternative to your summer reading list. Thanks again to Ralph Protsik and John Schenck for shepherding this project to the finish line. 

On the not-so-good-news front, after consulting with our class dinner organizers Bob Leich and Chris Kinney and other class officers, we’ve agreed we will not hold a live class dinner in New York on October 30 as originally planned. This is another disappointing turn of events, but given the serious uncertainties around the pandemic, and the traditional attendance by many of you who travel great distances to attend, the consensus was to look at alternatives such as a Zoom gathering, with a presentation by our originally scheduled speaker, Yale undergraduate and former Navy Seal James Hatch. Bob and Chris will be working on a format that maximizes our opportunities to meet and greet remotely, and David Roscoe will be preparing our quadrennial election poll. 

For those of you who missed the Zoom presentation on the Y65–Y70 Survey on May 28, and are looking for a copy (despite misleading information from me, we didn’t mail it), the report is posted on the class website

Brief notes that reveal how a group of highly educated septuagenarians pass their time in pandemic avoidance: after finally delivering the delayed class book, Ralph Protsik reported: “While Woodward was busy on yet another book destined for the Times bestseller list, if not another Pulitzer, I’ve been hard at work on a project of a somewhat more ambitious and globally significant scale. Now, after more than 13 years of intense research, writing, and editorial fine-tuning, I have finally produced a polished version of this (okay, I’ll say it) masterpiece. Word has already gotten out to the news networks, and so far, I’ve committed to Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews. 60 Minutes is on hold.” The masterpiece in question is titled Shaggy Dog Limericks—A Cat Owner’s Guide to Popular Dog Breeds and comes with photos of the breeds he celebrates. No pricing information was provided. Ralph also credits Dennis Cross with inspiring his first dog limerick. Not content to rest on his laurels, Ralph also posted a photo on Facebook of his recent crop of home-grown shitake mushrooms. 

In other news, Bob Leich reports that “while in Hilton Head, South Carolina, in late June, celebrating granddaughter Kayleigh’s 13th birthday with his daughter Katherine, the group paid a visit to Dave and Linda Roscoe who have been ensconced in their home on nearby Spring Island riding out the pandemic. A fun day was had by all, reminiscing about the many good times, and culminating after an evening grill-out with a surprise cake for Kayleigh.” Zick and Carol Rubin have their first grandchild, Benjamin Izzy Rubin, born June 2, 2020. Zick noted, “It’s about time.” Dan Hogan and his partner Jane Lawson performed on June 20 live on Facebook Live for an hour of ’60s and ’70s folk music. I had the pleasure of listening to part of their performance and was transported back to the ’60s with Leonard Cohen, Peter Paul & Mary, and John Denver.

Our class discussion group continues to offer a wide range of topics, other than political commentary, including puns, haiku, and recipes. If you’re not too busy, you should give it a try. It’s helpful and reassuring to hear how classmates are weathering the pandemic and finding creative outlets.

Final news: Bob Hammond has reached the end of his three-year term as our YAA delegate. Bob has been a terrific contributor to the class; in addition to the YAA duties, he has taken on the role of liaison to our class widows. I’m very happy to report that Dennis Mack has agreed to replace Bob. Dennis is another classmate whose thoughtful contributions to the class are numerous. 

Stay safe, please.