Sunday, June 25, 2006

40th Reunion - Draft of a Report by Theo

Just before our 40th, Eric Benke from BBN called me and asked if I would prepare a report of our reunion for publication in the alumni news. I said "sure, sure" and promptly forgot about it. Several days after the reunion, Eric emailed me - reminding me that I was now several days late in submitting my report. Below is what I sent him. This was all prepared on a Blackberry. Blackberries are fine for ten words, but become instruments of torture when you try to write paragraphs. Add nine hours jet-lag and too many glasses of Prosecco and here is what you get...

These reunion notes were started sitting next to Larry Schell drinking a glass of Prosecco on the terrace of the Monaco Hotel overlooking the Grand Canal in Venice. In other words our classes are again as scattered, as distant, as separated as any strangers could be.

But for a moment we were again the classes of '66 - all bubbly and full of bravado - as together as only those people that are passing through adolescence together can get.

We started as we must, at Strawberry night. You saw one or two classmates and joined them. And then more joined. We were not the full group until photograph time. Even then we missed Bruce and Micael. I thought I was going to have to Photoshop them in, but the kind photographer allowed us a retake.

So the photo somewhere on this page will show, say, twenty - thirty people. If there is one photograph where we are all quiet and paying attention it's a miracle. No different than 40 years ago.

Now add the spouses and class of '67 ladies and it's quite a good number of stories to exchange: "Do you remember the party/teacher/night?" "I live in Rio/Boise/Cambridge..." "My book/career/children foundered/went missing/exceeded my expectations..."

Some highlights were Violeta flying in from Rio de Janeiro and Sigrid from Munich. Also we have friends it turns out - Fran Atherton '67 flew in from California.
Speaking of CA - we had four Californians show up with regrets from two more.

I really do want to list everybody I talked to and what we talked about, but I'd be late for dinner at the Guggenheim and I'm late with these notes as it is. Not to worry though, when I get home the brain dump will occur with full results published on

So now we come to the class picnic. *50* attendees *50* all packed in Lenore's house. Only Lenore's oxen stayed outside. It rained the entire time. On the other hand this allowed for easy moving about and so everybody talked with just about everybody. The day was more relaxed than the night before - a chance to double-click into people's lives. Nice touches include Steve arranging for the bluegrass band to play and the delicious food - made us feel special. Many thanks to peter, lenore, steve, allen for putting this splendid event together.

OK, so there are issues. In our era the schools were different schools - so perhaps we should celebrate our reunions in separate ways? Nice touuch: Buckingham did have pictures taken with and without B&N. And perhaps more varied type of get-togethers would be appropriate.

All in all: my estimate as to our feelings about the fiftieth reunion? Bring it on!

It will be interesting to see what Eric uses of this...

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