Thursday, January 17, 2013

From Dave Schneider ~ Regrets and Remberances

Dear Classmates,
First I should say that I’m sorry I missed the 50th. I had planned to come – even had plane and motel reservations – but in the end it just got too complicated. I had planned a trip to Paris for April which I ended up not doing at the last minute for uninteresting reasons, but I went to Cambridge, MA to visit friends as well as pretending to do some scholarship over many ales, and made 2 trips to the Bay Area for grandparent duty last spring. In addition I was scheduled to go on a teaching assignment in China for 8 weeks in late June. It just got to be too much traveling in such a short time. And as we all know traveling by plane these days isn’t what it used to be.
The week before I was scheduled to leave for China I had a pleasant visit from our classmate Mike Davis (more on that in a bit) and then fell and broke my ankle 5 days before I was to leave. The ankle injury was serious (I now have enough metal in the ankle to insure that I’ll never get through airport security unscathed again), and in general I don’t recommend it. I’m fairly certain that the cause was my having bragged a few days before that I had never spent a night in the hospital. There are forces in the universe that pay attention to such boasts and act vengefully. So China got cancelled. I spent 2 months hopping behind a walker and another 2 months walking, sort of, but undergoing intense physical therapy (for the atrophied leg muscles as well as the ankle).
I’m now back to normal more or less with the occasional aches and pains – for all I know it’s that old age I keep hearing about. As I say I don’t recommend it, but I also realize that at our age this is not the worst thing that might happen. Otherwise I’m in great health except for a slight touch of diabetes, well controlled with magic pills, lots of exercise, and losing 50 pounds. It has, however, put a dent in my ale, donut, and ice cream passions (not at the same time), and Mexican food has become a luxury as well. My doctor insists that such eating habits caused the diabetes in the first place, but I’m convinced that it’s punishment for larger sins. Fortunately I like fruit and veggies.
I’ve been officially retired for a couple of years, but the nice part about being a college professor is that the lines between employment and retirement are dim. Until last year I had been teaching a couple of courses a year, but I’m taking this year off – maybe permanently. Office space is at a premium at Rice these days, so I’m in the process of vacating my office which I guess makes retirement seem rather permanent. Going through 50 years of accumulated stuff and deciding what to send to the trash can has been somewhat painful, and it’s been going slowly. Of course, I’ve also been discovering all sorts of memos and correspondence that have reminded me of things I had forgot. I even ran across grade books from my early days teaching at Amherst, Brandeis, and Stanford and miraculously even managed to generate some faces to go with some of the names. Wonder what’s happened to those kids (as they were then). It’s shocking to realize that some of them have probably met their maker, and others are retired and maybe even rich or homeless. They’re old by now, and what that makes me, I refuse to contemplate. I’ve stopped doing research, but I do have what will probably be my last book (on prejudice this time) at the publisher in manuscript form. Not looking forward to the revisions. 
As I mentioned Kappa Sig fraternity brother Mike Davis found his way to Houston recently with his charming French wife and daughter. Mike is retired from the foreign service and now lives in Marseilles. I had forgot that he actually got a PhD in history from Rice, so we did a mini-tour of the campus, much changed since his time here in the early 60s. It is a beautiful campus which has managed to keep some architectural integrity as it’s added an uncountable number of new buildings over the past 40 or so years. It was good to see Mike.
Life is good. We live close to Rice so I take in most sporting events (a labor of love and lost cause given their performances except in baseball and the country club sports– well, we did win a bowl game of sorts this past December). There’s lots of good music at the music school, one of the best in the country, and we also do opera at various venues around town, theater, etc.  I have been a docent at the local art museum for several years, and find explaining the higher mysteries of art to mostly 3rd and 4th graders with the occasional middle school, high school, or college group great fun and highly rewarding. Art has become a love of my middle age and beyond (I refuse to say old or elderly). I have been, on and off, doing other sorts of volunteer work, AIDs clinic and various groups of those whose lives are less fortunate  than mime – mostly working with kids. 
Our oldest daughter, Kris, lives about an hour away. She graduated from Austin College (north of Dallas) which except for the women reminded me a lot of Wabash – small and the same commitment to real education and a warm environment. You might be interested to get a copy of Loren Pope’s 40 Colleges That Change Lives (an approximate title) which gives rave reviews both to Austin College and Wabash. Kris works as a legal consultant for Hartford insurance, and her husband, Scott is a claims adjuster for Chubb; he spent most of November and December in New Jersey doing what claims adjusters do – hopefully helping out some. They have two children. Daughter Alyssa is a freshman in college, and son Taylor is a sophomore in high school.
Our daughter Caitlin and her husband both graduated from Stanford with law and business degrees from University of Virginia; they refuse to leave the Bay Area and live in San Carlos. She is a judge with EEOC, meaning she judges discrimination and sexual harassment cases in the federal government. Tommy, her husband, works for Financial Engines, doing whatever people there do. I’ve yet to figure out what that is. Two boys, one in 7th grade, the other in 4th. For reasons of modesty I’ll refrain from listing all the brilliant grandchildren accomplishments. And then there’s the fact that they inherited none of this from me; my daughters married well genetically. I also had no role in their upbringing – arguably all to the good. Still, one does take unwarranted credit from time to time, typically in the annual Christmas letter.
Some of you will remember my wife Doris who is aging better than I and who keeps busy with various activities, many of which seem to involve reminding me of my obligations and duties as well as my various delinquencies. We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in Kauai in December, and then did the Christmas thing with grandchildren in California.
This is beginning to sound like one of those dreadful Christmas messages we’ve all got, and for that I’m sorry. I have the conceit that some of our classmates may actually be interested given that I’ve been off the Wabash radar for some years. But for those of you who can’t quite put a face to this name, it’s sufficient to know that I think I’ve aged gracefully and thrive as much as one can at this point of life. And, as I say, sorry to have missed the 50th.
Dave Schneider

Friday, January 11, 2013

5,300 miles to C'ville - John Hays III sends greetings

For the past 29 years I have lived in Hawaii, at 5300 miles, the closest I have ever lived to Crawfordsville (before that I lived in Buenos Aires).  I attended our 25th reunion, which was my uncle Bill's (Will H  Hays, Jr) 50th, and vowed I would make it to our 50th.  I  planned and made several visits  but the 25th was to be my only reunion.  Uncle Bill died in 2000 and was unable to attend my 60th birthday bash here.  

I visited Aunt Virginia and cousin Kathy Hays Fox later that year, and we have remained close.  In october 2008, I attended my 50th high school reunion in Sullivan, IN, and made plans well in advance to have lunch with Aunt Virginia and tour the campus with her.  She passed away a few days before I got there, and I spent some quality time with Kathy and John Fox helping to clean up the house, which Bill and Ginny donated to Wabash.  I went to Bloomington and spent some time with cousin Bill (Will H. Hays, III), and I planned for a long time to attend our Big Bash.  A medical incident caused me to miss it, and I was devastated.  My doctors would not let me leave the Islands.
One good thing is that having rowed on the varsity crew at Edinburgh University (my junior year at Wabash) and in a single and an eight at Harvard, I have been rowing for 52 years.  Except for my largely blind eyes, I am in fairly good shape.  I don't row singles any more (I would run into the bridges), but I was pleased to qualify and row in the Head of the Charles in 1998.  Attached is a picture of that race and another taken on a business trip to Brazil last year.  I like the blog very much and will make an effort to review it frequently.
Thanks again.

John T. Hays, III

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tim Emmitt '62 named Illinois Super Lawyer

For the sixth straight year since 2007, Tim J. Emmitt '62, attorney with Roetzel & Andress LPA in Chicago, was named a 2013 Illinois Super Lawyer by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine.  Tim is Co-Partner-in-Charge of Roetzel's Chicago office.  His legal concentration is in estate and trust planning.  

After Wabash, Tim earned his JD degree from the University of Chicago Law School.

Congratulations (once again!), Tim!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

..... til death do us part.

During the past several days I have been creating a contact list from information gleaned from our 50th Reunion Memories book.  The goal is to enable a quicker level of communication through the use of social media concerning our Class of '62, but I digress.   Several items struck me about the class, but of singular surprise was how many got married during or shortly after graduation, and are still together.  Many celebrated both their golden  wedding anniversary and 50th class reunion during the same year.  I came late to this married group, currently celebrating our 45th.

So what does this indicate about a Wabash man   While certainly not true as a sweeping statement, the concept of commitment comes to mind.  Perhaps being part of a generation of those who work through the variety of issues that swirl around two individuals in a relationship.  As a teacher, I have noted the number of recent students who after a dozen years, have ended marriages.  Clearly, it is not a simple answer, but I do believe the concept of "Wabash Always Fights" goes far beyond the sports field, entering the area of one's personal life to succeed in each endeavor. 

Your thoughts ........

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Greetings to 2013

We begin the New Year with new resolutions or goals.  Let us make one goal to maintain contact with both Wabash and with each other.  As Terry Fewell mentioned in his December letter, I have assumed the reins of Class Agent for we Gentlemen of '62.  As others have noted, this task of Class Agent is one maintaining connections.

During the final days of 2012, my wife and I spent with her aunt and uncle at their winter condo in Snowmass Village, CO.  The aunt is gripped by the tentacles of dementia.  While the happenings of years ago are clear, events of the last hour are lost.  She knows us and our standard poodle so we all made that journey for a week long visit.  It was great to engage her in conversation, and some board games she still enjoys.  There was also pain as we would need to repeat many times over, simple comments, rules of the game we were playing, and where we would be eating that day.  The experience certainly cemented that need to live each day fully, and express kindness to those we love.

While there, I exchanged Emails with Dale Lentz, who summers in the area.  I see why Dale loves the area.  Also tried to contact Kiefer Mendenhall who also lives in Aspen.

Keep checking this blog for updates on Class of '62 activities.  You may also find us on Facebook - Gentlemen of 62.  There you can quickly share thoughts and photos. Our address:

Wabash Always Fights!   - Thom