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Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Connie Booth Logothetis (A–G)
Renee Levinson Laurents (H–Q)
Lynne Williams Neave (R–Z)
From Connie: Back in July, Maddie Contis Marken shared tips on her trip to northern Spain & Portugal as we had planned to go. She closed her message, with this: “I had a laugh this past year when. I took a course at the local college on Jefferson and Washington. The professor was about our age and a UVA graduate. We had a few chuckles reminiscing about our college years. We both remember that the Honor System was a most remarkable part of our college experience. I might mention that I still am in awe of the spirit of Mary Washington and its goat and devil traditions.”
Carole Grant LeMay wrote: “I have had kind of a rough year physically–Last December had Pancreatitis and then in June had half of my pancreas, my spleen and my gall bladder removed because of a pre-cancerous cyst on my pancreas–Am back to fighting trim now and feel really good, but it was rough for a while. I thought these years were supposed to be our golden years. In April I did take a wonderful trip to Richmond for Garden Week, and Tommy Hulcher, my roommate Freshman year, joined us for dinner one night. I will be going to New York in early June with a group I travel with to see some of the houses in the Hamptons. Ralph is not interested in this kind of trip so will be travelling with Bee (Stone) Byrnes. Am still touring and playing a lot of bridge and occasionally give talks on the Civil War. Ralph is fine–still very active and we often travel to Birmingham to see our daughter and her family.”
Betty Alrich Latta is one busy lady! Here’s her 2018 news: “I really enjoyed seeing the Graceland mansion in January on the New Year’s Eve trip to Memphis with the Widow & Widowers group. (WW is a social group for people who have lost their spouse. There are many fun activities and is a good way to make new friends.) In March, I was in Puerto Vallarta again at my timeshare having fun with my six grandchildren who live in San Jose, CA (and their parents). In June, I flew to Portland, OR for my grandson, Devin’s high school graduation. Then, in October, I went with a group, from the Methodist church I belong to, to Ashland, OR for the Shakespeare Festival. After seeing four plays and really enjoying socializing with the people in our group, I flew up to Portland again to see my son and his family.
My health–The chronic lymphoma (SLL) is in remission, though I still take drugs that I think give me joint and muscle pain and increased fatigue. I’m seeing a chiropractor and also am taking exercise classes and Intermediate yoga–just not doing a lot of walking these days! I’m trying to stay active. I’m in my 42nd year of being a volunteer art teacher in our local elementary schools. I also host WW bridge lessons monthly, and I continue to paint oil paintings with a painting club. And I also enjoy other fun activities with my WW friends.”
Ellen Gotwalt Willing sure misses Bill, as the first year is hard to deal with being alone, etc. She spent the holidays with her daughter Susan in Vienna, VA. Last August she stopped in to the Vienna Quilt Shop to see Clara Sue Durden Ashley who reported how wonderful and slim she looks! Ellen is going back to Naples, FL, staying in the same apartment she and Bill used for years. She took the auto train Jan 1 and will return April 3, 2019.
Carolyn Crum Pannu and Renee get together periodically in CA, the latest being to celebrate daughter Kara’s 50th birthday on Jan.4. In June, she and Pat Scott Peck will be on a Viking River cruise on the Rhone to Lyon and Provence – to celebrate their BIG B-days!
Dee Doran Cairns and Doug came up to NC for Thanksgiving with their son’s family in Emerald Isle and we got together for lunch – fun visit.
Jerri Barden Perkins sent Happy New Year greetings with a photo of herself at the Louvre…Belle with me! Lucky gal who goes to Paris so often!
My news, besides Hurricane Florence (!) was not as planned – we had to cancel our trip to Northern Spain & Portugal because I got sick. It’s a good thing as we probably wouldn’t have been able to return. We stayed put and are personally fine, but lots of damage to our back yard, which is still being addressed. (I have written a summary of our experience at the bottom of this entry.)
Always wonderful to get your news…thanks to all!
From Renee: SANDY PHILLIPS CONKLYN has been hit with a bout of bronchitis/asthmatic bronchitis. She says whatever it is, it’s a bear. Here’s to a speedy return to good, bronchitis-free health! Both Sandy and her hubby had something similar last year and were glad no holiday plans had been made with family! Here we go again. Their son and his wife and their 2-year-old twin boys now live in Laguna Niguel, CA, near LA, where he is Sr. VP of design at Speedo. (Sandy and hubby removed themselves from consideration as sample recipients!) Congrats on their eldest granddaughter’s passing the bar exam this summer and is working in D.C. for an agency that lobbies for health care for the LGBTQ community. Their older twin grandchildren are in college now: Elly at Temple and Ryan a Hokie at VA Tech. Time sure flies!
Sandy sends Best wishes to ’61 classmates for
Happy Holidays and 2019.
JUDY LAROE HARE sent photos of her family. I do wish we could publish them here, but suffice it to say, they are just beautiful people! Judy says “I have been so blessed with wonderful children and grandchildren. Neither of my daughters had children…Tracy is 56 and married to a retired UPS pilot. She is retired from Delta and has a beautiful farm in Simpsonville, KY. She shows in Pleasure class Saddlebred. Mike (54) is a land developer in Phoenix. Susan (52) is a Shiatsu Therapist and recently opened her own school in Portland, OR. She is very gifted and I only wish I could get her to come here to help me heal. I am home this week recovering from Anterior Cervical Disectomy (removal of bone spurs from spine) hopefully it will put me back on the tennis court for spring play.” Atta girl, Judy! Your positive outlook on this thing is inspiring.
Travel this year included visiting friends in Bonita Springs, FL, Brevard, NC, family vacation in Seaside, Fl, Thanksgiving with family in Phoenix, AZ, and Christmas with family in Simpsonville, KY.
SARAH LEIGH KINBERG sent a lovely Christmas letter. Sadly, she has lost Tom. She looks upward to ask his forgiveness for complaining that he didn’t do things around the house. She wondered if she really said that. But now, Sarah remembers all of the things he did do around the house! The yard was Tom’s domain and it sorely misses him as much as Sarah does. In July, she went to visit VA and NC and went by to visit Tom to make sure he was resting peacefully and still missed her. In NC, she visited her “forever friend”, Nancy Burnett. They went to see the play, “The Lost Colony”, which she hadn’t seen since childhood. She has been reading up on it and has learned many interesting things about it she never knew. In Oct., her son, Tommy, had five stamp shows in CA, so he would spend the week in between in Stockton; her daughter was there, too. Sarah had one wonderful week with both of her kids; they celebrated a different holiday each day and packed a whole year’s holidays in one week! She loved having kids, grandkids, and great grandkids scurrying around “doing their thing”. Her greatest treasure is her wonderful family and awesome friends she couldn’t live or breathe without. Sarah wishes everyone a great Christmas and New Year.
My news: This year, I went on a wonderful tour of “America’s Magnificent National Parks”. So said the brochure. And it was right. We didn’t get to all of them, of course, but great ones in this region. It was a beautiful trip. We started in Rapid City, S. Dakota to see Mt. Rushmore. It was really a thrill to see “the boys” in extra-large size in person! We covered about 1200 miles: Little Big Horn valley, where Custer bit the dust, Buffalo Bill Cody’s museum in Cody, WY, then to Yellowstone and its incredible beauty. Old Faithful didn’t disappoint. Then, on to Jackson Hole, Grand Teton, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Antelope Valley slot canyon (look it up…another feat of nature), Bryce and Zion, (breathtakingly beautiful), Durango, CO, and Albuquerque. Saw lots of wildlife…many bison, elk, horses, prairie dogs, and many more. This country is amazing: Immense. Wild, tame, vast vistas, mountains that seem to touch the sky. One highlight of the trip was meeting one of the surviving Navajo Code Talkers of WWII. He is 90 and one of 9 surviving Code Talkers. Fascinating.
To other things: I’ve decided not to move to the desert. The money my house would fetch was tempting, but climate change has even hit the deserts. It reached 117 degrees on some days. I found myself procrastinating about clearing out this house to get ready to sell it. It struck me that a I really like my life here, the climate can’t be beat, there is theatre, opera, ballet, and a symphony orchestra available. And, of course, the Hollywood Bowl! And TWO pro football teams! I realized that I really just don’t want to leave it all. My animals wouldn’t fare well in that heat either. Air conditioning, of course, but you still have to go outside! So, here I stay!
By the time you read this, the holidays will have passed. I hope all of you had wonderful ones and that the new year is bringing all good things your way.
From Lynne: I hate to begin this with sad news, but I’m afraid I must. Sadly, I lost my dear husband of 40+ years in September, Sandy, whom many of you have met at reunions and various other venues. Fortunately, he did not have to suffer a long sickness. My family, neighbors and nearby friends have been amazing to me; for that I will be eternally grateful.
And now, let’s move on to some happier and exciting news about our classmates’ lives and adventures:
Pat Scott Peck wrote that she met Art & Lloyd Tilton Backstrom for a delicious lunch at the VA Museum of Art in Sept. She was on her way to Suffolk to spend a week with her daughter in Suffolk before flying home to TX. It was so good just to sit, talk and catch up with Art & Lloyd, who were leaving soon for another foreign destination.
Pat & Carolyn Crum Pannu will be celebrating their birthdays this year on a Viking River Cruise in S. France June 2nd. Pat will be in Maine mid-May, on the Canadian border & will meet Carolyn (NYC?) for the flight to France. (Maybe spend a few days in the city before continuing our return trip.)
Sue Wilson Sproul wrote about their amazing Road Scholar trip to Slovenia and Croatia with an added adventure in Italy. She described everything so beautifully that I decided I should share it in its entirety. So here goes:
“Croatia has become a very popular spot lately, and we could see why. Costs are low, and the country offers both land and coastal attractions. Our tour began in Slovenia at a beautiful resort. Picture this: from our balcony we looked out on a pristine lake, a charming little island with a monastery, and a castle overlooking it all. It was a postcard view. From Slovenia we progressed to the coast and boarded a small ship for the remainder of the tour. Every day we visited a new island, and the tour concluded at Split, Croatia, a major port for ferries and transport ships.
Having come so far to join that tour, we and the couple we traveled with decided to extend our time by taking an overnight ferry to Ancona, Italy. Our friends, Joe and Sheila, were interested in seeing the Italian village where his grandparents had grown up, so off we went. First stop was a country house near Lake Trasimeno for a few days, then on to Sestola – a small mountain village up in Emilia-Romagna. Joe’s cousins welcomed us with multi-course meals, walks through the village, a climb up to the castle (every town seems to have one!), and everyone’s attempt to converse in the other’s language. The noisy scene at the dinner table was just like a movie! I love Italians and their language, still.
Summer in Tucson has finally convinced me that I don’t want to spend what’s left of my life here. So, we’re moving. As I write this, it’s uncertain whether we’ll return to Colorado Springs or go back to Virginia. But by the time you read this, we’ll be there. Wish us luck.” We do, Sue; let us know your decision!!!
Eleanore Saunders Sunderland’s daughter, Jane, spent Thanksgiving in Argentina and Chile, but Willard and Betsy were with her. Christmas they will all be together, as Jude is coming from Milan with her three boys. Eleanore rescued an adorable steel gay year-old kitten which has become a good housemate for her. (I’m jealous.)
Graham Walker Burns accomplished a project which has been on her bucket list for over 20 years, which was to hang glide. She felt as if she was flying like a bird and went up about 1,800 feet beside Lookout Mountain.
She had some good family visits this past year, with children at her house and also some beach time. She has 14 grandchildren, ranging in age from 2 to 19, plus two adult “bonus” grandchildren. One family has been transferred to London, but she hasn’t been to visit yet. She is still working full time as a real estate agent with Crye-Leike Realtors. Her website is www.grahamburns.com which has lots of Chattanooga information on it. Chattanooga is a great place to visit and/or to live. Should anybody head this way, please let her know.
From Janie Riles who wrote: “Though I am now officially a resident in Ft. Lauderdale, this has been a year for traveling. In January I visited high school friends who winter out in Manzanito, Mexico. In the spring I visited friends in Hendersonville, NC. Summer months were spent in San Diego where I taught art classes and reconnected with friends. In September I went to Berlin to see my daughter, Annelise, receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the German government and the Humboldt Foundation. Thanksgiving was spent with my daughters and their families in Chicago. In November I went to Salta, in northwest Argentina with my brother and Argentine sister-in-law to see the area that her family came from. I will spend Christmas here with my husband, Jim, who is getting along well in his place of assisted living. I am looking forward to some great Margaritas again in Manzanito in February.”
HURRICANE FLORENCE – Connie Booth Logothetis’s Experience
Here is a run-down on our experience with Hurricane “Florence” which hit Wilmington, NC on Sept. 14, 2018. Life has been busy since, but we are ALIVE by the grace of God, for which we are totally thankful. So many houses were spared by inches, as in our case, with our huge, double trunk 100- year old laurel oak tree falling away from the house into the back yard, instead of on the house. Our garden shed, patio, fence, and landscaping all were damaged. There were people from all over the country here to offer their services (at various prices) for tree removal, roof repair, mold remediation, water damage, etc. It was nearly impossible to get a roofer, a dumpster for debris, and other needed services as so many people had damage. We hired a company from Florida to remove the tree, then Duke Energy could restore the power (we were out of electricity for 9 days, land line phone and internet out for 17 days) but we had water and a gas stove so we could cook, with light by battery powered lanterns. Our next-door neighbor did not lose power so he connected a long orange extension cord from his house to ours so we could run the refrigerator and a couple of lights. There was lots of rain and cool temps after the eye went through, then it got hot. Fortunately, neighbors let us stay in their house (they were out of town) which we did for 4 nights enjoying the AC and hot showers. We had lots of interaction with our neighbors, most of whom stayed, as our neighborhood has weathered hurricanes for over 100 years. BUT, as my brother Bob wisely said, the houses may be OK, but the old trees are ready to go. In retrospect, if another hurricane over Category 3 comes, we will probably leave. People did have trouble getting back home though. There was no mandatory evacuation order for our area as we are on higher ground and flooding is less likely. It was a very difficult decision as to whether to stay or go, but now that the big tree is down, we can rest a little easier. Elaine and family had no damage, just part of a fence. All in all, it was one of those negative life experiences I am glad to “cross off my bucket list”!