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June, 2002


This was perhaps our most memorable reunion to date.  Twenty-two of us made it back, including two—John Cavallo and Jay Tanner—who had not been to any of our previous reunions.  We saw two classmates for the last time—Scott Leake, who we knew had just a few months to live, and John Prentiss, whose tragic death came unexpectedly in early 2005.  And we missed Gene Cook, who passed away in 2000, and had attended so many of our past reunions.  Despite all that gravitas, we had a wonderful, fun-filled weekend.  And I forgot to bring my camera.  I bought a disposable and got a few pictures, but this album can be a lot better if all of you who also took pictures will submit them to me for addition to the collection.


This formal class portrait shows our largest gathering and what I believe is the largest reunion attendance by any class in Darrow’s history.  Shown here are, left to right, Front Row: Dave Griswold, Joe Coffee, Carl Braun, Kip Smith, Gib Manchester, Tom Bird, Pete Gorday, Denny Hopper, and former teacher Steve Swenson.  Second Row: Ned Groth, Bob Lang, Towner Lapp, Howdy Davis, Carl Sharpe, John Ho, John Prentiss.  Back Row: Peter Deri, John Cavallo, Pierre Loomis, Bill Anthony, Jay Tanner, Dave Benson, and former teachers Des McCracken and Horton Durfee.

Scott Leake and his wife Wendy arrived a few minutes after this picture was taken.  Most of us were still in the area around the Meeting House, and we all gathered around Scott and snapped some “informal” class portraits with him in them.  Here’s one of them (several spouses were taking pictures at once, so we are looking at various different cameras):


The hour or so that Scott was able to stay was the most poignant part of the weekend.  We hugged him and, in essence, said goodbye, grateful for the chance to do so.  The rest of the reunion was also filled with events.  On Friday evening, those of us already there met at Mario’s restaurant in The Valley, where we enjoyed good food and renewed old acquaintances.  On Saturday, there was the standard alumni meeting in the chapel, and an added attraction—a dedication ceremony for the brand-new Joline Arts Center, Darrow’s first major new academic building in 30 years.  Recent administrations have abandoned the traditional afternoon softball game (I suppose the faculty got tired of losing to an ever-older all-’62 team—just in time, for our sakes).  Actually, they have sacrificed the softball game in order to be prepared for bad weather, by putting up a huge tent, on what would otherwise be the softball field.  The tent serves as a multi-purpose site for lunch, cocktails and schmoozing on Saturday afternoon, and dinner Saturday night, and keeps hot sun and rain off our heads.  But I think some of us still missed the softball game.

A bunch of us stayed at the Inn at the Shaker Mill, in The Valley, and made it our unofficial reunion headquarters.  Not that we’re getting too old for the dorms, but it was just a lot more comfortable there, and it’s a lovely inn.  On Sunday, for those who stayed over both nights, there was a chapel service, including a memorial service for recently departed alumni.  Peter Gorday participated in the service and Gene Cook was among those memorialized in 2002.

Here are my photos, and some of Carl Braun’s are also posted. Please send yours!












Friday night at Mario’s.  Above, clockwise from left: Marilyn and John Cavallo, Kip Smith, Dave Griswold, Joe Coffee, Dave Benson and Karen Nelson.  Right, also clockwise, from Lang: Bob Lang, Carl Braun, Ned Groth, Howdy Davis, Carl Sharpe, Pete Loomis, and Towner Lapp.








Saturday, at Darrow:

Left: John Cavallo and John Prentiss greet each other as Carl Sharpe and Marilyn Cavallo listen in.






Right: Peter Deri, Carl Braun and Pete Loomis, reminiscing, perhaps, about when 6they had more hair.


Below: Dave Griswold, Bill Anthony and Loomis.

Below right: Evening at the Inn at the Shaker Mill.  Kip and Dave trade tall tales as Howdy and Joe provide an audience, while Carl Braun (a man after my own heart) gets himself another beer.














10Above: Kip, Laurie Coffee, John, Joe, Towner (and Carl Sharpe’s elbow) in one of the many gatherings around Scott.

Right, Pete May ’60—who like Scott, was one of the best athletes in his class—was also in a wheelchair at this reunion.  Pete has MS.  Scott and Pete compare notes while Jim Brooks ’60, Carl Sharpe, Griswold and Howdy listen.  John Cavallo, in background, has struck up a conversation with a member of an older class.





John Joline was the center of attention this weekend, but he didn’t mind too much. Here, he opens the Joline Arts Center.  There was also a ceremony in the theatre in the Dairy Barn at which speaker after speaker honored John, and he was presented with various plaques and awards for his service to Darrow.  As a spokesman for his first senior class, I was one of the speakers, and I think I got the best laugh of the day when I said John had “hired a pedophile priest in 1961, before it was trendy.”  The Reunions issue of the Peg Board is filled with photos of John and of the ceremonies.  He was accompanied by his second wife, Margie Baird, whom he wed several years ago, after Jean had passed away.

I managed to scrounge a few more pictures from the reunions issue of the Peg Board.  Our class portrait was there (in black and white), and there were three other shots.  First, Peter and Virgina Gorday greeting Dick Nunley:











Next, according to the Peg Board, I got some kind of an award as class agent for the class with the largest reunion turnout.  Actually we split the award with Peter Bowen and ’57, which had five guys there, but they have so many “lost” members that, in percent terms, they had the same turnout among the folks they know how to find as we did.



Finally, as it should have, the Peg Board noted that Scott arrived after the class photo was taken, and included one of the many shots of some of us with him.  This one was taken under the tent, I believe, around lunch time.  It’s fitting that it includes John, with Scott.













As advertised at the top, it was a memorable reunion.  We can make this album an even better record of those memories if those of you who have pictures will send them.  We can just add pages for everyone’s collection.


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