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JUNE 15-17, 2012
Part 1: Who Was There


Four classmates and a former teacher, shown here, came to their first ’62 reunion this time. Llew Haden finally felt ready to come. Dave Hoon, stymied by car trouble a decade ago, made it this year. Jack Loveland and his wife, Doreen Sullivan, came down from Maine for the weekend, and Ron (whom we knew as Roland) Wright drove over on Saturday from his home in Saratoga, NY. (Former Chaplain). Jim Wright and his wife Peggy were frustrated by a missed airline connection en route to our 45th, but drove here this time from their summer place in Maine.


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Those first-timers joined a big crowd of “regulars” to assemble the largest class reunion in (recorded) Darrow history. We had 28 returning classmates (counting Kip Smith, whose presence will be explained below); this smashes the previous record of 22, which we set at our 20th and tied at our 40th and which was matched by 1960 at their 50th, two years ago. (Check out that amazing Class Photo!) Three former faculty from our era can be counted as well, for a total of 31.

Here are the participants not shown above, for lack of a better choice, in alphabetical order:

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Bill and Joan Anthony drove up from CT on Saturday, then stayed for the evening’s festivities.






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Dave Benson and his bride, Karen Nelson, flew into LaGuardia from Colorado on Friday and drove up, claiming the last available room at the Inn.






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A youthful Tom Bird (carried on the alumni rolls as “ ’62/’63”) was celebrating the first of his two 50th reunions.  Carl Braun gave out the last of the great reunion shirts he designed for us 10 years ago.





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Joe and Laurie Coffee are about to move from their home of 43 years in Virginia to a new one in western Pennsylvania, but nothing could keep them from our reunion.





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I got this rare shot of Howdy Davis without a camera pressed to his eye.  Peter Deri drove over from Lenox, from the summer house he shares with Jay Tanner (Photo below).





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Terry and Anita Duvall, recently back home from Vietnam after teaching there for two-plus years, drove up from Towanda, PA.




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Steve Foote brought his keyboard up from North Carolina and played at the jam session on Saturday; more on that later. Pete Golden (and Joan Anthony) showed us they still know how to boogie to a good rock beat.







Dave Griswold may have been to more reunions than any of us (he often comes on off-years). Ned Groth kind of had to be there.  His wife, Sharon Begley, came too, but mostly hid from our cameras all weekend.




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John Ho and his wife Coco once again enjoyed a great reunion. I like the whimsy of this shot (Coco was leaning her head on John’s shoulder, but I’ve cropped him out), even though we had several more formal ones of her.




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Denny Hopper presented the school with our substantial class gift, which he raised energetically and effectively. Joan and Denny had a great time if these smiles are any indication.





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Bob Lang donated the wine (from his brother’s winery), and it was received with compliments and gratitude. Towner Lapp ran neck-and-neck with Anson Perina (seen below) for the title of “Guy who has aged the least since the 45th.”





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Pete Loomis stayed with Deri, Tanner & Golden in Lenox and seemed relatively subdued; could he finally be mellowing? Gib and Margau Manchester  left at lunch on  Saturday to deal with an emergency at home; we barely got to say hello (and no one got a picture of Margau.)







See what we mean about Anson Perina not aging? Bev stayed in Fort Collins to help people displaced by the wildfire find new housing. Frank and Ellie Rosenberg drove their RV from Colorado, stopping along the way to dig geodes. After the reunion they headed to Canada for more rock-hounding as they wend their way back home.





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Carl Sharpe did not enjoy himself at all, as this photo makes clear. Pat maintained an air of appropriately skeptical bemusement, just  in case any of us started taking ourselves or the events too seriously.




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Charlotte Smith came here on a special mission, for her and us. She brought the hat (yes, that hat) and  Kip’s ashes, which she scattered at a lovely spot she had chosen on campus, on Friday night. So Kip will always be there at our future reunions. (See more on our memorial for Kip in Part 2.)





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Huib Soutendijk and Kathy Markel are settling into the next phase of their life, out on Lon Gisland. Huib much enjoyed having Llew around for this reunion, as did we all.




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Jay Tanner enjoyed spending the weekend with Loomis, Golden and Deri at the house he and Deri share in Lenox. Jay and Steve Foote joined forces on Saturday to make some high-quality old time music.







Former teacher Horton Durfee and his wife Shirley came over from Ithaca for the weekend; it was also Horton’s 69th Darrow reunion, and his daughter Linda (‘72) was here for her 40th. Don Beaver, who taught  us earth science, came down to join us on Saturday from Williamstown.





Though it’s impossible to sum up an event involving so many people over three days concisely, I do offer a few impressions. Most of us seemed mellower now than we were 10 or even 5 years ago; perhaps it’s because so many of us have made the transition into “retirement,” however we construe it individually. I thought almost everyone looked healthier and happier than the last time I saw them—and several of us looked younger! That suggests that most of us are paying serious attention to our health and fitness. One classmate commented that the nice thing about our reunions is that everyone seems to get along with everyone; “Nobody’s a jerk,” as he put it, and how rare that seems, these days. Even our few political discussions (which we generally avoided, having been there & done that in years past) were respectful and indicated that we can live with our differences, that what  we have in common seems much more important.

Some of us discussed the possibility of having a 51st reunion next year; whether that really appeals would be contingent on whether those who couldn’t make it this time (Arundale, Gorday and Cavallo in particular) would be there next year. We’ll sidle up to this topic gradually over the coming year; there is no need for a long-running build up, we’ll just see what transpires.

Most of the photos here are ones I took, but I failed to capture a few participants, or got no decent shot of them, so I appealed to others for photos. Many thanks to Frank Rosenberg, Howdy Davis, Jay Tanner, and Laurie Coffee (who took pictures for Charlotte), and to Geoff Miller for shots taken by the school’s photographers, some of which appear here.

Please see the accompanying report, “Part 2: What Happened,” for additional details on the reunion, and more photos.


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