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        PHOTO ALBUM: 50th REUNION, DARROW CLASS OF 1962, JUNE 15-17, 2012
Part 2: What Happened

A few of us (Ned and Sharon, Frank and Ellie, Charlotte, Jim [Rabbi] and Peggy) arrived on Thursday. We went out to The Pillars, a restaurant on Route 20 in New Lebanon, and had a very pleasant time and a delicious meal. Friday morning some of us explored the campus; for instance, Sharon and Ned hiked nature trails in the woods above campus, then checked out the Samson Environmental Center. 

Others began arriving Friday afternoon, and we had serial meet-and-greet sessions at the Inn at the Shaker Mill Farm, where most of us were staying. These interactions were notable for their sobriety; Lang, who was bringing the wine, didn’t arrive until later that evening.

The first scheduled formal reunion event was a reception for us and other older alumni (including one member of the Class of 1940!) at the headmaster’s house, after which we had dinner with the rest of the alumni in the dairy barn. As dinner was winding down and the sun was setting, our class went out to the Hempstead Memorial Field (the baseball field), for a brief ceremony in memory of KipCharlotte had chosen the spot, on fallow land just down a short slope from the field, with a spectacular and timeless view of the valley, as Kip’s final resting place. A few words were spoken, Charlotte scattered the ashes, Anson said something amusing, and we all stood around for a few minutes, absorbing the moment. (Howdy took these photos of the event.)

When dinner on campus was over, we reassembled at the Inn for an evening of sitting and standing around chatting and catching up with one another. Lang arrived with the wine, and a good time was had by all (except maybe for a couple of wives who tried to get to sleep early.)


On Saturday morning we assembled on campus, forming shifting groups as we moved around greeting new arrivals, catching up, posing for pictures—all the usual reunion stuff.




The alumni meeting in the chapel was saturated with about 30 of our gray shirts. Ned, Carl and Denny were awarded Shaker boxes, for having the most returning, the greatest percentage returning, and contributing the most as a class to the school’s fund drives this year. There was a very moving  session memorializing Ron Emery and another former master who passed away in the last year.  Here, Geoff Miller presents Shaker boxes to the terrific trio, Ned shares a few memories of Ron, and Denny presents our class gift to Lawrence Klein.



After the meeting in the chapel a picnic lunch was served, with lots more mixing and schmoozing. Here, three Durfees are flanked by Bill Anthony and Ron Wright outside the chapel; Jay Tanner catches up with Steve Foote.



Lunch was a gourmet vegetarian feast with free wine and beer. Several of us were fooled by the tub of butter mixed with herbs, which looked like, but sure didn’t taste like, potato salad, and by the chopped beets, served in martini glasses, that looked like, but sure didn’t taste like, a raspberry dessert.




During lunch, the school took class pictures, including our fabulous one on the Meeting House steps, posted separately.



After lunch, some of us got out our gloves and showed (without totally humiliating ourselves) that we could still play something resembling softball. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), when the alumni office penciled a faculty-versus-alumni softball game into the reunion schedule, they didn’t tell the faculty, who had all left campus after commencement two weeks before, so no opponents showed up to play us. The 1962 varsity infield (Coffee, Griswold, Groth & Lang), plus Duvall in the outfield and a couple or three guys from other classes, had what passed for a batting practice while nobody paid much attention to us.





That afternoon featured a jam session for anyone who wanted to play. A few younger folks gave it a try, briefly (and let us not mince words, painfully badly), but things picked up when Steve got on his keyboard, then persuaded Jay to join him on a guitar he borrowed. They played a dozen or so classic rock, R&B and country numbers, and sounded almost as if they’d actually played together since 50 years ago. Joan and Pete were inspired to boogie (and carried it off pretty well!); most of the rest of us just chilled out and enjoyed the music.







Later on Saturday, back at the Inn, we had a “story-telling” session, mediated by Rabbi Wright. Classmates were invited to share aspects of their life stories about what they had come to value. Almost everyone sat in on the session, the majority spoke, and most of us learned a few things about classmates that we’d never known before. Many expressed their gratitude to Jim for proposing the idea and making it a success.





Saturday evening, we held our own banquet (separate from the school function) back at the Inn.  We enjoyed a delicious barbecue supper, and Ingram served us a special cake.




Nancy Wolf, board chair Alexa Seip and several other invited guests joined our celebration for dinner or at least a glass of wine. Here, Nancy mingles, Frank snaps, and Ned consults Dave Hoon’s yearbook (thanks, Dave!) to show Alexa that Llew did, in fact, have hair on his head 50 years ago. (Most of us, including Llew, recalled him as having been bald back then—but the camera doesn’t lie.)

Saturday night, most of us slept well, having partied ourselves out for two days. On Sunday, we said our goodbyes and all went our separate ways. A few left quite early (before I got up, in fact, so I didn’t get to wish everyone farewell). Some of us stayed for brunch at Nancy’s, where we met Charles D. Brodhead, Jr., who was there just that day.  (I had packed my camera, thus have no picture of the final morning.) By early afternoon Sunday we were all home or on our way there, and savoring the experience of our best reunion ever.



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