Class of `54

Chat `17_7-12


Christmas Holiday Wishes

Merry Christmas y’all - Mona (McLellan) Calthorpe

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Best wishes, - Janice (McKay) Aucoin

Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays - John Keane

May you all be blessed with Christmas Joy…Joe and Nancy

Wishing you a Blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with good health, precious memories and much love! - Nancy (O’Neil) Eckstein

Greetings and Happy Holidays to all from snowy York Harbor Maine. Best wishes for a Healthy New Year - Paul and Marion Lucy

Merry Christmas to all - Nicole (Huss) Gastone

My very best wishes for a healthy and Happy New Year to all… - Marvin Zonis

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy, Healthy, 2018. Where does the time go?? – Beverly (Habib) Higgins.

Merry Christmas to all and a wish for comfort and good health in the new year -  Harley Anderson

Merry Christmas—Ward Elliott

 From Steve Wasby
December 27, 2017
Staying warm on Christmas Day on Cape Cod and other parts of Eastern Massachusetts was not easy with high winds bringing down trees and line and trees on lines, etc. 

Power was out in my area for 5 hours but fortunately I have a generator, so I had heat and light, but some of my friends were w/o power for all of Christmas Day from 1030am on. Ugh.

And it is to be +3F tonight in Boston, with windchills even worse.

This is First Encounter Beach (where Pilgrims met native Americans) just the other day — that’s frozen foam.

From Gerry (Turner) Cummings
December 27, 2017
I am 82 and still live in Belmont I have all my life.

From Mona (McLellan) Calthorpe
December 23, 2017
Hi all, 

I had a phone call from Brenda DiGiovanni today, a real surprise. We had quite a time reminiscing and laughing. We are both widows and quite a few of our friends are too. She has a place in Florida too but unfortunately she is on the East Coast and I am on the West Coast (4 hr, drive one way). We settled for getting together the next time I’m in New England.

I have some vivid Memories of WWII.  I born in 1937 so I am probably only 1 year younger than my classmates. My mom shoved me into School at 41/2. I remember my mom volunteering folding bandages at the Kendall School & I remember as a student filling Red Cross boxes of personal items for the soldiers- soap, toothbrushes etc. to send overseas.

We had a summer home In Casco Bay, Chebeague Island, off the coast of Portland, Maine. Portland was the largest fueling port to Europe in the 1940’s and it was closed off by iron gates under water, sunken ships from one Island to another to keep German subs out. Black-out shades at night. No ferries ran after 6:30 at night. We had an army base at each end of our Island throughout the war. My mom & I were picked up in Army trucks to attend Catholic mass on the Island every Sunday. My brother, who is 5 years older than me, remembers walking the beaches on the Island and finding German ID’s, hats, etc. washed up on the beaches ( scary - from subs???). He kept them for a while & then threw them away! What a shame he didn’t keep them!  On another family story- my mother’s brother survived the Arizona. He & a friend got into a long boat & pulled shipmates out of the burning water. He was lucky to have lived for many years after & settled in California. My brother lived with him for a short period of time & has a lot of my uncle’s Arizona memorabilia, medals, etc. 

I tried to be brief but it wasn’t easy! Talk to you “next year” - Happy New Year

From Ward Elliott
December 22, 2017
Seems to me I sent in some thoughts on 1943 two years ago in a different context.  I found it and am sending again now that 1943 is back in the news, (See insert below) 
I’m a year younger than most of the Class of ’54, so was in first grade at end of 1943, not second-grade at the beginning.  You guys got Stalingrad and El Alamein.  We got Big Week in February, 1944, when we first achieved air superiority over the Luftwaffe.  Can’t remember who my first-grade teacher was at Winn Brook, though people say your first-grade teacher matters more than any other.  Too late to thank her.  Anyone from Winn Brook in 1942 remember her name?

Editor Note: Some may recall that shortly after we upgraded to Windows 10, something went wrong and we lost many files. Unfortunately, what Ward sent in (below), and many other files disappeared. More unfortunately, I was using a cloud backup located in England, which turned out to be a bogus organization. So bits and pieces were gradually recovered—but just a fraction of that which was lost. The following refers to the WW II segment that Ward has noted above - JM

From: Elliott, Ward
Sent: Monday, September 07, 2015 5:48 PM
To: Joe and Nancy Mazzei
Subject: RE: BHS Class of '54 Additional Chat Update

… In 1943 we participated in air raid drills, with crepe-paper streamers simulating bombs of various sorts, orange for incendiary, white for white phosphorus, reporting to headquarters at the stone Unitarian church on Concord Ave with pitiful stories of simulated damage sustained.  Everyone had half-blinkers over their headlights and rolled their shades down to keep from outlining US ships against brilliant city lights.  We had victory gardens, canned beans, showed them off in the Town Hall.  All the first-graders got first prizes.  On one exciting day we got to ride around the grounds in a Jeep, and many Belmont families entertained sailors from visiting ships from the British Commonwealth  the Battleship
George V in 1941, the Heavy Cruiser HMNZS Leander in 1943-44.  The grateful sailors came to neighborhood dances, sang Welsh, Maori, and Fiji Island songs, showed us around the ships, let us crank the anti-aircraft guns and squawk on the squawk box, came up with a cake for someone's birthday, corresponded with my mother for many years after, and made her, and me, for remembering it decades later, honorary members of the Leander Crew Association.  Wonder if any of them are still alive? First-graders were asked to draw our impressions of the war, and all my patriotic classmates filled the skies with nothing but victorious US planes downing Zeroes and Messerschmitts.  Except Perry Smith, a college friend not from Winn Brook, who had it the other way round.  I portrayed  the Americans as prevailing by a ratio of 5 to 3.   I can't remember the month, but, if it was the fall of 1943, Perry had it exactly right.  Our fighters didn't have the range to escort our bombers, and our unescorted bombers got clobbered.  If it was winter, 1944, my version was closest.   By then we had better fighters than before, with droppable wing tanks, better range, and better fuel than the Germans, but we still took a lot of damage.

From Harley Anderson
December 21, 2017
Tell John I was given a bait holder and a fishing rod to fish in the Duck Pond on Mill Street.  That was my first Christmas in Belmont.

From Steve Wasby
December 21, 2017
I wasn’t 7 until March 1944. But I certainly remember the war – ration stamps and coupons, couldn’t get much gasoline (when my folks sold their 1940 Plymouth in 1949, it had only 35,000 miles on it), black tape on the headlights, black window shades.

And Dad, who worked for the Office of Price Administration (OPA) during the war, was an air raid warden, and we had buckets of sand (against fires) in the attic and basement.

We were  in Rockport on vacation when V-E Day happened, and the town’s fire engines were racing all over town, sirens blaring, and Serious Steve asked, “What if there is a REAL fire?”

From Nicole (Huss) Gastone
December 21, 2017
Hi Joe,
I have no particular Christmas memories, in Luxembourg we celebrated Saint Nicolas on the 6th of December, and my first souvenirs are from after the war when we received a plate with an orange and nuts and probably some sweets.

Christmas of 1944 must have been relatively drab.  Although living in Luxembourg which had at that time been integrated into the German Reich, my parents belonged to the French Resistance movement and my father had been in a German concentration camp since 1942 and died there shortly before its liberation by the American forces.  So, not really time for celebration.

Enjoy your holidays.  I am looking forward to having children and grandchildren on Christmas Eve.

From Fred Merk
December 21, 2017
Hello Joe and Nancy,
 Holiday Greetings to you, our classmates and their families.
 I recently took the attached photo in my backyard.
 Since the red Cardinal is often a subject of Christmas cards...I  thought it should be included.

 Health and Happiness to both of you in the New Year!

From Kathleen (Hennesy) Stoll
December 21, 2017
In 1943, my father was stationed in the Phillipines, overseeing the boats and communications in Manila! I have a watercolor of my brother and I in front of the fireplace--painted by one of my mother's two friends that tried to keep her company during those days. He made a Santa Claus card---just black and red on white that was my favorite every year.

From Marion (Schmitt) Ellis
December 21, 2017
Hi Joe -- You bet I remember December in 1943!   My birthday is early in the month, (I too would turn 7 that year,) so a party was usually planned to be as far away from Christmas as possible.  But that year, my great-grandmother, known to all as "Grossie" (German for "grandmother"), died right around then at age 83.  The story of her emigration from Germany on a sailing ship when she was just 20 and pregnant with my maternal grandmother is of course it's own saga.  The matriarch of the family, she was truly beloved by everyone who knew her.  She had lived with us for a few months in 1942 (the plan was for each of her five children to host her for a few months) and i remember crying when she left us for her next sojourn.  

Well, my birthday party was cancelled (I don't remember when, if ever, a substitute was scheduled) in large measure because my mother, who had been partially raised by Grossie, insisted that visiting hours would be held at our house on Common St., just out of Cushing Square -- not at a funeral home.  (This was unusual but not unheard of then; today I don't know if it would be allowed.)  This meant that in our living room were the open casket, flower sprays, guest book, etc.  Visitors came from all over Greater Boston -- we were only two blocks from the streetcar and, of course, gas was rationed.  By then her son Walter had become very famous, especially in German Lutheran circles.  (Here is a website about him, but it is very long:  I don't remember much about all that, except that it was spooky and we weren't allowed to say so. 

However, the family of another of Grossie's sons, Uncle Karl, had come from Virginia and were staying at our house.  They had a daughter, Marcia Ann, who was only a little older than I, and who shared my bedroom for the several days.  We hit it off very well and became good friends (I just had her Christmas letter.)  Along with other of our many cousins, we had a hard time remembering that it was a solemn occasion -- but probably no one would have enjoyed that more than Grossie.

Understandably, this event overshadows my memories of Christmas that year, which I'm sure my parents wanted to make as normal as possible.  Maybe that was the year I was given my first bike -- which I didn't yet know how to ride, but would learn in Carolyn's driveway (Whitford Scott) come spring -- no training wheels then.  Certainly we were hearing about the war, and seeing it at the movies, and crushing cans and counting ration points and saving fat to make our own soap and marveling at the Milky Way during black outs, (and it wasn't easy having a German name at that time,) but through the 7-yr.-old's eyes, it was all an adventure.

Thanks for arousing these memories!  And many joys to you and to the rest of the class in the coming days --

Warmly, Marion

From Nicole (Huss) Gastone
December 20, 2017

Congratulations to John for another one of his outstanding works of art.

We live in a small world and it seems to shrink by the day.

Remember, I came from a country nobody had heard of before.

I just threw the rest of my local Christmas mail into a Paris mail box. Somebody had left an empty paper coffee cup on top of it.  The cup had a reindeer printed on it and said « Seattle’s best coffee « .  I am shocked.

From Marvin Zonis
December 19, 2017
Hi Joe: Again, my sincerest thanks for keeping us somewhat together…My 1943 memories are of Saturday matinees at a movie theater in Dorchester where we lived — previews, two main features, and Movietone news — so lots of info about the War. Every Saturday. So I really grew up with the war and its drama, glamour (according to the news then) and horrors (occasionally creeping through )…

From John Keane
December 18, 2017
Hi Joe,
Do you remember what you got for Christmas that 7th year ?
(Can’t recall… and I tried hard. I do think that was my first year in Belmont because I started in the 2nd Grade; and I do remember the teacher - Miss Rose.- JM)

I remember my first (age 4 )Christmas in Belmont ,which was on Ash St. , when I received a wooden cranking machine gun that the big kid across broke on his first try, and I got a cowboy hat that was too big and came down over my eyes when I tried it on.

I don't remember much after that. Perhaps some classmates may have some early memories that come to mind?

Enjoy your trip to SC with the grandkids.

From John Keane
December 7, 2017
Hi Joe,

It sounds like you and Nancy are taking full advantage of the pre-Xmas season in some attractive locations.
Thanks for letting Steve twist your arm for posting my recent painting along with his message about the flies. I don't want to wear out my welcome, though.

From Mona (McLellan) Calthorpe
December 6, 2017
Hi Joe &  Nancy,

I just couldn’t wait to let John Keane know how impressed I am with his latest painting of Crane’s Beach - WOW!  Shading, clouds & sand are outstanding! I think this one is the best you’ve shown us yet. Keep going John - one for each kid. Mine are fighting over one my husband did of the old schooners beached on the shore in Wiscasset, ME. 
And there are so many more - who would have “thunk”! 

From Steve Wasby
December 1, 2017
At the risk of turning BHS54 Chat into the Keane Art Gallery, I am sending along this painting by John Keane, very recently completed in art class (Clarence Brayton, where are you?)

 I think that you should post this, because our classmates are quite likely to have been to Crane’s Beach and had the delicious experience of being bitten by the black flies – “delicious” to the flies, at least.

I have told John it should be called “Bitten by Black Flies.”

(Interesting that Mona mentions John’s paintings; and ‘behold' another real neat rendering appears. By the way, is my memory correct? Wasn’t our class beach party at Crane’s? - - JM)

                          Crane’s Beach by John Keane




From Mona (McLellan) Calthorpe
November 28, 2017
Hi Joe & Nancy,
I haven’t posted since Irma hit here in Florida. I did have some minor damage to the roof of my house which I never noticed until 3 weeks after the fact, a couple of shingles & some small leakage and  the ceiling of my laundry room. Can’t believe the adjuster actually counted each stinking single shingle! I just got my check from the insurance company & am now in the process of calling repair guys who probably are backed up for months. On the bright side my ACL tear from May has surprised me - I came home from Maine & went to a Sports Med group in Bradenton for PT & rehab. No surgery ( they probably checked my age & said “say what”! ) I am back to line dancing (with a brace) & I am a happy camper! I am surprised at my progress as my oldest son had bilateral ACL tears which required surgery & I know what he went through. 

I really like John Keane’s beach paintings. He has a gift. My husband painted oils (no lessons just a natural) so I know how difficult it is to capture the ocean & waves (I heard the curses every time he tried a new approach). At least with oils you can work with the paint & change it before it dries. I have  a daughter & granddaughter who are also artistic.

One holiday down & now the frenzy begins. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas a Happy, healthy New Year.

From Kathleen (Hennesy) Stoll
November 28, 2017
Had a wonderful visit with all three children and their families, and their dogs. Then I read this today--maybe worth sharing! Want to stay healthy? Think about getting a dog

From John Keane
November 27, 2017
Hi Joe,
I can't imagine how you handle all that software challenge. My flip phone and. IPad are are plenty for me. The class is fortunate to have you running the "show" which you created for us all.
Many Thanks,
(For the record, John wanted this posted. So, here we are… with humble thanks to John.—JM)

From Janet (Miller) McKee
November 27, 2017
Very pleasing painting - John.  Well done!

From Rob Yacubian
November 21, 2017
Marion, watch your step---we need you.

From John Keane
November 21, 2017
Hi Joe,
After Steve submitted this photo to you for our Chat 54 a while ago, he kindly sent a copy to me a for painting purposes. Here is the result of our collaboration to share with the class.
It was Hurricane "Jose"  at Coast Guard Beach, Eastham, 9 x 11, oil on canvas , by pallet knife.
Happy Holidays to everyone,

For comparison, Steve’s photo and John’s painting are displayed below

From Carolyn (Whitford) Scott
November 20, 2017
I played for church this morning

Happy Thanksgiving to all!
I played for church this morning. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

From Marion (Schmitt) Ellis
November 20. 2017
Hi Joe -- I was all set to send you lots of our news a month ago when, oops, I had a fall.  Here is my learning from it: don't wear clogs and also be in a hurry!  I was trying to get to church in time to hear the prelude because I like our organist, but those clogs had a different idea.  I had to have five stitches along my eyebrow and my face was every color in the rainbow for many days.  My daughter, who had taken me to the emergency room, said it was a little early for Halloween! Now, five weeks later, I'm fine -- although I can't raise my right eyebrow!  And my clogs are probably retired.  Very lucky to not have a concussion or anything else broken, (and I'm very grateful to be doing PT for improving balance.)
So stay calm and don't  hurry!    (-- especially in clogs!)

Also at about this time, our bipolar granddaughter was admitted to McLean Hospital for a week -- her first hospitalization for this abominable condition.  She is back now to coping with studies at college; there is no cure for this, so we all try to keep up supports, but it was more tense than usual for a while.  We have been involved with efforts to combat the stigma that these brain diseases engender, so I'm happy to answer as best I can any questions. 

So here is some of the news I would have sent earlier:  we had a great visit with Marg Whiting Ahlen and Roy Molomo in Machias, ME in October when we closed our cabin for the season.  It was their last day in her old house which we were happy to see one last time.  But we also had a tour of their NEW old house (built in 1700s but recently completely updated.)  It's at the other end of the same street!  -- much smaller, but that was the idea.  Many of us have dealt with downsizing, but this was an immense job.   I just spoke with her and found out that now, a month later, they finally are feeling somewhat settled.  (I'd say that is record time!)  On Wednesday is their second anniversary; on Thanksgiving day they are having six for dinner; and on Friday is Marg's birthday with an open house for friends who are dying to see the new place.

Speaking of birthdays, our yearbook says that Bea Capararo Busa is our youngest girl!  She gave me the date once but of course I can't find it -- but I do remember that it is in November.  So Happy Birthday to Bea -- now all of us can claim to be proud octogenarians!

On the way home from Maine, when David had a Board meeting of Bigelow Labs in East Boothbay, I had lunch with Betsy Jason Phillips, as we usually do.   She had escaped a rather scary health glitch earlier in the year, but now happily seems to be "out of the woods"with that -- and we enjoyed our lobster rolls!   And I just heard from Carolyn Whitford Scott, another one that I have known since kindergarten at Chenery (!), that she enjoyed being the organist at church last Sunday, and will have Thanksgiving with the granddaughter who expects to present them with their first great grandchild in February.

So Happy Thanksgiving to all, wherever you may be!
Best --

From Joe Mazzei
November 19, 2017
One of our classmates recently gave me a heads up on what Steve Wasby has been up to lately.

Steve wrote that his most recent book has been accepted for publication, probably in April.  The title is BORROWED JUDGES: VISITORS IN THE U.S. COURTS OF APPEALS, and is a study of the federal appellate courts’ use of judges from other circuits (e.g.,  someone from the Sixth Circuit sitting with the Boston-based First Circuit), their use of in-circuit district judges (e.g., a judge from the District of New Hampshire sitting with the First Circuit); and the courts of appeals’ use of their own senior (semi-retired) judges.  For those who think that when Justice Souter retired from the Supreme Court, he holed up in his New Hampshire cabin, he actually sits regularly with the First Circuit in Boston.

The book draws on Steve’s interviews with judges;  on communications among judges (from a judge’s case files); and on data which Steve collected (“laboriously,” he says). 

 The publisher is an “indie” press run by a law professor, and it delivers good product at a reasonable price; the book is to be available in paperback and as an e-book.  But, says Steve, don’t rush to purchase it; classmates should be forewarned that  it is likely to be boring as hell.

From Kathleen (Hennesy) Stoll
November 2, 2017
I just came home this morning from rehab, after "laparoscopic surgery" to remove a tumor. Surgery successful, and two weeks of rehab with OT and PT was helpful. Diet still limited, and have to keep building my strength and mobility. But it sure is good to be home at last! It has been a long two months. Best to all. I did send out to a few colleagues and family copies of two books I have been working on. One is a history of Mental health Services in the Cleveland area--150 years worth! The other is based on my Grandmother's letters when she was a student at Smith College from 1893-1897, and some contemporary material about women' s education, a controversial subject at the time. Glad to share if anyone is interested.

From Eleanor (Courier) Chenevert
October 27, 2017
Hi Joe,

Just checking in to say I think the internet has gone mad.   I am being inundated lately with spam and also 2 - 3 banks every day telling me to update my account or they'll freeze it.   Odd thing about that is....I don't have accounts with these banks... lol I know they are phishing....what on earth is going on?.....

From Paul Lucy
October 5, 2017
Hi,Joe. Greetings from Maine. Rob Yacubian asked about Jimmy Falvey. The Falvey's were family friends of both our and my wife, Marion's, family. Marion reminded me that Jimmy passed away some years ago at a young age.
Trust all is well with you.

From Rob Yacubian
October 4, 2017
What ever happened to two members of our class? They were in junior high with us but left to go to private school:

1. Billy Foster lived around corner from Stan Btown who lived on Homer Rd. I think he went to Governor Dumner

2. Jimmy Falvey, whose father was a dentist, I believe. He lived  on Clark Street just behind the Episcopal church. I believe he went to a Catholic Parochial School.

From Gerry (Turner) Cummings
September 29, 2017
I am doing fine, knitting for myself, doing alterations for people, and making my necklaces, ear rings and bracklets  

From Janet (Miller) McKee
September 26, 2017
Dear Joe - I'm sorry to report that my dear sister Ruth passed away peacefully on September 24 2017.  Hers was a life well lived.  She graduated from BHS Class of 1943.  I wonder if she was the last survivor from that Class?

From Steve Wasby
September 22, 2017

Still Jose

Coast Guard Beach, Eastham, MA

From Carolyn (Whitford) Scott
September 22, 2017
Every day we count our blessings. We think Maine is the safest place to live these days!  We are also very grateful for each other and our good 
health. The vegetable garden is tilled in and the flower beds are cut back. We are ready for fall!!

I have played the organ for a large funeral this month. I will play for church October 1 and for a wedding October 14.  All of that is such a joy to me!

So I send greetings to all and hope to hear more news from others as they "count their blessings".

From Rob Yacubian
September 21, 2017

I don't have property in PR. My older sister Gloria (BHS '47) has property in Dorado Beach. She's supposed to return there from Cape Cod on October 4th. As of today the whole island does not have electricity. So time will tell whether she goes back on the 4th. My property is in Boca Raton, Florida and the management says that no harm was done to my condo. I won't be going until November.

From Fred Merk
September 21, 2017
Hello Joe and Nancy,
 Thank you 
So Much for keeping us posted about the fortunes (or misfortunes) of classmates....especially during this awful hurricane season.
  My recent silence has been partly due to our move and lack of internet for an extended period.
  Elizabeth's and my new address is 338 CowPond Brook Rd. Groton MA 01450.

   Best to you Both,

From Marion (Schmitt) Ellis
September 21, 2017
Hi Joe -- I'm so relieved to have heard from Mona; I was worried about her.  How caring to include her elderly (more elderly!!) neighbor in her plans.  It was great to have such a good description of what it was like and to hear that it was well-organized.  It's the glitches that tend to make the news!

I have been in touch with Andrea Kazanjian Pogarian who lives in Venice, FL, north of Naples.  She and Louis had decided to ride out Irma in their condo.  I was worried when I saw that they too were in line to be clobbered, but the last-minute turn of the storm lessened the impact.  They didn't lose power, but did have significant water from the driving rain come in under their glass sliders -- even though they live on the 3rd floor.  Fans are drying things out and the carpets may well need to be replaced, but they're grateful it wasn't any worse.  I haven't heard if their streets have been cleaned up.

Marg Whiting Ahlin has a property in Puerto Rico.  Even before the present hurricane I know that she had not heard how it fared, so now she will probably need to wait a long time before she knows what happened.  I know that Robert Yacubian also had a property in PR; time will tell us, but as we see the destructiveness of Maria, we can be grateful that neither of them are there!

In light of what we are seeing about these fierce storms, Jose seems to be a romp.  Actually here in NH we just have fog and drizzle; we'll hope to hear from classmates in southern MA.

Best --

From John Keane
September 20, 2017
I feel badly for you and Nancy with so much disruption during the hurricane season, and others like Mona really caught it badly. 

(Thanks John, All things considered, in spite of the threats—and planning for whatever… our disruption didn’t really amount to much at all. It has been said, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”. I’d paraphrase that with, “Have your resources close, and your ‘hospital' closer”. — JM)

Hopeful wishes to all as things continue be troublesome.

Thanks for your thorough updates.

From Mona (McLellan) Calthorpe
September 19, 2017
Hi Joe & Nancy,
I survived IRMA!!!!  Several of my friends and I waited until Sat. Sept.9 to leave for a school shelter. I heard that patients were being evacuated from Manatee Memorial Hospital. In Bradenton and that was the deciding factor. I took my 96 yr. old neighbor who has macular degeneration and she has very little vision. 

We took clothes for 3 days, chairs, and some snacks & off we all went. The National Guard had been called in & were at the school to help us with our gear. We had to register,  set up "our spot" on the floor for our undetermined stay. We were assigned handicapped in the cafeteria & my other friends were assigned the gym. I was amazed at the amount of blow-up mattresses people had brought , some were like couches! We visited back& forth, the school fed us (1400 in the middle school) 3 meals a day, provided cold water, a nurse was there with the Red Cross, plus a continuous TV on a large screen. We all waited till Sunday night to hear that our area was going to get a Category 2 instead of a 5!!!! 

We were in "lockdown" Sunday night until Monday 9:30 a.m. When the governor declared the emergency was over.  I only slept sitting up 2 hrs. each  night. It's not easy to sleep in a lawn chair all night at our age!!! Things ran smoothly & even the caged animals were taken in & put in one room. 

The staff at the school ran the show like drill instructors and the Guard was fantastic. They practiced silent war maneuvers at night & I watched them - better than TV. I wish we had grammar schools like this one- campus style, courtyard for lunch & rooms on 2 floors like a motel! And, of corse, all Florida schools have AC! Quite an experience for sure. We went another week without power- the worst of the whole ordeal! No damage to our homes but some people lost roofs that lived on the lake. I hope none of you has to go through this in the rest of the hurricane season which lasts till the end of November.  Hope you don't get hit Joe.

Regards to all,

From Rob Yacubian
September 19, 2017
E.B. Rideout was a neighbor of ours on the corner of Orchard and Franklin Sts. (Elaine Garoyan lived next door to him.) He broadcast on WEEI from his house.
I'm at my sister's house on the Cape in Cotuit. Keep dry.

From Steve Wasby
September 19, 2017
Raining lightly here on this part of the Cape. Heavier rains expected tonight with increasing winds. Winds into tomorrow. figures for wind speed are lower than those of the TV weather terrorists, who emphasize max gusts. (‘Weather  terrorists' This may have been the term I should have used in an earlier email. — JM)

From John Keane
September 13, 2017
Joe, you are the Captain of our ship in these troubling storms.
Thanks for all your efforts, and thinking of us all.
Safe days to you and Nancy.

From Eleanor (Noone) O’Connell
September 8, 2017
Our prayers go out to all who might be in harms' way!  Please know We care very much for you and yours!

From Marion (Schmitt) Ellis
September 8, 2017
Hi Joe -- thanks so much for the updates.  Sounds like you are making very sound decisions -- but all the uncertainty has to take its own kind of toll.  Prayers are with you -- and all in harms way.

And thanks for the weather URL -- it is a really good graphic.  I'm sending it on to my techie kids.

I'm thankful we don't have anything more to put up with than buckets all around in the cabin until the roofer is able to finish his work; and a blowout on the Maine tpk. coming back to NH last night.  Both could have been much worse!  So we are safe and dry.  (During our week at the cabin, Marg Ahlin and her partner Roy came out from Machias for lunch on our one gorgeous day; as always, it was great to see them -- and to catch up on their impending move to smaller house.)

Hang in there -- and thanks for all you do!

From Janice (McKay) Aucoin
September 7, 2017
You and Nancy, and everyone else in Irma's path, stay safe and God bless you all.

Good luck,

From Mort O’Connor
September 7, 2017
Good morning Joe,

You are truly ready to avoid Irma. My boat is afloat in it's slip on The Chesapeake Bay. In earlier hurricanes, she was at a private slip nearby on the Bay. My host and I spent days agonizing if the dock lines would be enough; finally deciding that we didn't know how to improve the lines' positioning. This morning the spaghetti maps  are aiming at Charleston for a Tuesday landfall.  Hope you are in Pinehurst long before that, having gotten out  before the road congestion

I've made arrangements to have my boat hauled ashore into the boatyard. I'm getting too grey to worry about rigging dock lines any more. My home is at a high spot 12 miles west of the Bay. So flooding is extremely improbable. If I see Noah's ark floating by my window- then I'll know that I'm in trouble. And then there is the wind! My back yard has several 60  foot trees hovering over the house. They have withstood hurricanes for many years. Hope they are sturdy enough to resist the wind for a decent time into the future.   Fran lives 50 feet from the water in the Chester river where it flows into the Bay. The yard is about 5 feet above the mean tide.  She had severe damage from a hurricane surge several years ago. We will be working to take the most important items from the house. Photos, digital storage media and the computers used to see the bits are  the first priorities.

You and Nancy stay safe.

From Mona (McLellan) Calthorpe
September 6, 2017
Hi y'all. Went to Maine this summer to see my family & ended up tearing my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). Surgery was recommended but I declined because I was on an Island, my daughter's house has  bedrooms upstairs & only one bathroom downstairs. Now that I am home I am going to PT & doing very well. No brace now & I am hoping to get more strength for line dancing & I have been given an ok as long as I wear my brace!!! Having an injury at this age is a pain in the butt (as some of you have also found out).

Now being that I am in Florida,  as y'all know we are in for a beaut of a hurricane. My house will not withstand 185 mph winds nor will any others! We are all getting emergency hurricane boxes ready with just the basics in it. We have 2 grammar schools nearby as designated shelters so I guess that's where we will head. The planes are full leaving Tampa & the interstate is starting to get busy. The Keys had mandatory evacuation as of Tuesday.  I have a 96 yr. old widowed neighbor who is technically blind with macular degeneration& she is starting to get nervous. I have reassured her that I will let her know when the shelters open and she will go with me. There is no propane gas, no gas for the cars at any station & most of the supermarkets ran out of water yesterday. Reminds me of the panic before a nor'easter back home!!! 

Wish us all luck & pray that this storm turns before it hits us.

As they say down South - Happy Fall y'all!

From Kathleen (Hennesy) Stoll
September 5, 2017
Take care Joe--pays to get out of town! Too much stuff happens!

From Marion (Schmitt) Ellis
August 27, 2017
Hi Joe -- I can't believe that just a week ago (Sunday) we had breakfast in Prague and then had a brief plane trip to Paris where our BHS exchange student from Luxembourg, Nicole, greeted us with a champagne lunch:  when in Paris ---!!!   We were only with her for two nights but managed to do so much -- including a visit to the Louvre; seeing the Eiffel Tower up close (which is not far from her apartment); and unforgettably, watching the eclipse together on CNN while having caipirinhas (a Brazilian rum drink that we all enjoy.)   I'm attaching a couple of photos, taken by David.  One is on the bridge over the Seine, just a block from her apartment; in the background, in a nearby huge park we had walked through, is a tethered hot-air balloon that offers views of the city.  

This visit was the wind up of a trip that had begun in Budapest with a week of rehearsals leading up to a performance of the Brahm's Requiem -- it was a spectacular experience.  Then we divided the following week between Vienna and Prague -- amazing cities both.  If I could choose one of the three to revisit, it would be Prague, crowds and all -- although a longer time in Paris would top the list!  We're very glad to have had these  opportunities -- and that we made it with no incidents!  Our re-entry to "normal life", though, is showing our age -- both David and I have been SO tired! -- but it's a small price to pay!

I'd be very curious to know who else viewed the eclipse and where!

Best --

From Harley Anderson
August 25, 2017
(Harley has been sending in many of these ‘forwards' by email. Most of them are ‘food for thought'. Rather than wipe out the space we have on this web page, the links are inserted so we can view them on-line.):

The end of prayer —

How Old is Grandpa? —

Chalkboard Wisdom —

We Will Never See This Again  —

(Keep in mind; the links above are highly similar to the emails Harley sent. But, they aren’t exact copies —in format — of his emails.  I hope you enjoy/appreciate their messages. JM)

From Rob Yacubian
August 19, 2017
Rosa rugosas are finished here on Cape Cod. I believe from what remains rosehip tea is made.

John, your painting is beautiful.

From Nicole (Huss) Gastone
August 17, 2017
Hi Joe,

Thanks for being so good and dispatching all the news like the cash you mentioned.

I am on my way back to Paris after a week in the south of France with my children and grand-children. Last month I discovered the three Baltic states, and next month I will be off to the Island of Réunion.

But more important, Marion and David Ellis should be arriving this weekend on the last part of their European trip and I am really looking forward to seeing them.

Enjoy your holiday in Tennessee, and I hope to be hearing again from you soon. All my best to Nancy.

From John Keane
August 17, 2017
Hi Joe,
The Rosa Rogosa were not in bloom when I first did this scene , so it is now updated to August.

Golf and family gatherings have taken over painting for the most part. Everyone is growing up.

Summer is fleeting, and today the acorn caps began dropping on my driveway from the oak trees. The local hardware store put out his display of snow blower models today. Yikes !

Thanks for keeping '54 in touch Joe.    Best to all, 

From Rod McElroy
August 17, 2017
Joe, one year after we graduated from BHS.  Whew!

From Kathleen (Hennesy) Stoll
August 13, 2017
I really enjoyed your "sermon" . It focuses us back on what we can do today, not the past, nor the future. Make each day count. Last week we visited a friend in a hospice, suddenly very ill, and by yesterday, she was gone. If we had not gone to see her then, we would not have seen her again. We were shocked, but at least we paid our last respects while she was alive.

From John Keane
August 13, 2017
Happy recovery from the vacation Joe. Good to hear from you , and experience the old time comedy.  It felt like I was at the Strand Theater for 14 cents on a Saturday afternoon.

Interesting that you mentioned " The Power of Now".  Earlier today I read a review and planned to pick it up tomorrow at B&N.

Best to all,

From Eleanor (Courier) Chenevert
August 13, 2017
What an awesome way to put the life of an elder!   So true.....I will try spend my "cash" wisely and daily.....thanks for that one, Joe.   Food for thought for sure !

From Joe Mazzei
August 13, 2017

A while ago, ‘words of wisdom' was one of our topics. A week has passed since the activity - and noise - of our family beach week. It’s very quiet around here today; and “now what?” comes to mind. So, two subjects have surfaced: Eckhart Tolle’s, Power of Now, and a sermon we heard years ago in Westborough (MA).

I’d sum up Tolle’s premise as seizing the moment versus seizing the day, or ‘carpe diem'. But part of the sermon I recall went like this: A young minister was making a visit with an elderly congregant. At one point he told the woman that he admired her positive outlook on life, and asked what was her secret. She said, “Yesterday is a cancelled check; tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is cash; spend it well.”

I’ve spared you all the sermon; but share the unforgettable part. I wonder if Tolle might have heard this story?

From Marion (Schmitt) Ellis
July 20, 2017
HI Joe -- I have the part of our family that lives in Italy visiting so it's been a very busy time.  But the lunch on Monday was a special oasis.  I second what others have already said -- especially the thanks to Bea! Food and ambiance were great.  And it was great fun to have a chance to talk to everyone.  A couple of topics of conversation that others who weren't able to be there might like to chime in on: How many great-grandchildren do you have?  (Fred Pennino asked -- he and Flora have four; but so do some others!)  And who will be the first in our class to have a self-driving car?  (Flora says she is right in line; others of us would need convincing even to get in one!)

And it wasn't only very local people who were there -- we drove down from NH, others came up from the Cape.  Also Bea brought greetings from folk from Maine and as far away as Chicago who would have been there if the timing were right.  Bea said she will try to plan it again next summer; so all should stay tuned!

But on a different note: this morning my daughter forwarded to me this article from the Foster's Daily Democrat, out of Dover NH -- near us.  It tells about a teacher at BHS who was a sister to Amelia Earhart!   I never knew that the author, Wayne Burton, who has been very active in local politics, went to BHS!  I'm trying to find out more -- but he would be considerably younger than we spry ones!

From Susan (Bliss) Alden
July 19, 2017
· Thanks for sending the photo of those at the reunion luncheon…lovely idea.

·  Thanks to you and Steve for forwarding the wishes to the graduating 8th grade by Chief Justice Roberts.  Some of us had heard parts of it but hadn’t 
    found it yet.  It is well worth forwarding to our young and others.

·  Moving to Belmont in the mid 1920s. 

In the mid 1920’s my mother moved to the country with her parents, 2 college aged sisters, and two maiden aunts.  They had lived in Cambridge.  The “new house”  was off Prospect St. above the intersection with Clifton.

My grandfather, aunts, mother and sister worked in Boston.  I assume they took the train.

On occasion, my grandmother and sisters liked to drive to Boston to the symphony or ballet.  They felt vulnerable at night, so tucked their hair up in men’s hats to resemble men.

My parents had known each other since kindergarten in Cambridge.  Dad continued in Cambridge near Radcliffe with his parents and worked in Boston.  He talked of taking his Boy Scout troop out camping near McLean Hospital.

They married in the little stone church where some of us went to dancing school, then rented on Goden St, and later, Claflin St., then built a house below my grandparent’s Hall, entered from Fletcher Rd.

· I enjoy reading what classmates write in to our BHS Class of 54 updates.  Thanks for keeping it going.  I’m still in our home, slowly downsizing, pitching
   out and recycling, and enjoying mowing a patch each day, weeding etc..  We’re supposed to walk each day. 

·  Broken wrists…

Joe, I thought of you as you suffered with your arm and wrist in an awkward position.  I broke both of mine in a skating accident when our three kids were young.  I too, thought I could do some reading, but everything took too long for that.  No slings….which to elevate?  I went around with both arms raised at least shoulder high until the swelling eased.  My husband said it was like living with a lobster -  clack, clack.  I have admired you and what you accomplished during your recovery. 


·         Thanks for keeping us together.  As you say to our classmates, stay young and well, everyone.  

From John Keane
July 19, 2017
Shown below are photos sent by John: (The food had to be highly nutritious; everyone looks so young. Amazing what smiles can do…)

Upper left: Joanne (Vernon) Andrellos, Eleanor (Courier) Chenevert, Fred Pennino
Upper right: Audrey Butler, Flora (Silvagni) Pennino, Marion (Schmitt) Ellis, Lovey (LoCicero) Giardina
Mid left: John Keane, Eleanor (Courier) Chenevert,
Mid right: Nancy (O’Neil) Eckstein, David Ellis*, Mark D’Andrea, Steve Wasby
Lower left: Bill Eckstein*
Lower right: Bea (Capraro) Busa
 * = Honorary Classmates  

From Kathleen (Hennesy) Stoll
July 19, 2017
Great picture, and so glad to hear (and see) everyone having a good time! Is there a recipe for Shrimp Fantasia? Sounds great! Thanks for sharing!

From John Keane
July 18, 2017
Hi Joe,
You were mentioned in fondness by all at the luncheon. 
(Thanks much… would have liked to be there.—JM) 
It was a fine time, and many thanks to Bea.
My point and shoot pictures will be in hard copy tomorrow, and I'll mail them to you.

Or I will attempt using my iPad to photo them, and if they come out ok, then I will forward those to you.


From Mark D’Andrea
July 18, 2017
My thanks to Bea for putting this on. Steve Wasby had left just before the picture was taken. Nancy's husband Bill took the picture. There was one other woman present there who joined our class in our sophomore year, I believe. 
It was great to re-connect and learn more about folks. I hope someone puts this on again next year.

From Rob Yacubian
July 18, 2017
Sorry to have missed you all. Perhaps next year. Deus volente.

From Eleanor (Courier) Chenevert
July 17, 2017
Hi Joe, I had a wonderful time.  The changing tables idea was fun.  It gave us a chance to chat with everyone......looking forward to doing it again next year !!!   Kudos & thanks to Bea for putting it together.....Fantasia's shrimp was awesome !!!   As was the rest of the meal....

From Nancy (O’Neil) Eckstein
July 17, 2017
Thanks so much to Bea Capraro Busa for hosting our class luncheon at the Lexington Golf Club today.  Weather was beautiful and food was delicious (loved the Fantasia shrimp).  Wonderful to be together with classmates again.  Hope to do it again next year.

From Bea (Capraro) Busa
July 17, 2017
Hi Joe ,

All was well in Lexington today.  Alphabetically by first names:  
Audrey Butler
Bea Capraro Busa
Eleanor (Courier) Chenevert
Flora and Freddie Pennino
Joanne Andrellos
John Keane
Lovey Giardina
Marion and David Ellis
Mark D'Andrea
Nancy and Bill Eckstein
Steve Wasby

Lunch was great, no rush, four courses  and Marion's great idea.!!!!  After each course we changed tables, not the whole table, just half and then switched seats.  We had fun.  Got to talk to everyone.  Had phone calls from Emmett Murphy, John Hanrahan and Paul Lucy who could not make it.  Maybe next time.    

Happy July to you.  Thanks for all the emails.

From Eleanor (Noone) O’Connell
July 8, 1017
Many thanks to Steve for forwarding Chief Justice John Roberts' speech. It is soul searching. Two of our 26 grandchildren are middle school students. I will give them (as well as others) a copy. Ellie O'Connell
P.S. Glad you're on the mend.

From Steve Wasby
July 8, 2017
Joe – I offer this for posting. This is from Chief Justice John Roberts’ speech to his son’s middle school class.  It is well worth reading, whatever your views of the Chief Justice.:
1. Your success in life is not just about you. It is about your parents (and guardians) and what they have sacrificed to bring you to this point. If you are going to look forward, to figure out where you are going, it is good to know where you have been and to look back as well. It was not just success, but not being afraid to fail that brought you to this point.

2. From time to time, in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty.

3. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time, so that you don’t take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck again, from time to time, so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and the failure of others is not completely deserved either.

4. And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship.

5. I hope you will be ignored, so you know the importance of listening to others. And I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.

6. Whether I wish these things or not, they are going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend on your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.

7. In a certain sense, you should not be yourself, you should try to become something better. People say “be yourself” because they want you to resist the impulse to conform to what others want you to be. But you can’t be yourself if you don’t know you are. And you can’t learn who you are, unless you think about it.

8. One important clue to living a good life is to not to try to live ‘the good life.’

9. The last bit of advice I’ll give you is very simple, but I think it could make a big difference in your life. Once a week, you should write a note to someone, not an email, a note on a piece of paper. It will take you exactly ten minutes. By the end of the school year, you will have sent notes to forty people. Forty people will feel a little more special because you did. And they will think you are very special because of what you did. Now what else is going to carry that dividend during your time at school?

Chief Justice Roberts ended his speech as follows:

“These lyrics are from the great American philosopher Bob Dylan. They are almost fifty years old. He wrote them for his son Jesse, who he was missing while he was on tour.

They list the hopes that a parent might have for a son and for a daughter. They are also good goals for a son and a daughter.

The wishes are beautiful, timeless, and universal. They are good and true, except for one. It is the wish that gives the song its title and its refrain. That wish is a parent’s lament. It is not a good wish. So these are the lyrics from ‘Forever Young,’ by Bob Dylan”:

“May God bless and keep you always / May your wishes all come true / May you always do for others / And let others do for you / May you build a ladder to the stars / And climb on every rung / May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous / May you grow up to be true / May you always know the truth / And see the lights surrounding you / May you always be courageous / Stand upright and be strong / May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy / May your feet always be swift / May you have a strong foundation / When the winds of changes shift / May your heart always be joyful / May your song always be sung / May you stay forever young.”

From Marion (Schmitt) Ellis
July 7, 2017
HI Joe -- I'm looking forward to the lunch Bea has been so great to put together!  But we have a busy time coming up before that: our youngest daughter, who lives in Bologna Italy with her Italian husband and their kids, arrived on July 1 for a month-long visit.  We started by visiting central PA to visit David's sister.  Then we headed for Washington DC.  where the boys have never been.  Hope to see the basic sights: tpday we did the Capitol Visitor Center, the Library of Congress, and the American Indian Museum.  Zoo tomorrow.  I barely keep up, but so far so good!

After Bea's lunch, we'll be taking the crew up to our cabin in Maine for several days.  They leave to go back home to Italy on July 31.  But less than a week after that, I'll be going with the Berkshire Choral International to Budapest, Hungary, for a week of rehearsals and then to sing in a performance of the Brahm's Requiem!  At this point I'm not sure when I will catch my breath enough to get ready, but I love singing in this work  and we've never been to Budapest.  David will go as well as a non-singer.  Not only that, but after the performance, we've planned to go to Vienna and then to Prague for three days each.  To top it all off, on the way home we're going to have a couple of nights to visit our BHS classmate, Nicole Gastone, in Paris!  It sounds like a dream!  We don't have the stamina we once had, so wish us good luck!  We'll be sure to send in a summary when we get home.  

Best --

From Rob Yacubian
July 6, 2017
Having summered in Falmouth/Woods Hole many summers I know and remember Nobska Lighthouse very well. Loved the fog horn  nice work John

From Carol (Shanis) Peskin
July 5, 2017

When we moved to Belmont, my stepfather was motivated by proximity to MIT, my mother its proximity to her first cousins, and me because of its old money emphasis on culture rather than bucks, so prevalent in such suburbs as South Brookline. I was rewarded by making wonderful friends who valued intellectual and artistic attainment.  Remember Nancy Johnson, Marion?

The teacher I remember with goose bumps is Miss Gould, sophomore English, who forced us to read classics and give book reports. Her list was not only encompassing of Russian, English 1800-1900 treasures, if gave me a tremendous head start at Brandeis where I majored in English and Theatre Arts. Miss Bridey conducted senior French in French, another head start which propelled me into advanced French lit at Brandeis where, reading Descartes and Rousseau, unfortunately our classes were conducted in English.

From John Keane
July 4, 2017
This oil is of the Nobska Light at Woods Hole. The road is actually at those crazy angles because  the land is simply a high bump surrounded on three sides by water.don't try to drive it in a snow storm.
Happy Fourth to all

Nobska Light, Wood’s Hole         (Oil)               John Keane

From Rod McElroy (teacher’s quote)
July 2, 2017
When Mam'selle Bridey (French teacher) heard a correct answer for one of her tougher questions, she would beam and say, "Oooh, voila!".  She
was a great teacher.