UNABRIDGED NOTE --MAY 1, 2023
Many of us are still basking in the glow of our wonderful Mini-reunion in San Diego, Feb. 26th-March 2nd. Kudos to our Class VP’s Susanna Stevens Hamme and Katie Cheney Creighton, who planned it and engaged Road Scholar, and our superb tour guide Jackie Mlekoday, whom we all wanted to make an honorary class member. (How wonderful to have a guide who was our own age, and –bonus!--a retired ER nurse!)
The rave reviews have poured in: Kate Kilborne Cornwell noted, “With the good planning of Road Scholar, and our terrific VP’s, fifteen classmates who travelled from a distance to San Diego, plus two local (SD) classmates, Nicole (Nicky) Holland Murphy and Kate Sheehan, spent four days together enjoying a great variety of experiences, ranging from touring the USS Midway Museum to visiting the luxurious Hotel del Coronado, to seeing a unique exhibit of pinata art at the Mingei Museum with Nicky as our docent, to visiting the aquarium where we saw Sea Dragons, a first for many of us. There was a wonderful camaraderie as we chatted about new experiences and life’s challenges!” Susanna wrote, “I particularly loved the Birch Aquarium – a lucky, and brilliant, substitute due to the rainy day cancellation of our visit to Torrey Pines State Park. The Sea Horses and Sea Dragons were AMAZING!
Margot Keam Cleary wrote: “I’d like to give a shoutout to Katie and Susanna – great trip organizers and great social directors. ‘Mixing and mingling’ with classmates I hadn’t known at Wellesley was a high point.” Glenda Starr Fishman wrote: "We were guided around the USS Midway by a former Navy officer who had been a Vietnamese refugee with an amazing escape experience at the end of the Vietnam War, making it to the US -- a memorable highlight of the trip! “
And Gail Wandel Hendryx commented: “Most of us in the group have been blessed with good attendance at reunions and small get-togethers, the latter of which were mostly powered by Glenda Fishman. But COVID eliminated our chance to relish our official 50th Reunion, so the prospect of getting together was a gift! And to top it off, it was a divine mini-vacation, delving into the San Diego area more deeply than I had ever before. Best of all, as with all of our reunions, was the lack of any need of introductions and assessments of friendships -- they haven't changed, and we just took up conversations where we left off. Coming from the very flat Gulf Coast, I was totally taken by the views of land and sea from hillsides. And best of all, it wasn't hot!” And Belinda Wilkins Tepper commented: “I never feel more normal than when I am with Wellesley Women!”
The intrepid classmates who traveled to San Diego for the mini-reunion were: Jane Ayers, Katie Cheney Creighton, Margot Keam Cleary, Kate Kilborne Cornwell, Glenda Starr Fishman, Susanna Stevens Hamme, Gail Wandel Hendryx, Susan Irving, Ann O’Regan Keary, Diane Musgrave, Trish Williams Quistgaard, Janet Stewart, Belinda Tepper, Julie Burrow Winton, plus Kate Sheehan and Nicky Murphy Holland, San Diego residents, who joined us for the fun.
Speaking of reunions, five Beebe classmates (Alice Prince, Lucinda McConathy, Judy DiLeo, Pam Rodriguez Stirrat and Betsy Evans) gathered in Taormina, Sicily, in October for a trip organized through the National Trust. Alice Prince reports that they “admired phenomenal architectural sites (Greek, Roman, Ottoman, Norman) and the breathtaking scenery of Sicily, when not sampling Gelato and Canoli! (In pic below, left to right, (or back to foreground) are Lucinda, Alice, Judy, Pam, and Betsy.)
And closing on a sad note – Gail Promboin’s husband of 45 years, Bob Burnham, died in February, due to Parkinson’s Disease. “Sadly, Bob spent much of last year in the skilled nursing facility that is part of our retirement community. His Parkinson's, diagnosed only 4 years ago, had been progressing slowly, but a series of infections revved it up to warp speed. It's truly a nasty disease. He spent the last few months with hospice care layered on, which gave us the time, space, and support to reach a place of peace and acceptance and to celebrate our life together.” Our sincere condolences go out to Gail and her family.