Friday, November 21, 2014

Fall Term Report Card - 2014

To the Great Class of 1969:

News of the Academy

School let out today for the Thanksgiving recess.

The Memorial Building, which was built in 1952 to honor Deerfield boys who made the ultimate sacrifice in WWII, was re-christened this fall following a generous gift as the "Hess Center". The building has been greatly expanded, and the space where we regularly gathered has been transformed. Nonetheless, the prospect of renaming an iconic communal space had left some uncomfortable and, to the credit of the donor, the building's original name has been restored so that what began the term as the Memorial Building ended the term more or less as it began but with the Hess Center for the Arts now housed there.

Following a story in The Boston Herald describing Deerfield as "a posh private school grappling with a new-age pot problem", the dogs (literally) got called in and, after sniffing around, one student was expelled and six placed on varying degrees of probation. This is described in greater detail in The Scroll if you're interested in a more thorough account.

After a promising start, Varsity football proceeded to lose six games in a row, including the last two by the identical score of 45-0. As has been the case the past few years, the Choate game was streamed live. Unfortunately, the Class of 2015 will be the third class in a row to graduate without once having had the satisfaction of beating Choate in football. It is difficult to see this rivalry being restored anytime soon unless the schools come to a common understanding on admissions policies.

News of the Class

As you all know, the news of the past few months has been dominated by the passing of two classmates as well as Mr. Merriam. In response to several inquiries, I had a chance to compare notes with the Alumni Office and confirm that we have 16 classmates who are known to have passed away. You can see that list at our class website. There is even a longer list of classmates that appear to have fallen off the grid which I have sent to the school for any assistance which they may be able to provide.

A gang of four local classmates joined me at our usual hangout in early November for our annual dinner. Tom O'Gara informed us that "75 was the new 55" which was easy enough for him to say since he looked like he was at least twenty years younger. Rusty Young took an enforced sabbatical from the Marathon this year at the event organizers' request after having cycled the past seven years as a pacer for the elite wheelchair racers. Rusty remains busy promoting concerts, and this week hosted Dave Mason's Traffic Jam in Florida where he spends a lot of his time these days. John Kjorlien will graduate with his youngest in 2015, giving new meaning to the term PG. I am happy to report that Steve Bisbee is healthy again after a mishap on his bike in August which resulted in a punctured lung and an emergency trip to St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital.

In other news, Steve Esthimer still has some of the teenager left in him. After 36 years at St. Mary's School, a four year secondary school in Raleigh, Steve wrote that he will be graduating with the class of 2015 and taking a gap year before deciding what to do next. What Steve failed to tell me is that he has held every faculty leadership position and won, at least once, every teaching award given by the school.

Best wishes to all for a Happy Thanksgiving.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Randy Ridings March 16, 1951 - May 14, 2014

Randy entered Deerfield as a sophomore from Binghamton, NY and played varsity soccer as a Senior. 

Please see an obituary notice from the Yale website for the Class of '74 which his wife Mercedes posted:

I have attached my husband’s obituary; memorials should be made out to the Randolph Ridings Memorial Fund. He fought a long hard battle with colon cancer for over 5 years. After being married over 30+ years and two wonderful sons we are needless to say quite devastated. Thank you for your condolences!

To all my beloved friends and family it has been a great ride and I so appreciate all the love I’ve been given please know that it has been returned. Words cannot express how much your love has meant to me. To my beloved children, Spencer and Derek and my cherished wife, Mercy, who have meant so much to me. You are the light of my life! You will always be the heart of everything I am. I love you all so much!

Please join us on Saturday, May 31st 2014 for an 11:00 a.m. service followed by a gathering at St. Martin’s by-the Lake Episcopal Church, 2801 Westwood Road, Minnetonka Beach, Minnesota 55391.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Randolph Ridings Memorial Fund at US Bank, 3305 Plymouth Boulevard, Plymouth, MN 55447.

Lou Crow

Louis Walter Crow
Lou Crow was a four-year boy from Illinois who, like many of us, returned to his roots after graduating. He was an athlete, if not a scholar, and a popular classmate who you could not miss on campus, i.e. a "BMOC". To my regret, I lost track of one of the most colorful personalities in the Class when we dispersed in 1969. I've added a page in his honor at Albany Road Redux for anyone who would like to share recollections about "The Gawk". I found the obituary below after reading of his passing in the most recent issue of Deefield Magazine. The Alumni Office kindly supplied the photo from The Pocumtuck at my request.

Louis Crow, 61, of Northbrook, formerly Evanston, passed away June 22, 2012. Son of the late Rollin and Elizabeth Crow; brother of David (Marilyn) Crow; uncle of three nieces and six great-nieces and nephews. His kind nature and sense of humor will always be remembered. Memorial Service Thursday, June 28 at 1:30 p.m. at N.H. Scott & Hanekamp Funeral Home, 1240 Waukegan Rd. (just south of Lake Ave. on west side), Glenview. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Evanston Animal Shelter, 2310 Oakton St., Evanston, IL, 60202.