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.