The Class of '73

8 February1996

Well, at last! A flood of virtual cards and letters from you all. Proof, I suppose, that democracy IS an inspirational concept-- you couldn't wait to vote! So, without further ado, here's the current standings in our class poll: Florence Henderson, 12; Shirley Jones, 1. Remember... you are voting on which one you hate MORE. Now, to the news about you...

First, from CLAIRE BENBOW Gardiner whom I best remember, still in her bathrobe (and a lovely one it was, too. Lanz-- a gift from her grandmother , if I remember correctly) following an intricate plot development in "All My Children" even while successfully making a seven no-trump, redoubled bid...

"Jerry has finally retired (as a full colonel), but continues to work for General Powell (yes, he really is that cool) and we are living outside of Baltimore which is wonderful since we can go to all the Oriole games we want. The only dilemma is that, after a lifetime of being O's fans, we have torn affiliations this year since Jerry Junior was drafted straight out of high school by the Yankees. He should be ready to pitch the opening game at Yankee Stadium in about three years. Jessie is a senior and will probably spend a year or two in Japan before college; she will be able to polish her linguistic skills while tutoring students over there in English.

"It's an odd time of change for me. No Army and, very nearly, no kids. What will I have to structure my life? I guess I'll find out. To everybody headed to D.C.-- make a point of seeing the Nam Memorial, the Holocaust Museum and then cruise down to Baltimore for an O's game. And a visit with the Gardiners. We welcome you all."

From some others of you-- CLAUDIA KURTZ Johannsen and Otto have bought an amusement park outside Cincinnati with some of the $23 million they won in the lottery; MARGARET LASLOW has dumped the "Seacomb" along with ex-husband, George, and is running the family business in Tulsa; LYNN LEWIS was named "Teacher of the Year" in Florida and her high school Humanities students past and present are all pulling for her to win the national title. JOYCE LAWRENCE Bissonette and Tom celebrated their Twentieth anniversary (and daughter Janis' graduation) by setting sail (literally) for an around-the-world adventure. And, saving my favorite for last, PAM VENABLE Grey has finally landed the job of her dreams-- she will be appearing with the Ringling Bros. Circus as a clown known as Cleesette in tribute to the man who created the Ministry of Funny Walks.

And, as if that weren't enough to verify what a varied group, we are, I have received these two notes today. First, from MARCIA DOERKATT: "I just had my annual checkup. The good news is, I'm incredibly healthy; the bad news is, as I was getting dressed, the nurse popped in to hand me a Xeroxed copy of an article by Gail Sheehy. I skimmed through the piece as I waited for my doctor in her office, mildly offput by sections devoted to the likes of vaginal dryness, hot flashes, weight gain. Suddenly it dawned on me that I was being briefed on...MENOPAUSE! By the time my doctor joined me, I couldn't have been more distressed if I were waiting to hear if the tumor was malignant. She tried to calm me down by explaining that some of the minor changes in my body's behavior which I had offhandedly commented upon during my exam were, in fact, indications of a pre-menapausal condition and that I should begin to be aware of... "I'm only forty-four years old!" I interrupted. Early, she conceded, but by no means unheard of. And, most importantly, I should understand that the notorious change was a slow process...

"I share this with you, classmates (at least those of you of the female persuasion), as a warning. I have always been precocious. I quit smoking twenty years ago when I became a vegetarian; I've jogged 50-100 miles a week since I was fifteen; I'm driving the same Volvo I got in high school. My doctor confirmed that I'm healthy enough to live forever, but in the not too distant future, my body will no longer be capable of reproducing. It's not that I've been putting off having a child; it's not really something I ever wanted to do, but I don't like the idea of not being able to do it. It won't be a matter of choice, anymore, and, as many of you know, I've spent most of my life as an advocate for choice. I haven't really worked through this, yet, but I did want to let you all know that time is running out; make sure you consider your options while ye may. Of course, in the near future, I'll never again have to make sure there's a stock of tampons in the bathroom and you still will."

On the other hand, from ERIN vonZIEGLAND: "Here's an announcement I never thought I would make. Six weeks ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl whom I have named Faith. Her father is a dear friend of mine who looks forward to his role as a doting uncle and friend to Faith. Mother and child have much in common, including our hours-- we peak at about three a.m., when she coos while I forge life from heavy metal. I wonder if anyone will notice at my next exhibition that the large bronze is a teddy bear or that the three iron pieces are abstracts of Flopsy, Mopsy and Peter. Anyhow, I know it won't always be this easy or wonderful, but I am quite convinced she is already my finest work of art."

Way kewl, Erin! Keep on writing (men too!!)
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