Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Topics for 'Conversations'

Getting down to the business of this blog, we need to start thinking about topics for the reunion program I've chosen to call "Conversations." We want to revive the discussion we began on that Sunday morning at the 25th. It was a wonderful, open exchange of feelings about Amherst, careers, family and life at the mid-point.

We're thinking that we might spread the topics out this time, over two or three sessions -- maybe one on Friday evening and a wrapup on Sunday morning. I'm also thinking about drafting discussion "leaders" to help stimulate the conversations.

Obvious topics are "life changes" around family and career. But there are other practical, or even medical, topics we could open up, such as retirement planning, mental and physical health, etc.

Let's hear what you think.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Contemplate This As 'W' Takes the Oath


What better way to mark Inauguration week than with this headline blast from the past? Those were the days when men sat in, rather than fall in.

Web Site No. 2 Launched!

I am definitely on some kind of roll, or maybe it's just that I've found myself with a couple of nights free from homework. At any rate, I have launched my second Amherst Web site in as many days -- this one is an "official" site for the class on the college's secure server.

I think you need to use your college-provided username and password to access it. The link for the site is here. Give it a try. If it prompts for a username and password, follow the directions on the page for getting signed up.

We'll put official reunion notices on the college site, and use the blog for deep thought and reflection (and photos). By the way, you can e-mail me photos to post at Cheers.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Amherst Men at Rest Circa 1975


How many of these intelligent young men can you identify? Winner gets to drink beer from a wax cup at the reunion.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Let the Conversation Resume

It was about seven years ago now that Amherst classmate Steve Clark first approached me about handling the 25th reunion "book" for our 1975 class. I had no idea what it entailed, but was nevertheless inclinded to duck the invitation somehow. Steve persisted, of course, and sent me a few "examples" of past volumes to review. They were awful things, basically scanned letters and a few photographs collected with no apparent theme or thread.

My natural Amherst competitiveness was unfortunately piqued, and I boldly responded to Steve that while I would never put my name on a book like that, I would do a "real" book. And so began the two-year journey to the book published five years ago for the 2000 reunion -- "The Class of '75 at Y2K."

As it turned out, the book was a wonderful experience, despite the strenuous logistics, and it had the equally wonderful effect of starting a "conversation" at the last reunion that we hope to rekindle at the upcoming 30th reunion, May 26-29.

Because there is no precedent for another book until the 50th (thank goodness), I chose to prime the pump for this round by setting up a "blog." Now, some of you will be ready to fly with this blog right away; others who are less comfortable in cyberspace may not be. Indeed, for some, this may be your first encounter with a "blog." There is really nothing to be afraid of. If you can read and type, you can blog. (That is, unless you lack a keyboard and a connection to the Internet. Let's hope technology hasn't left too many of our mates that far behind.)

A blog is a running journal, to which anyone can contribute, and I hope you will. You can just read -- and not write -- but the fun will be in contributing ... regularly.

Leading up to the reunion, this blog will be a place to post some occasional news, but mostly it will be a place to talk about what's on our minds, as we all (I think by now) have passed the 50th-year milepost in our lives.

So, for starters, let us know that you're out there and thinking about the reunion. And, please, give some serious thought to attending. Grant Haskell, our reunion chair, has great plans in the works, which we will detail in subsequent posts.

A WORD ABOUT HOW TO BLOG: To contribute to this blog by name (as opposed to anonymously), you will have to register with The directions are pretty simple, but you will be prompted to set up a blog of your own as part of the signup. Just disregard that part. The important thing is to establish a username and profile. (Who knows? Maybe you'll have so much fun, you will start a blog of your own. That's OK, but not a requirement. Cheers!)