Often, I receive more news from classmates than will fit in the print version of these Class Notes, which is limited to 500 words. So here I’m posting the full responses that classmates sent me. Thank you!
October 2015, Chloee Kasselberg Poag and her husband, Dan, joined 25 of his fellow members of the Princeton Class of 1963 and many of their wives in Greece to trace Odysseus’ trip home to Ithaca after the Trojan Wars. The trip was organized by a classmate who has lived and taught in Greece for the past 40 years. Chloee writes, “Among the Princeton men was Chuck Balestri, the sweet widower of our class member Diane Pelkus Balestri.” A month later, Chloee and Dan’s sons and daughters-in-law hosted a wonderful celebration of their 50th anniversary. Family and friends from their elementary through high schools, colleges and grad schools, from their work on civic and nonprofit boards, from the business and psychology worlds, and from their church and neighborhood joined in a very happy, fun-filled evening. In honor of Chloee’s almost lifelong love of the blues, their sons had the late B.B. King’s house band play for them.
This fall, two of Molly Bang’s picture books will be coming out: a 25th anniversary edition of “Picture This: How Pictures Work” and the fourth and last in a series she is writing with Penny Chisholm, a friend and MIT professor of biology — who, Molly says, actually understands the science and basically writes the books — on how sunlight enables life on earth. This one will be “Rivers of Sunlight: How the Sun Cycles Water around the Earth.” She writes, “I’m working on a third book about Sophie, my best-selling books by far, that I don’t have a contract for yet but hopefully will soon. After this, I’ll start something completely new, no idea what. Otherwise, I am still learning to ride (horses), garden and babysit small step-grandchildren with my husband, who understands them way better than I do and has far, far more patience.”
In March, I attended a workshop of Molly’s at the Tucson Festival of Books titled “The Emotion of Illustration,” in which she demonstrated how she uses basic principles of art to create emotion in illustrations. We got to try several techniques that showed us how an understanding of the most basic principles enables a person to build powerful pictures. Molly’s techniques are used by art and graphic design departments in colleges around the country. I — who did poorly in any applied art class I ever took — had fun!
Susan Pearsall’s husband, David McCarthy, died in May 2015 after living with many health issues, including severe dementia. She writes, “It has been a very difficult year for me. But so many people have been so very kind, and that helps enormously.” Susan, who lives in Madison,Wis., was visited by Susie Pildner, her husband, Julian Peet, and their three cats on a cross-country drive to relocate in Portland. Susan was also visited by Diane Du Mond Keech, her husband, Ted, and their three cats during a recent cross-country trip.
“Both of these visits were lots of fun — and very healing,” Susan writes. She says that other Wellesley women have been kind in different ways: calls, emails and a wonderful book that David could enjoy before the end came. She adds, “The Irish have a lovely saying: ‘It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.’ Wellesley has made me feel quite sheltered as I go through this transition — and for that I will always be grateful.”
Roberta Fletcher Heisterkamp wrote the following about Roberta Montgomery Long-Twyman, who died on April 10; a shortened version will appear in the In Memoriam section of the summer issue of Wellesley:
Although I did not meet Roberta at Wellesley, she became part of my Denver life when she joined the League of Women Voters in the 1990s, and our paths crossed many times thereafter. Roberta had four children and two more were added when she married her second husband, Guy Twyman, in 1983. She was an avid defender of children in her work with Denver Social Services and later at the Colorado legislature as a member of the LWV Colorado Legislative Action Committee. She testified for and helped enact many beneficial laws that protect children.
In 2012, Roberta and I took an adventuresome trip to New Zealand together, where we experienced weather bombs and rock slides and visited the Parliament building. Her insights were profound, and her humor was always lively, making her an ideal travel companion. Her husband hates to travel and I am a widow, so we joined to seek adventure.
Last June, Roberta and I attended our 50th reunion at Wellesley and walked all over campus together, talking about how things have profoundly changed over the years, and yet Wellesley still anchors us.
Our most recent trip was in the fall of 2015 to the Baltic capitals and St. Petersburg, Russia, where, again, we had many unpredictable adventures. Shortly after our return in November, Roberta was diagnosed with advanced cancer, and five short months later she succumbed. She still attended League of Women Voters meetings, Wellesley Book Club meetings, Blue Mountain Investment Club meetings and other social gatherings, with me and other friends driving her as she weakened. Her spirit was very strong, and we shall all miss her gentle smile and thoughtful comments a great deal.