Amherst Magazine

Letters to Class of 1963 Reunion Books

Mike Solomon

Amherst Class of 1963 Twentieth Reunion

Chronology: 1963-1968 Bologna, Italy (Medical School)
1968-1973 Brooklyn, N.Y. (Internship, Residency)
1973-1975 Limestone, Maine (USAF physician)
1975-present Bangor, Maine (Private Practice in Obstetrics and Gynecology)
First Off:A warm and hearty hello and sincere best of everything to the class of 1963.
Marriage:Staying married through the ups and downs and changes of a longterm relationship...and having it (at this point in time) be a major positive force has been a true delight.
Children:We have three daughters age 16, 12, 11. Anyone who has them knows the agony and the ecstasy. Their constant presence and growth is my true calendar. How rare it must be for any of us to comprehend our own parents until we have become parents.
Work:I suppose my battle has been to accept the strenuous hours, the responsibility and mostly the repetitive and sometimes boring parts of my practice. With that (gradual) acceptance has come a fuller appreciation of the high points (when they see fit to emerge).
Sports:I am still surprised when, what I know I can do (at 21) does not quite come off (at 41). I have tried meditation, but the peacefulness, sense of wellbeing and alertness after swimming and cross country skiing is better. Must be those endorphins.

Amherst Class of 1963 Twenty-fifth Reunion

Dear Classmates,

This New Yorker has been living in Maine for 15 years. A Mainer by transplant, I leave the state occasionally. Mostly to take a bit of city life. The adventure of walking city streets and the unexpected encounters with people and architecture and the mumble-jumble of city life—it’s fun indeed. Then it’s back to Bangor, work, and living my day to day life.

My 3 daughters (21, 17, 15) matured into young women with the speed foretold by my parents—“enjoy them while you can, they’ll be grown and gone before you know it.” It’s a kick being part of their lives and sharing physical and emotional activity with them. The teenage years have been more positive than negative—and even enjoyable—and even educational.

I’ve been married for 21 years to Ingrid, who is special enough to have seen my diamond in-the-rough qualities and patient enough to have awaited my maturation. Ingrid has a recently earned masters in piano performance and is teaching piano at home.

We all downhill ski at Sugarloaf and enjoy the times together on the mountain. Occasionally we cross country ski. Spring, summer, and fall we hang out at a small lake nearby and get down to Acadia National Park and the local coastal areas as often as possible. We value our new friends and the old ones we’ve been fortunate enough to stay close to. Luckily we seem to be healthy.

Our major loss this year was the death of our dog, a companion for 8 years. The grief we all felt when she died was overwhelming, and somewhat of a surprise to me. She was “only a dog”—but—.

I escaped death last winter when I slid down an icy ski slope (expert trail, headfirst on my back, tired skier) at speeds estimated between 70-80 mph. Scull fracture, scapula fracture and rib fracture. As I sped past the gondola-support metal tower I thought, this is it, this is too fast, I will die. Strangely there was an absence of panic. Just a cool detached feeling of the reality of the situation. The residual effect is a decreased hearing in my left ear. I still ski, stack wood, and practice obstetrics & gynecology. Did the near-death experience leave me with any insight? Any greater appreciation of the value of life? Don’t think so.

Looking forward to what’s ahead.

Best of everything to all of you,

/s/ Mike Solomon