March 26, 2013

Dear 1953 classmates,

Yes! A surge of nine more classmates now indicating their intention to reune brings our new total to 69. Click here to view our current list of classmates who plan to attend, and click here to view the list of registered attendees.
Bob Kiely and we are now pleased to let you know about our class programs to be presented over Friday afternoon and Saturday morning and afternoon. Bob and we also want to thank all who suggested topics and classmates for these panels. We listened!

Back by popular request will be another medical panel, this time titled "Elixir of Youth--Snake Oil and Science." Buck Greenough will lead this panel with Blake Cady, Steve Rous and Don Sutherland to discuss the relationship of marketing to the realities of modern healthcare and to shed light on what is of value to all of us in our 80s.

Bob Kiely will moderate "Personal Wartime Experiences" with Herb Uhl and Hela Finberg talking about growing up in Europe during World War II and Ted Bassett and Larry DeCarolis explaining their Korean War service in the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Navy.

"Terras Irradient Revisited," moderated by Rich Gray, will present four speakers on a variety of worthy causes they have served: Msgr. Bob Stern, on bridging gaps among the many cultural and religious differences in the Middle East and India; Bob Helander, on supplying technological and micro-financial
help in developing countries; Manson Hall, on serving various roles in public education; and Phil Winterer, on serving the nonprofit world as trustee of a variety of institutions.

With thanks to Barret Schleicher for his help with arrangements, we are happy to announce a special program. Norm Gorbaty will be presenting a slideshow of the fine art he has been creating for the past 50 years. A number of classmates had been hoping for Norm's work to be exhibited in the Mead, but since that was not possible, Sandy Riley, our class "angel" in the alumni office, is helping to provide an appropriate place and time for Norm to exhibit digital slides of his remarkable paintings, drawings and sculptures.

From our choregus By Foster comes this message:

"When we were undergraduates, Amherst was known as the Singing College. And with good reason. The Fairest College had long been blessed with some terrific songs written by alumni (who, if still alive, would have already celebrated their centennial reunion). And we all knew these songs.  Do these titles sound familiar?--'To the Fairest College,' 'Lord Jeffery Amherst,' 'Resound, Resound Ye Circling Hills,' 'Senior Song,' 'In This Blessed Old World,' 'Good Days,' 'High Upon Her Living Throne,' 'Hand Me Down My Bonnet,' 'Cheer for Old Amherst' and, of course, 'Paige's Horse.'

"Well, some singing of these songs will definitely be part of our reunion. And we plan to designate at least one specific time slot for those who would like to get together just to sing, perhaps even in four-part harmony. To that end, everyone registered for the reunion will receive, in advance, a song booklet--so start warming up in the shower!

"In our younger days, 14 of us sang with either the Zumbyes or the DQ. You may recall that, five years ago, a largely gray-haired group calling itself the 'ZDQs,' performed at our 55th reunion, to mostly favorable reviews. Subject to assembling the right bodies and voice parts, there just might be a reprise this year." [If you've seen the move Quartet, you know what he's talking about.]

Just to add to By's musical message--the current Zumbyes will be singing for us at our Saturday evening class banquet.

1)  If you haven't yet registered, please REGISTER.

2)  Please send in your "historic" photos for our 1953 display boards in Stearns. So far Jim has received a photo of a group of classmates behind Phi Psi trying to create a Purple Cow statue and another one of Dave Keightley, Dwight Fitterer and Frank Child clowning around at Quabbin Reservoir. Also, early photos of the original Zumbyes and some from previous reunions. Keep them coming! Mail them to Jim or email them to George; their contact information is available on the Alumni Directory or through the alumni office, 413-542-2313.

3)  Bob "Tones" Carington is feeling neglected. To keep the "Tones" in his name, please start feeding him a couple of those titles of your favorite '40s and '50s songs. So far he has received only a few (but good ones) such as "The Biggest Aspidistra in the World,"  "Charmaine" and "Stardust."  His contact information is available on the Alumni Directory or through the alumni office, 413-542-2313.

Next month, Manse Hall will be announcing opportunities for recreation at reunion.

Until then, tune up your voices, send in photos and song titles, register and stay well.

So long until next month.
George Edmonds andJim Smeallie

February 18, 2013

Dear Class of '53,

Our numbers are growing! Up from 42 classmates planning to attend our 60th as reported last month, we now have 60. And Mike Palmer and his team of callers are promising more for the next report. Click here to view our current list of classmates who plan to attend, and click here to view the list of registered attendees.

Plans for our 1953 Class Panels are just about complete, and we will provide details for you in our March newsletter. Be assured that there will be three lively groups of our own class presenters with three quite varied topics. Plans for a special program by a '53 artist also are almost complete.

In the meantime, we have some "homework" for all of you.

One assignment comes from Bob "Tones" Carington:  "HAVE A SPECIAL SONG OR TWO? At our headquarters in Stearns Hall on Friday evening, May 31, we are going to have a fine piano player who plays by ear and who knows lots of the old songs. We are asking you to send us the names of a few songs (from our era, naturally) that mean something special to you and yours (danced cheek-to-cheek at the Senior Prom ... the song you heard the night you proposed ... or maybe just a favorite song). Also, please send a brief note telling us why the songs are special for you. We'll put it all together in what I hope will be a nostalgic hour or two. And please send me your songs and messages even if you can't attend the reunion, and we'll try to play them in your honor."
Please send your entries to Bob; his contact information is available on the Alumni Directory or through the alumni office, 413-542-2313.

And from me, Jim, comes another assignment: Nostalgia will be the theme for decorating two large display boards in our meeting room in Stearns--pictures that will evoke fond memories of our times as students at Amherst and at subsequent reunions, homecomings or other gatherings of classmates. If you have a picture or two you want to share, mail it to me; my contact information is available on the Alumni Directory or through the alumni office, 413-542-2313. Be sure to put your name on it so we can return it to you.

So come on, guys, let's search our musical memories and our photo boxes and albums and contribute to the spirit of the occasion--our audio and visual nostalgia. We're counting on everyone to send in songs or photos or, better, both!

If anyone has any reunion questions or needs, please don't hesitate to call or write us. We are eager to create a reunion that you will truly be glad you attended.

So long until next month.
George Edmonds and Jim Smeallie

January 8, 2013

Dear 1953 Classmates,

                        Gather closer hand to hand, the time draws near when we must

                                        GET TOGETHER FOR OUR 60TH REUNION!!!

Yes, Happy 2013! to everyone--the year of our Amherst 60th is now here and is moving toward some "Good Days" and nights, May 29-June 2.

So, first things first. CLASSMATES come first. Who is coming for you to greet and meet again? Click here to view the list of those who definitely plan to attend:

And in addition to these 43, there are 25 other classmates who have indicated that they might come. Conflicting schedules and health issues are probably the reasons for delay.

So we hope all those inhibitors will just blow away and you will be able to join the reunion. And for those who either have said you are not coming or have not yet responded, we certainly hope you will find a way to join in also.

As your reunion chairs, along with our committee chairs, we aim to follow in the traditions set by our illustrious previous reunion planners by providing interesting programs, Amherst and other lively music, good food and drink and plenty of social time to reune together in comfortable spaces. In other words--we aim to give you a GOOD TIME.

Please register online at or with the college form soon to help us with our planning.

As a reminder about housing, if you do not plan to stay in Stearns Hall and you have not yet reserved a room off campus, we have places reserved at group rates for the Class of 1953 at

                                                        Comfort Inn - 413-584-9816
                                                        Hampton Inn - 413-586-4851
                                                        Howard Johnson - 413-586-0114

Other choices of motels and B&Bs, without group rates, can easily be accessed at the college website at The sooner, the better.

May we urge everyone to take the words of Jimmy Hamilton '06 figuratively or literally. Either way!

                                                     Just buy a ticket and take a train
                                                                 And come up where
                                                   Fair youth is eternally in its hey day

Best wishes,

George Edmonds and Jim Smeallie