Back to School Mini

Surprise!!! Monday Oct 2, 2017 started this year’s mini reunion and guess what? Oct 3rd turned out to be Mountain Day! Wink began to get nervous after receiving an email from the Alumna Association with the shuttle schedule to the mountain. What was this all about? Well we had dodged that bullet for many years, but this time it caught up with us and in true ’55 style we made hasty adjustments! I would have said gone to plan B, but at that point in time we had no Plan B. 

Still in la la land on Monday evening, thanks to Larry Leonard’s encouragement and generosity, we were serenaded by the V-8’s. Our own V-8 Pam Moody was absolutely thrilled and they invited her to sing with them. Looking just as good as ever she mouthed the words brilliantly. Tired of books and boring classes…?

After lots of laughs and memories with the V-8’s we had a very nice dinner with our own honorary Sonya Stephens who then caught us up to date on just what was happening on campus. Lots and lots by the way. Blanchard is due to open in a few months and blends in beautifully with the architecture. We have one freshman, sorry, firstie, dorm but unfortunately no plans to extend that program. We all groaned knowing full well it is what made ’55 what it is today…the best! Sonya stayed on afterwards and had a fun time with her classmates!

Hearing no bells on Tuesday morning we thought we were home free, but either we are all deaf or they aren’t quite as loud as we remembered. Dee informed us all that she had received a text saying “It’s Mountain Day!” so our classes were cancelled but it was an absolutely beautiful day to be outside in the New England countryside.

Now about that Plan B! Wink immediately called Eleanor Townsley and she agreed to come over and speak to us in the morning and we had a wonderful time with her as she related stories of the students and student life now. We all had many questions and a really good time was had by all. Eleanor was a lifesaver!

Nancy Lane came up with our afternoon program and it was a winner!!! Right after our delicious lunch we piled in three cars and drove up to Deerfield. It was gorgeous and we all thoroughly enjoyed walking around town and visiting the various historic homes.

After returning to Willits Wink showed the documentary “Equal Means Equal” which illustrates all too clearly that women are NOT protected under the constitution. This is a class project our class is thinking of adopting to try and educate other women, our daughters and our granddaughters, to this startling fact and to once again promote passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. More about this later.

After cocktails with honararies Edwina Cruise, Joni Haas Zubi and Vinnie Ferraro we enjoyed another delicious Willits dinner. During dessert and coffee Vinnie spoke to us about North Korea. He gave us a brief history of the country since the 1950’s and reminded us that we only had a cease fire, not a peace treaty at the end of the Korean War. The options of stopping the North Koreans are quite poor and accordingly we have to learn to treat them like any other nuclear nation such as Israel or Pakistan etc.  

At 9:00 we had a wonderful discussion led by Molly Paige FP’18 who is the director of the play, “Bull in a China Shop” that will be opening on campus in December. This is the play that was written by MHC grad, Bryna Turna ‘12 , about the friendship between Mary Woolley and Jeannette Marks that was such a success at Lincoln Center last March . Molly was extremely articulate and engaging and told us all about the Theater Program at Mount Holyoke. She also gave us an update about the Francis Perkins Scholars and the success of this program.

We had our first and last class of this year’s mini on Wednesday morning at 11:00 and watched the students come into class and immediately focus on their phones. Real conversation seems to be a thing of the past. We thanked our lucky stars that we were still able, after 66 years, to  start a conversation with our classmates just where we left off. It is a beautiful gift!

So in the long run Mountain Day was not only a picture perfect day but our fantastic honoraries made it extra special!

Attending were Dee Lamb Barstow, Nancy Nutting Lane, Sylvia Johnson Lucas, Rhoda Ernst Bannon, Barbara Grant Deedy, Jane Barth, Nancy Boardway, Pam Moody Harkins, Jan McIntosh Carreau and hisband David, Margo Roy Nasjleti and husband David, Joan “Willie” Willenbrok Leonard and husband Larry, and Wink and husband Mills. 

Nancy and Dee did their usual fabulous job thinking of everything including table arrangements with fresh flowers from Nancy’s garden. We can say most emphatically everyone had a smile on their face the entire time.

Thanks to Nancy Lane and Dee Barstow 
for once again planning our

 Back to School Mini
David and Jan McIntosh Carreau
Willie Leonard, Larry Leonard & Wink
Nancy Lane, Vinnie Ferraro & Wink
Pam Moody Harkins & Barbara Grant Deedy
Sonya telling it like it is!
Sylvia Lukas, Mills Ripley, Jane Barth, David Carreau, Pam Harkins & Willie Leonard
Dee Barstow, Larry Leonard & Jan Carreau
Edwina Cruise & Nancy Lane
Jan McIntosh Carreau, Willie Leonard & Dee Barstow
There's Our Own Pam!
Nancy Boardway
It was a beautiful day!
Once again the Harvard Club under the hospitality of Lois Gaeta and David Baker was the place to meet for our New York City mini. We were a small but very energetic and fun loving group. We had many laughs and there were absolutely no silent gaps in the conversation. If your ears were ringing it was because we were talking about you. The only way to guard against that is to be there in person next year!

Lunch was absolutely delicious and we talked about everything...books, plays, classmates, aches and pains, etc. but the highlight of the chatter was definitely, “Have you tried to put on panty hose lately?” That was the winner! A hint you all might not know about until it is too late is…never try to wear thigh-highs more than once. You’ll be in big trouble. A word from the wise as two of us had this embarrassing experience!

Wink told how she noticed that she was the only one who was reading a paper on the trip in. Every other person was glued to their iphone. What used to be the norm was now reserved for very senior citizens. Going home she pulled out her book and everyone else opened their iphones and the train left the station. Old habits die hard.

New York City Mini at the Harvard Club