August 24, 2020: our 8th month of the pandemic, 6th month of quarantines, masks, deaths and isolation. Protests for Black Lives Matter after just too many police killings of black men. President Trump bringing in his militia to put down peaceful protesting in cities where there is chaos and destruction caused, in most part, by outsiders. Governors wanting to handle their own problems. Dem governors vs Rep governors — never such a divide. A presidential election which is going to be nasty. School opening approaching — in person or virtual? Athletics? Masks? Dems vs Reps.
8/24/20 — Received this today — have thought about it and just decided that I will not watch the Republican Convention. We’re watching “Gone With the Wind” instead — ha ha. Liz Webfoot
* I would no more watch him for four days than fly to the moon! I cannot stand the man! Betsy
* So agree with you Betsy!!
* Me, too. Jennifer Seaver
* Agreed, Jennifer.
8/25/20 — Have to disagree on this one. I’m a political junkie born in DC who will not be denied! I may not like what I see, but I need to see it. I do watch mainly on PBS so get the excellent filters of Shields and Brooks, Amy Walters, and other perceptive talking heads, including historian Michael Beschloss.
Was appalled and fascinated by the St. Louis gun couple (like the highway wreck you know you should look away from), agog at Gavin Newsome’s ex-wife and her over-the-top exhortation (she’s now girlfriend of DT Jr), and found Donald Trump Jr speech highly offensive. But I learned about them! And Trumps will fill the evening coverage every night so I will learn more! (Just how accurate is SNL anyway?) Thought Tim Scott and Nicky Halley were both excellent speakers (he’s very personable, she speaks compellingly), but was left wondering about their personal motives and rewards. It was also interesting to see DT in a TV interview situation with nurses and Covid survivors, then with six released intl hostages, where they tried to make him appealing in dealing with ‘real people’! His ease with TV was visible (think The Apprentice and a situation where he was in control), but it was uncomfortable nonetheless. The Democratic convention was a lot more fun, but I will hang in. DT cannot resist the opportunity to pop up every night. Wondered why they did the nominating of both P and VP on the first day, before prime time. If they were trying to portray hope, they failed miserably, with mixed messages, including a hard-to-believe Beizhing Biden and a future world of rioting and looting. When this is over, it will be hard to come together… — Rocki Hill Hughes
8/25/20 — The coverage of the republican convention – on all news channels – was way too much for me. I went to re-runs of “The Golden Girls.” But, then, I found an amazing show on PBS “A Constitution in Writing” about our beginnings. An excellent lesson for us in these distressing times. If you can find it on line, please watch. Ann Merchant Boesgaard
8/25/20 — Rocki, I agree with you heartily and it killed me NOT to watch it. We had watched “Gone with the Wind” up to the first Intermission on Sunday night, so we decided to finish it. Bryan had never seen it and was simply amazed at both the film and the length of the film. Four hours — it’s like reading the whole book! I was amused by his reaction and forgotten how really good a movie it is. I think I could watch it again in thirty or forty years.
I, for one, missed watching the convention, and Bryan was thrilled that we weren’t watching it. After reading your email, I was even more sorry that I missed it. Thanks for the recap. Watching on PBS is always a good idea.
Ann, thanks for your opinion of “A Constitution in Writing”. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open. Happy convention-coverage to you all. Liz Barrett
8/25/20 — I tried. I really did. Bill and I are political junkies, too and he’s a “recovering Republican”! We’ve always watched both party’s conventions. I turned it on to see what the tone of the convention would be and how it would compare to the DNC. Just what I thought. Lies and distortions. I checked in a few more times. I can’t watch 4 days of that. Nothing will change. Barbara Hartt Hise
8/25/20 — I tried too but like Barbara, couldn’t stomach it! But Rocki is right, we probably should try to see it. I’ll tune in again tonight and try again but might not be able to last! Kim
8/25/20 — I go back-and-forth. Sometimes muting. It’s interesting to see what the faces and bodies tell you or suggest. Very hard to watch bald faced lies told with a straight face looking right at you. I tune in to Fox once in a while for the same purpose: hoping to see improvement. This is bad for the country, very bad. And when I can’t stand it, there’s the Celtics or the Bruins to cheer me up. Dottie Smith Mann
8/25/20 — I tried too, several times…just can’t watch very long. It is SO scary! Sarah/Sally
8/25/20 — Right now it’s 6:30 pm and I’m watching the evening news on PBS. We will watch the convention and I am dreading it, but we’ll watch Jeopardy first. Liz Webfoot
8/25/20 — OK. Now I have no choice. Today they tore down the house next door to us and in the process cut our cable wire, so no TV, internet or land line. Fool proof excuse!! They can come fix it late tomorrow afternoon. Barbara HH
8/25/20 — Hi, guys. I can’t remember if I ever sent this. Love it so much! Cheers — Liz (Hottel) Barrett Webfoot
* That’s me in a nutshell although I try to take a daily walk (PA’s heat and humidity not withstanding.). Jennifer Bagster-Collins Seaver
* Ha ha! My first laugh of day! Cindy Dennett Yee
* I don’t remember seeing it Liz, but I love it too. Thanks for sharing. Liz T
(Editor’s Note: Since our 60th Reunion is approaching, I’ve decided to include some emails about that planning. With love and hugs from your 1961 devoted Webmaster)
8/24/20 — As those of you who were on last week’s Zoom meet know, Dan and I upgraded our Zoom app so that we might accommodate more zoomers on any one meeting, and best of all, for an unlimited amount of time since the free app that we had previously used only allowed for 40 minute meetings. After the meet, Elsa our Class Treasurer, pressured and finally persuaded me to accept some $$s from the class bank account to help pay for this upgraded service so that any one in the class who wanted to hold a Zoom meeting to discuss reunion or other class business or just a get-together among classmates to chat, might use the account. She feels it is to her benefit and the class’s to do this because it shows the college activity in our bank account (which is very healthy right now at something like $10,000), which means we can keep the bank account as our own presumably longer rather than having to turn it over to the college as is the usual procedure after a 60th reunion.
To be transparent about this, the cost of the upgrade is $14.99/month, and we settled on a licensing fee for the class of $25/year, which she will pay me. The amount is deliberately low as I anticipate that class usage won’t be huge, and Dan and I do plan to use the app for many Zoom meetings of our own with other organizations and friends.
So, have at it, if you want to use Zoom to discuss reunion planning with the whole committee or with just those helping you plan the aspect of it that you are managing. You will need to contact me for the account number and the password before you plan your meeting but you can actually go into the app “as me” and schedule it yourself — or I would be happy to do the scheduling for you if you prefer.
Finally, here is a link to a little 10 minute video on hosting a Zoom meeting that I found very helpful before last week’s meeting, although I realize that many of you are far ahead of me and the video, on the Zoom curve, so this will be old news.
Judy Marshall Kennedy
8/25/20 — Hello all Reunion volunteers. Just finished the Webinar with the Alumnae Assoc.
First, our date has been changed to May 28-30.
Second, “fingers crossed”, we will be on campus. If students return in spring, we will be on campus. Otherwise, it will be virtual and we are tasked with planning that.
Third, all our meals will be in Willetts.
Fourth, any volunteer is invited to the September Volunteer Conference, 9/12 & 9/13. I’ll send the link, along with an updated list of chairs
Look forward to working with you, Barbara (Freeman Douglass)
* Thanks, that’s great – we also have ‘professional’ level Zoom with no time limits. (Not that it is working this morning, as I heard). I’ll be happy to host conversations for meetings too. Dee
* Good news! Thanks, Judy and Elsa! Frannie Blair
8/26/20 — Are any of you celebrating the Centennial of the 19th Amendment giving women the vote? I’m going to a vigil in downtown LB, sponsored by a group called “Centennial Sentinels”, and the League of Women Voters – we will all stand in the heat lining our main downtown boulevard on the site where the California amendment giving women the vote was originally signed, and later to an event put on by our congressman (male, but a strong feminist). It’s pretty hot today, but it’s an emotional event, so I’ m going – are any of the rest of you doing anything to commemorate it? It certainly seems appropriate for MHC, and I’ve been thinking of my own mother – she would have been too young to vote – 12 years old – but I’m sure her mother would have talked about it, and I bet Mt. Holyoke had plenty of suffragists.
… I am not at all tempted to watch the Republican Convention, even for self- punishment. Best to you all, Dee (de Ferranti Abrahamse)
8/26/20 — Dee, I don’t feel safe at our celebration so I’m not participating, but we have a Dem district meeting which should be interesting. I watched part of the convention last night (Tuesday), but I just had to turn it off. It made me sick to my stomach. I have never heard so many lies and such drivel from so many self-righteous people. Barf. Cheers — Liz
8/26/20 — I had the same reaction, Liz. I felt I ought to see at least some of it, but after 3 sentences of an interview with a southern Republican Rep, I couldn’t take any more. Sue W. Carr
8/26/20 — I’m surprised – here, I’m part of a number of women’s groups, book clubs, and they are all very Democratic, not many Republicans that I know of. I really find the suffragists inspiring. I certainly won’t watch the Republican convention, if that’s what you are talking about.
8/26/20 — I’m still trying. On a night when Black athletes stood up and sat down rather than entertain comfy folks with basketball, Lou Holtz was pathetically from another time. Ditto the Black civil rights gentleman from Greensboro. Lame. So lame. Ditto Grenell whose vita is about 2 yrs old . And very lame. And has there been any mention of the hurricane about to trash so many lives?? RNC convention is in a bubble, isolated from the terrible realities of today. Dottie Smith Mann
8/26/20 — Thanks to all of you for vindicating my decision not to watch any of The Republican Convention! Barbara (Williamson) Bucholtz
8/26/20 — This is from Frannie Blair.
Exploding USPS Myths
* Thank you! This was great! Mary Ginn Weinland
* This is AWESOME and I am sending it to EVERYONE I know! Liz T
8/29/20 — Barbara Douglas’ letter to the class:
It has become tradition that MHC ’61 classmates who are in northern New England during late summer enjoy a ”mini-reunion” in VT – a gathering for lunch and conversation and connection. Covid-19 interfered with plans for 2020. Judy Marshall Kennedy and Barbara Freeman Douglas decided to host a Zoom mini-reunion combined with a reunion-planning meeting. Everyone on the Chat line was invited to join the gathering. It was a successful and fun 1&1/2 hours of good discussion, conversation and “catching up”; 24 of us were on-line on Zoom last Thursday. One of the major themes was “staying in touch” with each other, building interest in reunion, and sharing news via the chat line, the web page and /or the Alumnae Quarterly class column. To that end, this email summary is written for you
The following notes are from Barbara who acted as scribe for the “meeting.” After Judy Marshall Kennedy welcomed us to our Zoom reunion, Barbara Freeman Douglass, Reunion co-chair, announced that Janet Glick of the Alumnae Assoc. had not returned her email asking about the decision to hold our Reunion on campus. But most committee positions have been filled, and the positive energy is inspiring. Sherry Welles Urner, nominating committee, along with Frannie Blair, made a plea for volunteers, suggestions and recommendations for class positions as of 2021. > Rocki Hill Hughes has been our scribe for the last four years and would like to give someone else a chance. She said it was enjoyable to have the chance to “wrap around our family”. Nancy Desmond Cox, on-line with us, volunteered–thank you, Nancy. > Liz Hottell Barrett, our class webmaster, said about 80 of us are on the Chat List, 30 of whom contribute frequently. She would like to reach out to the quiet members. Dottie Smith Mann suggested we write letters to those we know to encourage them to join in. Liz urged us to send items to the web site.
The 60th reunion in 2021 is the final reunion that the college plans for our class. Elsa Anderson van Bergen, our treasurer, reported that there is $10,000 in our treasury and in 5 years it will be turned over to the College. She would like to see us use it on Reunion, particularly helping people attend. Christina Hollister Hila thought we could use funds for yearly reunions because there may not be many left. Rocki thought having further reunions would help involvement. Kim Kimball Holmquist said renting Willets-Hallowell might be an option. Coping with Covid was the next topic. Dottie is particularly worried because Florida is so out of control and her grandchildren will be attending school as well as learning remotely. Tina said her life centers around her grandkids and has been able to see them while practicing social distancing; However, the return to school will be a problem..Elsa Anderson van Bergen’s young grandchildren felt anxious because they couldn’t see their friends; the mental health aspect of the isolation is very real .Dee deFerranti Abrahamse reported that CA was basically closed down and she has been unable to see her MI and MA sons and families. Both Betsy Karch Wilson and Barbara Hart Hise have daughters who are teachers and are concerned about the start of school. Barbara said there has been an explosion of cases in NW WI because people do not take the virus seriously. This attitude and blatant non-compliance with CDC recommendations was particularly upsetting to Sherry whose daughter and son-in-law were very sick and hospitalized with COVID; “this virus is a serious threat to all of us.and we must protect one another.”.Myra Small reported on conditions in Israel (“never a dull moment”) and Ann Merchant Boesgaard rose early to join us from Hawaii. She said they have had a surge in Covid due to lack of leadership and summer meetings. > It was sad to hear Kim tell us that singing has been curtailed; Dottie sings in a virtual choir. Cindy Dennett Yee expressed concern for her family members, an ER nurse and a First Responder. She has been staying in her community but gardening keeps her going. She also phones shut-ins, which has been a blessing for both her and the recipients. She spoke for us all when she said she yearned to capture her old freedom.
There was a call for another Zoom next month. It is open to all and we hope you will join the group. We will ask for agenda items (Sue Wheatley Carr suggested book recommendations) and will schedule it for 2 p.m. to be more considerate of other time zones, e.g. HI.
Many thanks to Judy Marshall Kennedy for hosting the meeting and to Sherry Welles Urner for co-writing this letter.
News from the Alumnae Office: new date for our Reunion, May 28-30, and no decision has been made whether we will be on campus or virtual. But seeing the positive energy of our Zoom, I am so excited about the chance for more connections and gathering as many of ’61 as possible. The invitation to the next Zoom will be sent to everyone via this Hub. Gentle reminder to send your news to Rocki Hill Hughes (email@example.com) and to web maven Liz Hottel Barrett (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Chat list is fun and informative. Contact Carol Sweeney Benson (email@example.com)
Many have mentioned the pain of isolation caused by Covid. These Zooms and then the Reunion are the best antidote. I am so glad to be part of the Class of 1961!
Best wishes, Barbara Freeman Douglass
8/29/20 — It was wonderful. Thank you so much. I remember a graduation seeing the 60 year class and thinking that they looked terribly old and I probably wouldn’t ever make it to such an age…..and here I am, still kicking although not as high as then. Hopefully, I will be able to attend (for the first time ever for me). Allie-Lou (Oeder) Richardson
8/29/20 — Thanks so much, Barbara Freeman Douglass, for the great summary of the meeting. Much appreciated! We do have a great class, don’t we? And I LOVE the cartoons! It will be interesting to see what will happen with regard to our reunion next year…gosh, I hope it can happen—for so many reasons.
BTW, for you singers out there, are you familiar with singers masks? I wasn’t until recently, but apparently they work pretty well. Check them out on Google—the best ones are said to be from the Broadway Project. But they are pricey, and certainly not a solution for choirs, etc I would think. But My granddaughter at IU is checking them out for her voice lessons, etc. Anyway, greetings to all—and do take good care! Sally/Sarah E. Gipson
8/29/20 — Looked up that singer’s mask! Hadn’t heard about it before. Kind of strange looking but I guess it would work, though I think teachers also like to check mouth shape, etc. as well. I’ve been trying to promote the masks that were developed for the deaf so they could lip read. They have see-through windows across the lips which I thought was pretty cool and people could see one another smiling but I don’t think they’ve caught on. Here is an article with references to 6 possibilities.
* That’s really cool. Thanks, Kim. Sally
9/7/20 –My husband has been donating to her opponent, in hopes that Dems can retake the Senate. Dee Abrahamse
9/7/20 — We’ve been doing the same. Liz T
Voters cast their ballots on Tuesday in Exeter, N.H., in the state primary election. A voter who was told she couldn’t wear an anti-Trump shirt at the Exeter polling place because it violated electioneering rules, simply whipped it off and did her civic duty topless. The “McCain Hero, Trump Zero” T-shirt was not allowed by town moderator Paul Scafidi because it featured a political candidate while she voted. Alexander LaCasse/SeacoastOnline.com/Associated Press
A woman in Exeter, N.H., whipped off her shirt and voted topless after she was told she couldn’t cast her ballot while wearing a political T-shirt.
Town Moderator Paul Scafidi said the woman had on a “McCain Hero, Trump Zero” shirt when she showed up at the polls at Talbot Gymnasium in Exeter on Tuesday afternoon.
The woman was told that type of T-shirt was not supposed to be worn inside the building, because it could be considered electioneering.
Scafidi said the woman then questioned why a voter wearing an American flag T-shirt was allowed to vote, and she could not. Scafidi told her that a shirt supporting the American flag was fine, but one featuring a political candidate was not, and she would have to remove the shirt, cover it up, or turn it inside out before she proceeded to the voting booth. Scafidi said he assumed she would go to the ladies’ room and come back.
“She chose a different way,” Scafidi said in a telephone interview with the Globe. The woman removed her hat and took her shirt off right there in the gym. She wasn’t wearing a bra, either. “It didn’t take her more than three seconds,” he said. “I didn’t know she had nothing on underneath it.” Poll workers and voters were shocked, he said. “They all went ‘Whoa!’ ” he said. “I was like whatever, just let her go vote.”
Scafidi said the woman put her shirt back on after she cast her ballot. “She walked right by me as she walked out,” he said. “She didn’t say a word to me.” He said he’d never before experienced anything like that at a polling location. “I’ve been working at the polls for almost 30 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this at all,” he said. “It was something I wasn’t prepared for, that’s for sure.”
9/13/20 — Today’s Boston Globe obituary on Joan Feynman is definitely worth the read. I think of our own Ann whose work in astrophysics continues. I won’t reveal what Joan’s mother said. You have to read it!! Dottie Smith Mann
* Couldn’t find it. Is spelling correct? Barbara Hartt Hise
* Thanks, Dottie. Interesting article and unbelievable comment from her mom. Hugs — Liz Webfoot
9/13/20 — Is anyone else waiting to get into the MHC Reunion conference? We were told to be there at 11:30 and it still hasn’t opened! Kim
* Yes, Kim I have been waiting since 2:30 eastern time and have not gotten into the meeting! I’m about to give up! Betsy
* Just got a verbal message on the side that they are opening soon! Hope so. Kim
* Am I in the right place? Listening to Tips on leading by listening
* I thought originally it was 3:15 p.m Eastern Daylight. – soon. Cindy Dennett Yee
9/13/20 — (Ed. note: At the start of the zoom:)
Good afternoon Class of 1961 officers,
I hope you are enjoying your weekend and the virtual volunteer conference. Before we jump into today’s reunion planning session, I just wanted to say hello and quickly introduce myself as your MHC Classes & Reunion committee liaison.
To tell you a little bit about myself, I graduated in 2005 and have served as class treasurer since 2003. Though I was born & raised in Hawaii, I moved to Boston shortly after graduating from MHC and currently reside in Watertown, MA. In my spare time, I enjoy playing tennis and biking around Boston.
I am looking forward to meeting with you today to chat about reunion and answer any questions. If you have questions after today I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 857-225-122. Best, Joana — Joana Souza, Class of 2005, MHC Classes & Reunion Committee Member
(Ed note: and after the meeting was over.)
9/13/20 — Class of 1961, I am so sorry that I missed you during the breakout session as I was looking forward to having the chance to talk to you face to face today. The delayed starts and technical issues were unfortunate, but I want to assure you that I am here to help and continue to be a resource as we navigate this challenging time and reunion year.
How is your reunion planning coming along? A few classes had questions regarding programming provided by the college and the expected fees for a total virtual reunion scenario. The CRC is following up with Janet and I will circle back once I have clarity and specific detail to share. If you have any other questions regarding reunion please don’t hesitate to reach out. Warm regards,
9/13/20 — Dear classmates, Just have to let off steam about my technical difficulties and echo Elsa’s comment on the poorly arranged conference. So let’s zoom soon. Dee had a good idea about reaching out to quiet classmates (Nicki Haller, e.g.) I will work on forwarding the contact list from the college. Thanks for your patience. Best wishes, Barbara
9/13/20 — So good to catch glimpses of most of you, even in those frustrating circumstances! I am sad to think we might have to have a virtual reunion but at least I bet that more people will come! “See” you soon again in our Zoom meeting! Kim
9/13/20 — Ditto from me: it was totally frustrating and disappointing because it was such a huge waste of our precious Sunday afternoon. Great to see you all — Liz
9/13/20 — Me too – and I’d already had 2 virtual hours at church. Fortunately I recorded the US Open! Cindy Dennett Yee
9/14/20 — I echo Liz and Barbara’s comments about the zoom conference yesterday afternoon so that even before it was finished I decided an afternoon walk would be more worthwhile so l left and went walking. My best to you all with more patience than I. Ding (Nancy Dingwall Platt)
9/14/20 — Dear Joana. Our class, and especially me as treasurer, urgently needs the information about the fees involved with virtual reunion. And more details about what programming the college would provide will be useful as we survey our class preferences; is it virtual tours, or lectures, or what. Really hope to hear something soon on these matters. thanks, Elsa van Bergen
9/15/20 — Reunion Planning Committee holds zoom meeting:
First, I am delighted that so many can join our Sept.22 planning meeting. This agenda is proposed; please add items.
Welcome – Barbara Douglass
Survey to ascertain feelings about on-campus/virtual -Judy Kennedy and Betsy Wilson
Review of committee assignments -Barbara
Treasurer’s comments – Elsa van Bergen
Brainstorm reunion ideas – Sallie Crittendon
Brainstorm publicity/attendance – Sallie Crittendon
I look forward to your comments and suggestions. Barb
* Looks good to me. Let’s try to keep the meeting one hour or less if possible. Not because we don’t have unlimited zoom time for the session — we do with Zoom Pro — but because it’s been my experience that zoom meetings, even just casual ones with family and friends, wear out eyeballs after an hour and tend to drift on without purpose. Judy K Judy Marshall Kennedy
* Thank you. Even a full hour of Zoom is overwhelming. Hugs — Liz
* Thanks Judy. Good point about time. Some have asked about the Volunteer Conference, and I am sad to report that it was not particularly helpful. I was looking forward to the Reunion Planning breakout session but technical issues kept it short. The main idea to come out was the survey about virtual/on campus and contacting all classmates. Barb
* Looks good. I agree with Judy that we should try to finish within an hour. Fran
9/19/20 — The following invite to next Tuesday’s 60th Reunion Planning Zoom Meet was just sent to those of you that have expressed interest in helping to plan our reunion. If you did not receive the invite, or are now interested in joining the discussion, please consider yourself invited. Use the link provided below to join.
The meeting discussion will be hosted by our Co-Reunion Chairs, Barb Freeman Douglass and Sallie Nealand Crittendon, and will last no longer than one hour. I am the official Zoom host and technical troubleshooter in case you have problems joining, being seen, or being heard. Please feel free to phone or email me if you need help — better yet, if you do get onto the meeting but are having problems, mute yourself and turn to your Chat button, and we can try to unravel whatever is going on there without disrupting the flow of the meeting. Judy K
9/20/20 — This poem was written by a friend. He was former Poet Laureate of Connecticut. I thought you’d be happy to have it. Marian
For Ruth Bader Ginsberg (1933-2020)
When we heard the news we couldn’t bear to be
by ourselves – some of us gathered by the hundreds
before the Supreme Court of the land where you fought
so long for our rights, Equal Justice writ large overhead.
We broke spontaneously into Amazing Grace,
knowing you were more than we deserved and now
had lost – you brave, whimsical, richly reserved justice
with a voice like a shofar calling us to rise
to a humanity we so often denied. Oh Notorious RBG,
you left us aptly on Rosh Hashanah, that day ensuring
special grace for all who die on it, first of a New Year
when despite the bone-pickers converging to rip apart
your legacy, your brilliant opinions and dissents ring out
above the political din. Those who would replace you
with a merely nominal justice, one truly blind,
not blessedly blindfolded, balancing Right and Wrong,
will soon be forgotten, while you, tiny as a bird,
will sing sweetly in the echoing chambers of history.
Rennie McQuilkin, former Poet Laureate of Connecticut
9/20/20 — Oh, that is beautiful! Thanks, Marian. Sue W Carr