Part 4: Apr 19 – 30, ’20

April 19 to April 30.  (Note, sometimes it is hard to keep in real chronological order because there are times when a response is not immediate and therefore in the midst of a new conversation.  So have patience, friends.)

4/19/20 — NYT today has lead article on GOP strategy, blaming China. If I were a cartoonist, I would show Donald caught in the act of raiding the cookie jar. He is looking up waving his arms at an imaginary other and saying “ I didn’t do it, he did!”  No, better. There is a broken precious vase. Mother is scowling at him in accusing way and he is saying the above. 
     Mother is us, all the citizens charged with running a democracy. He is our offspring, hard as that is to accept. We are the grownups and it is our job to remove him.  Love Dottie 

4/19/20 — I read that article. Your take on it is visual and perfect. Barbara HH

4/20/20  I recall making chocolate cakes made with canned tomato sauce in a Dutch oven on top of a 2-burner stove when I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Iran during the 1960’s but I’ve never read a recipe for cookies made with mayonnaise until now.  Jennifer Bagster-Collins Seaver

4/20/20 — The recipe I have found sea tomato soup- will search for it as lemon bread is getting old, generally do not bake at all – amy

4/20/20 —  Hi Friends,  Sherry, Thank you for the wonderful news about your family members. It gives hope to others all over the world and in our small group to face this frightening foe. My sister-in-law is also currently fighting the disease in a senior facility in Needham Mass. The lack of communication is frustrating.
      Feeling helpless like most everyone, I am trying to make a small difference by fighting with ” a trickle-up” strategy. (somewhat inspired by Nancy Dingwall Pratt’s work) . When I find hints of a problem I use my phone and look for LOCAL help. Examples:
1. PPE. Somehow a week before it became a national issue I followed a hint from my healthcare son and started looking for re-usable (can be sterilized) P95 certified masks (used in construction and painting). I managed to get a local supplier interested and let him go from there. I also got my local State senator’s office interested.
2. Cloth masks : When my daughter-in-law (Rheumatologist) refused to wear her precious mask to work because her 13 employees (nurses, receptionists etc) didn’t have any, I contacted a local quilting group and they produced a supply . We also designed a new model which allows insertion of a filter into the cloth mask ( coffee filters).
3. Last week a friend who works in the Memory unit of a local nursing home alerted me to the secretive practices surrounding the protection of workers and the reporting of problems. I just found and contacted the local Ombudsman and she took the problems to the state Ombudsman and major action is now happening. (I was able to keep the source anonymous ).
     At least it makes ME feel good to THINK that I am helping. Maybe we could all try “trickle up”.  Please keep well. Chris Hollister Hila

  • Super work on the “trickle up” method ! Bette
  • Chris, You are an inspiration  for all of us. Hope your SIL has a quick recovery. 
    Barbara Hartt Hise
  • Good show, Chris. You deserve to feel good about what you’re doing. Keep it up!
    Sue W Carr
  • Chris, thank you for acting locally and giving me some ideas on how to be supportive from home.  Neighbor helping neighbors! Cindy Dennett Yee
  • VERY inspiring  Chris – was thinking of taking aforementioned lemon bread to our 93 year old neighbor who lives alone sustained solely by TV dinners – then remembered that he is diabetic and probably not supposed to eat sweets- will have to make a greater effort- Rob and I, almost or well over 80, are among the younger ones in our community which has nothing to do with community care! Amy  

4/21– Since the link I sent apparently didn’t work unless you subscribed to the Washington Post (darn them!) and the attachment I then sent was not acceptable to our list serve because it was too long, I am resorting to typing the first part of the article that appeared in the Washington Post on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the part that mentioned MHC, as follows
               When 1957 flu hit Mount Holyoke, Yale men flew by
     On the morning of October 13, 1957, the students of Mount Holyoke, the women’s college in South Hadley, Mass., emerged from the campus chapel and heard a distinct drone coming from the sky.  They looked up and saw something approaching.  A flock of birds?  Sputnick? An A-bomb?
     No, it was a Piper Cub circling the campus.  From the airplane’s windows came a blizzard of white leaflets that fluttered to the ground.
    As the college newspaper, the Mount Holyoke News, described it:  “Crowds of eager women defy high heels and tight skirts, dash to the field, clutch fiercely for the bits of comfort, smile serenely, contentedly as to their wondering eyes appear:  YALE-MT.HOLYOKE AIRLIFT.”
     The Mount Holyoke campus was under quarantine because of the Asian flu that was spreading around the globe.  Classes were canceled and the gym was turned into a makeshift infirmary.  But the men of Yale — 75 miles south in New Haven, Conn — wouldn’t let the women suffer alone.  Printed on the leaflets was:  “We hope the scourge of this virus will soon be erased from your fair campus and the quarantined lifted.”  The leaflet added:  “We trust you did not catch it from Amherst.  Keep smiling. We are thinking of you and we shall return.” 
Judy Marshall Kennedy

4/21/20 — I was there and have absolutely no recollection of that day, although I knew there was an infirmary in the gym.  Also don’t remember that classes were canceled.  For how many days?   Ines Kingsley

4/21/20 — Thank you for that extra effort – I must have been on campus at that time and have absolutrly no memory. Of the flu – amy

4/21/20 — Who wore high heels? Who wore tight skirts? That’s crazy! Mostly we wore our lime colored gym outfits with bloomers. I remember the little airplane and the pamphlets. i wrote my parent’s all about it, such big news! Classes weren’t canceled that I recall.  Freya Olafson (Dee de Ferrante’s roomate) (Editor’s note:  MHC wrote up the story and added the wording about clothing.  Thanks for bringing it up, Freya.  I, too, think it’s crazy, and it sure was poor reporting from the college.)

4/21/20 — I, too, did not have the flu.  I remember that there were lots of people in the gym, but that’s about it.  Cheers —Liz WebFoot

4/21/20 — With her permission, I am forwarding an email from our classmate Jane Wilson Landau (who is not on our Chat group) which includes a link to a recent article about the 1957 flu and MHC —Judy Marshall Kennedy:
            “Hoping you’re all well and not going crazy staying in place. My brother mentioned this article which brought back memories.
     I’m not sure I remember the Yale fliers but I do remember being sick. Between not receiving my trunk for several days and having to borrow from Ding and the quarantine it was a rough start to college life!  Certainly nothing compared to what the college kids are dealing with right now.  Would love to see you if and when we’re ever released. In the meantime, take care.  Janie

4/21/20 — Sadly, I couldn’t seem to open it without subscribing to the Washington Post.  (But nice to hear Jane is doing okay.)  
     I don’t have much of a recollection about either being sick or quarantined.  But I’ve noticed I tend to suppress those unpleasant memories — which I guess is healthier than dwelling on them!  Stay safe everyone!  Kim

4/21/20 — Kim, I’m with you. I remember that a lot of classmates were sick and they added beds to Kendall when the infirmary was full. However, I never had the flu and don’t even remember quarantine or classes canceled. Barbara Hartt Hise 

4/21/20 – Barbara, I spent a few days in the infirmary with the Asian Flu  (?) reading the Canterbury Tales. Still associate the two! How did you manage to avoid the flu???  The other Barbara (Williamson) Bucholtz

4/21/20 — I remember that flu fairly soon after we arrived at MHC.  I went down to Princeton and everyone was so sick, throwing up out their windows, and all events cancelled.  IT was bad, and upon returning to MHC , I got it and ended up in the makeshift infirmary in the gym.  Luckily , I wasn’t in for too many days, but it all added to my wondering  if leaving the Midwest  so young and never having seen the college, was a wise decision?
     Stay well, this covid 19 is indeed very serious and we will have it around for quite a while. Bette

4/21/20 — I don’t remember the Yale fliers either but I do remember getting the Asian flu and spending a number of days in the infirmary.  I must have been one of the early ones to get sick to have landed there instead of on a cot in Kendall.  The current situation seems so much worse.  I worry about how long it is going to take for life to return to anything like “normal.”  There is so much pressure from people who want to get back to work, and you can certainly understand that if people have no income and no savings to help them get through this, but I don’t think we are anywhere near the time when we can relax on social distancing or wearing masks. 
     In the meantime, I am enjoying a beautiful spring in the Philadelphia area.  Days when I can work outside are the best days of the week.  Take care of yourselves, everyone.  Nony Moore Barr

4/21/20 —  The Other Barbara, I have no idea how I avoided the flu. Just hope I’m as lucky this time.  Barbara Hartt Hise

4/23/20 —INTERRUPTION FOR ANNOUNCEMENT From Liz Webfoot:  Hi, everyone.  Sorry for the interruption, but as long as your emails have to do with life today with Covid-19, the emails will all go to the Corona Virus website compilation.  That includes politics right now as it relates to what we’re all going through — it’s nearly impossible to separate the two.  I’m having a hard time trying to separate out living with the virus, the food we’re cooking because we’re all eating too much, the horrible insertion of politics into virus-related decision-making, etc.   Consequently, most of the emails are lumped together.  I’m afraid that the reading of them is going to be pretty boring.  Do me a favor and take a look at the website.  Find the Coronavirus spot and read.  (Yes, look until you can find it.)  Sorry.  Boring.  What I’d like are comments for improvement or a different method.  I can not possibly tell you how much time I have spent on all of this, but I’m certain that there will be many more weeks of it, and there’s still time for me to change my approach.
     And yes, Elsa, I also have a compilation of our WWII memories emails that we can use for reunion ideas.  Cheers and hugs and thanks to you all,  Liz

4/23/20 don’t know how to say this – perhaps I need to identify myself as a very liberal Democrat, for my comment to make any sense.
     What I happened to find offensive in many of the discussions in our class website is the assumption that everybody agrees with “my“ point of you., With minimal tolerance For the opinion of  person who differs from me.  I find the attitude that I just described to be an off putter to being part of this discussion group. If it off puts me, am I alone? Possibly – because I know I am extreme.  But I wonder if we might be political in our discussion And still be open to Hearing different points of views!  no name

4/23/20 — You make a good point, but we need to know who you are.
Barbara Hartt Hise

4/23/20 — Dear anonymous.  Please jump into our discussions, but we really need to know who you are.  Please know that you will be treated with respect even if your view differs from most.  I know I’m pretty outspoken, but I sincerely want to listen to others.  Give it a try.  Cheers —  Liz Webfoot

4/23/20 — I’m going to side with Anonymous here…Where she’s trying to go against the flow, it would probably be easier for her to keep her identity to herself. Only if we have more than one anonymous do we need to identify her, for instance Anon – 1 or Anon – 2.   And I would like to hear what she has to say. If that’s the way for that to happen, I think we should go for it. 
Sue Wheatley Carr

4/23/20 — I agree with Sue—Babbie Miller

4/23/20 — I agree with anonymous but from a different point of view as I am a moderate Republican.  What puts me off is not your opinions but the assumption that everyone reading this agrees with you.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.  I think I’ve said this before but apparently it needs to be said again. 
Carol Spalding Bulkeley

4/23/20 — Carol, I thought you were “anonymous” — ha ha.  I am fine with the anonymous label.  I just thought that was some rule of the chat group sponsors.  Carol Benson would know.  Cheers – Liz Webfoot

4/23/20 — I agree with Liz that I thought identifying ourselves was one of our chat rules.  It makes me sad, though, that we can’t be, or apparently aren’t,  open, respectful, and trusting enough that all can feel comfortable and accepted expressing her views. If this is so, the chat group has lost some of its value to us. Barbara Hartt Hise

4/23/20 — Pretty funny that you thought I was anonymous who identifies as a very liberal Democrat!  And I agree – we are supposed to identify ourselves which in my case is a pain because my name is so long…………Carol Spalding Bulkeley.  Maybe I’ll just drop my married name??!!  Cheers – and stay well, everyone.

4/23/20 — So its twice in one day I responded, something I rarely do, and I am always annoyed with people who don’t sign, so now I have to id myself again- twice in one day.   I am the very liberal responder and I think  I will now slink off the website and go  ride my bike  Meg Moses Gat

4/23/20 — I’m forwarding this to you all because I think you’ll appreciate it. Enjoy.  Carol Spalding B

4/23/20 — Kim Holmquist sent a Thumbs up 

4/23/20 — What fun!  A really good example of what you can do when stuck at home for long periods, though in this case, she (NB I give women credit for this)  must have an interesting library- either at home or  in her place of work! Thanks,
Maggie Gat
Followed by other comments:  
     Brilliant!  Barbara( Williamson) Bucholtz
     Clever! Cindy Dennett Yee
     FABULOUS! Dee de Ferranti Abrahamse
     Love this!  Liz Hottel Barrett

4/27/20 — I wish we were here together, my sisters. We could sit on the patio in the shade of palms or the gentlelight and not too bright sun. I would like to talk about the rhyme of the ancient mariner. The first time I studied it was in high school English class, the last probably jeans who drowns poetry class. And now I’m looking at it again and wondering where it has been all my life?!!
I came back to it the other day when the phrase “alone, alone, all all alone” haunted me. I thought I was used to being without ED, but not in a pandemic.
Dottie Smith Mann

4/27/20 — Dottie, that was Miss Bailey’s 9th grade English class.  I remember it well because we earned extra credit for learning one of the  parts, and we could earn more for each additional part we could memorize.  I know I memorized Part I, but I’m unsure about how many more I might have done.  The first 50 lines or so are permanently imprinted on my brain, but the rest are not..  Now you have me curious, so I’m going to go back and read the whole thing.  Wasn’t Miss Bailey wonderful!  We were lucky to have someone like that in our lives — fodder for more conversation just together.
     We South Rocky Eight had our first Zoom group meeting yesterday evening (Susan Rhodes Brown, Susan Griffen Meeker, Katherine Kaufman Snelson, Babbie Baldwin Miller, Jane Deitrich, Jenifer Grant Marx, Barbie Sutton).  How wonderful to see everyone, all doing well and getting through this pandemic in assorted ways.  We are grateful for each other.  Cheers and hugs,  Liz Webfoot

4/27/20 — Oh Dottie I wish we could sit out on your beautiful patio!  This is such a hard time to live singly, I know, but you have SO many friends that love you!  The first time…only time, i think…I read The Ancient Mariner, was in the 4th Form at Lady Eden’s School for Girls in London. That was a really weird year!  My Dad was doing research for a book at the Royal Society.  All I remember from the reading was, “Water, water all around, and not a drop to drink.”  Obviously made a big impression on me at age 8-9.  I still don’t like rice pudding to this day..lots of it served for lunch at that school.  Sending a huge hug, SarahSally Stearns Gipson

4/27/20 — Dottie:  Ah, Miss Bailey and the “Ancient Mariner!”  
But to respond to your wondering: why the recurrence of your grief for ED’s presence. Perhaps:  When we feel vulnerable, we yearn for the presence of people we love.  We long for their comforting words and reassurance that we will be okay.  I still have such times, and it’s been 19 years since Jim died.  But alone?  Not entirely, tho differently.  You reached out to us, your classmates.  Reminding me of a little poem by Joyce Rupp in “Rest Your Dreams on a Little Twig:”:
“who we are, 
how we are,
always touches
into other lives.

we may think
we are alone,
apart, separate,
but not so.

Our positive
(or negative)
connects, unites,
(or repels)

Always we touch
     Thank you for your reaching out, reminding us that our sharing can strengthen our bonds.  Cindy Dennett Yee

4/27/20 — My computer sent off my letter without finishing or signing!  Sorry about that.    What I wanted to add was questions that have come to me upon re-reading the poem.  What is my own personal albatross?  When and how and why did I shoot down this spirit of joining, loving, living in my life?  What has been restorative?
     Maybe you can’t hook up to this extended metaphor but maybe the argument has merit for you anyway. If we can’t look back at the ship on which we sailed through a many-hued life now….well I guess we’re running out of time!!
     I need go no further  than my son David to be told that my exploration of images doesn’t always suit others. Deeper and deeper I want to go.  Oh well, you know where the delete button is.
     Small victories: I successfully ordered groceries to be picked up outside the store. And I strung together another brisk half hour walk. Love to all,
Dottie Smith Mann 

4/27/20 — So true!  I was just reading a very good article from an old (Dec 2019) AARP magazine about loneliness and they have actually found brain changes in lonely people similar to real illness but just putting 2 lonely people together doesn’t necessarily have a successful outcome, because what we crave is “core values and shared life experiences” which is probably why we find this chat list so comforting and helpful.  So, thank you old friends!  Kim Kimball Holmquist

4/27/20 –My darling husband passed away in 2013. Now that I live alone, I sometimes am in tears just because the world is such a scary place. I have great neighbors and live on a park where I can see people walking their dogs or kids riding their bikes.  I try to walk outside every day but it’s still hard. Thank you for the poem, Cindy. 
Jennifer Bagster-Collins Seaver

4/27/20 — All of my widowed friends agree:  it takes YEARS to get used to.  And stressful times/situations indeed send us instinctively to seek the comfortable past.  You have my heart-felt sympathy!  Frannie Blair  

4/27/20 — The most important advice I got was to think of myself as a single woman, not as a widow. Relationships change but are never forgotten. Jennifer B-C Seaver 
4/27/20 — I think that change in thinking was an important step for my friends. Frannie Blair
4/27/20 –Dottie, you have peaked my interest in the poem.  I googled it and found a reading of it by Ian McKellen on YouTube, all 31 hours!  I don’t know if I will listen to it all, but I will certainly listen to some.
Thank you for all your wonderful contributions to our online conversations.  For whatever it’s worth, I’m sending you a big hug.
Liz T     Sorry, I meant piqued…..

4/28/20 — Your hug is priceless, Liz. I love conversations with my classmates. We walked away from our beautiful campus 60 years ago next year, and since then have shared so many lessons with each other.  Dottie

4/28/20 —  So I actually found and read again The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (the original title) all the way through, and then I started over to try to figure out where I got lost that first time.   I had forgotten how long it is and how rambling.  Honestly, I think I did better with it in 9th grade than I do now.  But I will keep trying because the only things I really like about it are the familiar verses I still know as a result of my memorization, like “water water everywhere….”  There must have been something else I liked.  I must admit that every time I hear the words “wedding guest”, I still think of it.  I’m definitely going back for more to conquer my attitude and improve my comprehension.  So, Miss Dorothy, wouldn’t Miss Bailey simply weep with happiness over our discussion.
     With a bit more time to read, I’ve become more interested in the work of the Environmental Defense Fund.  All Trump’s rollbacks in regulations to save our environment make me so disheartened.  I think EDF will become one of our “charities” (although Bryan doesn’t know that yet.)  Check out their spring magazine on their website ( to feel outrage at the problems with methane leakage.  Also in this issue is the good news about habitat for the Monarch!  It’s been a few years since Sue Carr brought my attention to their lack of milkweed and decline in numbers.  Read the good news!  In fact, I will update the website with this good news.  Hugs — Liz Webfoot 

4/28/20 — Sweet poem, nice thoughts – amy, one of the lucky ones who is not alone – chocolate chips were good my husband particularly liked the burnt batch left too long in the oven
4/28/20 — Aargh!  Sorry, Judy Kennedy.  I just looked at our website and see that it was not Sue Carr but you who alerted us to the plight of the monarch butterfly.  My apology and Hugs, Liz WebFoot
4/28/20 — Well, Liz…I looked at that and thought…Did I alert Liz to the Monarch’s plight? Well, my memory is not what it used to be…maybe I did.  Guess not…good on you, Judy.  Sue Carr
4/28/20 —  It was??  I’m surprised to hear that.  At any rate, even if I did, Sue knew more about it than I did and also was actively working to do something about it.  Judy