The Gilman class of 1953 is much like a steam locomotive: once very powerful, modern and a force to be reckoned with, but lately not quite as imposing as in mid-century, but still operating reliably and a fine example of what an American Classic should look like.
Having just indulged in self aggrandizement, here are the notes your class secretary in our 70th reunion year offers up for your 80+ year-old enjoyment. The first to respond to my request for news was Kent Flannery out in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He and Joyce are both still doing what good archaeologists love to do … explore among dusty ruins and then publish. They work in Mexico and in Peru respectively while still teaching full-time at the University of Michigan. They each also have a book written and awaiting publication … title to be divulged when ready.
Not to be outdone, Andrew (Andy) Gantt and Digna are still playing like Johnny Appleseed down here in Nelson County, Virginia. They have taken up residence in what was once a huge family-owned tobacco farm (60,000 acres) during the pre-revolutionary war years (when the colonies sent tobacco to England). It is now only 670 acres and they have gradually converted the property to a tree farm upon which the Gantts have actually planted 450,000 trees. So now rather than contributing to tobacco-causing impurities, the trees actually withdraw some 6,800 tons of carbon from the atmosphere. Not bad for a guy who was an international economist in his “working years” and followed up with Formula-3 auto racing, ocean sailboat racing.
Bill Eaton and I enjoyed traveling together from Washington, D., where he resides, up to Baltimore for Gilman’s alumni luncheon at the School. Neither of us won any awards, but Bill is still sharp as a tack and an easy conversationalist. We were pleased to commandeer seats at the power table with Ellen and Doug Godine. The catered lunch was served in what we remember as the room in which we gave our sixth form speech. There were still some short speeches made and Haswell Franklin, Sr. ’50 won the coveted “School Spirit Award.” There was a combined reunion class dinner held the next night at the Elkridge Club in Baltimore. Representing our class were Bill Trimble along with Godine. I had to beg off not wanting to drive two hours back home after dinner.
I did get a nice note from Cary Woodward expressing regret for not making the scene at any Alumni Weekend event but explaining that a service for one of his former Gilman students took priority. He and Peggy still live just a mile or so from the school, but sure do enjoy their vacation time on their island home in Maine.
Karen and Harry Thomas have now had a year or more under their belts after moving to Gaithersburg, Maryland. It sounds like a great move when you can visit Annapolis on a whim. They recently indulged in crabs and oysters in the state capital and enjoyed the historic visit to the Paca House and Hammond-Harwood.
Unfortunately, as we age, we don’t get to go to all the functions that seem to call us nor that we want to attend. We lost Fred Klaunberg a few weeks ago, and I attended the very simple but poignant service in a small church north of Baltimore. I did see Ellie and Tony Carey at the reception. We didn’t have a chance to visit because I drew a complete blank on Ellie’s name and am not sure Tony recognized me! That happens when you reach 87 years old. She looks great, however, and it was my bad!
Finally, Rick Betts and Patricia have taken the plunge and moved into a Rossmoor House in Walnut Grove, California. They love the place.
In summation: Let us all try to stay well and in communication with one another. I’m in Virginia. Most of you are in the Baltimore area. If you get any news, good or bad, that I might find useful, please let me know.