Dear 1965 Classmates:
Well, we had quite a Class of 1965 60th Birthday Party in the Upper Valley over the August 1-3
weekend! Pierces Inn was, as usual, our headquarters for the gathering. The Inn was in great shape as Cindy Pierce and husband,
Bruce Lingelbach, have undertaken a number of repairs and renovations since taking over operation of the Inn last year from
Reg and Nancy Pierce. And, by our October mini-reunion, the kitchen should be expanded and modernized!
Participating in the 60th birthday celebrations were: Ted Atkinson and wife Marcia, Bill
Webster, Jim Griffiths and wife Debbie, Stu Russell, Bob Ernst and friend Pat Ramsey, Ken McGruther,
Ron Knapp, Mike Gonnerman and wife Betsy, Roger Hanson and wife Nancy, Brian Porzak, Sven Karlen
and wife Laurie, Chip Hayes and wife Connie, Jim Cooper and wife Barbara, Steve Farrow and wife Donna,
Mike Bettmann, Bob Blake, and myself, with wife Karen and daughters Carly and Joey.
The highlights of the weekend were many but none more so than our work on the COVER project in White River
Junction. COVER Corps of Volunteers Effecting Reuse/Repair is a relatively new organization in the Upper Valley and specializes
in urgent home repair for low income families and disabled and senior citizens. Its headquarters are in White River Junction.
Last year in June, it undertook a project that, new for COVER, involved the relocation of an eighty year old house from Hanover
to a location in White River. The house, which was located opposite the Coop food store near the Dartmouth soccer fields,
was scheduled for demolition but was acquired by COVER on the understanding it would be moved. The house was successfully
split into five sections and, with the help of local businesses, moved to the location in White River where it was re-assembled,
rewired and generally completely restored.
The Class of 1965 appeared on the scene toward the end of this restoration project and successfully contributed
to the effort of COVER on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. The work was varied, with (a) carpenters Jim Griffiths and
Roger Hansen laying wooden flooring, (b) the team of Webster, Ernst, Knapp, Russell, Gonnerman and Amon scraping old paint
off the building, often atop scaffolding reaching to the roof area of the house, (c) Amon and Porzak erecting molding on the
porch, (d) Betsy Gonnerman and Nancy Hanson painting the porch with assistance from Carly and Joey Amon, (e) Karen Kolodny
insulating pipe and erecting drywall, (f) Mike Bettmann laying
roof tiles, and (g) the two Mikes and Debbie Griffiths doing landscaping work. Among other things, many of
us learned what a miter saw and nail set were!
Simon Dennis, the director of COVER, coordinated our work activities and was most grateful for our efforts.
The house is scheduled for final completion at the end of August 2003 at which time it will be purchased and occupied by the
Johnson family (husband, wife and six children). I know that all who participated over the weekend on the COVER project found
the experience to be extremely rewarding and enriching.
Of course, the weekend was not all work! We enjoyed two wonderful dinners. Friday night, Jim and Debbie Griffiths
hosted a party at their home in nearby Plainfield, NH with lamb cooked on the barbecue. Saturday evening, we dined at Pierces
Inn, with cocktails on the lawn outside the Inn before dinner and a barbecue cooked by innkeepers Cindy and Bruce. Simon and
Nancy Bloomfield 99, also of COVER, joined us at Pierces after dinner, and Simon spoke about COVER and gave us more detail
on the house project in White River on which we had worked that weekend. Jim Griffiths, then presented Simon with a donation
of $510, collected from those who worked on the project over the weekend. In addition, the Class of 1965 made a further contribution
of $500 to COVER for its work in the Upper Valley. We then collectively sang happy birthday to ourselves as Cindy brought
out a substantial cake with what appeared to be sixty candles!
There was also golf and tennis at various points over the weekend, and a Class meeting and Executive Committee
meeting on Sunday morning at Pierces. The weekend was great fun and an opportunity to see many 65s from years gone by. Thanks
to everyone who made the effort to get to Hanover for the weekend.
Unfortunately, the weekend had a sad postscript. We learned at breakfast on Sunday that Reg Pierce had been
taken to the hospital early Sunday morning with a mild stroke. He had apparently not been in good health and, in addition,
had undergone a hip replacement operation some months ago. We were all saddened to learn after the weekend that Reg had a
second stroke later in the week and passed away on August 8. We will long remember Reg and the memories that he provided to
so many members of the Class of 1965. As his daughter Cindy noted to me, after his strokes, he struggled to remember the names
of his various family members, but when discussing the recent visit of the Class of 1965, was able to tick off an impressive
list of 65s and their wives without hesitation! A great guy, and we are delighted that his daughter, Cindy, and husband Bruce
are carrying on the Pierce tradition at the Inn on Dogford Road. We will all be there again over the weekend of October 24-26
for the annual fall Class of 1965 mini-reunion. I hope to see many of you there!