The Great Class of 1965

Boot & Beanie / July 2002


The Newsletter of the Dartmouth Class of 1965



July, 2002

Dear '65 Classmates:

It's been a typically gorgeous summer in Hanover. For those who were not aware, summer is actually the heaviest tourist season in the Upper Valley. Most of us did not have the benefit of a "Dartmouth Plan" summer term, so if you've never been here at this wonderful time of year you should plan a trip -- not, however, as an alternative to the mini-reunion this November (our landmark 25th such event), which you will find more fully described in Hank Amon's letter at the end of this newsletter.

Your class Executive Committee met at Bill Webster's home on June 26, and Ken McGruther has provided minutes which I will excerpt. Present for the meeting in Old Saybrook, CT were Hank Amon (President), Jim Griffiths, Bill Webster, Bob Blake, Carl Boe, Mike Gonnerman, Dick Harris, Roger Hanson, Brian Porzak, and Ken McGruther (Secretary). Among pertinent items from the Treasurer's Report, it was reported that the balance in the class treasury as of 6/20/02 was $60,192.00, and that 311 classmates had submitted dues (on average with 1997-1999). Increased costs of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine may produce a slight negative cash flow for next year. Also, $20.00 from each dues payment has been allocated to the Scholarship Fund, producing $6,220.00, to which specified donations from classmates added $4,945.00 for a total of $11,165.00. With regard to the Dartmouth College fund, towards our annual goal of $350,000 we were, at last report, at around $325,000, with about 45% of the Class base having contributed. The College overall looked like it was very close to its annual goal of $21.8 million.

The Executive Committee voted to allocate a sufficient amount to supplement the Scholarship Fund to bring it to $25,000. A number of financial reserves were also established to provide for the support of class activities and programs: $10,000 to be applied as necessary to the Class Scholarship Fund, $10,000 to be applied to costs which may be incurred for our forthcoming 40th Reunion in 2005, $2,500 for the proposed Class of '65 60th birthday party to be held in Hanover area in May/June 2003, and $2,500 to be applied to costs for our mini-Reunion to be held at Pierce's this November 1-3rd. It was also determined to maintain ongoing annual contributions to the Class of 1965 Achievement Award (Native American Awards Program) of $500, the Dartmouth Sponsors Program (Athletic Scholarship) of $500, and the Freshman Class Trip of $500.

On the subject of special projects, Brian Porzak has taken the lead on our class books project. (All you '65 authors out there, send a sample to Brian or to me for inclusion in this collection which we hope will include all past and present class authors.) Brian has also, in collaboration with Dick Harris, agreed to pick up the lead in researching the selection of a specific project for the Habitat for Humanity theme for our 2003 Spring Mini-reunion, celebrating our joint 60th birthdays. Suggestions were made for future Class projects to be focused on a theme of "Lest the Old Traditions Fail" such as resumption of the ringing of the bells after home football victories.

About the time you are reading this, your class officers either have just, are now, or soon will be attending class officers weekend on the September 13-14 weekend. Ellen and Mike Bettmann have been kind enough to volunteer to host a dinner for all those classmates attending. The weekend is an opportunity for an update on the college and its future plans, as well as to network for ideas from other classes on events and other ways to increase class participation, loyalty and spirit.

Lots of other discussion on upcoming events - the Hong Kong Gala, the November mini in Hanover, and pre-planning for our big 40th (how can this be?) in 2005. As previously announced, the Class of '65 Players are in their formative stage even now, with the world premier of this musical extravaganza to take place at that 40th reunion.

October 1-6, 2002 - Hong Kong Mini-Reunion

I was reading through my monthly copy of BusinessNH in April, a magazine I particularly admire for their good judgement since they have recognized Hypertherm (the company that provides my paychecks) as the "#1 Best Company To Work For In New Hampshire". My faith was further rewarded by when my review of their "Leading Attorneys" in New Hampshire turned up the distinguished name of J. Jefferson Davis. Jeff was recognized as the state's leading expert on Real Estate law. Following law school at Michigan and his ROTC army commitment, Jeff came back to New Hampshire in 1970 and "fell into" real estate law. He's been at it ever since, practicing now with Davis & Boghigian in Nashua. Jeff describes himself as enjoying travel in France, cooking (especially French), and adding to his small wine cellar.

In Connecticut, the Stamford High School "Wall of Fame" saw the installation of the name Charles Strauss, SHS Class of 1961. Charlie was honored for his success as president and CEO of Unilever United States, a position he moved into after rising through the ranks at Proctor & Gamble, Playtex Corporation, and Marketing Corporation of America. Following Dartmouth and an MBA at Columbia, Charlie began his career as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

Impressing a group of over 1,000 attendees, Dewitt Jones was the keynote speaker at the annual convention of MPI (I'm guessing from the context that this is the Motion Picture Institute, but I could be wrong). Dewitt put on a show of words, slide, and dance (his finale was a barefoot hula with a group of Hawaiian teenage dancers) that wowed his audience. He recounted his career as a photographer with National Geographic, beginning when as a new Dartmouth graduate he launched a personal appeal to the president of the National Geographic Society to back his plan to film an 1,100 mile kayak ride up the coast of Japan. Over the years two of Dewitt's films have been nominated for Academy Awards, he is a world class photojournalist "celebrating what is right in the world", he has conducted major advertising campaigns for Dewars, Nikon, and United Airlines, and in his spare time has published seven books.

June 13-16, 2005 - Class of 1965 40th Reunion


The latest contribution to our campaign to assemble a collection of the Class of '65's books comes from Jay Wakefield, co-author of How the SunGod Reached America. Sub-titled "A Guide to Megalithic Sites", the book details how people in prehistory (defined for purposes of the book as roughly 6000 BC to 500 BC) left records of their worldwide travels carved in stone throughout both the Old and the New World. While I can't claim to have understood all of it at a first reading, there is fascinating information on old religions, monuments and petroglyphs (including New Hampshire), ancient seafaring and voyages of discovery. Like many of us, Jay describes his interest in the field as being inspired by childhood readings of Thor Heyerdahl; Jay is a zoologist who has worked as a newsletter and book editor, as well as in property management. You can reach Jay at if you would like to follow up on his book.

Like Dewitt Jones, Dick Durrance has spent much of his life looking through a view-finder. He writes that "work on another photography book - a behind the scenes look at the PGA Tour - is well underway and wonderful fun for golf junkies like myself. Cruised around inside the ropes at Phoenix Open, Pebble Beach, Bay Hill, and Players' Championship. Hope to have it ready for Fathers' Day next year". You can reach Dick at

Speaking of New Hampshire attorneys, Rob Upton reports that he continues "to practice law in Concord, NH. I'm mostly involved now in representing municipalities in energy-related matters such as starting or taking from existing utilities hydroelectric facilities, and in tax battles with large utilities and other special-purpose properties. I also litigate a fair number of employment cases (sexual harassment, etc.) for fun. I confess that retirement is awfully appealing". Rob adds a personal note, which I suppose either explains or belies his comment on retirement: "My wife and I have adopted two beautiful daughters from China - ages 6 and 4. I'm sure they are extending my life considerably. What joy! I continue to be active in skiing and golfing." Find Rob at

My Everly Brothers partner from our 25th, Jim Mechenbier, confesses that sending in a green card with news "Seems self-indulgent , but . . . I'm still practicing solo otolaryngology in Columbus, Ohio. I happily married Mary Ann Gill, RN on March 2, 2002, with my daughter Kimberly (a pediatric RN in San Antonio) and son Andrew (a college kid in Columbus) as part of the ceremony. Mary Ann is director of our hospital's Hospice and Palliative Care programs. Let Bracken, Corbett et al know that I actually played a game of rugby last week! " Mech challenges his North Fayer compatriots to attend the November mini-reunion: Morgan, Blaine, Pratt, Soule, Robinson, Ruml, Rainey are among those whose presence is demanded. Check Jim's plans with him at

As we approach that magical 60th birthday I start to hear of classmates making that transition into a new phase, such as Jack Kabak. My old fraternity brother says that "Earlier this year, after 25 years' solo practice, I merged my practice with three other ophthalmologists in Palo Alto in an effort to cut back and engage in other pursuits. The decision, the leave-taking of so many longstanding patients and friends, and the dismantling of my office were difficult, but the transition subsequently has proven to be brief and pleasurable, and as I continue to see patients twice a week I retain my professional identity. Wife Geri, who was my office manager all those years, and I have been taking Italian language and history classes at Stanford, and preparing for an extended visit there without much of a schedule or itinerary. We leave for Milan next week (this was written in early June) and will address life's weightier issues when we return in September." Well, you may not get an answer until September, but you can try Jack at

Also in that transitional stage is Jack Heidbrink, who wrote that "After 35 years of mentoring young adults in high school classrooms, I will retire from public school education in June. My specialty has been philosophy and world religions, and helping students get on the right track with their priorities and values. My plans for the future include: enjoying more time with Sue, my wife of 35 years; loving every minute with our two (so far) grandchildren; enjoying my walks on the golf course (if I break 80, that's even better); teaching adults in the evening and mentoring college students; staying busy and keeping physically fit; taking courses; and making more trips to Hanover. My official title will be "consultant", which means I have no particular job but I will give anyone any advice they want on any subject." How do we ever find time to actually work? For retirement advice contact Jack at

On the other hand, retirement is not an attractive option to many of us such as Jim Hamilton. Jim says he got to where he's at after living "at Russell Sage with Cam Savage with whom I'd gone to Williston for four previous years. Then Theta Delta Chi.

All was not lost, however, when I fell into the Ray Nash courses, interned with the Stinehour Press in Hanover and Lunenburg and found a living in the printing business. After 34 years, retirement is not really an option, though it looked more promising when the market was booming. But even then, I was told by a guy forced out of his job that, once the summer is over, what the hell do you do every day? The operative words are to scale back and spend quality time doing what you like to do. New Hampshire is very much our home away from home where we have a mountain cabin in Jackson that my sister and I just rebuilt. I worked for the AMC while in college and am pretty tied into an association of former hut system employees (OHA) and am involved in the Club's third capital campaign as well working on an advisory board looking into Maine to acquire land for another hut facilty. The Dartmouth connection is kind of AMC-driven. Andy McLane '68 worked in the huts and is co-chair of the huts fundraising activities, Jeff Leich of the museum also worked in the huts, classmate Al Koop teaches history at Dartmouth and has provided much research into a hut history that he is goading me on to publish. All that and a daughter in London with two children keeps us hopping. Who can retire?" Get Jim's anti-retirement advice at

I would claim to have received a serious e-mail from Bob Blumenshine, but since you know Bob I probably can't get away with the "serious" part. Continuing the life transition theme, Bob says "I will be retiring from TWA / American Airlines in a year and 3 months after 37 years. (Some have ventured that I retired long ago.) I'm currently a Boeing 767 Captain. While not a particularly intellectual pursuit, I have loved the flying and will miss it. I have a small plane of my own so that will have to fill in the blank. I while away my free time at the predictable pointless pursuits. I still ride motorcycles on a daily basis - street bikes, dirt bikes, antiques - I had fifteen or so the last time I did a census. I spend enough time in the weight room to at least slow that inevitable slide into decrepitude. Also play racquetball, attempt golf, and raise a few cows on my farm down at Lake of the Ozarks where I live part of the time. I have a new titanium knee so I should be able to get back into skiing next winter. I see Ivars Janieks on a regular basis due to some common business interests and the fact that we have been good friends for over 40 years. He's still just as positive in his viewpoints as he was when we were playing poker back at Dartmouth. Also see Dan Southard, Tim Taylor and Ron Riley on rare occasions." If you have the courage, try

Finally from the mailbag, and a little off the beaten track, Nick Feakins asked me to pass along a bit of news to the veterans in our class. A new law extends the availability of VA Health Services, previously open only to the destitute, to all veterans. Nick says that "With insurance companies and Medicare scaling back their coverage, the VA benefits may be of interest to veterans who are otherwise uninsurable, who require expensive, non-reimbursed prescription drugs (the VA copayment is only $7 per prescription); and/or suffer from a catastrophic illness (there is no cap on the VA benefits). Eligibility requirements are loose; people who served in the reserves and National Guard are covered, as well as those who served full-time on active duty. Details and an on-line application form may be found at Or, Nick is at

That's it for now. Remember, if I don't have real news to send you I will start making things up. Maybe about you! I might even resort to stories of our undergraduate days that your wife and children (and in our case grandchildren) will then be able to read. When you opened this, a "Green Card" fell out, right into your lap. To be safe, why not take a minute and fill it out? Better yet, take it over by your computer, type in and send me an e-mail (I'm lazy, that way I can just copy and paste it into the newsletter rather than having to type the whole dang thing in again). You even save 37 cents, or a buck fifty, or whatever they are charging these days. Do it now, before you forget. Send me pictures, either through the mail or electronically. Even if I can't fit them into the printed copy, they will get on our Class website. Do it now!

Bob Murphy


Letter from the President

Dear 1965 Classmates:
This fall's mini-reunion in Hanover marks the 25th anniversary of our gatherings during Homecoming Weekend! In 1978 a band of '65s assembled at Pierce's Inn to celebrate friendships and enjoy a fall weekend in the Upper Valley. Who knew that a marvelous tradition would be born! Well, here we are, almost 25 years later, and countless members of the Class of 1965 have worked their way to Hanover over the years for this always special occasion.
This year Homecoming Weekend will be celebrated from Friday, November 1 to Sunday, November 3. Harvard will supply the athletic competition. But, games on athletic fields will represent only a part of what is planned to be a memorable weekend. Our mini-reunion chair, Mike Bettmann, and his team of volunteers have added numerous attractions to this year's mini-reunion in recognition of the 25th anniversary. Among other things, we will have a joint cocktail party with the Class of 1964 and 1966 at the Hanover Inn after the football game on Saturday. Dinner that evening at Pierce's Inn will feature not only the usual fine Dartmouth student singing group but also a speaker who Mike assures will be entertaining. We also plan to have a commemorative gift for all in attendance.
As many of you know, Reg and Nancy Pierce have served as mini-reunion innkeepers during the past 24 years. Reg and Nancy are planning to retire, and we intend to honor them during the Saturday dinner with an appropriate award and speeches. We have often wondered what would happen when, inevitably, Reg and Nancy did retire. Fear not, the Inn will be taken over by their daughter, Cindy, and son-in-law who intend to carry on. We will have a chance to show them first hand the Class of 1965 spirit in early November!
Many different classmates have traveled to Hanover for our fall mini-reunions. Many are regulars, others have been one-timers and a host have come sporadically, at various occasions. Let's have as many classmates as possible return to Hanover for the November 1-3 celebration! For those of you who have never been to Hanover for one of our fall mini-reunions, it is wonderful fun. As usual, we will have the Friday evening parade hayride, the tailgate party near Sphinx before the football game and a Class meeting Sunday morning at Pierce's Inn. At the Class meeting we hope to, among other things, describe in more detail plans for a Class of 1965 60th birthday celebration in 2003!
Mike will sending out an information and reservation package in late August/early September, so please watch for the mini-reunion details. Meanwhile, if anyone has any questions about the weekend, please feel free to email me at or Mike Bettmann at
As you will recall, we raised our Class dues from $50 to $60 this year and earmarked $20 of each dues payment for the Class of 1965 Scholarship Fund. With over 300 classmates having paid their dues and with additional contributions from classmates and the Class treasury, we were able to raise an additional $25,000 for our scholarship fund during the fiscal year ended June 30. We are now half way toward the $50,000 we need to sponsor our second Class of 1965 scholar. At last year's fall mini-reunion in Hanover, those in attendance met Erik Jacobsen '04, our first Class of 1965 scholar. We hope to have our 2002/2003 scholar join us for dinner at Pierce's on Saturday, November 2. As you know, the Class goal is to sponsor four Class of 1965 scholars each year (one in each class). To do this we will need to ultimately raise $200,000. We hope to be at $100,000 by June 30 of next year. Many thanks to all those classmates who have made specific contributions to the Class of 1965 Scholarship Fund above and beyond the $20 allocated to the Fund from dues payments.
Finally, the turnout in Hong Kong for our mini-reunion scheduled for October 1-6, 2002 looks to be impressive! To date, around fifteen'65s have indicated their intention to attend, most with spouses. Classmate Sing Chiu has put together an outstanding program of events and our days in Hong Kong should be special. We are still scheduled to have dinner on Saturday, October 5, with President Jim Wright, who will be in Hong Kong on his way to Beijing. For any classmates who wish further information on this out-of-Hanover mini-reunion, please contact either me or Sing Chui at
Enjoy what remains of the summer after you receive this and see you this fall in Hong Kong or Hanover, or, perhaps, in both!
Hank Amon



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