Monday, December 10, 2012

2012 December

Each Thanksgiving, my sister and I bring our families to my brother’s house in Newton, MA. This year was a little different, because my son James brought his girlfriend Becky along to meet the extended family. Brave child. She didn’t run screaming from the house, so I think it went okay.
When you’re dating someone, you want it to go well, and you put a lot of effort into that. I’m surprised to learn that I, as a parent, feel a similar way about my son and his girlfriend. I want it to go well for them. But there’s not a heck of a lot I can do about it. I’m a nervous spectator. All I can do is watch and hope.

Sorry I missed sending out a newsletter in November. I was up to my eyeballs at work, and too tired to do anything worthwhile when I got home.

We are still thinking about holding a big 60th birthday party for all of us in 2013. Many people have contributed lots of good ideas about where and when to have it. I’ll let you know when we get it all sorted out.

Thanks to some better information about some of our missing classmates, we now believe we know the whereabouts of 699 classmates, a new record! I’m grateful to everyone who forwards sightings of classmates. There’s a lot of us, and it’s a lot for me to keep track of. I appreciate your help.

Condolences to classmate Joyce Singer Lee, whose mother died in October. Here is more information:

Condolences to classmate Maria Zuena Perry, whose mother recently died. Here is more information:

Classmates Tom Iacono, his wife Nancy Goldis Iacono, and Monika Szynkarski Curnett recently took a 2-week tour of Turkey, including visits to Istanbul, Pergamon, Troy, Ephesus, Antalya, Pamukkale, and Cappadocia, which included a hot air balloon ride over the amazing landscape.

Jakki Kougasian Horan has lots of family goodness to report. Her oldest daughter, Victoria, passed the MA and NH Bar Exams in October, all without taking a Bar prep course, and also while holding down a full-time job in a law firm as both receptionist and paralegal. Victoria also worked at the same full-time job for the entire time she attended law school full-time in the evening. Victoria and her husband George have custody of George's children, Dominic (11) and Jada (7).
Jakki’s middle daughter, Corie, graduated from Middlesex Community College in May 2012, with an AS in Early Childhood Education. While Corie is looking for a job in a daycare center or as a nanny, she is working at Marshall's.
Jakki’s youngest daughter, Maggie, graduated from American University in 2011 and is a forensic accountant in Manassas, VA, “which is much too far away”!

I have two items to report myself. My son James now has a full-time job at the Boston Museum of Science. He was a volunteer there for more than a year, then a part-time employee for another year. He is now a guide at many of the special exhibits (such as the Underwater Treasure and the Mastodon exhibits there now), and helps run school trips to the museum. He loves his work and loves living in Boston.
My daughter Katie is a junior at Stonehill College, majoring in psychology and communication. This year, she is also a Student Minister in her dorm. This is something like an RA: she helps kids out, and they can come to her with problems. She’s a junior on a floor with 28 freshman girls, so it’s like having 28 little sisters. She’s enjoying it a lot. She also volunteers 2 or 3 days a week at My Brother’s Keeper, an organization near Stonehill that delivers food and furniture to folks in need in southeast Massachusetts.
Ellie and I are really proud of both of our kids!

We have lots of ways to keep in touch online, now. For example, we have a web site:
(thanks to Ernie Sutcliffe for starting and maintaining)
and Facebook group:
and a Facebook event for the last Reunion:
Check out one or more of these easy ways to see what people are up to.
And, by the way, I post these updates online at

Happy Hanukkah!

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

Ed DeJesus

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

2012 October

I think I’ve mentioned a few thousand times before that my son James graduated from BU in May. In September, I helped him move from his former apartment in Brookline to his new apartment in Allston. Of course, every other apartment-dweller in Brookline and Allston was also changing apartments on the same day. I have never seen traffic like this in my life outside of concerts or sports. Rental vans and trucks everywhere (including ours, of course). Also, about 98 degrees in the shade, and no shade. When we actually were able to reach his building, it didn’t take very long to schlep his stuff up to the third floor, and I was pretty glad to be done with the whole process.
I have mixed feelings about all this. On the one hand, I’m very proud of him for landing jobs and finding an apartment and roommates. He’s a very responsible kid, and he does a good job of taking care of himself. On the other hand, he clearly didn’t move home after college, but continues living out in the world. Those first steps I was so eager for when he was a toddler now keep moving further away. My little boy is growing up.

Our numbers remain steady at 692. If you ever get any contact information for classmates, especially email addresses, please forward them to me.

I do have a little mystery about two classmates: Robert Fitzgerald and Edward Lawrence. Does anyone know the whereabouts of either of them? Thanks for your help.

Sad news: Classmate Deborah Ann Frattarelli Surabian died last month after an illness lasting over a year. Debbie actually attended the 2011 reunion.

As mentioned previously, we are trying to put together a massive 60th birthday party for us all. Details on the where and the when are being worked out. I’ll let you know when I do. We will need to make the usual titanic effort to contact AWOL classmates. If you’re willing to make a few phone calls, please let me know. That’s one task I would prefer to shirk off. Thanks!

Classmate Mariachristina DeMarco McKendall is running for state senator in North Kingstown and Narragansett. Here’s Tina’s Facebook page:

Classmate David Fowler’s daughter Tiffany has published a new children’s book. Here’s a trailer for it:
And here is Tiffany’s web site:
David has a lot to be proud of!

Classmate Bill Dube continues to push the boundaries of electric motorcycle technology and performance.
The latest excursions for Bill and his wife Eva are to the old Loring AFB near Caribou Maine:
Eva gave a great "dog and pony" show to about 100 middle-school girls as part of the kick-off for their Science and Math Summer Camp program:
They also raced Eva's electric streamliner sidecar motorcycle, KillaJoule, on the Bonneville Salt Flats:
They continue to flirt with speeds around 200 mph!

You may recall that classmate Tom Iacono published an article in the Providence Journal about Albert Martin, the only Rhode Islander at the Alamo. As a result, Tom received an invitation from the RI Heritage Hall of Fame to attend the induction ceremonies that were held to honor Captain Martin. Tom was told that his article “influenced the board’s decision.” Tom, Nancy, his son Ellis attended the ceremony in Providence. “It was an interesting and enjoyable afternoon. Martin was inducted along with several other notable Rhode Islanders from the 19th century. It was very gratifying to know that my effort to share the story about a forgotten Rhode Island hero resulted in his being placed in permanent recognition and honor among other greats from our state.”

Classmate David Lanni reports that he took his son and two of his son’s friends to Cancun to celebrate his graduation from high school. “It was my son and his two friends, so, as you can imagine, managing three boys in Cancun can be challenging. We experienced Hurricane Ernesto and for two days, we had high winds, torrential rains, and high surf. Although it took away from our vacation time, if you have never experienced a tropical storm in the Caribbean it is fascinating. We also went rappelling, zip lining, and swam in an underground cave. Overall a lot of fun!”

We have lots of ways to keep in touch online, now. For example, we have a web site:
(thanks to Ernie Sutcliffe for starting and maintaining)
and wiki:
(also thanks to Ernie)
and Facebook group:
and a Facebook event for the last Reunion:
Check out one or more of these easy ways to see what people are up to.
And, by the way, I post these updates online at

See you next month!

Ed DeJesus


Any info on any of these missing classmates?
Michael Gavigan
Lori Paolino
Neal Sapoznick Storme
Linda Irene Baris
Susan Jean Bottomley
Janet Claire Buckley Flynn
Janet Phyllis Cohen
Donna Croner Pytka
William A. DiBiasio
Anthony Ralph Difillipo
Joan M. DiMeglio Rogers
Karen C. Erickson
Paula Jean Frye
Craig Hart
Robin Faith Levy
Jennifer Rosemary Lyles
Roxane Poulin
Debra Quattrucci
Anna M. Ryan
Donna J. Sciarra
Patricia Ann Shiel O'Rourke
Frances Terranova

Saturday, September 8, 2012

2012 September

Okay, I'm going to skip all of the usual material and cut to the chase:

Our 2011 40th-year Reunion was a tremendous success! People are still talking about that night: the friends they got to see and the fun they had!

Well, guess what? We're doing it again next year! As we all close in on the big 6-0 (ouch!), we're going to throw ourselves a birthday party, with 700 guests who definitely know what it feels like! 

Since we got everything so right last time, we're going to duplicate it all as much as possible. Same location: Bonnet Shores Beach Club. Same month: June. Same times for bar and dinner. We're looking at Saturday, June 22, 2013 as the date for our bash.

What do you think? Are you in?

Let me know and let's get this party started!


Ed DeJesus

Most of our classmates do not get these emails. Please contact any classmates that you're in touch with and let them know what's going on. Thanks.

Friday, August 10, 2012

2012 August

This year, we tried a different kind of vacation: camping, in tents, at a state park on Cape Cod. Like all vacations, this one had its Pros and Cons:
·        Pro: I’m nervous about driving on big bridges, so this was a good chance to practice.
·        Con: Me and the Sagamore are never going to be buddies.
·        Pro: The woods at Nickerson State Park in Brewster are beautiful, quiet, and just smell wonderful.
·        Con: When mosquitoes see me coming, they get out the special sauce.
·        Pro: No alarm clock…
·        Con: … or electricity or running water …
·        Pro: The weather was ten degrees cooler than Norwood, with no humidity.
·        Con: Sleeping in a puddle after a night rainstorm is not fun.
·        Pro: Long, beautiful beaches.
·        Con: Long, ugly traffic jams.
·        Pro: Fantastic restaurants!
·        Con: Awful restaurants!
·        Pro: A week without having to get up at 5:30 to go to work.
·        Con: Only a week…

So, let’s hear what your vacations are like!

The numbers didn’t budge last month: we still believe we know the whereabouts of 692 classmates. Not bad after 40 years!

Condolences to classmate Debi Zannella Iacono, whose father died in July.

Sherry Brodeur Combs shares her own experience with retirement: “Retirement? Let’s see. I am a “baby” retiree, just 1 year ago, 30 Jul. At first, I didn’t know what to expect. After working 26 years for the U.S. Army, as a Department of the Army civilian (DAC), I retired. As I got closer to the retirement date, maybe a month out, I applied and got accepted for a position as a Legal Secretary, for the District Attorney’s Office. I work every other week. I am totally enjoying it! On my “off” week, I do what I enjoy doing. Also, I have never had a summer off in 26 years, so this is so different, yet enjoyable. I’m still in the business world learning new things way different from the military. However, I am enjoying my new-found life.”

Who else has some retirement observations, experience, or advice for the rest of us?

Candace Williams Gauvin is proud of her daughter-in-law, who recently passed her State Boards in Colorado. She has completed her education at Bel-Rea College there to become a Veterinary Assistant. “Now she can work at any vet who wants her!”

Also heard from Linda Gronneberg Gaulin, who I was in the 7-Ls with, lo these many years ago. Linda teaches elementary school, and is enjoying her summer break from teaching and catching up on household projects. She and her husband are grandparents, and so spend a lot of time babysitting! They have 2 grandsons, and 1 granddaughter. “We have been truly blessed. Take care, and enjoy the rest of your summer!”

We have lots of ways to keep in touch online, now. For example, we have a web site:
(thanks to Ernie Sutcliffe for starting and maintaining)
and wiki:
(also thanks to Ernie)
and Facebook group:
and a Facebook event for the last Reunion:
Check out one or more of these easy ways to see what people are up to.
And, by the way, I post these updates online at

That’s about it for me. Thank heavens the Patriots season is starting, and I don’t have to pay attention to the Fenway Horror anymore.

Ed DeJesus

Monday, July 9, 2012

2012 July

My son, James, graduated from BU in May. I would be proud of him anyway, but he’s overcome some extra hurdles that make me even prouder. When he first started at BU, he was a mechanical engineering major, a reasonable choice for a guy who’s good at math and science. But it was tough sledding for him. At first, we put this down to the difficulty of the engineering program at BU, and it is a difficult program, no doubt about it. But by the middle of his second year, we realized the real problem: James didn’t like engineering. He could do it, and he could even make himself do it, and he could probably even make himself do it as a job. But, my gosh, why? Why make yourself do something you don’t like, if you don’t have to?
The summer after his second year, I told him that he had to change majors, for his own good. I suggested he look through the entire BU course catalog and find courses he would WANT to take. He did, and they were all in one major: Anthropology. He talked to a couple of anthro professors, liked what he heard, and changed majors.
Now, there’s not a lot of overlap between mechanical engineering and anthropology, so he essentially had to cram a 4-year-major into his 2 remaining years. He somehow did it and, despite all the work – and he was crazy busy the whole time – he loved what he was doing and learning. His specialty is biological (aka physical) anthropology: he’s one of those guys who can look at a 5-million-year-old skull and tell you that the creature walked upright, ate walnuts, and was named Vinnie. Amazing stuff.
Not only did he graduate, but he had a job lined up before he graduated. After volunteering for about a year there, he landed a job at the Boston Museum of Science. Right now, he’s helping out with their Egypt exhibit (which I saw a couple of weeks ago: really good) and the Human Body Connection (where my understanding is way below the ten-year-olds there). In the fall, he might be helping them to redesign the entire Human Body Connection area.
So, yeah, I’m proud of James!

Sorry about missing June. I kept meaning to put out an issue, and things kept coming up, and it never happened. I hope that didn’t mess up your month too much. ;)

The numbers haven’t changed since last time. We still think we have good contact information on 692 classmates, which is fairly stunning. That doesn’t necessarily mean we have email addresses for everybody, though. So if you have somebody’s email address, and they’d like to receive these things, let me know and I’ll add it to the list.

Condolences to Patricia Dewey Giarrusso, whose mother died in May.

Condolences to Lauren Goding Johnson, whose father died in June.

In the last issue, I was wondering about classmates who have retired already. How did they do that? What are they doing now? How are they liking it? A few people were kind enough to respond. Here’s what they have to say:
“As for retirement – I feel good about retiring from one career and starting another. Hard to imagine 4 ½ years have passed already. It is nice to be receiving an annuity, and I enjoy the organization I work for. There’s a lot to be said for working in a small office. I figured the time was right to plan to retire when I did, and life has proven me right. My organization moving to Texas did not make me decide to retire, it just confirmed my decision.” – Joe Ricci, who worked for the Army Materiel Command for about 30 years

“I retired in 2001. I play a lot of golf and manage my rental properties. I am now looking at new business opportunities, as I am well rested (11 years).” – Steve Wasser

“I am also retired, from the Cranston YMCA, since 2008. Took up yoga as part of healthy living and now am teaching yoga at another Y to all who are interested.
I chose to teach yoga since retiring: thought this might be my last time to get in better shape. My best advice to new retirees is to be flexible, breathe, and let all comes together. Cherish family, friends, and yourself. All this is just temporary.” – Jean Colaneri

“I am starting my own business this summer. I'm 61 and it's never too late to run your own business, or start something new. I am however still considering collecting my social security at 62, which will be in January. My new business is "The Wizard of Carz", and I will be going to school in Saginaw MI in June to learn auto interior repair and paint perfection, as well as headlight restoration (which I am already doing), and windshield repair. I am going to have to get a van and have it lettered and all, but one step at a time.
I don't know if I would ever want to fully retire unless I win a lottery. It's so hard to keep up with the ever increasing cost of things, etc.” – George Alford, who retired from the Air Force,

“Since you asked about retirement in your newsletter: I retired 6 years ago. I was a liability manager for Aetna then Travelers. My wife Lynne, who is also retired, was a school teacher for 30 years. I guess you could say that now I am a ski bum, sailing bum, and motorcycle bum when I am not attending to my grandfather duties. I also spend a lot of time helping friends with their construction projects. The word got out that I work for vodka, so I can get pretty busy. I got to say though, the best thing about retirement is that you own your own time. As I said, it has been 6 years since I left my profession and I have not had one minute of buyers’ remorse.” – Bill Collinson
So, there you have several views about retirement. Anyone else have experiences to share?

In another phase of life completely, Jacob Adler reports, “My big news: My son, Luu, has just graduated from Nursery School. He's very proud now to be a big boy going to elementary school.”

We have lots of ways to keep in touch online, now. For example, we have a web site:
(thanks to Ernie Sutcliffe for starting and maintaining)
and Facebook group:
and a Facebook event for the last Reunion:
Check out one or more of these easy ways to see what people are up to.

That’s about it for me. What are you doing this summer? Regale us with your adventures.

Ed DeJesus

Monday, May 14, 2012

2012 May

I was making a cake the other day, something that I’ve done many times. But this time I had something on my mind I was thinking about and really wasn’t paying attention. When I poured the batter into the cake pans, it didn’t look right. At first I thought it was just because I had more batter in one pan than the other. Then I zeroed in on the lumps. A lot more lumps than there should be. And then I realized: I hadn’t actually mixed the batter. I just combined all the ingredients and then poured it into the cake pan. Threw it all out, started over again. Lesson: pay attention.

No change in numbers from last month. We still think we have contact information for 692 classmates.

Sad news: Word has reached me that classmate Linda Brousseau died in California on May 3. I have no other details. Our condolences to Linda’s family and friends.

Condolences to classmate Carol (Sousa) DeIngenis, whose husband Francis DeIngenis died in April.

Congratulations to Dave Fowler and Robbie Blinkhorn, who completed a grueling Boston Marathon on a very hot day in April.

Congratulations to Mary Caldarola Smith, who completed a ten-mile run in Philadelphia at the beginning of May.

Congratulations to Dave Lanni, whose three sons are pulling off a triple graduation this year.
David Jr. is getting his MBA from Walsh College (Michigan). Derek is receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Oakland University (Michigan). Daniel is graduation from De La Salle High School (Michigan). “So we will be having a rather large graduation party this June or July.”

Inquiring minds want to know: People have asked me about classmates who have already retired: what they do, how it’s going, advice for the rest of us shlubs, etc. I know that several classmates have already retired. So, do you feel like sharing how you managed to do that so quickly? How do you spend your time? How is it going for you? What advice do you pioneers have for the rest of us?

We have lots of ways to keep in touch online, now. For example, we have a web site:
(thanks to Ernie Sutcliffe for starting and maintaining)
and wiki:
(also thanks to Ernie)
and Facebook group:
and a Facebook event for the last Reunion:
Check out one or more of these easy ways to see what people are up to.

This Sunday, my son James is graduating from Boston University. I expect to be proud, happy, and a little teary.

That’s it for this month. Let us know what’s going on with you!

Take care.

Ed DeJesus

Friday, April 13, 2012

2012 April

For her spring break this year, my daughter Katie travelled with 25 other Stonehill students to the Dominican Republic, to spend the week volunteering at a school for children of impoverished families. This school provides day-care while parents work, healthy meals, medical attention, education, and vocational training. Without the school, many of these kids wouldn’t get anything to eat all day.
Katie had fun working with the infants and one-year-olds. It was an adventure traveling to another country for the first time. She got to use her high school Spanish. She enjoyed the sunshine and the ocean. Then she got sick.
On Thursday of that week, she was weak, achy, nauseous, and had diarrhea. Was it cholera? Was it just a stomach bug? Even if it was just a stomach bug, it’s no fun trying to recuperate in a “hotel” with cockroaches, water you can’t drink, strange food, electricity that cuts out unpredictably, and prostitutes roaming the halls. My wife and I didn’t know what to do. Fly down and bring her home? Reassure her and wait for her scheduled return on Saturday? It’s a terrible feeling when someone you love is suffering thousands of miles away, and there’s not a thing you can do about it.
Thank heaven for cell phones! We could text her and occasionally speak to her. We contacted the chaperones in the group to monitor what was going on. And Katie made it home on Saturday, still feeling lousy, but basically okay. She slept for 3 days and ate cheerios for a week, but she bounced back fine.
Still, this was a reminder that this kind of thing can happen at any time. I think I’m in charge of my life, but I’m really not. People I love can suffer, and there might be nothing I can do about it. I don’t like it. I want my illusion of control back!

Sad news: Classmate Ronnie Stabile died in March. From the emails I’ve gotten, and the discussions on Facebook, and the number of classmates at the wake, I think a lot of people have heard about this already. Probably everyone in our class knew who Ronnie was. He and Mike Bellotti performed regularly – and, may I say, wonderfully – at many CHSE assemblies and shows.
It was only in February when Franne Donovan alerted me that Ronnie had been given only months to live by his doctors. I called him to offer support, but what can you say to somebody facing something like this? I didn’t know then and I don’t know now. Ronnie was stunned, as who wouldn’t be. I called back another time, and less than a week after that he was gone.
I was in the band with Ronnie, where he was in charge of the percussion and also president of the band, if memory serves me. But I only really got to know him one summer in college when we both worked at the Cranston Stadium for the summer as groundskeepers. This was a fairly grueling job, doing manual labor outside in the hot sun all day, and we also had to deal with some challenging characters: bosses who had no idea of what had to be done, co-workers who didn’t want to do anything, and local druggies and alcoholics who used the stadium as their bathroom. Ronnie was unfailingly patient and kind with everyone. He was a revelation to me. I had never seen anyone actually behave in what I can only call a Christ-like way before. But that was just the way he was. I learned so much about how to act with people from watching his example that summer. He was an inspiration to me.
When I got Franne’s email saying that Ronnie had died, I was at work. I walked out to my car and cried for ten minutes. I’m crying as I type this. He was a sweet and special guy, and I miss his being in the world.

Dave Fowler continues to train for the Boston Marathon. Monday is the big day! Here is his latest very funny blog on the subject:
Dave runs the marathon as a fund-raiser in memory of his son Nick. You can make a contribution at:
From the “Apply my gift to” drop-down list, select “Help in the Nick of Time”.
Good luck on Monday!

When Bill Dube isn’t racing electric motorcycles (, he’s an award-winning engineer with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science in Boulder, Colorado. One of the things that CIRES does is monitor the air to make sure it’s healthy for people. Here’s an interesting video that describes a recent project to understand why dangerous ozone gas is building up in an isolated Utah valley:
I’ll let Bill describe it: “The big white box high up on the scaffolding is my design. The complicated instrument you see in the mobile lab is also my design. You can see me (wearing yellow hard-hat) in the background of the video busily working on the electrical distribution panel. I also got to run that giant blue "telehandler" to put the big white box up on that scaffold. Most definitely "big kid's toys." :-)
The uninterruptable power system in the van is also something I am proud of. It provides the 120 VAC power to all the scientific instruments in the van from the van engine, a battery bank, or a wall plug, seamlessly, with zero interruption, regardless of where the energy is coming from. Over 4 hours of "silent running" time from the battery bank so we could make measurements while parked without worries about the engine emissions interfering.”
Here’s a nice article about the research:
Way to go, Bill!

Dianne Saffron Dugan is now working at Assabet Valley Pastoral Counseling. She also does the occasional guest sermon as part of what they call “Pulpit Supply”. Her son Jeff had a difficult injury last September that he’s still recovering from. Good luck!

I find it interesting how many of our classmates are in the clergy. Besides Dianne, I know that Dean Bengtson is in Japan, still helping people from the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant accident last year. Jacob Adler and Alan Mittleman are rabbis. Who am I forgetting?

Beverly Brisson DeFelice is bragging about exciting news for her sister, Barbara Brisson Hardy. Barbara has 3 daughters, and all of them are expecting this year. By the end of the year, Barbara will have seven grandchildren: 5 grandsons and 2 granddaughters. The Brissons are used to large families: they have 42 first cousins, and that’s just on their father’s side.
Celebrity watch: The daughter of one of Beverly’s many cousins is married to Guy Fieri from the Food Network.
Beverly enjoyed Tom Iacono's article, which we mentioned last month. "I am an American history buff so I really enjoyed reading that article.”

Another classmate also liked Tom’s article. “I recently was in San Antonio and the Alamo. We were following Teddy Roosevelt's path recruiting Rough Riders here. It's a sacred experience. I also found the RI'er named and felt pride seeing it. We stayed at the Menger Hotel across the street from the Alamo where Roosevelt did his recruitment. Nice article, Tom!”

I think people are aware that we have a number of honorary classmates, who attended CHSE with us but, for one reason or another, didn’t happen to graduate from CHSE. Linda Stearns Kenney, for example, moved to Warwick for her senior year and graduated there. She writes, “Anyway, destiny being what it is, I am good with life. I wanted to extend my appreciation to you and the efforts you make to form community around the group of '71. In these times, as you said, flexibility is essential! Again, want to thank you for the drive you have to bring good vibrations into your life when the frequency around the world is so chaotic.”
Welcome and glad to have you!

We have lots of ways to keep in touch online, now. For example, we have a web site:
(thanks to Ernie Sutcliffe for starting and maintaining)
and wiki:
(also thanks to Ernie)
and Facebook group:
and a Facebook event for the last Reunion:
Check out one or more of these easy ways to see what people are up to.

Well, it’s opening day for the Red Sox. I’m prepared for the worst. I think.

See you next month, okay?

Ed DeJesus

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

2012 March

Sorry I didn’t get a newsletter out in February. I didn’t really have much news, plus I was busy getting laid off yet again. That makes 3 times since last June. Yes, I have managed to land successfully at another position that’s supposed to last at least through May, but I am beginning to feel a little like a migrant worker. It’s odd to go spend months at a job, 8 hours a day, getting to know the building, getting to know the people, and then BAM! You will never be in that place or see those people again! Disorienting. Oh, I’m not complaining: I know I’m very lucky to have a job at all, much less one that pays well and involves sitting in front of a computer screen in a comfortable office, rather than digging ditches. I’m just saying it’s odd. I think people today have to be a LOT more flexible than ever before. Ready to grab the next trapeze rung at a moment’s notice.

We gained one classmate in the last 2 months, bringing the number that we think we know the whereabouts of to 653, a new maximum. High fives! As always, if you learn any classmate contact info, please share it with me.

Condolences to classmate Ed Mullen, whose father died in February.

Nice article in American Songwriter Magazine about Don Tassone’s and Art Toegemann’s involvement with the Mediator performance venue.
I always think of music as being something important in the Cranston East mix, and it’s nice to see these two alums bringing that to the community at large. Congrats, guys, on this recognition!

Dave Fowler is in training once again for this year’s Boston Marathon. Dave writes a terrific blog about his training, motivation, and the sheer insanity of it all:
One of Dave’s motivations is the charitable organization he’s established in memory of his son, Nick, called “Help in the Nick of Time”. You can learn more about it, and make a donation, here:
I love one of the runner’s t-shirts Dave mentions in his blog: “My sport is your sport’s punishment.” Good luck!

George Alford is finding a number of parts in locally produced films, including “Polypore” (by Jesse Barrack producer/director). Congratulations, and break a leg!

Franne Donovan’s and her husband Jeff Amelse’s daughter Caroline has been named to the Mortar Board national honor society at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Congratulations to her and her proud parents! I think we can tell how smart Caroline is by the fact that she goes to college in Hawaii.

Quick! Go dig last Sunday’s Rhode Islander magazine out of the recycle bin. Tom Iacono published his account of the lone Rhode Islander at the Alamo in the March 4, 2012 issue. As mentioned in a previous slab of this update, Tom went to school in Texas, where he read about and visited the Alamo, and learned about Captain Albert Martin’s role there. If you don’t have a paper copy, here’s a link:
If you don’t have access to the ProJo archives, Tom can send you the article (
Congrats on your publication!

Speaking of links, we have lots of ways to keep in touch online, now. For example, we have a web site:
(thanks to Ernie Sutcliffe for starting and maintaining)
and wiki:
(also thanks to Ernie)
and Facebook group:
and a Facebook event for the last Reunion:
Check out one or more of these easy ways to see what people are up to.

That’s about it for me. What’s going on with you? Share your joys and pains with others who can celebrate and sympathize.

Have a \s/uper day!

Ed DeJesus

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 January

The place where I’m contracting forced all us contractors to take an unpaid leave between Christmas and New Years. I can’t say I like losing a week’s pay, but it was nice to have a week off, my first since the summer of 2010. I’m not good at vacations. It takes me a few days to stop catching up on projects, and actually start having fun. It was helpful having my son and daughter home from college: they remind me how to have fun. It was pleasant actually reading a book (Agatha Christie). It was great sleeping in later than 5:30 each morning. It was relaxing to go to the gym just to sit in the hot tub. About the fourth day, I could feel my batteries recharging. I needed that!
Happy New Year!

No change in numbers whatsoever from last month. We still think we know the whereabouts of 652 of our classmates, an amazing feat after 40 years. Please let me know any contact information, especially email addresses, that you have about any classmates.

Carol Myron is also remembering influential teachers at Cranston East: “Ruth Roseman (who I had for English) and Paul Mancini were definitely two big influences. Ruth demonstrated and taught me sensitivity in life. Paul got me started in singing and I haven't stopped yet!”

Linda Rozzero Ousterhout also remembers Miss Burns: “I also would classify Miss Burns as one of my favorite teachers! She was tremendous in senior year when I took one of her review courses in order to be more successful with my SATs.”

George Alford remembers Mr. Bishop, from Metal Shop: “He was strict, but fair. I learned to weld in his shop, and built a healthy respect for shop tools. I went on to stay in the mechanical fields, first in the Navy, and then in the private sectors, taking with me much of what Mr. Bishop taught me. He didn't just teach, he connected with all of us in some way.”

Alan Mittleman also remembers Mr. Horton: “Thank you for mentioning Mr. Horton! He was without doubt the most powerful influence on my intellectual formation (a phrase that would otherwise be ludicrous) at CHSE. Without Mr. Horton, I would not have taken the various intellectual and academic paths that I did. He helped me to learn how to write, to think of writing as a craft. I owe him a great deal. I'm glad that you feel the same way.”
By the way, Alan has just published his NINTH book! You can get it here:

Nancy Goldis (Iacono) was inspired by two of her classmates: “Besides a few special teachers, I admired Jacob Adler and Monika Szynkarski more than anyone else. I was always envious of the "smart kids", and they were not only smart, but were humble, nice kids who never looked down on the kids who didn't get the great grades. I learned later in life that I was a very typical ADD kid and that was why school was so hard for me. Fortunately, I "woke up" from my learning disability and have a great life. And now Monika is my favorite travel buddy! We traveled to Costa Rica, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and many other great places in the past few years. Next month we will go to New Orleans and from there board the cruise ship on a Mayan Mexican week adventure.
Thanks to Monika and Jacob, I always felt special in their company and will never be able to quite say thank you enough for their selfless friendship.”

A belated Reunion update from Donald Aquilante:
“Hi to all. Hope everyone out there is doing well!! Now this update: I have fully recovered from an accident I had a few days after the Reunion. I am O.K. and doing much better now!!
I enjoyed myself at the party and so did my wife of 36 years!!! She met a friend who married a classmate of ours (and a friend of mine), so we talked and had a great evening!
Now, at the Reunion I was talking to a fellow classmate. I told her of a secret that I kept all these years. Because of the accident, I cannot remember her name, or if we exchanged email addresses, or what. If she is reading this, please let’s contact each other ( Thanks.
Nuff for now, planning for my better half’s reunion: 40 for her also. Yes, we are getting older, but better.
See you next time.”
Congratulations on your recovery!

Darlene Burdick Gnip just spotted herself in a photo someone posted on our Facebook page: “Just saw myself in 7th grade with one of the class photos.
Not in touch with anyone from high school. Have talked to a few over the years. Left R.I. soon after graduation and joined the Marine Corps. It was my way of running away from home. Met my husband in the USMC. We've been together since 1972 (married since 1974). We have 4 great kids: 2 girls, 32 and 28, and two boys, 23 and 18. Plus, two grandbabies 11 and 8. Done a lot of things since leaving the Marines. Lived in Florida for a while, then we moved to Maryland, where my husband is from. Worked at mostly state, county, and federal government jobs, except for a 10-year-career as a daycare mom after my last baby was born. Now I deliver mail for the USPS. Keeps me in shape with little time to worry about all the aches and pains that come at this age.”
Great to hear from you!

Debra Donnelly Cronin identified with the saga of dealing with a detached retina: “When I received your last email about your retina surgery, I was in the hospital also with an eye issue. I was diagnosed with retinal melanoma and the treatment is to have a radioactive plaque attached to the front of the eye. The plaque sits on your eye for five days and radiates the tumor. No one can come within 6 feet of you during this time. The plaque is then removed and hopefully after several months the tumor dies, the eyesight returns, and everything is hunky dory. Since I was in the hospital for Halloween, I dressed up like a pirate – Hey, I already had a patch on my eye! I teach 8th grade algebra – one must have a sense of humor to do that.
Well, this past weekend I suffered a retinal detachment in the same eye and on Monday had emergency retinal surgery! So here I sit, head down, typing on my iPad, looking like a monk in prayer, but I assure you it is not prayers I'm thinking.
I had to take a medical leave for the rest of the semester - can't take a chance getting jostled by several hundred 8th graders!
Tell your wife that students are researchers- they will get away with whatever they are allowed too. I started teaching at 51 years old and it took me about two years to figure that out.”
Good luck with your healings! Let us know how you’re doing.

We have lots of ways to keep in touch online, now. For example, we have a web site:
(thanks to Ernie Sutcliffe for starting and maintaining)
and wiki:
(also thanks to Ernie)
and Facebook group:
and a Facebook event for the last Reunion:
Check out one or more of these easy ways to see what people are up to.

That’s about it for me. What are your hopes for 2012? Let us know!

Have a \s/uper day!

Ed DeJesus