Bonnie Bennett Home


Saturday, May 4, 2002

On the last page of our senior yearbook, our Metate editor Barbara Turner thanked all those who helped her put together the yearbook, including Barbara Condon, Ginger Skelton, and Molly Morrison – and Sandy Schubert, who "sold lots of ads", she said! Then she wrote, "The book is intended for the Class of 1962, and for all Pomona students, faculty, alumni, and friends . . . who enjoy remembering." In the course of editing our 40th Reunion Memory Book, DeForrest and I have used that 1962 Metate – a lot – to help us with our remembering!

We truly enjoyed reading what you wrote for this year's reunion book, and seeing which pictures you managed to come up with. As I proofread this new book, I began to notice recurring themes, which I thought I would highlight now.

I remember Stinky's. You remember Ray's Bar, which is a new one on me. We all remember stacking people's dorm rooms.

Four of you wrote that, one time or another after graduation, you toured Europe in VW camper vans – everybody's dream in those days. And you're still traveling, collecting all of the states, or all of the continents.

Four of you have been to Nepal, and Jennifer Badger Sultan is there right now, visiting her son, who is finishing up a study there.

Several of you climb mountains – the big ones.

Some of you live permanently in the foreign countries you visited –

Anne Quick in Belgium
Alan Cunningham in Australia
Finlay Mcquade in Turkey
Charlie Savage in Germany
Dennis Yeomans in Guam
Roger Choate in Sweden.
Roger is here today, coming to Claremont from Sweden by way of India.

You served in the military.

You went to graduate school at places like Berkeley, Stanford, Cornell, Harvard, Yale, Oxford, UCLA, and San Francisco State.

I found out some interesting facts about you :

Thomas Johnson is a National Board Certified Teacher. There are only 16,000 of them in the entire country.

James Storm was an Olympic rowing medalist in the 1960's. Dennis Yeoman's wife was an Olympic windsurfer. Bill Dunkle was General Manager for Telecommunications for the 1984 Olympics.

You remember our College Bowl team very well, but did you know that runners-up for the team were Fred Hlawatsch and Steve Spaulding?

Sandi Steele Fastnow's daughter Peggy actually invited her mom to join her at Pomona so that Sandi could finish up some missing credits and get her official diploma. Sandi has studied under two generations of Pomona professors.

Did you see the King Tut exhibit when it toured the United States? Christine Lilyquist of the Metropolital Museum of Art put that exhibit together.

We have some duplicate bridge experts.

Remember the FORTRAN programming language? Several of you do!

You paint; you sail; you ride your bicycle; you've begun taking dance lessons.

You've met the rich and the famous :

Christine Leonhardt Stewart lunched with Greer Garson and Ray Bolger.

John Beahrs ran into Defense Secretary Robert McNamara while mountain climbing – twice.

Norm Wheaton, while still a Pomona student, sat behind Igor Stravinsky at a Monday night concert in Los Angeles.

Just take a look at the string of celebrities that Carol Hunter Peters has been on double-dates with.

Tondria Estes Gelman can't begin to name all of the famous faces she has seen.

The mottos on our college gates hold more meaning for you now than they did before. Two of you, who are educators, have photographs of the gates hanging on your office walls.

You write that your liberal arts education was far more than just training for a job. It gave you the confidence and the tools to tackle anything that came your way.

Your faith, or religion, or spiritual life is more important to you now than when you were Pomona students. We have a couple of deacons in our midst, as well as a chancellor, a church treasurer, a church newsletter editor, a pastoral advisor, some Bible study leaders, and several ordained ministers.

You taught me some new words. Thomas Johnson mentioned "knot polynomials." Steve Spaulding wrote of "bow tie diene." Charlie Savage said that his brother-in-law, who was our former classmate Urban Ungerstedt, is a psychoneuropharmachologist – that's 26 letters and 9 syllables! Charlie also introduced me to "Prague Spring."

I am glad the Planning Committee asked you to name your favorite professors :

Apparently I really missed something by not knowing Yost Amrein. He encouraged many of you, and helped you find the professions you have now. He will be at our class dinner tonight.

Bill Russell was a big favorite. His appeal crossed department lines, and musical people – with every sort of major – were touched by his presence. For a lot of you, the Brahms' German Requiem he conducted was sheer beauty.

Strathmann, Beatty, Learnihan, Pronko, Poland, Ferm, Baumann, McDonald, Sherman, Briggs, Harry Carroll, McIntyre, Flournoy, Tolsted, Rostvold, Karl Kohn, Hypes, Fuller, Leggewie, Young, Theresa Fulton – you reminded me of all the good ones. And, of course, someone mentioned the "Sontag Network," which is still in operation.

The problems of managed health care get you down.

You are passionate about conservation, the environment, and ecology.

The education of children matters a great deal to you.

There are "the sad parts" of our lives, which several of you touched on lightly. Whatever sadnesses there are, whatever chronic medical conditions exist, there is at least one other classmate who is experiencing a similar situation.

And your friends . . . you mention your friends . . . the ones you remember, the ones you keep in touch with, and the ones you'd like to find again. Bob Irvine in Hawaii wrote wistfully, "Wish I could see Sweeney sometime." Wish you could, Bob, wish you could . . .

Glad we can see Sweeney – and all the rest – this weekend.

For two of you, this is the first time you have been back on the campus since you left in 1962. I would love to know what thoughts went through your heads as you set foot on the grounds this week. Some of you have come back to the college a time or two, but this is your very first reunion.

One of the nicest surprises was receiving a Memory Book write-up and two photos from an Italian Fulbright student who was only with us for one year. He had even been listed as "address unknown" in the 2000 Pomona directory. His name is Romano Carlo Cerrone, and he wrote with the same fervor about his memories of Pomona as the rest of you did. His story is on page 20.

Years ago I edited a book of meditations written by the people at our church. When the book went to press, I added a thank you on the back page. It fits my feelings about this Memory Book, as well –

I said, "Write me a story from your heart."
And you, in your free time that wasn't free,
Put down your inmost thoughts in common print
And gave them to me, folded, with apologies
For uncertain spelling.

How bold was I, how brash was the request I made
To show your hidden thoughts to all the world.
But you were not reluctant, not afraid to share.
I find I do not have the words to thank you.