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Reunion 2011: Recap

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David, Ephraim, Elizabeth, Rick and Jill

David, Ephraim, Elizabeth, Rick and Jill

On a September weekend in 2011, the class of ’71 gathered in Chicago. Going in, we had no idea it would be such a moving experience.

Friday

  • Homecoming Reception at Parker
  • Dinner at the Indian Grill

Saturday

Sunday

  • Brunch at Betsy Bergan Altman’s Home
  • Walk around Belmont Harbor
Bruce & Lisa, Betsy, Scott

Bruce & Lisa, Betsy, Scott

33 of us took part and another 4 were last-minute scratches (see list below). As far as we know, it’s the most ever for a Parker 40th reunion. 4 hours Friday night, 3 hour workshop and lunch followed by 5 hour party on Saturday, and then 6 hours at the Sunday brunch, where 9 people showed up who didn’t think they’d want to attend yet another event. We couldn’t get enough. But this weekend wasn’t about quantity. So it’s best to let the participants speak for themselves:

I wanted to put my thoughts on the recent reunion weekend into words. For those of you who were at this past reunion, I know you know what I mean. It felt like a regular love-in for the whole time. To think that I felt such intimidation and fear about coming truly amazes me now. When you have managed without your classmates for over 40 years; what can possibly make one justifiably afraid?

It didn’t matter whether I graduated with the class in ’71 (I didn’t), it didn’t matter where I went to college (I didn’t) and it didn’t matter what I have done for the last 40-odd years.

What matters is that we all share a common bond that we cannot shake no matter what. The warmth, kisses and hugs I received and some of the conversations this past weekend made this one of the best weekends of my life. I brought a guest – my spouse Craig – and he had a good time too.

Now that some photos are circulating, I get to look at some of the people I can now hope to call my adult friends.

— Scott Caulfield-Seidner

Mary, Carmela, Marko (Elizabeth), Nancy, Karen & John, and Elizabeth

Mary, Carmela, Marko (Elizabeth’s partner), Nancy, Karen & John, and Elizabeth

It was quite an amazing weekend with many surprising and emotional moments. What came through loud and clear during (and after) the presentation by Bill Idol, is the powerful connection between so many of us. I had so many great conversations and loved seeing everyone.

— Nancy

I truly had a most wonderful time at the reunion…without your prodding me I would not have attended and would have missed out on a priceless and now cherished event.

— Todd

Bill, Nat, and Barry

Bill, Nat, and Barry

If you didn’t experience how special this was you could NEVER appreciate what you would be missing. I probably cared more about what some classmates had to say this weekend than I ever did 40 years ago.

There is a comfort level that Parker and the shared experience of that place provides, and hearing Bill Idol and his perspective on Parker, etc., was fascinating on so many levels.

— Barry

Jill and Elizabeth

Jill and Elizabeth

It was great to see many of our classmates again and catch up, briefly, on our lives. I especially appreciated the Saturday morning event with Bill Idol for the opportunity it provided to reflect in depth and share more openly with one another. I hope it isn’t another 10 years before we see each other again!

— Isolde

Other comments

I had a surprisingly great time seeing everyone.

I’m so glad to have been there.

Yes, we all loved it.

Chuck, Rick, and Steve

The Graybeards: Chuck, Rick, and Steve

Three things you can do

  • Please leave your comment using the form at the very bottom of this page. Even if you couldn’t make it this year, we’d love to hear from you.
  • Do you have photos? Please send them to Rick and they will be included in our slideshow. (High resolution/large file size preferred, so you’ll probably need to email them one at a time).
  • Are you in contact with classmates who decided not to come? Please let them know how you felt about the weekend. They might be surprised and intrigued by the character of the group. Note that 9 of us that gathered this year left Parker before senior year. 

And finally, a huge thanks to our hosts, David & Jane Rosenbluth Baldwin and Betsy Bergan Altman.

» See more photos

Betsy, Bill, James, Karen & Rick

Betsy, Bill, James, Karen & Rick

Attended

  • Barry Witlin
  • Betsy Bergan
  • Bill Henner
  • Bill Marks
  • Bruce Hodo
  • Carmela Rago
  • Chuck Kennedy
  • David Henner
  • Edie Pattou Emery
  • Ephraim Grier
  • Elizabeth McCarthy
  • George Joosten
  • Heidi Ellison
  • Isolde Anderson (Koenig)
  • James Marienthal
  • Jane Rosenbluth Baldwin
  • Janet Barsy

Attended

  • Jill Rosenzweig Epstein
  • Jill Ratner
  • Joel Hoffman
  • John Pink
  • Karen Thanos
  • Kate Markin Coleman
  • Mary Hines Bendix
  • Nancy Blank Hammonds
  • Nat Mauldin
  • Polly Kuehn (Ramstack)
  • Rick Ray
  • Robert Meltzer
  • Scott Caulfield-Seidner
  • Steve Levitt
  • Steven Lloyd
  • Todd Chapin

Cancellations

  • Gary Goldblatt (wife’s health)
  • Gib McCutcheon (work commitment)
  • Skip Herman (other commitment)
  • Susan Fried (health)
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  1. Polly10-05-2011

    This was such a special weekend. Thank you to all who put such energy into making it happen. I attended FWP only my senior year. I realize now, what I didn’t realize then, what a special school and group of classmates I was lucky enough to be part of. It was wonderful to get to a brief glimpse of what we’ve been doing and who we are. I am so glad I attended, and my husband Bob had a great time too! Thank you.

    • Rick Ray10-05-2011

      I’m so glad you were there, Polly. And looking forward to seeing you and Bob in Portland this December.

  2. Billy Idol12-09-2011

    Thank you, Rick, for the incredible job you have done in making this happen but, most importantly, helping me look again at us all and remember how profoundly loving our time together was. I salute and honor all of you who contributed to this life of mine…

    Much love to you all, Bill

    • Rick Ray12-09-2011

      Thanks, Bill. And of course you were a big part of our success, as the comments above testify.