Fall Wildcat North Dinner in Mystic, CT

FullSizeRenderMy wife Karin and I travelled down to Mystic, CT for the annual Fall Wildcat North dinner. Cocktail hour was nice as people circulated and I was able to meet just about everyone. (There were a total of 27 people present.) The dinner was at the Harbour House Restaurant at the Inn at Mystic. There was a big wedding party going on in the next room and there was no way to completely shut off the room. As a result, there was a good bit of noise, making conversations tough.

FullSizeRender[3]I talked about the 175th, Reunion, the galas and the new Bulletin (they loved the piece on Sarah as well as the “lost Williston” article, saying “it wasn’t lost when we were there so that just means we are getting old!”). The evening was a lot of fun. We all loved playing the “who was still teaching at Williston from our era when you were a student?” game. We talked a lot about Red Culver (my math teacher), Couchie, Rick Francis, David Stevens (my 10th Grade English teach), Steve Seybolt (their classmate and my 12th Grade English teacher), and Carpie

FullSizeRender[2]Charlie and Joanne Pinnell Jr. ’59 flew in from Seattle. Charlie is in law, while Joanne worked with street kids and teenage pregnancies. Gene Pfeifer ’58, who was there, is also in law, as the partner in the fifth largest law firm in the world. He is originally from Springfield, MA and was going up to visit his sister, so I invited him to come over to Williston for a tour. He said he has walked around informally about five years ago and was impressed how much nicer the campus was from when they were students. Gene has a daughter who lives in Utah so he goes out there from November to January and does a ton of skiing. He says, “I’m a New Englander by birth but I only ski Western snow.” Gene played ice hockey here and we talked about playing on the pond.

IMG_1271Peter Young was an English-Speaking Union student who did a PG year at Williston after graduating from boarding school in England. Peter had flown up from Nassau, Bahamas where he has lived for the past 35 years. After Williston, Peter entered the Royal Marines and then college. Following that, he went into the Foreign Service. He has been posted all over the world, including South Africa, France, Nigeria and the Bahamas. He worked closely with “Margie Thatcher” on several programs and retired as the High Commissioner from England to the Bahamas. Peter loved to tell the story about how for the first three weeks he was completely overwhelmed and lost at Williston, until a classmate called him a “bloody British limey” at which point he knew people had accepted him. He played soccer and was voted captain of the squash team.

FullSizeRender[1]Mary Knight ’58 is originally from Easthampton, but was a “townie” as the Wildcats like to say. Both are super-nice people who are genuinely interested in the school. Peter was an All-American diver at Williston and loves the relationships he has formed with the other Williston alumni. He is one of three (along with Charlie Fairbrother and Dick Brady) who organized Wildcat North. He wants to reach out to more Wildcat alumni.

Dick White ’59 was entertaining to talk to. He went to Williston because his father felt he wasn’t achieving in public school in Worcester and wanted to straighten him out. As Dick said, “Little did my father know that 29 other fathers were thinking the same thing!”. Those 30 boys became known as the “Dirty 30”.

Both Bill and Pat Harmon ’57 attended the event at Tandem Bagel on Thursday, where they had a good time. Last year, Pat took everyone out on their sail boat for a cruise around the harbor. This year the group took a hydrofoil tour of the local lighthouses.

FullSizeRenderDoug Van Rees ’59 and Dick Wendin ’59 were the driving force behind the establishment of a lacrosse program at Williston. They got permission to start a program from Phil Stevens and convinced a new faculty member (Buell) who had never played or coach lacrosse before to be the coach. By 1964, they were New England champions.

Phil Fisher ‘59 attended the junior school for two years and was Andy Solomon’s freshman roommate. Phil’s older brother Conrad graduated from Williston in 1952. Since meeting Andy Solomon in Texas, Phil has reconnected with many of the Wildcats. He attended Reunion two years ago and had a great time, he said.

Charlie Fairbrother ’63 is a retired high school teacher and helped to organize the event. His wife, Jane, was also there. Dick Brady was there with his wife, Irene, and was cracking jokes.

W. Brad Ferguson ’77 stopped in after seeing the banner for the dinner and ended up sitting and talking with Dick Brady and Bill Harmon for a while. Brad is the President of a marine liquidation company in Stonington, CT.

Next up:

Geneva, NY Young Alumni Dinner | October 1, 2015
Ithaca, NY Young Alumni Dinner | October 2, 2015
Union College Young Alumni Dinner | October 4, 2015
Babson College Young Alumni Dinner | October 5, 2015
Boston Alumni Networking Event | October 6, 2015
University of Vermont Young Alumni Dinner | October 15, 2015
Homecoming Football Game | October 23, 2015

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