Summer 2015

Susan N Begg wrote: Not much news from me here in Ithaca, NY. Still doing part-time maintenance and grounds work at my old veterinary hospital. My girlfriend/fiancée has eight more months before release from prison. I am busy with work on my county’s Community Justice/Alternatives to Incarceration committee working on developing re-entry programs to help reduce recidivism. I’m also active in AA as my home group’s intergroup representative, still on the board of the The Next Step in Albany, NY (women’s treatment center I attended), and best of all…. I am now sober 4 years and 3 months!

(L to R)  Betsy Delman, Bill Woodrow, Susan Lopez Woodrow

(L to R)
Betsy Delman, Bill Woodrow, Susan Lopez Woodrow

Betsy Delman sent this: I am still working full time as a professional math tutor. Even though I could have retired long ago, I absolutely love what I do!
However, the educational system in our country is deteriorating rapidly, especially in math and science. Teachers aren’t teaching – they are “facilitators,” math textbooks are disappearing, homework is being eliminated, and liberal administrators are placing more importance on sports and “feel good” activities than on traditional education. This is why the United States of America is #21 in the world in math — behind Viet Nam! I suspect that the scientists who put our men on the moon had math textbooks and homework – and they didn’t have calculators!

Sue Lopez Woodrow and her husband, Bill.  Helen Marvel Strong and her husband Carter Strong

Sue Lopez Woodrow and her husband, Bill. Helen Marvel Strong and her husband Carter Strong

I adore the nearby lives of my son, Jameson, his wife Beth and my grandson Brandon. Life is great. Smith College will always remain a precious part of my life.

Diane St. Cyr Francis said: I retired in 2009, and hoped at that time to exercise and travel. I have been taking dance aerobics 3 times per week, and traveling with a good friend 2-3 times per year. Our last trip took us to New Orleans, LA, Lafayette, LA , and Natchez, MS, followed by a cruise to the western Caribbean. Our next trips are to South America – Nicaragua, Honduras, and Columbia.

I also take piano lessons, and am on the Conservation Commission in my town. I find I am having a fun and fulfilling life as a retiree.

Janice Riley Freddo wrote: I’ve never written before, but, as I sit here, on the Wild Coast of Africa, this is a good time to contribute! Newly retired from my optometry practice, I now have the time to accompany my husband on an interesting business trip. In January, we left the snowy Massachusetts winter for summer in the southern hemisphere, on the beautiful east coast of South Africa. It’s a great way to celebrate retirement.

Joanne Sawhill Griffin wrote: Heading to Florida for the 5th year – have found I don’t care for the cold and snow in St. Louis anymore. I usually stay in Sarasota and then down to Sanibel Island. Anyone living or visiting there next winter, please call or email me so we can have a mini-reunion there! Otherwise, all is good here. I’m still in awe of how my husband, Peter, can exercise every day and I can barely remember twice a week. Someday I’ll have this exercise thing down pat. Went to Pritikin Spa which is no salt, no fat, no sugar and loved it. Really was life changing to eat well, exercise regularly and relax. Hmmm. Maybe those experts were right!

Margaret Huff sent this: Enjoying family time with husband Ted, stepson Alex, daughter-in-law Christy, 1 ½ year old granddaughter Sylvie, my mother, and weddings of a niece and several nephews. Marnie and Ted are hoping to participate in a “Sister City” trip to Caen, France this fall. On the professional front, Marnie is active in the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution. As its Strategic Outreach Officer and member of its governing Council, she is organizing a dialog of Canadian and U.S. thought leaders on Access to Justice in the Family Law Context (broadly considered to include divorce, child custody, juvenile justice, family disputes in probate, etc.) this spring in Seattle.

Linda Kramer Jenning’s update: We trekked to Machu Picchu in late December and missed meeting up there with classmate Harlee Strauss by about week. Last fall I became president of the Journalism and Women Symposium (www.jaws.org) and I left Glamour after nearly eight years as the Washington editor. I continue to teach in the Georgetown University graduate program in journalism and I’m taking spin classes to train for a bike and boat trip on the Dalmatian Coast in late summer. I just wish husband Steve and I could see our sons more often — one works in Seattle and the other in Abu Dhabi.

Jan English Leary writes: My novel, Thicker Than Blood, is going to be published by Fomite Press in Burlington Vermont. I’ve been writing fiction for over twenty years, but since retiring from teaching in 2006, I’ve doubled my efforts and am very excited to see my book in print. It’s scheduled for publication in October 2015.

Ann Lebowitz sent this: For us, the most exciting event of 2014 was the October wedding of our daughter Sara Steinberger to Jared Shapiro at the Jewish Museum in Philadelphia. The most exciting event so far, of 2015, was my sign-up (just yesterday) for Medicare. So, I am now a mother-in-law with a Medicare card—humbling experiences both.

Lucy Bodine Nattrass wrote: I do seem to find ways to enjoy myself! After having been laid off teaching ESOL in a poor area of Manchester, England, due to “government cuts”, my former boss encouraged me to start up, plan and teach a course entitled “Employability” for immigrant women in their late thirties and forties. They have a decent standard of English but don’t know how to go about getting a job. We’ve had fun.

Over several months, our volunteer string quartet has enjoyed playing all of Haydn’s string quartets in the order of composition. Sometimes we’ve enlarged ourselves into a small string orchestra to explore that niche repertoire. My husband and I sing in a small a capella choir that performs challenging music including Bruckner motets and part songs by Poulenc, Finzi and Elgar.

Cheryl Palmer reported: After about 40 years of working in art museums and art museum education, the last 35 of those as Director of Learning & Engagement at The Mint Museum here in Charlotte, I just retired! My love of art and museums were influenced by my parents and my hometown museums in Tulsa, OK, but I was truly inspired by art history courses at Smith with Helen Searing and Amy Vandersall, and my junior year in Paris. I have been so fortunate.

While I loved my career leading education, interpretation, outreach and library services at the Mint, I am having great fun in this new chapter of my life. I am taking classes to be certified as a Master Gardener, and love learning more about native plants, soil science, best practices in an urban garden, and the color palette that can be my landscape. If there are other Smithie Master Gardeners in the Carolinas or Southeast, I’d love to touch base with you. Happy retirement and happy spring to all!

Ann Chipley Playe said: My husband, Steve, Amherst ’71, and I feel like we have been tossed back in time 30 plus years as we are helping our widowed daughter raise her toddler. We moved out of semi-retirement in Florida to live with Eden (Amherst, 2002) in Chicago after her young husband died suddenly of a heart attack . Our grandson, Max, was 7 months then and now is 3 years old. We are back to visiting zoos and museums, lessons (soccer, baseball, swimming) and fighting about food. Steve works full time again, providing care at an Urgent Care Center just around the block from Eden’s apartment. I still counsel kids applying to college, working with Sally Rubenstone ’73 and her company, College Karma. I manage to fit that work into nap time and the two days Max goes to nursery school. But Eden is showing great strength of character and resourcefulness, having gotten her Master’s Degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and now working in Human Resources planning training and development for a consulting firm. We think we will return to Florida one day, but have grown rather attached to our little family. We get a little jealous hearing of the travels of retired friends, but then Max tells us how much he loves Nana and Papa, and we know we are in the right place for us.

Bonnie Beaver Roberts sent this: Just returned from Southeast Asia – Viet Nam and Myanmar – for our 30th anniversary. Great trip! Already looking forward to our 65th birthday trip to Ethiopia next fall.

Stephanie Shafran: Having recently celebrated my 64th birthday, I am delighted to say that I feel better needed, loved and cared for by family, friends and sweetheart than ever before, to evoke Paul McCartney’s well-known lyrics.
My work life as an elementary school counselor and Spanish teacher continues to bring me satisfaction and joy in spite of the exhausting routine of a five-day work week.

My 94-year old mother, in spite of her increasing memory loss due to Alzheimer’s disease, is still actively managing her life with my steady assistance. The most profound relational change for me is a shift from frustration, irritation and sadness to a spirit of loving kindness and appreciation — a blessing for us both, as surprising to me as perhaps to some readers who are familiar with our mother-daughter history over the decades.

My grown daughters are all engaged wholeheartedly in their professional and personal lives. My oldest, Lenore Palladino, is mother to 21-month old Annalia, as bright and charismatic as her parents, and now works for Demos, a public policy organization based in NYC. My middle daughter Celeste Palladino works as an adjustment counselor at an urban school in Springfield. She is mother to Lucia, age 4.5 and Marcelo, age 3, both energetic, curious and loving children. My youngest daughter Simone, a third year student at Tufts Veterinary School, recently became engaged to her boyfriend of 13 years, Luckar Thach. They live in Shrewsbury MA.

An update on my personal life: For the past 2.5 years I have been in a loving relationship with Peter Wilk, a man I have known for 38 years as a close personal and family friend. The twists and turns of our respective lives have ultimately guided us to each other as life partners, soul mates and best friends. Our mutual joy at this transformation is palpable to all who spend time in our company.
Who could ask for more?

Susan Termohlen sent this: I left tax law retirement last year in order to work on a case where a man had received a life sentence for a minor crime under CA Three Strikes Law. In October, I had the pleasure of picking him up from San Quentin as my petition for release was granted.
I am about to have a showing of some of my paintings (they can be seen at susantermohlen.com).

I recently met with a half-brother who I knew existed but hadn’t met. He’s an aerospace engineer and worked on the DAWN mission, about which we are starting to hear more.This year and last, I interviewed Smith high-school applicants for my local Smith club. It has been a real pleasure. If Smith is attracting the kinds of girls I’ve met, then the college is doing very well. I’m spending a few days with Elaine Bromka, as she is on the West Coast with her wonderful show, Tea for Three: Lady Bird, Pat & Betty. In August, I had lunch with Gail O’Brien, who I had not seen in eons. We took up right where we left off.