Repeatable Narratives from Class of 1965 50th Reunion

A place where classmates can share stories or information they gleaned at the reunion during those many small (and often interrupted) conversations.

Click Here for the form to submit your Repeatable Narrative.

Narratives will be added as we get them so send in yours now!

The idea of organizing a system to share ‘repeatable narratives’ from our 50th Reunion emerged during Monday evening’s Class cocktail and dinner hour. In conversation, several of us starting kicking the idea around, and Rich Beams coined the phrase ‘repeatable narratives.’ The idea is to set something up wherein classmates can share stories or information they gleaned at the reunion during those many small (and often interrupted) conversations.

So, click that link above and send in those narratives before they are forgotten.

Stu Keiller’s Repeatable Narrative — June 11, 2015 dawned bright and clear as I drove to Etna to pick-up Classmate Dave Mulliken. We had not seen each other since graduating in the Tuck 3-2 program in 1966. The hour’s drive to Moosilauke provided time to update each other on fifty-years of family and career.About 30 classmates, spouses, children and friends gathered in the Ravine Lodge for a briefing by Dave Beattie on the Jim Hamilton Memorial Hike to the summit of Moosilauke. At 7.5 miles and 2,400 elevation gain over rocky terrain the hike is more than a walk in the park. Dave advised all that if they were not at summit by 12:30 PM to turn around in order to be back in-time for the 4:30 PM Class of 1965 Bunkhouse dedication ceremony. Having not ever made a hike of similar duration and challenge, and being responsible for the ceremony, it was not without some trepidation that I started out. It was a spectacular five hours of climbing and walking in the beautiful White Mountain woods with incredible vistas opening on the way up and a 50-mile 360 degree panorama at the summit. What a beautiful part of the world!The ’65 Bunkhouse Dedication Ceremony was the culmination of two years of planning and building. We had 175 classmates, spouses and guests tour the ’65 Bunkhouse and enjoy a barbecue dinner with the Griffiths family band providing entertainment.  All-in-all one the best days of my life.
Hank Amon’s Repeatable Narrative – As Stu has noted, June 11 at Moosilauke was a special day and proved a terrific launch to our 50th reunion. The beautiful weather, demanding hike (with wife Karen and daughters Carly (D’17) and Joey), lunch at the summit, bunkhouse dedication ceremony and wonderful dinner (never had better pulled pork!) and music were truly memorable and produced a number of those lasting mental snapshots mentioned at the graduation. It was wonderful to see so may returning Bones Gate brothers, 12 of us in all, after so many years in so many cases, all attending with their wives. The only downer was seeing the BG house in such a state of disrepair, including especially the basement. I understand it, unfortunately, has ample company on fraternity row and around the campus. The music of the Flames on Saturday night was terrific and the dance floor proved too confining for some! The gra duation shout out to the Class from President Hanlon was earned and the address of David Brooks combined humor with a thoughtful presentation of the stages and meaningful elements of life. I was sad to leave Hanover when it was all said and done
Brian Butler’s Repeatable Narrative — Good to discover that classmates live nearby in Arizona. The College should consider informing guys in, say, our class cohort (’62-’67?) of folks in their metropolitan areas. I suppose there are privacy issues, but those seem manageable. Who knows, a cocktail party might ensue.
Bruce Wagner’s Repeatable Narrative — Repeatable Narratives. Ummm. Well, there was Pete Frederick sidling up next to me saying: “Hi, my name is Bruce Wagner. Do you remember your name?” There was Mike Rodgers observing after the Memorial Service: “I’d forgotten what a nice bunch of guys we had in our Class…” There was the moment when I briefly convinced a new friend that the ‘Mad Men’ television series was based on my life. (Not true.) There was an impromptu encounter in the elevator of The Hanover Inn with David Brooks following his terrific Commencement address. David offered: “You know, your 50 Year Class looks a lot better than I thought you would.” There were the several moments when I realized how fortunate we are to have been randomly pushed together so many years ago in a shared experience that has indeed shaped our lives.
Dick Avery’s Repeatable Narrative — One unusual bit of classmate update came from Tom Gilmore, one of my roommates for 3 years before going to Tuck as a 3-2. Tom has moved back to New Hampshire and has a farm north of Concord. He has recently thinned his “herd” of Allis-Chalmer tractors down to 23.On another front, riverfront in fact, thanks to Carl Boe and his link with current Dartmouth Crew coaches, Class of ’65 was able to muster a full eight man shell with cox for a few photo op strokes on the Connecticut. Between lights and heavies we had 6 port oars and 2 starboards until Carl and Tom Miller offered to switch over. Corneveaux was cox, Bryce Harbaugh filled in as stroke (Webster was lame), Rick Davey, myself, Carl Boe, Bob Ernst, Brian Porzak, Tom Miller, and ???? filled the slides. Larry Goldberger and Pete Dupret assisted with dock work and cheered from the launches.There were probably several interesting conversations that took unexpected twists now that many of us don’t hear all that well in large group settings. We could hear the Saturday night band and feel that old 60’s era beat well enough to move arthritic limbs like folks 20 years younger.More later….
John Roger’s Repeatable Narrative — I was impressed and heartened at the variety of activities and passions of the people who attended. Good conversations, good ideas. In this day of sour political moods, small ideas writ very large through many media, here were people committed, enthusiastic, connected to the world. It really was uplifting.Part of my happiness was probably relief: We had boarded the plane in Minneapolis, arrived late in Boston. Late enough to be behind all those folks anxious to get out of the city and enjoy a relaxing weekend in New Hampshire. I had business that first night … the ’65 reunion band, the core of which was dissimilar musicians who had never practiced together. Recipe for catastrophe. But Jim Griffiths pulled it off, we played as well as could be expected, and the rest of the reunion was wonderful. The panels as a group were a fascinating look at who we were and what we thought, an antidote to my hazy memories painted in shades of good-old-days.Perhaps the highlight for me, though, was seeing people I hadn’t seen since partway through Dartmouth. I guess I was in silos of my major and my fraternity for the last couple of years. Anyway, it was nice to see first year roomie Kris Greene, Cohen guys Steve Shaul and John Ferdico, and hear the fine mandolin of Carl Seager.

They gave us a nice jacket, too.

Rich Beams’s Repeatable Narrative — Having been accused of coining the phrase “repeatable narrative,” here’s mine, inspired I must admit, by “ the ‘65s in the Arts Panel” on Friday afternoon, a highlight of our sensational 50h reunion sojourn in Hanover. One of those who spoke then was Dick Durrance, whose stunning photographs included shots from the historic 1,685 mile Danube River trip in the summer of 1964 taken by Dick and eight other Dartmouth students (including classmate Chris Knight, who spoke as part of the panel as well). This in turn reminded me of the annual five-day Ledyard Canoe Club down-river canoe trip, 218 miles down the Connecticut River from Hanover to the Long Island sound, in which he and I had paddled together during mid-May of our freshmen year. The trip commemorates one of the most frequently repeated narratives that I know of about at Dartmouth, the pioneering journey of John Ledyard, Dartmouth class of 1775, who took his hand-hewn canoe down the river in 1773 and later became a world-famous explorer. At every reunion I’ve attended (which happens to be all of them), this inspirational journey is recalled publically in one way or another. This year was no exception.
At a reception later in our reunion weekend, Dick claimed he was just a novice paddler then. This was hard to believe since in years following he’d haul me out at 6 AM to race in white-water rapids in the White River. But newspaper clippings don’t lie (or do they?); I still have some that show we were the last of eight canoes to arrive in Old Saybrook. The heading for one article reads “Dartmouth Students learn a Lesson: ‘Paddling Your Own’ Gets Things Done.” My own lesson: don’t mix pain and pleasure. That is, don’t review “Life Science” notes while paddling a canoe in rapids. My old notes are now a sunken treasure somewhere around Hartford. In those days, the College gave “Deans’ excuses” for all classes missed; but there was no insurance covering such an inadvertent mishap. I try to blame Dick, but that doesn’t work either.
The traditional stops along the way provide much material for numerous repeatable – and unrepeatable – narratives: first night, camping on boulders below the Bellows Falls dam; second night, hunkering down at an abandoned castle, guests of “Smith girls” who treated us to dinner; third night, lodging in a Holyoke jail – courtesy of the Police Department; fourth night, visiting a fraternity at Wesleyan University. Unbeknownst to the rest of us, Nick Feakins slept upstairs in the fraternity and failed to wake up when we did. We searched frantically, but left without him. Awakening just after we paddled off, he raced to the landing: “Nuts, they went,” he told a reporter. He continued, “I started hitch-hiking and got two rides from police.” (Where is Nick anyway?) He made it to the Terra Mar in Old Saybrook where the Dartmouth Alumni Club hosted a banquet as well as putting us up before the trek back to Hanover.
And so, the nostalgia brought on by viewing Dick’s canoeing photos, led me to “strike out on my own” (as our reunion flyer admonished us to do) and head down to the Ledyard Canoe Club house on the banks of the river, not far from the tent where two of our class dinners took place. There I had a nice animated talk with a Dartmouth sophomore, who’s name I can’t recall. He would be living at the Ledyard Club house this summer, he told me, taking charge of summer canoe rentals, now a rather lucrative enterprise at $10/hr per canoe or kayak. Indeed the docks were bustling with activity.
I couldn’t help mentioning to him that some 50-plus years ago, my own sophomore summer, in fact, I too ran this rental program, indeed the first summer the Club had rented canoes. I can’t remember what we charged, but it wasn’t much. I too had lived there for the summer, making more-than-tolerable a summer that also included eight weeks of Organic Chemistry. (There I go, mixing pleasure and pain again). But the summer was a great success in every way. I then mentioned the annual downriver trip. He too had just completed it, but then commented that in all probability, this would be the final year for this legendary jaunt.
“What?” I said. This hit me with all the monumental force of sinking Life-Science notes. “How could this be?” I continued. “Not enough interest, he answered. It’s probably too close to exams. We just had seven going this year.” For the record, The Ledyard Canoe Club was formed in 1920 when the traditional trip was first made. For years, the club usually pushed off on the voyage in April, but, avoiding ice and inclement weather, the trip is now in late May, as it has been since our day. I guess my solution of study and paddle is not a viable option. Perhaps cancel exams? What’s more important, lest the old traditions fail? Oh well.
With that I went back to our tent by the River for our Gala Class Banquet. Gala indeed, and rather an upgrade from meals along the river 50 years ago. A highlight of course was after dinner dancing to “The Flames.” (Mahala made a video to prove it). Two nights later, about the time I coined the phrase “repeatable narratives,” I was informed by more than one classmate that I had won the 50th reunion dance award – for the most inert dancer on the floor, accompanied by the most energized dancer. (Mahala’s a ringer – she teaches dance among other things.) I let Jack McLean take over for a while. Mahala’s comment: “Wow, Jack can really dance.” Oh well. I guess I better stick to canoeing.