Class Correspondent

By now, you have all received invitations to our 60th Reunion. I find it easier to say “60th” than I did “50th.” I imagine most of us have grown accustomed to our post-post-youthful stage of life, perhaps so much so that we now simply delete all the old-age email jokes we receive without even opening them. Maybe all those bad jokes have helped us become inured to the reality 
of octogenarianism. That being said, 
I urge you to celebrate the present by 
coming to our 60th Reunion in June 2013. Let us forgo the bad jokes; have some latter-day fun; celebrate our successes, achievements and pleasures; and share our happy remembrances of things past. 
Perhaps we will also find delight in being able to recognize one another.

Here are some postings from classmates who have stayed in touch, some of whom wrote to share their thoughts about politics in advance of the presidential election. Although the election was held a few weeks ago, it’s interesting to read what they wrote. First up is Marshall Sterman, whose feisty personal blog I have been reading regularly. He begins with a welcome salutation: 
“Carole, I’ve started to pack for our 60th.” (I hope his words inspire many others.) He then goes on to say, “My vote’s for sale. I’m ready to give it to the first candidate who declares war on unemployment. If Obama doesn’t do it before the election, Mitt should pledge to do it within the first 30 days if he is elected. I don’t care if he didn’t pay taxes or our prez cannot find his birth certificate.” Al Zadig writes, “I wonder if at least some of our classmates share my sadness in considering the political climate of our country. It appears that the liberals are moving further and further to the extreme left, while the conservatives are doing likewise, only to the right. Not only is there less real communication between them, civility and respect for those with differing opinions are vanishing, replaced by increasingly harsh rhetoric and even hatred. Much the same is happening on the national level in my own Episcopal Church regarding beliefs and sexuality. I wonder if I am just an old fogey yearning for bygone days, but it does seem that the kind of respectful communication and even cooperation that people with different convictions once exhibited, exemplified by Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill, is hard to find today. Honest self-examination tells me I’m too liberal for the conservatives and too conservative for the liberals. And the sun will probably come up tomorrow anyway!” Ruth (Shiller) Banks made my day. I unabashedly print her whole communication — wouldn’t you? Anyway, I hope some of you take a page from her last couple of sentences. She writes, “I want to compliment you on our Class Notes column. Your idea [asking classmates how they felt about turning 80] was great. I really enjoyed reading all the stories. Thank you for taking on this job and the Reunion as well. If I can help in some way, I will try. I wasn’t much help with the last one, but maybe more people will be energized. Thanks again.” Please take Ruth’s advice. Come to the Reunion, and keep your classmates informed by sending me Class Notes. After my remark in a letter to our class about not making our Reunion a Stella Dallas party, Barbara Koral Raisner asks, “What am I missing? I don’t remember a Stella Dallas party?” I must be older than Barbara. A Stella Dallas party is one where no one shows up (“Stella Dallas” is a 1937 film starring Barbara Stanwyck). Barbara continues, “At the age of 80, I’ve decided that I don’t have to do something just because someone else thinks I should. And I give myself permission not to feel guilty about that. The 60th Reunion gets a ‘maybe.’” Come on, Barbara. Don’t feel guilty, but change that “maybe” to a “yes”! Natalie Hittner Coch tells us her granddaughter at Georgetown is majoring in ancient languages. Wouldn’t it be fun for all of us to meet at Brandeis in June and trade “my grandchild is at (fill in the blank) University” stories? Richard Hirshberg writes, “I hope to attend our 60th Reunion next year, if at all possible. Life in Houston remains exciting in all aspects of the arts and sciences. Though retired from active practice, I continue to contribute to journals and texts with reference to my 40-year experience in neurological surgery, along with lecturing here and overseas. I often fondly remember the wonderful, unusual experience we had at Brandeis, with only 200 students in the entire school. Our proximity and personal contact with greatness (Maslow, Bernstein, Dylan Thomas and so on) encouraged young students to strive for perfection throughout their lives. I also recall when three of us at Kendal Green dormitory wrote the words to the Brandeis alma mater, applying them to Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture,” and the song’s acceptance by a student vote in the Castle, with Dr. [Erwin] Bodky at the piano.” I hope Richard brings all those wonderful memories to us in person at our 60th. Lois Lyons Lindauer reports that December will mark the 16th anniversary of Lois L. Lindauer Searches, a leading national retained executive search firm focused solely on development (fundraising) positions. Marquee clients include Brandeis, Harvard, Harvard Law School, Columbia, the University of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, Boston Children’s Hospital and many others. I bring this column to a close with some words my sister Arline Schwartz Rotman ’58 once said to me: “The only people who go to their reunions are those who are either successful or skinny.” Obviously, many of our classmates are successful. As for avoirdupois — fuggedaboudit! And come to the Reunion.
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