A Christmas Story from Zimbabwe!
We didn’t expect them. At least not in in such large numbers. And certainly not on Christmas Eve.No doubt they timed their attack to coincide with our owns race’s celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace. Cunning, devious, blasphemous, sacrilegious. They sought to catch us with our pants down. They brought no peace. They brought no good news. They created no good will among folks. No, they marched forth to war.
Who are “they”? Need you ask? Dear friends, let me give you a hint: the blessed first rains of the season. Do you understand now? It was wonderful to have the respite from the hot, dry heat that had baked the ‘burbs of Mutare from April onwards. But we could never have anticipated the droves of flying termites that descended on our peaceful town in such numbers that a comparison to a biblical plague would not have been inappropriate.
On the night after our first deluge millions of the tiny, inch long critters launched themselves from the regurgitated rims of their red mud-baked castles into the cool, moisture-laden night air. Flying on four white gossamer wings they filled the evening sky with their hormone bloated bodies seeking mates to begin the circle of life. They served up quite a feast for the first line of Mutare’s defense: the local bat population. But the bats were satiated too early during the Christmas Eve blitz to make more than an inconsequential dent in the population of insect horde.
Everywhere you gazed the airspace was densely packed with the flitting carcasses. An air traffic controller’s nightmare. And all heading for a source of light. Any source of light. Street lights. Car lights. The lamp in one’s bedroom. The fluorescent tubes in one’s kitchen. Or the monitor of one’s computer.
Suzy was the first to notice the magnitude of the problem. Busily working away on the computer I heard a blood curdling shriek from the lips of my beloved. ! did the old knight-in-shining-armor routine (actually I was wearing my BVDs) and hustled to my spouse’s aid. Not sure what to expect I hastened to the kitchen ready to defend my home and my honor from an intruder. Unless, of course, the intruder was too big. Then Suzy would have to defend herself. No sense in us both getting hurt. Besides, my honor isn’t worth that much. But, alas, I was outnumbered. By about ten thousand to one.
The wife was seated at her sewing machine trying to put the finishing touches on the final Christmas gift for our daughter. At least I assumed it was my wife because she was barely visible behind a wall of termites flitting here, there and everywhere. They were in her hair, on her clothes, up her nose, in her ears, and climbing all over her beloved Singer. There was not a single square centimeter in the kitchen that did not play host to several of the six-legged soldiers.
The look of irritation on my wife’s face said, “How am I going to get this job done before Christmas with a bazillion termites occupying every unprotected comer of my body?” I didn’t attempt to answer my favorite seamstress. I realized, of course, that her initial shriek was not motivated by fear. Little frightens my spouse. Oh sure, a snake has been known to elicit a terrifying reaction from Suzy. But that’s about it. The present vocalization was driven by pure annoyance.
I had no idea what to do, of course. The house isn’t sealed against such an invasion. Termites can crawl under doors, around window seals, and through air vents. Not to mention their uncanny ability to secure entrance to one’s sacred space via open sewage pipes. I could think of no strategy to stem the tide. Except one. Turn out the lights. That would mean, of course, that Suzy’s sewing duties would have to be terminated for the evening. Christmas presents would have to wait. But it was either that or the relentless attack of the harmless, if annoying, bugs.
And that’s what we did. We quickly shut all the doors leading from the kitchen to other rooms of our abode and shut the lights off. Well, not all the lights. We did, after al!, have to bathe before we called it a night. We could, of course, have washed our smelly boas in the dark. But
that is a bit inconvenient. So we shut the bathroom door and turned on the single overhead light and washed as quickly as we could. But to no avail. It took no time at all for the termites to find the sole source of illumination in our abode and descend into the tub with us. After our ablutions the tub looked like a war zone. LittIe pieces of bodies and hundreds of wings littered the white porcelain. When one has to destroy countless lives to secure a clean physique it takes a bit of the fun out of bathing.
We went to bed and were careful not to turn a light on in the bedroom. No sense in sIeeping with the critters.
Christmas morning revealed the carnage in all its gory detail. The kitchen floor was covered with the detritus of mortal combat. Wings and broken bodies by the millions littered the blue linoleum battlefield. It was not a pretty site. Less so on this sacred occasion. We requested the assistance of the mortuary detail and Sarah, our daughter, swept the place clean. The fallen were carried to the nearest flower garden and, with a short and poignant ceremony, were deposited as mulch. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Form the earth you came, to the earth you shall return.
We won this battle. And we knew that our victory had less to do with our own military prowess than the ticking of some mysterious biological clock. Our only question: When would the war be reengaged? We are a peaceful people. The carnage does not excite us. Make love, not war.
In any case it was a Christmas we will not soon forget. Apart from the battle we had a wonderful day enjoying each other s company around the tree going to church in the morning visiting some friends in the afternoon. The only thing we missed was our families. But, hey, you can’t have everything…
Christmas letter by Jim Jaquette, husband of Susan Gagner Jacquette (A’73) written in 1994. The Jacquettes have since returned home to the ” Land of the Free and the Home of the Mall”.
Brendan Foulkes (A’70-72); Dion Foulkes (A’70-72); Jack Gartland (A’67-68); Evelyn Griffith Furer (A’67-68) ;Jeff Gillard (A’?); Charles Halty (A’67-68); Barry Jones (A’67-68); Jim Kay (A’67-68); Beverly Kinsley Payne (A’72-75); Diane Lalonde (F’79-81); Jean- Marc Lalonde (F’68-70); Dale Majors (A’72-73); Peter Mirabe! (A’67-68); Bettina Ottensten (’76-77); Arlie Peddie (A’67-69); Cydnie Peddy Rothstein (A’67-69), Janelle Peddy De Paola (A’67-69); Ellen Polhemus Dunki-Jacobs (A68-69); Michael Polemus (A’68-69); Lori Rennick Fisher (A’67-68); David Rennick (A’67-68); Wendy Robbins (A’67-69); Pauline Romer (’76-77); Nicolas Salkind (F’66-67).
Habieb Ameri, John Bauer, ~Stitch” (Dick) and “Binkie7 Birtchell, Connie Bogner, March Chaplin, Sylvia Dabbah, Vicki Dawson, Reine Denguiade, Nancy Goodheart, Jacqueline George, Phillip Gregory, Karen Jenkinson, Andrea Jensen, Wendy Lamont; John Lennon, John Martin, Paul Martin, Bob and Mike Matthews, Tony Miles, Henry Noach, Kristen Ravitz, Peter Regis, Pannie and Ralph Stover.
Craig Boone (A’66-67) Met with Connie Hirshon Martin, Bettina Ottensten and her husband, Bruce. He reported that they had a really good time despite the fact the they attended EDR and PF at different times and knew no one in common. He also got together with Jim Kay tA’66-67) and Kim Atherton, ( A’66-67) who had no seen each other in 29 years!! He said it was nostalgia overload!! Francoise Borgeat (F?) has an architectural business but complains that her brother and his wife Catherine “ressemblent des Gitanes.~ Frank Callari (A’69-70) reports that he and his wife, Kathleen, are expecting their first child in April 1997. Congratulations! Kathi Dobyns Starkey (A’68-71) lives in Klamath Falls, Oregon and owns a flower shop called “Roses Are Red”. She was married for 21 years, divorced and was remarried in 1995 to Keith Starkey. Her husband writes that she has three children two daughters who are 17 and 15, and a 9 year old son. She was pictured in a soiree picture in the March 1996 issue along with Thierry Bovay, Nicoletta De Bona, Kathi Hood and Phillip Gregory, ALL of whom were incorrectly identified… Oops! Sorry! Brendan Foulkes (A’70-72) who was the host for the FOB reunion in the Bahamas is working in Nassau at the Compass Point Estates. In early November he was in England visiting his father, Arthur Foulkes, who is the Bahamian High Commissioner to England. He was then going to go on to do a promotional tour in Scotland. His wife, Rosie, stayed behind in the Bahamas with Natalie their three year old daughter. Dion Fouikes (A’70-72) is an attorney and now a member of Parliament in the Bahamas for the Free National Movement.Christina Hall (A’73 ) according to her sister Patsy Hall, is a computer genius at Philip Morris in New York and can’t get enough of her two horses, Aspen, a bay thoroughbred and Alabar, a champion Arabian. Patsy Hall (F’73) has her own investment banking company called Hallmark Capital in New York city. She writes that business is good and affords her many opportunities to travel. She also writes that she will be attending the June 1997 reunion and looks forward to seeing everyone there. Mike Johnson (A’70-71) Recently moved to Signal Hill, CA where he works in a refinery. Prior to that, he was living and working in Washington State, but decided to leave after a clash with his superintendent. Mike confesses that he is “not known for his pleasing personality” as he “gives it straight”. In addition to his work, he also enjoys racquetball and water-skiing. Jim Kay (A’66- 67) according to our latest update by Craig Boone was rushing back to Dallas to reunite with his wife for the imminent arrival of their first child. We haven’t heard, but we hope everything went well and that they are all, already sleeping through the night. Beverly Kinsley Payne (A’72-73) writes that she has been living with her parents in McKinney, TX. She says her kids love it there so much that they have decided to stay. Her husband Gus stays in touch regularly and they are still very close. She says her kids, Justin and Kelley are a joy but keep her on the run after work with tennis, soccer and choir. Lilo Kramer Hall (A’74-75) and her husband, Keith just spent 10 days in Switzerland. They spent one night in Montana, drank lots of good wine and had a delicious raclette, but Lilo says, the place has changed a lot and her French has gotten rusty from lack of use. Jean-Marc Lalonde (F’78-80) was recently located in Montreal, Canada, where he lives with his wife of 10 years, Sophie Gingas. They have a beautiful 9 year old daughter. Jean-Marc is Account Executive in advertising for Quebec’s largest newspaper. He also has a small sideline enterprise organizing special events mainly for corporate clients. He is especially interested in tracking down Reine Denguiade who’s family was living in the Ivory Coast in ’78-79. If Nicolas Vivien reads this, maybe he can try to help. Dale Majors (A’73) found us on the Internet!! He reports that he went on to the American College of Switzerland where he met his wife and eventually married in Colorado in 1979. They moved from Colorado to Texas and back to Colorado eventually settling in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana where he started a new business two years ago. He reports that he ran into Sandy Couveras while he was visiting Les Roches in 1974 or ’75. Sometime later he also ran into Dean Bennet (Barnet?) while skiing in Colorado. He actually spotted someone from the chairlift wearing a Les Roches ski jacket and knit cap and somehow managed to locate him again on the slopes later that afternoon!! Cydnie Peddy Rothstein (A’67-69) writes that she is living in WoodIands, Texas and that she has been married to Arnie Rothstein for the last 20 years. She has three children: Ryan, 23 (from a previous marriage), Heather 13, and Jordan who is 11. She has worked at home as a “domestic engineer” for the last 20 years. Her husband is a sales manager in the marine transportation industry. Ryan lives in Baton Rouge, LA and also works in marine transportation. Heather has appeared in several television commercials on TV in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge area and is making a name for herself as a model. Jordan is daredevil on 4-wheelers, BMX bikes and rollerblades and has come close to giving his mother a heart attack on more than one occasion. He is also a talented basketball player. Her brother Arlie Peddy(A’67-69) lives in Colorado Springs, CO and her sister Janelle Peddy De Paola (A’67-69) lives in Coden, AL. Robert Price (A’71-73) writes that he is looking forward to seeing everyone in Colorado in June, but that in the meantime, he hardly has the time to see his own family. In two weeks recently he traveled from his home in Dallas, Texas to Canada, Europe and Romania. He works as a VP of Rolls Royce Engines. His wife teaches Special Education at the middle school. His daughter, Jennifer, is now a 9th grader, a cheerleader and a gymnast while his son, Jared, is a 5th grader and is into basket ball, baseball and soccer. Laurie Rodarty Ehrich just moved to lowa from California and is loving the peaceful way of life. She is thrilled to be able to stay home with her 22 month old daughter, Isabel. Her husband, Tim, is the county engineer. Donna Runge Mulley. “Happy, healthy, still not wealthy, but enjoying life.” Donna Runge Mulley writes that she is living in Kelowna, B.C. She is a legal assistant to a busy family lawyer and has a son, Paul, who recently graduated from high school. Her partner, Ron, has two children, one of whom lives with them in Kelowna. Tom Solitario (A’72-74) writes that he has successfully made his move from New Mexico to a lovely but astronomically priced rental in Loa Altos. They took a wonderful nine day trip across the Southwest visiting the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Yosemite, Flagstaff and Las Vegas. His wife, Leslie, loved Las Vegas so much that they stayed over an extra night at the Hard Rock Hotel. They have family in Redwood City and San Francisco so they are adjusting quickly. Tom says he loves his new job managing the staff of the Marketing Division of Space System Loral, a satellite manufacturer. Susan Marie Seipel Sturgis has been living in Doha, Qatar with her husband, Rob, and their three children. Her oldest son, Roman is attending St. Mark’s outside of Boston. Daughter Lindsley moved from the British system to the American system and their youngest son, Trevor is enrolled in kindergarten in the French school. Marie Torkenhagen Phillips (L’73-74) and her husband, Ric and daughter, Andrea (8) spent their summer in England and Norway but are now back in Manila. Elizabeth van den Berg Toperzer (A’71-72) just finished directing a play for the Western Maryland College Theater entitIed “Starmites”, a science-fiction, comic-book, musical comedy.
A=Anglo-American Section; T=Teacher; L=Languages; F=French Section; C=Commercial; I=lnternat.
It is with great sadness
|Jack Bradshaw (A’66-67) passed away in 1991 at the age of 40 from malignant brain tumors. Those of you that knew him will remember that he was quite a character. He graduated from Western Washington State College, took his Ph.D. at Otago University in Dunedin, New Zealand, where he undertook to map and date a small portion of the Fjiordland area. His specialty was metamorphic geology, and he was awarded posthumously, the prestigious McKay Hammar, for his contributions to the geology of New Zealand. He was working for the US Geological Survey in Alaska at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife Judith Terpstra, his parents, a brother and two sisters.Jeff Hannan (A’63-64) Friends of Bluche managed to track down Jeff’s brother in Anaheim, CA . He was sorry to have to tell us that Jeff had been killed in a 4-wheeler accident 20 years ago.
& NOW A WORD FROM YOUR EDITOR
Ten lashes, at least, to Moi-meme for the multiplicity of sins, errors and omissions committed in the last newsletter and reunion circular. ! some how managed to even get my own phone number wrong!!!
I would like to make a special apology to anyone I may have offended with the reunion questionnaire in particular. I sent it out to the four comers of the world urging you all to join the rest of us in all our resplendent diversity, but then went on to limit responses to just “by myself” or ‘wish family”. Whoever you are, whatever your circumstances or preferences, we look forward to seeing you in Aspen in June. Bring a partner, a friend, your spouse, you x-spouse, your future spouse, someone else’s spouse, or someone you would never espouse (but might like to spend a weekend with), your mom, a chaperone, E companion, a nurse, a favorite pet, a not so favored pet, but whatever you do, please come “I’m Tom Bodette, and we’ll leave the light on for you.”
( FRIENDS OF BLUCHE ASSOCIATION
Coordinator for the Americas: Ross Povenmire, 127 York Street, Apt. 3 Portland, ME 04101 USA Tel: 1-207-772-2417 E-mail: 75121.3514@compuserve. European Coordinator: Jeanette Torgersen Olsvik, Skibberlhei 42A, 4817 His, NORWAY Tel: 47-37 01 29 05 Fax:: 47-37 04 06 25 Middle East/Africa/Asia Coordinator: Thomas Barth, PO Box 46698, Abu Dhabi UAE Tel: 971-2- 328134 (office) 971-2-477582 (home) Fax: 971 -2-331 765 Dues: $25 per year. Send your checks in one of 21 possible currencies (!!) to our Treasurer: Katy Jackson Cantor, 7801 Spring Mill Road, Indianapolis, IN 46260 USA Tel: 1-317-251-8145 Fax: 1-317-259-4650 Editor: Martha Fouts, 311 Valeview Court NW, Vienna, VA 22180 USA Tel/Fax 703-242-7929 E-mail email@example.com Address Changes/Alumni Search/Database and Directory Info: Margaret Mallon, 6424 33rd Street NW, Washington DC 20015 Tel: 1-202-362-2995 E-mail: Mallonm@cais.com
Come visit our Home Page on the Internet!!http://web2.aimmail.nethrs/bluche.html http://www.vni.net/- mcl/osb/bluche.htm
Carla Wendeman (A’77) sent in this piece of nostalgia. How many of you remember it? Sing it to the tune of “The Rising Sun” by the Animals, then write and tell us what your children think when they hear you…
There is a house in Bluche sur Sierre
Cornelia Zeschke Wenig a PF Internat from the 1960’s sent this in from the Pres Fleuris prospectus. “Each student must have every item clearly marked!”
1 pair of slacks
Le Grand Prix de la Modestie..
They eventually concocted a plan to hide themselves in the bathroom closet and wait until their victim settled herself comfortably in the tub, at which point they would burst forth from the closet and cure her forever of her “maladie de la modestie” …..(?)
Well fattened up on a couple of years worth of Swiss cuisine our fat little pommes frites could just barely stuff themselves into the appointed closet and once installed could barely contain their giggles of mirth while they waited impatiently for their innocent victim to appear.
By the time she was finally immersed, they had all but lost their confidence. What would Madame Tanfani say? Would she tell Madame Clivaz? What if Ms Lowe found out!! The prank seemed somewhat less amusing juxtaposed to their likely punishment. =0 non! Pas du Montana, pas du chocolat!! Besides which, they worried, what if their little joke caused their victim permanent psychological damage?
At the very moment that human decency was about to prevail over treachery, our poor, unsuspecting victim relaxed in her warm, soothing bath water and let rip dozens of very noisy underwater torpedoes…….
In the ensuing confusion and explosion of laughter, the “cabinet du bain” toppled over spilling out the three hysterical tyrants…. two of whom have since been located by Friends of Bluche. . One is still at large.
As for the victim in the bath, we have lost complete contact with her and have no way of knowing if she ever recovered or not, but should any of you know of her whereabouts, please assure her that all involved have taken solemn oaths never to reveal her true identity……
Recounted to and retold by the Editor by a PF Alumni, Anonymously, of course……
Going or coming’
The 3rd FOB Reunion in Aspen Colorado June 2730, 1997 will undoubtedly be the best reunion ever but only if YOU promise to attend. PLEASE!! If you have not already done so, PLEASE send in your form to Mark Uhifelder, 300 South Spring Street, Aspen CO 81611 USA FAX: 1 -970925-8505. Or call 1-970-920-9990 ext 300 or in the US 1-800-7788586 ext 300.
1997 Dues are due in January.
Minimum recommended dues are still only $25 per year and funds can be accepted in 21 international currencies To date, we have always continued to send Apres Valais to every address in our Directory, but we may not always be able to continue to do this if we do not get a greater level o participation. Many of you contribute man times the minimum required and we sincerely appreciate your support. My appeal goes out to those of you who have been receiving our newsletters for years and who have never reciprocated with a monetary contribution. Let’s hear from you this year. You will receive a brand new hot off the press, updated, FOB directory upon receipt of your 1997 dues payment.
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