Dear fellow alumni,
I am pleased and humbled to be taking over the role of editor for The Friends of Bluche newsletter. This newsletter would not be in existence were it not for the persistent and noble efforts and contributions ofDebra Duke, Jean Paul Lewis, Martha Fouts, Margaret Mallon, Ross Provenmire and Pradeep Kapadia. Fortunately, I am not undertaking this effort by myself but still have the welcome and sometimes covert guidance of Debra, Jean-Paul, Ross and Pradeep. Jean-Paul will continue in his roleof feature writer but we will, as always, continue to solicit (and sometimes beg) for your contributions.
I am going to section the newsletter into three parts: reunions, personal narratives and current updates. The reunion section will have information regarding either the most recently held reunion and/or information regarding any upcoming events. This issue will highlight the recent reunion in August, 2007, organized and hosted by Carmen Lamoureux Marshall, in the gorgeous Canadian Rockies of Banff, Alberta, Canada. The personal narratives section will house those great memories and stories that you share with us from a time long, long ago in a place far, far away. Thanks to all of you who have already sent in some wonderful stories. If you do not see your contribution in this issue, do not feel it has been lost. I am holding back a few wonderful stories for the next newsletter. So keep coming back. It will appear, I promise! The current updates section will allow all of us to share in your life: marriages, births, divorces, old and new career paths and changes. We will also be able to celebrate finding lost alumni. This section will be organized by attendance year so that you may locate friends quickly. So please don’t forget to alert us, even if it is simply a quick email, about what is happening in your life so that we may all keep this bond of ours strong.
It appears not to matter that we may have attended Les Roches twenty years apart; we all have a strong connection and kinship with each other. We saw that with the stories that Kathy Fay regaled us with one evening, sitting in the lounge of the Banff Park Lodge; we could all understand how it may have been possible that Madame Clivaz packed all the girls in a bus in the middle of the night, took them down to Sierre and told them to walk home. It didn’t matter that this event occurred in the 1960’s. We could all picture it. For me, personally, even though I have not yet had a classmate attend either the Bluche or Banff reunion, it is like getting together with my extended family. It is like spending the week with your favorite brothers, sisters and cousins. We are getting to know the spouses, the special friends and our children. Each time we meet, the bond strengthens, the warmth and caring feeling expands, and the laughter and joy is contagious.
Robin Evans Kelleher 1965-67
We are like Masons. Like the stonecutters of the Middle Ages, we are a secret society that has tradition, rituals, loyalty, common purpose and we come from all parts of the world! Like the Masons, our gatherings become engagements in a quest for attaining a form of mystical fulfillment and an opportunity for an intercourse in knowledge. Unlike the Masons, however, our gatherings are not small and sequestered moments, but develop into events.
The Reunion at Banff was the largest assembly of alumnae in the history of these gatherings. Not only did former students emerge at Banff coming from many parts of the globe, but also former Pres Fleuris students from the 1950’s and 60’s came to participate in the rituals and bask in affection and medieval merriment.
Every Reunion has its own individual character but the one at Banff was extra special for three reasons. It was the farthest location from Bluche for a reunion and it attracted the most first-timers in its nearly twenty-year history and lastly, the geophysical setting was the most dramatic and majestic. The Rockies are the marrow of the world while the Alps are for children to climb.
We only had two sunny days; a slow drizzle or an occasional brief downpour marked the rest of the time. It was also cold in the morning. This did not matter. The Rockies and the glaciers were thinly cloaked by slow moving white clouds that made the angular and jagged facades and peeks look mysterious and sacred like an Indian burial ground. Early one morning, my dear friend, Denis Briere, his wife, Debra, and I took a five-hour horse trail ride at Lake Louise and climbed The Plain of the Six Glaciers with our mountain horses. Not to brag, but to make a point, I have ridden a little bit all over the world and I can honesty say that this particular excursion was the most breathtaking trail ride I have ever experienced! How many times does one see an avalanche? We did; within minutes after reaching the top. Soon after, we fortified ourselves with hot tea and homemade apple pie before starting on our long descent to the bottom.
There were the traditional sacraments of the reunion such as the fondue dinner where seventy or so former students glided from table to table like politicians, embracing old lost friends and talking to each other about events and people from those jours de gloires as if it was only yesterday!
The Rocky Mountain adrenaline came to a fever pitch at the Soirée. The long trip to Banff alone was worth participating in this splendid event. After feasting on salmon and superb Canadian beef, and watching a fantastic video show prepared by Pradeep, the music and dance entertainment commenced and people danced with complete reckless abandon, like some tribe seeking resolution from the their Gods.
For Kathy Fay, this was her first reunion. She was in Bluche during the Kennedy Administration, and she was not the only one that came to the Reunion from that time period! The morning of the Soirée, she went for a mountain bike ride and fell. She slashed her right leg on a piece of serrated shale. She was rushed to the hospital where she required fourteen stitches, but she was escorted and watched over for four hours by several alumnae whom she had previously never met. During the Soirée dinner, her injured leg rested on a chair where it had to be kept in a horizontal position. That did not stop her from springing to her feet and charging onto the dance floor. Several of the alumnae threatened an intervention to bring her back to her table because they feared that she would open her stitches. Indeed, the opaque bandages revealed crimson stains, but she dismissed any concerns and continued to dance madly.
I am getting e-mails from friends and one of them said that she spent a year looking forward to this reunion and now she feels completely deflated and asks herself; “Now what?” Another friend, a first timer, wrote me that for the first time in a long while she felt a sense of completeness and fulfillment in ways she could not imagine. Even I, who have attended all of the Big Reunions, was moved by the energy, affection, honesty and nostalgia of the event. For the first time in over thirty years I saw old school chums such as Laura Mills, Laurie Moore, Paul Grinnell, Bill Stewart, Mike Taggart, and Paul Martin.
The spouses were also humbled by the love fest. Husbands and wives of former students expressed their disbelief on how close and open everyone was and felt drawn by this magnetism. Like my wife, Sue Ellen, who has been to so many of these Reunions that she felt as if she was at Pres Fleuris and that the women have in effect, adopted her as part of that group. She is not the only one to experience this bizarre spiritual conversion.
One of the most poignant features of the Reunion was that there were quite a few offspring who, over the years, have become fast friends. So, we have a next generation of Les Roches / Pres Fleuris alumnae waiting in the wings.
Many of us regretted only one thing: The absence of our beloved European friends. Do they not share in the camaraderie? I do not think so. Is it because they are afraid to fly over the pond? Perhaps they think that the Euro is too weak vis-à-vis the Canadian dollar? Or do they believe that North America, the most dramatic continent in the world, is unworthy of a visit especially when they know perfectly well that their American and Canadian brothers and sisters would receive them with open arms.
The next Reunion will be in Bluche. We have decided to “go home” once again! It is our sincere hope that considering Les Roches / Pres Fleuris is in the heart of Europe; our European brethren will join us. We have made it easy for you this time. Try not to disappoint us.
The song selection for the slide show said it all — “déjà vu” and “teach your children” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; “with a little help from my friends” by Joe Cocker, and “a touch of gray” by the Grateful Dead. Pictures of alumni then and now, flashing among a backdrop of the unchanging mountains, and glimpses of old friends and teachers, some in compromising positions brought smiles, laughter and nods of remembrance to all of us.
I have now attended all 7 reunions, most of them with my family, and I feel like I truly have an extended family throughout the world. Pichet Nithivasin called from Bangkok during the reunion, and we received dozens of emails from those of you who could not attend, but were there in spirit. The alumni who came represented the longest span of years — from 1960 to 1977, and came from all over — Bermuda, South Africa, New York, and even Calgary. 14 alumni (about 35%) were coming to a reunion for the first time. Surprisingly, no one showed up from Europe this time, so we agreed that the Europeans will have to host the next reunion and pay for all our drinks.
We hiked, rode on horseback, golfed, had a great BBQ, and danced. The cold rain did not dampen our spirits, and actually gave us the time to sit and talk to each other like never before. It was one of the best reunions I have ever attended.
Thanks to all of you who donated to the FOB account during and after the reunion. And special thanks to the anonymous donor of $525. Our current balance is $4,085. Not quite enough to sustain the alumni association for the next two years, but enough to keep the website going for about 18 months. If you haven’t contributed in the past two years, and find this association useful, please send what you can — $25, $50, $100 — To Friends of Bluche, c/o Pradeep Kapadia, 12 North Division Street, Peekskill, NY. If you can contribute over $500 anonymously, your contribution will go towards the long-term sustainability of the alumni association, and you will be the fifth such donor.
My First Reunion
Donna Mills ’70-72
My first reunion. I hadn’t known about all the reunions until Lake Como, which I couldn’t make. So I was determined to get to Banff. With only three weeks left until the reunion: I could hardly focus on anything else. Once I made up my mind to go, I tried to coordinate my family to come with me but as the time got closer, my plans began to disintegrate. Finally, I determined that all that mattered was going to Banff. The family bit the dust. I was going solo.
I feverishly emailed old friends who encouraged me, rallying support for my decision. Oh yes, and the logistics of the journey. We planned to have a mini-reunion in Vancouver first, with a few of us girls, some of whom couldn’t attend Banff due to prior commitments. I entreated my old roommates to share a room yet again with me. I infringed on the kindness of old friends for a corner of a backseat, to make the journey from Vancouver to Banff. I was overwhelmed by the generosity and accommodation that poured forth.
August 1: The focusing difficulty I had experienced earlier was worse. I had to call my college-age daughter to come help me pack because I was so excited I could hardly see, let alone focus and I had no idea what to pack. She commented she had never seen me like this, and promptly took over. I had no idea what was in my single duffle bag, but I successfully made it to the local train station, courtesy of my husband. I planned to meet Kathi Dobyns on the train, as she traveled from Klamath Falls, Oregon, to Seattle where we were to be picked up by her sister, Vicki, who would drive us to Vancouver the next day. I jumped on the 2:03 train, knowing I would recognize my good friend, Kathi, instantly from her senior yearbook picture, class of 1970.
I traveled to the end of the train and back to the beginning, as my confidence began to fade; I realized what if I didn’t know what she looked like. Of course, she would be looking for me to get on in Olympia, so I just looked for an expectant face searching back from a seat. Still no luck. I called my husband, “She’s not on the train.” A minor oversight. “Did you call her sister, Vicki?” he suggested helpfully. Good idea, but did I have her phone number with me? As luck would have it, I did! She wasn’t expecting Kathi until about midnight. She had just returned from a month in Costa Rica, but she graciously arranged for me to come to her house. A little snafu in the planning, but undaunted, I finally managed to find out what had happened to Vicki since the last time I saw her, in a bar in Montana, in January 1971, when she walked out with 5 francs and ran away from Pres Fleuris.
And I was off, on my journey to reconnect with my dear friends from high school, last seen 35 years ago. What a glorious journey it was! So much dearer the second time around. Vicki had fled to another school in Switzerland, without money or passport, with Greg Smith. They were housed in a little chalet, without heat, windows, for three days, and fed through the generosity of friends smuggling food from the school dining room. The third day found them the only occupants in a café, when two agents, in trench-coats and hats, ventured in and compared handheld photos to them. Relieved to be rescued from the freezing and dark chalet, the two runaways were caught by the stereotypical Interpol agents, and dispatched in accordance with their parents’ wishes. Mystery solved.
We met up with Kathi well after midnight and ventured on to Vancouver where we met up with Donna Runge, her cousin Maureen, Sharon Taylor and Nicolette de Bona. The next day, we had lunch withSue Reaper and Ron Zisman, and Debra Minogue in Granville Island, Vancouver. A few days there together, we spent catching up, reminiscing, drinking a bit too much and feasting in the celebration. Four of us (Donna, Nicolette, Sharon and I) then went on to Donna’s house in Kelowna, where we met her husband, Ron, and spent a few more days playing in the sun, on the lake, and at the wineries.
Finally, we were on to Banff. Would I recognize my friends and classmates? I found after an initial blank look, if I looked in the eyes I could recognize my classmates. And they really hadn’t changed a bit. I could recognize my classmates, but who were those older people with them?
We saw 40 of our classmates and former students. Some were from the class of ’61 and some later than our years, but the majority were from our time there: Carmen Lamoureaux and Pradeep Kapadia, organizers extraordinaire, we four girls, Carolyn Gillespie (another of my former roommates), John Paul Lewis, Lori Moore, Paul Martin, Rob Swiel, Denis and Yvonne Briere, David McCauley, Howard, Rory and Kim Campbell, Katy Jackson, Len Enriquez, Sue and Ross Povenmire, Susan Seipel. Forgive me, the new last names escape me.
It was lovely: long lunches sharing our stories, walks in the rain with twelve or so of old and new friends, the soiree and some really good music. The fabric of our existence, woven together with the threads of all of our connections throughout time, turned back on itself and came full circle to complete a basket to hold our lives and our experiences. It was fulfilling in ways I could not imagine. I healed in ways I didn’t know needed healing. I connected with classmates I hadn’t known and found new friends. I truly felt a sense of completeness, for those of us who felt shuttled off to boarding school and in a way abandoned by our families, to reconnect. I could see why I chose my friends then, before we became who we are today, with our essence at its purest. I found our essence still intact today, enriched by the trials and difficulties we have survived and even overcome, to arrive where we are now, rich with life experiences. We are a pretty great group of friends. I can’t wait for the next reunion in Bluche.
An Emotionally Intense Reunion
“When I was emailing alumni to find out who could make it to the Banff reunion there were several who were tempted and possibly would have come if their special friends had tried to encourage them. Sometimes, that is all it takes is a few words from a close but distant friend. And, for all of you who didn’t make it to Banff, I’ll try and give you a tiny glimpse of what it was like for me. However, I’ll never be able to capture the emotional intensity of this reunion.
As soon as Carmen posted the hotel details I booked a room for Nicolette de Bona and myself and we agreed to do it in style. We had a huge room with two queen beds and two bathrooms as well as a lounge area with terrace doors onto the front lawn. I thought we’d have luxurious stay in Banff. Then Carolyn Gillespie needed a room so she joined us and at the last moment (and with encouraging words from close friends) Laura Mills had a bed in Banff. So it was like old days at Pres Fleuris, two of my original roommates. (Bonnie Van Noord Barnes, we missed you.)
That room came in handy after the fondue dinner when we hosted an impromptu party, suggested byRoss Povenmire, and most of the alumni turned up. Carmen brought her guitar and sang for all of us and we had a chance to make a connection with old friends.
This year we were lucky enough to have several alumni who attended LR/PF earlier and I particularly enjoyed my wet and chilly day out with Jacqueline and Abby Senehi Setareh and Kathy Fay when we saw the Banff Hot Springs and wolves. The ultimate highlight was, of course, the soiree and we were queuing up to dance with Howard and Rory Campbell. And Howard and Rory, be prepared, Carolynhas already started dance classes for the next reunion soiree and I shall do the same when I return to Cape Town. Also Kathy Fay and Ross Povenmire were a delight to watch as their enjoyment of the night was practically tangible. Pradeep had a super slide show to music before the dancing started. My only request for the next reunion is that we have at least two soiree nights.
I felt I was particularly fortunate this year to have a couple of additional mini reunions before and after the main event. In Vancouver we had two nights with Nicolette de Bona, Laura Mills, Donna Runge, Kathy and Vicky Dobyns and then we went to Granville Island and met up with Debra Minogue Duke, Sue Reaper and Ron Zisman. Donna Runge then drove Nicolette, Laura and me to Kelowna where we had two nights at her wonderful home and had a great visit with Donna’s husband, Ron and Kim Campbell and his friend, Leitizia. Kelowna is definitely a place I plan to revisit. After the reunion, Jean Paul, Sue Ellen and their daughter, Charlotte, Nicolette, Donna and I then had an intimate dinner atDenis and Debbie Briere’s in Calgary before heading off. So my suggestion to anyone planning on attending the next reunion in Bluche is schedule an additional reunion with your own special friends.
Since Banff I’ve been lucky enough to have Susan Povenmire visit me in London and to catch up withMarti Boone for a few hours on her flying visit.
This reunion was a first for several alumni and I hope they choose to write a few words and I also hope we see more new faces at the next reunion.”
A few observations about Banff
Even though the weather didn’t cooperate, the alumni of Bluche certainly did. My second reunion and I still marvel at how fulfilling our meetings are. It is a brief juncture when the past and present collide and time seems irrelevant. We as busy citizens, hardworking moms and dads and responsible grandparents stop to enjoy what we had in our teen years…our authentic selves untouched by the burden of social responsibility. I especially enjoyed watching “first timers”, who marveled at the “feel good” feelings we all enjoy at these reunions.
I can’t imagine and can hardly wait for the ’09 reunion in Bluche. Thank you Ottavia from the depths of my heart.
Those Elks, Lake Louise, Kananaskis & the Future
Impressions from the reunion: There were two elk; great, beautiful creatures we saw from the windows of the bus. Dave caught them on film. Why didn’t they move when they had such magnificent racks to show off? Lake Louise: fed by six glaciers Ross and I tried to see, but they stayed hidden around the next corner. Kananaskis: Thank you Dennis and Debbie for taking our small group to pose where G-8 leaders once stood. Last but most important: Banff, surrounded by big, muscular Canadian Rockies, was a place in time when this scattered community, bound by a shared past, came together and considered the future.
THE ABSENT HERIONE
Dozens of us “anciens” came to Banff to bask in a glorious REUNION. Many of us would not have been there if it was not for DEBRA MINOGUE DUKE. Unfortunately, Debra could not make the Reunion but I felt her presence there as if she was a spirit traveling with the wind among the mountains and glaciers.
Debra was the one individual that made the NEWSLETTER possible for many years. Napoleon Bonaparte once said that the graveyard is full of indispensable men. However, Bonaparte said nothing of the sort regarding women. In my mind, Debra Duke’s tireless efforts to keep the NEWSLETER afloat for so long was the indispensable women in this regard.
Each issue was a challenge. The planning, editing, writing, and most difficult of all, soliciting articles from former students all over the globe, was a big effort and time demanding.
The NEWSLETTER was created immediately after the First Reunion that took place in Bahamas in 1990. After that hugely successful first gathering of the “tribe,” I flew to Denver and stayed at Debra and her husband, Rick’s, home for several days assisting her in getting the first edition out. There was no money so we had to pay for everything ourselves because we passionately believed that it was essential to start and maintain a medium as a follow-up to the Reunion in ’90, and future reunions, and where former students can find out about each other and recount stories and episodes from the old days.
The recent Banff Reunion was a great success because so many people and first-timers came. Many of them made the effort to attend because they read about it in the NEWSLETTER. Debra’s legacy was her unwavering commitment and selflessness of purpose in this cause. She is to be congratulated and I look forward to continue soliciting her advice as we now move forward.
I did not know Debra when she was at Les Roches / Pres Fleuris. She came after me. We met for the first time in the Bahamas and became very good friends over the years. Her diligence, organizational skills, literary input, time and expense sustained the NEWSLETTER off-and-on for seventeen years even though there were moments where it was very difficult to get something out because it was hard to get articles and information from former students and faculty. Many times we really had to scrape the barrel to find things to print. This is a problem that Robin Evans Kelleher, the new editor, and I the senior writer, still face! We are not looking for recognition for our efforts but rather input from all of you. One evening at the recent Banff Reunion, there were about twenty of us sitting in easy chairs drinking cocktails and listening to Carmen sing and play her guitar. After her lovely mini-concert we started to tell stories and we all howled with laughter as one after the other recounted some small vignette about their days at Bluche.
So, everyone has a story, event, and journey to tell. Bad or good, amusing or sad. There was about seventy of us at this last reunion. I hope Robin and I will be hearing more from you.
Were there two choices or three? Lined, graph, blank? Do you recall? Does it now rest, forgotten, in a cupboard, closet, or trunk? What’s in yours? Perhaps it should be asked in past tense, “What was in yours?” Intentionally omitting written from the question, more than penmanship filled the books. Drawings laced the pages, bordered the book, and decorated the cover. Kodak color photos embellished some, or pictures meticulously snipped from magazines, imprecisely pasted, creating fantasy collages, visual representation of the future as we knew it.
Yes, I still have a couple of cahiers. Two with covers, yellow and blue, both wide ruled. The third, liberated, coverless, disassembled, scattered in the depths of an old recipe file in the pantry. Cooking is still of interest, although the contents of the pages from the recipe collecting days in Switzerland are of no use. Yet, les papiers are kept as a memento of the formative years spent dreaming of independence.
Now, the blue and yellow notebooks’ only purpose is a reminder of youth. Chocked full of poetry, song lyrics, sayings, quotes, in two languages, of course, this one and French from cover to cover, completely void of any humor, no jokes nor comic clippings.
What was the intended purpose of the cahier? Note taking, assignment making, and memory keeping? Recording our history, ciphering our math, charting the chemistry, conjugating our verbs, writing our stories? How about it? Go ahead. Take a minute. Leaf through le cahier.
I attended my 10th grade year at Les Roches. A year that can never be duplicated or forgotten.
As we all remember, the environment at Les Roches was highly restrictive and supervised. Snow skiing was over so we had to find something else to burn off our energy and frustrations. Lawson Beatty, Bob Haynes and I would meet up and look for something fun to fill our spare time. At times we would sneak off and walk through the woods. Other times we’d stop off at Montana Village and go no further. The tavern owner there appreciated our business and we were told that he was not a friend of Clivaz so we didn’t have to worry about him making a phone call to the school.
One afternoon we decided to go on an extended walk through the woods and on the way back came upon a large rock in the middle of our path. There was no telling how many years the rock had been lying there but we decided it needed to be moved over the cliff next to the walking path.
The rock was oval shaped, about 2 feet (.6 M) tall and about the size of the hood of a Volkswagen Beetle. We found some large tree limbs and rocks of various sizes and lifted and pried and fitted rocks under the large bolder where we finally got it lifted enough to get some muscle under it. With the three of us 15 year olds working together, the rock could be budged about an inch or two at the time. Eventually we got the rock scooted off of the narrow dirt path and onto a slick rocky surface. We now had the task well in hand and that rock was going to be pushed off the side of the cliff and into the forest below. This was our mandate for the day.
As we positioned the rock to the point of almost falling over the cliff the three of us got behind it, lifted, pushed and away it went. At first, all we heard was a big THUD. Then came another and another and another followed by sounds of crashing of trees as the rock started rolling down the mountainside. This rock was not going to stop anytime soon as gravity had now taken over. We quickly lost sight of the bolder but could easily see its trail by watching the treetops and the disappearing sapling trees that were being taken down by its path. The tops of the larger trees would shake vigorously as the rock glanced off of them. The crashing noise was getting louder and louder and the three of us were standing there white knuckled and grinning not knowing whether to break and run or stand and the enjoy the show.
This rock was quickly gaining momentum. In what seemed an eternity, the rock continued with its descent down the mountainside taking down almost everything in its path. I wondered when would it stop? This was getting scary! As the rock’s path became obvious, we looked further ahead and saw a nice two-story chalet standing right in the rock’s path. Uh-Oh we have really done it this time! The rock was well on its way to hitting someone’s house and our amusement was turning into fear. All we could do was listen to the loud crashing of the trees that were in the rock’s path and hope for a miracle. The larger trees that were collided with only deflected the rock slightly as it maintained the same downhill path. This was a steep mountainside, perfect for this type of prank and possible disaster. Finally, we heard a very large crash and the top of a huge tree shook violently! The rock then came to a stop! There was a brief still in the air and then a dog near the chalet started to bark fiercely. He was really rattled! For a moment I thought about walking down the mountainside and viewing the damage but quickly decided not to press my luck. The three of us looked at each other with a big grin and sigh of relief and started to walk back towards school.
On the way back we got our stories straight and took a slightly different route in case there were implications. Our usual walk was past the small neighborhood where the Milley’s (Paul and Isabel) our Canadian Biology and Geometry teachers lived. If their white car “the Milley Mobile” as we called it, was in the drive we would make a lot of racket until one would look out of the window and speak but this was no time to be social. As we made it back to school we walked into the bar and greeted everyone there. I felt relieved and was actually glad to be back at Les Roches.
The events of the afternoon made a good story and we wanted to share it with others but couldn’t for a few days until the coast was clear. If an inquiry came, keeping news like that quiet in a place with 120 boys all living together would have been impossible. Thankfully, nothing came back to haunt us and the event faded away making a good story to share with former classmate’s 36 years later.
That was just one of our afternoon antics for that year and I am so glad that very LARGE tree stood in the rock’s path and also stood very strong during the collision.
I have since wondered how much of a hand God had in directing the path of that rock? He obviously kept the results of many of my other youthful pranks down to a minimum. THANK YOU!
The three of us went back to spending our free time in the small bowling alley in the basement of Petit Paradis. A liter of beer and a bag of paprika flavored potato chips and rolling those red balls down the isles at the pens suspended by strings were a lot safer.
Life back in the states could not compare.
I was known as Claudia Bates and I think I was at PF ’69-’70. I used to go with Tim Zook and then Brad Yates. I had to leave early when something was intercepted in the mail by Madame Clivaz. I eventually got to come back to complete the year (long story). I hated it so much that I went to Monte Rosa in Montreux the following year. I loved my friends, though, and have many fond memories. It was just too strict for this wild child!
I live in Midlothian , Virginia , a Suburb of Richmond with my husband of 28 years (!). I have four sons. Dustin is 24 and is getting ready to be married. Grayson is 21 and is getting ready to move to Austin , TX . Nathaniel is 19 and is ready to begin his freshman year at Va. Tech. Our last son, Emerson is 15 and is ambivalent about being the only child come fall.
I earned my MSW in 1981, and have since worked in homelessness, child abuse and hospice. I am currently providing contract work providing home studies for families interested in international adoption ~ my first happy social work position! Primarily, though, I have been a stay-at-home mom to my four boys, and a slew of pets. I currently keep bossy parrots.
I will be unable to attend the reunion because I will be visiting my brother who lives in Nova Scotia , Canada during that time. Can’t you move the reunion there? Have fun and give hugs to anyone who remembers me from that special yet challenging time in our lives!
I attended the commercial section and for reasons that I still have not understood, they kicked me out of the school at the end of 1972, just 1/2 year before getting my “Diplôme de Commerce”. Well, that is an old story and it has been talked over so many times.
But, something that is much more important, is the fact that my girlfriend was this beautiful Norwegian girl named Marie von Torkehagen. We were very much in love during my last school year, and our relationship continued for some months after me having been kicked out. But then life happened on Marie’s side and on mine.
Although I came to many reunions, I had never seen Marie again, something that I regretted always a lot.
You might have heard of our little Ski-Reunion last February in Crans where some Alumni met for a nice week of skiing. And Marie was there also. I knew it beforehand, because she had contacted me by e-mail. What happened during this reunion is the most wonderful experience for Marie and me and we had written about it in detail in the last Newsletter.
Yes, we are a couple again and we love each other profoundly.
Of course, our lives are a little complicated since Marie lives with her daughter in Oslo, Norway and I live in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. But we do get to see each other quite often, at least every other weekend, sometimes even more often. But you must know that it is terrible to be in love like we are and then having to be separated. But we are working in it and one day we will be living together for good.
We had planned to come to the Banff reunion, but we had to give up the project, because of all the changes in our lives we just could not make. But we certainly will come to the next reunion.
Nevertheless, we do visit our Alumni friends here and there. So did we meet “Angel” Einar Engelstadtin Oslo, we went to visit Massimo Ciceri in Como, Italy, we visited Bluche and Crans several times and met, Françoise and Alain Borgeat, of course Ottavia Giorgi-Monfort, etc. etc. And we had also visitedThomas and Franca Barth in Zürich. Please see the enclosed picture showing the 4 of us at Thomas’ place.
I am attaching a picture from my 50th birthday in March, 2007. Three of my roommates and one of my closest friends from PF came from around the world to help me celebrate. Pictured standing is Lisa Simpson who drove in from Cinninatti, seated from left is Lizette Ottensten who flew in from Copenhagen, Denmark, me, Claudia (not from LR), Marti Boone Mattia who flew in from Atlanta andAndi Alexander who flew in from New York. It was a wonderful evening made more special by the presence of my dear Pres Fleuris friends. Those enduring friendships have been one of the greatest gifts in my life.
I really, really regret not having been able to attend Banff and I can imagine very easily how beautiful it was.
I’ve heard that some alumni would like to do the next reunion in Switzerland and I’m really happy with this. I have now a house in Crans and I’m happy to host there as many alumni as possible! If I will not have enough beds we can hire some tents !!!! :-))))
Not much news from Europe : I regularly see or speak with Paul Wirth (impossible to forget such a wonderful DJ during the soirees) and his fabulous love story with Marie Torkenagen (impossible to forget such a blonde good looking good Norwegian skier) is going on well ; Dieter Habib (impossible to forget the laziest and kindest pupil of Les Roches) is living in Belgrade, Yugoslavia and I would love to go and see him there for a week-end there if he doesn’t come, as usual, for skiing in Crans when there is the sunshine, when the weather is not too cold, when he will be able to eat raclette and drink wine, when he will not get too tired skiing; Thilda Almann (the beautiful Thilda) is fine in Nice and I do hope to see her very soon; Irene Neveu the internat is fine too and I often invite her for dinner at my house and we often of course talk about the old days when we were a bit younger !!!!! Thanks for all the work that you will do for the Friends of Bluche family. I’m sure that with the talented Jean Paul Lewis, you will make a wonderful newsletter and I’m looking forward to read it till the last, last word. I already know that I will find it too short !!!!!
Take care and hope to see you soon
Best Swiss regards,
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