Dear '66 Classmates,
Well, it's December 15th. But, unlike the 15th of March, which as all scholarly Princetonians know was reported by Shakespeare as the Ides of March, December 15th is....nothing. On the Roman calendar the Ides of December is the 13th. You missed it. So did Julius Caesar that year. But this is the fifth day of Hanukkah, and just 10 days until Christmas and 11 days until the first day of Kwanzaa, so there is much to celebrate. And for the odd among you, today is National Cat Herders Day. Not kidding.
This also is the deadline. No fudging. If you have a nomination for Class Officer, today is the last day you can nominate. If you wake up tomorrow morning with a burning desire to serve '66, you're out of luck for five years. We have other roles for you to play, but the Class Officer roles are filled just before major Reunions. So, after reading about our Masked Men, go to the bottom of the page and see how to send in a nomination.
You'll recall that this week we're featuring Classmates who live outside the U.S. This presented complex and vexing obstacles. The short biographies we write have to be vetted by the Classmate; imagine if we misspelled a wife's name or reported an advanced degree from Penn when it was really Harvard. As it is we have libel lawyers on standby. Interposing distant time zones complicates the approval process, and our international Classmates are feeling just a bit superior to we mainlanders these days for a bunch of obvious reasons, so whipping them into cooperation wasn't easy. But charm and wit and intellect won out in the end. Theirs, not ours.
Ed Coe, here with Blackie. From New Jersey, Architecture major, Marching Band, Terrace house chairman. M.A. Architecture from Wash U. Peace Corps in Tunisia and Brazil, then many years working on big architecture projects (like the largest resort in Brazil) and in tourism management roles. Has lived and worked in many countries but Brazil has been home base. In fact he has an apartment in the historic center of Salvador which he uses for Airbnb and invites '66ers to stay there for free. Single now, two kids and four grandkids.
Paul Corcoran, here with wife Naomi. To PU from Illinois, Politics major, Elm Club, in both the Marching and Concert Bands. M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke, moved to Australia in 1974 to teach political science at the University of Adelaide and never left. Has written four books and many articles and reviews; a month ago was the center of an NPR podcast on presidential concession speeches. Survived major cardio-thoracic surgery in his 40's. Was single without kids for many years until just before our 50th, when he married Naomi and her four still-at-home children, which has made him unspeakably happy.
Ham Shields. Father was '25. Born in Maine, grew up in Vermont, school in Connecticut. History major, Cap, co-head of Chapel Deacons, ran the Campus Fund Drive. Baseball and 150lb football. Was reputed to sleep occasionally. In the Nassau Herald he said he might go to England, and he did. M.A. Law from Cambridge, 25 years an officer at J.P. Morgan in London, left after the Chase acquisition. Was in New York on 9/11 and has spent many hours since then studying about and traveling in the Middle East, which we're hoping he will explain to us someday. He and Sarah live at the best named home in the Class, Bottom Farm Barn, in Bucks, U.K.
Russell Willis. From New York, had a cross-major in Romance Languages and Sociology, ran track and cross-country, was Independent. M.A. in Science Education at Columbia. Left U.S. in 1972 and has lived in Australia since 1973. Many years teaching high school math and heading math departments, always while doing much travel. In 1986, he founded a bushwalking business Willis's Walkabouts which he still runs. When not conducting tours, he has done things like paddling down the Yukon River and hiking Arctic Norway. Continues to run for both competition and fun. He and partner Carol Richards live in Darwin.
Don't you love hearing these stories about Classmates? We love uncovering them. We want to uncover more of them. Please give us a chance and send in two photos like those above. Any setting, any mask, any co-conspirators or no co-conspirators. We promise that you'll be glad you jumped in. 125 of your Classmates have done so already.
Several Classmates have expressed concern for the health of our staff who, against our wise counsel, travelled over Thanksgiving. We insisted that they quarantine and be tested before returning the the office, a veritable petri dish. We're happy to report that all hands are healthy, and morale is much improved. One staff member, however, did cancel her travel plans. Jo Oznot recalled her grandfather saying that it is always wise to trust the advice of any member of the Great Class of 1966, so she stayed in town and had a Zoom Thanksgiving with her extended family back in Michigan. Jo wanted us all to know that her grandfather sends his warmest greetings to his '66 friends who made him what he is today.
So, back to nominations. We need your nominations for Class Officers, either of yourself or others. Stas is waiting to hear from you. All should be directed to him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him at 973-224-4935, or send him snail mail at 14301 Green Road, Reisterstown, MD.
The Masked Man Committee
See our Masked Men Archive here.