Dear '66 Classmates,

 

We want to mention again how much Jim Merritt does for us. For several years out of each five he slumbers in his New Jersey home, mostly retired from a life of writing, editing, and publishing (including as Editor of the Princeton Alumni Weekly), happily ensconced with Nancy. And then, maybe 12-18 months before each major Reunion, he comes awake in a flash and turns to his permanent life responsibility of creating books for our major Reunions. Note our use of the phrase "permanent life responsibility"; this is our not-so-subtle way of telling Jim that we're in big trouble if he ever tries to escape this role.


This is a Herculean undertaking. He gets a bit of help here and there from a few other Classmates, and we of the Masked Man Committee have been trying to help with communications, but ultimately Jim is his own highly skilled cottage industry. He has highly developed software skills, truly the patience of a saint, a great eye for the written word and photo quality, and the organization skills of a forensic accountant. And he somehow has managed to find ways to coerce increasingly cranky old guys to talk about themselves in writing. We of the MMC know how hard it is to get Classmates to do anything, so we especially appreciate his ability to make this happen.


The only thing we don't ask Jim to do is raise the money to publish the book, which we want to provide for free to all Classmates. In fact by University rules, books for major Reunions can't be paid for out of Class funds. So the only choices are to charge for it or to have it underwritten. Fortunately a group of Classmates have banded together once again to do the latter.


On to the eclectic men of Masked Men 23.

 

Brian Dickson, one of our proud Canadians. Majored in the Special Program in European Civilizations (Romance Languages and History), Tiger Inn, hockey, Keyceptor. Law school at U of Toronto. 1972 joined the Canadian Department of External Affairs (think our State Dept), postings in India, Romania, DC, Guatemala/El Salvador (Ambassador), later Ambassador to the Organization of American States, Deputy High Commissioner India. Also worked in outer space law and extradition law. Many, many community and municipal volunteer activities. He and Kate live in Rockcliffe, Ontario, two sons and two grandkids.

 

Richard Goldfine. From a long line of Bostonians, majored in English, ate at Cloister. Entered Ph.D. program in French Literature at Cornell, completed most of it. Also learned German along the way. While deciding what to do with his life, began leading historical tours of Boston using his three languages, enjoyed it and made it his life's work starting 1973, hiring other tour guides as needed. Notice his photo above, taken for Masked Men during these pandemic times; it's at the grave of Zabdiel Boylston, who under threat of his life introduced inoculation to America during a smallpox epidemic. Great symbolism.

 

Steve Harwood. Born California but grew up in Montreal, also high school in Pennsylvania. Economics, Tower, Glee Club, All-American fencer and team captain. MBA Chicago. After five years at Exxon, got into capital equipment leasing in San Francisco, started his own company 1985 and ran it until retiring a couple of years ago. Deeply involved civically in his home town of Orinda, California: Volunteer of the Year, Citizen of the Year, sports announcer, ran a local version of American Idol, many boards. Creates video documentaries. He and Tish have three kids and four grandkids.

 

Rich Reinis. Born NY, grew up Beverly Hills. History, Tiger Inn, All-Ivy football. Married Lois at end of sophomore year. JD USC. Moved back and forth between big firm law practice and business (real estate, merchandise marts, apparel, licensing). Now litigates, commercial and franchise law. Founded Krispy Kreme SoCal, grew to 31 stores and 1,400 employees, then trouble and survival; see his video here. Many charitable involvements, including Gluck Foundation, State Bar Foundation, L.A. Children's Museum. Now speaks to business groups all over the country about what to do when your back is against the wall. He and Lois have five kids and 16 grandkids. That isn't a typo.

 

We still have a need for Masked Men participants. That's all we're going to say.

 

Well, maybe not quite all. To those who haven't participated, this isn't going to go on forever. Don't make us beg. Not that we're above begging, but wouldn't it be nice if you just jumped in?  It would.

 

Do you think you know who the four members of the Masked Man Committee are?  We aren't going to publicly divulge our names, and we plan to stay in our bunker until the last possible moment. But we have the sense that some of you think you know who some of us are. So by all means send in your guesses. We'll find some way to respond.

 

This Week's '66 Geographical Trivia Puzzler - Extended. This one is easily tested. What U.S. city/state combination has the most adjacent double letter pairs? For example, Haverhill, Massachusetts; Jeannette, Pennsylvania; and Tallahassee, Florida; each has three double letter pairs. The city must be an incorporated city, town, or village, with defined city limits. There may be multiple correct answers. 5 pairs is easy. Hint: For 5, there's Abbeville, Mississippi. Can you find 6 or more? A '66 connection, no matter how far fetched, gets extra points.

 

The Puzzler Master promises a new puzzler next week that not even the finest minds on the MMC and staff combined can crack. We're going nuts but are sure '66 can solve it.

 

'66 Geographical Trivia Puzzler - Retired and Undefeated. The task was to "Identify the interstate highway that makes the most crossings from one time zone to another." Answer: I-64 from the St. Louis area to Chesapeake, VA. That's only one time zone, you might think. Check again. There are four crossings in southern Indiana. The Puzzler Master is particularly proud of this discovery, verified on his smart phone, and he quotes Wikipedia, "Near milepost 61, there is a time change from Central Time Zone (Spencer County) to Eastern Time Zone (Dubois County). Between mileposts 60 and 80, I-64 crosses the Central/Eastern time zone boundary 5 times." Hey, we warned you it was trivia, but how many trivia facts are confirmed by the scientific method?

 

The Masked Man Committee


See our Masked Men Archive here.