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Episcopal Academy Class of 1972

30th Reunion Party Reflections


Ted, Eric & John
Perpetrators: Ted, Eric & John

Jottings from the Party in the Pasture

by Dan Lundquist - 14 May 2002

The word "happy" best described Saturday, May 4th.

Over a hundred members of the Class of '72, their spouses, children, parents, siblings, and friends converged on Glenbrook Farm, just adjacent to the new Chester County campus.

Planning for the event began in late 2001 when Ted and Lindsay Leisenring offered their farm as the site of our 30th Reunion. A group of volunteers coalesced under the kind-but-firm guidance of almost-classmate Tony Brown '71, EA's director of alumni relations, and his colleague Kate Kittleman.

Harnessing the contrarian nature of the class - not its members - Ted Leisenring, Jim Lawless, Chuck Taylor, and Dan Lundquist were soon joined by Eric Scheie and John Senior inspired by the challenge of planning an event so good it was "not to be missed." Ted and Lindsay (in consultation with their children Aida and Alex, who know how to have a good time) sketched out a day-long party plan. Of course there was plenty of food and drink - with one of the Leisenring herd making the ultimate sacrifice about a week before - and a tasty cake cleverly decorated with the logo that appeared on the class t-shirts. Shirts courtesy of Your Reunion Committee and Eric Scheie. The official logo was an on-line collaboration of Lewicki, Senior, and Scheie, and consisted of clip art from the '72 Tabula, the Esse Quam Videri seal, and a rainbow. Also in the celebration-support mode, Tony Brown echoed the prevailing sentiment when he asked "How do we get Senior to keep that web site live forever?" John's Radiant Productions - with contributions from the recently revived Vulcan Entertainment Enterprises - is hosting this site at www.ea72.org.

But add retro cover band "Auld Fiendz" (united for the occasion and consisting of John Senior, Guil Stevens, Bill Hayward ('70), Nancy Kimmons and Steve Bonetti as well as special guests saxman Scott Schotter and Dusty DeLong sitting in on drums), in addition to a hot tub spa, two whole-potato-launching bazookas, skittish alpacas - courtesy of the Lundquist's nearby Valley Forge Alpacas - and the stage, literally, was set.

Special thanks to Henry Nassau for supplying the wine and Bill Supplee for the beer (Mrs. Supplee recalled the last time Bill lugged kegs for EA, the family wagon had dents from the inside out!).

In honor of Derby Day, Friend Of The Class Randy Cooper FedExed - straight from Kentucky - a crate of 2002 Derby Glasses, complete with signed bottled-in-bond bourbon, and a bootleg Grateful Dead CD from a trip to the Spectrum in '70 with Al Essig and Drew Loder (neither of whom were able - or willing? - to attend the reunion).

Ready, willing, and able to attend: Rex Anderson, Rob Bell, Tom Bishop, John Bonan, Robert DeLong, Dick Feimster, John Fischer, Rob Fisher, Peter Havens, Ed Kilbourn, John Klopp, Jim Lawless, Mark LeFevre, Ted Leisenring, Steve Lewicki, Francis Littleton, Dan Lundquist, Elizabeth Marshall, Tom "Mas" Mascioli, Myree Mason, Steve Mayock, Peter Miller, Robert Manganaro Morris, Henry Nassau, Bob Nixon, Barbara Pitt Lougee, Margaret Raymond, Tom Richards, Hunter Riley, Jeff Schaefer, Eric Scheie, Scott Schotter, Scott Schumacker, John Senior, Peter Solmssen, Brad Smithers, Rick Snape, Guil Stevens, Bill Suplee, Chuck Taylor, Scott Welsh, and Rob Williams.

We are also glad that these members of other classes joined us: Charles "Guer" Alvare, Tony Brown, Geoff Hawley, Bill Hayward, Gerry Holleran, Nick Manganaro, Craig Renfrow, and Jim Spofford.

Notes on napkins.... Brave parents in attendance: Supplee, Senior, Lawless, Nassau, Lundquist. Most frequent-flyer miles: Riley (UK), Solmssen (Germany), Schotter (FL & Philippines). The in-and-out award goes to Schaefer, who's 'Vette's engine didn't even have time to cool down on the roundtrip from Boston. Most contested award (still being discussed by the French and Russian judges): hats (Dave Page currently leading). "We have friends up there": kudos to "absent friends" with a celestial connection for the weather. Camaraderie knows no gender: close to 100% turnout by the Senoritas! (excellent representation from Baldwin too, some of whom traveled a great distance to add another kind of "class" to our class reunion). Most (physically) unchanged: a draw between Welsh, Leisinring, Smithers, and Schotter. Wife mostly likely to be canonized: Lindsay Leisenring. Surprise appearance: (early) Bob Henbeck, (later) Rob Bell. "They told me I had a good time" award shared by Leisenring and Scheie for spirited duty as emcees and semi-Full Monty performances during the wearing-and-the-baring'o'the special-issue t-shirts.

Not insignificant, it is worth noting that our fund-raising efforts are yielding a good result. So far eleven of us have given or pledged over $25,000 (tally boosted by a particularly generous classmate). There is still hope - whether for bragging rights, sheer class pride, or as an altruistic nod to the Old School and its good works - that our financial support can approach our attendance record. Whatever motivates you, the goal is worthwhile! Your participation counts, so give into that itchy check-writing finger or go to www.episcopalacademy.org and click on the "Supporting EA" link.

It was a happy day: the setting, the weather, and the program all came together wonderfully well. But of course the key ingredient - the Main Event - was the people. "Present friends and absent friends" as one toastmaster proclaimed. Alternately rowdy and reflective, the revelry lasted a full twelve hours ("and it took me twenty-four to recover" emailed one participant).

The prediction that the Party in the Pasture would be an event not-to-be-missed came true, with interest and in interesting ways. It was great to see old friends, hear about what they're doing and thinking, and remember the old days, too. And it was great to catch up with classmates who were just outside of one's smaller circle - and to see what good guys they'd become - or always were. Was our appreciation of this because we've all grown up? or were there opportunities missed - to get to know others, try different experiences? The preliminary consensus seemed to be "both."

Watching the sun set across the fields of Chester County, as our kids played at sword-fighting with dried cornstalks triggered bittersweet memories of our childhood together, playing games of all sorts and growing up. Chapel at dawn in winter, exploring the nooks and crannies of the long-gone, grand old buildings in Merion, seminar debates, endless labs, team practices and away-games 'til dark, our favorite teachers and coaches' quiet, almost magical, moments in places like the Collins Memorial, also gone. Our own childhood and young adulthood, gone too, but as we looked around at our friends, and enjoyed the spontaneous camaraderie of an event like this, most left with a real sense of appreciation for what we have, and how important our Episcopal years were in helping shape our here and now. Oh, yes, and with an up-dated address list and a t-shirt!

Auld Fiendz
Auld Fiendz: Bill, Guil & John
Dan, John, Eric & Steve
Vulcans: Dan, John, Eric & Steve
Jim & Ted
Perpetrators: Jim & Ted
Guer & Dan
Provocateurs: Guer & Dan

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