By Thomas J. Bourgeois
This just in from Barnaby Conrad III: “My big book Jacques Villeglé and the Streets of Paris [came] out in January. In 1949, a 23-year-old architect ripped a batch of torn advertising posters off a wall in Paris, glued them on a canvas, and proclaimed the results ‘Art.’ Today the 95-year-old Villeglé is considered the grandfather of street art and the greatest living artist in France. The big, heavily illustrated volume is 260 pages and weighs a hefty 4.2 lbs. The $80 book is available through Modernism Inc., Inkshares.com, or on Amazon.” (Your faithful scribe’s research reveals that you can also order it from Target.) Weighty news indeed!
Other postings from here and there:
Nathaniel and Eugenia Stevens Wheelwright check in with recent developments. Nat notes, “Three years ago, Genie and I retired from Bowdoin College, where we taught Spanish and ecology, respectively. We moved from Brunswick to a farm in Harpswell, Maine. Farm chores and ecological restoration, plus grandchildren, keep us busy.” Genie adds, “My encore career is as a mediator in family court. I hope never to see any of you there, although I find the work very rewarding.”
Rabbi Les Bronstein, still heading the congregation at Bet Am Shalom Synagogue in White Plains, New York, writes, “Along with hundreds of our classmates, I am mourning Arthur Greenwald’s death. Among many memories: In 1973 I visited his family in Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving. Arthur and I made a cameo appearance on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood! We used to watch the show in his Morse dorm room many an afternoon. Who but Arthur had his own TV! And xylophone! And his own Checker Cab!”
As reported last time, classmate gatherings are gathering momentum:
Not that I relish evoking the specter of The Game’s most recent iteration, but it’s well worth mentioning that last November marked the 50th anniversary of Jeff McAulay’s inaugural tailgate party at the Bowl. Joining Jeff and his wife Patty Bouley were Joe Altonji and Cynthia Nethercut, Andrew Tung and Ellen Barry-Tung, Tom and Ellen Draper, David and Mary Jo Reich, John (’77) and Alison Flynn, and Paul Ford and Nancy Young. Some background on this tradition: in fact, one could say that it has three founders, including Messrs. Altonji and Tung, or more properly, six. Its genesis, according to a well-informed source (who is also class treasurer), is that their parents hosted a tailgate in 1971 “to ensure that the three starving lads had enough to eat” before The Game.
Speaking of Jeff McAulay, he and Patty also attended a New York class theater evening on December 10. The night began with dinner at Le Rivage and proceeded to the Shubert for a performance of To Kill a Mockingbird. The assembly also included Chris Donnelly, Michael and Kate Farewell, Andrea and George Miller, Raymond and Nora Wong, Michael Stein, Cary and Chris Whipple, and Paul Ford and Nancy Young. Nancy posted on the class Facebook page, “It was particularly nice to be able to attend since our class theater night to see Mockingbird with Ed Harris in March 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic. The icing on the cake was that Jeff Daniels performed as Atticus Finch when the play first opened in NYC.”
On December 12, Ben Yagoda enjoyed a visit from Denis Harper, who has been principal oboe at the Modesto Symphony since 1991, which included a hike in the Crum Woods at Swarthmore College.
Finally, some happy personal news: in January I joined Seth Walworth on the board of the Los Angeles All Peoples Community Center, which marks its 80th anniversary this year. I am much indebted to Seth, who is a past board chair and a longtime champion of the center, for his encouragement, support, and guidance as I undertake this most welcome endeavor.
That’s all for now. As always, I invite details of your latest exploits.