Sam and Joan Smith will not be able to be with us for our 50th Reunion. Joan’s touching note to us about their impending absence is below.
From Joan Sullivan Smith (Written to Serena S-K-G)
Thank you so much for the really brilliant job you have been doing to
organize this class reunion. You and Eddie (and I understand Trudy
Miller as well) have been working so hard to bring this together that
it is really impressive. Of all the difficulties and disappointments we
have had over the last five years, not being able to come to the reunion
has been one of the hardest to deal with, truly. I haven't totally
abandoned hope, but it doesn't seem likely this time. Even though we
probably won't be there in person, we will surely be there is spirit - as
they say, corny, but in our case quite true. I hope everyone takes
lots of pictures.
I am a dreadful correspondent for a variety of reasons (not all of
which I can blame on Sam by any means) but I thought you might like to
know that I eagerly read and share with Sam all of the information on
the web site and all of the gossip about everyone. Eddie has always
been one of my heroes and keeps us attached to all of this.
Yesterday morning we actually had a long talk with Phil Conaty who went
to Chenery with Sam and Jim Skahan. He didn't even graduate with us,
but remembers his friends and life in Belmont as being one of the
happiest times in his life. I'm sure many of us feel the same way. It
does seem to have been a particularly innocent, almost suspended,
expanded and safe time, the 40's and 50's (nothing like the overfilled
schedules of our grandchildren I’m sure).
Phil very generously offered to fly to Roanoke and to help me bring Sam to the reunion, but our difficulties are more complicated than that I'm afraid.
Jim Skahan, by the way, has come to visit us here in the mountains once
a year when he is in Winston-Salem visiting his daughter. And of course
Wayne and Winnie remain a constant source of strength and encouragment, as do Roy and Gail Wilkins.
I've had several conversations with my oldest Butler friend (along with
Judy Tuttle) JoAnn Jaynes and she's going to be at the reunuion with you
all I think. She's been instructed to take notes!
Billy calls Sam -at least twice a day and they visit. Our children call
them Sigfried and Roy. In short, our childhood friends have remained
faithful friends and I so much admire all of their achievements and their
generosity and how talented they all are in such unexpected ways.
I think I've gone on enough, but I did want to reach out and thank you,
Serena. Best wishes from Sam.
You go girl!!!
Joan Sullivan Smith
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From Judy Tuttle Watson
Alec and I are very much looking forward to the fiftieth reunion and seeing everyone. Life is more settled for us in recent years. We have not moved for 14 years after our busy 34 years in the U.S. Foreign Service where we touched down in the American Embassies Dominican Republic, Spain, Brazil , Bolivia, Colombia, Brazil again, Peru (where Alec was Ambassador), the United Nations (Ambassador again) in New York and then back to Washington where we have been the last 14 years. Alec retired from the State Department in 1996 after serving as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and joined the Nature Conservancy where he headed their International conservation program, retired again in 2002 and now works at Hills and Company, an international consulting firm working mostly in Latin America on environmental issues. He also serves on 4 non- profit boards.
I was a pediatric nurse in the beginning but with every country change I became something else!! I taught nursery school, worked in family planning, taught English as a second language, worked in International adoptions and was a Pediatric nurse each time we came home, until the last time where I worked in New York for the Council of Americas doing special events, then in DC with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace running a special Latin American group called “The Group of Fifty”. I also ran (pro bono) the Vice President’s Residence Foundation under Al Gore (great fun) and finally was Executive Director for 7 years at a business-focused non-profit called the United States - Spain Council where Senator Christopher Dodd was chairman. I retired 2 years ago and am I enjoying it.
We have a summer home in Cushing Maine and I can be found there from June until late September! Alec also spends as much time as possible here sailing and playing with friends. We have 2 children, David and Caitlin. David is married to a Brazilian (Adriana) and lives in Mexico City with his 2 children (12 and 8). Caitlin, our late lamb, just graduated from Bowdoin this spring and is now working at the Justice Department as a para-legal until she goes to law school.
Life has been very good to us and we are grateful. We are looking forward to visiting with everyone.
Judy and Alec Watson
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