May/June 2021

May 1, 2021 | ARCHIVES

What a wonderful group of memories and updates we received in response to Neil’s email! Thank you all! Apologies to all our classmates whose items are not included in this column because of CAM’s word limit. But the good news is that the virtual class column, to which we will be transitioning, does not have these limitations!!  So keep those memories and updates coming in as a lovely prelude to our reunion next year

Stephen A. Ploscowe: “I remember arriving at Cornell as a freshman in the fall of 1958 and being absolutely overwhelmed by its size, number of students, buildings, etc.  This changed when I started classes in the ILR School – Army-like wooden barracks – met my classmates and the warm reception by the ILR faculty. I then spent seven years at Cornell – my four years as an undergraduate and three more years at the Cornell Law School. I met my wife who was then an undergraduate while I was at Law School. We were married before the start of my last year at Law School and her final year in the A & S School, living together on Cayuga Lake. And we are still together – 57 years later – with a daughter who graduated Cornell and a granddaughter – 3rd generation – who is now a Freshman at Cornell.  Great memories which continue today.”

Eric Walther writes: “Somewhere in the middle of my six years at Cornell (i.e., engineering then required 5 five years and I slowed things down midway through by transferring from mechanical to engineering physics), I decided to join the fun of summer swimming in Triphammer Gorge. I saw guys diving from a high ledge and thought that looked like fun. At that age, believing I was immortal, I chose a swan dive to make believe I was flying. When I entered the water late in the dive, I realized my delay could have removed my outstretched arms. Luckily I didn’t kill, or even hurt myself, but learned not to push fate or ever again believe I was invincible.”

Cathy Van Buren Bomberger writes: “Pete ’61 and I returned home the second week of April 2020 from our 3-month stay at Marco Island, ordered our groceries online and self-quarantined. Little did we know that would become our lifestyle, even now! We will go to the store for food, but certainly have become social hermits. Surprisingly, we are used to it now and doing fine, although lonely for hugs from our family. Days grow together, perhaps due to their sameness. Gardening, reading and house projects are good occupations. Programs available from Cornell have been great. How clever technology has become to inform and bring us together. Is anyone remembering the polio epidemic when we were young? Life did return to normal for most when the vaccine came out. We look forward to that time again.”

Randolph Scott Little says: “This is not just a memory but also a lamentation of the changing times:  That was a time when people had a better sense of responsibility and were trusted to live by it. Our campus was open 24/7. In cold weather it was very nice to be able to take shortcuts through warm buildings as one walked from one side of the campus to another. Tripod, the iconic three-legged husky, was welcomed in classrooms. Bicycles didn’t always need to be padlocked when unattended. Swimming in the gorge at the head of Beebe Lake was loosely tolerated at the swimmer’s risk. Society was much less protestant and litigious. Those were the days! I hope that we will be able to celebrate our 60th on campus next year.”

From Lynne Lohrey Armstrong: “Attending: Cornell was quite an adventure for me. Coming from a small West Virginia community as the first ever high school graduate to attend Cornell, I was acutely aware of the intense academic competition surrounding me, students from the city whose sophistication provided stark contrast to my own.  Sitting in the auditorium for the orientation lecture I remember the speaker saying look to your right, look to your left, only one of you will be here on graduation day. As a graduate of the class of ’62 and again with a masters in ’64, I did manage the challenge. Along the way I acquired a life-long approach to learning for which I am forever grateful. As a Fine Arts student I had some unique experiences. Working in the sculpture lab while listening to Peter, Paul and Mary sing “Puff the Magic Dragon” and too naive to understand the references. In my treasured outfit of pleated skirt, twin-sweater set, and pearls listening to Joan Baez on stage wearing what looked like a burlap sack and barefoot. In those days we were not even allowed to wear slacks to class. A funny memory of my sweet midwestern parents attending with me an opening of a one-man show by my freshman art professor Alan Atwell at the Andrew Carnegie Museum, where they had to enter through a flexible plastic curtain into rooms filled floor to ceiling with ping-pong balls. Wading through the spheres was meant to alter the consciousness of the viewer. My poor father saying how he wished he had sent me to Ohio State. So much information, so many cultural awakenings and such an atmosphere of focused willingness toward creativity defined my 6 years at Cornell. I had wonderful professors and met fellow students from all over the world. I am a grateful and proud member of the class of ’62.”

Peggy Bergquist Palmer writes: “My main memory of Cornell is that for three out of my four years I lived on Thurston Avenue, walked across the Thurston Avenue bridge every morning, viewed the beautiful waterfalls, and continued on to the Arts Quad and classes in Goldwin Smith. One of my favorite classes was Music Appreciation where I was inspired by our instructor who drove into NYC every Friday night so that he could go to the Metropolitan Opera on Saturday afternoon with standing room tickets. When I graduated in 1962 and moved to NYC, that was how I spent many Saturday afternoons, standing room at the Metropolitan Opera (in its old location on West 39th Street).”

Judith Shulman Weis writes: “I remember with special fondness my years with the Cornell Savoyards, singing in the choruses of Gilbert and Sullivan productions. Waiting in the wings while the orchestra played the overture before we came on was so exciting! I loved it so much that I have continued to do it throughout my adult life in community theater productions. I was sad to hear in the ’90s that the group had gone out of existence, but recently heard it has been reincarnated as the Ithaca Savoyards.”

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