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Five Cities in Ten Days - Steve Reed

Five cities in ten days -- by the end of my trip out West with Head of School, Mr. Maher, I was both tired and exhilarated.  

The great perk of working in the Advancement Office is meeting with my former students and many who preceded me at Northwood and learning of their fascinating occupations and life stories, beginning with Pam Scheideler ’90 and Justin Gray ’92 in L.A.   

Our visit in that city featured a terrific party hosted by Bob Valentine ‘57 at the Manhattan Beach Club. Being near Hollywood, we were not surprised to meet a mix of traditional occupations (engineers, lawyers, marketers, sports execs, educators, salesmen and managers) and a number connected to the entertainment business: producers, directors, designers, song writers. Just as in the Northwood days, laughter and stories abounded. See the pictures accompanying this article.  

I also met with Diego Gagnon ’14 after I landed the first evening, while our Board Chair, Brad Olch ’69 and Mike met with Ted Chen ‘70. Breakfast the next day was with the bookends of my career, Darcy Prime ‘73, who was in my first class at Northwood in 1972, and Liam Doyle from last year. Both Darcy and Liam are Stanford Cardinals.  

Brad provided the transportation to San Francisco, his luxurious ten passenger jet. Once in San Francisco, a series of visits:  Mike and Brad played golf with Ewing Philbin and Russ McCandless, both of the Class of '66, while I caught up with Alex Shklyarevsky ’03. That evening we had lunch with Ben Kremers ‘90 and his wife.  The next morning, I was off to Calgary for a great two-day stay with Steve Hayden ‘92 and his family -- both fun and tall. There is a total of about 25 feet between the four of them. Craig Conroy ’90, a neighbor of the Hayden’s visited for two hours and told great stories of his long career in the NHL. 

Next – Seattle. We met with Regan James from the class of ’68 and Tony Gonchar ’78. Over 90 years of alumniship between them. Note: in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, people wrote with paper and pen. I have kept a few hundred of these artifacts from college students informing me of their escapades and occasional academic encounters, four were from Tony. I had fun rereading them; they were cynical, funny, warm, observant and TV MA; I hope Tony enjoys them. they jogged my memories of how hard we laughed in those years. Mike and I also had a serious and thoughtful conversation with Katie Sisson ‘06 about her days in Placid. I was flattered that Barry Brown ’01 took time from his day to drive down from Vancouver for an impressive dinner at the Capitol Grille.  

Finally, Minneapolis.  A great dinner with Bill Wanner ’61, a hockey player turned engineer, gracious host and raconteur. We ended the meal by sharing the biggest piece of Key Lime pie ever served. A great way to cap a visit.  

Aside from my pants dropping to my ankles going through Seattle airport security, it was a delightful ten days.