61 Countdown to number 50. In just a few months, we will collectively arrive back in Ithaca. Everyone will soon be registered, assigned, and, most importantly, paid in full. See you June 9-12!

Meanwhile we have a full column of news from our classmates starting with Edmund Fantino.  “I continue to conduct research with my colleague and wife Stephanie Stolarz-Fantino in the Department of Psychology at the University of California , San Diego (UCSD). We study decision making, especially altruism and also the factors giving rise to impulsive, non-optimal, and illogical choices. We just returned from a two-week trip to Brazil where we presented our more recent findings. I have been slowed down somewhat by prostate cancer for which I have been undergoing treatment for 22 years.  This phase of my life is described in my short book  ”Behaving Well” which came out two years ago.  The essentials are covered in a radio interview from December 2007 available on this link:  http://drrobertepstein.com/downloads/Psyched-show111-EDMUND-AND-STEPHANIE-FANTINO-3_segs_edit-3510-air-12-29-07.mp3     Our daughters Ramona, 30, a social worker, and Marin, 26, a high school teacher, are a great source of joy especially as they live and work in the area.  Despite the distance, we keep in close touch with Loomis ("Jay") Grossman 61 who continues to have a productive and enriching life in the New York City area. “    

Howard and Ellen Auslander Reitkopp report:  “We've sold our home in the DC area and now only have to lose clothes between two homes.  We have retired to work at golf and tennis.  Eight grandchildren also keep us busy.  We are now in Lake Worth , FL and Selbyville , DE . The Florida location has brought us closer to many of our classmates.  We would love to have a pre-reunion get-together in that area.”   Several times in the past few years I’ve heard from Daniel Reisman. This time the message is a bit different. “OK Doug--I am retired, and enjoying it--I volunteer three times a week at a nearby nursing home, and play scrabble with some of the residents.  Also enjoy gardening and dancing and keeping physically fit--walk one or two miles a day, and work out with 30-pound dumbbells.  I’m now living in Niverville , NY (Columbia County) and would love to hear from any of my classmates.”  

Charlene Jackson Beck chimes in, appropriately, “Hi Doug...you have a tough job if no one contributes (amen!), so I'll try.  Facebook has helped me find several classmates which is always fun.  I continue to do corporate meeting planning which has become more challenging as the budgets get tighter.  I am awaiting my third grandchild...a boy.  It's my son's first and we are thrilled.  I continue to work on my golf game, which is a masterpiece in progress.  I know it will all come together before I am ninety.  Life is good and I remember my time and my friends at Cornell fondly. I try to take advantage of the alumni activities in the Philadelphia area as much as possible.  Our class of '61 and our officers have been doing a great job of communication and I appreciate their efforts.  Best wishes to all.”  I don’t think I’ve mentioned Bob Herdt, MS ’63, in the five years I’ve been your correspondent.  He writes “Hi Doug.  During the past 49 years we have lived and worked on agriculture in India , Illinois , The Philippines, Washington D.C. , and Westchester County , NY. Now Lorna (Lamb) ‘62 and I live just outside Ithaca . I am an adjunct professor of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell, where I do a little teaching, advise on international agricultural matters and enjoy interacting with students and faculty.  I am pleased to have been invited by our class reunion committee to share some thoughts about world food issues at our 50th reunion.  See you all soon.”

And another “Hi Doug”, this time from Gerrit White.  “Nothing too much has changed with me since retiring 9 years ago.  We now have four grandchildren; and, traveling, hobbies, and some real estate consulting work have kept Elizabeth and me on the go.  This year will have taken us on several different and interesting trips including  Africa for a safari, Dubai , Egypt , Jordan , and India .  Next year we have already booked a trip to Japan .  I am looking forward to seeing everyone at our upcoming 50th reunion.”  Finally, from Hal Binyon, This will be brief, but I suppose that it beats a blank!  I have just returned from a wonderful three weeks in Thailand , Vietnam and China , the majority of which was on the "Seabourne Pride".

In closing, and on a somber note, Jim Moore, LLB ’64, wrote that he lost his wife Shirley after a lengthy illness.   “Although she never received a Cornell degree she more than earned one through her efforts to put me through law school and helping to send three of our children to the alma mater. She loved the university as much as we do.”  In a similar vein, my closest of friends and roommate Dave Shanks’ lost his wife Cynthia when she passed away suddenly.  They enjoyed a terrific 48 year partnership together.  (Note: This is not the way I would choose to end a column.)  Please keep the news (hopefully happy) flowing to me for future columns.  See you in June!  Doug Fuss dougout@attglobal.net