61 Late in September, you received an email from the Office of Alumni Affairs introducing new ways of submitting your input to our Class Notes.  Clearly, as we move forward with technology, there are many new efficient mechanisms for communication beyond the traditional News Form that we associate with dues renewals.  We appreciate your current responses and encourage you to use any and all of the social networking options, as well as those offered in the e-mail from Alumni Affairs and the Class Notes team.

Joanne Schapiro Koch responded promptly to the email request with a lengthy note as follows. Her musical Soul Sisters, which has toured 30 theaters and universities including Cornell, will have its 31st production October 19 through November 11 at the Clockwise Theatre in Waukegan , IL .  
(Soul Sisters is published in the 10-play anthology Shared Stages with Driving Miss Daisy and Fires in the Mirror by  SUNY Press and is available at Amazon.com).  Lainie Kazan will star as bawdy fifties comic Belle Barth in Joanne's original musical If I Embarrass You, Tell Your Friends at the Falcon Theater in Los Angeles with Garry Marshall and John Landis among its fans.  In April 2013, the musical American Klezmer, with composer Ilya Levinson and lyricist Owen Kalt, will be presented in Evanston and a new musical with Honey West, Myrna Petlicki and Ilya Levinson called Genderella will debut, also in Evanston .  Joanne also directs the graduate writing program at National Louis University in Chicago .  She is the artistic director of the Chicago Writers' Bloc that has brought hundreds of plays to Chicago and beyond and is dividing her time between teaching and working on new plays and musicals.  

Joanne adds, "My daughter Lisa manages and shares ownership with husband Michael Kornick of the famous MK restaurant in Chicago .  Daughter Rachel is an attorney in the Illinois Public Defenders office married to investment counselor Daniel Ernst.  Son Josh and wife Jane are sound editors for TV shows including "The Good Wife" and "Breaking Bad."  Grandchildren Zachary, Sophie, Samantha, Ann and Matthew are at various stages of school, kayaking, volleyball and baseball championships, Tai kwon do and bringing much joy to Grandma Joanne & Grandpa Lew.”  Joanna reflects on her undergraduate days.  “I vividly remember having my first play, Family Dinner, produced at Cornell, as a winner of the Forbes-Heerman Playwriting Contest.  This launched me on my playwriting career.  Since then I have had 17 plays produced around the country”.  Finally, “I love hearing from any Cornell alums.  Gail Margolis, former Cornell roommate and I have re-connected and now see each other regularly”.  

And now, a few words from your class correspondent.  Several years ago, I stumbled on the Travelers Century Club, which, among other things, lists roughly three hundred eligible ‘countries’ that could be visited on the way to the magic century mark.  Sue and I had been travelling extensively for years and I discovered that we indeed were approaching this threshold.  We kept this in the back of our minds as we continued our plans.  This summer we embarked on a month-long tour of South East Asia .  The highlights included many Buddhist temples and shrines, much gold leaf and gilt and enough rice and noodles to last a lifetime.  Along the way, we visited Laos , Cambodia , Thailand , Myanmar and Vietnam . 

Some comments from our travels:  Cambodia is one of the saddest stories in history.  Although the country is recovering well, the Pol Pot regime eliminated 25 percent of the population in the 1970‘s.  The Killing Fields were chilling.  Myanmar is emerging from years of repressive dictatorships and has only recently opened to tourism.  Our advice is to visit this beautiful country soon before the tourists overwhelm the scene (e.g. Thailand ).  Finally, we found Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City ( Saigon ) were bustling and prosperous.  By chance, I did not spend time in this country during the years of conflict.  The Vietnamese refer to this period as the “War of American Aggression”.  In addition to visiting their museum of the same name, we also toured the Cu Chi Tunnels, a battle area near Saigon , now restored as a national monument and a popular attraction for the Vietnamese people.  The pace of the trip and the heat and humidity left us near exhaustion.  As you have probably guessed though, at the conclusion of this excursion we had now visited more than the 100 countries we had originally intended.  Our return by way of Taiwan and South Korea was crowded but uneventful.  We now look to a new adventure in the coming year.

Please take a moment to send us information on yourself, Cornell classmates, family, travel or whatever.  We enjoy reading and publishing your exploits.  Email us at  Doug Fuss, dougout@attglobal.net; or Susan Williams Stevens, sastevens61@gmail.com . Online news form, http://www.alumni.cornell.edu/participate/class-notes.cfm .