2016 Mini-Reunion – Let’s Cruise Together!

We’ve had wonderful mini-reunions in beautiful spots on land. Now Ann MacCready Northup and Iris Vardavoulis Beckwith suggest our next one be at sea! Here’s their recommendation for a cruise in September of 2106. Special offers end soon, so check it out now! Continue reading

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Maine Mini-Reunion — Addendum

Our Abbot class of ’63 is blessed by having a wonderful poet among its ranks. Muriel DeStaffany Karr wrote three poems inspired by conversations and activities during our mini-reunion in Maine. Rather than adding them to the previous, long post so filled with photo galleries, I decided to create a single post just for the poems. Enjoy!



What’s the worst thing your brother
ever did to you? we ask, and our hostess
thinks a moment, says He pulled the head off
my doll.  The brother, old enough for Medicare,
grins a big Cheshire cat smile, still glorying
in the mischief of his long ago deed.
As we slide a sisterhood of similar recollections
up from sleep, we find ourselves richer.  We deepen
events into bas-relief on the buildings of our souls
and wander in and out of rooms once shut,
opening doors we had thought might never open,
finding the sea breeze was salty but not cruel;
and as Lucia’s The Body Mutinies strikes home
for everyone, we take our bodies to the lawn
and dance–we will survive!

—Muriel Karr
September 16, 2015

Three notes:
1) Our hostess, Iris, lives on Lucia Beach Road
2) Poet Lucia Perillo, diagnosed with MS, has written a collection called The Body Mutinies (1996) – a title which haunts me
3) Iris choreographed for us a flash mob dance to the song “I Will Survive” – performed at our 50th reunion and again today by our motley crew in Owls Head, Maine



This is the evening of the day I got lost.
This is the day I talked to Annabelle.
This is the day my husband sounded excited.
This is the week that Iris has pulled off a magnificent
reunion of remarkable minds.  We survive—our bodies
kinky in their expression; likewise our lives.  Delicate
is the concertina which plays our song.  Pick up
the phone: our voices connect in a flash.
This is the day of art and innocence.
This is the day I got lost, but Helen said,
Go find her, and Cindy found me.

—Muriel Karr
September 17, 2015


on Monhegan Island, Maine

If we start and end this way—
rising sculpted from, and falling
back into the muck–primeval
compost, let us live this interval
alive–soaring,  mud between our toes
reminding us of whence we came–
blessèd earth.  A prickly fog
descends so quickly–dense.
Still the artist stands at the shore,
attempting to capture on canvas
the what-it-is she sees
at low tide, the sea
quietly lapping, gulls
on the watch.

—Muriel Karr
September 19, 2015


Thank you Muriel for sharing your inspiration!

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Fabulous Mini-Reunion in Maine!

Thank you Iris for your incredibly generous hospitality and for providing such an idyllic location for our 2015 Abbot ’63 mini reunion in Maine. It was such a special time for us all!

A handful of us arrived in Owls Head early on Tuesday, September 15th, in order to give Iris some help before everyone else arrived for dinner on Wednesday. Iris’s brand new house and coastal view took our breaths away. Truly spectacular!

[Remember – click on the first photo in any gallery to view all photos as a slide show]

The five of us woke the next morning to another beautiful day and set out baking, shopping and prepping for the welcome dinner Iris had planned for all the reunion participants. We also managed to squeeze in a walk over the rocks to the next beach and a swim in the ocean [yes – it was COLD, but invigorating!]

The dinner Iris planned was fabulous! Thanks to the Bondis, we’re always ready for great food!

Thursday dawned sunny and warm yet again. How could we be so lucky given the fact this was Maine at the end of September? The plan was to spend the day in Rockland. We started at the Farnsworth Museum to see the collections there (including much by the Wyeth family) and tour the Farnsworth Homestead. That was followed by lunch on the deck of the Home Kitchen Cafe where we captured a great group photo. Afterward everyone explored Rockland or decided to take a rest until time for dinner at Archer’s on the Pier.

Plans for Day Three included a trip to Camden via Rockport. Iris wanted us to see the lovely Vesper Hill Children’s Chapel in Rockport with its beautiful garden and spectacular view. Some members of the group stopped for a view of the scenic Rockport harbor along the way. We had another delicious meal on the deck of the Waterfront with a perfect view of Camden Harbor. There was a little time to explore Camden before heading off to a wine tasting/pairing at the Cellar Door Winery. What a treat that was –  tasty tidbits of Italian dishes perfectly paired with local Maine wines. Then back to Rockland for dinner at Rustica. Believe it or not, we managed to find room for more food!

[more on some Rockport|Camden sites:
Vesper Hill Children’s Chapel in Rockport
Camden Amphitheater designed by Fletcher Steele
Camden Hills State Park and Mount Battie

Most of us were up at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning in order to get to Port Clyde to take the 7:00am ferry to Monhegan Island. Several classmates had to leave on Saturday morning so couldn’t accompany us on this trip. A few others decided the early hour was too absurd and opted to tour the area or take a sailing cruise out of Rockland harbor. Whatever the decision, we all had yet another perfect day in Maine.

It was so hard to say good bye to each other and to Iris and her special home by the sea in Owls Head. What a privilege it was to share this time with each other, and in such an extraordinary place.

There were some mumblings and rumblings about a possible mini reunion next year – perhaps in the mid-Atlantic region? Stay tuned!

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SAVE THE DATE! Abbot ‘63 Mini Reunion – September 2015

Are you feeling the need to beat those mid-winter blahs? Maybe it’s only those of us in the frozen Northeast who are tired of the never-ending winter.

Wherever you are and however you’re feeling, you might want to think about putting something fun on your calendar for this coming September – something like another Abbot Class of ’63 mini-reunion perhaps?

Although it may not be the place to be right now, Iris Vardavoulis Beckwith insists that September is a glorious month in Maine with many wonderful things to do and see. She’s beginning the planning and looking forward to getting some help with that from another ‘Maineiac,’ Betsy Cadbury. Marie Fox Young has also volunteered her help.

If you’re interested in this mini reunion, mark your calendar now and let Iris know via email: iabeckwith@gmail.com.

Abbot Class of 1963 Mini-Reunion
Owl’s Head, Maine
Wednesday through Saturday
September 16, 17, 18, 19, 2015

Once she hears from you about your interest, Iris will provide more details of what’s planned and a list of B & Bs and potential cottage rentals. Since high season extends well into October, it will be important to book places to stay as soon as possible.

Santa Fe was wonderful. Maine will be too. See you there!

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Happy 70th Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday Susan! Happy Birthday Mimi!

We’re so glad that you are leading us gracefully into our next decade. Please have a fabulous day and celebrate exuberantly.

We are the ones who remember you when…

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Rabbit Tales

Last month after receiving the letter about the Abbot Archives project initiated by AA’73, Mary Jasper Walter send out an email to members of  AA’63 asking classmates to share any Abbot memories they happened to have. Mary also provided copies of some Abbot rule sheets. [download General Rules and Student Congress Tea Dance]

“As I have read through these priceless pages, it occurs to me that some psychiatrist somewhere could have a field day interpreting both the content and the format of these documents. For example, how and who determined that the final lines of General Rules are:
No tape on walls
Observe rules of personal good taste
No going to off-bounds places Continue reading

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