Class Notes

Updates from 1985

January 13, 2014

Woody Thompson, Bart Polacsek and Craig Schwitter “staged our own Deerfield revolution!” dancing recklessly with death by chugging Cuba Libres and then driving through the streets of Havana in a ’59 Chevy with the top and windows down while shouting “Knit One Pearl two…” and “Viva La Deerfield!” At least they didn’t shout the one that goes “Ice Cold Duck…makes you wanna BEAT CUBA!”

As he completes his Ph.D. in film at Berkeley, George Larkin won second place in the Samuel Goldman Writing Awards for his new play “Bastard Son.” Both old-school and contemporary at once, George’s inimitable black humor and hilarious dialogue result in a neo-classic piece that’s the typical Larkin super-smart laugh-a-minute romp. Additionally his recent movie “Speaking of Baghdad” continues to play at festivals around the world as well as on TV and in schools. And if that’s not enough, he and his wife Elizabeth welcomed twins Maura and Patrick into the world on October 8.

As you probably know Keith Pennell‘s daughter Caroline was a dominating performer on NBC’s The Voice, and tuning in every week became a Deerfield custom this Fall, with impromptu viewing parties and post-show Facebook discussions going on long into the night. The apple obviously didn’t fall far from the tree as Keith’s musical prowess was always a highlight of our class’s many talents. I still remember the rousing rendition of the Sons of Deerfield he led in the Memorial Building the evening before we walked in graduation the next day. Keith’s new band, Midnight Toast, plays NYC and Northern Jersey frequently, so there’s an easy (and fun!) potential class meet-up. Keith also became the first person in world history to straighten up the Leaning Tower of Pisa (see picture). Why hadn’t anybody thought of it before? Or could it be that only a Deerfield alumni are worthy of the challenge?

Speaking of Facebook, let’s all give a “Yay! Rah Rah!” to Ted Ullyot for the sterling job he did for so many years as Facebook’s General Counsel. I’m sure he’s looking forward to more well-deserved time with Jen, the boys, and the Vikings. Honored at last year’s Supreme Court Historical Society gala for his work, he got to share the evening with fellow ’85er Joe Kaufman, also an excellent attorney. Speaking of lawyers, Wesley Pratt joined a new law firm – Brent, Fiol, and Nolan. Best of luck with the new gig, Wes!

Meanwhile, my own personal “Big Green Across America” Golf Tour continues apace. I always get a few rounds in with Bruce Moulton in between the two of us seeing concerts in the City for various clients. Bruce is spending a little less time managing artists and, instead, is doing more record label management for acts like the Black Crowes. He and Greg Delts came to my “Sportswriters Night in New York” event where I read with and interviewed other New York sports writers and athletes. Deltsy, by the way has been elected to the NYS Assembly for his NYC district. Happily, I always see a lot of Jeff Downing, who has taken on a new job as Director of the Mt. Cuba Center Botanical Gardens in Delaware. “I feel like a hobbit that made it to Rivendell,” he said, beaming. It’s a gorgeous place, the botanical gardens, so stop by for a tour. Besides playing a number of great golf courses this year, we went to the U.S. Open at Merion over the weekend. We also got lost on a golf course together, as hobbits journeying in the wild sometimes do…but that’s a story for reunion. Finally, Kevin Ellingwood and George Knight will have both dropped off daughters at DA for the start of winter term.

Jay Flemma, Class Scribe

1985