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 [Yearbook] Joan Weiss

Joan Weiss

“Joani” … Always open house … “but, I don’t understand” … little but not inconspicuous … has a marvelous Model A … plans to major in Psychology.


Missing Greeting from 50th Reunion…


Joani did come to the 50th Reunion but somehow I don’t have her 50th Reunion greeting which I normally place here.

I was delighted to reconnect with Joani recently via email. I had reached out to the entire class re my fund drive (btw, hugely successful). I sent it to the wrong email address, realized my mistake, resent it, and she got right back to me.

We had zesty verbal exchanges back in Staples—especially in Art class. We talked about a lot and I still bear the scars of those personal zingers she launched at me when it came to politics (we were/are on opposite sides of the political spectrum). Those sharp little ripostes of hers would leave me with paper cuts from across the room. I came to love those barbs and that skill. I miss our impish little fireplug… :-)

Anyway—with Joani’s permission—I’d like to share a little of our latest email exchange:

March 17, 2016…


How great is it to hear from our petite class firebrand…!?

Joani… I just came across your comment from last year about the staples55.com page named above [“The Class of ’55”]. It’s now posted (see bottom of [that] page).

Why in hell did it take almost a year to do so…!?

Because of the security leaks in this old (version of) web software I’m using, “phishers” send me dozens of useless comments every day! The site has accumulated tens of thousands of these auto-generated comments over the years. [All spam.]

Naturally I tend to ignore them. They don’t pose any threat to the site. Just a nuisance. Buried among them here and there, however, there’s a little gem of a comment, like yours, that I come across and post. (I’m thinking of posting a list of them on the Home page since they would likely go unnoticed.) I confess to overlooking comments from you and Donny Freeman (he went to private school after 7th grade). And maybe a lot more.

I’m on it…! :-)

Btw, do you remember the charcoal full-length drawing of you I did in art class…? I think you were holding a tennis racket (yes, fully clothed…). Last I heard Ms. Testa was still alive living somewhere in Fairfield County. If I still have the drawing I’ll post it.

Re Weston junior high (and elementary…?), I have asked on the blog—in more than one place, I think—for a graduation photo of your class! Do you have one! Do you have any photos or recollections you’d like to share…?

Again, I was so happy to see your comment, Joani! Please, please stay in touch. Btw, are you still in touch w/ Heather? If so, how is she and what is she up to…? Still in Montpelier…?

Re NH, we headed for Cape Cod in 2008. Didn’t like it (as residents). Opted for western NC near Asheville in 2011 and love it here! How about you…?

With great affection, your old art buddy…

—Cliff
Hendersonville, NC

March 17, 2016…


Hi Cliff (aka “Jorge”),

Back to you as soon as I read your email.

I have no memory of the comment but thanks…

I’m in Mexico until April 20. I come here annually for several months to San Miguel Allende [thus] avoiding the shoveling of snow and the cold [back in Vermont]. Here I walk almost everywhere, speaka da Spanish, do artwork, yoga, cook, and take advantage of the library and cultural events.

I’ll see about Hurlbutt [Weston’s elementary through junior high school] when I’m back. May have some photos but how to send them: Scan? Send where?

I met Donny Freeman at Miss Comers dance class, I think…

Yes, Heather is alive and still practicing as a therapist in Montpelier and we are in touch…

Hard to believe Vivian Testa is still live. I think she had a lot to teach but… didn’t.

No, no memory of the charcoal drawing. You were good.

I don’t even know how to access that website for Staples. It was a fluke (my comment—what was it…?).

Stay in touch.
XXOO Joani

March 17, 2016…


Hi Joani… Yep, was using wrong email…

[westonps.org] Horace C. Hurlbutt, Jr. School - Weston, CT

Hurlbutt Elementary School

I’m assuming this is a photo of the new version of your elementary school, right? Not the one you went to, physically…? Was it rebuilt? New? Was the location the same: 9 School Rd.? You also had a Weston junior high, right…? If you look on this page you will see nav buttons for most of the other schools. None for Weston or Wilton. But I’ve been asking… [Note: Thanks to Joani and Ginny (Morehouse) we now have some basic info on Wilton and Weston schools.]

Way to spend the winters, Joani…! Seems to be near a large body of water: “Rio Laja”. (Thought “rio” meant river. In American western movies, anyway…).

So, for long winter months you’ve abandoned your roof, deck and driveway to 12′ snowdrifts and replaced it with sun, water, maybe sand. You have your art work, cooking, yoga. Put some flowers in your hair and my recollection of Joani Weiss is picture perfect… :-)

Seriously, all of us gringos up here are envious of your lifestyle. Guaranteed. Do you have anyone at home looking after your summer casa…? (I know 4 Spanish words: “si”, “non”, “gracias” and “gringo”.) [And one more: “YankquiGoHome”…]

Here is the page your comment landed on (just click here). Bottom of page. You had to be on the page, reading it, Joani, and left a comment at bottom. Else it would never been captured by the site. Your memory must be getting as leaky as mine…

To access the site/blog, just go to (and bookmark) staples55.com. It’ll come up on the Home page.

Re photos and class memorabilia, if you want, just do what Deanna and others have done: mail ’em to me snail mail and I’ll do the scanning. I’ll take good care of them and return them in good shape.

I would have uploaded a scan of the drawing I mentioned already if it were letter or legal size. I suspect it’s oversized so I’ll need to take it somewhere to be scanned. But I’ll do it. It’s a fun drawing.

Please tell me as much as you can about your life following that night at the old Staples High School. Very impressive that Ph.D. What did you do with it?

As for myself, having the first known case of ADHD (unidentified at the time), it took me the next 16 years to get through college… And it didn’t help that I never recovered my hearing after the orchestra and entire class belted out “You’ll Never Walk Alone” at our graduation ceremony… :-)

All the best,
—Cliff

To be continued…

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