Revving Up for Class of '55 50th Reunion
"We were all inseparable at Ithaca," says Joel Levy '55, speaking of himself and seven of his classmates. "I was a radio-TV major; most of them were speech-drama. Lloyd Meeker and I met on the very first day we were in Ithaca and became fast friends. Lew Dale and Jerry Silverman were great friends. Lloyd, Lew, and I lived in the same house together. John Ciabotti met Pat -- we all call her Bix -- Ackerman at Ithaca, and they later got married. Lew met Marilyn Ginsburg there, and they got married."
The friends had not been together as a group since they left campus in 1955 -- until this past summer, when they and their spouses all spent a weekend at the Jiminy Peak, Massachusetts, condominium of Lew Dale '55 and Marilyn Ginsburg Dale '55. Joel and his wife, Phyllis, came from Albany, New York. John Ciabotti '55, M.S. '65, and Bix Ackerman Ciabotti '55 came from Lady Lake, Florida. Toni and Lloyd Meeker '55 came from Guttenburg, New York. Joanne Kaplan Rice '55 and Lee Rice came from Syracuse. Myrna and Jerry Silverman '55 came from Andover, Massachusetts.
"The weekend that we spent together was the most wonderful time," reports Joel. "It was like nothing had happened in between -- we picked up where we'd left off. And when we were leaving after the weekend I had the same feeling that I had 49 years ago: I didn't want to leave. It was like family."
And despite the old friends bringing in their spouses who hadn't known the others before, nobody felt left out. Far from it, says Joel: "My wife, Phyllis, and Lloyd's wife, Toni, had attended our 40th reunion with us. They were very lukewarm about it. On the way home they said they would want us to go back to the 50th by ourselves, that they had no interest. But after this weekend they can't wait to go back for our 50th, because they saw what I've been talking about all these years, how much I loved Ithaca and what a great experience it was, and how it helped my career."
Joel is cochair of his class's 50th reunion at Alumni Weekend 2005. "Our friend Beverly Baker '54, who runs Baker Travel Agency in Ithaca, has reserved a block of 15 rooms for the class of 1955 at La Tourelle, the country inn less than a mile from campus. So La Tourelle will be the unofficial 50th reunion headquarters. I hope everyone will come back and catch this great feeling of being reconnected."