By Classmates

 Jane Miller Smith

JaneMillerSmithBookCover2015at150pxsquareJane announces publication of her new book, “Through the Passageway, the Education of a Teacher at City and Country School.” It’s the story of 30 years of my teaching life, written during the two years in a writing workshop.

Audrey Callahan Thomas

LocalCustomsbyAudreyThomasjust published, in February, my 18th book, a novel called LOCAL CUSTOMS, set in Britain and West Africa in 1836-38 and based on four real people.   Although it has had excellent reviews, I’ve had no interest from the U.S. or U.K.  It can be purchased through

I am not always a writer of historical fiction, but history does interest me, especially the history of women.

It is very difficult being a full-time writer these days, even harder than when I started out.  Although I have two degrees, I realized that the Academic route, although tempting, was not for me.  I manage, but only just.  (When my mother was very old and frail and living in New England, I tried to get a temporary  teaching job at Smith–I have been writer-in-residence and visiting professor at many places, including Dartmouth and Randolph Macon– but they turned me down.)

The last time I attended Reunion, it seemed to me that writing was looked upon as a hobby, not a vocation or career.  A lot of my fellow-classmates said they were going to “take up” writing or art, now that they were retired or widowed etc.  I was reminded of an anecdote the late Margaret Laurence told, of how a famous brain surgeon told her he had always  been fascinated by writing and thought he would become a writer when he retired.  She told him, with a smile, that that was wonderful, she was thing of taking up brain surgery when SHE retired.

Writing is a very exciting life, but it is harder and harder to make a living, even a subsistence  living.  That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop!!

March 2015

Gretta Kuhlthau Mitchell

Did you know that flowers are, in fact, essential to life? They were here before we were. They are not just pretty decorative subjects for a stylish lifestyle; they are our oldest ancestors, the basis of life itself. The attraction of birds and bees and insects is real! They need the flowers to pollinate the generations to come.. They are also our oldest inspiration for joy in everyday life. Artists have turned to the iconography of the flower throughout history to express beauty and declare the miracle of life, declaring—Spring is coming!

It is no surprise that we find ourselves gathering bouquets of flowers to express love and sympathy when words fail.

In 1991 I produced the portfolio, Flowers, which contains five large flower images.  Later that year our house was severely damaged by the major fire in the Oakland-Berkeley Hills.  Miraculously, the portfolios of flower prints were saved.  During the next few years I had to set the work aside and turn my energies to the restoration of the house and everything in it.  As a result, only since 1993 has this body of work really been shown around the country over the years. A few examples: In 1994 the print Old Rose was published as an example of my work in the book, A History of Women Photographers. Later, in 1996, prints from Flowers were shown in New York at both Witkin Gallery and Wave Hill.

I have a new way to send announcements and if anyone is interested in receiving them, please just send me your email and I will include it in the list. I had a show in a local gallery last May (PHOTO gallery in Oakland ) and it sold well. Very exciting.

As always, I am doing portraits, all kinds, but the current cultural obsession is for heads for web and print so that is happening.

I also produce books for private clients, which could interest anyone anywhere. With email and FedEx we can work together. Anyone interested can call me at home at 510-652-8609 for a lovely chat. It would be fun to catch up anyway.

Margaretta K. Mitchell
c. 510 206 2160
Film Blog:
Face 2 Face Web Gallery

March 2015


Sally (Shane) Lane Crabtree

Slavic Women Throwing Furniture Off the Roof


I have been developing a web site for my art which is below. I am hoping to connect with other artists to learn what work is being produced by the Class of 1957. I know we have much to learn from each other! The nickname that I acquired at Smith (Shane) has stuck through the years so that is my art name now!

Sarah Lane Crabtree (Sally) aka Shane.
Shane Crabtree

Artwork created for a workshop in 2013

Elizabeth (Lili) Rowland Mayor

Lili has had two works in a recent show entitled “Drawing?” at the Hopkins Center, Dartmouth. (These poor photos by Valerie Castleman do not do them justice — sorry, Lili)




Summer 2014 

Cynthia Durfey Smith

Wild & Wicked, watercolor, 19" x 22"

Wild & Wicked, watercolor, 19″ x 22″

 Summer 2014

Zoe Chamberlain Suarez Writes from Spain: Coronation Day

Yesterday was Coronation Day in Spain. Some of you may not know that King Juan Carlos abdicated in favor of his son, Felipe, about two weeks ago. The coronation took place in the morning and was conducted with a great deal of discretion and a minimum of fanfare in respect for the many Spaniards who are enduring economic hardship.

The official ceremony took place at “Los Cortes,” the Spanish Parliament, where Felipe was sworn in as the new king, number VI in the line of Philips. Neither Juan Carlos nor Felipe have actually been crowned, though the Crown and Scepter are placed on a cushion near-by and visible to all. Today it is considered unnecessary and in bad taste for the king to sport a crown or wield a scepter. They are traditional symbols, but unnecessary for a modern Constitutional Monarchy. Felipe’s wife, Leticia, was, of course, present and automatically became Queen Consort, much to the annoyance of royalists, as she is a commoner and a divorcee. The two adorable Infantas, Leonor, age 8, and Sophia, 7 were also present and hardly wiggled at all during the long ceremony.

Felipe wore a dark blue uniform and sash in keeping with his rank as Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces. An important part of his preparation for the monarchy was active duty in the army, navy, and air force. Leticia wore a simple white dress with an embroidered neckline and no jewelry except earrings. She is beautiful and very slender and looked stunning.

After being sworn in, Felipe VI gave a speech emphasizing the many problems which confront the country and the need for unity and collaboration in solving them. However, as a token of respect to the regions which have their own languages and have often been on the brink of independence he said “Muchas Gracias” in Catalan, Galician, and Basque. (Of those he speaks the first two along with English and French.) Felipe is considered superbly prepared for his kingly duties. He is also known as Mr. Clean as he has not been involved in any of the financial scandals which have so damaged the reputation of the Spanish Monarchy. The Queen Mother and Felipe’s sister, the Infanta Elena, begged him to invite his other sister, the Infanta Cristina, (whose husband, the Duke of Palma, caused the huge financial scandal, using the Royal Family’s prestige and public funds for his fraudulent business deals). Felipe’s answer was a resounding NO. Applause!! If anything could have brought public condemnation, it would have been the presence of the disgraced Duchess with or without her husband. (They now live anonymously with their 4 children in Switzerland.)

After the Parliamentary Ceremony, the new king and queen were driven to the Royal Palace in an open but ancient Rolls Royce. The Royal Chauffeur looked even more ancient than the car ( and had probably been around since the time of Alfonso XIII) but was fortunately directed by someone in the seat next to him. The streets were lined with many happy, cheering people waving Spanish flags—the Republican demonstrators (about 400) had been obliged to hold their demonstration on the other side of Madrid.

The royal vehicle was preceded by a parade of the armed forces and Guardia Civil and followed by a cavalcade of palace guards. Very colorful, but again without being ostentatious. At the palace, the new king and his family greeted the crowds from the balcony and were briefly joined by Juan Carlos and Sophia. There were many kisses and hugs among the family and the Queen Mother made a point of kissing her husband whom she has apparently forgiven for his many infidelities, especially the last one with a German princess during his infamous elephant hunt in Botswana.

King Felipe and Leticia then greeted over two thousand guests to the banquet, which took place in the Royal Palace. No European royalty were invited—only diplomats, prominent professionals, and representatives of the arts, sports, etc. I have yet to discover the menu. The Royal Palace is only used for such special occasions. The new king and queen will apparently continue to live in their present residence, the “Palacio del Principe”, a tiny palace in the Pardo.

Anyway, the coronation took place without a hitch and seems to have been well received by a not overly enthusiastic country. Spain needed a boost and a distraction after its painful performance in the World Cup Soccer Games—for many fans something similar to sudden death. Spain’s prestige in soccer, tennis, and other sports helps preserve national pride during the worst of times. It’s hoped the new king and queen will usher in a surge of optimism, accompanied, of course, by an improved economy.

Many people will naturally miss Juan Carlos, as he is what is referred to here as “muy castizo”—down to earth and one of the crowd—plus having a fantastic sense of humor. And Queen Sophia has been absolutely perfect in her role or as the king and others always say, “muy professional”. (That sounds a bit weird to me and I would think they could find a better adjective.) She always has a ready smile and a kind word, besides being an enthusiastic patron of the arts. And fortunately for the new queen, she has been her constant guide and supporter.

In sending this to Class Secretary Dana Hummel Zoe also added:

This year is El Greco Year in Spain, so if you or anyone else would like to travel to Spain in the near future, now is a good time to come. April marked the beginning of the 400th Anniversary of El Greco’s death and there were special exhibits, lectures, and concerts. There was even a concert of church bells in Toledo, which, of course, is the center of the commemoration. And there is the splendid representation of El Greco in the Prado Museum.


Kate Begien








Summer 2014

 Rosemary Pollack Mild’s New Book

smMildlovecoverDon’t we all have mixed emotions about our mothers? That sentiment echoes loudly—and often hilariously—in LOVE! LAUGH! PANIC! LIFE WITH MY MOTHER, Rosemary Mild’s story of her super-achieving, but tough-to-live-with mother. Luby Pollack was a journalist, popular book author, and psychiatrist’s wife, who adored her children, but often went wildly overboard to help them succeed. She was always the Heroine, and sometimes the Villain, from the viewpoint of her loving but ornery daughter. Smith figures often in the book, including Rosemary’s letters from home freshman year, which her mother had saved, tied up in a silver ribbon.

Rosemary and Larry have coauthored five novels with more to come, plus short stories (including stories in two 2014 anthologies). All their books are available on and as e-books. Visit the Milds at

smMilds2014 Summer 2014


Jane Duvall Alexander

Jane has written a memoir coming out very soon (mid September 2013). Smith memories are included too. Here are links to the front and back flaps of her book’s cover so you can see her picture and bio.  Learn more at, and you can purchase a copy there or at Amazon.

Alexander Book flap page 1

Alexander Book flap page 2


JaneAlexanderTS_Postcardp2                     Spring 2014


Valerie Greenman Castleman


This little (each page 2″ square) accordion book is made up of images of flowers from the garden scanned on my flatbed scanner (the black background pages). The white background pages are the inverted (negative or opposite) versions of the scanned images.

Winter 2014