From top left to bottom of the balcony and stairs – Dagny (Johanson) Lord, Gary ?, Patricia and Steve Jamison, Caroline Kurtz, Elizabeth (Grupp) Searles, Bruce and Rebecca (Ainley) Whitmore, Susan (Clark) Knight, Steve & Mely Davenport, Rebekah Wozniak-Gelzer, Ann Meloy, DaLynn Downen?, Charlotte Weaver-Gelzer, Paul Clark, Grace & Wayne Smith, Amanda Johnson, ?, Carolyn & Bill Pollock, Janice (Bihop) VanOrson, Ernesto Baca, James & Darcy Sandilands, Ted Downen

Thank you to the SASAF board and membership for entrusting to me the job of organizing the 2016 Schutz Reunion in Oregon August 5-6, around the annual board and membership meetings. I enjoyed doing it, and felt pleased and personally rewarded by what I consider a successful weekend. Here are the stats:

    • Twenty three former teachers and alumni attended
    • Twelve friends and spouses attend part or all of the events
    • Two alumni registered but were unable to attend at the last minute

Here are highlights from the board and membership meetings:

      • Board members Paul Clark (68), Mary Beth Neely (67), and Steve Jamison (68)  finished their board terms and agreed to serve again
      • Jane Vise Hall (67) agreed to come on the board
      • We thanked Ed Nicholas (67) and Sue Clark Knight (65) for getting the web site up and functioning—last year we were just putting together a communications team, so they made a lot of progress in one year.
      • Thanks also to Steve Jamison (68) and Paul Clark (68) for reinstating the Schutz foundation’s non-for-profit status. We can now make tax deductible donations.
      • We discussed making adjustments to the scholarship honoring George and Mary Lou Meloy. Paul Clark will confer with Schutz administration to finalize that.
      • Board and membership agreed on looking for a site in Pennsylvania for the 2017 Schutz Reunion, and supported reserving the Edgefield Hotel in Troutdale, Oregon again for the 2018 Grand Reunion.

Stats and meeting reports don’t cover the real essence of the reunion, though. We come together from time to time because connecting with the people we went through such formative childhood and teen age experiences continues to enrich our lives. I come to Schutz reunions late, after many years away. I had only one year at Schutz and didn’t find a “BFF” in the small pool of students.

What I find now is that others who went to Good Shepherd School (in Ethiopia) or Schutz now play a role only tangentially connected to how I related to them at the time. We were all TCKs, managing our cross-cultural experiences as best we could, and relating to the others our own age. Now the differences in age slip away and at the reunions I find TCKs who “get” that part of me. They may have been younger or older, and I may not have even known them at the time. Now they enrich my life as the interesting adults they have become.

For this reunion, we gathered on Friday in the courtyard of the Black Rabbit Restaurant at the Edgefield Hotel. As more and more people arrived, we added tables and chairs, squeezing in closer. The energy in that courtyard could have sent a hot-air balloon across the country! We stayed so long, visiting, that only a few intrepid campfire affectionados made it to the fire pit and picnic tables where we’d planned to gather on the hotel grounds.

Saturday the Barley Room opened for breakfast, and became reunion headquarters for the day. All three meals on Saturday were catered—we ate very well. People drifted from table to table, meeting new people and renewing old friendships. Some members chose to take walks together, soak in the soaking pool, or hang out on the veranda during the board meeting from 9-11. Most came back for the members meeting at 11:30, and we finished up just before a soup-and-salads buffet lunch.

Four or five cars full of people set off at 1:30 for Vista House and the stunning views of the Columbia River from the bluff over the gorge. Some walked in to Latourall Falls, and everyone made it to Multnomah Falls, the tallest year-round waterfall in the US. Some even hiked the steep, switchback trail to the top.

A snack, with cheeses, delicious “Rosemary nuts” and fruit platters was waiting for us back at the Barley Room at 4:30. More mingling, walking and soaking went on (and a few naps, I’m told) between snack and the banquet at 7:00.

And what a banquet! Salmon, spinach cannelloni, garlic green beans, a salad and a dessert tray . . . we rolled off to bed full of good food and good fellowship when the evening was over.

Over dessert, Charlotte Gelzer (68) shared some thoughts on why our memories of Schutz may still be influencing us. She quoted the evocative metaphor from Nobel Prize winning author, Isaac Bashevis Singer, that we all see our childhood experiences as though we are looking through a window from that time in our lives. Many of us may still be looking at our lives through the “Schutz window,” still using and being shaped by what we learned, experienced and felt at that time. Steve Jamison said it well, “Everyone looks at the world through the window of family, and our family is extensive and extending, and so our window is expanding and complex.”

Sunday morning the veranda of the Edgefield saw a bustle of Schutz alumni saying good-byes. A group of six made their way to the Oregon Coast, to Ecola State Park, where we shared a picnic and a hike up the headlands to see the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. Unfortunately, the Oregon Coast weather was true to form for August, chilly and foggy. We had the picnic in a lovely shelter, but couldn’t see past our noses when we got up to the lookout, so we’ll just have to google the lighthouse and know that’s what we would have seen! The woods were deep and full of moss, ferns and huge trees. Depth and mystery.

If you weren’t able to join us, scroll through the photos we’ll be posting, and sign up early for the 2017 reunion. For sure, come to the Edgefield in 2018 for a repeat (only bigger!) of fellowship, fun, and good food in Oregon.

Caroline Kurtz (68)