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      As one of two newly installed freshmen (Jim Schenkel, '68 the other), it is only fitting that I should have the assignment of documenting the fifth now solidly annual gathering of the mid5Os to early-60s 'Soons. This event, dubbed The Desert Dalliance (some English major's idea, no doubt), was&emdash; from this freshman's lowly view&emdash;a magical, wondrous event.

     Held in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona from November 8th through 12th, the weekend was jointly hosted by J D and Judy Helms '59 and Hugh and Peggy Madden '57. Other attendees included: Bob Brodsky and Toni Treadway, Jim Crawford, Dunc and Joan Dempster, Erich and Patsy Everbach, Pete and Lana Graf, Dick and Carol Grieves, Carry Lane and Marie Simmons, Don and Judy Le Win, Rich and Vicky McGlynn, Chuck Sethness, and Dave Watts, along with a quintet of 'freshmen" that included Roger Bates, Rick Eisenhart, Chuck Goldberg, Mac and Clare McMorris, and Jim Schenkel. And, on Thursday night, Tom Wickenden '66 joined us for dinner and sang a wonderful rendition of "Land of the Sea and Sun."

     We all arrived at a leisurely pace on Thursday with plenty of time for reconnecting and a little casual singing to get warmed up. It's amazing how it all comes flooding back when you stand in a circle, hear the pitch, and sing those first few notes. You stand next to someone you haven't seen in over 30 years (in my case, Chuck Sethness) and feel like you're right back in the basement of 1901 Hall! We then wandered over to the nearby Marriott at McDowell Mountain for a dinner feast on an outdoor terrace to officially start the weekend's events.


     Friday was a day to enjoy being in Arizona and with each other. About two-thirds of the group, led by Hugh Madden, drove up to the red rock territory of Sedona. If the music and the camaraderie weren't magic enough, this added the crowning touch. Sedona is as wonderful and spiritual a place as all the tourist brochures advertise. The only problem is that it is impossible to capture in a just have to be there. Lunch was at the Enchantment Resort right in one of the canyons looking up at the red cliffs...complete with a great rendition of "Here Goes" and a photo-op out on the terrace.

     The reception and dinner on Friday night were hosted by Judy and J.D. Helms at their fabulous new home overlooking the lights of the valley. The group gave a warm-up performance in preparation for the big concert on Saturday and was in-turn entertained by Meritage, a mixed voice sextet from the San Francisco Bay Area that includes our own Roger Bates and Jim Schenkel. Their repertoire includes a terrific, revoiced version of Richard Peterson's "I Cover The Waterfront" with a soprano solo that brought us all to our feet.

     At our rehearsal Saturday morning, we worked on polishing 'the right stuff' for the concert. Then several of us took a trip into Old Scottsdale for lunch and a tour through the shops... relishing the warm weather as we thought of the November skies in Chicago and New England and New Jersey. Then it was back to our digs at the Sunterra Resort for a bit more rehearsing. Saturday evening we were the featured attraction at a cocktail reception for Phoenix/Scottsdale area Princetonians at The Sanctuary, a resort community at the base of Camelback Mountain. A crowd of about 60 or 70 area alumni and friends were treated to some great 'Soon singing featuring everything from Don Lewin's sublime rendition of "While My Lady Sleeps" to the ridiculous "Toity-Toid and Toid"...made even more ridiculous by Bob Brodsky's bass pick-ups that elevated each verse by a whole step instead of a half. Gloo did a great job doubling as music director and MC.

     Highlights at the dinner that followed the concert included: the Four Freshman singing "I Wish You Love" and "Liza"...a performance by the Arawak 5, who had not been seen or heard from since 1961 in Jamaica...and a repeat of several of the best-loved shaggy dog stories by the irrepressible and irreplaceable Rich McGlynn. (We also learned the origin of Rich's nickname...Seems when he arrived on campus as a freshman in 1956, he sported a pair of rather thick spectacles and was quickly dubbed "Mr. McGloo" after that squinty cartoon character, Mr. Magoo. Over the years, the name gradually morphed into just plain Gloo.

     Sunday was a delightful day of golf, tennis, and relaxation with old friends, followed by a wonderful buffet supper at Hugh and Peg Madden's home. The magical weekend ended with another round of singing and reminiscing before going our separate ways, with vows to return for the next edition of this fabulous annual event next fall in Longboat Key, Florida.


Sorry folks … no more pics. Send me some and I'll add them.

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