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WM Winter 07: The Grunge Report

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I am into photography. My wife Carol will tell you I’m into it in a big and expensive way. My oldest son Chris ’94 also has the bug. Our annual family vacations keep adding more and more photo ops" along the way. Like the time—well, let’s save that.

But I didn’t even have a camera the first time I visited with Stephen Pavy ’81 several years ago at his home in Sonoma, California. Too bad. The view is spectacular.

Stephen is a class agent for the Class of 81. He does a great job of communicating with his classmates, giving them updates on the lives and accomplishments of their fellow students. Stephen also works hard on their class reunions. Stephen’s efforts paid off at the last Big Bash when his class won the Class of 1928 Trophy for the highest number of alumni returning for a reunion.

When I visited with Stephen a couple of years earlier, he gave me a tour of his place and then showed me around Sonoma. At lunch, we talked about the class agent role and how it could be a tough one at times. He then asked me why I had decided to visit him. I told him that I had a part of that day free before a Wabash event and I had never met him.

"Is that it?" he said, seemingly relieved. "I thought you came up here to fire me as a class agent!" We both laughed as I assured him that definitely was not the case.

On the flight home I thought more about our exchange. I had genuinely enjoyed learning more about Stephen and his life. It gave me more insight into what makes him tick. I also discovered his passion for wine and winemaking.

I like to think that, in some small way, his presentation on wine selections at last year’s Big Bash and the piece in this magazine grew out of my visit.

That day I also made a mental note to visit as many alumni as I can, with no intent other than to learn more about them. And take plenty of photos.

Howard Hewitt traveled to California last summer on much the same kind of trip. His prose and photographs are showcased throughout this issue. Like so many of us who’ve hit the road for the College, Howard came back to campus genuinely excited about the Wabash people he had met. His was a Wabash road trip through and through. Where else could you combine wines and art with feed sacks and old cars!

So, sit back and relax and enjoy another great issue. Me? After I’ve read it, I’m off to find just the right wide-angle to get the best possible shot of the Sonoma Valley the next time I see Stephen!

—Tom Runge ’71, Director of Alumni Affairs;