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CREATIVE THOUGHT Gallery gamble pays off


W


hen Sue Finkelstein Pucker ’59 and hus- band Bernard opened their Boston art


gallery in 1967, it was a leap of faith. Although the pair had several years’ experience curating Israeli art, they had exhibited paintings in their home and packed traveling shows out of their basement. “It was scary,” Pucker says of mov- ing to a real gallery space. Now the Pucker Gallery is a venerable institu- tion on historic Newbury Street. The gallery exhibits ceramics, paintings, photography, and sculpture by more than 50 artists from all over the world. “We see about 500 artists per year, and take one or two,” Pucker says. “We’re not interested in the latest trend, but in some- thing that speaks to humanity.” Also inter- ested in her alma mater, she has welcomed many employ- ees from Skid- more, including son Jonathan ’87, a director; Serena Mars-


ton ’11, who landed a post there after gradua- tion; and Elizabeth Burgess ’97, associate direc- tor for operations. Pucker got her start in collecting soon after


graduating, when she and her husband went to Israel for a year and an aunt gave them $300 to “go buy Israeli art.” “I really seized upon this opportunity,” she says, and developed a love for travel and exploration. Earlier, attending Skidmore had been a big


leap for her. “It was very unusual for Canadians then to leave home to go to college,” she recalls. “I was so frightened, and my mother stayed in Saratoga for the first two weeks. But by the end of my freshman year, I was involved in all kinds of campus activities.” Immersing herself in her theater major,


Pucker embraced the idea, which seemed radi- cal at the time, that “you can educate through the arts.” That has been a consistent theme in her life, as has seizing opportunities and making leaps of faith. —Jill U. Adams


even took my book proposal home and made comments and suggestions—just like Mr. Galant I was very appreciative. Sheila DeNadal Salvo reports that Emma, one of her 10 grandchildren, was accepted by early decision to Skidmore’s class of 2016. Her parents are Cathi Salvo Harris ’90 and Peter Harris ’90. Also, Ro Schainman Halper’s granddaughter will start at the College next year—another third-generation Skiddie. Gail Wheeler has been traveling to Italy


and the Baltic. She and Cynthia Magriel Wetzler often visit the museums together in NYC. JoEllen Steinfeld Snowman celebrated


her 50th wedding anniversary with a trip to Santa Barbara and Santa Monica, CA. She says she is enjoying retirement with volunteering, playing bridge, and visiting her grandchildren in Massachusetts. Daughter Caroline is a labor delivery nurse in Boston, and daughter Victoria runs an NGO in Tanzania called Give a Heart to Africa. JoEllen’s husband is hap- pily still working. Sandy Bendfeldt enjoys singing and being in shows. At a club in NYC she per- formed in Don’t Tell Mama to two sold-out audiences. In addition, she has joined an actors’ workshop. Sandy has three grand- children in college. She and husband Norm were planning a three-week trip to Australia and New Zealand for the fall. Mary Heep van Riper and husband are off to New Zealand for the 11th time to visit their daughter (she married a New Zealander) and grandchildren. Mary reports that “after two large earthquakes in the past 18 months, the country is struggling to rebuild—a monumental task.” The couple’s other children live in Connecticut and Colorado, and there are seven grandchildren. In Roswell, GA, Martie Hubbard Harri-


gan enjoys working part-time at Alpha- retta Pediatrics. She spoke with Ginny Diefendorf Preston over Christmas. Mar- tie and her youngest son went to Panama City, FL, for Christmas and had “the best time,” she reports. Patricia Pollnow Killgore and her hus- band are “happy and healthy” in Key Bis- cayne, FL, their full-time residence since 1967. They report that the sun, sand, and tennis are great


Ginny Putnam Kinkead says she is one of many Californians who spent a lot of last year watching tumultuous weather on the East Coast and being thankful they live in the West. Ginny, who is mostly housebound for health reasons, is also thankful for having “a gorgeous view, a


36 SCOPE SPRING 2012


great deck, and near-perfect weather ” As for me, we went away for five days in February, then planned 10 days in Cali- fornia for a family gathering of our two kids, their spouses, and three grandchil- dren, plus my sister-in-law, her husband and kids, and their kids. Except for a 7- year-old, all the grands are under age 5. What fun CAROLYN BROWN STRAKER 500 E. 83RD STREET NEW YORK, NY 10028-7208 MOMSTRAKER@AOL.COM


was married last October in Putney, VT. After a few rain drops, a double rainbow formed to honor the newlyweds. The occasion provided a mini-reunion for attendees Suzanne Denby Pelton, Marty Miller Spencer, and Bonnie Brooks, while Zoe Johns ’01 was also on hand to help celebrate. Sue appreciates her newfound friendship with Marty, who lives in nearby Brattleboro and hosted her and Al at her home that week. The two had not seen each other since graduation. Sue says she is “all for mini-reunions ” Ellie Schmidt Schweigaard-Olsen and husband Bert set off for Costa Rica over the holidays, to sail and hike in national forests. Ellie and friends in Sarasota, FL, are organizing a luncheon for the Skid- more gals in the area and would like to get more activities going. Suzanne Elsesser is doing pro-bono fundraising for the St. Aloysius School in Harlem. She is also consulting with the Porticus North America Foundation, where she worked for many years. She and daughter Rebecca Shimkin Halsey ’91 took a holiday together in Iceland. On a recent visit to D.C., Suzanne had lunch with Betty Garman Robinson in Baltimore, MD. Mary Kelchner Lindner reported on her annual roommates’ reunion with Judy Harmon Miller, Liz Atterbury Harrington, Kathey Adair Coombs, and Barbara Block Zwick. This year, despite challenging weather, the group met at Judy’s home on Martha’s Vineyard. Mary notes that everyone is healthy and lead- ing very busy lives. After nearly 54 years, Connie Archbald


’60


and Thetis Group—who were Baker housemates before forming a Salisbury trio with Carol Santry Covello—had a wonderful, heartwarming reunion that Connie says was “far too brief.” Their connection had remained unchanged over time. Sadly, Thetis passed away in


Suzanne Penney Lindenbaum and husband Al’s daughter Lisa


AT WORK


KEIRNAN KLOSEK


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