photos by Ben Salzberg
The 50 Reedies who attended Westwind in October witnessed an odd spectacle at the Oregon Coast: the sun! Its presence all weekend warmed copious beach frolicking, and hikes to High Meadows galore. The strong attendance—one of the largest in memory—also prompted an unusual change in protocol for the Saturday night beach bonfire. Because of the large numbers, impresario Xander Patterson ’86 graciously made participation in the talent show optional (there is no guarantee this will happen again, however). Johanna Colgrove ’92 and Paul Manson ’01 manned the kitchen once again this year, employing a small army of volunteers to cook some old favorites (smoked salmon hash) and new delicious dishes that kept people fed and nourished. Johanna looks forward to having 100 people at Westwind this year . . . but admits that might be too much cooking.
We in Chicago discovered something new this year. Reedies LOVE board games! Personally, I haven’t met a Reedie who didn’t like to think about optimizing resource production to gain victory points.
So far, we’ve had three board game nights, each centered around a different game. Our first event featured Settlers of Catan, which I learned to play at Reed. Our second event, held on Friday the 13th, featured Last Night on Earth, the zombie board game. (It even came with its own spooky soundtrack, which we played throughout the night!) The most recent event introduced players to Carcassonne, a board game set in Medieval France, in which players build cities, roads, and farms with intersecting tiles.
Here are some things we like about board-game nights:
They’re cheap. People bring games they already own and we have a snacks-and-drinks potluck.
They’re easy to plan. We find a host, we pick a date and time, and we advertise. No pressure on the hosts to cook or reserve tables, and (hopefully!) not much cleanup afterward.
They allow for easy socialization. It’s easy to talk to somebody else when you have a common goal—like killing zombies.
They attract people of all ages. Since conversation need not be the main event, alumni of all ages have been known to show up. (Not to imply that we don’t talk about random other things as well.)
They’re fun! Board games are fun. Period.
So, bring on the zombies—er, I mean board games!
In November, 20 gourmands showed up (70 percent of them Reed alumni; quick, someone get a calculator!) for a catered French dinner delivered to the home of Paul Levy ’73 in Washington, D.C. The genesis was this: Deirdre Orceyre ’93 belongs to a women’s Brazilian drumming group called Batala. They held a performance in July, to which she invited Bennett Barsk ’82. Bennett won a silent auction for a catered French dinner to be delivered to the location of his choice. The event generated a huge response—ultimately the gathering was capped at 20 by the chef.
The menu included salad, ratatouille (vegetarian), boeuf bourguignon (not quite vegetarian, because of that boeuf part), a selection of French cheeses, bread, homemade cookies, fruit, and wine. Service was excellent, Paul and his wife Nancy Huvendick were consummate hosts, and the food was exquisite. An outstanding time was had by all, and we definitely set a new standard for Restaurant Club events. We are contemplating making this an annual event.
Photo by Eric Cable
Alumni, faculty, parents, staff, friends, and a partridge in a pear tree enjoyed the annual Reed Alumni Holiday Party in December. Instead of French hens, guests enjoyed a wide array of other delectables, and afterwards indulged in a delightful yule log dessert (bûche de Noël). One stately bagpiper was enough to herald the traditional Boar’s Head Procession, and, later on, decidedly more than nine ladies were dancing to the big-band tunes of the Pranksters. Many wore their festive finery, and instead of gold rings, all partygoers went home with a Reed centennial lapel pin. (Bling makes everything merry and bright, doesn’t it?)