header 1
header 2
header 3

Message Forum

Welcome to the Robert W Traip Academy High School Message Forum.

The message forum is an ongoing dialogue between classmates. There are no items, topics, subtopics, etc.

Forums work when people participate - so don't be bashful! Click the "Post Message" button to add your entry to the forum.

go to bottom 
  Post Message
    Prior Page

07/08/23 01:47 PM #172    


Jean Goss (Treacy)

Janice, A voice from the past!!  I'm now living on a private lane off Haley Road and we five families on the lane use a local man, Tom Beasley (207-703-3454), for all of our plowing.  If you call him, mention my sister (lives next door!) Joanne Rammer as she's the contact person with Tom.  You can also mention Hiltons Run, off Haley Road, as another connection point.  He's done the plowing here for a number of years and has never let any of us down.  He's a real 'rural' Mainer so a little rough (!) but does good work.  Good luck!

07/09/23 04:35 PM #173    


Diane Tuttle (Coughenour)

Yesterday my best friend, Karen Peschel Robichaud, was brought here from North Carolina where she wanted to be. She passed last June. Her ashes were brought to St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Durham by her husband, Robi. The church they were married in 1971. This was a wonderful tribute to Karen - the mass, readings by her  two children Jeff and Ryan, the beautiful music and Robi's heartfelt eulogy of their lives together.

"I've reached the end of my journey, And the sun has set for me.

My life's been touched by many, Rejoice for my soul's now free."

I was grateful to be there to say good bye to a special friend of 62 years.

Diane Tuttle Coughenour


07/10/23 06:55 AM #174    


Ramona Lavigne (Dow)

I fondly remember Karen from those years at Traip and also attending CCD classes at St Raphael's.  That beautiful soul now enjoying peace in a life everlasting.

07/10/23 09:10 AM #175    


Jerilee Connor (Zezula)

Thank you, Diane, for sharing. I'm sure your friendship over the years meant a lot to Karen. May she rest in peace.   Jeri

07/10/23 10:02 AM #176    

Janis Tarling (Lorenzen)

Thanks Diane for sharing this. I got to know her better when I was dating her brother. She was such a nice person and will be missed greatly 


07/10/23 10:45 AM #177    


Lynn Matthews (Caldwell)

Thank you for sharing, Diane. I didn't know Karen well, but we reconnected at the 50th reunion. She was just how I remembered her - sweet and kind. So sorry to hear of her passing. God rest her gentle soul.  

07/10/23 11:58 AM #178    


Jean Goss (Treacy)

Diane, thanks for sharing.  I didn't know Karen well but we were together in home room in junior high and I remember how warm and inviting she was with me when I was a very shy kid from N. Kittery.  I'm so glad to know that she had a rewarding life and a wonderfully supportive family.

07/10/23 01:26 PM #179    


Patrick Chaney

Thank you for sharing this update Diane; may Karen ever rest in peace.

07/12/23 07:17 AM #180    


Janice Mitchell (Cook)

Jean, thank you for the plow guy information. My brother has contacted him and we hope he will be able to plow for the 5 families on our road. My grandparents lived in Kittery Point for many years and Jack and I now own the property. 
We are very appreciative! 





07/23/23 05:10 PM #181    


Robert McCrillis

I was thinking about all of the classmates that we'd lost. I'm saddened by the truth that I didn't know many of them very well. In those years, I didn't reach out to others very often. Anyway, after Susan Riley passed I wrote a piece that eased my heart some.


I love the ocean. I love standing in the waves, feeling the push toward shore. The tickle of sand pulled from under my feet by the undertow. The roar and hiss of their comings and goings are like a heartbeat, encouraging thoughts of greater things. “You still like to stand staring at the waves, Gramps?” Amelia, my granddaughter, asked, teasing. “Of course,” I answered. “You didn’t think I just did it for you, did you?” When Amelia was a little girl, she would hold my hand while I walked into the waves at Long Sands. All the other kids complained about the numbingly cold water and ran back to the beach to search for treasures. Amelia stayed with me until her lips began to turn blue and I lifted her out of the water. With her arms and legs around me and her gritty bathing suit pressed against my chest, we’d talk about our time at the beach.

“Why do you like waves so much, Gramps?” “I don’t know, ‘Melia. Maybe because it sounds like the ocean is breathing.” She scrunched up her face and examined me carefully to see if I was kidding her. “Aw, Gramps, the ocean can’t breathe.” “Are you sure?” “Yup. Can’t breathe without a nose.”

Now, as a young woman, Amelia was still the only one in the family who would brave the icy water and watch with me. “What do you think of when you look at the waves, Gramps?” Over the harsh cries of the gulls negotiating access to a half-full bag of potato chips, I said, "Do you know how far some of these waves might have traveled? Maybe thousands of miles. Maybe all the way from Ireland. Think about that. Going all that way…"

“And ending up on the dinky beach in Maine,” Amelia said. “Kind of a disappointing end, don’t you think?” “Wait a minute there, College Girl. Don’t you suppose they’ve seen a few things on their trip? Perhaps have had the whole course of their life affected?”

"Gramps, they're just moving water," Amelia stated. Her face was partially covered by windblown hair and big, round sunglasses, but her voice was strengthened by certainty. "In fact, you can describe any wave mathematically. They don't experience anything.”

“Well, aren’t we the little logical positivist? Three years at Skidmore have been worth it." I grinned. "But, as you've no doubt learned, the description depends on your frame of reference. I see waves as a reassuring message."

“Message?” She struggled with errant streamers of hair. “Sure. You say you can mathematically describe this wave coming at us?” I pointed to a good-sized roller about twenty yards away. She glanced at the wave. “Well sure, if I had the data on wind speed, tide, depth, density, and such.” “Would that description be identical to the one behind it?” “No, the variables out here are constantly changing.”

“So, each wave is unique?” I could see her brows scrunch together even through the sunglasses. “I can’t say that with certainty, but probably. So what? Lots of natural things are seemingly unique – just a reflection of the huge number of variables operating on it.” “Seemingly? Really?” I chuckled to myself at both the sharpness and narrowness of her viewpoint.

“You definitely have been steeped in academia, ’Melia,” I said intentionally using her baby name. Now she pouted. “Yes, ‘seemingly’. People say no two snowflakes are the same but who really knows?” The undertow from a big wave upset her footing, causing her to tackle me to avoid falling. We both went under and came up laughing. We clung to each other for both balance and warmth, while the wind chilled us even more than the frigid water.

“Well, that was bracing,” I said. “So, they’re unique as far as we know?” Amelia drew back, surprised that I would insist on continuing the conversation while goosebumps grew to the size of dinosaur eggs on our skin.

“I guess.” She looked longingly at the beach.

I no longer had any feeling in my legs and the wind was picking up. “Look, let’s forget about waves and go back to the cottage and build a fire.” Amelia was two steps ahead of me striding toward the beach. Later, after a raucous dinner during which Jacob, Amelia’s fifteen-year-old brother, recounted, in hilarious detail, his crashing failures at chatting up girls on the beach during the day. “That’s ’cause you’re ugly and have pimples,”

Cat, Ron and Lisa’s youngest, observed. “And, I think bad breath, too.” Jacob accurately flipped a French fry, which hit Cat between the eyes, starting a minor food fight. I exercised my old-man privileges and adjourned to the living room and my chair near the fire. It was comforting to be far enough away from the chaos of clean up to avoid any actual work, but still hear the voices of my family joking and teasing each other.

“Hey, Dad, we’re all going down to Tastee Freez for ice cream. You want to come?” Ron, yelled over the hubbub of the crew getting ready to leave.

“No thanks. I’m going to sit here and read a little,” I said. “Enjoy your nap, Gramps,” Cat threw over her shoulder before disappearing through the door. An impertinent comment, but probably right. In the soothing warmth and crackle of the fire, I probably would fall asleep. The driftwood we were burning added a medicinal tang to the smell of woodsmoke that brought back memories. I could see my grandfather dropping lobsters into a pot of seawater over a driftwood fire when I was seven or eight. Another time, over another fire, I got my first serious kiss.

“Gramps?” Amelia settled onto the end of the couch nearest me and folded her legs under her. It took me a moment to return to the present. “I thought everyone had gone for ice cream?” “No, my thighs are chubby enough already.” She looked into the fire. “What did you mean by waves being a message?” She asked, still facing the fire.

This would be a great moment to light a cigarette, if I still smoked – or, even better, to fuss with a pipe. As it was, all I could do was take a moment to come up with a way to explain how I felt without sounding like a doped-up flower child. “I watch the waves come in, each one separate and a little different from the others until they hit the shore.”

Amelia nodded, shifting her position on the couch. “Then the water is pulled back out to sea. Waves come in, waves go out.” She was polite enough to leave off the implied “So?”

“What happens to the water?”

Her forehead crinkled while she looked for the trick in my question. “I guess it becomes part of another wave or something.”

“So, it doesn’t decay or break down into its components, right?”

“Of course, it’s still water.” Her impatient expression and sharp hand gestures didn’t stop me from admiring her beauty in the firelight. How did little ’Melia turn into this lovely young woman? “Gramps?”

“Oh, right. Substitute the word ‘soul’ for ‘wave’ and you might see why I stare at the waves.” “You believe in souls, and Heaven and Hell, and all that business?”

Her furrowed brow and pursed lips communicated exactly what she thought about such primitive superstitions. “Not exactly. I think I can prove to you that nothing in the Universe is wasted. Further, I’m pretty sure you’d agree that there is something unique about human beings. The message I see in the waves is just reassurance that that uniqueness isn’t wasted. When we’ve finished our journey and wash up on the shore, we’re drawn back to the whole and may be sent on another journey.

Amelia studied me for a moment, then turned to look into the fire. “Maybe but…” “We’re back with ice cream for all,” Ron bellowed from the doorway. My contemplative hideaway was suddenly full of jabbering family. Amelia reached over and squeezed my arm before jumping up.

“Did you get any strawberry vanilla twist?” She yelled and headed toward the kitchen.   

07/24/23 01:46 PM #182    


Patrick Chaney

Thank you for sharing this, Robert.  And, for the record, I would be both honored and delighted to wash up on a dinky little beach in Maine; the sooner the better!

07/24/23 02:35 PM #183    

Janis Tarling (Lorenzen)

Me too, sooo many times I have wanted to see the beach and just travel down memory lane.

07/24/23 04:34 PM #184    

JoAnne Swope (Allison)

I live in the mountains now, far from the ocean but I surely can still see those waves coming in. To see them now as the souls who have already departed from us is beyond poetic. I'm sure your " wave messages" have touched all who read it. And we probably all recognize the generational span...one day they'll understand too. Thanks Bob, that was outstanding!

11/16/23 05:04 PM #185    


Joan Kennedy

Hi, classmates.  I rarely get on the Traip 66 page, but thanks to birthday wishes I just did.  So I realize that this would be a good place to notify those of you who knew my brother Bill, class of '67, that he died last year shortly before his 72nd birthday, of prostate cancer.  Maybe I can figure out how to post his obituary (or not). RIP, Bill.

11/17/23 10:37 AM #186    


Arnold Putnam

Sorry to hear about your brother.  I lost my younger brother, Bob, seven years ago.  He was in your brother's class.

03/07/24 12:03 PM #187    


Robert McCrillis

That the daughter of one of our classmates is the Principal at Traip is way cool.

Speaking of generations at Traip, does anyone know anything about Dorian Hutchins? I dedicated my first book to Mrs Hutchins and I'd like her to know it. (Given our ages, I've assumed that Mrs. Hutchins is no longer with us)

03/09/24 06:42 PM #188    


Jean Goss (Treacy)

So funny, Dixie, that you noted that Jane Durgin is Gail Sousa's daughter. I know Jane well and never made the connection!  How dumb am I?  I am in fact surprised and will have to digest the information. 

03/09/24 06:44 PM #189    


Jean Goss (Treacy)

I can remember asking about Dorian a number of years ago--maybe it was you Dixie who told me that everyone has lost touch with her. 

03/09/24 06:58 PM #190    


Jean Goss (Treacy)

This is for Joan Kennedy-- I know that my ex husband Chris Alvord connected with Bill in Vermont a year at two before Bill's death. I was hoping to get up there to see him myself but sadly didn't.  I remember him as a very bright and funny, charming young man.  I still remember his chuckle and imagine it rang out throughout his life!

03/10/24 03:56 PM #191    


Robert McCrillis

March 10, 2024


Dear Mrs. Hutchins:

You changed my life. I doubt you realize the profound effect you had. I don’t mean just as a teacher; although you were great—I can still hear your little laugh as you dragged us back from the tall weeds of literature. I still see you in that blue outfit with the bright green patterned blouse that wasn’t supposed to match.

You encouraged me to take the SAT exam, registered me late, and lent me the fifteen-dollar fee on the morning of the exam. You took cash out of your own purse and put it in the envelope for me. That act of charity got me into college on scholarship, setting me on a completely different path from that which I was drifting down. (yes, I know it should be “down which I was drifting)

Of the hundreds of students you taught over the years, I doubt that I was the most memorable unless I get a prize for the most ignorant smart-ass. At that time, my ambition didn’t reach any higher than to follow my father and grandfather into the Marines, do my bit overseas, and come home and get some kind of job. The college education you made possible broadened my world. Thank you.

I dedicated my first book to you, figuring that you’d be pleased when it hit the bestseller lists. It didn’t. After reading “Mrs. Hastings,” one reader did ask if I’d thanked you. To my very great shame, I never had.

I did try to find Dorian and use her as a proxy for you, but that effort failed.

Nearly sixty years late, I’m posting the letter I never wrote to the Class of 1966 webpage as a way of closing the circle. I hope your life was warm and fulfilling and that you’re someplace where you’ll be aware of my feelings.





03/10/24 06:33 PM #192    


Patrick Chaney

Well said, Bob, and GOOD FOR YOU FOR SENDING IT!

03/11/24 12:42 PM #193    


Arnold Putnam

I agree, Bob.  Mrs Hutchins was great.  I have tried to find Dorian for the reunions and Goldens over the years.  I think that she was living in Maine at one point.  If anyone knows of her whereabouts, please let her know that we would love to see her.



03/12/24 07:58 AM #194    


Joan Kennedy

Hi, everyone.  This is for Jean Goss: Thanks, Jean, for your remembrance of my brother Bill.  And thanks to Chris, your ex-husband, for visiting him in Vermont.  What a lovely thing for him to do!

03/20/24 07:04 AM #195    


Judith Power (Despres)

This is a post from Connie Moulton on the Traip Alumni FB page: 

"Gil Shaw and I became friends in 1964 when I transferred to Traip as a junior. He sat behind me in homeroom. We are proud members of the Class of '66. We have been the best of friends through all these years. Now my friend needs some help to raise funds through GoFundMe to help his only son  Wes who has been hospitalized and very ill. I am reaching out to our community, our Class of '66 classmates and Traip alumni and anyone that knows that when your child, young or as an adult, is suffering you do all you can to help. Friends and sometimes strangers can lend a helping hand. I encourage anyone reading this post to help Gil to help his son Wes. Any amount helps. Thank you!"

GoFundMe Gil Shaw

03/22/24 03:45 PM #196    


Dixie McLean

Dear classmates:


A funny thing happened on our Traip message forum! I posted a wrong news bit! I thought the new principal of Traip was an educator I had met many years ago when she came to my workplace to do the 5-year audit of our special ed department. Hearing I had graduated Traip66, she had told me she was Gail Sousa Durgin’s daughter! ...Fast forward more than two decades, my curiosity got piqued when I saw in the newspaper that a woman with a special ed background named Durgin was chosen to be Traip’s new principal. I thought, that must be Gail’s daughter! 


For over a year I refrained from announcing this remarkable thing on our forum, but after running into Gail at Market Basket a couple weeks ago, I checked with her before posting the cool news. ...However, during our conversation, she must have thought I was talking about her daughter Anne Durgin Gilbert, who is also a school principal (in Rye, NH) and I thought she was talking about Jane Durgin when she told me how much her daughter loves being a principal, etc., etc.


So here’s my retraction of the erroneous posts I made a few days ago and deleted, pending getting myself out of the twilight zone! 


It is cool though, that there are two Kittery/Traip Durgins with special ed backgrounds who are school principals, right?  : )

go to top 
  Post Message
    Prior Page