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March 4, 2004

Dear Classmates,

As of this writing, I have spoken with at least 90% of our surviving brothers and sisters.The majority, by far, are coming to the reunion. This experience has been one of the greatest in my life, because I have heard voices from the past, great stories about medicine and life, and a staggering amount of personal information that is as sacred as anything shared with any of us by patients. I did not pry, but the candor of our brothers and sisters and the trust given me have been most humbling. I have spoken to some really fabulous human beings, and am looking forward to seeing a lot of them in person soon.

Please get all your paperwork in to UTMB, including bio data for the booklet, $25 registration, reservations for the UTMB president's luncheon honoring all 1954 classes on Friday (free), and the UTMB Saturday night dinner ($50), which is just for our SOM class. Send to: Julie Quiroga, UTMB Alumni Association, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77555-1320. (Transmit bio/photo via e-mail to jquiroga@utmb.edu. Her phone:(888) 862-7111.) We've asked for plenty of space and extras, including a lecturn, mike and speakers; provision of these seems to be contingent upon the number attending, so place the Saturday banquet at the top of your list. Thanks, in part to so some of our classmates, we'll have some fabulous door prizes - and more - at the Saturday night dinner, too!

In response to folks who have indicated they'd like to attend more events with our classmates, we've planned several additional activities for our 1954 SOM class. They are:

1. Dinner at Gaido's on Friday night (pre-payment required; see the home page for options.) Payment is due by March 22. (Send to me, not UTMB.)

2. A visit to The Strand historical district on Saturday, with lunch and afternoon hangout at Bistro LeCroy. This event includes opportunities for the ladies to do a bit of shopping and also interesting things to see re: Galveston's history as a seaport. (Reservations not required.)

3. Brunch on Sunday at The Galvez. (Reservations required, but no pre-payment.) For folks who don't have to leave early Sunday morning, this is a culinary event not to be missed!

4. Our own hospitality suite in the Moody Gardens Hotel. This will be open all day Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to midnight. Cost is $1,000 just for the hospitality area, and this needs generous funding from as many of you as are willing. If every doctor attending kicks in $20, I'll be close to covered. I'll donate coffee, soft drinks and munchies, but adult beverages are BYOB. (We're staying in the attached bedroom and paying for that portion of the suite, which is not included in the $1,000!).

Details of each are on the home page. A return form for the two additional actitivies (Gaido's and the Galvez brunch) requiring reservations is available online. (Must print out and return via snail-mail - sorry, don't have the capability for online submission!).

If the wives would like to do a little sightseeing on Friday afternoon - while we can be giving the hospitality room a formal initiation - tell me soon, and we'll be happy to put something together - maybe tours of old, grand homes and afternoon tea at the elegant Tremont House or whatever the ladies would like to do. Just let me know.

If you haven't yet sent me a story or photo to go on the web site, please do so - the From Classmates and Classmates on the Web pages are by far the most interesting pages on the site! Some help with submitting photos is available on the Contact page. After the reunion, we'll be posting photos from the event, also. (Bring your cameras!) I plan to leave this web site up for a long time to help us stay in touch, since more than half the class members have web access, either their own or through family members or friends.

A letter from UTMB advancement signed by classmates Howard Burt, John Alexander, and Jeanne Fairweather was sent out recently. These classmates are participating in UTMB gifting and will be happy to discuss with you their involvement in these opportunities. If you didn't receive a copy of this letter, please contact the UTMB advancement office.

A separate snail-mail letter with the new activities will go out soon, but you can go ahead and print out the return form and send it in. In the meantime, please touch base with the classmates on your own phone or e-mail lists, since my e-mail and snail-mail still might miss a few. I will be calling some personally, in hopes of bridging the gap.

All this is leading up to some very exciting days. It's hard to believe that a half-century has passed, but the opportunity to visit again and actually see and talk to each other seems an incredibly promising event!

See you in Galveston!

Cone Johnson