Whew! Are you finding that the high humidity and sudden downpours make you think you are in Central America? How disappointing for Democratic Party faithfuls to hear that our current unsettled “tropical” weather system is forcing President Obama inside Time Warner Stadium this evening. Organizers have to follow the “better safe than sorry” rule but we are still disappointed!
In keeping with the weather, Around Davidson travels to tropical Guatemala today to hear about Peggy Evans’ trip to San Mateo Ixtatán. In addition there is news of Wilson Kello’s wedding and a marvelous reconnect for two residents at The Pines: John Lyles and Beverly Rosengren.
WEDDING BELLS – WILSON KELLO and QUINN
Always nice to hear from Meg Kimmel who moved to Maine last year to take a job in communications at Bates College. She recently caught us up on the wedding news of her oldest son, Wilson, who grew up in Davidson. Meg shared the following with us.
“On June 16 Wilson Kello and Quinn Christie married in a Quaker-style self-uniting ceremony at Ash Mill Farm, near New Hope, Pa., in a beautiful, outdoor wedding. Wilson is the son of John and Kim Kello of Davidson, and Meg and Don Kimmel, also of Davidson, but currently living in Maine, where Meg is assistant vice president of communications at Bates College. Quinn is the daughter of Rick and Wendy Christie of Collegeville, Pa.
Wilson is Swarthmore College graduate, and Quinn is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. They live in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook, and both are designers working in Manhattan.
The June weather was lovely at the working farm near the Delaware River, where family and friends enjoyed music and lawn games throughout the weekend. The couple’s families all stayed at the farm’s inn, and the wedding party was filled with the couple’s siblings, including Jesse Kimmel and Alex, Elise and Laura Kello. Robin Kello was his brother’s best man, and Robin’s wife, Laura Camino, was a bridesmaid. Ben Williams, Wilson’s childhood friend, traveled from Los Angeles, Calif., to be a groomsman, and his parents, Bill and Margo Williams of Davidson, were able to be there for all the fun.
The bride’s bouquet, made by her mother, included lavender harvested from the Kimmel’s Davidson garden.”
Congratulations and best wishes to Wilson and Quinn as well as to the entire family.
Peggy Evans of the McConnell neighborhood had an exciting trip to Guatemala this past June. Through church connections in Charlottesville, VA, Beth Neville Evans (wife of Peggy’s son, John Borden Evans) became interested in the small village of San Mateo Ixtatán, Guatemala. Through much hard work and determination she started a high school in the community. (Access “ixtatan.org”)
If you access the history tab of the Ixtatan.org, you learn that in 1999 Beth visited San Mateo Ixtatan for the first time and decided to find work there that would keep her coming back. A year later community leaders in the Guatemalan town asked her help in starting their very first high school and Beth formed the non-profit Ixtatán Foundation in 2001. The Foundation is based in Beth’s home town of Charlottesville and has seen the first high school in the Chuj-Maya speaking area of San Mateo Ixtatán grow from 30 students to a student body now some 250 strong. Just this year Elías Alonzo, a native Guatemalan who grew up in San Mateo Ixtatán and has studied in the States, took on the challenge of becoming the Executive Director of the Ixtatán Foundation.
The entire Evans family (and it is a big group) is so proud of Beth and what she has accomplished to further education in this community. As you can read on the website, when asked what appealed to her the most about the Ixtatán Foundation, she replied, “ I like that it is focused on one community because that has allowed me to actually get to know and love the Chuj people. It is a great privilege.”
Peggy Evans was able to see firsthand this summer what the school means to the residents of San Mateo Ixtatán. She traveled with Beth and John Evans as well as another son, David Evans and his wife, Becky, from Atlanta. Arriving in Guatemala City, they traveled first to the old capital of Antigua and spent two nights in a hostel on Lago Atitian in the southwestern part of the country. A long ride in a van took them to San Mateo where they spent three days getting to visit the school meet teachers and volunteers as well as the school children. The community is more than 8,000 feet above sea level in the Cuchumatanes Mountains with a cool, cloudy climate.
Peggy has many beautiful photos of the places she visited during her week there and especially loved seeing the women’s colorful handiwork in their multi-colored hand woven cotton ponchos. Knowing Peggy’s remarkable sewing and quilting talent, we may soon see some of the Guatemalan patterns in her next wall covering. We are glad to know about the Ixtatán Foundation and the positive impact her daughter-in-law has had reaching out to others to better themselves through education.
RECONNECTING AFTER SIXTY-ONE YEARS
Imagine inviting a young lady to a Dance Weekend at Davidson College in October 1949 and then not seeing her again for 61 years! Such is the case for John Lyles and Beverly Rosengren. John Lyles is well known in Davidson as Steedman Lyles dad, Cissi’s father-in-law, Grandpa to Betsy, JS and George, devoted husband for 57 years to the late Carter Lyles (she passed away in December 2009), and retired Presbyterian minister. John and Carter retired to Cornelius in 1992 and moved to The Pines in March 2003.
And just how did John reconnect with Beverly, his dance partner all those years ago? Beverly was one of six children whose father was a Presbyterian minister in Jacksonville, FL. After Sunday services he always invited visiting seamen home for lunch and through this connection John Lyles, serving in the Navy, first was introduced to high-schooler Beverly. Following his Naval service, John entered Davidson College in the fall of 1946 and was “sweet on Beverly” until 1949 when they went their separate ways. John graduated from Davidson, attended Princeton Theological Seminary and had a fulfilling career as a Presbyterian minister.
Beverly went on to graduate from Wooster College and married John Rosengren. They lived in Ridgewood, NJ, where they raised three sons. Beverly, a public school social worker and John, a professor of Biology at Patterson State University, were married 45 years until John’s death in 1999.
Now fast forward to September 2009 when Beverly’s brother, Albert Kissling, a retired Presbyterian minister, visited in Davidson and attended a retired minister’s luncheon. John had not seen Albert in over ten years and in conversation catching up on Kissling family news, learned that Beverly was now a widow. (How interesting to note that Albert was a classmate of Tony Abbott’s at Princeton as an undergraduate and a roommate of Lacy Dick’s late husband, Tony, at Union Theological Seminary. Thus Albert has good incentive to stop periodically and see Davidson friends.)
A year later in October 2010, John Lyles traveled to Princeton University for Alumni Week and continued to Ridgewood, NJ, to touch base with Beverly and say hello again after a 61 year interlude. Charming, outgoing Beverly and thoughtful, quick witted John were thrilled to be back in touch. And now we all get to meet this delightful Beverly Kissling Rosengren since she moved to The Pines this past May – no doubt to keep an eye on John, her Davidson College dance partner those many, many years ago! Welcome back to Davidson, Beverly. We are so glad you are here!
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Have news for Around Davidson? Write to Brenda Barger at firstname.lastname@example.org.