Stephen Freedman

Like most others, life so far has had its ups and downs.  More ups than downs, to be sure.  But here we are at 75 still doing our lives, and thatís a good thing.

I want to share not what has happened since 1960 but where I am right now at 75.  For me this has been more of an emotional trip than I had thought.  I keep thinking, ď75 means Iím old, better check in on my bucket list.Ē  Getting past this mindset has not been easy.  Iím wondering if this magic number has affected you in similar ways?

I have led a physically active lifestyle and am lucky enough to be able to do pretty much whatever I want, albeit not as quickly as before and with more caution.  I no longer do the black diamond trails on the ski slopes or climb up on my house roof, but Iím not complaining.  My life remains busy and fulfilling.  Still, I feel the pressure to prioritize what I want to get done and make plans to do them, more so than in the past.  I have been an optimist all my life and that hasnít changed.  Trying not to be morbid, just realistic.

Wondering if Iím alone in having these thoughts, I look forward to seeing all on the 29th.

Steve Freedman

Thanks for all the responses to my post on what it feels like to be 75.  Some were posted to the group, others private.  I have very much enjoyed reading the initial emails about our classmates telling us what they have done and where they have lived.  Terrific stuff.
I was hoping to start a conversation on a different level, and it's been great to see that happen.  I continue to be amazed at what a wonderful class we are.  See (many of) you in August.
Steve Freedman
With the big day approaching many are weighing in.  Here's my story.

After MHS I went to Columbia where I received a BA and MBA.  New York was quite a change from Marblehead.  It took me 2 years to adjust, but then I was all in.  Little known fact - you could do NYC on a student budget once you figured out how.  I enjoyed it.

I started my professional career at Lever Brothers, huge company on Park Avenue, as a national marketing manager in the personal products division - soaps, toothpaste, etc.  I did quite well but felt the need to connect my job more to personal interests.  What was I interested in?  Wine!  I had been bitten by the wine bug and thought it might be nice to spend my life working in something I truly loved.  Marry my hobby and my job.  I talked to many folks about this, even went to France to get a better sense of it.  I quit my job at Lever to cut my teeth with a prestigious wine shop in New York.  Big cut in salary, but I had to try it.  A few moves within the wine industry brought me back to M'head.  Married to my college sweetheart, 2 kids, and then things suddenly changed.  She was diagnosed with cancer.
Four years later she was gone.  We were back in NYC, I had 2 small kids to care for and a big job as VP of Marketing for a national wine importer.  Moved back to Marblehead after some time, remarried (2 more kids), and became CEO of a regional wine importer and retailer.  Then back to NY with another national wine importer.  Finally, I needed out of NYC and moved to western MA in 1994 to start my own business - a wine shop in Amherst.  It was quite successful. I sold it and retired in 2015.
We live on a lake in a small town (Leverett) just north of Amherst.  It is a college community with 5 colleges in the area, UMass being the largest.  We swim, kayak, fish, and ice skate in our backyard.  I have become an avid gardener (veggie).  Also serve on 2 town boards.  With my book group, poker group, wine tasting group, and volunteering in the local elementary school I keep pretty busy.  I have become something of a gym rat also.
I look forward to seeing as many as can make it this weekend.