Chet Fenton

Return to "Where Are They Now?"

Chet Fenton

6 Biltmore St.
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130


My Forty Years After AHS

After AHS, I spent four years at UC Riverside, majoring in mathematics and taking a lot of economics courses. I also met my future wife there. Sandie Thompson and I were married in 1968 and recently celebrated our 34th anniversary. In 1966, We left California for Massachusetts, where I had a fellowship to study economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Except for occasional visits to Southern California, we have been living here in the Boston area ever since. After a several-year stint in academia, I have been working as an economics consultant, for the last seventeen years for a senior economist for a company that specializes in economic and policy research for federal agencies. I have done a lot of work analyzing economic issues related to OSHA92s occupational safety and health regulations, and recently I have begun working on FDA-sponsored research projects addressing food safety concerns.

Sandie, formerly a teacher, has been a metal and mixed-media artist for many years now. She and I live in Jamaica Plain, a funky Boston neighborhood known for its cultural and ethnic diversity and left-leaning politics. We own a two-family house (circa 1900) with old friends, and our families have grown up together. We have three children. Abby, the oldest, is a 1996 graduate from Earlham College in Indiana and is now working as an Outward Bound instructor, leading backpacking trips in the Rockies in the summer and dog sledding and skiing trips in Minnesota in the winter. Will graduated from Bard College (New York) in May with a degree in philosophy and is now seeking his fame and fortune in NY City. Ben, the youngest, is a junior at Beloit College in Wisconsin, where he is studying sociology and creative writing and keeps busy as jazz director for the college radio station and president of the Beloit chapter of Amnesty International. You might remember that I was an active musician in high school. Well, all my children have outdone me: Abby as a folk singer and guitar and piano player, Will as a jazz percussionist, and Ben as a jazz and blues pianist. For me, I haven't tried out the trombone for a long time, but instead hack around on my son's electric keyboard trying out old blues, swing, and jazz favorites.

While retirement is still a faint glow on the horizon, it hasn't been all work and no play. In the last forty years, I've been canoeing in Labrador and on most of Maine's major rivers, gone backpacking and winter camping in New Hampshire's White Mountains, spent a year's sabbatical as a woodworker and carpenter, toured Ireland, attended countless recitals, Little League, soccer, basketball, and field hockey games, and devoted several-years' worth of weekends as a youth soccer coach. Now that Sandie and I are into the "empty nest" years, I have become a historian and genealogist and am currently finishing a genealogical account of my 18th century New England ancestors and researching the early history of the little New England town where my forerunners lived in the 1700s.

I regret not being able to attend to the reunion, as I was hoping to see everyone again (and to receive some award as the alum who traveled the farthest). But to compensate, I've been practicing, "We are the Moors of Alhambra High. We never wither, we never die . . . etc." on the keyboards. If by some chance, anyone makes it to the east coast, we have a guest room, and I would love to see you and reminisce about the high and not-so-high points of our four years at AHS. Even if you can't make it to Boston, e-mail me at or write to 6 Biltmore St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. The phone is 617-524-0788.

My best to all of you, Chet