Stretch/Harvest Reunion

September 28-29, 2002

Poughkeepsie, New York

Welcome to the Stretch Reunion web site. Scroll down to read about the reunion: the program, the people who are planning to attend, and other details.

Alumni addresses and telephone numbers are at contact information. Use this list to get in touch with Stretch and Harvest colleagues.

Links to other parts of the web site are at [Site map. Links.]

Reunion details are presented below.

  1. Reunion Weekend Overview
  2. List of Attendees
  3. Saturday details
  4. Sunday details
  5. Reunion Book, Memento, and CD
  6. Travel, Accommodations, and Block Booking
  7. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  8. Costs

1. Reunion Weekend Overview

The reunion has attracted interest way beyond whatever expectations we might have had in January, when we started planning this affair. Attendance is now expected to be more than 175 people. Accordingly, we've added a 3-hour Sunday brunch to the scheduled reunion activities, to give you an opportunity for leisurely conversation and leave-taking. The weekend event lineup is shown below. All events are in the Casperkill Conference Center, unless otherwise noted. (See

Saturday, September 28

 1:00 PM -  7:00 PM   Reunion Registration, Sign-in                     
 2:00 PM -  3:30 PM   Fred Brooks Talk and Panel Discussion among Erich Bloch, 
                        George Grover, and Harwood Kolsky       
 5:00 PM -  7:00 PM   Cocktail Reception                      
 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM   Gala Reunion Dinner             
Sunday, September 29
10:00 AM -  1:00 PM   Buffet Brunch						      
 1:30 PM -  ??        Tarrying at Eric's House in Woodstock, New York			
Our reunion has attracted the notice of computer historians, several of whom expect to join us: author Emerson Pugh, computer history enthusiast Eric Smith, Computer History Museum curator Dag Spicer and Dr. Jeffrey Yost, Associate Director, the Charles Babbage Institute. Throughout the weekend, Dag Spicer will be recording reunion events with a video camcorder, including brief one-on-one interviews with those of you who take the time to "Tell it like it was." He intends to produce a reunion CD that will be available to all Stretch/Harvest Alumni/ae, whether or not they attend the reunion. The reunion history book and memento will also be available to attendees and non-attendees alike.

2. List of Attendees

While your reunion organizers are no longer actively recruiting additional attendees, we will continue accept new reservations from Stretch/Harvest alumni/ae.

Will Definitely or Probably Attend - Fleming Alexander, Fran Allen, Jim Andrada, Tom Apple, Paul H. Baumgarte, Orest and Oksana Bedrij, Bob Bemer, Ed and Laura Bensley, Nelson Beverly, Erich and Renee Bloch, Robert and Dale Blosk, Fred and Nancy Brooks, Werner and Ann Buchholz, Mrs. Sullivan G. (Betty Lou) Campbell and Frank Schwartz, Peter Capek, John and Ann Carter, Bruce and Patti Chalmers, Marilyn and Stan Charap, Bill Collier, Tom Connors, Bob and Jan Conrod, Carl and Marj Conti, Jean Crawford, Hank Dater and JoAnne Beringer, Stan Dickstein, Walt Doherty, Clarke and Fran Dowling, Mrs. Stephen W. (Julia) Dunwell, Bob and Margaret Eibsen, Ike and Bea Eichbaum, Anne Fitzpatrick, Bob and Nina Fletcher, Philip and Lucile Fox, Dick and Marilyn Gowetski, John Griffith, Larry Grodman, George Grover, Ann Hardy, Norm Hardy, Dick and Mary Margaret Hatch, Jim Havender, Ruth N. Hensley, Ed and Brenda Hofler, Hans and Anne-Marie Jensen, Larry Josephson, Larry and Peggy Kanter, Gordon and Grace Kerr, Eric and Gail Knutsen, Harwood and Frances Kolsky, Dick and Gloria Lamy, Chris and Nori Larson, Walt and Marjorie Leach, Syd and Gloria Lindauer, Ed and Leslie Lowry, John Lyon, Marla and John MacKenzie, Peter and Vicky Markstein, Bob and Althea Meade, Marge Merritt, Jack Miller, Tom and Barbara Myers, Leo and Ruth Notari, Andris and Mara Padegs, Sam and Stephanie Patton, Gerry and Carol Paul, Bob and Alice Paulsen, Stan Pitkowsky, Ken and Isabel Plambeck, Ray and Joanne Polivka, Paul Prentice, Emerson Pugh, Larry N. Pumphrey, Bob and Janis Ramey, Harry Reinheimer and son Tom, Russ and Ali Robelen, Maureen Ruf, Cas Scalzi, Jim and Jean Shelly, Eric Smith, Gordon and Elizabeth Smith, Ron and Vangie Smith, Dag Spicer, Ron Staheli, Lang Stallard, Bill and Gwen Stevens, Charlie Strauss, George and Adele Swift, Ken and Claire Tooker, Stu Tucker, Michael Walton, Bob Webster, Ron and Gina Weiss, Don Whitmore, Herb and Evelyn Wild, Jim Willard, Russ and Gussie Wilmot, Len and Joan Winter, Irene (Gabrielson) and Dave Woods, Bill and Anne Wright, Lim and Lorna Yee, Jeffrey R. Yost. (Total: 155)

Will 'Wait and See' - Vickie (Skwiertz) Blake, Ann Cocke, Jack and Joan McBride, Harry Methven, Ellen Scott.

3. Saturday Details

The Casperkill Country Club is the old IBM Country Club with a new name. It's on Route 9, half a mile south of the IBM plant/lab complex, on the opposite side of the road. (A Saturn auto dealer is directly across Route 9 from the entrance.) IBM still owns the property, but a management company operates the Club. We will have use of the Club's Conference Center from 1:00 PM on Saturday to 1:00 PM Sunday.

Registration for the reunion will take place on Saturday, continuously from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM, right inside the entrance to the Conference Center. There, two hostesses will record your arrival and give you name badges, a reunion information packet, reunion history book and memento. If you wish, you may relax with others in the lounge while your spouse attends the 2:00 PM talk and panel discussion. Complimentary light refreshments will be available.

At 2:00 PM there will be a talk by distinguished professor, author and computer architect Fred Brooks, "The Impact of Stretch on Computer Architecture" (Stretch's influence on computing machines in later years).

The 30-minute talk will be followed by a panel discussion, "Reflections on the Stretch Project," conducted by Fred, Erich Bloch, George Grover, and Harwood Kolsky. Erich was IBM's Chief Scientist before he became Director of the National Science Foundation; George managed software for Stretch and Harvest, including a single compiler for both systems; Harwood tutored Tom Watson, Jr. on the value of Stretch's innovations. (A medical procedure has required that John and Karen Fairclough cancel their U.S. trip. Sir John sends his regrets.)

The panel discussion will conclude no later than 3:30.

From 5:00 to 7:00 PM there will be a cocktail party reception featuring both standing and butlered hors d'oeuvres. Weather permitting, the party will be both indoors and outdoors. There will be soft background music and an open bar, continuing through dinner. In an adjacent lounge will be an exhibit of Stretch photos and artifacts, along with a videocam for recording any observations or recollections you wish to share.

At about 7:00 PM, we will sit down for dinner. The chefs, from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), will offer a choice of three entrees and a vegetarian option: Chicken Francese, Baked Stuffed Fillet of Sole, Beef Tenderloin with Merlot Shallot Jus and their renowned Mushroom Wellington for vegetarians. During and after dinner we will have brief speeches, awards, music, dancing and other amusements. Speakers will include Fred Brooks, with a non-technical summary of his afternoon talk and Julia Dunwell, with remarks about Steve and life after Stretch.

The Casperkill evening will end at 11:00 PM, and those who wish to continue partying can repair to other venues, notably the Fishkill Holiday Inn on Route 9, eight miles south on Route 9.

4. Sunday Details

The buffet brunch at Casperkill will go from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The buffet will be sumptuous, and you may not need to eat again on Sunday. The brunch is intended to be a quiet, relaxed affair, giving you more time to catch up and converse with others. The Computer History Museum videocam crew will be stationed nearby, enabling you to make a statement for your colleagues and posterity, should you wish.

Starting at about 1:30 PM, Eric Knutsen's mountain house in Woodstock, NY will be the site for a reunion post-mortem and informal recreation. (It's an easy 35-mile drive from Poughkeepsie.) The historians are specifically invited, but others are most welcome to join in. There will be light refreshments, soft music, and comfortable chairs and sofas. Eric's computer will enable you to check your email and the baseball/football scores. Woodstock is a "Colony of the Arts," with its own attractions in town.

5. Reunion Book, Memento, and CD

The reunion history book will include stories and other input from almost 120 alumni/ae, as well as photos from various sources, including the IBM archives in Somers. Also press releases from 1961, excerpt of Watson's WJCC speech in the spring of 1961, and articles about Stretch. It will weigh in at 150 pages or so, with more than 40 images. The book will be comb- bound after reproduction by a digital (black&white) copier. The book will be dedicated to the memories of Steve Dunwell and Sully Campbell with brief biographies of each man, including a few never-before-told facts.

The reunion coffee mug will have an image of all 49 boxes of the Stretch ("7030") system on one side, and "Stretch/Harvest Reunion, September 28&29, Poughkeepsie, New York" on the other side.

Dag Spicer's CD (compact disk) will comprise video clips from the reunion and such other historical material as the Computer History Museum people choose to include. The CD will be available in January 2003 to all Stretch/Harvest alumni/ae.

6. Travel, Accommodations, and Block Booking

If you are flying in for the reunion, the closest major airport serving the Hudson Valley is Stewart International Airport in Newburg. It is only about six miles from the Fishkill Holiday Inn. Newark and Albany are second choices. LaGuardia and Kennedy are third choices. See Travel

Hotel reservations should be made earlier rather than later. The mid-Hudson Valley is a popular destination in September and, on top of that, Marist College in northern Poughkeepsie is having Parents' Weekend on Sept 28-29. We have set aside a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn in Fishkill. To reserve a room, call 1.845.896.6281 and be sure to mention "Stretch Reunion." See Accommodations.

7. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. I cannot attend the reunion. How do I get a reunion book and/or coffee mug?
A. Send a check to Eric Knutsen -- $25 for a book, $10 for a mug. (Includes packaging and shipping.) Books can be ordered at any time. Only a few mugs remain. Eric's address is 7 Pell Place/Riverside CT 06878.

Q. Where is Casperkill Conference Center (the reunion venue)?
A. It's the old IBM Country Club on Route 9, half a mile south of the IBM Poughkeepsie plant/lab complex, on the opposite side of the road. (Or, 8.5 miles north of the Route 9/I-84 intersection in Fishkill.) A Saturn auto dealer is directly across Route 9 from the Casperkill entrance.

Q. What's the dress code for the gala dinner on Saturday?
A. Jackets for men (ties optional), equivalent for women.

Q. What about seating at dinner?
A. There will be round tables seating eight people. Email Eric ( with the names of people with whom you'd like to be seated. We'll do our best to accommodate everyone, but we cannot give guarantees.

Q. When do I get to choose the dinner entree I want?
A. You can choose your entree at any time between now and September 15. The options are Chicken Francese or Baked Stuffed Fillet of Sole or Beef Tenderloin with Merlot Shallot Jus. For vegetarians there's Mushroom Wellington, a highly praised offering.

Q. How do I get on the dinner speaker list?
A. Ask Eric, and be prepared to speak no longer than 3-5 minutes, from the heart.

Q. How will I find people on Friday and on Saturday morning?
A. We'll ask everyone to tell us where they're staying and their arrival day. We'll put the information on both on our web site and in the reunion information packet. Email your accommodation and arrival data to Bill Collier,

Q. Can I get my reunion information packet on Friday, or Saturday morning?
A. We're working on it. Perhaps at Casperkill and/or the Fishkill Holiday Inn. We'll let you know.

Q. How can I get messages to people at the reunion, or if I have a travel misadventure?
A. There will be a staffed phone line at Casperkill for our exclusive use, starting at 1:00 PM Saturday. Also, we'll have a message board next to the registration desk. We'll broadcast the telephone number as soon as we have it.

Q. What if there's a medical emergency during the reunion?
A. We'll have the telephone/pager number of the IBM EMS people. They arrive very quickly.

Q. Will taxicab service be available?
A. We'll have the telephone numbers of three cab companies in your information packet.

Q. When and how do I pay for the reunion? And what if I have to cancel at the last minute?
A. September 15 at the latest, by check made out to Eric Knutsen/Stretch Reunion. It's a four-day cancellation policy. See the next section, "Costs."

8. Costs

Your costs will be as follows (These are the final figures. They will not change.):

Reunion                          $160 per couple, $90 per single
  (includes cocktails, dinner, 1 book, 1 coffee mug)
Sunday Buffet Brunch              $20 per person
Relaxing at Eric's house              No charge
Extra coffee mugs at reunion       $5 per mug (Order by August 15)
We will ask you to pay by check no later than September 15, so that we can establish the number of dinners and avoid the administrative bother of collections on the weekend itself. Full refunds will be given for cancellations up through September 24. (Four days before the reunion, when Casperkill needs a guaranteed number of dinners.)

We will send out requests for payment near the end of August, but you should feel free to mail your checks to Eric sooner than that if, for example, you will be going on a trip or otherwise be out of reach. Make your check payable to Eric Knutsen/Stretch Reunion and mail to 7 Pell Place/Riverside, CT 06878-1909.

Books and mugs for non-attendees $25 per book, $10 per mug. (Includes packaging and shipping.)

Computer History Museum CD - TBD, but should fall in $10-$20 range

Books and mugs will be shipped in October. The Museum expects to ship their CD's early in 2003.

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It's going to be a great weekend. Email or call us with any questions, concerns or comments.

Eric Knutsen
Bill Collier

Last updated October 18, 2002.