Chip O'Neill '64 reports on 1963 mini-reunion in France
Along with two other 1964 classmates — Charles Barker and Robert Whitby — Chip O'Neill joined the mini-reunion in France sponsored by the Class of 1963 in September 2015. This mini-reunion was a very ambitious undertaking by the Class of 1963, with 52 participants and a budget of $300,000. Here is Chip's report, followed by further information regarding the mini-reunion.
Report by Chip O'Neill on the Mini-Reunion
October 10, 2015
To: Tony Lavely
Having returned home from our Yale Tour in France this September, I thank you for arranging it with the class of '63 that members of our class were included in the trip and mini-reunion at Cercle de l’Union in Paris which followed a “briefing” at the US embassy.
Two of our classmates, Charles Barker and Robert Whitby, were also included in the tour and we had a great time becoming reacquainted in France.
The tour was directed by Jon Larson and his friends from '63 who became known as the “Barge Guys” because a part of the tour was through Burgundy on the eponymous barge. I, unfortunately, could not manage that part of the trip after my wife and I stopped in London prior to meeting the group to help our daughter, Erin, celebrate her 40th birthday.
Jon did a real great job down to the smallest detail, arranging transportation, accommodations, dinners, and tours. He also arranged that Wick Murray, a military historian and member of the Class of '63, accompany the group through the battlefields of Normandy. His insights added immeasurably to our experience and understanding.
All in all, it was a truly memorable trip which came in under budget, which is quite unusual. We were also very fortunate that Pat Johnson, Jere’s wife, was the designated photographer. She created an excellent and entertaining YouTube clip of the experience.
I might note that Jere served as our unofficial choir director, leading us in singing such favorites as "Bright College Years" and "The Whiffenpoof Song." As I am sure you realize from the above description, this was anything but the usual tour of France and I am delighted that you made this experience available to the Class of '64. Great job Tony!
Martin (Chip) O’Neill
Following are some details of the trip excerpted from a trip report to the Class of 1963 Class Council.