Yale University

Class Notes

February 1998

by Dennis Lynch

The dates for our 35th Reunion have been set: May 29-June 1, 1999. Please try to attend if humanly possible. A partial list of those classmates planning to attend is: Terry Holcombe, Bill Woodfin, Jim Bowers, Chuck Mokriski, Nick Baskey, Allen Rossiter, Chip Brennan, John Judson, Dan Lowenstein, Bob Hannah, Ward Cates, Rodrigo Martinez, Peter Igoe, Steve Clay, Robert Stilson, Lloyd Kahn, Jeremy Wood, Otto Trautz, Carroll Cavanagh, Richard Morehead, Harvey Berenson, Richard Price, Larry Crutcher, Laird Smith, Rick Kroon, Ralph DeFronzo, Ray Haas, Jim Rogers, John Clardy, F. Sedgwick Browne, Lynn Peterson, Ross Canterbury, Loring Knoblaugh, John Witherspoon, and Gary Lulenski. Additional names will be mentioned in later issues.

Jim Baxter and Larry Capodilupo, co-chairs of agents, report that “51 percent (of our class) made gifts and pledges to support all kinds of activities at Yale” during the 1996-97 fiscal year. Additionally, “The Class of ’64 has been among the leaders in both the level of contributions and our percent of participation. ... We strive toward 55 percent participation.” Well done!

Two classmates announced their marriages. Charles Goodman succinctly states: “Married September 19, 1996, to Cynthia Evatt.” On a more expansive note, Michael Nagel may have set a class record for patience. He writes: “On the 4th of July 1997, after 55 years of bachelorhood and numerous wifelets, I lost my independence in Bucharest, reception and fireworks included, compliments of the American ambassador! Like myself, only a generation later, my young bride also grew up as a refugee from a horrible dictatorship. As soulmates, we share a love of Central European history, travel, and many similar family traditions. As an author, actress, professor of philosophy, and now cultural-affairs correspondent for the BBC, Adriana de Transylvania continues to make the most of her liberty. Maybe we can even start a family — we'll see!”

On a more sobering note, Tom Rowe observes the rising risk of prostate cancer in aging men. Tom observes, "No doubt several classmates have had to deal with prostate cancer, but I don't recall seeing discussion of it in our class's column. A recent encounter with the disease has turned me into a real evangelist for the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test for men of our age. Many of us probably have it done with our annual physicals already, but some may not realize a point of particular importance: the PSA test can show a need to consider a biopsy when you and your doctor otherwise can tell nothing at all. No enlargement, no pain, no other effects, nothing palpable — you can still have a significant case of prostate cancer that may eventually kill you unless they do something about it reasonably quickly. If you detect it early with the help of the PSA test, the chances that they can save your life and much else are good.

"Surgical removal of the prostate, the usual choice at our age and the route I took, is no fun but not greatly to be feared either. If you're in good shape and get yourself a good surgeon, recovery can be reasonably quick and the discomfort not severe or long-lasting. I'm doing very well, with follow-up reports so far favorable that they got all the cancer. But again, my main message is to do yourself a big favor and be sure you have the PSA test done annually."

Indeed, Rick Kaminsky, a leading urologist in Houston, counsels his patients to have a semi-annual PSA examination. Early detection of rising PSA levels permits the option of brachytherapy, a less-intrusive technique than surgical removal, with far fewer negative consequences.

Please remember that Pete Putzel is continuing to host 8:00am breakfasts at the New York City Yale Club on the last Thursday of each month. They are a lot of fun.