by Tony Lavely
Seventeen members of our class council met on February 2nd at
the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, courtesy of
Gus Speth; we were pleased to see that
construction has begun on the Kroon building (made possible by
Rick Kroon). Our class treasurer,
Chip Brennan, was snow-bound in Chicago but
e-mailed his typically informative financial report. Major topics of
discussion were: the class officer and council nominating committee, headed
by Pete Putzel; a report on the recent AYA
Assembly by Will Elting; the results of the
October mini-reunion in NYC from Ed Massey;
status reports on the development of our 45th reunion by
Waldo Johnston (reunion chairman),
John Evans (program committee), and me
(attendance committee); our Webmaster, Sam Francis,
and I led a discussion of how to enhance our class Web site; Handsome Dan
XVII (aka "Sherman") was made an ex officio
member of the class. As the meeting adjourned, Terry
Holcombe left for an overnight flight to Egypt for a tour of the
pyramids with Peter Giblin.
The evening before, we were joined by additional classmates and spouses for dinner at Mory's and the Yale-Dartmouth men's hockey game (won by Yale 6-3). Piggybacking on the council meeting, Waldo Johnston convened a separate meeting of the 45th reunion committee. Waldo and John Evans are encouraged by the wide-spread input they have received from the 64-member reunion committee, like Russell Sunshine and Nick von Baillou. We're still more than a year out (early June 2009), so keep sending your ideas and mark your calendars.
As an extension of the council meeting, the four summer interns sponsored by our class (Nathalie Alegre, Angel Hertslet, Karin Lee, and Eric Bloom) gave interesting audio-visual reports of their summer environmental projects. You can find a full report on our class Web site (www.yale64.org) under "Class News." Mike Price and Frank Balser devote a lot of time to this special class interest, and the results are very satisfying.
One of the unexpected discussions provoked by Ed Massey was the use of e-mail versus snail mail for delivering class communications. I cannot remember a topic that precipitated so much follow-up debate (most of it via e-mail). Opinions were divided on whether our class should "go paperless." Larry Krutcher, who served as chairman of the Yale Alumni Magazine in the early 1980s, had one of the most informed views on this dilemma. Suffice to say, while the USPS will be used for important mailings, we will be relying more and more on the far more efficient use of e-mail. In that regard, please check your e-mail address listed on our class Web site and notify me (by phone or e-mail) if it needs to be changed. Regrettably, we are not linked to the Yale Alumni Directory database (where e-mail addresses are blind anyway).
Dennis Upper's most recent book, Long Story Short, has received the prestigious Editor's and Publisher's Choice awards: "It's a humorous memoir that covers six strands of my life … including stories at Yale." Dennis welcomes your feedback. Joe Wishcamper wrote: "Mac Deford and Church Carey have taken up residence in Maine, most likely realizing the potential of Maine to become the next Florida after a few more years of global warming. They have joined the visionaries, Al Ayre, Greg Tselikis, Sam Low, and Ward Wickwire." Dan Pollack and Nancy were in Orlando in January, and we had a terrific steak dinner together at Del Frisco's. Dan and Nancy have a wonderful extended family and are very involved in their Glencoe, Illinois, community. Jon McBride recently launched an expanded and enhanced Web site (www.McBrideAssociates.com). We heard from Pat Caviness in Koh Samui, Thailand, a couple of times. He promised to bring Frederique back for our 45th reunion. Jim Barton and Nancy visited them in January. Richard Rosenkranz sent a terrific e-mail of his activities that I will mine for several issues. Among other things, I learned that he is my neighbor in Orlando, giving presentations in public schools to raise awareness and sensitivity among students for people with disabilities. Loring Knoblauch continues to stitch together classmates in the Chicago area. Their most recent lunch, attended by eleven classmates, was held at the Racquet Club in early February (Note: Send digital pictures of classmate gatherings like this, and we'll post them on the Web site). In March, Ed Price auctioned his impressive collection of early American dimes and quarters (valued at over $4 million) at Heritage Auction Galleries (www.coins.ha.com ). My daughter, Vanessa, will be graduating from UCLA Law School in May, and I'm hoping to get together with Lyn Hinojosa (a principal in Hinojosa & Wallett Attorneys) while I'm there. Gerry Shea wrote: "I've been actively challenging the policy and practice of the torture of prisoners of and by the U.S. government." Read Gerry's essay on our Class Web site. After Erik Midelfort retires from the University of Virginia in 2009 (presumably just in time to attend our 45th reunion), he says, "I intend to study religious and political radicalism in Germany during the decades after the Peace of Westphalia (1648)." Tom Susman has retired after 27 years with Ropes & Gray. The American Bar Association has named Tom the Director of its Government Affairs Office: "Tom Susman brings to this position a superb understanding of ABA values and a consummate commitment to the goal of defending liberty and pursuing justice." Registration is closing at the end of March for the Bermuda Golf Experience, organized by Tony Lee, which will take place in late October. Ward Wickwire, chairman of Alumni Fund agents, reports that our class is at 74% of its dollar goal, having raised over $162,000 from 35% of the class. Let's exceed the goal before the end of June!
The column is not a bully pulpit, but I do want to mention some classmates who are very actively involved in the 2008 Presidential Campaign. KT and Alan McFarland are energetically engaged with John McCain's campaign, and Joe Lieberman has endorsed Senator McCain, too. Jon McBride is passionately committed to Barack Obama's campaign and spent days in Ohio getting out the primary vote. Pat Caviness and I exchanged e-mails about our support for Hillary Clinton. I'm sure there many of you are similarly involved; let me hear from you.
The sad duty of this position is to report the recent departure of classmates. Jack Rodnick passed away unexpectedly while on vacation in Haena, Kauai, in January. George Wallace died of lymphoma in February in Belfast, Maine. Obituaries for both Jack and George are posted on our class Web site.