by Tony Lavely
Mindful of closing dates for Yale Alumni Magazine,
this column is being written in early November. I hope many of you will
read these notes on our Class Website where they will be posted well
before your magazine arrives.
The 50th Reunion Committee met in New Haven (joined by many classmates on a conference call speaker phone) on September 16th to begin planning for what we hope will be our best reunion ever. Chairs Chris Getman, Waldo Johnston, and Pete Putzel led the discussion and organized key reunion activities with sub-committees. We were encouraged that almost 100 classmates responded to the reunion survey, offering many suggestions for programs and activities. Please contact one of the "troika" if you would like to become actively involved. Following the meeting, those who could stay enjoyed a terrific dinner at the "new" Mory's, right across from our dedicated 1964 Alcove. Chuck Post generously treated our table to wine. Then on Saturday, we cheered the Bulldogs to an opening football win again Georgetown on a perfect early-fall afternoon.
With a Class Council quorum convened for the Reunion Committee meeting, there was a nomination made to make Vivian Donnelley an honorary member of our Class. It was carried unanimously. Vivian had previously agreed to serve as chair of the Widows Committee to encourage widows of classmates to attend our 50th Reunion. If you know any of our classmate widows who might like to attend, please reach out to Vivian.
Less than two weeks from this writing, two of our classmates will be honored with distinguished Yale awards. On November 17th, Terry Holcombe will receive the Yale Medal from the Association of Yale Alumni. On November 18th, Chris Getman will receive the George H. W. Bush Lifetime Leadership Award from the Yale Athletic Department at the Blue Leadership Ball. That same weekend, Steve Norman will attend AYA Assembly LXXI as our Class Representative. Ward Wickwire, despite committed to being in Europe that weekend, has invited all Class Agents back for the contemporaneous Yale Alumni Fund Convocation. On Saturday, the 128th playing of The Game will take place. Join classmates for tailgating in AYA Alumni Village at 10:00 AM.
Pete Putzel reports that attendance at the Yale Club of NYC 1964 Class Table this fall has been excellent. "We are hands down the Number 1 class in attendance!" he said. First-timers Neil Mitchell and Dan Gsovski attended the September lunch. In Chicago, Loring Knoblauch organizes a regular Class luncheon. Ty Olsen was a first-timer in October, and Loring wrote, "Very spirited discussions on politics, but most of us are centrists and good listeners so no fights broke out."
We have scheduled our Annual Class Council meeting in New Haven for the weekend of February 3-4, 2012. The 50th Reunion Committee will meet on Friday, February 3rd at 2:00 PM in Rose Alumni House. Please let Pete Putzel know if you would like to attend. That night, classmates will watch the men's hockey team skate against St. Lawrence in Ingalls Rink. On Saturday morning, the Class Council will convene in Kroon Hall at 9:00 AM. A highlight of this meeting will be a presentation by Amy Zvonar, our sponsored URI Summer Intern. You can read about Amy's internship on our Class Website, under "Class News."
Sam Francis, our Class Webmaster, has redesigned and expanded our Class Website. The new Home Page is designed to call your attention to recent news and events in the hope that you will check it regularly for updates. One of the most exciting additions to the Website is the inclusion of MP3s (digital audio tracks) of our very own 1964 Whiffenpoofs. You can navigate to this new page and download any of the 19 songs to your own PC/iPod/iPhone. Special thanks to Jamie Park for assisting in this effort. Gerry "Popocatepetl" Shea emailed: "Staggering! Irresistible! Miraculous! I had resisted the (daunting) temptation to travel to Elektronifunkt A.G. in Frankfurt to use their X32-61b converter to recut the record on a titanium-Z Omnirefon Delta CD. Praise be to Jamie and Sam, and to you (Jon McBride) for bringing it to us at the press of a button!"
While not a new feature on our Class Website, the section on "Publications" continues to expand with new books and articles by or about classmates. Recent additions include The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, by Stephen Greenblatt. It has been nominated for the National Book Award. The same weekend that Swerve was reviewed in The New York Times Book Review (October 2, 2011) Tom Powers wrote a review of a new book, Intelligence and U.S. Foreign Policy. When I pointed out this coincidence to Tom, he emailed: "I did notice the attention Swerve has been getting and am about 60% ready to tackle Lucretius. But first, I have to finish W. J. Cash, The Mind of the South, which I am reading in the hope it will help me determine just how southern was my father, who grew up mainly in Memphis. The answer so far: not very." While not a publication in its own right, Bob Kaiser was favorably cited (pp 258+) in the new book by Tom Friedman/Michael Mandelbaum, That Used to be Us. Nortin Hadler also released a new book, Rethinking Aging: Growing Old and Living Well in an Overtreated Society. Bill Drennen, who was guest columnist for these notes in 2010, added a new publication, Red White Black & Blue: Dual Memoir Of Race & Class In Appalachia.
Ward Cates emailed: "I'm spending too much time up in the air. West Coast last week, Atlanta next week, South Africa thereafter ... mainly HIV stuff. Still loving it." Last October, Tony Lee emailed: "We just returned from a week of mountain biking in Moab, Utah and a second week of camping/hiking in Zion, Bryce, and Capitol Reef. Seven of us mountain bikers from the Boston area flew out, stayed in a condo, rented bikes, and rode the local trails for 5 wonderful days. Among the trails I rode were Slick Rock and the Whole Enchilada. We also spent a day kayaking down the Colorado River." Gordon Davis updated his LinkedIn page to show his current position as Adjunct Lecturer, Environmental Policy, at Northwestern. Tony Morris has been named Secretary of the Aerial Fire Response & Research Network. Tony is also writing a book on the subject. Bob Musil was the guest speaker at the Trumbull College Master's Tea in October.
With great sadness, I report the death on October 14th of George Odell in Tulsa, OK. You can find George's obituary (and add your own remembrance) on the "In Memoriam" section of our Class Website. Both Mac Deford and Pat Caviness sent messages of condolences, as did my brother, Jay Lavely '65, who spent a year in Beirut with George after graduation.
Happy New Year to everyone!