by Tony Lavely
[Note: Due to word count limits, this column is longer than the version that appears in Yale Alumni Magazine. It also contains hyperlinks for ease of locating source documents, which the printed version does not.]
At this time, I doubt any classmate needs to be reminded that our 50th Class Reunion begins on May 29th, preceded by a golf outing and Mory's dinner on May 28th. The Big Dance! Sam Francis has been adding program details to our Class website on a weekly basis. There is some "recommend reading" for two program sessions: Stephen Greenblatt, whose theme will be, "Age is Unnecessary: Shakespeare and the End of Life Story," recommends reacquainting yourself with King Lear and other reading. Ron Parlato also weighed in on his blog with King Lear: Shakespeare and the Hard Lessons of Leadership. Bob Kaiser's recent opinion piece in The Washington Post, "How Republicans lost their minds, Democrats lost their souls, and Washington lost its appeal," will give you some background for the panel with John Ashcroft and Joe Lieberman. You can also register for the reunion via the website. I should add that experts who have looked at our Class website, and compared it to other Yale classes (even recent, more techno-savvy classes) have concluded that it is "best in class." You can also access the website from your smart phone.
All classmates should have received the splendid and voluminous Class Book produced by Larry Crutcher and his editorial team. I have received many enthusiastic comments about the Class Book, which was immeasurably enhanced by personal essays from over 60% of classmates. The In Memoriam section is quite moving, as well. Jim Rogers said it best, "Astonishing! What a magnificent and extraordinary job Larry did. We all owe you big time, and so do our children and grandchildren." David Sherman emailed from the UK: "Mine was delivered by a very strong young man. I tried to pick it up but it was too heavy." Tony Morris added: "This will be the longest (889 pages) and heaviest (14 pounds) book I have ever read."
In the course of planning the reunion as one of the three chairs, Pete Putzel uncovered another gem. It seems that two of our classmates, Richard Patterson and George McQuilkin, produced a 47-minute documentary film at our fifth reunion in 1969. One of the featured on-camera speakers was David Wyles. It covered many reunion classes, not just ours. It is now posted on our Class website, and I urge you to view it. It is a period piece, to say the least. Are you in the bar scene? Let me know. Lastly, as many classmates noted, we share our 50th with the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s honorary Yale degree. The Yale Facebook page has posted at least a dozen stories and photos of King's life and legacy.
In January, Frank Franklin emailed to ask if I had seen a particular word analyzer application. Indeed, I had seen an application, called Word Cloud, but I had never run our Class Notes through it. It's really more of a curiosity piece, but you might find it interesting, in Class News. As you may know, Peter Salovey, '86 Ph.D., recently inaugurated President of Yale, will pay his first reunion visit as President to our Class during the reunion. In that regard, you might find it interesting to read his February account of his visit to the White House. You can find it in Class News on our website.
In the March-April issue of Class Notes, I summarized the work of our Urban Resources Initiative (URI) summer intern. This is an environmentally progressive cause that our Class has supported with a donation for three years. At our January Class Council meeting, we adopted a second cause that also benefits underserved neighborhoods in the New Haven community. It is called Squash Haven and through affiliation with Yale squash coaches and Payne Whitney Gymnasium, Squash Haven provides individually directed academic enrichment and squash instruction to New Haven public-school students in fifth grade through high school. Jon McBride is our Council liaison to this organization. Our Class contribution is modest, so feel free to donate directly, if you wish.
The monthly Class luncheon at The Yale Club of NYC had two rousing gatherings this winter. Bill Galvin reported: "Bob Kaiser made his first appearance as a New Yorker on January 28th. A full account can be found in Class News. The February luncheon was also well-attended. Bob Kaiser's recent opinion piece in The Washington Post was published the day of the luncheon and focused much of the discussion on Kaiser's theme. Pete Putzel gives a detailed report in Class News on the luncheon and his January trip to Machu Picchu with Per Wickstrom. In January, Edward P. (Ned) Evans Hall opened to great fanfare at the Yale School of Management (SOM), where it is now the centerpiece of the SOM campus. We have posted photos, video, and articles about the opening ceremonies in Class News. This inspiring building will be one of the venues at our 50th reunion.
Jon Larson '63, has offered space in a Tour de France trip that 50 members of 1963 will be taking in September 2015. Please contact Jon or me if you are interested. Jim Bowers missed our Class Council meeting due to illness, but he has since reported that he is back home and recovering, adding: "I still plan to see y'all at the reunion." Joe Wishcamper also missed the meeting, but his excuse was "I fly-fished for nine days in Patagonia wth Dave Plimpton, who assailed the locals with his self-taught Spanish." Angus Gillespie emailed: "In January, I was awarded a Certificate of Merit by the Commandant of the US Coast Guard."
Len Gaffga emailed: "In December, I visited Lesotho, a land-locked country in South Africa, to visit my son. It was a real African experience complete with lions." Len's interesting report, with photographs, is posted in Class News. Yale again conveyed its appreciation to Chuck Mokriski for the J. Frederick Mokriski Scholarship Fund. David Sandor emailed: "David and Geri Sandor are happy to report that their son, Andrew '89, has joined their family law practice in Irvine, CA." Pete Putzel completed his 40th consecutive year of teaching Advanced Trial Advocacy at Fordham Law School, no doubt helping him chair Class Reunion Committee meetings. Tom Kleven emailed: "I'm in my 40th year at Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, feeling fortunate to have been able to do something I find so rewarding."
Dan Pollack tore his Achilles tendon playing tennis and now swims every day: "It's amazingly refreshing and energizing." Paul Balser will be honored in April at the Hudson Guild Annual Benefit for his 35 years of service to this organization that strengthens the Chelsea NY community. Ed Massey, who is organizing a very exciting reunion program called "A Kaleidoscope of Passions," emailed: This year, in face of the Polar Vortex, I fled to Hawaii and now have a new life's passion — to move into the Moana Surfrider and live there the rest of my life."
Pat Caviness posted commentary and several albums of photographs on Facebook of his trip with Frederique to Cambodia: "Climbing the temple stairs of Siem Reap, my stomach was churning, but I was thrilled to reach the top." Pat also memorialized his relationship with Frederique on Facebook, so things must be getting serious! Douglass Lea, whose art you will find in Visual Arts on our Class website, posted on FB: "A new year, a new season of art classes, all at beautiful Sugar Reef Cafe on Bequia." Jim Rogers had an active and prolific winter. I don't know what inspired him to post this message on FB, but I liked it: "If everyone saw himself as a citizen of the world, rather than of his town, city, or country, the world would be a more peaceful, better place where success in all forms is abundant and available to all." Jim spoke at Yale-NUS College in Singapore in February wearing his one-of-a-kind 1964 bow tie. Jim added, "Chanos (cover story in September-October 2013 YAM) has been wrong about China since 2009."
Sam Deloria and Sam Low dueled for Facebook supremacy this winter. Among other things, Sam Deloria posted: "Another successful recruiting season for the terrific staff at American Indian Graduate Center Scholars, bringing the Gates Millennium Scholarship Program to Indian and Native Students." Sam Low got rave reviews (Amazon 5-Star) and media interviews for his book, Hawai'iki Rising. In between his own productions, Sam delves into the rich history of Martha's Vineyard. Sam also delivered a lecture at the New Britain Museum of American Art, where his father is remembered as a leading artist of his time. There's one more Sam — Sam Francis, our tireless Webmaster, who reels me back from social media with lines like this: "Being on Facebook is like sitting at the cool table in a cafeteria at a mental hospital!"
Authors in our Class continue to amaze. Fred Hornbruch recently published Around the Table, Around the World: The People of La Comida de California. Dick Berk has published Criminal Justice Forecast of Risk: A Machine Learning Approach. Bob Musil (a strong voice for environmental protection on Facebook) has just published Rachael Carson and Her Sisters: Extraordinary Women Who Have Shaped America's Environment. Tom Kleven has published Equitable Sharing: Distributing the Benefits and Detriments of Democratic Society. Tony Morris is writing Wings Over Fire about his 20 years researching, writing, and filming documentaries about aerial firefighting.
From books to articles and speeches, the authorship of classmates continues. Already mentioned is Bob Kaiser's opinion piece in The Washington Post. Douglass Lea posted his wife Julie's Wall Street Journal article about Bequia. Paul Steiger delivered inspiring remarks upon receiving the William Allen White Foundation National Citation at the University of Kansas White School of Journalism. Ron Parlato defended the cover story in the March-April YAM — "Yale College Seeks Smart Students From Poor Families" — by posting "When I was at Yale, there were such things as 'bursary students.' " Ron also took issue with The Atlantic article, "Businesses Don't Care If Their Employees went to Yale." Dan Berman responded to the Yale Daily News request for names for the two new residential colleges by suggesting that "Calhoun College be renamed Frederick Douglass College."
I am pleased to report that no classmates died since the last issue of Class Notes. Nevertheless, I want to remember two "friends" of our Class. Al Battipaglia, longtime athletic trainer who salved our bodies and brightened our spirits, died on January 7th. Sherwin B. Nuland, author of How We Die, who spoke inspirationally at our 45th reunion, died on March 3rd. Listen to an interview and read his obituary in a news article on this website. Be sure to attend the Memorial Service for all departed classmates in Battell Chapel on May 30th.