Yale University

Class Notes

January/February 2015

by Tony Lavely

For those of you reading these Notes in YAM, it is a brand new year. Others may be reading the slightly longer version on our Class Website. Either way, I wish you all a joyful holiday season and a Happy New Year! I also call your attention to the Class News section of our Website. This year will produce more Class News items than any in our history, attesting to the activity and prominence of our classmates.

I begin with summaries of recent classmate gatherings since our 50th Reunion. Pete Putzel emailed from the Army game in the Yale Bowl in September: "Unbelievable! Best game I've ever seen ... with Ed Massey, Chris Getman, Butch Hetherington, and Buck Wilson." Chris Getman provided his usual inventive account for Class News of the annual Class Golf Outing in October. Thanks to Neil Hoffmann who organized the event for 26 golfers. Neil gave a shout-out to his longtime friend, "Bob Chester, who at 81 shot a smooth 85" in this event. Neil also found time to play some rounds in Scotland with Mike Arons in September.

Along with the 100th anniversary of the Yale Bowl this year, Mory's also celebrated its 100th anniversary. Terry Holcombe emailed: "At the Mory's anniversary event in NYC there was a l964 table, hosted by Will Elting, Paul Balser and Chip Brennan. Each table had a Mory's Cup, which Will presented to Chris Getman for his long service to Mory's and the Class. Also in attendance were Bob Whitby and Steve Norman. The event raised $700,000 for Mory's."

Classmates will certainly remember the magnificent book of photographs, The Lines by Edward Ranney, that was a gift to all Classmates who attended our 50th Reunion. We had budgeted for the production of the book by the Yale Art Gallery. Our honorary classmate, Jock Reynolds, recently told us that the costs the Art Gallery incurred were being waived as an additional gift to the reunion. Also, we again thank Vivian Donnelley and the families of Strachan Donnelley (to whom the book was dedicated) and Edward Ranney for generously underwriting distribution costs for this high-quality publication.

Mac Deford emailed Pete Putzel about the monthly NYC Class luncheons: "Thanks for this enduring effort, Pete. The tales grow longer and wiser and always more surprising." Larry Crutcher reports that he received 18 personal essays after the Class Book was published. These essays, along with reunion pictures and a list compiled by Bob Archer of classmates who served in the Peace Corps, will be emailed to all classmates with email addresses in our Class Directory and posted on our Class Website under Class Events. Please email Doane Perry if you would like to be added to the "Class of 1964" Facebook page.

Dan Pollack relocated from Glencoe to Riverwoods IL, but is spending winters in Scottsdale AZ: "Cannot believe the stuff accumulated for 44 years!" Jethro Lieberman emailed: "Big changes in my life. Much to my surprise, I was granted a full-year sabbatical, with no obligations to the NY Law School, to be followed next July by retirement. So that means I’m one of those lucky guys: retirement on a full paycheck (for a year). Jo and I took a two-week trek through the Yukon and Alaska. Then, after a couple of whirlwind trips to Washington, we found a new home in Bethesda, near to where my daughter, son-in-law, and two grandkids live." Peter Giblin had a successful eye operation that prevented him from attending our reunion. Paul Manchester got an on-stage hug from Vanna White after his daughter, Sarah, won $1 million on Wheel of Fortune!

Daniel Lowenstein wrote: "I continue to direct the Center for Liberal and Free Institutions at UCLA." John Judson wrote: from Lake Wylie SC: "My construction business is healthy again after almost four bad years for housing. Thanks for a restorative reunion." Mike Sherwood emailed: "Dave Plimpton invited me to visit him in Brooklyn after the reunion. A couple of weeks later, I met John Heintz in LA and went flying with him in his restored Stearman Biplane." Steve Passek wrote: "I enjoyed our 50th which I attended with Ken DeMario. Our roommate Hunter Davidson did not attend, so we traveled to Annapolis MD to see him."

Pat Caviness posted from Hong Kong during the protests: "I'm in HK for some board meetings. The central business district is deserted. If authorities touch one of the barricades, students instantly rally to the site." Sam Francis emailed: "I traveled to Tanzania on a National Geographic photo safari, spending most of my time in the Serengeti photographing animals too numerous to mention, but also seeing the Rift Valley and meeting Louise Leakey at Olduvai Gorge, where the Leakey family discovered the earliest evidence of human origins and evolution."

Tony Morris is working on a documentary series about aerial firefighting, "Wings Over Fire." Paul Balser was featured in the Yale Partners Through Giving for his enthusiastic usage of charitable remainder trusts. Paul also joined Bill Morse and me on a YAF conference call in October. Chris Getman and Handsome Dan were featured in a New Haven Register article, posted in Class News. Jeremy Scott Wood emailed: "Enjoyed the reunion enormously. As it was based in Davenport, it made it even more special for me and my seven Davenport roommates who attended."

Angus Gillespie, professor of the Department of American Studies at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, was selected to receive the New Jersey Historical Commission's 2014 Richard J. Hughes Award for significant contributions to the scholarly and public history of New Jersey. Ward Wickwire was in Russia for three weeks in October on a Viking cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Stephen Bingham was interviewed in Marin Magazine about his experiences in the San Quentin case.  Steve added: “I retired almost a year ago from Bay Area Legal Aid after 23 years, mainly to devote my time to the Sylvia Bingham Fund which my wife Francoise and I created to honor the life of our daughter Sylvia (Yale '09) who was tragically killed biking to work in Cleveland less than 4 months after her graduation.  I hope classmates will visit the Website at www.sylviabinghamfund.org to learn about Sylvia and the work we’re helping to fund. There’s also a helpful bicycle-safety page with useful information. Our fund is still small so donations are appreciated.”

This is to call attention to books, articles, and blogs by Classmates that can all be found on our Class Website. Hawaiki Rising, by Sam Low, has received 61 Five Star ratings on Amazon. Sam has been asked to consult on the upcoming Disney film, Moana. Sam also received the 2014 Walter Cronkite Award. Ed Massey was awarded the Gold Quill Award by the League of Utah Writers for his western novel, Every Soul is Free. Ed was also interviewed on Voices of the West, which can be heard in our Class News. Edward Ranney was featured in BookForum (Class News) about his book, The Lines. Stephen Greenblatt wrote an essay in Telegraph.co.uk titled Shakespeare's Debt to Montaigne. Angels by the River, a new memoir by Gus Speth, was featured in Yalie.com. Gus visited Branford College, the Yale Law School, and Yale Divinity School in October for book signings. Jim Rogers was featured on the cover of October Futures magazine and interviewed on two topics: "Korean Unification" and "The Fed and Global Politics."

Sadly, I must report the death of Stephen Becroft in Ridgefield CT on August 17. Steve, who attended our recent reunion, had a most interesting career that is best summarized by his own personal essay in our 50th Class Book. His obituary is posted on our Class Website.