by Tony Lavely
At this writing in early January, most of us have had a relatively mild winter, but it looks like that's about to change along with the politics in Washington D.C. By the time you read this in the YAM, the worst of winter will be over but probably not the worst of the politics!
Echoes of our 50th Reunion continue to sound. Ed Massey has cajoled three more "Passion Presenters" to post their video presentations on our Website. With production credits to Sam Francis, you can now watch the presentations done by William Morse, Don Leka, and Bo Huhn. Seven down, eight to go! While not a "Passion Presenter," Gerry Shea has posted a riveting video, "Living With Partial Deafness" in Class News.
William Morse emailed: "We had our monthly luncheon at Mory's in November. Most times, I meet someone I did not know at Yale or renew connections with old friends." Regular classmate luncheons like this take place in New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco. Organizers, please let me know when these occur and we'll publicize to a wider circle of classmates. Yale football coach Tony Reno, was spotted wearing one of our Class ties (Class Website). Apparently, he thinks it will charm defensive recruits!
Larry Crutcher, our new AYA Representative, attended the AYA Assembly in November on the theme, "The Entrepreneurial Spirit at Yale." It was a very exciting topic and unlike anything we experienced as undergraduates. Larry's report can be found in Class News. The same weekend but at a separate venue, Tony Lavely made a presentation at the Whitney Humanities Center to a group of undergraduates on the theme, "Humanities at Yale." I think the students had in mind a more pragmatic topic: "Can an English Major Get a Job Anymore?" John Boardman, who sits on the sponsoring board, was in attendance. At the Yale-Princeton football game that same weekend, we celebrated the final home game of the 100th anniversary of The Yale Bowl with a Yale victory. Terry Holcombe and Marya made a special tailgate presentation to Chris Getman and Toddie commemorating Chris' 50th year in The Yale Bowl with an authentic pair of seats removed during a renovation. You can see photos on our Class Website.
Robert Gall wrote: "I'm auditing a class at our community college in Clinton TN, volunteer for Meals on Wheels, and walk a mile every day." Bob Hilgendorf wrote: "I went to Tel Aviv in November to visit my son who is a US AID officer working on humanitarian projects for Palestinians." Steve Dana wrote: "We spent the summer in Shanghai where our son, Ned '15, is teaching English to children of migrant workers. We also attended a Jim Rogers investment forum, a must-see experience!" Yale extended appreciation to Jonathan Leader for providing financial aid to two current Yale students through the Leader Family Trust. Seventeen classmates have signed the petition circulated by Dan Berman to revoke the 1996 honorary degree to Stephan Schmidheiny.
Ed Massey and Anne attended a third session of a year-long course on mediation — "Mediate Your Life" — apparently not reflecting his firm hook at the Passion Presentations. Sam Francis spent two weeks sailing in the Bahamas during November. I've asked him to take out "key man" insurance to protect our Class Website! His crew included John Evans and Claire and Gerry Shea. Toby Hubbard and Melissa moved to Ann Arbor to be closer to their son and grandchildren. Tony Lavely was featured on the Yale Alumni Fund Facebook page in November with a testimonial for volunteerism (very few "Likes"). David Sherman emailed: "My son, Jeff '92, bound to the oar by Jim Rogers, will row in the Henley Royal Regatta Masters in 2015."
Ed Gaffney posted on Facebook: Sam Deloria, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who served for 36 years as director of the American Indian Law Center in Albuquerque, took issue with US Representative Paul Gosar's reference to American Indians as "wards of the federal government." Michael (Mishka) Nagel emailed: In November, I was invited to the First Baikal International Cluster Forum in Irkutz, Siberia, to speak about the experience of developing technology. Meanwhile Comrade Jimmy (aka Rogers) was in Moscow dispelling the Russian Bear with his bullish wisdom."
Many classmates provided news with their annual holiday cards. David Sherman matched up my children and grandchildren with his in Europe. Tony Lee sent an electronic card capturing some of his 2014 outdoor adventures and his participation in the People's Climate March in NYC. Larry Crutcher's holiday newsletter reported on his two biggest projects of 2014: relocation and residential construction and our Reunion Class Book (more trees were used in the latter). Chris Getman spent the holidays with his family in Key West, celebrating his and Toddie's 50th wedding anniversary. Patrick Caviness gloated from a hammock on the beach on Koh Phangan off the coast of Thailand. Jay Huffard and Kirk looked in marvelous shape surrounded by generations of their family.
Dan Berman, who has never been accused of right-leaning, wrote on his holiday card that he enjoyed listening to John Ashcroft at our reunion and talking with him afterward. Ed Massey elaborated on his mediation course: "It was rich and rewarding, learning the skills of really listening, identifying feelings and needs, and learning the difference between observation and evaluation." Rich Niglio captured photos of generations of his family and welcomed a new granddaughter. Larry Lawrence had a splendid family photo taken at his son Peter's wedding.
Ed Massey had another interview for his latest book, Every Soul is Free, on the podcast "Entrepreneur on Fire," which you can listen to on our Class Website. Joe Lieberman co-authored an opinion piece about ISIS in The Wall Street Journal in October, titled "The Homegrown Jihadist Threat Grows," which can be found on our Class Website. Sam Low's book, Hawaiki Rising, has won the 2014 Samuel M. Kamakau award for best book published in Hawaii, two Ka Palapala Poʻokela Awards, a Nautilus Silver Award, a Ben Franklin award, an IPPY award, and is a finalist for Foreward Review's Indiefab award in two categories (History and Regional Nonfiction) and the Next Generation Indie Book award in regional nonfiction.
Two classmates departed since the last Class Notes were written: Oluwole Adetunji Odundun died in Nigeria in September. Daniel Gross died in Anchorage in November. Obituaries for both can be found on our Class Website. Please send me Remembrances for these or other departed classmates if you wish. We also lost a man who, as Jon McBride said, is "responsible for our being classmates." Art Howe, the Yale Admissions Director in 1960, died in December. His obituary can be found in Class News.
Please let me know if you would like to guest-write this column in 2015. Also, please let me know if you would like to help organize a mini-reunion in your area.