by Tony Lavely
Your Class Council met on February 7 for its annual meeting. Despite the deep snow and a few seasonal illnesses, eighteen hearty members attended for a full Saturday agenda. There is a detailed report of the meeting on our Class Website, but here are a few highlights. Another dominant win by the Yale men's hockey team got us off to a good start on Friday night. Mini-reunions were a key topic of discussion and a number of ideas for regional venues are underway. A new collaboration with the Class of 1963 via their Class Secretary, Guy Struve, surfaced an early opportunity to join with them for a mini-reunion in France. There is great enthusiasm for this collaboration among both class councils. Modeling a program that 1963 launched last year, Don Edwards is leading an initiative to develop a Class Support Network for classmate-to-classmate counseling. The Council named Tony Reno, Yale's football coach, an honorary classmate, joining other Yale luminaries David Swensen and Jock Reynolds. The Council voted to renew financial support for Urban Resources Initiative and Squash Haven and added a modest contribution for Mory's Preservation Society. Ward Wickwire reported that our Class has contributed over $215,000 to the Yale Alumni Fund this year with a 44% participation rate, so our goal by June is within reach.
The February Class luncheon at the Yale Club of NYC had eleven classmates in attendance. Pete Putzel is back in charge following successful back surgery last November and reported: "Joe Wishcamper and Carol rented an apartment next to Lincoln Center on their way south and attended many operas, plays, and musical events. Bob Kaiser, Dave Plimpton, and I are occasional companions." Harvey Berenson recently returned from a trip to Antarctica, where he reported, "The weather was warmer than Manhattan." Lee Sigal and Bob Kaiser enlightened the table on recent developments in the Iran negotiations. If there are other regional gatherings of classmates, please email items to Tony Lavely so they may be circulated to a broader group.
More news came in on some holiday cards that arrived after the last issue closing. Chris Getman wrote that his company — Soundview Capital Management — is well along in merger talks with Fairfield-Bush & Company. Waldo Johnson looked splendid in his kilt in a beautiful family photograph. Butch Hetherington looked every bit the proud father at his son Boomer's wedding in December.
A number of classmates commented on the news of the day. Douglass Lea posted about the Charlie Hebdo massacre, "This hurts. Francophiles like me will see in this a threat to all that we love about France." In another post, Douglass quipped: "The silly US Congress reminds me of a crummy American high school in the 1950s." Bob Musil posted on the report of California's hottest year on record, "Now if we can just get the Flat-Earth Society out of Congress." A number of classmates exchanged emails on the 50th anniversary of Selma and reactions to the movie. Patrick Caviness commented: "You and I shared the experience of the MLK Center in Atlanta. We know what this man meant to the Civil Rights Movement and to our lives." Tony Lee emailed: "I wasn't expecting much, but we were blown away emotionally." The Yale Daily News mentioned both Joe Lieberman and Steve Bingham in an article titled "Yale Remembers Selma."
Nathaniel Norton emailed about the football team's performance last fall, "I like what's being served in the Bowl lately." Edward Massey was interviewed by storyteller Tom Rizzo in January in a piece titled "Edward Massey, Heroic Acts of Ordinary People." Sam Francis told me about a project he did when he worked at Bell Labs: "One of my favorites was a project called SCARAB to develop a remotely controlled undersea vehicle for the maintenance of telephone cables. Years later, I saw one of these vehicles at the British National Maritime Museum, so I guess we made a little history." Sam Low emailed: "Mahalo! I was in New Zealand in November sailing aboard Hikianalia, a replica of an ancient Polynesian voyaging canoe, and then in Hawaii to present my film, The Navigators, at the Waimea Ocean Film Festival."
Don Leka reflected, "I used to note, with resignation rather than envy, that my classmates were all doing very cool and notable things. I now realize we all have our separate niches of activity, and it enriches all of us to know about other classmates who are still kicking along." After I saw John Boardman at the Whitney Humanities Center, he emailed: "I was a philosophy major who went on to a career in national security with the Marine Corps, State Department, and Special Operations Command. I am now retired in St. Petersburg and am active in the Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College." Owen O'Donnell emailed in February: "Frank Basler and Susie just left our home in San Francisco after a two-week visit for the birth of their granddaughter. While they were here, we had dinner with Ed Arens and Sally. Ed retired from teaching at UC Berkeley, but he is still working at the Environmental Design Lab on campus.
Angus Gillespie wrote: "Alan McFarland and I recently morphed from classmates to shipmates in February. We were selected for a two-day study visit as Distinguished Visitors on board the USS George H. W. Bush, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier." Terry Holcombe and Marya posted photos of their trip through the Panama Canal in January and even enjoyed some zip-lining. Nancy posted that Dan Pollack has become a steward for the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy in Arizona. She added: "Dan's new toy is a customized '51 Ford Victoria." Responding to my call for mini-reunion concepts, Timothy Breen emailed: "I suggest Colonial Williamsburg, where I'm working this spring as a visiting research historian." Timothy added, "I'm busy with a new project tentatively entitled, 'Law and Disorder During the American Revolution'." Jon McBride defended his national ranking in the U.S. Squash Men's Hardball Singles National Championships at the Merion Cricket Club (PA) in March. Jon placed fourth in the Men's 70+ Flight.
Gus Speth wrote an article in The Nation, How I Became a Radical. William Gould (who was unable to present at the reunion) added his Passion Talk to our Website, Peace in Our Time. Jim Rogers blogged in February, "North Korea is like China in 1980." Joe Lieberman wrote a piece in The Washington Post, "Hear Out Israel's Leader." Gerald Shea will do a book signing for Song Without Words in April at the Librairie Albin Michel in Paris. Timothy Breen has a new book on George Washington coming out in the fall. The book about our Class that Howard Gillette promised at our 50th Reunion will be published in May: Class Divide: Yale '64 and the Conflicted Legacy of the Sixties. Howard also referenced another classmate's book: "The book by Bill Drennen, Red White Black & Blue, is central to my discussion of civil rights." Though not written by classmates, I call your attention to two books with Yale themes: Yale's Hidden Treasures: Mystery of Gothic Stone Carvings, by Michael Stern, and A Bowl Full of Memories: 100 Years of Football at the Yale Bowl, by Rich Marazzi.
It saddens me to report that Peter Truebner died in January after a valiant struggle with cancer. Pete was at our 50th reunion and was always a presence at the Bowl and Mory's. His obituary along with a eulogy delivered by Chris Getman is posted In Memoriam.