Yale University

Class Notes

July/August 2015

by Tony Lavely

After a harsh winter and late spring in New Haven, ground  was broken and construction began on the two new (as yet unnamed) residential colleges. Len Baker was a member of the Yale Corporation when this project was approved, but I like to think that he was representing our class at the groundbreaking in late April. Terry Holcombe also noted that the "Class of 1964 Gateway," given to Yale as part of our 50th reunion gift, is ever closer to completion.  In Class News, you'll find another article posted by Terry when he found a copy of Kingman Brewster's Inaugural address in April 1964 with some interesting predictions about technological change.  You will soon be hearing from Don Edwards about a new initiative called, "Class Support Network," whereby classmates may be of assistance to each other during stressful times. Don's daughter, Jenny Chavira '89, has been named acting executive director of AYA during the search for a new executive director. 

The Class luncheon table at The Yale Club of NYC has grown in attendance. Pete Putzel reported on the March luncheon: "A near record turnout!  Joe Lieberman is living in Riverdale and practicing law in NYC. Dan Gsovski recently returned from Antarctica and is still lawyering. John Ogilvie spends our winters at his home in Patagonia. Ed Massey is starting his fourth novel. Ken Hannan is still actively building ships. Harvey Berenson continues to provide legal/tax assistance on international real estate transactions."  Before ending the topic of regional class lunches, Larry Crutcher tells me that he is organizing one for San Francisco.  If there are others carrying on this kind of tradition — Washington D.C., Chicago — please let me hear about your gatherings so we may publicize them to other classmates. 

In the previous column, we offered information about a mini-reunion in France in September that 1963 is sponsoring. Robert Whitby and Kathleen, and Chip O'Neill and Lynn signed up. Nick von Baillou emailed: "This is a great idea! I have to get back to the Czech Republic for family business about that time." Planning is underway for another joint mini-reunion between our class and 1963.  This one will be in Atlanta during April 2016 and will "focus on the rich tradition of Civil Rights and African-American culture in my city." Stay tuned for more information about this event. John Evans emailed about performances of the "Classic Whiffenpoofs" (Whiffs from 1962-66) at various venues around Philadelphia last November (see the story).  One concert was a benefit for fighting Aids in Africa. Separately, John is working with Chris Getman to organize "Song Nights at Mory's." Jon McBride added: "The Classic Whiffenpoofs are booked to sing in Washington, D.C. October 22-24th.

In other Yale news, Terry Holcombe and Nick von Baillou were interviewed for a Yale Daily News article, "Unsealing the Tombs: Society and Its Discontents." On our Website in Class News, you can read about the naming of a "Class of 1964 Mory's Cup" with photos of Will Elting, Chris Getman, and others at Mory's 100th anniversary dinner. Terry Holcombe added: "A plaque recognizing the small group that rescued Mory's and got its new life started now hangs in the entry opposite the front door." In April, your secretary, Tony Lavely, spoke to a small group of students on campus under the sponsorship of STAY (Students and Alumni of Yale) about "Life After Yale" and used many illustrative stories from our great class (see the story).  During the same trip, he attended the Branford College Fellows meeting to congratulate Master Elizabeth Bradley on her recent appointment as director of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy. Jon McBride reported that the Class Council challenge match for donations to Squash Haven was oversubscribed by 45 percent.  Executive Director of Squash Haven, Julie Greenwood, wrote: "I am moved by your class's ongoing commitment to Yale's presence in the New Haven community.  Your collective generosity will have a powerful impact on our kids."   In other News, in March the Hall of Graduate Studies Tower was renamed David Swensen Tower for our honorary classmate. 

John Jeavons was the keynote speaker in February at the 26th annual Moses Organic Farming Conference in Wisconsin.  John responded to my question about the prices of organically farmed food: "The farmers just seem to be able to get away with it." Pat Caviness underwent emergency gall bladder surgery in March. He wrote: "Being sick made me appreciate even more the beautiful life we life here in Koh Samui. I still plan on making trips in May to Krakow Poland and my Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain." Tony Lavely attended a Yale Club of Georgia event in March featuring former Yale professor, Murray Biggs, "Shakespeare from Script to Screen."  Candy posted a photo from Vero Beach of Waldo Johnston with his three Fountain Valley School (1973) chums. Ed Gaffney posted in March: "If the West Antarctic ice sheet melts causing a 14 feet rise in the Pacific, my house in Ewa Beach will be only two blocks from the ocean." In response to a photo I posted of  one of my heroes, Muhammad Ali welcoming Prince Charles and Camilla to Louisville, Larry Crutcher pointed out that Owsley Brown's widow, Christy, was first to greet them.  Their daughter, Brooke, is the wife of the US Ambassador to Great Britain. Bill Drennen, Sam Deloria, and Carroll Cavanagh exchanged emails about Kafka and dreams of being a leprechaun. Sorry, they'll have to explain it!

Dick Berk emailed: "My son Michael and I are heading for the west coast looking at colleges, especially the Claremont Colleges. We made a decision that Division I sports, even in the Ivy League, are just plain nuts." Dick also circulated an article about  Chuck Mercein '65 and his youngest daughter, "The Lasting Impacts of Football." Following his attendance at our annual Class Council meeting, Bob Buchanan emailed: "Our class is truly unique: (1) We make contributions to, and have significant interaction with, New Haven community organizations; (2) We recognize members of the Yale administration and make them honorary class members, (3) We design and sell our Class tie." Mike Austin was mentioned in a February Sports Illustrated letter to the editor about Yale's legendary swimming program. Bill Fink emailed: "Ed Trippe, Harry Howell, Duncan Spencer, and Paul McAlenney will be back at Henley in July retracing our 1965 victory in the Prince Philip event." Dan Pollack emailed: "We had lunch with Bob Hannah and Susan at the Arizona Biltmore, beautifully designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  Nancy and I are cruising Alaska and visiting Denali National Park in August."

Chris Getman emailed: "Ed Ranney gave a lecture about his book, The Lines, with his librettist Lucy Lippard at the Yale Art Gallery in April. I encourage all classmates to read the text which breathes life into Ed's wonderful photographs." Bob Musil is now president and CEO of Rachael Carson Council.  Paul Balser and Paula are taking a Yale Educational Travel trip on the Black Sea with Professor Paul Kennedy. Paul also emailed: "I recently attended a Financial Services Leadership Forum breakfast at the New York Public Library.  One of the featured speakers was honorary classmate, David Swensen, who was superb." Sam Francis and I assisted the Class of 1959 in setting up a Class Website and their desire "to emulate ours." Many classmates will remember Dean Sam Chauncey '57 who reminisced on Facebook about the May Day protests in New Haven in 1970.  In April, Sam Low posted photos of a talk he gave in Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard, about discovering the wreck of the Port Hunter as an 18-year-old. Sam also reminisced about the New Britain Art Museum where his father was its first director and purchased amazing works of American art.

Robert Whitby posted photos on Facebook of the devastation in Nepal from the earthquake, vistas that he experienced first-hand during his ascent in 1994. Bob added: "Kathmandu Durbar Square was one of my favorite places on earth."  Doane Perry also identified with the earthquake devastation with his posts on Facebook. Bill Drennen was tagged in a springtime photo on Facebook showing off his solar panels. Waldo Johnston and Candy posted on Facebook: "We're so fortunate to have so many wonderful friends in Grand Harbor FL who presented us with a lovely inscribed cake as we retired from coordinating tennis matches for 6100 players for the past 11 years." Al Rossiter emailed: "I have done various volunteer programs in local MA prisons for the last six years, running both a book group and a writing group. I have developed deep compassion for those behind bars." Please email or call me if you are doing volunteer work in your community so that it may inspire other classmates.

Douglass Lea shared a link on Facebook of Stephen Greenblatt's article in NY Book, "Shakespeare in Tehran." Pete Putzel added: "What an astonishing piece by Stephen!" Howard Gillette's book, Class Divide: Yale '64 and the Conflicted Legacy of the Sixties, is now available on Amazon.  By my count, at least 100 classmates are mentioned by name. Joe Wishcamper emailed: "It is provocative in placing our class at the leading edge of the next cultural period usually identified with the late sixties." In May, Sam Low screened his classic film, The Navigators: Pathfinders  of the Pacific, at Harvard to prepare people for the arrival of Hokule'a on the East Coast in July.  Sam also launched his Website www.SamLow.comDouglass Lea added a new work, titled "Tropical Paradise," to his collection of paintings on our Class WebsiteJim Rogers added several provocative blogs: "I would buy North Korea if I could." and "New York is a Third World City compared to Singapore." Ron Parlato, blogger par excellence, wrote: "Why Harvard and Yale are elite universities." and "The Gift of Gab." Bob Buchanan gave the Second Annual Leadership in Real Estate Lecture hosted at George Mason University in May.

Sadly, I report the death of Bill Roth on March 17 in Albany NY. A moving obituary by his son Daniel is posted on our Class Website along with a remembrance by Howard Gillette. Bill was also honored on the Senate floor by Senator Bernie Sanders with a message from Joe LiebermanTerry Holcombe attended Bill's funeral and added, "It was a tribute to probably the most heroic member of our Class. One point of interest was a photo of a third-grade public-school class in New Haven picturing Steve Floman, Steve Feinstein, John Kimberly, and Bill. In April, our Class also lost Charlie Bosworth, a broadcaster, financial analyst, and civic activist in New Orleans. Obituaries were published in both New Orleans and Cincinnati. John More and Patrick Caviness emailed remembrances. Chris Getman attended Pete Truebner's memorial service in January and observed: "Truebner's service was really great and very upbeat." Chris' eulogy at the service is posted on our Class WebsiteSteve Norman also attended the service and added: "Pete's early identity was as a scrappy if undersized guard on the legendary 1960 undefeated football team." Fran Oates remembered the earlier death of Oluwole Adetunji Odundun with this email: "He was the first African person I'd ever met and probably the first black person with whom I'd ever worked." Joe Wishcamper emailed: "Our friend and classmate Bob Kuehn died 9 years ago, leaving the bulk of his estate to a foundation that offers fellowships for people who work in nonprofit affordable housing organizations in the Boston area. There is also a Kuehn scholarship fund at Yale FES.  Both of these will help perpetuate the legacy of an extraordinary member of our class."