Yale University

Class Notes

November/December 2015

by Tony Lavely

Let's start with Yale events, both past and future. We are planning a mini-reunion in Atlanta to focus on the rich civil-rights tradition of that city and the involvement of our Class in the movement. This mini-reunion will be held jointly with the Class of 1963. Jonathan Holloway, Dean of Yale College and a leading scholar in African-American culture, will be the keynote speaker. So please save the dates April 14-17, 2016. Details will follow.

Our annual Class Council meeting will be held in New Haven on February 6, 2016, with a Mory's dinner and hockey games on that weekend. Please email Tony Lavely if you would like to attend. John Evans and Larry Capodilupo are planning a three-day 1964 golf outing, September 28-30, 2016, on three Cape Cod golf courses — Cape Cod National, Eastward Ho!, and The Captains. Email John Evans if you are interested. Many of you saw Chris Getman and Handsome Dan pictured in YAM during commencement. Read the full story and a glowing tribute to Chris by Alan McFarland here. Separately, Chris told us that Handsome Dan (aka Sherman) was named Chairman of the Board of Canine Advisors for the Center for Canine Behavior Studies. Handsome Dan also played the lead in a video from the Development Office. Our Urban Resources Institute (URI) summer intern, Uma Bhandaram, was featured in a newspaper article and on Facebook, with a shout-out to the Class of 1964 for its sponsorship.

In other news (which can be found in Class News on our Class website), you can watch a Fox Business video interview of Jim Rogers talking about the Greek deal. The Wall Street Journal wrote a glowing review of Howard Gillette's book, Class Divide. Bob Lamson's new book about the Armenian genocide was given a praiseworthy review in The Huffington Post. Bill Duesing, a tireless advocate for organic farming, wrote a powerful opinion piece in CT Viewpoints about GMO labeling. In August, Bill appeared on the public-access TV program "Norwich Confidential," talking about GMOs and organic farming, and also attended a NOFA conference at UMass. The two new residential colleges are beginning to take shape, and among those shapes is the Class of 1964 entryway. You can see the construction progress here. Jim Duderstadt is writing a history of his years at the University of Michigan. He shares the draft of one chapter on athletics here. Jim added: "If our new coach Jim Harbaugh beats Ohio State this year, I may look foolish!" Linda Lorimer, Yale's Vice President for Global and Strategic Initiatives, announced that the Yale Alumni Magazine, formerly independent, has become a part of Yale. Our classmate, Paul Steiger, will continue to be on the YAM board. He wrote: "My strong impression is that the University wants a vigorous and informative magazine that continues to serve alumni well, rather than a mere mouthpiece for the University. I will do my best to assist."

Bill Duesing posted one of the photos from Howard Gillette's book which shows him as an environmental artist at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford. Pat Caviness toured the Auschwitz death camp ("A heart-wrenching experience and profoundly moving") and then wrapped up his summer European travel with five days in Brittany. Ed Gaffney posted a shocking chart showing Yale tuition rising from $2,550 (1970) to $45,800 (2014). Ed also announce that he has moved from Hawaii to Albuquerque. His church in Hawaii posted: "Our community bid farewell to two of the most wonderful people. Ed and Suzy, you will always be in our hearts! Aloha." Edward Massey was tagged in a post, surfing in Maine: "I always forget how much fun that is. Always sad to pack up and go home after five weeks of playing."

Douglass Lea posted: "Yes, of course let's punish those miscreant Greeks, Iranians, and Mexicans, those little people who supposedly dwell in libertine self-indulgence out on the margins. Excuse me for asking, but doesn't the very survival of the Anthropocene now depend on the cultivation of an ethos of kindness and generosity?" Ron Parlato posted: "Uber, the best, easiest, most convenient taxi system ever, is now being challenged in court by regulatory freaks and obstructionist unions." On a lighter note, when he learned that Beinecke had added old Chipotle cups with poetry printed on the sides, Ron commented: "I once listened to Alfred Lord Tennyson recite 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' recorded on old wax cylinders which are archived in Beinecke. Now I can view Chipotle cups!"

Paul Manchester attended Howard Gillette's book event in June at the Politics & Prose Bookstore in D.C. Paul emailed: "I thought Howard's talk was excellent. Art Reagin had hoped to attend but at least we connected." Later, Paul emailed: "Winding our way through the Green Mountains. Had an enjoyable lunch with Sam Farrington in Gorham NH. Terry Holcombe and Marya are enjoying the hiking environs of their new home in Walpole NH, most recently the High Green Trail with its "superb variety of mosses, trillium and lady slippers. A great time to be alive.' " In response to the inclusion of his blog in the previous column, John Wylie emailed: "You are generous to grant our class access to my eccentric views." Dan Berman, who has followed the Schmidheiny case for 40 years, emailed: "The Turin-based prosecutor has filed murder charges against Schmidheiny, based on the hundreds of workers and community members who have died of mesothelioma."

Cole Oehler has moved to Charleston SC and is sending invitations to "go for a sail on my big-boy toy, a gaff-rigged cutter." Bill Duesing emailed: "I'm really enjoying the monthly lunches at Mory's with old and new friends. Chris Getman deserves lots of credit for organizing them." But then Bill's message turned grim: "I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in June and am now undergoing treatment at Smilow Cancer Center. I can't say enough good things about Smilow." Dan Pollack was moved by Joe Biden's remarks at Yale commencement this spring: "Simple gestures of kindness are the most remembered." Tony Lee climbed Mount Moosilauke in June and emailed: "Hiking in the White Mountains is some of the toughest hiking on the planet."

Dennis DeSilvey was tagged in an August photo while lobstering in Maine. John Howells was tagged in a Facebook photo with his 95-year-old mother-in-law, Betty Harvey: "When she whistles a tune, the birds are jealous!" In August, the website FiveThirtyEight.com reminded us that Joe Lieberman led in most Democratic primary polls in August 2003. There was lots of "back and forth" among classmates on Facebook about the recent debate about the name of Calhoun College and the term "Master." Where were you guys when we launched "Sound Off!" on the website? Dan Pollack attended his 55th high-school reunion at Highland Park IL. Later in August, Dan and Nancy took a cruise to Alaska, touring Mendenhall Glacier and Denali.

From Venice, Stephen Greenblatt commented on the rumor that Shakespeare smoked weed: " 'Weed' in the poem in question refers to clothing ('noted weed' = 'well-known garment'), and the poet wonders why he does not go after 'compounds strange' (as in 'compound verbs'), but, what the hell, he may have been penning a cryptic reference to the doobie he smoked before writing 'Midsummer Night's Dream.' " Commenting on the new research that predicts our universe in dying, Sam Francis commented: "Actually, as the sun uses up its fuel it will become a red giant in about 5 billion years, large enough to envelop the earth, which will be vaporized. That’s why we’re all screwed (not because 'all energy in the universe will eventually dissipate'). I suggest that the Class Notes be archived in a heat-proof box, somewhere. Actually, somewhere else." Pat Caviness emailed from Koh Samui in August: "The bomb in Bangkok has tourism in a tailspin. Very bad."

Our classmates continue to produce new books, articles, blogs, and broadcasts. By latest count, there are 170 books by 68 classmates listed on our Class website's Publications page. Bob Lamson's new book, On the Monster's Back, is a vivid history of his great uncle ("...a great influence in my life") who escaped from Turkey during the Armenian Genocide. In addition to his opinion piece on GMO labeling, Bill Duesing has linked us to his radio program library, Living on the Earth. We have also added Bill to our list of bloggers. Jim Rogers blogged in mid-August (before the market correction): "Sell everything and run for your lives." Sam Low's film, The Navigators: Pathfinders of the Pacific, will be screened at the Smithsonian in November. Sam was honored that his book, Hawaiki Rising, is on sale in the Oakland Museum of Art. Fred Hornbruch is compiling travel stories from Rotarians Around the World for publication in late 2015. If you have not had an opportunity to tour the Yale Art Gallery (led by honorary classmate, Jock Reynolds), watch this video tour on YouTube.

I was please not to receive any notices of classmate deaths since the previous column. Those are always a sad duty to report. Nevertheless, I think it is appropriate to acknowledge and remember a good friend to many of us, Mike Pyle '61, captain of the undefeated 1960 football team our freshmen year. Mike's death, after a long battle with dementia, was reported by The New York Times on July 30, 2015. Many classmates sent expressions of admiration for Mike's leadership and devotion to Yale.