by Tony Lavely
Note: Classmates' names in gold font are links to a pre-addressed email form (if your browser is properly configured). Other links (underlined) take you to more information about the topic. A shorter version of these Notes is published in the Yale Alumni Magazine.
The mini-reunion in Atlanta, previously announced for April 14-17, 2016, has been postponed to a later date. My sincere apologies to those of you who "saved the date." There is still a lot of enthusiasm for this event which will focus on our civil rights heritage. A new date will be announced in February, following the annual Class Council meeting.
Here are reports on some recent events involving classmates: The September class table at Mory's was attended by 13 classmates. Chris Getman emailed, "We had discussions about GMO labeling, the 'Calhoun controversy,' and whether the Bowl should be converted to artificial turf. Our conservations were spirited, informed and respectful." Bill Duesing added: As years go by, these classmate connections mean more. Chris Getman deserves credit for organizing our Mory's lunches." Ted Jones emailed: I had lunch and a round of golf in Chicago with Loring Knoblauch, Bill Lear, and Chip Brennan. Ted added: "I just finished Howard Gillette's book and have two reactions: great pride in the leadership roles many classmates had in defining social initiatives, and a touch of guilt that I did not participate actively."
In October, Ward Wickwire, our Chair of Agents, attended the 125th anniversary celebration of the Yale Alumni Fund. Ward commented: "Over the years, alumni have contributed over $2.4 billion in today's dollars, gifts which have made indispensible financial aid possible."
The October golf outing, organized by Neil Hoffman, was attended by 32 classmates. Harry Howell emailed, "It was a wonderful day; I don't know why I don't play the Yale Course more often." Edward Trippe emailed Pete Putzel, "Many accolades for your net eagle on Yale 18th." Mac Deford added: "Occasional net eagles by one player did not overcome am amazing series of net amazing holed putts." Larry Crutcher, our Class AYA Rep, attended Assembly LXXV, Public Health in the 21st Century in November. A group of classmates attended The Game in late November, the first Yale game under the lights in 173 years of football.
A number of classmates attended 55th high school reunions. Dan Pollack organized his 55th at Highland Park, IL: "I've learned the importance of these from our Yale reunions." David Wyles posted: "Just back from Pittsburgh for my 55th. Had a great time reconnecting with old friends, some of whom I went to kindergarten with." Tony Lavely attend his 55th at Newton High School, MA, but alas, two Yale classmates were not there ... outnumbered by Harvards."
Many interesting items about classmates are too long to report in this column, so we post them in Class News on our Website: Stephen Greenblatt wrote about teaching Shakespeare; David Swensen was lauded for his investment prowess; Terry Holcombe offered campus 'observations'; John Ashcroft debated at Yale Political Union; Dan Northway joined our Class; Chip O'Neill enjoyed the 1963 mini-reunion in France; Sam Low presented at the Smithsonian, Jim Rogers appeared on CCTV America; and Handsome Dan was appointed a midshipman in the United States Naval Reserve with the rank of Midshipman Captain." We have also posted two new videos of Passion Presentations from our 50th reunion, one by David Brooks and the other by Chris Getman.
During the Kentucky controversy, Kip Burgweger posted: "The Bible contains a possible solution to Mrs. Davis' conundrum: 'Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's'." Ed Gaffney had a different take: "The solution to this problem is to remove the words, 'married' and 'marriage' from all Federal and state laws and replace them with 'civil union'." Douglass Lea posted: "After much noodling, I've come to the conclusion that every single country on the planet is getting worse fast, so I'll be spending tomorrow in bed to express my dismay." Ron Parlato posted, "William McKinley deserves a mountain to keep his name before the public. Let's give McKinley his due. Oops, too late. Obama got there first."
Dan Berman emailed, "I'm in Bahia, Brazil, visiting old baiano friends from Peace Corps days." In October, Dan Pollack visited with Bob Hannah and Mike Mazer at Hannah's cabin in northern Michigan. Waldo Johnston emailed on the subject of Rick Hatton's aerial fire-fighting efforts: "Rick needs all our support and prayers during these frightening times in the West." John Hanold also weighed in: "Rick's career has been different from the classroom, law office, or accountant's desk. Think of the coordination between aerial and ground workers while flying a very large plane 150 feet above a major fire and its air currents." Tony Morris is also a pioneer in aerial fire-fighting and videoed fires in Big Bear Lake CA this summer. His new website is: www.wingsoverfire.com.
On the 75th anniversary of Trotsky's death, Douglass Lea posted, "When studying all things Russian as an undergraduate, I found Trotsky mesmerizing." David Wyles posted, "I spent over 30 great years on the canals of Venice CA. Both Venice and I went through a lot of changes in that time." During the immigration debate, David Wyles posted: "The civics lesson of America being this idyllic 'melting pot' is a cruel lie. The system is rigged in favor of white males." Paul Ruden was honored on his retirement at a dinner at the Mayflower in September. One of his American Society of Travel Agent colleagues posted: "Paul, you pretty much raised most of us who worked at ASTA. You were absolutely the best colleague and friend." Following the report of delays in earthquake relief in Nepal, Robert Whitby posted: "This is why my family gave money directly to our friends in Nepal, so it would not get stuck in a government bottleneck."
Bill Duesing, who writes an informative blog on local/organic farming, participated in a panel discussion at Fairfield University CT in October. Bill was also interviewed on WPKN radio in September. Bill was honored with the first Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Northeast Organic Farming Association. The annual award has been named in his honor. During September, Sam Francis chartered a 53-foot Sunsail sloop for a bareboat cruise along the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia in the Adriatic Sea. Crewmates were: Gerry Shea, Ward Wickwire and Dave Kalayjian. Envious that he was not onboard, Ed Massey emailed: "I lived in Sarajevo for a year and had a summer house just south of Dubrovnik. You have a great crew!" Dan Pollack is a steward for the McDowell Conservancy in Scottsdale where he helps orient children to the outdoors. Separately, Dan posted a photo from his cruise to Alaska where he looked right at home in front of the Red Dog Saloon.
Chas Freeman emailed: "I will continue to chair Projects International and the Committee for the Republic, dividing my time between DC and Rhode Island, where I will be a senior fellow at Brown's Watson Institute for International Studies." Chas will publish his next book in early 2016. In September, Ward Cates emailed: "Joan and I were just with Terry Holcombe and Marya in LA. We also saw Bill Fink. Lots of laughs and nostalgic reflections." Joe Lieberman was back in the media in November on a CNN Special, "Bush vs. Gore: The Endless Election." Earlier, Joe appeared in a New Hampshire forum as co-chairman of "No Labels," a group that promotes political bipartisanship to solve problems. Michael Nagel emailed in October: "The Yale Club of London organized a tour of an exhibit at Somerset House called, 'African Art Exhibition 1:54,' which stood for all 54 African counties exhibiting under one roof. This is the microcosm of the Global Village I enjoy every day living in London!"
Patrick Caviness emailed from Thailand: "We are planning on taking a camper through New Zealand for a month. One of my dream trips I never thought I would make." Frank Basler emailed (and officiated): "The 'slow marriage movement' received a boost in October with the nuptials of Don Leka and Jane Gilman, culminating a 17-year engagement. Classmates in attendance at Hampshire House in Boston were: Dave Lindsey, Richard Morehead, Owen O'Donnell, and Mike Price. Bob Hilgendorf emailed: I have taken up competitive duplicate bridge, but only at 30 points. Are there any classmates who would like to partner with me for one of the regional tournaments in the West? Or just come to Santa Fe and play here."
Tony Lee emailed about the new movie on Dr. Stanley Milgram, a 1950s Yale psychologist who performed controversial experiments on obedience: "I took Introductory psychology my freshman year and our instructor recruited several students. I remember how traumatized they were." Waldo Johnston replied: "Lots of bad stuff happened in those years in the name of science. Read classmate John Freidberg's obituary. He wrote a book exposing the practice of electric shocks to the brain." John Jeavons sent an email to President Salovey along with his video on biointensive farming with this message: "This is my 43rd year in this field. Thanks for helping to make it happen with a great education!" Someone circulated an internet joke about "seniors under attack." Two replies are worth capturing. From Neil Hoffman, "I worked at the polls on election day. I can assure you that we are not old. Old is the people who come to the polls from the senior living establishment (average age 88). BTW, you don't have to worry about the typeface in phonebooks any more. There are no such things as phonebooks!" And from John Meigs: "In my self-indulgent cycling mode, last month I spent a week at the Stephen Roche Cycling Camp on Mallorca. One of my fellow cyclists was 84 and rode the 50-mile routes with 2500 feet of elevation gain."
Rob Goodwin has written a new book, The Stephen Hawking Death Row Fan Club. He emailed: "It consists of six short stories and a novella, mainly with prison settings — a byproduct of my work in correctional psychiatry." Two new books by offspring of classmates bear mentioning, though they will not be posted on our Website: Beth Thomas Cohen, daughter of Stan Thomas, published Drop the Act, It's Exhausting. Rachael Price, daughter of Mike Price, published Planet Cuba: Art, Culture, and the Future of the Island. Edward Massey has finished his third novel, The Path Taken, and is working on his fourth. Did any take note that John Boardman took the photo for the cover of Howard Gillette's book?
Turning to blogs by classmates, you will find topics like this: "The evolution of human emotion was not by classical natural selection" by John Wylie; "Politicians and bureaucrats have used war to distract people from other problems" by Jim Rogers; "How science is used as a cudgel to advance political and corporate agendas" by Bill Duesing. Ed Gaffney's son, Joel, writes an advocacy blog, "Political Ramblings for a Wayward Attorney." On the visual front, Pete Putzel sent a photo of artwork by Tom Trowbridge that was on display at the Sharon CT Country Club, titled "Cereal Killer." It depicts a small box of Cheerios impaled by a dagger.
In November, The New York Times reported the death of Al Adams, who had a distinguished career in the foreign service. Al wrote a moving essay in our 50th Reunion Class Book. Frank Franklin emailed: "The bright lights of so many classmates are being extinguished. Al was a super statesman."