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.
In the previous issue, we announced the addition of Neil Hoffmann to the Class Council, replacing Gus Speth who asked to be replaced. Neil emailed: “I am pleased and honored to be nominated to the Class Council. It has been a pleasure to help out with the golf outings, and I look forward to the Council meetings.” By no means is Gus Speth slowing down in his vigorous advocacy of environmental issues. He simply wanted to reduce his travel commitments. And speaking of golf, the Spring Golf Outing on the Yale Course is reported on our Website, along with a group photo of participants.
Pete Putzel (who celebrated his and Anne’s 50th wedding anniversary in June and headed to Hawaii in August) emailed about the May and June Class lunches at the Yale Club of NYC: “In May, Joe Wishcamper traveled from Maine to join other attendees, Dave Plimpton (also a new Class Council member), Jim Baxter, Lee Sigal, Steve Norman, and myself. In June, eight stalwarts attended: John Ogilvie (who will be heading to his home in Argentina for the summer), Jay Huffard (who is headed for a European River Cruise), Lee Sigal, Tom Trowbridge (who is marrying off two of his offspring this summer), Don Edwards, Steve Norman, and Paul Steiger. Alan McFarland emailed: “I will miss May luncheon since I’m hosting my daughter’s wedding as she ends her Navy career. Might make June if I am back from my annual golf junket abroad with my brothers.”
In late May, Karl Ziegler and Blaine Krickl organized a dinner at the Queen’s Tennis Club in Baron’s Court, London, for five classmates and other Yale friends, which is fully reported with accompanying photos in a News article on our Class Website. David Sherman added: “It was a lovely evening. I proposed a toast to Benjamin Franklin and his eponymous new residential college.” Karl added: Later in the evening, we sang The Whiffenpoof Song with considerable gusto under the leadership of Nick Baskey, a man well familiar with the tune as one of our Class’s fourteen Songsters.”
Terry Holcombe continues to keep us informed about progress, albeit slow, on the Class Gateway in Benjamin Franklin College: “Right now, it looks like a subway tunnel in Brooklyn, so hence no photo.” There were very mixed and conflicting viewpoints expressed by classmates about the naming of the two new residential colleges, along with the other announced naming decisions: “Calhoun” (continue) and “Master” (discontinue). I report the view of Nortin Hadler, in particular, because he has a scholar friend who wrote the definitive history of Pauli Murray. Nortin said: “Yale is making a brilliant statement by naming one of the new colleges for this amazing woman.”
Honorary classmate David Swensen was honored with the establishment of the new Swensen Fellows in Strategic Analysis program, a story that is reported in Class News on our Class Website. In another News story, Jon McBride announces the stellar results achieved by Squash Haven this year, and their appreciation for our financial support.
This year, in addition to posting Class Notes and other Class News on our Class Website, we have emailed the links to all Classmates well ahead of their publication in Yale Alumni Magazine. Many of you seem to enjoy this earlier channel, since about 60% of classmates with email addresses (about 700) open the messages, and over 100 classmates click through to the Website to read some of the items. We’re always interested in your feedback to these Class communications and suggestions on how we can make them better. While not every member of our Class is an avid reader of Class communications (nor do we expect it), other Yale Classes who check our Website regularly ask Sam Francis and me for tips on how to improve theirs. Many of you are generous in your appreciation, like Loring Knoblauch who emailed: “I love the new look of the Class Notes. Bravo!” John Podeschi (first time caller … I’m sounding like Jim Cramer) emailed: “I’ve unsubscribed from university-generated ‘Yale News,’ but I like reading your amiable Class Notes.” Russell Sunshine weighed in: “It’s encouraging to read about the richness of classmates’ current energy and activity. And hopefully we’re not done yet!” And this from an Honorary Classmate, Coach Tony Reno: “I really enjoy reading your Class Notes. Thank you for including me. Roll Dogs!” Dan Pollack added: “Coach Reno said the newly recruited team ‘gained 900 pounds,’ or is that just one lineman?”
With the countdown to the Presidential election in November, I should explain that it is my editorial philosophy not to report most of the opinions on Presidential politics that I regularly receive. For those of you who want other classmates to be aware of your views on candidates, we do have the Website forum “Sound Off!” that was conceived and designed for partisan viewpoints. We also post Classmate books, articles, videos, and blogs on our Class Website, without censorship.
In April, Will Elting emailed: “The severe flooding in Houston caused problems for many people, but thankfully I was not one of them.” On another water theme, Will added: “The Yale heavyweight crew is having a good season, and it is a testimony to the talent of the coaches.” Laird Smith emailed a suggestion: “Charitable undertakings are infrequently mentioned by classmates, possibly because they do not want to appear to be tooting their own horns, especially when it doesn’t involve other classmates.” Laird’s prime example is Paul Balser, who has led the Board of The Hudson Guild, a venerable New York settlement house for many years. So please, send me news about your work in your communities that we may share with others. Laird added: “Paul had carpel tunnel surgery in May; perhaps a mention would be a bit of a tonic.”
Michael Nagel sent photos of his visit to Abu Dhabi in May on a project to bring water from Iceland to the Middle East. Michael added: “From there, I went on to Southeast Asia to visit friends and acquaint myself with Buddhism.” In May, Dick Berk was quoted as a subject expert in a Washington Post online article, “Homicides are up again this year.” Dick’s son, Michael (aka “White Mike” in the Philly basketball leagues) will be attending Penn in the fall, where Dick is on the faculty. In May, Chas Freeman addressed the Association of Former Intelligence Officers on “Takeaways from America's Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East.” You can find Chas on our Class Website as one of our bloggers.
Steve Bingham emailed: “I retired 18 months ago after 23 years working at Bay Area Legal Aid as a welfare law specialist and directing their project ‘Legal Barriers to Employment.’ I remain involved in a major effort to restore suspended drivers’ licenses to millions of Californians too poor to pay hugely inflated traffic tickets. My wife Françoise and I struggle daily with the sadness of losing our daughter, Sylvia ’09, in an auto/bicycle accident shortly after she graduated.” Thomas Hout, who also likes the new clickable classmates' names on our Website, emailed: “I just published a major article in the March April issue of Foreign Affairs, entitled “Can China’s Companies Conquer the World?” Tony Morris, who is devoted to firefighting in the western US, emailed: “Wildfire danger is the highest here in many years.” Tony added: “I hope to produce a documentary on memory with a German filmmaker.”
Frank Basler emailed: “I’ve been ordained as a minister in the United Church of Christ. I’ve done supply preaching for Ridgebury Congregational Church in Connecticut and was asked to extend for two more years … an ordainable call!” Angus Gillespie emailed: “I received an award from the Peach Islands Institute in June for my contributions to the 42nd Folk Festival.” Jon McBride added his name to the list of classmates who have enjoyed “Hamilton” on Broadway: “Had to mortgage a house or two but word has that it will be worth it. Isn’t it? Please tell me it is!” Lots of news from Dan Pollack: “Nancy and I enjoyed lunch with Susan and Bob Hannah at the Arizona Biltmore in May. In June, we travel to Normandy and Spain. Then in July, my sons and I will be fishing in Jackson Hole with great guides, thanks to the recommendations of your son-in-law.”
Paul Manchester made a presentation in January to the National Association of Realtors, “Overview of the Final Enterprise Housing Goals for 2015-17.” Paul added: “I don’t know who in our Class might be interested in this, with the possible exception of Joe Rich.” Sam Low has continued to post the fantastic voyage of the Polynesian sailing vessel, Hokule’a. She arrived in NYC in mid-June and later in Sam’s second home, Martha’s Vineyard. In late June, I spoke with Pat Caviness shortly after he arrived in San Francisco from his home in Thailand for medical tests. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and will have surgery on July 20th. He will be in San Francisco at least through August. Pat emailed: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of well wishes from friends, classmates, and teammates.” Pat asked me to add this cautionary note, “Classmates, pay attention to your PSA tests!” On the same trip to California, I had lunch with my brother Jay Lavely ’65 in Pasadena. Despite some physical challenges (he’s dependent on crutches and/or a wheel chair most of the time), Jay approaches life every day with “Carpe Diem.”
Tony Lee, who always has a new book recommendation for me, responded to Dan Pollack’s email about the importance of water for hydration during exercise: “I always carry a few aspirin in my backpack when I’m mountain biking, hiking, or cross-country skiing. I also take electrolyte pills on hot, humid days. Back in the good old days a six-pack of beer accomplished the same thing. Must be getting old!” Our esteemed Webmaster, Sam Francis, had his annual bareboat charter on a 53-foot sloop through the Ionian Islands of Greece, exploring Corfu and Ithaca in June. Sam added: “I served as a ShotLink laser operator at the PGA Championship at Baltusrol in July.” (Once a techie, always a techie.)
While I have called your attention to Russell Sunshine’s new book, Far & Away: True Tales from an International Life, I may have overlooked it for the magazine edition. So please go to the Class Website or Amazon to find this wonderful book about our classmate’s global adventures. Dan Berman wrote a review in February of Gus Speth’s book, American the Possible. Chris Getman seconded the recommendation: “I read it and sent it to my kids. Good stuff. Outside of the box.” Frank Hotchkiss came across a classmate’s book that we had missed: Eat Your Heart Out, Ho Chi Minh, by Chilton “Tony” Thomson, which is now listed in Publications. Jim Rogers is interviewed in the CNN Series, The Eighties. Gene Van Loan emailed: “Now that I’m (almost) retired, I plan to do a lot of writing. I expect to have another piece coming out soon in the Claremont Review of Books.” John Wylie has thought-provoking posts on his blog, “Why We Became Human.” One of Jim Rogers’ recent blog posts warned, “Start Growing Your Own Food.”
Howard Gillette forwarded the news of the death in March of Guild Copeland along with an email from Guild on his regret at having to miss our 50th Class Reunion due to his illness. Guild’s Sarasota FL obituary is posted on our Website. Howard also forwarded an address given by Ward Cates, which has been added as a remembrance. Paul Manchester and Lee Sigal notified us of the death of Norm Clark in June in Portland OR. Norm had also wanted to attend our 50th, but was unable. Paul wrote fondly about a dinner he had with Norm in 2014. Lee also forwarded some of Norm’s landscape and portrait photography. We reached out to Norm’s family and received notes from his wife Mona and his daughter Nicola expressing their gratitude. Steve Bingham added a personal and touching remembrance for Roy Bernt who died in 1962. Stephen Greenblatt emailed: “I’m devastated by the death of Ward Cates. He was one of those magically appealing people.” Curt Mosso corrected a mis-captioned photo of himself with Nate Marinuzzi, who died in 1989. It’s gratifying to know that so many classmates turn to In Memoriam to remember departed classmates. If you would like to donate a Mory’s Memorial Brick in remembrance, our Website will tell you how. Lastly, I want to acknowledge Tammy Green, an AYA Staff member who supported our Class activities. Tammy died in June.