Yale University

Class Notes

September/October 2017

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.

We begin this column with a summary of recent Class events and plans for future Class events. Our Class website has more details on these gatherings. The Spring golf outing took place on May 18-19 with about 20 classmates playing on both days. Chris Getman is still verifying the facts amid much obfuscation before he publishes his full report. His preface goes like this: “Suffice it to say that the team of Jan Truebner, Bill Galvin, Bill Schmidt, and I, despite posting a 129 net, were clearly victorious over others who claimed lower scores by a wide margin because Galvin was late and missed the photo (that gave us three strokes), Jan flashed a thigh at Putzel who swerved off the second hole into the pond sacrificing the gross of balls he had brought for the afternoon, and Lee as usual hogged the first group position so he, being the heavy drinker that he is, could get to the bar first. There is much more dirt, but our victory was resounding as always.” In a more serious tone, Pete Putzel wrote: “The best aspect of this outing should certainly be Neil Hoffmann’s splendid efforts to organize it, which continued well after he knew that he would be absent and sidelined during recovery from surgery. Happily, Neil has already reserved tee times for the October outing at which he pledges his participation.”

In June, Kai Lassen and I attended the Yale Alumni Fund Board meeting at the Yale Club of NYC. One of the featured speakers was Charles Bailyn, the Head of Benjamin Franklin College. Kai and I spoke with Charles about the dedication of the Class of 1964 Gateway (more later on this), for which he was most welcoming. YAF also launched a new Volunteers Website for which the Committee on Technology has assisted in development. The monthly Class table at The Yale Club of NYC is on hiatus for the summer, but Pete Putzel reported strong attendance in March. John Ogilvie had just returned from wintering in Argentina. John Evans was back from Sanibel. Ed Tripp told the group he was leaving for Iran. Alan McFarland was absent at the June luncheon, because he was attending spousal training before KT’s diplomatic assignment. Pete Putzel left for a trip to Italy in July. During November, in the Yale Travel Educational Program, Erik Midelfort will present “From Luther to the Berlin Wall: 500 Years of World History.” Tony Lee forwarded this intriguing quote by Erik: “I have made some important discoveries in the history of witchcraft, demonology, and madness.”

The two new residential Yale colleges will be dedicated during a university-wide cerebration on October 6. Under the leadership of Terry Holcombe and Chris Getman, plans are in development for a special gathering of gateway donors to dedicate the Class of 1964 Gateway in Benjamin Franklin College in early February 2018. You can view photos of the Gateway, which is the main entrance to Benjamin Franklin, on our Class website. The annual Class Council meeting will be coordinated during the same weekend. Later next year, in July 2018, we are planning a mini-reunion in the Pacific Northwest, about which all classmates received a questionnaire. Originating in Seattle, the centerpiece is a train trip through the Canadian Rockies. There is an excellent description on our Class website. The planning committee of John Evans, Robert Whitby, Chris Getman, and Pete Putzel will be sending details very soon. Furthest in the future is our 55th Class Reunion in the Spring of 2019. Co-Chairs Jon McBride and Tony Lee invite your input and suggestions for this reunion.

There are several Class news stories posted on our Class website that feature classmates. In May, the New York Times reported that Joe Lieberman was interviewed to be FBI Director. Chris Getman was interviewed by the New Haven Register about the new Handsome Dan (aka Walter). Jim Rogers was interviewed about “The Value of an Ivy League Education.” Gene Van Loan wrote an article in the Claremont Review of Books about the legal activities surrounding the immigration executive orders.

Chris Getman did his 31st annual walk for the National MS Society in April. This year it was in Harkness State Park on Long Island Sound. Chris wrote: “This year was especially upbeat because a new drug, Ocrevus, has been approved.” Tony Morris emailed: “I will soon complete Part I of “Creativity and the Soul,” a documentary filmed in Los Angeles.” Tony added: “The wildfire danger in the Santa Monica mountains is higher than ever.” Pat Caviness emailed from Thailand, “We recently took a day-trip to a small uninhabited island across the bay. We’re planning a trip to Israel in October.” Jeremy Wood was impressed with the visit by Stevie Wonder to the Sterling Memorial Library when Stevie was awarded a Yale honorary degree in May. Jeremy also circulated David Gergen’s ’63 commencement speech at Elon University. Reflecting on the cover story on Handsome Dan in Yale Alumni Magazine, Ed Gaffney emailed, “It seems to me that 2019 is the time to admit female bulldogs to Yale’s mascot lineup.” Sam Francis sailed the Caribbean Windward Islands in May and emailed: “We visited Doug Lea and Julie who were gracious hosts in Bequia; Waldo Johnston was on the boat with me for the second week.”

Al Ayre emailed: “I’m winding down my legal career, serving as President of the Maine Bar Association for 2017.” In June, Joe Wishcamper and Dave Plimpton traveled to Cuba. Paul Manchester emailed about his fond memories of the 2002 mini-reunion in Santa Fe: “Bob Hilgendorf entertained us in his home, which looked like a museum!” On my birthday, David Wyles kindly sent a YouTube video of the Beatles song "Birthday," which made my day. Paul Balser is on the board of United Neighborhood House which supported “Stand Up for Immigrants Day.” Douglass Lea posted: “I’ll always regret my parents’ inexplicable failure to consult Wodehouse before naming me.”

In June, Chip Brennan went fishing for Atlantic salmon in Canada. Doane Perry posted a newly-opened sculpture park in West Stockbridge MA featuring sculptors who challenged Soviet influence in the 1960s. Marya Holcombe posted a photo of grandson Angus at Yale lacrosse camp and added, “Terry became a member of the Society for the Apprehension of Horse Thieves and Pilferers in Walpole NH.” Sam Low posted photos of the Hokule’a homecoming in June. Bill Duesing posted, “Keep up the pressure on USDA for GMO labeling.”John Ashcroft’s son, Jay, became the 40th Secretary of State in Missouri in January. Nancy Pollack posted photos of Dan and family celebrating Independence Day in Saugatuck MI.

In the authorship department, Bob Musil’s daughter posted: “My dad’s book, Washington in Spring, was chosen as a spring pick.” John Wylie added to his blog with “Two huge events in human history and how they are related.” Jim Rogers was quoted by Business Insider predicting “the worst crash in a lifetime coming.” In June, William Gould blogged: “Today is the 50th anniversary of the attempted sinking of the USS Liberty.” Francis Snyder emailed: “I am very happy to report that my book, Food Safety Law in China, has been awarded the “Best Book in the World” in two categories (the only book to be recognized in two categories).”

Our Class lost four members since the last column. I urge you to read their impressive obituaries on our Class website, and send me remembrances if you wish. David Smith died in New Mexico in April. Umberto Fontana died in Nashville in April. Ross Canterbury died in Illinois in May. Peter Yerkes died in New Jersey in June. Jon McBride attended Geoff Best’s memorial service in May and posted a remembrance. Keith Huffman emailed an account of his role, together with Tupper Brown, in facilitating the evacuation of Ed Benjamin and his family from Addis Ababa in 1973. Mac Deford’s brother, Frank Deford passed away in May. Responding to my message of condolences, Mac emailed: “Frank had a great and accomplished life.”