Yale University

Class Notes

November/December 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.

The aftermath of Hurricane Irma delayed the writing of these notes, but things are now back to normal. Most of you will read these notes in November, so tropical storms will be long forgotten. We have a full calendar of Class-related activities in the months ahead. With the summer hiatus behind us, the regular monthly Class lunches at The Yale Club of NYC (dutifully organized by Pete Putzel) occur on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Chris Getman does the same for monthly lunches at Mory’s. Please contact these gentlemen if you would like to attend.

The two new residential colleges welcomed their first students in August, and the Class of 1964 Gateway in Benjamin Franklin College will be a well-traveled path. I had the opportunity to meet the Head, Charles Bailyn, who brings a lot of passion to his new role. The official Yale dedication of these new colleges will be on October 6. We decided not to try to do a special Class dedication at the same time. Rather, Yale will invite the 50 Gateway donors to a special Gateway dedication on Saturday, February 10, 2018, in conjunction with the annual Class Council meeting. The Fall Class golf outing on The Yale Course will take place on Thursday, October 12, ably organized by Neil Hoffmann, whose recovery from surgery is progressing well.

Looking ahead to 2018, there will be the aforementioned dedication of the Class of 1964 Gateway on Saturday, February 10. On the day before (Friday, February 9), your Class Council will hold its annual Class Council meeting, and then join donors at the Gateway dedication on Saturday.

Earlier this year, all classmates received a survey about a proposed mini-reunion in the Canadian Rockies. The response was very positive. The organizing group — John Evans, Robert Whitby, Chris Getman, and Pete Putzel — have done a great job of planning. The trip is scheduled for July 13-20, 2018, and an email with formal registration details will be sent. This promises to be a splendid experience, so please respond if you want to participate. This will probably be the last mini-reunion before our 55th Class Reunion in May-June 2019. It’s not too early to begin sending your suggestions to co-chairs, Tony Lee and Jon McBride.

The Head of Timothy Dwight College recently contacted me about a special TD archive project. If you were a member of TD and would like to participate by sending photos, artifacts, or even reminiscences about TD, please contact me. This fall, you received the annual Class dues letter from Chip Brennan, and I hope you’ll respond to support Class activities and programs. While Class dues are totally separate from other Yale contributions, I’m happy to publish this report from Ward Wickwire, Chair of Yale Alumni Fund Class Agents: “In the fiscal year ending June, our Class raised almost $350,000 from over 300 donors.

Patrick Caviness returned to UCSF Hospital in July and to everyone’s relief, they reported that his diagnosis in Koh Samui was incorrect; his cancer has not returned. Pat added: “I’ve enrolled in a local gym and am determined to rebuild.” Dan Pollack emailed: “I’ve heard of many poor experiences with doctors, so yours warms my heart Pat. Thank God the UCFS doctors are brilliant!” Jeff Frant is hiking the Appalachian Trail; his segment this summer was through PA and NJ. In October, Paul Balser was honored at the 10th anniversary of the Waterfront Alliance (Paul was one of the founders) whose mission is to get underserved youth out on the water. Dieter Brand emailed, “Did one of you guys lose your 1964 Class ring in the Scotland Highlands? I found one. Let me know.”

Sam Low posted: “The genesis of Hokule’a’s just completed Malama Honua Voyage can be traced back to events that occurred in 1990 during the search for wood to build a second Hawaiian voyaging canoe.” After celebrating 51 years of marriage to Terry, Marya Holcombe posted a photo of a coffee mug inscribed ”18,615 days together, but who’s counting?” In August, Sam Francis decided to let someone else skipper and took a Viking River Cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Following his announced downsizing and relocation to New York, Paul Ruden emailed: “Remains to be seen how we’re going to pull this off. The main issue for me is my books. Can’t bear to part with them.” Joe Wishcamper celebrated another birthday and emailed: “Less hair, hearing, visual acuity, and testosterone. More compassion, gratitude, and sense of wonder. Not a bad tradeoff.”

Michael Nagel emailed: “Hope all is well with you in Trumpyland, while I am still based in ever more confusing Brexitand. Jim Rogers' face hit me in Berlin this week on the cover of a highly respected money magazine. After the disastrous early 20th century attempts at Democracy, Germany has now become somewhat of a role model in the 21st century.” Jim Duderstadt is giving a talk in D.C. in October at the National Academies on how to combat current political trends impacting higher education. Phil Anderson came across a bronze sculptor in Sante Fe who he suggests be commissioned for a Yale campus work.

A number of classmates got caught up in tropical storms this summer. Will Elting emailed after Harvey: “I’m okay but I can’t say the same for a townhouse I own. Reclamation is a term you may remember from Katrina!” Douglass Lea posted from Bequia, “Irma passed to the north of us; no wind or rain. Harvey, however, was different. She left behind a Biblical flood, What a mess!” Waldo Johnston posted, “Where’s Waldo? Where’s Florida? Where’s Vero Beach? Hello Irma!”

On the Publications front, The Paris Review published an excerpt from Gerald Shea’s new book, The Language of Light: A History of Silent Voices. Read the excerpt here and buy the book on the Publications page of our Class website. Laird Smith emailed: “The book by John Wylie, Ape Mind, Old Mind, New Mind, is a fascinating journey by a surgeon-turned psychiatrist.” John Wylie published an interesting article on his blog, Why We Became Human, “Brain science reveals that trust is our ‘default state’.” Jim Rogers was interviewed by Kitco News in July and blogged, “Gold is going to be explosive in the next few years!” On another blog, Jim asked, “Why are all the Nobel Prize winners from the West?” Tony Lee took a 5-week trip out west with his grandsons this summer and decided to write a blog. Tony emailed, “If anyone is really bored, they can follow our trip on the Class website.” See their blog here.

In early August, Joel Levitch passed away in Ft. Lauderdale. Joel was a Kansas City native and a long-time New Yorker who became an award-winning documentarian and a pioneer in Jewish broadcasting. His full obituary is on our Class website. Since Ed Benjamin died in January, four of his soccer teammates —Sam Callaway, Sam Francis, Jim Heyworth, and Tony Lee — have purchased a Mory’s memorial brick in Ed’s name.