Author Archives: Alec Haverstick

About Alec Haverstick

Hard to believe I've been married for almost 38 years and have spent 35 of them in the same town (Short Hills, NJ). Have four kids, three of whom are married and have kids of their own, so now Jessica and I are grandparents of five. My youngest daughter (Yale 2011) is not married but just returned from visiting her boyfriend in Hanoi who is not VC but in the state department. I find amazing she is visiting a place I so assiduously avoided in my youth. My career has taken many paths and many turns in them as I never could quite understand that it is not good to tell an emperor he has no clothes or that you could do the job better. So I will end my career ( in 20 or so years as I was a Lehman shareholder ) in business development where I work only with prospective clients and no longer need to worry about the politics of management.

Class Notes January 2018

Greetings to all! Although this set of notes is being written in mid-January, publication will occur in March/April. By that time, I suspect very few of us will consider 2018 a “new year” so I will dispense with any associated salutations and proceed to the business at hand.

We will begin with the small world department. For reasons that need not need be gone into deeply into other than they involved a house, a hurricane and an insurance company, I had occasion to need an attorney in the USVI. I made inquiries and was repeatedly told that one Frank Jackson was the attorney to consult and that he had gone to Yale. The name was more than familiar and I soon found myself on the phone with our classmate, one of the legends of Westfield High, a rival town to ours in Northern New Jersey, and now a legend of the bar on St. Thomas. Frank couldn’t have been nicer. He even told me I didn’t need his services. While I think he was kindly telling me my case wasn’t big enough, I was still delighted to find him. We briefly discussed his practice and his life and then the hundreds of clients beeping on his cell phone caused the conversation to end. But, Frank, if my house ever gets repaired and I get back down to STJ, the conch fritters are on me.

We now proceed to the news of the day. Gilbert Casellas writes:

“In June of 2016, after 20 years serving as a trustee, I was named Trustee Emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania, my law school alma mater. This past November I was given Penn’s Alumni Award of Merit. I continue to travel extensively and challenge Father Time, having trekked the Camino to Santiago de Compostela in Spain as well as the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The knees and joints ain’t what they used to be!”

No kidding about those knees. I’m still recovering from hiking in the Galapagos and that was a year ago. Bob Martin, who recommended the trip to me and Jessica, is, as I write in Antarctica with his wife Cindy and instagramming like crazy. Jessica and I had done the Antarctica trip in 2016 and loved it and the Martins seem to be having a similarly grand experience. I’m just waiting to see a post of them in the Polar Plunge. Talk about a shock to the system!

David Mielke may not be exercising but he is certainly using his mind and dedicating it to dealing with immense drug crisis that confronts so many in our nation. He writes:

“I was the guest this past October on a podcast sponsored by Mad In America, a non-profit organization whose mission is “to serve as a catalyst for rethinking psychiatric care”, believing that “the current drug-based paradigm of care has failed our society.

I teach a Psychology elective at Culver City High School (California) and have become increasingly concerned about how many of my kids come to class with psychiatric diagnoses and taking powerful psychiatric drugs. My conversation with James Moore explores some of the issues that arise when teaching a class that questions the validity of these diagnoses as well as assessing the safety and effectiveness of prescribing these drugs to kids—– when so many of my students are taking those drugs. Earlier this year I was the guest on the Peter Breggin Hour addressing some of these same issues.  I don’t know if our policy includes providing links, but here it is:  goo.gl/38RVgw.”

David, I don’t know what the policy is either but I’m happy to provide websites and let the individual members of the class decide.

And from the indefatigable Gary Lucas:

“I have a new album ‘The World of Captain Beefheart’ featuring myself with soul singer Nona Hendryx on vocals out on Knitting Factory Records, It came out mid-November last year and is getting all sorts of spectacular reviews http://garylucas.com/www/twocb/twocb.shtml. Anyway, my old Yale friends Steve Hendel ‘73 and Bob Rubin were instrumental in helping me realize the release of this album, and if it’s possible to give the album a shout-out in your column it would be a beautiful thing.”

(NB: I just did)

Gary goes on to tell the story of the first time he, Steve and Bob saw Beefheart’s first NYC show in January 1971 which is really too long to include but which he promises to tell at our 45th. The key point, however (and with only minor editing), is the following

“That night … I was so impressed by all the energy and creativity pouring off the stage, I made a vow to myself that night that if I ever did anything in music I would play with this guy—and I am a very strong willed person. When I got back to Yale I talked him up to everyone, and he came up 6 months later to play at Woolsey Hall, which is how I got to meet him and bond with him—and eventually propose joining his Magic Band. Which I eventually did, beginning in 1980 when I was 28, appearing on his Virgin/Atlantic album “Doc at the Radar Station” as a featured guitar soloist. and two years later on his final album “Ice Cream for Crow” on Virgin/ Epic, as a full band member—which put me on the map as a guitarist, with write-ups in Rolling Stone and Esquire singling out my playing. Anyway Steve Hendel owns the Knitting Factory club and record label who put our new album out, and Bob Rubin acted as executive producer. Talk about 3 amigos! And thanks to guys like Steve and Bob and others I continue on following my heart and artistic destiny.”

Now that, my friends, is a lucky man and his message an apt way to end this column.

Class Notes November 2017

I sit down at this time with very little news but many thoughts, and, as, it is the week before Thanksgiving, perhaps you will allow me to share them.

I received a voice message from Charlie Finch asking me to include more information about the late Jim Feldman’s life in music criticism. As I had not seen Jim since the fall of 1974, I had no sense of Jim’s professional career, and despite some extensive Googling, I had come up empty. So I got in touch with Susan Klebanoff, who, as mentioned in the last issue, was a longtime friend of Jim’s and she let me know that Jim “wrote for the Village Voice, among other publications, and amassed a large personal collection of music.” With this information, I was, indeed, able to find references to and some excerpts from articles written in the 80′s and 90′s in the Voice and other publications as well as subsequent references to the effect of his writings on a notable artist’s career. My apologies to any and all who felt my acknowledgement of Jim’s death was incomplete. I will say that, as I am not a journalist but merely a scribe, I can only deal with the information I am given. When, however, someone passes away and Yale has no obituary to send me, I do try to find one. Sadly, in Jim’s case, I could not.

The only direct news I received was from David Stone, who wrote some weeks ago:

“I just got the mailed Sept- Oct print version of the YAM in which my note about my lunch in Charlottesville with the Fallons was printed.  Could you possibly put something in the next version re how the lunch took place in June, and my class note was submitted well before the tragic August 11-13 weekend events now generally referred to as ‘Charlottesville.’ Therefore, no reference could have been made to those then-future events. Otherwise, my note may seem like a rather oblivious item to our classmates who I am sure are well aware of what took place here later in August.  On a brighter note, the next president of UVa, James Ryan, is Yale ’88.”

I promised David that I would print this note not only because his explanation deserves printing but also because his note illustrates what I have found to be a particularly galling issue around this role: the gap between the time the notes are written and the time they are actually published. Hence, David wrote me about events that happened in June; I wrote them up in July and, by the time they were published, Charlottesville had experienced a national tragedy. David’s fear–that his note about a bucolic pleasure in a then apparently untroubled town would appear insensitive — only arose because of this publication delay.

Frankly, the same thing has happened to me. Recently, I incorporated a note, with what I thought suitably harmless commentary, about a classmate who had appeared in The New York Times. Subsequently, but before my column was published, negative news about that individual emerged. As a result of this news, my including the person in a class note was viewed as unacceptable to a vocal few, an unexpected reaction of which I was recently and directly apprised. It wasn’t fun. It also made me think.

I realize that taking some heat is why Yale pays me the big bucks for this column. I am also cognizant that being a class secretary is also a quasi-public role within the relatively small community comprised of Yale alums, and that the line between good humored inclusion of news of our classmates and the apparent endorsement of any of their activities is a fine one and one which I have tried to walk with some aplomb. Nonetheless, it begs the question, “What is the role of a Yale class secretary and, more specifically, of the secretary for a class that attended Yale during four years of radical change for the college as it attempted to move, however belatedly, into the 20th Century?”

Each time I sit down at the computer (I almost wrote “put pen to paper”), I must be aware that each reader of these notes has led a life since Yale that eclipses by more than ten times the four years we spent there. During that time, each of us has undoubtedly experiences both joys and grief, success and failures, dreams realized and deferred and, dare I write it, “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” I can’t possibly know what these have been, but what I can know is that whatever paths any one of us has walked, and despite the contrary behavior allowed by social media, they are not mine to judge or opine on.

It seems to me that this role demands a sort of “staying above the fray.” So, what I do try to do, is to relate each classmates news in some way that ties it back to our fondly remembered four year home or some common experience in which we may all have shared if only as people alive at this time and walking the planet together. What I try not to do is, especially when relating news of public figures from our class, is allow any of my personal views on their positions, their politics or their other activities color my commentary. This is a social column not a political one, and there is no room in it for ad hominem attacks. And as long as I am writing it, there won’t be.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. And as I end this column, written a week before Thanksgiving, allow me to close with some thanks of my own:

To my four children who presented Jessica and me with four new grandchildren since May bringing the total to eleven, my cup runneth over.

To my two youngest grandsons, Samuel Aloysius Wachter (born September 27th) and Samuel Bruce Fraser (born October 1st), you are destined to be known as “the Sams” and for the rest of my life, whenever something wacky happens, I will simply say, “The Sams did it,” and smile indulgently.

To the Yale football team, thanks for beating Princeton and good luck against Harvard, and

To the 20 or so new friends from our class that I have made during the first Tuesday of each month and the five of you who already were, thanks for just showing up. It’s 99% of everything.

Class Notes September 2017

I am writing these notes three days prior to my 65th birthday which, since it falls in September, happily follows the dreaded date that many of you will have already experienced. Having received more robo-calls and AARP mailings on this event over the last year than I thought was possible, I will be glad when the day is past. I will be even gladder if the Giants beat the Cowboys which is the only birthday present I need. I have dutifully registered for Medicare Part A but am advised I can defer the latter parts until I actually retire which I hope will be never. First of all, thanks to the fall of Lehman Brothers, I can’t and, second, what would I do? Jessica constantly reminds me that she married me for better or for worse but not for lunch. So the career which began 40 years ago and the commute of 38 years will continue. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Once again, in writing these class notes I am obliged to report the sad news of classmates departing this life, and I never know whether to begin or end my column with such events. Because, however, I knew both of these classmates at Yale and one particularly well, I have decided to start with our shared loss.

Ed Benton passed away in Albany, NY on July 9th, a Sunday morning. Ed came to us from Hillsdale, NY and graduated with a BA in history. After a time in both computer systems and advertising, Ed graduated from Vanderbilt Law in 1981 and joined Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett where our paths briefly crossed before he was posted to Hong Kong. He worked at two more well-known New York law firms before moving upstate and engaging in about everything from corporate general counsel to raising organic beef cattle. He also taught law and volunteered for numerous organizations. His quite lovely obituary, which I was sent, describes him as a lifelong “lover and rescuer of animals” other than, it would seem, beef cattle. Ed is survived by his wife, Malu, and to her we extend our deepest condolences.

Jimmy Feldman died on July 8th after an extended illness. The note I received from Susan Klebanoff, his friend from almost day one of freshman year, notes that he should be remembered for his “wit and love of Yale.” I couldn’t agree more. Nobody was more excited to be at Yale than Jim and nobody loved it more. Although our paths diverged around the time I started law school, Jim, a fellow Saybrugian, was a vital part of my undergraduate experience, and I join with Susan and his many dear friends in mourning his passing and honoring his memory. I still chuckle at his hilarious tales of adventures at Sol & Sol’s Delicatessen in Englewood New Jersey. I always will.

Carolyn Grillo is alive, well and in touch both directly and through Facebook. She recently sent me a clip from Tom Hanks’s Class Day speech at Yale in 2011 which I was lucky enough to see live as it was my youngest daughter’s graduation weekend. It’s a remarkable talk where Hanks offers a choice between “fear” and “faith” that seems very apposite six years later. Carolyn and I are putting our heads together to try to post it on the Yale ’74 FB page, but if you want to see the real 22 minute masterpiece, you can find it on YouTube. Just Google Tom Hanks Yale 2011 and it will pop right up.

Ralph Fascitelli was kind enough to drop me a line after 43 years and I am glad of it. He has been in the Seattle area for almost 30 years, happily married and with two kids living in Southern California. Ralph has been working with startups for many years and even sold his ad agency to WPP. Some weeks ago, Ralph, who is another FB friend, invited me to join a group on FB called “Ceasefire” which emanates from Washington Ceasefire founded in 1983 in that state by a group of “citizens who wanted to reduce gun violence in their communities.” It appears they focus not so much on rhetoric re ownership but on technology based solutions such as “smart guns” or guns that can fire only when activated by an authorized user. Smart guns have been proven effective in reducing gun accidents especially those involving children in the home. The organization’s web page (washingtonceasefire.org) asserts that as many as 10,000 lives could be saved annually through the ownership of smart guns rather than the alternative. I have never owned a gun nor do I intend to, but this seems a very well thought and reasonable approach to me. If you go to the website, you will find Ralph featured prominently as he is the president of the board. Ralph didn’t tell me this. The website did. Service combined with humility seems to be his way. Ralph also says he stays well in touch with roomies Dave Mayer and Darcy Ryan whom those of you who, like me, regularly cheered on the hockey team at the Whale should remember well.

Jane Hammersley McLaughlin writes from San Francisco that she is “enjoying life at 65″ (good to hear). Jane’s son, a West Point grad, is a Captain in the Army (with an Afghanistan deployment) and her daughter is the executive director of a NYC based non-profit, Art’s in the Armed Forces (aitaf.org), so I checked out that website as well. I learned it was founded by Adam Driver who has had a recurring role in the HBO hit “Girls.” I also learned that it brings live contemporary theater to active and veteran families in the US and around the world. Clare, Jane’s daughter, has an equally impressive if not theater based bio. She is a Columbia grad and had an impressive career at MOMA before assuming her current role. As you can see, I have adopted a new policy of including websites for those who cite a commitment to a particular volunteer activity and am happy to continue to do so.

Don Bivens writes from Arizona that he recently received the Walter E. Craig Award from the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education. The award is given annually to the “Arizona attorney who has manifested adherence to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession and service to the public.” Beyond that, Don is still a litigation partner at Snell & Wilmer in Phoenix and his youngest is heading into junior year in high school. He remains active “for extra aggravation” in Arizona politics having recently served as Chair of the Arizona Democratic Party. That was news to me. I didn’t know there were Democrats in Arizona.

I guess I’m not too old to learn something new! Be careful out there!

Class Notes July 2017

I begin these class notes with the announcement of yet another grandchild. My eldest daughter, Emily, gave birth on July 10th to a beautiful baby girl, Campbell, who will be known as “Coco.” Coco joins brothers Luke and Wyatt and six first cousins on our side of the family, the most recent of which Mattie (short for Matilda) was born the day before I wrote my last segment of class notes. That means that I now have nine grandchildren with my younger two daughters due to have boys in late September. As an inveterate soccer fan, I am now determined that they will form their own World Cup team but I have been urged by several classmates that a football team would be equally good. Emily, her husband and her children live down the street from Eli Manning, so, hey, you never know.

Were it to be a football team, one of my first recruits would have to be Brian Clarke, with whom I had a lovely correspondence earlier this summer. Brian spoke candidly about his adjustment to Yale as a freshman and his battle with what I can best term as “impostor syndrome”: the sense that you are not who everybody else seems to think you are and you are bound to be found out. Brian, as you will remember, was a highly recruited athlete, and, in the fall of 1970, was not therefore supposed to suffer from any feelings of self-doubt. That was for the rest of us. Yet he did. And through our correspondence, we agreed that “impostor syndrome” was something we ALL felt. How the heck did we get into a place like Yale? What were we doing there? What if Yale found out that we weren’t as special as it had thought we were? I certainly experienced such thoughts many times over, and in some sense, my biggest success at Yale was that over four years, I determined I belonged, as I hope most of us did. My correspondence with Brian evidences another aspect of the then and now self-reflection that I hope we can share at our 45th. Brian, thank you my friend. Dare I say I will never forget “Merle the Pearl?”

It’s time for another quick “classmates in the news” vignette. This month’s focuses on Marc Kasowitz who has been described in the New York Times and pretty much everywhere else as “Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.” Now that’s gotta be one tough job. I haven’t seen Marc since graduation, but I remember being in various American History classes with him and thinking him much smarter than I. I also remember him as being very outgoing and funny.
Although I haven’t seen him in more than 40 years, I have followed Marc’s career as he may be the only member of our class whose name leads the masthead of a major New York City based law firm with a broad national litigation practice. The firm has attracted top names in a wide range of litigation specialties including former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman. Those of us who went to law school know that what Marc has accomplished is remarkable, but he will sorely need that sense of humor over the coming months.

Okay, I got through that one. And I hope on a purely apolitical basis.

A short but much appreciated note from David Stone: Rob Fallon and his wife Melissa stopped by for a very pleasant outdoor lunch in Charlottesville on their way back from visiting their Air Force pilot son and his family in eastern Virginia.  After lunch on the UVa Corner (sort of the local equivalent of Broadway or Chapel St), I leveraged my nearly 40 years at UVa to guide the Fallons around the Jefferson designed Grounds. Rob and I not only attended each other’s weddings back in the mid-70s, we also attended Milton Academy together before Yale, and NYU Medical School afterwards. Rob stayed a bit longer at NYU to also obtain a PhD with his MD. Rob is now Professor of Pediatrics (Hematology/Oncology) at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.

David also raised the question of how many people had from our class had attended three straight schools together. I have one: I went to the same grammar school, high school and Yale with Lee Stanton. I also went to grammar school with Fred Peters and Norm Selby, who both went to the same school between grammar school and Yale. At Yale, I roomed with Colly Burgwin and Rich Feinstein. Rich and Colly had attended the same grammar school in Pittsburg and then Colly and I had gone to high school together. It’s a bit of a silly game but fun to play, and, importantly, it allows me to put more names in the column. To that end, I note that one of the people I enjoy following most on Facebook is Carolyn Grillo who recently posted that she had joined e-Harmony with the reasonable expectation that she might meet someone fairly compatible. The list came back with a 100% probability of compatibility candidate who was her ex-husband. And so it goes!!

Okay: I’m done. Hope everyone is having a great summer.

Class Notes May 2017

I awoke yesterday morning (May 10) to the furor over the firing of James Comey by Donald Trump and, as I am sure with many of you, my mind flashbacked to October 20th 1973 and the infamous Saturday Night Massacre where then President Nixon fired Archibald Cox leading to the resignations of Elliot Richardson and William Ruckelshaus. Since this is my flashback, as Rocky Rococo might say, I have no intention to indulge in current political commentary but only to stir your ever fading memories of what it was like to be in college at that particular moment in history. The night before, I had attended a production at the Yale Rep during which actors playing the Connecticut National Guard marched in and “seized” the theater. It was very much like “what can’t happen here” was, in fact, happening here. I still get chills thinking about it. By October 1973, the Watergate Investigation had been going on for about 18 months, and, although the Vietnam War was winding down, all of our futures seemed scary at best. Was there life after college when, as Stu Rohrer so aptly put it, “the world had split apart”? It seems there was or else I would not be writing this column 43 years after we left Yale.

Since our last reunion, which in addition to honoring the women of 1974, focused on the theme of then and now, I have spent a good deal of time reflecting on the beliefs I held then, the beliefs I hold now and how the intervening years have affected both. This became a topic of conversation at a recent class lunch where I found myself sitting with Marion Suter, Fred Peters, Sharon Worthing, Stu Rohrer and Al-Noor Jiwan-Hirji. We were discussing the last reunion, so I popped the question, “what shall we do for the next one?” And that’s when Marion posed the question that seem not only to encompass the question I had been asking myself but a much broader one about then and now:

What promises did you make to yourself while at Yale, how have you kept them, how have you not and what promises are left to fulfill?

There followed a very intense discussion of the sort often held in the 70′s that was about as stimulating as any I’ve had in many years (Promise to self: have more!). After lunch I ran back to the office and began making notes for 2019. What you all may not know is that Yale has a pretty strict template for a reunion where the powers that be give you time slots and then “suggest” how you fill them. Your reunion committee rebelled somewhat against this in 2014 (probably because I was the new guy and didn’t know any better) so I am determined to get out in front of this for 2019 and have a proposed agenda when the official planning process starts in about six months. I don’t intend to use this column as a forum for reunion planning, however. Rather, we will use Stu’s Yale74.org website and his facility with email to get your reaction to ideas. We may also use Facebook, so if you haven’t joined the class page, here’s how you do it:
* Join Facebook (it doesn’t hurt)
* Friend me
* I friend you back and then invite you to our class page
Three steps is all it takes. And from the above paragraph, I think you may glean where the theme is going. The goal is willing participation from everyone who chooses to attend.

And now, for the news:

David Mielke writes:

“I guess we’re old enough to use the word ‘still’ when we describe to others what we’re up to, so i can report that i’m STILL teaching psychology and sociology at Culver City High School, recently recognized as the 4th most diverse high school in the country.

As President of the Culver City Federation of Teachers/AFT and a Vice-President of our state organization, California Federation of Teachers, I’m proud to report that our local union is featured prominently in a new book by Ken Futernick, The Courage to Collaborate:  The Case for Labor-Management Partnerships in Education.  The bottom line:  when labor and management work together as partners in our schools, student achievement increases.

On a personal note, I was the guest on the January 18th episode of the Dr. Peter Breggin Hour.  Peter Breggin has led a movement to reform psychiatry, questioning the safety and efficacy of ECT and drugs to treat mental health issues and has been a strong, persistent and persuasive voice for understanding and loving people in distress instead of shocking and drugging them.

Peter invited me to discuss some of the challenges involved in teaching a high school class in psychology with a curriculum informed by this point of view.  Peter’s site (breggin.com) has archived years of these episodes with some of the best-known members of this reform movement as guests.  How I made it onto a list of guests which includes Irving Kirsch and Robert Whitaker is a mystery to me!”

Jim Brennan may no longer hold elective office but he is no less active. Jim writes, “My new post, ‘Education Aid and Tax Cuts’ explains how recent tax cuts are slowing the growth of school aid in NY. You can find more from Jim at jimbrennanscommentaries.wordpress.com or twitter@JimBrennanNY.

And from Sandy Wood “just enjoying retirement with much of my time split between caretaking of two fabulous grandchildren and a feisty 89 year old mother and travel. No place exotic this year but hopes for the future.” Sandy, think Kilimanjaro! Jessica and I are seriously considering as the next “must do” at least while our legs still function.

Speaking of grandchildren, Jessica’s and my eighth was born yesterday to my son, Sam and his wife Casey, a beautiful baby girl who has everything going for her except a first name. Hopefully, by the time this goes to press, they will have come up with one! In the meantime, my three daughters are also pregnant with one due in July (her third) and the other two due in late September (a third and a first, respectively). That will bring us to eleven all of whom are under seven. I’m gonna need a bigger house.

Best to all of you.

Greetings from New York City where it was in the sixties yesterday and where today it is rapidly moving into the 20’s and snowing for Crissakes! Ah well.

While yesterday may have seen the sixties from a Fahrenheit level, for many of us, the 60′s, as in the decade, remain forever part of who we are. Accordingly and fully aware of my own anti-authoritarian impulses, I had to chuckle when our good friend, Peter St. Clair‘s, response to Harvey Kent‘s annual class dues appeal showed up this morning in my inbox. After congratulating Harvey on his ability “as a 64 year old man” to land a new job that “takes him to England and France,” Peter goes on to allow that “$ 100 per year to subsidize rich white guys lunches at the Yale Club” is “absurd.” Well, said, my friend, and would be highly apposite if only it conformed to the facts (seemingly a particular issue in this decade). The monthly lunch, which I organize, is indeed at the Yale Club, is sponsored by the class, but I have noticed that none of the attendees who attend appear either “fat” or “feline,” although quite a few are decidedly female in aspect. At our last lunch this past Tuesday, twenty of us gathered in a much better ratio than our freshman class would predict for what has become, I’m delighted to say, a much looked forward to monthly event, or as Joan Katter recently wrote me, “They’re so popular classmates are sitting on each other’s laps.” Many of us who attend the lunch hardly knew each other back in New Haven, which is part of the fun, but we have bonded over who we have become. The reason the class pays for the gathering (and this option was offered publicly in a prior class notes to every Yale ’74 community across the nation) is precisely so those of us to whom a Yale Club lunch (soup, salad, sandwich or the hot turkey plate: it’s pretty simple fare) might appear an unnecessary or even onerous expense feel free to join the table without wondering “what will it cost?” Try to think of it as a “needs blind” acceptance policy, Peter, and perhaps it won’t either stick in your craw quite so much or push that tongue further in your cheek! By the way, Gary Lucas really likes the hot turkey sandwich. It comes with cranberry, stuffing, and mashed potatoes plus the vegetable du jour. One can almost imagine it being served at the Doodle.

Speaking of Gary Lucas, what a reemergence he has made not only at our communal groaning board but also in the public arena. Stu Rohrer has posted some of Gary’s most recent accomplishments on the class FB page, but for those of you who have yet to discover it, a quick summary is in order. Since my last writing, Gary has played at the legendary Apollo Theater as part of its “Hendrix in Harlem” event, in Mexico City at the Benjamin Franklin Bibliotheca by invitation of the US Embassy (which for all we know may be soon closing) in Shanghai, Budapest, Pisa Havana and at the UN as part its Holocaust Remembrance Day. I really enjoyed the interview Gary did for NPR’s “All Things Considered” (Google it). I hardly knew Gary at Yale, but it’s great to get to know him now. His wit helps light up and already lively crowd at our monthly get togethers.

So does the wit of Barbara Guss. “Babs,” as she is now and perhaps always has been known, recently returned from Antarctica which I was fortunate enough to visit a year ago. Babs’s note to me states:

“Following our beloved class secretary’s lead (she wrote that but I paid her for it), I recently went to Antarctica with Yale Educational Travel. Before heading to the end of the world we stopped in Buenos Aires and ate steak like no other at the Yale Club of Argentina. Once through the bumpy Drake Passage, we entered a place of otherworldly and fragile beauty which I hope we will be wise enough to protect.”

Barb goes on to note that she has visited all seven continents (me too!!) and is thinking she deserves a second Yale degree for all the “stuff” she’s being doing. She notes that this summer, she’ll be in New Haven taking a Yale for Life course on the Enlightenment and invites any and all to join her. Sounds good to me, Babs. Apart from comparing staircases in Rome, my last moment of true enlightenment came while listening to Black Sabbath at 78 speed. Oh Cheech! Oh Chong! Oh Bob Bitchin!

While Babs was in Antarctica, the protection of which is heavily funded by among others National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions, Jessica and I were on our second “Lindblad,” this time to the Galapagos where the sun rises and sets at the same time each day and which, reportedly, Darwin hated. It was some adventure! Straight out of our comfort zone physically, geographically and very much socially. We were with 36 other travelers on a small ship where you actually have to introduce yourself to people you don’t know, ask if you may join them and endeavor to find a commonality that works for all parties. It’s a lot harder to do at 64 than at 18 on the Old Campus but it’s so worth it. It’s also worth it to go to the place that gave Darwin his “aha!” moment. The wildlife is extraordinary, the snorkeling sublime and the endless hiking a test of endurance. We are already planning our next trip: The Arctic? Easter Island and the South Pacific? China? The bucket list gets longer as the days left get shorter. Being on the back nine is humbling.

Other news! Jim Liebman “still hanging in at Columbia Law School,” where he runs a program that brings together “upper level” business, education, law and policy students from universities around the US to spend an intensive semester studying and practicing public education reform. Well done, Jim. And congrats on your daughter’s impending graduation from Yale and the “college f/k/a Calhoun.”

From Carolyn Grillo: “Andrew and Vicki are moving to London in August where she will start a fabulous graduate program … that only accepts 12 people a year worldwide. They will need new friends, a place to live and will welcome suggestions of work Andrew might seek out.” Carolyn is on Facebook so any suggestions can be made by friending her there.

From Paula Ravin: “We’re still bi-coastal and more! Bouncing around from LA to Henderson NV and Boston. Ariel is hoping to buy a home in Tahoe , Shayna is expecting to start a Master’s in Teaching at UC Irvine this summer (ed note: is it still politically correct to obtain a Master’s degree?) and Katrina is expanding a home based business while running after her two kids. Kurt and I spend our time together enjoying the gym, hiking, classic car clubs and sleeping in.”

Tomorrow is Saturday and I would love to sleep in but I have this crazy sheepadoodle who prefers a walk by her adoptive father to a run in the yard. If I make it to 6 AM, it will be a victory.

Keep on keeping on.

Class Notes January 2017

Greetings from a very cold New York City which sits under a gray cloud after the very disappointing performance of the local favorite in the NFC Wild Card playoff. At least your writer is under a gray cloud. More likely that most New Yorkers don’t care.

I am grateful to actually have some news of classmates for this issue and hopefully I will get both the facts and the tone correct!

Jim Brennan, who entered with our class but graduated in January 1975, wrote to let us know that he has finished an astounding, both in time and quality, 32 years as a member of the New York State Assembly from Brooklyn, representing Park Slope and Flatbush. During those 32 years, Jim put 96 “Brennan laws” on the books, chaired four standing committees, and won three national awards, assumedly for the quality of his work. Jim married Joan Bartolomeo in 2013 with classmates Sims Komisar, Tom Strumolo and Lisbet Nelson in attendance. Like Jim, I think Lisbet started with us and may have drifted into ’75 but I hesitate to assert the same due to prior experience. Jim is now evaluating other options in state government and promises to keep us posted. He has lived in Brooklyn since 1978 and welcomes contact at brennanbrooklyn@aol.com.

David Stone writes from Charlottesville that he and his wife Debbie attended the Yale/UVa men’s basketball game on November 20th along with fellow Davenport classmate, Henry Wiencek and his wife Donna Lucey. They were able to sit in the team’s family section thanks to AD Tom Beckett who David views as doing an outstanding job but had to watch Yale lose to a “very good ACC team on their noisy and partisan home court.” David notes that the Yale team is quite young and was playing without star Makai Mason but that they put up a good fight. David and Debbie are also planning to put up a few members of the Yale Glee Club when it comes to Charlottesville tossing on January 14th. That the glee club may be playing without their star baritone was not asserted by David and is a pure fabrication by yours truly.

Had lunch with Bob Martin recently. Although he was in Silliman, Bob used to spend a decent amount of time in Saybrook and ended up living in Summit, NJ, the town immediately next to Short Hills where I have lived for the last 38 years. In fact it was Bob who helped me escape the practice law for investment banking back in 1985. Bob and his wife Cindy now leave in the Mystic CT area and we have found a common interest in the trips we take. He has inspired us to travel to The Galapagos for which Jessica and I leave next week, and it appears we have inspired him and Cindy to make the Antarctic trip we so enjoyed a year ago. BTW: I believe Barbara Guss is on her way to Antarctica as I write or will be soon. She announced the same at our NYC monthly Yale ’74 lunch at which she has become a regular as have many others including Anne Riney, John Sullivan, Pedro Castillo, Susan Lightfoot Doud, Andy Wittenstein, Al Noor, Shari Aziz, Stu Rohrer, Harvey Kent, Joan Katter, John O’Donnell, Michael Gotts, Paul Zelinsky, Joan Faier, Geoff Menin and Fred Peters. We are averaging about sixteen or seventeen a lunch and have been as high as 25. There also almost always happens to be a surprise guest. These have included Chip Spear, Brian Kelly, Barbara Borst and Chris Coffin, and last week our surprise guest was none other than Gary Lucas, whose album “Fleischerei” was recognized as one of the “best albums of 2016″ by DownBeat Magazine.

As I mentioned above, your scribe and his intrepid wife depart soon for The Galapagos. This kind of trip has become our annual present to ourselves as we knock another item off our bucket list We feel particularly deserving of a getaway just now as our youngest daughter, Genevieve (Yale ’11), was married on December 17th to James Fraser, who happened to be the best man at her eldest sister’s wedding nine years ago. Then they passed like ships in the night but 2015 brought a new meeting and a different story culminating in a lovely winter wedding in Gramercy Park. The class of 1974 was represented by Brian Kelly and Fred Peters who have the unique distinction of attending five Haverstick weddings, the first of which (mine) they were both in. With Christmas a week later, the parents of the bride have yet to recover and the flora and fauna of those unique islands beckon irresistibly.

So, until next time, be careful out there.

Class Notes September 2016


I am writing these notes on September 9, 2016 and it is with a heavy heart that I must open them with a report on the loss of another classmate.

Scott Glascock, active member of the class of 1974, current president of the Yale Club of New York City, attorney, actor and good friend, lost a four month fight with esophageal cancer on August 27th. It was, in a sense, a noiseless fight because Scott kept it largely to himself. I knew he wasn’t well when he demurred from our monthly class lunches in May and June (he was a regular participant), so I called him to see what was wrong. He said he had had “a few issues with cancer” but was sure he would see me in the fall. He mentioned “cancer” so lightly and ended the call with such grace that I assumed it was not particularly worrisome to him, put down the phone and went back to my daily life. I didn’t see him around the Yale Club much, however (and I’m there a lot), where he could be usually be found after five in the second floor lounge or taking the occasional nap in the men’s locker room (his snoring was prodigious), but I really didn’t give it much thought. The next thing I knew, he was gone.

I liked Scott a lot. Our lives were strangely intertwined. He came to Yale from Short Hills, NJ, where I have resided for 38 years; and from The Pingry School, which gave us about eight classmates, where each of my children went and where I had been on the board and, as I did, he left Simpson Thacher and Bartlett for a career in financial services. In Short Hills, I met Scott’s parents who were kind enough to write supporting letters for my family when we joined the local club. Transplanted Virginians, their graciousness was clearly transferred to Scott. As I got to know Scott better, I realized there was a lot of Virginia in the man.

Obituaries will list the schools Scott attended, the firms for which he worked and the boards on which he sat, but Scott, at his core, was not about any of those things. What he was about was acting. It was his true vocation. Sarah Ann Rodgers, who informed me of Scott’s death and who met him through acting, has told me of a Scott I would never have known existed and whom I’m sorry I never met. Facebook has been replete with posts of those who acted with Scott and many of the pictures posted are literally hysterical. I laughed just looking at them totally out of context. Scott Glascock: hysterically funny actor, caring soul and friend. See you on the other side.

I don’t want this to turn into a monthly obituary section, and I’d like to print more news if I’d received some. As I haven’t, I’ll close with part of an email received from David Stone, who was kind enough to let me know that Sherrod Brown was in Davenport and also had a nice approach to the flow of information or lack thereof:

“I think our class doesn’t supply much news because sending the good news is bragging, sending the bad news is depressing (I admittedly did help populate the sadly increasing in memoriam list), and the in-between sort of news, e.g. normal, everyday life or the equivalent of cute cat videos, is likely to be boring. That said, I think it is important to have this kind of updated and accessible news forum for our class, especially for those of us who do not do social media i.e. FB, like myself. So, please do keep it up, but just don’t make it up! If we send nothing, we get to read and learn nothing.”

One more piece of correspondence deserves mention which came this morning from Peter Pelikan:

“Inspired by your open inclusion of a number of complaints regarding our Class Notes in the Sep/Oct 2016 issue of the Yale Alumni mag, may I also point out: You state you will honor two classmates who have passed on, and then discuss three classmates and a classmate’s wife. Doesn’t add up.

More importantly, Dr. Martha Roper cared about all people and dedicated her career to bettering the world’s health. I knew her quite well, and can assure you, however, that she never worked to improve the health of the rich and famous playing polo. Polio, another story.

Marty’s Yale friends all miss her incisive intelligence, wit and passion deeply. She was a force in all of our lives.”

Thank you, Peter, and thank you to those classmates who joined our lunch at the YCNY on September 6th. You know who you are.

Martha Roper (1952 – 2016)

Martha Roper

Martha Roper (ES) succumbed to lung cancer on June 28th surrounded by family and friends. Marty was a world recognized epidemiologist and worked up to her death in international epidemiology taking on a range of health threats ranging from malaria to polio, diphtheria to leishmaniosis (a parasitic disease of the tropics) and neo-natal tetanus to Ebola. She was a world authority with the CDC on maternal and neo-natal tetanus and was known for her extraordinary dedication to precision in reporting findings, refusal to take shortcuts and outstanding integrity. Marty is survived by her brother, his wife and two nieces whom she “showed how to be a strong woman in a male dominated world.” I suspect she learned some of that at Yale.
Obituary

Dan Schay (1952 – 2016)

Dan Schay

Dan Schay (DC) left this world on April 7th in Phoenix, Arizona. It is almost impossible to catalogue all things Dan had done and all the places he worked, but they can all be unified under one theme: his passion for the theatre. Dan held many positions (actor, director, producer, fundraiser or senior manager) at and with theatres and repertory groups throughout the country. Nationally recognized for his work, he served as a site visitor for the National Endowments for the Arts for many years and, in 2015, was named a Piper Fellow by the Virginia Piper Charitable Trust, which honors the highest level of charitable organization leadership in Maricopa County (http://pipertrust.org/nonprofit-support/piper-fellows-recipients/piper-fellow-recipients-2015/) . Dan is survived by his wife, Barbra, son, Adam, and a large extended family. We will miss this larger than life member of our class.
Appreciation in Phoenix New Times
Obituary in The Arizona Republic