Paul Zelinsky keeps getting honored for his illustrious illustrations of children’s books (I want a Moose T-shirt!) and was recently named co-chair of PEN American Center’s Children and Young Adult Book Committee. In the photo here he’s being presented with another award, the Southern Miss Medallion at the 2015 Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival, by Dr. Aubrey Lucas, president emeritus of the University of Southern Mississippi.
[first posted on our Class Facebook page 5/5/15]
Sumer is icumen in; lhude sing cucca.
It’s eighty degrees in NYC and I’m already too hot. So I think I’ll just sit in air conditioned office splendor and write some class notes.
First, my apologies to Ben Works. Ben wrote some time ago to say the following:
I am pleased to report that…I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Jon C White under unusual circumstances. As a Yale veteran of Vietnam and member of the Class of 1974, I am under care by the VA system and was diagnosed with a large and complex abdominal aortal aneurysm in December. My surgery was assigned to the VA Medical Center in DC which has the regional expertise, as my normal health needs are met by the hospital in Martinsburg, WV.
Dressed in my best Ivy League country gentleman’s finery (brown tweed herringbone coat and regimental necktie), the surgical team determined I must be Ivy League and perhaps a professor. I confirmed my membership in Y’74 and the surgeon chimed up, “well, our chief of surgery, Dr. Jon White may be a classmate.”
He was and came to see me the following morning and we had a good visit. I did not know him in school, alas. He is a patriot serving our veterans of all wars. I have written him since in a cordial exchange and sang his praises to my chapter of the Vietnam Veterans Association. He is further proof of my oft told saying “I’ve been in all the wrong places at all the right moments.”
I was released on Thursday and home by 2:30. Stent inserts for abdominal aneurysms are not to be feared.
I am mostly retired in Culpeper, VA in the shadow of the Blue Ridge. I am in frequent contact with Bill Sharp and McKim Symington of our class. I will have lunch with McKim tomorrow. He is also a grizzled Vietnam veteran and now retired.
I remember Ben quite well as part of a small cadre of Vietnam Vets that included McKim Symington, Tom Ireland, and Frank Cole (’75). By cadre, I do not mean that they hung out but that each of them had experienced something most of us never would. I always wondered how they looked at the rest of us, and I found something of an answer to that in a letter written by McKim to the YAM in 2011. In responding to an article about permitted speech at Yale, he wrote in pertinent part:
I have always been amazed at the artful and disingenuous way in which Woodbridge Hall has danced around the knotty problem of free speech. Thanks to your article, I now understand this is an evergreen issue, dating back to at least 1722. Talk about a story having legs! Of course, the orthodoxy cultivated and encouraged at Yale in my time was that of the left…It was an impolite and coarse time…
Yale’s failure was never truer than in the shameful treatment of General William Westmoreland when he was invited to speak at Yale by the Political Union in 1972. I am surprised you didn’t mention this sad episode in your piece. This dignified man was not allowed to speak, effectively silenced by an unruly and intolerant body of Yale students to whom liberal conformity trumped free speech… Westmoreland was invested with more than his own pride and dignity, but also with that of those who served under him in an unpopular war. Whatever his personal shortcomings might have been, he deserved to be heard and Yale deserved the chance to listen. Sadly, neither got the chance.
I remember the Westmorland incident very well and, as one who was terrified of becoming part of the U.S. body count, I was against the Vietnam War, but I did not agree with the prevailing sentiment that Westmoreland should not be heard. Nor did I appreciate the position of our classmates who were veterans. My empathy was reserved for myself. To all vets in our class, please accept my personal apology for my lack thereof.
On a happier note, Jessica and I were privileged to share Fred and Alexandra Peters’ joy at the April 25th marriage of their daughter, Clelia, to Hugh Malone. The bride, Yale 2000, and the groom, sadly a Harvard grad, made a beautiful couple and appeared totally in love. At the festivities which spread from Red Hook in Brooklyn to the Upper East Side, I saw Linden and Scott Wise and Leslie Cockburn each of whom seemed to be having a wonderful time. The Wise’s were kind enough to give us a ride from Red Hook back into Manhattan, and I can only say that Scott makes Jordan Baker appear a good driver. Note the literary allusion! Congratulations to all the Peters family!
Other news: Peter Marshall announced that his first grandchild arrived in March; Robert Petrie (not the one played by Dick Van Dyke) retired from the Federal Civil Service after 35 years and received the Defense Logistics Agency’s Distinguished Career Services award. Well done, Mr. Petrie, carry on!
Angus Thuermer writes, “After 35 years I have left the print media business but still live in and report from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. You can follow my long-form reporting and photography on natural resources and environmental issues in Wyoming at my new job at the online non-profit news WyoFile:
@Wyofile@AngusThuermer or Wyofile.com. Not sure I got that right but that’s what Google is for. I remember Angus as a tough club soccer player on a good Calhoun team that also included Ned Deming.
And what’s with this 35 years stuff? I’ve been working for 38 with no end in sight!
A quick note on FB from Shary Aziz tells us he ran into Deke Welles shooting in Argentina. I still don’t know who or what they were shooting at (slow gauchos?) but it’s good to know that people in the U.S. still live like aristocratic Brits….I think…
In New York City we continue our first Tuesday of the month lunches with both stalwarts and newcomers. Norm Selby graced us with his presence for the first time and Norm, Fred Peters and I found ourselves sitting at the end of the table just as we had back at grammar school. We figured we’d each know the other for more than 55 years. Really scary stuff!!
Our almost maudlin memories were well interrupted by the erudite Susan Lightfoot Doud who can still use “conflated” in a sentence and by Anne Riney’s latest revelations from her past. If you want to hear them, you gotta show up. Paul Zelinsky constantly elevates the conversation with quotes from his children’s books. Who knew that the wheels on the bus go round and round? Thanks for that Paul and the other end of the table seems to have so much fun without us that only Stu Rohrer can tell us who’s there and he’s keeping mum.
One revelation of my own: the suave mustachioed international private equity mogul who sits mid-table is none other than John O’Donnell whom I finally placed as the blue jeaned (including work shirt and Levi jacket) biker hippie I used to joke with in the CCL. John, if you don’t let me finish my introductory paragraph, I won’t make it to the gym!
At our last lunch, I reconnected with Leroy Watkins successful labor lawyer and almost neighbor as he lives in Montclair. It’s the same county, Leroy, don’t squabble. Leroy has some great stories around his fellow Eli hoopsters. So Mike Baskauskas, Gary Rinck, Mike Oristaglio and Jere Shafir: your ears should have been burning. In case nobody remembers, Buzzy Baskauskas turned down a full ride to play football at Ohio State to join us in Saybrook and he and Jere Shafir each shot an astounding 45% from the floor as seniors. That they only took six shots between them is no longer relevant. Truth be told, they actually took a total of 332 shots, so there. Where do I get this stuff? Well, I roomed with Yale Daily Sports Editor Rich Feinstein who remembers such facts off the top of his head (not).
Finally on a personal note, Jessica and I will celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary next week (yes, the woman is a saint!) and we’re expecting grandchildren numbers six and seven before winter sets in. Since we will have then reached the number worn by my favorite Yankee ever, I’ve told my kids they can stop. But their favorite Yankee is Paul O’Neill and his number was 21. Yikes!
[first posted on our Class Facebook page March 31, 2015]
With the winter hanging on and hibernation or escape seeming to be the primary goal of most of us, news has not been particularly forthcoming in recent weeks. Nonetheless, by virtue of pure happenstance, I actually have some to report.
First, Joe Orfant writes from Boston: “Is it newsworthy that when meeting friends for dinner in SF that I should bump into Ken Berman four seats down at the bar? He was in SF for business and apparently The Slanted Door is everyone’s favorite SF restaurant. We see each other irregularly here in Boston in fact, when I saw the notice about New Yorkers attempting to arrange monthly lunches, I thought, “Once more we’re ahead of the curve here in Beantown,” because a few of us, Mike Clayman, Ken Berman, Seth Hetherington and myself meet a couple of times a year for lunch. Jonathan “Dutch” Treat ’75 joined us most recently and we have hope that he’ll become a regular. Steve Updegrove has been known to drive up from New Haven to join us (okay, just once…) We’d love to have others join us because we’re running out of jokes and stories but then with age, we’re also forgetting what we previously heard. As I said, we meet two to three times a year (we’re not as needy as New Yorkers) and all are welcome.
Thank you, Joe. We needy New Yorkers have been having increasing success and fun at our lunches which are scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month. In more cosmopolitan areas, Joe, we enjoy meeting more often. In the last few months, we have a core group of attendees ( Joan Faier, Scott Glasscock, John O’Donnell, Fred Peters, Barbara (“Babs”) Guss, Pedro Castillo, Paul Zelinsky, Anne Riney, Susan Lightfoot Doud, John Sullivan, Geoff Menin, Chet Cobb, Stu Rohrer, Shary (“No show”) Aziz, Barb Borst, Will Draper, Naomi Lewin and Brian Kelly to name a few; if your name is not mentioned it’s because my record keeping stinks and I’m working from aging memory) but also look to expand as there are still many New Yorkers from our class who have yet to appear. Don’t be shy; group activities are not in my comfort zone either. We also don’t want Boston to get too cocky just because their sports teams have been recent top performers while ours have languished in non-playoff hell. If Joe Orfant gets any cockier, he’ll be joining Tom Brady cliff diving in Costa Rica.
The news from all these fine people comes in snippets of conversation I attempt to overhear while calming down the overburdened wait staff at the Yale Club which is trying to figure out who ordered the veal cutlet but I have managed to glean some tidbits nonetheless. To wit: Geoff Menin can wear his hair long because he’s a successful entertainment lawyer in New York; John Sullivan can’t. First, he doesn’t have any and second, he works at a fancy white shoe firm. John and I are the “suits” at the table. Babs Guss is definitely not. Joan Faier is writing fiction in the Yale Club Library and so need only walk down two flights to join us; Fred Peters, grandfather par excellence, continues to write one of the most important real estate blogs in NYC while planning how to pay for his daughter’s April wedding in this inexpensive city; Norm Selby and Harvey Kent keep threatening to show up and don’t thus making Shary Aziz look good; Chet Cobb and I run into each other regularly at the YC gym where we attempt to recapture the less than stellar bodies of our youth; Barb Borst teaches at NYU; Caldecott winning Paul Zelinsky keeps getting honored for his illustrious illustrations of children’s books (I want a Moose T-shirt!) and was recently named co-chair of PEN American Center’s Children and Young Adult Book Committee; Naomi Lewin hosts the afternoon classical music program on WQXR and Brian Kelly, well into his latest reinvention of self at Yale Divinity School where he is interning in the Yale Chaplain’s office. Will Brian become the next Bill Coffin? Don’t tell Jeb Stuart Magruder!
With so many working so hard, I’m hard pressed to find people thinking of retirement; I know I’m not; former Lehman partners who held the stock top the bitter end will be dropping dead at our desks but not yet! News of two who have retired, however, arrived yesterday in the form of notices from the Yale Alumni Records Department:
Everett Rutan has left Moody’s after 18 years to spend more time working with high school debaters through the Connecticut Debate Association. He also teaches at the Dartmouth Summer Debate Workshop and advises the Yale Debate Association around their high school tournament. He and wife, Carol, will celebrate 40 years of marriage this September which is proof that a life of cross questioning only leads to good things.
Dr. Paula Ravin, who doesn’t write like a doctor, is “excited” to report that she is retiring from UMass Medical School after 27 years to join her daughters and grandchildren in Southern California (I guess the last two winters won!). She and husband, Kurt, will be “bi-coastal” for a few years as they have much to “tidy up” in Massachusetts, but Paula is already committed to being a visiting professor in neurology at UCLA and to learning how to paddleboard and enjoy the great outdoors. For someone who thinks the “great outdoors” is the local Little League field, this is a truly frightening thought! Nonetheless, Kurt and Paula, we wish you well and don’t blame you for escaping Joe Orfant’s lunches!
As for me, Jessica and I just returned from two weeks on St. John (USVI) where we were visited by our four children, respective spouses and our five grandchildren ranging from 18 months to 4 years. I have never been so exhausted but also rarely so fulfilled. We also note that number six, due in August, will be the fourth boy and is already called “Baby Jack” in our company. Fortunately for him, his last name will be Wachter rather than Haverstick because “Jack Haverstick” is fraught with peril. On our return, we ran into Priscilla Whiteman in the St. Thomas airport (she spotted Jessica guarding my Yale ’74 bag) and thought I got a glimpse of Tom Strumolo from afar but couldn’t find him when I finished the double take. Tom, if you were in the STT airport on March 28th, sorry I missed you.
This has been a generally “up” report, but, once again, I must leave you with the sad news of the loss of another member of our class. Steven Lee Hansen left this world on Friday, July 18th in Marietta, GA. He was 63 years old. Steve is survived by a large extended family and daughters Holly and Kate. His obituary notes that he loved learning about and celebrating his Scandinavian heritage. Steve, may the Valkyries that bore you to Valhalla, be ever reminded you that your shield was made of light and truth.
One final word: Thank you Dr. Robert Rosenthal. Your kind words meant a great deal.
One of the least happy tasks of my role is to report on deaths within our class. You will all see in the next YAM that we lost Burr Tweedy to lung cancer this fall. Now comes news from Jomo Kwame Sundaram that Luigi Attardi chose to no longer live with terminal and very painful spinal cancer and chose to end his life “with Dignitas” some weeks ago. Jomo’s elegant words about Luigi will be included in the next YAM. Ave atque vale.
Bitter cold and generally lousy weather has invaded the Northeast as I write this column so please excuse any brain farts that emerge from my incipient brain freeze (Ooops! Was that just one?). Anyway, since winter supposedly presages the rebirths of spring, I wanted to share news of two resuscitated projects that seem to have gained some traction in recent weeks.
The first achievement by and for the Class of 1974 as we enter 2015 is that we have finally got our Facebook page up and running! While in no sense can we fully escape an association with the Luddites, our failures in early adoption to this technology should be viewed less as opposition to the new media but rather attributed to our several yearlong inability to get it right. Nonetheless, 35 classmates have signed on since early December and we hope more of you will join us. Here’s how:
1) Join Facebook
2) Send me a friend request
3) Once I have received it, I will both accept it and invite you to join our “secret”
(i.e. by invitation only) site.
From then on you will have access to the posts by any member, and you can post whatever thoughts you may have, including those really cute ones I received around the reunions from those of you who fiercely pledged never to think again about Yale. Here’s your chance to vent. Remember “sharing is caring”. Oh God, there I go again. Wake up brain!
Second only to our FB “triumph” is the reintroduction of monthly lunches at the Yale Club in NYC. While the Supreme Court is renowned for reconvening the first Monday in October, the Yale Class of 1974 now reconvenes the first Tuesday of every month. We held our first such gathering in December and our second just this week ( if you were on FB, you’d already know this!). The first was attended by six souls other than your scribe (Paul Zelinsky, Barb Guss, Pedro Castillo (El Liberator Cubano), Stu Rohrer, Susan Lightfoot, and Scott Glasscock (El Presidente Yale Club Nuevo York!) but we doubled our attendance on the second try. Present were Paul Zelinsky (that’s twice Paul!), Brian Kelly, Geoffrey Menin, Anne Riney, Joan Sari Faier, John Sullivan, Shari Aziz, Will Draper, Scott Glasscock, Chet Cobb, the newly single Barbara Guss (look out New York!) and yours truly.
Fred Peters was supposed to join us but he was feeling under the weather so simply stayed on Facebook for the day. Fred is a true FB maven and posts on everything from pies to real estate prices to the joy of having grandchildren. His wife, Alexandra, is equally adept and the running commentary between the two on FB is wondrous to behold. For some reason they constantly “like” each other’s posts and comment on them to a fare thee well. True entertainment from a very loving couple.
At my end of the table the topic was the prior weekend’s “society murder” where a 30 year old Princeton grad allegedly shot his father, also a Princeton grad, after sending his mother out for a sandwich. The latter fact has been established so I don’t have to “allegedly” sent his mother out for a sandwich. It’s actually a horrific story but for those of us whose primary source of news is The New York Post, it’s the fodder of many a good conversation. Or maybe we were all suffering from brain freeze because we were drinking ice tea. The other end of the table looked to be drinking wine so I’m sure their conversation focused on more weighty topics like the meaning of whiteness to Melville and Pascal’s Wager. Or maybe they were just sayin “good grapes” but it seemed that we all had a good time. More importantly, each of us seemed interested in what others had to say, which is why I kept my mouth shut.
Less happy news comes from College Station, Texas where we lost classmate Scott Austin quite unexpectedly. Here is Scott’s obituary. And it makes for interesting reading. Apparently Scott was a well recognized authority in ancient Greek philosophy and, as a Professor at Texas A&M, was revered for his “pedagogy and devotion to students.” What more can be asked of a scholar? To Scott’s family and to the Texas A&M community, we are very sorry for your loss.
I will end this column with some observations that have been inspired by the reunion, notes on FB, the two lunches, various correspondence with classmates since my assuming the role of Class Secretary and the growing awareness of mortality that recent losses have occasioned: We all came to Yale from very different places at a very difficult period in our country’s history. For four years, while being pretty much sheltered from the realities ex-Yale, we were none the less bombarded by them through the media, the faculty and because there was no real hiding. Yet I often look back and think, “With all that was going on in the world, I could still delight in a Yale Hockey victory, in a heroic performance by Kevin Rogan in our last football game as undergrads; in a good conversation, a club soccer game, in the elevated discourse of the classroom and the intellectual substance of my major which changed my view of the world and myself forever. How was that the case?” And the answer is quite simply, because being at Yale
allowed it to happen. And then I think that no matter who we were, what we did or do now, or what has happened, we had four years where we were allowed to try on myriad
versions of who we might be become. That was Yale’s gift to all of us and why I assume the role of Class Secretary and Regional Social Cheerleader, But I also do it because people like Scott Austin, Burr Tweedy, Luigi Attardi and others deserve to be remembered for the lives they led and how they touched ours.
We all went different ways, but for four brief years we had it all. Imagine that.
Yikes: I was away when these were due so I hope I made it in time. Well, hope springs eternal so let’s go. And not much new so work with me!
A quick weather report: it’s finally cool enough in NYC that I no longer have to leave my suit jackets at the office so I don’t die from overheating walking to my car in the evening.
This is a great relief since all my suits look vaguely alike and I have found myself this summer running into my office, grabbing a jacket and heading out to meet with someone
I need to impress only to find upon arrival that I am sorely mismatched. Nobody has yet commented but I know and that’s the problem. It’s almost like appearing with a stain on your tie. For those of you who have forgotten what it’s like to wear a suit daily or never had to because you were too talented to have to become an “executive,” this is probably not striking a particularly meaningful chord. But I felt compelled to share. Such is my life and I expect at least two of you will understand my angst.
But on to others: Brian Kelly has just completed a summer of pastoral internship at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut and returned for his second year at Yale Divinity School. I don’t know how many of you got a chance to speak with Brian about his experiences as a first year divinity student in his seventh decade of life, but, as one who has watched his journey to this point over recent years, it’s been incredible. He will spend this year not only struggling through the academic strain of exegesis but also working in the office of the Yale Chaplain and honing his pastoral skills. For any of you who have forgotten or never considered what a bully and central pulpit the Yale Chaplain holds, just think back to Bill Coffin, with whom I had the pleasure of working to change Yale’s admissions policies with regard to women. If not for Coffin, it wouldn’t have happened, at least not in 1973. He had a direct line to Kingman Brewster’s ear and to the members of the Yale Corporation and he knew how to use it. If I needed something done, I went quietly to Bill and if he was for it, he made it happen. Keep going Brian, we need you up there.
Fred Peters, whose FB page contains hundreds of photos of his first grandson, Owen, is now expecting his first granddaughter (how does one know these things?) who should arrive to son Jack and daughter-in-law Joyce this fall. Owen looks exactly like Fred (but as a child not as he looked at Yale) and we hope for better things for his granddaughter!
Just kidding, old friend, glad you’re catching up and best wishes to you and Alexandra!
From Linden Wise (an authorized class note): “We got our two [children] back to school, Harry a senior at Middlebury and Lucie out to southern California to Scripps; everything is an adventure. I am busy this fall with my Chapin work and a project for the Met Museum, and hoping to get to a more bucolic state (having spent the summer in the city) one of these days.” This was welcome news since correspondence from the Wise Family corner just prior to the Reunion was the tale of the high school graduation party the Wise’s held for Lucie at their home on Long Island. Had I known they were planning such a fete, I would have sent anybody I could have to talk them out of it. Been there; done that; still finding beer cans fifteen years later.
News from, no really of, Scott Glasscock. As I mentioned, Scott is now president of the Yale Club (NYC) and while he has provided no free cocktails to this scribe, he has provided a certain level of entertainment. A few days ago I walked to the Yale Club Men’s Locker Room to be greeted by what sounded like a motor without a muffler. It turned out that the noise eminated from a supine body, head wrapped in towels, stretched between a chaise and an ottoman in the middle of the room. It was all encompassing and it was snoring!! Determined to find out the identity of this disturber of the peace, I crept over and tried to lift the towel off the face with the intent of then smothering the poor fellow. Lo and behold: it was Mr. YC President himself. Roused from his dogmatic slumbers, Scott slowly got up to applause from all present. I’m sorry I got you to sign all those free drink chits while you were comatose, Scott, but a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do.
A few paragraphs ago I referenced Facebook (or FB as we social media connoisseurs call it). Having resisted for years, I joined it several weeks ago as a part of the national craze known as the “Ice Bucket Challenge” for ALS so we could post a video of our (several colleagues and I) doing the cold water dance. But since then I have discovered I may be the only member of the Class of 1974 who didn’t use it and its been delightful to share posts with Sandy Wood, Chris Coffin, Will Draper, John Gulliver, Bob Rubin, Chip Spear, Peter White and more. One of the best moments however has been rekindling a friendship with Richard Kramer. Richard and I, having failed to place out of French, were stuck in the same French 4 class freshman year and nobody wanted to be there less than the two of us. Bonding! But we moved in different directions and I probably hadn’t heard about him in 35 years until I bumped into him on FB. What did I discover? Richard at age 60 published his first novel entitled “These Things Happen”. It gets five stars on Amazon and I am determined to read it once I get through the three novels as yet unread on my Kindle (don’t worry, Rich, I’ve already downloaded it!). Because I’m having so much fun, I’ve ask Stu Rohrer, my birthday sharer, to look into how we can have a really good one for our class. We will keep you posted!
(By the way, you can add a link to your Facebook page from our class website. Log into the site, click MY PROFILE, then EDIT PROFILE. Paste your Facebook address in way down at the bottom of that screen, then save your work.)
That’s all for now. Just learned Scotland’s staying in. William Wallace is turning over in his grave.
Since I am not the incomparable Wes Bray, I cannot begin my submission with greetings from the banks of a balmy river in Connecticut. I’m writing from a hot office building in NYC on a 100 degree day in July. By the time you read this, however, it will be September or October so go figure. Also, thanks to the blast email capabilities of Stu Rohrer, I have been inundated with news. So let’s begin with a series of firsts:
Dr. John Healy missed the reunion as he was “occupied taking care of his first grandchild.” He doesn’t offer the baby’s sex but goers on to say “it’s an amazing experience” not only watching the baby develop but seeing his daughter becoming an “excellent mother”. I can empathize, my friend.
John is still leading Memorial Sloan Kettering where he focuses on curing bone cancer. This combined with his involvement in the spiritual side of medicine makes for a life of service as well as achievement. John recently received the Spe Salve award from the Dominican Health Care Ministry of NY and credits classmates Norm Selby and Marc Kasowitz as well as many others for helping to provide spiritual support and hope to the entire Cornell medical community, including patients and staff. BTW, John, you didn’t have to translate for me so I’m not translating for anyone else. Caveat scribus et lector!
Countering the adage “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” Kristina Pickering breaks her silence for the first time in forty years with a lovely discourse on her early days at Yale as a Nevadan “fresh from Reno High School” and the role of certain Yale teachers (Cleanth Brooks, WK Wimsatt and others) in conveying “when to trust intuition or imagination and when to go with logic.”
Since Kristina sits as a justice on Nevada’s highest court, this would seem to stand her in good stead. This lofty perch is not without its own trials, however. “We hear and decide all manner of cases” from death penalty appeals to one involving the Nevada DMV’s refusal to issue license plates with “Hoe”, short for “Tahoe”, on them. Hmmmm! While the tale is meant to illustrate the clear need for an intermediate court to adjudicate minor issues, my intuition suggests that, in a fit of political correctness, the DMV is trying to create a new protected class for Mustang Ranch employees. Hey, when I’m right; I’m right and logic be damned.
Ken Knodel writes that he is going to attend Billy Raymon’s first marriage in “Hollywood” which Ken will visit for the first time. I hope its California, Ken, and not Florida. None of us is ready for the dog track yet. I wanted to write, “Whatcha talkin’ about, Willis?” in response to Ken’s brief note which some will get and others won’t. But I didn’t. I might have angered the Nevada DMV. Best wishes to Billy, though.
Okay, that’s the last “first”.
Two separate notes from Chris Puello. The first notes that his “wonderful mother, Agnes Cecilia Johnson Puello” passed away in 2012 at the age of 99, that he is retired from the New York Fed; and that his scholarly writings continue to be published in the form of ironically titled books. The second notes his inclusion in the “African American National Biography Encyclopedia” joining his late father, Bob, who was the first person of color to be a unionized cinematographer in the United States.
So much more; so little space: Gary Lucas, our own guitar hero, has three albums out concurrently including solo guitar versions of music from films directed by such luminaries as Fellini and Hitchcock. The album, “Cinefantastique” also includes original film scores by Gary. Two other albums titled “Otherworld” and “Musical Blaze Up” complement the trio. Gary also has a book out on his collaboration with Jeff Buckley which precedes his coming musical direction of “Buckley” about Jeff and his father Tim, folk hero to us all. The prolific Mr. Lucas will also bring his new jazz ensemble to BAM in November while “Gods and Monsters”, Gary’s longtime band, celebrated its 25th anniversary with a reunion show on June 27th before a packed house in NYC. Would love to get more on Gary in but I can’t fit it which proves those who can’t do write class notes instead!
Scott Glasscock writes that he is the new, duly elected president of the Yale Club of NYC (free drinks?); Kevin Rogan has assumed the role of Chief Compliance Officer of the NYRA (that’s a horse of a different color); Eric Luse continues to live in Chevy Chase, to practice law and to send his kids to Princeton. Wait, did he say Princeton? He also has been battling a “nasty case” of prostate cancer for four years with help from the good surgeons at MSKCC (see John Healy, supra). Eric, we’re all with you and all share in your hope for a cure. Eric also really needs a successor as class agent so any volunteers would be much appreciated. I mean, it’s been 20 years!
There’s more if only I can find it. Don Humpal couldn’t make the 40th wife, Leah, were “between assignments” in Timor Leste and Senegal. Instead they celebrated their 40th anniversary of their first Peace Corps assignment at the Dakar airport. To paraphrase the old ad: “the hotel wasn’t so hot but the pay was great, 11 cents an hour.” Actually, I figure that was about my hourly wage as a first year associate in a law firm. We’ll see you at number 45, Don.
Both David Nikkel and Jeff Johnson did make the reunion but were kind enough to send news anyway. David and his wife, Lorena, continue to reside in North Carolina where he remains chair of Philosophy and Religion at UNC-Pembroke and Lorena works in early childhood education. They have successfully raised two daughters who are either well launched or about to be so. Jeff left the reunion after wandering all over the place with Sandy Morse, stopped briefly in San Francisco then continued on to Bangkok to conduct software design training. Despite the political upheaval in Thailand, Jeff said the only disturbing sight has been the nine foot monitor lizards wandering freely in the park. Though the lizards are billed as harmless, Jeff is still looking for his dog.
Finally, Ann Larson sent me a note which I seem to have misplaced. But I do remember getting it. Perhaps, I will find it before my next due date which is September 10th, the birthday of Arnold Palmer, Roger Maris, Greta Garbo and your scribe. Until then, well, until then…