Dear Classmates and Friends:
You are now reading what we call the “kick-off letter” for the Class of 1974’s 40th reunion which will take place from May 29th. Three things should immediately strike you:
1) I am writing this letter on the 150th anniversary of the “Gettysburg Address.” I will exceed Lincoln’s eloquent brevity in length not style
2) The letter is from a guy named Alec Haverstick, whom you may or may not remember, rather than from Shari Aziz, Wes Bray or any one of a plethora of class members of much higher profile than either I can claim or to which I aspire, and
3) It is also from a class member who has never attended a Yale reunion, has not attended a Yale football game since 1974 and has been back to New Haven fewer times in the last 40 years than he has fingers on his hands.
So how did this happen? I’ve asked myself the same question and tried to attribute to forces worthy of my education. Cosmic irony is alive and well at Yale! Cognitive dissonance has conquered entropy! Pigs can fly! The truth is less lofty: I was drafted.
But, as distinct from that moment in July 1971 when I was awarded #46 in the Selective Service lottery, this is indeed a happy moment for me: a chance to reconnect with a fondly remembered home, to reacquaint myself with people who I knew at a time when I lived the life of the mind, and, potentially, to realize that perhaps a life spent beating against the current ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. To paraphrase Faulkner, the past’s not dead. It’s not even past.
Seriously, I am truly honored to be your reunion chair. And it is my fond hope that not
only will I see all those of you who have so loyally returned to Yale during the years I
have not at the coming reunion but also those, who perhaps not too dissimilarly from me,
have not yet found that it’s not just okay to return. It might just be really fun.
So what’s been going on so far? Well, thanks to a great committee, actually, quite a lot!!
The theme of our weekend will be “Yale and the Class of 1974: Then and Now” and we will be treated to a variety of expositions on not simply how far we have journeyed in 40 years but also how far Yale has. Beginning Thursday afternoon, we will hear from classmates who work at Yale on the changes they have seen; we will be treated to a band famed in New Haven when we were students and you all will be offered the chance to come as you were which means you will actually get to see Fred Peters in his purple fringed vest; Kevin Rogan in his actual 35-0 victory uniform; Olivia Wilde’s mother and Page Nelson again asking the seminal question he did at the first campus screening of “Yellow Submarine”.
Or maybe you won’t! You can be sure, however, that William Westmoreland will not speak; no one will attempt to free Bobby Seale; you will not get a tour of Skull & Bones, and Phil and Lorna Sarrell will not lecture on safe sex.
Instead we will be one of the few classes allowed a private tour of the YUAG hosted by the great Jock Reynolds on Saturday afternoon, and certain of you will have the opportunity of impressing your spouse, partner or significant other with how nice you look all dressed up on Saturday night while holding a Red Stripe to help you dance.
And if Gary Lucas makes it, well, we’ll all be Touched by Grace.
So my foggily remembered friends: whether it’s been five years or 40; whether your kid got in or didn’t, whether you’re so burnt out you couldn’t spell YALE when spotted the Y-A-L, or whether, like me, you can’t believe anyone actually wants to see you again, write it down, make your arrangements and come on back.
We’ll keep the lights on for you!
All the best,