Class Notes: 45th Reunion, May 2019

The 45th reunion of the class of 1974 was so replete with laughter, information and thoughtful conversation on how Yale impacted our pasts, our present and our future that I cannot possibly do it justice in a column that is necessarily shortened due to YAM publishing strictures and deadlines. More to come in the next issue.

Although I couldn’t get to New Haven until Friday, a good crowd was present on Thursday evening for the first toasts of a libation-filled weekend, and though the ground was soaked by a series of storms that roiled through the campus, I was told that spirits remained high if not dry despite the deluge. BTW, all adult beverages were plentifully and generously provided by Nino Magliocco, and, as ever, we are grateful.

Friday morning, luckily, dawned sunny and, by midday, warm, as the TD courtyard began to fill up with classmates and old friends and a lot of people trying to recognize each other without overtly looking at the nametags we all wore. It seems a lot of people attended the morning’s Yale sponsored lectures before attending a lunch in TD that was both delicious and loud.

Friday afternoon was devoted either to individual pursuits or to attending class discussions which were conceived as meetings where a moderator posed a series of questions and hoped for thoughtful responses from an engaged audience.

Fred Peters did a superb job of framing and moderating the first discussion who’s boiled down question was: “What expectations did you have entering Yale and what were the results?” A lively and authentic discussion ensued. Fred was followed by Margaret Homans who gracefully moderated a discussion on how Yale had influenced our immediate paths after graduation and what those were. Conversation from one session flowed into the other, and I want to thank all who shared.

Friday night brought the first big party which flowed from a wine tasting on the Cross Campus to whatever was flowing in TD, and it was a lot. After another noisy dinner where laughter seemed to run amok. Geoff Menin, Jonathan Rose and Gary Lucas (who never caught a TD pass from Kevin Rogan) led a newly formed band titled “The Rejuvenators” in a lengthy music and dance session prominently featuring the overbite which so many in our class had down to perfection as undergrads and clearly have been practicing ever since. I crashed about half way through because I had to see the Yankees beat the Red Sox. Baseball has been very good to me.

Saturday dawned sunny and warm and full of morning lectures on too many topics. I attended the session on the history of coeducation and am now convinced Yale needs to put together an oral history on the subject. Most, if not all, of the women  in our class attended the much requested women’s lunch, put together by Linden Wise and Susan Klebanoff .

The next events were the second series of conversations focused on the present and the future. Marion Suter did a great job of guiding a discussion of whether the expectations had been fulfilled or whether we were still on the search. Special mention goes to Candida Piel for her perfect construct of being caught in life’s river.  

The final session was moderated by yours truly and no tomatoes were thrown.

Saturday night’s events included awards, announcements and a poignant moment where we realized how many members of the class were no longer living and, of those, the disproportionate number who had died of AIDS.  I will leave that for your private consideration.

Following dinner, an excellent DJ had the overbite section back on the dance floor and the strains of Brown Eyed Woman were still reverberating in my brain as I left the courtyard in search of sleep. I departed, as many did, early Sunday morning.

 Thanks to each and all of you who kept thanking me for doing a “thankless” job. I have to tell you all that I loved doing it. The Class of 1974 is a family, and to the extent I’ve had a hand in forging that family, I am the one who should say “Thank you!”