Class Notes August 2016

[Filed August 5, 2016. If you haven’t joined our Facebook group yet please email to get your invitation]

Classmates: I begin this column with a composite of the 27 letters and emails I received with regard to my mistakenly identifying Sherrod Brown as a resident of Saybrook College and as “Sherry.” I hope you find it an effective form of apology.

Dear Alec:

For a supposedly intelligent class secretary and one known for his recall of obscure information, you have proven yourself both dumb and forgetful. For all I know, you may also be an undeclared member of that vast right wing conspiracy which seeks to undermine all that is honorable in this country.

Just to educate you, if, in fact, that is possible, Sherrod (never “Sherry”) was in Davenport where he included your predecessor, Wes Bray, among his very close friends. Were you not so obviously solipsistic and had actually read any of Wes’s columns before you started writing your own, you would have seen many mentions of Sherrod there and would have known more about him. Moreover, had you not spent so many hours staring lovingly out of your room in Saybrook at the lime green, yellow and pink Shaggy Dog sweaters featured in the windows of J. Press, you might have actually gotten out of your provincial, preppy fog and met some people who didn’t come from New York.

Sherrod has, in fact, been an extraordinary public servant for most of his career, having been elected to Ohio’s House of Representatives only a few months after our graduation, serving as Ohio’s Secretary of State and then moving to the national stage as, first, a Congressman and now a highly respected Senator who was on the short list for the VP nomination until Hillary sold out to the right wing of her party and chose that guy from Virginia.

You owe Sherrod an apology, and if I don’t see it in the next column, I will never again think of myself as your classmate. That is, of course, unless Yale finally beats Harvard in football, in which case we can pretend this never happened.

I would send you some news of myself, my family and my actual Yale friends, but I’m sure you would get it wrong, so I won’t.


A fictional Yale Classmate

Sorry folks, I blew it. Senator Brown, from whom I did not hear, you have my apologies. The point of the story was more that I was called by a reporter for whom I had no information and nothing to say. When I posted her request on our Yale FB page, only one person responded with a willingness to speak to the reporter (Sara Pillsbury) and passed that willingness along. I will say, however, that no slight was intended and to the extent it was inferred, I can only repeat my mea culpa.

The fact remains, however, that in the twenty-seven corrections I received, only one contained a glimmer of information about the writer. There was no grist for a column, so as usual, I am struggling to create news where there is little or none. Several people, not among the correctors, did send information about themselves for which I am extremely grateful. I have also managed to pick up some information from FB (not our page) that I will include as well.

Before I do that, however, it is time to honor two members of our class whom I actually did know and who are now lost to us, at least physically:

Scott Stone passed away on February 19, 2016 only four days before what would have been his 64th birthday. He had come to Yale from Louisville, Kentucky and not only graduated from Yale College but from Yale Law School as well. After 35 years with Patton Boggs, a major Washington based law firm, he left the practice of law to teach physics at local Virginia high schools and to tutor a variety of Fairfax County students in science and math. Scott was very involved in a variety of civic activities, but his notice in the Washington Post emphasizes his involvement in more spiritual affairs as a dedicated and active member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Falls Church, where he served as church council president, taught Sunday school and sang in the choir. Scott leaves behind his wife, Tykie Tobin, and two daughters, Elizabeth and Katherine. To them and to Scott’s extended family, we send our deepest sympathy for a man whom I remember as soft spoken, gentle and very kind.

Dan Schay 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 ( . 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.

Martha Roper 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 if 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.

I learned through FB that Rich Edwards lost his wife, Ellen Hunter, to a brain tumor on July 21st. As Rich himself posted, “Everyone who met Ellen immediately appreciated her intelligence, kindness, poise and beauty. But in a struggle she knew from the start she could not win she also showed herself to be a person of indomitable courage. She was always going to be destroyed, she was never going to be defeated.
I am devastated that it is over. But when I remember the countless, joyful moments we celebrated together I am so grateful that it happened.” Beautifully and gracefully stated, Rich. We all support you in your deep loss.

Now a little news: Susan Klebanoff, who was definitely in Davenport, writes that she is the proud co-editor of a just published two volume set on the intergenerational transmission of trauma. The titles (e.g. Ghosts in the Consulting Room: Echoes of Trauma in Psychoanalysis) promise a fascinating read but not, as Sue notes, necessarily one for the beach. Don’t worry, Sue, this won’t reach anybody until October. Steve Bauer, who lived across the hall from me in Wright, and his wife Beki have moved from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles. The initial idea was to be closer to their two daughters, an agent and an aspiring actress, but Steve has also managed to secure a visiting professorship in marketing at Pepperdine. Well done, semi roomie! Saw Chip Spear sporting a shirt of many colors at the NYC Yale Club and he looks younger than he did in school. He also seems incredibly happy, which seems about the best thing for which we all can hope. Again, Sherrod, I apologize; to those whose notes I cannot find, ditto; and, yes, I, too, am happy.


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