Class Notes: January/February 2019

Class Notes: January/February 2019

October was a very busy month for the Class of 1965, with the Coast of Maine mini-reunion and the annual class dinner. Add to that the AYA assembly in November, a flurry of brief notes, and the upcoming 55th class reunion, and I have enough material to use up our word allotment. 

The Coast of Maine mini-reunion held in Portland the first week in October was a resounding success. Special thanks go to Lance Fletcher for putting together an exceptional program of events and meals, and to Stan Trotman who deserves credit as Lance’s coconspirator, and even pressed his daughter Julia into service, arranging informative connections with Portland’s civic life and the LL Bean boot factory. Lance’s team was rounded out with fellow Mainers Denny GallaudetMac Rogers, and John Todd. Due to space limitations for some of the events, attendance had to be limited to a total of 50, and that number of classmates, spouses, and friends were treated to the many charms of Portland and surrounding sites, including a visit to the Portland Museum of Art and the Maine Maritime Museum, and a glimpse (for my NROTC classmates) of the Star Wars–like Zumwalt Class destroyers being built at the Bath Ironworks shipyard. Among classmate news that emerged from cocktail conversation: Dave Hopmann has begun a new career as an actor in movies produced by I’m sorry we couldn’t accommodate more of you who wanted to attend, but I heartily recommend a visit to Portland and I’m sure Lance et al would be happy to advise you on the many things to do and see. Photos, courtesy of Bob Rounsavall, and more information on the event are posted on the class website

The annual class dinner was also a great event, with 100 classmates and guests, including nine of our class widows, attending to hear David Roscoe speak on artificial intelligence (AI). Among the class widows who attended were Nancy Fischer, who came all the way from Oregon, and Suzanne Haaland, who had to take a Greyhound bus when her AMTRAK train from Richmond, Virginia, was canceled. David gave a thorough and thoughtful review of where AI is and where it may be going, ending with a somewhat ominous observation that AI could someday decide we humans are irrelevant. David’s presentation is available on the class website.

The annual class council meeting was held prior to the dinner. Bob Hammond (our AYA representative) reported on his exploration of 1963’s “Classmates on Call,” a confidential service using a panel of classmates, spouses, and widows willing to provide other members of the class family with advice, support, and consolation. The council agreed to explore the idea further with classmates and widows. The council also heard a report on planning for our 55th reunion in 2020. Bob’s report is posted on the class website.

The same excellent team who’ve planned and implemented our previous four reunions will be on the job again: David RoscoeBob Leich, and Carl Farrington will plan reunion itself; John Schenck and Ralph Protsik will develop a class directory; and Stan Trotman and Mel Shaftel will handle the class gift. Class lunches will continue through the 55th, with John Schenck relieving Jeff Miller, who asked to be relieved after doing such a superb job of organizing lunches since before the 50th—many thanks, Jeff. 

The highlight of the council meeting was attendance by Dorothy Armstrong, representing our class widows. Dorothy and Bob Hammond shared thinking on ways to increase participation from class widows. Among the first steps is reconfiguring one of the class channels on our website specifically for our widows. This will be part of an overall revamp of the website under David Roscoe’s guidance. Stay tuned.

In other news, Bob Hammond attended the annual AYA assembly in New Haven, as did Chris Cooke, representing the Yale Club of Alaska. Chris reported: “Mike Hanson was at the assembly in his capacity as the president of the Yale Club of SW Florida; however, he skipped the Yale Medal dinner in favor of the Yale-Harvard Hockey game, which ended in a 3–3 tie.” Unfortunately, our ’65 contingent at the Princeton game was unable to deliver a victory, which cost me a bottle of wine on a bet with a close friend from Princeton ’65, who also collected one from J. T. Smith ’64.

Brief notes: Steve and Betsy Clark are touring Cuba; Betsy commented favorably on the few cell phones in evidence. Karl and Leslie Schonborn have been touring Italy and Provence. Karl has an impressive website that includes a variety of offerings including his artwork, books and writing on the current political scene, and criminal research. Ralph Protsik wrote: “Twelve of the 13 surviving Whiffs shared wine, women (wives, not technically shared), and song at (KylePruett’s home on Money Island in Branford the weekend of September 21–23. The singing (to us at least) had a Proustian effect—recreating our days of youth and beauty. We even managed one public concert at a local tavern. All of us looking forward to the 55th reunion.” Andy Graham continues to earn recognition as an attorney: Andy was selected for the Maryland Legal Services Corporation’s 2018 Arthur W. Machen Jr. Award recognizing his “extraordinary efforts to improve the access of justice for low-income Marylanders.” Jeff Miller reported: “On October 14, Susanne and I attended the 65th anniversary concert of the Yale Russian Chorus in Woolsey Hall. Among the 130 current and alumni singers were Charlie StoneDan Bergfeld, and John Shattuck. Charlie had solos in several of the 20 traditional Russian folk, liturgical, and classical pieces and more than held his own among a group of very talented singers.”

Donna and I have had a series of delightful visits to our home in St. Michaels: John Shattuck and Ellen Hume spent the night in late September; followed in October by a brief visit with Heaton and Henri Robertson, who were on a bike tour on the Eastern Shore; and most recently by Bruce Alexander and Nancy Green who were attending a wedding on Tilghman Island, near St. Michaels, and dropped in for brunch. We hope more of you will find a reason to be in the area and will let us know.

Jeff Miller supplied the following information on the class hockey dinner: “We’re going to hold the next class hockey dinner on Friday, March 1, 2019, the evening of the Princeton game. Unfortunately, as now happens with regularity, the home Harvard game on alternating years is very early in November, not a date conducive to attendance.” So, mark your calendars for March 1, 2019, and while you’re at it, put a hold on the end of May 2020 for our 55th, exact dates yet to be determined.