YAM Class Notes: January/February 2017

YAM Class Notes: January/February 2017

A record crowd of 140 classmates and guests attended our annual class dinner on October 28. Credit for the terrific turnout goes to our speaker, Bob Woodward, who was accompanied by his wife, Elsa. Bob shared his thoughts on presidents past, present, and future. Despite Bob’s remarkable career as a keen observer of the political scene, neither he nor the 86 percent of us who predicted a Clinton victory in the class election poll got it right on November 8. At the end of the dinner, in a weak moment, Bob agreed to come to the next class dinner to comment on developments in 2017—likely a more complicated task than he anticipated before the election. Prior to the dinner, your class council met and, among other things, approved treasurer Fred Kneip’s recommendation to reduce the class dues to $75. Our treasury is healthy and the increase to $100 was intended to support the 50th reunion. Bob Leich and Chris Kinney, along with Bob’s able assistant Judi Raben, did an outstanding job managing the overflow crowd, including arranging for two bars for the cocktail hour. Chris took pictures of the evening, which are posted on the class website.

The weekend following the class dinner was the Yale-Brown game in Providence. John and Holly Schenck hosted a pre-game class brunch at their home, catered by gourmet food truck Noble Knots (parked outside the Schencks’ front door). Twenty classmates and guests enjoyed the beautiful weather and John Leo posted this brief report: “A delightfully friendly, super-delicious food truck brunch: BBQ rib sandwich, mushroom and bread pudding, fresh melon ball salad, Bloody Marys, beer, sunshine. Their hospitality was the perfect update on tailgating for the large number of classmates, spouses, and guests, evident in the at-ease conversations, catch-ups, and new ground.”

In October, the French ambassador to the US informed Burt Haimes that he had been appointed Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, “the most prestigious award medal of the French Republic.” Burt commented: “It is recognition of 40-plus years of assisting in France-America ventures and relations. My most recent is collaborating with a dear friend, Guy Sorman, in acquiring the French-American publication, Francé Amérique, and transforming it into a literary, bilingual publication (it was a series of advertorials before that). Guy Sorman is a leading French intellectual, economist, and writer. Before that, I assisted the French Baseball Federation in organizing a series of events on the East Coast.”

Tony Vanderwarker reported on his latest book: “My fourth book is being published November 17. Titled: I’m Not From the South But I Got Down Here As Fast As I Could—How a Connecticut Yankee Came to Love Grits and Fried Green Tomatoes and the Southern Way of Life and Lived to Tell About It. It’s the story of going from a hotshot, big city adman to the solitary life of an author living on a farm in rural Virginia. Tony explains, “After a 20-year career in the ad biz, we took a flier and moved the family from Chicago’s Gold Coast to a small farm in the Virginia sticks. Diving into a world of rednecks, Jeffersonia, country music, and shoo-fly pie proved to be a hoot and the best thing that could have happened to us. We reveled in the history, beauty, and incredible people of the South and their hysterical stories, and although we’d been confirmed Northerners, we never looked back.”

Bob Trenkamp shared information on a topic of interest to us all: “I run a 501(c)(3) public charity in Savannah, Georgia. We have trained more than 10,000 people in Bystander CPR; we invented a new form of CPR that quadruples the number of people who can perform CPR for ten minutes, and have made measurement instruments that help us measure the CPR performance of both Bystanders and EMS workers.

“For the past five years we have run an annual group purchase of AEDs (automatic electronic defibrillators). We get a HeartSine 350P for about 40 percent off. We chose the HeartSine 350P because it has never had an FDA recall and it has the lowest ten-year cost of ownership. We sell just to people who want a personal AED. We have to get 30 participants to get the HeartSine 350P for $800, including tax, shipping, and insurance. We do not make any money on this activity.” This year’s purchase program is closed out, but if anyone is interested, contact Bob via e-mail at BobT@slicc.org.

Another classmate is active in worthy causes. Hugh Levick sent me the following: “One of the great problems facing the environmental movement is the fact that for the majority of the planet’s population the climate seems ‘normal.’ Environment Maze will present through the work/vision of painter/sculptor, Ben Perrone, and a composer, Hugh Levick ’65, exceptional aspects of the threatening, unsustainable reality hidden by the sensation of normality. Conceived by Levick and Perrone, Environment Maze is a multimedia installation that invites the experiencing visitor to interact with spaces, objects, sounds, and images of natural disasters.

“A pilot installation of Environment Maze will open at Artpark outside Buffalo, New York, in July 2017; in July 2018 the integral Environment Maze installation will have its inauguration at Artpark. Artpark is providing us with infrastructure, but we need funding support to allow us to make Environment Maze into a reality. (All donations are tax deductible.) To learn more, please contact me at hughlevick@earthlink.net and/or on my website—hughlevick.com—click on the heading Environment Maze.”

Reminders: Class hockey dinner before the Yale-Harvard hockey game February 17; Roanoke mini-reunion April 27–30; go to Yale1965.org and sign up for our new “Class Channels” feature.

By John Pinney, ’65