YAM Class Notes: May/June 2019

YAM Class Notes: May/June 2019

By John M. Pinney

I will forgo the usual weather comments because it’s been generally awful and because there is a lot of news, so I don’t have to puff up the word count. 

David Roscoe posted the following note from Ron Wilmore’s memorial service: “On February 2, I flew to DC to join a hundred friends and family gathered to celebrate Ron Wilmore’s exceptional life. There were warm memories of his student days at Hopkins School and Yale, his years of teaching at St. Albans, and his inspirational tenure as executive director of the Northwest Settlement House. Ron’s intelligence, pride, gritty determination, disarming candor, biting humor, and fierce loyalty to friends and family shone through. (Ron was one of only four classmates with a perfect attendance record at Y’65 reunions.) Two particularly moving highlights: the affection and respect expressed by our own Danny Parker; profound appreciation from LaRue Gibson Y’85, a black DC St. Albans student whose life changed forever when Ron pushed, prodded, and encouraged him to attend Yale. The fondest words were for Sandy, a tower of strength, a deeply committed partner, and a motivating force in Ron’s life for over five decades. In addition to Danny, others attending from our class were Simin AllisonWard and Kathy BarmanPeter GrossJon GroufJoel and Barbara PapernikDavid Ruffin, and Bob Trupin.” Danny Parker’s eulogy is posted on the class website.

Jeff Miller reported: “The 24th annual class hockey dinner was held on March 1 at Mory’s, with 13 classmates, spouses, and friends in attendance. The convivial gathering was enhanced by first-time attendees Clint and Mary Kendrick, and Ellen Dunn, widow of my original co-organizer, Tony Dunn. Mory’s put on a splendid dinner and we were entertained by the always-melodious Spizzwinks. The game was entertaining and fun for 59 minutes, with the Tigers breaking a tie in the last minute to record a 3-2 win.”

In other hockey news, Dan Hogan organized a Boston-area gathering for the Yale-Harvard game at Harvard, including a pregame party, attended by a number of classmates and alumni from other classes. Classmates included Peter Rose and wife Eve Blau, Dan FittsPeter and Pam HerrupTom Hyde and son Peter, Mike McCaskeyDuncan McFarland, and Kyle and Marsha Pruett.

On the literary scene, Warren Rothman’s second book about his terrifying experience in China has just been published. From book notes: “Kafka in China, Part Two contains a prologue concerning the uncanny applicability of Franz Kafka’s short story, ‘The Great Wall of China,’ to the People’s Republic of China, and a 30-page epilogue concerning the implications of this case as to the PRC’s domestic situation and its relations with the West. An actual case of an innocent American caught in the grip of the totalitarian police state that is Communist China, Kafka in China describes the real and actual menace to any foreigner who may be located there or within the reach of that regime.” Part Two is available from Amazon.

Brief notes: Mal Douglas underwent ten-plus hours of surgery in January and reported: “The surgery was every bit as long as they said it would be, but went very well. Interestingly, when I first woke up, I was answering all their questions in Spanish.” In late February, Ralph Protsik posted on Facebook that he was “Celebrating LXXVth in Tucson, where the Catalina Mountains are capped with snow.” And Fred Roberts reported: “On January 23, images, most taken by the 40 students who graduated from our two workshops at the Aga Khan Museum in 2015 and 2017, [were] exhibited at the Lieutenant Governor’s Suite in Queen’s Park, Toronto. Entitled Our Sustainable Future, the exhibition consisted of 37 prints and 173 digital images focused on the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.”

In the world of class communications, there are two important and exciting new developments. First, thanks to the efforts of our widows, in particular Dorothy Armstrong, plus Bob Hammond, and our terrific web expert, Jean McKillop, the Class Widows Forum is up and running. The forum is private, so members can feel comfortable having conversations regarding Yale events, books, health information, and travel, as well as an open topic. All class widows are encouraged to register for the Widows Forum. 

The second development is in the early stages: shifting the class listserv to a platform similar to the Widows Forum. As has been explained before, the current listserv platform is outdated and will eventually be abandoned by the AYA. Experience with the Widow’s Forum prompted David RoscoeBob Hammond, and Fred Kneip to discuss how the widows platform could be used for a new Y’65 forum to replace the listserv. Plans are under way to engage classmates in the development process, and more news will be forthcoming.

In order to ensure everyone is aware of the change to the new forum, and to help us with the 55th reunion, we need to make sure the AYA has your current e-mail address. The 50th reunion effort showed a large number of outdated e-mail addresses and some classmates for whom no address was available. Jennifer Julier, our AYA staff liaison, provided the following pathway: “Go to the Online Alumni Directory, log in, and change your own information. If you’ve never logged in, you will need your Lookup ID number, which is on the label of the magazine.” 

Jim Wood alerted me to the passing of Mack O’Brien Jr. on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. Mack’s obituary is posted on the class website. I also learned from the AYA that Howard Morrison died on January 24 in Savannah. Howard’s obituary is also available on the website. Bill Crosby informed me that Peter Kibbee, his roommate and McLean, Virginia, neighbor, passed away on October 24, 2018. Peter’s obituary is also posted on the website. Please visit yale65.org and post remembrances on these and other classmates.

Reminder: plan early for the next class dinner on October 25, 2019, in New York City.