YAM Class Notes: November/December 2015

YAM Class Notes: November/December 2015

Now that the 50th is behind us, I can return to opening with a comment on the weather, which now (in September in Maryland) is fabulous. Hopefully El Niño will deposit snow in all the places that need and want it, not including the Eastern Shore of Maryland. You should have received the great news that our 50th reunion gift campaign achieved the high-end of our goal, raising $37,542.149, including more than $1 million in Alumni Fund support. Thank you to all who contributed, and special thanks to our gift cochairs, Stan Trotman and Mel Shaftel, the reunion gift committee, and Burt Haimes and the class agents. While on the subject of giving, you should have received the annual class dues solicitation. I hope you will all respond, as our class treasury provided the funding for Our Stories and subsidized the costs of the reunion not covered by attendance fees. In the future, it will help subsidize other class events and serve the same important function for our 55th reunion. We hover in the high 30 percent range of participation, so please view this as an opportunity to replenish our funds and boost our numbers.

John Leo offered the following thoughts on the 50th: “Our 50th for all of us was first and foremost a sense of grateful amazement for getting there, experiencing and leaving with surprises, senses of lost moments, and wonder—what’s next on my time line? One sense of lost opportunity I felt was offset by reconnecting with some much-loved roomies for the first time in 50 years. But that’s the nature of reunions: excesses of remarkable events, activities, emotions, reflections, and—choices! And the intellectual, cultural, inventive, creative, and loving capital of classmates, spouses, friends—under one ‘roof tent’ for a few days—is, finally, a take-away beyond words. But I was hyped for reverse shoulder (right) surgery following the reunion, and for that and other reasons thinking about our mortal coil and down the (time) line. PT through December. In late January to mid-February I’m on an archeology-focused small group tour to the former Gold Coast: Ghana, Benin, and Togo.”

Chris Cooke posted on the listserv: “As you probably know, President Obama is in Alaska and my daughter Ana (as cochair of the Alaska Federation of Natives) met him yesterday. Among other things she honored him with a Yupik Eskimo name, Cakayak. He asked her what the word meant, and she said, ‘The great one.’ Obama replied, ‘I’ll take it.’ She also appeared on an NBC News segment about the naming of Denali.”

You’ll recall that Sam Black and Duncan Bremer were off to climb Mount Yale. Sam sent the following after-action report: “Sam Black and Duncan Bremer climbed Mt. Yale, 14,199 feet, near Buena Vista, Colorado, in July, unfurling a Yale banner at the summit. Duncan’s son Max and grandson JB, age 12, made the climb, along with Sam’s friends Katie Brownson of Denver (YC 2005), and Sandro Sacerdoti. The weather cooperated and from the top you could see peaks almost 100 miles away.” Sam adds that he made five mountaineering trips this year, in Colorado, Switzerland, and Italy, but he and Duncan report that, “As in everything, climbs with family and friends are the best.”

Bob Woodward found time while laboring on our class book to write another chapter in the Watergate saga. The Washington Post notes: “The Last of the President’s Men will be published on October 13 by Simon & Schuster. Woodward conducted the bulk of the interviews with [Nixon aide Alexander] Butterfield in 2014 and 2015, both in Washington and in La Jolla, California, where Butterfield resides. The book includes 75 pages worth of documents, ‘many of them original and not in the presidential archives and libraries,’ according to the publisher. ‘These are the last pieces of the Nixon puzzle,’ Woodward said in an interview.”

Jonathan Carleton sent the following: “I am writing to let you know that our classmate Peter Michalos died on September 5 in Miami, Florida. He is survived by his partner of 24 years, Paulo Cardoso, his mother Claire of New York, and his sister Kiki of London, UK. Peter was a filmmaker, writer, and an avid traveler. His novel Psyche, published by Nan Talese/Doubleday, is about the young Freud, and his New York–produced play Lola-Lola is about an intellectually radiant chimpanzee who learns to speak. His second novel, The Aspirant, was almost prepared for printing. Peter was an engaging conversationalist known for his trenchant wit.”

Bill Stirlen’s wife Mary wrote: “I am sorry to inform you that Bill passed away on December 24, 2014. He fought a good fight against cancer, but wasn’t able to overcome the ravages of this disease.” Jeff Miller alerted me to the passing of David (Spike) Currier, who died on October 1, 2014. Spike began with our class and graduated with the class of 1967. Jeff noted: “Spike roomed with Marshall Bell, Jim Acquistapace, and Tom Walden in Bingham freshman year. He and Marshall were our two representatives from Fountain Valley School in Colorado Springs.” Spike’s obituary is posted on the class website. Please visit the website and post remembrances of Peter, Bill, and Spike.

Hold the date: Dan Bergfeld and Jeff Miller announced that the 2016 class hockey dinner will be held at Mory’s on Saturday, February 6, beginning at 4:30, with the Harvard-Yale hockey game to follow at 7:00. Invitations will be sent out in a few months. 

By John Pinney, ’65