YAM Class Notes: November/December 2016

YAM Class Notes: November/December 2016

Summer just came to an abrupt and hopefully definitive end, leaving behind a number of heat records for the mid-Atlantic. Based on the number of respondents (167 of 900) to the class activities survey fielded in August, many of you were busy enjoying your summer and avoiding surveys of all kinds (not a bad idea in this election year). Despite the low response rate, there appears to be enthusiasm for class activities, and you will have received more detailed survey results via an e-mail blast. You also will have received a save-the-date card for Mal Douglas’s mini-reunion planned for next April in Roanoke. Mal reported that Buzz and Joan Ahrens stopped by for a two-day visit and got a preview of the Roanoke portion of the mini-reunion.

Class lunches scored high in the survey and this year’s round has proved highly successful. Thanks again to Jeff Miller and all the local hosts. The most recent was in Los Angeles, hosted by Jerry Libby (apologies for Jerry with a G vs. J in the last notes), who filed this report: “The lunch went very well; all 12 who signed up came. After an enjoyable 45 minutes or so of cocktails we sat down, and I invited everyone to reintroduce themselves and share thoughts about the reunion, if they had attended.  All but two of the attendees had attended, and those who had were very thoughtful, and in some cases emotional about the reunion. There was a consensus that we should do it again in a year, tentatively in September 2017.”

Bob Hammond commented on the listserv about the end of cursive handwriting: “It seems that over the past 20-plus years, many elementary schools have discontinued instruction in penmanship and cursive handwriting, which has become a source of controversy. A recent New York Times article in the Sunday Review prompted a letter to the editor from classmate Sam Goodyear. I agree with Sam’s sentiments in response to the article’s assertion that ‘there are few instances in which handwriting is a necessity.’ Sam wrote: ‘How about signing a check? Or signing one’s will? There are many instances, not just a few, in which signing on the dotted line confers authenticity and protection. True, typing is efficient. But a love letter? A letter of condolence? A shopping list for a quick trip to the grocery store? E-mail and texting are fine in their place, but there are limits. Besides, there is something beautiful in the personal distinctiveness in one’s handwriting. Like one’s face, it is shared by no one else.’” I feel compelled to comment that the quality of handwriting in the class notes I receive from the annual dues letter is pretty awful.

By now you should have responded to and heard the results of David Roscoe’s presidential election year “straw poll,” and hopefully the response rate is higher than for class activities. You also should have visited the class website Yale1965.org by now to try out the new Y65 Class Channels feature. To be clear, posting on the website does not exempt you from sending news for these notes.

Classmates continue their creative and artistic pursuits: Warren Rothman performed Brahms, Schumann, Fauré, Händel, Gluck, and Weill in July at Holy Innocents Church in San Francisco. Warren posted: “It went well and was well attended and received. A lovely soprano and I shared the program. Other than Whiff Centennial, my first performance since German embassy Beijing, 2001. Feels great to do this. Never had more fun with this kind of music than singing the two duets with which we concluded the concert.”

And Bill Rawn wrote about the latest accomplishment of his architectural firm: “On Saturday July 9, Mayor Walsh led the ribbon cutting that marked the opening of the reinvented Johnson Building of the Boston Public Library in downtown Boston. We are proud and humbled to have been asked to redesign such an important civic building in this city. In short, our design focused on opening up the 1972 Philip Johnson Building to Boylston Street, creating a ‘Big Urban Room’—a 210-foot-long space with street frontage along Boylston Street and multiple entry points; and on creating a much more major and direct connection between the Johnson Building and the McKim Building on Copley Square.” Further creative news from Fred Roberts: “For the first time, we are heading to a European destination, Lisbon, to continue our program of transformational photography workshops.  This workshop will take place in September in Lisbon’s Ismaili Centre.   It is most gratifying to realize that we are now in the sixth year of this program, and have transformed the lives of scores of high-school-aged students through the use of photography as a language of self-expression.”

Mike Hanson and John Schenck alerted me to the sad news that Edmund (Eddie) Rogers died of a heart attack in early August. For the last several years Eddie lived in Pittsboro, North Carolina, with his wife Marilyn. His obituary will be posted on the Yale1965.org website, and classmates who wish to remember him can post memorials there. In happier news, Ron Wilmore has recovered from a debilitating round of chemotherapy, to which his cancer responded well.  Hardy Brereton, one of our “resident” cancer experts, added comfort and support to Ron before the good news arrived. Earlier this summer, Hardy and wife Leslie spent their 50th anniversary in St. Michaels, Maryland, and hosted Donna and me for cocktails and delightful conversation. Anyone planning to visit the Maryland Eastern Shore should remember to check in with me to get the latest on dining and points of interest.

Jeff Miller provided this save-the-date notice for the next class hockey dinner: “It will be held before the Yale-Harvard hockey game on Friday, February 17, 2017. Dan Bergfeld and I are cochairing again and looking forward to another great turnout and game. Formal invitation will follow later this fall.”

By John Pinney, ’65