YAM Class Notes: September/October 2018

YAM Class Notes: September/October 2018

We have gone from monsoon to drought here in Maryland, with some of the hottest, driest weather I can recall, although I think I said the same thing last year at this time. Donna and I had several classmate connections this spring. In May we were in Nashville for the middle school graduation of Tessa Hillenmeyer, one of the three grandchildren we share with Hilly and Sallie Hillenmeyer. Then in June we were in Louisville to help Bob and Mary Rounsavall celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. June also saw another excellent class lunch, this time in Washington DC, where over 25 classmates and spouses lunched in the Russell Senate Office Building, thanks to Bill Nelson and Bill Crosby, and of course Jeff Miller, our indefatigable organizer.

Dennis Mack posted the following travelogue, complete with classmate encounters: “Over the years, a number of friends and classmates urged us to go west and visit them. So Robert and I decided to take them up on the invitations. After visits to Yosemite and Gold Rush Country, we were wonderfully hosted by memoirist Karl and Les Schonborn, with whom we explored the campuses of Google, Apple, and Stanford and many other locales, including some good restaurants. While there, we went into San Francisco, where Dale Freeman led us on an exploration of several parts of the city. We returned to SF the next day to visit a Morse College friend from the Class of ’67. We headed up north, where, after a visit with my high school senior-year prom date, we visited the country home of Dave Hopmann and his husband Jim Taul. They gave us good itineraries to explore the region on our own during the day and then we had wonderful dinners and emptied some bottles.

“We headed north through Humboldt County, the Emerald Capital, where we got a private tour of the pot industry. It does not seem like the hippie libertarian outlaws who built up the industry want to be tamed. They seem to be resisting legalization. Then we went up the Oregon coast, so different from what we think of as beaches here in the east. Unfortunately, Carl Farrington was away, but he helped us experience the Oregon Shakespeare Festival—a must-see for anyone who enjoys theater.

“We finished in Seattle to stay with friends. Because Mal Harris had written on the listserv about his joy in performing with a jazz band, I had asked him if he would perform while we were in Seattle. He did. We attended. It was not a small jazz group as I had anticipated. There were about 17 performers at times. It was a really great evening to see Mal pushing all that wind through his giant sax with some really talented players. If you ever find yourself in Seattle on the fifth Tuesday of any month, make your way to Tula’s for a good evening. Perhaps ‘Bright College Years’ needs to be amended to include road trips during our golden years.” I’m indebted to Dennis and Robert for their travels, as the summer class notes are usually short and dull.

More news from out west: Earl Potter posted an article from the Santa Fe New American celebrating the 20th anniversary of Earl and Deborah’s Five and Dime General Store. The article noted that the store is “a smaller, repurposed version of the doomed F. W. Woolworth on the same site. Since then, the company behind Five & Dime has opened eight more locations on the same model. The article included Earl’s description of the company’s beginning inspiration: “Earl said Deborah turned to him and said: ‘Look, Woolworth’s is closing. We have to save this.’ And I wasn’t awake yet and I said, ‘I’m a real estate lawyer, I don’t know anything about retail.’”

Fred Roberts sent an update on his photographic workshop program: “We now depart for a new location, Mombasa, which expands our relationship with the Aga Khan Academies. As usual, the students in our workshop will come from local government schools as well as from the academy, providing an enriching experience for all participants by mixing the cultures. We are especially motivated about this as we had to cancel our previous workshop in Mombasa as the result of the violence throughout Kenya following last year’s elections. As usual, I want to urge you to follow the progress of our workshops by signing up for our team blog.”

Kent Reinker kept the listserv up to date with observations on the volcanic eruptions in Hawaii: “The volcano story will probably continue for a long time. Our present eruption is just a new phase of constant volcanic activity beginning in the ’70s. I walked up to a lava flow rolling over a road in 1970, saw Pu’u O’o blow ash into the air in 1978, watched a black sand beach being destroyed by lava flowing into the ocean (from less than 30 feet away) in 1992. One of my photographs of the latter was incorporated into the cover of my last book, Fire at the Bottom of the Sea, a book that now seems pretty timely.”

I’m sorry to report that Ted O’Leary died on May 23, 2018. He was two months short of his 75th birthday. A memorial service was held on June 5 at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in New York. Ted had been in declining health, hospitalized several times during the past 18 months.

October and the Coast of Maine mini-reunion (October 2–5) are fast approaching, as is the annual class dinner (October 26). Hopefully many of you will make road trips to Maine, visit classmates, and write long accounts for me.