YAM Class Notes: July/August 2017

YAM Class Notes: July/August 2017

A fickle spring settled down long enough to deliver excellent weather for the Roanoke mini-reunion, masterfully planned and executed by Malcolm Douglas with major help from his wife, Susan Swan. Mal orchestrated a fascinating look at his hometown, a city with a long history built around the railroad but adapting to contemporary challenges with exciting new ideas. Thirty-nine of us toured the town, the Virginia Tech–Carillon Research Institute, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Chateau Morrisette vineyard and winery; we ate extremely well every night, tasted good wine, and had an exceptional experience. Jerry and Carol Libby and Jim and Susan Acquistapace came all the way from California, and Earl and Deborah Potter traveled from Santa Fe. Gracia Barry (widow of David Barry) ably represented our class widows. Unbeknownst to most of us, Jerry is a train enthusiast, and Mal arranged a special tour of the Norfolk Southern’s facilities while the rest of us were content to watch endless coal trains heading east to Norfolk. The accommodations at the Hotel Roanoke were excellent, the local restaurants outstanding, and the whole weekend was a great success. There was considerable enthusiasm for more mini-reunions in 2018 and 2019 leading up to the 55th and several possible locations are under discussion, including Portland, Maine, Boston, and a return to Santa Fe—stay tuned.

Further news on class activities: Jeff Miller reports: “There have been several post-reunion lunches since my last report to the class in April: on April 12, Judge Mason hosted a gathering at the Mariposa Grill in Sedona, Arizona; on April 20, Peter Conze and Stan Trotman hosted lunch at the Bath and Tennis Club in Palm Beach, Florida (luckily President Trump was not in town, so traffic to the club was unimpeded); on May 3, Bruce Alexander and I hosted a gathering at Mory’s followed by a highly informative tour of the two new colleges, arranged by Bruce; and on May 16, Page Stockwell hosted a lunch at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland, Oregon. A list of attendees and pictures can be found on the class website. Several more events are in the works: Jerry Libby is planning a lunch this fall in Los Angeles; there’s talk of another Cambridge event before the (very) early Harvard-Yale hockey game next November; and the New Haven group enthusiastically endorsed the idea of holding a fourth lunch soon as well. It’s possible our ‘post-50th reunion’ lunches are now verging into ‘pre-55th reunion’ lunch territory. My thanks to all the organizers for their efforts.”

Denny Gallaudet sent the following observation on how we can address climate change, or “our carbon crisis, as Elon Musk likes to call it. My alarm about this crisis has been steadily growing, both with increasing evidence and persistent denial of the problem. The denial, I believe, arises from the realization that we can’t burn it all—namely, fossil fuels—and that many will be harmed by this hard fact, financially and otherwise. But the risk of inaction is too great to wait for 99 percent certainty. I would like to encourage my classmates to start with their own carbon footprints. I would ask that they first measure it and then develop a plan to reduce it as quickly as possible. I think they will find this process revelatory and less intractable than they might have assumed. By way of example, my wife and I set out to reduce our carbon footprint by 80 percent in line with the Paris Accord. In fairly short order, we have in fact reduced it by 100 percent! If folks would like more detail, please drop us a line; the key was gaining access to carbon-free electricity. The particular pathway is less important than the journey itself—and the example you will set for your friends and neighbors. Perhaps even your elected officials.”

Dennis Mack posted an interesting link to an article about Howard Morrison in the February edition of Good Grit magazine. The article describes Howard’s revival of his family’s Georgia plantation and the eighteenth-century crops of turmeric and ginger together with creation of a certified organic farm named Verdant Kitchen that grows and processes these unique products.

We’re entering the slow period for class notes, so please share news of your summer activities. Reminder: Class dinner at the Yale Club of New York City, October 27, 2017.

By John Pinney, ’65