YAM Notes: January/February 2021

By John Wilkinson

The cover of the Sep/Oct issue of the alumni magazine features a whimsical Cross Campus animal drawing by Elisha Cooper ’93, son of our own Peter Cooper. See Elisha’s article, “Evolution of an author,” page 32. Among his many children’s books are the recent River and A Day at Yale, suitable for all ages.

Tony Hawthorne writes that somehow I misread his earlier message. Roommate Roy Schwarz is gone, but Herb Hodos is very much “alive and kicking.” How embarrassing! Mark Twain would describe my report as “an exaggeration.” I apologize.

Dick MacKinnon happily writes from Needham, Massachusetts, a new home for Dick and Pat, a commute from longtime but retained home in Dublin, New Hampshire. And, brother Bill MacKinnon passed on pictures of Howard Lamar’s 97th birthday. Howard apparently is the last remaining of our Yale professors. Those of us who took his History 37, The Trans-Mississippi West, are eternally grateful. Those of us in Silliman who knew him as a resident fellow are even more admiring.

With regularity, John Hetherington calls to discuss the usual subjects on the minds of 82-year-olds, namely grandchildren and the challenges of our diminishing bodies. The former Connecticut Assembly senator and I also continue the civil political discussion that we began as we walked together to Science III in the fall of 1956.

Monroe Price reports that he has acquired the newly published book by Dan Horowitz. Dan promises to write even more if we promote them in this column. Monroe also reminded me that, among the many philanthropies, including Yale, of Sam Heyman, is the Partnership for Public Service, his effort to enhance professionalism in the federal government. This year’s federal employee of 2020 and recipient of the affectionately named “Sammy” was Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Johnny Weiss responded with enthusiasm to my recommendation of Stalingrad, the work of Russian writer Vasily GrossmanMany regard it as the best novel of the twentieth century and Johnny recommends Grossman’s other writings—journalism and short stories—as well as his novels.

Alex Slaughter died on October 5 in Richmond, Virginia. An all-around undergraduate athlete, especially wrestling, he became an accomplished marathoner later in life. His long and distinguished legal career led to many honors, including the Hill-Tucker Public Service Award. He also served as president to The Daily Planet, which provides health care to the homeless. See the full obituary on our website.

Tempus fugit, sumus hic.