YAM Notes: January/February 2024

By John A. Wilkinson ’60, ’63MAT, ’79MAH

Your class executive committee met this past fall on Zoom—our first, thus not requiring those seven of twelve members who do not live in Connecticut to travel. Sitting at home in a comfortable chair was a pleasant change and further proof that old (bull) dogs can learn new tricks. We welcomed new member John Bing from distant Ohio and began the planning of our 65th reunion, less than 18 months away. Details to follow in the days ahead.

Zoom was a mighty tool for relating to isolated family and friends during the COVID pandemic. My remaining Silliman cohort from senior year has continued to meet sporadically, for gossip and laughter, gloom and cheer, memories and laments, old men’s concerns. Try it.

Much has been made in the press of Oxford’s Emma Smith and her publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book. Both the university and the Elizabethan Club possess original copies of The First Folio. The latter is now on prominent display in the Hanke Exhibition Gallery at Sterling Library, thanks to the generosity of Rob and Lynn Hanke. A handsome pamphlet, “The First Folio: Shakespeare for All Time?” accompanies the exhibit.

For those interested in libraries and their contents, David Richards ’67 has recently published, I Give These Books: The History of Yale University Library, 1656–2022. Among David’s other publications is Skulls and Keys: The Hidden History of Yale’s Secret Societies.

The class Tuesday Tea on October 24 featured a panel of two criminal defense attorneys, Alan Caplin and Bob Mirto, and constitutional law scholar Rick Collins, on “Trump’s Legal Jeopardy.” This hour and a half session, all on our website (Yale60.org), produced a full and complex discussion, many questions submitted in advance, and questions/comments during the presentation from Earl LatimerHarry Mazadoorian, and Bob Sugarman. Alan urged us to read the actual indictments, not rely solely on the media for its selections and interpretations. Teas are being planned by Owen Cylke on the historical background of the current conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine.

Three obituaries added to the 1960 website:

Timothy Bryan. An English major and NROTC student, Tim served the Navy as a lieutenant commander for ten years of active duty, ten in the Navy Reserves, and, upon retirement, as a Blue and Gold Officer with Annapolis. Forty years a financial adviser in Rhode Island, he and Mary Ann raised five children.

Robert Pitts. Lacrosse, wrestling, cross country, and boxing at Yale, more boxing in Bangkok while a Peace Corps volunteer, were followed by a master’s degree from Columbia, a doctorate from Harvard, and 30 years as a professor of business at Penn State and Gettysburg College. In active retirement, Bob sang tenor for 18 years with the Boise Master Chorale.

Robert Rickner. Following Yale, Bob earned his master’s degree in fine arts at Boston University and a doctorate in Asian drama in Hawaii, worked in drama in New York, and embarked on a worldwide spiritual journey in Buddhist practice, including taking monastic vows in Tibetan Buddhism, and completing a three-year meditation retreat. He ultimately returned to his native Oklahoma and his Baptist Church.

Tempus fugit, sumus hic.