Alumni Notes: July/August 2023

I am typing these notes from Philadelphia, where 21 classmates and 17 friends and spouses have been gathered for our last minireunion. It has been four full and varied days, beginning with a Sunday prequel at the home of Natalie and Ralph Hirshorn, our estimable reunion hosts, who, between four luscious meals, entertained us with three movies: Wild Tales, an Argentinian film with six darkly comedic stories; the Texas dynasty epic, Giant; and the renowned mob drama, The Godfather.

On Monday, we toured the newly renovated Philadelphia Museum of Art and then the Morris Arboretum and Gardens, followed by a visit to the Philadelphia Film Center, where, supplied with popcorn, we viewed Ralph’s prizewinning The End of Summer and a perfect print of High Noon, followed by a discussion with Glenn Frankel, author of High Noon, The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic. The evening concluded with an epicurean dinner.

Tuesday featured a walking tour of Old City Philadelphia, including Independence Hall, an architectural bus tour of the city, and a visit to the new Museum of the American Revolution. Several opted that evening to return to Chestnut Hill to view Bonnie and Clyde.

Wednesday began with a private tour of the relocated Barnes Foundation, followed by individual explorations of Philadelphia’s “Museum Mile” along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. That night we gathered for our final event, dinner at the Acorn Club, where Ralph and Natalie were acclaimed by minireunion chair Jim Taylor and all gathered. The final act was the multitalented duo of Jay Gitlin ’71 and Ginny Bales, a Barnard alumna, who entertained us with words, piano, and song of, by, and about Yale. It was a splendid ending to several special days, thanks to the Hirshorns.

Present at the minireunion were Bob Ackerman and Meg, Peter Benfield and Linda Goulson, John BingJohn Blanpied and Pam, Clint BrownRick Collins and Judy Reid, Ray Crystal and Laura, Dick Dowd and Terry, Doug GuilerRalph Hirshorn and Natalie, Vard Johnson and Ruth Purtilo, Judith Kovisars, Earl Latimer and Barb, Bill Levit and Missy, Lew Lloyd and Rosemary, honorary classmate Carol SchallerDave Sellers and Lucy O’Brien, Bill Shipman and Ronna, Guy Stevens and Beth Orloff, Jim Taylor and Lyn, Charlie Weymouth, and John Wilkinsonand Virginia.

Rob Hanke reports that he recently caught up with Matt Freeman, one of the ten men in Calhoun’s “Zoo” long before it became Grace Hopper College. Matt has become totally absorbed in mountain life since moving to Carbondale, Colorado, even working part-time with the Forest Service, when not keeping track of his blended family of six children and many, many grandkids.

Posted on our website are the full Tuesday Tea Talks featuring Ed Burkhardt in April and Yale’s heralded basketball coach, James Jones, in May. Ed, founder of Rail World, Inc., spoke on the US railroad system and the impact of further regulation resulting from the recent derailment in Ohio. Coach Jones, who has presided over the most successful era in Yale men’s basketball, spoke on the challenges for Ivy League sports in an evolving collegiate athletics scene.

Recently added to the “In Memoriam” section of our website:

McClellan Gordon Blair. Champion rifleman and physicist, Mac’s career ranged from managing the development of nuclear-powered cardiac pacemakers and artificial heart devices to designing wastewater treatment facilities. Scoutmaster, church trustee, stamp collector, antique auto enthusiast, he was chief judge of the Buick Club of America, authoring its Judging Handbook.

Stephen de Pierrefeu Gilbert. Steve graduated from the Sports Car Club as an undergraduate to motorcycles and music in Merrimac, Massachusetts, and, though an avid traveler, Massachusetts remained his lifelong home state. The Wounded Warrior Project, helping our nation’s most severely wounded veterans, was his passionate cause.

Tempus fugit, sumus hic.