YAM Notes: May/June 2016

By Rich Banbury

The Class website has been making steady progress.  On the last monthly count, there were 143 individual readers.  It’s quick and easy to get there at yale60.org.  If there is an appropriate and interesting post, submit it to one or more of our editorial board of pwellsct@gmail.com , john.wilkinson@yale.edu , arvinmurch@sbcglobal.net , and your scribe at banburysixty@aol.com .  At least at this point, the site will not present itself in the clothing of a blog.

Karl Robinson started his medical profession tied to conventional training, but he eventually adopted the homeopathic approach.  Karl’s new book is Small Doses Big Results:  How Homeopathic Medicine Offers Hope in Chronic Disease.  One true believer is Haj Ross, of Denton, Texas, has converted to homeopathic medicine, which has greatly helped him with a nasty arthritic condition.  When Karl at times lectures in Texas, Haj is often in the audience.  During our New Haven days, Haj was frequently on air for WYBC.  His pleasing voice has been used through the classrooms of the University of North Texas, where Haj has for many years been a Professor of Linguistics.  Incidentally, the moniker Haj is a derivative of Hajii Baba, a character of Middle East stories in The Adventures of Hajii Baba of Ispahan.

Last year, the Yale eight oar crew, after many seasons, prevailed in the 150th four mile race against Harvard from New London on the Thames River.  In the jubilant audience, finally untethered from the Crimson streak, were Herrick Garnsey and three grandsons.  He knows the challenging course, having rowed in our boat on the Thames in June of 1960.  It’s the longest pull in North America and the oldest collegiate rivalry in any sport.

At the time of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday this year, Lew Lehrman published an op-ed for Greenwich Time titled Lincoln and Churchill – Statesmen of War.  The article is nicely weaved among Lincoln, Churchill, and to some degree Franklin Roosevelt, all of whom were historians themselves at least to some extent.  Each of them had the ability to understand the big picture.  Churchill is quoted:  “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it”.  Lew is a preeminent scholar of Abraham Lincoln, having published several books and articles concerning, in many ways, our greatest President.

In the absence of breaking class news, I thought at our stage it might be a nice time to wander down memory lane.  I would be interested in any special experience at Yale, perhaps your recollection of the first day on campus.  By that time, I think we already had our courses and instructions to report for duty at Strathcona, Lindsey-Chittendon or other foreign venues.  Jacket and ties for everyone at Commons for both lunch and dinner.  Texas string ties and clip-on bowties became very popular.  Was there something particularly memorable at Class Day and Graduation, a gathering at Old Campus and then retreating to our residential Colleges for awarding of the diplomas.

This might be another theme for scouting back down memory lane.  Of all the good, great and grand teachers, who was the best?  Would that be a contest of John Morton Blum’s American History against Vince Scully’s History of Art.  Who might be the other contenders?  Perhaps Professor Brad Westerfield’s International Studies.  The son of a Yale Professor, Brad carried the family tradition in New Haven for another 40 years.  Undergraduate names for one or more of his courses include Bush, Cheney and Kerry.  His espionage course was known as “Spies and Lies”.  A decent short list would presumably include Maynard Mack, the renowned Shakespeare scholar bringing Hamlet and Macbeth to life at Yale from 1936 to 1978.  All’s Well That Ends Well.