YAM Notes: January/February 2005

By Rich Banbury

I am dictating these notes on deadline, a week not yet having passed since the Presidential election.  From various comments I have received, I gather that we as a class were rather evenly divided, with some very strong feelings on both sides.  Those who supported John Kerry are currently seeing red and singing the blues.  Those who favored President Bush for another term are toasting the red states with Blue Nun vino.  And, of course, our Class had a familial connection with both campaigns.  As a result of the election, Buck Bush will continue to have an open invitation to his nephew’s White House, while Teresa Kerry, the widow of John Heinz, will not be moving there.  Nor will Porter Goss and John Negroponte be looking for alternative employment.

From the beautiful blue state of Hawaii, we can discern the visage of Dan Feldhaus on the cover of the Iolani School Magazine.  The inside feature story relates a remarkable career of 43 years for Dan as a teacher, mentor, football coach, and college counselor.  It all began in 1961 when Dan ran into Burt MacLean, then the Iolani headmaster, who was interviewing teaching candidates at the Harvard Graduate School.  Then a student at Harvard, Dan recalled Rev. MacLean from their mutual affiliation with Dwight Hall during Dan’s undergraduate days.  He stopped by to renew the acquaintance and walked out of the room with a contract to teach at Iolani.  Burt MacLean had asked Dan if he might be interested in going to Hawaii.  Years later Dan reflected that “it was a no brainer making the choice between Hawaii and going back to Cincinnati”!  Soon after arriving at his new post, Dan met and married Joyce Kawamoto, who was working at the Iolani Bookstore.  The magazine article is a virtual scrapbook of photos and memories, dating back to Dan’s early years in Cincinnati and culminating in numerous glowing  recollections by former students and fellow professionals.  The recurring theme of these testimonials is a profile of Dan as a dedicated and compassionate educator, as well as a funny and fun loving friend.

Having relocated to Florida last September, Bob Kramer arrived just in time to meet up with meteorological intruders known as Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.  Fortunately, none of those ominous phenomena wreaked havoc on Bob’s new redoubt in Bradenton.  Recently retired as general counsel to Nexus Properties and Sherwood Industries in Trenton, Bob and his wife Midge have started FUNtastic, a travel agency specializing in adventure trips and “ultra-luxury” excursions.  Either or both of those appetites can be satisfied by contacting Bob at bob@funtastictravel.com.

The new guy hanging around the Annenberg School for Communication at UPenn in Philadelphia, as an eclectic visiting professor, just happens to be Monroe Price.  Monroe is finding graduate students to be a wholly different breed from the law students to whom he normally transfers jurisprudential wisdom and insight.  His charter at the Annenberg School is to provide “more of an international research and policy agenda”, an assignment which somehow resulted in a rather hazardous tour of Iraq last year.

Homeopathy is defined by Webster as a “system of medical practice that treats a disease by the administration of minute doses of a remedy that would in healthy persons produce symptoms of the disease treated”.  Karl Robinson has been a practitioner and teacher of classical homeopathy for over 25 years.  In addition to teaching homeopathy in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Karl maintains a homeopathic practice in Reynosa, Mexico.  Previously, while working for Homeopaths Without Borders, Karl taught homeopathic medicine in Havana until “the current administration refused our non-profit organization permission to continue in Cuba”.  It should be noted that Karl’s professional endeavors in Central America, Cuba and Mexico have been facilitated by his becoming fluent in the Spanish language at the early age of sixty.

Blake Bidwell sent along a nice article announcing the retirement of John Mitchell as Senior Vice President of Pfizer.  John enjoyed a productive and distinguished career over 40 years with that pharmaceutical giant.  His daunting responsibilities included leadership of Pfizer Global Manufacturing, where he was responsible for “worldwide manufacturing operations that produce and distribute all the company’s human healthcare, consumer healthcare and animal healthcare products”.

I am not so sure how he pulled it off, but Mike Harris has managed to return to Yale as an undergraduate student.  He provocatively asks “How often is it that one can return to relive one’s youth?”  Mike reports that the campus looks better than he has ever seen it, a judgment informed by his observations from the guest suites of  Branford, Calhoun and Morse Colleges.  Mike also managed to talk his way into one of the most coveted of all undergraduate seminars, Grand Strategy of the Great Powers, taught by Paul Kennedy, John Gaddis and Charles Hill.

Having retired as general counsel to the Union Camp Paper Company, Dirk Soutendijk has found a neat retreat in the Muskoka Lakes Region of Ontario.  When not relaxing north of the border, Dirk resides in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, where he continues to interview high school students for the Alumni Schools Committee.

Dave Toomey and Dick Gwinn hosted the class golfing tour at several select courses in eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware last Fall.  The tee to green group included John Bing, Huntley Davenport, Mike Harris, Richard Jones, Keith Kittle, Steve Lasewicz, Howie Levine, Tom Nolting, Dave Sellers, Dick Sigal, Bob Sugarman, and Peter Wells.  A few members of this roving golf team attacked the very challenging course at Pine Valley, where the team’s unanimous choice as MVP, Keith Kittle, inscribed his scorecard with an impressive 77.  If they keep it up, these guys will be shooting their age in another 20 years