YAM Notes: January/February 2008

By Rich Banbury

The multitude of impulses and inclinations which motivate various members of the class to think and act in the first person plural continue to be expressed in a number of adventures.  Some but not all of these projects spring from the collective imagination of the class executive committee, acting as the operational arm of the Class Council.  In October, around a table down at Mory’s, several initiatives were discussed and dissected by the e/c over ice tea, Caesar salad, and other morsels from the traditional luncheon menu.  As a result, the likely locale for our next off-campus reunion has shifted from Beijing to St. Petersburg.  The one that’s considerably south of the other.  There may be some competition for Marty Adelman, and his Tampa/St. Petersburg contingent, from the east coast crowd, who observe the Sun rising out of the Atlantic from Vero Beach to West Palm.  There was also much discussion about the big event scheduled for 2010, with Pete Knudsen, Steve Lasewicz and John Wilkinson as the troika in charge of that celebration.  One concept, practiced by various classes, is to gather for a few days prior to the formal Reunion, perhaps at one of the beach towns somewhat to the east of the Elm City.  Madison was mentioned as a venue, with the Class of 1958 having formed a beachhead there under the leadership of Madisonite Jack Embersits.  An alternative approach involves several days of academic stimulation in New Haven, including seminars or lectures with willing Yale scholars, perhaps within a cluster of other classes bound for New Haven.  Anyone interested in working on the Reunion plans can contact John Wilkinson at (203) 777-7917 or john.wilkinson@yale.edu.  Those participating at the October executive committee gathering  were Bob Ackerman, Dave Carls, Rob Hanke, Pete Knudsen, Ed Leavitt, Barry Schaller, Jim Taylor, Peter Wells, John Wilkinson, and the author of this column.  Testifying to our continuing solvency, Dave Carls reported that our cash on hand is $57,000.

A great note from Ken Fujii, recalling that he frequently encountered Bart Giamatti, who was often found lounging on the Old Campus fence as Ken meandered from Silliman to the School of Architecture.  With Nathan Hale as the only witness, they spoke of English literature and American League baseball.  There presumably would have been less concentration on the Red Sox and Indians, Bart’s and Ken’s favored teams, if they could have foreseen Bart serving as president of the National League prior to becoming Commissioner of Baseball in 1989.  Ken also reprised an article that Bart wrote for Harper’s in 1977, memorializing Tom Seaver’s farewell.  The Mets pitcher must have hailed from Fresno, which Ken calls home, since his contemporaneous correspondence with Bart concerned Seaver’s Fresno connection.

Marty Adleman’s most recent tour of China was in the company of Jean and Randy Barry, as part of a small group coordinated by Marty’s wife Priscilla, an enterprising and experienced travel consultant.  One very special evening involved dinner with Po-Wen Huang, who “negotiated the menu at a very wonderful but exclusively Chinese Restaurant”.  Marty, having retired as a physician, has developed a scholarly interest in the Far East, and highly recommends China Shakes the World by James Kynge.  After six sojourns to the most populous  country on earth, Marty observes that the speed of China’s growth is “amazing and … a little scary”.

Another recently retired doc, Dave Mendelson, practiced obstetrics and gynecology for 40 years in the San Francisco and San Jose area.  Dave wishes to note the outstanding success of roommates Ben Erdreich, with a decade of service in Congress, Dale Purves, a neuroscientist at Duke, and Peter Workman, for his leadership of the Workman Publishing enterprise.

The most inspired and diligent troop of classmates is undoubtedly the vagabond golfers.  Their latest venue was San Francisco, including assaults on the most challenging of courses.  Merrill Magowan was the host at the San Francisco Golf Club, and at the Orinda Country Club   they were welcomed by Tom Trowbridge.  According to Steve Lasewicz, who organizes and chronicles these events, an amazing dinner at Orinda was “… selected by Tom to replenish the calories lost on the battlefield …we felt like honored triumphant warriors …”.  The three-day tournament concluded at the Olympic Club Lake Course, the site of four United States Opens.  Keith Kittle emerged with the low gross score and Lazz garnered the low net.  Lazz summed up the experience as follows:  “It is absolutely impossible to try to capture the magnitude of the camaraderie that these reunions generate among us”.  In addition to Merrill, Tom, Keith, and Steve, the participants were Mike Dickerson, Matt Freeman, Dick Gwinn, Mike Harris, Howie Levine, Tom Nolting, Jack Reese, George Rieger, Dave Sellers, Dick Sigal, Bob Sugarman, and Dave Toomey.