YAM Notes: January/February 2017

By Rich Banbury

The October off-campus Los Angeles reunion was a great success. The leaders of this excursion were Bill Shipman, Bob Mallano, and Jim Taylor, with a special bow to Ronna Shipman for her exquisite itinerary and organization. By this time there should be photographs and more details at our class site of Yale60.org.

Salute to Theo Epstein ’95 for turning the Chicago Cubs from a perennial disappointment to World Series champions, in a seven-game triumph against the Cleveland Indians. The Cubs offered that trophy to the good supporters of Chicago, who had waited since 1908, including a patient fan of 108 years. By the way, Theo also had accumulated a Boston Red Sox squad that won the World Series in 2004 and 2007, treating the weary Bostonians, including Theo’s father, Les Epstein. Another longstanding scholar of the Game, Bart Giamatti, would have also celebrated those victories, if we hadn’t lost him on September 1, 1989, while he was commissioner of baseball. Wrigley Field (1914) for the Cubbies and Fenway Park (1912) for the Bosox are the oldest and most nostalgic of all the ballparks. Oddly, the first contest played in Fenway, an exhibition game, was the Red Sox against the Harvard Nine, a baggy bunch who walked and ran from Cambridge to the Fenway.

The Giamatti Bench on the Old Campus has recently been of renewed attention. This wonderful memorial sculpture, mainly designed by Dave Sellers, has been located in a place of peace and contemplation. A notion to move the bench closer to the High Street gate was quashed, partly by the effort of Peter Knudsen. Peter and others have thought of a book about the bench, or perhaps an article featuring the bench in the Yale Alumni Magazine. Also a brochure for guided visitors to the Old Campus is being considered. No question that there are and have been extraordinary members of our class. Bart, Senator Jack Heinz, and perhaps others were at times believed to be of US president caliber. Referring to Bart, the venerable writer Roger Angell shared his feelings as follows: “As exceptions are measured, he belonged on Mt. Rushmore.”

Bill MacKeinnon has completed and published his second volume on the Utah War, a close examination through the voices of participants in that little known civil war. At Sword’s Point (Part II) portrays the conflict from 1857 to the end of hostilities in June of 1858 (University of Oklahoma Press). At that time Brigham Young helped to replace the territorial governor and reassignment of the one-third of the US Army that had then occupied Utah. Mormons were living in the Utah territory under President James Buchanan, who eventually issued a blanket pardon for all Mormons occupying the Territory.

Seeking Father Khaliq is the seventh novel from the hand of Bill Peace. (Strategic Book Publishing). It is the story of an Egyptian professor of philosophy, as a secular Muslim, who is persuaded by a princess to undertake several religious pilgrimages. The writings of classical Arabic philosophers are discussed throughout by the characters. A project of more than two years. Bill lives and writes in London.

Time to visit the class website at Yale60.org.