YAM Notes: July/August 2019

By John A. Wilkinson

Matt Riddle reports from his home city of Portland, Oregon, that he and his wife, Diane Karl, have cut back on their medical practices, but he remains fully engaged editing the medical journal, Diabetes Care; and I note that Diane continues to host Early Morning Gumbo on KBOO Portland 90.7 FM, every Tuesday at 5:30 (!) a.m. PDT. It is well worth a listen, especially if you live in a civilized time zone. Matt observes that the current college admissions scandals do confirm that “life seemed much simpler back in the ’50s and ’60s.”

Correction: Al and Catherine Puryear have moved to Marco Island, Florida, 18 miles south of Naples, Florida, 113 miles south of Venice, Florida—definitely not San Marco, a district of Jacksonville or the tourist heart of Venice, Italy.

Steve Easter recommends a change in practice in these notes, to wit that we mention those recently deceased classmates, in addition to those back-page notices (once quaintly listed as Necrology), especially when there is an obituary, memorial, eulogy, etc. posted in bold face on our Class of 1960 website. Done. Let’s begin with the remarkable Don Worthy, lawyer, actor, veteran, singer, teacher, preacher, and public servant. Yale60.org, In Memoriam, Donald R. Worthy.

Laura Sprague Sudhaus ’88, daughter of our late Stuart Sprague, writes from Frankfurt, Germany, reporting the death of Dave Ilten, chemist, AYA delegate and governor, and near 40-year president of the Yale Club of Germany. See Laura’s beautiful tribute to Dave—again, on the website.

We also have a section at yale60.org called Classmates and Activities, containing that which any of you wants to report or share. Check it out, especially the recent report from Bob Sugarman. In addition to a myriad of volunteer and pro bono activities and loving grandparenting, Bob has won medals in three triathlons and is planning to participate in three more. One wonders about those 80-year-old joints, or are they replacements?

Clint Brooks, with his Yale PhD in astronomy, has had a long and distinguished career in both intelligence operations and cybersecurity with the National Security Agency. This spring he made a presentation about the role of this frequently misunderstood agency to the Yale Club of the Treasure Coast (Vero Beach), which also was a welcome opportunity for Clint and wife Catherine Marino to enjoy an event-filled visit with two of his Book and Snake cohort, Marty Gibson and Peter Seed and their wives, Ginger and Linda.

John Pepper sends greetings from Cincinnati, where he and Francie returned after mighty service to Yale. When not sharing his experience with nonprofit boards, such as the National Underground Freedom Center and Xavier University in New Orleans, John also writes. His book What Really Matters: Service, Leadership, People, and Values might be read by all who occupy or aspire to occupy offices in Washington in these fraught times.

Another author, the architect and St. Louis planner Peter Green, surfaced just as I had purchased his two thrillers, Crimes of Design and Fatal Designs. These two knuckle-biters expose the underside of the architecture profession, but the 12 or more of you who chose a career in design should be relieved to know that virtue is rewarded in the end and the protagonist has an 007 sex life. Pete has also written beautifully about the heroics of his father in the Philippines during World War II, complementing the extraordinary documentary film of Peter ParsonsRevisiting the Battle of Manila, a tribute to his own brave father who changed the course of the war.

And, while I am plugging authors, it would be worth your while to check out Lincoln and Churchill: Statesmen at War, by Lew LehrmanAt Swords Point: A Documentary History of the Utah War, by Bill MacKinnon (Howard Lamar is so proud!); and Our Land, Our Life, Our Future by Africa historian Harvey Feinberg.

Thinking of Howard Lamar, the great teacher of History 37, The Trans-Mississippi West, I know of three other surviving members of the faculty from our time: Harold Bloom (English 10), the dean of literary critics and author of 46 books; Martin Duberman, (History and Politics in Directed Studies); and Robert Jackson (Dostoevsky and Russian Literature). Others?

We might also acknowledge some, only some, of the greatly productive scholars and authors from our class, such as Yale mathematician Dick Beals, with 11 books from real estate to orthogonal polynomials; Harvard art historian and curator Ted Stebbins, with 22 books; and University of Michigangeologist and environmental geoscientist Jim Walker, with a mere 101 articles and 6,596 citations. Last for now and hardly least, we add that much-honored novelist, Boston University’s Les Epstein, with 12 books, nine novels, all of them a joy to this reader.

Do write. Space is limited, but there is the website, lest you forget: yale60.org.

Otium cum dignitate.