YAM Notes: July/August 2006

By Rich Banbury

Email from Class Notes Correspondent Richard Banbury to Yale, July 8, 2006

In this year of half-century high school reunions, it’s great to see so many mates vigorously pursuing athletic distinction.  Former Assistant Hockey Coach Bruce Wolanin ’91 lauds Jim (Iron Man) Trowbridge for his competitive play during the most recent alumni hockey game.  Jim was awarded a dubious honor as the Most Experienced Player still chasing pucks around Ingalls Rink.  Bruce also mentioned Guy Robinson who, although no longer chasing those pucks, has become a master for disseminating interesting and amusing stories on the internet, as well as spectacular birds-eye photos of cities such as Shanghai and Singapore.  Robo recently warned his network about the Great Apes Project, an apparent scheme to expand the universe of bipeds entitled to the protection of human rights.  No shrinking violet when it comes to opposing radical platforms, Robo is rallying the troops against this monkey business.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of their Yale acceptance letters, Ken Blackford, Harry Clein, Owen Cylke, Tom Dent, Mike Griffin, and Harold Hammett recently gathered at Laguna Beach with their wives and significant others.  Owen reports that this band of Durfee/Calhoun lads discovered that “whatever chemistry brought us together back then seems still to be at work – only enhanced by the addition of the ladies”.  They also took some special time to remember a seventh compadre, P. V. Foster, who passed away in 2000.

It’s no secret by now that John Negroponte has succeeded Porter Goss as the articulator of the daily intelligence briefings for the guy who sleeps in the East Wing of the White House.

From Emerson, New Jersey, we learn that Don Segal is enjoying part-time work as an actuarial consultant, thereby joining a rather long list of blissfully ambivalent half-retired classmates.  Don also reports that he has been elected as a Vice-President in the American Academy of Actuaries.

The May class conclave in New York is reported to have been a hugh success.  The marquee event was Fay Vincent’s oratory at the dinner on Friday night, a remembrance of his good friend Bart Giamatti, whom he met through Peter Kinpe.  Though a Williams grad, Fay is closely associated with our Class, particularly through numerous Yalie buddies he knew at Hotchkiss and Yale Law School, including his dear friend Harry Mazadoorian.  Fay’s affection for Yale also derives from the fact that his dad captained both the football and baseball teams as a Bulldog.  His closest connection, however, involved his relationship with Bart, as they entered the national fray together when first Bart, and then his deputy Fay, became successive Commissioners of Major League Baseball.

Those classmates who annually select the undergraduates receiving Aspin, Heinz, and Branford fellowships consistently report on how impressed they are with the Yalies of today.  Arabic, Farsi and Mandarin have replaced French, German and Spanish for many students twisting their tongues in New Haven language labs.  Their field work with governmental or NGO agencies, sponsored by our fellowships, now reach all points on the globe.  A large number of well-traveled mates assisted Pete Knudsen in the screening and selection of the most recent cadre chosen for such fellowships.  Among those contributing in this regard were Matt Gardner, Arvin Murch, Matt Freeman, Peter Cooper, Nick Storrs, John Wilkinson, Ben Erdreich, Owen Cylke, John Dwyer, Bill Martin, and Chuck Schmitz.

The state of the Class Treasury remains quite healthy, with a shifting balance in the range of $45,000.  Dave Carls, our Class Treasurer, is grateful for the dues and program contributions which totaled $27,880 with about three months left in the fiscal year.    

In Memoriam.  Within a period of 27 days last Spring, we lost three outstanding and distinguished members of the Class.  A member of the United States Davis Cup Team in 1963 and 1965, when he was ranked 11th in the world, Gene Scott was admired and respected by generations of tennis players and aficionados.  He was the founder, Publisher and Editor-In-Chief of Tennis Week Magazine, and over the years authored twenty books on the game and sport of tennis.  Gene was also the director of more than 200 tennis tournaments throughout the world, and was still competing at a world-class level in 2005.  Among those speaking at the services for Gene in New York City were his friends Billie Jean King and John McEnroe.  In addition to his grand achievements in tennis, Gene also was a member of the Bar in the State of New York and served on the Board of Arbitration of the New York Stock Exchange.

An outstanding and devoted member of the Class, Bill Stiles actively engaged in the practice of law in Portland, Oregon from 1965 until 2006.  He was a leader in the

Oregon bar, where he was widely known for his expertise in commercial and insurance law.  Bill’s advice was often sought on matters of professional ethics, and his reputation for integrity and decency was legendary.

Charles Newman was a young instructor in the English Department at Northwestern in 1964 when he became the Editor of TriQuarterly, which he nurtured into a journal with an international reputation for publishing the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Joyce Carol Oates, Carlos Fuentes and other literary luminaries.  A Fulbright Scholar at Oxford, Charles became a prolific writer, including his 1984 novel White Jazz.  He was also the author of two non-fiction books, including A Child’s History of America in 1973.

These three men, who will be well remembered, were a great credit to our Class.