YAM Notes: March/April 2012

By Rich Banbury

Where would one travel to find the classmate who lives farther north than all the others?  If you limited it to United States soil, the answer would be Bob Flint in Anchorage, with a latitude of about 61.13°.  Having recently retired from his law practice, Bob now does a bit of traveling himself, including a jaunt of approximately 4200 miles to New Haven, latitude 41.19°, for the Yale-Harvard football weekend last November.  Honoring a commitment they made at the 50th Reunion, Bob and Letha again rekindled strong friendships from days of yore, especially enjoying the warm hospitality of Chris and Bob Walsh at their condo in Wallingford, a dozen miles north of the Yale campus.  Although the Saturday afternoon skirmish in the Bowl went quite badly for the Yale side, Friday night’s feast at Mory’s was a great success.  The new Mory’s looks a lot like the old Mory’s, but with the addition of an outdoor dining patio and a new Temple Bar, which feels very much like an Irish Pub, including a large television screen covering the sports activities of the day.  With various a cappella singing groups sharing time and table with the Whiffs, the new vibe at the alehouse on York is several notches up from the old vibe.  I’m certain that Frank Moriarty would be more than pleased with the rejuvenated landmark derived from the original pub he opened in 1849.

Several of our classmates were sprinkled among the 55,317 who entered the Bowl through the 30 restored portals, while thousands more continued tailgating throughout the bright Saturday afternoon.  The Game marked three consecutive losses to Harvard for now former Coach Tom Williams, who also orchestrated six impressive wins over Princeton and Dartmouth during his three year tenure.  Coach Williams’ forced resignation, however, was not the result of losing on thrice tries against very strong Harvard clubs, but rather due to an overly polished resume.

Although Bob Flint is our only representative still living in Alaska, Jim Nowak and Pete Stocker were both long-time residents in that grand and scenic territory.  After graduating from Georgetown Law Center in 1963, Bob accepted a job working at the Office of the Attorney General in the capital city of Juneau, which can be reached by sea and air, but not by land.  One of his areas of special interest was adoption of Native American children, and Bob testified before the Senate in Washington, particularly with regard to protecting the rights of First Nation families in the new federal adoption law.  Retired now in Cape Coral, Florida, Pete Stocker had a long career as a construction manager, including a lengthy stint in Anchorage.  Jim Nowak thrived during his 20 years in Alaska, residing first in Eagle River and later Valdez.  After Yale, Jim worked as an engineer on the Boeing 747 engine in Seattle, and subsequently accepted a job up north as lead engineer on the new Bradley Lake Hydro Electric project.  He remained in Alaska for several years, including jobs which brought him to the North Slope oil fields.  Eventually Jim and Liz settled down in his old homestead near Stanwood, Washington.

Northern Lights.  At least three other classmates have ventured to northern climes on an international basis.  Mike Tappen lived in Moscow from 1998 to 2003, working with an executive search company, a clear indication of capitalism blossoming in a fading communist garden.  Now living in Easton, Maryland, Mike has recently formed RSR Russia with classmate Sergei Givotovsky, specializing in the recruitment of foreign independent directors for Russian-based enterprises.

Another classmate camping in the land of aurora borealis is Bob Pollard, who has for many years lived in Granna, Sweden, on Lake Vattern, with a 58.0° latitude.  The winner of the farthest north on the planet classmate contest is Olafur (Oli) Jonsson, a native Icelander, who dwells in Akureyri, Iceland.  Fluent in Icelandic, English, French, and German, Oli is occupied as a multi-lingual translator.  Located on the northern tier of Iceland, a visitor to Akureyra should be prepared for a brisk adventure at 65.6° north latitude.

Much further south, we can find Peter Chapin moderating panel discussions for the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, as part of the Lincoln Center Institute’s “Imagining Conversations, 50 Conversations in 50 States”.  In addition, Peter has been collaborating with Sana Morrow, combining and publishing her poetry and his prints, under the title of One More Time.