YAM Notes: March/April 2014

By Rich Banbury

The calling of the clan will be twice heard as our class marches to the music of those distant bagpipes. It is anticipated that there will be a very special gathering in New York during the last weekend of September. Save the date. Details to follow. The fifty plus five reunion in New Haven is in the planning stage, under the leadership of Al Puryear and Harry Mazadorian. I expect that a tour of the renovated and expanded Yale Art Gallery will be available as one of the activities. Better bring good walking shoes, there is a lot to see, including the three intriguing Edward Hopper works.

There is yet another reason for visiting the Art Gallery, which is the exhibition room dedicated to Dura-Europos. A well preserved classical city on the bank of the Euphrates River, Dura-Europos was part of the Roman Empire, having been conquered by Roman legions in A.D. 165. The neighboring and indigenous Sassanians (aka Persians) were not friendly neighbors. After a long siege by the Sassanians, the Romans abandoned the city during 256 – 257 A.D. The city had been originally founded during the Hellenistic Era in 303 B.C. as an east west trade route along the Euphrates. Dura-Europos became an extraordinary archeological site, with several digs starting in the 1920s, including the unearthing of an early Christian church, with its frescoes believed to be the most ancient Christian paintings. One of those frescoes portrays Jesus and Peter walking on water. The Yale Art Gallery is fortunate in having an impressive collection of Dura-Europos artifacts and a sufficient space to display them. In recognition of the philanthropic role of Mary and Jim Ottoway, this permanent collection is in a first floor exhibition room dedicated as The Mary and James Ottoway Gallery of Dura-Europos.

Author Peter Green of St. Louis is prolific and eclectic. In addition to his novels and short stories, Peter has established a multimedia publishing business, operating under the name of Greenskills Press. In addition to his Patrick MacKenna mystery novels, Crimes of Design and Fatal Designs, Peter has authored an illustrated edition of Dad’s War with the United States Marines, a provocative title for his World War II biography of Ben Green, which has been reissued with the new title of Ben’s War with the U.S. Marines. For more information, google Pete’s Bookshop.

From those who have responded, and others in general conversation, the late semester panic dream is, or at least was, a common dream. Waking to realize that the totally neglected course was only a phantom, universally yields a powerful wave of relief.

Dick West is a strong advocate for proton beam therapy. He will be pleased to share his experience with inquiring classmates, and can be contacted at DickWest99@aol.com.

Bob Sugarman is not inclined to slow down. Although Bob’s term as National Chair of the Anti-Defamation League ended in 2012, he has now begun his term as Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, an umbrella of 50 member organizations. The mission of the Conference is to enhance relations with Israel and promote the security and dignity of Jewish communities all over the world.

At the last census, a full-participation parade would consist of 783 classmates. Bob Ackerman, our class treasurer, reports a balance of $51,601. Our annual obligations include a sum of approximately $12,000 for receipt of the Alumni Magazine. The underwriting of Branford Fellowships last year totaled $15,000.

If you are looking for Joe Crowe in Austin, he and Joan undertook a reverse migration from Texas to Cape Cod three years ago. The major consideration may have something to do with ten grandchildren in New England.

Last November Helen and Peter Chapin, denizens of Santa Fe, journeyed to North Branch Station in New Jersey. At the Printmaking Center of New Jersey, Peter presented 26 drypoint and mixed media works at the 40th anniversary of the Center, of which he was a founding member.

Rob Hanke brings back memories of an unnamed motorcycle gang which included Frank Ball, Al Chambers, Tony Forstmann, Lew Lehrman and Rob with his Indian Chief bike. A few of these lads lost their way, but returned to graduate with later classes. Lew continues to author well-received books relating to United States history, including American Founders, efficiently casting a wide net over the early decades of our remarkable Republic.