YAM Notes: May/June 2005

By Rich Banbury

Wire service reports flooded the front pages of daily newspapers across the nation announcing that a member of our Class had been put in charge of the nation’s most vital secrets.  One such dispatch, under the convenient attribution of combined wire services, stated that John Negroponte would control a gargantua which includes “15 secret bureaucracies … that jealously guard their turfs’ cultures and budgets”.  Unlike E.F. Hutton, when John speaks with Porter Goss in confidence, nobody listens, including Steve Hadley, Condi Rice, and George Bush.  With Porter serving as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, it appears that our Class has been given major responsibility for the entire Intelligence apparatus of the Executive Branch, although I suppose Rumsfeld will continue to operate a credible sideshow in his five-sided building.

There are several other members of our Class who have contributed significantly to the work of the Intelligence Community, coming home at night trying to distinguish which newly-assimilated items were top secret as opposed to highly classified.  With so much delicate information swirling in the head, remembering what can be discussed over dinner with close friends must be something of a chore.  (When in doubt, discretion always prevails.)  All of this, of course, has been examined by Yale Professor Robin Winks in Cloak and Gown, which chronicles the long tradition of Eli spymasters, a mantle now assumed by our most trustworthy mates.

Still serving ’em up and chasing ’em down, Gene Scott won the 2004 World Senior Singles Tennis Championships in Philadelphia.  As a student-athlete in New Haven, Gene achieved the rare distinction of earning nine varsity letters.  In an era when freshman were ineligible for varsity sports, Gene accumulated three letters each in soccer, hockey and tennis.  He had an unprecedented tenth at hand when he joined the combined Yale-Harvard Track and Field Team as a high jumper for the quadrennial competition against the Oxford-Cambridge squad, participation in which would have assured another varsity letter.  At the last moment, however, Gene had an opportunity to enter the qualifying rounds at Wimbledon and was lured away to that tennis classic by the enticing aroma of strawberries and cream.

Speaking of class jocks, it’s reassuring to learn that Pete Riddle is still enjoying athletic success.  His preferred competition continues to be the 10K mud run at Camp Pendleton, although he and Betsy also travel on a regular basis to Colorado for a literally breathtaking challenge known as the Bolder Boulder 10K.  Leaving land sports behind, Pete and Betsy ventured off to Honolulu, where they completed a 10-mile side-by-side crossing of the Maui Channel.  No neophyte in swimming circles, Betsy was recently inducted into the International Masters Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale.

Sailing continues to be the sport of choice for Jim Porter, who catches the sea breeze in Aria, a ketch he describes as “my little doubleender”.  (Well it’s not technically a ketch, but ketch is a catchy word.)  Living in Chatham, New Jersey, Jim keeps Aria at anchor with the venerable Harlem Yacht Club, located on Eastchester Bay, where the tidal waters of Long Island Sound refresh the shores of City Island.

Yet another item from the sports desk.  Arv Murch and Pete Knudsen were spotted at Payne Whitney for the home basketball game against Harvard.  Yale pulled out a 54 to 53 win, which turned out to be a good omen.  The following week the Eli hoopsters easily swept perennial powers Penn and Princeton.  Serving as the President of Ecoair Corporation in Hamden, Pete regularly sneaks out early to work the abs at the Yale Gym.  Arv has been laboring to restore and remodel his shoreline home in East Haven, after a long and rewarding career in higher education.  With an academic interest in criminology and sociology, Arv ventured off to the business side, working in the development area at Yale, Stanford, Smith and Williams.

While on the subject of shoreline construction, Marshall Streibert reports that he has taken on a new job building castles in the sands of Sarasota.  His rookie construction manager is his three-year-old son Nathaniel.  Anyone seeking employment in the castle-building business should contact Marshall at (941) 361-2468.  Age discrimination is obviously not a concern for prospective employees.

Although technically retired as a general partner and chair of the Public Finance Department at Goldman Sachs, David Clapp still gets called on from time to time to lend an experienced hand in delicate matters involving client relations.  Connie and Dave divide time between Manhattan, a horse farm in Millbrook, New York, their ranch along the Madison River in Montana, and a southern outpost at the Jupiter Hills Club in Tequesta, Florida.  These diverse venues yield a nice recreational spectrum, including fly fishing, horseback riding, shooting, and that ubiquitous game called golf, not to mention the more strenuous endeavor of chasing after five grandsons.  With all of this, as well as dining according to Dr. Atkins, Dave has been contributing time and energy to the pro bono world.  He serves as chair of the New York Arthritis Foundation and chair emeritus of the Museum of the City of New York; his volunteer commitments also benefit Scenic Hudson and Kent School, where Dave serves as a trustee.  Classmates are encouraged to contact Dave and Connie at (212) 772-6899.

Cynthia Alling has sent a letter to the Class, through Matt Freeman, advising that the Tandem Friends School has achieved its goal of raising one million dollars.  Cynthia and her family “are everlastingly grateful for the overwhelming generosity from the Class of ’60 whose contributions to the Duncan Alling Fund made a major difference”.  The Class Memorial Service will be conducted on Friday, May 27th and Cynthia will be with us to honor Duncan and other departed classmates on that occasion.

Stayoung. Richard