YAM Notes: May/June 2011

By Rich Banbury

On April 12, 1861, General Pierre Beauregard gave the order to fire the shore batteries rising above Charleston Harbor onto Fort Sumter, thereby igniting the Civil War.  After 34 hours of bombardment, Major Robert Anderson surrendered the Fort and his small contingent of 70 troops.  This notable site of American history, along with many others, will be available for inspection by classmates who attend our off-campus Reunion at Charleston on March 19-22, 2012.  Charlie Duell, a long-time denizen of Charleston, is coordinating an attractive agenda of activities for Classmates and their guests.  Jim Taylor is coordinating this event on behalf of the class executive committee.  Charlie serves as the President of the Middleton Place Foundation, which oversees one of the oldest and most interesting landscape gardens in the country, as part of the preserved ante-bellum Middleton plantation.  With its unique low country cuisine, Charleston is indeed a charming and authentic American coastal city.  For those staying through the week, the Friday afternoon martial parade on the campus of The Citadel, South Carolina’s own version of West Point, is a moving and quite spectacular sight.  Southern hospitality abounds in this walkable, low-rise, visually attractive seaside city.

What General  Beauregard started, Abraham Lincoln finished, thus bringing new life to the principles of freedom and self-governance as set forth in the Declaration of Independence.  This was the basic theme of an Op-Ed article by Lew Lehrman, a Lincolnian scholar, published on Lincoln’s birthday this year.  Quoting liberally from Lincoln’s speeches and writings, Lew cogently and concisely stated the case for President Lincoln’s preeminence among all his peers.  To an Ohio regiment in August of 1964, Lincoln said “We have, as all will agree, a free Government, where every man has a right to be equal with every other man.  In this great struggle, this form of Government and every form of human right is endangered if our enemies succeed”.

At least one of our mates considers himself to be a bionic man.  Without going into details of Yogi Jensen’s impressive surgical history, it’s worth noting that he has high praise for the “excellent medical and dental services” provided to him by the Ecuadorian healthcare professionals he has encountered in that country.

Quincy and Rob Northrop have pulled up stakes in Shepherdstown, West Virginia and planted the family flag in Ann Arbor, where they have been welcomed by Steve Easter and Jim Wessel Walker.  This strategic relocation has facilitated more frequent interaction with various grandchildren residing in Chicago and Cleveland.  Although leaving bucolic Shepherdstown where Rob was involved in the expansion of the Department of Music at Shepherd University and the creation of a new professional orchestra, it didn’t take many beats before he and Quincy joined the Ann Arbor “Cantata Singers of some 40 choristers”.

Our senior swim team had a sensational season and was undefeated in dual meets, including a 56 to 39 victory over a very talented Harvard team.  Our senior classbook tells the story of one of the freestyle sprints as follows:  “In the greatest competitive 100 free ever swum at Yale, Bruce Hunter of Harvard tapped the wall first in 48.6 while Peter Lusk was second in 48.8.  Both times broke the existing American and NCAA record of 48.9 and both swimmers set new school records”.  Those were still the days when highly competitive Yale swimming and diving teams were among the elite programs in the country.