YAM Notes: May/June 2012

By Rich Banbury

Where have you been, Chuck Folds? Apparently in plain sight on the east side of Manhattan. Having worked as a professional jazz pianist for over a half century, Chuck can be found any weekday at the Park Avenue Plaza on East 52nd, where he has been entertaining the luncheon crowd for 18 years. His new CD, Chasing a Dream, has been well received by jazz aficionados. From his opening signature play, It Don’t Mean a Thing, to his closing take on Don’t Ever Say Goodbye, the CD is packed full of jazz favorites, including standards such as Muskrat Ramble and I Can’t Give You Anything But Love. Fluid improvisation invigorates Chuck’s style, which adds “bits of melody around the original to bring out the song’s feeling.” Chasing A Dream can be acquired through Arbors Records, 1-800-299-1930, or rnrd@gate.net.

Having adjusted nicely to the cool climate in Minneapolis, Margie and Tony Sullivan are enjoying their newly-adopted metropolis. As fate would have it, Tony’s old pal from the Davenport days, Steve Keiley, was looking for someone to help guide him through construction projects in the Arab and Islamic world. Steve is a creative, free-lance entrepreneur. As the founder and CEO of Virginia-based TerraBuilt Corporation International, Steve brought Tony on board as an expert in Middle East culture and customs. Tony also continues to lecture in the eastern Mediterranean as a Senior Fellow at the Fund for American Studies. In teaching his course on the mysteries of political philosophy and comparative culture in the Arab world, Sull has garnered a reputation as “Dr. Tony”, from Minneapolis to Mumbai. Tony also continues his scholarly research and writing on the history and politics of the currently dynamic Middle East region.

How many of our physician classmates have attended to both a former President of the United States and also a former President of Yale. As a fourth-year student at the Medical School, Don O’Kieffe performed a history and physical on A. Whitney Griswold, who had been admitted to what was then known as Grace New Haven Hospital. A few years later, when Don was doing rotations at Walter Reed, one of his cardiac patients was Dwight Eisenhower. Exhibiting an appropriate and supportive bedside manner, Don had many long onversations

with Ike. At one point he took an opportunity to ask General Eisenhower about his most memorable experience during World War IL Surprisingly, reflecting on the fierce battle for dominance of the skies, the distinguished patient responded “When I first saw a German jet over France”.

A cute note from Ted Weiss, who continues his psychiatric practice in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. Comparing himself to golfing maven Al Gilison, Ted remarks that he too can score his age, but unlike Al, Ted has accomplished that feat in just nine holes. Another of our psychiatrists, John Rennner, has been promoted to professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine.

Art Munisteri is dancing in western Massachusetts. Recently retired from his professional career as a New York attorney, Art and Nancy have purchased a country homestead in South Hadley, where they enjoy folk dancing and English country dancing. Now nestled in the Pioneer Valley, with five colleges not far from his new digs, Art also enrolls in a course now and then to rejuvenate his academic skills.

Not many of our classmates stop over in North Korea for a week while on their way to Vladivostok. But for Missy and Bill Levit it was just another Pacific rim walk in the park. Once arriving at Russia’s easternmost city, Bill undertook his assignment to lecture on international arbitration at the Law and Management Institute of Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service. Missy stayed busy teaching English as a second language to staff and faculty members. Next September Bill intends to reprise his lecture series at the Far Eastern Federal University Law School, also in Vladivostok, followed by a similar stint at Baikal State University in Irkutsk. While phasing out his law practice in Milwaukee, Bill continues as a trustee of the State Investment Board, one of the top ten public pension plans in the country, having been re-appointed to that position prior to the election of controversial Governor Scott Walker.

For a fun trip down memory lane, vintage 1956-1960, be sure to read Chapters 7 through 9 of David George Ball’s Memoir entitled A Marked Heart. The photograph of Dave, Chas Wood and Ambler Moss driving around campus in and on a Model A Ford to promote a lecture by Henry Ford, adds to the nostalgia. Look closely, and you will also see Handsome Dan poking out of the rumble seat. At that time, Dave had revitalized the undergraduate lecture series, recruiting such high-profile luminaries as Walter Reuther, Ford, and Martin Luther King to speak before large audiences in Woolsey Hall. The manner in which Reverend King inspired Dave is a recurring theme throughout the personal narrative of this book. Numerous classmates appear as cameo characters in this story, including roommate Nick Kangas, whom Dave first met in Chicago prior to their college years together. Other classmates who helped form the fabric of the story, include Jack Heinz, Charlie McCarthy, David Holbrook, Bob Giegengack, Larry Bogert, Dick Lindgren and Bart Giamatti. Dave’s long business career was followed by his relatively short but highly productive term of service,as Assistant Secretary of Labor in the administration of President George H.W. Bush. Ever since a fortuitous sitting between Averell Harriman and Henry Luce, while still an undergraduate, Dave continued to encounter numerous of the country’s political leaders. Among them were Eleanor Roosevelt, Gerry Ford, David Boren, Bill Clinton for one of his Renaissance Weekends at Hilton Head, Chris Dodd, Elizabeth Dole, Dave’s boss at Labor, and his confirmation nemesis Senator Howard Metzenbaum. The college experience which we all shared with Dave clearly played a crucial role in his ultimate success. As he writes at the end of Chapter 9: “I have graduated from Yale on a magic carpet. I am setting out with the rest of the class of 1960 to run the country”.