YAM Notes: May/June 2014

By Rich Banbury

The theme for our off-campus reunion later this year is Autumn in New York. Peter Wells, with the assist of many Manhattan classmates, is putting together an exciting program for the long weekend of September 26-28th. Details and registration information will most likely have already been circulated by the time that you read this column. Peter is also planning an option on Saturday afternoon at the Yale Club for a very special televised sporting event from New Haven.

A corps of cadets, decamping from West Point, will presumably invade and occupy Yale Bowl on this coming September 27th. The main purpose for this military maneuver is to join in a centennial celebration recognizing the iconic Bowl, which in 1914 was the largest football stadium in the land. Near 70,896 spectators, the original capacity, entered through 30 ground-level portals. Emerging from those long tunnels, one would have observed the pristine green carpet of combat, waiting below for the first 22 gladiators to take the field, a ritual which has continued for a century. The choice of the United States Military Academy as the visiting team brings a splendid layer of tradition and pageantry to the ceremony.

Norman Dolph knows what it’s like to be at the nexus of music and art. Norm was recently profiled in the “Classic Tracks” section of Sound on Sound, a British music journal, with regard to his co-producing the album known as The Velvet Underground and Nico in 1966. The album featured Lou Reed, who died last October, and was at one time the guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter for the Velvet Underground, an innovative rock band. Andy Warhol was the manager of the Velvet Underground, which was the house band at his art studio. Somewhere along the spectrum of artistic appreciation, Warhol’s painting entitled Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster), sold for $105 million. Norm has solved the city or country lifestyle, at work and pleasure in both Manhattan and Madison, Connecticut, and can be reached at NEDOLPH@aol.com.

Sable Shadow and The Presence is the fifth novel authored by Bill Peace. This is a fictional autobiography of the late Henry Lawson, a renowned Australian poet and writer, who as a child heard voices speaking for God and the devil. The novel explores the existential dimension of its subject and his creative work. Well received, Sable Shadow was awarded second place in the Adult Fiction category of the London Book Festival. You can catch up with Bill at bill@williampeace.net.

Many members of the class, of course, wear out their passports with assignments and adventures all over the globe. Bill Levit is a good example. His most recent sojourn took Bill to Maseru in the Kingdom of Lesotho, to teach a seminar on International Commercial Arbitration. This short course was appreciated by government lawyers from various Eastern and Southern African countries.

It was nice to see John Levin recognized by Kathrin Day Lassila, in her January column as the Editor of the Alumni Magazine. The theme of her column is the smart and successful investment of our class funds, initiated by John, and eventually applied to the Yale endowment. Our 25th reunion gift was cited as an example of a creative and somewhat aggressive approach to investing. Kathrin acknowledges our class for having “… managed to persuade both Yale’s fund-raising staff and the alumni gifts advisory committee to let them deviate from the usual course … not only did [our] class deliver over $500,000 more than expected, but succeeding classes followed its lead and also invested in equities.” The column takes another step in giving credit to 1960 as “a precursor to the more famous Class of 1954 … and in its way a precursor to Yale’s investment strategy today.” Further evidence of service and generosity by the Class of 1960. . . for Country and for Yale.

Many of us engage in recreational swimming, but I suspect only one has recently enjoyed a wet splash around the island of Corregidor in the Philippines. This would of course be Peter Parsons. His time in the 25 degree centigrade water was four hours. Corregidor was the last holdout of American forces at the beginning of World War II, and the place where General Douglas MacArthur fulfilled his famous pledge to return. There is also a connection to the heroic role of Peter’s father, Chick Parsons, during the Japanese occupation. Peter’s report acknowledges the significance of the location: “As I went around the island, I gave off silent prayers and greetings to the various heroes who had died there and who had retaken it.” Preparation for this 12 kilometer salty swim included encouragement from many directions, including Kent Atkins. Peter’s “virtual coach” with regard to training and endurance for this impressive endeavor was Foster de Jesus. Foster and Kent were both splendid splashers on our undefeated swim team. Those 14 victories extended Yale’s dynastic winning streak to 196, over a period of 15 years.

Don’t forget that we have a class website at yale60.org.