YAM Notes: November/December 2008

By Rich Banbury

Anyone within driving range of Louisville should find his way to the Speed Museum, where Yale has temporarily deposited the heart and soul of its 18th and 19th century collection of American Fine and Decorative Arts, including renowned works by Frederic Church, John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, Charles Willson Peale and John Trumbull, as well as Stephen Decatur’s gold sword and silver crafted by Paul Revere.  Quite the coup for Louisville, which has a strong and loyal contingent of Yale alumni.  This unprecedented roadshow includes American treasures from the birth of the nation to the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1863,  emphasizing the richness and strength of American arts over a period of two centuries.  David Wood, a proud citizen of the Blue Grass state, was among those instrumental in bringing the Yale exhibit to Louisville and raising the funds necessary to underwrite this unprecedented venture.  Following its stay in Louisville through January 4, 2009, this marvelous collection will transit to Seattle (February 26, 2009 to May 24, 2009) and Birmingham (October 4, 2009 to January 10, 2010), before finding its way home to New Haven.

Not many of us know that Baguio was once the summer capitol of The Philippines, but I have been informed that Peter Parsons, operating from that city, continues as a determined and dedicated force in preserving and teaching the wartime history of this South Asian archipelago.  At times Peter’s efforts in this regard have been something of an irritation to the Government, which encourages tourism from North Asia, including Japan.  But with his strong ties to that country, and his dad’s heroic role there during World War II, it’s no surprise that Peter, like Douglas MacArthur, has returned.

A Guggenheim Foundation fellowship has been awarded to Dan Horowitz for his sabbatical research relating to the manner in which European and American intellectuals, during the second half of the 20th Century, analyzed and identified an emerging consumer culture which created “both pleasure and forms of symbolic exchange”.  As the Mary Huggins Gamble Professor of American Studies at Smith College, Dan will resume his teaching responsibilities during the next academic year.  His scholarly work entitled The Anxieties of Affluence: Critiques of American Consumer Culture, was awarded the 2004 Eugene Kayden Prize for the best book published by a university press in the field of humanities.

An incisive Op-Ed commentary by Ned Cabot, who is teaching public policy and law at Trinity College, shines a bright light on the failure of both national political parties to take ownership of the uncontrolled deficit spending required to support an aggressive federal agenda.  Ned wisely observes that “… when politicians fail to level with us … it’s because they fear we’ll punish them for telling us hard truths”.  Ned’s astute and thoughtful manner is also demonstrated by his recent move from Brooklyn to Hartford.

Gene Scott has posthumously been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame at Newport, Rhode Island.  In 1963, when he was ranked 4th in the country, Gene successfully competed in both singles and doubles for the victorious United States Davis Cup Team.  His contributions to the sport of tennis were far reaching, including the management of tournaments, twenty books on the subject of tennis, and his role as a television commentator.

The Class of 1960, in its own kind of way, is a business, at least in the sense of having revenue, expenses, and a Treasurer.  Dave Carls is the watchful keeper of our modest treasure.  By his latest calculations, Dave reports that we as an entity have a cash balance of $71,288.  In addition to earned interest, our revenues include fees from various events and tax-deductible contributions made by class members.  An impressive number of   classmates shared their personal treasures with the class during the most recent fiscal year.

I heard a somewhat quixotic feature on National Public Radio not long ago reporting on the challenge of writing a six-word autobiography.  Several clever examples were recited, the only one I remember being the rather poignant:  Road less traveled, now know why.  Send me an email if you’re inclined to conger up such a mini-bio and share it with your classmates.