YAM Notes: September/October 2019

By John A. Wilkinson

Dick West reports that he is avoiding total retirement by remaining on a couple of NYSE-listed companies and being the oldest and longest-serving chair of an audit committee. He also is a board member of the Buckley Program at Yale.

Monroe Price avoids retirement completely as director of Penn’s Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School, director of the Stanhope Centre for Communications Policy Research in London, and Danciger Professor of Law and director of the Squadron Program in Law, Media, and Society at the Cardozo School of Law, where he served previously as dean.

Chris Seger and Connie recently visited St. Petersburg and found “the Russians friendly, the food good, and the former Leningrad clean and accommodating in all respects,” just the opposite of what we experienced there in 1981 under the Soviet regime. Chris strongly recommends Steven Lee Myers’s The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin.

Harry Mazadoorian brought to my attention the obituary of the remarkable Carl Sokolowski, who died last December. Born in 1929, he survived the horrendous Hartford Circus fire, became a carpenter while in high school, earned a GED while serving in the Navy for ten years, and, after Yale College and Yale Law School, became a probate judge. See the full obituary at yale60.org. Harry also observed that, if Carl was the first-born member of our class, the question becomes who was the last? He thinks that it is his roommate, Larry Nazarian (May 17, 1940). Can anyone beat that? Larry, his wife Sharon, and I visited at length last year at the memorial service for Steve Kunitz in Rochester, New York, where John Blanpied spoke an eloquent and poignant eulogy. What a totally positive pair, the Nazarians!

Ray Crystal proudly reports that he will have a fourth grandchild enrolled in Yale College this fall. With almost 37,000 applications for less than 1,600 spots, this is no mean accomplishment, for the grandchildren that is. The grandparent role often is merely footing the yearly college bills, $72,100 in 2019–20. I remember $1,400 in 1956–57.

Several reunions ago, the wife of one of our classmates wryly observed that we do not give sufficient recognition to those who partnered in making us who we are—our wives, of course. Only each of us can make that amend. Lou Lehrman has already set the bar with the Louise Stillman Lehrman Courtyard in the Golden Center at Yale. And Jim Ottaway has made his statement with the Mary and James Ottaway Gallery of Ancient Dura-Europos in the Yale Art Gallery. We collectively, however, can acknowledge those women who have helped shape this Class of 1960. We have already honored Carol (BarrySchaller and Lynn (RobHanke at our reunions for their generous service on numerous occasions and in numerous ways. Let’s add Betty (JohnLevin to that roster for the many hundreds of us that she has wined and dined in her Manhattan homes. In Connecticut that role has been played by Carol Schaller, as well as Cricket (PeterNess, Janice (HarryMazadoorian, and my Virginia.Donna (SteveLasewicz has shared her husband with us while he planned and ran two reunions and Helen (PeteKnudsen has bravely lived for decades in a house designed by Dave Sellers. Of course, we know that Lisa (PeterWells lies behind Peter’s organization skills as class secretary. Lyn (JimTaylor has long been the quiet force for our mini-reunions, overseen by Jim, and Ronna (BillShipman managed the mini-reunion in L.A. with total success. See Ronna’s account on our website.

Kudos to my dear friend, Sperie Perakos ’38, recently featured in Yale News. Sperie is the longtime corresponding secretary for his Class of 1938, the birth year for most of us in the Class of 1960! Behind Sperie’s sprightliness is his nonpareil Nikki, known to many of us for her years of service to the Yale Alumni Association.

Otium cum dignitate.