YAM Notes: September/October 2006

By Rich Banbury

The next gathering of the clan will take place over a period of three days beginning on May 10th in the historic city of Boston.  (I hesitate to use the phrase mini-reunion, since the prefix suggests a minimization of the scope and size of the enterprise.)  Although we will be 231 years too late to witness the Boston Tea Party or join Paul Revere on his ride through the colonial suburbs, the planning committee is arranging a lively litany of activities to challenge the intellect and excite the senses.  Featured explorations include (1) Italian Renaissance sculpture and an Edward Hopper retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts, (2) traversing the decks of Old Iron Sides, (3) an evening with the Boston Pops, (4) a panel discussion involving Yale Undergraduates who have benefited from our various summer fellowship programs, and (5) professorial ruminations by a couple of academics whose wit and wisdom are normally pronounced within the courtyards of that institution on the other side of the Charles River.  Those venturing off on their own should consider visiting the JFK Library and Museum, where one can reprise, through archival video and otherwise, that extraordinary campaign and election which took place in the immediate aftermath of our graduation ceremonies in New Haven.  While in South Boston, don’t miss the opportunity to have a great seafood dinner at Anthony’s Pier 4, which has its own historic collection of photographs (downstairs) and early Boston paintings (upstairs).  The talented crew of Bob Ackerman, Dave Carls, Al Durfee, Ted Stebbins, and Jim Taylor, who are running the show for the Boston Retreat, have reserved a number of rooms in advance.  You may contact Bob Ackerman at backerman@watermill.com in order to secure lodging and register for events.

Don’t get into any lacrosse scrimmages with the Curran family in their backyard in West Hartford, or at any of the parks in Newport, where Mike and Nancy have a second home on historic Pine Street.  It is indeed rare for a father and son (or daughter) to not only compete on the same varsity team at Yale, but also to have the honor of serving as captain of that team.  Nonetheless, Mike Curran captained our varsity lacrosse team in 1960, while Mike’s son Jeff was elected captain of the 1992 laxmen.  Having previously sojourned to the Antarctic, Mike and Nancy are now planning a trip to the Artic Circle, where they plan to study Polar Bears and other indigenous creatures of the far north.

The China institute recently honored Oscar Tang at a dinner in New York, as featured in the Styles section of the Sunday New York Times.

The ranks of our globetrotting golf team continue to grow.  Last May seventeen classmates attacked various courses in Monterey, where the Pacific Ocean can quickly swallow up a badly sliced drive.  Steve Lasewicz reports on the latest tour, including the “lightening fast greens and spectacular ocean views” of the Monterey Peninsula Country Club.  Tom Trowbridge was the advance man, coordinating on-course and extra-curricular activities for the rest of the guys, and Merrill McGowan of Hillsborough was a congenial host at the Cypress Point course.  Having rented a home in the area, George Rieger showed the team how to enjoy a good meal without breaking par, including his personally selected tastes of the grape.  It was no surprise that the low scorer was Keith Kittle, whom Lazz describes as having stroked three “sensational rounds”.  Honoring the memory of Duncan Alling, The Alling Cup was won by Tom Nolting for his low net score.  The other participants in this fun time on the fairways were Mike Dickerson, Matt Freeman, Rick Jones, Howard Levine, Bob Payne, John Reese, Dave Sellers, Dick Segal, Bob Schmidt, Dave Toomey, and Peter Wells.

As far as I can tell, no one has seriously considered creating an Ivy League Football Hall of Fame to permanently honor the great athletes and national leaders who have played on the fields of the Ancient Eight during the past 140 years.  The natural location for such an undertaking would be New Haven, where the modern version of football came to life under the imaginative leadership of Walter Camp.  The site might be proximate to the restored Yale Bowl, or perhaps across Central Avenue where the old Armory, constructed in 1916 for the United States Cavalry, now serves as an indoor Equestrian and Polo Center.  With the dominance of the National Football League and the scholarship programs, there is a tendency for the rich tradition of football at Yale and its brother institutions to fade from the collective consciousness of the community.  The Ancient Eight should not become the Forgotten Eight.  Just an idea.