YAM Notes: September/October 2014

By Rich Banbury

As a little kid growing up in Connecticut, I spent many autumn Saturday afternoons at the Yale Bowl. Decades later, I was told that I was six weeks old when I had my first adventure to that iconic and then well-populated coliseum. Since I was born August 20th, I have good reason to accept that anecdote as credible. My first impressions as a very young patron, perhaps with others in that middle single-digit age, were the colors of the uniforms. For some reason, there was one very popular team always wearing blue and white, while the other group changed their colors each Saturday. (It was of course a dark blue, unlike Columbia’s whimpy light blue, and often was referred to as Yale blue.) I vaguely remember believing that the Yale athletes, and everyone associated with that institution, literally had blue blood. Carm Cozza’s biography, by Rick Odermatt, is entitled True Blue. Then there is the Yale murder mystery by Pamela Thomas-Graham under the title of Blue Blood (Simon & Schuster, 1999). Soon after graduating from Harvard phi beta kappa, Pamela secured a contract for three Ivy League murder mysteries. Her first novel of this trilogy was A Darker Shade of Crimson and the third Orange Crushed. Those two titles, of course, are played out on the campuses of Harvard and Princeton. I have read only the Harvard tableau, in which a young female economics professor, Nikki Chase, solves the murder of the Dean of Students at the Law School. It’s an enjoyable and well-constructed story, without the gift of literature.

By the time this issue is distributed in early September, a large red-blooded coterie of classmates will be on the verge of Autumn in New York, a three-day reunion orchestrated by Peter Wells, whose leadership as Class Secretary has been instrumental in continuing and preserving the dynamic nature of our Class.

On the theme of service to the class, co-chairs Al Puryear and Harry Mazadoorian are diligently planning for the on-campus 55th Reunion, and will report on their plans at the New York Reunion on September 27th. The dates for the New Haven conclave, May 28th to 31st, 2015, are locked in. So put off the trips to Yosemite and Yalta, so that you can make it back to Yale.

In any event, if you wish to reconsider your trip to Yalta, you may want to check out the Isle of Capri in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Last July Libba and Guy Robinson explored Capri, off the southern coast of Italy, and circulated a handsome photograph depicting where the island cliffs meet the deep blue salty sea. Robo recommends the Punta Tragara Hotel, somehow situated half way up a steep cliff. He reports that trekking down to the seaside for lunch was challenging, but more so the climb back up. With a present population of 12,200, Capri has a rich history going back to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages.

As we travel further into the digital age, there will be other avenues for sharing activities of Yale alumni, including our class. These sources include our class website, the Yale Alumni magazine website, and various blogs chasing numerous specific interests or esoteric subjects.

Tis half way through the eighth decade of our journey, with actuaries and monument carvers glancing our way. Wave them off.