This Just In: November 2008

This month, we hear from the following '62 newsmakers: Jim White, Alex Garvin, Chris Cory, John Chapman, Phil Moriarty, Dick Haberman, Mike Kane, Roger Clapp, John Wickenden and Steve Susman. Sadly, we also have news of the death of classmate Bob Kemp.

Class Secretary Jim White reports that, while hiking to Phelps Lake in the Grand Tetons this summer, or maybe while rafting down the Snake River on a lovely evening, seeing beaver, elk, moose, and bald eagle on the trip, or perhaps while enjoying a cold beer and bison burger around the pool at his hotel, he's not sure which (maybe it was during all three of the above activities in the stunningly beautiful Mountain West), he thought about future Y62 matters. Anyway, Jim reports he's working on putting together off-reunion year mini-reunions, such as we've had periodically - and successfully - the past several years. One such event is already scheduled, a joint 70th Birthday Party, to be held in the fall of 2010, in New York City (where the terrific event we had for our collective 60th was held). And, with the advice and counsel of the others on the Y62 leadership team (David Honneus, Treasurer; Mike Kane, Corresponding Secretary; Al Chambers, AYA Representative; and Bill Boyer, Yale Alumni Fund chair), Jim has started the process of planning for our 50th reunion, the first step of which will be the selection of a reunion chair. Jim urges you to continue to read all our web site postings to stay abreast of progress regarding these activities. He would be pleased to hear from any classmate ( jameskwhite1221@aol.com ), and says he will respond to all e-mails tout de suite. BACK TO TOP

On September 1, Alex Garvin was interviewed on CNN, speaking on the future of urban architecture. There is video of the interview on Alex's web site www.alexgarvin.net, if you'd like to view it. BACK TO TOP

During the summer Chris Cory called in to report his scheduled ankle fusion surgery had gone successfully. Some rehab time will transpire before he is his old self and in the meantime, with leg movement at a minimum, he agreed with CorSec that this was an opportunity to develop massive upper body strength. BACK TO TOP

John and Jane Chapman headed to the French countryside for some weeks in August. For the past several years the Chapmans have spent part of summertime in the Luberon, renting a villa that has also accommodated visits from their children. John lingered at the Sorbonne the year after our graduation and an affinity for the French context has abided with him ever since, although he indicates this attraction is not reciprocated by the locals. John says he has dialed down at his law firm, retaining some of the perqs but few of the burdens. Recently he took time off to enjoy his 50th HS reunion (Hinsdale) where fellow alums Norm Chimenti and Baird Smith were among the revellers. John maintains his primary residence of many years in Evanston. BACK TO TOP

Phil and Meredith Moriarty, and Dick and Carol Habermann spent the summer in Northeast Harbor, Maine, where both families have a long track record, beginning as renters and eventually buying property and building homes. CorSec Mike Kane & spouse returned to the area for only the 5th year in a row, this time renting from old friends in nearby Seal Harbor, and had the pleasure of dining with the Moriartys at their club, a gem of a place that features clay tennis courts, a pool, and an understated clubhouse built many years ago by the Rockefeller and Ford families, among others. Phil is actually the President of this club. The Habermanns are on the home stretch of a massive renovation to a beautiful older home they purchased on the eastern shore of Somes Sound, and were kind enough to host Nancy and me to dinner there, followed by a concert in Northeast Harbor's community center. Phil informed me that he, Dick and I were fellow freshman residents of Bingham Hall, and it seemed odd in a wonderful way that we would meet - for the first time - 50+ years later on the coast of Maine. BACK TO TOP

In front of Phil's Club, Seal Harbor, Maine (L-R: Dick, Mike, Phil)

Also in August, Roger and Judy Clapp visited Seal Harbor and stayed overnight with the Kanes. They made the trip down from far-eastern Addison, Me where Roger is something of a country squire with a large rural property and is hyper-active in land trust and other community activities, while Judy manages design and construction of what will be their principal home. Counting the Clapps and John Wickenden (see below) there are 13 Class of 1962 families making their homes in Maine, and another uncounted number including CorSec who make it their summer destination. BACK TO TOP

John Wickenden has been in touch from Camden, Maine where he lives year round. He shares with us a thoughtfully written personal history that reveals an understandable ambivalence about Yale. He writes: "My Yale roots are deep. I was born in New Haven when both of my parents were in graduate school at Yale. After being a '62 YC grad, I was '66 MED, and then completed my orthopedic residency at Yale in '72. My older son is a Yale grad. One of my grandsons may aspire to being a 4th generation Yalie. Nevertheless, I have retained few Yale friendships, and only distant interest in Yale. I attribute that primarily to the fact that Yale of that day failed to recognize or support the fact that I was a gay man and as a result my undergraduate years were often sad and lonely. When I 'came out' about 30 years ago, most of my Yale friends seemed to dribble away. During the interval since then I've enjoyed watching increased general, and Yale-specific, acceptance of those of us who are gay. As for me now, I am a happy, productive, respected, and generally admired member of my community. With my partner of 26 years, I get a kick out of being recognized for having one of the most enduring, stable, and loving relationships in our circle of friends. As a totally out gay guy, I've learned that the biases of many of our fellow friends, colleagues, citizens is nudged as they realize that there are, in fact, a lot of decent gay people among us, and acceptance of gay identity is steadily growing." BACK TO TOP

As if Wall Street hadn't suffered enough this Fall, Steve Susman has just announced that his law firm, Susman Godfrey, is gathering some of its top litigators to join Steve in New York as a Financial Fraud Task Force, the idea being to represent and advise plaintiffs in an expected tsunami of litigation arising out of the current financial system turmoil. Within days after this announcement, the New York Times ran a long article confirming that this storm is about to break, showing that once again Steve is on the leading edge. For more detail see the firm's website: www.susmangodfrey.com. BACK TO TOP

In a fairly shameless fit of boasting, and hoping Jim Litvack is reading this, CorSec reports that his golf handicap index moved this season from 23+ to 19.8! Jim himself is in the single digits so it will be awhile before I play him for money. You may well ask what that small progress cost in $$ and moments of sheer rage and despair, but it feels good for the moment. BACK TO TOP

In conclusion, we regret having to report the death of Bob Kemp, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, on September 3d, after a brief illness. Bob earned an MBA at Harvard after graduation, and went on to a business career in Detroit, founding his own firm there with a childhood friend. He leaves his children and many grandchildren, and many friends. Bob Oliver will prepare a proper obituary for him, which will be published on this site in due course. BACK TO TOP

This Just In: June 2008

This month, we hear from the following '62 newsmakers: Jim White, Dave Honneus, Neal Freeman, John Chapman with news of Steve Susman, Chris Cory, Klaus Kertess, Roman Weil, Rob Flint, Phil Proctor and Bill Weeden. We also have news of Lorin Boswell, Dick Radsch, David Smay III and Don Pillsbury.

Over recent months Secretary Jim White's vision of a Class Council became reality as 39 classmates signed up to join with our four class officers. On May 3d, the inaugural meeting of the Council took place at the Yale Club of New York, attended by 13 Council members in person and six more by conference call. Corresponding Secretary Kane dedicates his column space in this edition to the full minutes of the meeting, so please take a few minutes to go there and see what happened.  BACK TO TOP

One of the decisions coming out of the meeting was that the Class will be having an online auction each year leading up to our 50th Reunion, with the goal of building up the Treasury to make the 50th memorable. Dave Honneus is the organizer and we need items like vacation homes, flats in London, Paris, Palm Beach and Vail, crewed Caribbean yacht cruises, consulting services, and/or anything you can think of!! More info in September but meanwhile please contact Dave at (845)278-2303, or at dhonneus@comcast.net. He will explain all!

And speaking of 50th Reunions, famous Class of '58 Yalie Dick Cavett just returned from his 50th and shares his semi-humorous impressions at (I found it via Google) www.nytimes.com/cavett.

Our last web posting promised excerpts from Neal Freeman's appreciation of William F. Buckley, published in the National Review's 50th Anniversary Edition in the Fall of 2005. Without further ado, here is a sample of that well crafted piece and a link to the full text, and thanks to Neal for this:

(describing his early years as a staffer at the National Review, Neal writes:) "...it was years before I realized that the most important part of the job may have been what I then regarded as a tiresome chore: handling Bill's correspondence. In those early days, at the dawn of the conservative era, he emboldened and guided and connected them all - from Ronnie and Barry to Phyllis and Brent to Clare and Roger to Dan and Kieran to almost three hundred others. The first generation of the conservative movement can be identified neatly. They were the people who corresponded with Bill Buckley, a committee of correspondence that he built into a national political force. And along the way - it must have been either inter alia or pari passu or in medias res -- he changed the world. Nice going, boss."

Every so often a thoughtful classmate will aid and abet CorSec by forwarding news of another classmate, and recently I was treated to a double-header of this kind. First, Chicago-based lawyer John Chapman brought to my attention a profile of Steve Susman that appeared in the February issue of the ABA Journal (ABA= American Bar Association, for you non-lawyers). Titled "The G-Man - A Week in the life of a $1000 -per -hour Lawyer", the article details form a week of Steve's unbelievably productive and exciting life, that includes not only high stakes commercial litigation in his law practice as founder and lead partner in Susman Godfrey, but also philanthropy, cultural events, a full social schedule, walking his brace of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and a personal trainer-led physical fitness regimen. As the ABA reporter assures us, there is only one Steve Susman, so there is not likely to be another story quite like this one in the ABA Journal. Read it.

Speaking of John Chapman, he has recently returned from a trip to Nepal. He has visited this tiny land numerous times in recent years and has become quite a familiar figure around Kathmandu, where he goes by the pseudonym "John Tenzing." John has taken a scholarly interest in Nepal and has even written several travelogues about it, but so far has withheld approval for me to share them on this site. Perhaps a barrage of classmate e-mails to John will convince him to release these works, and, not presuming to give out his address, please send them to me for forwarding along.  BACK TO TOP

Soon after this, heard from Chris Cory. Chris's wife Helen is the Publisher of the Easthampton Star, and the main purpose of his note was to share with us that the Star recently (June 8th) printed a great profile of our classmate Klaus Kertess, who continues a fascinating and productive career in the art world as a writer, curator, mentor, and gallery owner. If you are as uninformed about modern art and artists as I am, you will find this article an interesting and exotic glimpse into that world. By all means read it, at this link .

As for Chris himself, he reports he is about to have ankle surgery so he can get back to doing triathlons, and continues as Executive Director of Public Information at Pace University. We wish him a successful operation, and thanks Chris for the news.  BACK TO TOP

And in one final news-assist, Bob Oliver has sent us the June 8th NY Times announcement of Tad Ogden's recent marriage to Janet Whitman. The new Mrs Ogden is a financial advisor at a Wachovia Bank unit in New York City. Ted is retired from the financial world but among other things is active on the board of Mystic Seaport. Please join in congratulating Ted and wishing him all happiness.

Roman Weil recently published a really interesting scholarly article about one of his passions, wine, that was published in the Fall 2007 issue of the Journal of Wine Economics. He has agreed to edit this for reading by the common man and I hope this can be our feature article in the Fall edition of our website, www.Yale62.org.  BACK TO TOP

Our website sometimes brings unexpected rewards when it enables people from the outside world to contact classmates. In a recent example, a Mary Albert wrote me to ask help in getting touch with Rob Flint. Albert is a Dartmouth-based scholar and the chief scientist for the United States on something called the "Norwegian-U.S. Transverse of East Antarctica", a 1700- mile scientific expedition that is taking place over two seasons, starting this past winter 2007-08. (The expedition has a really interesting web site: http://traverse.npolar.no ). She found out about Rob by doing a web search on Plateau Station, where Rob spent his time in Antartica back in the late 60's, and this led her to his article "My Life in Antarctica" published on - you guessed it - our own www.Yale62.org! Naturally I passed on her email to Rob and it has developed that there will be a reunion of Antarctica veterans and scientist this summer in Port Clyde, Maine, where Rob expects to meet Ms. Albert and possibly collaborate with her professionally. We should hear further from Rob about this in our Fall posting.  BACK TO TOP

Our thespian classmates remain very busy on the left (Phil Proctor) and right (Bill Weeden) Coasts. Phil, who chronicles his LA-area activities along with some wonderful humor on his Planet Proctor website has a diverse portfolio of gigs going at any one time, many involving "voice" roles on CDs and radio commercials. He regularly collects industry awards for this work, by the way. I am not competent to cite these properly so refer you to Phil's website, where you will also find this gem among many in the humor department: "Where do men over 60 find younger, sexy women who will be interested in them?" Answer - "In the library, under "Fiction." Bill Weeden, operating in the New York theatre world, recently had a lead role in "The Magnificent Ambersons" that ran at The Brick Theatre in Williamsburg, and also appeared in " Handball", a play about oldsters having a grudge match that ran at the midtown Puerto Rican Travelling Theatre from June 21 through June 24. For more on Bill, go to www.billweeden.com .  BACK TO TOP

It is time to report on the results of our March Political Poll on this site, with a link to the results in detail as follows (results here). We got roughly 90 responses, about 14% of the 625 classmates that we think have working e-mail addresses and therefore can access www.Yale62.org . In brief, concerns about U.S. foreign policy, the Iraq war, and the economy dominated all other issues, and responders favored Obama over McCain as next CIC by a 2:1 margin. Suggestions for the Fall 2008 poll are welcome, because 14% admittedly is not a participation rate we can be satisfied with.  BACK TO TOP

Lastly, we must report with sadness that since www.Yale62.org last appeared we have lost classmates Lorin Boswell, Dick Radsch, David Smay III to lengthy illnesses, and very recently Don Pillsbury to an unexpected heart attack,. Obituaries prepared by Bob Oliver for Dick and David appear in this issue, and he plans to submit them for Lorin and Don at a future date. An official obituary for Don has appeared in the June 14th edition of The New York Times.  BACK TO TOP