Alumni Notes: January / February 2010

For those readers who are moving slowly into the computer age and get all their news by print, be advised that we posted a fresh edition of www.yale62.org on October 1. Thanks to our campaign to add email addresses, email notice of this posting reached about 20 more classmates than did the previous notice. We still have along way to go, about 200 MIA, so please send me your email address if you have been keeping it secret.

Hoping many were able to view the Sundance Channel documentary "Luckey" on October 26th. A very well done film on our classmate's work and life since his 2005 accident.

Waiting to hear from Kirk McDonald on the Manhattan mini-reunion held the weekend of October 17th, but early signs were that a good crowd was signed up and the program well-designed by Kirk and Steve Susman.

From the medical world comes news that Dr. Bill Shipley has achieved fresh honors with his recent selection by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) to receive the 2009 Gold Medal, its highest award. He currently is the Andres Soriano Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Harvard Medical School and the head of genitourinary oncology in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Bill has been a leader in this field for many years and holds many leadership positions on committees and consensus panels in genitourinary oncology.

News from the musical among us starts with Tom Cutler's eloquent report on the Whiffenpoof's Centennial Celebration, held at Yale on the weekend of October 2-3. YAM space limits force me to redact this slightly, but see the full text in our next www.yale62.org posting. From Tom: "Two weekends ago, the '62 Whiffs, along with about 650 other Whiffs of all ages gathered at Yale for the 100th Anniversary of the first group in 1909... the ones who sang at the 'tables down at Mory's where Louis (Linder) dwelled' and thus gained immortality. We rehearsed and made conviviality for two days prior at the lovely home of Carl and Liz Kaestle in Providence. On Friday night of the official reunion, there were over 30 groups of Whiffs who each sang two or three songs at Woolsey Hall. Happily our group drew #6 in the lottery order of appearance, though surprisingly, most everyone stayed and cheered each and every group till the concert's end roughly 4 1/2 hours after it started. If I do say so myself, we were pretty good with the usual kudos going to Bill Gross for 'Slap That Bass' and to Messrs. Mike Moore, Peter Sipple, Dixie Carroll and Louis Mackall for further bringing down the house with the quadruple yodel, 'Switzer Boy'. Providing the excellent, background 'bum la las' were Sam Knoll, Cam Carey, Carl Kaestle, John Stewart, Peter Clark, Charlie Michener and myself. Bob Oliver was there and Bob, am I bragging too much? Saturday Night, there was a very nice, intimate dinner in commons for roughly 1,200, some speeches, more communal singing and a rather moving Whiff song with all of us, three-deep, standing around the perimeter and serenading our wives and friends in the middle. Peter S. gave a typically thoughtful prayer in which he mentioned those Whiffs who have passed recently, but are not forgotten.

On Sunday, a group of us went out to have a brunch and serenade Tom Luckey at his farm in East Haven, including John, Charlie , Dixie, Cam, Peter (Clark), Mike Moore, myself and Tom's long-time best friend, Louis Mackall. Tom was in good spirits and whenever we finished one song, he would leap into another (often a patriotic one) and we would all join in. A very special time with a few folks ducking outside to shed a tear or two. He's an incredibly brave and still most creative guy. [...] one week later many of us again gathered, this time at Louis' family house (more like a small palace) in Amagansett, Long Island to watch him get married to Patricia Klindienst, a lovely woman who is far too good looking and smart for Louis in my view, but who seems to love him. (and he her ... big time). They are a great couple. Peter S. partially presided in the ceremony and, twist our arms, we again sang on both Friday and Saturday nights, though our number this time was down to seven, Carl, Mike, Louis, Cam, Peter S. Peter C. and me. T'was a grand 12 days of laughter, reminiscing, hugging, kidding..... and of course singing."

More evidence of the enduring vitality of Yale's singing traditions can be seen in Murray Wheeler's recent update on his busy life: "I've continued to go on the Yale Alumni Chorus trips, this summer to Guatemala and Mexico, next June to Cuba, and they've inspired me to rejoin a very good chorus here in Boston. I continue to do some acting with a small company here. A lot of tennis, event planning for the Yale Club of Boston, managing my condo association and a bed and breakfast apartment in mid-Cambridge, and a few volunteer efforts seem to keep me with very few complaints."

Athletics being another important thing we associate with Yale, it fits that our other news falls in that area, with a golf report from Jeff Wright. In September Jeff played in his local club (Oakland Hills, Bloomfield, Mi) championship tournament where he posted a hole-in-one on the 13th hole, making it a lifetime two of these for Jeff, who says he needs one more to tie wife Judy's tally. He modestly omits to mention his score for the round.

Somewhat less happily, Gus Hedlund has been tracking the Yale Bulldogs on the gridiron, where it seems the handoff to new Coach Williams included some stiffer challenges than some of us expected. We hope to persuade Gus to elaborate in our next web posting. Your CorSec and Hedlund will attend next weekend's contest in the Bowl, cleverly disguised as Harvard fans on their 50yd line, report to follow.

As reported on our last web site, we recently got a full-life catchup report from Karl Frank, who has had a rich brew of occupational pursuits, now living and working in Gloucester, Mass for Northrop-Grumman on a NASA contract. This involves, writes Karl, "independent model-based validation of the flight software for the Constellation Program. Constellation encompasses the Ares project, (the launch vehicle) and project Orion (building the crew exploration vehicle, which is to replace the Space Shuttle). Before this, was many things -- at least 3 careers, plus a period of creative underemployment in which I designed and built a house in Vermont. In one of those, I taught philosophy as an adjunct at Dartmouth until 1980. I married Joan Clark of West Haven, not long after graduation, while I was a grad student at NYU, and after some time in the East Village, we migrated thru many places to land here on the rock-bound coast of Cape Ann, 46 years later. Thanks to roommate Earl Staelin for introducing us! Son Maxwell, born when Eagle landed on the moon, is a staff psychiatrist at Beth Israel Deaconess in Boston. Daughter Cynthia (Yale '88) whose marriage ceremony was performed by Bill Coffin, is a lawyer in the Minneapolis area. Two grand-daughters by way of Cynthia, and one by way of Max."

Happy New Year and New Decade, to us all.

November 16, 2009
Mike Kane Corresponding Secretary