Alumni Notes: January / February 2012

This column is from the YAM of the same date.

"Give me some Mory's beer
Let me bask in that scholarly atmosphere
I recall every bright detail
How I wish I were back at Yale!"

Fence-sitters about reunion, please take note. The lyric above, from Weeden and Finkle's class day song, conveys a lot about our impending 50th celebration of the day we first heard those words, and of oh so much else. The tuneful duo has promised to perform that song again as part of a "big shew," as most of us probably recall Ed Sullivan saying. More important, at this point in our lives, there's nothing like old friends whose friendliness has gotten stronger as we've realized we don't have to compete quite so hard. Reunion dates are May 31-June 3. Please turn in those reunion book essays and facts to John Stewart. Please respond to Al Chambers' fascinating questionnaire when it becomes accessible at www.yale62.org (as the 45th survey was) just about when you are reading these notes. And please come "back to Yale." A lot of us want to see you.

Those who don't respond might be subject to analysis by Clay Alderfer, who recently had his latest book, The Practice of Organizational Diagnosis, published by Oxford University Press. More about that on the website. A publisher in London, where David Finkle often spends time keeping up with the theater, has published his first book of fiction, a collection of short stories called People Tell Me Things (available on Amazon). He earlier wrote Putting Things in Order, a guide to all the information survivors need at someone's death, and How to Stop Acting, about the "seminal technique developed by acting coach Harold Guskin." On the flap of the new book, no less than Roger Ebert, the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times, calls David (correctly, IMHO) a "rare writer who achieves great effects without seeming to try" and none other than Avery Corman, the author of Kramer v. Kramer, praises David's "lovely writing, smart and insightful." An excerpt will appear in our next website posting.

Terry Croft was recently selected as one of the world's leading commercial mediators by the International Who's Who of Business Lawyers. A senior partner in the Atlanta law firm of King and Croft, he is a part owner of the world's largest provider of alternative dispute resolution services, which is appropriately known for what it gets you out of, JAMS (formerly Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services). Accolades like this are nothing new the JAMS website says he has been selected twice as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Georgia and seven times as a Georgia Super Lawyer. (He still does not travel by cape, however.) A poster child for alternative dispute resolution, he has successfully resolved, the site says, "more than 3,000 disputes in matters including business, contract, construction, employment, healthcare, insurance, personal injury, professional liability and probate." Joe Holmes gets apologies from your acting cor-sec for mixing him up with another paddle tennis player. Joe is most emphatically not "on the margin between the B and A teams" anywhere, and corrects us with the noble facts: He plays for the Middlesex Club in Darien, Connecticut, has played paddle tennis for 60 years (not 6), won 9 national senior titles, is current 145+ champion, and won the national 70+ title in the previous two years. He is very much on the A team. At press time, Bill Weber was running for re-election as Supervisor (similar to Mayor) of Pulteney, near Keuka Lake in upstate New York, in the midst of a local dispute over "hydrofracking" to extract natural gas. As he explained in our May, 2010 website, he has been trying to balance competing interests and get what he sees as "logic and reason into the Marcellus Shale situation." Stay tuned.

"B and B" took on a new meaning for peripatetic Dave and Cindy Hummel when they flew from Billings, Montana, to Bangkok, Thailand. It was the start of a group tour of Southeast Asia including storied places straight out of Kipling like Burma, Rangoon, and Mandalay. Cindy's emailed journals don't say whether on the road to Mandalay "the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay," but they did see cities, rivers, historic sites, and gorgeous gold-leafed temples, which Cindy captured in stunning photos that will be on the next website posting. Secretary Jim White and his wife Catherine, with another couple, booked a 10-day private pleasure tour of Morocco from September 24.through October 3, starting and ending in Casablanca with a private van and guide. Some of his notes will be on the website, and at reunion, we can all ask him to"play it again." We're also promised website photos by Mike Kane, who got spectacular views and adrenaline rushes on a group climb in September in the Italian Dolomites just east of Cortina d'Ampezzo ("a beautiful part of the world and a great experience I hope to repeat next year.") He scrambled up and down for five hours clipped on with carabiners to the "via ferrata" (iron way) climbing system of ladders and cables. The ascent from 2400 meters (8920 ft.) to a peak of 2800 meters (or roughly 9240 ft.) was "only" 400 meters, he says, but straight up. His group of eight was "mostly seasoned outdoor types who set a stiff pace for me, the oldest and least skilled at this stuff. I survived by repeating 'Don't look down' under my breath."

The AYA is planning "Pre-Reunion 2012" warm-up events this winter in Boston, New Haven, Washington and Chicago. They look like a nice chance to pre-reune with local classmates and meet other classes. To encourage attendance, the AYA is holding raffles at some locations with a first prize of a free reunion (except transportation and lodging). More information is on the calendar pages on the websites of the Yale Clubs in those cities.

Chris Cory
Acting Corresponding Secretary
November 20,2011