Alumni Notes: January / February 2014

Before the holiday glow fades, if you wrote a holiday newsletter please send a copy to your CorSec. We got several of these missives last year and diplomatically extracted terrific material of interest to classmates. Let's do it again.

Maxing out at "minis" lies ahead. Dave Honneus has recruited Murray Wheeler, Kirk McDonald and David Scharff to work with and advise him on possible venues and programs for mini reunions leading up to our 55th in 2017. Boston is already under discussion. Past minis took place with great success in Aspen, Hong Kong, New York, and Washington, D.C., and logistics have gotten easier thanks to help from the AYA. If you are interested in participating, please contact any of the aforementioned four. Says Dave: "Classmates unite. You have a world of warm connections to gain!"

Bob Connery has written a thoughtful, and in many spots dramatic, reminiscence and analysis of where the country has - and has not - progressed on racial segregation. He says it's very much to the point as "the New Jim Crow emerges in our current national life." First as a young lawyer and for years afterward, Bob was a pro bono attorney for the people who won school integration in Denver via the case of Keyes v. School District No.1. The related controversy, involving his own neighborhood in Denver, provoked the bombing of the home of the lead plaintiffs, the home of the judge, and about thirty school buses, a third of the Denver Public Schools' fleet. Here is a link to Bob's text; it is published in Volume 90, no. 5 of the Denver University Law Review. Though we're far from done with race, he says "Denver has become a public schools leader in dealing with that issue, and is experiencing one of the largest rates of growth in public school population and educational achievement in the nation."

In other controversies, Bill Weber, the former Town Supervisor of Pulteney, in upstate New York, recovered from his political defeat two years ago at the hands of anti-frackers and last fall ran again, "against a strong resistance from the anti gas-drillers." In November he won another term "by a roaring great 4 votes!!" He plans on sending us a sequel to the exposition of fracking he did last year for www.yale62.org/, but not till "after deer camp." (See January '14 front page)

The neurologist Robert Burton's latest, A Skeptic's Guide to the Mind: What Neuroscience Can and Cannot Tell Us About Ourselves (St Martin's Press) came out last summer, explaining the limits of the currently-voguey attention to neuroscience as a way of explaining human behavior. Bob is, according to a Business Week review of one of his three novels, "a good writer who brings a light touch to medical and technical jargon." The latest book was designated "notable" by Scientific American and got good reviews in publications from the Washington Post to New Scientist and Forbes.com. An Amazon reviewer says it "painstakingly picks apart misconceptions common in the popular press" and helps one "tell information from noise." Again, look for an excerpt on www.Yale62.org.

David Finkle has two short stories available through Amazon.com - "All Those Boys" and "How I Confronted My Abandonment Issues." Ken Cascone's novel, River of Triumph, about the American Revolution with an interwoven contemporary American murder mystery, now has a website, www.KenCascone.com, with a sample chapter plus two related short stories.

TV and theater producers just keep casting the acting energy of Bill Weeden. For instance, you can catch him on in a hilarious video spoof of drug advertising at YouTube (and another on our January '14 front page). This fall Bill and his wife, Dolores, played "a former drug dealer turned Williamsburg slumlord and his ex-granola-chick wife" in an off-Broadway show called "The Strategist," which the producers call a "modern comedy of manners in the style of The Country Wife, only set in today's Brooklyn with characters concerned with fashion, food, publicity, social media, social events, and, maybe, sex."

If you're interested in "the corporate greed that has so damaged our country and world, and the CEOs who have been in charge," that's how the producer of a new film featuring Phil Proctor describes its subject matter. Out in January, the film is "Window of Opportunity," the producer is the drummer of The Doors, John Densmore, and it deals with corporate biggies grappling with the ethics of a cover-up. It premiered at Toronto's Reel Indie Film Festival. And if you're considering a trip "down under," Phil is your man for information. He and his wife, Melinda, took a month-long autumn "escape" to Australia and New Zealand, bookended, he says, "by ocean-bobbing on Oahu (check us out on Facebook)." Their visits to Melbourne and Sydney were topped by a drive through Southern NZ and a visit with friends on Hawke's Bay up North."