JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2005
Let's start with a few communications from travelers, as travel grows as a major interest for many classmates.
Dave Hummel (Billings, MT) wrote, "I continue to ski as much as possible, averaging about 70 days a year. I've skied for 21 straight months in various places around the world. The last trip was for a week of helicopter skiing in the Southern Alps of New Zealand." Dave added that Doug Bingham (Edmonton, Canada) recently visited Billings. "Since we Montanans are not normally on the travel itinerary for classmates, it was fun to have the Binghams in our home. We enjoyed comparing world travel experiences. Cindy and I had just been to Machu Picchu and were interested to learn that Doug's grandfather had discovered this famous site."
Also still aiming at high locations is David Hershey (Dallas,TX) who advised that the next stage of his "archaeological doctoral project on Nevado de Incahuasi mountain in Argentina is still a 'go' for this coming January through March. So far, we have 9 volunteer participants from Earthwatch signed up for it (that's how we get our funding)." David and his group, accompanied by Argentine academic partners, are studying early Indian social practices. The research "will start at the lower end of the mountain's ceremonial route and proceed to the summit."
Another recent South American visitor was Jonathan Ater (Portland, OR). "We're spending two weeks in Peru and Bolivia with our art historian daughter Renee and her husband. Then, Deanne and I are going to spend a week in Northwest Argentina, almost two weeks in far south Patagonia, followed by a short trip to Iguazzu Falls, and then ending with several days in Buenos Aires. This all got started when we bid on a fancy hotel stay in Buenos Aires at a charitable auction earlier this year."
Still on the unusual side of travel, Gary Richardson (Boise, ID) was planning a second trip to Vietnam with the hope of producing a video on Buddhist priest Thich Nhat Hanh's return to that country for a visit after 40 years in exile. Gary says that he continues "to deepen his Dharma practice" and adds "I'd love to explore what it is about those who are so deeply committed to nonviolence that seems to threaten governments."
While on the subject of travel, just a reminder that plans for both 2005 Mini Reunions, Washington D.C. in April and Hong Kong in October are progressing well. The registration materials for D.C. are in your hands and initial response is good. The Hong Kong packet will reach you shortly. For the latest information on both Reunions please look on the class web site (www.yale62.org).
Back to Dave Hummel, he also turned out to be quite the political forecaster when he wrote, "I am not afraid to admit that I support George W. Bush. He understands the wide-open spaces of the West. Our big city liberal classmates can go for Kerry but we will stick with Bush out here in the hinterlands."
Among those publicly arguing what turned out to be the losing side in the close and divisive 2004 election was David Brudnoy (Boston). Brudnoy appeared in a spirited October debate titled "American Power and Global Security" alongside two U.S. Senators, a former Congressman and the Egyptian Ambassador to the United States. Most of the discussion concerned Iraq with Brudnoy commenting, "Our problem is that we are trying to put the Iraq election ahead of developing institutions . . . who is the sheriff that keeps the bad guys of the world from attacking Europe? We are the last best hope of the world, and like it or not folks, the world recognizes that." (These notes were filed with the Magazine before David's death in December)
Turning to recent classmate accomplishments, William Hamilton's (St. Helena, CA) comedy "White Chocolate" opened in New York City. Critic John Simon in New York Magazine said, "Hamilton has frantic fun lampooning everyone: Wasps, Jews, blacks, Chinese; also life in general. As a cartoonist, he knows how to create striking stage images with one-liners by way of captions; as a playwright, he is adept at milking a situation for every drop of comic potential." "White Chocolate" has passed its 100th performance. Bill recently told a New York Sun reporter, "What's interesting is that there's a black contingent, a Jewish contingent, and a WASP contingent and they laugh at different times. And there's a big black audience which I love."
Bob Bremner (Washington D.C.) has written the first biography of longtime Federal Reserve Chairman William McChesney Martin. Former Fed Chief Paul Volcker said "Chairman of the Fed" (published by Yale University Press), "is long overdue and finally does justice to a great man." Former Treasury official Charls Walker added, "Bob Bremner's truly excellent biography provides a clear and accurate picture of this great public servant." Classmate Dixie Carroll and wife, Rives,co-hosted a successful book signing party, which was attended by Bob Meehan, David Scharff (our Washington D.C. Mini Reunion Committee leader), Ed Strohbein and Ed Worthy.
Chris Cory (New York City) got a nice promotion and is now "Executive Director" of Public Information for Pace University, presiding over an enlarged staff. I'm part of a team that is starting to get across the university's potential as a model (we try not to say "Pace setter") for the way non-elite higher education is evolving."
Charles Mills (Locust Valley, NY) received the "Silver Beaver," the highest local council award from the Boy Scouts. Charles writes, "I was recruited about twelve years ago to be chairman of the 'Scouting for the Handicapped' program of my Boy Scout council. At that time the only things I knew about scouting were things my friends in scouting had told me. Although it was not really necessary for the position, I got fully trained as an adult scout leader and started learning everything I could."
In our previous Alumni Notes column, we opened with avid Red Sox fan Jim White's (Washington D.C.) surprise birthday party at Fenway Park. After the 86-year "curse" finally was broken, Jim wrote on our web site about daughter Isabel's graduation from Yale in 1996, "Trumbull College master Harry Adams gave each graduate a chance to say a few words as they received the diploma. Isabel got the biggest laugh when she said: My dad has always wished only the best for me; I have a wish for him, that he live long enough to see his beloved Red Sox win the World Series. Well, I made it."