Alumni Notes: March / April 2013

And lo, the holiday letters went before them, till they came to the abode of the Corresponding Secretary, and they presented their gifts of news:

Dave Hummel and his wife, Cindy, wrote that they their first granddaughter has distracted them - some - from travel. But Dave is booked again on a Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange trip, this time to Lithuania and Latvia, to trade information on alumni affairs with European campus colleagues. Not counting Cindy's trips to India and Germany or Dave's helicopter skiing in in British Columbia, their letter says that in 2012 they added Bolivia and Colombia to their list of countries visited, along with the area of former Yugoslavia comprising Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo. "This brings us up to nearly 130."

Tickle Pink Inn, near California's Big Sur, is "perched over the ocean. (Mr. Tickle, a California state senator, can be forgiven for naming an exquisite site after a cliché)," wrote John (Jay) Hatch. He and his wife stayed there as part of travels including a tour of Rose Bowl activities. They "met the crew who built, with Jet Propulsion Lab blueprints, one of the winning floats, If Pigs Could Fly..., and watched one float (driven blind, as they all are, with headset directions from a walking 'white suit' guy) head toward the opposite stands and cause a brief scramble." Last year Jay saw or stayed with all four Calhoun roommates: Richard Schupbach, Michael Ross, Bob Burton and John Greiner. We hope they'll send their own news.

Whit Knapp told his mailing list that heart surgery delayed a planned trip to Ladakh, in the Himalayas of India -- until this fall. The city, 11,500 feet high, is the "likeliest place in the world to get Altitude Mountain Sickness, but apart from shortness of breath for two days, we felt fine. It was fascinating to visit an area that has become the purest enclave of Buddhism since China suppressed it in Tibet." He wished us all well from a spot "in the Adirondacks looking out at 18 inches of snow from the warmth of a big fire."

Dave Scharff described the engagement of his daughter Zoe '00 and the birth of a granddaughter, adding that he and Jill are still practicing "psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, writing (latest book: 'The Interpersonal Unconscious') and teaching. We are especially delighted to have been invited to develop analytic couple therapy training programs for psychotherapy trainers in Beijing and Moscow."

George Snider reported that "digital music composition has big implications these days in the recording and motion picture industries," which he knows because a granddaughter is entering Oberlin's Conservatory of Music to study it. His wife, Nora, "continues to work in Cleveland for a crisis management firm and to serve on the boards of the Kent State University Foundation and the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. He is on the Hudson, Ohio, Economic Growth Board (appointed by City Council), the Hudson Rotary Foundation board, and is in his third term as Chairman of the board of Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which runs through the Park and serves over 200,000 passengers a year."

Larry Prince wrote that "The New York Times featured Judy and our company [supplying equipment for chefs] in a very flattering piece that meant a lot after 35 years of building the business." They "began withdrawing from day-to-day management, [which] gives us more time to travel and free-load off our friends who live in warmer climes." Traveling and staying with hospitable old friends is now a retirement activity for many of us. Please send ideas that may inspire others.

In other news, the 17th annual list of Top Ten Best and Worst Communicators from Bert Decker's Decker Communications was written up in USA Today, parsing the communication techniques of believables, like Michelle Obama, and non-credibles, like Bashar al Assad and Francesco Schettino, the tight-lipped captain of the grounded cruise ship. In the weekly East Hampton (NY) Star newspaper, Jack Graves modestly reported that among the first people elected to the high school's new Hall of Fame, "the honorary inductee is this writer, who took over the sports beat in 1979." Jack also writes a wry column on the sports of life, marriage, and his own tennis game. Chris Lydon was quoted in Transom.org, "the lively little bible of radio innovators," on his interviewing tips, now audible on Radio Open Source. He says "the best interviewing technique, as Susan Stamberg used to say, is to listen."

Your corsec completed the first few of several projected trips to look at the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture that stirred him when he sat at the feet of Vincent Scully, visiting Fallingwater and nearby, Kentuck Knob and Duncan House at Polymath Park with his wife, Helen, and Roger and Judy Clapp. He welcomes Wrightean tips. Co-corsec Steve Buck, who helps edit the Foreign Service Journal, spoke to 180 people at George Mason University's Lifelong Learning Program on the post Arab spring and US elections. Details in our winter issue of www.Yale62.org.

Please remember that www.Yale62.org is looking for information, photos and videos for segments on fascinating spouses/companions, children, and grandchildren, as well as excerpts from new books, newsletters and speeches. And do put your corsec on the list for next year's holiday letters!