Yale '62 - Alumni Notes - May 2003

May Alumni Notes

May Magazine


In these uncertain times, a recent note from Marty Ressinger (Chicago and Martel, France) struck me as especially interesting and relevant. Marty and wife Judy for many years have taken their vacations walking in rural Southwest France along "a well-defined network of trails with lots of small villages to stay in."

That is where they were in September 2001 when they noticed a house for sale in the medieval village of Martel. They had talked about the possibility of finding a retirement house in France someday and even of retirement itself but not with a real time frame.

Marty says, "We decided to walk on and think it over - it was Saturday evening and the real estate agencies would be closed the next two days anyway. This is France. Monday was September 11. I don't know if that had anything to do with it, but it put a new light on moving into the next phase of life. So the reason we are in Southwest France may be that that's where we were when the music stopped. But I think it is deeper than that. We just like the area, its calm beauty, golden towns and farms, culture, history, food.

The purchase of the house and the circumstances speeded other decisions. We went back to work, but Judy's Internet start-up job came to an end, I tried halfheartedly to work out some sort of arrangement for more time off or telecommuting, but finally, with Spring and the wild-orchids coming back to the French hills, I retired from my work as securities analyst. Totally. In fact, hermitically. We spend half our time in France and half in Chicago. My thoughts about regaining our collective sanity come from reading the comments of our classmates about the Iraq adventure. Thank you Neil Goodwin. Coming back to the US from effective isolation highlights the changes here."

Also choosing retirement after 39 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, most of them living or dealing with the Arab world, was Steve Buck (Bethesda, MD). He no doubt is in great demand since he spends much of his time giving talks to various organizations on the Arab world including the dangers of the Bush policy on Iraq. Steve and wife Hala are looking forward to the June wedding of daughter Katie. Her fiancÚ, Adam Abel, proposed on a mountain top in China after Katie had performed her award-winning play 'Isite' in Beijing. In another project, Katie and five Arab-American colleagues spent a year recording Americans' views on Arabs and turned it into a play called "Sajjil"(record in Arabic). That play won a prize at the annual New York City "Fringe Festival" and may be produced for the New York stage.

On the opposite side of the working equation is Henry Kaufman (Washington D.C.), who at 61 was the oldest graduate in his Georgetown Law School Class. Henry, who is also an M.D., now is working for a medical malpractice defense firm while at the same time studying and doing policy analysis at George Washington University. Son Zachary, Yale 2000, won a Marshall Scholarship and is doing international relations at Oxford while son Zeke finished Hotel School at Cornell and is now in law school at Washington University. As Henry put it, "everyone is busy."

Jim Long, who is a psychiatrist in Los Angeles, offered some interesting contrasts to 1958 from thinking about his son, Ted, who is a freshman at Yale. "I believe my son is more mature than I was and Yale makes it far easier for the students to find their way and themselves. It is hard to believe my son is learning about brain imaging as a freshman. He is handling the academics and the social far better than I did (his girl friend lives upstairs -back in 58-62 it was a bit risky even to have a girl in the freshman or any other dorm." Jim continued, "When my wife and I visited him last fall, I really wanted to be back at Yale - of course with the advantage of a few years of experience and a bit of wisdom to turn it into a more expansive experience."

A classmate devoting considerable time to good works is Mike Flinn, (Greenwich, CT). He was recently named a lifetime trustee emeritus of the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich. He reminded us that when Watts burned, the only building left standing was the Boys Club. Mike previously was President (l977-l992) and Chairman of the Board (1993-1994) of the Greenwich club, which has more than 2,000 members, mostly pre-high school youngsters. He has also been named a director of the Coldwater Conservation Fund, which conducts and supports scientific and economic research project designed to conserve, protect and restore North America's cold water fisheries and their wetlands.

Another classmate in Connecticut is John Walker (New Haven) but he only recently returned to New Haven as a member of the US Court of Appeals. "It's great to be in New Haven again with my judicial chambers on Church Street overlooking the Green and Yale." Prior to this move, John served as a federal Judge in New York City and before that practiced law in both the private and public sectors.

Turning to our web site, http://www.yale62.org, March saw by far the highest traffic to date as classmates were interested in the articles and Message Board discussion on Iraq. Please remember to send me new and changed e-mail addresses so that you will be on the list to know what is happening on the web site and about other class activities.

Preliminary interest from classmates in an October, 2004 Mini-reunion in Hong Kong was encouraging. We are continuing with early planning and will make a "go-no-go" decision on whether to proceed with the event by June.