Autumn in beautiful Aspen — the weather should be nice for the October 5-8 Mini Reunion. Registrations are well underway. Hotel headquarters will be The Little Nell. Steve Susman and Kirk MacDonald's program includes optional outdoor activities and a session at the Aspen Institute plus good food and plenty of opportunity for visiting with other classmates. You can register by completing the form that was in the recent all-class mailer or by registering online.

Herm Pettegrove (Venice, CA) writes that he continues to enjoy what he calls "my thoughtless exploitation of good fortune ... I continue to practice a very modest brand of law and real estate management out of my office. I have finally moved to Venice one mile from my house, which is paid up, after nine years in downtown L.A., most notable for the fact that we paid no rent in all those years. I would probably have retired in 1995 as originally planned in order to move to my Bed and Breakfast in Freeport, Maine, if I had had to pay rent. My wife, who chose to fight her cancer in Maine, died there in 1996. She had assured me that I would have no trouble finding another wife in one of her most inaccurate moments shortly before she died. Secure in my demographics, I have made myself available with continued bad luck in this endeavor for the last 10 years. Life is good. I have been blessed with good health supplemented by years and years of running, which has, I believe, allowed a considerable indulgence in California wine. Just as I was always surprised when I knocked the bar off while high jumping, I continue to be surprised by any negative turn of events. I have attained most of my ambitions without sacrificing a healthy amount of independence."

Clyde Patton (Memphis, TN) is giving increasing thought to retirement from his real estate development and construction business. He e-mailed, "In 1985, we began concentrating on multi-family projects in the Memphis metro area with over 5000 units completed to date. Next month we will start our last project. After it is finished, it will be nothing but sunsets in North Carolina and Florida." Two family developments make Clyde quite distinctive. He and wife, Lesley, have five grandchildren including two sets of twins. Can anyone compete with that? Also, the sons of Clyde and his partner are also in business together as general contractors. "Our hope is they will want to take over our business and merge it into their own," he says.

Some of you may remember that in the 40th reunion Book, Tom Chapman (Queretaro, Mexico) wrote that he thought of his life as being divided into "a series of five-year plans." The latest, which is scheduled to be only two years, is a novel Peace Corps assignment for a group of experienced professionals. Tom (electrochemical engineering) and Donna (information technology) are finding the experience gratifying. Photos of their life and surroundings deep in the Mexican countryside will be found on our web site ( Tom already has had two papers written with his Mexican colleagues accepted for publication. He advised "it is not your Father's Peace Corps."

Mike (Biggie) Moore (Evergreen, CO), who was in the Peace Corps after Yale and has been on that organization's Alumni Board, updated us on a remarkable year of travel and adventure as he continued to move closer to real retirement. "Biggie" and Ann visited China and then more recently joined the Yale Chorus trip to England. They stayed on for several weeks traveling in Scotland, Germany and Switzerland. Mike has made a remarkable recovery from last year's serious ruptured tendon injury incurred while in China. "I completed nine months of therapy and rehabilitation, and was dancing in July, hiking in September, and skiing at Xmas. There also was theater. I appeared in a musical version of "Little Women." The director sent me to a local costume shop to get sideburns. The clerk brought out four variations of gray and white ones. I protested that they should be sandy. The clerk pointed me to a mirror. I now describe my hair color as silver fox."

An entirely different type of writer from Tom Chapman is long time magazine journalist and critic Charlie Michener (New York). His co-authored book on the Metropolitan Opera's Joseph Volpe is in bookstores now. Charlie, also as part of his 'retirement,' is working on a book "that will chronicle the world-class Cleveland Orchestra's struggle to survive in a rust-belt city that can no longer support it," a story he says that "has broad implications throughout the country." This, too, will be the subject of an article on the web site later in the year.

Still another sometimes author, Ken Cascone (Newburgh, NY) offered his version of a successful roommate Reunion for rooms 1595 and 1596 of Timothy Dwight. "As if moose calls honked from deep in the forest or horns trumpeted a clan gathering along a highland ridge, nearly all appeared for lunch at the Yale Club's Tap Room — Paul Bshorr, Tad Ogden, Joe Schwartz, Dr. James Slavin, Dr. Chuck Stringham and yours truly. During lunch, nostalgic reminisces of college antics mixed with updates about career and family developments. The crew counted two medical doctors, three lawyers and one investment advisor — three have retired. Most of the group reconvened at the Club for dinner. While imbibing Pouilly Fuisse in a relaxed and quiet setting, march music interrupted the conversation. Someone had obviously turned up the volume on a tape or DVD player. Wrong. Bursting into the lounge, instruments in hand and mouth, clad in maroon sports coats, huge H's emblazoned on drums, came the Harvard Marching Band without formal ceremony or introduction. In a continuous whirl through the room, they performed, blaring Harvard songs and marches to enliven Yale alumni and their guests in a good-natured, fun-filled invasion. Did I forget to mention that this was Harvard/Yale football weekend in New Haven? Following the band's departure, my wife Charlotte, moved to the piano and our group joined in singing the 'Whiffenpoof Song', 'The Saints Go Marching In', 'Swing Low Sweet Chariot', etc. So roommate day in the big, bad city, though exhausting, proved to be a refreshing and stimulating lark."