Yale '62 - Alumni Notes - October 2002

Alumni Notes
October 2002

Kirkpatrick MacDonald, Secretary
114 W. 78th Street, New York, NY 10024
E-Mail: Kirkpatrick MacDonald

Al Chambers, Corresponding Secretary
2421 Powell Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Phone: 734 971-4440
E-Mail: Al Chambers

First, an update on our 40th Reunion Class Book. Kirk MacDonald and a team of classmates have been working hard assembling and editing a fine set of material. It should be published and distributed within just a few weeks. Thanks to everyone who contributed bios and essays.

What we need is a steady flow of fresh material for our Alumni Notes. At the moment, our coffers are bare. Please let me know what you are doing and how you are enjoying it. What is different in your life and how are you reacting to it? We heard over and over again at the Reunion that Yale 1962 people were increasingly interested in each other and in sharing experiences as we enter new phases of life.

The Alumni Notes will be posted on our web site, yale62.org each month shortly after they have been submitted to the Alumni Association for the magazine. We'll also feature short articles or reports from classmates with accompanying interactive Internet elements such as polls and Message Boards.

Each time that there is new material, we'll send an alert to those of you whose e-mail addresses we know. If you have not supplied your e-mail address or if it has changed, please let me know. I'd appreciate hearing from any classmates who would like to recommend a subject for the web site and/or contribute a short article. The web site’s success depends on the same thing as the Alumni Notes, i.e. your active participation.

Our most recent Web posting featured timely contributions about the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks from two classmates who have been actively involved. Thanks go to Alex Garvin (New York City), vice president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, and Fred Starr (Washington D.C.), Chairman of the Central Asia Institute at Johns Hopkins University. What these two have in common is seeing subjects that they have devoted their professional lives to become the focus of global attention.

Since speaking to our class during the Reunion, Alex has been coordinating the development planning for re-building the Ground Zero area. Fred, meanwhile, has been one of the most quoted academic experts on the Central Asian region and American policy in the area.

Fred, who spent most of August in Afghanistan and other Central Asian republics, was one of at least two classmates who had a very special reason for missing the Reunion. His daughter, Eliza, was married in Leipzig, Germany during our Reunion weekend. She recently received her M.D. from the University of Berlin. The wedding was held in the Church where Bach was cantor and is buried. Fred played his clarinet at the ceremony and modestly said "Bach I suppose was squirming in his grave in anticipatory anguish at the prospect of having to bear endure me." Doesn’t that sound like a memorable occasion?

Skip Dechert (Gladwyne, PA) also said he would have liked to be in New Haven but daughter Martha's marriage of course took priority. Newly married Martha and husband Erik both completed residencies this year at the University of North Carolina. Son, Greg and his wife, Julie, had twins in mid-July bringing Skip and wife Nancy’s grandchildren total to three and counting. Daughter Cathy is engaged with the wedding set for next June. Skip switched 20 years ago, just as the PC was arriving, from being a lawyer to starting his own computer consulting business, which is called Planlogic.

Doug Kerr (Columbus, OH) also has a daughter, Kirsten, who will be tying the knot, this time in November. Doug reports that he joined the swelling number of classmates retiring, or at least cutting back on work. Doug completed his career as a professor in the Computer and Information Science at Ohio State. He and wife, Wauneta, plan to do some serious traveling after their daughter's wedding.

Another Reunion-related comment came from Steve Howard (Los Angeles), one of our many lawyers from the Golden State. Steve said, "even though I could not get there, somehow the event has got me calling and e-mailing people I haven't talked to in years. There is something about sharing youth (or is it adolescence) that creates a special bond that never really goes away." Steve says that he has reached the point where he wonders how long he wants to keep working. He adds that "every time I run the financial software, it tells me that I have some percentage chance of "reaching my goal" that is never quite as high as I would like." And that message came in before the latest gyrations in the stock market.

Meanwhile, Lewis Spratlan (Amherst, MA) recently got a nice review in the New York Times for the production of his 2000 Pulitzer Prize winning work "Life is a Dream" by the New York City Opera. Lew originally composed the piece in 1978 but won the Pulitzer for composition 22 years later and waited until this spring to see it performed. John Stewart (St.Louis), who also knows a great deal about music and opera, advises that Lew continues to teach at Amherst and has been commissioned by the San Francisco Opera to write a "one actor" on a Faustian theme, which he calls "a great coup."

Happily, we have one of those occasional "back from the dead" reports. Bob Oliver (New Haven), who does such sterling work for the class on obituaries, advises that Dave Mohr (Panama City, FL) is alive and well and continuing to work as a civilian employee of the US Navy on mine warfare defense projects. Dave started with our class but graduated from Emory University. He and his wife, Mary Jane, have been married for 34 years and have two daughters and one grand child. Earlier, another David Mohr had been found on a Yale deceased list, which is where the confusion started. Our Dave says he is "glad to be back in contact with the class" after so many years.

If you want to see this space filled next month, I need to hear from many of you. Thanks.