Yale College Class of 1962

Oct. 16, 2015



Chris BentAdvice to Trump
Chris Bent pens mini-essays to instruct, opine and celebrate life.

Vanishing JuryBring Back the "Vanishing Jury"
Steve Susman's taking action.

CubaCuba Won't Change Alberto Mestre gives us his informed take.

CubaA Tongue-in-Cheek Cuban Baseball Fantasy Terry Culver provides an imaginative view on a venerable institution.

Eli Newberger andEli and a Thousand Friends Eli Newberger and just a few folks.

Michael Flinn

Notice of Memorial and Funeral Services

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Intelligence Squared Debates
Fall 2015
Click on each image to go to the live debate or its replay.
Intelligence Squared Debates
Courts, Not Campuses, Should Decide Sexual Assault Cases
Sept. 16, 2015

Intelligence Squared Debates
China and the U.S. Are Long-term Enemies
Oct. 14, 2015

Intelligence Squared Debates
Raise the Federal Gas Tax to Fund Infrastructure
Oct. 27, 2015

Intelligence Squared Debates
College Students Should Be Allowed to Take Smart Drugs
Nov. 2, 2015

Intelligence Squared Debates
U.S. Prosecutors Have Too Much Power
Nov. 10, 2015

Intelligence Squared Debates
Central Banks Can Print Prosperity
Nov. 18, 2015

Intelligence Squared Debates
The Equal Protection Clause Forbids Racial Preferences in State University Admissions
Dec. 3, 2015



JULY 21, 2015
A VIDEO ISSUE Tuba (Newberger), Cuba (Ater) and Weeden

APR. 23, 2015
DEALING WITH DYING Planning tips from Stork, Oliver's dedication to a class task, musings from Graves and Saari, plus more

FEB. 18, 2015
WILDER SIDE OF WINTER Wilder by Stewart, plus Greer, Hedlund, Marr, Kovel, Kolodny, Finkle

JAN. 27, 2015
A JANUARY TRIO Fine, short articles by Starr, Weil and Boyd

The Fall '14 Intelligence Squared Debate Series on Yale'62, including FIVE EASY PIECES

NOV. 21, 2014
Summer and Other Vacations A potpourri of updates from Finkle, Truslow, Newberger, Stott, Snider and more.

AUG. 19, 2014
Mirror Selves Zucker on Elihu, Starr on Central Asia, Platt on nicer cities, and more.

JUNE 17, 2014
Arresting Responses to the Normandy Anniversary Edition (Special Edition) Gorry evoked family memories of yesteryear, while Buck focused on current events.

JUNE 11, 2014
Normandy Edition (Special Edition) Hovland and Wortman contribute early memories

APR. 18, 2014
America's Role in the World (Special Edition) Buck, Hughes and Starr weigh in on world events

For previous issues you can search by author's name and key content words here, or head over to the issue archives.
October 16, 2015

Trump, Reuniosnaps, Juries, Cuba

Bent Trumpeting

Click the arrow to hear Chris's bent on wallowing in our frustrations.

"Good hair doesn't matter.... Your heart has no hair."

Such is the advice to Donald Trump that begins the latest of Chris Bent's six (so far) self-published volumes of heartfelt mini-essays, this time with ideas congenial to the early fall's most mediagenic Republican presidential candidate. Flicking from sensible to occasionally peevish, all the books have titles beginning "1-800." 1-800 Oh My Donald says it is "not meant to be an endorsement," but avers "just maybe... we should roll the dice with a businessman."

Other nuggets and pyrites:
  • On immigration: "Why does everyone want to come here? Can't they just leave us alone and solve their own problems.... Kill off as many of your own as you want... We will even provide a little foreign aid for you if you do."
  • CEOs could "build factories in our homeland and put man [sic] back to work...if their bonuses were at stake."
  • "The rich really can afford to do with less. They would still be productive with half their incomes.... Money does not have to spoil you if you are not selfish with it. Make your yacht the well-being of others."
  • To Trump: "Don't be the Donald who ducks."
The books reprint two-pagers that Chris posts on his blog about once a month, in between helping run his four jewelry/accessories/gift stores, The Best of Everything, in Florida and Kennebunkport, Maine. (He won't mix business and personal by putting a link to them on his website, but I can.) To read a chapter called "Skirt Sense," from 1-800-For Women Only, click here. Click here to get his books from Amazon, and here for videos of Chris talking about his "writs" and his values.

Scroll down for vanishing juries and two Cuba pieces.

Conversational Discoveries
And a Late-April Reunion
in Boston

Mini-reunion attendees
The format encouraged explorations and chatter on everything from Steve Sussman's project to encourage jury trials in civil cases (see below) to Joe Holmes' enthusiasm about how the Yale singing tradition continues into one's 70s, Alex Garvin's description of the green belt around Atlanta that he helped plan, Chip Neville's interests in physics, how Jerry Swirsky splits his time between California and Connecticut, Richard Ward's nonprofit pursuits, and Bill Boyer's comment that "by default, we have left politics to the worst people."

The scenes above were much repeated at our class's first mini-reunion since the last big get together. BUT BEFORE WE SAY MORE, A WORD TO ALL THOSE WHO WILL BE WITHIN RANGE OF BOSTON ON THURSDAY, APRIL 28, THROUGH SATURDAY, MAY 1. (Scroll down to read more about the Boston Mini-Reunion right below this item.)

April 28 through May 1 are now the dates to save for our second mini-reunion, being planned by the Titanic Troika of Whit Knapp, a semi-retired financier, Murray Wheeler, an amateur musician and regular guide for visiting foreign students, and Mike Kane, an independent consultant on medical systems. They are gung ho about both the lesser-known and the spectacular in the Boston area, and are figuring out how to make those days rich for a wide range of us. Click here for a few more details as of now. Even if you are just barely considering joining the party - which is conveniently scheduled between the Boston Marathon and the start of graduation season - pencil those dates into your calendar.

Now we return you to our main item. The mini-reunion took place Saturday evening, September 19th, in the paneled Saybrook room of the New York City Yale Club. Jack Williams snapped shots. The committee, headed by Roman Weil ... click here for a photo portfolio.

Bring Back the "Vanishing" Jury

"Trial by Jury" is a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, is guaranteed by the 6th and 7th amendments of the Bill of Rights, and was famously dramatized in the 1957 Henry Fonda movie, "Twelve Angry Men."

Jury trials are in decline.

At least they're declining in the non-criminal civil cases* that make up about half of the cases that go to trial. In Texas state courts, between 1997 and 2012 civil jury trials skidded from 3,369 to fewer than 1,200, though civil lawsuits increased substantially. Other states and federal courts show similar trends.

Civil Jury Project He also works in taxis. Steve bringing the Texas intensity he uses with jurors to a recent TV interview

This worries Steve Susman, whose hard-charging law firm specializes in civil suits, so much that last spring he and his wife Ellen made a $2 million donation to help create the Civil Jury Project at the NYU law school to study and revitalize civil jury trials. Steve is now Executive Director. He's also enlisted the likes of former US Senator Fred Thompson and Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, to make videos for a related organization.

The reasons for the decline in civil jury trials, which the project aims to assess, may range from well-intentioned procedures like mandatory arbitration ...

Click here to read more, and to skim a two-page description of the trend and the center.

Watch Steve's interview with LTN here.

* By one definition, civil law seeks redress, criminal law seeks punishment.

Cuba Won't Change

Alberto Mestre, who came to one of the monthly '62 lunches at the New York City Yale Club recently, said he had most of the following letter published by the Miami Herald after President Obama's announcement of improving US relations. He made minor revisions for us.

[Many] Cubans... had to leave Cuba back in the 1960s because their businesses were confiscated, their homes taken over, their lives threatened, and their freedom to express themselves silenced. Generally, they were well-educated and had a high middle-class status. They started with nothing in this country and through hard work made a good life for themselves.

While some approve of Pres. Obama's initiative toward Cuba, most don't, as they see that much has been given and little obtained and that by becoming better off, the Cuban government most likely will change very little. China remains communist and so is Vietnam and they both have prospered.

More-recent arrivals have a different outlook on freedom and democracy and are only focused on the materialistic benefits of being in this country. They also want free medical attention, Social Security and big bucks quick. They travel often to Cuba, mainly to show their friends and family how well off they are. Many go to have fun. One told me, "Personally, I think most should have stayed there."

It is disconcerting to see an important number of Cubans, and worse, the President of the United States and his staff, embracing a change unconditionally and indefinitely accepting limitations to liberty and basic human rights of the Cuban people, and by so doing, legitimizing a communist government that has enslaved and impoverished them for more than 55 years.

Please comment here.

Scroll down for Eli Newberger and just a few folks.

A Tongue-in-Cheek Cuban Baseball Fantasy

By Terry Culver

I find almost every one of the across-the-spectrum pundits, scholars, and diplomats foreseeing little changing for the better in our rapprochement with Cuba. Whether the Castro Bros. are around or no, they predict no steady progress and real freedoms long in the future.

I could not be more in disagreement. Not me.

I think Fidel and Raul, if not departing this vale of tears actuarially over the next year, may well find themselves having to "take the veil" within some overly tolerant nunnery or to smuggle in the services of el medico Kavorkian. However it happens, they will in some manner be departing for good and ever.

And all this change will be because of beisbol americano.

It will start when Major League Baseball and two newly-chosen owners announce that they are going to plant two new franchises in Havana with its 55,000 seat stadium....

Click here to read on.

Eli and a Thousand Friends

Eli Newberger and friends
photo: Arthur Ferguson

In this shot, Eli Newberger's current New Orleans-style jazz band, "Eli and the Hot Six," is hidden behind the multigenerational chorus for the 12th annual "River Sing" in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a community festival celebrating the autumn equinox along the Charles River. The theatrical event, this year a collaboration with the Charles River Conservancy, is put on by Revels Inc., producer of the annual "Christmas Revels" in Boston and eight other cities around the country. The September sing included these pointed flags, stilt walkers, "magical illuminated butterflies," and a jazzed-up audience of a thousand people joining in on flowing tunes like "Shenandoah," "Somos el Barco," and "Down by the River Side."


We regret to announce the death, since our last edition of this publication, of Michael de Vlaming Flinn. A full obituary will appear in due course.


If you would like classmates to be notified about your funeral or memorial activities, if we get the information in time the Class of 1962 will send information to the names on our class email list. Please ask those who will be in charge to send the details to Bob Oliver at, 203-624-5111, and for backup to John Stewart, Co-Corresponding Secretary, at, 845-789-1407. We will not send out information unless someone makes this request.


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