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Yale 62

YAM Notes: March/April 2023

By John D. Hatch III

On the front page of the Washington Post’s Style section this past November 4, I was greeted by lovely pictures of Art Laffer. A longish accompanying article by Paul Schwartzman spoke about Art’s “Laffer Curve” economic theory and his support for UK prime minister Liz Truss’s economic plan: “I cheered them to the rafters.” In the interview it was noted that “Laffer does not use a computer, write emails, or text. At 82, his one concession to modernity is a flip phone. . . . Laffer is a tireless talker and raconteur who can drop enough names to fill a social register.” The article pointed out that he is enough in demand for TV appearances that he has built a small studio in his offices in Nashville.

Seeking an answer to what was the Middletown Hospital program that Neil Kornzweig and others had participated in while at Yale, I contacted Paul Torop, who lives and works in Middletown, Connecticut. Of his own life, Paul writes that “Karen and I are good, though we spend more time going to doctor appointments than we had anticipated. I’ve just started seeing patients in the office about half time. Some, however, still prefer Zoom or the telephone. Karen is doing a lot of work in the garden and writing poetry. We have the intention to clean out her attic so our sons will only need a small dumpster to dispose of all the treasures there. One of our sons works for UBS. He lives in Greenwich, and we see him and his children frequently. The younger is teaching photography at the Cornell art department. He has a six-year-old daughter whom we love to see. We make the five-hour drive to get there as often as we can.”

Paul, in turn, suggested I contact Fred Ilfeld, who was in the same honors major as Neil. While he didn’t remember the Middletown program, Fred shared: “I am a native Californian and love my state despite its warts (increasing number of wildfires; rampant homelessness—tied often to unaffordable housing). After medical school at Harvard and a psychiatric residency at Stanford, I settled down in Sacramento with a private practice in psychiatry, specializing in group psychotherapy. As for family I helped raise three sons, and through my last marriage (now 30 years in duration) I gained two daughters. Now our five children have 13 children of their own (our grandkids). We’ve lived in Olympic Valley (aka Squaw Valley) in the Sierra Nevada nearby Lake Tahoe for 23 years, moving there when my interests shifted to skiing, hiking, road and mountain biking, and kayaking. Every day I wake up feeling gratitude for living in a close-knit community nestled in a postcard-like setting of mountain beauty. An increasing challenge health-wise has been my progressive hearing loss, now rated as profound. I particularly regret not being able to hear my younger grandchildren.”

In response to my question about his interest in cars, Ed Thorne responded: “Yes, I have always been interested in cars, have done a little racing years ago, and a little collecting. We how have a small collection ranging from a 1929 Model A, a 1937 Mercedes 230 Cabriolet, a Ferrari Portafino, and a 1949 Chevy three-quarter-ton pickup truck. It is a rather bizarre group but seems to fit into New Mexico. We have lived in Santa Fe for the past 30 years and truly can’t think of any other place to live. We’re both in pretty good health, still play tennis, and enjoy our life.

“Extra Innings Reunion Loops” is the title of Charlie Eisendrath’s 60th reunion experience write-up. Following are excerpts: “Our 60th was only the third reunion I’ve attended, and it began well before we convened. . . . Before leaving for New Haven, I booked flights to visit two roommates with whom I’d shared three years and uncharted waters. Bill (William Webb IVWheeler retained his humor, grace, and elegant wife, Ingrid. We toured Santa Barbara, where he grew up. Jim (James McAllisterCurtis or ‘Sunny Jim,’ as we called him, turned out to have had a cloudy view of Yale and hadn’t thought much about it since June 11, 1962. Flying all those miles had gained a few hours on the clock and scrubbed decades from the heart. . . . Reunion panel ‘Working After 80’ closed more loops. I hadn’t known Steve Lash until our 45th, but since then had joined him on a hilarious search for a lost boat (his) and a nail-biting evaluation (of) an inherited painting (mine). With panelist Sam Waterston I had shared status as the two worst players on the freshman soccer team that won the Ivy championship with no help from us. . . . Our next teamwork promises applause . . . (as) . . . he’s agreed to continue the late-career bloom theme onstage at Jeff Daniel’s Purple Rose Theater near Ann Arbor, where I serve on the board.”

Sadly, we have received notice that William Bill” Stork has died. His obituary is at, along with newly added obituaries of Edward FreyCharles R. HayesFrancis HillNeil KornsweigArthur PeckRichard Turner, and James Whipple.