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Yale 62

YAM Notes: September/October 2020

By Stephen Worcester Buck

For those of you who only look at this column, we invite you to look also at our very active website at Yale62.org. At this time, we have features and essays on topics such as our 80th birthdays in the COVID era, with reports by Tim Adams, Steve Buck, David Hopkins, Steve Howard, Mike Kane, Charlie Mills, Phil Moriarty, Jon Saari, Jim Stein, John Stewart, Bill Stork, Bill Stott, Wyllys Terry, and Roman Weil. You’re invited to send us info on your own celebration that’s taken place, or what you plan as an upcoming celebration to observe this huge milestone marking our foray into our 80s. Email us with details and we’ll include you! Thanks.

Our website also includes material from Bob Lefevre, Ken Merkey, Larry Price, Dick Riseling, Bill StorkSam Waterston, and many more, so visit Yale62.org and see what’s new.

From Al Chambers: “I’ve been teaching Taking Apart The News to seniors for more than 15 years at Elderwise, but these spring classes were the first virtual via Zoom. The time was chosen to coincide with the final weeks of the Supreme Court term and to be after the election candidates were chosen or presumptive. That was all before the live classes were canceled. I invited Lance Liebman to be a virtual guest expert at the final of the three experimental online Zoom classes. Not only was he a Supreme Court clerk in 1968, but he has taught Constitutional Law to a few of the present justices including the chief, John Roberts. Our class was near the end of the court term and the day after the Louisiana abortion-case decision. Lance brought expertise and familiarity with the court and its vital responsibility.”

At the inspired suggestion of Chip Neville, over the past four months we’ve hosted five successful “virtual coffee hours” covering subjects such as 80th birthdays, dealing with the coronavirus, and what’s on classmates’ minds as social distancing continues and affects so many aspects of our lives. In June we decided to hold the gathering on the first Thursday each month, making it easy to remember. All you have to do to join is have the latest version of Zoom (5.0) on your computer or tablet, and email YAM@Yale62.org, requesting an invitation. And please—send us your news or views to the same email address. Thanks.

Bill Weeden has a starring role in two films, Psycho Ape! and The Once and Future Smash, inspired by movies like Friday the 13th by our classmate Victor Miller. Neither movie has completed shooting because of the COVID-19 hold. He reports, “My wife Dolores and I have been recording audiobooks, several written by the Grand Master of mystery, Lawrence Block. Recently I collaborated with my eight-year-old grandson Emmet Bloom on our first song. He wrote the words, I the music. Move It and It’s Yours, the musical I wrote with David Finkle and Sally Fay, will soon be aired in a special radio-play version on WBAI. I’m also busy in theater, having performed on stage in South Korea last fall and (as soon as the coronavirus lets me) in New York again. Meanwhile, Mr. Student Body President, the comedy series in which Dolores and I play high school administrators, is currently streaming on Amazon, as is Thespian, the web series in which I play the wealthy gay uncle of the leading character, a largely unemployed actor. In other words, life is a gas. Thanks for asking!”

Roman Weil reports: “At the May council meeting, class leadership remarked on Larry Prince’s terrific job in running monthly class lunches at the Yale Club in NYC and lamented the lack of such elsewhere. Can we not, they asked, do this—not necessarily monthly—in other cities, which have a critical mass of classmates? Well, yes. I have a list of all classmates in the Bay Area, which I can sort by zip code. I’ve asked all classmates within 40 miles of downtown San Francisco who’d like to come to a class lunch and organize one for those interested. I have a dozen ready to come as soon as the governor says we can gather, which seems uncertain at the time this appears in print.

“Not long after I reported the above to class leadership, they asked me if I’d organize parallel efforts in other cities. Yes. Jim Wechsler has Seattle under control. Chris Cory has eastern Long Island. Dave Scharff has Washington/Baltimore.Murray Wheeler, Boston. Phil Moriarty reports that Chicago has many lunches going, but organized into Shared Interest Groups, not by class. I have an idea for Denver, but no agreement yet, so no name. If you think you can gather a group in your area, email me and I’ll get you the names and addresses of classmates there.

“Meanwhile, I report that last winter Jim Wechsler and I organized a gathering, technically a mini-reunion, for Seattle for late March. We had 18 people scheduled to come when COVID-19 caused us to postpone to a date not yet chosen. We have a venue and plan ready to execute when Seattle reopens. See Jim’s report, with pictures, on Yale62.org.

“On the occasion of my 80th birthday, I drafted obituary notes about myself and sent them to Bob Oliver, to make his job easier when I die—which event does not loom. I invite classmates to consider sending Bob notes about themselves.”

Finally, we sadly note Steve Susman’s death on July 14. We also offer new obituaries posted on our website for classmates Archibald Pete” Dunning, Nicolas Gubser, Steven Kaplan, and James McGiffin.

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