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Yale 62

YAM Notes: May/June 2024

YAM Notes: May/June 2024

By John D. Hatch, III for the Communications Team.

Lee Bakunin shares this from his home in Cyprus, which provides a frontline seat to some of the world’s turmoil impacting the Middle East. “Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean: its surrounding waters smack dab north of the Sinai peninsula, east of Greece, north of Egypt, south of Turkey and west of Lebanon and Syria. Cypriots are used to having competing cultures, ideologies and belief systems vying for their attention and acceptance.”

“Cyprus is an EU country with an inviting climate, laid-back lifestyle with tourism, R&R being a major economic force bringing many visitors from diverse countries… (including Russian oligarchs). It’s a melting pot of many nationalities and cultures. Cyprus is pro-Israel and has many projects with the Israelis, including development of natural gas reserves. The IDF has trained in the mountain areas and worked with the Cypriot military as well as the British. More from Lee about Cyprus can be found on our website.

Dick Riseling writes: “Here at Apple Pond Farm and Renewable Energy Education Center we are in our tenth month of repairing the damage from the unprecedented tornado that ripped our home, garage, barn, wind turbine, solar electric and thermal installations as well as nine animal shelters and forest. After 53 years of farming and hosting many educational programs, we have shed all animal holdings and food production.  Our focus now is finding a group of young farmers or even a single owner to establish a cooperative farming village open to the public every day to continue the practices of regenerative farming we began so many years ago. We have purchased a small home in the village below our hilltop farm where I will focus on a blog and podcast before 2024 is over, and Sonja will continue with her many classes on crafting food, garments, etc.”

In January, Lee Bolman visited his Vanderbilt and Trumbull roommate, Bob Zuckert, for a mini-reunion at Bob’s home in Phoenix. “After a varied and colorful career in law, venture capital, mergers & acquisitions, and entrepreneurship, Bob is now relaxing in the Valley of the Sun.”  They were joined by Bob’s awesome neighbor, Lourdes Lee Vasquez, a nutritionist, filmmaker and yoga instructor, who added youthful vitality as well as excellent food to the occasion.  Lee continues: “In true reunion tradition, we shared stories of weird and memorable experiences from the old days, such as the time we tried unsuccessfully to check ourselves into the jail in New London because we were in no condition to drive back to New Haven.” The officers on duty took pity on two inebriated Yalies and steered them to the courthouse floor to sleep it off.

As posted under This Just In on our website, Tom Triplett related of his family’s attendance at the burial of his Uncle Jim, who was lost while flying a B-24 over Germany and repatriated only recently.  He has further expanded on that as follows: “2nd. Lt. Pile and TSgt Triplett flew together, died together, and now their families have chosen to have them buried side-by-side, at Arlington,” said Dr. Nicole Eilers, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency historical analyst for both cases. During World War II, Tech Sgt. James Triplett was serving as a radio operator aboard a B-24H Liberator bomber during a large mission to bomb the industrial city Kassel in northern Hesse, Germany. 2nd Lt. Porter M. Pile, 24, of Harlingen, Texas, served as the navigator on the Sept. 27 mission. While in flight, the aircraft encountered heavy resistance from enemy ground and air forces, resulting in the rapid loss of 25 Liberators, including Triplett’s and Pile’s.”

“Finally, after 79 years of waiting, both families had their answers. They were notified in 2017 that their loved ones had been identified. Due to the fact that they served on the same crew and were recovered together, the two families decided to hold a double funeral and honor both lives at once.“ “It was a wonderful service,” said Tom. “It brings a sense of closure.”

In February Al Chambers flagged a recent Yale Daily News article about a forthcoming new building to house dramatic arts at Yale (apparently on York Street between Crown and Chapel). It will bring together an array of activities that are now scattered across multiple buildings.  John Stewart adds: “I was thrilled by the Hendrie Hall redo and am excited about the new plan. I’d like to write about the Hendrie improvements as perhaps an intro to something about the new building.”  By the time you see this the article should be on the class website

At the March Coffee Hour, Prof. Brian Scassellatti (“Scaz”) spoke on Yale’s robotic lab’s work, focused on developing robots to make life better for humanity.  As Tim Hall said, quoting an old adage, “A great teacher makes complex things simple, and the great scholar makes simple things more complex.  He does both!” An outstanding presentation and Q&A, available on our website.

We regret passing of classmates Robert (Bob) Meehan, David Wills, Charles (Chip) Neville, and John Lawson, but give thanks for their lives and the contributions they have made to others. There are now full obituaries on the class website for Sherm Chickering and Louie Echols.