January - February 2022 Class Notes

Bill Jastromb reports:  In our sophomore year eight of us chose to room together in Branford. Little did we know that a tradition of biennial reunions after graduation would evolve. Interrupted only by covid, we caught up this year in early October at the Sebasco Harbor Resort, Bath ME. Most of us made it: Charlie Dill minus Martinna, Tom Edwards with Tina, Bill Jastromb with Nini, Ken MacLean with Stephanie, Jamie McLane with Meg, and Dave Simmons minus Ann. Those unable to make it were John Bingham and Katharine and Charlie Hamlin and Linda. Our intrepid organizers Tom and Tina booked us into a day of fun at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (featuring the trolls designed by Danish recycle-materials artist, Thomas Dambo), a cruise past lobster wharves on the New Meadows River, a walk at the mouth of the Kennebec, pickleball matches that never materialized, corn hole bean bag games, lots of laughs, hanging out, reminiscing, telling stories, and lobster rolls. Oh, and the required afternoon naps. The best part is that we are all still here.

John Hansman  Despite covid, Jean and I managed a river cruise on the Columbia and Snake Rivers and an extended drive around New York and New England.  For 2022, we are scheduled to ride a Smithsonian bus around Slovenia, Croatia, and Montenegro followed by a Viking cruise around Britain.  I have downsized my volunteer activities leaving time for a possible stint at the local community college. Jean continues to paint landscapes in pastel and to teach art classes three times a week. We are increasingly annoyed with the anti-vaxxers who are endangering themselves, their communities and thwarting economic recovery,

James Bowditch reports that Felicity and he have moved into a local retirement community, Quarry Hill, Camden ME. We still have a way to go before we are fully downsized from 4200 to 1639 square feet.  Quarry Hill is a lovely place – run by Maine Health, the premier health organization in Southern and mid-coast Maine and is half the price of something similar in the Boston area.

Mike Gregg and Carol left the rainy Pacific NW and are thrilled to gaze up at contrails over Colorado Springs which brags of 250 clear days a year. We moved close to our older son and their many children in diapers and torn jeans and welcoming neighbors.  Carol’s arthritis is much better at this high altitude compared to our summers in La Jolla.  Last March, Cambridge University Press published Ocean Mixing, my summary of the field I have worked in since graduate school. Classmates are unlikely to find it on the NYT Bestseller charts. With that behind me, I am back to analyzing observations and writing research papers while learning to play pickle ball and working out at our club where I provide comic relief to the younger women in the Pilates core class. Next spring, our son and I are scheduled to take a Holy Land tour, repeating a trip taken two years ago with our other son and his family.

MARK LEBOW writes that he and his wife Patricia Harris had dinner with the widow of our deceased classmate William Mathews White Jr.   “Bill was my best friend, a proud supporter of Yale, the organizer of our mini-reunion in Las Vegas, and an inspiration for all of us to emulate. May he rest in peace!” Mark also wrote in July:  “My son Jeffrey was married to Alexandra Apfel on Martha’s Vineyard. Alexandra works for the Collaborative for Inclusive Education here in New York City. Jeffrey is head of Player Development at the New York Mets baseball team.”

Philip A. Champlin  After 42 years on the bench I am retiring from the California Superior Court at the end of 2021. I served 22 years as an elected judge for the Napa Superior Court, and another 20 years as a member of the California Chief Justice’s Assigned Judges Program. In that capacity, I sat all over Northern California but focused on the S.F. Bay Area counties, and finally did civil settlement conferences here in Napa. It has been a wonderful life and I thank Yale for pointing me in the direction of a legal career. My wife, Lynne, and I just celebrated 55 years of wedded bliss and hope to enjoy many more. We plan to spend more time fishing from our new boat and riding our Harley trike while we’re still young.

Robert Kimball  “Like everyone in the world, I can’t wait until the pandemic is completely behind us. Meanwhile, I am thankful that I was able – with my wife Abby’s invaluable help – to put my time during the shutdown of all ‘normal’ activity to finish Crisis and Compromise: The Rescue of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.” The class of 1961 may know Bob best as the consummate musical theater historian.  In a less known but equally impressive chapter of his life, Crisis and Compromise describes Bob’s political policy development after graduation to his key involvement in the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.  This deep involvement ultimately placed him in THE ROOM where Bob contributed to the bipartisan compromise that turned out to be one of the most sweeping reforms in US history.

Andy Block, back in September, organized a special class presentation on The History of Racism in America. Fifty of us were very fortunate to hear Jonathan Holloway, currently President of Rutgers University, and former Dean of Yale College. In 2010, Jonathan taught the course, “African American History: From Emancipation to the Present” which is available online through Yale. The title of Jonathan’s September class presentation “Isn’t 400 Years Enough?” was taken from a letter to the New York Times which he penned earlier this year. You can replay the class talk in its entirety @ http://yale1961.org/jonathan-holloway-video.

Ed Robertson and Patrice confirm that the Kansas City Mini Reunion has been rescheduled to March 24-27, 2022.  [details:  http://yale1961.org/minis/ ]

Frosty Smith and Ed Cantor remind us to mark our calendars for the Mini Reunion in New Haven, Oct 13 – 16, 2022.

 Bob Marsh, my Durfee entry mate, alerted us to an obituary we missed back in 2019.  Please visit David Lucius Merritt’s obituary belowHats off to Bob and David’s partner, Roberta Dotson, for passing this along.  If classmates know of any other obituaries that have not yet been recorded, please send them to Lou Allyn or me.  (pc)  

OBITUARIES – Webmaster Lou Allyn maintains a roster of obituaries @ http://yale1961.org.  The following links connect to those most recently received.  You can read the full obituaries by following the links.

Keith B. McCulloch –  http://yale1961.org/keith-mcculloch/

Robert Chipley –  http://yale1961.org/robert-chipley

Michael McDonnell –    http://yale1961.org/michael-mcdonnell/

David Merritt  – http://yale1961.org/david-lucius-merritt

Robert Hanes Gray Jr   –  http://yale1961.org/robert-gray/