YAM Notes: March/April 2016

By Bill Sargent

Will Cummer died on October 25, 2015. He received his PhD in classical archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania and studied at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. He was a fellow of the American Academy in Rome, and a director of the American Research Institute in Turkey. As a professor at Cornell University and the Rhode Island School of Design, he taught classical and Near Eastern art and architecture. He worked on archaeological excavations in Greece, Italy, and Turkey (including being a diver/excavator on a Roman shipwreck). In Rome he ran a course, Illustrating Archaeology, teaching how to survey and draw archaeological sites.

Denis Allison Lape died on December 5. He received his PhD in English literature from the University of Minnesota after taking his oral exams in French and German as well as in English. Denis taught at Roanoke College for 43 years, focusing on Shakespeare and nineteenth-century American literature.

Phil Perrone sent word, “Just a brief note of news to let you know we will be taking a break away from the trading desk to visit the Galapagos Islands later this month as the transition season arrives at the equator in Ecuador. We will be on a sea kayaking and snorkeling adventure launching from a catamaran mother ship to make soft approaches among the islands and wild life.”

Robert Hackmann says, “Grandchildren #2 and 3 arrived this October, one each in Salt Lake City and Bend, Oregon. Life is full. Jane and I are now spending about six months of the year in the western third of the US, while maintaining our base in Lenox, Massachusetts, where we have been for 35 years. Health is generally good, for which we are quite thankful.”

Joe Reed sent a write-up that appeared in the Greenwich Sentinel. After the death of Mimi, his wife of 56 years, former mentor David Rockefeller took Joe on a 12-day trip that started in Morocco, where many years earlier Joe had been the US ambassador, and then continued to Paris, where they visited sites that Rockefeller’s father had helped restore after WWI. Joe has the distinction of having served under four US presidents and four UN secretary-generals.

Peter Carnes notes, “Debbie and I spent three-plus weeks in October visiting China on a wonderful tour operated by Overseas Adventure Travel. We were a small group of 14 and started in Beijing (numerous highlights and lots of people but very little smog) followed by Xi’an (Terra Cotta warriors), Chengdu (pandas), and on to Lhasa, Tibet, which was a fascinating stop. We were at an altitude of 12,000 feet and climbed another 1,000 to the Potala Palace, the former residence of the Dalai Lama. This was followed by three days on the Yangtze River through the Three Gorges where more than 1 million people were displaced and relocated to accommodate the dam. We finished in Hong Kong, which remains uniquely different from the rest of China. Throughout the trip we were exposed to local life, including visits to schools where the children were enthusiastic, happy, and interested in learning English. We left the country with a better feel for the culture and life in China; our overall impressions were positive, although after three weeks we were ready for some American food and a knife and fork.”

Ross Reynolds writes, “As you are reading this, my wife, Jane, and I will be joining Terry and Barb Shockey on the Yale Educational Travel trip to Cuba. Terry and I did the grand tour of Europe together in 1960 and lived to tell the tales.”

Charlie Hamlin sent word that Mac Farmer received a Life Achievement Award from Rhode Island Family Service “where he has long provided leadership and a big dose of humanity and humility.” Mac moved to Mississippi in the fall of 1964, spending two years in legal defense and voter registration work during the civil rights struggle.

Jonathan M. Brown sent an interesting note. “Five years ago, while sitting in a Starbucks coffee shop in Baltimore filling out the registration for our 50th reunion, a man I had never met, the Rev. Bernard (Skip) Keels, came over, saw what I was doing, and announced that he too was a Yale alum, from the class of ’72. Turns out he was both an ordained minister and the university chaplain at Morgan State (a prominent African American university in Baltimore), and we have become ‘fast friends.’ But because my experience as a Jewish undergraduate, and his as one of a handful of African Americans on campus a generation later, were so vastly different, we are now planning to cowrite a book about why mine was so positive, and his mostly negative.”

John Paoletti writes, “Having enjoyed being the faculty leader of a Yale tour to Florence in 2014, I have signed on to another: A Yale Week in the Italian Lakes, which runs October 25 to November 2, 2016. I don’t think that Yale intends for us to be ‘in’ the lakes, although that will be possible, but rather to enjoy the incredibly beautiful mountainous landscape of northwestern Italy. It would be wonderful to see classmates on this trip. At the moment we are enjoying our three grandchildren (12, 1-1/2, and four months!), trying to store up enough energy to keep up with them.”

Morris Fisher says, “So far so good. At the moment, no major health problems for myself or my wife. I have had a happy marriage and a rewarding professional career as an academic neurologist. Married almost 50 years—looks like it will work. One son and two great granddaughters. I am semi-retired but still active professionally. I recently received a lifetime achievement award in my field, which was very satisfying. Very busy doing things I enjoy, including taking courses, learning in various fields, exercising, and traveling. In essence, mainly good—such that I hope it all hangs together a bit longer.”