YAM Notes: May/June 2016

By Bill Sargent

Jeffrey W. Long died on January 8, 2016. After graduation he received an MBA from Stanford and then had a career with the Ford Motor Company.

Paul Downey, chairman of our upcoming 55th reunion (May 26–29), notes: “We have a great program planned, ranging from talks on history, art, health care, and politics to terrific music and comedy. Reservations have been pouring in, and I look forward to welcoming you and your guests. Try to get there in time for Charlie Hamlin’s kickoff talk on Thursday afternoon. ROTC/NROTC veterans may want to attend a talk on Saturday afternoon about the great success of the reconstituted programs. See you at Pierson.”

Bill Dean says, “We’ve been out of touch for too long a time, but I just wanted to advise that last May we made a move from beautiful (and sometimes frigid) New Hampshire to sunny and mild north-central Florida and have reestablished home base in Lady Lake.”

Richard Greeman writes from Montpellier, France, “The immediate reaction of the French people to the November 13th horrendous terrorist attacks in Paris was courageous and peaceful. Spontaneous outpourings of grief and solidarity for the mostly young victims, blood donations, flowers everywhere, few expressions of Islamophobia or desire for revenge—even on the Internet. With admirable nonchalance, people gathered in the streets, the cafés, and the parks in defiance of the fear that the terrorists hoped to inspire. George Bush and the Patriot Act were cited on the media as examples to avoid. . . . All this changed when the ‘Socialist’ government of Hollande declared ‘war’ on terror and proclaimed a state of emergency with hysterical rhetoric, warrantless arrests, and unnecessarily brutal raids on Mosques, a halal restaurant, even an ecological farm! In other words, the Patriot Act on steroids. Two months later, the national conversation is taking place in a climate of fear and suspicion as Hollande attempts to preempt LePen’s National Front by passing it on the right. The other day, a professor at the University of Avignon was arrested for having made satirical comments about the government in an e-mail to some colleagues. What next?”

Brian Kelly sent word, “On Wednesday January 13, Susan and I attended a memorial service for our fine classmate, Jeff Long. He died of a sudden heart attack on January 8. I gave a brief but upbeat tribute to Jeff that recalled his excellent singing voice in support of all our Yale Club of the Suncoast social events, which had a de rigeur group singing session. Jeff always stood next to me and helped me find a modicum of acceptable pitch. He was also a great help to John Maypole and me during our recent mini Y’61 reunion, which brought together some 86 classmates and mates this past April here in Sarasota, Florida. I concluded by raising an imaginary Yale mug to honor a great Y’61 classmate and a dedicated member of our Yale Club of the Suncoast. We will all miss our Jeff.”

Robert Rickover notes what he’s “been up to for the past 35 years. I am still living in Lincoln, Nebraska, with my wife Anne, teaching Alexander Technique lessons, and managing my small empire of websites devoted to the profession. On the off chance you’ve never heard about the technique, my hub site at AlexanderTechnique.com reveals all.”

Jared Lobdell writes, “I’ll be author guest of honor at the New York Tolkien Conference at Baruch College July 16, which will be about the time my book on C. S. Lewis’s Narnia stories, Eight Children in Narnia, will finally appear from Open Court Publishing. Otherwise, I’m hoping Janie and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary here in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, September 21. Not much other news.”

Paul Jarocki says, “I recently jumpstarted a musical career, performing on my first-in-a-lifetime overnight gig with an Indian-style band. I play the tambura, a long-necked instrument that provides that ‘twang’ in Indian music. The audience (25) outnumbered the band (10), so my debut can be considered a success. An accomplishment for me as I was blackballed from my grammar school choir for my inability to sing on key.”

Phil Champlin reports good news, “Just informed by docs that I have passed my eighth year of being in remission, my replacement body parts seem to be working well, and I was just certified by the State of California to be mentally competent to continue serving in the chief justice’s assigned judges program (where I serve about three months a year). Hot damn! Lynne and I will observe our 50th this year and plan to celebrate by attending our 55th in May.”

Joe Reed writes, “I am receiving from Loma Linda University Medical Center a Distinguished Service Award. I have been a patient at Loma Linda, which is an outstanding institution and leads in the field of prostate cancer research.”