YAM Notes: May/June 2017

By Bill Sargent

John Cogswell reports, “I had the good fortune of visiting Suzy and B. Lee Mallory, and some of their many friends, on December 17 in their beautiful home in Memphis. Most significant, December 17 was the annual Christmas party of Carnival Memphis, an 85-year-old civic organization promoting Memphis. Because of his high prominence in the area, B. Lee was designated the Carnival Potentate to ordain the secretly selected Queen and King of the Royal Court, and appeared in the appropriate attire. He invited me to attend, which I accepted and, to avoid the black-tie standard, held myself out as a journalist for the Yale Alumni Magazine.”

John is a busy reporter. He also reports, “On January 6, 2017, Dr. Phillip Periman’s medical group hosted a retirement party for Phillip and his family at the Amarillo Club in Amarillo. This sit-down dinner with over 200 guests including doctors, nurses, golfers, fishermen, and artists was not held on January 6 by chance. It was, according to Phillip after being praised and roasted for well over an hour, an allusion to the three wise men who came to Bethlehem 12 days after Christmas. This allusion illustrates the ‘ridiculously wide range of interests’ of Phillip as reported by his longtime friend and Yale roommate, Charlie Deahl, in a letter read to the group. Any person attending the occasion and also knowing Phillip could not help being overwhelmed by his lifetime’s accomplishments and public recognition of a life well spent, crowned that night by a special resolution of the Amarillo mayor and city council. Charlie Hamlin and I were there to represent our class and left with that sense of honor one receives from being a friend of such a remarkable person.”

Richard Weinert sends word, “We had the blessing of a new granddaughter with the new year. My oldest daughter, Shira (Yale ’95), had her second daughter on January 2. She also has two stepkids ages 7 and 9, so that makes four grandkids for us. The other big year-end family news was that my son David (Yale ’03) became engaged to a wonderful Brazilian woman in December. He’s been living in Sao Paulo for the past two years working for Cushman Wakefield, but will return to New York in February. His fiancée will join him as soon as her visa application is approved. I continue to work full time as president of Concert Artists Guild, a nonprofit that helps young musicians start concert careers. I’m still loving it, though I am beginning to accept that all good stories come to an end. I’m planning for a long last chapter.”

In the previous notes, Allen Young, born on November 14, 1940, had wondered if he might be the youngest member of our class. Lee Titus writes, “With all due respect to Allen Young, I was born on January 20, 1941.” Lee adds, “I continue to practice law in Guilford, Connecticut, where I live with my wife of 51 years, Linda. Life is good.”

Jeff O’Sullivan wrote, “Recently I attended a panel discussion at the Greenwich Library on recent developments in cancer research. This was part of the Yale Speaker series sponsored by our local alumni association. The panel, which consisted of six outstanding doctors from the Yale Cancer Center, was headed by Dr. Roy Herbst, chief of medical oncology. They spoke about a number of types of cancers and new developments regarding treatment. Among the panelists were Dr. Sue Kaech, this year’s recipient of the Class of 1961’s research grant, and Dr. Melinda Irwin, last year’s recipient of our grant. Both were most impressive. I had a chance to speak with Dr. Irwin who was particularly enthusiastic about our grant. She told me that there aren’t as many grants available as there used to be and that it is very hard for a young researcher to get a grant since they don’t have an extensive track record. Thus, our grants seem to fill a significant need for young researchers trying to get started.”

Andy Block sent the following, “Recently, I saw the Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro, a film about the life and writings of James Baldwin. The film brought back memories of our senior year when R. W. B. Lewis assembled a panel of mid-career authors to address his American Studies 56 (Modern American Literature) class in the large SSS auditorium. The panel included Lewis, Ralph Ellison, William Styron, and Baldwin. The most memorable panelist was Baldwin, who was angry, chain smoking, and crying unfair while pacing the stage. In the documentary, he is shown doing the same thing four years later at a Cambridge University college where he receives a standing ovation for his oratory. I look back and easily conclude that Dick Lewis was way ahead of his time to expose us to African American authors when civil rights had yet to be a front-page issue in America. He is just one more example of the outstanding, visionary, and influential faculty that made our Yale experience last for a lifetime!”

Jim Loofbourrow writes, “In earlier entrepreneurial years, I worked around the clock cofounding and heading two manufacturing companies. Now, thanks to modern technology, I’ve a more balanced, still-energizing work situation as part-time contract CFO for a rapidly growing multinational firm located in a nearby tech center. Spend half days in the office but can work just as easily online from home or our Canadian Lake Huron cottage, and enjoy staying up-to-date on the latest management metrics and social media marketing techniques. Am 25 years older than several employees, more than twice—even thrice—as old as most. Sherry and I celebrated our 53rd anniversary hiking the Wales countryside a year ago and love having our 12 grandchildren (who also make sure we keep solidly grounded in twenty-first-century perspectives) gathered at our 1920s Laguna Beach home or visiting them at their homes scattered from Shanghai to cross country. Just reached the top of the waiting list for a Toyota Mirai fuel cell car (a much-looked-forward-to bucket-list item). Powered by hydrogen. Only emission: water. Having both confronted and survived serious health issues, we appreciate that life, just now, is good.”

Bruce Chabner says that he and his wife recently spent two weeks on various tiger reservations in central India. “India is simply overwhelming in terms of the numbers of people, their friendliness and warmth, the beauty of cultural sites (including the Taj), the food (which was outstanding and nutritious throughout), and the chaos of the cities and the travel through towns and villages. I recommend it for the brave and the curious.” Bruce adds a sports note. “Yale women’s swimming won the Ivy League handily, with a major contribution from the freshman women, including my granddaughter Bebe, after a 20-year drought. The coach celebrated by jumping into the pool, fully clothed, and stole the headlines.”

Jim Hanson notes, “I just finished teaching again at the Williams College master’s program in economic development. My students were mid-level professionals from many of the poorest countries in the world, as usual. I hope they will help their countries when they return home in June. Teaching them is very rewarding.”

Sandy McMillan says, “Mimi and I share a condo on Longboat Key with her two siblings. At my advanced stage in life I have purchased a 22-foot Sea Ray, which we have enjoyed running around locally and recently down to Boca Grande to visit my sister. All is well for the McMillan clan with eight kids, six spouses, 13 grandchildren, and two on the way.”