YAM Notes: November/December 2017

By Bill Sargent

Frank WrightNeely died April 13, 2017. He taught philosophy at the University of Illinois for 40 years. His influential article, “Freedom and Desire,” appeared in the Philosophical Review in 1974. Wright was an amateur magician, lover of classical music, a movie buff, and avid reader of mysteries, poetry, and books on subjects ranging from physics and cognitive science to history and linguistics.

Philip V. Riggio died on June 29. Phil served in the US Navy and had worked in advertising and investment banking, but his brother, Louis Riggio ’59, reports that “his real passions were jazz and Latin American music and writing on public affairs.”

DavidsonDaveReam died August 21. He was a legal writer and editor at firms in San Francisco and Chicago, but his son says that his “true passion was genealogy; he spent many years combing archives and records to discover the stories of his ancestors.”

A nice note from Andrew H. Marks: “Bill, I have never written anything in class notes but there’s always a first time. Believe it or not, I am still working, in the corporate insurance field, as a senior officer at Arthur J. Gallagher and Company in New York. And that gives me 55 years in the industry. Terry and I still have our apartment on 79th Street in New York, but spend much time at our beach house in East Hampton where I have a sailboat moored right in front. I have been involved as a board member for over 25 years in Lighthouse Guild International as well as on the board of Breakthrough New York, an educational not-for-profit helping bright kids get into the right schools through tutoring and mentoring.

“Family wise, I really have two families. The first is two stepsons, Michael and David Solomon, who are now 50 and 42, respectively, and well on the way in their careers: publishing for Michael at Forbes and architecture for David at Robert A. M. Stern. My second family, with Terry—Sam Marks and Charlotte Marks: Sam being involved with digital advertising (whatever that is) and Charlotte as a charter school teacher in Brownsville, Brooklyn. It is really great that all live in the New York City area so that we get to spend much time together as a family. I could go on and on, as I have had many adventures over these many years, having started with a world trip alone for a year after graduation washing dishes and teaching English, but I’ll wait for my future notes.”

Paul Tierney says he has a few items to report: “Joanne and I spent a couple of weeks at our cottage in the Virgin Islands. I had to forgo scuba diving, having injured my back shortly before the trip. So, a lot of relaxation was enjoyed. Joanne has just completed ten rounds (30 weeks) of chemotherapy. Somewhat of an ordeal, but we are optimistic. Finally, our second great-grandson (not a typo) was born on May 30. By the way, the first great-grandson is now five years old.”

Norman Finkelstein writes, “My wife, Dianne, and I continue to enjoy our world traveling. Scraping the bottom of the barrel to discover exotic destinations, this summer we visited two ‘half countries’: Transnistria and North Cyprus. Surprisingly pleasant and interesting. Far more enjoyable, though, were the several days we spent with Jeff and Anita O’Sullivan in their idyllic summer retreat on Martha’s Vineyard.”

Mike Samuels reports, “Lena, son Joel, and I spent a wonderful two and a half weeks in Norway and the European Arctic on an Exploration cruise that took us to the Svalbard area and eastern Greenland. Visits to glaciers and many icebergs were spectacular. On-land explorations, too, were fascinating, with walrus, polar bears, musk oxen, and others, as well as fascinating birds and wild flowers. Geology and history also played their roles in an absolutely great vacation.”

From Ron St. John, who can’t quit working: “Quick note to let you know I am still going at it. I just got back from South Korea where I led an international team to evaluate South Korea’s compliance with the International Health Regulations, a treaty-like set of recommendations for global health security administered by the World Health Organization. End result: they comply in nearly all 19 critical regulations. This team was sponsored by WHO’s western Pacific regional office. I was blown away by the sophistication of their approaches to many public health issues. As just an example, when a baby is born, he/she is automatically enrolled in a computerized system that manages the child’s immunization records. Parents are sent messages to their cell phones when the baby’s next shot is due. If they forget to show up, someone goes and finds them. As a result, they have amazing vaccination coverages against childhood diseases. And they have high speed bullet trains!”

Bill Dial writes, “Having played the game of golf since my first lesson at age 12, I have always dreamed of two achievements: getting a hole-in-one, and shooting a score under my age. The first is mostly luck, and finally happened about five years ago, followed two years later with a second, but none since. The latter seemed like a mirage: the higher my age rose, so did my average scores and handicap. Well, finally last week I shot 75 on my local par-71 course, witnessed by my playing partners who were as astounded as I was to see my putts roll in for five birdies and no disaster holes. I still enjoy playing the game, but doubt I will ever duplicate that magic round. If luck had anything to do with it, there wasn’t any carryover to the lottery tickets I ran out and bought right afterwards! Life is good so far.”