YAM Notes: September/October 2016

By Bill Sargent

Thomas F. Christie died February 3, 2016. He served as a naval officer and aviator for five years before starting a long career as a banker. Joseph C. Glass III died February 25. He served in Vietnam with the US Air Force and retired as an investment broker after 47 years.

Richard H. Sikes died March 3. He served with the US Army during the Vietnam War and had a dental practice in East Granby, Connecticut, for over 30 years. William H. Bachrach died March 18. He graduated from Michigan Law School and was a lawyer in Oakland, California.

Roger Bessey died April 21. With a degree in physics he worked at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, for most of his career. Peter Brigham died June 22. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nigeria and then pursued graduate studies in community social work and social policy at the University of Michigan. He settled in the Philadelphia area and became associated with an organization serving the region’s network of burn treatment centers, which he directed from 1979 to 2004.

Terry Shockey wrote that he and Barbara had recently completed a ten-day tour of Cuba with Ross and Jane Reynolds, “along with approximately 30 other Yale-related individuals. We saw a variety of city and rural areas from Santiago de Cuba to Havana, and experienced a wide range of cultural events including dance and choral groups, visits to artist studios, observation of ‘street life,’ the old cars of the ’50s, the first visit by a US president in almost a century, a Rolling Stones concert, and Easter in Havana. Our guides were knowledgeable and kept us on schedule. The people were friendly and interested in expanding relations with the US.”

Stanley Stillman sent word that in spite of the fact that three-quarters of a century has gone by, he has started a new venture, Paideia Times, a news quarterly designed for the nation’s approximately 15,000 higher education trustees. He expects to focus on issues that colleges and universities currently face, issues such as those relating to standardized tests, tenure, achieving diversity, and taxing endowments, etc. The website (www.paideiatimes.com) says, “We are launching Paideia Times now because we believe the American university system—the best in the world, according to the Financial Times Higher Education World University Rankings—is facing unprecedented challenges to its preeminence.”

Joe Manko says that he and Jamie McLane were very disappointed to miss the 55th reunion. “We had planned a two-week safari trip to South Africa well before the reunion dates were known. Jamie, Meg, Lynn, and I spent three days in Cape Town and surrounding areas, including the Kirstenbok Gardens, Boulder Beach (Penguin colony), Cape of Good Hope, and South Africa’s ever popular wine country, first settled by the Dutch. We then flew to our first safari in the Etosha region of northern Namibia (four days), followed by a three-day safari in the delta region of Botswana, finishing off with two days at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. We learned a lot about the animals and the tribal culture of very interesting and knowledgeable guides. We came to fully appreciate the rich culture and history of the area, as well as the many challenges faced by the animals. And, we saw just about every type of animal you can see, including, among others, prides of lions, herds of elephants, towers of giraffes, black and white rhinos, sables, wild dogs, and a leopard dispatching an impala. Needless to say, we also saw scores of birds indigenous to these four countries, with Meg, the birder, regularly pointing them out to the rest of us. We skimmed the surface and now cannot wait to return.”

Sam and Helene Sobol wrote a wonderful note. “When we adopted our daughter Jillian in 1984, she had already been a front-page story in the San Francisco newspapers. Born in a dormitory room at San Francisco State University to a sophomore, she was left in the dorm’s warm laundry room where she was sure to be discovered. Fast-forward almost 32 years: after several years in the working world, Jill graduated on May 27 with a BS degree in hospitality and tourism management from the same university. The San Francisco Chronicle carried a feature story on the front page, and within days, this graduation season ‘feel-good story’ was picked up by the media, including the Washington Post and ABC News. NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt did an exclusive interview with Jill, Helene, and myself in our home, now posted online. Her struggles overcoming dyslexia and our efforts in helping her find the educational and emotional support she needed were found to be inspirational by many, from Finland to Bangladesh to South Africa (by a son-in-law of Nelson Mandela!) to Australia, where she had spent a semester as an exchange student. Happily, Jill skated through her Warholian 15 minutes of fame with poise, and we are very proud of her achievement.”

Fred Wakefield writes, “My wife and I recently moved from Missouri to Columbia, Tennessee, and we are enjoying southern living. The reason for our move is . . . children. Three live in the Nashville area.” Fred adds that his “folk-singing daughter Mare” has a website at www.marewakefield.com and that she and her husband were chosen this year as finalists at the Kerville Folk Festival’s NewFolk Songwriting Competition, and as emerging artists at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in Hillsdale, New York.

B. Lee Mallory notes, “In the third week of April, six fly-fishing classmates led by B. Lee Mallory spent ‘April in the Ozarks.’ Andy Block, John Cogswell, John de Neuffville, Phil Periman, and Jamie McLane flew or drove to Norfork, Arkansas, from all over to USA to fish for trout on the Norfork and White rivers in northwest Arkansas. Two days were spent discussing US politics at the Rivers Ridge Inn, enjoying BBQ from Memphis, eating breakfast at local restaurants like the Norfork Cafe and the ‘Get it Quick’ lunch spot. The main attraction was Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, where we spent two days enjoying ourselves in the beautiful gardens and American art compliments of Alice Walton and the Walton family who created the $400 million museum free to all. The combination of art and trout fishing plus stimulating and persuasive conversation reminded us of our wonderful days at Yale.”

Tom Davenport sent word that he has just released his new film project, The Singing Stream, series on DVD. It includes two films. “In the 1980s, I made a film about an African American family from the tobacco country of Granville County, North Carolina, called A Singing Stream: A Black Family Chronicle. . . . Our film documented a remarkable family with rich musical and religious traditions and a reunion dating back to the 1930s. Several of the Landis grandchildren invited me to help them make a sequel to the old film, showing what had become of their grandparents’ legacy. The new film is called A Singing Stream: Reunion.”