YAM Notes: July/August 2010

Way back in May you received your application for the class mini-reunion in Chicago, Sept. 23-26. If for any reason you put it aside and can’t find it, and still want to come, or decided that you couldn’t make it, but have since changed your mind, you can check the class website or call any one of three people to see whether there’s room left: Joe Staley, our class secretary, at 214-522-9534, or joe@staleypc.com, John Moss at 847-562-0123 or jh.moss@comcast.net, or Fred VanderKloot at 212-230-1299 or kloot@comcast.net. These last two are the principal organizers.

They’ve lined up an attractive program, with headquarters at the Whitehall Hotel. Things  kick off Thursday evening (dinner on your own) followed Friday by tours of all the stuff that has made Chicago such a great city (Millennium Park, the Art Institute, Lakeshore East — a spectacular urban development — the John Hancock Center, topped off by a Class Dinner marked by Austin Hoyt’s presentation on the history of the city. Saturday, more sightseeing — Eero Sarrinen’s and Mies van der Rohe’s work at the University of Chicago, for instance —  a panel discussion with Dick Posner, Art Kelly  and other luminaries, a river tour and a farewell dinner. Our earlier mini-reunions in Washington, San Francisco, Charleston, Santa Fe and New York have all been enormously rewarding and this looks every bit as good.

Class Notes-July August 2010Es Esselstyn writes that his personal efforts to combat global warming continue apace. Recent polls suggest that my newspaper’s (and President Obama’s) efforts to alert people to the long-term perils of climate change have fallen on increasingly deaf ears, but not Es’s. An early champion of sustainable living, Es says that his “hardy Prius is heading into its 6th year, a larger garden is being planned, as well as steps to tightren up our 200-year-old farmhouse so as to slow the appetite of the oil furnace.” He has also gone back to school to take a basic EMT course as a member of the East Montpelier (Vt) Volunteer Fire Department.

Just got off the phone with Ben Gertz, who suffered a nasty fall in April while going down a particularly dark and dicey flight of stairs (I know those stairs) after a performance at Lincoln Center. He suffered a neck fracture, from which he has now recovered with a few screws inserted here and there, and is resuming his old post as host of our monthly Friday lunches at the Yale Club. He has, however, decided to delay a kneee replacement. He’s seen enough of  hospitals to last awhile.

John Torinus, mentioned here from time to time as the boss of a durable family business in West Bend, WI.,  Serigraph Inc., has now written a book about how his company  tamed health care hyperinflation — only two modest premium increases in seven years, he says, which is fairly remarkable. The book is called “The Company That Solved Health Care” and will be out this fall. “Too late for the great debate,” he writes, ” but  the country still needs solutions.”

Miles Fischer, a regular at Ben’s lunches, has joined an Upper East Side  commmunity emergency response team after training  by the NYC fire,  police and EMT departments. This is reassuring news because Miles lives right around the corner from me (and Gertz!)  Ed Ghent, a longtime professor of Geology at the University of Calgary, has retired but not really, having received a  grant that will enable him to do research and supervise graduate students until he is 77 years old. He’s playing handball but is down to one game a week– football knees are beginning to betray him.

Dr. Terry Weaver writes from Lenox, MA.,  that his manifold health problems are sufficiently in check to alllow him to keep pace with an increasingly large stable of grandchildren (none at reunion, now, suddenly, three and headed for four). John Hermann has retired after many years of splendid service to ther Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, but continues his archeological research. He helps run an organization called Asmosia, the Association for the Study of Marble and Other Stones in Antiquity, which I had no idea existed and which is yet another one of the many surprises that arrive from time to time in your corresponding secretary’s mail.

One thing I do not like seeing in the mail is a another obituary  notice from the alumni office. Here, sadly, is the latest: Clark Rutledge died at 72 in Brentwood, TN., of unknown causes. Clark, a management and investment consultant, and a Deerfield graduate, is survived by his daughter, Ann Rutledge Gilliam of Franklin, TN., and a son, William Rutledge of Edgewater, N.J.,

Final note:   Unless there are unexpected defections, the usual suspects — Herb Hallas, George Piroumoff, Charlie Griffith, yours truly  and maybe Barbara McLendon, whose late husband Bob started the whole thing — will gather in Parking Lot B Special next to the cage for Yale’s home games this fall, commencing with the game against Georgetown on Sept 18, kickoff at noon. Check the Yale athletic website for the rest of the schedule.  Its BYOB, and it’s great fun.