YAM Notes: May/June 2007

They say that as you get older, birthdays come faster and faster. So do mistakes, like my recent misspelling of Bill Cutter’s name, for which heartfelt apologies.Reunions seem to keep coming faster, too, as do Gunnar Baldwin’s annual excursions on behalf of Habitat for Humanity. To provide ballast, here are a couple of dates.Oct 25-28, Thursday through Sunday. That’s when the Class of 1959 will hold its New York mini-reunion, whose impresarios include Ed Greenberg, Charlie Hoyt and Fred Vanderkloot. For reference purposes, that happens to be the weekend of the Columbia football game, just one of many options your steering committee has planned for you. A detailed schedule should have arrived by mail , and all you have to do is respond, the sooner the better. You can also get the complete picture on this website.

April 2, Monday. That’s when Gunnar Baldwin and his intrepid wife Heather resumed their quest to row the entire Intracoastal Waterway from Key West to the Canadian border. This year they started at Southport, N.C and got to Vrginia before they stopped on the 13th. Gunnar’s odyssey began in January, 2003. Rowing for about three weeks a year, the Baldwins have now covered most of the route from Key West to Virginia, as well as part of the northern section from Newburgh, NY, to Canada — about two-thirds of the 2100-mile task, which Gunnar is determined to finish over the next few years.This entire enterprise is aimed at raising money for Habitat for Humanity and publicizing his company, TOTO USA, a plumbing supply firm which so far has donated $500,000 worth materials to Habitat for Humanity. Gunnar has also raised a lot of cash, partly from donations sent to him by friends and business associates and then forwarded to Habitat for Humanity. Checks can be sent to Gunnar at TOTO USA, Inc. 363 Thornton Gore Rd., Thornton, N.H. 03223. Youcan also read Gunnar’s log at http://rowingforhabitat.slsoft.com/. There are pictures galore, including several of Gunnar, looking completely sane).

Thinking about Gunnar pulling on those oars for 15-20 miles a day makes me so tired I’m not even sure I can finish this column. But here goes.This is the season for 70th birthdays! No surprise there. Mr. Hoyt hit 70 with a party in Chevy Chase surrounded by a cast of thousands, including Doug Banker and Sarah and other classmates too numerous to mention. A few weeks later, Tom Maxey, our secretary, celebrated his 70th with a no less formidable cast assembled by his daughter Lizzie and son-in-law John Robertshaw, and including the aforementioned Hoyt, Vanderkloot and Greenberg, plus Ben Gertz, A.J. Cronin, and probably some I missed, so great was the crush of admirers and celebrants.

I crossed paths recently in New York with two recently-published authors. One was Dick Posner, who continues to write and publish at an awe-inspiring pace, and whose latest is a 109-page
essay called “The Little Book of Plagiarism,” and described in the Times by Charles McGrath as ” useful…smart, lucid,” a “typically Posnerian production. ” The other was Charlie Ellis — whose wll-reviewed business history, “Joe Wilson and the Creation of Xerox,” was published late last year.Speaking of authors, one our more celebrated and decorated (including a Pulitzer) is Dick Rhodes, who reports that he is as happy as ever in the little unincorporated community he lives in about 4 miles north of Half moon Bay in California, 25 minutes from San Francisco and
45 minutes from Stanford, where he is affiliated with the Center for International Security and Cooperation. Dick, who captivated the literary world with his books on the atomic and hydrogen bombs, has just finished what amounts to volume three, Arsenals of Folly: Nuclear Weapons in the Cold war,’ and will soon start work on number four, which will bring us to the present and, presumably, the era of threatened proliferation. His wife Ginger, has just finished her Ph.D in clinical psychology and started a small practice in San Francisco, specializing in trauma. He has an architect son in Seattle and a molecular biologist daughter in San Diego. He plans to make the 50th and the 75th. After 38 successful and productive years at Williams and Connolly,

Steve Umin — who, I recall, ranked first in our class before becoming a Rhodes Scholar and clerking for Potter Stewart — has left to join the firm of Epstein Becker and Green, a move that will allow him to develop his own practice in mediation and arbitration, which has has been doing for the last five years for the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. His message to classmates: send business!! His new address: 1227 25th St., Washington, D.C. 20037, phone 212-861-1890.

A sad note: Jeff McKenzie died in December in Lowell, Mass. A graduate of Harvard Business School, Jeff worked for most of his career for AT&T and lived in Long Valley, N.J. before moving to Massachusetts several years ago. There will be a service in Maine this summer. Our condolences to his wife, Cathy, his sons Chris and Kevin and his daughter, Meghan. Donations in his memory may be sent to New England HDSA Center for Excellence for Huntington’s Disease and mailed to Dr. Steven Hersch, MGH-East Building 114, Suite 2000, 114 16th Street, Charlestown, MA 02129.