YAM Notes: July/August 2018

This column will be brisker than usual this month, given the reunion narratives of other classes pressing in on all sides. Speaking of which, our 60th is scheduled for May 23-26 of next year, and requires your attention, even now. The co-chairs are Randy Ney (rjney@universaltravel.biz) and Charlie Nolan (charlie@nolanemail.com). Jennifer Julier, as usual, is the AYA contact for our class. Meanwhile, a group of your classmates is compiling a book tentatively called “Yale ’59 Diaries,” intended to be a compendium of reminiscences from your time at Yale. The mastermind here is Don Watson, of Yale Record fame, who eagerly awaits reflections/anecdotes/fond memories at this email: lakesideDJ@aol.com.

There will be further particulars to come, but long, medium or short items are welcome, although this is not an invitation to recount life histories, as in past reunion books. It is Yale-centric. The dozens of submissions that have already arrived show great diversity and amazing recall of memorable experiences (academic or otherwise) that that enlighten and entertain. Early submissions are desired, which means NOW.

As a fun guide, I offer short pieces already submitted by Bob Pellaton, another Yale Record alumnus (as if you couldn’t tell).

WONDERING: “Entering the Old Campus via the Elm Street gate, I came across a small crowd of fellow freshmen gathered around an awesomely statuesque woman. She was clutching a small dog to her ample bosom. It was Jayne Mansfield. I stood transfixed, wondering what it must be like to be a small dog.”

OLD PEOPLE: “The Yale Record was honoring Charles Schultz, the creator of Peanuts, with the Yale Record Humorist of the Year Award. I asked the obvious question: ‘How did you decide to draw a strip featuring just children and a dog?’ ‘Simple,’ he replied. ‘I can’t draw old people.’ ”

Bob also has a reminiscence about a sit-down with Martin Luther King, Jr., after King’s address to 2.000 people in Woolsey Hall. “He looked at me through half-drooped lids as if to say, ‘Dear God, what have you given me to work with today?’ I was about to ask my question but never got the chance. He asked all the questions, starting with, ‘Where are all the Negro students?'”

You get the idea.

Packer Wilbur, a grandfather nine times over, reports from Southport CT. that he continues his real estate career, buying and managing rental properties, many of them in the Southeast, and finds relaxation sailing small-keel boats, mainly 18-footers. His wife, Laura, is deeply involved in a local organization that resettles refugees from all over the world and also assists immigrants generally. This is not an easy job in these intensely partisan times.

One very sad addition to the roll call this month: Ted Prince, who died in April just short of his 81st birthday of multiple myeloma in Bethesda, MD. A lifelong Washingtonian who had a fine career in the law, Ted was one of the most gifted athletes in our class, a member of national championship tennis and squash teams. In later life, he dominated senior tournaments in every racquet sport, paddle included, and also became a scratch golfer, demolishing the competition at his home club, the Chevy Chase Club, and just about anywhere else he played.

In 1991, the enviable life that Ted and his wife Sally had built for themselves and their three children took a terrible turn when their son Christian (a Yale sophomore and lacrosse All-American) was murdered while walking back to his room on a Saturday night in New Haven. (The alleged killer received a prison sentence but was acquitted of murder charges when a witness changed his story.) Ted held the family together through two trials, and later testified before Congress in an emotional plea to to approve a handgun bill known as the Brady Bill. The family asks that remembrances be sent to the Yale University/Christian Prince Memorial Scholarship Fund, established after Christian’s death, at the Yale University Office of Development, PO Box 2038, New Haven, CT, 06521.