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Edward C. Marschner (Bud)

Died: March 2018

Picture it, just eleven months ago: One moment, breathing deeply the scents of first autumn, turning the motorcycle slowly left from Slate Quarry Road into Milan Hollow Road. The next, struggling to control the venerable BMW 90/6, falling, into abrupt and expanding pain in my back and left side. I never saw the deer. It was the ambulance attendant who said, “You know, you clipped a deer!” Since this followed his queries about whether I knew what year it was and who is president now, I took it for a test question. (He said a responding state trooper had put the crippled deer out of misery with his service revolver.)

I was hurt. But now I was headed for destinations denoted Emergency Triage, Intensive Care, Trauma Unit, Physical Therapy. One of the nurses said I was the fourth patient she’d treated who’d had a motorcycle collision with a heedless, charging, stupid deer.

I was lucky. My damage — six crushed and fractured neck and thoracic vertebrae, seven fractures in five left-side ribs. I would not need surgery, just neck and torso braces for three months, followed by more than a year of physical therapy. Fair amount of what is cheerily called pain medication.

What an opportunity for reflection on how fortunate we are. Aging takes its normal toll on our waistlines, cardiac and respiratory systems, knees, hips, and — memories. But we survivors in Yale ’66 have precious little contact with the violence of war, migration, religious and political tyranny. Instead, some of us have ever richer time with perceptive, caring friends — old and new — who are happy to talk about ideas, what they’re reading, creative work they’re making or enabling. By and large, the younger generation(s!) bring to the attention of their elders perceptive and imaginative takes on what happened during our lifetimes and what is anticipated to happen in theirs. Free to disregard or to counter the ignorant blatherings of many reported in the daily news, we are blessed to be alive in these times.

In 2013 I left the international boutique law firm to which I had dedicated 34 years, to join the new Manhattan office of a large national firm that mainly does big time litigation (class action defense, financial fraud, real estate and insurance lawsuits). By contrast, I still counsel friends in the arts (including journalists, architects, photographers) and French and Italian family-owned industrial groups, to protect their rights and advance their causes in North America. We treasure the privilege of working and relaxing from June through August in our house in the Dordogne (France) countryside. We cherish time with our friends, over good conversation and healthful, delicious food and wine.

Yale institutions that have revived since our day include WYBC (all-web, all the time) and Mace and Chain (now with a “tomb,” hence above-ground). The new residential colleges and engineering initiatives should contribute to a continuing positive impact on our country and our world.