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YAM Notes: May/June 2020

By Gregory A. Weiss

As of this writing (mid-March) the coronavirus pandemic is causing massive disruptions in daily life, with more and more closings being announced every day. Fortunately, we have not heard of any Classmates having contracted the virus. Hopefully that will continue.

We do have one sad note. Chris Swindells passed away on January 12, 2020, in Sag Harbor, New York, after a 28-month battle with prostate cancer. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, his three daughters and their spouses, and four grandchildren. An optimist and avid skier until the very end, Chris passed away hoping to make use of his Swiss season ski pass for 2020.

The New Haven lunch group organized by Bob Brundige and Gerry Kahn has enjoyed a terrific start: “Our second monthly lunch of Yale 66ers on February 27 was again a lot of fun with much conversation. We have now had seventeen classmates attend one or both of these lunches.” Unfortunately, the coronavirus situation caused them to cancel the March lunch and will likely cause the cancellation of several more in the future.

Winterfest 2020, held in Vail, Colorado in late January, was a huge success. Almost 30 classmates, spouses and friends were in attendance. Many thanks to Beverly Roble (Tim’s wife), who was the principal organizer and who did a spectacular job in herding so many ’66 cats. The weather contributed as well, with plenty of snow.

Next year’s event will be led by Ned Snyder and his wife, Dot. Ned recently sent out an email invitation that you will enjoy reading whether or not you are thinking about attending (and that, more importantly, may induce you to join us): “Dot and I would like to invite you to Yale 1966 Winterfest 2021 in Crested Butte, Colorado from Sunday January 31 to Thursday February 4. For those of you not familiar with it, Crested Butte is on the Colorado Western Slope. It has been recognized by Ski Magazine as the best ski town in Colorado, and often leads the Colorado ski resorts in total snowfall. The town of Crested Butte is a historic old mining town known for its food. It is a protected historical district, and nothing can be built or torn down. Our favorite bar, Koshivars, has a gun on the wall that Butch Cassidy left there when he ran out the back door because the Pinkerton cops were coming in the front.”

Fun note from Jim “Kanga” Rule: “Down in Boca Grand singing with a group of Whiff old farts and having a great time. There are six of us from ’66. Attaching a picture of Mark Green – aka “Popo” – and Bob “Swam” Pratter singing Boolah, Boolah while petting concrete bulldogs in front of a Gulfside mansion where we are staying. Lux et Veritas is where you find it.” Photo below. Green and Pratter look terrific!

We conclude with a note from Lynn Harrison bringing us up to date on his life and remarkable career: “I retired from the practice of cardiac surgery four years ago. I had been chief of Cardiothoracic surgery at LSU in New Orleans from 1993-Katrina (2005), then moving up to UMASSMEMORIAL in Worcester, MA where I remained for just over three years before finishing my career at Baptist Health South Florida in Miami. Both UMASSMEMORIAL and Baptist Health had lost their once-favorable ratings from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons on the basis of faltering leadership, and I was very pleased to be instrumental in putting both institutions back on a 3-star footing before I left. My wife Lura and I now split our time between Worcester (summer and fall) and New Orleans (winter and spring), enjoying each during what I would deem their best seasons. You wouldn’t want to get those reversed. When I retired, I said I would devote myself to the three G’s: Grandchildren, Gardening and Golf. If I lived closer to my grandchildren, it might be possible to succeed with that plan; as it is, I can’t fill the day. Help!”