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YAM Notes: January/February 2005

By Gregory A. Weiss

While the election may fall in the category of “old news” by the time this is published, we would be remiss in not recognizing John Kerry’s efforts to win the presidency. Clearly we didn’t all vote for him, but it is difficult not to appreciate the energy and drive that brought him so close to winning the most powerful political office in the world. He may have lost, but he can take pride in knowing that he gave it everything he had and left nothing on the table.

TV writer and producer (Hill Street Blues) and two-time Emmy award-winner Jeff Lewis has written his first novel, Meritocracy: a Love Story, set in the summer of 1966 about a group of Yale ’66 graduates, one of whom his friends think will one day be the U.S. president. Sound familiar? It was published by Other Press in September.

Gerald A. Rosenberg reports, “After 29 years in private practice, in August of this year I accepted Eliot Spitzer’s extraordinary invitation to head the charities bureau within the office of the attorney general of the state of New York. My new office is two blocks east of Ground Zero, but I have a beautiful view of the Trinity Church cemetery, one of the most tranquil places in Manhattan. And, my overview of the nonprofit sector in New York state is riveting. On another front altogether, my wife and I completed the renovation of an eighteenth-century farmhouse in rural France. Earlier this year we had mini-reunions of Yale ’66 in France with Jeff and Kathy Parish and their daughters Katie and Rebecca. Later in the year, Andy Berkman and his family celebrated Andy’s 60th birthday at La Tourelle. Anyone wishing to ‘visit’ the farmhouse can look over JustFrance’s website of rental properties; the property is listed under the Vaucluse region.”

“Carolyn Vella and I,” writes John McGonagle, “continue to work in our own competitive intelligence consulting business (20 years — unreal). Our latest business book, The Manager’s Guide to Competitive Intelligence, was a finalist for the Most Influential Book award. Fortunately, we still find time for our beloved Japanese Bobtail cats and for remodeling the house.” Dug Chisholm has had a tough year: two hip replacements and a back fusion. He’ll miss the ski reunion this year, but we’re wishing him a speedy recovery and a return next year.

George Richmond died in August from liver cancer. He was described in a very long obituary in the Philadelphia Inquirer as a “teacher, artist, and author” and the founder of the MicroSociety education program, which is used in more than 250 schools worldwide. The Inquirer obituary includes the following: “Raised in a cold-water flat in a tenement on Manhattan’s lower east side by a single mother, the young man learned chess, painting, history, political science, and poetry from two Merchant Marines who were friends of the family. At 11 he drew huge crowds in Washington Square Park to watch him play chess.”