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YAM Notes: January/February 2017

By Gregory A. Weiss

According to Jim Kaplan: “The 50th reunion changed my life. First, Howie Moffett asked me to write a piece on sports for the class book, and I had a ball investigating baseball and American culture. Then the organizers asked me to join the interests and obsessions forum. After speaking about the personal side of ballplayers, I was treated like a rock star—somewhat unnerving for a guy who identifies with the backup singers. Afterward I realized I had enough material for a book of baseball articles, profiles, and essays. The result is Clearing the Bases: A Veteran Sportswriter on the National Pastime (Levellers Press). Thanks to all of you who, as Yogi Berra might have said, made this book necessary.”

At least six classmates were in attendance at the annual Yale Alumni Association assembly in mid-November: Ben Liptzin, Cary Koplin, Toby Condliffe, Tom Opladen, Peter Stambler, and Don Bickford. Ben, our AYA class representative, has written a thorough report of the proceedings, which you can find on the class website, Yale66.org.

Tom McCaffrey, who several months ago had a major scare when he learned that he had a serious case of malignant melanoma, was treated successfully at MD Anderson in Houston and is now cancer-free. While most of us are slowing down and putting ourselves out to some kind of pasture, Tom is embarking on a new career (hard to keep track, but at least his fourth). He “just accepted a residency position in clinical psychology in Austin, Texas. Although I have a license to practice in two states—Arizona and New Mexico—this move will give me much more flexibility elsewhere in the country.”

An interesting and inspiring note from Peter Stambler: “Shortly after our 50th, I went to Istanbul to volunteer at a community center for Syrian refugees. Three hot, energetic, sometimes enthralling weeks: I built a library corner and stocked it with hundreds of children’s books. The little center has now grown to serve 200 families. I’m happy to report that contributions from some classmates and many other students and colleagues have helped to bring daily educational activities, clothing, school fees, and even a much-needed air conditioner to the center. On a darker note, I was there for the airport bombing. Later, I had just left Nice when that horrid terrorist attack occurred. I note that, both in Turkey and in France, citizens and even tourists have demonstrated they will not be deterred from living their lives positively. Thus, I hope to return to Istanbul next year to continue volunteering.”