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YAM Notes: July/August 2010

By Gregory A. Weiss

Many of you who attended the 40th reunion will remember the fascinating presentation made by Jed Mannis describing his change in career from real estate attorney to Harvard Divinity School—educated, ordained minister and founder of an outdoor church for homeless people in Cambridge. He has now written a book about his journey and his church: Joseph Tuckerman and the Outdoor Church. Framed by the experience of Mr. Tuckerman, a nineteenth-century pastor who conducted a similar ministry, the book tells the story of Jed’s outdoor church and the diverse individuals in his congregation. An engaging read, he recounts in straightforward, lucid prose the trials and tribulations of people with whom most of us will never come into contact and what he modestly describes as his simple efforts to make their lives easier.

Sadly, we must report the tragic death of Hamlet “Chips” Barry on May 2. Chips had been since 1991 the head of Denver Water, the largest utility in Colorado and an extremely important one given the arid climate of that state. As reported in a recent class notes column, he was all set to retire at the end of May to his farm in Hawaii, where he had planned to raise macadamia nuts. He set out one Sunday evening on his tractor to do some work on the farm and never returned; he was found later that night beneath his overturned tractor. The roast that was to have celebrated his retirement has been turned into a memorial service with as many as 1,500 people expected to attend.

Another classmate, Tom Walsh, died on January 17. At Yale Tom was a member of the Pundits and Berzelius and was the recipient of the Yale Poetry Prize. Declining opportunities to do graduate work at Yale, he moved after graduation to San Francisco, and then New York City, to pursue his dream to be a writer, particularly a poet. At his death he had been for some time a resident of Long Beach, California.

A short note from Dick Zimmer indicates that he has left Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and has formed Zimmer Strategies, Inc. in Washington, DC. And a note from Ken Bernard speaks for itself: “I can happily report that I have had some interesting adventures in 2010. In January, I took two weeks off from the law practice to participate in ‘sting’ operations with the intelligence division of the Wildlife Service of an African country. I was asked to pretend to be a buyer of ivory in an effort to locate and arrest local dealers who are trafficking in illegal goods. No arrests were made while I was there, but … I am told that arrest warrants were subsequently executed. It certainly made for a different kind of trip. And, in April, I was honored to be invited by the National University of Mongolia School of Law to teach a one-week course on the American Constitution. Ulaanbaatar is not the usual tourist destination, but the administration and the law students made it a great experience. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year will bring.”

Bill Hammock and Tom Opladen did an outstanding job in organizing the class dinner at the end of April at the Yale Club in NYC. Ninety-three classmates and guests (a record) attended, consuming no less that 65 bottles of wine supplied by our four vintner classmates. The speaker, introduced by Fred Berg, was the enthusiastic and entertaining provost of the university, Peter Salovey, who gave us an update on the state of our school and how it was adapting to the financial constraints imposed by last year’s market collapse.

The next class event before next spring’s 45th reunion is the annual Winterfest scheduled for Aspen in late January. As previously described, this is always a seriously fun three days. You should all consider doing whatever you can do to fit it in your schedule. A lack of ability or inclination to ski is no deterrent—there will be plenty of things to keep you busy! Contact Howie Mallory at ihmallory@gmail.com for details.