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YAM Notes: July/August 2015

By Gregory A. Weiss

The first thing you should do—after reading this column, of course—is check out our newly revamped class website: yale66.org. Thanks to the great work of Michael Dalby and Stephen Billard, we now have a clean, easy-to-use, truly first-class website as we head toward our 50th reunion. The second thing you should do—if you haven’t done so already—is log in to the website and write your personal essay for the 50th reunion class book. The instructions are clear and simple to follow. And while you are at it, follow them to update your personal profile, upload some photos, complete the class survey, and write as many remembrances of our deceased classmates as you can. The book is going to be amazing. The more submissions we make, the better it will be. And no matter what, keep thinking reunion—now less than a year away!

Our Whiffs are active and eager to perform at the reunion. MarkPopoGreene reports that all 12 of them gathered recently for a mini-reunion: “Win and Leslie Self were our hosts at their lovely home on Johns Island, just outside Charleston, South Carolina, where we rehearsed (polishing old arrangements and learning new ones), performed twice, and spent a lot of time just hanging out with one another, catching up and reminiscing. Remarkably (and with no conscious planning on our part) our time together in Charleston occurred 50 years to the day of when we were all tapped into the Whiffenpoofs of 1966, in April of 1965! Truly extraordinary to find ourselves together, singing, on that auspicious anniversary. We are all eagerly anticipating the opportunity to once again share our gift of song with our classmates next June.”

Howie Mallory (ihmallory@gmail.com), ably assisted by Bob Hemphill, will be leading the charge for next winter’s version of the class “Winterfest” to be held in Howie’s hometown, Aspen, February 3–7, 2016 (Super Bowl weekend). “Winterfest HQ,” says Howie, “will be at the Limelight Hotel located in the center of town across from Wagner Park. I have set aside 20 rooms for classmates to reserve in their own name.” Even as we age, the group seems to get larger and larger each year, with the fun being shared by skiers and non-skiers alike.

Van Wolf reports on what effectively was another class mini-reunion: “Jeff Lewis came to Phoenix Thursday night (April 2) to talk about and read from the Meritocracy Quartet, his just-published compilation of the four books, hosted by the Phoenix Yale Club. Great showing by our classmates living in the Valley of the Sun: Tom Kitch from Tempe, Frank Goodyear from Paradise Valley, Phil McCombs from Cave Creek, and me from Phoenix. Great catching up, and Jeff’s book is a terrific read—follows four Y ’66 (somewhat fictional) classmates over the four decades after graduation. See you at the reunion.”

In a previous issue we reported on the passing of Doug Yates, referring to him as our only Rhodes Scholar. It has been subsequently pointed out that this was not a true statement. We have one other Rhodes Scholar, Dick Marston. Dick has for many years been the James R. F. Guy Professor of Finance and also professor of economics at the Wharton School. In addition to his degree from Oxford, Dick received his PhD in economics from MIT. He has taught asset allocation for over 20 years in the CIMA program sponsored by the Investment Management Consultants Association. In 2014, he received IMCA’s Matthew McArthur Award for outstanding contributions to investment management. Since 1999, he has been faculty director of Wharton Executive Education’s Private Wealth Management Program, a weeklong program for ultra-high–net-worth investors. Dick has lectured on investments throughout the US and in over a dozen foreign countries. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including Portfolio Design: A Modern Approach to Asset Allocation, and Investing for a Lifetime.

Denis Tippo let us know of the passing of Harold Osborn: “Paul Farren and I knew Ozzy since prep school days when Ozzy was a student at Kent School. I played against him on the gridiron when I suited up for the Loomis Pelicans.” Oz suffered from dementia and died unexpectedly in April with his three children at his bedside. We are awaiting further information, but we believe Oz spent a major part of his working life as an emergency room physician in the NYC area.

Charles Cronje’s brother, Willem ’61, sent us a fascinating description of the life of Charles, which can be found in its entirety in the necrology section of the class website. A shorter version, quoting liberally from Willem, follows: Charles was born and raised in South Africa. He joined us in New Haven in 1962. “Charles read voraciously throughout his years at Yale and completed his degree [in economics], although he did not attend many classes!” After returning to Johannesburg as a merchant banker, “Charles refused to accept the conventions of society. After less than a year, he left to follow a girl to Australia. Thus started a lifetime as a wanderer. It was the late 1960s, and flower children were wearing kaftans, strumming guitars, and experimenting with LSD. This became his world.” Apparently he was “always restless and became bored quickly.” For some time he taught windsurfing in Plettenburg Bay in South Africa. For many years he lived penniless in a shack “at the edge of a steep cliff, with a forever view over the sea.… In 1999 he suffered a disabling stroke, but, after months of intensive therapy, recovered enough to stay semi-independently in the George, South Africa, area. However, he was hemiplegic and never regained the ability to speak. As he grew older his condition deteriorated and he was moved to [a nursing home]. His brothers Willem and Pierre visited him shortly before his death. He was a man of colossal talent. Only he would know whether he found what he was looking for.”

The March 9 issue of the Baltimore Sun includes a full obituary for John Armiger Jr., which may be read online in the class website necrology section. John was for many years a teacher, coach, and administrator at the Gilman School in Baltimore, where he was beloved. “John was also my assistant varsity basketball coach and also headed the alumni office. He was just a wonderful human being who cared enormously for the kids and was passionate about people,” said Sherm A. Bristow, former assistant headmaster at Gilman. He was also the former owner and president of Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, a cemetery in the Baltimore area which had a special focus. “He created for the police department its own Arlington Cemetery. It was a magnificent and thoughtful thing to do,” said Cornelius J. Behan, retired Baltimore County police chief. “John certainly had a warm place in his heart for police officers, firefighters, and veterans. He was the most generous man I’ve ever known and was following in his father’s footsteps.” He is survived by three sisters and three nephews.

Our final remembrance is of classmate James Arthur Wright, who was somewhat unusual in that he was born in 1934 and served as a Marine in the Korean War. He lived in Huntsville, Alabama, and apparently was quite an avid Alabama football fan.