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YAM Notes: July/August 2019

By Gregory A. Weiss

Congratulations to Ted Shen, who is “happy to announce that my newest musical will be co-produced by The Public Theater and Transport Group for a four-week run at the Duke Theater (229 W. 42nd St. near Broadway) this fall, Oct. 25-Nov. 23. The working title of the show, for which I have composed the musical score and written some of the lyrics, is JUST ONE. The story takes place in Arkansas in 1961 and 1989 and ultimately explores the collateral damage to family structures from a racially profiled police killing.” Planning has already begun for what should be a can’t-miss Class event: Ted’s show preceded by dinner in the neighborhood. Stay tuned!

David Milch and “Deadwood” are back in the news. Scheduled for release by HBO on May 31 is “Deadwood: The Movie,” a feature-length sequel to the series that ran for 3 years 13 years ago to critical acclaim (28 Emmy nominations and 8 wins). David is, once again, the writer and one of the executive producers. The project has been in the works for the last couple of years. Almost all of the original cast members are returning.

Waring Partridge, his wife Carmen and their three kids are in the middle of an around-the-world trip of a lifetime. Waring reports that “I am with my family in Dubai where we are taking a three-day break from our six-month circumnavigation on MS Insignia. We are 2/3rds of the way through stops in 90 ports, visiting nearly 35 countries. At first, this seemed like an intolerable overload, a Whitman Sampler of the globe. But it has turned out to be a highly rewarding trip, allowing us to compare country after country in real time and to introduce our children, ages 6, 10 and 13, to the world. I thought this would be a trip for the education of my children since over the past 19 to 55 years I had worked, lived or travelled in almost every country we were to visit. However, I had as much to learn as anyone in the family. The changes in the past decades are staggering and ongoing at a seemingly accelerated pace. For starters, I’m hardly able to comprehend what is going on in places like China and Danang, Vietnam, where I lived for a year, courtesy of the US Navy. In two days, we will take another week ashore to fly ahead to see Egypt in more detail than the ship had planned. We took a similar week ashore in China. After Egypt, our homeward stretch passes through the Suez Canal. We will disembark in New York City on July 5th. Carmen and I are home schooling every day, particularly math for the schools left behind and geography and regional history to bring the trip to life.”

Victor Chen sure knows how to write so we are happy to have him speak for himself: “I have come out with a new book! It’s called ‘Not Theories at All but Truths”… It’s 128 pages, and includes some new writings such as “The View of a Survivor” and golden oldies such as “The Head of the Family.” Also a few images from my family album. This latest book is born out of my following of the past couple of years of U.S.-North Korean news and my trying to crack such citadels as The Ministry of Truth, aka the New York Public Library. That may still be uncrackable for now, but I’m glad I’ve had a better time getting into the libraries of Yale, Oxford, the British Library, and others. My good-faith writings will make a positive difference one day, I hope. I’m producing this book largely to win freedom for myself from some interference and even torture. But my spirits rise with the season’s daffodils, as do yours, I’m sure.”

Shlomo Dror (Stephen Friedlander) has forwarded a link to a story about himself in a prestigious Jewish publication (aish.com). Its focus is on how his life changed following the suicide of his son in 2003 and led to his embracing his Jewish religion and restarting his life in Jerusalem.

In advance of the April 30 Class Dinner in NYC Ron Romaine sent out a “Dear Classmates” email which had some interesting news that should make us all proud: “I just read the annual fundraising results. Thanks to you and many more, ’66 had by far the best participation, and the second-best amount given (behind only the ‘68 50th reunion class), in the 1960-79 period.” Our participation percentage was 52.5%. The closest classes behind us were the ‘63 and ‘68 reunion classes at 44.6% and 43.4%, respectively.