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YAM Notes: March/April 2010

By Gregory A. Weiss

Our YAF co-chairs Robert Brundige ’66, Biff Folberth, Guy Heinemann, and Day Patterson ’66 have brought to our attention that they and 18 other class agents were listed in this year’s YAF Honor Roll of Volunteers for each achieving more than 85 percent participation from those he solicited. This is an extraordinary showing by our class. Only about 200 of the approximately 2,000 class agents, university-wide, reached this level. This means that roughly 10 percent of the top agents are from our class; no other class is close. The other classmates so listed are Chris Armstrong, Don Bickford, Rex Bowser, Michael Busko, Michael Dalby, Paul DeVries, Tony Fitzgerald, Bob Frame, Joe Freeman, Tom Hyman, Darrow Lebovici, David Mette, Gary Moore, Jim Munson, Ron Romaine, Dick Swingle, Phil Walker, and Joe Wolf. Their work helped our class reach 75 percent overall participation once again. Our four co-chairs emphasize how much fun it is for those who choose to volunteer, and welcome calls from other classmates who wish to join their ranks.

It was fun to open the Style section of the December 27 New York Times to see a photo of Kurt and Gabriella Ressler with their daughter, Julia Plimpton Ressler, at one of the last debutante balls of the New York City social season.

Our two recent authors have continued to make news. Gene Dattel is the subject of an AP article that has been picked up nationally, discussing his book, Cotton and Race in the Making of America, which was described in one of our recent columns.John Bockstoce, whose book, Furs and Frontiers in the Far North, was discussed in another of our recent columns, was the author of an article in a late December issue of the Wall Street Journal, which reviewed five great books relating to arctic exploration.

After 20 years as the general manager of the Denver Board of Water Commissioners, Chips Barry has announced his retirement, including the following thoughts: “I look forward to greater free time while my health and mind are (mostly) intact. Some of my retirement will be spent as a macadamia nut and coffee farmer in Hawaii. Retirement will also allow more time to spend with grandchildren and on tennis, squash, and cleaning the garage.”

The twelfth annual class Winterfest was held at the end of January in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. What a great weekend! Hosted by JH residents John and Maggie Valiante, who did a terrific job, 35 classmates, spouses, and friends dined, drank, and danced for three very special days—they even did some skiing! The first day was capped by a delightful dinner party at the Valiantes’ home, featuring Ted Elliott’s wines and Chip Stanberry on the electric piano. By the second day it was just dumping—the snow for the three days ended up totaling almost four feet! Dinner Friday night was at the Q Roadhouse, two-stepping to the tunes of an excellent local country band and drinking Chris and Lorna Strotz’s Ravenswood Pickberry wine. The final dinner was held at the restaurant at the top of the gondola, preceded by a fascinating presentation by Kit DesLauriers, the first woman to ski from the top of Everest. Josh Jensen’s wines were there, too, but, due to scheduling conflicts, Josh, unfortunately, was not.

As has become customary, the group, led by the irrepressible Biff Folberth, spent a lot of time at the end of the last dinner discussing where to hold the event next year. When the final tally was in, Aspen was the clear-cut winner, to be hosted byHowie Mallory. All classmates, both skiers and non-skiers alike, should seriously consider joining in next January for a brief mid-winter respite in a spectacular setting. It is guaranteed to be memorable. And we emphasize that it is not necessary to be a skier to have a great time. Many in the JH group were non-skiers or what may be called “social skiers.” (As we get older the latter group is growing rapidly!) In JH there were plenty of side trips to be taken: the Stanberrys went on a wildlife tour by snowmobile, and the Wollaegers took a snowmobile trip to Yellowstone. Similar opportunities will abound in Aspen. Come—the more the merrier! And make sure you bring your wives and girlfriends (not, of course, at the same time); 15 of the 35 JH attendees were women.