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YAM Notes: March/April 2011

By Gregory A. Weiss

It is NOT TOO LATE to sign up for the BEST 45th reunion ever, anywhere! Yes, that would be the Class of 1966’s 45th, coming up from June 2 through June 5 in Timothy Dwight College. While there may be a tad bit of hyperbole here, the truth is that the more of us who come, the better it will be. We set attendance records for our 40th, and it was great. Let’s continue that tradition. By now you should have received all sorts of registration materials in the mail, and you can always go to the Yale reunion website (go to yale.edu, click “Alumni” and then “Reunions, Yale College”) for more information. But if you have any specific questions you should feel free to contact reunion co-chairs Cary Koplin at ckoplin@nb.com or Greg Weiss at gweiss@stblaw.com. See you in June. Don’t miss it; we will only have one 45th!

Reunion gift co-chairs Tom Barry, Biff Folberth, and Tim Wollaeger and their 38-member gift committee are hard at work raising funds for our 45th. They hope to raise an additional $8.5 million between now and June 30, to break the $22.3 million record held by the Class of 1960. They ask that everyone make sure they have made a contribution to our 45th reunion, and, for those that have already done so, consider making a stretch gift within their means in honor of this milestone.

Steve Shelov has decided to step down from his chair at Maimonides Hospital in NYC. He is “fortunate” to have landed a three-day-a-week position as associate chief of staff and professor of pediatrics at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, at the brand new Hofstra–North Shore/LIJ School of Medicine, leaving him with Mondays and Fridays free for his five (soon to be six) grandchildren.

Joining the cascading number of retirees will soon be Rob Ulery, who has been a professor of classics at Wake Forest. David Greenwald, whose business is “Games and Names,” has designed “an easy and fun new game which can be played universally. It’s called, at the moment, ‘Lucky 7 Double Dominoes.’”

We have several reports of the late December “high society” wedding of Nancy and Luke Lynch’s daughter, Bettina, at the clubhouse at the Black Course at Bethpage, site of the 2002 and 2009 U.S. opens. While most of the reports focus on the “fabulous wedding reception,” others describe the doings of Biff Folberth. Steve Gilhuley, who was also present, sounded a bit worried: “We hope Biff didn’t frighten too many of the bridesmaids with his intrusion into their group photo. Some of them looked a little stunned. They had probably never seen a man his age or a jacket like his before.” Fortunately, Luke has redeemed Biff’s reputation: “Actually, my daughter said Biff was a big hit so thanks to him for the entertainment.”

Recently received from Victor Chen is a slim volume of his short stories and other short writings entitled Anti-Politics. Having read several of the stories, your corresponding secretary can attest to the polish, wit, and sophistication of the writing. These are the kinds of stories that draw one’s attention and keep you in their grip, wanting to find out “what will happen.” If you are looking for reading material that can be picked up, started, and finished on a moment’s notice, this one is for you. It can be found on the publisher’s website, www.iuniverse.com.

Sadly, one of my roommates, Charlie Skubas, died on January 3, after a heartbreaking three-year battle with one of the most devastating diseases one can imagine, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Charlie was arguably the best natural athlete in our class. He was a wide receiver on the football team and the centerfielder on the baseball team, and, after graduation, was for many years the club champion of the Yale Golf Course, carrying a 2 handicap. Charlie, who graduated from Wharton Business School in 1970, lived in New Haven and is survived by his wife of over 35 years, Sarah, who is the assistant to Yale provost Peter Salovey; his son, Kyle; and Kyle’s wife, Sarah. At least seven classmates were among the 150 or so who attended the “Celebration of Life” memorial service for Charlie, along with Provost Salovey and Yale athletic director Tom Beckett. Mike Lonergan, Jim Kovacs, and I, Charlie’s three roommates, spoke at the service, recalling the good times with Charlie.

Another loss was reported to us by Mary Young, the sister of William B. Young: “I am sorry to report that my brother died last week on December 15 at his home in Southport, North Carolina, of a heart attack. He had retired there in 2004 and became passionately engaged in his hobby of collecting railroad and trolley car memorabilia. Some of his classmates may recall that he had belonged to the Branford Trolley Museum even before he entered Yale. His Yale history thesis analyzed how incompatibility between different confederate railroad systems contributed to their Civil War defeat. He completed the ROTC program at Yale and was a decorated Vietnam veteran, having served in the U.S. Navy as an F-8 fighter pilot with over 100 combat carrier landings to his credit.”