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YAM Notes: May/June 2014

By Gregory A. Weiss

Whether or not you are a skier, you would have had a great time at our 16th annual Winterfest held in late January at Park City, Utah. A total of 44 classmates and guests spent four days skiing, eating, (yes) drinking, and, most importantly, renewing old friendships. We skied one day at Park City Resort and two days at Deer Valley. Tim and Cindy Wollaeger did a superb job in organizing the event and keeping us all on schedule. Among the many highlights was the awarding by Russ Dilley of his coveted membership in Le Club Titane—for those with some kind of titanium or other metal replacement body part. (At this point there are fewer non-members than members!) A special treat was the gracious hosting by Fred and Diane Smith of the whole group for dinner at their magnificent Deer Valley home. Former Winterfest regular Stan Hegg, who died in a skiing accident a year ago, was honored with the spreading of his ashes at the top of one of Deer Valley’s peaks. Amazingly, the group gets larger every year, and every year the event seems more fun than the last. Next year we are going to Vail, Colorado. If you have any interest in skiing, the Rocky Mountains, or just spending time with some old friends, you should seriously consider attending next January 22–26, 2015. Guaranteed to be a terrific four days!

Tim and Cindy Wollaeger also merit a rare class notes double mention. They were recently honored by the Yale School of Management for funding the “Grand Stairway” at the school’s new building, a sign over which announces that it is a gift of Timothy J. Wollaeger ’66 and Family.

A passionate Deane Waldman has embarked on a campaign to reform the US health care system. In pursuit of this campaign he has “a) retired from clinical practice; b) written the book [everyone, read it!] The Cancer In Healthcare (Hugo House Publishers); and c) just started a newsletter and forum titled The Hidden Enemy. I urge all Yalies (and everyone else) to sign up at www.thehiddenenemy.info (not dot com). Oh, and being appointed to the board of our [New Mexico] state health exchange is giving me an additional perspective of what we need to do to fix health care, and how to do it.”

The announcement in past columns of novels written by classmates spurred Lewis MacLaughlin to write: “I, too, writing under the pseudonym, L. H. May, recently published The Game of Two Snakes, a novel about American expatriates in Peru in 1972, the last days of Nixon, Allende, and Peron, and also about love, money, deceit, and dysfunction on personal and political levels. An e-mail version runs $3.99, a good read at a real steal.”

A third recent book written by one of our classmates is Victor Chen’s The Age of Illusion, Some Writings and a Memoir. It is a fascinating collection of Victor’s writings over the years, which show the amazing breadth of his literary talent. While our space is too limited to give justice to the wide range of his stories, suffice it to say that they include several going back to his days at Yale and several giving his unique take on some of the major public events and issues of our era. It is published by Xlibris.com.

Congratulations are in order to Robert Smallridge. Recently, he and his wife, Betty, who live in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary, and he was elected to be the next president of the American Thyroid Association. Robert is the deputy director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Jacksonville.

Some interesting news from John Reid: “This past summer my wife, Meg, and I moved to Quechee, Vermont, to enjoy a more bucolic lifestyle. I am working for PharmLogic LLC, based in Warwick, Rhode Island—we raise money to fund commercialization of drug development projects using research made available by major universities and nonprofit research organizations. My job is to handle day-to-day legal affairs. I’m enjoying the challenge.”