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YAM Notes: May/June 2016

By Gregory A. Weiss

Hard to believe, but the reunion is now only weeks away. Most of you, we know, made your plans months ago; but for the inevitable procrastinators (and those who have somehow missed our mailings and e-mails), go right now to the Yale College reunions website and register! This is not something to be missed! The reunion schedule is jam-packed, and, more importantly, this will be the largest gathering of classmates in our remaining lifetimes. See you in New Haven!

You all should have received last month your copy of our extraordinary 50th reunion class book, delivered by FedEx—courtesy, with our great thanks, of Fred Smith. The editors of the book and your reunion cochairs felt that it was absolutely crucial that the book be delivered by overnight delivery, and Fred was happy to oblige. We hope you are all spending some time reading it. You will find it fascinating.

Thirty-five classmates and guests gathered in Aspen, Colorado, for the class’s 18th annual Winterfest in early February. Organizers Howie Mallory, Ned Snyder, and Bob Hemphill did a superb job. In addition to scheduling three excellent dinners (with wines supplied by Josh Jensen and Ted Elliott) and two terrific local after-dinner speakers, they even ordered up some serious snow! While the skiers in the group were ripping up the slopes (well, kind of), the non-skiers were enjoying Aspen’s many local attractions such as the new Aspen Art Museum. Plans are already under way for next year’s event to be held on January 26–29, 2017, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, under the leadership of John Valiante. Come join us!

Speaking of Bob Hemphill, he has recently “become a columnist or blogger or something for the Huffington Post, so I get to write whatever I want, they publish it without any editing, and they pay me nothing. As business models go, you may detect that something is lacking, but never mind, it’s fun to see one’s name in print and not have to pay them for the privilege. My most recent post is about skiing; it’s called ‘Advice for Geezer Skiers.’” The post is quite amusing and includes several tangential references to our Winterfests. Congratulations are also in order to Bob on the publication of his second book, Stories from the Middle Seat, described by him as “a ‘humorous business memoir’ if there is such thing.”

Breaking sports news: croquet superstar Russ Dilley just won first place in the national championships first flight in both doubles and singles in Palm Springs, playing AC croquet (the international version of the game). Says Russ: “Now I get to play in the championship flight and get my ass kicked for the next year or two. Be careful what you ask for!”

From Denny Olmstead: “For the past couple of years I’ve been on a mailing list with Jules Bernard, George Vogt, Tom Pulaski, Alan Crockett, and, occasionally, Al Kone. From a political point of view, we range from conservative to progressive, so we often disagree, but always in a civil manner. It’s very refreshing. I hope to see all of them at the reunion in June, along with other classmates who, like me, were Calhoun residents.” Denny also passed on a recent article from the Napa Valley Register reporting on this year’s annual “World of Pinot Noir” held in early March in Santa Barbara. As part of the event, Josh Jensen was honored as this year’s “Rock Star of Wine.” We know that Josh’s name appears in these notes relatively often (see above), and we try to spread the wealth around and not overdo the mention of any one person, but “Rock Star” is too cool to pass up. How often do members of the class get labeled in print as rock stars? Josh’s wines, along with those of Ted Elliott, will be featured at the reunion.

Bart Gorman died on January 18 in Annandale, Virginia. At Yale, Bart sang in the Glee Club and was in the army ROTC. After graduating from Michigan Law School in 1969, he served as a first lieutenant in the US Army in South Korea. He began working at the FCC as an attorney in 1972 and retired in 2010. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Virginia, two sons, and six grandchildren.

William Ray Jr. passed away from kidney cancer on January 26 in Northampton, Massachusetts. After his Yale graduation, William briefly attended the University of Connecticut School of Law before pursuing a career in language teaching. He was a gifted instructor whose musical abilities helped him to communicate the rhythms of speech with creativity and humor. After completing his EdD at Columbia Teachers College in 1989, he became a language testing specialist at the UN and later taught English as a second language at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. William and his wife, Virginia, adopted a daughter, Stephanie, in 1992. After Virginia died in 1997 he moved several times with Stephanie to enable her to have the best education possible. This ultimately led to Northampton while she attended Mt. Holyoke.