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YAM Notes: November/December 2017

By Gregory A. Weiss

Over the years we have written often about Josh Jensen and his hugely successful Calera winery. Josh bought his California property in 1975 and produced his first bottles of pinot noir in 1978. Since then Calera has become one of the most well-known and sought-after producers of pinot in the country. The big news, reported nationwide in August, is that Josh has sold Calera to the much bigger Duckhorn Wine Company. He will stay in the business as a consultant and as a board member of the combined company and is thrilled with how everything has turned out. Congratulations to Josh and untold thanks again to him for the hundreds of cases of his wine he has donated to every one of our reunions since the 20th!

In addition to his many class activities, Cary Koplin continues his heavy involvement with the Ditchley Foundation as president of American Ditchley. Ditchley is an independent organization that aims to promote international (especially Anglo-American) relations. Its members constitute a veritable Who’s Who of the British and American foreign policy elite. Largely through Cary’s efforts, John Kerry delivered in July the prestigious 53rd Annual Ditchley Lecture, on the topic of “In Defense of Globalization,” at Ditchley Park in Oxfordshire, England, to over 300 attendees.

Thanks to Perry Burr who, spurred by the article about John in this summer’s alumni magazine, sent us a 1966 photo of the 16 classmates who were members of the lacrosse team our senior year. Included in the photo along with John, Perry, Captain Mac Bradford, and others, is Dick Pershing, who tragically died in Vietnam. Perry recalled being teammates with Dick and John: “Dick . . . was an infectious part of that team—gifted in all respects—oft times hilarious, smart, effortlessly athletic. Being part of that team was a highlight of my life. John continues that tradition of teamwork and incredible effort—glad to see him back at Yale.” A copy of the photo accompanies this column on the class website.

Gene Dattel has written a new book: Reckoning with Race: America’s Failure. Its publication will be celebrated at a launch party in early November in New York City. As we have noted in prior columns, Gene’s first book, Cotton and Race in the Making of America, enjoyed great critical success.

Congratulations to Tom Opladen, who recently won the 70-plus squash tournament at the Yale Club of New York. The summer issue of ELI, the regular publication of the Yale Office of Development, led off with an interesting article about a “landmark intergenerational gift to Yale from the class of 1917.” At their 50th reunion in 1967 that class created a fund that would benefit students of 2017. By the time a ceremonial check was presented to the university this year, the contributed amounts had grown to over $660,000. Among those representing the 1917 class at the delivery ceremony was Will Farnam, son of Henry W. Farnam ’17.

Organizers Kirk Ressler and Steve Gilhuley are doing a great job with the annual Yale ’66 Long Island golf outing. Centered around two of Long Island’s best golf courses in late August and early September, the event is growing every year, and now should be considered a fixture on the Yale ’66 calendar.

Speaking of fixtures on the calendar, it’s not too late to sign up for the 20th annual class winterfest to be held this year in Beaver Creek, Colorado, January 24–28. These events are always a huge amount of fun—even if you don’t ski! As of mid-September we are anticipating attendance of roughly 35. Contact Tim Wollaeger (twollaeger@sanderling.com) or me with any questions.