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YAM Notes: November/December 2010

By Gregory A. Weiss

Reunion cochairs, Cary Koplin and yours truly, are in active planning to make the 45th reunion program, panels, class dinner, menus, and ambiance better than ever. We are still searching for a weatherman or shaman to ward off the rain drops that have obviously enjoyed our recent reunions so much that they seem to keep coming back. You won’t get a new class reunion jacket at the 45th, but you can safely wear your old one and feel in good company. Be sure to visit the Yale ’66 website (http://www.yale66.org) to submit data updates/bios/musings/pithy epistles for the class book being prepared once again byAndy Berkman and, by all means, participate in the anonymous and surely fascinating class survey. Make sure you come to the reunion. It is guaranteed to be a great time. As Cary says, “Remember, we are all getting older … don’t miss the good moments.” More to follow.

The New York Times reported in June the marriage of David and Nancy Hathaway’s son, Bradley, to Claire Higgins at David and Nancy’s home (some would say “manor”) in Millbrook, New York. It was described by one of our classmates who attended as “the wedding of the century.” The attractive young couple are living in NYC, where Bradley (a recent Yale grad) is working for a hedge fund and Claire is the director of sales and marketing for the Hotel Elysee. David retired as a partner in the venture capital firm Venrock. When not wearing a full body cast resulting from one of his many falls, he spends a lot of time on his horses leading the fox hunt in Millbrook or at David and Nancy’s farm in Aiken, South Carolina.

We recently received a short note from Joel Schiavone, Class of 1958. He has been in the forefront in reviving Desmos, an underground senior society that was active in our day but disappeared in the late ’60s. He asks that member classmates contact him at Joel_banjo@hotmail.com or (203) 804-6788.

Steve and Elaine Timbers are thrilled with the direction the career of their son, Alexander, has taken. His show, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, of which he is the writer/director, opened on Broadway in mid-October. He is also the director of the Pee Wee Herman Show, which opened on Broadway in early November for two months. Time Out New York and New York magazines ran several very favorable articles this summer about both shows and his involvement. Having seen Bloody Bloody in its off-Broadway incarnation (where we just happened to run into Steve and Elaine) this past spring, your corresponding secretary and his wife, Karen, thought it to be one of the funniest, most irreverent and entertaining shows we had seen in a long time—highly recommended!

In writing these notes we try to be as egalitarian as possible—cover as many people as we can, spread the “ink” around. But there are exceptions to every rule, and the story of the burgeoning post-retirement acting career of former attorney Jim Munson is too good to pass up. He writes, “I was chosen from about 60 auditioners to be one of the actors performing in Victory Gardens Theatre’s New Faces Showcase Spring 2010. Victory Gardens is a well-respected theater in Lincoln Park that specializes in new plays and has won a bunch of awards, national and regional, over the years. The showcase was for students at the theater’s training program and was attended by a number of theatrical agents, artistic directors, and casting directors, which is good exposure for aspiring actors. A week later one of the agents called and asked me to come in to audition with them to see if they wanted to sign me and be my agent. I went in and auditioned, and before I left they offered me a contract. While it is just starting, I have been out on several auditions for commercials and a film.” In response to a question about his stage persona, Jim replied: “My stage persona is, not surprisingly, what is called the mature actor. The good news is that there are quite a few roles and far fewer mature actor competitors than there are in the young actor categories. Not too many romantic roles, but one can only hope.”

All sorts of news from Houston from Tom Press: “Lots happening on our home front. My wife, Barbara, was diagnosed with breast cancer, joining what I now realize to be an astoundingly large and miserable sorority. Her spirits are good, and, while she continues to struggle with the after-effects of treatment (surgery, chemo, radiation, etc.), we are looking forward to coming to New Haven in June for the 45th. My daughter, Alex, married in October, and, thankfully, the happy couple is making Houston their home. Finally, at age 65, I was appointed general counsel of Amegy Bank in Houston. So much for retirement!”

Not much detail, but Ty Brown’s wife of over 40 years, Christina, reports Ty’s passing on July 17 after a long struggle with Parkinson’s.

And a long note from Dean Waldman discussing his new book: “After over 30 years of practicing medicine on individual sick children with heart problems, I have turned my ‘doctor’s eyes’ to a single patient: our sick health-care system. I took a history, did a physical exam, ordered tests, and reviewed the literature on the patient. I then did a root cause analysis, developed what doctors call an etiologic (causal) diagnosis, and proposed an effective treatment plan. The plan is contained in my book Uproot U.S. Healthcare. My goal in publishing this book is not to make money. Anyone who has published a nonfiction book, especially on health care, knows how fulfilling it is emotionally and how unrewarding it is financially. Further, to make Uproot U.S. Healthcare readily available, I have arranged a 25 percent online discount ($15) at www.uproothealthcare.com. My wife Mary—yes, Jimmy Fox, we have been together ever since you introduced us on Saturday night, September 26, 1964—recently asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. After some thought, I replied that I want to fix health care, more than I want to be a chief of pediatric cardiology. (I am sure my psychiatrist classmates are now diagnosing delusions of grandeur.) I am serious. To do this, I seek to enlist my classmates—both in health care and anyone else who might ever need health care (that means YOU who are reading this)—to participate in this campaign.”