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YAM Notes: September/October 2017

By Gregory A. Weiss

Biff and Liz Folberth hosted a “roommate reunion” at their home in Nantucket over the July 4th holiday. Included were roommates (and wives) Russ Dilley (Susan), Mike Crutcher (Judy) and Bo Bodurtha (Betsy). As Biff puts it: “Maybe the concept of roommate reunions will inspire others. The eight of us had a great five days together, trips down memory lane, not a dry eye amongst us, etc.” One of the highlights was attending a standing-room-only lecture given at the Nantucket Yacht Club, by classmate Pierro Fenci’s wife Lizzie Akamatsu on her sculpture. Pierro, a sculptor himself, and Lizzie have a flourishing sculpture studio in Nacogdoches, Texas.

Tad Tuleja writes with a thoughtful remembrance of Greg Pechukas, who, as reported in an earlier column, died last summer. (Space constraints have forced me to make some substantial abridgements; the full remembrance may be found on the class website.) “Greg and I were fellow members of Timothy Dwight College and of the divisional major History, the Arts, and Letters, in which he distinguished himself with a senior thesis on, if I remember correctly, a single movement of a Mahler symphony. He was passionate about classical music. Greg had a keen wit, a rambunctious energy, and a wry gift for puncturing pretension. The years since Yale obviously enlarged him, as he became a dog lover, a mountain climber, a supporter of the Innocence Project, and a loving father. After graduation he and I stayed in touch for a while, exchanging letters between Penn, where he was in law school, and Cornell, where I was in graduate school, and in 1969 we drove across the country together, from L.A. to DC. When he settled in New Orleans to practice law, though, we lost touch. When Katrina struck in 2005, I left a message on his answering machine but didn’t hear back. I regret to this day that I never followed up on that call.”

In a July e-mail Bud Marschner alerted his friends to watch the Tour de France on ESPN on July 11 to see the bicycle racers “zipping along” the road below his summer home in France’s Dordogne Valley. “Those of you who’ve visited may be able to pick out recognizable places. Others can marvel at how beautiful the countryside here is this year. Our village, Auriac du Périgord, comes an hour into the stage. Since we don’t have a TV here, our only option is to walk down the hill to the spectacle itself. Don’t expect me to be one of those half-naked drunks wrapped in a flag running alongside the leaders. The pelotons will traverse Auriac du Périgord in the blink of an eye, of course. But our neighbors will be talking about it for years!”