JULY / AUGUST 2004
National champion has a nice ring to it, even if as in Joe Holmes' (Norwalk CT) case, it was the fourth time for Joe and partner Roy Anderson (Princeton '60) in the National Senior Paddle Tennis Championships. Joe advises, "Paddle is always played as doubles, and the closeness makes for a lot of conviviality. Where I live, there is a whole cadre of 'A' level players available during the weekdays. And we play at night, too, since all courts have lights. It is nowhere near the exercise of squash (thank heaven) but 1.5 - 2.0 hours of paddle is pretty good exercise."
Another winner was Bill Rope (Washington D.C.) named elementary school Teacher of the Year by In2Books, a non-profit organization in the nation's capital that provides free books and adult pen pals to Public School children. Bill explains, "the aim is to engage children in reading, give them figurative and literal 'ownership' by giving them books they can keep, teach them writing, and increase their feelings of self-worth by providing adults (the pen pals) who give them positive feedback throughout the year." By the way, Bill and his fourth graders, as part of the award, qualified to attend a full day trial of "The Big Bad Wolf" presided over by a U.S. Circuit Court Judge. Bill reports he understands that at last year's trial, the wolf "put up a spirited defense and was acquitted because of reasonable doubt."
Rope and Benjamin Zucker (New York) joined Bill Reilly (San Francisco) and family for the wedding of daughter Megan ('96) to Christopher Cayten ('98). Actually, there were two separate ceremonies, one in the picturesque Boathouse in New York's Central Park and the other in a cathedral in Oaxaca, Mexico. Reilly wrote, " Everybody should give their daughter two weddings! And then defer retirement!"
For Peter Sipple, (Philadelphia), it was a new position as he accepted the Interim Rectorship at St. Paul's Episcopal Church Chestnut Hill. In an early May sermon Peter noted how he and wife Martha embraced the folk music movement in the years just after Yale. "The so-called folk songs of thirty to forty years ago, and their composers, did something important for this country. They created a folk idiom that helped to give rise to a widely shared sense of belonging and involvement. They helped to clarify our identity as Americans." The remainder of the sermon related this to being Christians and to people's role in the parish.
One of my more interesting recent communications sequences came from several classmates, who turn out to be part of a classmate group called Old Blue Sangha, who practice Tibetan Buddhism. Bill Stott (Santiago, Chile), Vic Miller (Alameda, CA) and Paul Wortman (Stony Brook, NY) have all participated on the class web site (http://www.yale62.org). Stott writes a semi-regular column; Wortman helped develop our "Poetry Post" feature and Miller was the first participant in what we call Web Site of the Month. Also in the group are Norm Jackson (Paris) and Bill McGlashan (Tiburon,CA).
Vic explained that his site was "designed by his younger son for free - if you call paying for his tuition to college where he learned a lot of this - cost free. . . Most of the traffic comes from people who either love Friday the 13th more than is necessary or follow daytime serials a lot and like to know more than they need to about the people behind the passions. I do enjoy the fact that long lost friends keep finding me via my web site and write me e-mails put of the blue."
For Stott and Wortman, the web site is providing both a chance to share their thoughts with classmates and an additional opportunity to pursue their passion for writing. Paul is a retired Psychology professor and Bill a retired literature professor. Stott's reason for being in Chile is one of those beautiful stories. "I am with my final great love . . . Irene is my middle-aged Juliet with me the more than middle-aged Romeo. . . I'll spend much of my time here but also return for visits to Austin, where I have kept my house."
Another web site-related communication came from Roy Hammer (Cummaquid,MA). Roy read Hank Rogers' (Toronto) article about his same sex marriage and wrote that he and his partner, James Hinkle ('59), were planning to marry in Massachusetts shortly if the court ruling was not overturned and to also attend Hinkle's 45th Reunion. Roy was at our 40th and wrote of his now 39-year partnership in the Reunion Book.
By the time you are reading this, you should have received the first all-class mailing about our two 2005 mini-Reunions. Please take a few minutes to complete and return the response form in the mailing. No commitments, but it will help the respective organizers develop what look like two quite wonderful programs. While you are thinking about Yale '62, why not take another few minutes to send along new material for Alumni Notes.
Let's close with the latest installment of Alumni Note correspondence between our two Bill Wheelers. William B. Wheeler II (Occidental, CA) responded to his namesake with the following. "To reply to the kind and gentle comments about me in the March/April Alumni Magazine. First of all let there never again be identity confusion between the two Bill Wheelers of the Class of 1962. I am the artist, going by the name of Willie and Bill is the retired winemaker. It is true that I am one of the last of our class to be thoroughly and shamelessly enjoying the freedom of hardcore elderly bachelorhood (thanks to the little blue pills), especially since Bill Hamilton has succumbed to affluent wedded bliss. But to correct Bill Wheeler, I am no longer rowing, even at reunions. I want to thank Bill Wheeler for encouraging me to get a new hip. To all other classmates facing the same problem; get it done, so we all can march proudly at our fiftieth."