MAY / JUNE 2007
It is not too late to register for the 45th Reunion June 7-10. Reunion chair David Honneus set a goal to top the Alumni Association's forecast of about 150 classmates and initial registrations were solid. David urges those of you already registered to contact a classmate friend and encourage him to join you. We also welcome classmates who have never attended a Reunion or not in decades. You can register by mail or online at www.yale62.org. Last minute decisions to attend for the entire weekend or just for one day are okay, but please contact Honneus so that he can have enough food, wine and chairs.
Also on our class web site, you'll find the 45th Reunion Survey. Please take a few minutes to participate. The poll site will be open until June 3. The results will be the subject of a panel discussion at the Reunion. Again, early participation has been good.
I want to focus this month on two unusual and heroic classmate stories. First, an update on Tom Luckey (Branford, CT) and his courageous fight to recover from his paralyzing injuries of almost two years ago. Louis Mackall (Guilford, CT) has been our reporter all along. Louis has spent countless hours with Tom and his family. Recently, Mackall wrote that Tom has gained some movement in his fingers. This is an important improvement. Utilizing our changing world of technology and computer dependence, you can see Tom's finger movement at YouTube. Another exciting development for Tom was the scheduled late April opening of his latest climber project at the Boston Children's Museum. Through the Spring, Tom traveled regularly by train to Boston to supervise completion of his vision. A photo of Tom and this large project was recently on our web site.
I was moved in a completely different way by my recent communications with Matthew Grob (Columbia, MO). He had been completely missing from the class for most of the time since we graduated. It took great courage for Grob to write and say, "On November 17, 1994, I started my life again. That is the day I began my life in recovery. I would love to hear from any Yalies who are also a friend of Bill's. I live in a house, along with two other men in recovery, in Columbia, Mo. I work at Sam's Club full time. In spite of the harm I did myself with my addiction, I am very grateful for the life I have today. One day at a time, there is peace in my life. I pray all is well with those who read this." Matt shared more of his life in confidence for now, but I have asked him to consider writing for our web site at a later time. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His is a brave story and I admire him for sharing, given that he knows it is so different from most of you.
Another unusual but meaningful communication came from Norm Jackson (Paris) who e-mailed, "I'm still a bit of a hermit, trying to practice as much as possible in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, trying to be as aware and compassionate as possible, helping others when and how I can.
It's quite interesting when one has glimpses of the nature of mind: life, 'reality', becomes like a movie, an illusion, which although it appears, is subsumed in a vaster awareness, of which it's just a manifestation, without real intrinsic substance. Something like a tangible hologram. A bit thick, this, for an alumni notes entry, but it's where I'm at, at the moment! I was saddened to hear of Ben Banani's passing. He was a delightful, sprightly presence in Pierson. I thought of him often. Come to think of it, though, thoughts do count, and maybe we've all helped and will help him by our thoughts.
Also showing up for the first time in several years was the always active and intriguing Benjamin Zucker (New York City). Those who attended the 40th Reunion will remember his wonderful talk on his three unusual novels. It turns out that the research for those is what led to his present focus on Elihu Yale. He wrote, "I got the original impetus about the life of Elihu Yale from Hiram Bingham's (of Maccu Piccu fame) 1938 biography "Elihu Yale The American Nabob of Queen Street." To read just a few sentences about Elihu and his Indian Diamond trading days dealt with mostly in passing by Bingham lead me to think I could add to his biography. My Novels Blue, Green and soon White deal with his life on a fictional level I feel I am beginning to understand him." Stay tuned.
Another New Yorker, Richard Davis is a completely different type of author. He recently completed a history of his firm, Bessemer Trust, where he has been General Counsel for many years. Now, Richard has one final project with the firm and is pointing towards retirement. He noted, "I returned from a nice vacation to move my office, which entailed my cleaning out fifteen years (and more) of accumulated paper. That turned into something of a nightmare, as I paid the price for a lawyer's lifetime habit of never throwing out a piece of paper if it could remotely have any relevance in the future. I am now settled in a new but snugger office at Bessemer, and will be able to continue this disposal routine at a more leisurely pace."
Already in retirement is Rod Hunter who says, "I retired from my post as professor of pastoral theology at Emory University's Candler School of Theology last summer, rounding off 35 great years in that rapidly developing institution. My wife Ann and I now live in nearby Decatur, an old Atlanta suburb with a small town feel. I spend my days busily pursuing a variety of academic and professional projects, making periodic visits to the Emory gym, lunching with friends, and returning on a daily basis to my first avocational love, classical piano. I am now pursuing this with a certain disciplined passion under the direction of a brilliant teacher young enough to be my grandson. I have no plans at this time to retire from retirement!"