January/February 2023

Happy New Year to all! I hope each of you enjoyed the holidays with family and friends with great hopes for a wonderful 2023. While we always approach the new year with hopeful expectations, we also have to look back on the close of the prior year, 2022, as this is the last set of notes written in 2022.

Bill Rees, webmaster for our class web page has been busy the past few months managing the reconstruction of our page. In late October, he reported that the project was complete with great improvements. You may now access our site at yale56.org. The former address, yale-56.org, will direct you to the newer one. Earlier this year Bill learned that the company that hosted our website decided to leave the business. The site froze and much of our data disappeared. Thanks to our YAA representative, Jennifer Julier, Bill was put in touch with Jean McKillop, who manages several class websites; and she was engaged to work with us. It took her over a month to reconstruct the site with our former format on a new platform which is now compatible with cell phones, and there are a number of other improvements in the Obituary and In Memoriam sections. Additionally, we now have on our page a John Eaton concert, a David Lloyd episode of the “Mary Tyler Moore Show,” for which he won an Emmy, three recordings of Roger Englander singing, Jim Kern’s video, and Pete Runnette’s video. Bill deserves many thanks for his diligent leadership and patience in working through the transition to a new manager of the site and supervising the overall project.

In mentioning Jim Kern, I must report the travel advisory he sent me in late October. Bottom line, do not travel to Pakistan without a visa. Jim did so having travelled all over the world without one for the past 20 years. In a recent trip to Pakistan, he was able to board two different airlines enroute to Islamabad without any mention of the need for a visa, but the Islamabad authorities thought otherwise, and all his plans “went up in smoke.” For four days and nights he was either in a transit room, on board flights to get him home, or trying to sleep in a chair with no more than two or three hours sleep at a time. He described the experience as “A recent travel from hell.” For further details, contact Jim at jimkern@thekernco.com.

We cannot close the year without reporting another great loss of a classmate. Charles W. (Pete) Runnette, III, of New Canaan, Connecticut, died on August 13, 2022. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and came to Yale on an NROTC scholarship. After graduation he served as a Navy pilot before attending law school at University of California, Berkeley where he met his wife of 60 years, Alice, who survives. Following law school Pete got his first aviation-related job as a lawyer at the FAA which brought him to Washington, D.C., and two years later he landed his dream job working for Pan American World Airways. He served Pan Am in many managerial roles in Berlin and London as well as in Pan-Am headquarters in New York. After leaving Pan Am in 1988, he ran the International Division of Continental Airlines until his retirement. He then served as President of Pan Am Historical Foundation for over 20 years, working closely with its CEO, Ed Trippe, son of Pan Am’s founder Juan Trippe. During his years in New Canaan, Pete served in leadership roles for several local organizations.

Ray Foote, Tersh Boasberg, and I are beginning to explore the interest our classmates have in holding a mini reunion late this year or in 2024 as a way to get together before our hoped for 70th reunion in 2026. Let us hear from you of your interest. Our last mini was held in Philadelphia, and it was great fun.