I received an “eat your heart out” postcard from Sabin Robbins, pictured in Beijing in front of a giant picture of Chairman Mao. You may recall that in a previous column I suggested the publication of the Class of 1956 travel guide, with chapters written by our peripatetic classmates. Robbie responded with an offer to be editor of the guide, for he has “tramped across 63 countries in the last ten years as a cruise ship lecturer…not a bad retirement racket.” All Robbie’s trips are free for him and a guest as he beguiles blue hairs and honeymooners about pirates, marine monsters, history, and culture.

Others of us pay our own way. Francis Compton went on tour for two weeks with his church choir to England, singing full Sunday services and evensong, traveling in Devon and Cornwall and singing for a full week at Christ Church College, Oxford. Frank’s transatlantic flight was the last one into Heathrow on the August 2006 day that the terrorists were apprehended.

John Noonan has retired after forty years in the Brooklyn, New York real estate business. What do he and Mary do to celebrate that milestone? You guessed it. They have voyaged to Nepal and throughout South America, returning either to Brooklyn or to their New Jersey beach house.

The photographer for our travel guide could be Nick Steiner. His photography book, “Through My Lens-European Images in Black and White” has been published, and on the way is “Michelangelo Comes to New Jersey”. Intrigued by that title, I called Nick for an explanation. The book is a collection of color photographs of sights in the U.S., including a Sistine Chapel image on a New Jersey cemetery wall.

Hugh Magee, retired from his ministry responsibilities, is now living in one of my favorite towns in the world, St. Andrews, Scotland, very close to where Gay and I lived while on sabbatical many years ago. Golfers en route to the Old Course will find the Magees at 17 North Street, not far from the first tee.

Bob Wheeler forwarded an article from the New Haven Register entitled “A Dreamer Succeeds with the Right Help”. Of course, this refers to the “I Have a Dream” program which our class has funded for many years. The article focuses on Shantara Reaves, a 22 year old, one of 56 students who entered the program in 1994. Last May Shantara, who survived a very difficult childhood, was the second of our “dreamers” to graduate from a four year college. Of the original 56, 44 graduated from High School, 37 entered post-secondary school programs, with tuition support promised for them until 2010. I was particularly touched by Shantara’s comment that “little things mattered so much, like each birthday the students were taken out to lunch and to Barnes and Noble to get a book.”

The urge to help others not as fortunate as we seems to pervade our class. Ted Robb formed a non-profit in the “colorful Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia to rehabilitate the abandoned 100 year old St. Mary’s Hospital building into 69 units of low income, elderly housing.” This impressive project was selected by Preservation Pennsylvania and by the Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission for a Historic Preservation Award. Ted advises that another class preservation guru, Tersh Boasberg, had a hand in the selection process.

Classmate recognition news from all over: John Eaton has received the Washington University Club’s Distinguished Washingtonian Award. Only one of these is awarded in the arts each year.

Ted Robb, Class Treasurer, reports that we are still solvent, despite all the reunion-related expenses, thanks to a 57% participation in our class dues solicitation last year, so we are not following the sub-prime mortgage industry down the tubes. In order to keep it that way, we are depending on you to pay your dues.

In many instances, term limits is a blessing; in others not so. Charlie Cook’s tenure as class representative to the AYA is a victim of term limits. We are very grateful for his service. I am also thankful that Bill Rees has agreed to serve as Charlie’s replacement.

Help. I am very low on news and need to hear from you pronto so I can avoid a void in the YAM. Thanks.


CATCH UP TIME: Herewith a couple of post-reunion commentaries. Werner Gossels wrote: “Elaine and I enjoyed our 50th reunion weekend very much. Thanks to all classmates who did such a wonderful planning job-and all who helped make it happen.” The Gossels will be returning to New Haven with some regularity, as their grandson, Benjamin, enters as a freshman this month. Benjamin’s parents both graduated from Yale in 1982.

Gil Leppelmeier finds life after the 50th to be rather quiet, even though his Dutch-Finnish Ozone Monitoring Instrument is currently on board the NASA Aura spacecraft. Gil’s wife, Merja, and friends gave him a rousing 70th birthday party in Finland- a “night” that was light all night long- a great way to celebrate (And, oh, to be 70 again). In the context of growing concern about global climate change, here are Gil’s comments: “Like everywhere else, the weather has been very strange. Summer was a five month drought that lasted nearly to the end of October. Then the first two weeks of November were full winter: -5 t0 -15 centigrade and 20cm of snow. Then came a thaw and eight weeks of rainy, stormy, dark weather. Just warm enough to prevent snow…Winter finally arrived late in January with lots of snow and clear blue skies.” Gil expresses the wish that “folks realize that it really pays off to replace incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs. (To say nothing of LED’s)” That’s a start, at least.

It was wonderful to hear from Jim Don after 30 years of silence. Despite total ankle and knee replacements in 2006, timed to get Jim ready for our reunion, Jim and Margaret celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in the company of many classmates and spouses: Ralph Smith (best man), Hank Blundin, Nelson Crowther, Bruce Ensley, Jim Jeffords, and Peter Shattuck, who flew in from California. Jim comments: “Yale friendships do last.” The Dons finished off 2006-the year of the dual 50’s- with three and a half weeks in South Africa and a Caribbean Cruise with children and grandchildren. Jim, what are you doing for an encore in 2007?

Albert Francke and Katharine Bailey were married on February 18th. Katharine, a descendent of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, was an Assistant Professor of psychiatric nursing at the Yale School of Nursing until 2004. Albert has retired from the law firm of Curtis, Mallet-Provost, Colt, and Mosle, where he was Chairman from 1987 until 1991.

More exciting news…Clare and Bob Mason’s illuminating DVD, “Good News…How Hospitals Heal Themselves” is now available at CC-M Inc, 7755 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20012. Don Velsey’s book, “Classic American Popular Song, The Second Half Century”, won the ASCAP Deems Taylor award, announced at a Jazz at Lincoln Center program last December.

While on the subject of music, I was touched to receive a tribute to John Eaton from Gib Durfee. Gib reports that one of the joys experienced by moving to Washington is the opportunity to attend John’s classes at the Smithsonian, classes that “provide an intimacy between professor/performer and students that can’t be created in a concert…John’s humor is not constrained, and the professor has the freedom to get into technical details, for example the chord progressions in a classic that lend themselves to jazz improvisation…What a treat.”

For Jane and Stephen Waters 2006 was a transition year, as they relinquished their positions on the school board (Stephen), historical society, and community chorus (both Jane). Steve continues on the N.H. Department of Education Standards Board. Steve and roommates Charlie Dorchester and Bob Harrington, plus wives, continue to hold an annual August reunion, and Steve continues to ski and celebrate New Years with Russ Broad.

Andrew Torchia’s two sons, who found their way to Yale from their Cyprus home, are media mavens: Andrew (1986) is Reuters Bureau Chief in Shanghai, while Christopher (1989) is the AP Bureau Chief in Turkey.

Finally, George Berman, our web master, provided the news from Jack Flobeck, who is a water use consultant and has published widely. He recently addressed a Colorado water resources workshop, where he commented that “we have plenty of water. The people are in the wrong place”. Currently, Jack is working to develop strategic water maps across the world to” show where dry spots are located as well as where infra red and other wireless techniques can be applied to conserve water.”


“The Class of 1956 is amazingly generous, gracious, and, quite honestly, fun! I so enjoyed meeting alumni who had gone on to do such amazing and different things, and everyone was so positive and encouraging. I really left feeling: A) Appreciative; B) Lucky; and C) a part of a great Yale tradition that promises a future of success, if I work as hard as you all have done. I hope that my class remains in close contact as your class has.” Whose wise and perceptive words are these? Miranda Jones, one of the Davenport Fellowship winners, after performing at last year’s fall class dinner. Be sure and come back in November to meet more of our fans.

Random notes from all over: Peter Hollenbeck invites us all to stop in (presumably not all at once) for a visit at his house on Stuart Island, WA. To wet your appetite, see the pictures and directions at www.hbeck.net.

A number of classmates who returned for the 50th continue to express their enthusiasm for that celebration. Among them is Dick Wilde, who plans to join the Alumni Chorus trip to South Africa. Although Dick recently retired and is keeping busy with house and church projects, he reports that he would be open to another assignment in the human space exploration program.

Speaking of our reunion, those who were there will remember the brilliant comedy performance of Wendy Liebman. The April 1st New York Times reported on Wendy’s performances on the condominium circuit. “Younger comedians whose material resounds with aging residents are hard to find” reported the Times, a gap Wendy successfully fills.

Jane and Stephen Waters have been chosen the Hillsborough, NH, citizens of the Year, in recognition of their joint and separate contributions to the Historic Society, Heritance Museum, school board, and community chorus. Both performed with the Berkshire Festival Chorus in Salzburg. Steve has retired from teaching and “headmastering.”

We should write the Class of ’56 travel guide. Herewith a partial list of contributing editors: Marge and Howard Parker could report on their trips to Athens, the Greek Isles, Istanbul, and New Mexico, including commentary on balloon fiestas in the latter. Our guide’s coverage of Turkey would be very complete, as Bob Kleiger would add his observations on the bird life and cultural attractions of that country. Bob also has recently visited Antarctica, the Falklands, and South Georgia. Somehow Bob also continues to read ECG’s and electrocardiograms. The chapter on Turkey would also have input from Jim Downey, Bill Tatlock and spouses, who visited Western Turkey on a Vassar trip, serenading the populace with “Istanbul, not Constantanople”. Jim comments that “Vassar women do seem to bring Yale men together.” As I prepare to attend Gay’s 50th reunion in Poughkeepsie, I agree. Ivan Phillips’ report on a recent trip to Italy reflected his special interest in Italian art, as the Phillips visited twenty-one museums, galleries, and churches. Ivan observes that his interest in art was nurtured at Yale in History of Art 101; “One might forget individual works of art but not the way we were taught to look at them.”

The Eastern European chapter would include the input of Ken Mills who cruised the Danube (on a Yale trip) from Prague to Budapest. Gay and I could contribute our observations on South Africa and Botswana (my first return after ten years), including our experiences in the townships around Johannesburg and Capetown.

Speaking of our travels, we love to join Sally and Tersh Boasberg on visits to sophisticated spots, benefiting from their expertise in various fields, including Tersh’s extensive knowledge of wines. However, even he sometimes meets his match, as illustrated by the following quote from a red wine label in Puglia: “With the characteristic system to sapling, they engage an austere gait that is a show of the nature to observe the phase of maturation…the contribution of the ancient wine yards, precious haredity (sic) of our ancestry vine-growers to the production of this haughty wine.” Who could resist?

We all also enjoy life at home. Susan and Robert Fisher celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last August in Connecticut. Also in the Nutmeg state, Jack McGregor and his wife, Mary-Jane Foster, organized an investor group to buy back the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic Baseball League, a team they originally founded in 1996 and sold in 1999. The McGregors are now investigating the possibility of establishing another league team, in Westchester County. Jack has been a real leader in the re-birth of Bridgeport.

I regret to report the death of two classmates. Gene Rewerts died in March and is survived by his wife, Joan, who can be contacted at 2251 Windmill View Road, El Cajon, CA 92020-1355. Unfortunately, I have no further information. Ken Butler alerted me to the death of Rodger Wilkin on April 8th, Easter Sunday. A 1960 graduate of Yale Architecture School, Rodger practiced in Kansas City, where he was honored with an AIA award. Rodger was very active in the Yale Club of Kansas City as President and as an influential member of the Alumni Schools Council. An avid sailor, Rodger and Betty could be found on the water in the Great Lakes and the Virgin Islands. In addition to Betty, who lives at 4409 West 112th Terrace, Shawnee Mission, KS, 66211-1718, Rodger is survived by two children and four grandchildren.

Have a wonderful summer, at home or away, and stay tuned for more news (There is a backlog.) in September.


As you will recall from my last column, Essy Esselstyn provided us with a wonderful report on the victory of our Olympic crew. [click here to re-read that report] Fifty years later it is a pleasure to salute all the crewmen who made up that eight. I am pleased to continue with a summary of Essy’s full report; unfortunately space limitations preclude full coverage, but I would be pleased to send on the entire document if you so request.

Essy viewed the Olympic victory as a “springboard”, rather than as a “pinnacle”, providing confidence, proving the rewards of total effort, courage, and persistence. These attributes have supported Essy through a distinguished career as a leading heart specialist based at Cleveland Clinic. His research led to disillusionment with the focus of the medical profession on treating cardiovascular disease with drugs, stents and bypass surgery- “temporary patch jobs.”

Epidemiological studies of non-western cultures, whose citizens subsisted on plant nutrition, revealed an absence of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. In 1985 Essy began treating 24 patients severely ill with coronary artery disease, a number of whom were not expected to live a year. Twenty years later all the compliant patients are still alive, with numerous examples of disease reversal. Essy’s studies indicate that coronary heart disease is caused by the animal based western diet. He advocates a plant-based, oil-free diet to not only prevent the progression of heart disease, but also reverse its effects. (Don’t eat anything with a mother) Essy provides over 150 recipes for us and describes his work in this field as his “second Olympics”, recalling the motto of the 1956 crew: “Press on, regardless.” To find out more, read Essy’s new book, “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” with this accolade from Dr. Mehmet Oz: “A hard nosed scientist shows us his secrets for successfully cleansing rusting arteries of so many patients-and it doesn’t even hurt.”

While on the subject of inspirational medical books, check out “Unforeseen Consequences”, a “physician’s personal triumph over advanced melanoma.” Over twenty years ago, Nick Steiner was diagnosed with advanced, and normally fatal, melanoma. Fortunately, Nick is still with us. In his book Nick reports on “an expert in Chinese herbs and a highly unusual younger woman” and the critical roles these two people played in his survival. I won’t spoil this inspiring story with any more details. Suffice to say that after having to give up a very successful New York medical practice, Nick has enjoyed a successful photography career, remains in remission, and states that the cancer that almost killed him was “the best thing that could have happened to me.”

What is it about the Class of ’56? We are a determined lot. Another one of my heroes is Irwin Miller. As you know, Irv has been battling terrible cancers, melanoma and colon, and has undergone a series of major operations. While now cancer-free, in order to receive the support he needs and to relieve wife Judith of that burden, Irv has moved into an assisted living home: Barton Senior Residences of Zion IL, 3500 Sheridan Road, Apt. 238, Zion IL 60099. Tel: 847-872-1500. Quite frankly, although room, board, and medical expenses are covered, Irv is left with little else. If his friends are willing to discuss his situation, they may contact Irv or me.

I recall that at our 50th so many of us were pleased to see Jim Jeffords and also sad at the thought of his retirement after 32 years in the House and Senate. Harte Crow send me a copy of the Hanover, NH Valley News which contained wonderful quotes about Jim. Herewith a sampling in tribute to a remarkable classmate: “Jim’s not a heck of a lot different in private than he is in public. He’s just always had a great sense of humor and never got caught up in the pomp and circumstance of Washington…. Jeffords is a product of his native state: Frugal, plain-spoken, loathe to talk about himself.” While highlighting Jim’s contributions in education and the environment, Senator Harry Reid said: “He has made a difference. I’ve always been impressed by his knowledge of issues and dedication to public service.” What does Jim say? “I just do what I think is right.”

We were well represented at the AYA Assembly in November by Michael Cary, Stephen Scher, Bob Wheeler, and our Class Representative, Charlie Cook, who filed this report: “This year’s Assembly focused on the importance of service at Yale and beyond…drawing on the experiences of several student-driven initiatives for service to New Haven and to projects in third world countries.” President Levin reiterated his three priorities: “Strengthening the science programs, enhancing and enriching the arts, and internationalization of the University.” Charlie Cook’s report contained some illustrations of those commitments: Yale has spent over $500 million on the arts, more than any university has ever committed. Last summer some 900 students traveled abroad, supported by grants in many cases, with about 200 taking courses taught by Yale professors in other countries. The Yale curriculum now offers 51 foreign languages. Clearly we are preparing our students for the 21st century world.

Thomas Hunter died on January 4th in Stamford CT. Tom started in our class, then graduated from the University of Bridgeport as an electrical engineer. His innovative power supply design earned him two patents and was used in the Apollo space probe. Subsequently, Tom became a management consultant, advising clients on telecommunications in emerging countries. As a member of the International Executive Service Corporation, Tom served in Romania and Paraguay. Tom’s contributions to the city of Stamford resulted in the pronouncement of Tom Hunter day. He was an antique boats aficionado to the extent that his second wife, Mary, named one of his boats “The Other Woman.” In addition to Mary, who lives at Apartment 8C, 50 Glenbrook Road, Stamford, CT 06902-9391, Tom is survived by three sons and a granddaughter.


Fifty years ago the Yale crew won the 1956 Olympic Championship in Australia. Last November three of our classmates returned to Australia for the 50th reunion of that momentous event. I asked Essy Esselstyn for a report. Herewith, with my gratitude and, I’m sure yours, is part one. Future columns will pick up on the narrative.

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Yale 1956 Gold Medal Olympic crew, I am pleased to share my reflections on the event and its significance. The experience was enriched when five of us returned as guests of Australia in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Olympic Games.

The crew was comprised of four sophomores, coxswain Bill Becklean, # 7 Rusty Wailes, #8 Bob Morey, # 3 John Cooke; two juniors, #4 Don Beer, #5 Charlie Grimes, and three seniors, #2 Dave Wight, Bow Captain Tom Charlton and # 6 yours truly.

As the years have passed so, seemingly, has the heroic stature of the four races we rowed in Australia.We lost our opening race by a hefty margin to Australia and Canada. We were thunderstruck. Despite being the youngest crew, we knew we were in the best of condition and had the finest coach, Jim Rathschmidt. It was totally a matter of confidence. Fortunately the competition had not ended for us, as all the losers of the first day have the opportunity to climb back into the competition through an extra race – the repechage. After our opening loss coach Jim Rathschmidt, used few words for his young crew: “You are the finest crew here, and I came to Australia for one reason -to bring home some gold!”

The next day we won the repechage and prepared to meet the Australians again in the semifinal. We went all out and squeaked out a win by about 12 feet.Several of us threw up from the effort. By now we had regained much of our confidence heading to the final, which was to be our fourth race in four days.

Coach Rathschmidt did some clandestine counseling with Bob Morey, our stroke, and Bill Becklean, our coxswain, which I did not learn about until fifty years later. Jim was not at all confident that we could row our usual race at 33 strokes per minute and win the final against our main competition, Canada and Australia. He instructed Morey and Becklean to settle to 36 strokes per minute following our racing start. We had never rowed throughout a race at 36 strokes per minute, and Jim must have been concerned there would have been self- doubt about our capacity to sustain such an effort.

Just prior to the start of the final we performed our last minute ritual “passing the shake.” The cox shakes the hand of # 8, 8 shakes # 7, etc., for the length of the boat. Halfway through this custom, Garth Manton, #5 of the Australian crew bellowed out, “I say Charlie haven’t you met Don yet?” Well, just who did he think he was to mock our pre-race bonding? It was the absolutely perfect last jibe to stir our adrenalin. Then it came, “Messieurs, etes vous pret –partez!”- The universal international rowing start command.

As we were to learn at our 50th reunion with the Aussies, they had planned to jump us at the start and hold a 20-30 foot lead for the body of the race and extend it with their closing sprint. However, our higher stroking foiled that plan because we did not fade early. We were slightly ahead at the halfway point, but our crafty coxswain was telling us, “You’re pulling even!” In my 1956 diary I wrote, “At the halfway point my legs felt like they did at the finish. The higher stroke was taking its toll physically. Immediately after the start Bill Becklean began calling for power tens (all out effort for 10 strokes). He certainly did not want them to gain too much on us. By 500 meters we had just about moved up even with Canada and Australia. More power tens, then Bill yelled, “You’ve got a man on them; you’re going to win it!” Those words were too delirious to believe, but we had not yet reached the halfway mark. More power tens and we slowly seemed to eke out about a canvas (10 feet) ahead. By 1000 meters (halfway) I was shot -my head cold and the emotional pre-race pressure had taken their toll. As I looked at Rusty’s head I could see it begin to weave a little with fatigue, and I recall murmuring, “Hang on, Rusty!” More power tens and Beck said we had a bit more than a canvas on the Aussies, but he seemed a little afraid of something and asked us to take it up -38 strokes per minute. My legs were like crow- bars and I had to fight on the recovery to get up to full reach, let along drive with the legs. The last 500 meters are still a blank. I remember the sunlight and hearing the Australian oars off to our left and behind us a bit. I remember concentrating on just trying to swing power on and gutting it occasionally with what little I felt I had left. I pushed my hands to the edge of the oar handle to maximize leverage. The crowd roaring was unlike anything I had ever heard, and then we took our final sprint up to 40 strokes per minute. I’d sooner die than quit, but the pain was god-awful. Suddenly we were over and had won. A nightmare was over.

With the Australian loss the crowd was hushed and one familiar voice rang out, “Es!” It was Bob Kiphuth, Yale’s legendary swimming coach and a long time family friend.

After tears and some vomiting off the victory platform, we returned to the boat house and Captain Tom Charlton declared, “We are the toughest crew ever put together, and we beat the finest!”

It was my last race.

Following our victory, we have met every five years at the Yale-Harvard race. I’ve never felt so bonded to a group of friends. Sadly the years are taking their toll and three of us have died: Don Beer, Rusty Wailes, and John Cooke. Those were painful funerals.

Those of us who have survived had a glorious time at the 50th reunion in Australia. The Australians were genuinely hospitable, friendly and engaging. While we viewed them as the enemy in 1956, they were now rowing comrades and wonderful people. Brian Doyle, the Australian stroke, said: “The reason we lost was that we ran into a bunch of Yanks who wanted it more than we did.”


Some of us are retired; some of us are still working; some of us are enjoying grandchildren; some of us are traveling; and… one of us is about to get married. Congratulations to Albert Francke, whose soon to be wife (in February), Katharine, many of us met at reunion. She was an Assistant Professor at the Yale School of nursing while also in private practice, with a specialty in psychiatric care, dispensing psychotropic drugs. Albert e-mailed me: ”When I ultimately lose my marbles (which seem to be trickling away bit by bit), I will have in-house help”

Among the worker bees is Douglas Smith, who finished Yale in three years and graduated from NYU Medical School. Doug, a pathologist, completed his residency at Rochester and taught at Rutgers. His freshman bursary job was to teach the rest of us touch typing. As I pick away with one finger for these columns, I wish I had studied with Doug.

Some worker bees have changed hives. Jim Kingsbury has been recruited by Morgan Stanley to become First Vice President and Financial Advisor, based in Riverhead, NY. Truman Bidwell recently signed on with a Boston law firm, Sullivan and Worcester, “a wonderfully old fashioned firm…the partners like each other, trust each other, and help each other.” David O’Brasky has retired from retirement and joined Farmers’ Almanac TV as VP of Ad Sales. The third episode of this PBS series will profile Henry Cooper, “the squire of Cooperstown…talking about the Coopers of Cooperstown.” If you control an ad budget, call David in Savannah!

As recently reported in this column, Irv Miller continues his courageous battle with cancer. Due to his health challenges, Irv must work from home. Utilizing his extensive financial and business experience, Irv is available for telephone and web/e-mail business development and support operations. If you have any leads or suggestions, please contact Irv at irwinmiller56blu@aol.com or 847-234-1726.

Ted Robb, our expert in elderly affordable housing development, has partnered with Ken Liebman, a Board member, in a marvelous new venture, Grand Street Settlement, at 711 East 6th Street in New York. In addition to the usual amenities for the elderly, the 74 unit apartment building contains a computer lab and library.

In transition to retirement, Charley West, who for many years taught in one of the most challenging high schools in Bridgeport, has decided that Bridgeport will not be his retirement nirvana. Charley moved to Santa Fe in December.

Now…for the travelers. Marge and Howard Parker have seen the USA, including 2005 trips for a 70th birthday to Disney World (the still youthful Howard), where he was given a reception by Mickey Mouse and loads of balloons and other gifts. The Parkers then voyaged to seven western National Parks and several museums. There followed a trip to visit old friends in Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The final step was the Blue Angel air show in Pensacola, FL.

At the other end of the world Barbara and Alain Wood-Prince took 13 family members to view the wildlife in Kenya, highlighted by the sudden appearance of a cheetah on the hood of their car. Alain commented that” it was a double barreled treat-seeing the teeming landscape of Kenya and watching our family enjoying the experience.”

Peter Sullivan and Judith Ann were in Eastern Europe, including Rumania and Bulgaria, where the people are friendly and “actually like Americans.” Peter commented on the wide-spread unemployment. Now that these countries are competing globally, the emphasis on quality, not just quantity, is proving to be a challenge. Peter’s PhD is on the back burner, pending his dissertation. The Sullivans, tired of Maine winters, have acquired a house in Key West. Peter also e-mailed Tersh Boasberg with his recollections of playing basketball in the Boasberg’s driveway with Tersh and Warren Zimmermann.

Speaking of Tersh…Friendship lasts all the way to the Cantinella restaurant in Naples, Italy, where the Boasbergs and the Lords joined Carol and Jordie Cohen, who were on a trip celebrating Jordie’s retirement as President of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Jordie served in this position with great distinction for many years. The Boasbergs and Lords continued the trip to Puglia, in the heel of Italy, and to a successful navigation of the beautiful and frightening Amalfi Drive. Among his many attributes, Tersh is a wine expert. However, even he can be influenced by compelling English language descriptions found on Italian wine bottles, such as this one we encountered on a local red: ”With the characteristic system to sapling, they engage an austere gait that is a show of the nature to observe in the phase of maturation…the contribution of the ancient wineyards, precious haredity (sic) of our ancestry vine-growers to the production of this haughty wine.” Who could resist?

I end on a sad note. James N. Douglas died on August 20th. Jim was a Professor of Astronomy Emeritus at the University of Texas. A Ford Foundation scholar, Jim also earned his PhD at Yale and taught there before moving to Texas in 1965 to establish the Radio Astronomy program. A world expert on radio telescopes, Jim loved to teach and play the piano and banjo. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, who can be reached at 1300 Lorrain Street, Austin, Texas 78703, and by six children and six grandchildren.

Stay tuned for next month’s first hand report on the 50th reunion of the Yale and Australian crews who competed in the Olympic Finals in November 1956. Remember who won?