YAM Notes: November/December 2017

By Christopher T. Cory

A bold effort to do nothing less than “engineer the emergence of Central Asia as a world region” is the current work of Fred Starr. He returned in September from a two-week trip to Tokyo and Tashkent encouraged, but with the conclusion that “tenacity counts far more in the world than cleverness.” In part, his vision grows out of his sweeping 2013 book Lost Enlightenment, noted on our website, which opens up the little-known but far-reaching explosion of knowledge in Central Asia during its “golden age” from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane, 800–1200.

Coming from a different world region, more than 300 nineteenth- and twentieth-century African artworks have been given to the museum of art at Williams College by Eli Newberger and his wife Carolyn, including decorative, religious, and utilitarian objects from more than 15 cultures. The couple started collecting as Peace Corps volunteers in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, guided by the director of the national museum there. We hope to have more details on the class website about both Fred’s and Eli’s activities.

A third international world beyond the US’s physical and cultural walls has been illuminated for us over the years by the Yale Russian Chorus, and it’s still strongly active. This fall John Stewart joined a group of some 60 alums and current members in New Haven for a day of singing traditional and new pieces. Later, he and his wife, Jolly, took the trip they make every six months to Isenlohn, Germany (near Dortmund), where John teaches voice and performance to the students of a local singer and teacher, and Jolly tutors them in opera repertoire and interpretation.

Ed Goodman and Clark Winslow are joining those who are decelerating but hardly stopping their business activities. Eddie’s firm, Milestone Venture Partners, is morphing into Activate Venture Partners, and Ed is “ramping down” to being an investment partner. Clark, the CEO of his Winslow Capital firm, is taking the title of founder. His recent leisure adventures have included a “return to Raja Ampat for diving” in the fall, and he plans to go “back to the Maldives in February for 11 days on Four Seasons Explorer.”

For the third time this summer, your corsec briefly managed the only sports team he’s ever been part of—an ensemble from the Choral Society of the Hamptons, where he sings bass, that performed a socko arrangement of the National Anthem to kick off the annual Artists vs. Writers charity softball game in East Hampton, New York. For a family reunion, he’s started work on a presentation about his great-grandfather, J. Cleveland Cady, the Gilded Age architect of the south wing of the Natural History Museum in Manhattan. At Yale, Cady designed the Chittenden half of Linsley-Chit Hall and Hendrie Hall, among other campus buildings. Please contact Chris with any leads to Cady information or impressions of his work.

Phil (“If-he-doesn’t-promote it,-who-is?”) Proctor writes that his autobiography, Where’s My Fortune Cookie, was published this fall. More details should be on www.yale62.org by the time this note is printed. In September, at no less a venue than the Library of Congress, he reunited with the last remaining partner in the Firesign Theatre comedy troupe, David Ossman, to perform the group’s tongue-in-cheek “History of the Art of Radio, Revised.” They also showed historic home-style movies of the Firesign recording their album Don’t Crush that Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers, and discussed the group’s work, which has been in the library’s collection for some time.

Sam Waterston, who can be presumed to be highly credible on the differences between reality and made-up scripts, has been speaking out against lying. He’s long served “more or less quietly” on the boards of Oceana and Refugees International. But in a Washington Post op-ed early in the Trump administration, he said, “Working quietly doesn’t feel like an option now. This feels like an all-hands-on-deck moment. . . . Politicians have lied before, but this is not an old problem getting worse. . . . President Bill Clinton told a lie in public and under oath and the scandal got him impeached. The impeachment gained some weight from the sound legal principle that a liar in one thing is likely to lie about other things. That principle should be applied to Trump.”

“He’s a great and quirky writer!” is how our class secretary, John Stewart, describes Louie Mackall, who will soon report on the annual convocation of class representatives to the AYA, or Association of Yale Alumni. Read all about it on our website. Finally, let me tell you about a lovely photo that came in shortly after our reunion from Alex Doyle, that bespeaks something most of us probably share. It shows Alex and his Timothy Dwight buddies on graduation day: “Oliver McClintock (Tuck, now deceased), Tom Cutler (Birdlegs, a member of the Whiffs), Dick Wendin (affectionately known as Fat City), Bob Palmer (affectionately known as Rocker, recently deceased), John Murphy, and myself.” Said Alex, “This is a picture all of us treasure, commemorating the bonds of friendship we all formed while at Yale and continuing among us survivors to this day.”

Necrology: We are sad to announce the recent deaths of Zoltan Bary, James Gardner, Richard Lakein, Frank O’Reilly, Robert Palmer, Roger Terry, and Richard Wendin. We have now posted obituaries at Yale62.org for Donald Bagley, Eric Carlson, Henry Caulkins, Douglas Fox, Michael Greely, Joseph Hargraves, Klaus Kertess, and Peter Stern.