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Class of 1959: 55th Reunion

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2014 - Spring


I have written this letter to you, our 1959 classmates, 11 times. Today and yesterday I have made five drafts, and they are all so dry you would be bored to tears. So, I am taking a different approach. Feel free to throw this in the circular container at any time.

This is my personal experience at our 55th reunion. After checking in at the rotunda of Sterling Hall of Medicine, for lunch Jean and I made rounds of the varied cuisine available in the food carts lining Cedar Street. Jean chose a beef burrito and I took a chicken burrito expecting something sort of “southwestern.” My tortilla that held pieces of chicken and a lot of salsa didn’t hold together very well so that my shirt was decorated with red spots. In the afternoon we met at the Center for British Art with Irwin Braverman, M.D. ’55, to sharpen our observation skills using two paintings. Seated before the paintings we were instructed to discover what they were about. But we were forbidden to point at the pictures. That was impossible! None of us could talk without pointing with our fingers. All critical observations were interrupted by “Don’t point!”

The tour of the medical library was interesting because it included Harvey Cushing’s Brain Tumor Registry, which had resided in a locked tunnel below Harkness Dorm when we were students.

Following was a meeting of Yale Alumni in Medicine with initiation of all alumni over the age of 50 and no other requirements (that’s us) into the Samuel Kushlan Society.

Saturday morning we heard a list of computer-powered healthcare organizations which are going to make the practice of medicine much easier, faster, and cheaper. It is frightening to think that this is our future. My Apple is a better speller than I am.

Also on Saturday morning Dean Robert Alpern discussed the new medical school curriculum, which is focused on bringing science and clinical medicine closer together using the latest technologies. But, he assured us, the Yale System has not been changed. Relax, everybody.

A nice conclusion was the presentation Saturday morning of Distinguished Alumni Service Awards to Carol and Bob Amick, who were not present because of Carol’s lower extremity fracture.

The Friday and Saturday evening banquets were the greatest ever! Our Friday Fest at the Graduate Club began with platters of mussels. Then we were confronted by a whole red lobster with butter and lemon. This was topped off with strawberry shortcake and ice cream. The more formal Saturday evening extravaganza (where our pictures were taken) was at the Union League Café which provided a range of entrees including sea bass or filet mignon. Mark Schwartz ordered a fruit plate which was not on the menu. When he received a beautiful hunk of steak by mistake, he was aghast! The server’s mistake was quickly rectified amid giggles.

During the meal our tireless majordomo Nick Pasarelli briefed us with a confusing mass of data about our attendance record. Out of a class of 76 who matriculated in 1955, 22 have been lost-to-the-grim-reaper, leaving 54, but two are in senior citizen institutions, leaving 52 eligible; 20 have family or other obligations so that 32 returned to the reunion. Friday night 44 attended and Saturday there were 59, including one widow. The Class of 1959 again led all other classes in reunion attendance. Let’s plan to maintain our first rank in 2019!

Additional personal notes made at the 2014 Reunion. (For correlation, check the Personal Reports in the booklet from the 2009 Reunion.)

Asa Barnes: “Retired from pathology and Africa mission in 2012. Our new house in Silver City, N.M., has adobe walls, antique furniture, and modern kitchen appliances. We also maintain two houses in the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico. Both are available for visitors to the Great Southwest. Come and see how modern cowboys live.”

Ed Clayton: Fainted at the bus Saturday evening, but was recovered completely on Sunday morning.

Sid Cohen: “A most exciting weekend. We hope to be able to see everyone at the 60th.”

Lyall Crary: “Life has been good. Hopefully it will continue. We are enjoying retirement but never have too much time on our hands. Children and grandchildren all doing well! Should we start planning for a 60th?”

Bob Fisher: “I couldn’t believe how old my classmates had become!”

Paul Friedman: “Still living in La Jolla, Calif. Doing some computer calculations‒when I can get it to work‒of the last set of patients I studied. COPD is what we’re after. With the lack of lung volume the problem of air trapping has also come up. I think it is more a problem than restriction of ventilation and we need a better way to diagnose it! Clare and I are pretty well, on the whole. Our nine grandchildren are thriving. One is a math person in grad school. One is an engineering person graduating this year. Enough! Ask me if you want more info!”

Mal Ing: “As of 2014, I am still in practice of comprehensive ophthalmology in Honolulu. I still enjoy teaching medical students and writing research papers as clinical professor of ophthalmology at U of Hawaii. None of this activity would be possible without the love and support of my wife Audrey (married 59 years), and I still enjoy surfing.”

Bill Jablonski: Living in Port St Lucie, Fla.

Kris Keggi: “Pressing on with surgery. Operating, teaching, writing. Happy with family, Yale, and their establishment of a Keggi Chair (Kristaps Keggi Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation) which all started in 1955 with Tom Forbes, Ed Crelin, and our class in Harkness Hall.”

John Marsh: “Still enjoying retirement in Williamsburg, Va. Lifelong learning program, Civil War round table, travel.”

Mark Schwartz: “Retired four months ago. Spending time with family. Making movies, playing golf, doing something else, but forgot what. Wonderful wife and children and grandchildren. See you hopefully in 2019.”

Sandy Solomon: “Still working. Being a psychiatrist is easy. I am happily married to Gail .... four children (two at Yale) and 10 grandchildren: play tennis four times a week.”

Muriel Du Brow Wolf: “Still practicing pediatrics and pediatric cardiologist at Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, D.C. Continue to advocate for Children and Families. Received the Senior Advocacies Award from the Academy of Pediatrics for lifetime of advocacy. I advocated for treating and preventing lead poisoning in children.”

‒Asa Barnes
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