Class of 1945: 65th reunion

It was very likely the last reunion and it was certainly the least attended reunion but, in many ways, it was the best reunion of its thirteen predecessors.

Sandy Cockerell, a retired pediatrician, came from Missouri accompanied by his daughter, Michelle, also a pediatrician, and son-in-law, Jim McIntosh. Other members of his family have attended previous reunions and he has certainly been blessed with a great extended family. Dick Dyer, a retired surgeon, at 90 looks almost the same as the Beaver of 1942. He could not decide on which of his lady friends he should bring along so he took the easy way out and came alone. Of course I, Ray Gagliardi, a retired radiologist, came with my Pat who, as she approaches 90, is still the most beautiful young girl on the block.

In his State of the School address, Dean Alpern chose to single us out for our devotion to Yale, making no reference to our status as survivors. For some reason he referred to Dick as Dr. Eugene McCarthy. Nobody’s perfect.

We realize health issues precluded others who may have wanted to come. Much of the conversation revolved around news of the absentees. Charlie Lowe has some disabling problems but his letter shows his magnificent brain still functions on all cylinders. Mike Allison hoped to drop in on his way to a professional meeting in Washington but couldn’t fit in a side trip to New Haven. Mike, as you know, has been a major force in psychoanalytic circles in America for many years. Sid Feuerstein, who never missed a reunion, finally had to abstain as he wrestled with health issues of his own. The same applies to Bob Hollan, who has required renal dialysis. Otherwise Bob is an energetic as ever. He told us that a professorship at the UT/San Antonio Med School has been endowed in the name of Fitz Pannill, a former dean and professor of medicine. We also missed Reeves Mason and his salty comments about medicine in general. He hasn’t missed many reunions but he was there in spirit.

Ours was the oldest official reunion class. Sam Kushlan of the Class of 1935 was there to trump us. Sam still attends grand rounds as he approaches his own centennial.

We didn’t go to the lectures or tours but mostly enjoyed reminiscing about those golden days of 1942-1945. Our recollections were not always in sync but it was great to recall what those years meant to us then and almost more now. It was as if by a minor miracle Dick and Sandy and I were young again—even if it only lasted for a few days.

Ave atque vale!

- Raymond A. Gagliardi

  • Tags:
  • Reunion