Yale Class of 1975

Welcome, Class of 1975!

Peking Duck lunch extraordinaire! We started at 12:30 and were still going strong two and a half hours later. The party only broke up because people had long drives ahead of them.

Pictured from left to right, front row: Lisa Kaslow, Andrea Miller, and Alicia Rubin; second row: Robert Davis, Jeffrey Korber, Nancy Young, and Ken Rubin; back row: Michael Albis, Jacqueline Albis, Laurie Devitt, Fred Krupp, Paul Ford, George Miller, Robert Sotta, and Lila Locksley.

First-time attendees to a New York class event included Robert Davis (roommate of Robert Sotta who transferred to Stanford after freshman year); Robert Sotta, and Ken Rubin and his wife, Alicia.

Classmate Book Newly Published!

Paul Mascia send us the following news: “[A]t age 70, this is my first book, and my first work of historical fiction. The publisher is Austin Macauley of London, Cambridge, NYC, and Sharjah.

Nazar’s Journey is about a heroic young man in the Nineveh Plains of Iraq, 2014, who is forced — along with more than a million Christian and Muslim villagers from the region — to flee his homeland due to ISIS. This is a charitable project to assist displaced peoples in conflict situations internationally.

“[…] The book also includes nine expressionist masterpieces by Qais Al-Sindy, an accomplished Iraqi-American painter. [Shown here is] my favorite of the images.”

Anyone interested in reading it will be able to obtain it from Amazon on May 24 (pre-pub ordering is available now).

Classmate Podcast!

Ben Yagoda reports: Very excited to announce the launch of my podcast, “The Lives They’re Living.” The trailer is available on Amazon Music, Spotify, Deezer, and Pocket Casts &8212; that is, *almost* wherever you get your podcasts. (It’s still wending its way through the Apple process, and I’ll announce when it’s on Apple Podcasts.) The first four episodes will drop (always wanted to use that word) shortly.

As some of you know, I’ve had the idea for this podcast for a long time. It’s basically to profile remarkable but not hugely famous people–the kind of person who, when they pass away, will get one of those fascinating New York Times obits written by Margalit Fox, Bruce Weber, William Grimes Richard Sandomir or Sam Roberts. The profile is by way of an interview with someone who’s knowledgeable about and fascinated by the person.

In the first series, I’m delighted to talk to David Bianculli on Mason Williams, Gene Seymour on Ishmael Reed, Laurie Gwen Shapiro on Abigail Thomas, and Michael Tisserand on Jules Feiffer.

So please give a listen and, if you’re so inclined, share this post and subscribe.
More soon. Podcast Link

Special thanks to my podcast guru and mentor, Seth Goldstein.

Our Poetry Project

The project consists of favorite poems submitted by classmates. It is inspired by Robert Pinsky’s Favorite Poem Project implemented during his tenure as US Poet Laureate. Poems offer concentrated glimpses into the world we inhabit. Our favorites may offer resolution and hope. All are welcome. — Serena.
(Each submitted poem in turn is featured on our front page for one week, then is archived on our Poetry Project page along with all previously featured poems. For more info and guidelines to the project, select the project link on the left that appears when you login.)


O śmierci bez przesady (Polish)

Nie zna się na żartach,
na gwiazdach, na mostach,
na tkactwie, na górnictwie, na uprawie roli,
na budowie okrętów i pieczeniu ciasta.

W nasze rozmowy o planach na jutro
wtrąca swoje ostatnie słowo
nie na temat.

Nie umie nawet tego,
co bezpośrednio łączy się z jej fachem:
ani grobu wykopać,
ani trumny sklecić,
ani sprzątnąć po sobie.

Zajęta zabijaniem,
robi to niezdarnie,
bez systemu i wprawy.
Jakby na każdym z nas uczyła się dopiero.

Tryumfy tryumfami,
ale ileż klęsk,
ciosów chybionych
i prób podejmowanych od nowa!

Czasami brak jej siły,
żeby strącić muchę z powietrza.
Z niejedną gąsienicą
przegrywa wyścig w pełzaniu.

Te wszystkie bulwy, strąki,
czułki, płetwy, tchawki,
pióra godowe i zimowa sierść
świadczą o zaległościach
w jej marudnej pracy.

Zła wola nie wystarcza
i nawet nasza pomoc w wojnach i przewrotach,
to, jak dotąd, za mało.

Serca stukają w jajkach.
Rosną szkielety niemowląt.
Nasiona dorabiają się dwóch pierwszych listków,
a często i wysokich drzew na horyzoncie.

Kto twierdzi, że jest wszechmocna,
sam jest żywym dowodem,
że wszechmocna nie jest.

Nie ma takiego życia,
które by choć przez chwilę
nie było nieśmiertelne.

zawsze o tę chwilę przybywa spóźniona.

Na próżno szarpie klamką
niewidzialnych drzwi.
Kto ile zdążył,
tego mu cofnąć nie może.

— Szymborska, Wisława

On Death, without Exaggeration (English)

It can’t take a joke,
find a star, make a bridge.
It knows nothing about weaving, mining, farming,
building ships, or baking cakes.

In our planning for tomorrow,
it has the final word,
which is always beside the point.

It can’t even get the things done
that are part of its trade:
dig a grave,
make a coffin,
clean up after itself.

Preoccupied with killing,
it does the job awkwardly,
without system or skill.
As though each of us were its first kill.

Oh, it has its triumphs,
but look at its countless defeats,
missed blows,
and repeat attempts!

Sometimes it isn’t strong enough
to swat a fly from the air.
Many are the caterpillars
that have outcrawled it.

All those bulbs, pods,
tentacles, fins, tracheae,
nuptial plumage, and winter fur
show that it has fallen behind
with its halfhearted work.

Ill will won’t help
and even our lending a hand with wars and coups d’etat
is so far not enough.

Hearts beat inside eggs.
Babies’ skeletons grow.
Seeds, hard at work, sprout their first tiny pair of leaves
and sometimes even tall trees fall away.

Whoever claims that it’s omnipotent
is himself living proof
that it’s not.

There’s no life
that couldn’t be immortal
if only for a moment.

always arrives by that very moment too late.

In vain it tugs at the knob
of the invisible door.
As far as you’ve come
can’t be undone.

Albert Palitz: My Mother was the poet. I lost her in 2020 at age 98. In my last photograph of her, she’s sitting in her favorite chair with a hardback collection of the poems of Wislawa Szymborska. I told her I’d never heard of the poet, and she immediately recited the first few stanzas of On Death Without Exaggeration. Oh…my…God! That’s the poem I’d share. https://www.babelmatrix.org/works/pl/Szymborska%2C_Wis%C5%82awa-1923/O_%C5%9Bmierci_bez_przesady/en/7552-On_Death%2C_without_Exaggeration


Bottom image: At long last!! Our Class lunch at the Yale Club of NYC. Great to see Serena Fox, Charles Kaplan, Lisa Kaslow, Lila Locksley (Charles Keefe’s widow), Andrea Miller, BK Munguia, Michael Stein, Laurie Stevens, Greg Zorthian (Zorro), Richard Reiner, and yours truly. What a truly good-looking and interesting group! The next one will be in the fall. In the meantime, hope everyone has a great summer. Much aloha, Nancy

Dear Classmate,

At long last, our class has its own private website! In addition to links to the Alumni Directory, In Memoriam, Yale Alumni Magazine and more, we have added links to showcase our classmates’ artistic endeavors in the fields of books, art, music, cooking, and acting. Julie Sullivan has agreed to help oversee these sections and Elissa Bernstein has agreed to head up the section on cooking. We have also added a link to enable you to join Circletime, which is our Class Book Club, run by Jackie Austin. This is definitely a work in progress and we welcome your participation and suggestions.

Much aloha,
Tommy Bourgeois, Class Secretary
Nancy Young, Class Treasurer




Joyce Maynard The Bird Hotel

Posted July 26, 2023. A group of our classmates: Chris Donnelly, Michael Albis and his wife, Jackie, and Nancy Young joined our very own Joyce Maynard at a book signing of her latest novel, The Bird Hotel. Joyce is a best-selling author and has published twenty books, both fiction and non-fiction and hundreds of essays. She is finishing up her next novel, How the Light Gets In, the sequel to Count the Ways which was an Amazon Best Book in 2021 and will be published in 2024.

July 24, 2023: Lori Andrews’ essay, “A complaint to Mattel about my doll led me to become a lawyer.” Read it here.

Classmate Peter Halley’s featured in “The 13 Most Extraordinary Art Exhibits to Catch Worldwide in 2023.” His work is being exhibited in Luxembourg. The direct link to Peter’s collection is here.


Our huge 70th Birthday Bash was a roaring success! Click to read the report, and to see the photos. Video of Jumpin’ Jack Flash to come!

Great News from Ben Yagoda!click for the McDowell Colony press release