YAM Notes: January/February 2023

By Scott Sullivan

Which of us is still going to work every day? Class Secretary Tim Hogen raised the issue a coupla months ago, asserting that First Amendment lawyer Vik Kovner was the only 1958er still going to the office daily. Ever skeptical, your correspondent immediately found two more, and in the last month, two further geriatric laborers have shown up. Keith Cullinan writes to say that he arrives every morning (albeit sans coat and tie) at one of his two financial management offices, in Louisville, Kentucky, and Naples, Florida. “Wouldn’t know how to act otherwise.” Al Holm also goes to his New York office every day from 9 to 5 (or 6 or 7). An architect inspired by Professor Vincent Scully, Al still practices full-time, while also running the Institute for Classical Architecture and Art, which he founded.

Some bad-news-excellent-news from your humble servant. The less good bit is that I have been suffering respiratory failure, which is being treated with an oxygen machine and other devices, a pacemaker to be installed soon. The absolutely great news is that after years of bureaucratic prelims, I have been formally named (by Emmanuel Macron) a chevalier of the French Légion d’honneur. Membership in the légion, founded by Napoléon in 1803, is the highest honor France bestows, and I have aspired to it for half a century. My citation speaks of the “eminent services you have rendered to our country and its culture . . . contributing to Franco-American rapprochement.”

One other class member shares this chivalresque honor. John Riggs, my next-door neighbor in Filthy Farnham and lifelong fellow Parisian, was named to the légion some time back, after half a century’s work for White & Case’s French law office, followed by a term as president of the renowned American Hospital of Paris (actually in suburban Neuilly).

Our obituary list is slightly shorter than recently: only four. Only four!

My friend and fellow New Orleanean King Mallory died January 18 (2022) in Washington. With a Tulane law degree, King practiced alternately in a variety of New Orleans and Washington firms, settling in 1979 at Washington’s Hunton & Williams (now Hunton Andrews Kurth), from which he retired in 2017. He described the most important experience in his life as clerking for Judge John Minor Wisdom, the fifth Federal Circuit magistrate who handed down many of the most important civil rights decisions of the 1960s and 1970s. (Small World Department: the judge’s brother, Willie B. Wisdom, was my father’s closest friend.) Along the way, Mallory worked for a year as executive secretary of the Securities & Exchange Commission; under Presidents Nixon and Ford, he served briefly as a deputy assistant secretary of interior, then as acting assistant secretary. For the past 40 years, he was a solid presence on the DC legal scene and a pillar of the Chevy Chase Country Club, where, when I was in town, I dined with him and his delightful wife, Penny.

Tom Dixon, a teacher for 45 years at Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, died July 30 (2021) in Lake Forest, Illinois. From 1978 to 1980, he chaired the science department at Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, and he spent the 1990–91 school year at the Sevenoaks School in Kent, England. Otherwise, he remained at Berkshire, teaching the sciences to more than 3,000 students. He and his wife Cynthia ran Dixon Antiques out of their Sheffield home. Tom had wide-ranging interests in astronomy, classical music, cooking, and publishing whimsical books known as Tom’s Visions.

Dick Callaway, a Texas oil man, died September 2 in Houston. Dick served in the Navy for two years, then earned a graduate degree in geology at the University of Minnesota. He worked for various petroleum companies in New Orleans and Houston, first as a geologist then as exploration manager. He volunteered for years as a docent at the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s butterfly center. He was a golfer and fan of crime novels.

Roger Dalton, our Mister Kentucky, died October 15 in Louisville. After college, Roger served two years in the Navy, then took an MBA at Harvard. From then on, he ran Kentucky banks: the First National Bank of Louisville and then the National City Bank of Lexington and Central Kentucky. Outside banking hours, Roger was involved in every aspect of his state’s life. Like his father, he was a lifelong horseman, a member of the Long Run Woodford Hounds and the Iroquois Hunt Club. He served on numerous boards, including those of the local Financial Executives Institute, Anchorage Presbyterian Church, Transylvania University, the Kentucky Horse Park, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the Boy Scouts of America Blue Grass Council. He was an active Rotarian and belonged to the Conversation Club and the River Valley Club.

Department of Amplification: Our tribute to Bill Oates two issues back emphasized his younger simpatico years as a Vermont hippy. It mentioned his consulting firm, the B & B Team, which advises bed and breakfast operators on all aspects of their business on a national scale; but it failed to stress the firm’s size and importance. B & B Team continues to thrive, and our classmate was in his later years a serious and successful businessman.