YAM Notes: March/April 2017

By Scott G. Sullivan

Here’s to good old Boston, the home of the bean and the cod, where the Cabots talk only to Lowells and the Lowells talk only to God.  But where, from April 27 to April 30, the Latanés will party with Cushmans and the Nesses will reminisce with Morgans as the transcendent Yale Class of 1958 celebrates its 59th anniversary on John Harvard’s own turf.  Our distinguished committee—Bill Becklean, David Greenway, Linus Travers, Tom Kwei, and Bill Ehrlich—have lined up a brilliant program that includes Lexington and Concord, Quincy Market, Faneuil Hall, Mass General Hospital, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (famous for the blank spot on the wall from which a $200 million Vermeer was stolen in 1990). There will be riveting speakers, rapturous Whiffenpoofs, scrumptious food and drink, and the matchless camaraderie we enjoyed in Chicago.  Come one!  Come all!  We could be more than a hundred, including our dear ladies.

Among the things we’ll have to celebrate is Simon Serrano, our very own Class of 1958 Scholar, now a senior in Trumbull.  Simon, whom we have aided for all four of his undergraduate years, is working toward a BS in the awesome field of applied mathematics.  He is also a frequent volunteer, tutoring immigrants and helping the underprivileged with job applications, housing searches, and public-benefits applications.  The scholarship fund has been well managed and yields over $20,000 annually, but there have been practically no new contributions recently.  Something to remember in your will, possibly.

On October 21, Woody Howe, who was sports editor of the Yale Daily News in our year, was inducted into the Nebraska Journalism Hall of Fame; the honor recognized his 36-year career at the Omaha World-Herald as reporter, columnist, city editor, executive assistant to the president, senior editor, and a board member for 23 years.  His 1967 series on dilapidated and unlivable housing in Omaha won prizes.  Newspapering was in Woody’s blood; he grew up reading proofs at his grandfather’s office at the Sioux City Iowa Journal.  At the Oldest College Daily, he was a model of calm, intelligence, and accuracy—the only member of our staff, as best I can remember, with whom I never had a disagreement and never had to fix a comma.  And he maintained the same high standard in the world’s most wonderful profession.

The Rev. Peter Moore recently published a fascinating autobiography called From Dry Bones (available at Xlibris.com).  It recounts his experiences as an Episcopal priest with a strong Evangelical bent—a bit of a paradox in itself—and as a lifelong “apostle to the preppies.”  Peter was converted by Billy Graham during the latter’s crusade on the Yale Campus in 1957.  After study at Oxford and taking orders, he spent half a century running two groups—the Council for Religion in Independent Schools (CRIS) and FOCUS—which ministered to students in private schools, mostly in the Northeast; they backed up the schools’ own chaplains and provided extensive spiritually oriented vacation programs, many on Martha’s Vineyard and at ski resorts.  Peter also worked relentlessly to nudge the Episcopal Church away from its liberal political and social stances and toward a more Evangelical attitude. This was interesting work and quite controversial and it made reading the book something of an adventure for me, as I am precisely the kind of old-fashioned, liberal, and undemonstrative Episcopalian Peter regards as disastrous for our church.  A terrific read.  Highly recommended.

We have lost two more beloved friends:

Ed Bennett died December 11 in Santa Fe.  After college, he served two years in the Marine Corps, then attended Yale Law School.  He worked as an attorney in New York until 1969, when he moved to Indiana, Pennsylvania, his home town, where he headed the National Bank of the Commonwealth.  In 1977, he moved to Santa Fe, where he organized a group of investors that gained control of the First National Bank of Santa Fe.  He presided at the bank and the New Mexico Banquest Corporation until his retirement in 2005.  In his late years, he loved his family and dogs, the sunsets he saw from his patio . . . and palindromes.

Dan Montague died of Parkinson’s disease on December 12 in Warwick, New York.  After a year at Wharton Business School and a brief foray into the music business, Dan went to work for ITT, where he established the phone company’s presence in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.  In the 1970s, he moved to Westport, Connecticut, and continued working with ITT in New York City.  He married his second wife, Barbara, in 1984 and moved with her to Tampa, where he worked for Southport Financial Services and later became financial vice president of the voiceover company CommX; the couple retired to Warwick in 2002, when Dan was diagnosed with the disease that afflicted him till his death.


That’s it for now.  Next stop: Boston!