YAM Notes: January/February 2020

By Scott G. Sullivan

Happy New Year! We start off with a fascinating note from David Lindskog about the “townies” among us: “A recent email from the Yale News featured an article with umpteen photos about 20 very diverse people who had been admitted to Yale, all of whom came from what was euphemistically called the ‘Elm City.’ This diverse group was treated to a sumptuous soirée at which President Salovey was present. I can only imagine that President Salovey would be salivating if he knew that, of the 1,000 or so males, mostly white, who matriculated at Yale in 1954, 40 or so were ‘townies,’ born and bred in New Haven (eight from the Hopkins School alone), and more than double that number from New Haven–area public high schools, the rest from New England prep schools). Yet we did not rate any particular recognition, let alone a soirée with A. Whitney Griswold. A goodly number of our townies are still living!! The wife of one of our townies (a New Haven native herself) even matriculated at Yale after the revolution in 1969. A number of our townies were offspring of Yale professors. Lux et Veritas! The list of townies is as follows: Myles AldermanJoe Barba, Tom Bilinski, Art Bober, Tom Brennan, Basil Carmody, Larry Chiaramonte, David Cobey, Joe Cusano, Mike D‘Andrea, Alex De Santis, John Dollard, Ed Etkind, Steve Feinstein, Mike Flynn, John German, Luis Gonzalez, Bruce Grosman, Al Howard, Irv Hulteen, John Kolb, Ron Lamey, Paul Levy, Carl Lindskog, David Lindskog, Harvey Lipsher, John Maher, Jean Mauro, Bart Miller, Ed Moore, Erling Onsager, John Piskorski, Henry Pope, Harry Rudin, Joel Schiavone (born in NYC!), Al Sinel, David Sheehan, Bob Sullivan, Perry Welch.”

And now, sadly, we turn to those three classmates whose obituaries were held over from the last issue:

Jon Warner, a renowned molecular biologist, died at home in Pelham, New York, on September 5. Jon earned his PhD in biophysics in 1963 and taught for 40 years at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He had been head of his department and dean of the graduate school; he won a Guggenheim fellowship in 1972. An expert on ribosomes (a “molecular machine” important to cancer research), he was a member of dozens of scientific societies and sat on the editorial board of as many journals devoted to biochemistry and cancer research. His personal passion was fly fishing.

Lawrence Thompson, a New York lawyer with a keen interest in caring for the elderly, died on September 15. After Harvard Law School, Lawrencejoined the firm of Emmet Marvin & Martin, where he served till his death. His deepest interest was always in nonprofit services for the aging. He served on and presided over the boards of several such agencies, but his central concern was for Amsterdam House, a 150-year-old facility on the Upper West Side. Under his presidency, Amsterdam built a $330 million continuing-care community in nearby Long Island. Last year, he received the LeadingAge New York Trustee of the Year Award.

Mike Cavallon was one of my first and best Yale friends, a giant football end from the North Shore of Chicago who contributed to our Big Three championship but also a keen and sensitive intellectual perfectly at ease in the heady ambiance of Directed Studies. Mike died September 16 in Port Chester, Pennsylvania, after a world-girdling life of non-stop adventure. Shortly after graduation he headed for Rome, then Geneva, where he worked for Bernie Cornfield, the flamboyant mutual-fund genius whose business boomed, then busted amid accusations of impropriety. Mikegot marriedand earned a Harvard MBA, but along the way spent chunks of time in Ceylon and Thailand. Then London. Then Jacksonville. Unfortunately, all the companies he worked for went bankrupt or were dissolved, the only exception being a cabinetry mill he opened and operated himself in the 1970s. So he never got rich. But he sent two sons to Yale, enjoyed a happy second marriage, remained extremely active in Yale affairs, and acquired a home in rural Vermont, where he contentedly cultivated his garden “like Dr. Pangloss.”

More next time.