Class Notes November 2014

johnWilliam Class Notes

Interest among classmates willing to pitch in and help create a reunion book to mark our 45th hasn’t exactly surged, and we’re on the brink of scrapping the project. Stephen Morris had stepped up and volunteered to lead the publishing effort in the hope of creating both print and online editions. But the quality of what we do would depend entirely on the breadth and richness of class contributions, and volunteers have been sparse. So barring a groundswell of enthusiasm, we’ll just start saving up brilliant ideas for our 50th.

In other reunion news, chair Jon VanAmringe is working with Stephen and with former chair Rich Bowen

on curriculum planning. Your ideas are welcome. The reunion will be housed in Timothy Dwight, and classmates who want to stay elsewhere should make arrangements with one of the five hotels that are setting aside blocks for attendees: The Study at Yale, Omni, New Haven Hotel, Marriott Courtyard, and LaQuinta on the Wharf.

Bill Crawford took up my invitation to think about a class legacy gift: “Just to toss something at you,” Bill writes, “if we decide to endow a recurrent lecture, I’d be partial to ‘A Lecture on the Nature of Everything: How We Describe the Universe Today.’  Seems inclusive.”

From Charlottesville, Va., David Wyatt sends a harrowing account featuring his former Davenport roommate Bernard (Barney) O’Meara, who was mowing a pasture on his 50-acre Rappahannock County spread back in April when he was thrown from his tractor. The bushhog Barney was towing ran over his leg. He was able to devise a tourniquet with his belt, and when his wife Mary returned home—hours earlier than expected, luckily—she improvised another one with a garden hose. He ended up on a medevac helicopter to the University of Virginia hospital, where surgeons removed his leg above the knee.

David writes: “Barney was fitted with his new leg this summer and is now getting used to walking on it. Sometimes he has phantom pain, but takes pills that control it. When I visited him in October he was hard at work at his cluttered desk. He took me for a ride in his 4×4 Mule, a jeep-like contraption that can negotiate even the steepest hills on the farm. Barney has met this challenge with the same stoic good humor that has made him a beloved friend.”

Barney O’Meara, who’s at, adds: “The road to recovery has been different than I first envisioned, but it is lined with friends and family, like Dave, cheering me on–reminiscent of my running the Boston Marathon in 1970. With such strong support I’m determined to do most of what I did before and to enjoy it to the fullest. I’m off to a good start!”

Jim sends this testimonial to Ross Reeves, who died last summer:  “It’s hard to remember when I didn’t know Ross. We both grew up in Raleigh. Our parents were friends. We both went on to Yale and ended up living in the same neighborhood in Norfolk. Ours was the most companionable and elastic of relationships. … Throughout our time together, Ross remained a man of quiet and humble faith. Up in Boston, there was once a legendary eye surgeon who had an ego size of a tennis court. When one of his patients did badly, he blamed the scrub nurse or the resident. When one of his patients did well, he was swift to claim all the credit himself. Ross was just the opposite. Whenever something good happened in the practice of law, he would not congratulate himself. Instead he would modestly declare, ‘There is a God.’ Those of us Ross left behind can only guess what Heaven is like, but with his arrival there, Heaven has no doubt become a more lively and happy place.”

Finally, there’s news from the Amerian Heart Association that Ross Tonkens has been invited to head the AHA’s Science & Technology Accelerator venture capital division “created to help achieve AHA’s 2020 Impact Goal of Decreasing Death From Heart Attack or Stroke by 20 percent by the year 2020… by identifying the most game changing technologies and propelling them on to market rapidly.”

More next time.