YAM Notes: January/February 2015

By Marty Snapp

Well, one Democrat, at least, managed to survive the Republican sweep last November: Dr. Richard Creagan, who was elected to his second term in the Hawaii State House of Representatives. “As the only MD—i.e., the only Doctor in the House—I have a lot to offer on the medical front,” he says. “But as a 20-plus-year coffee and homestead farmer on a 100-acre Big Island farm, I have a lot to offer on the agricultural front as well.”

Richard first moved to Hawaii shortly after graduation to train as a health-care worker before being sent to the Marshall Islands by the Peace Corps. Then it was back to the mainland, where he practiced medicine for many years, before returning to Hawaii in 1991 to work as an emergency room doctor at Kona Hospital. (His wife, Marilyn, is a nurse there.) “We live and farm in the Kiolaka‘a area of Ka‘u, which we are currently subdividing into 20-acre farms for any Yalies who want to become coffee farmers with a great view,” he says. “I would welcome visitors, and my best e-mail is repcreagan@gmail.com.”

Mark Princi reports, “I have been exploring our classmate Wmb Hoyt’s website. He lives and paints in the wilds of northern Vermont. I am and have always been a big fan of his work. Some of you may be interested in it too. It’s worth a visit. Great pencil-sharpening material. Here’s the URL: http://wmbhoyt.com.” John Dillon writes, “Prompted by Mark’s notice of Wmb Hoyt, I have been exploring our classmate Jerry Powers’s website. He lives and paints in New Shoreham, Rhode Island, where his wife Linda is the town’s part-time tax collector. Some of you may be interested in his work. It’s worth a visit.” Here’s the URL: www.jerrypowers.com/index.html.

Not to be outdone, Bob Allison writes, “I’m passing along a New Haven Independent article about our classmate Jeff Fuller. He has made a great contribution to the greater New Haven community. Maybe you’ll deem some of it to be worthy of sharing.”

Indeed I do, Bob. To quote in part: “Fuller, a star of New Haven’s jazz scene for decades, was honored with the third annual Jazz Fest Unsung Heroes Award. His own life as a jazz musician began in New Haven. As a Yale undergrad, he was faced with the choice of playing basketball or pursuing music. At 5’8″, he realized the decision had all but been made for him. He started taking every music class Yale had to offer. He continued at the university to receive a master of music degree in composition. Fuller found tremendous opportunities to play music when he moved to New York City in 1977, but when he moved back to New Haven in 1986, he began to teach more and make the city his home. Since then, he has taught at the Educational Center for the Arts magnet high school as well as given private lessons. His role as a mentor of New Haven’s youth contributed largely to his receiving the award.” Drummer Jesse Hameen adds, “Jeff has been, and still is, touching the hearts and minds of young people, helping facilitate their career and giving them lessons. Not just music lessons, but life lessons. Many people can perform gigs or record their own music. But to make sure you leave a legacy in the hearts and lives of many people who will carry it on, that’s beautiful.”

Geg Jorjorian reports, “Life is great. A second son gets married this June to a lovely person who does a fantastic job with the grandkids! Our other kids, Paul and Lisa, also married in same twelve-month period. (You guys with the three or four daughters—Oh my!) I sold my start-up performance chemical company last spring but remain quite active in the business. The end of last year took me to the Far East. While I have been to Japan many times and a few port cities, this was my first trip to India, Thailand, and Korea. In India I spent time in Mumbai, Hyderabad, and New Delhi, including many trips out to the country where the chemical plants are. India is incredible, just like the tagline. You see change before your eyes, yet still sense the ancient tensions of tradition. Truly a Bucket List destination. We spend time between Evanston (Illinois) primary and Maple City (Michigan) secondary. Lake Michigan is awesome from both sides!”

And this update from Dave Richards: “I am now the incoming chair of the Yale Library Associates, founded in 1930 ‘to help the library in its proper position as a great world collection of books indispensable to the university whose heart and center it constitutes.’ We keep supporters informed about library news, and invited to lectures, exhibitions, openings, receptions, performances, and symposia throughout the year; the YLA is oriented primarily toward the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and other special collections. With classmate Steve Stack, I also serve on the university librarian’s development committee, which focuses on fund-raising initiatives for all parts of the Yale Library system.”

Finally, Steve Doan’s retirement didn’t last long. He and Donna have been named copastors of two churches—Painter-Garrison and Smith’s Chapel—for the United Methodist Church on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. “Both are lovely and older churches with people of faith and energy,” Steve says. “We look forward to what God is teaching two retired pastors about not taking our ease.” Not entirely with tongue in cheek, he adds, “I am contemplating starting a support group for Christians (and other fellow travelers) who are tempted to judge our brothers and sisters by their weaknesses, their flaws, their misguided good intentions, their outright iniquities. I would call it ‘The First Stone Club.’ I want a church in which people are blessed, not cursed; one where folks can come when they are hurting, not leave because they are hurting. And a church in which I, the worst sinner, can find comfort and wholeness and peace.”