NOVEMBER 2022 YAM CLASS NOTES by Jack Casey
December 5, 2022 in Notes
Victoria and I extended the 50th Reunion glow by having dinner with Amy and Marc Morgenstern (DC) in Cleveland on a visit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. That futuristic glass pyramid on the shore of Lake Erie warps time backward fifty years so you can remember the excesses of your misspent youth.
Marc has served on the Rock Hall’s board since its inception in 1995, but his youth was by no means misspent. After a delay due to pandemic paper shortages, he is launching The Soul of the Deal,his long-awaited book and audiobook. Marc reveals that selling encyclopedias door-to-door gave him the persistence, and following the Grateful Dead gave him the improvisational skills necessary to orchestrate mergers, acquisitions, and venture deals.
With that warm sense of humor we remember from the Davenport dining hall, Marc sprinkles in pithy “Morgenstern’s Maxims” while walking us through actual deals to locate the “soul” of each transaction. Every deal has its unique soul which emanates from the people involved, Marc advises, and mutual respect, consensus and empathy can vanquish anger, ego, and other deal-killing emotions. Entrepreneurs, lawyers, venture and PE funds, wealth managers and investment bankers are now buying the book in bulk.
In an early review, Stewart Kohl, Co-Founder/Co-CEO of The Riverside Company (one of the most successful middle-market PE funds in the country), gives the book a thumbs-up: “Marc defies stereotypes–a Deadhead and Deal-head; a gifted storyteller and dealmaker with deep understanding of human dynamics. His Maxims alone are worth the price of this impactful read.”
Steve Fiffer (TD) announces the November publication of his twentieth book, The Moment: Changemakers on Why and How They Joined the Fight for Social Justice. Steve’s book features 35 relatively brief in-their-own words chapters based on interviews he conducted with activists of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, and professions. Among them are Bryan “Just Mercy” Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative; former major leaguer Doug Glanville, who recently taught a class on activism in Yale’s Poli Sci department; Kahlil Greene ’22, Yale’s first Black Student body president; and Don Katz, founder of Audible.com. The website for Steve’s book is: themoment-thebook.com
Turning to the stage, after two years of pandemic-induced delays, Jim Gadzik (SY) tells us to save the date, Saturday, November 26, so we can enjoy the premier of his Magic – A Ballroom Musical produced at the Wall Street Theater, 71 Wall Street in Norwalk, CT. Jim presently resides in Westport and his new work kicks off the theater’s 2022 Christmas season with a 2 PM matinee and a 7:30 PM evening performance.
Featuring 30 songs and seven ballroom dances, Jim’s completely original, uplifting, family-friendly musical tells the story of Pam and Bob, two lonely people who fall in love one enchanted holiday weekend when Bailey, an intriguing ballroom dancing instructor, offers them free lessons as a Christmas gift. The musical’s theme reflects the hope, joy and generosity of the holiday season. Tickets for the live performances and live streaming can be purchased on the Wall Street Theater website — https://wallstreettheater.com — and the Magic website offers further information, videos and blogs about the production: magicthedancemusical.com
Nathan Wise (DC) writes that he recently appeared in his “dream role” as the infamous misanthrope Dick Deadeye, in Gilbert & Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore. The Connecticut Gilbert & Sullivan Society staged the operetta October 15 and 16 at Valley Regional High School in Deep River, CT (ctgands.org).
In closing let me note that the afterglow of our 50th has not diminished. Visiting campus haunts, remembering adventures and friends was wonderful, but the best of all was seeing everyone’s face lit with the magic to being together again.
At one point I was swept up on the familiar strains of “From the tables down at Rudy’s . . .” so I strolled up Elm Street. Rudy’s Bar and Restaurant served as the Davenport/Pierson watering hole. We dubbed Rudy’s dive “the RBR” to confuse it with the real RBR, the Reserved Book Room at Sterling Memorial, so we could brag that we spent our evenings at the RBR. And as I gazed in the window, nearly 72, I could hear Mary Hopkins’ trilling, “Oh, my friend, we’re older but no wiser, for in our hearts our dreams are still the same.” Those were the days all right.
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