No. 42
January - February, 2009

Your Class Correspondent apologizes for taking a couple of months off -- holiday mode started early and lasted long this year. But we're back again with more news and pictures. But hardly enough -- please, let's hear from you! For my part, I will try to make these notes and the Class of '63 Web site more interesting to peruse.

If this is your first visit here, I've added a link to an archives page, which in turn, will link you to the past issues of the Class of 1963 eNewsletter. If you haven't seen any of the earlier newsletters, take a look -- there's a lot more news, pictures, and interesting articles than I have been able to include in Columbia College Today.


Table of Contents:


Next Lunches - Thursday, February 12 and March 12

Every Second Thursday of the Month, 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Columbia College Club - 15 West 43rd Street, NYC

Please join your classmates for an informal lunch at the Columbia Club every second Thursday of the month. It is our hope that these gatherings will renew old friendships and foster improved relationship with our class and the College. I hope you can all join us at the next lunches on Thursday, February 12 and Thursday, March 12. Let me know if you will attend so that we can reserve a big enough table; RSVP to Paul Neshamkin (


November lunch attended by four '63ers

The last lunch of 2008 was attended by four stalwart regulars: Doron Gopstein, Bruce Kaplan, Paul Neshamkin, and Tom O'Connor.

(Seated from left to right) Paul Neshamkin, Doron Gopstein, Bruce Kaplan, and Tom O'Connor .

January lunch attended by seven '63ers

The start of our 2009 series of lunches brought together another fine group of '63ers on January 8th with 7 classmates attended. Among the regulars attending were Steve Barcan, Henry Black, Doron Gopstein, Bob Heller, Paul Neshamkin, Larry Neuman, and Barry Reiss.

(Seated from left to right) Steve Barcan, Paul Neshamkin, Henry Black, Larry Neuman, Barry Reiss, Bob Heller, and Doron Gopstein.

Lunch Archives

If you like to see our previous lunches, click on the dates below:

December 9, 2004 January 12, 2006 January 11, 2007 May 8, 2008
January 13, 2005 February 9, 2006 February 8, 2007 June 12, 2008
February 10, 2005 March 9, 2006 March 8, 2007 July 10, 2008
March 10. 2005 April 20, 2006 April 12, 2007 September 11, 2008
April 14, 2005 May 11, 2006 May 10, 2007 October 16, 2008
May 12, 2005 June 8, 2006 June 14, 2007  
June 9, 2005 July 13, 2006 July 12, 2007  
July 14, 2005 September 14, 2006 September 20, 2007  
September 8, 2005 October 12, 2006 November 8, 2007  
October 14, 2005 November 9, 2006 February 14, 2008  
November 9, 2005 December 14, 2006 March 13, 2008  
December 12, 2005   April 10, 2008  

For information and inquiries call Paul Neshamkin at 201-714-4881 or email at


Latest News from the Class of 63

Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Harper's Magazine Foundation. Foner has been a history professor at Columbia University since 1982 and was appointed the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History in 1988. He has served as president of the Organization of American Historians (1993 to 1994), and of the American Historical Association (2000).

Henry Black gave the keynote address at the 100th anniversary celebration of the Jilan Municipal Hospital in Jilan City, China.

Victor Margolin has retired from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and is now Professor Emeritus of Design History. He has been nominated for the 2009 Cooper-Hewitt Design Mind award as part of the National Design Awards and continues to work on his world history of design as well as to lecture on design and design history in various parts of the world. He was chairperson of the jury for Bio 21: Industrial Design Biennial in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in October 2008.

David Epstein wrote in response to my urgent plea for news, “Since I've never said a word in the Class Notes, if you want to say that due to my poor money-handling skills, I continue to toil in the vineyards of the law in Laguna Beach, CA, and continue to raise high-schoolers, you are free to do so. Specifically, even though I have trouble hammering a picture hook in straight, I sue contractors who screw up their construction jobs.” David, I’m sure that there are many classmates who could use your services – too bad I didn’t know your specialty sooner.

Bob Heller and his wife visited France to stay at their son’s chateau (Chateau de Tourreau) in Provence. They had a wonderful time there and then took a walking tour of Burgundy. Bob’s wife took so many pictures of grapes that he says they will have to add a Bacchus room to their house.

Frank Sypher reports, “My news is that in November 2008 a new book of mine was published: New York State Society of the Cincinnati: Histories of New York Regiments of the Continental Army (Fishkill, N.Y.: New York State Society of the Cincinnati, 2008), pp. xxiv + 360. Illustrated; hardcover; price $200.00. Available from New York State Society of the Cincinnati, c/o Mount Gulian Historic Site, 145 Sterling Street, Beacon, New York 12508
The book gives a detailed chronology of each New York Continental regiment, year by year, from 1775 to 1783. Also included are chapters on other branches of the Revolutionary service, such as the medical corps, quartermaster corps (commissaries), chaplains, navy, marines, et al. There is also a chapter on the state militia, and one on pay scales, bounty lands, disability and pension benefits. Fully indexed. This is a companion volume to an earlier work of mine: New York State Society of the Cincinnati: Biographies of Original Members and Other Continental Officers (2004), pp. xlii + 660. One aspect of the regimental histories is biographical--if one knows what regiment a man served in, one can estimate from the history of his regiment the campaigns he was in, and the battles in which he saw action. Detailed regimental histories like this have not been available before for most New York regiments of the American Revolution.

Barry Jay Reiss reports that he spent an extraordinary vacation exploring Sedona, Arizona, and highly recommends a visit.

Paul Gorrin writes, “A piece of writing of mine is published in the Yale Journal of Humanities in Medicine at Not an essay nor case report. I wrote it in tribute to a dear patient of mine, a mechanic at a local boatyard, who moved from Vermont to southern Delaware to be near his brother and parents, when his marriage ended. We would talk about Vermont, where I was a post doc at UVM doing research in lung cancer immunology, and where I met my wife who was born there. Our four children were born in southern Delaware. Gary died of lung cancer, at the age of 53.

Jeff Wechsler (now going by his middle name, Bruce) writes, “It's finally my turn to weigh in on your class notes. Since you and I went to school together from the 7th grade at PS6, you are entitled to an update. During a 30 year stint in hotel management in Chicago, I formed a separate Real Estate company and a separate hotel management company with some partners. From 1970 to 1993 I was the CEO of a hotel company operating 5 hotels in Chicago, the largest being the 615 room McCormick Center Hotel across from McCormick Place Convention Center.

From 1991 to 2000 my new company, Aerie Hotels & Resorts, purchased and managed both the Eagle Ridge Resort in Galena, IL and started up and managed the Silver Eagle casino in Dubuque IA. We sold both in 1999.

My real estate company, which I had started in 1978, eventually acquired over 15 properties between 1978 and 2008. In 2008 we sold the majority of our portfolio to a private equity firm and are currently managing that portfolio for the buyer. That management agreement will end in 2009 at which time I will be semi-retired. I will be associated with a new Management firm consulting on acquisitions and management for the foreseeable future while I take some time to enjoy some extra time with my wife, Sandy, and my 2 sons and one granddaughter."

Doug Anderson writes, “As for news, the only news I have is that Dale's 65th birthday is January 13th and we are celebrating with friends and family at Disney World. We will be a group of 100++ and start tomorrow through the weekend. We invited friends from Tel Aviv, Rotterdam, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and figured that only a small percentage would come................wrong. The theme of the responses was that after 2008, everyone wants to spend a few days just being a kid again.

Also, I just spent a day with Larry Wein who was Class of 63 in the Engineering School. Larry and I knew each other from summer camp where we were both sent at age 4. We were in the same bunk from age 4 - 13 but only saw each other at Columbia on rare occasion. Last year, we re-met because of Bob & Myra Kraft (Bob and Larry were at the Harvard Business School together). So we played golf a few days ago and I re-introduced Larry to one of our bunkmates who lives down here. They hadn't seen each other in 53 years and, honestly, it was like they had known each other forever. Amazing.”

Larry Neuman sent out New Year’s greetings with a photo he took of some yurts that caught his eye on the way to Hohhot. In the background is a wind turbine, and in the foreground a large satellite dish. Ah, the Earth is flat.

Michael Erdos writes, “My youngest daughter, Elleree, wound up declining admission to both Columbia and Harvard, and is having the time of her life at Williams College, which turns out to be a perfect fit for her in every way.

My son, Alexander is half-way through law school at Suffolk University, sharing an apartment in Brookline, and now running marathons, having participated in crew, water polo and then triathlons in college.

My older children (from my first marriage) each have 2 children of their own - who are the only ones who are allowed to call me 'Grandpa' (even though I don't feel like one).

I continue to work as an Emergency Physician at the Lahey Clinic in Massachusetts, while also directing my American Heart Association Training Center, and Philips Healthcare Defibrillator Distributorship in Woburn, MA (Emergency Response Training Associates, Inc. - - leaving just enough time for me to get to the gym 3-4 times a week, come home, kiss my wife, and go to bed!”

Barry Reiss reports that he and his wife, Brenda, celebrated the wedding of their youngest child (Sara) at the Tribeca Rooftop here in Manhattan. Congratulations to you all.

Steve Barcan reports of an interesting bit of serendipity. He and his wife Bettye were in Central Park for the NY Marathon to watch their son Adam finish in 3 hours – he finished 1190 out of the 40,000 runners. After the race, they sat on a bench and noticed that it had been endowed by Dale and Doug Anderson for their 25th anniversary. I wonder what the odds are? Now I wonder if Doug will tell us what led him to endow this Central Park bench – Doug?

I reported in the last issue that Lee Lowenfish’s Seymour award-winning biography of Branch Rickey: Baseball's Ferocious Gentleman would be out in paperback with a new introduction in spring 2009. I told Lee I would be his press agent here, and I meant it. You should all make a point to go out and buy this book. (And if anyone else has a book you’d like me to plug, write!)

Joe Applebaum writes from Washington, D.C. that he has “no specific news, but the next few months should be an extremely interesting time at GAO. We have some statutory duties under Presidential transitions and this will be the first one that I'll have a chance to participate in.” Joe, I haven’t visited Washington for a transition period since 1980, and I must say, that even though I was not directly involved, it was a fascinating phenomenon to witness. And certainly in a period like this, the Government Accountability Office must be a fascinating place. I hope you’ll share your observations here or at a future class lunch.

For information and inquiries call Paul Neshamkin at 201-714-4881 or email at