Bittersweet 2016 KN Reunion

A great big round of applause and much appreciation goes to Dave Dansky, pledge class of ’56, for writing this post and for being able to remember all the names and faces of the chavers who attended this reunion.

13435492_606769589482573_4091755337475555211_nBittersweet is how I would characterize the reunion of Kappa Nu fraternity brothers at the hoary LaVal’s Pizza on Euclid last Saturday. Clearly a positive experience for all who attended, the reunion gave the old chavers a chance to catch up on how life has been treating them. Russ Anders did a fine job getting this meeting accomplished. We first gathered in the LaVal’s courtyard and hugged and chatted. Happily Russ had name tags available because some of us have actually changed physically over the last 60 years. We all wrote our names in large font in deference to aging eyesight. Most of the Kappa Nu’s were from the middle 1950’s to early 1960’s with a few older members.

The Big Kahuna, Darrel Sevilla, was missed at this reunion. He had been the glue that held us all together after graduation. Nice to see some others step up to keep the flame alive.

Big Louie Haas and Art Twain remembered the lyrics to all the old songs we loved to sing. Bob “Home Run” Horowitz provided a lot of the vocal accompaniment with many others singing along. I know it is dangerous to start mentioning names as I will clearly leave someone out I should mention. But here are some observations after flying down from WA State to attend. (If I screw up spelling a name, forgive an old man):

  • Myron Moskovitz seemed to me to have changed the least in appearance.
  • Ron Yank looked to be in the best shape with abs fit for six pack commercial.
  • Hank Shain will always have that smile.
  • Art Twain is another 3-point specialist who keeps trim and upbeat; when he played with Louie Haas it made me think of the Axe Review performances that were so professional.
  • The very successful playwright, and relatively recently married Morrie Bobrow was there…if you have not seen his current play in San Francisco, Foodies, do so…Morrie at his best.
  • My “old mentor” Marv Ellenberg was there and we got to share some good time memories.
  • Howie Rose still looks as if he could play a mean shortstop once he recovers from a leg injury.  We chatted a lot and I came away impressed by his upbeat attitude towards all of life.
  • Bob Sikora still looks as if he could go three hard rounds in the boxing ring. He has traveled the world and has just published what looks like a fascinating book on an aspect Indian culture and art (look him up on Amazon and buy a copy!). I was very jealous of his long ponytail. My bald head has a permanent perfect part.
  • Sonny Davis, our other accomplished pugilist, also looked fit and trim. Sonny is doing yeoman work keeping the KN website going.
  • We could have had a California Bar Association meeting with all the retired or semi-retired lawyers present…Ron Laurie and Brian Landsberg (another chaver who has not seemed to change very much).
  • Ed Tanovitz is enjoying life living on the waterfront in Emeryville and exudes a positive attitude about life.
  • “Wags,” Larry Wagner has kept his jovial outlook as well.
  • Cy Silver was an “old timer” who attended and seemed very fit indeed; he remembered my cousin Nate Sabsay who was also an early KN.

Again, forgive me if I left you out of the conversation; it is not out of malice but of a mind that can no longer memorize a chapter before a blue book exam! I am deliberately not going to mention all the chavers that are no longer with us. Let’s keep them in our memories and remember the special fraternity we had: a real brotherhood that knew how to party, had each other’s backs at all times, and was consistently #1 in academics and athletics.

By the way, I can remember how Sonny Davis would thumb through his tough math and engineering texts before exams, just going “a hum, a hum” clearly absorbing all he read and then acing the final or midterm exam! It may be hard to get a quorum in another 10 years, but we might try again in 5. Father Time is inexorable, but we have many among us who are determined to give him a run for his money.

If you are reading this and did not attend, please consider coming to the next one. it was worth the long trip for me. I set off the TSA alarm and had to be patted down by a lovely (female) security agent. What we must do to protect our nation. I was up to the task.

(Photos by Stew Weinberg)

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2016 Kappa Nu Reunion


Reunion Reminder

What: Kappa Nu reunion

When: Saturday, June 18, 2016

Where: La Val’s Pizza, 1834 Euclid Ave, Berkeley

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Art Twain: Staying Loose and Coloring Outside the Lines

A Personal Retrospective

I don’t know where to begin with this story. It’s about retail, forgotten brand origin stories, advertising, and the golden age of radio. You might say it’s a trip down memory lane, but my instincts tell me it’s really a story that touches upon so many things that are so right now. Every time I hear someone talk about how retail taps into culture, or asks why we are suddenly devouring podcasts, listening to the radio, and enamored with the ’70s, I think of Art Twain.

Right around the time in the ’70s when advertising was changing and creatives took over from account executives, things started to get looser. With little guidance, retailers, brands and marketers were compelled to understand and respond to that cultural shift.

Hero_Ga-_1969-Gap-Ocean-Ave-Store-Iconic-Image-2-600x444Enter Art Twain. He’s the marketing mastermind behind the original brand development of a little shop called Pants and Discs. He was also the account lead for that brand of “pants” which, at the time, barely sold east of the Mississippi. That shop would become the Gap and those pants were Levi’s. The fact that the Gap was born selling Levi’s and LP records is an origin story that has mostly been lost to memory.

Twain perfectly captured and communicated the DNA of many of the most iconic American brands just when America itself was searching its soul to find its own “brand.” The “I can’t get this song out of my head” jingles, television commercials, and groovy graphic design of the era perfectly positioned Twain’s natural talent for music, storytelling, and humor.

I recently sat down with the octogenarian mastermind of Art Twain Creative Services at his home in Oakland, Calif., and his energy and enthusiasm were contagious….

You can read the entire interview by Debra Scherer here.

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Who Wants to Have a Kappa Nu Reunion?

It’s been over a year since we had our last Kappa Nu reunion at Lavals Pizza in Berkeley. Some Kappa Nus have asked about having another reunion next year.

Please take a few minutes to respond to this poll and add a comment to let us know your opinion about having a reunion in 2016.

Take This Poll, Please!

Would you be interested in attending another KN reunion?

​Is the June, 2016 time frame good for you?

​Is Lavals Pizza (Northside, Berkeley) the best place to hold the reunion?

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Myron Moskovitz Launches Appellate Boutique

MoskowitzA longtime appellate attorney and former professor at the Golden Gate University School of Law launched an appellate boutique this week with several retired appellate justices and law clerks.

Myron Moskovitz, who retired from Golden Gate University last year after spending more than four decades there, opened Moskovitz Appellate Team in Piedmont with seven attorneys.

“It’s unique because some of the big firms have appellate judges on staff, but they’re accessible only to the big corporations,” Moskovitz said. “I’m going to be able to offer this to the little guy.”

Through his decades of teaching and appellate work, Moskovitz got to know quite a few appellate judges whom he gauged for interest when starting the firm.

“We’re basically a team of insiders, people who have worked in the court system, who know how they function and what the courts are looking for,” he said.

Judges joining Moskovitz at the new firm include James Ardaiz, a former presiding justice of the 5th District Court of Appeal, Cris Cottle, a former presiding justice of the 6th District Court of Appeal, and William Stein, a former justice of the 1st District Court of Appeal.

Moskovitz taught Constitutional law and advanced appellate practice at Golden Gate University while also running his own solo practice as an appellate attorney. He has practiced both civil and criminal appellate law, though he said his new firm will focus exclusively on civil work.

Moskovitz has won over 80 percent of his published appellate cases, he said. One of his biggest appeals includes Fisher v. City of Berkeley, in which he obtained a reversal of the Court of Appeal’s opinion invalidating the city’s residential rent control ordinance. He also argued for Betz v. Trainer Wortham & Co Inc., obtaining a reversal of the district court’s ruling that an elderly woman’s suit for securities fraud and related state claims was barred by statute of limitations.

Moskovitz said he hopes his victory rate will remain similarly high at the new firm given the wealth of experience at its disposal.

“I’ve been doing things solo for quite a while and doing very well at it, but there are a number of clients and trial lawyers who would rather have more than one person handling an appeal. So now we have a team to work on it.”

Though the firm just launched this week, Moskovitz said the reputation of the individual firm members has already brought in some business.

“These people are really useful, and a lot of their talents have not been put to best use,” he said, “so we’re very happy to get the opportunity to put them to use.”

Though the team will largely focus on appellate work, Roger Bernhardt, a retiring law professor at Golden Gate University, will soon join the firm with a real estate practice.

Bernhardt said that Moskovitz approached him with the idea of joining the firm, adding that the separate practices would provide a greater range of services.

“Myron’s present team does mostly appellate work, but it’s helpful to have someone else who specializes in other things around,” Bernhardt said. “It looked to me like a nice way of using my specialized knowledge.”

Cottle, who has worked as a neutral for ADR Services Inc. since stepping off the bench in 2001, said that he was looking forward to working in an appellate-focused firm.

“It’s a very interesting group, I’ve worked with Myron before and really enjoyed working with him,” Cottle said. “I think the firm’s really going to have a great perspective having some of the justices we have aboard.”

Source: Los Angeles Daily Journal, September 9, 2015

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