Gathered at the Great ’68 Flag
Richie Rogers, with grace and good sense, arranged the sale of his Rockaway Park, NY bar to buyers of his same stripe, people who would keep Rich’s staff and respect the Rogers Bar’s regular Joe customers.
The Rogers Hotel, Rockaway, NY, established 1917, serving Class of 1968 since 1964
This lack of venality, nurtured during theology classes and proven when Rich and his wife added triplet daughters to the family roster, may explain why Rich’s years with the FBI didn’t morph into a rich position with one of the East Coast venture capital firms. As for the regular Joe customers, the patronage at times included Joes who were not regular ones: Pat DeMare, Mike “Rhino” Ryan, Bob Santalocci, Dave Graves, Mike Trombetta, Pat Furey, Dave Martin, Jim Hutchinson, and the late Al Berryman and Tom Weems. Now in retirement, the triplets all employed university graduates, Rich is able to engage in a practice he began a few years ago: he comes from New York for back-to-back home games, without going home between them. His regular Joe South Bend friends now attend Class of 1968 tailgates with him.
The constancy of the tailgate, marked with the class flag, spurred a thankful note from Brian Gormley to Bryan Dunigan and classmates after Brian and Kathleen came from Oakton, VA for the USC game: “I know it’s a tremendous amount of work for you all (Brian’s a southern boy) to maintain that tradition every weekend, but for those of us who live outside the area, it’s comforting to know that locating and rekindling with classmates is as simple as finding the ‘Great ’68’ flag.”
Larry “Monk” Forness, who hosted Jim Smithberger that weekend, is pushing the retired classmate to relocate from Dade County, FL to Granger, IN.
The Chicago classmates had a pitcher to cheer in the World Series competition this season: Pat Misch, son of Tom Misch and Linda, brought seventh game victory to his Lamingo Monkeys (Taiwan) with a no-hitter. The happy Monkeys, after beating the Chinatrust Brothers 11-0, had enough oomph left for throwing the lanky Misch into the air. Pat spent the 2006-2011 seasons pitching for the Mets and the Giants.
Matt Walsh is managing logistics for friends in possession of some of the precious Boston tickets. After arriving in Boston from Chicago, maybe directly from morning Mass, the group including Class President Tom Weyer, Roger Guerin, Bob Ptak, Rick McPartlin, Gene Cavanaugh, Joe Kernan and Bryan Dunigan will make its presence known at Fenway Park. Dick Kelly will come from Portland, ME. Also in town – with hopes to be in Fenway – will be Dave Lensing and his family, coming from Memphis.
After the Georgia Tech game, Tom Weyer sent these comments: “Ralph Neas brought greetings from the Pope – Ralph met him at the White Houe. My invitation, apparently, got lost. Richie Rogers, Mike Helmer, Steve Quinn, many others from the Great 68 there – John Sheehan and John Pearson represent the clergy classmates. I attended ‘The Play’ in Pittsburgh, a one man show starring Rocky Bleier. Great, a sold out house.”
Jim O’Rourke writes from South Bend that Tom Warner and his son James visited South Bend recently to catch up on old times and share a few ideas about what’s ahead for the family. Tom, former Chairman and CEO of Del Monte International, still has homes in London, Tuscany and northern California, and is now Fire Chief at the Shaver Lake, California, volunteer Fire Department. “He’s still in the same condition he was when he occupied the #4 seat in Notre Dame’s heavyweight eight-oar shell in 1966-67-68,” O’Rourke reports. Warner’s son, James, is a Ph.D. student at NYU, studying the culture and anthropology of the Arabian Peninsula. Access to key subjects and data in Sana’a, Yemen has grown very difficult in recent months, but he remains optimistic about his research.
Tom Scully, older brother of Fr. Tim Scully, C.S.C., paid a visit to campus recently, examining a dozen new buildings under construction, along with eight miles of new sidewalk and an estimated 1,000 fewer parking spaces. “My task,” he said to Jim O’Rourke, “is to remain relevant while encouraging my wife to continue working.” Tom was Chief Marketing Officer at Axsys International, a renal dialysis firm in Chicago, but is now “fully, completely, and entirely retired,” as he puts it. “Running errands, of course, is the task of the newly retired.”
Chuck Perrin‘s new album The Yearn – liner notes written by Brian McMahon perhaps? almost every day another barrier gets stripped away fresh pathways open beckoning promising we chase them following wide-eyed hopelessly lonely yearning for connection . . . . . . It’s an asshole world Larry Mitchell guitar/bass/drums/sound design, Dave Curtis bass, Richard Sellers drums Blood Larry Mitchell guitar/sound design, Yvette Graham Williams gospel vocals, Misha Piatigorsky…
Chuck Perrin, running his club Dizzy’s Jazz in San Diego, has a new CD, available at ChuckPerrin.com. Dennis Lopez, also on the West Coast now, in Oregon, has written a book. Rich Pivnicka wants Tom McCloskey to repeat the tuxedoed party Tom threw our senior year, an event marred (or, in the sense of entertainment, improved) by Fred Schwartz‘s assassination of Chris Murphy.
Bob Brady has had great jolts of loss: his wife Margaret in late August and now Bob’s mother Dorothy Elizabeth Lindsay Brady at age 102 on October 29, 2015. See the following articles (posts) for Mrs. Brady’s remarkable history, plus information about others we’ve lost – Margaret Fox Brady, William Sullivan, Mike Philbin, Peter Noonan, Tim Fangman.
In case Mike Burgener and some others of us need time to get in shape, this is an alert: we are now two years from our 50th reunion. Eddie Kurtz was not able to heed his instruction, but it’s a good one: “No croakin’.” In support, the class of 1955, invites us to make use of that class’s medical information site, “Heading Home”, http://www.nd55.org/s/1210/clubs-interior.aspx?sid=1210&gid=226&pgid=16666.
Photos to share? News? Information about people we remember but don’t track so well? Pat Hermann, once the University of Alabama English professor? George Kelly? Dick Blumberg? Send them in from the cold. Please post to the class blog and send news to: Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt. 3-E, Chicago, IL 60626, tel. 312-223-9536, email@example.com.