Innocents Abroad and at Home–
During September, Jay Schwartz, Ed Kickham and I landed behind enemy lines – er, landed in Moscow for a ten day visit to Russia and Estonia. Russia! Ed and I were in a mood to low crawl across the tarmac but Jay, the Baltimore lobbyist used to arriving in the hinterlands with good news of pork, strode confidently toward customs. Artfully using the two words he had mastered during the flight from Dulles, Jay dropped “good-by” and “nyet” helter skelter into conversations. The image of Lenny Joyce on the 12-ruble note startled us at first but we got used to it and, of course, vendors were ready to accept them for all the varieties of nesting dolls: the Weis-Purcell-Jordan-McKenna combinations as well as the popular Weyer-Bush-Blair-Putin-Dunigan variation. We will never forget out visit to a small, unremarkable Moscow building resembling Pangborn Hall at 60/3 Krupskaya Street. There a small, dedicated group had spent years trying to compromise the work of the Manion family, frequently referred to as “the heel of the oppressor’s boot.” Our Moscow guide arranged for us to visit this ordinarily inaccessible part of Soviet history, an embarrassment to those who had set their sights on collapsing the U.S. by thwarting the Manions. Clearly, this bitter little cell felt the sting of what Chris Manion wrote in our 1968 yearbook: “We all seek an end to the war (in Vietnam.) But we will not achieve this goal by compromising.” Other materials at this former beehive of Cold War activity included details of a failed plot to interrupt the Notre Dame ROTC program. Pressured to provide a map to the ROTC building, Dennis Reeder cleverly feigned confusion about the location and put the building in Mishawaka. Another plan went awry when papers placed in a logistics text were intercepted by Myron Cramer, Tom Chema, and Clay Billingsley, who thought they were answers to a pop exam.Ed Kickham seemed familiar with a bold plan for nomination of Mark Hatfield for the U.S. presidency. We think we saw Bill Kelly’s name spelled in Cyrillic. Clearly, Chris Manion and his family were under Soviet scrutiny. That tiny room freshman year with the obnixious guy across the hall? A gift from the Krupskaya squad. The surprisingly poor grade on that history midterm? Same. The indifference of that cute St. Mary's girl from Ohio? Yep. In Estonia – and you can find the photo on our class blog in Photos of the Photogenic– we found a restaurant named Hesburgers.
Jay Schwartz, I learned during the trip, is a restless sleeper, often given to anguished cries to a former roommate, Tiger Schaeffer. “Tiger! Get out of the beer!” Jay called.
John Walsh has been sharing emails from friends of Tom Thurber, who is very ill. Keep him in your prayers. Jim Davis’ mother Mary V. Davis died in New York in August, 2006, where she had been living with Jim. “My mom financed my entire education and probably had as much to do with my being a lawyer as anyone else,” Jim wrote. “When I was very young I asked her what she thought I should do for a living. Basically, that's where it started. I didn't have much interest in the stuff of practice when we graduated, but I liked words, and I liked the fight, so the law made some sense. The hard Calabrian head I inherited from my mom played a role in the process.”
Congratulations to Congressman Dan Lungren, who will receive the Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C. Award in November, 2007.
Gary Lyman’s widow Carol Lord Lyman died August 30, 2006, grieved by the Lymans’ many friends and their children Garrett, Jeff, Carrie, and Chris.
Bryan Dunigan sent photographs taken of John O’Connor, Pete Farrell, Ken Howard, Eddie Broderick, Paul Nowak, and Denny Emmanuel and their spouses the night before the Michigan debacle. You can see them in Photos of the Photogenic. The blog comes years after Jim O’Rourke recommended it. At the site, we can post plans for get-togethers, read about one another, and see photographs of good friends. You can send material to me at email@example.com or call Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt. 3-E, Chicago, IL 60626, tel. 312-381-7391.