Don’t know if it made the class notes or the blog, or if we were even able to get you info, but I had open heart surgery on May 31 to replace my aortic valve (good news was my arteries were clean, so no bypasses needed), then got a pacemaker on June 7, and had a pericardial window to get rid of some fluid on June 13 (nicely spaced, don’t you think – kept me in the hospital for over two weeks. It will, I am sure, come as a surprise to many that there was a heart in there to repair, but then they will probably be happy to point out it was defective. So I am now semi-bionic. Things are going quite well in the recovery. Still not allowed to lift anything over 5 pounds or so, but otherwise I am pretty much doing my normal stuff, and back to walking a mile or more a day.
We are planning, tentatively, to make the reunion next year.
Hope all is well with you and Nancy. How do you like apartment life/ Did we tell you that we have moved to an apartment in Arlington, overlooking the Capitol? Have to keep the bastards under constant surveillance. Anyway, we love it, and are happily planning trips(Ireland in October) with the knowledge we can just lock up and not worry about things.
Class President Tom Weyer has been limbering up his arm in preparation for a debut at a South Bend Silver Hawks baseball game on August 3rd, where Tom will throw out the first ball. Then he will return to the box seats where a couple dozen classmates from Chicago and South Bend are convening. Jim O’Rourke and Gene Cavanaugh will be there from South Bend. Roger Guerin, Bryan Dunigan, Tom Cuggino and Dave Katz will be present, after a round of classmate golf. Tom Weyer’s training has included the tossing of a dozen balls in the Cumberland River during a conference stop in Knoxville. Unable to hang around and join friends there for golf, Tom said that the throw at the river’s edge pretty much accomplished everything he would have done with his clubs.
We will make sure a photo of the Silver Hawks pitch goes on the class blog under the Photos of the Photogenic heading. (Editor's Note Aug. 5, 2007: There will be no photo of Tom Weyer throwing a pitch. Things didn't go exactly as predicted: Tom Weyer, as well as Denny Toolan, found the Indiana Tollroad a slow passage Friday afternoon and so Tom arrived too late for the throwing of the first pitch but in plenty of time for throwing wisecracks. The disappointment led to some seditious grumbling and even some outraged cries before the crowd settled down to watch the Silver Hawks put away the Burlington, IA team: 'He's unreliable,' shouted one. 'If we had had Mick Hyland for the pitch, he would have been here Wednesday,' said another. During the course of preparation, Tom Condon advised that Tom Weyer shake off the first sign. Also, Roger Guerin, who had forgotten the preparations required for his daughter's August 4th engagement party, stayed home to help his family. He neither golfed nor came to the baseball game. In other respects, things turned out as predicted: Chris Murphy put the squeeze on someone who had reserved the 1st Source Bank skybox and that created room for ten or a dozen in addition to the 20 or so of us in a nearby section. Looking down on all this in lordly glory was Fred Ferlic, who happened to be hosting an open-bar get-together for 140 employees of his medical practice. Unaware that he was seated near a Barat graduate attending the game – Bryan Dunigan's friend Mary – Pat Barth reminisced about dating Barat students before he shipped to Vietnam from Ft. Sheridan in the Chicago area. He quickly acted on counsel given him by Dave Kabat and forgot all names and details. Later in the game, Joe Kernan came in for some harsh treatment when the wave began; it seemed to us that it began in the vicinity of what was being called the Murphy Skybox and then spread through the crowd of 5,000. We had great weather, access to Fred's open bar, The San Diego Chicken added to the Silver Hawks victory, and Friday nights are Fireworks nights after the game. We left as hundreds of Girl Scouts were getting ready to camp overnight in the outfield. Joe Kernan told us that the Notre Dame baseball team will play the Silver Hawks on April 2, 2008. This is the same month that Tom Weyer has suggested for a pre-reunion golf outing in South Bend or Michigan City. The Silver Hawks outing was so much fun that we may have discovered a way of extending our tailgating season into summer months. Dia Walsh took photos that will soon appear on this blog – after some retouching – in 'Photos of the Photogenic.' ) Please send your own photos and post your own notes, including ticket requests and arrangements for meetings at games. The site can be useful, too, as we plan our get-togethers at our reunion the first weekend of June, 2008. If you have suggestions about ways to monetize the many searches centered on Charlie Schmitt, please pass those ideas along, too.
In case the fellows who began their friendships as high school students, and in some cases, as grade school classmates, don’t get enough chances for social contact, Bryan Dunigan always schedules a summer golf outing. This year’s had the pent-up demand occasioned by the previous summer’s thundershowers. Six foursomes, and almost that many golfers, showed up at the Butterfield course in Oak Brook, IL. Chris Murphy, who had such a mild heart attack in July – but still a heart attack – that he never spent a night in the hospital, drove a van of South Bend athletes: Rich Allen, Gene Cavanaugh, Brian Lake, Dan Harshman, Joe Kernan, and Steve Anderson were with him. Terry Quinn’s summer golf stats picked up an outlier score when Tom Weyer filled in for play with Bob Ptak, John Walsh and Dave Kabat. Brian McManus was in a following group. Mick Hyland, John Burke and Denny Toulan caught up at Rick McPartlin’s Oak Brook home, where the day ended.
Jim Hutchinson sent a May 28th column written in salute of the military service of Rocky Bleier, who received the National Football Foundation’s “Distinguished American” award during the month. See the note and a photo at the blog.
Brian McTigue wrote to ask about the whereabouts of Mike Lonergan. The question remains unanswered but the contact did reveal that over the years, Brian has gone from investigative reporting and television news production for ABC and NBC in San Francisco into law. While serving as counsel to United States Senate and House committees, Brian became familiar with abuses of over-funded pension plans and now practices with McTigue & Porter LLP, a D.C. firm that draws on the experience. Of course, for Tom Fitzharris of Court TV, the chance to visit with Brian means yet another business reason for attending next year’s reunion.
President Bush’s nomination of Mike Baroody for Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission engendered so much political strife that consideration of Mike’s own qualities never began. Mike’s May 23rd letter withdrawing his nomination appears on the blog.
Pat Misch, son of our classmate Tom, is now pitching for the San Francisco Giants. John Walsh saw Pat handle the Cubs hitters until Pat was lifted for a pinch hitter.
Please keep Steve Sackley and his mother in your prayers. Mrs. Sackley died on July 14th.
This column, so sprinkled with Chicago area names, gives heft to the complaint Bob Nenoff voiced in his note: “This is the second time you have mentioned people from Iowa (ND Mag) and not mentioned anything about Dr. Dennis Emanuel from Ottumwa. Doesn’t he count? I have noticed over the years, that unless you are part of the ‘Chicago’ crowd, you seem to be left out of the news and ignored.”
Fortunately, lots of help in this regard came from Bob Smith, wRobert.email@example.com), who is keeping track of a great number of classmates from his Greenville, SC home. His letter is a great one: “Just trying out the new Irish on-line and I found you so I guess I will say hello. I hope we have a great turnout to the reunion next June as our ranks will only get shorter.
“I ran into Arnie and Ginger Vance (Florida), Dick Crouch (also Florida formerly Pittsburgh), Dan Hollingsworth (still an Okie), and Dick Murley (New Orleans area) at the Sugar Bowl. Dick got his BS and MS at ND in civil engineering and Dick's specialty is now the dams and levies in the New Orleans basin. Needless to say he has a lot of work to do and he did not contribute to the problem but is contributing to the solution. I also see Brian Peters, another civil engineer graduate, and the better of the two catchers on our baseball team (Joe Kernan being the other one). Brian has also had an interesting career in dealing with our country's major disasters. He was the person the city of New York brought in on Sept 14, 2001 to oversee the complete clean-up of ground zero, and, should you see him, he can tell many a story in the grand old Peter's style. Brian lives in Grovers Mill, NJ, the location used for the most famous fictional disaster, Oscar Wilde's War of the Worlds. Maybe Brian could give his friend Dick a hand down in New Orleans. I see Dennis Doherty and Chuck Belding around town here in Greenville, SC and Chuck is enjoying life as a kept man (must be nice being supported in early retirement in a life style that suits Chuck). He loves to spend his idle time racing his car and dining in eloquence (usually his own preparation). I also saw Brian Kenny at his home in Ellington, CT where I stayed a night. He is doing well milking the state system as an environmental state union employee and developing side businesses in New Hampshire property rentals (his homes) and electronic demographic surveys for banks relative to minority lending requirements (speaking of nice niches). He will soon retire from his semi-retirement. He and his wife, Pat, went to an incredible wedding as honored guests in Viet Nam this past year and toured the shrines in Portugal. I had dinner with Len Niessen of lacrosse fame. Len authored a book on ND lacrosse which was quite an undertaking. He and Bob Morin have copies. Len and his wife, Pat, are in their same home since graduation from ND in Framingham, MA where he works for basically the same company now under Sun Microsystems management. Len has the most incredible baseball card collection you have ever seen and has all the cards the rest of us threw away or lost from our childhood. I stay in touch with Bruce Morrow in the boondocks of Western Kentucky where he is retired Army and runs his own little side business, Ardvark Enterprises which can be just about anything at any given time, kind of like the Jon Hall band (my Cavanaugh next door neighbor) – remember Lola. He lives on Landing Strip Road, and, in Greenville, the Landing Strip is an appropriately named club just off the runway at the downtown airport. Brian Muskus (COL-retired Air Force), my freshman roommate, is returning from a hiatus in Japan for a few years with a wife and two kindergarten age children, back to Sydney, Ohio, just a small adjustment for his family. Dick DiLorenzo, my sophomore roommate, is still in Dayton as a prof at the Institute on Wright Patterson Air Base where he makes everything intuitively obvious to his students. His mom, Mary T. Dilorenzo just died and is in my daily prayers. I have started new phases of my life. I was ordained in May as a permanent deacon for the diocese of Charleston and look forward to assisting at our class Mass. I also was able to start my reserve Army retirement (at 60) and thank y'all for helping me out with your taxes. Maybe I will retire soon from my employer of 33+ years here in Greenville. I saw everyone else the rest of you saw at the 1968 tailgate area during two of our home games.
“Hope all is well with you and the Chicago gang. (Then Bob added:)
“As I left work I remembered that I also had dinner with Ron and Sharon Scotti in Greenville. They were here to attend their daughter's graduation from Clemson with a PhD in the sciences. Ron got his PhD after the Army (Ron, Brian Peters and I all went to OCS together after we were drafted just after graduation from ND and were in the same unit and kind of bunkmates) from Arizona in optical physics and is now in semi-retirement after working years for Lucent. They are building their dream retirement home on the North Carolina shore and Ron is coordinating a professional association for geniuses in optics (lasers and all that communications stuff). Ron looks like he did in college which is more than I can say for some of us. I have also communicated with Bill Follette (as opposed to Tom Follet), who resides in his homestate of Arizona. He is still a Goldwater Republican and is constantly sending humorous and unusual pictures or writings to a list of us that is quite enjoyable. Bill is retired Air Force (he was ROTC at ND) and is still with his SMC chick, Barbara, where he now dabbles in Scottsdale politics as assistant city manager (Joe Kernan does not have to worry – Bill is not a threat to bring the Republicans back to a majority).”
I will soon post additional news, including a note from Chuck Perrin, who sent a CD and a DVD of some performances at his San Diego club Dizzy’s. Help me solve Bob’s complaint by posting your material here or by sending news to: Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt. 3-E, Chicago, IL 60626, tel. 312-223-9636 x 301, firstname.lastname@example.org.