Contact: Tom Figel, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 312-223-9536 x 301
Great Reunion, Great Friends
Another reunion, our 40th, is in the tank and some of us with it. What a time, despite the no-shows Tom McCloskey, Bill Clark, A.J. Berryman, the Mike Ryans and the rest of you who may have thought you were not toned enough, not hirsute enough, not quick-witted enough for mingling with the rest of us. Not up to visiting with newly appointed Federal Magistrate Jeff Keyes and Meg? Not interested in the lively life of Virginian Jim Schaefer or the banter of the Rich Rogers-Cornelius Rogers crowd? Out of step with Tom Cuggino, Larry Forness, Brien Murphy and Maggie? Still awkward and tongue-tied in the presence of Elise Stephens Reeder, Susan Schanning, Maureen Walsh McAtee and the other beauties in the Class of 1968 posse? Unable to catch up with Californians George Thompson and Erma as they re-united with Dick Jurjevic, Cliff Tomaszewski and George Stevens? Were you right? Check the blog for some photos and notes, http://www.ndclass1968.com.
President Tom Weyer, now in his silver jubilee year of office, described our friendship well when he spoke at the class dinner on Friday night: “A friend will help you move your things,” Tom said. “But a member of the class of 1968 will help you move a body.” We also heard reminiscences from Mike Minton about our senior year and his term as class president. Later that evening, Tom Gibbs took innocent interest in some beer tent neighbors and, finding them at a loss for Saturday night plans, invited the eight women as guests for our own party at Coveleski Stadium, home of the SilverHawks baseball team. So it happened that the eight young women from the class of 2003 became part of the party arranged by SilverHawks owner Joe Kernan. Some of us counted more than eight as, for example, one or two of us took mad dancer Kathy Kerry Moore, Tom’s wife, for a recent graduate. Tom Weyer cautioned the guests that “The captions underneath all these photos being taken tonight may not be what you think. Some of these guys are going to make these photos their screensavers.” Fortified with good Coveleski Stadium buffet fare and some drinks, we filled the dance floor and tried to be as active as Fred Ferlic. Fred arranged the DJ and then took over the microphone. No one so far has sent photos for the blog but onlookers and participants can attest to the impressive gator piles that often found Tom Weyer and Tom Condon at the bottom, Gene Cavanaugh in the middle tier, and Tom Gibbs and Matt Walsh at the crown. Outside, as Tom McKenna from Carmel, IN rested on a low wall in the late night air, a departing Pete Toomey remarked to a companion, “I see South Bend has a homeless problem, too.”
While Pasquerilla East Hall didn’t win many stars from us, the hall was a good starting point for our walks into the construction site that covered nearly the entire campus. Within the hall, the distance from some rooms to the restrooms ensured a bit of exercise at night. We also found our way to the chapel where Father John Pearson, C.S.C., our classmate, said Mass with the assistance of Father John Sheehan, S.J., our classmate now stationed in New York City. In a sermon that included some history of Notre Dame’s founding, Father Pearson gave credit to some emergency guidance Fathers Sorin and Badin received from the experienced St. Louis Jesuits. Throughout the reunion, we remembered our deceased classmates, prayed for them, told stories, and felt their presence.
Since the reunion, we have learned that the University has opened up negotiation of our future get-togethers. Chances are good that a magnificent appearance fee will replace the recent pricing structure, something cobbled together from material Mike Minton used in a case about the economic worth of a homemaker. Moreover, certain officials are openly seeking invitations to the Saturday night romp we always organize as an alternative to the formal reunion dinner. At least one wants information about Tom Gibbs’ party costumer.
The University has sent a list of the reunion attendees – a couple of hundred of us plus our notable beauties. If you don’t find it soon on the blog, you will be able to receive it from me upon request.
A few weeks before our reunion, a marriage increased the bond of a couple of our classmates. Tom Raaf ’05 and Annelise Sucato ’05 married at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on May 2nd, a happy occasion for the bride and groom as well as their parents, Bob Raaf and Barbara, and Paul Sucato and Katie. Bob wrote that “Paul and I were fellow NROTC graduates and Mark Lies and Mary Beth and John Mulligan and Mary were in attendance. Mark and John were also '68 NROTC grads.”
While the Raafs were giving their vows in the Basilica, John Walsh and Dia were watching their son Kieran marry Mariane Heidel in New Orleans. There haven’t been so many classmates in a church since freshman orientation. The weather was ideal, the idea of a hurricane in such a paradise seemed ludicrous, the preamble to the wedding day had been one series of feasts and parties, and the folks were in their finery. Eddie Kurtz and John Fleming were there from New Orleans, Don Hynes and Linda from Portland, OR, Tim Sweringen from his new Atlanta home, Arch McCarthy from Maryland, Geof Thornton and Christine from LaPorte, IN; and many from Chicago: Tom Moore and Kathy, Kevin Daly and Helena, as well as Tom Figel and Nancy. Nancy’s New Orleans cousins marveled that we were included in a wedding celebration so high on the New Orleans celebrity register. So were the cousins: Tom Moore and Kathy, who had rented a house for themselves, their three children and friends, hosted a brunch there one day. By the time of the wedding, the Walshes were almost native after a couple of weeks that started with attendance at JazzFest.
Ralph Neas, whose walls are collapsing with honors, picked up another one during the spring, John McCoy reported in a note. Since leaving the presidency of the People for the American Way a year ago, Ralph has formed The Neas Group, a consulting firm focused on health care policy. Ralph enjoyed showing the campus to his wife and daughter during the reunion.
George Thompson and Elsa got the wish George expressed in a June letter following the reunion, his first. A resident of San Diego, where he has a tax accounting practice, George pleaded: “And as all ND San Diegans are saying; please, pleeeeeeeeease beat the Aztecs on September 6!” (Mission accomplished). George’s letter is a thoughtful one that should give other absent classmates good instruction about attending the one coming in five years. “My wife, Elsa, and I really enjoyed the reunion. The three days went by really fast. I was a little confused though; it looked like that much of our class was AWOL for the All-Class banquet. I know there was an ‘alternative’ dinner, but I was thinking that like we had done at the 15th and 25th–most of us would go to the all-class banquet and get together afterwards for our own party. We made some new friends, and I saw three former fellow-residents of 2nd floor Keenan (Freshman year) that I had not seen since well before graduation. It was great visiting with Dick Jurjevic, Cliff Tomaszewski and George Stevens. Ralph Neas was also a member of that Keenan wing, and it was good seeing him, too. He looked happier since the Red Sox had won two world series since our last reunion. I would like to hear what other former 2nd floor Keenanites are doing. I would also like to hear from or about my former roommates, Tim Packey (also from Keenan 2), and Russ Myers. The three of us lived off-campus together senior year after I spent one year with each of them in Dillon Hall. Other than Paul Eide, Ken Lefoldt, and Bob Raaf, I believe the Accounting
department was absent. Are the rest of my fellow accountants (there were
over 100 of us!) still working so hard that they can't come to a reunion? In your last class notes, you said you would like to see '..a few other shrinking violets.’ I am certainly one of those, since I have never submitted any information to a class secretary in 40 years. After graduation I returned to my native Southern California and went to work for Peat Marwick (now KPMG) in Orange County and settled there, with a very
brief interlude in the Army reserves. In the early 70's I tried working as a controller for several companies without much success. I went back into public accounting to stay, with small CPA firms, and then moved to the San Bernardino area in the late 70's. I met my wife, Elsa, in 1990 and we decided to relocate to the San Diego area in 1994. In 2001, I established my own CPA practice in our San Diego home, concentrating in income taxes, but I do not want it to grow very much, because Elsa and I like to travel. Our son David, now 35, still lives in Orange County. Our daughter Cathy lives with our only grandchild in the Lake Tahoe area. One favor I would like to ask. Do you have a list of our deceased classmates, or is there somewhere on the Alumni Assoc website where I can get that info? (Yes, see the folder on the blog, Classmates Who Have Moved On.)” – George Thompson, '68 email@example.com
Health news during the summer was good. Pat Collins underwent surgery in April and spent a month recovering. He didn’t elaborate during his June phone call but did sound full of his old zip. Bill Giles said that Bob Anson underwent treatment – successfully – for a heart condition during the spring. The former Observer editors, Collins and Anson, seem to do things in synch. Geof Thornton spent months waiting and, when a kidney became available in mid-summer, the transplant not only revived Geof’s energy but cured his diabetes. Bring on the next reunion: Geof is ready.
For the second time, our summer included attendance at a South Bend SilverHawks game with classmates from the Chicago and South Bend area. Joining us that late July night were retired Professors Ed Goerner and Don Sniegowski. While the SilverHawks were overpowering a team visiting from Wisconsin, the competition in our area of the stands had to do with hospitality. No one went dry. Fred Ferlic simply bought most of the Coveleski Stadium supply of beer and soft drinks. An attendant brought the cups to the seating area where we were gathered: Tom Gibbs, Bryan Dunigan fresh from play in a golf tournament, Jim O’Rourke, Brian Regan and Kathy Beeler, John Walsh, Tom McKenna (of Carmel, IN), Tom Cuggino, and SilverHawks owner Joe Kernan.
During the summer, Joe Kernan mourned the death of Joe’s father in Maryland on June 30, 2008. Joe’s father died surrounded by his children. Please keep Joe and his father in your prayers.
Celebrating his law firm’s victory in a case against Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, John O’Connor volunteered some carefully chosen words. Check this clip from the Dallas Morning News: “The legal battle between Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and former coach Don Nelson is finally over.
“Nelson, now the Golden State Warriors' coach, won about $6.3 million Thursday in his arbitration case against Cuban in a ruling by retired judge Glen M. Ashworth.
“John O'Connor, Nelson's attorney, said Nelson was very happy about the outcome. O'Connor said the verdict cannot be appealed.
“It was not so much a defeat of Cuban as it was an ass-whipping,” O'Connor said. “Cuban's lawyers did a good job of painting lips on a pig.”
Janie Alderete, a Californian who attended the Coveleski Stadium party Saturday night with other friends in the class of 2003, sent a note to all of us: “I just wanted to send you all a quick thank you again SO very much for your hospitality, welcoming us '03ers into your celebration! I can only hope that our class stays as close as you all have through the years… Great to meet you and I'm sure we will run into one another at some football games this fall!” (And that’s exactly what came to pass: see the “Photos of the Photogenic” section for some items from the group’s September 13th attendance at the class tailgate party.)
Thanks for the help, everyone. Please forward notes and photos whenever you wish. The blog has plenty of room – Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt. 3-E, Chicago, IL 60626, tel. 312-223-9536 ext. 301 (office), firstname.lastname@example.org.