On the Road
On occasion, word comes that some members of our class notice an excess of attention to the Chicago area and insufficient attention to the parts of the country where the Chicago crowd plays golf, changes planes, and attends away games. With so many ambassadors currently on the road, this seems an opportune time to balance the scales. Our President Tom Weyer and Mary, for example, spent a weekend in New Orleans at the end of January. As they livened up Bourbon Street each evening, the Weyers took note of the economic stimulus the city experiences once crowds of Texans are overserved. Bob Ptak and Roger Guerin, two other presidential advisors, made similar studies from vantage points overlooking the Gulf Coast of southwest Florida. There they marveled at the events of the local real estate market, which has seen a decline since the heady days when two Edina, MN investors, Jeff Keyes and Meg, led an investment pool in the purchase of a Naples condo well-located near an early bird dining establishment. Chris Murphy and Carmie marked their 40th wedding anniversary with a January stay in Key West. In Truro on outer Cape Cod, Jim Bisceglia joined a September reunion with Charlie Gareau, Gary DiMasi, and Bryan Fitz, the 215 So. Taylor foursome. “Also attending,” said Jim, “were de facto co-tenant Bob Santaloci and spiritual mentor Paul Joubert (‘66). Highlights included lunch on the beach with 200 seals sunning themselves nearby on a sandbar, watching Michigan State drub ND on Charlie’s large HD flatscreen; and general bonhomie. Gary won the long distance (Omaha) attendance prize.” Since that trip, Jim Bisceglia, his wife Nancy, Charlie Gareau and his wife Christine returned to the road, this time for a trip to the Turks and Caicos. While they were away, Jim learned of the death of his uncle Pasquale (Patsy) Bisceglia: Patsy was a first time AP All American on the 1955 ND team and a teammate of Paul Hornung. Patsy played a few years for the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL. John Schmelzer phoned from Fall Church City, VA and said that Jim Biggs has retired (again, says John) in New Mexico. John has also been talking with Coley O’Brien, who lives nearby and is a member of Congressman Dan Lungren’s staff. Tom Durkin has been visiting Guantanamo on behalf of some clients.
Circling back toward the homeboys, we find Larry Forness recovering at his Granger, IN home from late December surgery and the excitement of each week’s football game postmortem. Larry is in steady email communication with Mike Burgener, Jan Debenedetto, Leo Collins, Paul Gill, Russ Bellamy, Kent Durso, Mike Murphy, and Tom Condon regarding a reunion of Father Lange’s Boys, or the Lead Heads, during the weekend of the Blue-Gold game.
A whisper at the Bryan Dunigan Christmas party in Oak Park, IL was the worry about the failing health of Dennie Toolan’s wife Gerri. Not many days later came the news that Gerri’s cancer had proven fatal. She died in early January, mourned by her four children and friends who assembled from all directions. At the annual Chicago classmates get-together Rick McPartlin organizes for the financial well-being of some Division Street pubs, Dennie told us on January 30th about the events and decisions he and his family confronted as Gerri’s health declined. Please remember the family in your prayers.
We take you now to Chicago where, alerted by San Diego resident John Burke (‘69), we await the May 1st Mt Carmel High School dinner when Tom Gibbs will be honored as the school’s Man of the Year. Also being honored, John said, “areCraig Robinson, Michele Obama's brother, and Dean Reynolds of CBS News. The big award goes to Gibbs!!!”
See? The energy and friendship of our class is already surmounting the difficulties of late 2008. May 2009 be a great year for all of us.
Please remember to check the photos and other notes on the class blog at http://www.ndclass1968.com. Send notes to Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt. 3-E, Chicago, IL 60626, firstname.lastname@example.org.