ND Class of 1968 Contact: Tom Figel, 312-223-9536 x 301 (office)
We Know the Feeling
The broad and worldly experience of our class came to attention again during April when reports of China’s population imbalance prompted comparison to the weekend plight of Notre Dame undergraduates in the mid-1960s. Demographers pondering the future of a China with, currently, 32 million more young males than young women, seized on the similarities to the gray weekends of Notre Dame’s freshman class in 1964-1965. Photos from the time showed rows of eager, hungry young men pressed against the windows of Cavanaugh Hall as an unidentified couple walked past in the company of a student in a Notre Dame jacket and two teen-aged daughters. Other bleak images showed chains of desperate young men circling the Rathskellar as John Pergine, Jim Chapman, Dick Blumberg, Larry Lange, Jim Davis, Forrest Hainline, and Jerry McCabe made time on the dance floor with fourteen coeds bussed to the campus from Barat. Meanwhile, at St. Mary’s, at the Huddle, and at Frankie’s, other dispirited young men openly gaped as the Waters twins Joan and Gini, Chris Gott, Babs Gibson, and Kathleen O’Laughlin gushed with admiration while their smooth upperclassmen dates smoked Cherry Blend and explained Sartre. All the desire would erupt in the spring, when a young townswoman, Lola, would spark a riot with a provocative dance. In China, the comparison to Notre Dame of 1965 comforted some 19 year olds interviewed by a New York Times reporter: “Next Sunday, the China New York Club is having a smoker with four buses from St. Xavier’s,” said a hopeful Li-Chin.
More than 40 years later, none the worse for the experience, mentally balanced and bright, a group from that class came together on April 30th for a Chicago dinner that honored Tom Gibbs as Mt. Carmel High School’s “Man of the Year.” Once again, of course, the evening was a Friday night stag event but this time, Class President Tom Weyer was among those who could talk of success with the pretty coeds bussed from St. Xavier’s and Barat.
Jim Knaus wrote from Troy, MI that he’s enjoying work as a co-owner of Global Wealth Advisors LLC. Jim has also written a book available from AuthorHouse.com, the soon-to-be published Why Are You Laughing?, a collection of anecdotes from his financial services career.
Jim Hutchinson, and then Mike Helmer, sent news as Tom Weems, “The Troll,” suffered a major heart attack in California, slipped into unconsciousness for a day, and then passed away on March 26th. The emails were a chain from Dana Hart, Mike Trombetta, Tom Condon. . . . the lifelong friends from the Breen Phillips days when “Troll” seemed always in charge of a gin game and a good set of wisecracks. On Easter Sunday, Dan Harshman and his family lost Dan’s brother Paul, who suffered a heart attack in the Toledo, OH area. Then, in late April, a schoolbus turning at Riverside and Angela in South Bend struck and killed Chuck Leone’s wife Kathleen Curtis, who was taking her morning walk. Thank you to Gene Cavanaugh and to Mike Powers for informing all of us. Please keep our classmates and their families in your prayers.
Granger, IN resident Larry “Monk” Forness entertained the Father Lange’s gym crowd when the friends assembled for the Blue-Gold game weekend and a ceremony honoring the powerful Holy Cross priest. Larry can offer firsthand knowledge of the team’s prospects for the coming season, one that will see good times at the tailgates held under the Class of 1968 flag. During the summer, expect a third annual gathering for enjoyment of Joe Kernan’s Silver Hawks baseball team. Details, as well as additional notes and photos, will be found at our blog, http://www.ndclass1968.com. Remember to send news to: Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt. 3-E, Chicago, IL 60626, tel. 312-223-9536 x 301 (office).