Put us in, Coach.
In a rehearsal for the 45th reunion of our class during the first weekend of June, 2013, a group of us met in Canada recently for practice with our recall of each sacred event and connection of our student years. Dennis Reeder and his wife Elise (Stephens SMC 69) hosted their D.C. area neighbor Carol Ann Dyer (SMC 69), my wife Nancy (Carlin SMC ’69) and me along with our three granddaughters at a grand Ottawa River cabin Dennis’ maternal grandfather and his Canadian buddies built on a small, riverfront farm during the 1950s. A summer gathering place for the Reeder family during Dennis’ childhood, this lovely spot facing Quebec from Ontario two hours west of Ottawa is now a part of our own Notre Dame histories. Carol Ann made her visit enroute to see relatives in northern Michigan. The Reeders made room for us among their own children and grandchildren as well as in Elise’s schedule of daily cross-river swims. For Nancy and me, the days along the Ottawa were a respite from the Midwest sweat lodge where so many classmates led by Class President Tom Weyer are leaning down for the energetic evenings of gatoring and whatever will come along on the reunion weekend. After the Ottawa, the Reeders, Nancy and I headed to Montreal, where we met with Jim Davis and his Charleston, SC friend Bonnie. While in Montreal, we impressed the Quebecois with our fluent English and easy management of currency transactions pegged at 1:1. On the evening of his arrival, Jim was about to enter a store for purchase of bottled water when he paused and asked “Will they take American money?” A passerby, perhaps a vacationing member of the Development Office, answered, “I’ll take American money.” The Quebecois are fully bilingual, and virtually all are on Bryan Dunigan’s email list, so we were very much at home as we poked around the city and shared our dossiers on all the people, mischief, hopes and divinities of our South Bend years. Put us in, Coach. We are ready for the reunion.
Of course, many others are rehearsing reunion skills, too. Bryan Dunigan’s annual golf outing on August 9th gave Chicago and South Bend classmates an occasion for more than one kind of sport. The emails were a good warm-up for the jokes and banter that make for good retelling at a following year’s get-together.
Early in May, Eddie Hagar hosted a similar weekend in Palm Springs, CA for golfers Paul Dunn, Ken Collins, Tom Roche, Bill Sweetman, and Dave Boehnen. Says Paul in his report, “We told the same old ND stories, and shared fond memories about how smart and good looking we were back then.”
David R. Lee has retired from his Albuquerque, NM law practice and turned the firm over to other ND talent: David’s son Chris Lee ’96 and Mike Ross ND Law ’96. David mentioned other interests as well as law: he has published a legal thriller on Amazon titled “The Bail Bondsman”. Also, his grandchildren Fletcher, 4, and Penny, 2, “can sing the ND Fight Song and have the full ND wardrobe for game days.”
Bob Dunphy kept his own black belt schedule over a weekend in June. First, he directed a UFC Heavyweight Championship fight in San Jose for Showtime before catching a red eye flight to his daughter’s Notre Dame graduation. Bob enjoyed hearing the grads serenade 96 year-old Father Ted Hesburgh with “Happy birthday.”
John Walsh happily caught mention of Congressman Dan Lungren in a news story about the simplistic level of Congressional orations; our classmate was the exception with his erudition. Ralph Neas turned up in more than one story about pharmaceutical patents; Ralph heads a D.C. organization representing the makers of generic medications. In Milwaukee, John Byrnes is a business leader recently prominent for a regional organization’s $1 million investment in petabytes of computing capacity important for medical research and other technological innovation. John is executive managing director of Mason Wells Inc.
Tom McCloskey is working on the establishment of June 21st as National Music Day. Tom and his wife Bonnie live in Aspen, CO and have another home near their grandchildren in San Francisco.
Paul Arthur Romanski, a good Navy ROTC friend of Brian Schanning, died on May 5, 2012 in Newport, R.I. Born in Chicago, Paul retired from the U.S. Navy in 1998 as a Captain. Please remember Paul, his wife Karen and their children in your prayers.
Please note that our class blog has settled at the address www.ndclass1968.com. There you will find announcements, emails and plenty of photos, including a recent one sent by John Williams. He was attending an annual lunch with Dan Jordan, John Kukankos, and John McGrath
Send news to: Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt. 3-E, Chicago, IL 60626, tel. 312-881-7391.