The Streams of Our Lives
These notes have two streams converging. One is a rising current of notes announcing classmates’ deaths. The other is a frothing white water of news mostly supplied by Mike Helmer in California, Brian Schanning from the high seas of Massachusetts, and President Tom Weyer from his Oak Brook residence, the ND68 Class Center in the Chicago area.
Thanks to Mike, Brian and Tom, there’s nothing to do but get out of their way. Let’s start with Mike Helmer: “Beth and I just got back from dear old New London CT where we (in the august company of reunion emcee Tom Condon and his lovely wife, Anne) celebrated our 50 year reunion of St. Bernard’s HS class. We had planned a side trip to Gloucester to see Dana Hart and Mary Ellen only to learn that they are done with Cape Ann and are now living full time in the Tucson area. You English majors might appreciate this tale. Beth has always been a very active person and road trips are a trial for her. Try to imagine a day on the road with a 110 lb hummingbird riding shotgun. So on the advice of a literary friend, we tried the classic books on disc. The road trip to Nashville and back featured “Jane Eyre” the climax to which coincided with our return trip via US 50, the”loneliest road in America.” There we were, tooling along with Beth yelling, “Damnit Jane! Don’t marry that @$$hole!” I’m guessing that’s the only time those words have ever been spoken on that road, at least in connection with Bronte’s novel. The road trip Death March also included a July clockwise circling of Lake Michigan, Beth to visit her old nursing supervisor in Lake Geneva, me to have a beer in Sault Ste. Marie. The back story on the beer: the summer job in 1965 and 1966 was respective employment as a deck hand and a coal-passer on the ore boats where I committed the deadly sin of envy every time we passed through the locks. The sight of peopIe enjoying themselves on a restaurant deck overlooking the locks turned me green with jealousy back then and I made a promise to myself that I would go back to the Soo and return the favor. I’m sleeping much better for having kept the promise.”
And Brian Schanning’s late July note: “Susan and I have just started sailing to Maine and New Brunswick, Canada. Hoping to connect with Bob Brady in Maine who will be coming back from a visit with Margaret to Nova Scotia in early August. Will be attending my 50th high school reunion (Archbishop Stepinac HS in White Plains, NY) with fellow class members Bill Holahan and John Longhi on October 10.”
President Tom Weyer wrote: “In June I attended the Mt. Carmel HS 50th re union…even though I did not go to school there. But if the cocktail party was a half hour longer I might have been elected to something. I went to support Dr. Rick McPartlin: you have to be nice to your doctor at our age. I caught up with 68 classmates Mike Terrill, Tom McCann and the rarely seen Chris Wilcox in from Connecticut. Rick was being honored for his Mt Carmel hockey history from being a founding player to team physician for many years. That combined with his recent military service – as an AARP member – garnered him Hall of Fame honors. Tom Gibbs, and sisters, were in attendance as well, to honor their Mom , the lovely and lively Mary Jane Gibbs. Mary Jane was given honorary Alumni status for her half Century plus of support to Our Lady’s Caravan.”
Unfortunately, our news also includes the deaths of Steven G. Rothmeier, John Siverd, Jorge Mas, Al Mansour and, from 69, Bill Luking. Sweet, beautiful Mary Disser McCrea, often with Bryan Dunigan at class gatherings, died at the end of May after four years of struggle. Our class blog, www.ndclass1968.com, has obituaries and remembrances of these good, highly accomplished friends. Steven G. Rothmeier held high station as a CEO but this is how Bryan Dunigan remembers him: “Steve Rothmeier aka “Sparty Spartan” because of his haircut in the mid-60’s was a great guy. May his soul rest in peace—he had little peace in Stanford Hall!! His roommate was Terry Quinn and he lived next door to Bob Ptak and Billy “The Big Cheese” Balsis. Steve was always trying to study and the Fenwick guys were usually screwing around and occasionally trying to wrestle him to the ground. I laugh when I picture Steve waving Terry Quinn like a flag as Terry tried to grab a leg. Pretty sure Joe Kernan lived down the hall, too.” Ron Kurtz remembers John Siverd as a freshman roommate and wonders how John put up with it. Ned Buchbinder, who roomed with Jorge Mas one year, recalls the lifelong friendship that Jorge and Ned’s mother developed one Thanksgiving holiday. Al Mansour was very active in his native Georgia community while heading the retail business begun by his grandfather.
Please visit the class blog, www.ndclass1968.com, for additional details and for news from or about Forrest Hainline, Monk Forness, artist Tom Fitzharris, Jim O’Rourke, Dan Harshman, Fred Ferlic and many others. Thanks. – Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt. 3-E, Chicago, IL 60626, tel. (office) 312-223-9536.
The Streams of Our Lives