The Next Thrilling Episode
In the same way the old Tom Mix adventures used to end an episode with Tom in peril, maybe dangling from the face of a cliff, Pat DeMare had himself in frightening peril at the time of the previous class notes. Since then, in true celluloid hero mode, albeit with a Jersey accent, Pat has rebounded from the worst of the strange bacterial infection that made him unable to walk, put him on dialysis and wracked him with pain. (See following post, a note of thanks from Pat.) This was life-threatening, not the everyday after-effect of sharing a bottle in a South Bend alley with Bob Santaloci or Pat Furey. According to Rich Rogers, who spent hours at the Grotto while on campus and checked with Pat DeMare at home during the summer and fall, Pat was improving at a rate that would allow him to resume his physician work in November while continuing rehab. While all this was going on, Rich may have taken his prayerful mind off the needs of the football team from time to time. Rich did look in on that situation, for sure, with one of his annual weekend-through-weekend South Bend visits. At the ends, he overlapped with Jay Schwartz and then with Tom Condon.
Seen from another vantage point – Bryan Dunigan’s – Tom gathered an audience with funny stories about Class President Tom Weyer; the two Toms had been roommates in Dillon Hall during senior year.
Joe Hale included a compliment about Bryan Dunigan along with a reminiscence: “Bryan Dunigan was always so funny. When we as seniors were doing a good bit of celebrating at the Dunes, a bunch of us congregated at a bar near our Dunes playground. The elderly proprietor got a bit perturbed at the loud noises from our group. When we quieted down, Dunigan made the remark, ‘Don runs a speak-easy.’ The old gentleman was the only person in the bar who didn’t think that was funny.”
Brian used that wit with the grandson of Dan Lungren, attending the Stanford game: “I told Jack his Grandfather used to be the quarterback for Stanford when he was at Notre Dame, so Jack asked Grandpa Dan who replied—‘Yes…Stanford Hall.’ Dan now lives in Virginia—no longer a Californian. We were honored to spend some time over the weekend with former Badin Hall track stars– Shane and Pete Farrell (now retired as Princeton’s only women’s track coach), Sandy and Ken Howard, Katie and Bob Timm, and Ron Kurtz and Patty. Shannon Philbin and family visited our tailgate for the Stanford game as well. They were up from Louisville. Tom Gibbs, Tom Weyer, Gene Cavanaugh, Mike Ryan, Roger Guerin, Fred Ferlic and I have continued in our Great ’68 tailgate party for our friends and classmates the entire year despite the ridiculous requirements that we be parked in our spots at 9:00 am (8:00 am Chicago time) even for the two night games—thus requiring a 10.5 hour tailgating experience exacerbated by two losing efforts and a return home in the 1-2 am hour.”
Memphis residents Steve Sullivan and Kathleen go where the classmates and the fun are: “Last year, we met Wayne Micek and Jackie in Michigan after Steve’s niece, Anne Sullivan Pifer ND’2001, was married in South Bend. Ted Nebel visited us on his way to the soggy NC game. We visited with several SMC and ND classmates in Naples, Fl last winter; Mary Donohue ’68 and Tom Brueggen ’68, Penny Wingeir ’68, and Maurice Sullivan ND ’67. “ Steve and Kathleen plan to have another Micek visit, and maybe a Joe Hale visit, during the San Antonio game against Army.
Joe Hale weighed in on another period of class get-togethers – military service – an exchange prompted by John Schmelzer’s memory of training at Ft. Riley, KS with Joe and with Dennis Reeder during ND Army ROTC times. “The Army obviously lost a good man when (John’s service ended),” Joe said. “I remember seeing him reassemble an M-1 rifle while having his eyes shut.” As for Joe, “I stayed in the Army Reserve until retirement in 1996. I had almost all of my two years of active duty in then West Germany so I was fortunate. I took a European Separation so I could drive around the Continent while footloose; I traveled around Europe from January through March, 1971. While traveling I saw Ray Munchmeyer in Germany as he was also in a Hawk (replaced now by Patriot) Missile battalion. He had completed a MBA from Northwestern prior to going on active duty. I’ve seen Ray at the class reunions, of course. While traveling, I also saw Mike Moore (now retired from Cessna and the FBI) of our class as he was in the USAF at Bitburg, Germany. Mike was across the hall from me in Keenan, and, of course, was one of the first guys in our dorm that I met.“
Before all that European touring, Joe roomed for three years with Tom Culcasi, now retired and living in Lemont, IL near Chicago. Tom wrote: “Mike Moore and his lovely bride, Anne, were in Chicago this August for a family wedding and were able to extend their stay for two days. They stayed at the Culcasi B & B here in Lemont. My wife Judy (Donofrio) SMC class of 68 and Anne took up just like the last time we were all together in Ohio 48 years ago. What great friends. Now we are going to try and plan annual get-togethers. Mike and Tom Curtin and I are having great fun texting during the ND games. (Yes, we old farts can text). So far we have called perfect games, but the message just hasn’t gotten to the sidelines. Moore paces and stands the whole game, forcing Anne to buy new carpet each year. Curtin and I have been more on the negative side trying to see how far Mike will go. Sadly this has been more fun than the last few games. Would like to get together with some of the classmates from the Chicago area as I live just down the road in Lemont and have a son Dave, Class of 98, who lives in the city, so we get there regularly as well.”
If your Christmas packages arrive off schedule, it may be because Steve Sullivan, at center, retired from flying the Fed Ex goods some years ago and now has time to goof around with Joe Hale, left, and Dave Zell, right, at events such as the game in San Antonio.
In Naples, FL, Bob Brady and Jeff Keyes and Meg have set it up so that they don’t have to travel far to see one another: they just walk down the block, at least during the winter months, now that Bob has purchased a home nearby. If this is a Stanford Hall migration, they’ll have to save a golf cart parking spot for former rector, Father Robert Austgen, C.S.C.
A visit to the present Observer newspaper office during Jay Schwartz’s time on campus revealed a roomful of Sunday afternoon activity and produced word of the paper’s plans for a reunion celebrating 50 years in April, 2017. Already, the positive responses are arriving: Bob Anson, Pat Collins, Bill Giles, John Twohey, Bob Brady, Jay Schwartz, Tom Condon, Dennis Gallagher, Tom Figel and Nancy Carlin Figel, Bill Kelly, John McCoy, Bill Mitchell, Joel Connelly, Steve McCormick, David Kahn, maybe Mike Browning, Betty Doerr, Tom McKenna, Bill Knapp . . .
Jim O’Rourke had an early summer Notre Dame reunion right in the family: “Pam and I made it out to LaJolla (during June) and spent some time on the South Course at Torrey Pines with my daughter, Molly (Class of 2000), her two sisters, Colleen (SMC ’94) and Kathleen (ND 2007). Caught up with grandsons and visited Colleen’s art studios in the newly remodeled Liberty Station complex in the Point Loma neighborhood of San Diego.” Then Notre Dame began classes August 22nd.
Jim reminds us of the April 29, 2016 death of Tom Quinn, the ND’67 member who played on the 1966 championship team before spending his business career as a senior member of Jordan Industries. Tom Quinn was a member of Notre Dame’s Business Advisory Council.
With the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians presently engaged in the World Series, Bryan Dunigan takes a swipe at Jerry Goetz, whose nephew Stephen Goetz has written a well-reviewed children’s book titled Old MacDonald Had a Truck: “Goetz recommends this book highly and he was able to read it in only a few weeks as he was distracted by the success of his Cleveland Indians’ run to the American League Championship.”
Thanks to Kathleen Sullivan, Joe Hale, Bryan Dunigan, Tom Culcasi and Jim O’Rourke for all the messages about our class.
Please send news and photos to: Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt. 3-E, Chicago, IL 60626, tel. 312-223-9536, firstname.lastname@example.org.