Fertility, Effulgence and the North Dining Hall Diet
No one ever has heard of science taking up the impossible challenge of replicating the magnificent, Great ’68. But in this serious time, the need has arisen. While we do have the sadness of deaths among us, we seem not to have any attributable to the corona virus. The universal resistance to the awful disease suggests that we are worth study for more than our intelligence, our muscularity and our attraction for beautiful women. If they are able to replicate us for additional research, the epidemiologists may discover that a diet rich in saltpeter during the years of early adulthood can provide a lifelong resistance to serious disease. Also, despite its reputation, saltpeter seems to have no effect on our fecundity (nor effulgence, in John O’Connor‘s case). Note the prodigious fertility of great-grandparents Mike Baroody and Muff and the five offspring, including triplet daughters, of Rich Rogers and Pat.
Correspondence from two classmates living in Australia should allay the frequent complaint that class news is too Chicago-centric. Mike Crutcher, who is now in Perth, Australia after the loss of his visa caused interruption of the missionary work he and his wife carry out in China, sent a link to a provocative podcast wrapped around a controversial letter to President Trump from a former Papal Nuncio: https://youtu.be/RdTRPOvBYsA. Charlie Stevenson, surfaced in a Joe Hale email string that began with Mike Moore and gained heft as it added the names of Keenan Hall friends, including roommate Tom Voglewede, now retired from optometrist practice. Retired professor Charlie lives with his Irish wife Aideen in Cairns, across the continent from Mike, another former Texan. See our blog www.ndclass1968.com.
Mike Moore, who found Charlie and cranked up his rusty Notre Dame communication skills, received this summary of the missing years:
“My life has been far less settled than yours, it seems, and trying to summarise 50 years in a paragraph is hard. There are so many essential facts and events that have to be glossed over or left out altogether.
“Still, this is the bare bones. I left Notre Dame in the summer of 1967, with the intention of working for a year to earn some money and then returning. As things turned out, I ended up in the Army for 3 years, stationed in Germany from Jan ’68 to Aug ’70. We might have been there at the same time. When I got out of the army, I stayed in Europe. I went to Ireland and did an Honours B.A. and an MA in The English Language and Medieval English and Scandinavian Literature from University College Dublin. I taught there as a tutor and then as a Lecturer and, in between, also taught as a Lecturer for a year at Trinity College Dublin. In 1976 I moved to Durham in the north of England, where I taught in Durham University until 1981, with a year (1979-80) as a research fellow at the University of Newcastle-on-Tyne (20 miles north of Durham). Between Jan 1981 and Sep 1983, I lived in Dublin, doing various jobs and trying to get Irish citizenship (my US citizenship made it harder for me to secure a permanent University post in Europe). In Sep 1983 I accepted a lectureship in the English Department at Monash University, Melbourne Australia. My Irish wife, Aideen Kelly, and I married in Melbourne in May 1984. Unfortunately, we are unable to have children and an attempt to adopt came to nothing. Aideen worked in television in Ireland and later in Melbourne, as a production manager in the Drama Department at the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission – the public broadcaster here). After 20+ years, we both needed a change and less stress, so we took early retirements in July 2004 and moved to Cairns, a tropical city in Far North Queensland, where Aideen has a nephew who’s a doctor in the local main hospital. Since we arrived in Australia, we’ve done a lot of international travelling. While my parents and Aideen’s mother were still alive, we visited them in Texas and in Dublin every 2nd year or so. My parents died in 2012, mom in Feb and dad in Apr, and between 2010 and 2012, I spent about 8 months total (6 different trips) in Texas helping to look after them (since, being retired, I could). Aideen’s mom died in the early 2000s. We’ve been around the world 4 or 5 times, visited every continent except Africa and Antarctica, as well as exploring most of Australia. Now we are settled into a sedentary tropical lifestyle here in Holloways Beach (a suburb of Cairns), with a beach on the Coral Sea a few hundred metres to our east and rainforest (ie., jungle) covered hills a few kilometres to the west. This time of year – our winter / dry season – the minimum temp is 18 -20 degrees C (mid 60s F) and the max is mid-20s C (low 80s F), with low humidity. Our summer / wet season is humid and hot, though the sea keeps our high temps to the low 90s. Not a bad climate for old fogies like us.” (email@example.com)
Mike Wolf and Ken DiLaura sent notes that predated the quarantine time and now seem descriptive of another epoch: “Jim Ewing and Bonnie, Ken DiLaura and Ronnie and Mike Wolf and Mary (SMC ‘68) were able to play some golf, enjoy some dinners and catch up on old times in Fort Myers and Naples this winter before the virus shut down festivities. Jim summers in Illinois, Ken in Grosse Pointe, MI and the Wolfs in Williamsport, PA.”
Our blog holds news summarized here: John O’Connor, whose new book is Postgate, discussed former FBI Director James Comey in two interviews with Fox News:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN1AQ_3TIXs. Tom Fitzharris‘ painting “Cross Talk” is in the alumni show of the New York Studio School: https://www.artsy.net/artwork/tom-fitzharris-cross-talk.
At Mother’s Day, her River Forest, IL community remembered Tom Gibbs‘ wife Sheila:https://patch.com/illinois/oakpark/river-forest-family-honors-first-mothers-day-without-matriarch.
Walt Moxham had disappointment and hope in his email: “Our Vietnam Veteran Chapter’s efforts to have Rocky Bleier and his play brought to Western New York on August 8th has fallen victim to Covid -19. Very upsetting as I was looking forward to finally paying Rocky back for his appearances with our Vietnam Veteran’s Photo Shows in 1990 with a Wilson, NY fishing trip. And having Tom Brislin and me show him Wilson’s beautiful Lake Ontario sunsets against the Toronto skyline.”
Jay Schwartz invites reading of and commenting on his new essay at the blog One More Thing. . . https://jayschwartzonthegrid.com/category/uncategorized/
Unfortunately, three classmates have died at a time when meditation and sorrow, along with pride, must suffice for comforting in person.
Searchers found the remains of missing Taos, NM skier John McCoy in May: https://www.taosnews.com/stories/body-recovered-taos-ski-valley-missing-skier-mccoy,64112. Class President Tom Weyer, who approved John’s affiliation with our class, wrote “I particularly enjoyed his ..voluntary joining of the Great 68 .. as well as his Boat bum-Ski bum business card.”
Mike Daher, shown in yearbook photo, died June 26, 2020
When General Program member Mike Daher died of cancer June 26, 2020, he was nearing retirement after 40 years as a professor of English and Humanities at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Michigan. The affection expressed on the school’s website resembles the impact of Professor Frank O’Malley‘s life on the Notre Dame community. For example, a student wrote: “Dr. Daher leaves behind an empty space that is hard to fill. But it’s also true that he leaves behind a legacy . . . in the form of the magnificent impact that he has left on so many students. For this impact, I’m truly grateful.” For photos and memorials, please see: https://www.hfcc.edu/news/2020/mike-daher-remembrances-hfc-community
John Walsh wrote: “Mike (“Arch”) McCarthy died on July 16 at his brother Patrick’s farm outside Rock Springs, Wisconsin, near Baraboo. He had been living there since his wife, Nora, passed away only weeks after our 50th Reunion in 2018. Mike excelled as a pre-med major at Notre Dame and had an active practice of psychiatry in the Washington, D.C., area after medical school in Chicago. Mike was a lifelong friend. We stood shoulder-to-shoulder in our kindergarten class picture (with Brian Sullivan) in 1952. Mike and I roomed together for all four of our years as undergrads, and for three of those years Joe Brennan joined the mix. For senior year, Tom McKenna, Tom Figel andMike Hampsey joined to make a sixsome in a house on Hill Street down the hill from the then-Senior Bar. Known as “Arch” by almost all his fellow students, Mike rarely shared that the moniker was a nickname from the arches prescribed for his basketball shoes during his years as a high school hoopster. In 1963-64, he and I were two of the starting five on Fenwick’s lightweights division team that went 25-4 and won that year’s Chicago Catholic League championship. After retiring from the practice of psychiatry, Mike took up oil painting as a hobby. Mike and Nora did not have any children..”
May you, your families and your friends be safe. Please see www.ndclass1968.com and send news to: Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt. 3E, Chicago, IL 60626, tel. 773-764-4898, firstname.lastname@example.org.