Assembling and Renewing
Before getting to the news – of classmates lost, of reunions, triumphs and changes – please indulge this request: make sure you have registered at my.nd.edu. The more of us registered – that is, the more of us with a preferred email address recorded – the more of us able to be in touch with email. Not registered? Go to my.nd.edu and find “Register”. Click there, enter your preferred email address and you are easily on your way. If you have no grandchild or adolescent neighbor at hand, let me know and I will help:firstname.lastname@example.org.
If Bryan Dunigan or I send an email through my.nd.edu, we are able to use a list exceeding 800 classmates, including many of us who are registered. We registered ones are able to use features such as a directory of nearly every Notre Dame alumnus. And by the way, registration is open to people who are not Notre Dame graduates, to people who want to be informed about our class or other groups.
In the near future, on Saturday October 30th, three hours before the North Carolina game, Fred Ferlic and Class President Tom Weyer will lead our class in dedication of a bench and tree honoring Joe Kernan. The affection and the generosity of Joe Kernan‘s classmates have met the $25,000 cost of the installation in a campus area already linked to our class: the memorial will be near the new Architecture School building donated by our classmate Matt Walsh and his wife Joyce and the Raclin Murphy Art Museum donated by Chris Murphy and Carmie. The gathering of classmates will continue before and after the game at the Great 68 tailgate near the stadium. If you are one of the 800+, watch for an email with the ceremony details in the days before the game.
In the very near future, August 11 and 12, in Chicago and suburban Lemont, Tom Culcasi has planned two days of reunion events for about 25 people, the core of them friends from freshman year in Keenan Hall: e.g., Joe Hale, Tom Phillips, Dan Collins, Phil Mika, Mike Moore, Ted Bratthauer, Tom Curtin, Steve Laplante.
Class President Tom Weyer praises “Our Anchor Men, the South Bend guys” for quick arrangement of a reception for Rocky Bleier during an early May visit: “Class Consigliere , Dr. Fred Ferlic and Sgt.-at-arms /Flag guardian Gene Cavanaugh organized a lavish pizza and beer evening at Rocco’s. In attendance were locals Pat Barth, Dan Harshman, Tom Cuggino, Dr. Steve Anderson …looking good during treatment. The Toms were represented by Tom Gibbs, myself and Tom Durkin. Skip Strzelecki, who dressed us all elegantly in Ara sweatshirts and Great 68 hats, was there along with Bryan Dunigan, Denny Toolan and Roger Guerin. Rocky was quite surprised and rather touched. Our mini-tailgate proved how much we miss each other.”
Larry Maloney has added to the ND68 literary canon with Unto the Altar of God, his coming-of-age novel based on five years as a high school and college seminarian with the Franciscans in Pennsylvania (available at https://www.amazon.com/Unto–Altar–God-Memories-Seminarian-ebook/dp/B093QM3HY4). Larry came to our class in junior year and, after graduation and service in Vietnam, became a Deputy Editor with U.S. News & World Report and then Editor/Publisher of Design News. Already, the coming-of-age novel about a high school student’s response to the feelings and events of a world encountered in vacation bursts and family contact as well as within the seminary has earned in mid-July 18 five-star ratings on Amazon. Boston radio station WROL did a 12-minute segment with Larry and other papers, including two in the Gannett chain, have interviewed him. “My book started at Notre Dame in a class on creative nonfiction with Professor Ron Weber, a terrific teacher,” Larry said. “I wrote a short story for him based on my seminary experiences, and he encouraged me to try a book at some point.”
The following posts on our blog are obituaries and memories of classmates we have lost: Bill Betz, Richard Calone, John Tilelli, and John O’Brien‘s wife Karen nee Scherkenbach, Boyd T. Barnes who died during March, Tom Bettler who died in November, 2020, John Alzamora who died in May, 2020, and Raymond DeFabio who died in May, 2021. Remember all of them in your prayers and, if you know the family, please contact them and console them. Please remember, too, Jim O’Rourke‘s wife Pam, who is recovering from surgery for removal of a tumor and Pat Collins‘ wife Emily, whose femur shattered in a fall on July 4th.
Boyd T. Barnes and Tom Bettler, top row; Raymond DeFabio and John Alzamora, bottom row
Please send news, including photos, to: Tom Figel 1054 West North Shore, Apt 3E, Chicago, IL 60626, email@example.com, cell 312-241-7917.