The Election: Get Over It
The election revealed a rift that reached into many groups, including the class of 1968. Some woke to cheer, while others woke to gloomy pondering of the madness that had been expressed at the polls. But our class is resilient and our friendships are well-forged. Eventually the partisans of victor Chris Murphy and of defeated Dennis O’Dea will reconcile. The 50th class reunion draws near.
During the past football season, Class President Tom Weyer took time for meetings with advisors, mostly family members, at his Weyer-a-lago complex on Paw Paw Lake in southwestern Michigan. Though unsuccessful in lobbying for 1968 class representation on the new national cabinet – the incoming administration wanted to stick with billionaires of mid-range wealth and so avoid the political pushback of selecting Mike Browning, Bob Brady, Tom McCloskey and some other excessively prosperous candidates – those Tom Weyer assembled at the Michigan retreat did work through other important matters. The Wall Street Journal article about his representation of Guantanamo prisoners – see link at www.ndclass1968.com – made Tom Durkin an unlikely name for any short list of Supreme Court nominees. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-terror-suspects-best-hope-in-court-1481735889) On the other hand, the group made progress with establishment of the Weyer Library and the maintenance of the important documents and artifacts. Kept in a sturdy Paul Powell shoebox given to the Weyer family by a former Illinois Secretary of State, the materials have moved from beneath Tom Weyer‘s Dillon Hall bed to many other locations over the years. Now, what to do with the records, all of such interest to scholars? Included are a Brian Sullivan business card clipped to John O’Connor‘s draft of a plan for a Weyer Global Initiative: “This would be wrong,” reads the note on the back of the card. A rare note from roommate Tom Condon asks for a wake up in time for an afternoon ROTC class. A clipped Tom Brislin column from an Observer, a scrap of cloth from a Spiderman costume damaged at a campaign stop, edited copies of a couple of inaugural addresses, a $10 Bryan Dunigan check drawn on a Continental Bank account in 2003, a “paid in full” receipt from Gilbert’s, the trove is full of interest.
In April, when the Observer celebrates its 50 year history, Dennis Gallagher, Tom Condon, Jay Schwartz, Bob Anson, Bill Kelly, Tom Brislin, Tom (Indiana) McKenna, John Walsh, Bill Siska, David Kahn, Steve McCormick, Shaun Reynolds, John Twohey and others from that storied time will assemble for discussion of the Observer investigative style Editor Pat Collins began with our own deep, unrelenting examinations of the transgressions of Scholastic staff. If April brings the snows seen during Dennis Toolan and Mary Lou’s wedding two years ago, there may be snowball fights as Bill Knapp begins an assault on deadbeats with unpaid advertising charges.
The powerful, understandable draw of grandchildren has led Paul Zalesky to leave the West Coast with his wife for residency in Rhode Island among in-laws, the new home proximate to grandsons in Boston and two children in New York.
The World Series outcome prompted a note from Ned Buchbinder about sex: Carmen Fanzone, a utility infielder for the Cubs who played in a jazz band, said, “Playing a trumpet is great. And sex is wonderful. But there is no greater thrill than hitting a baseball.” Bryan Dunigan and Joe Kernan can attest.
Bryan was part of a group whirling among Gotham sites in December: “Just spent the weekend in New York City with Joyce and Matt Walsh, Sheila and Tom Gibbs and had dinner with Eddie Broderick. Sheila and Matt’s grammar school classmate is Cathy Wendt Sudekis the mother of SNL’s Jason Sudekis and he was starring in the play “Dead Poet Society”. We saw the play and celebrated Cathy Sudekis’ 70th Birthday with her family. Play is terrific. Also visited the spectacular Calatrava train station, the 911 Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, had brunches at the New York Athletic Club and the Carlyle Hotel and attended Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.”
Tom Culcasi and his wife Judy now know what other Chicago classmates know: Bryan Dunigan’s annual Christmas party is a lot of fun, and a good place to find Ted Nebel, John Walsh, Tom Weyer, Bob Ptak and others, everyone nearly indistinguishable in red sweaters.
The funeral of Dave Kil, the South Bend native who made his career at Notre Dame as assistant registrar, took place in Sacred Heart on January 23, 2017. Father Monk Malloy, CSC, was one of the celebrants. Please keep Dave and his family in your prayers. Even as he drew within a day of succumbing to his prostate cancer, Dave could smile when his cousin Brian Sontchi (’75) came Notre Dame-bedecked into the hospital room.
Joe Blake discovered and sent some of us a fine article he wrote for the Scholastic in 1968 about the philosophies that continue to shape global and domestic relationships. Find the article posted at our blog, www.ndclass1968.com.
Ken DiLaura, after much deliberation, sent: “I’ve procrastinated long enough. I just wanted to send you a note regarding a 70th birthday party where roommates Mike Coleman, Jim Ewing, Andy Kelly, Mike Wolf and myself along with our spouses met at my home in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich last August. We had a great time reminiscing about our college days and telling lots of stories about the last 50 years. We want to wish all our friends we met at ND a Happy 70th Birthday!!!”
John Walsh is spending a couple of months in San Diego (instead of Evanston, IL) and had this experience:
“I was out at Torrey Pines (one of the pre-eminent golf courses on the PGA Tour, located in LaJolla, CA) with Dude’s brother Donnie to watch the Farmers Insurance Open. I was wearing my ‘Great 68’ golf hat, standing at the 6th green waiting for Tiger Woods, Jason Day, and Dustin Johnson to reach that hole. About three threesomes in front of Tiger, the fellow carrying the scoring placard for that group came walking up to me, looking at my hat, and asked, “Is that from the Notre Dame Class of ’68?” When I said ‘Yes,’ he said, “My brother was in that class–Bryan Dunigan.” Stunned, I said, “Bryan’s one of my best friends–my parents and your parents went to high school together in the 1930s.” It was Bryan’s younger brother Kevin, who’s lived out in this area his whole adult life. I’d never met him before. We had a few laughs, and then he had to leave with his threesome of golfers. What a coincidence!”
While this item may not hold appeal for the family of Walt Moxham, everyone so fond of Buffalo in wintertime, a request from the principal of Maria de Nazareth school in Cordoba, Argentina may interest any classmate involved with a school. Father Gerardo Carcar is seeking to arrange exchange programs for 16-year old students who will live with local families. Get details from, send news and photos to: Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt. 3E, Chicago, IL 60626, tel. 312-223-9536.