It’s Here: Our 40 Year Reunion
When a younger Notre Dame friend pointed out that, back in the day, 1968, the class returning for its 40 year reunion was the class of 1928, the intent of the barb was a mental image of doddering old men shrinking from the life and change of a youthful campus. That perked interest in learning about these men who graduated when the University’s enrollment stood at 2800. The comparison with us and our own graceful aging would be striking, of course, but the history of the class of 1928 shows more kinship than contrast. We have Tom Weyer at our head but the likelihood is great that Bernard A. Garber had some of the same spirit and maybe the same kind of support our president receives from Joe Kernan, Jim O’Rourke, Brian Sullivan, Bryan Dunigan, and other class stalwarts. The secretary of the 1928 class, Jon Davis, is now dead but, as a centenarian, did enjoy posting a Notre Dame magazine class note in 2007 about a great-granddaughter who took him to kindergarten class in fulfillment of an assignment that required her to bring 100 of something on the 100th day of school. That 1928 class had Knute Rockne but we did okay with Ara Parseghian. In November of the senior year, Knute gave the famous “Win One for the Gipper” speech that turned the tide against Army. For that class, it was a world of eve-of-the-Depression prosperity with Calvin Coolidge in the presidency. Charles A. Lindbergh had just electrified the world with his trans-Atlantic flight in 1927. On the other hand, we had the electricity of Lola’s appearance. The University copyrighted The Notre Dame Victory March in 1928. Ara Parseghian was five years old and Lou Holtz wouldn’t even be around for another four or five years. How the war and the events of the next 40 years would affect the men who came back to marvel at the wonder of the new buildings that graced the 1968 campus! There were Cavanaugh Hall, built 1936; Farley Hall, built 1942; Alumni Hall, 1931; Dillon Hall, 1931; and so on, including the unbelievably opulent Keenan and Stanford Halls, both built in 1957.
The class of 1928 had a lot to remember and be proud about when they got together. No doubt that accomplished group of friends had as much fun at their reunion as we will have at ours. Check the class blog, http://ndclass-1968.figelpr.com, for notes about classmates’ reunion plans. The blog also includes a list of our deceased classmates; remember them and pray for them.
Things always start early for a Bryan Dunigan-Roger Guerin-Tom Gibbs contingent in the Michigan City area. A group of us will begin with a dinner Thursday night at Sunny Italy; we’ll have the youthful Don Costello, Ed Goerner, Don Sniegowski and other professors as guests. Ken Beirne, Mike Baroody, Tom Fitzharris, Jim Davis and Bill Kelly have already claimed seats, a nice beginning.
Jim Davis is going to be coming from Charleston, S.C., where he is working on a legal matter for his New York firm. John McCoy now winters in Taos, NM and summers in Arlington, VA. In California, Forrest Hainline probably will touch up a few poems before heading to the Midwest; his interest in writing poetry was recently the subject of a local law publication’s article. Pat Collins and Emily will sit with the grandparents: Riley Marie, child of their accountant son Patrick, was born a few hours before the end of 2007.
Joe Kernan may arrive with a red face. A vacation cruise to the Antarctic in December became the subject of headlines when the ship struck an iceberg. No harm came to Joe, Maggie or other passengers but Joe did suffer some embarrassment out in the blogosphere. Tom Weyer wrote: “Joe sounds like he got confused by one of those 'bargain' Southern cruises. JOE it doesn't get warmer the farther SOUTH that you go. I can see Joe now with his shorts and Jimmy Buffett shirt on as the Captain said “we're just slowing down to pick up some ice.'…. If he wanted 0 degrees and icebergs he need go no farther than Lake Michigan this morning… I just hope that our class Treasury [which Joe usually carries in his pocket ] was in no jeopardy.” At about the same time, John O’Connor added: “I understand that the problem was that Joe had read some Al Gore material, and expected beaches and sunburned penguins on his trip.” Ken Howard called for an investigation: “Now I understand why Joe didn't hesitate to renew that $40 bet with BC grad Jan O'Connor for next year's game. Why would a sane man do that? He's playing with OUR class money!!!!! $.04 or so of those bets probably belong to each of us!!!! Financial chicanery and politicians are a well-known combination, but can we allow this to continue? I think Pres. Tom (who looks to be well on his way re: material for the Friday class speech at Reunion '08) should take his usual decisive action. Perhaps hearings, with all the usual media alerts?”
Watch the blog, get in touch with friends, and make plans. Can’t wait to see all of you. That means you, too, John Alzamora, John Fowler, Tom McCloskey and a few other shrinking violets. Send news to: Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt. 3-E, Chicago, IL 60626, tel. 312-881-7391, firstname.lastname@example.org.