This is being written on the eve of our 50th Reunion, so the news will be brief, knowing that there should be reams of copy to follow the celebration of fellowship on campus. I did hear from Hal “Buck” Hunter, who was planning to be on hand. John Berges was in Maine and noted Pete Thornton’s smiling face on real estate posters in the Portland area.

I connected with Charlie O’Brien, who has retired up north of Baltimore, following a successful career in the trash business in Montgomery County MD outside of the nation’s capitol. Charlie owned a company that had 65 trucks and built a trash transfer station that served similar companies throughout the region. He couldn’t make the reunion because of a grandchild’s graduation in Texas. I also spoke with Gene Tully, who shared the unfortunate news of his terminal illness. Gene and his wife were in the process of relocating from Cape Cod to California to be near the kids.

Mark Mahaffey was planning to give a special stained glass depiction of the Touchdown Jesus mural to Father Jenkins and ND at the reunion. It is a unique piece and the copy given to ND will be the last iteration done by the artist. Also heard from Jim Egan in the Chicago area who has dealt with some serious health issues but has bounced back and was planning to be on hand for the reunion.

Chuck Nigro forwarded a picture of himself and Dick Frey at the 85th anniversary of Knute Rockne’s death in Shawnee KS near where the plane went down (see story and pic in Jack’s Journeys). Boston attorney Paul (Don) Snyder’s recently published first novel, An Angry God, provides a picture of a WWII vet who returns from battle and enrolls at ND.

I heard the sad news that Joe Doherty passed away in February in Santa Ynez CA, his home. Joe had worked for the Air Force on the NASA Space Shuttle and Titan Missile programs. Ed. Note: Joe will be interned in Cedar Grove Cemetery on Friday before the Nevada game for those interested in attending.

The class initiative to launch the Pete Duranko Fund for Student Athlete Safety at ND has caught on and generated more than $100,000 prior to the reunion. If you haven’t considered the project, please do so. The goal is to create an endeavor that will have long-term positive impact on ND athletes and many beyond the campus.

Jim Bradley of Dallas was scheduled to retire from his successful career as a litigator on May 31 and was planning to attend the 50th. Jim indicated that Joe Pete Wilbert, also from Big D, was planning to be at the reunion and that Jim was working to convince others to be on hand. Whether you attended the reunion or not, congrats on your induction into the 50-Year Club.

Other news