Clarion Call (Fall 2015)

Oct 01, 2015

The is a reminder that a large group of us will gather next June 3, 4 and 5 under the Dome to re-connect, remember, reflect and, in many ways, re-calibrate for the denouement of our life journeys on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of our commencement from ND.  Please come on “home” for this truly once-in-a-lifetime gathering. Stay tuned for details.

Recently I shared a glass of wine with Gail and Luke McGuinness, as we both have homes on Martha’s Vineyard. Luke is leading a three-hospital system in Rhinebeck NY, Health Quest, and promises to attend the reunion if good friend Bobby Haines of Mt. Pleasant SC will be on hand. Bobby practices law in the Palmetto State and, speaking of that lovely area, Paul Sessa recently sent sad news of John Head’s sudden passing in Mt. Pleasant. Paul and John were neighbors and golfing buddies and Paul continues his part-time teaching at the College of Charleston, where he has been engaged for 11 years.

I just heard some great news from my old stomping ground in Oklahoma City. Bob Luetkemeyer recently received some great news following a significant health issue he had been dealing with.

John Twohey and his wife, Mary Jane, visited Jed Key and his wife, Suzanne, at their Tucson home in March. Jed is working as executive director of Ballet Tucson after a 30-year run as an administrator and professor of public policy at George Washington U in DC. Suzanne is a former dancer with the NYC Ballet and is a guest teacher for the company.

John also caught up last fall with Vince Uhl who was in Chicago for a reunion of Peace Corps volunteers he served with in India. Vince is president of his own hydrology-consulting firm based in Lambertville NJ. His client list includes USAID and public and private organizations in Botswana, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Haiti, the Philippines and Senegal.

The Twoheys just returned from a 10-day tour of Cuba. John said that the people could not have been more welcoming, but that he had never seen such widespread poverty or a big city in worse condition than Havana.

Tom Bettag reports that he left NBC News in December.  He had produced Ann Curry’s coverage of the Iran nuclear negotiations. Tom spent the spring semester as a visiting lecturer in ND’s Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. He will teach at the U of Maryland this coming year. We recall that Tom spent many years producing Nightline with Ted Koppel and moved to CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley.

I caught up briefly by phone with Doug Ford, who was off to Europe on an ND-related board trip with Father Jenkins. I had lunch earlier in the summer with Jack Gerken and Carol, along with Ray Neihengen and Kathy and John Devona and Ginny. Ray is a semi-retired business consultant, and John is a retired former VP of United Airlines. By the way, Jack recently received a special honor.  The American Diabetes Association of Orange County selected Jack as Father of the Year. The event raised some $330,000, and Jack is in great company, as past recipients include former presidents, CEOs, athletes and humanitarians. Denny Corrigan tells Jack that he will be in the Bend next June.

Andy Dincolo connected with Cap Gagnon to report that he is a semi-retired accountant in Walled Lake MI, and the two of them touched base with Barry Barth, who is retired with Barb in Hilton Head SC. I reached out to Rich Sauget recently and was reminded that Rich is the only individual I know who owns his own town. Sauget IL is across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis and was started by Rich’s forbears. He and his family own and operate the town, which stretches for about a mile along the river.

Very sad news follows. Mike McKim lost his valiant battle with cancer on May 28 in St. Paul MN. We recall from a previous column that Mike shared with me some months ago the details of his struggle with a number of malignancies. His optimism and spirit came through continuously. He was particularly gratified that a number of you reached out to encourage him in his challenge. Mike practiced law for many years in the Twin Cities area and was loved and respected by all who knew him.

At this writing, I am scheduled to have dinner with Shirley and Tom Begley, and I am looking forward to it. That will do for this edition. Note my new address and flood me with news. Be well.

Tom Sullivan; 26 Hidden Cove Road, Edgartown MA 02539; cell 773-454-4343; t66sullynd@gmail.com


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