We will gather next June 3-5 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our launching from the shadow of the Golden Dome onto life’s main street. Since that hot June Sunday afternoon on the main quad so long ago, we have moved on to confront challenges and opportunities, joys and sorrows, successes and failures, and powerful victories that have characterized an amazing five-decade journey.
Class president Cappy Gagnon will join with longtime reunion planner Ray Flynn and other stalwarts to create what will undoubtedly be a wonderful period of renewal and rebirth, a reaffirmation of longstanding friendships and re-engagement with the extraordinary University that prepared us for the epic pilgrimage we have so artfully pursued.
No matter the phenomenal plans, what will ensure the 50th’s success will be you. Block the dates today and reach out to your old ND gang, hopefully at least five classmates, to encourage them to join in the festivities. Let’s make this really special!
Now for the news. Don Snyder and wife Sheila wrote that they were in Naples FL escaping the record Boston snows. Sid Baker sent a note reminiscing about Mike Smith, who was in the Bengal Bouts and won the 165# championship, the toughest weight class, our sophomore year. Buck Hunter won it junior year, and Jude Lenahan took the title our senior year. Mike has retired to Santa Fe following a successful law career in Chicago, and Sid is working hard to convince Mike to hit the reunion in June.
Tony Andrea is promising to be on hand in June, and is connecting with Tony Rivizzigno and a lot of his old crowd, including the remaining Nightliters. Bob Ronin sent word from Gloria CT of his mother’s passing in February.
Speaking of passing, there was incredible class chatter about Father Ted’s deaths. Many extraordinary memories and stories were related by folks like Mike Caolo from Dallas, Cole Clarke from the Chicago burbs, Jamie Toohey also of Chicago, Mike Krach in Philly, John Reding, Dan Olson, Tom Begley and many others.
Bill Dwyer, longtime sports editor of the LA Times, relates a story about Jim Hayden, our mate “who scrambled his way through ND with so many jobs he could have received a second degree in survival.” It turns out that Jim had special admiration for Father Ted and some years later re-connected with him on campus. Thus became a friendship over 25 years or so. Hayden, a Hollywood screenwriter who is good at his craft, has sold options on screenplays for some time. In recent years, Hayden convinced Father Ted to award him the rights to do a film about Hesburgh’s extraordinary life. Hayden says of his relationship with Father Ted, “My entire association with him was nothing but gratifying.” The life of Father Ted awaits its close-up on the silver screen. Stay tuned and one of these days maybe George Clooney will play the lead.
We heard from Bolton Anthony, who lives with his wife Lisa in Chapel Hill NC and has worked as a teacher of English and creative writing, as a librarian, as a university administrator and as a social change activist. Since 1999, he has managed the nonprofit Second Journey, which he founded. Bolton’s current project is to organize an educational experience that will include a stay at Bargo Finocchieto, the Italian village restored by our mate John Phillips, US ambassador to Italy.
Bolton reports that John Clarke retired from the Library of Congress and lives with wife Donna in Chevy Chase MD, where he continues to write poetry. Also that Bill O’Brien is retired from full0time work at Georgetown and lives with wife Karen in Silver Spring MD, while continuing to teach thought-provoking elective courses in the Frank O’Malley tradition. Bolton notes that Vincent Beckman lives in Lincolnshire IL with his wife Carmen, whom he met as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru. Vincent spent his 40-year law career in Chicago providing legal services to migrant workers and advocating for their rights. Finally, we learned that Ed Hugetz lives in Houston with wife Donna. Ed is a VP in the U of Houston system and in his spare time makes documentaries.
I heard from Denny Corrigan that friends and colleagues of award-winning writer, Barry Lopez, have established the Barry Lopez Visiting Writer in Ethics and Community Fellowship at the Ala Kukai Retreat Center in Hana HI.I recently had breakfast with John Twohey, who retired from the Chicago Tribune a few years back but continues to engage in creative writing. I also caught up with old friend Mike Rush for pizza and beer during a recent visit to Boston, where Mike teaches business at BC. He’s fired up about the reunion. Fini for this issue, but God bless and continue to keep me posted. Please note my new cell phone number and email address.
Tom Sullivan; 2028 Elmwood Ave., Wilmette IL 60091; cell 773-454-4343; firstname.lastname@example.org