Harry Caray’s O’Hare
We’ve been told for years that the 34 freshmen from Notre Dame Niles (Chicago) was the largest group from one school to ever enroll and eventually graduate from the University. A few took longer to graduate because of their particular programs, but all consider themselves part of the class of ’66. And like everyone else who came to South bend in the fall of ’62, we are all getting ready for our 50th anniversary in 2012.
Although NDHS recently became an independent college prep, it was for most of its years the only high school administered by the Holy Cross Fathers. And, as such, there was a strong relationship between the University and NDHS. The class of ’62 was the first four-year class of Dons (the school nickname). Our senior year, we won the Illinois state football championship with a head coach by the name of Joe Yonto and a Parade All-American fullback by the name of Alan Loboy, both of whom ended up spending Saturdays on the grass of Rockne Stadium.
On our way to the Air Force game in October of 2011, a few of us met at Harry Caray’s restaurant near O’Hare to form a committee for the 50th anniversary of Notre Dame Niles with Ray Neihengen serving as chairman. Pictured are Jack Gerken, John Devona, Kathy and Ray Neihengen with their bud Harry, Gloria and Ron Schmidt, and Carol Gerken. Also on the committee for the Oct.11-12 reunion but not pictured are Jim Blum, Terry Kiwala and Alan Loboy.