Wow! What a party. Hats off to the folks who planned and worked the affair. The Mass on Saturday evening was as close as you’ll get to a spiritual happening. Being guests of honor, our reunion group sat in the first two pews with special badges that noted 60 years. Everyone had an attitude of reverence and joy. The celebrant was Fr. Niehoff, S.J. Concelebrants were Frs. Bichl, Bukala, Schubeck, and White – all Jesuits. The music was of the character you want to sing and join in the joy that music can give you. After Mass, it was time for pictures. There were 13 of us, and we managed to smuggle in the picture of John Carroll. Having an old picture (55th reunion) meant I could trace our attendance history. There were only nine of us at that bash, but for the 50th there were 44. Time takes a toll. Bill Bloomstine represented the class in a moment of remembrance for the deceased members of the class. As many of you know, Bill and his family are in the insurance business. Is that Shakespeare? The insurance man with the rose of remembrance. The dinner was nice, but the companionship was phenomenal. John Spaniol is ready for a gig on Dancing With the Stars. His rumba and samba have improved greatly. Bob Wischmeyer traveled down from the city Woody Hayes called “that city up North.” He’s still as affable as ever. Jim Kipfstuhl was a day hop while attending JCU but ended up in one of the dorms for the reunion. His only comment was “not too bad.” Gene Wiemels still lives within walking distance of the school. Jimmy Sutphin says our next reunion should be in Las Vegas or his place in Hudson, Ohio. Don Buynack was scheduled to attend, but an illness kept him away. Gene Burns was after me to say a few words in Spanish. We were in the same Spanish class 60 years ago. Having been in California recently, I wish I had paid attention. Fr. Casey Bukala, S.J., will continue teaching for another year and then see how things go. I received a nice email from Ted Sabine, who couldn’t make the reunion but is well. For the past seven years, he has worked one day a week at his church and manages to find time for golf and doctor appointments. His wife is active in genealogy. I’ll have more notes about reunion in the next issue.
It’s not nice to end on a down note, but as the man said, “Sh*t happens.” Our classmate, Jim Pierson died earlier this year. He lived in Canton, Ohio, then moved to Westerville, Ohio. A founding member of Our Lady of Peace in Canton, he taught at Central Catholic and Canton South high schools. … Lou LaRiche lost his wife, Gail, last December, and Dave Nilges lost his wife, Sandra, in May of this year. They had health problems for several years. It’s never easy to lose the game in the 14th inning. Please pray for for Gail, Sandra, Lou, and Dave. Keep the faith.
The magnet on my refrigerator reminds me our reunion is nearing. Good times are planned for those who attend. There’s a rumor Jimmy Buffett, who’s playing a concert at Blossom Music Center, might stop by for a set or two. Well, I know we’ll be there June 13-15, so I hope he can make it. Just imagine him playing one of his sun, fun, and rum hits right after Mass. Longtime friend Dan Stanard ’72, ’88G, who lives in Florida, enjoys this effort of news and humor.
Dave Nilges offered advice about purchasing a foundation in the 21st century. Within the last year, he purchased a new desktop, a new car with a Microsoft Sync system, and a hand-held device that almost burned out his bearings. Dave also recalled one of the more famous Christmas parties he and his brother hosted. The result of the party was three cardinal rules: All guests must be identified; at entry, apply wristbands; and do an after-party count. I think I still have my wristband.
The Cleveland JCU Alumni Chapter is doing an outstanding job of providing opportunities for alums in the area to gather, network, and enjoy each other’s company. My wife and I attended the alum gathering to see the Broadway musical “Wicked.” Nary a week passes that the chapter isn’t offering an occasion to get together. Good work folks. My wife met Jim Sutphin in the Heinen’s grocery store in Bay Village. Jim was up North visiting his daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren.
That’s all the news. Keep Gail LaRiche, who died recently, and Sandra Nilges in your prayers. Keep the faith.
Celebrations are the order of the day. One celebration for 2014 that should be on your bucket list is our reunion, or it might be called Celebration for 60 – Reunion 2014. It’s always grand to see old friends even if you don’t recognize them. Thank God for name tags. The party begins on Friday, June 13, and goes nonstop until Sunday, June 15, just like a weekend bash when we were in school. Most of the time is spent with good friends having great conversations and a million laughs. So pull out your yearbook, review the faces, and mark your calendar.
On Sunday, Nov. 10, Nancy and I attended the JCU All Souls Mass and Brunch. The Mass was celebrated in St. Mary’s Chapel at Jesuit City West (St. Ignatius High School). Fr. Niehoff was presider, and Fr. McAniff was the homilist. If you’ve never been in this chapel, you should put it on your reunion must-see list. The chapel is artistically and architecturally a 10. After Mass, brunch was held in the Robert E. Welsh, S.J., Atrium. The Jesuits are best known for scholarship and education but they certainly know how to gather and build. Most of the conversation at brunch was about the success of the John Carroll football team. Gatherings such as the Mass and brunch have a warm and friendly atmosphere. The enthusiasm of the remarks Fr. Niehoff and the spiritual words of Fr. McAniff made you glad you came.
That’s all the news for now. Keep Gail LaRiche and Sandra Nilges in prayers. Keep the faith.
Let’s start with the good news: Mike Faul was released from the hospital after five days of intensive rehab. His stroke is just a bad memory now. The intense rehab administered by his wife Peggy (a former nurse) and the staff was memorable. Now there’s no more red meat; scotch or Irish whisky; or cakes, pies, and donuts. His new diet consists of anything green with a leaf. He offered to meet somewhere between the Villages and where he lives. I don’t know if I’ll recognize him after all the clean living. He might have turned green after months of eating humus spread on tree bark biscuits. Time will tell. Get well, Mike.
The local JCU alums sponsored an evening of gathering for lifting spirits and more spirits. First, a Mass at St. Patrick’s Church on Bridge Ave., then liquid spirits at the Market Garden Brewery on West 25th St. Never one to follow all the instructions, my wife and I joined the crowds at the Great Lakes Brewery just up the street after Mass. There weren’t many I recognized at church, but there were many friends up the street.
I’m sure you remember those famous words spoken by teachers when school began, usually in September: “Your assignment is to write in 333 words or more what you did this summer.” Because I have no other reports from our class, I’ll tell you about my summer. For the past 15 years, my wife and I have made bicycling the center of our vacation travel. We have booked trips through companies that do most of the planning and daily logistics. They furnish the bikes, helmets, hotels, most of the meals, and guides. There are usually 12 to 24 people in the group – all sizes, shapes, and dispositions. After a few days of cycling, rowing, hiking, or kayaking, everyone in the group is a friend. This year, we traveled through Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks. The group of 25 met in Jackson, Wyo., and set off to go whitewater rafting on the Snake River, then take a nine-mile bike ride to the Snake River Lodge. The next day, we took a 25-mile bike ride to Jenny Lake, then went to the Jackson Lake Lodge. The third day was spent hiking and walking in Grand Teton Park. The walking wasn’t bad, but the hiking was a bit much. Day four included kayaking on Yellowstone Lake. The next day we hiked and walked the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, which features waterfalls, rock formations, vibrant colors, and a walkable path up, down, and all around. Then I was on to the Old Faithful Inn to watch the performance of nature as thousands of gallons of water are pushed into the air. The last day included a 19-mile bike ride through the Upper Geyser Basin with a shuttle ride back to Jackson. Great people, great scenery; and when you’re on a bike, you get to see it all. With all the exertion of the day, there must be room for an extra beer at night.
Prayers for a speedy recovery for Mike Faul and prayers for Sandra Nilges and Gail LaRiche. Keep the faith.
It has been a wet summer, but there are adventures to be noted … Gene Burns is recovering nicely from a cornea transplant. He admits to following the doctor’s orders of don’t look down, don’t lift heavy objects, don’t turn quickly – don’t, don’t, don’t. His concern is when he returns to golf, what happens after years of conditioning to keep your head down and move your hips along the target line? Who cares as long as the eye is OK.
Mike Faul is alive and well after suffered a stroke thanks to the quick thinking of his wife, Peggy (a former nurse) and the medical staff at a local hospital. Peggy recalls that before the stroke Mike mentioned something in his head didn’t feel right (having known Mike for more than 50 years, I could say something about Mike’s head but I won’t).
Often, time brings change, and the trinkets we gather don’t fit. Through the years, Jim Sutphin inherited and gathered a warehouse of sports memorabilia – basketballs, baseballs, hockey pucks, hockey sticks, autographed j-straps, souvenir programs from the Olympics as far back as the 1920s – that fit nicely in the basement of the old house, but they moved, and there’s no room at the new location. So Jim has catalogued everything and distributed most of it to family and friends. The items that were sent to the Smithsonian will be on display later this year in the basement of the Natural History Museum. Jim called me and offered elephant dung from a circus that played in the Cleveland Arena back in the 1940s. I asked my wife but she said, “Tell him no. It just won’t go with our décor.”
Early this summer, my wife and I had lunch with Fr. Don Cozzens (there were about a hundred others at the lunch, many of his faculty friends and readers of his books). Fr. Cozzens is adjunct professor of theology and religious studies and writer-in-residence at Carroll. His latest book, “Notes From The Underground,” was published by Orbis Books. If you like to read, take time to think about what you’re reading, then go back to reading, it’s a great read about the life and times in which we live. My wife and I read the book and enjoy discussing it.
The Dave Nilges newsletter tracks the ups and downs of commercial property in the Denver area and concludes a ride at Cedar Point might be less volatile.
Prayers please for Gail LaRiche and Sandra Nilges. Keep the faith.
I’m convinced most members of our class subscribe to the Sicilian code of Omerta – silence and secrecy. Last year, you might have noticed I offered no report in the issues of this grand publication. So what happened to the members of the class? Nothing? Well, nothing was sent. Now from time to time, I brace a little fiction about classmates to stir some thought. Oh well, because much of life is fiction, we must carry on. Two classmates mentioned the absence of our class notes. Dave Nilges sent an email asking if I was well, and Jim Sutphin sent some humor to cheer me up. Fear not, my friends. I’m well and will continue to search for news and honor my contract with this publication, which states I must provide notes for at least two issues a year or lose my 401K and medical benefits.
There are times when the news just hits you in the face. Recently, while watching Channel 5 in Cleveland, Gene Burns appeared on the screen. He was speaking to reporter Joe Pagonakis, thanking him for the work he did for the members of the condo group where Gene and his wife, Therese, live. It seemed the group was at odds with homeowners in the area. The group contacted Pagonakis, who mediated and resolved the issues. It’s nice to have the media on your side. Gene learned this years ago when he was a district manager for Ohio Bell. As my boss always said, “Never get in a fight with a guy who buys ink by the barrel.”
For the past few years, my wife and I have headed west to cross-country ski and snow shoe. Last year, we decided to follow the snowbirds and head south. On the recommendation of friends, we joined 80,000 seniors in The Villages. Wow! There are seniors flying around everywhere in golf carts with their first names painted on the front fenders and college logos painted on the doors or roof. But we didn’t see any JCU carts. There must be a zillion golf courses and country clubs down there. Happy hour and two-fer drinks made it seem like spring break for seniors. We played the Arnold Palmer and Nancy Lopez golf courses because most of the other ones were too busy. We met wonderful people and were chewed out by some old-timer in a Panera restaurant for being “one of those snowbirds who comes down here and makes it so crowded you can’t find a place to sit.” So much for Southern hospitality.
Prayers please for Gail LaRiche and Sandra Nilges. Keep the faith.
Thank goodness there has been activity in our class. Bob Small turned 80, and his family threw a gala. Bob began practicing law in the past century and was involved in several high-profile criminal cases. No felons – at least not known – were invited to the party. Bob and I have been friends since we attended a summer typing class at West Tech High School between our sophomore and junior years at Jesuit City West. Our mothers insisted an idle mind was unhealthy, especially during the summer.
Dave Nilges sent his Christmas letter. They’re collector items if you grew up in Cleveland or in the ’40s or ’50s. They’re all true stories. This year’s is about a pocket watch purchased by his mother and given to his father as a memorial for Dave’s oldest brother who was killed in WWII. The watch went missing for many years only to pop up in Buffalo, N.Y. A woman found the watch in her deceased husband’s jewelry box. Using the inscription as a guide, she called a Nilges in the Buffalo area, Dave’s nephew, who returned the watch to Dave. A great story and Christmas memory.
My pleasant memory for 2012: For the past 15 years, my wife and I have taken bicycle trips through France, Italy, Switzerland, Canada, and many areas in the U.S. This year, we returned to Canada (a few years ago, we took a trip through the Canadian Rockies) and rode from Ottawa to Montreal. There were 20 in our group who met in Burlington, Vt., and were bussed to Ottawa. We started our ride on Saturday in a casual fashion on the streets and bike paths in and around the city. Canada has a zillion bike paths. On Sunday, we biked over to Gatineau Park. There was no vehicle traffic that day, just smooth, two-lane roads. We began the ride at sea level and two hours later we were at 3,000 feet. The road was up and down, then around, then another up and down until we reached the peak. The ride down, as you might imagine, was a breeze. That evening our guides informed us the heat with humidity was 104 degrees that day. That was one of our toughest climbs in terms of the heat. The next day we were mostly on flat trails headed for Montreal. When you’re on a bike, you see things you don’t see on trains or planes, and you meet people from all throughout the country. One of our stops was at the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello on the banks of the Ottawa River and is the Fairmont Hotel chain at its best. More about Montreal later.
Prayers for Sandra Nilges and Gail LaRiche. Keep the faith.
During the holidays, several news items appeared …
Gene Flynn and his happy band of tax experts were sharpening their No. 2 pencils, checking the new tax regulations and praying a flat tax is never implemented during their lifetimes.
Bud McLeod received honors from the citizens of Rhode Island. He was featured on the cover of a state publication. (It’s like being on the cover of Time magazine as Man of the Year). Talk about being a man for others, the article begins “this self-starter brings people together for good causes.” His most recent accomplishment is starting the first leukemia and lymphoma sharing circle in the area. The organization works to assist people learning about the disease. When asked where the drive comes from, he says, “I’m a starter.” He’s co-founder and president of Responsible Action Council (a taxpayer support group), started the first AARP boomers group in the country for people aged 50 to 64 and created the first fibromyalgia support group in the area. When asked how he feels about being tabbed as a community all-star, Bud says he doesn’t think of himself that way. “I’m so glad to have so many willing to work and support these programs,” he says.
Dave Nilges reminded me about the great snow of 1950. If you were in the Cleveland area at Thanksgiving, you might remember the dump of snow that shut down the town for a week. Dave and his brother, Tom, loaded their father’s new pickup truck with five barrels of nails, each weighing 85 pounds, and five bundles of shingles, each weighing 95 pounds. They threw chains on the tires and headed out to pull out cars stuck in large snow drifts. They did this for three days. When it was over, they paid their dad $50 for the use of the truck and had $300 to split for their work. I don’t know if Dave is still doing this in the Denver area, but it was good training. Prayers for Sandra Nilges and Gail LaRiche.
Keep the faith.
It’s that time of year when men for others form little groups called foursomes, and this is where the story begins. Three from our year, Don Buynack, Herb Ramerman, and Jim Sutphin, with Jim Lewis ’71, conquered all. Their scramble score of 30 + 30 = 60 at the Alumni Golf Outing caused a riot by all who attended. Sutphin explained he knew this would happen because the Dutch invented golf. It seems that, for years, Dutchmen (Sutphin is one) in Holland would pick up sticks and chip/pitch tulip bulbs from dike to dike (the first water hazard) and once in a while hit one into Belgium. Later, a Dutch merchant traveling in Scotland demonstrated the process hoping to sell many tulip bulbs, but the Scotch, ever conscious of expense and the balance of trade, decided to take feathers, wrap them in cloth, and use them instead of the tulips. The first Titleist Pro V1 golf ball was invented, and the Scotch took credit for golf. As a result of winning the tournament, Jim was sent four Waterford beer mugs and four blue and gold Cutter & Buck golf shirts.
While on the subject of Scotland Mike Faul and his wife, Peggy, spent a share of this summer traveling in an RV while Mike biked on side trips. Peggy put it all on video, which demonstrates how Mike survived as a judge in the state of New York – balance and being able to move quickly.
Lou Lariche made headlines in Road and track magazine. He and a group of engineers from Bentley and the Cadillac division of GM were asked to convert the engine in the popemobile from gasoline to alternative fuels. The final decision was between a thick, red pasta sauce or olive oil. The olive oil won because it’s better for the economy.
Our classmate and senior golf tour member Austie Groden has been in hand-to-hand combat with the big “C” – chemo and all. Please pray for him. Also, pray for Sandra Nilges and Gail LaRiche. Keep the faith.
After enjoying nature at its finest – fresh snow and sunshine at 8,000 feet, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing – it’s time to return to Denver and catch up with Dave Nilges, who’s in the office and ready to talk about commercial real estate or Cleveland and the future casino in the Higbee building. I ask about Sandra’s health, and Dave says, “She’s right here with me in the office.” Dave managed the Terminal Tower in the late ’60s and has many stories about The English Oak Room, the Greenbrier Suite, and the first gigantic Christmas tree in 1968. We discuss those good old days when Cleveland had a lot more smoke and many more people. Somehow, in the midst of our conversation, we discussed the meaning of a word. There was a pause, and then Dave reminds me he took classical Greek in high school. I mention the only people I knew who took Greek were going to open a restaurant or deli. Then he tells me what he’d do to me if I didn’t call him before coming West again – a promise for lunch. I put my wife, Nancy, on the phone to assure him we’d call.
Prayers please for Gail LaRiche and Sandra Nilges. Keep the faith.
You may recall in the military the first order of business after the count of nose and toes in the morning (head count) was sick call. I have a sick-call item about Gene Burns and wife, Therese. It seems the Burns were practicing their skating routine at an indoor rink in Lakewood, Ohio, when Therese, while performing a triple axel, fell and injured her knee, which required replacement. So much for their program at the World Senior Skating Program in Toronto. Ever positive, Gene believes missing Toronto may be a blessing because he’s still recovering from his pacemaker surgery.
Gene Flynn and his staff of CPAs were prepared for tax year 2010. Gene says the extension of the tax cuts threw everything into a real twizzie, but the dust settled and refunds are pounding on the door. He smiles as he discusses the possibility of many changes in the tax laws. The sign behind his desk says “Change is Good.”
Mike Faul assures everyone he and Peggy enjoy Florida living. He doesn’t miss the crisp, cool air, 16 inches of snow, putting on nine layers of clothing, and snowshoeing to work. The Fauls enrolled in a language class, so they can understand twists and twangs in the language spoken by their neighbors from Eastern N.Y. better.
Dave Nilges sent a wonderful Christmas note recalling what happened to him during a Christmas trip from Fort Belvoir, Va., to Cleveland. As the lyrics in the song “Those Were the Days” go “those were the days my friend, we thought they would never end.”
Please keep Gail LaRiche and Sandra Nilges in your prayers. Keep the faith.
We all know Elvis isn’t in the house and LeBron isn’t at Quicken Loans Arena, but not everyone knows Mike Faul and his wife Peggy have moved to Florida.
When commenting about this at a recent gathering of Jesuit City West grads circa 1950 held at rancho Geo Wasmer ’58, Chuck Brewster ’55 said he has a favorite Mike Faul story and it goes like this: On occasion, a group of about 12 guys would sneak over to Rocky River (Ohio) High School and play touch football, usually a spirited contest that could be seen as a special Celtic brand of karate. Mike Faul caught the opening kickoff and, in the fashion of Wile E. Coyote, took off. While running the ball back, he changed directions at least 17 times, from one sideline to the other. Brewster claims Mike must have run a total of 200 yards. Crossing the goal line, Mike collapsed and lost his breakfast and much of the barley and hops from the night before. After a minute, he picked himself up, brushed himself off, walked over to his car, waved to everyone, got in, and drove away. Now that’s what you want in a lawyer and judge (in Phelps, N.Y.), to get the job done and move on.
Gene Burns renewed his friendship with Fairview Hospital in Cleveland. He missed our last reunion while upping the count of stents – this time it was a pacemaker. With new plumbing and a rhythm section, he should be ready for dancing with the stars or good golf next summer.
One of the joys of summer is watching grandsons play baseball. They love to kick up the dust and run to first base with the batting helmet bouncing on their head. This year, I attended a championship game for six-year-olds in Bay Village, Ohio. One of the parents cheering for the same team my grandson was on was Jim Sutphin. It seems his grandson was on the same team, and as the game progressed, we shouted encouragement and began to compare notes, as major league scouts are prone to do. My grandson was hitting .421, while his was batting .124. My grandson’s on-base percentage was .682, while his was .268. I don’t remember all the other numbers, but Jim was convinced his grandson was a better runner and fielder. Ah, summer.
Don’t forget prayers for Sandra Nilges and Gail LaRiche. Keep the faith.
The heat is so oppressive no one is willing to write, or even call, with any news. Well, that happens from time to time. Recently, when entering a medical building, I recognized Dick Kilfoyle sitting in the lobby. He was recovering from a broken leg, and, no, it wasn’t the result of a bar fight or a dance contest. He fell in the shower. Now he lives on the West Side of Cleveland. The Dave Nilges newsletter explains there are challenges in the world of commercial real estate in the Denver metro area, but, as Dave writes, “We have been through these times before.”
Jesuit City West put together a celebration for those who were considered Golden Cats – graduated 50 or more years ago. I sat at the same table as Bill Adler, and we chatted about those good old days at W. 30th and Lorain.
Sorry, not much news and leaving on a down note – three losses doesn’t make a happy ending. Requiescant in pace: Fred Blodgett was one of the good guys, always fun to be with, always Mr. Northwest Airlines in the U.S. and Asia. He was a man of character. Joanne Groden, wife of our classmate Austie Groden, a bright, vivacious woman who knew the lyrics to every rock song written. She had a joy of life that was contagious. My brother, Tom ’50, U.S. Army Europe 1943-1945, Cathedral Latin ’42. He was always my big brother, always my best man, always keeping the faith. Prayers please for Sandra Nilges and Gail LaRiche.
Well it’s happened again, Dom LoGalbo has written a rather pithy article about Cleveland’s lakefront. The article appeared in the Plain Dealer and in a very detailed way cited the plan no-plan approach of Cleveland planners that leaves miles of land looking like a barren wasteland north of the Shoreway and railroad tracks. Dom should be appointed to the Planning Commission or Port Authority.
Gene Burns spending a lot of his time at the Rocky River Rec Center says that he has to keep his stents open and blood flowing. It has been a long time since he tried out for football at Cathedral Latin.
Jim Sutphin sent along a nice note and some info about Dave Schuler (you may have seen the RIP for Dave in the last issue of the John Carroll magazine, spring 2010). Dave was our class president, a good friend to everyone and fun to be with. He worked in the steel industry, formed his own business, and after retiring spent time trolling for 6 lb. bass. His family and many, many friends miss him.
Recently, after spending a few days of moving snow from peaks to the valleys, my wife and I were in Denver, so a call to Dave Nilges, not to talk about commercial realtors, but to find out how his wife, Sandra, was doing. Things are getting better but she still belongs on the prayer list. Our Pope Benedict has been in the negative press recently but Lou LaRiche assures me that the Popemobile (that glass phone booth on wheels) is still in good shape, a Cadie V8 and hemie heads will keep ahead of the press. If you ever get a chance, look at the plate on the rear bumper — LaRiche Motors-Findley OH, Plymouth MI.
Prayers please, Fred Blodgett, Joanne Groden, Sandra Nilges, and Gail LaRiche. Keep the faith, Pete
At a luncheon gathering of Jesuit city west 1950 grads, Bill Adler commented that so much of the column is about out-of-towners, “why don’t you write more about the people who are here in town”? After I explained that it was a matter of fact and imagination, he told me of life after Carroll. When inducted into the U.S. Army (ROTC), Bill was slated to be a tank commander — Bill was about six feet six inches, 220 pounds, and size 14 shoes — at that time there were no tanks large enough for Bill and a crew. So, with a forte of math they moved him to the engineers. His first assignment was Germany. After successfully engineering bridges and beer halls, he returned to the U.S. and went to work at Dravo Wellman Engineering. For the next umpteen years, Bill traveled the U.S. working on engineering projects. He is a happy man and never regrets that there was not a tank big enough for him. Seated next to Bill was the always smiling and affable Dick Zunt ’55. He left this world just a few weeks after the luncheon. Dick always said the wine was better that year but most of his friends and West Side travelers were from ’54. The Cleveland Plain Dealer ran many articles about Dick, always emphasizing his willingness to compliment coaches and players as well as train new sports reporters. Sounds like a man for others.
Bob Small Esq. has resigned his position with the Cleveland Port Authority — too many scandals and not enough authority.
I visitedNorb Bunsey ’53 at St. John West Shore Hospital, where he was getting a new back. Norb graduated from Jesuit city west, matriculated to a “peace action” in North Korea, then to JCU. He insists that new back will put him on Dancing with the Stars.
Austie Groden and Ukrainian wife, Joanne, did the Big Apple at Christmas time. Austie says he wants to get back on the Senior Golf Tour and is shopping for a new driver, this after heart problems, two hip replacements, and a staph infection. See what happens when you are fluent in Latin and Greek.
The new Wall Street best seller, To Big to Fail, mentions classmate Jake Blake in the Notes and Sources section.
Rocky Mountain commercial realtor Dave Nilges publishes a newsletter and has labeled 2010 as the New Year of “Pretend and Extend.” You don’t have to be a realtor to understand and enjoy his analysis of finance and real estate.
Gene Flynn has sharpened his No. 2 pencils and is as ready as any tax man can be when the IRS comes a calling.
Spoke to Tom Moore recently, he has been in the landlord business since leaving Carroll and has apartment buildings in the Shaker Heights, OH, area. He is always busy — always something to fix.
Prayers please for Joanne Groden, Fred Blodgett, Sandra Nilges, and Gail LaRiche.
NB the new e-mail address — keep the faith, Pete
…sometimes you never know how famous some of our classmates are. Recently, Tom Corbett, our man in Vegas, mentioned a playground in Lakewood named after Tom McBride; the playground is in Niagara Park and was dedicated to Tom back in 2004. Tom had spent 16 years on Lakewood council (four as president). He was known as someone who worked hard to improve the quality of life for all of Lakewood’s residents. Well done, Tom – now can I get on the big swing? With “named in honor of” in mind, I checked my MapQuest for other classmate names used as a means of honor and recognition … Gene Burns Blvd., Rocky River; Tony Sassano St., South Euclid; Herb RamermanRd., Pepper Pike; Gene Wiemels Way, University Heights; Jack Wensinger Way, Dallas (right near the new stadium); Bill Adler Ave., Cleveland; and Del Tepley Turnpike, Avon, CT. I am sure there many more, but you have to admit, the class of ’54 has its share of honors.
John Spaniol, our retired optometrist, attended an honors program at Case Western Reserve University and met a friend from Jesuit city west, Tom Litzler. Tom received the President’s Award for his service to the university. Oh, those Jesuit grads … men for others.
Prayers, please, for Joanne Groden (doing much, much better), Fred Blodgett, Sandra Nilges, and Gail LaRiche. Keep the faith, Pete
…after nine Reunions in the last century, our second one in this century was a real blast! A hard core group of 12 (hmmm, perhaps Christ knew the magic that goes with that number) accompanied by spouse/guest/companion enjoyed the joy that comes with being with old friends and participating in a Mass celebration that made you proud to be there. Fr. Niehoff was celebrant and the Very Rev. Tim Kesicki, S.J., ’84 was homilist (the homily was outstanding – what Reunions should be about). The music and choir were uplifting and professional, and the Mass included a Moment of Remembrance for all deceased class members from the Reunion years. Our class was represented by Jim Kipfstuhl – and now to the rest of the cast. Gene Burns was all set to attend, but when passing Fairview Park Hospital, he decided to pull in and have his sixth stent installed; this man has plumbing that will not quit. Bill Bloomstine found Route 90 and came from Erie, PA. Fr. Casey Bukala, S.J., was on the altar for Mass (no calls from Heaven) and then around visiting everyone at dinner. Gene Wiemelsis still seven feet tall and the smartest science major I ever met. Dick Dow was table hopping after dinner – looks like a run for mayor in Middleburg Heights. Don Buynack, who knows every inn and golf course in Ohio, just bought a new wagon from the LaRiche boys in Findlay, OH. Bob Small refuses to completely retire from the practice of law; he keeps saying that the best is yet to come. Bob has been retained by the friends of Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora – need I say more? After having spent a career with the government in the field of oceanic and atmospheric administration, Ted Sabine has questions about cap-n-trade. Del Tepley has put his transportation law books aside and is now watching the traffic grow as Avon, OH, grows. John Spaniol, always checking the eyes and questioning how should one dress for the 55th… ’twas a fine night. The bar was crowded before dinner (open bar) and empty after dinner (cash bar). We had a picture taken before dinner with the classes of ’44 and ’49; those guys really looked old!
Prayers, please, for Fred Blodgett, Gail LaRiche, Joanne Groden, and Sandra Nilges (Joanne and Sandra are doing much much better, but keep up the prayers). Keep the faith. Pete
..in the last issue, I mentioned a belated honeymoon trip taken by The Blakes and the Sutphins … these guys always were a little slow. The Blakes married 40 years ago, the Sutphins 50. This escapade generated more comments than anything I have reported. Here are some of the e-mails, letters, and phone calls
from Jack W. (Texas): I cannot believe these two – Jim Sutphin would think Uzbekistan was somewhere near Toledo, and Jake Blake would think a Benedict was a drink you would have with a cheese sandwich
Gene B. (Ohio): You said they played golf in Ireland with Padraig Harrington; those two would ask for his autograph on the third hole and it would be for sale on eBay by the time they got to number six
Mike F. (New York): Those two haven’t changed in all these years. I’ll bet they took their wives to Uzbekistan to visit one of Sutphin’s Dutch relatives who raises poppies
Jack H. (Minnesota): I cannot understand how two fine sweet women like Eileen and Louise would let those two old dogs (Jack used another word) out of the backyard; like some wines, they do not travel well
There were other comments, but none would be up to the standards of this publication.
If you read the local papers or are a visitor to Facebook or Twitter, you know that Charlie O’Toole has changed law firms. Recently, he has been working with the U.S. Attorney relative to the Bernie Madoff investigation. One of Charlie’s specialties is the law relative to family-owned and closely held businesses. Charlie’s new firm sent out invitations to a party honoring Charlie as Irishman of the Year. The party was on Mar. 17. My invitation was mailed on Mar. 20 and I received it on the 22nd. Well, the mailroom is a little slow at times. Oh, the new firm is C, F, D & F and O’Toole.
Some time ago, Tom Harrison ’49 wrote to me about a letter sent to Cleveland’s Plain Dealer written by Dom LoGalbo. In the letter, Dom explains how a new plan for the lakefront is a billion dollar rip off (Tom agrees). If you can, get a copy of the letter printed Jan. 25, 2009, or try the Internet. The letter is well written and gives facts behind the issue. Better watch out, Dom, this is how Thomas Paine got started. Almost every Friday, a classmate and I meet at a local coffee shop, we compare notes on what the medical profession is telling us, what the financial world is doing to us, what we thought about the homily last week, what movies or books we have been chasing – you might say we have a reunion, and that is what reunions are all about. The buildings at John Carroll are outstanding, but the people who were there with us – the class – are what really matter. I hope you can find the time for a visit at Reunion, June 19-20-21, with the Class of ’54.
Prayers, please, for Joanne Groden, Fred Blodgett, Sandra Nilges, and Gail LaRiche. Keep the faith, Pete
Now that the snow is here, we can look back to last summer and recall the directions taken and the warmth enjoyed (no reference to the IRAs that went south in the fall). Two couples decided to celebrate wedding anniversaries and visit family and friends — Jake Blake and wife Eileen (40 years) with Jim Sutphin and his wife, Louise, (50 years) packed and headed out to celebrate the happiness and longevity of their marriages. First stop was Uzbekistan, then to Poland, and then on to Rome (private audience with Pope Benedict). Jake had done work with the Vatican Bank while he was on Wall Street. The ladies said that the high point of the trip was the lunch with Benedict; the lads agreed but what happened in Ireland was a close second. Seems the boys had a tee time at Ballybunion and were all set to tee off when a young Irishman walked up and asked if he could join them. The young lad happened to be the winner of the British Open and PGA Championship, Padraig Harrington. Jake and Jim refuse to tell their scores but say Harrington did well. Check the picture of the two couples taken in the land of kings and poets.
Dave Nilges, our agent in Colorado, is predicting a very interesting year in the West especially for realtors.
Tom Corbett is leaving CSI: Las Vegas; the TV show offered Tom a lead role but after 15 years consulting for the show he decided that too much of what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
Now that ’09 is here we have a chance to get together and enjoy, reconnect, laugh, and tell stories of how good those years were — it is called REUNION. Get ready now to think young in June. You will be hearing more about it — better than a trip to the spa.
Prayers please for Joanne Groden, Fred Blodgett, Sandra Nilges and Gail LaRiche. Keep the faith — Reunion Reunion Reunion Reunion. Peter
on September 21, Fr. Casey Bukala, SJ, celebrated his 50th Jubilee as a Jesuit. And as the Irish would say “’twas a grand party.” The Mass was an expression of Casey’s spirituality and though the homily was interrupted by a call on Casey’s cell phone (a call from 1-800-Heaven), this man walks the walk and talks the talk — his love for Jesus Christ. At the party after Mass, several members of our class were munching, sipping, and enjoying the company of old friends. Bill Bloomstine brought his boat down from Erie, PA, docked behind Browns Stadium where Gene Burns picked him up and drove to Jesuit City East. No doubt these two considered this a business meeting, Bloomstine is on the National Committee for the Preservation of the Great Lakes and Burns is associated with Homeland Security for the North Shore of Lake Erie. Tony Sposato was admiring the architecture of Jesuit City East and mentioned that when gambling casinos come to Ohio, his first casino will have a tower like JCU. Joe Wasserbauer mentioned that Fr. Casey should be a chaplain at NASA. Joe said that many of the things he engineered required a great deal of spirituality before being sent into outer space.
Still on the celebration circuit — many thanks to Ellie Festa. Seems that alumni in Naples, FL, held a party for JCU alums who played or worked in professional football. Don Shula ’51 was the featured special guest and coach Bob Niehoff, S.J., suggested prayers for the defeat of Mount Union. Ellie and Dom Festa and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in June at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples. Dom has served as president of his local club, Countryside Golf — bet his handicap is less than 10.
Another celebration of sorts
Dave Nilges’ wife, Sandra, is doing much better. Her chemo treatment is finished and now exercise and medication are in play. Dave remembers his first car, a ’54 Chevy Bel Air, white over flame red with white sidewall tires with a dealer sticker on the trunk that said LaRiche.
Prayers for Fred Blodgett, Sandra Nilges, and Gail LaRiche.
Keep the faith, Pete
…some in town and some out of town news … after nearly 20 years of Monday morning/mourning golf Gene Burns has put the sticks away for the year. Gene, like Tiger Woods, has knee and hip problems. Gene says “if Tiger can take the rest of the year off, so can I.” After rehab which consists of alcohol rubs, yoga and Swedish massage, he plans to return next spring with a smile and renewed vigor.
Mike Faul denies that he ever was a candidate for Attorney General in the state of New York. Mike is a retired judge in Phelps, NY, and has never been involved in a scandal … well sometimes you can’t find a scandal when you need one.
Dave Nilges is gearing up for the big roundup when the Democratic party comes to Denver. He plans on renting his barn in Centenial, CO, to political groupies and the media.
Lou LaRiche has pushed all the flood waters out of Findlay, OH, (from the last couple of years). For a while there, he was afraid that he would have to build a barge for two Toyota – two Subaru – two Chevy – two Cadillac — but new state of the art agencies are up and running … now, his major program is working with the Vatican to change the engine and exhaust system for the Popemobile. It is common knowledge that the vehicle has a Chevy block and hemi heads but Benedict wants to go green: use less gas, save the earth, and put a hybrid sticker on the rear window. Good luck Lou.
While on the subject of transportation, a few years ago I owned and rode a Honda Nighthawk, sweet two wheel bike that all the Harley owners called a “rice eater.” You could tool the back roads of Lorain County enjoy the fresh air and smell the agriculture. Met a guy by the name of Mike “Brooklyn” Brown. He rode a 1979 Harley low rider, shovel head, his advice to bikers was “keep it real, don’t be fake and handle your business.” I’m sure the bible has the same message. Don’t forget the prayers for Fred Blodgett, Sandra Nilges and Gail LaRiche. Keep the faith, Pete
… just a few notes from my stringers on what has been going on … Therese and Gene Burns were in D.C. for the Papal visit. Gene was there on Homeland Security business and had the good fortune to get tickets to the White House affair.
Bill Bloomstine was appointed to a special committee for the preservation of the Great Lakes water supply. Living in Erie, Pa., and boating on all that water, he is a natural for the job.
Tom Corbett says that the continued growth in Las Vegas is such that he is considering giving up his job as senior advisor to the hit TV show LV CSI and becoming a carpenter.
Mike Faul, retired judge in Phelps, N.Y., was mentioned as a candidate for governor when the last governor resigned.
Gene Flynn is putting his eye shade and No. 5 pencils away after another tax season. He now has a Mass said for all members of the IRS. Gene hopes the next congress makes many changes in the tax laws — good for business.
Austin Groden our senior golf pro is in rehab after his hip replacement. He met with a staff infection which delayed his recovery. A zipper in lieu of stitches would have been best since the incision had to be visited several times.
Bob Wischmeyer is back in the Cleveland area. He has written a play which was performed locally.
Pat Hynes served as an usher at the Papal Mass in St. Pats on Sunday, April 20. Lou LaRiche was also in N.Y. for the Papal visit. Seems that the Pope Mobile while of German design and construction has a Chevy block and four barrel hemi compliments of LaRiche Chevrolet in Findley, Ohio.
Prayers for Sandra Nilges and Fred Blodgett.
Keep the faith, Pete
…from time to time it is nice to think about the people who were part of our life and are no longer here … recently, one of the legendary high school football coaches of Ohio passed away, Augie Bossu of Benedictine High. There was an outpouring of letters to the Cleveland Plain Dealer and one of the letters was by Don Buynack. Don played for Couch Bossu and remembered him as a living “man for others.” Good work Don.
The class of ’50, Jesuit city west, has an annual Christmas rodeo at Sokolowski’s University Inn. About 30 members of the class show up and compare knee and hip replacements, bypass routines, health insurance and the current shortage of clergy. The clergy discussion was facilitated by Bob Small … with comments by Sister Mary Assumpta ’73G. Steve Oleksyk led the discussion on bypass (one of his sons is an MD and another is an ESQ) and Bill Adler led the comments on hip and knee (he has had them all).
The gang for universal brotherhood was at it again — Louise and Jim Sutphin, Eileen and Jake Blake and Carolyn and Charley O’Toole hosted a fundraiser for MoveOn.Org over the holidays (I have a picture to prove it). I was told that Geo Soros was in attendance.
Austie Groden, our senior golf pro, is having hip replacements — the right in Feb. and the left in April. His MD says he will have a smoother swing but will not guarantee distance or direction.
Chuck Brewster, now retired from the food broker business, was in a good mood recently. He picked three NFL winners and a perfecta at Hialeah, must have been selling the right food to all those folks.
Prayers please for Sandra Nilges, wife of David, and Fred Blodgett.
Keep the faith, Pete
…last fall my wife and I played a round of golf at one of Northeast Ohio’s better courses, Eagle Creek in Norwalk. The starter, a grad of Benedictine High School in Cleveland, gave us the history of the course and told us of the damage the spring rains had done, even showing us the high water mark on the club house — for almost two weeks most of the course was under water. This year the heavy rains came to Findlay. When you don’t live there but you see the pictures in the paper or on TV you forget about it — well surprise, one of our classmates has two auto dealerships in Findlay. Lou LaRiche Chevy-Cadillac lost 200 new cars and some customer cars. The good news is the buildings are repaired and operational. As of September 20 they are selling and servicing, all factory fresh cars and trucks from GM. Like a Phoenix from the ashes, LaRiche Toyota-Subaru is building a new facility three times the size of the current facility which suffered little damage from the rains. On the day of the Findlay deluge Lou and his wife, Gail, were celebrating their 54th wedding anniversary — I’m sure they’re going to remember that anniversary and the flood for some time.
Dave Nilges’ wife Sandra has some very serious health issues, oncologists are involved … prayers for Sandra and Dave.
Keep the faith, Pete
…I can tell that with the dog days of summer, many of you have put down your pen and pushed away your note pad. Little to report for 54 of the last century, but with sources and satellites there is some news
Dave Nilges (our Rocky Mountain real estate mogul) is concerned that Denver may be overbuilt and that the new trend in shopping malls (Streetscape) may be inappropriate for winter shopping. Dave and his staff are still very positive about the area and that a healthy economy cures most concerns.
John Heffernan feels that there may be several openings for referees in the NBA so he is jogging and working out on a regular basis. Jack says that while doing hoops at JCU, he never met a ref he didn’t like.
Pat Hynes, still in the big apple and quite a booster for his honor Mayor Bloomberg. Pat, cutting back on many of his activities, yet spending a share of his time at the outer banks, says he would be happy to work with the mayor if he decides to run for pres.
Bob Small is mentioned in several legal publications as part of the legal team that worked with Paris Hilton and her family. Bob is back home now and has been encouraged to write a book about the legal system in California.
From time to time I rely on third party sources for news of the ’54s, the comments may be incomplete, inexact or even inaccurate but never intended to be offensive … mea culpa, mea culpa. Keep the faith, Pete
…news from the most interesting places … if you are a business reader and a stock player one of our classmates is mentioned in a book written by Jeremy J. Siegel a prof at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Title of the book is Stocks for the Long Run … he writes that one of his best students, Clarence V. Blake, followed the profs advice and was a force while on Wall Street. To many of us Clarence is known as Jake.
Austie Groden took a top ten in a California Seniors Golf Tournament. He plans to spend the summer looking for loose change at local courses.
While vacationing in Florida, Don Buynack and wife Marilyn entered an AARP Dancing with the Stars contest and won it all! Marilyn must be the star.
Dave Nilges is still concerned about “is Denver, Colorado, overbuilt”? His newsletter is a compendium of the world of capital and land in and around Denver.
In our last publication I mentioned Gene Flynn who has an accounting firm in Hudson, OH. Seems that last year he fell and injured his left shoulder … still hurts … but after much thermokinematics he mastered the use of his right hand (he has been left handed for the last 70+ years) and sailed through the tax season — the IRS may question his right hand signature on those forms.
Prayers for Bob Coerdt who recently had some health challenges.
Keep the faith, Pete
…while many of you may be shaking sand out of your shoes there still is life in the North country … at a holiday gathering of 1950 grads of Jesuit City West, Bill Adler, while retired from most aspects of engineering, discussed his challenges as a consultant to the City of Cleveland and the Euclid Corridor project … the Panama Canal may have done great things for transportation but wait till you see what happens to downtown Cleveland.
Gene Burns has put away his golf clubs and accepted a position with Homeland Security — responsible for the shoreline and port security at the Cleveland Yacht Club in Rocky River, OH. Gene is very active in church activities (St Angela, Fairview Park) and is a Eucharist Minister, bringing communion to the homebound. I guess that would be spiritual security.
Gene Flynn, CPA has purchased several hundred No. 2 pencils and is already in the midst of the tax season. He is forever thankful for a congress that keeps changing the tax laws. He has a Mass said for all employees of the IRS at his parish every April. Gene is known as the human TurboTax.
Austie Groden and wife Joanne are headed for the coast … after a very rigorous rehab program at Elyria Memorial Hospital (after his heart episode) he is entered in a Seniors Golf Tournament at the Lodge at Torrey Pines, CA.
Dave Nilges our man in Centennial, CO … ever conscious of architecture and real estate says “the new DAM (Denver Art Museum) is something to see, possibly in a class with the Sydney Opera House or the Guggie in NYC.
Louise and Bud McLeod have made the turn that takes you from condo back to home ownership. Bud, never enough to do, is still volunteering for AARP and starting a Boomer Chapter in Providence, plus participation in Operation Clean Government (is that an oxymoron?). Keep the faith Pete
…thank goodness some are responding to my novena to St. Hillary, for information for our class notes … the local papers are reporting a successful fund raiser for the ACLU at the Sutphin residence. Jim and Louise along with Carolyn and Charlie O’Toole and Mary Alice and Herb Rammerman joined forces to promote a more civil and liberal culture for the rest of us
Don Buynack, Bill Stepanek ’52, Dave Curran (U of Detroit) and Jim Sutphin were the team to beat at the JCU Alumni Golf Classic … next year Lee Trevino (using a green card) will substitute for Jim
Newspapers forwarded from Rome have much to say about Lou LaRiche. Seems Lou was in Rome supervising the addition of armor plating to the Popemobile … here is some of the information (translated from the Italian)
LaRiche Toyota in Findlay, OH, managed by Bob LaRiche, received for the second year in succession, the Presidents Award for all aspects of operation. Chevy-Cadillac store, also in Findlay, managed by John LaRiche is setting records and the Chevy store in Plymouth, MI, managed by Scott LaRiche is doing well relative to MI economy. Lou and Gail have 13 grandchildren and three great grandchildren … when not traveling Lou hangs his hat at the store in Plymouth and watches NASCAR races on TV. A final note, one of the grandsons (Jim) lives in Boca Raton, FL, and is the World Champion Wake Boarder, age group 14-18. Another grandson is a Rotary exchange student in South Africa. At this point my Italian became a little rusty and I couldn’t translate all the other nice things that they had to say about Lou … something about Lou, Lee Iacocca and the Sopranos. … Keep the faith, Pete
… some notes from the world of sport … if you were watching the Belmont Stakes (one of the Triple Crown) you may have noticed one of our own in the owners box. Jake Blake and some of his friends are owners of a horse named High Finance. It looked like the group was having a good time even if the horse finished twelfth — so much for Wall Street.
John Spaniol, our retired eye doctor, is eying a place to rent in FL. Seems John is tired of winters on the North Coast and would like to become a snowbird.
Dave Nilges, Mr. Rocky Mountain High, says that he has seen it all, in January he toured the home of the former head of Tyco, Vail, CO — former CEO is now on his way to the federal pen. When a well named congressman from RI took on some cement borders in Washington, DC the phones started ringing in the McLeod house in RI
many of Bud McLeod’s friends encouraged him to run for Congress and replace a member of the Camelot Family. Bud decided that he could not work it into his busy schedule. Often we know little of the people we have a casual relationship with — a neighbor, someone at church, a classmate. By this time many of you know of the death of our classmate Kaye Kause. A highly decorated Colonel in the U.S. Army — twenty-eight years of service — two tours in Vietnam — a civilian contractor in Saudi Arabia — father of four – active in his church community. Gene Burns and Dick Kilfoyle attended the funeral Mass in Vienna, VA, and Bill Schlaudecker attended the military funeral with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery. Kaye did it all — Christian-officer-gentleman. Our prayers for wife Maggie and the family. Keep the faith, Pete
…well my prayers to St. Hilary have generated some response for this effort … thank goodness Tom Harrison who is pundit and scribe for the group of ’49 knows the likes of Mike Faul … Mike who left the rigors of the transportation industry (eighteen wheelers et al), went to law school and eventually became a judge is semi retired and a town judge in Phelps, NY, his robes are a little worn around the elbows but he still likes the job.
Every year Dave Nilges writes to tell that this year is the best ski season in the last 50 but this year has a new twist or break … Dave’s wife, Sandra, was blind-sided by a runaway skier and ended up with a broken leg. Sandra is under the care of her daughter (retired army major) who is head of the Tripler Army Medical Center, Pearl Harbor, HI.
Bill Adler and Steve Oleksyk were recently lunching at Sokolowski’s University Inn with a group from Jesuit city west grads, class of ’50.
Bob Small another semi retired attorney has joined forces with a small Irish law firm (Sligo) no joke Argue Phibbs and Small. Bob will provide legal services to the Irish in the West Park area of Cleveland — his knowledge of Gaelic should be helpful.
Wife and I recently pass through Disneyland for adults (Las Vegas) but failed to catch up with Tom Corbett. He is still acting as an advisor to the TV hit CSI Las Vegas. … Keep the faith, Pete
…the holidays were wonderful and I know that many of you wanted to write about your Christmas presents but here goes anyway … let me begin by explaining what happened to the photo of the Blakes, Schulers and Sutphins that we ran in the last issue … we (the editor and I) had the caption for the photo set when a voice in the lounge said “last call” immediately the Sutphins shifted from the center of the picture to the outside (closer to the bar) … well that is one explanation
Jake Blake was in town recently visiting friends and helping out at the St. Malachi Center, a center for the homeless on W. 25th St. … he returned to NY and sent clothing to the center for those who might need help. If you are in the W. 25th St. area and see Brooks Brothers pin stripes and button downs, it is the good works of JB — who said Wall Street doesn’t have heart.
Speaking of heart, Austie Groden is almost completely recovered from his quintuple by-pass. A rigorous rehab program at Lakewood Hospital has him in the best shape since basic training in the U.S. Army. With golf glory in mind, he has purchased a new driver with a head the size of a full grown watermelon — should be an interesting year on the links.
Dave Nilges is starting his engines for continued ’06 real estate growth in the Denver region. He recalls the “unbridled optimism” of condo building on the Lakewood Gold Coast years ago – he’s been in the real estate business for nearly 50 years and has seen all the ups and downs.
Bud McLeod is marching at “quick step.” Last year he resigned as president of the local concerned citizens, a group he founded, and accepted election to the board of the state’s largest (4000 member) taxpayer watch group. He founded a support group for the victims of fibromyalgia (if you don’t know what that is, look it up) … he is one of 20 senior leaders for AARP and is active in putting together a Candidate’s Day, March 11, 2006 for those running for elected office in RI … does this man ever rest?
Recently I started a novena to St. Hilary (yes there is a St. Hilary) asking that my dear brothers and sisters of ’54 would send more material for this column — please don’t disappoint her or me. Keep the faith, Pete
…some notes about summer happenings in our class — saw Gene Burns and Herb Ramerman walking the shores of the lakes and streams at Hilliard Lakes Golf Club. Gene looking for wet Titleists and Herb looking for cat fish.
Lou LaRiche made his annual trip to Rome and delivered his famous comment “Scuzi Papa, mia Lexus deliverio” as Lou tells it ,the first Pope mobile was for Paul VI and was a white Toyota. … more honors for our classmates
Fr. Casey Bukala, SJ, was recognized for his service to the university by the dedication of Casey’s Concourse at Shula Stadium. I feel it would be better named Casey’s Causeway. Casey being a psychologist and always looking for the cause that results in the way. Casey is also an Alumni Medal winner.
The other member of our class who has his name on the property is Fr. Tom Gafney, SJ, who has a plaque on the wall in the library. Congratulations Casey well deserved … and while on the subject of congratulations, Jim and Louise Sutphin with Jake and Eileen Blake were on the road to visit Tom and Ann Sullivan then to upper MI (Siberia) to see Dave and Susan Schuler.
The Sutphins celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary with the Schulers and Blakes at a game preserve and mink farm … not to leave Sutphin alone, his summer was spent wearing golf shoes and looking for someone who didn’t know what a mulligan was … he claims that Blake has an eraser on his pencil, Don Buynack is so strong that he putts like a gorilla and Charlie O’Toole now returned from Guantanamo Bay where he was representing the ACLU, has problems with his mashie and nib lick.
A final note about Casey’s Causeway — attending the Mass before the dedication (homily by Casey) were Gene Burns, Joe Wasserbauer, Dick Kilfoyle and Jim Sutphin (in his golf shoes). … Keep the faith, Pete
…we may be in the midst of the summer doldrums, but thank goodness there is good news to report
Tom Corbett, a long time favorite of “deep throat,” when he was a G-Man, had the honor and privilege of marching in the JCU graduation procession with his granddaughter Ann Skerkoski ’05 (a standout and record holder on the JCU swim team). Tom says that the food served to the alums after graduation was as good as that served in some of the casinos in LV where Tom and wife Joan live. Tom is still acting as an adviser to the TV show CSI-LV.
Austie Groden is not on the Senior Tour this year … he recently moved to Avon Lake and is recovering from quintuple by-pass and an attack of angry blood clots … after sorting through the boxes in his garage he says he will return to the links, at least chipping and putting.
Charlie O’Toole has returned from CA and is talking to a publisher about a book on the Michael Jackson trial. Charlie was often seen in the cabal entering and leaving the trial … no, he was not on the umbrella.
Tony Sposato is perfecting several designs for casinos and has joined a group of developers in Youngstown, waiting for Ohio law to change
… Several months ago I lunched with John Mackin ’55 … he is the law in Avon Lake — the Muni Judge and retires at the end of this year. He said he knew it was a good job but when sixteen people took out petitions for election to the job, he decided it must be a great job. John is known as a firm and fair judge, a credit to his profession and to the people of Avon Lake who have continually elected him. He will continue to practice law in Lorain County.
Don Davidson, a long time friend of Lance Armstrong, has been glued to the TV watching Lance’s try for number seven. … Hope everyone is having a great summer … keep the faith, Pete
While many of us hibernate during the winter, some members of our class take time in warmer climates to improve skills they display when they return north, demonstrating these skills with money associated in the use of these skills … I don’t mean bingo … I mean a game called golf. Jim Sutphin has been working at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Naples, FL, and claims a week at the academy has changed his game. Jim is confident now when he says “God isn’t the only one that can hit a one iron.” At the same time he was sharpening golf skills his daughter, Mary, was the lead teacher at the Hudson Montessori Middle School.
Bob Small is back from the Peterson case and says he might have enough material to write a book.
Gene Burns is leading a senior kickboxing program at a local health club — his class motto is “its time to take names and kick a–. … Gene says many members of his class are Cleveland School teachers.
Lou LaRiche was in Rome for the funeral and had several Cardinals ask about prices on red Toyotas.
Jake Blake, like friend Sutphin, spent some time in the sun working on his putting. Jake is great on the carpet in the winter but on grass he needs help. Jake spent time with teaching pro Jim McLean and after the twelve-week program lowered his scores by ten strokes.
Dave Nilges in Centennial, CO, is still up to his hips in snow, in the higher elevations 24” in the last three days … and I cheer when the forsythia begin to bloom. As a final note, it has been brought to my attention that Haggar (like in slacks) never made PJs, well, I happen to know that in parts of this country, often the rural south, when darkness came you just unsnapped your suspenders and you and your Haggars slipped between the sheets … keep the faith, Pete
…this issue might be considered our congratulatory missive but some notes of interest before
Jim Sweeney has a good question, “why don’t more members of our 50 year group take advantage of the university’s gift, attending classes (when there is room) for no fee. Those who graduated fifty or more years ago may attend classes free. Jim is completing a class on Irish Writers and says that it has been educational and entertaining … he now knows of many pubs in Dublin and Liverpool visited by Joyce and a whole host of those who wrote with a brogue
first congrats go to Lou LaRiche … you may have missed it, but in a recent address to the world John Paul II, while endorsing Christian/capitalism, discussed expansion of the Vatican Museum and its 64 associated gift shops and announced the first and only Chevy-Cadillac-Toyota-Subaru dealer in Rome … and now a hybrid Lexus for … the next congrats for Bud McLeod living in a blue state, Bud has formed a Political Action Committee to add some red to the mix … Bud is still active with AARP but the biggest and best news for Bud and Louise was the adoption of a one year old who they are calling “Roo” … Bud continues to work support groups with the help of the Arthritis Foundation and South County Hospital
next congrats to John Spaniol … John’s brother Joe, was The Clerk of Court, the Supreme Court of the United States 1985-1990 … brother Joe’s portrait was unveiled in the East Conference Room of the Court in January … while on the subject of John S. several have questioned how John dates such attractive women, well if you missed the one at the reunion, she is on the cover of the September issue of ELLE magazine … maybe it has something to do with John being an optometrist
the December 27, 04 issue of Fortune Magazine comments on Jake Blake and his stock picks for 05 … Jake is still high on wine futures
Dave Nilges is up to his tush in Colorado snow and refuses to wax his skis in fear that he may go to fast, Dave recalls some of the famous streetcar rides to Jesuit City West
Gene Burns is glad the Homeland Security job is filled … he was scheduled for an interview in February
Dan Boland is still in the land of grapes and sunshine – CA … recently changed zip codes and now lives in Encinitas. … keep the faith Pete
Some final notes from the reunion, then some answers to questions received via e-mail, calls and letters
Fr. Casey Casimir Bukala, SJ concelebrated the reunion Mass and worked with the reunion committee in making calls to class members.
Bud McLeod had a great tour of the campus, parked in front then walked to the back for his goodies and registration then to the front for activities … said he hasn’t walked that far since close order drill fifty years ago.
Joe Wasserbauer spent a great deal of his time trying to explain what he did at NASA and why tang and vodka is a great drink for anyone who wants to go in to orbit.
Mike Velotta is still one of the better dancers in the class … must come from stepping around hot asphalt or wet cement.
Jack Wensinger claims that he can out-drive any member of the class … the story he tells is that one day (with a following wind) he hit a golf ball from Dallas to Ft. Worth … that is some poke even for a Texan.
Jim Sweeney is contemplating a life in politics; he says that East Cleveland may be ready for someone with a legal background.
Bob Small another Esq. in the class has been quietly working with a group of defense lawyers in the Michael Jackson case.
Bill Schlaudecker still in insurance was offering several properties for sale in Florida.
Charlie O’Toole said that his work with the Martha Stewart defense team was very interesting, and the trips to West Virginia will be even more interesting.
Here are some of the questions and comments I received after our last issue
Q is it true that Jim Sutphin is an associate of Michael Moore the film director
A well, Jim is by nature attracted to anything that gets a lot of ink
Q why was Jack Heffernan walking around campus in his PJs
A well, he worked for Haggar and he wanted to show that they made something other than pants
Q is Gene Burns really the defense coordinator for the Great Lakes area
A well, if you saw the LCT that he drives you would know
Q is Lou LaRiche really connected with the Vatican
A well, all I know is that every time the director of the Vatican Bank comes to the U.S. he makes the stops in Michigan to see Lou
Dave Nilges writes from Denver, sorry he missed the reunion, he was in the garage waxing his skis. Dave asked if I had visited one of his favorite restaurants, LePeep somewhere on RT 82 west of I-71. I promised Dave that I would check it out. … one last Q is Gene Wiemels the smartest science grad in the class … A well, he was the only one who could explain to me why Sputnik 1 stayed up there and didn’t come right back down.
Keep the faith, Pete
… several years ago there was an Irish group that had a hit song entitled “wasn’t that a party,” they would have enjoyed our reunion … let me begin a partial recap by thanking Rosalie Massey and big Peter B. for all their work in making the weekend a success … the t-shirts, plates, pins, tours, entertainment, seminars and hospitality were excellent … the committee “did itself fine” in helping a turnout of around 50 from the class of ’54 … here are some of the notes passed to me by Inspector Cluseau who attended all receptions and diners. … Jim Sutphin was at his best in putting together a video which played Saturday night, the sights and sounds were all about the “Carroll” and the “Class” of fifty years ago. Jim said some of the techniques used were from one of his recent commercial ventures in working with Michael Moore in his film productions.
Don Davidson made it up from the Columbus area and mentioned that his training methods were now adopted by Lance Armstrong and showing results. Dick Kilfoyle has not completely retired and will still insure anyone who can guaranty a composed and quiet life … Martha Stewart is one of his clients.
Tom Corbett is still in Vegas and is currently serving as an adviser for the CSI – Vegas, TV hit, his past days with the FBI make him a natural.
John Spaniol, retired optometrist, was mingling about the reunion with his camera, taking pictures and having classmates sign his yearbook.
John’s date, a Vogue model named Che Che, is quite attractive. … Dom LoGalbo is still teaching and says he will continue until teachers are paid at the same rate as a first year player in the NBA.
John Heffernan kept asking for a moment of silence, if there had been a three point shot when he was doing hoops at Carroll, he would have played in the NBA and would be part owner in the Timberwolves.
Lou LaRiche, still looking like an ambassador to the Vatican, has pulled of an “eagle” for auto dealers, his Cadillac-Chev and his Toyota dealerships have both been recognized as best in the U.S., both in the same year. Nice work Lou, now about that Lexus for the Pope.
Tony Sposato has a nephew on his way to JCU this fall. Tony is still an architect and specializes in the design of casinos — he is waiting for things to change in Ohio.
Bob Coerdt has maintained a membership in the YMCA for more than 40 years and is an age bracket champion for handball.
Fred McGunagle, who does freelance work for the Cleveland PD and is prominent in New Church groups, was talking to John Carson about starting a group in Dallas. John the retired banker would be the treasurer and have a line on becoming a monsignor.
Gene Burns ever the rebel and agitator, was telling everyone that his reserve commission of Lt. Col. meant he would be called up for security duty at one of the national political conventions. Gene is a homeland defense coordinator for the Great Lakes area.
Pat Hynes, still in the big apple, is a member of Mayor Blumberg’s staff and coordinates activities associated with the New York City Marathon.
Don Buynack still works out six days a week and was looking for someone to arm wrestle. Also, Don knows every good restaurant within a hundred miles of his home in Lyndhurst.
Herb Ramerman showed up wearing his fishing outfit and had a string of trout that he served to those seated at the same table on Saturday night. Several at the table said the fish tasted like an aged bologna sandwich.
Gene Flynn recently released from a federal institution (having served a term for one of his tax clients) looked trim and fit. Gene said the food served at the federal retreat was better than that served in the JCU cafeteria when we were students.
I haven’t covered everything, so I will give you Reunion 2 in the next edition … keep the faith, Pete N.B. the new e-mail address — firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope everyone received a call concerning our reunion … there has been some confusion about cost … if you read the reservation card with all the dollar signs you forget that the 50 year class members and guests are FREE … when was the last time any institution of learning offered you a FREE weekend … no real estate or swamp land will be sold!
Steve Oleksyk is catching up with Gene Burns when it comes to the number of stents put in to improve blood flow; I think Burns leads 5-3. Steve has a load of help from a son who is an MD.
Bill Adler is a “maybe” for the reunion, he has a new ear. As he describes it, they put a magnet in the ear and one outside the ear with wires and a tuning fork connecting the magnets. All is going well except when someone uses one of those high pitch dog whistles, Bill begins to howl and look for a fire plug.
Gene Flynn is still a CPA with heart, trying to keep all the good guys from being beaten up by the IRS.
John Carson is loading up the Conestoga wagon and “headin up from Dallas for the big reunion
John Spaniol is planning to attend but will not bring Kim Basinger this time — maybe Diane Keaton, since John looks like Jack Nicholson.
Jerry Kalal is going to slide over from Solon and check everything out.
When the committee was making calls to follow up on the reunion invitation, no one had better luck in getting the called party to attention than Fr. Casey Bukala SJ. Can you imagine a Jesuit calling you and reminding you of your 50 year class reunion? I think there may have been some confessions in the process.
Dave Nilges isn’t sure if he will attend, wife having surgery.
Jim Sutphin has done extensive research for the Saturday night program, says Little Things Mean a Lot was the number one hit in 1954 … what a great song for a reunion. Jim is now know as Mr. Abstention, he gave up all booze for lent and claims he didn’t lose a pound … must not have been drinking much to start with. About the reunion, when making the calls you hear about all the fond memories of JCU and how we children of the recession were fortunate to get a good education and to be classmates with so many good people and you hear about health and aging — as the Irish would say “tis a good time to get together with friends and have some porter or a ball of malt
It has never been my intention to make these ramblings a home for obituaries but it is a great way of recalling what great people we have been associated with at JCU
Two good friends have gone home … George Lyman and Larry Donohoe. George, you may remember, as in football and fun, a smile and a laugh, always great to be around. Larry was a combination of “a man for all seasons” and “a renaissance man” … he was active in church, community and political affairs. Prayers please for George, Larry and their families.
See you at the reunion … let me repeat it is FREE! Keep the faith, Pete
Happy New Year … with this being ’04 and our launch from academia being in the last century ’54, it is our golden get together … and what a time is planned … the committee is in action with co-chairs (not rocking chairs) Herb Ramerman and Joe Wasserbauer are promising a weekend for all to enjoy.
Jim Sutphin has signed a contract to MC the Saturday Night Live program … he still receives requests for his “you know you are old” list from five years ago … no doubt he will use an updated version. … Don Buynack is the webmaster which means you can get the current skinny on what is going on by clicking on the JCU Web site … www.jcu.edu click on alumni, then our year and wow maybe a picture of your committee.
Jake Blake is serving as CFO for the class gift … Jake is still concerned about the article in Wine Spectator Magazine that featured his Sauvignon Blanc wine with 92 points and at $38.00 a bottle, his concern is that he priced the wine to low but no matter — it is sold out … several financial publications mentioned Jake as a possible replacement for Dick Grasso at the NYSE … I’m sure Jake would rather grow grapes, sample wines and travel.
Last August during the big power outage I had lunch with Pat Hynes in New York City … Pat knew of a little greek restaurant on 10th Ave. that must have had back up power … we compared notes and enjoyed travel stories amid all the confusion in the big apple … Pat plans on attending our reunion this year. … Two more things about the reunion, it is FREE to members of the 50 year class and their guests and it takes place June 18-19-20. … Not to leave on a down note but, we lost two fine friends since our last writing
Joe McKeon and Dave Hurd. I have known these two since days at Jesuit City West … both professional in their business life and very faithful in their religious life, both battled long illnesses with dignity and great faith … both had the support of wives and family through it all … keep them in your prayers.
A final note – REUNION … REUNION … REUNION … FREE … FREE … FREE … JUNE 18-19-20. Keep the faith, Pete
… a recent issue of Wine Spectator Magazine includes a small article on Blake Vineyards of Montauk Point, NY … the wines are the pride of our classmate “JAKE BLAKE” and his family … according to the article the Sauvignon Blanc is the best in the east, “a clean white, with light fruit, made without oak” perhaps Jake could bring a few cases for our fifty-year fling next year, he has the dates on his calendar so lets hope for a good harvest this fall. ..
In the last issue, I mentioned that Pat Hynes was not home when I called last December seems that he was teaching in Beijing China … taught two MBA courses in information technology in November and December at Peking University. Pat says a very worthwhile program started a few years ago by Jesuit Schools, offering American MBA degrees in China. Pat visited China twenty years ago and says that the change is substantial not just automobiles over bicycles but an aggressive manufacturing economy especially in electronics and clothing. JCU prof Bloom was leaving Beijing as Pat arrived. When Pat returned to NY he retired from academia … as he says “I left the party while I was still having fun.”
Dave Nilges is still bragging about the most terrific ski season in the last 40 years. Colorado Dave enjoys snowfalls of 41″ and drifts of 12 to 14 feet. His favorite area is the Arapahoe Basin where in a good year you can ski on the 4th of July … as someone who spends winter in the city, I still think that winter is a punishment for original sin.
As a final note, most of you know that we lost Bill Tumney. Bill was a great supporter of JCU, always worked on reunions and alumni functions, a good Christian and active in any organization that he was a member, generous with his time and wit. He will be missed.
Prayers, please for those whom we have lost and those who would appreciate better health especially Joe McKeon. Keep the faith, Pete
… if you remember, and I’m sure most of you do, the first thing after reveille was sick call and we have a few troopers who have been in the infirmary
Lawyer Bill Tumney who usually chases ambulances is riding in them … Bill had surgery, returned home, complications, returned to the hospital, returned home, more complications, back to the hospital, returned home, more complications, and again back to the hospital, the medical staff and wife Zita are trying to decide who gets to keep him.
Chuck Brewster ’55 was all set for a hip replacement when it was discovered that he needed bypass work (yes some food brokers do have a heart). Chuck says that those most concerned with the success of his bypass were those to whom he owed money.
Gene Burns, after two hernia operations has added stint to his resume, after making many friends in the general medical area is now concentrating on the heart wing of Fairview Medical.
Received a great note from Joe McKeon at Christmas, he is still inching along in his recovery, has gained limited use of one hand and is gaining upper body strength, he is thinking of holding close order drill for the ROTC saber set at our fifty frolic next year … on the lighter side … when in the big apple last holiday season, tried to reach Pat Hynes, his answering machine told me that he was doing some “extensive travel” over the holidays but I could leave a message on his e-mail at Fordham.
Thank goodness that Eleanor Festa still writes, Dom Festa is too busy receiving accolades after being inducted into the Westchester County NY State Hall of Fame. Dom and Eleanor now enjoy the sun in Naples, FL. Dom coached basketball at Hamilton HS in Elmsford NY, winning sixty straight league games, three undefeated seasons and is a four time coach of the year … and to think that he did that without a player by the name of Labron James … that’s a local joke folks.
Dave Nilges survived the fire season in CO, the fires were close enough to see and smell and friends lost homes and livestock. Dave has also become chief historian for Cleveland Sports Losses, he has trouble with, the drive, the drop the helmet etc., and while on the subject of sports
our man Dick Zunt ’55 is on the “expert panel” for the Plain Dealer, a hall of fame member for the Ohio Prep Sports Writers Assoc. and is honored with the Golden Deeds Award from the areas’ three major coaching assoc.
That’s all for now … prayers please for those on the mend … keep the faith, Pete
… let me begin with an apology and an explanation … often there is a time lag of at least a month between my writing to our august group and the publication of John Carroll magazine … recently one of our group accosted me between bites on my tuna salad sandwich, concerning the timing of a request for prayers for Jim Braham and his departure to the next life … well, I am sure that Jim enjoyed the prayers, here or there … in fact, Jim’s wake was a tribute to a man who enjoyed journalism and vice/versa, there were pictures of Jim and every major sports and entertainment personality for the last thirty years … his reporting for Cleveland newspapers and Penton Publications reflected the man, professional with a joy of life … and now to the other matters at hand.
Austie Groden is on the Senior Tour, he plans to play the Toshiba Senior Classic at Newport Beach and the Emerald Classic in Florida … his new sponsor is Natural Golf.
Dave Nilges is still enjoying the rarefied air and snow at 6,000 feet in Colorado, he still dabbles in commercial real estate and is willing to sell half a mountain to any interested party, with a scent of patriotism Dave recalls that all his brothers (6) and sister have served in the military.
While thinking of patriotism, Jim Sutphin was our representative in the Olympic Torch parade … Jim carried the torch on West Broad St. in Columbus, he claims that this came about because daughter Susie ’92 and friends nominated him. … I believe that a French figure skating judge had something to do with it … Jim says the souvenir version given him is available (small fee) for bug control at outdoor parties.
You may have missed him, but he was there, Jake Blake at the US Senate hearings for Enron, Jake may be retired from Wall Street but he remains interested in financial matters due to his association with author/investor Peter Lynch.
Bob Small and Bill Tumney are part of a group of local lawyers mounting a letter writing campaign in support of “a Christian approach to the life of John Lindh Walker.” Small has spent some time with Walker and Tumney is quick to point out that Walker’s Christian education was by Christian Brothers not Jesuits.
Dick Zunt ’55 claims that he has sorted through all the sports memorabilia gathered over 40 years of reporting and he may reintroduce a high school sports newsletter that he began in his basement 35 years ago
the launch of the newsletter will include a high school swimsuit edition.
Another correction, Bill Adler corrected my measurements of his grandson who is a frosh at Jesuit City-West, the lad is six-eight and has a size eighteen foot.
Never, never forget Joe Mckeon in your prayers, there is progress, slow but progress.
If you are a member of the ’54 group and I haven’t slandered you in a while, please write or e-mail and I’ll try to correct the situation.
Keep the faith, Pete