As you read this, you’re probably anticipating Christmas, so let me wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
I want to compliment Dennis Bryant on being the first classmate to commit to attending our 55-year reunion in June. As a reward, the reunion will be free for him and his bride, Janet. (It’s free for all of us, but Dennis wins the award for being first to commit in writing). He also shared news about their return to JCU on vacation in May. He and Janet recently completed riding their Harley through all 48 contiguous states since our 50th reunion. What a great bucket-list item, if that’s what it was. They also spent two weeks in Alaska and one week shipboard on the Inland Passage to Vancouver. Because it’s 4,000 miles from their home in Texas, they had to fly to Fairbanks and back home. (Much too far for motorcycling.) In their spare time, they squeezed in a 17-day cruise up the Danube and 15 days in Italy. (Too bad they aren’t enjoying retirement.) They’re looking forward to the reunion.
I also heard from Larry Beaudin, who interestingly pointed out he has been retired for 18 years, which is as long as it took him to reach JCU. His five married children live in the Chicago area. One of the older grandchildren has graduated, is married, and is working as a nurse, while the other 13 range from being in their fifth year of pharmacy studies all the way down to the fourth grade. His grandson Jacob was awarded the 101st Airborne Division Association’s scholarship and has arrived at USC to study engineering. Larry says there’s still plenty of sports, marching band events, dance, and piano recitals to enjoy while keeping Peg and him out of mischief.
Other classmates who have responded positively about attending reunion (as of Sept. 5) are: Jesse Butts, Al Brown, Paul Cronin, Ken Dacas, Jack Duffy, Bob Fitzharris, Don Kucera, Rich Low, Dave Marr, Don Muno, Jack Murray, Norb Patla, and Karl Rill. We assume the members of the committee will be attending if health permits. That makes 58 classmates who’ve made preliminary commitments to attend.
Those of you who don’t read the Journal online should have received a letter about the reunion from the reunion committee. It will take place June 19 – 21, 2015. Mark those dates now. If you’re into this type of thing, put it on your bucket list. All meals and on-campus lodging are free to us more mature alums. Murphy Hall (not there in our day) has been completely renovated and isn’t dorm living as we knew it. Air-conditioning and private bathrooms make it a great place to stay right in the middle of all the action for the weekend. (You can’t beat the price.)
The committee, which is working overtime to put together a memorable weekend on campus, is looking at the possibility of an extended gathering for any who would be interested in lengthening the weekend a day or two to visit with classmates a bit longer. Once we get it together, we’ll be sending out a so-called newsletter with particulars. Please let me know by email what you think of the idea. Any interest? Don’t forget to phone one or two of your best friends from JCU about attending together. Be well.
I recall the great time I had for two days enjoying the company of Bob Barkett and Jim Mason as guests of Marty Regan and his wife, Kate, for golf and dinner in Sylvania, Ohio. We played Highland Meadows Country Club and ate a wonderful dinner at the Regan’s home. Now I’m preparing for a visit from John Magnotto and his wife, Lynne, at our home in University Heights. We plan to gather several classmates for golf and visiting afterward. One of the great aspects of retirement is the opportunity (and time) to get together with classmates who aren’t seen frequently enough. With that in mind, I focus on the fact our class will be invited to be the guests (yes, it’s free) of John Carroll at our 55-year reunion next summer, June 19-21. We formed a committee, and you might have been contacted by a classmate about reunion. Our 50-year reunion was a great success. I enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with guys I hadn’t seen in years. This will be another opportunity to meet, greet, and wonder about the changes that have taken place at Carroll since we were last on campus. Even some of us have changed. At our age, the minutes spent with old classmates (we’re really young men trapped in old bodies) are priceless. To that end, I’d ask you phone any or all classmates with whom you’re still in touch and discuss the possibility of getting together at Carroll next June. No matter what your relationship with the University, our reunions are about what we learned from each other and the role our relationships with classmates played in our lives. Whether or not we take the time to reflect on it (and most of us probably don’t), we played an important part in the lives of one another. I realize this every time I hear from someone with whom I haven’t connected in a while. You should’ve received a letter from the reunion committee by now. As the year progresses, additional information will be forthcoming from the committee and University. Should you have any questions about the reunion or information for our next column, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d be more than happy to have an increasing number of names to add to the list of those planning to attend. If you know you’re going to be there, let me know, and I can share the news with the rest of the class. I hope to see all of you in June 2015. Be well.
It’s another sad beginning for another column. I’m sorry to report classmate and teammate, Jim Gauntner passed away Jan. 23. Jim was the most decent human being I’ve ever known. While I don’t want to dwell on sad news, Bill Buescher told me Dave Marr, who has returned to the Chicago area (Evanston, Ill.), had a difﬁcult winter losing his older sister and close friend from grade school within one week. Bill also informed me Len Piotrowski is on dialysis ﬁve to six times a week. Many of Len’s health problems resulted from his exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. While there, Len earned the Bronze Star on three occasions for which the citation attested to “Outstanding Meritorious Service in Vietnam in a Combat Situation.”
On the lighter side, Bill Jilek and his wife, Dotti, experienced a trip of a lifetime when they captained a 42-foot Grand Banks from Juneau to Ketchikan, Alaska, last summer. Along the way, they were as close as you can imagine to glaciers, whales, and bears. Another great trip was taken by Greg Fisher and his wife, Jeanette, who spent time on a safari in Africa last summer. We’ll have to see if we can convince the Jileks and Fishers to present a slide presentation (Do such things still exist?) of their travels at our 55-year reunion in June of ’15. What great ways to enjoy retirement.
Jim Mason and Alfonso Rossi took a class together last semester at JCU. I believe they audited it, but I think Jim took it for credit. I’m not so sure they didn’t just want to see what it’s like to attend college with females. Neither of them will admit to attending any frat or sorority parties (a couple of wild and crazy guys).
For all fellow arthritic classmates, I hope you hung in there during the long, cold winter. Thanks Bills Jilek and Buescher for sending information. Without your input, this column, though short, wouldn’t have been written. How about the rest of you? Do you have news to share? Most of us like to hear what our classmates are doing. Happy Easter, and be well.
I’m sorry to report our classmate, Jordon Ussai, passed away. May he rest in peace.
I’ve had the chance to speak with my old roommate, John Kimler, recently. Whenever we speak by phone, we lose track of time, so our chat is quite long.
Our fall sport teams enjoyed a remarkable season. The women’s cross country and soccer teams won conference championships. The men’s cross country and soccer teams finished second. The big accomplishment of the season was the JCU football team, which qualified for the NCAA playoffs.
Jim Shannon is flying into Cleveland, and classmates will be getting together to celebrate Jim Mason’s 75th birthday. What took you so long to get there, Jim? Dave Nichting suffered burns to his legs, arms, and face in a flash-back fire accident last summer, but he has fully recovered and is doing well.
If a few more classmates would send information, I’d have a better column. Sorry for the brevity, but without input, there’s little else to report. I hope you enjoyed the holidays. Be well.
This past summer wasn’t particularly good to our class. Tom Bausch, Tom Collins, and Jim Gowan passed away. May they rest in peace.
I heard from Peter Conboy. He contacted members of the class of ’60 living in the Chicago area and encouraged them to attend the JCU vs. St. Norbert football game at Toyota Park in Chicago Sept. 7. The Blue Streaks won the game, and all who attended enjoyed tailgating before kickoff.
Tom O’Malley had a hole-in-one recently. The third Friday lunch group verified it. There’s evidence he was wearing a new style (low cut) pair of golf shoes when he accomplished this feat. Congratulations, Tom!
At the end of July, Dick Fromholtz and his wife, Sunday, were in town visiting. Frank Dempsey, Jim Mason, and I were able to join Dick for lunch and a round of golf followed by dinner at the Masons, where we were joined by Dave Nichting and his wife, Sharon. We’re looking forward to visiting them in the spring while we’re on our annual golf trip to South Carolina. Speaking of which, Bob Barkett signed on to join us for this year’s outing. Our friend Mr. O’Malley (see above) has declined several invitations to join us. Despite his prowess on the links, we’d still like to see him come with us. Anyone else who might be interested, let me know, and I’ll send you information. Meanwhile, drop me a line or two, and if I don’t forget where I’ve put it, I’ll include it in the next column. Be well.
Once again, a sad opening for the column. Our classmate, Bob Fitzgerald, passed away in May. An impressive number of teammates from the 1959 season made it to the burial. May he rest in peace.
I received a lengthy email from Jack Murray, who resides in South America. He was last in the U.S. for our 50th reunion. Jack has been busy working on real-estate projects. The business culture there leaves much to be desired. One of his projects entails finding an investor for a process for transforming coal into liquid, which is cost effective at eliminating polluting byproducts and results in gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. He’s also looking for a buyer of a contract for 60,000 mt of thermal coal per month for five years. Jack says hello to all his classmates. (Any buyers out there for 60,000 mt of coal/month?)
Marty Regan and Greg Fisher came to Cleveland for the annual alumni golf outing in June. They joined Jim Mason and me in a foursome who played from the senior tees and performed exactly like seniors (Jim and Greg played well. Marty and I, not so much).
Jerry Malizia and I finally caught up by phone after more than two weeks of missing each other because of a three-hour time zone difference, not to mention the number of times I intended to call but forgot. As we spoke, the temperature in Phoenix was 117 degrees (but dry). He and his bride are heading for Park City, Utah, to escape the heat for four weeks.
Several Clevelanders are planning to travel to Chicago to see the 2013 Blue Streak football team open the season against St. Norbert. We hope to see many of our Chicago classmates at the game on Sept. 7 at 4 p.m. at Toyota Park.
There’s not much else to report. It has been quiet. I need more input. Send news for the next class notes. Be well.
Sorry to begin this way, but be aware classmates Joe Lang and Kevin Foley have passed away. May they rest in peace.
On a more pleasant note, I heard from a couple guys with whom I don’t often communicate. Dan Pallat told me he joined CORE, an organization that provides free counseling and mentoring advice to help people start up and grow small businesses through the volunteer services of retired executives. Dan believes it’s one way he can help entrepreneurs become successful business owners. Way to put retirement (if you are retired) to good use, Dan.
I also heard from old (meaning ex) teammate Jack Greene, who lives in Texas, where he and his wife raised their five children. They have 17 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Jack’s oldest daughter has a doctorate in microbiology and works at Fort Sam Houston caring for eye injuries sustained by members of the military in Afghanistan. Two of his children are in Oregon with their families. One of Jack’s grandsons made the all-state team as a member of the Oregon State championship football team (a proud grandpa!). Another of Jack’s sons lives in Houston, so they see each other often, while another works in the oil fields, mainly off shore. The most important member of the family, his wife, still teaches high school math.
Melinda and Jim Mason spent January in Florida, where they were able to see Judy and Tom Collins, Joan and Jim Bowers, Carol and Field Retterer, Irene and Joe Klemens, as well as Mike Caton ’61. On the way home, they stopped in Somerton, S.C., where they visited Sunday and Dick Fromholtz. They prepared to head West to spend time with Lynne and John Magnotto in Phoenix. Then the four of them drove to California to visit Irene and Jim Shannon.
Other travelers, Mary Pat and Frank Dempsey, returned from the annual winter trip to Kiawah Island, S.C.
Gossip from Chicago informs me Bob (Bubba) Schayer and the sister of Peter Conboy have been seen together in the Chicago social scene. If there’s any more of this kind of news, send it, and I’ll start a little Town Tattler addition to the column (the information came right from Bob).
For those in the Chicago area, be aware the JCU football team opens the season there against St. Norbert from Wisconsin Sept. 7 at Toyota Park. Some of us are planning to be there, so I hope to see you.
I’ll begin with an apology to all who received and opened the message supposedly sent by me about weight loss through the use of raspberry drops. Everyone in my contact list received it. I hope it didn’t harm your computer. I’ve received several such messages lately, and it has taken me a few trips to IT to get my computer straightened out.
I heard from several classmates in late August/ early September. Thanks, guys. You made it easier for me to write this winter column. Don Kucera is still traveling the country, giving seminars one to two weeks each month. During his travels, he had the pleasure of dining with Greg Fisher and his wife, Jeanette, in Cincinnati and John McBride and his wife, Nancy, in Bettendorf, Iowa. John writes poetry everyday and has had his work printed in many publications. Don and his young bride celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last year. In June, they enjoyed a family reunion with their children and 17 grandchildren in Vail, Colo.
Last summer, Jerry Malizia and his wife, Jeanie, traveled to Italy, Austria, and Switzerland. They visited Rome, Padua, Venice, Verona, Trent, Innsbruck, Lucerne, and Geneva. They had a great time eating pasta in Italy and visiting St. Peter’s in Rome, cathedrals, old-world cities, and the unbelievable beauty of the Alps. According to Jerry, the Jesuit Church in Lucerne is one of the most beautiful churches in Europe. They had a wonderful surprise when visiting the church – a choir of 300 voices and symphony were presenting Handel Te Deum. What a great trip!
John McDonough and his wife, Juanita Galloway, traveled to California last June to attend the Ph.D. graduation of their daughter, Katie, from Stanford University where she majored in history. After celebrating that night and the next day (a true Carroll man), they toured the Sonoma Valley wineries, working their way from the north end down. John says it was nice to visit California again and still misses it.
I’ve been corresponding with Bill Buescher lately and would love to hear from other classmates. (Nothing personal, Buesch).
My old friend Terry Pokuta phoned and asked me to have a word with his grandson, Matt, who’s a quarterback/ punter at New Prairie High School in Indiana and is beginning the recruiting process. It was flattering to be asked for advice about the matter. I took Terry’s word there were to be no legal repercussions for any advice I gave.
May your days be filled with peace, love, and joy. Be well, and send news.
I hope this finds all of you in good health and enjoying life. Summer was filled with plenty of opportunities to get together with classmates. Jim Patterson joined me for a day of successful fishing, and we and our wives, along with the Masons and the Nichtings, ate our catch. (Jim and Dave don’t fish; they just eat). More importantly, Jim Patterson introduced me to Straub Beer for which I shall be eternally in his debt. Unfortunately, the draught brought our fishing to an end. We shall return in 2013.
Steve Schuda drove up from South Carolina to play in the JCU Alumni Golf Outing. Our wives spent the day shopping while we were unable to protect our interests. (I will discourage his attendance next year unless he agrees to leave Jan at home).
Marty Regan came in from Toledo to join Frank Dempsey, Jim Mason, and me in a different outing. He left his wife at home, so it was less expensive for all of us.
The Masons and Schweickerts visited Denny McGrath and his wife, Judy, at their family ranch in Fairplay, Colo. (Rafting, horseback riding, hot tubbing, etc. I focused solely on hot tubbing). While there, the USA Pro Challenge Bike Race passed the ranch on its way from Breckenridge to Colorado Springs. We kept looking for Fred Schaal, our class’ premier cyclist, but I guess he decided against giving up his amateur status. We were joined by John Reali ’58 and his wife, Marie. (It’s always reassuring to have an older person to look out for us.) It was thrilling to drive through the Rockies.
Just as I was beginning to write this, I received a phone call from Terry Pokuta. While he never endured the four years with us, he usually attends the reunions. His grandson is the QB and punter on a successful high school team in Indiana. Terry remains in touch with Joe Morrissey.
Dave Nichting and his wife accompanied the JCU football team to Ireland for their season-opening game against St. Norbert (Wisconsin). Many other alumni joined the team for this rare opportunity. (Almost as exciting as playing in Bethany, W.Va. in the late ’50s.)
Bill Buescher and Dave Marr traveled to New Orleans to see Jack Duffy. He’s feeling the need for a trip to Corky & Lenny’s, so those of us in Cleveland are looking forward to seeing him soon. Hopefully, Dave will make the trip with him.
Keep sending info for me to include. Be well.
Fred Schaal called my attention to the fact I missed the notice that our classmate Joe (Mickey) Tegano passed away. I find myself having those senior moments more frequently these days. Two more notices I didn’t miss are Brian Sexton and Ron Sekerak, who passed away in February and March, respectively. May they rest in peace.
On a brighter note, Alphonse Rossi attends our class of ’60 Third Friday Club lunches at Muldoon’s from time to time. Tom O’Malley has been showing up, too. On April 27, a group met to celebrate Bo Fitzgerald’s birthday. Tom O’Malley drove halfway across Ohio to attend (according to Tom). He said we should see the movie, J. Edgar. Tom claims the term “HooWatch” used in the movie was originated by him during his days with the FBI.
Dave Nichting’s son, David, retired after serving 28 years in the U.S. Army. Young Dave is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy. On behalf of the JCU class of ’60, thank you, Dave, for your service to our country. The retirement ceremony took place at Fort Eustis in Virginia in late April. Interestingly, young Dave has been hired as a civilian employee and will be working at Fort Eustis in what’s now called TRADOC (U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command), probably a descendant of TRECOM from the old days.
Peter Conboy tells me Bob Banci spent time with Peter and his wife in Chicago a while back, and they, in turn, will be visiting Florence and Tuscany to visit some of Bob’s family.
I spoke to Fred Schaal as he was riding his new bike through the intersection of Bonnie Brae and Lake Street in suburban Chicago. Fred has to be one of the great cyclists of our time. He tells me he has been mistaken for Bob Schayer on occasion.
Larry Beaudin tells me he’s a trustee for The Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Assembly and his council. He still hears from Ken Dacas, Warren Arthur, Jim Reilly, and Norb Patla. Larry’s oldest granddaughter is graduating from Northern Illinois with a degree in nursing, and his grandson has been accepted to pharmacy school. I hope you never need their services, Larry.
Finally, I had a great phone conversation with old roomie John Kimler. We had a good laugh about the fact that throughout the years, his son, John, has met Jim Mason’s and Denny McGrath’s sons in different bars in Chicago. Their fathers trained them well.
Please keep me informed about you. Be well.
After I submitted the winter column, I received a request from Lou Burger for prayers for his son-inlaw, Jose Willy Santos, who’s been diagnosed with lymphatic cancer. For those who are like me and forget names easily, just pray for Lou’s son-in-law. I’m sure the good Lord will know who you mean.
I heard from Rich Low reacting to news in the fall issue about the death of Bill Harmon. He reminisced about them being original members of the Thursday Night Study Club and said: “Bob the Bartender astutely appointed Bill America’s designated driver.” (What had he been smoking that evening?) Hecontinued: “Bill’s duties were more ceremonial rather than having any impact. I had a Mass said for him and our class at our local parish in Lewiston, N.Y. I’m the lector at the 7:45 a.m. Mass during the week. This gives me enough time to tee off no later than 8:30 a.m. Anybody from our class who wants to join me is welcome. We have three world-class courses to choose from, and I’m usually welcome at all of them. Lewiston is a gem on the Niagara River near Lake Ontario. It’s worth a trip.” On the chance Rich likes to wager a shekel or two on a golf match, he might not mean that invitation for Mike Bernatovicz, who finished second at Mid Pines in Southern Pines, N.C., in the Carolina PGA Super Senior Division with rounds of 73 and 76 last spring and summer. He finished sixth in the World Super Senior Event at Tanglewood Golf Club in Clemmons, N.C., with rounds of 78, 74, and 76. And he finished first at Rock Barn in Conover, N.C., in the Carolina Super Senior Division with rounds of 73 and 74. Mike carries a 2 handicap at the Country Club of Asheville.
Those who enjoyed the pictorial in the winter issue of the magazine should know our class was, perhaps, the most well-represented group at the University’s 125th anniversary gala. Jack Conomy, Tom Lewis, John Magnotto, Jim Mason, Dave Nichting, Jim Shannon, and I attended. We weren’t presented as a group in the winter issue because we were the best-looking class reps at the affair by far. If our picture isn’t included with this column, it’s because the rest of the University’s alums are unable to accept the sheer magnificence of how we look. I will leave it at that and send my wishes for a happy Easter to all.
Keep the notes and emails coming. Be well.
Jack Lyons reconnected with high-school and JCU classmate Bill Wagner. Bill, an astrophysicist at NASA, is retired and living in the Washington, D.C., area. Jack resides in Florida and continues to minister to the incarcerated as a deacon.
I heard from Mike Bernatovicz that he reconnected with Ted Valvoda. Mike sends his congratulations to Marilyn and Jim Gauntner on celebrating 50 years of marriage. Mike, who recalls his days of carpooling with Jim to get to classes at Carroll, resides in Asheville, N.C. Ted lives in Loudon, Tenn.
Don Kucera contacted me looking for Jerry Rachfal. Don was speaking in Rochester, N.Y., and wanted to be sure to see “Falls” while there.
Bev and I, along with our daughter, Ann, visited Jan and Steve Schuda in Sun City at Hilton Head, S.C., on our way to our grandson’s college graduation in August. We were wined and dined royally and had a wonderful laugh-filled stay. The Schudas love their retirement home and keep active with Steve serving as the elected leader of their neighborhood organization.
Dave Nichting, Jim Mason, and I were guests of my daughter in her company’s suite at the Notre Dame/Michigan football game in September. It was without a doubt one of the most exciting games we ever attended. We bumped into Jerry Porter ’58 and his wife in the parking lot before the game and later saw Kevin Hinkel ’77, former JCU wrestler, in the same lot. I’d bet the ranch we weren’t the only JCU grads at the game.
On Oct. 2, Bev and I were honored for our volunteer work with an organization called Womankind (Beverly does the majority of the work, while I take the “tough” jobs like chairing the annual golf outing), which provides free maternal and prenatal care to women in need. It was edifying that JCU and Jim Mason were two of the sponsors of the 2011 Hearts and Hands Award Bruncheon. Bev has spent 18 years as a volunteer counselor for the organization, and I was able to recruit Dave Nichting, Frank Dempsey, Jim Mason, and Jim Gauntner along with many JCU students to help with a considerable painting job of the organization’s facilities following severe water damage to the industrial-size building. (We have turned down a subsequent request to redo the Sistine Chapel). If you have any home repair or decorating needs, don’t call us.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Be well.
Sadly, I report classmates Dick Turk and Bill “Reed” Harmon passed away. Dick was a Cleveland resident, and Bill was a long-time Los Angeles resident.
On a brighter note, classmate John Magnotto received the JCU Alumni Medal, the highest award given to an alumnus, during graduation/reunion weekend May 20-22. Jerry Rachfal, our class’ most recent past recipient of the award, came from Rochester, N.Y., to honor John. A large contingent of family, friends, and classmates attended the award ceremony. John and his wife, Lynne, hosted a wonderful luncheon at Legacy Village on Saturday.
Bev and I headed to Orlando for our grandson’s graduation (BFA) and freeloaded off Jan and Steve Schuda in Bluffton, S.C., on the way down.
Jim Gauntner and his bride, Marilyn, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary August 7. I suspect many of us have recently or will be doing so soon. … In my previous column, I reported Paul Flask sent an outstanding football prospect our way. I’m pleased to report he has sent us another, who’s a good student from the same high school. This type of contribution to the University is priceless.
Speaking of athletics, the Shula Stadium turf and all-weather track are being renovated. For the first time in several years, the track team will be able to host meets. Also, the opening football game of the 2012 football season in Dublin is generating a lot of interest. Information about the game and trip is available on the JCU website.
In early June, I was surfing with the TV remote and came across superstation WGN in Chicago just as it was doing the wrap-up of a Chicago White Sox game. There sat Bubba Schayer looking quite forlorn (Sox lost). Bubba invited Jim Mason and I to join him and 47 of his friends at their annual Cubs/Sox game and tailgate June 21. We were unable to make it because of our participation in a couple of golf outings, but we sure appreciated the invitation.
I trust everyone enjoyed the summer and is enjoying retirement, if that’s your situation. Send me information for my next article, particularly if it concerns interaction with classmates. If you stop by Carroll, call me. I’d love to see you. (I live right across the street.) I look forward to hearing from you and will try to use anything sent. Be well.
Congratulations to classmate Jim Gauntner, who has been inducted into the Benedictine High School Hall of Honors for his longtime service to the school and its alumni, and most significantly, for his participation in the development of a safety monitoring system for the main engine of the space shuttle. Jim’s career at NASA certainly bore fruit for the USA. Good work, Jim.
Steve Schuda reports he and his bride traveled to Texas and had a great time with Ron Klepetko and his wife. Ron has retired (as many of us have) from a career as a dentist in the U.S. Air Force. Those of us who enjoyed their company at the reunion last summer hope to see them again at our 55th.
Speaking of travel, in early March, the Schweickerts and Conboys, along with Bubba Schayer, spent five days in Phoenix visiting the Malizias and Magnottos. We were able to take part in an alumni get-together as part of the visit. When I wrote this, Jim Mason, Denny McGrath, Greg Fisher, Bob Fitzgerald, Frank Dempsey, Steve Schuda, Marty Regan, and I were preparing to head for Santee, S.C., for our annual golf trip. We were pleased Marty is the first to take up our offer to have other classmates join us.
Recently, I’ve been exchanging emails with Paul Flask, who’s been playing an active part in directing students JCU’s way. Last year, he sent us a young man who’s making a contribution to the varsity baseball team. On March 25, I had the pleasure of meeting another young student athlete from St. Xavier High School in Palm Desert, Calif., when he visited campus. I understand the football coaches are excited about the possibility of having him on the team next season. Thanks for the help, Paul. Keep up the great work.
Once again, I ask you to send me a note with information you think would be worth sharing with your classmates. Here’s food for thought: In August 2012, the JCU football team will open the season vs. St. Norbert in Dublin. It could be an elaborate minireunion opportunity for those who are interested. Visit www.jcusports.com.
Let me hear from you. Be well!
I’m saddened to report my predecessor as class scribe, Dick Blase, passed away earlier this fall. Keep him in your prayers.
Gene Zuckerman recently underwent prostate surgery. (I hope you’re completely recovered by now, Gene).
I heard from Jack Murray, who informed me about the correct spelling of Colombia, his resident country. (I guess we’re never too old to learn). He also informed me it’s the beginning of summer there. I appreciated that because after I read his message I went out to shovel the snow off the driveway for the third time in eight hours. (Good old lake effect snow, which is heavier in the Heights.) He described a recent earthquake (there) and a cross-country trip (here) with Dave Marr and Bill Buescher. (I’m left wondering which experience was most harrowing.) Included in the message was an ancient picture of Jim Philip and him looking very collegiate.
Greg Fisher and his wife were in Cleveland visiting their daughter. The Masons, Dempseys and Schweickerts had planned to see them over coffee.
Bev and I are heading to Phoenix in early March to see the Magnottos and Malizias. We’re hoping the Conboys meet us there.
Jerry Rachfal was in town just before Christmas, and Dave Nichting, Jim Mason, and I were able to join him for lunch. Unfortunately, Frank Dempsey had a senior moment and went to the wrong restaurant. (It’s so adventurous growing old.)
I visited briefly with Joe Rini at a JCU alumni event in early December. He’s doing well and looks young like the rest of us.
Jim Mason, Frank Dempsey, Greg Fisher, Denny McGrath, Steve Schuda, and I anxiously look forward to our annual golf trip to South Carolina in early April. This year we’re being joined by Marty Regan. As an added bonus, Dick Fromholtz will be joining us, one day, for 18 holes. (This will be the day, Sunday, we freeload dinner off Dick and his wife.)
As you can read, this column is all over the place. Please send me information so I can write about you rather than the same people every time. And rather than trying to drag this out any more, I’ll end your pain by wishing you a Happy Easter and urging you to send me something for the next column.
Thanks to Larry Beaudin, Tom Collins, and Jerry Malizia for the great pictures of our 50th reunion. Talk of a minireunion in the near future began before everyone left campus after the big one in June. I’m not quite sure who’ll pick up the ball and run with it as far as organizing is concerned, but whoever it is, please let me know ASAP so I can get it in an issue of the Journal in enough time to alert everyone who might be interested.
Jim Mason, John Magnotto, Pete Conboy, Jerry Malizia, Bob Fitzharris, and Paul Flask attended Jim Shannon’s wedding Sept. 25 in California. Congratulations to Jim and his bride, Irene. We enjoyed the chance to meet her at the reunion.
Pete Pucher and his wife were in town from Florida a while ago, and the Masons, Nichtings, and Schweickerts were able to join them for a lengthy lunch. Speaking of Florida, the wives of the three just mentioned are heading to Florida to meet Denny McGrath’s wife, Judy, for a week of levity at the Saddlebrook Resort in the Tampa area.
For those of you whose wives read Real Simple magazine, the managing editor is Pete Vanogtrop’s daughter. Pete was unable to attend our 50th because he was in New York at her book signing. She’s also an author. Pete, a successful attorney, is working still.
I’m pleased Marty Regan has signed on to our annual golf trip to Santee, S.C., in April. A few of us will do all in our power to drag his performance level down to ours.
I’m out of ideas for this column and was so desperate for input I asked Frank Kelly, scribe for the class of ’64 with whom I golfed during Homecoming Weekend, if I could just use his. He was in town for the announcement of an endowed scholarship honoring Coach John Ray. The bulk of the endowment came from donations made by the players on the JCU football teams from 1959 through 1963. Then I thought better of using his material and came up with this. The problem isn’t getting input from classmates so much as it is remembering what I received or where I put it when I remember to save it. Please help out with timely info about yourselves and others from whom you hear.
In the meantime, have a holy, blessed Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year. Be well.
To say our 50-year reunion was a success would be an understatement – 103 of us returned for the event. We traveled from as far as Columbia, South America, (Jack Murray) and as near as across the street from the John Carroll athletic fields. Those who attended had an opportunity to relive fond memories, catch up on the lives of classmates who hadn’t been seen in far too long, and, in some cases, (if I’m not mistaken) even mend a broken fence or two. It was unforgettable.
What I found most remarkable is how little everyone has changed. Obviously, I’m not speaking about physical change. To me, the best memory of the weekend is that, after 50 years, we immediately met and began insulting each other as though we had just returned from a semester break.
Throughout the 50 years I’ve spent at John Carroll, I’ve observed the true Carroll grad expresses his love for his classmate by busting his chops. Jim Mason and I thoroughly enjoyed getting in our licks after Saturday’s dinner. The session with the three current Carroll students left us with a good idea of just how much the University has changed. How about the answer to the question concerning curfew in the dorms? I believe the answer was, “What’s that?” Followed by an explanation that members of the opposite gender have to be out of your room by 2 a.m. these days.
As you read this, you’ve long since received a follow-up newsletter and seen exactly who was there for the event, the percentage of class members who contributed to a reunion class gift, and the amount given. One classmate who prefers to remain anonymous created a fund in the name of Fr. Joe Schell, S.J., to be used to support young men who are studying to become Jesuits.
In the future, if you’re contributing to John Carroll and are looking for an earmark for the donation, you might consider this fund. Jim and I received many notes from those who attended thanking us for our efforts putting the weekend together. We want to thank the committee for their efforts.
I want to apologize to two guys whom we owed a shout-out at the dinner and let it slip past. Tom O’Malley, who stepped up and offered to call the St. Ignatius High School grads in our class, and Tom Lewis, who did a terrific job of rallying the physics majors to attend, going so far as to arrange a tour of the Dolan Science Center for them. With help from them and the committee, our job was relatively easy.
I received an e-mail from Franz Forster explaining his last-minute no-show. He had triple bypass heart surgery the day after Easter and was doing fine until he developed a bone and blood infection that landed him back in the hospital. Needless to say, he should be given an excused absence. Jack Lyons was good enough to send Franz pictures from the reunion, and Peter Bernardo ’67, from the advancement office, delivered Franz memorabilia from the reunion along with the card Jerry Rachfal circulated Saturday evening. Franz was quite moved by this and is looking forward to Reunion 55. We all should do the same and return in 2015.
Until then, keep in mind the promises made to classmates to stay in touch. Words left unspoken and deeds left undone are among the saddest things known to man. See you at the 55th. Be well.
I will start this with the bad news. In seeking contact info on classmates for our upcoming 50th Reunion, I learned that Dave Wenzler passed away last November. May he and our other departed classmates rest in peace.
I found several copies of The Carroll News from ’59–’60 in the attic and will share some of the content with you. All direct quotes: Oct. 9, 1959 — “Gauzman’s, Steps, Fee Spark Union Discussion.” At Tuesday’s meeting John Lovas proposed a motion to rename the snack bar from “Gauzman’s” to a more collegiate nickname (motion defeated). Members did pass a motion concerning the possibility of installing steps at the side door of the Student Activities Center. Tim Strader initiated a motion to see whether the $10.00 library fee could be changed to a donation so it might be deducted from income tax [a clear indicator of future success as a venture capitalist]. –“MS Cadet Clubs Plan Year’s Sked (sic).” Scabbard & Blade: Captained by Paul Bott, this organization began their five week pledge period [we miss you Paul]. Assn. of U.S. Army: The AUSA headed by Pat Wagner will continue the Speaker’s Bureau and weekly war films [you might be run off campus today for this, today, Pat] in addition to the annual trip to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans [for this you might be chosen by today’s student body as the next president of JCU]. National Defense Trans. Assn: President Bob Schayer presided at the meeting at which a major trip to the Brooklyn Army Terminal during the Easter vacation was scheduled [what a great spring break]. Mar. 25, 1960 — “Union Withholds Moral Support.” “We all have an obligation to be concerned with something that violates the Constitution of the United States.” These words of John Lovas stirred up the March 15 meeting of the JCU Student Union. Lovas’ motion suggested that the Student Union lend its moral support to the protest of lunch counter discrimination against Southern negro students. The assembled members defeated the resolution [how far we have come in 50 years]. Apr. 8, 1960 — “The Student Lounge, Silence or Bedlam?” Seeking to answer the question of what students do for relaxation during school hours, the most frequent response was students have nothing special in mind they only come to the lounge to relax. Relaxing can mean shooting pool, playing cards, reading, talking, or studying. A head count revealed 22 students milling around the pool tables, 47 students sitting around playing cards, 17 students talking or reading and five studying. Jan. 8,1960 — “President Resolves Students’ Questions On Cheerleaders, Union Responsibility.” In a discussion on the responsibility and authority of student government at JCU, the circumstances behind the school’s veto of female cheerleaders for athletic events were questioned. John Lovas stated that the administration made the Union look ridiculous when it rejected the entire project at the last minute. Tim Strader asked why the entire plan wasn’t “nipped in the bud” before it was carried so far. Jerry Rachfal felt that the Union should have more to say about the issue.
As you can see, we were dealing with momentous issues during our final year at Carroll, at least one was. The following headline made me laugh: Tuition Increases $5, (Making The Cost $25.00/Credit Hour). I guess we have come a long way. Those of us attending Reunion revived more memories. Be well, Schweick
Time sure flies when you’re having fun! Here we are, 50 years removed from our last semester at John Carroll. On the weekend of June 11-13, 2010, we have the opportunity to return to campus as guests of the University to celebrate our 50th Reunion. By the time you read this, I hope you have heard from at least one of your classmates concerning the event. A reunion committee has been formed and work on our Reunion has been ongoing. The most important job is getting as many classmates as possible to show up.
On a trip to Chicago last November, Jim Mason and I got together with Larry Beaudin, Ken Roznowski, Pat Wagner, Jim Horn, Bob Schayer, Paul Cronin, John Kimler, Joe Morrissey, Don Kucera, Bob Kilbourne, Mario Ambrosino, Sam Vitale, and Fred Schaal. We were all guests of Peter Conboy for a luncheon at Riverside Golf Club. Everyone committed to attending our Reunion in June. Dave Marr, Bill Buescher, and Terry Pokuta couldn’t make it to Chicago, but have also committed to being at Carroll in June. As an offshoot of the trip to Chicago, I was able to get in touch with Jack Murray who is alive and well and living in Colombia, South America. He arrived there in 1985 on the night of the attack on the Supreme Court building by the FARC guerrillas — riding from the airport in a car amidst flying bullets and having no problem understanding the instruction to “stay down low in the car.” Jack says he looks forward to seeing his senior year roommates, John McBride, Dan VanBelleghem, and Ron Sekerak at Reunion. If Jack can come from South America, the rest of us should be able to make the effort to get back.
As of January, as I write this, I know that Dave Nichting, Jim Gauntner, Bob Fitzgerald, Frank Dempsey, Pete Pucher, Bob Barkett, Greg Fisher, Tom Collins, John Magnotto, Jerry Malizia, Denny McGrath, Bill Retterer, Jerry Rachfal, Steve Schuda, Jim (Dick) Vogel, Jim Patterson and Jim Shannon are also coming.
The committee has discovered that there are 101 of our classmates living within a one hour drive of the University. We encourage all of you who are among this group to make an effort to join those who will travel much farther in order to renew old friendships. Even if you are able to come for only part of the weekend you will find it to be a great time reliving memories with guys you haven’t seen in years (remember A. P. Hill, Chuck Schilling?).
By now you should have received information concerning the weekend and are planning to join us for all, or at least part, of our 50th Reunion. If you have not been back to JCU in a while, you will be amazed at the changes that have taken place since we left. Having never really left and living across the street, I have had a chance to bump into classmates on campus from time to time and I can assure you, no one has changed (other than physically). It is always enjoyable to reminisce on these occasions.
On behalf of the reunion committee, I encourage everyone (especially those who have never been back) to make the effort to get together one more time, celebrate our friendships and reminisce. As one of the songs from our era says “…we will have these moments to remember…” and memories should be shared with those who helped make them. Hope you had a happy Easter. See you in June! Be well, Schweick
Fifty years ago today, we were getting ready for Christmas break during our senior year at John Carroll. Where did the time go? The time has arrived for us to return and celebrate the great times and greater friendships we had during the four (or more) years we spent together. Whether we realize it or not, all of us were changed in ways we never imagined by those with whom we associated while at Carroll. Our 50th Class Reunion will be held over the weekend of June 11-13, 2010. I would encourage everyone to take a few minutes to remember the great times we had together and give serious thought to contacting at least one person with whom you were close while at John Carroll, phone him, and plan to get together at the Reunion. If you cannot make the entire three-day event, come for part of it. It’s not about your relationship with the University; it’s about renewing old friendships. Rather than keeping up with your classmates through John Carroll magazine, why not come and spend a few days with them at Carroll.
Speaking of keeping up with classmates, I heard from Dave Webster, who with his wife, Eileen (Dempsey), vacationed in Florida last March. Their favorite stop was on Mustang Island in the Lely Resort in Naples, where they spent a weekend with Ann (Butler) and Don Emmerich. Don graduated with our class, although he is listed with the class of ’58. You might remember Ann, as she worked in Fr. Murphy’s office from 1953-1959. The Websters live in Atlanta along with their four children and nine grandchildren. They made another stop at Highland Woods in Bonita Springs to visit (and play golf) with vacationing Donna and Tom Zell. Dave, how about you and Tom getting in touch and planning to be at our Reunion.
I spoke with Ron Sekerak recently and he informs me that he gets together with Bruce Taggart, Stan Ulchaker, and onetime Plain Dealer sportswriter Dick Zunt ’55 at Thistledown horse-racing track from time to time. No doubt they are there to discuss epistemology or metaphysics. Stan has joined us for the Class of ’60 third Friday lunch at Muldoon’s at 185th and the Shoreway. We welcome any other classmates who would like to join us. Steve Schuda, who joined us from time to time, and his wife, Jan, moved from Pittsburgh to South Carolina after spending many years traveling far and wide in search of the perfect retirement site.
Lest I forget, the 50-year Reunion attendees are guests of John Carroll for the weekend. Enjoy the holidays and be well, Schweick
On 23 March, I received the news that our classmates Steve Chechak and Jim Powers passed away. Steve spent four years at Carroll with us, but eventually graduated from the University of Rochester. The following appeared in the Rockford Register Star newspaper one week prior to Jim’s death: “ROCKFORD – Honorary street designations are not supposed to be on main arterial streets or more than three blocks long. Michael Diventi was hoping City Council would see fit to make an exception to the rule. The aldermen did. Monday, the nine-block stretch of Huffman Boulevard was given the honorary street name of Col. Ret. Jim Powers Parkway. City Council unanimously approved the honorary street designation. Mayor Larry Morrissey described Powers as a humble ‘citizen servant’ who has actively campaigned to make his community a better place to live. Morrissey credited Powers with authoring the city’s first graffiti abatement program. He was surprised and honored at what city leaders had done for him. ‘I never expected that,’ he said. The 25-year U.S. Army veteran retired as a colonel. Upon his discharge from the Army, he returned to Rockford and began a second career of serving, this time as city public works superintendent of property and equipment. In that role he became a driving force in the fight against street graffiti by taking pictures and documenting the vandalism and understanding the culture of hip-hop and gang graffiti. He also was a founding member and former two-term president of the North End Square Neighborhood Association. He also served one year on the Fire and Police Commission. Powers said his tireless desire to serve stems from an awakening of sorts. ‘I think that later in my life, a light bulb went on,’ he said. ‘A real joy in your life comes from focusing on and helping others. If you can get to the point where you can focus more on others, there’s real joy in that.’ Reciting his favorite Mother Teresa saying, Powers said, ‘We don’t have to do great things, but only small things with great love. For me, that’s what it’s all about. That’s what cops do. That’s what fire fighters do. Once you get in that groove, life is a great pleasure.’ Those who know Powers said the pleasure was all theirs in watching the strong-willed colonel making a difference in the community that he loves.” Many other compliments were contained in the article, but space limitations require me to wrap this up. Jim received another award in recognition for his service to the Rockford Airport Commission. It is significant to note that the only other recipients of this award are President Barack Obama and Illinois Senator Dick Durbin. May Steve and Jim rest in peace. Be well, Schweick
I have heard from a few classmates since the last column: Bill Buescher informs me that he and his wife, Peg, traveled to Boise, ID, last summer and in September they went to Germany and visited Frankfurt, Munich and Stuttgart, where he met up with a friend he was stationed with 43 years ago. According to Bill, they stumbled around town trying to find places, which were not where they left them 43 years ago. He also passed along a caution, “they force humongous quantities of beer on you if you aren’t careful.” He further informs me that Dave Marr is enjoying life holed up in Galesburg, IL.
Joyce and Len Piotrowski are still in Viera, FL, and apparently don’t miss winter.
Gail and Karl Rill bought a condo in Chagrin Falls, OH, and are in the process of trying to sell their place in Cincinnati. Joyce and Don Muno are still in Michigan where Bill says Don keeps his fingers in business.
Jim Patterson informs me that since retiring from Badger H.S. (Kinsman, OH) in 1997 he has kept busy painting houses and serving as an assistant baseball coach at Thiel College in Greenville, PA. After a knee replacement last September, he is hopeful he will be able to catch batting practice this season. He played competitively until 2003. Jim’s wife of 47 years, Onnalee, is a pastor of the Sheakleyville Presbyterian Church. He says he critiques her sermons. (Talk about playing with fire). They have four grandchildren in college, one in high school and six between preschool and grade seven.
The following comes from Larry Beaudin: Considering the spiritual nature of the information and the Easter season, it seems to be very timely. It is a part of our Catholic faith about which I certainly did not know, but found interesting. The Rosary, as a means of teaching and mediating on the chief portions of Christ’s and Mary’s lives, has been around since the time of the Apostles in one form or another. Priests who could read had a devotion of reading/reciting the 150 Psalms. The illiterate masses of faithful, who could not read, recited from memory 150 Hail Marys while meditating on the lives of Christ and His Mother, Mary. At the time, the Hail Mary consisted of only the first part we say today. It was not until 1214 AD that the Church received and accepted it in its present form. It was at this time that the Blessed Virgin gave the Rosary to St. Dominic, founder of the Dominicans.
I hope I’ll hear from more of you. Remember our 50th Reunion in 2010, Schweick
Merry Christmas! (Didn’t I just wish you a Happy Easter?) All of you must have had busy summers because I heard from no one until Homecoming on September 27 when Jerry Rachfal presented me with what follows as well as a photo.
Dave Nichting, Jim Mason and Jerry Rachfal visited Camp Lejeune as guests of retired Marine Col. J.R. Dick Vogel on an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) “Boss Lift.” Dick, a retired Xerox Exec, who is active in the Rochester, NY, suburb of Brighton as a longtime elected councilman, is the Rochester Area Chairman of the ESGR. Its charter is to support employers and employees of called-up Reserves and National Guard personnel, affirming the value of their military service and ensuring that their civilian jobs are available to them upon their return from active duty. Dick was able to take Dave, Jim, and “Falls” along on the trip. During the trip it became obvious that Dick is known as “Jim” in Rochester, so the JCU guys just referred to him by his Carroll tag, “Vogs.” According to “Falls,” highlights of the visit to Camp Lejeune included a tour of the rifle range with its computer simulated targets; piloting the Marine Corps Osprey Rotorcraft Simulator; and a tour of a reproduction of an Iraqi village complete with 150 American Iraqis taking part in War Games. (No matter one’s politics, I find that term to be a huge oxymoron.) Bottom line of the visit “Marine Training is very real and our kudos to the Corps and their Esprit.” Dick Vogel went through the Marine PLC Program while at JCU, flew the F5 Phantom and commanded the Marine Reserve 8th Tank Battalion, Fourth Marine Division, based in Rochester, NY, during the 30 years he spent with the Corps. According to Jim and Dave, when they arrived late in the evening the night before the trip and went to the motel “Falls” had arranged for them, they found that at that late hour rooms were being rented by the hour. (Sounds like “Falls” is still operating as a member of the “Tri-Ads.”)
Having heard from no one else and with our 50-year Reunion in the not too distant future, (also desperate for filler) I dug out The Carroll News from Friday, December 11, 1959. See if you can remember any of the items described by the following captions. Front page news: University Officials Block Cheerleaders – ND College students: Pat Foley, Nancy Biros, Kathy Hoffman and Marge Wirscham selected to cheerlead at JCU basketball games were told NO by JCU officials. According to the NEWS “Rev. Joseph A. Muenzer, SJ, Dean of Men indicated that the decision was a matter of policy for this all male university. Jack Lyons, chairman of the Student Union project, could not be reached for comment at presstime (sic) last night.” (way to duck the press Jack!) Other front page stories. “Hal Holbrook Brings ‘Mark Twain Tonite!’” IXY Accepts Record Number, and Dorm Reps Push Campus Laundry. I must have missed the last item 49 years ago. As charter members of the Athletic Dept. Laundry Workers Union, I am sure that Mason, Nichting, Slosar and I would have risen in protest that we weren’t given a chance to bid on the job. Speaking of the Athletic Dept. Laundry, remember what a great job we did laundering the linens for all of you who lived on campus. Just like having your own room at home.
Finally, I am sorry to report that classmate Dan Cronin passed away on September 13. May he rest in peace.
Get ready for our 50th Reunion and “be well,” Schweick
As many of you know by now, JCU lost a treasure last spring when Fr. Joe Schell passed away. Our classmate, John Magnotto was given the honor of being a pallbearer at the funeral. For the past year or so a number of us had been planning to visit Fr. Schell, but never got there. Classmate Bill Matejka also passed away in the late spring. Once again I am reminded of the fact that among the saddest things in life are “words left unsaid and deeds left undone.” With that thought, I encourage you to get in touch with an old roommate or another JCU classmate and make plans to see each other and the rest of us at our 50 year reunion in 2010.
I heard from Fred Schaal recently. He wanted John Kimler’s e-mail address and phone number so he can encourage him to attend our 50th. The rest of you Chicagoans be forewarned – if you don’t respond once we start receiving info about the reunion I shall unleash Fred Schaal upon you like “The Hound of Heaven” to assure your attendance.
Heard from Don Kucera. He and wife Jane had recently returned from seven weeks in Australia and New Zealand. He still gives seminars two weeks per month giving him a chance to teach, tour and visit old friends and family. Seven of the Kucera’s eight children are married and have presented Don and Jane with 16 grandchildren. Don suggests we read the works of Matthew Kelly including his latest, “The Dream Manager.” He further suggests that we follow author Kelly’s suggestion “Be the best version of yourself every day.” (Sounds like a great idea)
John McDonough informs me that he retired on 30 June. He says he has more projects on which to work than he has time. First will be a new horse racing system, the some stock market/forex market research. (Not sure of what part of the horse racing system he means, but I hope there will be enough money left for the market venture.) Additionally, John plans to restore an old ’73 220D Mercedes he purchased last year. Trips to California to visit a daughter who is working on her PhD as well as to France and Italy without worrying about getting back to work. A recent golf game convinced him to turn down the offer to join us in Santee, SC, next spring. John has committed to being at the reunion in 2010 and promises to twist Larry Carver’s arm to make sure he gets there also.
Finally, Terry Pokuta informs me that he and Arlene have become great grandparents and they believe themselves to be the first in the class of ’60 to attain this status. (Anyone out there able to refute this claim?)
I must be getting old! I forgot to report that my old roomie, Dave Marr suffered a rather severe heart attack, but has recovered to the point of using a walker to get around. To all of you, take care of yourselves and be well. Schweick
The past three months have provided many opportunities to enjoy the company of classmates. In January, Jim Keim and John Slosar returned to campus for a reunion of the 1957-58 basketball team in recognition of the first on-campus varsity basketball game in the history of JCU. Remember it? JCU vs. Xavier. We lost a very close contest to the team that went on to win the NIT Tournament that season. Slosar reminded all who were present at the reception that he would be in the JCU Athletic Hall of Fame if Keim and Jim Thailing would have returned any of his passes. If we had played Loyola of Chicago 20 times a year at JCU, I have no doubt that John would have made the HOF.
At the end of January, Carol and Pete Conboy, Polly and Paul Flask, Lynn and John Magnotto, Melinda and Jim Mason, Judy and Denny McGrath, Sue and Tim Strader, Jim , Bev and I attended the wedding of classmate Jerry Malizia and Jean Ralls. In Phoenix. We had such a great time golfing, partying, watching Sinatra impersonators we didn’t mind the rare inch and a half rainfall we experienced one day. We even let Bill Colson ’59 hang out with us at the reception even though he upped our age group a bit.
In February Bev and I visited with Mary Pat ’63 and Frank Dempsey for a week on Kiawah Island, S.C. After a miserable snowy March in Cleveland, Jim Mason, Frank Dempsey, Dave Nichting and I joined Steve Schuda, Bob Fitzgerald, Greg Fisher and Denny McGrath for a week of golf in Santee, S.C. While down there, we also spent a Sunday afternoon and evening with Sunday and Dick Fromholtz at their home in Summerville, S.C. We also had a visit from F.X. Walton ’59 who lives in the Columbia, S.C., area. We would love to expand the group next year. Anyone interested, send me an e-mail and I’ll fill you in on the details. We try to go each year the last weekend of March into the first week of April, depending on the date of Easter. We leave on a Friday and return on a Friday. You don’t have to be a Clevelander to join us. Only four of us live in Cleveland.
Again, keep in mind that our 50-year reunion comes up in two years. No matter what your feelings toward JCU, please give serious thought to coming back to see classmates and relive the good times we had together. The stories get better over the years. In the meantime, send me something for the next column. You have to be getting tired of hearing about my travels. I’m sure getting tired of writing about them. In the meantime, BE WELL – Schweick
Happy Easter! Since Easter is so early this year it is probably timely to wish you a happy one. I am sad to report that classmate, Tom Kusnirek passed away recently. I believe Tom lived in Gates Mills, Ohio, and was a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish. Another person who made an impression on our class in 1959, John Ray, was buried in South Bend, Ind. On November 17, our classmates, Bob Fitzgerald and Dave Nichting attended the funeral.
The last column elicited a few responses which I enjoyed. First, Ed Bierman phoned to get Jim Mason’s address. Ed has been retired for 11 years. He still lives in Pittsburgh, but spends winters in Fort Myers, Fla. We swapped prescription information and agreed that we were glad to be able to be around to discuss the topic.
John Kimler, an old roomie, (meaning one time roomie) called just before Christmas. John and his family were on their way to New Jersey to spend the holidays. John resides in the Chicago area, but is still a Green Bay Packers fan. If you are “out on the town” some evening, you might want to drop by Shuba’s (near Southport and Belmont) to hear his son, John perform. I hear from Denny McGrath’s son, Tim, that young John Kimler is quite good.
I received an e-message from Dan Pallat who also resides in the Chicago area. He and his wife, Barbara, had just returned from their first ever cruise. They toured the Hawaiian Islands, went thru a 60 degree temperature drop on the return to Chicago and are looking forward to their annual ski trip to Deer Valley in Park City, Utah, at the end of January. Dan is still working with a national financial consultant called Tatum, LLC. For the most part they are former CFOs from corporate America who assist companies either as interim CFOs or in projects that include restructuring, refinancing, turnaround, acquisitions and divestitures. Barbara has an interior design business. She has been president of the Illinois chapter of ASID (the national interior design organization) and recently finished a term as president of NCIDQ (the certifying agency for testing interior designers, much like the certification process to be a CPA) in Washington, D.C. (Might be a good idea for you who reside in the Chicago area to keep this info from your wives). Dan mentioned how much he enjoyed returning for his 54-year grade school reunion in South Euclid last year. It’s not too early to start thinking about our 50-year John Carroll Reunion in June 2010. Why not phone a classmate and talk about it?
Jim Mason is recovering nicely. He, Melinda, Bev and I are getting ready to attend Jerry Malizia’s wedding in Phoenix at the end of January. We understand that the McGraths, Straders,Flasks and Jim Shannon will also attend. Sounds like a good time.
Thanks Ed, John and Dan for the material. Who will help me write the next article? Give me a call or send an e-mail, but above all, be well. Schweick
Let me begin by wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I had a visit from John Magnotto last night. He was in town for a dinner at John Carroll and to see Jim Mason. For those who don’t know, Jim is recovering from surgery for a brain tumor. The tumor was benign, but Jim has had several complications since the surgery in August. He has been in and out of the Cleveland Clinic for one thing after another. He has taken a turn for the better and was able to meet John Magnotto at Nighttown for lunch yesterday. His spirits are up and he is looking forward to getting rid of the last of the tubes he has been dangling for the past several weeks. Many of us have been praying diligently for Jim’s recovery. At the urging of Lou Berger, I spoke with Fr. Schell by phone and enlisted his prayers for Jim. Needless to say, he is much better connected than any of us and since then the news about Jim gets better and better. Father sounds great and we had a good half hour visit on the phone. Once Jim is fully recovered, several of us are going to go up and visit Father Schell and play some golf. He assures me that the course at Colombiere is world class so I’m sure it will meet the high standards our level of skill demands.
Bev and I had a good time at Homecoming with Jan and Steve Schuda as well as Janice and Jerry Rachfal. “Falsie” was able to squeeze in a visit with Jim Mason before leaving for home after the weekend.
While I was out of town in late September, Bill Buescher and Dave Marr hit town for an eat-in at Corky and Lenny’s. Frank Dempsey was able to meet them for dinner and reports that both are doing well.
My most enjoyable and unexpected contact was a phone call yesterday from Pete Conboy (it has been a long time since we last spoke). He tells me his son and daughter have been brought into the funeral home business and are doing well. Pete tells me that the guys in the Chicago area try to get together once a year. He is going to see Bob Banci in Orlando, FL, in the near future when he takes his grand children to Disneyworld.
I know this column is shorter than usual — not many are sending information to work with, therefore, I shall now go to my room and sulk. Be well, Schweick
Unfortunately, we lost a classmate on 24 June. Jack Cregan passed away and was buried on 28 June. Bob Fitzgerald, Jim Thailing, Charlie Keane and Joe Whelan ’65 traveled to Illinois for the service. By the time you read this we will have held a memorial Mass for Jack at Saint Francis Chapel on campus.
On a lighter note, I heard from Matty Mahon in reaction to the column ghost written by “The Fly.” Matty was reminiscing about the nick names of various classmates as mentioned in the column. He is also looking forward to our 50 year reunion in 2010. (Hard to believe isn’t it?) As long as I’m on the subject, keep in mind how quickly the years have gone since ’60. It might be a good time to track down an old roommate and discuss getting together at our 50th. Needless to say, we all had an influence on each other and we should take the time to get together and recognize that fact. I don’t know about you, but to me the saddest things in life are words left unsaid and deeds left undone. How about making a commitment to yourself to return to the 50th and celebrate the relationships begun 50 years ago. Better yet, get in touch with an old roommate and talk to him about it.
Speaking of old roommates, Frank Dempsey recently returned from a white water rafting trip on the Colorado River. He handled the cruise like a champ, but was bitten on the ankle by a spider and required medical treatment as a result. (There have been reports in the Cleveland Plain Dealer of someone seen crawling up and down the Terminal Tower in a Spiderman costume).
Dave Nichting is undergoing physical therapy for a shoulder injury suffered last winter. We, of course, have been scrambling to fill out our foursome in his absence.
Jim Mason appeared recently on the Channel 5 noon news as a spokesman for the United Appeal and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. (No he did not sing “Mack the Knife”).
Since supposedly, “No news is good news”, I assume all is well with all of you because no one is sending any information for me to include in the column. While I love all the guys I see in Cleveland, I would prefer to hear from some of you who I don’t get to see very often, if at all. Please send material so I can include it in my next column. This is the best I can do on my own. To all you believers or non-believers out there, dare I hope that the Cubs will finally get there this year? (No comments from you Schayer – your guys are as bad as the Cubs were last year.) Remember, call an old roommate. Be well, Schweick
I am saddened to report that our classmate Jim Kaiser passed away on March 15. Not a good way to begin the column! Continuing with the information sent by Larry Beaudin, for which I had no room in the last column, he was able to spend some time with Tom Bausch at a Jesuit function. He reports that Tom is still with Marquette University. They shared memories of Pacelli Hall. Larry is an instructor with the AARP Safe Driver Program (wonder why they use young people to teach in AARP?). He also teaches 7th grade Religious Education at his daughter’s parish. She teaches 5th grade and her 16-year-old daughter teaches 1st grade. (Don’t do the math we are all that old!) Larry is active in Knights of Columbus serving as an officer at both his council and assembly. The Beaudins have 14 grandchildren living in the Chicago area and Larry is even an official “assistant Den leader” in his daughter’s Cub Scout Pack. At the time he sent this info, he and his wife, Peg, were heading for the Jesuit retirement community in Clarkston, MI, to visit some long time friends including, hopefully J. Otis Schell, S.J. Thanks for sharing this news, Larry.
If more of you guys would do the same, you wouldn’t have to put up with the following: Steve Schuda has joined our third Friday lunch group a couple of times since Thanksgiving. How many guys do you know who would drive from Pittsburgh to join you for lunch? He also joined Jim Mason, Bob Fitzgerald, Greg Fisher, Dave Nichting, Frank Dempsey and me on our annual trip to Santee, SC, for a week of golf. We wouldn’t mind expanding the group. If you have any interest, let me know and I’ll send details. We have already reserved our dates for ’08. We will leave Cleveland on Friday, March 28 and return on Friday, April 4. Denny McGrath has surfaced as a potential 1st round draft choice for next spring.
Bev and I joined Melinda and Jim Mason, Judy and Denny Judy McGrath, Lynne and John Magnotto, Jim Shannon and his friend Diana for a quick trip to the Grand Canyon in late February, after which we headed to Phoenix for a visit with Jerry Malizia and his fiancée Jeanie Ralls. Needless to say, we had a great time with an abundance of laughter.
Plans are being made for a joint mini-reunion with the class of ’59 at Homecoming this fall. We will make it a “pay as you go event,” but will probably ask for some kind of reservations. At the moment we are thinking of a get together on Thursday evening for those who come in early or are local residents. The university will work with us concerning Friday. Golf for the guys who are interested can be arranged with a possible tour of some of the attractions of Cleveland for non-golfers and wives. Friday evening dinner could be held in the new Alumni Lounge in Rodman Hall depending on the number of attendees. Saturday is the Street Fair on Belvoir and the football game. At the moment, we are thinking of leaving Saturday evening and the annual Alumni Mass and Breakfast on Sunday open to individual choice. Homecoming is the last weekend in September.
Please send an e-mail to email@example.com if you are interested in attending this mini-reunion? We will plan accordingly. Also, I’m in the process of getting a new e-mail address but in the meantime, you can send news to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be well, Jerry
Mark the last weekend in September ’07 on your calendar if you are interested in coming back to JCU for a joint mini reunion with the class of ’59 (more details in next column).
Larry Beaudin reports that Warren Arthur, Jim Reilly, Paul Cronin and he attended their 50th St. Ignatius H.S. (Chicago) reunion. Unfortunately, Dave Marr was unable to make it. Larry shared more information which will appear in the next Journal.
The following letter arrived recently: “I’m just a fly on the wall at The Woodlands Hotel in Williamsburg, VA, and I see them coming. They think once every five years isn’t enough so they arrive from Florida, Jean and Jack Lyons, Joyce and Len Piotrowski, Judy and Tom Collins; from St. Louis, Joan and Jim Bowers, Mary Joyce and Dave Keefe; from California, Polly and Paul Flask and Jim Shannon; from Rochester Kit and Dick Vogel, Jan and Jerry Rachfal. They are talking about how they have come from many different places just as they were sent 50 years ago to JCU by hard working hopeful families – rich in hope and faith if not necessarily in finances. Their faith was in God and the Jesuits and their hope was that JCU would provide a foundation for their sons.” … “There’s Jan and Steve Schuda from Pittsburgh, Lynne and John Magnotto from Phoenix, Peg and Bill Buescher from Chicago as well as Carol and Field Retterer from Indianapolis. They’re discussing how much JCU changed them as well as how much it changed in four short years. They remember eating meals, playing pinochle, as well as purchasing books and eventually class rings in the basement of the Ad Building. Someone recalls the chapel and library both being located on the third floor of that building. They laugh about how the gym in which they once played basketball has morphed into a beautiful chapel.” … “The Ohio crowd is finally here. Jeanette and Greg Fisher from Cinci, the Cleveland crew Sharon and Dave Nichting, Mary Pat ’63 and Frank Dempsey, Melinda and Jim Mason, Jerry and Bev ’76 and Schweickert and the East Liverpudlians Sue and Bob Fitzgerald. They’re chuckling about how, at the end of Freshman Orientation week, they crushed the ’59ers in a push ball contest on a dirt field now named after one of them, beanies, and how they quickly began to confer the incredible names of wild animals, body parts and the like on each other – some remain to this day.” … “I’m still on this wall and it looks like they are enjoying a Happy Hour. They’ve been to Ft. Eustis where many of them spent time as commissioned officers. I’ve heard stories about a golf match, trips to Yorktown, and various activities in Historic Williamsburg. A guy named Collins directs former Glee Clubbers Vogel, Magnottto and Flask in songs from The Student Prince and one that starts “Sons of Carroll.” They seem to have sung in the past at some place called Faragher’s on Thursday evenings. One guy gets some laughs by sharing some thoughts on aging – none of them seem to think they are aging. The only disappointment seems to be that some folks named Malizia, Huettner, McGrath and Powers had to cancel at the last minute.” … “Since this has occurred in mid week they were unable to celebrate a Eucharist, but the fellowship, thoughts and words, compiled over 50 years, were surely a prayer that pleased their Creator – and it was good.” … The letter was signed “The Fly” – Whoever you are, thanks for the material – could you be a Horsefly? Be well! Jerry
As I sit here writing this, I feel old. Just as many of you have already done, or will shortly do, I am heading for Chicago and my 50 year high school reunion. It doesn’t sound so bad until I think in terms of one half century. That sounds old. Oh well – think young! (As soon as the arthritis pain goes away.)
I heard from Lou Burger about six weeks ago. He told me about a reunion he attended at Colombiere Center in Clarkson Michigan. As you may or may not recall, he and Fred Schaal entered the Jesuit novitiate shortly after graduation. They attended the reunion for all who had been at Colombiere for a length of time. According to Lou, Fred entertained them with stories about Chicago, (he teaches at Lane Tech) train trips he has taken (hope he didn’t bring any slides) and boat trips on the Maumee River. Lou spent eight days there and says that Father Schell is his old self. Although he uses a walker, he is in good health and would love to have some of us “old dogs” visit him. Lou says father was full of memories about certain people he caught going out windows in Pacelli Hall and imprisoning them in the basement. Since I can’t remember such an incident I am sure I never did such a thing. Lou says the Jesuits have two golf courses up there and the food is good while the rates are reasonable. It’s not that long a drive if anyone is interested in a road trip after the weather warms again in the spring. A visit with Joe Schell would be worth the trip, but we could also get in a round of golf. Let me now if you have an interest. By the way Lou says father would put us up on the fifth floor (I sense a reference to sneaking out windows in that comment).
I also received some pictures by e-mail from Terry Pokuta. It seems that Bob Fitzharris was in Chicago recently to visit his children and a group of the guys got together for lunch. Joe Morrissey, Bob Kilbourne, Pete Conboy, Paul Pellegrino, Bob Fitzharris, Ken Roznowski, Terry Pokuta as well as Tony Saletta and Sam Vitale (remember them?) were in the pictures. They all looked great and I have to say it — ready for a 50th high school reunion.
I wandered into Carol and Field Retterer tailgating in the parking lot at the Ohio State/Penn State game in September. I knew they were there, but the odds are not real great that one would find anyone in a crowd like that. Actually, I walked right into them after about five minutes of looking. We had a good visit and talked about golfing in South Carolina this spring.
By the time this goes to press it will be time for the following: MERRY CHRISTMAS! May you have a healthy and blessed Christmas with your families. I look forward to hearing from all of you. Be well. Schweick
It was a tough spring for the class of ’60. Dave Starre, who was featured in our last column, lost his battle with cancer after outliving doctors’ predictions by a few years. Shortly thereafter, Connie Pappas lost the same battle. Bob Fitzgerald did a great job as spokesman for the class of ’60 in sharing comments about, and memories of Connie with all who were present at the funeral. Tommy O’Malley, Dave Nichting, Charlie Keane, Frank Dempsey, Jim Mason, Bill Matejka, Bob and I were able to attend. Many teammates from ’58 through ’62 also attended. I then heard from Bob Banci who informed me that he and Pete Conboy served as pall-bearers at Chuck Nicola’s funeral. Finally, Jack Lyons let me know about the death of our classmate Marty Haitz. Marty was active in the Tampa-St. Pete local JCU alumni group working on the annual “Christmas Carroll Eve” project which was to refurbish the landscaping and grounds surrounding the Children’s Cancer Center of Tampa.
On a lighter note, Jack says he is “plugging along as a permanent Deacon for the Diocese of St. Petersburg, FL. In addition to his parish duties at All Saints Catholic Church, he had just had the privilege of baptizing his fifth grandchild. Jack’s focus is on Prison Ministry. He says, “This is a very comfortable ministry for me as the personalities are all reminiscent of my college classmates.” (I wonder which of us he sees in his clients.) Dave Marr tells Jack that he will have no problem with the vow of poverty when he is ordained as an Augustinian priest because his lawyer son can defend him free of charge should he be incarcerated (perhaps Deacon Jack can visit with Dave) or his doctor son can treat him should he become ill.
While on the subject of Florida, Jack Cregan, who resides in Ponce Inlet near Daytona, was present for our monthly luncheon at Muldoon’s on the 21st of July. Jack’s wife, Chris, is in the Chicago area where she is unfortunately recuperating after a fall in which she broke an arm and a leg. Thinking back to my last column where I mentioned the power of prayer and asked everyone to try to say a prayer for Dave Starre at 7 p.m. each evening, how about everyone saying a short prayer for our classmates and their families at that time every evening.
Finally, Joe Morrissey informs me (through Bill Buescher) that Jack Murray is alive and well and living in Columbia. (The country, not Missouri) where he is teaching English. Bill and his wife Peg had just returned from Florida and a visit with the Piotrowskis after stopping to visit their daughter in Atlanta. They also visited Springs Village, AR. Prospecting for a retirement haven. I know Bill is a big Bill Clinton fan, but retiring to Arkansas seems a little overboard. It will never happen because he wants to hit up Frank Dempsey and me for the down payment on his dream home (better plan on more of Chicago’s winter weather Bill).
Please be sure to send some news about yourself or a classmate. Be well, Jerry
“IT’S A PUZZLEMENT”! As I recently sat pondering the secrets of the universe (much as I did as an undergrad) the following dawned on me. Last April 4 a once in a lifetime event took place. It lasted only a second and will never occur again in our lifetime — do you know what it was? (answer below – no peeking)
While I try not to be overly serious in writing this column, I could not let the opportunity to share the following go by. Upon requesting prayers for a classmate who prefers to remain anonymous, I received the following reply from classmate Dave Starre. “Three and one half years ago I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a rare cancer of the marrow in the bones from the hips to the skull. I was level three cancer and given six months to live.” Dave’s wife wrote a letter to Regina Brett, a columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer (19 September 2004) asking her to seek prayers for Dave and explaining her own belief in the power of prayer. Brett explains that Barb, Dave’s wife, upon reading a book about prayer entitled “The Isaiah Effect” came to believe that the secret of prayer is believing in your heart that you already have what you seek. You don’t ask for it; you feel it already present. Dave has far surpassed the six month prognosis and informs me that over 30 multi-denominational church groups pray for him at 7 p.m. daily — even if it’s only thinking of him as healing. His wife, Barb, is looking forward to him dancing with their granddaughter at her wedding and their granddaughter is only three years old. That is certainly a belief in the power of prayer. Keep Dave and our anonymous classmate, mentioned earlier, in your thoughts at 7 p.m. every day — I am trying to remember to do the same. Dave is retired, but runs the Monday night meal for the poor and homeless at St. Malachi’s on the near West Side of Cleveland. He and Barb have four children and 12 grandchildren. They both have been on a macro-biotic diet plan for the past year. To quote Regina Brett, “…if you can, say a prayer for Dave. You don’t need to worry about words. Just imagine a man dancing at his granddaughter’s wedding.”
Had occasion to read a quote by my old roomie, John Slosar, in the Wall Street Journal recently. It was in regard to the “Job Bank” program being used in the automotive industry and was as profound as I’ve ever heard John. (Don’t get the impression that I read the WSJ, Bubba Schayer called it to my attention and Jim Mason made a copy of it for me)
Speaking of The Shark; he, Frank Dempsey, Dave Nichting, Greg Fisher, Bob Fitzgerald and I spent a week in Santee, SC, golfing. Jim was the medalist, but I won most of the money. (Handicap)!
… Upon hearing that Corky & Lenny’s was recently closed for a week because of Salmonella, Bill Buescher offered the explanation that it was no doubt an Al-Qaeda plot to discredit Jewish delis. He vowed to wear a hair shirt until they reopened and proposed that the U.S.A. immediately bomb Iran, Iraq, Palestine and while we’re at it, North Korea. Bill Should be thrilled to know that C & L’s recently received an award as one of the top three Jewish delis in the country. (By the way, you can take off the hair shirt Bill, they have reopened.)
A suggestion has been offered by the class of ’59 that we hold a joint mini-reunion during a non-reunion year for our classes. Homecoming weekend was suggested (year to be determined). Please let me know if you are in the least bit interested. While you’re at it send me some news. Be well! Jerry (Answer to puzzlement – At 2 min. and 3 seconds after one o’clock the time and date read 01:02:03-04/05/06)
Again I’ll begin with an incongruent statement in the “winter” issue of the Journal. Happy Easter! Word is that the McGrath’s are unscathed by the grass fires that threatened Oklahoma City. Bubba Schayer (go Sox) reports that the great New Orleans Flood spared Jack Duffy. The waters stopped four blocks from his home. Field Retterer is wintering in Florida as he recuperates from hip replacement surgery. (Probably making adjustments in the golf swing also.)
Got the following information about Carlo (aka Carl) Coppola. As Carlo says, “… he once was lost (per alumni records) but now is found…” and we are happy to have him back. Hope he will return to Ohio for our 50 year reunion in 2010. Carl was editor of the Carroll Quarterly while at JCU (I hope he isn’t too tough on this column) and has certainly pursued his interest in the written word. Carl and his wife, Carol, have four children and live in Los Angeles. He recently retired after 42 years of university teaching. His Ph.D. is from the University of Chicago and he lived in India for a year in order to complete his dissertation on India and Middle East languages and cultures. True to his JCU experience, he edited a literary journal for 39 years and has published extensively to include three books in the areas of literature, linguistics, psychoanalysis, culinary history, and music. With an additional chef’s degree he taught in a culinary arts program for 20 years, specializing in wine, culinary history (we’ll have to get Carl together with Jim Gauntner’s son who is a world renowned authority on Saki).
Additional interests drew him to be program director for a fine-arts broadcasting station for five years, chief fundraiser and general factotum for a regional ballet company and later an opera company for about eight years. In 2004 Carl received his MA in counseling and is currently setting up a practice in psychotherapy and counseling in Los Angeles specializing in family and couples. Carlo has certainly gone a long way from Wooster, OH. Thanks Carl for sending the interesting sketch of your past 45 years. I hope you don’t’ mind my not using quotations marks through out this column. (got to protect myself from the editor)
Frank Dempsey, Dave Nichting, Doc Kopfinger ’62 (my next door neighbor) Jerry Harrison (my ex-secretary’s husband) and I recently finished building a rather large addition on our home. I have no doubt that the Tower of Babel was built in much the same way – five chiefs, no Indians. The room is still standing after our initial party and Frank, Dave and I are establishing the “Three Stooges Construction Co.” Dry walling is our specialty.
Jim and Melinda Mason and Bev and I are getting ready for our annual trip to Phoenix to visit Jerry Malizia and the Magnottos. We will be joined by Jim Shannon. Unfortunately, Denny & Judy McGrath are unable to join us this year. As you read this we have already completed our trip.
I’m sure there are many of you out there who could share some interesting information with us. Please send a note or e-mail so I can let our classmates know how you have been. Also, I need good material to write this column — I don’t particularly care to write in every column about what four or five of us in Cleveland are doing. I’m even more sure that you don’t want to continually read about the same people. You are interesting to your classmates so let’s hear from you. … Till later, be well. Jerry
What better way to begin the fall Journal column than to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I think I’m finally getting the hang of this, but it is tough to think two months ahead.
Heard from Bob O’Connor. He was looking for John Slosar. If Bob had not retired from the DEA at age 50, I would be worried about my old roomie. John did spend a lot of time in California. Bob is living in Portland, OR, and has not felt the urge to be anything but retired for the past 17 years or so. Good for you Bob. I got the feeling the Bob does not miss Winters in Batavia, NY.
Don Kucera contacted me to explain that he planned to be at our reunion last June, but he wound up having an angiogram and stent, which kept him from attending. Do not ever do it again Don or you will answer to all of us. For the past six years, Don has been doing motivational speaking at seminars on business and communication. According to Don, it is a mini-retirement job of about two weeks each month. In his travels, he has seen Jerry Rachfal, Bill Harmon, Denny McGrath and Jerry Malizia. With all eight of their children out of the house, Jane is able to join him on his seminar travels. They are expecting their 13th grandchild, life is good as is his health after the stent. Don says hello to all JCU friends.
Bill Buescher and the rest of the powerhouse “Benchwarmers” IM basketball team held a mini reunion at Bill and Peg’s recently. Karl and Gail Rill came from Cincinnati, Jim and Liz Powers came from Rockford, Don and Joyce Muno from Beverly Hills, MI, but Jim Phillips was unable to attend due to recent eye surgery. Bill sent a warning that he is due for another Corky & Lenny’s run. (Lock the door and get the children off the streets all who reside in the Cleveland area). Frank Dempsey and I will try to distract him while he is here. Bill informs me that Brother Dave Marr has taken First Vows and now resides at Cascia Hall Monastery, 2520 South Yorktown Ave, Tulsa, OK 74114 – 2803.
Joe Morrissey, after viewing pictures of our 45-year reunion, is praying we all look better for the 50th. He is hoping that Drs. Collins and Conomy can hook us up with a cosmetic surgeon. I don’t know about you Joe but “I’ve grown accustomed to my face. It almost makes the day begin. … ” I know – that is a scary thought.
If it looks like I am grasping for material, I am. I’m also procrastinating writing the following. Sad to say, John Lovas and Jim Forrestal passed away recently. I realize this is about three months after the fact, but if I had more of your e-mail addresses, I could have let you know sooner. Please send address and material for the winter column. Addresses for the Forrestal and Lovas families in the event you want to express condolences are:
The Forrestal Family, 5416 Horse Ridge Way, Bonita, CA 91902
The Lovas Family, 650 Coleridge Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301-3801 … Jerry
Now that we have celebrated our 45-year reunion, I am pleased to report that I am gradually compiling a list of e-mails for our classmates. If you can please send me an e-mail (see address above), I will include your address in my class list. Eventually, I will send an e-mail to all on the list and you can pick off the one’s you want. If you are looking for a specific address ask me for it. If I have it I’ll send it to you. If nothing more, I will then have your address. I thought the reunion was one of our best. It was great to see, Norb Patla, Ken Dacas, Joe Bellian, Lou Burger, Karl Rill and Bob Ulman after all these years.
Bev ’76 and I have just gotten back from a weeklong trip to Chicago. On the way there we stopped to visit with Terry and Arlene Pokuta in New Buffalo, MI. Joe Morrissey and his wife, Joan, were there also. After following directions given by Terry and finding ourselves lost, we found a New Buffalo native who directed us to the Pokutas. Turns out Terry told us to turn right instead of left. After arriving, we went for a ride on the Pokuta’s boat. Lake Michigan being extremely turbulent, we headed up a very calm river to experience the loss of the boat’s transmission. Joe Morrissey, having served a hitch in the U.S. Navy, offered to swim back to the dock while towing the craft with the rope held in his teeth. Cooler heads prevailed and we phoned Terry’s — shortly thereafter, we were rescued by a speedboat sent from the son’s boat repair service. The following day we stuck to land and turned in a PGA worthy performance on the links. It was a great time to see the Pokutas after 20 years.
In June I received an e-mail from John McDonough after he and his wife returned from two weeks in Paris and Brittany where they had visited their daughter, Katie, as she finished a year of study at the University of Rennes. John was thinking about retiring to Tuscany and buying a Moto Guzzi motorcycle, but after the trip, it may be Brittany and a Moto Guzzi. John says he read with envy the news about the California reunions at Santa Anita and wondered why he didn’t know about them while he lived there until 1978. He says his daughter is planning to live in Baltimore and attend the Preakness each year after graduating from Johns Hopkins in May 2006. He says that is a sure sign he did something right in raising her.
John has talked to classmates Larry Carver and Don Korman who was in his physics class, but didn’t graduate from JCU. He is still “cranking out code at MetLife and thinking about retirement someday.” He may be the only one in our class who speaks Java, having just completed a class in the language. Thanks for the news John!
While on the subject of news, please be aware that if you want to convey some information to classmates, this column must be turned in two months prior to publication. This one had a due date of 15 July. Don’t get discouraged if you send me a message and it seems to take forever to get it into print. I will use anything you send.
Till later, be well. Jerry
In the realm of being careful of that for which one wishes, I received the following information from old roomie John Slosar and I quote: Jerry – In response to your plea to former roommates – Yes you did set a record for roommates and Joe Morrissey and I made continuous sacrifices to provide a nurturing environment for your achievements academically, socially and, yes, in athletics. You will recall that it was so stressful on Joe that he spent a year after Carroll in a cloister seminary in Glen Ellyn.
I always thought it was my example of spirituality that inspired Joe to enter. On the other hand, after hearing that another old roomie, Dave Marr, has entered the Augustinians in the recent past, I wonder if he could be a victim of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of our semester together in Pacelli. Dave has said he will be at the Reunion so we can all congratulate him on his decision.
Slosar says that Tim Strader continues in venture capital investments and resides in Corona del Mar, CA, and Tim and his wife, Susan, provide exemplary leadership in the Orange County Diocese and in the parish, Queen of Angels. Russ Gorny continues his successful OB-GYN practice in San Clemente while his wife, Robbie, continues to donate her services at the local animal shelter. John credits her with supplying his family with their great pets. He further reports Paul Flask and Reed Harmon sightings out there.
One of John’s most interesting contacts came on a trip to New York City where he ran into Dick Vogel in his dark glasses passing in front of the Plaza Hotel. Since then, he has wondered whether Dick appears there regularly, or owns sidewalk space. He will clear this up at the Reunion.
Since John and family have outgrown their annual trip to Disney World by 30 years, he has missed seeing Tom and Judy Collins in Venice, FL. He has lost track of Terry and Ann Peters somewhere in the Carolinas as well as Bob O’Connor, last working for the FDA up in Seattle. John goes on to say that Jack and Evie Poplar maintain homes in St. Petersburg, FL, and Northville, MI. Jack has laid down his tennis racquet for golf clubs. John is looking forward to the Reunion, especially after the 40th where he was able to get reacquainted with all classmates, but especially Jim Patterson and Mickey Tegano as well as old teammates, Jim Keim and Jim Thailing.
John and Marianne will celebrate 43 years of marriage this year, as will many of us. He has a tough time believing his children (all married) range in age from 34 to 41. Believe it John believe it!
Thanks for the lengthy report John, you wrote my column for me. Anyone else who might care to abuse me a little, feel free to do so as long as you send lots of news about our classmates along with the abuse.
First to send in reservations for reunion - Greg Fisher, Dave Nichting, Denny McGrath, Bob Ulman, Tim Strader, Jim Powers, Bill Retterer, Bill Buescher, and Lenny Piotrowski. Way to go guys! Most recent to commit to the Reunion are Karl Rill and Warren Arthur. How about joining them? The reunion committee has decided to ban, for the weekend, all conversation concerning grandchildren and our health and/or bodily functions. Hopefully we can all think of something else to talk about that weekend!
See you in June. Be well, Jerry
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I HOPE THIS COLUMN FINDS ALL OF YOU IN GOOD HEALTH. Our reunion committee has been formulated and has begun calling to remind all about our 45-year reunion in June 2005. Dave Nichting, Frank Dempsey, Jerry Rachfal, Jim Mason and I met at Homecoming and appointed Jim as chair. Since then, Larry Beaudin, Bill Buescher, Bob Fitzgerald, Jim Forrestal, Jim Gauntner, Tom O’Malley, and Joe Rini have stepped up and volunteered to help.
I am happy to say that Jim Powers, Jack Lyons, Greg Fisher and Steve Schuda are the first to respond to Jim Forrestal’s suggestion about the class e-mail list. They have also confirmed their attendance at reunion. Bill Buescher says Joe Morrissey and Len Piotrowski are definitely coming. “The Falls” reports that Jim Reilly, Fred Schaal (without slides), Field Retterer, Jack Duffy, Jim Patterson and Dave Wenzler have committed to attend. He further informs me that Ken Roznowski has retired after 27 years as a special education teacher in Chicago. He goes on to say “Be aware, Paul Pellegrino, that Jack Duffy will be very upset if you are not at the reunion.” I know that Jerry Malizia (another “Wicker”) is coming. Don’t get these two upset with you “Pudge.”
“The Falls” also reports that Dick Vogel, now a retired Marine Colonel and town councilman in Brighton, NY, a suburb of Rochester, is the Rochester area chair for the New York Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. In his position he runs a trip to the Washington, DC area every year to showcase the military. He convinced Jerry to attend the 2004 junket last August. The trip was wonderful, flying in a Marine C-130 and capped off by reserved seats at the Marine Barracks Evening Parade. “Vogs,” who like “The Falls,” recently retired from Xerox commanded the Marine Reserve 8th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division. Jerry says he is enjoying retirement and further reports that although we knew “Vogs” as Dick when at Carroll he is now known as Jim in Rochester. I shall always remember him as my “conscience” in the basement of Dolan Hall.
Dave Callahan is the first of our classmates to show up at Muldoon’s for our Third Friday Lunch meeting. Some of the guys hadn’t seen him in 45 years. How about some of you who haven’t been back to JCU in that length of time showing up for the reunion? I guarantee that you will have a great time.
Bob Banci has been keeping me entertained with e-mails, as has Denny McGrath. Too bad about the OSU/OU bowl game, Denny (Go Bucks! Bummer Sooner!).
Bob Fitzharris surprised his wife upon the occasion of her qualification for Medicare (Happy Birthday, Pat and welcome to the group) with a trip to England. Upon returning, they hooked up with Ed and Margo Melotti to tour Washington, DC and the Fort Eustis/Yorktown areas. Bob reports that they had a marvelous trip thanks in large part to the Melotti’s incredible hospitality. Why don’t the four of you come to reunion and tell us all about the trip (no slides).
Thanks to all who sent material for this column. It is tough to come up with information about those with whom I’m not in touch, regularly. Also, thanks to all the English majors who ignored the grammatical error in the last column (my wife didn’t). I am teaching a “writing intensive” course at JCU this semester (part of the new core requirements), perhaps I can learn to proof my own work as thoroughly as I do my students’. CLEVELAND/AKRON AREA RESIDENTS! – GIVE SOME THOUGHT TO THE ALUMNI GOLF OUTING AT SLEEPY HOLLOW ON 6 JUNE 2005. IT COULD BE A GOOD TIME FOR OUR CLASS TO WARM UP FOR THE REUNION. Info on the outing will be forthcoming from the Alumni Office. I hope to see you at the reunion. Be well! Jerry
SAVE THE DATE!
As I write this column, Denny McGrath’s wife, Judy, is overseeing my efforts. She and my bride attended their 50-year grade school reunion yesterday and she will head home to Oklahoma tomorrow. Jim Mason, me and our wives visited the McGraths in September. We are still looking for the John Magnottos and Jerry Malizia, who were to join us. (Hopefully they are not wandering the desert between Phoenix and Oklahoma City). Speaking of reunions, don’t read any further – SET THE MAGAZINE DOWN AND GO MARK YOUR 2005 CALENDAR FOR OUR 45-YEAR JCU REUNION TO BE HELD JUNE 17 – 19. I know that is the weekend of Father’s Day – have your kids pool their resources and send you and your significant other to the reunion as a gift. (That way you won’t have to do the grilling and clean up after your own party).
We have formed a planning committee and will meet on Saturday October 23 to get the ball rolling. For those of you who feel the need to phone home during the weekend and might have to use a pay phone, Dave Nichting has promised to re-create his most famous piece of coat hanger art and bring it to the reunion. If you are planning to attend, please send me an e-mail at the above address. It may save you having to talk to one of our committee members on the phone. Then again, we would enjoy talking to you. While many of you have been back for reunions, there are many who I can’t remember seeing for far too many years. How about Tom Sabow, Paul Bott, Pete VanOgtrop, Steve Bazzano – anyone still in touch with them? Please convince them to come. Dave Nichting tells me he spoke with Jim Sorrentino on the phone and Jim is going to call Frank Aquila about the reunion – How about Joe Regan and Dick Low?
Thanks to Jim Forrestal and Bubba Schayer for their responses to past columns. Jim is a cancer survivor, retired Navy Commander and lives in Bonita, CA with his wife, Eve, a nurse who he credits for getting him through his treatments and surgery. Thank God for good women! Jim did complain, however, about how painful it is for him to have to spend time cleaning his pool while those of us in Cleveland and other northern climes are able to sit around and watch it sleet, rain and snow. Jim suggests that I create an e-mail list of the class of ’60 so we can communicate with each other. If you will send me your address I’ll develop the list and get it out (good idea Jim).
In response to my request for an assessment of the 2003 Cubs, Bubba (a misguided Sox fan) Schayer unleashed his rapier wit upon me, pointing out that he partially finances his retirement with funds from wagers with foolish Cub fans. Bubba had open-heart surgery on April 9th demanding that his Dr. get him out in time for the Sox home opener. He made it! He blames the condition on his roast beefs from Bob’s and burgers from the White Castle at Cedar & Lee. After that menu, it’s amazing anyone is still going. He also reports that Fred Schaal has traded in his bike for an open-end Amtrak ticket with which he travels the country each summer. (Please don’t bring the slides to the reunion, Fred). SEE YOU AT THE REUNION! (SEE YOUR NAME IN PRINT! – SEND ME AN E-MAIL; NOT YOU FWANK!) … Jerry
THANKS FOR RESPONDING
Thanks to Lou Burger, John McBride, Terry Pokuta, and Bill Harmon for responding to the last column. Lou is retired after a career in teaching and as a physics technician. He reports that he has stayed in touch with Fr. Schell, who is still at JCU. Lou is interested in a West Coast mini-reunion and indicates that he wants to “save the dates” for our 45 year reunion. John reports that he has been doing some acting and has had some poetry published. For those who may wish to read some of his work: Giotto, published in the “Rockhurst Review”; The Utopia of Vine and Verse, in the “Neo Victorian”: The Christmas Creche, Before Epiphany,” published by Pioneer Press and Aliens, published in “Off the Coast,” the Journal of the Live Poets Society of Maine? Anyone else have anything published that we might want to read? (No dissertations please.) Let me know so I can share with our classmates.
Terry informs me that he gets together with Joe Morrissey and Sam Vitale (remember him? Another Chicagoan) for golf. At the moment, I am trying to weasel my way into their game in New Buffalo, MI where Terry and his wife, Arlene, reside. (I have no doubt I’m going to be hustled!) Bill Harmon is serious about the West Coast mini-reunion sometime in October. His only concern is how many are interested. I would encourage all who are so inclined to attend. Jim Mason and I are gearing up for a trip (with spouses, of course) in September to Oklahoma City to visit with McGraths, Magnottos, Jim Shannon and Jerry Malizia.
I have learned that The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has elected Paul Fleury, Ph.D. dean of engineering at Yale University as a fellow. Congratulations Paul!
Frank Dempsey and I had a chance to visit with Dave Marr in Virginia in February ’03. I also heard from John Kimler last December. Both are doing well. Bill Matejka suffered a stroke in December ’02 and is working hard at his rehab. During his intense period of rehab, Dave Nichting, Frank Dempsey, Tom O’Malley, Charlie Keane, Jim Gowan and Jim Gauntner visited him weekly on a somewhat regular schedule. Bob Fitzgerald and I visited on a little less regular basis. With much abuse from his friends, Bill has progressed well and is able to walk with a cane and his speech returned quickly. He is presently residing at St. Augustine on Cleveland’s West Side. Visitors are still welcome.
The aforementioned and others (not necessarily ’60) get together on the third Friday of each month for lunch at Muldoon’s located at I-90 and East 185th St. just North of I-90. If you find yourself in Cleveland on the third Friday of a given month, feel free to join us. We meet at noon and leave when the spirit moves us. (don’t misinterpret that last statement). We do quaff a flagon of ale or two, however.
I would enjoy hearing from all of my old roommates, who are too numerous to mention (I was so easy to get along with) and anyone else who will contact me with some news. Bubba Schayer, I would love to hear your views on the Cub’s performance last season. (My wife hid all the sharp objects in our house during the last three innings of game 7 of the NLCS). This is the year! Be Well! Schweick
NEW SCRIBE IN TOWN!
Thanks to Frank Dempsey, Dave Nichting and Jim Mason, I have been given the job of writing the class column. They must have concocted their plot during our golf trip to South Carolina in February. That may be the last time I ever take one of those trips with them! We did get the chance to visit with Dick and Sunday Fromholtz after one of our rounds of golf. (Interpret that as freeloading dinner). It was great to see them after too many years. Don’t ever travel with Nichting — we thought he was going to get us shot when he tried to talk us on to an air force base using his driver’s license as ID. He wanted to see his godson who he thought was stationed there. Four guys in a white van with golf bags in the back appearing out of the blue and trying to talk their way onto the base. Get the picture? We must have been crazy. On top of that, the kid had been transferred to a base in Mississippi.
I would like to thank Dick Blase who wrote this column for the past several years. He learned, as I already know, that there can be little written if there is no input from members of the class. Unless you want to read about my life and those of the same classmates over and over, send me news from time to time. I don’t want this to become an exercise in creative writing and neither do you. Besides, the only creative writing I’ve ever done has been on the walls of men’s’ room stalls. (Actually it was some of my best work).
The Masons, McGraths, Magnottos, Schweickerts, Jim Shannon and Jerry Malizia recently held their fourth mini-reunion in Phoenix, AZ. Sad to say, Jim Shannon’s wife, Kaye passed away last fall. Jim is doing well and getting on with life. Once again, a great time was had by all in the Valley of the Sun with much laughing and great eating at some unique restaurants selected by Magnotto and Malizia (only 1 was Italian). The best meal was held at Jerry Malizia’s cucina — he’s a great chef and a better host. This year we did Sadona and other great sights along the way. If you ever get the chance to go to Sadona, keep the plastic out of your wife’s possession. We were forced by Mason and Malizia to attend a White Sox spring training game. Last year, Shannon and I prevailed and we attended a major league game and saw the Cubs beat the Giants. We have begun planning our next mini reunion for Oklahoma City in October.
One of the great moments of the event was provide by Jim Shannon as he worked on his Olympic gymnastics routine and ripped the towel rack off the bathroom wall at Malizia’s. Sort of reminiscent of one of the Triad Parties. (I still think he, Rachfal and Pellegrino owe us a refund). How many JCU grads does it take to replace a towel rack? Six – one to supply the tools, one to do the work, three to offer useless suggestions on how to do it and one (the home owner) to cover his eyes and hope the wall doesn’t come down.
While on the topic of reunions, rumor has it that Bill Harmon is talking about resurrecting the West Coast mini reunion at Santa Anita. What about it Reed? With more of us retiring, such an event might draw well. Speaking further of reunions, remember that our 45-year reunion is in June ’05. Hard to believe! You have to see the new science center, football stadium and renovated gym. Start planning now. I would like to start letting people know who is coming so I’ll remind you in each column to make a commitment to attend.
In the meantime, please send news of classmate sightings or mini reunions you have held with old roommates and others. More importantly, send me some info about you and your family from time to time so I can include it in the column. Jerry