class notes

1930s

30 Football Changes

Recently, a Notre Dame grad asked if I would explain some of the changes in football since I was in South Bend. In the old days, the goal posts were on the goal line. They were moved back for the 1932 championship game but were officially moved for good in the 1933 season. Many of the changes were added to prevent injury situations, such as players running into the goal posts. Football helmets back when I was in school were not adequate. They were made of leather, offering little protection, and they were not padded. Plastic helmets became mandatory in the1960s. In my memory, there were three changes in the size of footballs. At the very beginning, the ball was quite round. Some of the punters were able to kick the ball on its left side and when it hit the ground, it would bounce to the right and vice-versa. The guy who was an expert at this was Frank Carideo, our All-American quarterback from 1928 to 1930. The round ball we used back then was not used very much for forward passing as it is today. It tended to float. Another thing about that round ball: some were able to drop kick it great distances. The recorded drop kick record was 45 yards by Wilbur “Pete” Henry on Dec. 10, 1922, although Jim Thorpe and Paddy Driscoll supposedly drop-kicked field goals of 50 yards or better. Another remembrance from when I was a sophomore. One day I was at the old gym, and I saw a freshman named Joe Savoldi, and he was all muscle, and I knew that he would be a good athlete, but in those days freshman were not able to participate in varsity sports. I graduated in 1930 and some years later I went to the Coliseum in Chicago to see a series of wrestling matches in which the feature match included Jim Londos, the “Greek Idol.” To my surprise, when I got there I found out that his opponent was none other than Joe Savoldi. The match was very well fought, both sides getting and breaking holds, and finally the referee patted the canvas three times to indicate a winner and then he held up Joe Savoldi’s hand, the new heavyweight champion of the world. Joe’s signature hold was the flying drop kick. Another rule has changed since I was in school. When a player was tackled, that was where the next ball was positioned and often it was very close to the sideline, so sometimes there was only room for a center and a quarterback. Since the center was at the end of the line, it made him eligible for a forward pass. Still another change: overtime was first instituted for the 1996 season. Prior to that, if the game ended in a tie, it was called a tie. For reference, Notre Dame has 42 ties on the books. The roster of our championship teams of ’29 and ’30 consisted of 102 players, and of this group, only six were 6 feet or taller and only six weighed more than 200 pounds; that is a far cry from the 350-pound players of today. Rev. Herb Yost, CSC, will remember at Mass the members of our class and their families, living or dead. — Richard J. (Dick) Savage; 4443 N. Francisco Ave., Chicago IL 60625; 773-463-7480

33 News from a Fellow Domer

I received a letter from Gene Jaeger ’42. Mr. Jaeger, a World War II Navy veteran, has penned a book about his experiences as a young man who endured the harsh reality of war. Flat-Bottom Odyssey tells the story of “the untrained men going into battle in untried ships, called upon to do on-the-job training and fight a war in the process.” This memoir has received great reviews as a firsthand account of the war, told with honesty and humor. To purchase this record of a citizen soldier and fellow Domer, visit Amazon.com or LST400.com. It would make a great gift for anyone interested in history or who has served his or her nation proudly. — Katie (Gorman) Duffy ’95; 295 Jacobs Circle, Harleysville PA 19438; res 215-513-1542; duffynd95@yahoo.com

34 Class Secretary — Donn Dugan ’64; 602-266-6047; domerdonn@live.com

36 Doing the Best at 97

In September, I received a letter from Fred Weber’s son, Rick, that his mother, Lenore, died in August. Fred died several years ago. Dorothy and I met her at our 50th Reunion. She was a very nice person and I am sure she will be missed. Our condolences to the family. I’m still living in an assisted-living apartment and doing the best for being age 97. I just received a letter from Shelby Romere, who was in our class. He is living in Beaumont TX and also 97. — John Norton; jwn176@aol.com

37 100 Percent Irish

Arch Gott reported that he can no longer travel from the Chicago suburbs to Notre Dame Stadium but tunes into 100 percent of the games to watch. Notre Dame is always close to his heart and is certainly in his blood; 10 of his family have gone to the University since 1875. Bernie Hartz has been staying active by riding his bicycle, never taking a nice fall day for granted. During the winter, he rides a stationary bike indoors. I’m sorry to report that James Foltz passed away on Sept. 13. He is survived by his four children and many grandchildren. — Kathleen Coverick; 911 Hagan Ave., New Orleans LA 70119; 708-305-5536; kathleen.coverick@gmail.com

38 Studying in the Motherland

I recently exchanged emails with Marian Quinlan, wife of the late Thomas Quinlan, who reported that her grandson, Nelson Barre Jr., is a Hardiman Scholar at the National U of Ireland in Galway, pursuing his PhD in English. Marian noted that Thomas would be quite proud of Nelson, as is their whole family. Marian would love to see him connect with ND folks in Ireland. If you or any relatives are in Galway, please let me know so I can put you in touch. It is with a heavy heart that I write that John Clifford of St. Paul MN passed away on May 30, and Paul Leahy died on Aug. 9. As I’d mentioned in the past, John was a fantastic artist who created works for student publications during his college years. He also wrote a sports column called “Splinters from the Press Box” in Scholastic Magazine. He kept working on his art, creating beautiful drawings and watercolors throughout his life. John recently painted views of ND athletes that he hoped to share with athletes or the ND community. Paul J. Leahy III ’66 wrote to let me know the news about his father. Paul ’38 was born and raised in Tiffin OH and spent most of his career there, before retiring to Sun City West AZ, where he spent his retirement years with his late wife, Lily. He returned to Ohio and lived with his children for the last three years. Paul had a tremendous family, more than 50 great-grandchildren, all avid ND fans. While he anxiously awaited the return of Lou Holtz to no avail, Paul always loved ND and had the greatest respect for Fr. Hesburgh. Please keep Paul, John, and their families in your prayers — Meg Julian ’03, ’06JD; 171 E. 89th St., 5A, New York NY 10128; 646-246-5480; megjulian@gmail.com

39 As Time Goes By

On Oct. 1, my sister, Janet Donnelly, died just two months after the family had gathered in Florida for a joyous reunion celebrating her 90th birthday. Two weeks later, I received word that my Notre Dame roommate, Andy Wilson, had suffered a stroke and died the following day. The last time I had seen him was when I had flown up there four years ago to celebrate his 90th birthday. My friendship with Andy goes back to our school days at Richmond Hill High School in New York’s Queens County. Andy and I started out at Notre Dame like many other freshmen, living on three floors under the Dome, one for sleeping, one for studying, and one for showering and shaving. After that it was Morrissey, Lyons, and Walsh in that order. In those days, you got to choose according to your scholastic average and Andy’s marks were always so high we were near the top of the list. We usually opted for top-floor rooms under the eaves because some rooms were large enough so we could play one-on-one with a tennis ball and use a wastebasket on top of a locker as the target. Andy wrote the sports column “Splinters from the Press Box” for Scholastic, and he was also one of the three student managers for the football team. After graduation, Andy competed the first year at Harvard Business School and received an offer from the Buffalo Evening News to fill an opening for a reporter. For many, the choice would have been to remain at Harvard, but Andy’s passion for writing was so strong that he was soon on his way to Buffalo. He had just long enough to demonstrate his journalistic skills there when World War II intervened. He was soon in the Army, and it wasn’t long before he was sent to officer training school in Meridian MS. By this time he had a sweetheart, a Michigan girl named Jean, whom he had met at a Saint Mary’s-Notre Dame dance. He proposed; she accepted. They were married in Meridian and thus began a happy union that lasted 63 years and produced four sons, Michael, John, Jim, and Bob. Andy served as an air combat intelligence officer, planning bombing runs from England, France, Belgium, and finally Germany, and interviewing the crews on their return. After the war, he continued in Buffalo but then transferred to UPI in Detroit to be nearer to Jean’s family. After a year, he became an executive in the public relations department of Nash-Kelvinator, the predecessor of American Motors Company. He was the primary speech writer for George Romney, Mitt Romney’s father, during George’s years as the company president. George Romney eventually left the company to run for governor of Michigan, and in 1968, Andy also left to start his own public relations firm. He wrote speeches for many Detroit area executives and during this time he won a top PR award, the Silver Anvil. Much earlier, Andy had been the best man at my October 1941 wedding. After the traditional wedding dinner and the partying that followed it, Andy and my sister drove my bride and me to our new apartment. They inspected the brand new bed, bounced playfully on it a few times, gave it thumbs up, wished us well, and left. — Bill Donnelly; 6152 Verde Trail N, Apt. D201, Boca Raton FL 33433-2412; 561-852-9474; donnlywa@bellsouth.net