class notes


36 Past History

Since the last issue, I have heard from Joe Newman in Florida, Art Huber in Iowa and Shelby Romero in Texas. That makes four living alumni that I know of. If there are others, please let me know. Now to past history: I have received more than 25 responses from alumni asking what it was like in the 1930s. It was nowhere near like it is today at ND. We didn’t even have vending machines. The cafeteria in the dining hall was the only supplier of food except for the packages from home. At night, those of us in Dillon Hall would go to the cafeteria next door and get a hamburger and a milkshake for a quarter. We never knew Rockne who was killed in a plane crash in Kansas. His funeral was broadcast nationally on radio. My older brother who graduated in 1932 told the story of the football game at Georgia Tech. ND was taking a beating in the first half. Rockne came into the dressing room at the half with a telegram in his hand. He said that his son Billy, 5 or 6 years old, the unofficial mascot of the team, was seriously ill at home and had asked if the team would win a game for him. ND rallied over Georgia Tech in the second half and won the game. When the team returned on Sunday, the student body, as usual, met the team at the station. As the team got off the train, who came running to meet Rock? It was Billy, hale and hearty. Rock took Billy by the hand and left the station. The team had been snookered! Rock could inspire anyone to win. The year after Rockne’s death, Studebaker, which was made in South Bend, came out with a small car called the Rockne. Studebaker stopped production a few years later, probably because no one wanted a small car then. It was customary for the students to walk to the train station to meet the team when they returned from an away game. I remember one time when one student was caught not participating and got thrown in the lake. That is all for now. I’ll have more on life at ND in the next issue. Go Irish. – John Norton;

37 Class SecretaryKathleen Coverick;

911 Hagan Ave., New Orleans LA 70119; 708-305-5536;

38 Quiet Quarter

I did not receive any correspondence this past quarter, but I learned from the Alumni office that Richard T. Danahy passed away on Oct. 9. Please keep Richard and the Danahy family in your prayers. Be well, and continue to share any updates about classmates or family. – Meg Julian ’03, ‘06JD; 171 E. 89th St. 5A, New York NY 10128; 646-246-5480;

39 Hooray for Progeny

As I sat at my computer on Jan. 30, wondering what to write for the spring issue of Notre Dame Magazine, up popped an email from Seth O’Donnell ’04, the grandson of Dave Meskill. Dave was the heart and soul of the Class of ’39 alumni notes for 40 years until his death 10 years ago. Seth wanted everybody to know that his grandmother, Dave’s beloved Adelaide, had been the center of attention at a family jubilee celebrating her 95th birthday on Jan. 3. Dave and Adelaide met while growing up in Boston. Then Dave went off to major in commerce at Notre Dame. He was the president of the Commerce Forum during his senior year. After graduation and World War II service in the Navy on the destroyer Spence, his career took him to the Chicago area. He and Adelaide lived for 45 years in suburban Wilmette until their retirement in York ME, between I-95 and the ocean, a few miles north of the New Hampshire state line. Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, Seth also had a career in the Navy, only recently separating from it. In continuing his email Seth makes a point of thanking his grandfather’s generation who put their careers on hold to serve during World War II. After 70 years, most of us still have vivid memories of those days, particularly of those close to us who never came back. One who never came back was Oliver Helland, an Arts and Letters classmate from Wisconsin Dells. Ollie had a talent for caricature that was already at a professional level. The 1939 Dome devoted four pages to his art. There were five portraits to a page: one page of favorite faculty members and three pages of students. No one was identified. (The staff was a little worried about possible libel suits.) But if you knew the subjects of the caricatures, you would easily recognize who was portrayed. My caricature was among the 15 students. Ollie gave me the original, and under his signature he wrote a brief apology to my mother. The word “nerd” wasn’t in the dictionary yet, but they wouldn’t have needed words to describe what the word meant. They could have just used that picture. – Bill Donnelly; 6152 Verde Trail N, Apt. D201, Boca Raton FL 33433-2412; 561-852-9474;