News » Archives » December 2008

Cleveland, Ohio: It's No Joke

By Ed Cohen

Everybody knows about Cleveland, the city with a river so polluted it once caught on fire. You remember the story. Some guy was walking along the river, flicked his cigarette into the water, and _phoom_ the whole thing went up like a line of gasoline.

See, this is the kind of nonsense we Clevelanders have to put up with. The lies, I mean. We also are cursed on the order of Job or Sisyphus or Charlie Brown. More about that in a bit. First, the lies, one whopper in particular.…

Read More

San Diego, California: The Way We Do Things Here

By Alex Montoya '96

All I can remember is that it was hot. Not searing or unbearably hot, but still the kind of hot that made people edgy.

Of course, by nature Southern Californians are fairly spoiled. What we claim is hot weather on the Left Coast might qualify as downright pleasant in other parts of the United States. If the mercury breaks 80 here, we think it’s hot. Add 10 degrees more, which is a common occurrence in the summer months in Texas, Indiana or Florida, and Californians insist that global warming has reached the cruelest proportions.…

Read More

Spearfish, South Dakota

By Paul Higbee '90MCA

I just liked the idea of a place that put its kids aboard bucking livestock

Just about the sharpest disagreement my parents and I ever had revolved around bucking calves and silver dollars. It happened the year I turned 8, when my family drove west from Minnesota for vacation. We dropped by a little jackpot rodeo at the foot of the Black Hills, near the South Dakota-Wyoming state line, and the rodeo announcer invited kids to try their luck riding lively calves at intermission. Contestants who hung on for eight seconds would pocket a silver dollar, and those who failed, the announcer predicted, would still win appreciative applause.…

Read More

Oreland, Pennsylvania: This Is Your Archaeology

By David Devine '94

This is how you know.

You slip into an empty classroom, 10 or 15 years later, and you sit at a desk.

You visit your parents one weekend after their house is no longer your house and you join them for Sunday Mass because that’s still the drill on Sunday mornings and you endure 11 minutes of post-Communion announcements from an unfamiliar priest with a soporific voice until he mentions the annual parish open house, immediately following Mass.…

Read More

Beaufort, South Carolina Land's End

By Valerie Sayers

I was born in a beautiful place with a haunted past, and consequently I’ve spent most of my adult life homesick and geographically ambivalent.

I write these lines from Land’s End, Saint Helena Island, South Carolina. I’m staying at the same funky beach cottage I loved to visit as a child. Like so many Southern houses, it’s mostly porch, and I look out on a lush and watery landscape: live oaks, palmetto trees, a placid gray stretch of sea. Down on the beach, where the Beaufort River meets the Port Royal Sound, fiddler crabs scurry past an elegant egret. In November 1861, the island’s planters gathered at Land’s End to watch the Battle of Port Royal Sound. When it became clear that the Confederate cannons at Hilton Head couldn’t even reach most of the Union fleet, the white citizens of Saint Helena fled—but most of their slaves refused to go with them and stayed on, free at last.…

Read More

Notre Dame, Indiana, 90 Miles from Chicago

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

One morning I drive past a young man perilously perched on a unicycle. That same afternoon I drive by a man pedaling a recumbent bicycle. "Hmmm," I think. "Must be one of those ride-your-bike-to-work days."

As I head from the parking lot to work, a couple speaking what sounds to be Mandarin Chinese waits with me for the walk light, while shrieks can be heard from the playground of a nearby day-care center. Later that afternoon, a co-worker shows slides of his recent trip to Africa while another recommends a new restaurant that specializes in Jamaican cuisine.…

Read More

Hometown: The Heart and Soul of Our Beginnings

By Kerry Temple ’74

We came from Dallas and Dubuque, Joliet, Bennington, Shreveport and Grand Rapids. Alton, Illinois, and Warren, Ohio. Pittsburgh and Saint Louis and Walla Walla, Washington. These were our hometowns—and the answer to that question asked of all who come to Notre Dame: “Where ya from?”

Some of us had outgrown those places; some of us couldn’t wait to get out of town. We all were filled with the hopes and horizons promised by a new life at Notre Dame. We had left childhood behind. We stood at the threshold of tomorrow, the launch toward dreams, the beginning of the rest of our lives. It didn’t take long for those cities and towns to feel very far away, dropping into the past like booster rockets falling back to Earth—no longer needed—as the spacecraft sails splendidly toward outer space.…

Read More

Editor's Note: Looking Back

By Kerry Temple ’74

One of the storyteller’s tasks is to know where to begin. It can get complicated sometimes because there are no clear lines of demarcation in life. There’s no set boundary between now and then. We carry the past around with us. Every starting point derives from what came before.

It’s also complicated because each of us is a mixture of ingredients—from our genetic inheritance to memories still fresh in our minds, from the cognitive circuitry of the cerebral cortex to the layers of invisible forces that drive behaviors, guide decisions, touch our souls, make us who we are. And as we try to figure out just who we are, we realize how much of our makeup comes from outside of us. Our parents, our upbringing. The neighborhood we grew up in, the teachers we had, the experiences that affected our lives.…

Read More

M. Clay Adams Filmography

By M. Clay Adams

(M. Clay Adams is a member of Motion Picture Pioneers)

1935-1939 Fox Film Studio and 20th Century Fox, Hollywood

Assistant to Sol M. Wurtzel, executive producer of 26 of the 52 films turned out each year by this studio in the so-called "Golden Years of Hollywood."

(The Wurtzel unit produced this studio's lower budget B pictures. Daryl F. Zanuck was overall head of the studio and executive producer of the high budget films.)…

Read More

Our Lady Queen of Class

By Tom Cutler

Call me a sissy. Call me corny, out-dated, or whatever you think appropriate. But on Saturday, 12 November 2005, I cried. I sat in front of my television with tears streaming down my face. It was not a war movie or a love story on the screen, but a football game!

I had just watched my team, Navy, seriously defeated by a powerhouse Notre Dame squad, 42-21. But that was not the reason for my tears. When the game ended, a reporter ran up to Charlie Weis, Notre Dame’s phenomenal coach, and asked him one of the usual post-game questions. Coach Weis politely, but firmly, told the reporter he had something more important to do and, pushing the microphone aside, headed for the opposite side of the field. With him went the entire Notre Dame team. What I saw next I will never forget. With their fans looking on, The Fighting Irish joined the midshipmen and stood respectfully with them as the latter sang “Navy Blue and Gold,” their alma mater

Read More

Sculpting Rockne

By Jerry McKenna '62


The man I most admired died six years before I was born. My father, a staunch Notre Dame fan, talked about him with reverence. I was told that he was forthright, honest, inspiring and a champion for the cause of good sportsmanship. From an early age I remember hearing the “Win One for the Gipper” story and the exploits of the Four Horsemen. His legend inspired me as a young football player, and his legacy was one of the reasons I entered Notre Dame in the fall of 1956. Now, almost 50 years later on the 75th anniversary of his death, I have had the opportunity to remember my hero—Knute Rockne—in a very special way.…

Read More

Waist-deep in ecological integrity

By Erik Ness

Bill Mitsch ’69, a professor of natural resources and environmental science at Ohio State University, hit a political nerve when he spoke up about how heavy human hands on the Mississippi River had exacerbated the problems in New Orleans.

Read More

Stories of Notre Dame: A Unique Look at Our Lady's Campus

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.


A tour of special places on the Notre Dame campus, from the top of the Golden Dome to the Irish locker room at the stadium to the Log Chapel, is interwoven with stories about the history, legend, traditions and mystique of the University. Features on residence life at Notre Dame, a behind-the-scene look at game-day preparation at the stadium and a journey through the four seasons are included in the 65-minute documentary.


Read More

On the laugh track to Somerville

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

Women taken by the curly-headed blond Michael Somerville ‘94 because he makes them laugh should be forewarned: He’s not real good at romance—or fixing things. When his girlfriend’s car got a flat tire, he took one look at it and announced: “I think we should see other people.”

Read More

The case of the scribbling professor

By Ralph McInerny

Ralph McInerny is the Michael P. Grace chair of philosophy at Notre Dame, where he has taught for 50 years. He has published hundreds of scholarly essays and books, along with short stories, novels and several mystery series. The most well-known of his mysteries are his Father Dowling books. In the following edited excerpt from his just-published memoir I Alone Have Escaped To Tell You: My Life and Pastimes (University of Notre Dame Press), he discusses the beginning of his fiction-writing career.)

Read More

Books in print

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

Mother Teresa's Prescription: Finding Happiness and Peace in Service, _Paul A. Wright, M.D., '72_ (Ave Maria Press).When the author's fulfilling personal and professional life still left him feeling empty, he sought out Mother Teresa, whom he considered an expert on living the Christian life. Here he tells the story of his five-year life-transforming friendship with the woman he knew as a living saint and shares the lessons he gleaned from her. The foreword is by Father Ted Hesburgh, CSC. All royalties from his book are being donated to the Missionaries of Charity.

On Having a Heart Attack: A Medical Memoir

Read More

Domers in the news

By Ed Cohen

*Tom Flanagan '65*, a University of Calgary political science professor who was born in the United States, is newly elected Conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief policy advisor. . . . Jack Snow '65, an All-American end at Notre Dame who played for the Los Angeles Rams, died in January from complications due to a staph infection. For many years the legendary receiver had been a radio analyst covering the Rams. His son is Boston Red Sox first baseman J.T. Snow. . . . Former Wheaton College assistant professor of philosophy Joshua Hochschild '97M.A., '01Ph.D.

Read More

Bonus copy: Reflections

By Readers

Jerry McKenna ‘62 realized a dream when he was commissioned to create a sculpture of the man he idolized, Notre Dame’s legendary football coach Knute Rockne. He talks about his work and his idol in his Reflection Sculpting Rockne.____

After the November 12 ND-Navy football game, Coach Charlie Weis and his team stood respectfully as the Navy band played its alma mater. Tom Cutler, a retired lieutenant commander in the Navy, recalls how that sight brought him to tears in his Reflection Our Lady Queen of Class,

Read More

Alumni Association awards

By Notre Dame Alumni Association

Mary McCann Sanchez '79M.A. of Comayagua, Honduras, was on campus in January 2006 to accept the Dr. Thomas A. Dooley Award for her commitment to the poor of Latin America, which she began as a Holy Cross Associate in Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship. Sanchez later volunteered for Catholic Relief Services and the U.N. High Commission for Refugees. She is on the advisory board of the Independent Monitoring Team of Honduras, documenting compliance with labor rights and human rights in export processing zones and agrobusiness.…

Read More

A history of Notre Dame's art collection

By Dean Porter

On November 9, 2005, Notre Dame’s third professional museum director, Chuck Loving, and his staff, celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Snite Museum of Art. During 1980 to 2005, The Snite Museum of Art emerged from an all-too-often-expressed “the best kept secret” reputation, earning its place among the elite of university art museums. It owes much of its success to hundreds of individuals and organizations who, in partnership, formed a great team.

Read More

The Snite Museum: Where the art is

By Jim Ryan '06

A temple graced Notre Dame’s campus this winter.

Actually it was a replica of a temple—the earliest monumental temple in Greece, built around 675 B.C.—and it was the fruit of The Project for the Study and Publication of Greek Stone Architecture at Corinth, directed by Robin Rhodes of the Department of Art, Art History and Design.

Read More

Big mold in the Big Easy

By Nina Welding

Keeping mold at bay requires moisture control. EPA guidelines tell you to dry water damaged areas within 48 hours to prevent mold growth. But what do you do when hurricane-force winds and a 20-foot storm surge break the levees protecting your neighborhood and leave your living room underwater for days?…

Read More

Prescription poetry

By Susan Guibert '87, '93M.A.

Dr. Ken Anderson says symptoms of right-brain atrophy set in early.

“It begins to develop when we’re about 5 or 6 years old, when we’re rewarded largely for knowing things that are scientific or mathematical.” says the nephrology/transplantation surgeon and vice president of Memorial Health System in South Bend. “Those rewards, then, build in filters that make us think more and more like scientists and less and less like well-rounded individuals—so by the time we get to medical school, we’re rewarded for thinking inside

Read More

Football recruits arrive early

By Jim Ryan '06

For most Notre Dame freshmen, orientation consists of ice-breakers conducted in the late summer sunshine. But for George West of Spencer, Oklahoma, Chris Stewart of Spring, Texas, and James Aldridge of Crown Point, Indiana, their introduction to student life included a heavy dose of weightlifting in the dead of winter.…

Read More

Try a little brotherhood

By Emily Howald '05 and Kristen Klein '06

Every year a dozen or more male students choose to live in Old College and explore the possibility of becoming a priest.

Now there’s a place where students can go to begin thinking seriously about becoming a religious brother.

The Bessette House of Discernment opened in January 2005 inside Columba Hall, the Holy Cross Brothers’ residence hall on the west bank of Saint Joseph’s Lake. The program began with six students but currently has only one.…

Read More

Puritan vindication?

By John Monczunski

It’s an overstatement to say the road to hell leads through the mall, but somewhere Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards must be saying “I told you so.” Notre Dame economist Dan Hungerman has reported an interesting link between public morality and the repeal of “blue laws,” which originated with the Puritans and, most notably, banned stores from doing business on Sunday.…

Read More

The Littlest Killers

By Erik Ness

In the spring of 1855, Father Edward Sorin, CSC, must have cast a troubled gaze upon the marshy land surrounding Saint Mary’s and Saint Joseph’s lakes. Only the year before a typhoid epidemic had devastated the Notre Dame campus, and now two early deaths in March suggested the fever would rise again. The likely cause, the University’s founder believed, was high lake levels caused by a dam on a neighboring farm. Malaria, cholera and yellow fever plagued Notre Dame’s early years, and Sorin blamed the over-full lakes. When the landowner reneged on negotiations to sell, Sorin famously took matters into hand and sent a half dozen men over to tear down the dam.…

Read More

Hall Portrait: Lewis

By Jim Ryan '06

Year Built: 1965

Capacity: 297

Male or female: Always female

They call themselves: the Chickens, or, more commonly, the Chicks.

Read More