Family and friends, you have 51 acceptable weekends for your wedding. If you pick the first one in May, I will raise a mint julep in your honor . . . at Churchill Downs — home of The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports.
You know you’re nearing the finish line of what’s seemed to be several geologic periods in a Notre Dame classroom when you begin to remember the past in generations rather than years.
Letters from readers
It is this question that puzzles me: If I have become this person who is all work and no play, a place where fun comes to die, why am I so happy experiencing this amazing gift of life that God has granted me? Why do the days fly by even when I’m not having fun?
My Type-A, color-in-the-lines, play-by-the-rules personality helps make me a meticulous editor and deadline-conscious writer. But it does not set me up to be the life at any party. Usually at parties, I’m the person wondering if jumping off that roof is safe, or if there are enough snacks, or if the music is too loud. But in my kitchen, I shed my typical persona. I don’t follow rules there.
Music has always been one of the best parts of my life: I love listening to it; I love playing it. But nothing compares to seeing it performed live, witnessing the voice and persona of an artist spring to life beyond the stereo and stand in front of you and countless others, willing to give creating art on the fly a try.
A son asks me when I played the best basketball of my life, and I say, instantly, without hesitation, The summer before I turned 28. And back floods every Saturday morning solo workout with maniacal drills in order to finally develop even a semblance of a left-handed hook, and Sunday afternoon doubleheaders with six guys running full-court for two hours and then collapsing in the grass laughing and moaning for beer.
My most joyful experience of 2015 involved watching a TV series along with a friend who was usually asleep at the time. I also enjoyed plenty of captivating television along with friends who were awake. This included the youthful fun of FOX’s MasterChef Junior; the unpredictable dramatics of CBS’s Survivor; the mesmerizing slow-burn of SundanceTV’s Rectify; the raw insight of HBO’s Getting On; and the thrilling start and ignominious end of the Chicago Cubs’ baseball season. However, no TV experience last year brought me greater emotional highs and lows, intrigue and feels, OMGs and LOLs than one series: EastEnders.
A poem by Art Petersen, direct from his typewriter to the magazine.
David “The Admiral” Robinson, the Naval Academy graduate and 10-time NBA All-Star, no longer has his family’s highest-ranking title. His son Corey Robinson, a Notre Dame junior Program of Liberal Studies major and football wide receiver, can now answer to “Mr. President.” The younger Robinson and running mate Becca Blais won the February campus election for student body president and vice president. Corey, whose tenure was to begin April 1, became the first Fighting Irish football player ever to hold the position. The job may sound like more than a varsity athlete has time to tackle, but he actually will be scaling back his multifaceted extracurricular activities. Calling himself a “master juggler,” Corey served this year as the Student-Athlete Advisory Council vice president and started the nonprofit One Shirt One Body to donate clothes from college athletes to those in need, in addition to playing football. He already has accumulated enough academic credits to graduate in May, Corey told The Observer…
If you were to think it was destiny that Michael Rigali ’83 ended up in the church restoration business, there may be more than 100 years of evidence to back it up. The latter part of the 19th century saw his great-grandfather come to America from Italy as a teenager to join the Daprato carvers, four brothers renowned for their religious statuary and altars.
Rev. Robert F. Griffin, CSC, ’49, ’58M.A., once one of the University’s most renowned characters, wrote regularly for Notre Dame Magazine as well as a weekly column for The Observer. He wrote 51 essays for this magazine between 1972 and 1994, with 49 of these gathered into a collection now published by the University of Notre Dame Press as The Pocket-Size God: Essays from Notre Dame Magazine.
Creative works by Notre Dame people.
Deaths of Notre Dame alumni.
Edward Kline, who was a Notre Dame professor for 34 years and the first Frank O’Malley Director of the Freshman Writing Program, died last November, two weeks short of his 82nd birthday. A specialist in Old English literature, the Denbo, Pennsylvania, native also was an early user of computer technology in language study and teaching. He served as chairman of the English department as well as the music department. But he is most often associated with student writing programs, and his students admired his commitment to their becoming effective writers and educators in language and literature. “He was nearing the end of his time with the English department as I was beginning mine,” recalled John Duffy, now head of the University Writing Program, “and I recall his passion for excellence in student writing, his commitment to good teaching and his generosity in helping me, a newcomer to the University, find my way at Notre Dame. He was a gentleman, and he will be missed.”…
When asked once what he produced, director Alfred Hitchcock replied, “Goosebumps.” Filmmaker Greg Kohs ’88 wants viewers of his documentaries to get goosebumps, too. But while Hitchcock, a master of suspense, was talking about hair-raising dread, Kohs is talking about the shivers one gets from a strong emotional reaction.
Frank Franco hasn’t changed much, and neither has his one-chair shop in LaFortune. The walls are still lined with pictures of campus and past football glories, and the calendar book and No. 2 pencil remain out on the table for customers to sign up for an appointment.
Notre Dame graduates in the news.
“Happier people live in countries with a generous social safety net, or, more generally, countries whose governments ‘tax and spend’ at higher rates, reflecting the greater range of services and protections offered by the state.”
A 16th century book — and a tall tale worthy of a Mississippi riverboat — go under the microscope.
My parents met and fell in love over a bridge table. For 60 years, the game remained their Saturday date, their social glue and the source of innumerable friendships. Flag football is my bridge game, minus the romance.
I must have been the luckiest kid on the block when, back in high school in New York City, my buddies let me into their band, the Malibooz. “Yeah, you can play bass,” said Johnny Z.
I will be the first to admit that I like plenty of things many people wouldn’t consider fun.
Truth be told, I was drunk when I bought the Ms. Pac-Man machine. Maybe “drunk” overstates it. Squiffy, though, for sure.
Cliff diving isn’t like most other extreme sports, because it’s both breathtakingly beautiful and completely terrifying.
“We could go to Coney Island,” my son Chris suggested. “And ride the Cyclone.”
Television seems to be the only thing we as a species have in common anymore. My favorite show, the one I could deliver an oral dissertation on with the flimsiest of pretexts, is a syndicated half-hour game show that has been on the air continuously for longer than I’ve been alive.
Like many adults, I enjoy the pleasure of setting my own curfew and feel the embarrassment of realizing how strictly I enforce it.
It takes less than a minute of talking with Katherine Merck ’12 to realize that she shatters nearly every stereotype of a beauty pageant queen — except the stunning good looks one.
I’ve made a proposal, and my children are in open revolt.