For years I carried around in my wallet a little scrap of paper that read Peace like a River, Leif Enger. I didn’t recognize the handwriting but knew it was a book recommendation from someone. I’m really glad I held on to it.
This issue started with an idea that’s been around awhile — the concept of the “Notre Dame man.” Three decades ago the editors here talked about doing a story that answered the question, “What do we mean by the ‘Notre Dame man?’”
At one time the phrase meant something significant. It was an ideal. I still get a handful of letters each year from alums who have written about a father who has died; they talk about their father’s strong but quiet life and all the good he did. “He was a true Notre Dame man,” they conclude. In the past year or two I have written obituaries of colleagues here, and each time I have thought those three words the best summation of their lives.…
While the campus expansion in recent times may have caused a mild case of disorientation in those returning for an occasional football game or reunion, the next wave of construction projects may prove even more dizzying to those who stay away too long.
A talk radio commentator was ranting the other day about the global warming “hoax.” He said this winter was evidence that the planet isn’t getting any hotter and that climate change talk is mere propaganda.
Basketball is a messy game. It is even messier for 9-year-olds who can’t help but double-dribble, who swarm to the ball like moths to a porch-light and who take too many steps when none is allowed.
The 2014 poster: “Looking Out Father Hesburgh’s Window”
I grew up under the cloud of Cold War hostility. The Olympics became a staging ground for international rivalries, with U.S. athletes doing their patriotic best to beat Soviet bloc countries and show which political and economic system was superior. Athletes, whether they liked it or not, bore the weight of global power posturing.
A cold and frustrated freshman discovers the endless wonders of brunch and community at North Dining Hall.
Long before it became hip to buy local, to choose organic, to go with natural ingredients and a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, Notre Dame students were treated to home-grown, home-cooked meals three times a day — because they lived, in fact, down on the farm.
Food for thought.
I think it time to turn Thanksgiving into a real act of thanks giving.
Back when I was an English major and when I thought I might teach, I played a little game. I tried to come up with a list of 10 books I would use to teach students what I wanted them to know about life.
Life often calls us to speak up, to stand up, to show some gumption, to overcome those little fears that would have us shrink from danger, discomfort or conflict. To go against the crowd, the current, the way it’s always been. To not ride along. To not perpetuate the gossip, to not just look the other way. To stand firm on one’s own conscience. To say no to peer pressure, to groupthink, to those in power. To the trappings of riches, the righteous desire to retaliate.
Baseball is still, to me, a game of fathers and sons, of boyhood dreams and human heroes. Those are the stories I read; those are the players I choose for my fantasy team.
I really should have known better. It was foolish of me. But the day’s yard work was done and I wanted to protect the kids and I vowed to shower right away. I’d had some good luck in recent years with a skin wash to stop it. I’d be fine.
There is not a time I cut the grass that I do not think of my dad. It was a chore we shared. Looking back, it was also a measure of things and ways and rites of passage. And now when I mow the lawn each week, my idle mind follows those old passageways that always carry me to a smile.
This past spring, as the papacy of the Roman Catholic Church was historically passed from Pope Benedict XVI to his successor, Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, Vatican analysts and the international media could not help but delve into a trouble that had persisted for two decades — the sex abuse scandal which first erupted in America in 2002 and had haunted the Church in the States and elsewhere ever since.…
There were six in the car. They were headed to the Wichita River Festival. Five members of women’s crew and their coach. Near Emporia, Kansas. Friday, May 17, 1974. They were to row the following day.
For decades Dick Conklin ’59M.A., who directed Notre Dame’s news and information operation and was later the associate vice president for University Relations, dispensed memos with “Of Putative Interest” printed across the top. (He relished fancy words.)
So, too, will I suppose this note to be of interest to you. It should be, if you are reading this magazine.…
The letter went out in February 2013. Signed by Rev. John Jenkins, CSC, it informed the parents of Notre Dame students that costs were going up again. Even though it pointed out that Notre Dame had kept the annual increase in student charges at 4 percent for the past four years — matching the lowest growth in half a century — the stark numbers were stunning.
Summer is baseball and fireflies, kick-the-can and running through the sprinklers. Seemingly endless afternoons at the community pool, a well-equipped foray to the Lake Michigan beaches.
Dick Conklin died this past Tuesday (May 28). The news of his death came as one of those sudden blows that stops you in your tracks. And so you sit and stare out the window, and one of the reasons you do is because it is hard to imagine Notre Dame without Dick Conklin.
For thousands of Notre Dame fans, especially those devoted to women’s basketball, the Skylar Diggins story should have ended with a national championship.
In these days since hearing that Mike DeCicco died, an old-time phrase keeps running through my head. “He was a Notre Dame man.”
About a year ago I received a manuscript from Mel Livatino, a stranger to me. He said Joseph Epstein, a very fine writer who had published perhaps a half-dozen essays with us, had recommended Mel send the manuscript to Notre Dame Magazine. It seemed like a Notre Dame Magazine kind of story.
The world needs to cool it — before it’s too late
Their season was done. The five second-graders came to the bench, replaced by five teammates who would play the game’s final period. As the head coach gave final instructions to those entering the game, I thanked the others for a good year, gave them high-fives.
Some years ago, before I was editor of this magazine, I wrote a shortish piece that the editor, Walt Collins ’51, rejected. I reworked it several times, and each version got a thumbs down from the bearded journalist I greatly admired.
Last fall an alumnus called and asked us to make sure he would continue to receive the magazine. We assured him alumni receive the magazine free for life. Well, he said, a few years ago he had told us to stop sending it — that he and Notre Dame were parting company.…
The kitchen is dark when I enter it on these cold winter mornings. So I flip on the light and head first to the cupboard where the bowls and plates are stacked. I pull out three Corelle plates and three Corelle bowls. Then one day, looking at the table waiting — paper napkins, forks and spoons and juice and bowls lined up at the ready — I realized I had become my father.