Letters to the editor

Author: Readers

Editor’s note: Letters that appeared in the spring print issue are marked with a double ##.

Our lists, your lists
##Thanks to all the great contributors to the winter edition of the magazine. Really fun and inspirational pieces, and the lists were enjoyable and enlightening. What makes me happiest is knowing that this is a great Catholic publication, not just a secular compilation of lists. My daughter is a freshman, and reading this makes the huge price tag well worth it.

Kathy Gaffney
Alexandria, Virginia

##What a fabulous, remarkable, outstanding, extraordinary, superior, exceptional, incredible and fantastic piece of work. Once I picked up the issue, I couldn’t put it down. There were so many articles that were inspirational and encouraging. You took so many angles to reach all the readers and give them an appreciation of God’s goodness, our relationship to each other and our gifts of nature. No one was left out.

Sister Beatrice Knipple ’72M.A.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

##Lists of the top, best and greatest should be abolished. There are 10, no, six reasons for doing so: They are pedantic. They are opinionated. They are self-limiting. They presume the limited comprehension ability of the reader. They have become trite by over-usage. Creating lists becomes addictive.

Oops, I did it again.

Ralph T. Smith ’55
Bemidji, Minnesota

##Your “Top 10 American Places” lists the Anchor Bar. The Anchor Bar sells their secret sauces internationally. They are currently franchising in the United States and Canada. But the Notre Dame connection is that their secret sauces are manufactured by a company founded by a Notre Dame grad (me) with two children studying at Notre Dame.

Mario Pellicano ’88
Pellicano Specialty Foods, Inc.
Buffalo, New York

##My Top 10 Anagrams for Notre Dame: dream tone, nomad tree, no red meat, metro dean, ten roamed, trade omen, dare me not, more dante, to meander, neat domer.

Kevin Clancy ’73
Hicksville, New York

##I offer several real-world modifications to the “Top 10 Things a CEO Should Always Remember”:

“You didn’t get here by yourself.” You had to walk over scores of other people.

“The men and women whose labor has created the opportunity, wealth and prosperity for so many are your most valuable asset.” Until such time as you can find a cheaper source.

“No one in your organization, yourself included, is irreplaceable.” Except that you are the only one with a golden parachute.

Guy Wroble ’77
Denver, Colorado

##In Owen Smith’s “11 Unwritten Rules,” he states, “In college football you cannot win a national championship with a team full of players who know both their parents. . . . your team needs to diversify and recruit some kids who don’t know their daddy.” Smith is identified as a comedian, so he is ostensibly being flippant in making these offensive remarks. If he feels that single-parent households are fair game for comedic fodder, then I suppose that’s his right. But I am disappointed in the magazine’s decision to publish the remarks. You’re better than this.

Bob McLaughlin ’90
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

##As the father of seven children — two biological, five adopted, white, black, Asian and biracial — I write to vent particular horror at one of the 11 Unwritten Rules (“You cannot win a national championship with a team full of players who know both their parents.”). For the magazine to print such vulgarity is absolutely inexcusable. Don’t tell me it is in the name of humor. Notre Dame is (1) an institution based in a religion which emphasizes marriage, family, fidelity and eternal union and (2) an institution that fields a football team measured forever by its national championships. Given these facts and the perennial issues of race in college athletics, the make-up of teams which have won recent national championships, the words “diversify” and “daddy” appearing in this rule, the implicit assumptions that mothers provide love and fathers supply pain, and the fact that Notre Dame has not always been a place known for its diversity, this attempt at humor just gets more and more offensive. Shame on you.

Frank Corley ’86M.S.
Saint Louis, Missouri

##“Invincible No More” and “How Do We Love” are perfect bookends. One speaks of theory, the other of practice. I can’t recall two more moving pieces in decades of reading the magazine.

Rich Phillips ’69
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

I read with great interest your article regarding Dr. James Perri and his life with brain cancer. His passion for life and determination, along with his wife’s, are rarer than his tumor. Thanks for introducing ND community to his story and to introducing me to this non-profit.

Marzouq (Marz) Qubti, MD, ’00
Shelburne, Vermont

I recently read the Making Lists edition of the ND Magazine, and it was another wonderful expression of Notre Dame. While riding on the DC metro, I had three different people comment on how much they were enjoying it as well!

I have a question for Darcia Narvaez, and wasn’t sure how else to reach her. In her “Five Things Parents Should Purge from Their Parenting” (p. 52), she mentions that kids should spend most of childhood in free play, not in front of screens or books. I was very surprised at the books comment, as we have a 2-year-old, and everything we have heard up to this point is that books are great. Could you help me connect with her, or perhaps an online discussion, where I could engage this conversation more fully?

Thanks very much for the great work you do, and I already look forward to the next edition.

Brian Adams
Via email

(Editors note: Professor Narvaez can be reached at dnarvaez@nd.edu.)

Hello. I was reading your ‘lists” section of the Winter 2014-15 edition and was disappointed by the piece titled “Real Men.” I realize it was written with a tongue-in-cheek pithiness. Still . . . the overtly heteronormative, exclusionary tone and content made me feel as though I’m on the outside of the ND family, looking in. Seeing the title of the piece, I thought before reading that here might be an opportunity for Notre Dame to exhibit compassion or inclusiveness rather than scorn for those that don’t match its traditional ideal of what a man should be. Instead, I felt the need to write to you.

I’m often very proud of my alma mater and do my best to support Notre Dame. In moments when I am less proud, I feel like saying so is the best form of support I can offer.

I appreciate your work and the opportunities you give to young writers. I also truly enjoyed reading much of the Winter edition. I think that’s why “Real Men” stuck out.

Michael Crowley ’02
Via email

Your Winter Edition of the ND Magazine is your BEST EVER. . . . So much fun to read, and many fun things to learn. Bravo to one and all!

John McCarthy ’58
Via email

I enjoyed your “connect-the-dots” cover — the title, “Making Lists,” is revealed! Connecting the dots made me think of how the people, places and events in our lives sometime appear to be random and unconnected but are not. These are the “dots” that are divinely and precisely planned to create the tapestry of our particular life’s journey.

I especially enjoyed the article on the Nine Bourbons. I read with delight that Basil Hayden was on the list, as he is my great-great-great-great grandfather, distilling when George Washington was president. I shared the news with my family that it was called the “Catholic bourbon,” since none of us had heard that moniker for it before. This resulted in a flurry of emails and telephone calls spreading the news.

We enjoyed reading the “lists.” They were thought-provoking. Thank you very much.

Clare DuMontier (wife of Bruce ’72 and mother of Clark ’10)
Via email

I usually enjoy reading the latest issue of Notre Dame Magazine. I think the Winter 2014-15 is the best that I can remember. Great idea on publishing contributors lists on many subjects. It started me thinking of a list of the important thinks my mother taught me growing up. It has a ways to go, but the first “Put your best foot forward, do the best that you can and the Good Lord will always look out for you.”

Jim Daniels ’58
Via email

The Winter 2014-15 Issue is absolutely outstanding. I’ve been a reader of this publication since the early 1970s (as I recall), and in my opinion, this is the best issue in all those years. Congratulations on a job well done! God bless you always,

Tim Reid ’75
Via email

I loved this issue of the Notre Dame Magazine! I loved the lists! And the whole issue was lists! So fun to read, so interesting what lists you picked. It made for fast reading. Once I started, I did not want to put it down.

I like all the issues, but this one was fun as well as enlightening! Super idea. Hope you come up with another such idea.

Elsie Kerr (parent of two alums)
Via email

I just finished reading my copy of the issue. The “Lists” theme was a brilliant concept.
This is the best issue of the magazine I have ever experienced. PLEASE keep up the fabulous work.

Richard Dalton ’71M.S.
Via email




These things are only possible with God.

Everything else is window dressing.

Thomas F. Kistner ’65
Via email

Usually when I hear of top 10 lists for paintings, I prepare to be disappointed and disagree. However, I agree completely with the excellent selection published in the magazine.

Donald Wigal ’55M.A.
Co-author of 1000 Paintings of Genius
Via email

Here’s another memorable Notre Dame Alma Mater Feeling (page 45): Growing up on Angela Blvd., a “Mr.” Casasanta, who had retired and lived next door became ill with cancer. He was given a few months to live but confounded the doctors and lived many more years. Just several years ago, I found a plaque in the Main Building some 200 feet below the golden feet of Sorin’s “August Lady.” It was for “Mr.” Joseph Casasanta ’23, the composer of “Notre Dame, Our Mother,” noting that it was first performed at Rockne’s funeral in 1931. Were those extra years matronly gold and blue gratitude? And later on 9/11 was she determined not to lose another coach to a plane crash?

Mike Schaefer ’67
Via email

Most of the 13 or so “alumni” mags that burden our long-suffering postman quickly find their way to recycling. So, too, with mailings from VFW, Bar Associations, a Union in which I proudly retain membership, this and that diocese, etc. Some such as Penn and Johns Hopkins’ alumni organs are almost inevitably read. Some, left incognito to protect the guilty, are predictable enough to be subject to instant relegation to recycling upon removal of printed addresses.

Others, a declining number including Notre Dame and NYU Law, rate riffles and case-by-case decisions whether or not to browse at leisure if any presents.

Today, a heavy mail arrived just before I served my invalid bride’s Saturday brunch. Your “Lists” make the Winter 2014-15 issue a keeper. What a great hook! I will preserve the mag for weeks if not months or even, possibly, in my reference volume collection. In the near term, it may assist in framing a list of what Tom Brokaw elided from his reflections on the ’60s as curiously defined by him.

John Maher
Via email

We just received the winter Notre Dame Magazine. You have made a grave error on your Top 10 American Foods. Has David Shribman ever eaten grits? Grits are not cream of wheat. You do not add milk to grits. You add butter, salt, pepper and you can even mix scrambled eggs and bacon in grits. NEVER MILK! My mama would call his contempt prior to investigation. Plus she would call you a Yankee if you put milk on your grits!! Get your facts about grits straight.

Peace & Chicken Grease,
Janene Kruis
Via email

It was nice to see the word “endocannabinoids” at last appear in ND’s magazine of record. In “10 Strategies for Shrinking Loneliness,” Professor Fennelly properly defining the source of a “runners high” — although those of us in the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) education business prefer to substitute “joy” for high — was a bonus. As the professor admits, “neurobiological pleasure.” Ms. Fennelly, I assume, did not come to her knowledge of the ECS at ND but at the U. of Mississippi, where the U.S. federal government has its medical cannabis grown (for three decades). The four living federally supplied cannabis patients sit on the board of directors of Patients Out of Time, Inc. I co-founded this 501c3 educational charity in 1995 to educate U.S. health care professionals about the clinical applications of cannabis.

On the line of lists, you left out a big number: 22. That is the reported number of U.S. military veterans who commit suicide each day. Reported. The real number is of course much higher. A number of them have been and will be ND graduates, some of whom I fought with in Vietnam. Gone now.

Cannabis helps us. As CEO of Veterans for Compassionate Care (VFCC) I am responsible for revisiting past knowledge and bringing to fruition a veteran health protocol that uses cannabis as an exit drug from opiates and alcohol in Spokane, Washington. Not far down another road from ND in 1860 the Ohio Medical Society meeting developed treatment that used cannabis to wean folks from laudanum, other opiates, alcohol.

The incidence of suicide when cannabis is medically used drops by at least 8 percent and some new data (CO/CA/OR) estimates suicide rates have fallen by 25 percent.

After some 20 years of being the only responsible agent for this education there is hope. The School of Medicine, Temple U. now is the first and only of the 157 medical schools in the U.S. that teaches its young aspiring docs about the ECS. The Nursing School at the U. of Washintgon in Spokane has incorporated our vet treatment protocol into their nursing students’ education. Also a first.

Al Byrne ’61, Lcdr., USN, ret.
CEO Veterans for Compassionate Care, Veteransforcompassionatecare.org
Co-founder, Patients Out of Time, medicalcannabis.com

While reading the latest ND Magazine, I focused on one of the lists. It was “Self-esteem: One of the 10 Biggest Challenges Facing America Today.” My thoughts brought me back in time when one of my grandchildren was very young and maybe lacking self-esteem.

This is what I told him: “Remember God made all trees, but they’re not all redwoods.”

Thank you for your fine magazine.

Carmine Marro (parent of two ND graduates)
Via email

Two of the lists in your winter issue (“Top 10 America Foods” and “Top 10 American Places”) combined to bring back memories of my three years at Penn Law School in Philadelphia. One of my fellow students quipped that I graduated “Magnum cum Palestia,” with a major in Philadelphia cheesesteaks. I was happy to see that both the gym and the post-game snack earned Top 10 honors.

Richard H. Woods ’63
Island Heights, New Jersey


##I enjoyed reading about the new Keough School of Global Affairs. This is an important step forward for the University. I was surprised, however, that there was no mention of the Council for International Lay Apostolate (CILA), which is now part of the Center for Social Concerns. The international (and domestic) mission of this student group was certainly an important factor in the life choices of those involved, as well as a clear indication of the reach of the University into many other countries, in many cases completing substantive economic development projects in partnership with local authorities and churches. I also would have liked some mention of Father Hesburgh’s role in the development of the Peace Corps, an early recognition by the Kennedy administration of the University’s understanding of global issues.

John P. Hess ’70
Andover, Massachusetts

##The article outlining the road to the newly formed School of Global Affairs missed an important milestone — the hiring of several East European experts noted for their expertise in analyzing the brutal “communization” of this region after World War II. These professors were instrumental in establishing the first Area Studies program in 1964, Soviet East European Area Studies. While the study of Communism and Marxist economics is no longer a trendy subject for academic inquiry, it should be remembered as a pillar of Notre Dame’s program in international studies.

Philip A. Dur ’65, ’66M.A.
Destin, Florida

##Your winter issue inaccurately credits Patrick Dunne ’59 for being the first Notre Dame student to study overseas for academic credit. As far as I know, I may be the first. In 1957 I attended the Institute for European Studies Program in Vienna, Austria, and with some struggle obtained Notre Dame credit for my coursework there. My friends Joe Lee and Mark Westerveldt preceded me the year before, but I’m not sure they got credit. Maybe. But they, along with Dennis Conway, inspired me to go, for which I am grateful.

I think it wonderful that Notre Dame has embraced study abroad. It was a transformational experience for me, greatly broadening my horizons. Now, at age 78 and an internationally certified animal tracker, I’m still reaping the benefits of that trip, writing a book on animal tracking and bird language that is all about broadening horizons and deepening spiritual life.

Jim Sullivan ’58
Santa Rosa, California

Young Alumni Essays

I applaud all who entered the Young Writers Essay Contest. I especially congratulate those whose winning essays were published in the winter edition of Notre Dame Magazine! There was a resonance in each. But I have to say that one particular essay struck me right to the core, the one written by Sarah Sibley. I was also so blissfully naïve during my silver spoon childhood days. Her essay brought back sad memories of discrimination.

I will never, EVER, forget when someone explained to me rather matter-of-factly that our “N_____” maid was surely the one who stole something I cherished. Never mind that this wonderful woman was the very lady who took so loving care of me and my three younger brothers during my mom’s protracted illness over many years.

When I confronted her, this sweet, caring black woman, was not really so much angry as she was crushed, truly devastated with my unfounded insinuations. She wept deeply, with such hurt. When she wept, I knew instantly that I was so terribly wrong. And I wept and begged for her forgiveness, which she unhesitantly gave me, with a squeezing hug. That was her love.

A couple of days later I found that misplaced “earthly treasure.” The experience made really made felt like Judas. I had betrayed her love and trust. Just a couple years later, after I graduated from ND, she was the ONLY one I trusted to look after by first child. I loved this woman till the day she passed away.

Thank you, Sarah! God bless for sharing an important part of your heart with us all.

Jim Kennedy ’69
Via email

More family lore

The “Seen & Heard” comments on twins Ryan and Conor Bradley omitted a large Domer legacy chapter of the Singler family. My mother was Marie Singler, a sister to Roselie Buckley (Singler). Her father of course was Charles Singler. My mother had six children: Charles the oldest, class of 1956, myself Jim, class of 1960", my son, Joe class of 1986), my daughter, Melissa (Buynak) class of ’91, Bob Buynak, (husband), class of ’91, Madeline Buynak, (granddaughter) class of 2018, Carol Hutton (Charles daughter) class of 1990, her husband;, Terry McGuigan, class of ’90, their daughter Kayleigh will be class of 2019, my sister’s husband Bill Beaver, class of 1963.

Jim Hutton
Via email