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Class Letter Ken Padgett --- December, 2011
My belated Happy Thanksgiving to you all. My apologies for not preparing a class letter
sooner but I kept putting it off until tomorrow which of course never came until today.
I hope this letter finds you well and joyfully awaiting the arrival of Christmas. This time of
the year inevitably brings back memories of our days at Holy Cross. I am sure you
remember how beautiful the College looked after the first snowfall, which I am told
happened in October this year. Even though we were mired in work and studying,
December was always a wonderful time to be on the campus. I always remember the lovely
Christmas dinner we had prior to departing home for the holidays. In our senior year, we
had a special visit from his eminence, Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston. In
the Cardinal’s Christmas blessing to us, he said that, ‘in many ways God was like the
Worcester Expressway…..no beginning and no end.’ Of course it was not the Cardinal
himself but one of our classmates who did a great imitation, including the gravelly voice.
Once again Bill Juska’s name appeared in the 2011 Publication of the Super Lawyers from
the New York Metro Region. He was listed in the Transportation/Maritime Practice.
Congratulations again, Bill. I searched for my own name but alas, I did not find it. I am
considering relocating to some venue, any venue, where I can be considered for inclusion in
that august group called Super Lawyers.
Russ McKinnon – The Association of Meeting Professionals has awarded the Dick Noble
Distinguished Service Award to Russ McKinnon for his consistent dedication, participation,
input and commitment to the Association. It should be noted that this honor has only been
given out seven times since 1982. Well done, Russ
You may recall that at one point in time (late 60’s to early 70’s) Holy Cross had a Master of
Science Program. At our graduation, two individuals were awarded the degree of Master of
Science (Chemistry). They were Chester Joseph Dymak, Jr. and Paul Winthrop Lauf. I
would like to provide some interesting information about both of our classmates, because
they have never before been identified in our class letters.
Chester earned a BS degree from HC in 1965. He was a career officer (Colonel) in the Air
Force. He received a Ph.D. in chemistry from Ohio State in 1976 and taught chemistry at
various USAF locations. Since his retirement from the USAF, he continued teaching at
Colorado State University and lives in Colorado Springs, CO.
Paul graduated from Clark University in 1964 with a BA in Chemistry (Phi Beta Kappa).
He worked at Eastman Kodak Company Research Labs in Rochester, NY, from June 1966
until January 1999. He held various positions; among them were research chemist, head of
patent liaison office and patent/technical information analyst. As if this wasn’t enough, in
2002 he received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from London International
University in recognition of his 35 years of art history research and for his book, “Giorgio
De Chirico: The Father of Italian Metaphysical Art” (UMI, Ann Arbor, 1990).
My apologies for not previously mentioning these classmates. I hope this recognition in the
class letter offsets their past exclusion.
I had a great exchange of emails from Peter Mooney, another Doctor like our classmates
above. Peter was in England towards the end of September at a conference he attends in
Birmingham every three years. At the end of the conference, he would normally travel to
Dublin to visit with former colleagues at the Department of Finance and the Economic and
Social Research Institute and with neighborhood friends and relatives. However, this time
he took the train to Paris where he had lived and studied during his junior year at HC. Peter
had communicated beforehand with officials at the Institute of European Studies (IES)
which was the organization that coordinated the living arrangements and coursework for the
HC students who were in the Program. When he arrived in Paris he made a point of
dropping by to say bonjour.
As he was penning a few words in the guest book, he mentioned to the IES official that he
and some of his classmates had organized a basketball team in 1964-1965 when they were
studying there. In Peter’s note to me he advised that the HC team was far superior to the
basketball teams from the various Sorbonne departments. ‘We wiped them out,’ said Peter
While he was writing in the guest book, the IES official, exclaimed, “Monsieur Mooney, eh
voila. The Holy Cross equipe.” Presto, she produced one of the pictorial attachments to this
class letter, an 8 x 10 photo of Dave Carroll, HC Trustee Tom Carey, John D’Espinosa, Joe
Carens, and Monsieur Mooney.
Peter, thanks for a great story and picture. I think in the interest of Franco-American
relations, you should offer a rematch
In the fall at the Class Chairs meeting, Frank Vellaccio, Senior Vice President of Holy
Cross, made a presentation entitled Points of Pride. I thought you might want to see what
some of those Points are:
• Holy Cross is one of 30 Institutions that admit students blind of financial need and
meets the full need of all admitted students.
• Holy Cross is number 9 in the top Ten Institutions in Alumni Participation. Note
that HC alumni participation last year was 55.1% and our class was 66%.
• Holy Cross is listed in US News & World Report’s top Ten Most Loved Schools.
• Holy Cross is listed as number 5 in Newsweek’s list of schools with the Best Return
• Perhaps the most important Point of Pride is the Primary Goal of the College of Holy
Cross ….to produce principled, moral, and ethical leaders who will change the world
for the better. We certainly need to meet this goal more than ever before.
If anyone would like further information on this, you can go to a new feature on the HC
website, entitled Points of Distinction http://offices.holycross.edu/about/distinction.
For those receiving the Class Letter as an email, there are two pictures attached, the first one
is the infamous Crusader Five from Paris. The second picture is that of our Class at the
Reunion. For those who only receive this letter by regular mail, you can obtain a copy of
the Class Reunion picture from the Reunion photographer, Rob Carlin. He can be contacted
at 917-757-5953 or at his website www.robcarlin.com. I wonder if he has any connection
with Carlin Hall.
As a final note, many alumni make charitable contributions in December. Please remember
Holy Cross among your charities. Our gifts have a significant impact on students and the
quality of their education. Any amount that you can give will be put to immediate use.
Please be as generous as economic conditions permit.
Wishing you and your families a Blessed and Holy Christmas and a healthy New Year.
P.S. keep those "greenslips" coming
Joining Together in New York City
Lou Nunez, Bob Murphy, Joe Egan and Jim Rambasek met in September 2009 in NYC.
They were joined by wives Ann Murphy and Lynne Rambasek and (Frank's widow) Rock Star Dot Simms who had her son-in-law's Limo Company deliver her.
They say ---- "Bring on Our 45th"!
Joining in Marriage in New York City
Congratulations & Our Best Wishes !
Joe O'Donnell (left) and Denis Williamson (right) sharing a happy and merry moment with John Guinan (center) during John and Dr. Barbara Weiss Gatti's wedding celebration.
The celebration was held on November 2, 2008 in New York City where John is Director of the Wall Street Counseling Center.
From The College
As you may have heard, the new Integrated Science Complex is spectacular. With a cost of 63.5 million dollars and covering nearly 150,000 square feet it is by far the largest building project ever attempted by Holy Cross and it meets an enormous need the College had for up-to-date science classroom, auditorium, laboratory, and faculty facilities.
By August 2011 a new residence dorm will be providing apartment-style living on "the Hill". While consistent with the architecture that is Holy Cross, the buildings and layout that we once knew have gradually been transformed into a larger, better designed, more comfortable, more friendly, and more beautiful campus.
Our 50th reunion may witness new buildings that will substantially transform the upper campus. Meeting places, recreational facilities, underground parking, and, possibly, a Fine Arts Center are in the evaluation stages as a new Five Year Plan begins.
A Notable Graduate
Holy Cross 2003 class valedictorian, Jon Favreau, is Barack Obama's chief speechwriter. Jon also played this role throughout the Democratic primaries.
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette (1/20/09) highlighted Jon's 2009 Presidential Inaugural Address contributions
Please e-mail your memories, exploits, comments, .....
Direct the e-mails to: HolyCross66Class@aol.com
Kenneth M. Padgett, Esq., Co-Chair
John Worthley, Co-Chair
Mount Holy Cross & our 40th Reunion
Do you remember?
In the Colorado's Rockies
on New Year's Eve day
the last day of 1965
they began the ascent
of the Mount of the Holy Cross
Pete Will, Ed Drinan, Pat McDermott, and John Worthley faced the ascent of the Mount of the Holy Cross. It was to be the first recorded climb of the Mount in winter. The Holy Cross banner was implanted after they reached the summit. But, the undertaking was as special as the outcome. It was not simply knowing what was done but also understanding the why, the how, and the moments that proved the four were a team.
January 2, 1966
Crusaders at the Summit
and, More News worth remembering Below
Escaping the Northeast Corridor - notes from our 40th reunion -
Forty years were almost forgotten as old memories and good friendships were rekindled at our fourtieth reunion. Reuniting helped us appreciate how widely spread we now are geographically. With retirement more commonplace, many moved southwards or spend time each year following the sun.
The geography for some who returned:
Kevin Foster, President of the Holy Cross Club of Palm Beach, is settled in the Florida town of Royal Palm Beach.
Dave Hession raises thoroughbred racing horses in the quiet town of Ocala in central Florida. Ocala is the horse capital of Florida and many of the nation's great race horses have been bred there.
Art Dulaney retired as an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel managing pilot safety but is still at home at the Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.
When not seaside in Chatham on Cape Cod, John Brogan can be found around his home in Belfair (part of Bluffton) South Carolina. John and wife Meg are staying in top golfing form since Belfair is one of the nation's top golfing communities.
And, in the far southwest, Dick Murphy resides in Rancho Santa Fe, California where he is retired from the Salk Institute for Biological Science.
About Us & From Us
The Spring 2008 issue of HOLY CROSS magazine notes several acomplishments of classmate Ken Moynihan. Ken is professor emeritus and chair of the history department at Assumption College. The article tells how Ken wrote "A History of Worcester: 1674-1848" from the first battles with local indian tribes to the first city charter and the people in those years who made Worcester a city.
Chuck Mansfield made a special contribution with memories that cover many classmates. Chuck's memories are recelled at the very end of this web site in Miscellaneous. These reflections are an excerpt from a chapter of his book "NO KIDS, NO MONEY AND A CHEVY: A Politically Incorrect Memoir".
Russell McKinnon was recently named the Executive Vice-President of Meeting Management Services (MMS) of Washington, D.C. MMS is a meetings management company that services meetings throughout North America and overseas. MMS has over 40 clients that range from Unions, to Associations, to government agencies and corporations. MMS books more than 400,000 hotel room nights per year.
Russ is also President of the International Theos Foundation (www.theosfoundation.org), a family foundation which provides aid to the "poorest of the poor. Russ was in NROTC at Holy Cross, a Naval Officer for six years, and recently a Senior Principal at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Jim Moriarty provided a tale of travel to a warmer climate long ago. "In 1965, six Crusaders and myself traveled in a hearse to Ft. Lauderdale. The State Police stopped us in New Jersey, Georgia, and Florida as a "suspicious vehicle". Pre-Law students dealt with the Authorities."
Jim also assured us that his current endeavor called "Bad Actors" is a Screen Play that he continues to develop (see 01/26/07 entry below and an update in our December 2008 Class Newsletter).
[the following comes from Jim Herget] "I am planning to run a 100 mile trail run in August of this year and I operate two companies .... one which searches for execs and the other that develops them .... I teach night school at a local university on the subject of leadership ..... have one child graduated from Cornell and the other a freshman there .... neither wanted HC because I oversold the Cross and they wanted their own choice, not mine ..... am most interested in a new project which involves the reconditioning of baby boomers to reenter/continue productive life for 20 or more years .... we were taught about mind body spirit connection at the Cross ... we need to rev up the body and mind to put accumulated experience to good use in society .... we need to learn from the Asian societies that value older people ..... I have found a lot of easy acceptance from people in their 20's and 30's because I am driven and active as they are .... I have a small office in an entrepreneurial incubator and we all get along great .... this boomer market is a monster .... any thoughts you guys have on the subject .... let's set up a blog .... Jim Herget."
Who's retiring? Not me! George Conery writes that he enjoys continuing his real estate career as managing broker of an office in Virginia Beach. "We sell to the people who retire or vacation to our miles of ocean and bay beaches, with plentiful golf courses open year round. Go to our website for more info at www.roseandwomble.com".
Jim Moriarty hopes to semi-retire as a handyman in a warm spot like Florida. He honed those skills remodeling a Rugby Clubhouse on Capital Hill. Unfortunately, the club went bankrupt. So, currently diverted, he is focused on an original filmscript called "Bad Actors". In it, the Miami House of Models is run by a dominatrix who has turned to the director of the New York Ensemble of Actors to finance a new fashion line. The film will be action/adventure "laced" with sex and humor.
** Click HERE **
Fundraising goal and progress to date
Crusader Athletic Fund
The Holy Cross Fund has introduced a new fund for contributions which directly provides resources for student-athlete scholarships, coaching, enhanced recruiting, and team travel. To help improve our athletic program contact Meg Connolly, associate director of the Athletic Fund at email@example.com
Back then, the "Hill" awoke on Saturdays each fall with a loud chu-chu-rah-rah. An addiction to football seized the campus.
We all knew the names. Pat McCarthy, Dennis Golden, Jon Morris, our classmates Mike Addesa and Joe Lilly, and Doctor Eddie Anderson, our coach.
We were a small, eastern independent that often beat teams with resources that dwarfed our own. But, we were in a new era of college football that would leave Crusader football memories in its past. In 1963 Syracuse beat us 48-0 with Floyd Little and Larry Czonka. The Crusader-Orangemen rivalry ended with 1964's 34-8 loss. In 1964 we also ended our contract with Penn State.
Still, our rivalry with Boston College was to continue for another twenty years. The legacy began in a 1896 clash in Worcester. The 82nd and final game was played in Brookline in 1986. During those ninety years the games captured New England and were often headlined nationally.
The year before our arrival on Mount St. James, Pat McCarthy personally brought down BC's Eagles. In 1963, we witnessed a great 48 minute performance by Jon Morris that led to a 9-0 victory. In 1966, quarterback Jack Lentz and split end Pete Kimminer connected often and earned a victory that narrowed the overall series record to one game with Boston College leading by 30-29-3. But ..... we really were in a new world of college football, and soon we began looking backwards...... to Back Then.
The 1986 program cover was done by Holy Cross.
for The BC Version
(note -> their SLIDESHOW )
And, Our Coach
Doctor Anderson was himself an All American and Notre Dame's captain under Knute Rockne. He played for the NFL Chicago Cardinals and won the 1925 NFL championship. Then, he went back to medical school and became an active surgeon throughout life. But, while becoming a doctor and then as a surgeon, Dr, Anderson was always coaching, and usually, the best teams in the country.
His coaching at Holy Cross began in 1933 and after six years he had a 47-7-4 record that included two undefeated seasons. He returned to his birthplace to coach the University of Iowa. In his first season at Iowa most sources named him National Coach of the Year. In 1950, he came East to practice medicine and to coach at the Cross for the next sixteen years.
In 1971, he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. From an athletic perspective, his leadership, determination, and achievements at Holy Cross will probably never be matched.
But, that was Back Then. Life at Holy Cross was about to change rapidly and radically. Back Then, only Father Brooks was able to foresee the need for female cheerleaders, the Patriot League, and rivalries with Bucknell and Colgate.
Photos say a lot about us. Our web site needs them. Please send digital images and background information to: HolyCross66Class@aol.com
News from The College
Father John Brooks, President Emeritus
The March 12 issue of Business Week Magazine had an article called "The Holy Cross Fraternity" that focuses on Father Brooks, 28 notable African-American graduates, and Holy Cross.
It began as follows: " In 1968 a group of black kids enrolled in a small Massachusetts college. Many went on to become stars in law, literature, and finance - thanks to a far sighted mentor."
When Martin Luther King was assassinated in April 1968, Father Brooks was already into a campaign to change Holy Cross. He fought to admit women and to break down the barriers that kept Holy Cross a college for white Catholic men from the northeast US. Father Brooks did not become President until 1970 so women did not get admitted until 1971. But, in 1967 and 1968 Father Brooks drove to and spoke in inner-city schools in the South and particularly in Washington, D.C. and his recruiting paid off.
A Supreme Court Justice, the 2006 Lawyer of the Year, a 2006 Pulitzer Prize Winning Author, the Deputy Mayor of New York City who was also a Wall Street Bond Portfolio Manager were among those in the Holy Cross Fraternity sponsored by Father Brooks.
To read the Business Week article, click on: HC-fraternity
(when done reading the article and to return here, close that window by exiting from your browser)
Memories are Part of Us (Chuck Mansfield)
In August 1962 my parents drove me to the College of the Holy Cross (HC) in Worcester, Massachusetts, where I was then to report for freshman football practice. Despite my relatively small size (5'9" and 200 lbs.), I had a solid football season, starting most games. As at Chaminade, I was a guard and a linebacker.
When I look back, I am nearly incredulous recalling that, when I went there then, it was my first trip to the campus. Once HC accepted me, I had accepted it, sight and site unseen.
It's odd, I suppose, but then it didn't really faze me. I had declined, perhaps unwisely, some football scholarship assistance at Columbia University and Rutgers University but, according to the assistant varsity football coach at HC, who recruited me, there was some football potential for me there. Perhaps more significantly, there was no way, thanks to my parents and the Marianists at Chaminade [High School], that I would attend anything but a Catholic college.
Actually, my decision was strongly influenced by a 1961 magazine article in which then Notre Dame University president Father Theodore Hesburgh was quoted. As I remember it, he proclaimed HC as virtually the top Catholic institution of higher learning in the U.S. Not surprisingly, Father Hesburgh also placed Notre Dame, as well as Georgetown University, right up there but seemed to give the nod to the Cross, citing its small student population, diverse curricula and outstanding faculty, among other attractions. In short, I was impressed. (Having spent two weeks at Notre Dame in August 1960, I have sometimes wondered if Father Hesburgh was familiar, in light of his comments, with the Worcester of the early nineteen-sixties.)
In addition to HC, I applied for admission to Notre Dame and Fordham University, my Dad's alma mater. For me, in the last analysis, Notre Dame, located in South Bend, Indiana, was too far from my GC [Garden City, N.Y.] home, Fordham was too near, and HC, 180 miles distant, was almost perfectly situated. For some inexplicable reason, Georgetown never managed to get into the running.
In September 1963 I made the HC varsity football squad as an 18-year old sophomore. Now, this is significant because the assistant varsity football coach, a cigar-champing, heavy-set fellow called "Hop" Riopel, had recruited me to HC, my first choice among colleges and universities, while I was still a student at Chaminade. Two years earlier he had committed in writing to grant me a football scholarship, provided I had a successful freshman football season and made the varsity as a sophomore.
With both of these credentials now in place, and already a couple of weeks into the new season, I approached Coach Riopel to remind him of our agreement. As the eldest of my folks? six children and the first to go to college, I felt considerable pressure - not from my parents but the self-imposed variety - because of the financial burden I knew my HC education clearly represented for them.
Alas, Hop told me, "Sorry, kid, we're out of money." Ergo, no scholarship or, for that matter, any financial aid. His deeply disappointing words, together with the fact that I was not doing very well academically, not to mention getting my brains beaten out during weekday practice sessions by players bigger and stronger than I, led me to a decision to give up football.
One such bigger, stronger player was Jon Morris, a member of the HC class of 1964. He was the team's captain, as well as the starting offensive center and a starting defensive linebacker. At 6?4" and 240 pounds, he was a formidable physical specimen; indeed, he went on to play for the Boston Patriots in the old American Football League, where he was named All Pro. To the point, one day, during an intra-squad scrimmage, I was assigned to play defensive "nose guard" directly opposite Morris. Since I believed there was virtually no chance I could 'beat? him one on one, I decided to "submarine" him, that is, dive between his legs. Incredibly, I pulled it off and managed to trip the quarterback before he could move sufficiently away from his center after the ball was snapped. In the locker room following the scrimmage, Jon made it known that, if I ever did that again, ..... well, never mind. His message was hardly encouraging.
Another football tale involves NFL All Pro Dallas Cowboy quarterback Roger Staubach. In his younger days he was a star quarterback at Navy, and "Skip" Orr, the 1960 Chaminade championship quarterback and my former teammate, was his favorite receiver. In the summer of 1963, mere weeks before my encounter with Jon Morris, Roger was visiting Skip and his family on Long Island. These two Annapolis midshipmen worked out at St. Paul?s School field in GC with Al Groh, Tom Kiley, Earl Kirmser, The Lo, a few other guys and me.
Following our workouts we played a game of touch football across the width of the field instead of goal to goal. On one play, Skip ran a down-and-out pattern to the left, and Roger passed the ball in his direction. Somehow, despite Skips height advantage, I managed to get in front of him, leap, intercept Roger's slightly underthrown pass, and score a touchdown.
Many years later, while watching a televised game between the Cowboys and the New York Giants, I told my young sons Chas and John that their father had once intercepted a Roger Staubach pass. John's eyes lit up as he exclaimed, "But, Dad, you never told us you played pro football!" Years later still, at a September 1988 testimonial to Coach Joe Thomas, I related the tale of this interception to a group of Chaminade alumni, including Skip Orr, who said tersely, "Prove it!"
In retrospect, my decision to quit the Holy Cross team was emotional and immature. It was also a mistake because, for the rest of my student days, each time I went to a HC football game, I had a strong feeling that I could and should have been on the field, not in the grandstand. For the first time in my life I considered myself weak. It saddened me for a long time, and it is unquestionably one of those things I would do differently if given the chance.
Although I was an honor student at Chaminade and did well in graduate school (New York University, Master of Business Administration in Finance), I was academically mediocre at HC. With the benefit of hindsight, I believe I suffered from a lack of concentration caused by chronic depression, an illness not uncommon in my family. Indeed, many years later I was diagnosed with it, treated and, I thank God, eventually cured.
At the Cross, I joined the Navy R.O.T.C. and served as a midshipman all four years. At the end of my sophomore year, I took the "Marine option." This meant that, upon successful completion of the training program, I would become an officer in the Marine Corps instead of the Navy. I decided to take this step because I disliked life aboard ship. Also, although there was no way to forecast such things, the principal risk for a young Marine officer, looking ahead from May 1964, was that he could be sent on a Mediterranean cruise as part of a U.S. Navy ship's complement of Marines.
When I told my Dad of my decision to join the Marines instead of the Navy, he exclaimed, "Chuck, you're out of your goddam mind! Those guys die!" He was referring, of course, to the terrible losses suffered by the Marines during World War II in such places as Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Peleliu, Okinawa and Iwo Jima, where, in the words of Navy Admiral Chester Nimitz, "Uncommon valor was a common virtue." Over 23,000 of the 70,000 Marines who participated in the Iwo invasion were killed, wounded or suffered battle fatigue. Since my Dad's caveat, I have contemplated often, as both a former Marine and a 1945 baby, the Marines' victory that year on the volcanic black sands of that tiny Japanese Pacific island. Fought fifty-four days before my birth, the 36-day battle for Iwo Jima has become the stuff of legend and film. Indeed, it has produced one of the most indelible images of war in the history of the United States: five Marines and one Navy corpsman (the equivalent of an Army "medic") raising the Stars and Stripes atop Mount Suribachi on the now infamous island. On Iwo 6,821 Americans, "most in their teens or early twenties," according to the late author Bill D. Ross, "were killed, died of wounds, or were missing in action." As for the 22,000 Japanese defending this impregnable "eight-and-a-half-square-mile chunk of volcanic ash and stone, 1,083 were taken prisoner and survived."
The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years.
- JamesForrestal, Secretary of the Navy
In his 1985 book Iwo Jima: Legacy of Valor, Mr. Ross, who served with the Marines on Iwo, has written:
In the 1,364 days from the Pearl Harbor attack to the Japanese surrender, with millions of Americans fighting on global battlefronts, 353 men received the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation's highest decoration for valor? Of these 27 were for actions at Iwo Jima, thirteen posthumous.
Although Dad's characteristically irreverent words momentarily sobered me, I was nevertheless commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve at my graduation from HC on June 8, 1966. Shortly afterward, I reported to The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, Virginia, where young Marine officers are still trained as infantry platoon commanders.
A blessing of my days at the College, then an all-male bastion, was the circle of then new but now lifelong friends I made there. Among these great guys are Art Burns, an attorney and a semi-retired business executive; Bob Cipriani, CEO of a printing company; Bill Emswiler, who died tragically with his wife Barbara in a helicopter crash on November 1, 1994; the aforementioned Roger Hunt, a retired postal inspector; Bob Lund, former chief executive of several firms; Bob Meikle, a retired high-school English teacher; Ed Matthews, a New Jersey judge; Dick Morin, who was killed in action in Vietnam; Bill Morrissey, a retired advertising executive now a consultant and a real estate entrepreneur; Steve O'Neill, an insurance executive; and Bill Sheridan, Jim Stokes, Frank Teague and John Webster, attorneys all. Each of these men, except Art, Bill Emswiler, Meik, Bill Morrissey and John, became Marine Corps officers and served in combat in Vietnam. Art and Meik served in the Army, Bill Emswiler in the Air Force. Dick lost his life when his fighter-jet was shot down, while Ed and Frank were both awarded Purple Heart Medals for wounds sustained in fighting in Vietnam. (The Order of the Purple Heart was established by George Washington and re-established in 1932 for granting decorations to those members of the military services wounded in combat.) Indeed, Frank spent more than a year in a naval hospital convalescing.
While I was a student at HC I also made the acquaintance of Joe Altman, to whom Mame and I would have the pleasure of introducing her sister Camille in October 1971. Also now a close friend, Joe celebrated thirty years of marriage to his bride with her, their son Peter, Mame and me on their anniversary in December of this year.
In the autumn of 1962, after the start of my freshman year, I was privileged to attend a lecture by Robert Frost, who was the most celebrated poet in America in the early twentieth century. He read a selection of his poems to a surprisingly small group of students in HC?s Kimball Hall auditorium (which is probably no longer there). After his readings, he addressed us and answered our questions. Perhaps most engaging about him was his personal warmth, firm handshake and piercing eyes. He actually remained with us at the end of the program, just ?hanging out? and chatting with a bunch of us college kids. Despite his eighty-eight years, he was visibly young at heart, and he warmed ours.
In November of that year I had the pleasure of meeting the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who gave an address at the College one evening. It was raining hard, and Dr. King?s car had been delayed afterward. As such, after the field house had emptied following his speech, a small group of us had the good fortune to engage him in conversation for about forty minutes. He impressed me greatly.
In June 1964, President Lyndon Baines Johnson was the guest speaker at the College?s commencement exercises. As luck would have it, I was assigned, in my capacity as a Navy R.O.T.C. midshipman, to open the door of the president?s black Cadillac limousine and escort him to the canopy under which the speaker's podium was located. As the big man alighted from the car, I saluted him, of course.
LBJ then asked in his Texas drawl, "What's yoh name, boy?"
"Midshipman Mansfield, sir!" I responded, still saluting.
I then completed my escort service.
Many years later I wondered who walked him back to his limo after the graduation ceremony.
Holy Cross is also where I made the acquaintance of Father Charles J. Dunn of the Society of Jesus (S.J.).
Like life itself, HC had its own relative extrema. Still, I left the hill after graduation with a feeling of satisfaction due in no small part to a few words that Fr. Dunn, then Dean of Men and later the College?s Director of Estate Planning, shared with me during graduation festivities.
In our freshman year the College assigned roommates to each of us; we had no say in the matter. Mine was a studious, cold-prone fellow named Dave who, during the spring semester that year, became through no fault of his own the victim of a rash of physically harmless and, in the opinions of at least some of those familiar with the situation, very funny pranks. Although I was not involved, directly or indirectly, and did not know who was responsible, I paid the whole episode only limited attention. Well, things changed significantly shortly after I was advised by telephone one evening to appear without delay in Fr. Dunn's office.
By way of background, the situation with Dave admittedly did not get off to a good start. When he first came to Wheeler Hall, room #219, the space he and I would share, his father, mother and younger sister accompanied him. Having already been on campus for about two weeks for summer football practice, I recall that I was lying on my bed reading a book when they arrived. It was Saturday, September 8, 1962. I greeted them and introduced myself, whereupon Dave, his sister and their father went downstairs to resume unpacking the car. Dave's mother, seemingly curious about me and the College, remained in the dorm room and engaged me in conversation. While she chatted and questioned me, she also busied herself putting her son?s various garments into his dresser drawers. When he returned she made a point of showing him where she had placed his socks, underwear, shirts, etc. I thought that was a bit much; after all, isn't unpacking his own things something Dave could have done without her involvement? During presumably the rest of her family's last trip downstairs to the car she and I were alone for a few minutes and she said, "You'll take care of my Davey, won't you?" I did not consider her words a good omen.
Classes began on Monday, September 10th. I would later write in a letter to my classmates that this day was characterized by chaos, optimism, pride, fear, pessimism, confusion, nervousness, uncertainty, independence and wonder.
Dave and I had different schedules and different curricula. He was a pre-med student; I was into Latin, Greek, French, English, R.O.T.C. and football. In fact, I wouldn't normally return to the dorm until about 9:30 p.m. after football practice, training table and "chalk talk." Then, in the HC tradition, at least for freshmen, we had "lights out" promptly at eleven o?clock.
Now, the steam heat emanating from the old dormitory's radiators was centrally controlled. Thus, each room was warm - very warm ?- from October through April. For Dave and me, everything went smoothly until the cooler weather inevitably arrived.
Our room would become so stifling, especially at night, that I would perspire, even clad only in undershorts. Unable to sleep in such uncomfortable conditions, I would open the window a few inches for relief from the heat. Later, I would awaken during the night to discover that it had been shut. I would reopen it, only to find it closed again when morning came. And so it went.
I discussed the matter with Dave, who told me that he was subject to colds and that the cold air from the open window bothered him a great deal. I offered and he accepted my blanket; he also agreed to leave the window open. Unfortunately, he still found it necessary to close the window after I would fall asleep. I found myself becoming annoyed.
I suggested to Dave that perhaps the fairest approach would be for each of us to have control over the window on alternating nights. He agreed, and I thought we had solved the problem.
Despite our agreement, Dave continued to close the window, even on those nights when it was my turn to have it open, if I so desired. His recalcitrance became unacceptable. I got angry with him and recall saying, "From now on we do things my way, and if you dare reproach me, I will destroy you." It was hardly my finest hour.
As I walked nervously and quickly from my room to the Dean of Men's office that chilly April evening just before my eighteenth birthday, I wondered what was going to happen. It was my first personal invitation to the Dean's office and, for all I knew then, might have been his custom with freshmen. Yet, I had a distinct and foreboding sense that whatever had precipitated this sudden nocturnal rendezvous was neither about to win me any prizes nor cause me to leave smiling afterwards. I was filled with terror.
Alas, my intuition was right. Suddenly and swiftly I had become deeply and inextricably involved in the Wheeler II nonsense. Owing to Fr. Dunn's extraordinary persuasive capacities, I would soon be giving the episode my undivided attention for, you see, my roommate had evidently reported to Fr. Dunn that these childish games had profoundly disturbed him. Joking aside, the Dean of Men made it perfectly clear that the situation was serious: "I want you to put an end to this immediately. At Holy Cross we are our brother's keeper."
"But, Father," I said lamely, "I've had no hand in this at all and I don't know who's behind it."
Said my Dean, "Mr. Mansfield, he's your roommate and, if this isn't stopped immediately, you may find yourself out of school." Fr. Dunn neither raised his voice nor repeated his message. He didn't have to.
That was in April 1963. The next time I had occasion to speak with Fr. Dunn came in June 1966 when I found myself with Mame, then my fiancee of less than a week, standing next to him at my class?'s graduation dance. Though a bit uncomfortable, I decided to introduce her to him. After a brief exchange of formalities, Fr. Dunn stunned me with his nonchalance as he said quietly to me: "Thanks for straightening out that situation over in Wheeler." It was as if it had then happened only yesterday, and I think he even smiled a little.
The next time I saw Fr. Dunn was in the autumn of 1981. True to form, a couple of mischiefmakers from the Class of '65, who were there that evening, set me up. Having heard my "Charlie" Dunn story earlier, and knowing Father then better than I did, they related the whole episode to him. Naturally, and once more with that quintessential nonchalance, the former Dean of Men approached me later and asked how my old freshman roommate was doing. Then, seeing the look of astonishment on my face and knowing fully that I was unaware he had been prompted, he burst into laughter.
These days I see Fr. Dunn less than once a year. Nonetheless, he and I have become true and warm friends. To me he is a Jesuit's Jesuit. He also epitomizes the Marine Corps' motto: Semper fidelis.
God bless you, Father.