1980–Fall ’18 Class Letter
Margaret “Peggy”Gero DaValt
608-658-3779 / [email protected]
Jeffrey C. “JC” Penney
574-247-1182 / [email protected]
Another year and another Alumni Weekend have passed. I realize that I am a walking commercial for Alumni Weekend, so I apologize. This year was different, it wasn’t our year, but several of us old timers travel up for various reasons, involved as a Class Agent or board member, just like the feel of campus and the nostalgia that that brings, or the most important item, the alumni lacrosse game. I enjoyed seeing lots of old friends like JIM MENDYKE ’83, JOHN MATHEWS ’89, TOBY STORZER ’82 (doesn’t he remind you of D-Day from Animal House), BRET JAEGER ’84, TODD JAEGER ’83, TOM HARRISON ’78 and ANDY DICKSON ’79, and more my brain can’t recall. Of course, missing were several game regulars, ART PETERS ’80 and TED SCHALLER ’79, although they were missed, you soon forgot about their absences, because the, “Presence” was on the field, just like the shark in Jaws, he subtly comes out onto the field and then, BAM, you hear PEEB! BILL SCHNESE ’79 has arrived and the energy level of old guys playing a kid’s game intensifies.
We needed intensity, as organizer of the game, JIM MENDYKE ’83, brought his son’s U14 team to play us. We got game in hand, we thought, we had experience, moxie, and we towered over these guys! What did they have – youth, speed, boundless energy, actual lacrosse skill! HA! I explained to the opponents, these young 13 and 14 year old boys, the extra old man rules. There was a penalty for hustle and running full speed. We could get away with any penalty, but they couldn’t. We had unlimited time outs and could call them anytime, even if we were technically not allowed to call them. Don’t question authority!
We also had a few ringers, several of the boy’s coaches joined us, as did my son Seamus Penney (class of ’25?) and his high school teammate. Both boys are 15 and possessing the same or more attributes as the above team and they became our legs, “Hey kid, run over there and get the ground ball. Run up the field, we are too tired. Go chase that opposing player and play defense.” It was glorious and best of all, our ringers understood that it was our game, get the ball to the old guys, so they can shoot! Well it was an exciting game, the lead changing back and forth, until with time running out and the game tied, the Presence, called time out! It was do or die, he said, and he set up a sure fire scoring play. Filled with confidence and spirit, we took the field, 20 seconds left, the crowd was hushed with nervous anticipation! We set in our positions and you could feel your heartbeat, just like old time, we never lost and we are poised to be the champions again! Well, the player drove towards the goal like RUSTY RYAN’S ’80 Olds Cutlass, powered by a Rocket 350, the moment was upon us, but age happened, some of us needed inhalers at that moment, one was talking to the fans about the time a jeep drove up Sadolf hill, one was getting Metamucil from the sidelines. The youngsters converged on the ball, since we were gone and it dropped harmlessly to the ground. Kissing your sister, tie ball game! Sometimes your life plans don’t work out. However, several things were great about this game:
- It was fun for both teams, even the refs said they want to do it again next year!
- It is fun to compete, whether on a field, at work, or beating the pants off the family in a board game!
- I was able to play lacrosse in my 60”s. I have played in 5 decades. I even scored, but so did the Presence and he is 61!
- The best was able to be on the field with my son playing the game I love! Of course, he critiqued my game afterwards like I used to do after his games. It was brutal!
Thanks for indulging my boring life! Take care and don’t hate!
JOE LUKANICH ’80 is still kicking and as grumpy as ever. He hosted my son, his friend, and I for alumni Weekend at his Green Lake home. He both enthralled and frightened the boys.
RUSTY RYAN ’80 has retired from IBM and has started his own construction firm in Downers Grove, Illinois.