Here we go again! This time at Balch!
Jeanne Neuberger Logue: “Most were quoting their grandchildren.”

 

 

Fuzball, the tents, and our parade were highlights

     Some 240 members of the Class of '44 and their spouses added gaiety, laughter, spontaneity, and some great marching music to the massive Saturday All-Alumni Luncheon gathering in Barton Hall, where they joined together in our traditional Class Parade, a throwback to the ’50’s when each class had its own band.

     Marching behind Dick Hagy, Bill Falkenstein, and majorettes Marion Graham Blose and Janet Buhsen Daukas, each of whom carried a brightly colored New Orleans parasol (thanks to Dick!) were Parade Grand Marshal Maggie McCaffrey Kappa with whistle and 16-inch cymbals; John Phillip Hotaling (carrying a snare drum); and a struggling Gale Nightingale Wiggin, ‘45, Blanton’s wife, with ’44’s big bass drum) – This entourage was truly a sight to behold!

     They preceded ’44’s seven-member contract Oompah Band and we 240-plus ragtag '44 marchers, who brought smiles and waves from the several thousand in Barton, while we made one complete circle of the Drill Hall—up and down the large, empty speaker's platform, and then out from behind the curtains. This was a moment in time when we were all exhilarated and proud, and justifiably pleased, and - most of all - pooped!

     For the '44 Time Capsule: Our own Eleanor Kerby (Russ's wife) winning the '89 Reunion Women's Tennis Championship, and Ted Smith earning Runner-Up honors in the Men's Tournament—their combined performances gave '44 the unofficial "Tennis Team Trophy." Jim Purdy also took away the second low net in the Reunion Golf Tournament. Lastly, Bill Kaegebein's 37-foot RV served as a beautiful centerpiece on our Balch front slope parking lot.

     Other highlights: Ed Fitchett's World War II and 1949 Reunion eight-millimeter movies entertaining many nightly in the upstairs lounge. Gerry Tohn, '44's new Cornell Fund rep, announcing that '44 had surpassed the $3 million level in donations and that Joe Schwalje and Kit Snell Sigety had become our class's 44th and 45th members of the Tower Club during Reunion.

     Another tradition: Our Quinquennial Milk Punch Party recharged many (Brewmasters Bob Dillon and Dick Hagy did their thing with Nieman-Marcus red sweat sox donated, dunked, and dissolved by Texas Bill Falkenstein). Others used this liquid pacemaker to wash down their breakfast bagels on Friday morning. Nancy Torlinski Rundell (a most courageous gal) used the Milk Punch on her cereal, and muttered "Cheers!" as she downed her first spoonful of oat bran.

     Our brightly decorated Balch entry corridor (balloons, streamers, etc.) was the work of five very hardworking class clerks, one of whom, Beth Dreyfus '90, has served as one of Comell's two student trustees. This VIP status meant little as Beth lugged cases of beer, chairs, etc., along with the other clerks. The Balch main lounge—a large, attractive room—was enhanced by eight floral arrangements, some impressive oil paintings, and a modem immobile entitled, "Fuzball."

     Weather? Three OUTSTANDING days! We had a little sprinkle on banquet night, when 276 gussied-up (coat and tie) diners joined our honored guests—new head football coach, Jack Fouts, and wife Barbara; old lacrosse coach and good friend of '44, Richie Moran, and wife Pat; and '44 Honorary Member and retired director of alumni affairs, Frank Clifford '50, and wife Jean. Your correspondent, as a class vice president, was a substitute MC leading toasts to Comell, to our absent Class President Joe Driscoll, and to the non-'44 spouses in attendance or at home, those who either joined us or who permitted spouses to be present at our 45th! The bottom line: a terrific tuna-pack togetherness!

There was plenty to visit!

     Tours, organized? Three! One to Snee Hall, the new geology building, thanks to our own Professor Emeritus Howard "Ep" Evans; a well-attended private tour of the Johnson Art Museum; a '44 tour of the new Alberding Multi-Purpose Field House (where '44 is sponsoring a classroom) and the new Schoellkopf Stadium Press Box (a five-story structure), the Class of '44 War Memorial on the Engineering Quad; and the new atrium, moot court, library, and classroom in Myron Taylor Hall - Ya gotta have heart? - Nope, for the foregoing Reunion attendees, the cry was, "Ya gotta have legs!"

     Tours, unorganized? By the four, non-Reunion, uninvited, under-25, over-beered townie (?) climbers who mistook our Class Tent in the Balch courtyard for the Matterhom and made an unsuccessful and very loud ascendancy at 2 a.m. Saturday night. The Matterhom unfortunately gave way but was resurrected, fortunately, Sunday a.m. by our caterer.

     Awards and honors? To the bona fide (?) Glee Club group who toured many of the dorms in the evenings and early mornings. They gave heartwarming renditions of many of our favorite Cornell songs in the Balch courtyard Friday night, even though it was more than two hours (repeat two hours) after every '44 had turned out his or her dorm light.

     Pledges: From Tagus, Al and Alison King Barry's 7-year-old black canine, to 1994 attendance; and to Fred McNair to provide (again) a Rent-a-TV in the main Balch Lounge for the French Open.

     Sadness! The completely unexpected absence of Joe Driscoll, the true "Spirit of "44," whose last-minute bout with cellulitis prevented his attendance and had ripple effects all over Reunion (CRC, Comell Fund, Athletics Breakfast, and all '44 functions). Our hastily-made 2-foot by 3-foot "Get Well" card signed by several hundred of Joe's friends was a small indication of the love and affection we all feel for our fellow classmate.

     Thanks! - To 1989 Reunion Chair Charlie Williams and his wife of 44 years, Barbara, for their exceptional, ever-present, on-site leadership and to Dotty Kay Kesten (wife of this reporter) for her equally outstanding efforts in administering many of the registration and logistical responsibilities associated with this 1989 love-in.

     Perpetual Class Correspondent Joe Driscoll will cover the 1989-94 democratically nominated and elected officer slate in his column next month. Our nor-mal five-officer power structure has been augmented by 17 regional Vice Presidents, a restructuring that’s a new departure for '44, and one that perpetuates a few of our incestual relationships and has been met with Reunion-wide class approval.

     Mark your calendar! The Class of '44 will next meet at a Yale Bowl, 11 a.m. tailgate on Saturday, Nov. 4, and a "Hunk-O'-Hero" BYOL post-game party in Westport at our home. There'll be a geographic (East Coast) mailing on this with an RSVP in October. Your Class correspondent stand-in: Art Kesten, 1 Crestwood Road, Westport, Conn. 06880, substituting for Joe Driscoll, 8-9 Wilde Ave., Drexel Hill, Pa. 19026.

     (NOTE: The foregoing report appeared in the Cornell Alumni News following our 45th Reunion in 1989).

Jeanne Neuberger Logue,
DVM, 1944
 
 

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