Wish we did this more often!

     Residing in New York City, I was "tapped" early on to chair the annual Class Dinners that take place each year following the two-day Cornell Ass’n of Class Officers (CACO) Meeting in the city. No great hardship this.

     Helen and I have looked forward to our annual "Night Out in the Big City" with our classmates, and each year or so we have moved to another nearby dining spot varying the restaurant or hotel location, the decor, the food, and, of course, the cost.

     These dinners have usually been attended by 20-24 classmates and their spouses, and for several years running, we invited the ‘43's attending CACO to break bread with us before they decided to do their own thing. These very informal dinner gatherings worked out very well and everyone always seemed to enjoy themselves despite an occasional short-armed bartender.


On the national scene . . .

     Our Westport head shed has tried to drum up Class Dinner interest in other areas as well and has succeeded to a degree . . For a few years running, the Greater Washington, DC Area ‘44's and their spouses did the country club and restaurant scene with reasonably good turnouts.


     These three sitdowns were arranged, in order, by Fred McNair, Dick Evans, and Nancy Rundell. A Rochester, NY informal dinner meeting never got off the ground - a Cambridge, Mass., dinner following a Cornell-Harvard game was great - we won the game that afternoon!. Alison King Barry did the spadework on that one, but it turned out to be a one-time affair.

     Many other ‘44 Class Dinners have been tied to "away" football games - Joe File (Princeton), Mort Savada (Columbia), Peter Miller (Penn), and Maryann Trask Pfeifle (Dartmouth) handling the nitty-gritties in each instance.

     We even did the Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, thanks to the late Jack McMinn. That one was a rather "silent supper" for the Big Red was trampled that same afternoon in Stanford Stadium.

     All of the foregoing were arranged somewhat infrequently, but were very well-attended whenever they were held. And if you can consider two eight-foot-long hero sandwiches, lots of potato salad, and coffee and soft drinks as a "dinner," the Kestens have opened their home bi-annually in hosting area ‘44's and their guests at an informal post-game sip & sup after each Cornell bash held in Yale Bowl.

     Perhaps our best year-to-year "Noodle and Napkin" thing is our annual Class Dinner held on the evening of the Homecoming football game . .

     We’ve supped in various Ithaca establishments for quite a few years, but have now settled down to dining at the comfortable, friendly, and convenient Ithaca Yacht Club and Ithaca Country Club, thanks to IYC members, Bob Ballard, Ted Thoren, and Bob Miller. There’s nothing like viewing the majestic campus scene from directly across the lake and even more so with cocktail in hand.

And on the international
scene . . .


     And, of course, the BIG Class Dinners - for 82, 47, 78 persons, etc. - were those held every night for seven to 17 nights aboard ship on our 16 previous CLUB 44 cruises. Two formal dinners, three semi-formal suppings, casual dining - it mattered little how we dressed. What did matter was that we cocktailed in a private room together - usually half of a sectioned off panoramic top deck - and then enjoyed dinner with a great many classmates and did this over and over again. You just can’t beat a Class Cruise for bringing people together!

     I think you can gather from all of the foregoing that I’ve really enjoyed being in the company of my classmates. And I’d like to thank the Webmaster for giving me this opportunity to say so.

Jerry Levitan
, Tri-Chair, ‘44 Cornell Fund Committee
Nov 04
Contact the ‘44 Webmaster at cu44@optonline.net
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