Ok, so the book went to the publisher -and I had it back 36 hours later in galley format…so I didn’t have time to write about the swim reunion…and now I am BACK to proofing (with help of course) to get the book ready for print on May 5.
But I have heard from a good number of Notre Dame swimmers who have visited the website and were not able to make it to the reunion. They asked for an update - and I promised one. So here we go:
First of all, the class of 1995 (my class) was not too well represented. In fact, there were only three of us who showed up over the weekend, and only two of us who went to the “official” reunion mass and dinner: Jamie and me. I know- Jamie wasn’t a swimmer, but he was our swim team manager…and he actually didn’t even go to Mass - he hung out on the quad with the boys.
It was SO great, however, to see so many swimmers who I swam with while I was there: Susan “Scully” Bohdan Walton, Kristin Heath, Cyndi Safford, Linda Gallo, Amy Bostick Sobalvarro, Karen Daylor Byorick, Liz Rice Gates, Matt and Liz (Barger) Rose, Jenna Razonni, George Lathrop, Super Dave Nathe, Shelley Hotchkiss, Carl Peterson, Fozzie…wait…Tom Whowell (I don’t think I spelled that right…but who ever knew him other than as “Fozzie”?), and I was thrilled when Will McCarthy (and wife and family) showed up for the Blue & Gold game on Saturday. Again, wait - who went to the game??? Well, Jamie & the boys and I did…but the rest of THEM stayed at the alumni swim team tailgater. (If I am forgetting people - please post a message and I will include them…it is late and I am sleep deprived and I know I am forgetting people!)
The weekend officially began on Friday afternoon with Mass in the Stanford-Keenan Chapel - presided over by Father Monk Malloy and Father Pelton. I’m sure most of you know that Monk was the president of Notre Dame when we were swimmers, and is such a huge supporter of the program, and especially of the women’s program (and women’s athletics in general). Father Pelton was instumental in founding swimming as a varsity sport - 50 years ago. In case I forgot to mention, the reunion was celebrating 50 years of Men’s swimming and 25 years of Women’s swimming at Notre Dame.
Monk’s Mass was great - as usual. I always think of him as “our” president. I was in charge of putting the readings together and finding readers and EMs for the service. But I forgot about the Prayers of the Faithful. I tried to send Scully up - but she wouldn’t read something during Mass that she had never read before. Good thing: because there was nothing up there to read. So, I went up, and made them up! Phew!
As Mass ended, the Monogram Club presented Father Pelton with an Honorary Monogram. I love these presentations. They are always a surprise to the recipient and it is always emotional and fun to watch. Father Pelton - for his contributions to Notre Dame swimming - was truly touched. He wore his Monogram Club jacket all weekend! (And I have heard since then, that he continues to wear it around Corby Hall.)
After Mass we walked from North Quad to South Dining Hall. It was my understanding that dinner would take place upstairs in South Dining Hall - not in the Oak Room, but above that in whatever space that is. Well, there were so many people at the reunion, that we took up one-half of South Dining Hall. One wing was blocked off. We sat: LEFT LEFT.
Our coach - and the Men’s current head coach - Tim Welsh ran the show. He did a great job. He first announced that sign ups were available for the Alumni meet the next day. Ha! I didn’t sign up… We had pasta for dinner (what else do swimmers eat before a meet) and my kids ran around with Amy Bostick’s children. Jamie eventually took them back to Missy’s house, where we were staying, and I got to hang out with the girls! (Love the picture I will post of Scully and me from dinner…my little 4-year-old took it!)
Both Tim and the current Women’s coach, Carrie Nixon, spoke about the teams. Tim pointed something out that I knew - and something out that I had not thought of:
In 50 years of Men’s Swimming at Notre Dame, there have been only 2 head coaches. That’s amazing! And If you include the 25 years of Women’s Swimming - there have been only FOUR head coaches in a combined 75 years of swimming at Notre Dame.
There was an open microphone portion of the program - and there were many tributes paid to Dennis Stark. It was a great weekend celebration for him and his family. Coach Stark was the first head coach and founding father of Swimming at Notre Dame. He had a lot of former swimmers return to pay homage to him. I think he was honored and touched. If there are any readers who remember more of what was said - or have any funny stories to include: please post a reply! I know there are others who are interested in what went on and was said over the weekend! Especially any readers from years when I was not there….
I think swimmers scattered and did their own things, with friends from their own years. We ventured to Kapn’ Kork. Was that how they used to spell it??? Now, Corby’s…you know the place…where they filmed the bar scenes from Rudy? It used to have a table-top Ms. PacMan game - and I was sorry to see it gone.
More soon from the Alumni Swim Meet and Swim Team Tailgater on Saturday - and a great evening at Barnaby’s!!!
Thanks for reading!
The FINAL manuscript of the book is due to the publisher in three days…so I will post pictures and update the blog about the swim reunion, once the book is FINISHED!
Thanks for visiting!
I arrived in South Bend earlier tonight - it is after midnight and I need to get to bed. But I am SO excited to be here. Or to be “home” as one friend said. Notre Dame is always a place of renewal and inspiration for me. Of course, the first place I went was to Meghan’s grave. It always is. There were lots of flower, so as you will read in the book, I am glad to know she is not often alone.
I am here for some meetings and for a SWIM TEAM REUNION! We are celebrating 25 years of women’s swimming and 50 years of men’s swimming - with mass and a dinner. On Saturday there is an alumni meet (scary!) and the Blue & Gold game. My boys are coming with Jamie on Friday…it’s their first trip to Notre Dame and I can’t wait (either can they!)
I will post pictures from the weekend when I get home. I am hoping to take a 1991-92 reunion photo of all the girls from the team that year who are here.
We are getting to crunch time finishing the book. it is in the final edit and proofing stages - and we have all been working non-stop to get it DONE and READY for you to read. It’s exciting, stressful and I’m not sure I have slept much. But being here will allow me to finish working on the book - truly where the story started. It is perfect.
This week I am working on editing part 3 (of 4) of the book. We are scheduled to go to galleys on April 21st, but I need to be finished before then….we are taking the boys to Notre Dame on April 17th for the weekend - for the Blue & Gold game - their first time to South Bend! I also have meetings scheduled that weekend to set up a book-signing and to discuss other ways to promote the book throughout the Notre Dame community. Stay tuned!
WELCOME! And thanks for coming to visit my FIRST BLOG EVER! I will update often with news of the book - especially as we get closer to our publication date, June 2nd! The book goes to print on May 5th - CINCO DE MAYO. You can bet I will be celebrating that night with a few margaritas! And again more celebrating in June.
This book has been a long time coming - but I am so excited for it to come to fruition. I have been told for YEARS that I should write a book…and that’s pretty much how long it took. But I think the final product is the better for it. It is a more complete and comprehensive look at the life-changing effects of tragedy - and all the good that can come from it. Yes, I said GOOD. Tragedy changes your life, but not always in a bad way.
Life is good! (Ok, I tried to insert a picture of me and my husband, Jamie, just because I can - or at least this blog allows me to…not sure if it will show up!)