Thursday, September 2, 2010


Here we are ... One. ONE day til Notre Dame football! Geesh was this a long time in coming.

Today's blog is about the old timers.
One of the best parts of being a female alum of Notre Dame ... is listening to the "old timers" tell stories about what Notre Dame was like before the women got there. I love hearing the stories, and let me tell you, they love telling them!

Reunions are a great place to hear these old timer stories. College reunions at Notre Dame are as follows. They hold "Reunion Weekends" ... and every class that falls in that year's five year interval come back for said reunion weekend. I graduated in 93 ... so all classes that end in '03 and '08 come back for reunion weekend. Friday night they have the individual "class" dinners, and then Saturday night they have an "all class" dinner where we are all together. There are lots of fun events all weekend, including some workshop/lecture type classes that you can go to on all different topics.

At my last reunion, I saw that author Jim Dent was talking at one of the lectures, about the book he had just written, "The Undefeated: The Oklahoma Sooners and The Greatest Winning Streak in College Football." When I tell my friends that I want to go see his talk, they all pretty much look at me like I'm crazy. Not to say that they don't like football ... they just don't like it as much as I do.

I get to the lecture hall/classroom ... and I am one of three girls in the room, but I settle in for what is an amazing talk. He has eight guys from the class of 1958 at the talk, and he walked us through the book, up to "the game" where Notre Dame broke Oklahoma's winning streak (sorry ... spoiler!). Then he let some of the guys talk, and then he played the game film. It was awesome. After the talk, he was selling his books (of course) and autographing them. So I wait in line to buy both of the books that he is selling (he also wrote "The Junction Boys") ... and when it was my turn he said, "Darlin, I am so happy to see a beautiful lady here, who is interested in football!" We had a delightful conversation. He signed both books for me, AND he introduced me to the '58 guys. It was SO worth going to this talk by myself!

Flash forward to 2009 ... I see that Jim Dent has a new book coming out about Ara Parseghian ... and seeing as my Dad (and I) enjoyed the first two books so much, I ordered the new book for my Dad for Father's day. He was so excited to get the book, and as it turned out, the book takes place during my Dad's Senior year in college (he managed to be at Notre Dame during the very beginning of the Ara Parseghian era). So every chapter, he would call me on the phone and give me the summary, and then give me his personal experiences of the same time period. It was really cute.

What really made my day though, was the forward of the book. It turns out that when Jim Dent was at my Notre Dame reunion pitching the Oklahoma book ... he was researching the Ara Parseghian book ... and apparently he didn't get much sleep that weekend! I guess the old timers spent quite a bit of time bending his ear! I was pretty excited that I got to meet him/hang out with him the weekend that he was writing the Parseghian book. Very cool.

I could go on and on with the Notre Dame stories ... but I'm afraid by now that I am boring you ... so I guess I'm going to wrap this up.

This has been a fun week, walking down my memory lane of Notre Dame football. I have seen some great games ... and look forward to seeing many more in the future!
Here's to Brian Kelly's inaugural season ... let's hope it's absolutely smashing!

Go Irish! Beat Boilermakers!


  1. I don't have any ND relatives. Good grief, i nearly ended up at that institution in Chestnut Hill. But luckily due to a change of plans i was able to trade in the big city lights of Boston for the corn fields of Indiana. :-)

    However my wife is a ND legacy. Grandpa, dad and uncle went to Notre Dame. Yeah, Hornets Nest. So let me refer to my father-in-law and uncle as the "Boys of 69".

    They shared some great stories and anecdotes, which you can not find in any book. So i agree, they do love to tell their stories.
    What i always admire is their fierceness, passion and dedication to Notre Dame and Notre Dame Football throughout the decades. A special breed, these Ara guys.

    However talking football, it is like "Adversus solem ne loquitor". But my "Boys of 69" do not like two facts:

    I could not resist, it is worth mentioning to them (when summing up my ND years to 4), that we did had a better winning percentage. Given the recent history, how decadent it is of having a dispute over coaches with a winning percentage in the 80% region.

    One time when they were criticizing "my" coach again, i thought enough. So i told to them, that at least we were able to routinely beat the crap out of Purdue and USC. THAT did not sit well and i nearly escaped the firing squad.

    What are we then? I guess Young-Timers.
    So thanks for walking the memory lane. It was a great ride and we can share our own history and memories. Awesome Tailgating, SYRs, Snow Ball fights, Cool Signature Events, Club23 raids, Winning Football, etc, etc. All things which seem have vanished now.

    However i truly believe that winning football is coming back with Coach Kelly. So i see a bright future ahead.


  2. Thanks again, Stefan, for the comment. I would not trade my time at ND for anything in the world. And I'm sure my non-Notre Dame friends are tired of me telling the same stories over and over again (and some of my family too, for that matter), but all I can say is, they just don't get it!

    Let the Brian Kelly era of football begin!!