The Virtual Dorm
CyberZahm - Chicago 2012
Hans' RecapI'm assuming all made it safely home. It was great seeing everyone and sitting together at Soldier Field. Now that I have had a day to recover, here are some observations - - The golfers on Friday - Andy, Jack and Sobo, managed to deal with the cold weather. The greens were up to the challenge, running at 11 or 12 on the Stimp. Dont be above the hole! Andy has been working on his game - commenting more than once after a good shot - 'there is a golfer inside this body trying to get out!'. Andy and Jack both had big breakfasts before playing and commented that they didn't need lunch. that changed once we went into the clubhouse..... Once we finished, Joey O - who arrived in time to ride around for the back nine, and I enjoyed a couple of beers in the locker room. The locker room manager stopped by our table with drinks in hand to tell me that my guests were in the steam and whirlpool having a great time - I told him not to share any details with me...... I enjoy sharing the beauty of Edgewood Valley with good friends. Glad everyone had fun.
Sheila and I were happy to welcome not only Zahm alums, but many spouses and family. Sharon and Tim Sobo, along with Colleen and Sean McGuire attended. Brittney Edwards and her new husband Luke, along with Susan Edwards were there to make sure Willo behaved himself. I enjoyed conversations with all the abovementioned family members during dinner. Mary Kay Leicht arrived first to help Sheila get ready - always great to see MK. Ikey did one better - he provided the wine enjoyed before and during dinner. A very generous effort by our beloved doctor Ikey! Triz did arrive in time for dinner and stayed late enough to give Andy and Ikey a ride to the hotel. One of the funniest times was when Triz introduced himself to Sharon - as neither Joliet native recognized the other. You both need to get out more. Bill and Sue Phillips arrived around 9 after a long drive from Missou. Bill wasnt interested in eating - just set him up with a straight scotch and he's a happy camper. Fortunately they told me their plans to go to Chicago on Saturday for the game. I revised their train plans and it seemed to work out just fine. I was not happy with the steaks - but I'll blame the cold weather and darkness. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the alcohol consumed by the chef.....
I shared with Andy my concern about getting a reserved spot at The Scout for Saturday afternoon. When I checked email Saturday and saw a note from the General Mgr of the bar asking who told me we could reserve tables, i knew my concerns are well founded. Making sure I got to the bar by 1 o'clock was no small feat given the activity in the entire south loop for both the game and the Marathon (45,000 runners) scheduled for Sunday AM. Walking into the bar I viewed a very busy floor, but thankfully, the bar did keep it's word - two booths and two tables were reserved and the CyberZahm group and friends had a warm, convenient spot to gather before the game. Gabes, Dave, Joey O and Gidge all attended along with the previously mentioned dinner crowd. The group seemed to do its part by consuming plenty of drinks and food. i will again visit the Scout and thank them in person for taking care of us.
Soldier Field has great sight lines. Jack deserves significant credit for securing the 20 tickets together - all between the 40's! Very easy to see all the action. And I'll add that having a jumbotron did help view replays and the many Miami dropped balls. Maybe ND should put a jumbotron in the stadium. That change I could take - one i do not want to continue is the helmet change. I'm told they looked worse on television. C'mon Swarbrick - leave the helmets a pure gold.... not two toned.
The Irish played great in the second half with great adjustments at halftime. I liked our running game by Wood, GA III, and Riddick. and how 'bout the 3rd string guy from Texas - forget his name, who ran roughshod through the Canes at the end. McDaniel? Our defense has dominated and our offense is coming along. I am not comparing this team to any SEC or other team. One game at a time. We've won convincingly every game except Purdue when our team was still adjusting. Our 7th rank is deserved - but dont get complacent guys. Stanford will give us one hell of a contest. Game Day will be on campus and the atmosphere should be fun. I see we are a 10 point favorite. not sure about that, but I like the way we're playing and happy as hell that we are undefeated.
I havent heard from anyone about the time it took to get out of Soldier Field, but i did read that there were late night drinks at Tilted Kilt. When talking to Gabes in preparation for the weekend, he told me he'd never been to a Tilted Kilt. My bet is that his next visit will not be that long from now. how were the waitresses?
Some general comments - Staying in the city would have been best for everyone. The Marathon killed that option. Hopefully the Marriott OakBrook Hills was acceptable to those how stayed there. Many had local lodging options which also took away from late night revelry. Reunions at Paw Paw are great because everyone stays together. Hopefully the hectic downtown Chicago did not screw up too many of you. A few degrees warmer would have been nice, but the key, more than anything was reconnecting, which i feel was accomplished.
It was great being with everyone. Let me know the next time you get to Chicago! We'll have a drink at a quieter The Scout. I've got a couple of photos that will go to Fox for the website.
best to all - Hans
Various CommentsVery nice summary, Hans, very nice. It was a grand weekend with enough insanity and silliness balanced out by the sheer joy of re-connecting with old friends and meeting some of the spouses and children. Great stuff! Kudos to Tom and Sheila (with extra help from sous chef extraordinaire Mary Kay Leicht) for a delicious dinner and a great atmosphere. Delighted that we killed all of the wine (didn't we?). The game was the obvious highlight on Saturday but Andy and I had the unforgettable pleasure of lunching at Lou Mitchell's joint on Jackson Blvd. What a hoot! A classic slice of Americana! The Scout was perfect for re-fueling before kickoff. And yes, the seats were fantastic! Good work, Jack! Not much trouble getting out of Chicago after the game. Gabes, Dave, Andy and I plugged into the Tilted Kilt and dropped a wad on Frankie, our lovely bartender. Fun way to end the evening. On Sunday, I managed to rendezvous with my son, Ben, at O'Hare before he flew back to Athens, Greece. Short visit but great for us both to share a hug and a kiss. Can't wait until he comes home at Christmas! Andy and I flew out of the same terminal so we had lunch and some Bloody Mary's before splitting up for our respective destinations. All in all, another terrific CZ Reunion. I hope everyone can make the next, wherever whenever. It's never quite the same when we have less than a full roster. Fox, Prep, Terry, Albert, Mags, John...you were missed but not forgotten. Until the next time...TE...and Go Irish!!!!
Great to watch ND kick the chit outta the hated Hurricanes a few hours ago. Amazing how visceral my disgust for the Green, Red, and White remains. The half-and-half ND helmets looked much better on TV than they did when I first saw them. Hope all you boys that attended had a great time despite the chill. Sorry I missed it. Had to comfort myself with KC BBQ instead.
Jack, if I owe you for a ticket, let me know. Dave can explain why I was a no-show. Go Irish! If Prep showed, someone give him a knuckle rub for me.
Many thanks for all your efforts in organizing the weekend. It was great seeing everyone. Really a nice time. Capped by a solid performance by the Irish. Seats were great. My first visit to Soldier Field.
Best to all.
Thank you so much to all who made arrangements and brought us together again! Just like old times!!! btw, My son Joey, my brother Joe, and my cousin Lou also thoroughly enjoyed witnessing it! It was GREAT !!!
Hope to see you all again soon,
Once again, thanks to you and Jack for everything! Nothing could have turned out better. As for the Tilted Kilt, freakin' Frankie ROCKED!
Again, kudos to Jack and Hans for arranging a superb weekend. Great friendships renewed even though we missed everyone who couldn't make it, and enjoyed the sights and sound of Chicago. And the game, in a new venue to most of us, was fantastic.
I propose we do it again- next year, the Irish play Arizona State in JerryWorld in the Big D. Early October is the best time of the year- great golf, fun restaurants, and plenty of strip clubs for those who are interested (Al, Gabes, I've already requested your Platinum pass at the PussyCat. And we need to bring Kal as a subject matter expert). And if you haven't seen the stadium, it's worth a trip by itself.
Lodging will be easy, and the hot tub ready. In the words of the immortal Bob Barker, "C'mon down!"
It was only 15 minutes ago that we were bonding together through Pizza Muffins, South Bend weather, An Tostal, term papers, North Dining Hall specials, hallway Frisbee, multitudes of campus attractions and activities, and, of course, Notre Dame football, as we all came of age as young men together.
Now we all turn, or have turned, 60 years of laps around the sun together, and that time in place so many years ago is re-visited in the wink of a young girl's eye at the Tilted Kilt. Pretty cool.
Beating Miami like a rented mule was a treat, but gathering once again around the primal fireplace of community as a band of brothers was more special. Those of you not able to make the journey for any number of reasons were fondly remembered at many moments. (Too bad you weren't there to defend yourself from the many stories told about you that grow more outrageous and fantastic with your absence at such events!)
Time certainly flows like a river, but that special place in our hearts remains anchored forever. A special time that made us all better people. Better than we otherwise would have been.
Semper Fi, dudes. Until we meet again…..
PhotosFirst four courtesy of Hans. Last two courtesy of Willo/Sue. Rest courtesy of Bill/Sue.