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VOLUME 16 • CHAPTER 1 • January 2016


Winter Scenes We've been trying to get memoirs from retired and not-so-retired Campion jebbies for our newsletter for quite some time. We don't care if the memoirs are about when they went to Campion, taught at Campion, or just what they've done since leaving Campion. We just want to hear something from our mentors in the first person. Perhaps words of wisdom learned while IHS. Typically we only get 3rd person post mortem. Not to lay all the blame on the jebbies... why can't we get more memoirs from alumni. Where are all those authors and editors of the old 'ette.

John Hyland '46 jumped in last issue.

With this issue we have several hellos from jebbies, articles by authors, and reunion reports.

From Ron Ruble '54...

Save the Last Dance
Ronald L. Ruble

The Chicago and Northwestern train knifed its way through the frigid January air of the Wisconsin countryside, its wheels sounding the clickety-clack of steel on steel as it headed for its destination, Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien.

Campion was a college preparatory boarding school, which strongly emphasized academics. My misguided purpose for being there was to be totally involved in sports and to gain a segment of independence that separation from home and parents might provide. I was mistaken on both counts. I had bouts of homesickness, and the pursuit of sport was hampered by the scholarly goals of the Jesuits.

I was looking out the steamed window, contemplating the recent snowfall, which had softened the craggy bluffs of the Upper Mississippi Valley scene. I was deep into my own thoughts as I was returning from Christmas break with a number of classmates from the Chicago area. The vacation had been too short, and all too soon, it was over. I was already missing the security and comfort of being at home and the pleasure of hanging out with long-time friends, doing familiar things. Boarding school with new friends from every corner of the globe was definitely different, and the experiences gained were something I had not yet learned to appreciate.

Discipline was rigid at Campion, and the academic standards were more than challenging. I never thought I was actually stupid, perhaps maybe a little slow, but most of my classmates at Campion made me feel totally inadequate when it came to academics. Book learning and I were never able to form much of a bond. For me, school was merely a vehicle to sports.

The Jesuits, or Jebbies as we called them, had a funny way of developing academic character. The students were grouped homogeneously. The brilliant guys were in the "A" classes, the next gifted group was in the "B" classes. Then there were the "C" and finally, the "D". It didn't take an "A" student to figure out that the D stood for "Dummies". It was definitely not a confidence builder.

I was assigned to the "C" group, but due to a scheduling problem, one of my classes was with the "D" group. I took geometry with the "D" boys, and it was by far my most fun class. But I darned near flunked.

Another Campion procedure was to post test scores publicly on all the school bulletin boards. I guess it was to reward the top achievers and to serve as an incentive to encourage those on the bottom of the list to work harder. The plan didn't work that way however, because those at the top stayed at the top, and those at the bottom, well, they stayed at the bottom. There were no miracles, and kids didn't blossom into geniuses overnight.

When scores were posted, most students would start at the top and work their way down the list until they found their name. I soon learned that it was easier and less time consuming for me to start at the bottom and work my way up through the list. That way I would gain great satisfaction from each name that I passed wasn't mine. That satisfaction never lasted too long, as my name was usually in the lower third of the group. It was my toughest academic year of school by far.

My thoughts were abruptly interrupted by a sudden burst of laughter from my sophomore classmates seated around me on the train. Bob McKinney, one of my best friends, prompted the laughter. He was relating a story that was sure to win the award for "How I Spent My Christmas Vacation". He had caught the attention of all within earshot when he began to spin his tale to the attentive group. It had to do with girls, excesses and most of all, good times. His enthusiasm and storytelling abilities had captured everyone's attention, and the girl stories grabbed the interest of the listeners. The Irish did have a gift, and McKinney was smoother than most.

My other good buddy, Jim Marbaugh, sitting across from McKinney, was nodding and grinning throughout it all. I had never seen Jim not enjoying himself, and he was doing so now. He and Bob had grown up together in Indianapolis and were quite a pair.

These two guys, plus Tom Wolf and Bill Esser, both from Milwaukee, kept me sane during that school year. We were buddies, day in and day out. It would have been a nightmare without them. Maybe it was the close quarters of boarding school and the dependence on relationships in that environment, but the spirit of camaraderie I experienced with those guys, and others at Campion, was never equaled again during my younger years.

Suddenly, Bob stopped his story in mid-sentence. He glanced slowly around and then raised his index finger to his lips, asking for quiet. "Sh-h-h," he signaled.

Everyone sat frozen, listening for something, but no one was sure for what.

Then we heard a pleasant, resonant voice calling, "Tickets, tickets please"! It was the conductor, in the next car, collecting and punching tickets, slowly moving towards us. We would be next.

I felt panic rumbling upwards from my stomach. I didn't have a ticket. I had spent all my money in Chicago the night before with McKinney and Marbaugh. But I had to get back to school, so I had boarded the train without a ticket. McKinney had sworn to me that no one checks your ticket on the train. I should have reasoned that if this were true, no one would buy a ticket. But people believe what they want to hear, so here I was without a ticket.

McKinney shook his head. "He doesn't have a ticket," he informed the group.

At first everyone was somewhat puzzled at my predicament. But as the thought of my state of affairs sank in, they laughed, finding humor in my delicate circumstances. I was in trouble here, and these clowns were laughing at a non-laughing situation. My look pleaded for help.

"Go hide in the can', Dick Adler suggested matter of factly.

Dick Carey said, "Run back and forth! Go from car to car. Confusion works."

George Braasch thought a moment and then suggested, "Open the window and jump out! You are such a great athlete that you can run behind the train for a couple of miles. We'll let you know when the coast is clear and then you can jump back on." Then he flashed his best smile. Braasch liked predicaments, especially someone elses.

I heard the conductor getting nearer. "Tickets, tickets please!"

I looked around the group, my eyes pleading for a better solution than Braasch's. Each person stared back, their faces blank, but a couple not hiding a small grin or two. They were wallowing in my situation.

Finally, Adler said, "Hide in the broom closet," and he pointed to a small locker in the corner of the car used for housing cleaning materials and a radio which was loudly playing the fifties tune, "Shrimp Boats are Coming".

Everyone agreed this was a great idea. So I hurried over to the locker and opened the door. As I looked in, I started to have doubts. Along with a broom, mop and a small bucket plus cleaning supplies, there wasn't much room left for me. And on the upper shelf the radio was blaring, "there's dancing tonight. Why don't you hurry, hurry, hurry home?"

But it was too late for second thoughts, so I took the song's advice and hurried, pushing my body into the small space as best I could. One of my feet found its way into the bucket, and the rest of my body was twisted into the space like a cork screw. My face was squashed against the metal side of the locker while a part of me was still sticking out of the cramped space. I couldn't squeeze my body any further into the squat and narrow space. The door wouldn't close as there was too much me.

Braasch solved that problem by pushing his full weight against the door, thereby compressing my body to two-thirds its normal size. The door slammed shut and once closed, held fast. Sardines was all I could think of. Two pounds of sardines in a one-pound can.

It was difficult to breathe; any air drawn into my lungs expanded my body size, seeking space that was not readily available. I could smell the acrid odor of metal as my nose became one with the metal. The radio continued its noise, blaring just above my right ear, "Shrimp boats are coming". This was fast becoming my least favorite song.

I was not able to see, but above the radio music, I heard the conductor enter the car and ask for tickets. Rather than just give him the tickets and move him on, thereby saving my life, Adler decided to get into an in depth discussion of the guys family, career and hobbies.

I was suffocating and Adler was developing his social skills. My cramped muscles began to cry out, not being accustomed to being contorted in this fashion, plus my air supply was dwindling rapidly. The metal bucket was digging into my right shin. I felt beads of sweat trickle down my back, and I wanted to cry out in my pain. I was near panic, and wasn't sure I could stand much more.

Finally, I heard the conductor say, "Nice talking to you young gentlemen, and good luck in your studies".

I exhaled a sigh of relief. I was ready to explode.

There was a slight silence, then I heard Adler ask, "Excuse me sir, but could you do me a favor?"

"I could try", said the conductor.

"Would you please turn down the radio".

What! I almost croaked. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Is this guy insane? I'm in here Bozo, in case you forgot.

"Sure enough", said the conductor, "I can do that for you".

I heard him approach the locker, and then he was just outside the door. At first he had trouble releasing the latch because of the pressure of my cramped body, but he finally managed. The door popped open, and I all but fell into his arms. He jumped back, surprise registering across his face.

"Well," he said, eyes widening, "What have we here?" I was busted.

"A stowaway?" I stammered, still engaged in my best pretzel imitation.

"Come on out of there son, before you do yourself in", he commanded, shaking his head.

I shakily unwound myself, and with his help finally managed my exit. I looked around at my "buddies", my expression one of disbelief. They were busting a gut, trying to hold in their laughter. Carey actually hooted out loud, and Adler looked especially proud of himself. The rest were no better. I could only shake my head in reply.

The conductor turned out to be a fine black gentleman who knew more about life and rambunctious youth than most. He gave me a stern lecture in front of my nodding "pals", on the perils of cheating the railroad out of justified revenues, and had me promise not to hitch a free ride again. I heard more than a few "tsk, tsk" admonitions from my audience, a little band of Benedict Arnolds.

Of course I gave him my promise and exhaled a sigh of relief, when I was certain that I would not be thrown off the train.

I settled into my seat and had to endure the razzing of the group for the rest of the trip. They left no stone unturned. "Yes sir! Yes sir! I'll never do it again, sir. I promise, sir! I'm sorry!" they mimicked over and over. They had a ball at my expense. It was actually a great diversion to an otherwise mundane trip. In retrospect, I had to admit it was quite funny. As soon as I heal, I might actually enjoy the story.

We finally arrived at school without further incident. Before departing the train, I searched out the conductor and thanked him again. He smiled and wished me well, and then was gone, as the train continued its journey west.

By that evening, the entire student population had shared in the humorous story of the railroad incident. Adler was the clever hero and claimed his place in the annals of the school's history, while I on the other hand, had become just another duped victim in Campion lore.

But the regimen of the daily grind soon took over our lives, and the train story soon faded from favor, as the new topic of conversation became the mid-winter dance. Anything to do with girls always trumped train stories.

According to those in the know, McKinney and Marbaugh, the sex-starved girls from St. Mary's Academy would be invited to a dance hosted by the sex-starved boys of Campion. All you had to do was sign up, and all these girls would come charging over.

Now, let it be known that I didn't buy that sex-starved girl stuff, but I figured it would be a nice break from the regimen of our daily grind. And besides, you never know.

It didn't take long to make a decision. After about five minutes of careful deliberation with McKinney and Marbaugh, we all signed up. I was number thirty-four on the list. Days later, I was informed that the girl at the Academy with the corresponding number would be my date.

This was a surprise, as I hadn't been given that detail. I didn't realize that you would have an actual date with one person. I figured that we would all be dumped into a room, and just have a free-for-all.

I realized that I should have done more research on the rules before signing up. This was indeed crazy. It was like playing the lottery or better yet, Russian roulette. But everyone else thought it was a lark, and besides, it was too late to back out.

A couple of weeks later the day of the dance finally arrived. The festivities were being held in the main dining room, and all the tables had been removed except one, which supported the punch bowl and plastic glasses. The chairs were lined against the wall to provide ample seating. The seniors had decorated the area with blue and white crepe paper for the Academy colors and black and red streamers for Campion. It actually looked quite nice.

The Campion Lotharios arrived first and stood around nervously awaiting the girls arrival. Soon, we heard the buses from the Academy pull up, and you could feel the tension in the room rise. Or maybe it was just the testosterone level that was rising.

We received a quick lecture on gentleman behavior from Father Coughlin. Then the main double doors opened and a rush of winter air burst into the room, followed by the heavy aroma of cheap perfume.

McKinney nudged me and smiled a goofy smile and said, "Girls, I can smell them a mile away", and he took a deep breath of the mixture wafting around the room.

The scene was surreal. The girls walked in as if in slow motion. They were all shapes and sizes; some wearing formal gowns and others merely pant suits. A couple were descent, and I hoped the number thirty-four was stamped on their foreheads, but knew my chances of that were slim to none.

There were no prom queens in the group, but as I looked around, there were no prize winners among the goofballs from Campion either.

I felt sorry for these girls. They were as starved for a night out as we were, signing up for a date-by-numbers game. But it probably was just a lark for them also. That's when I felt sorry for myself. All my Kenosha buddies were probably chasing girls around naked at some party, and here I was playing the lottery, while being chaperoned by Jebbies. This was definitely not something to brag about.

After the ladies coats were stacked neatly in piles, we formed two circles, the girls in the inner ring and the boys forming the outer ring.

Then they began calling the numbers. As your number was called, you met your date in the middle of the circles and took her for some punch. Then some get acquainted chit-chat until all the numbers had been matched and the music began.

After much trepidation, Father Coughlin finally called the number thirty-four. I walked to the middle of the floor to meet my date. I was tempted to close my eyes on the way, but was sure that I would stumble. OK, she wasn't the knockout I was hoping for, but she was better than most of the others. Not much better mind you, but better. Her figure was plump to dump, and she was definitely the plain type, but she had a nice smile and was quite pleasant to talk to. Actually, lucky me.

The evening passed pleasantly, and soon it was time for the girls to board the buses for their return trip back to the Academy. After I dug through the piles, I found my date's coat. I walked her to her bus where we shook hands and thanked each other for a nice evening. I watched her safely aboard. She soon disappeared into a cluster of her classmates and was gone. I waved in her direction and then turned, and walked slowly away. I wove my way through my classmates and their dates and into the winter night, not feeling the cold. All in all the evening was good, but I wasn't planning on doing that again I figured.

Halfway to the dorm, I heard the buses driving off towards town. Marbaugh was throwing snow balls at them, and McKinney was blowing kisses at the retreating buses. The calls of "goodnight" and "so long" continued behind me until the bus sounds faded into the night and were gone.

Small groups formed and burst into popular songs, while others just laughed jokingly together. One group began, "We are poor little lambs who have gone astray, baah, baah, baah". And yet another, "Good night Irene, I'll see you in my dreams".

I continued my walk, the popular songs following me and forcing me to hum along. I finally entered the warmth of the dorm building, and the closing door behind me brought silence from the revelers. I made my way to the "Smoker", where I knew that before the night was over, I would hear several tales, some half true and others pure fiction. But mostly, they would be entertaining. McKinney would hold center court, and I wanted to get a good seat.

History of Campion Military Balls

Reminder: We are looking for articles from the alumni of their memories of the famous Military Balls. The Campion Knights Nostalgia Archives is looking for pictures of items related to Campion Military Balls.

  C-K Military Balls Archive

From Richard Rawe '48...

The Colonel
Richard Rawe

I was four years old in 1935 when I met Suzanne Stanfield, five years old. She lived two doors down from my house on Bell Court East. She had a little portable record player and a couple of records that we played on her back porch. We teamed as models for children's clothes at Denton's down on Main Street. She was a classic brown-eyed beauty then and grew up to be one of the most beautiful women in the state of Kentucky, bar none. She called me "Dickie."

The second new person that I met in 1935 was a boy three years older than me who lived on the next street over from Bell Court East. I remember sitting in my driveway in the afternoon one day playing in the rocks when I looked up to see a strange boy standing there staring at me.

He said very seriously, "I'm Harry Scott Houlihan Junior. Who are you and what are you doing sitting in that driveway?"

He seemed to be in charge. As a matter of fact, that's what Harry Houlihan was made to be: in charge. In our little neighborhood, Bell Court, many boys were just waiting to be managed, waiting for someone to organize them into teams. Harry Houlihan was the solution, in spades. Every spring, Harry rounded up nine or ten boys from the neighborhood to enroll our team in the softball tournament at Woodland Park a few blocks away. At St. Catherine Academy, where we went to grade school, Harry arranged baseball and football games between our school and St. Peter's just down the street, and St. Joseph's across town. Harry Houlihan Campion Jesuit High School in 1942 was the perfect place for a boy like Harry Scott Houlihan, Jr. The student body consisted of about 500 boys split into junior division (freshmen and a few sophomores) and senior division (everybody else). In addition, the divisions were further subdivided into four "teams" each headed by a junior or senior student. The teams were organized into sub-teams for intramural football, basketball and softball by the team leaders. When I came to Campion in 1944, one of those teams was headed by who else but Harry Houlihan.

Harry was tall, handsome with wavy brown hair and dark eyes, and always seemed to have a concerned, earnest expression on his face. He was absorbed in his education, intent in his relationships, and eager to manage. Harry was the oldest of four children and lived with his mom and dad in a comfortable two-story house on Bell Court West. His dad, Harry. S. Houlihan, Sr., owned the Houlihan Insurance Agency in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. Some of his friends called him Scotty. He liked that.

At Campion at the time, upperclassmen who lived in Marquette Hall were encouraged to invite a freshman to their room on Sunday afternoon for a visit with one of the big men on campus, an honor of no small proportions. It was inevitable that Harry would extend such an invitation to me. I knocked on the door of his room and heard him call, "Come in." There he sat in his easy chair, dark suit and tie, pipe in mouth, reading the Chicago Tribune - future world leader, if ever there was one.

By his senior year, Harry was commander of the Campion R.O.T.C. battalion, having attained the rank of colonel. There had been two previous colonels from Kentucky and it almost seemed it was to become a tradition.

I was not particularly enamored with pounding around the campus grounds with a fake rifle on my shoulder and in my sophomore year I moved from the ground-pounders to the band. Under S. S. de Ranitz, Professor of Music and composer of Campion's alma mater, red-haired Peter Duhammel '48, the smartest student in the school and future head of the Michigan American Medical Association, led the brass military band with great pizzazz. Not being much of a musician I was relegated to play cymbals in the rear thereof. Still had to march around the campus, but man, was it ever fun clashing those brass bangers in time with Duhamel's spirited baton!

My buddies would see me going off to band practice and they'd call,

  "Hey, Rawe, where ya headed?"

  "Cymbals!" I'd call back.

  "Cymbal-head Rawe" I was known as in those days.

Came to my senses in my Junior year and quit the band and returned to the infantry with fake rifles. I remember how the full student body would practice the coming Mothers' Day parade, winding up in battalion formation right in front of Marquette Hall and Colonel Harry S. Houlihan, Commander-in-Chief, standing proudly at attention on the steps.

Captain of Company A yells out:

 "Company A all present and accounted for, Sir!"

Captain of Company B yells out:

  "Company B all present and accounted for, Sir!"

And the Captain of Company C would crack us up by yelling out:

  "Sir, Company C all present and accounted for!"

The Colonel graduated in 1946 and entered Holy Cross University. During his sophomore year there his dad died and Harry left for home in Lexington, Kentucky, to take over the Houlihan Insurance Agency and support his mom and three siblings.

Two new faculty members came to Campion in the fall of 1946. One was Father Carl M. Reinert S.J., Assistant Principal, the other was a young, smug sergeant--whose name I prefer not to remember--assistant to Captain Sullivan, Professor of Military Science and Technology. I recorded some of the confrontations that ensued in the fall of that year in my article about the infamous riot of 1946 published in Campion Forever, Vol. 2 Chapter 3, 2002: how Father Reinert ruled with an iron fist and Father Thomas Stemper, S.J., President of Campion Jesuit High School, expelled several seniors in the conflict.

But there was one confrontation that I did not record. It was the nasty S.O.B. incident involving myself, Father Reinert and the new young sergeant. As R.O.T.C. flunkies, students were required to clean their fake rifles periodically. To clean his rifle, a student would first peer down the barrel of the rifle to observe the dirt, then shove a cotton patch soaked with oil down the barrel, then shove a clean cotton patch down the barrel to dry the oil, then peer again down the barrel to observe the resulting spotlessness. The young sergeant, whose face always betrayed his earnest desire to be anywhere other than at a rich boys' Catholic high school, would then peer down the barrel to verify. If the sergeant did not find the student's rifle worthy, the student would clean his fake rifle again. And again. And so on.

My first time cleaning my fake rifle did not please the young sergeant. I processed the barrel and submitted for inspection. Nothing doing. I reprocessed. Unh unh. Re-reprocessed. Again insufficient. I looked the snot-nosed prick right in the eye and mouthed the words: you son-of-a-bitch. He dropped the fake rifle and grabbed me by the collar, marching me out of Campion Hall across the yard to Father Reinert's office in Kostka Hall.

"Nobody calls me a son-of-a-bitch! Nobody! Especially no damned elite Catholic bastard!"

He went in first and I sat out in the hallway. When he was done he left and I entered the lion's den.

It was a true confrontation. I just knew I was about to be expelled. I was as scared as hell. To make a long story short, I lied. I said I didn't say it. Father bore down on me. I stuck to my story. He bore down some more. I cried. He let up finally and dismissed me from his presence.

Three weeks later the young sergeant was transferred. Father Reinert and I became fast friends. Later on in Spring, I won the Clifford Medal for best R.O.T.C. flunky as determined by a contest before the stands on Mothers' Day, and in my senior year, was promoted to captain, Battalion Adjutant. It pays to lie your brains out.

I graduated from Campion Jesuit High School in 1948 and, when North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950, and President Truman ordered in the troops, I joined the U.S. Air Force. I thought they would be proud to have an R.O.T.C. graduate, but they didn't seem to give a crap. Instead they assigned me to language specialist and I was transferred to the language school at Monterey, California, to become a Russian Language interpreter.

December was upon us and on my way to Monterey I took a ten-day furlough in Lexington, Kentucky, my home town. My friends informed me that a Christmas Eve formal dance was being held at the Country Club, so, all dressed up in my Air Force blues, I tagged along. The Colonel was there, looking around for something to organize. Then standing in the ballroom I saw a perfect vision in white entering the hall. It was beautiful Suzanne Stanfield, my friend for twenty years. She saw me and cried, "Dickie!" I took a drink of Bourbon and grabbed her onto the dance floor and that was the evening: me, bourbon and Suzanne. Everybody drinking, dancing.

When it came time to close down the festivities I said goodbye to beautiful Suzanne Stanfield and chose to ride back to town with Colonel Houlihan, the insurance man, in spite of the fact no one else would ride with him after all that bourbon.

Going down Euclid Avenue (Avenue of Champions) the Colonel drove his Chevy at about 45 mph under the rear end of a flat bed truck parked next to the University of Kentucky football stadium. He got out without a scratch. But it took two days for me to wake up in the Good Samaritan Hospital with a fractured skull. I was two weeks late getting to the language school at Monterey.

Harry went on to marry Mary McCarthy, a pretty girl from my grade school class at St. Catherine Academy. I lost track of him after that as I moved on to other parts of the country. A couple years back I read the Colonel's obituary in the Lexington Leader. He had died of Alzheimer's.

From Richard Rawe '48...

Richard Rawe

South and west of Lexington, between South Broadway to the west and Limestone Street to the east, lay a vacant field of triangular shape about the area of two city blocks. An outcropping of white limestone rose up about twenty feet out of the bracken near the southern baseline of the field. The limestone strata were exposed for about ten yards or so, and right at the foot of the outcrop was an almost hidden separation in the layers some inches high, just high enough for a young boy to scutter into if he lay on his back, stuck his head into the opening and pushed with his heels. This narrow opening through the formation of limestone we knew as Picadome Cave.

Late one Saturday in the summer of 1944, Bob Maxwell and I rode our bikes out to Picadome for the first time. The afternoon was cool, clear, and bright with a lowering sun. It had to be in June because I remember the catalpa tree on top of the rise in full bloom and aswarm with bumblebees still chasing nectar in the white panicles. With Eveready flashlights hooked to our belts, we left our bikes by the wire fence, climbed over, and ran through the waist-high mustard weeds toward the cave. Our laughter flushed a covey of robins from the overgrowth as we drew near.

Bob ran to the rocky cliff bathed now in early twilight shadow and climbed to a small ledge to search for fossils or galena crystals. I watched for snakes. I knew they liked to sleep protected by rocks, but after the rising sun struck them early and warmed their coiled bodies they moved out into the open. I poked a stick around in the cracks between the strata trying to scare up one of the slithering critters without result. I smiled in gratitude at my failure and called for Bob to come down and begin our exploration of the crack in the base of the outcrop.

Out of the cave's mouth, and puddling ultimately in a swampy region of the field, ran a small rivulet, a chalky deposit lining its path. Off to one side, a depression in the smooth base-plane afforded ample room to slide into the darkness on our backs. The roof of the cave was rough at this point. After about five yards into the cave, the roof sagged a few inches slowing our progress. Bob squeezed through first and, bumping my head on the hard ceiling a few times, I followed. I tried to conceal the apprehension I felt tapping me on the shoulder and saying, "Psst. What if this rock formation isn't stable? What if you fall in a hole and can't get out? Hmm?"

The ceiling rose again and we pressed on, still on our backs, until we encountered stony rubble in our path. Further on we could stand and, looking back to where we entered, I could see a sliver of golden daylight.

Then the ceiling of the cave disappeared and what had been a rat hole unexpectedly became a cathedral. Our mouths gaping, we scanned the cavern with our flashlights. The ceiling soared ten feet or more over our heads and the room we were in ran on for a good ten yards. Scattered stone fragments covered the floor which was slippery and wet. The walls of the room appeared to be a conglomerate of clay, sand, and rocks. An irregular pillar standing in the center of the room supported the ceiling. To the right and left yawning holes in the walls opened to tunnels leading off into darkness. The air was dank and warm. We searched the rubble on the floor for crystals, but the floor had been well searched before us.

The beam of Bob's flashlight was turning yellow, a sure sign of weak batteries, so he switched it off to conserve power. In 1944, fresh batteries were good for about an hour of use and Bob's batteries were not fresh, nor were mine. We carried no spares so our time in the cave was limited. We'd have to explore fast and get out of there.

Bob selected one of the side tunnels for our scrutiny. He went first, scrambling up a ramp of stone fragments to the opening, while I lit his way with my flashlight. The tunnel was low forcing us to stoop as we squeezed through. The clay furnished few handholds as we began a steep descent. Other tunnels intersected with ours and we stopped to peer down them as far as we could, and then continued.

After some distance, the tunnel turned sharply to the left and opened on another room. The tunnel opening was some five feet above the floor and Bob jumped down. I followed but lost hold of the flashlight I was carrying, dropping it to the floor of the room where it went out. A deep blackness closed in on us. The blackness in an unlit cave cannot be well described. It is total. One loses all sense of direction as a curtain of dark descends creating the illusion one is cast deep within solid ebony.

Bob switched on his light at once and shined it down to the floor where I had landed. We were in a limestone-walled room smaller than the first. I found my feet and picked up my flashlight to switch it on but there was no light, as the fall had broken the lens and damaged the bulb. My apprehension had not warned me about this. I was mortified by my clumsiness.

I told Bob we ought to switch my stronger batteries to his flashlight. We tried, but the batteries in the two flashlights were of different size. We were now dependent on Bob's light alone. "We better get out now," I said, "while we still have some power left in your batteries." He shined the dim yellowing beam around the room discovering a pool of water at the far end. He wondered aloud if blindfish swam in it. "It's time to leave," I told him, "I'm going." He switched off his light to scare me, exclaiming, "Oh, the batteries are dead!" I screamed, "Bob Maxwell!" He laughed and turned the light back on. He said, "C'mon, let's go."

Getting up the five feet of smooth limestone to the clay tunnel opening in the murky rays of Bob's flashlight was a chore. Bob gave me a boost up and handed me the flashlight. "For God's sake, don't drop it," he cautioned me. I covertly tossed a rock down into the room where it clattered on the stone floor and I switched off the light. "Oh, my God!" I screamed. "Turn it on," Bob said unfazed by my maneuver. It seemed each time the light was turned on it had faded noticeably. I reached down to give Bob a hand up and almost lost my balance. To free up both hands, I parked the flashlight against the tunnel wall and got a grip in the clay. Bracing myself with difficulty in the slippery tunnel opening, I reached again for Bob. His hand closed on mine as his foot slipped from a step in the room wall. After three tries, Bob was in the tunnel with me. He picked up the flashlight and we started back up the way we came.

It was rough going for a while. We slipped several times and slid backwards until we could catch a spot in the clay, but eventually we arrived at the opening to the first room. It was at this point that Bob's flashlight flickered and gave up the ghost, plunging us again into total blackness. At first I thought he was playing another prank just to scare me. "Got a match?" Bob asked. "No." "Take my hand," he said, "and don't let go." I did as instructed and our trembling hands locked. Bob took the lead. "I think I know the way. Easy. Step down on this pile of rocks."

I followed him, my free arm stretched out in front of my face and my feet shuffling along the floor of the room, turning right, then left, then right again until Bob said, "The way out is over here, I think." But there was no sliver of daylight that I remembered seeing where we entered, only blackness. We were finally lost, I was sure. "We're lost!" I said.

My head bumped sharply against a hard ceiling and hope rose like a flame that we were saved. We must be in the shallow entryway! We went down on our backs, pushed with our feet, and scuttered rapidly across the limestone. Hope, yes, but why couldn't I see the light from outside? Could we be scooting down deeper into the black caverns of Picadome Cave?

Then there was the sweet-sour smell of mustard weed and soon the song of crickets and the glorious sight of a pale moon sailing across the sky above Picadome field stretching out in the dusk in front of us. Our hands still locked together, we stood and sucked in the bracing evening air.

One day some months later, when Bob Maxwell and I were off at Campion High School in Wisconsin, Bob approached me with a clipping from the hometown newspaper. It read in part:

"Workmen sent Tuesday morning to seal the entrance to Picadome Cave discovered the bodies of two boys who apparently had been playing in the cave at the time of the recent cave-in. The boys, both thirteen years old according to records filed by the Police Department, had been reported missing by their families . . . "

From Ed Vacek, S.J.

I taught at Campion for two years. 1967-69. I was a Jesuit scholastic living on the first floor of the Freshman dorm, Marquette Hall. As I recall, for some strange reason I kept a white rat in a fish tank in my room, and students would visit me there. I taught Geometry and then French, and I was active in liturgies and the like with Brother Larry Gillick, who, at the time even though he was blind, was petitioning Rome to be able to be a priest. Andy Thon, now big wig at Marquette University, was there as were many other Jesuits.

I left to do my third year of regency at Creighton University where I taught philosophy. I went from Creighton in Omaha to study theology for two years in Cambridge, MA. I went back to Creighton for another year, this time teaching -- strange as the combination must seem -- both logic and Zen Buddhism. I was ordained at the end of that year, and I entered doctoral studies at Northwestern University outside of Chicago.

. . .

Many years could be filled in, but for now let me say that I have been teaching religious ethics at Loyola University New Orleans for the past three years. I do a lot of priestly work here, and it is a very worthwhile enterprise here. New Orleans tends to belong more to the Caribbean that to the northern United States, so I think I am doing mission work here.

Blessings on all.


From Douglas Leonhardt, S.J.

This is Doug Leonhardt, S.J.. I was a Jesuit scholastic at Campion 1963-66. Lived in Campion Hall and Lucey Hall. Taught freshman and Senior English. And I was the moderator of the Campionette for two years. At the present I am the Jesuit Superior of the Jesuits in assisted living at St. Camillus in Milwaukee. There are fifty-eight Jesuits in this community. In my work as a Jesuit, I have been principal and president of Marquette High, Pastor of Gesu Church in Milwaukee and various positions for the Jesuit formation of younger Jesuits.

Doug Leonhardt, S.J.

From Fr. Robert Joda, S.J.

Dear Tom,

I taught Latin and English at Campion from 1952-1955 as a "Mr." before ordination . Have attended two 50- year class reunions of the 1954 and 1955 classes. After teaching German language and literature 50 years at Marquette University, I am living in a retirement community in Milwaukee.

Father Robert Joda, S.J.

From Jonathan Haschka, S.J.

Prays for the Church and the world at Camillus Jesuit Healthcare Facility, Wauwatosa, WI.

Fr. Bill Kidd, S.J. has moved to Camillus while continuing to trouble shoot in the IT department at Marquette U.

Fr. J.J. O'Leary, S.J. - 1965 Reunion Report

Report of JJ O'Leary, S.J. on the recent Chicago Reunion of the
Campion Class of 1965.

October 23, 2015

Dear Tom:

I was a scholastic at Campion from 1959-1962. On October 15-18, 2015, the Class of 1965 met in Chicago at the Embassy Suites in downtown Chicago. This was my third reunion meeting and they all have been amazing and enjoyable experiences. The 1963 reunion was organized by John Duskey, helped by George Gehl, and took place in Brookfield, Wisconsin in July 2013. John made name tags with a picture of how each of us looked in1963. At John's suggestion we made a pilgrimage to the Jesuit burial lot in Calvary Cemetery in Milwaukee to visit the graves and said the Rosary stopping after each mystery to chat about the Jesuits we remembered from our Campion days. The 1964 class had two reunions, one in Prairie du Chien and one in Chicago, The reunion in Chicago was organized Bob La Chance and he did a tremendous job. Fathers Joe Eagan , Joe Pershe, and Jim FitzGerald and I drove down.

Coming back to the 1965 reunion, we met in Chicago at the Embassy Suites and this reunion was organized by John Hoag, Tom Clancy, Jack Dudek, and Chuck Corbett. I took the train to Chicago and went to the Embassy Suites and found people present. After a brief introductory chat, we went down to the Mississippi Room and Jim App put on a delightful concert with his guitar and singing. It was very professional. Then we had Mass and a general absolution organized by myself so that everyone could go to Communion, [Tom, you might want to censor this, but maybe this is what Pope Francis wants]. After Mass we boarded abus to the Spirit of Chicago where we enjoyed athree hour dinner cruise. Sunday after breakfast we departed. What surprised me was how much the men remembered going back to 196 M was the head Prefect of Junior Division and many of the group thanked me for being so kind to them. This made me recall that every morning I prayed for them that I would treat them with a firm kindness and kept reminding myself that they were only 15 and I29! As I told them at Mass, I thanked them for all that they taught me in my three years at Campion. I was planning leaving the Jesuits when I went to Campion but after my three years with them I decided to remain in my vocation. I was told that I would return to Campion after my Theology courses and spend my life there, but in my Tertianship year I received a letter telling me to go to Rome for further studies and, after studies there, I would be assigned to work with young Jesuits in their formation. I was very disappointed because I looked forward to refurning to Campion. However, the way it al1 worked out for the better because of the brief life of Campion in the 70's.

The reunions helped me put closure on a remarkable three years of my life. The one mistake I made was when I struck a student but, with John Duskey's help, I called Tim up and apologized. Tim said, "Father if you hit me, I deserved it." I was aware that each student was most precious in the eyes of their Mom and Dad; I never should have done that. How many of you reminded my telling you, "Never touch a Jesuit." So thank you Campion students for all that you taught me.

Welcome Campion High School 50th Reunion {Schedule of Events}
      12:00 PM to 5:30 PM Campion Reunion Suite, Room 1205
      1:00 PM Lunch Bellwether
      4:00 PM Check In
      5:30 PM  to 7:30 PM Complimentary Cocktails in the Lobby
      7:34 PM  to 10:30 PM Bellwether Restaurant, Ground    Floor
      7:30 to 10:30 AM Complimentary Breakfast
      12:00 PM to 3:00 PM Afternoon Activity of Your Choosing
      3:00 PM  to 4:24 PM Timothy App Concert-Mississippi Room
      4:30 PM Mass-Mississippi Room
      5:30 PM Complimentary Cocktails in the Lobby
      6:10 Board Busses for Navy Pier
      6:45 Group Photo at Navy Pier,  Prior to Boarding Spirit of Chgo
      7:00 PM  to 10:00 PM Dinner Cruise on Spirit of Chicago
      10:30 PM & 10:45 PM Busses Return from Navy Pier
      7:3O to 10:30 AM Complimentary Breakfast
50th Reunion Attendees [Complete List]

Class65 Reunion Pic 2015

Paul McCullough '70 - 1970 Reunion Report Class70 with Bikes 2015

The 1970 reunion at Chicago's Union League Club (ULC) was well attended, with approximately 40 alumni - some from far away Class70 Bikers 2015 as Ft Lauderdale FL and Anchorage AK. Events included a well subscribed bicycle tour Saturday of Chicago and a 5K run Sunday morning that at least one alum participated in. A class presence was maintained all day Saturday in the Wigwam Room, where students came and went. A private dinner was held at The Palmer House Saturday evening, followed by a class sing-a-long back at The Union League Club for a classmate who was unable to attend.

Class70 Reunion Pic 2015

Class of 1970 Alumni, Rendezvous Room, ULC - Friday evening, November 7, 2015

Class of 1960 55th Reunion Report

During the dinner Jim Benso the class of 1960 valedictorian honored us by finally giving us his valedictorian speech.

Our classmate Tony Wach, SJ sent Dave Zamierowski information about the development of Ocer-Campion HS in Uganda.

Each attendee received a commemorative CD with 1960 music compiled by Mike McErlean - Thanks Mike

Campion did receive us as boys and graduated us as men. More importantly, we all graduated as brothers. We formed a family at Campion. At our family reunion, we enjoyed getting together and catching up, but we also missed those who have departed and those not able to be there for whatever reason. If you were not able to join us please remember that we missed being with you. Look over the directory and make contact. Hopefully, most of us will be able to enjoy getting together at our next reunion.
Burke MacDonald

To All,
I had a great time at the 55th reunion! Fifty-five years is too many summers of separation, and as long as we keep the reunions within reach of Cincinnati, you are going to have to get used to my presence. I avoided looking at what is left of our high school. I had my issues with Campion, with our education, with the Jesuits. But all things considered, it was an excellent four years, and that ground deserves better than what it has become. Best to all. And remember: Birthdays are good for you, because those who have the most of them live the longest.
John Overbeck

[EDIT]: The full report with boocoo nice pictures and more located here (9.5 MB PDF).

Robert Bruchs '73 informs us...

While going through the Summer 2015 publication of Partners (a publication of the Midwest Jesuits) there are short blurbs written by Fr. DiUlio and Fr. Haschka for the occasion of their 50th year with the Jesuits.

Fr. DiUlio's can be found here.
Fr. Haschka's can be found here.
Also, here it can be seen that...
Fr. Joseph F. Eagan has 75 years
Fr. Robert W. Leiweke has 70 years
[EDIT]: Also...

60 years in Society...
Edward C. Gill, SJ
Thomas N. Schloemer, SJ
D. Edward Mathie, SJ
Richard J. Hauser, SJ

50 years in Priesthood...
JJ O'Leary, SJ
John P. Donnelly, SJ

From Joe Mascari '58...

Altar While driving down to Florida last week took a little side trip to Rome, GA. St Mary's Catholic Church in Rome purchased the Altar at our chapel. Yes, the one we looked at every morning at 6:30AM mass for four years.


[EDIT]: History of our Altar moving to Rome (Georgia) is here.

Morgan McFinn - AKA Don McCoy '69 sends this...

Guy Shoots A Hole In One
Morgan McFinn

Sidney is a friend of mine from Chicago who now resides in Arizona. Since retiring from a billboard construction business he has occupied himself with two primary concerns…his golf game and his health. I suspect that he exaggerates his handicaps with regard to both issues.

In an e-mail that I read this morning Sidney complained about his doctors. A cardiologist told him that his pacemaker is working fine and that the battery should last another five years. Sidney is worried about occasional palpitations and believes the battery should be replaced. A dermatologist examined a sore on his shoulder and prescribed an antibiotic ointment. Sidney fears that it is skin cancer and wants a biopsy performed. He plays golf on a regular basis with both doctors and is into them for a goodly amount of the green stuff.

“Those two young quacks are setting me up for a fall,” he wrote. “They’re just pissed off about losing so much money to me. Just the other day, one of them had the nerve to imply that my handicap was too high. Imagine that!”

Having played several rounds of golf with Sidney I can assure you that such an implication would not require much imagination.

Although, like so many Americans, Sidney is obsessed with his health. They are scared to death of the one thing in life that is absolutely inevitable…namely, death.

“Believe it or not,” he continued, “there are moments when I really and truly envy Mabel. She doesn’t give a damn about her health. What bliss that must be.”

Mabel, Sidney’s wife, has been dead for three years.

She was a very sweet woman who put up with Sidney’s bouts of hypochondria and tiresome narratives of his exploits on the golf course. Mabel would often doze off listening to him without his even realizing it. He just kept on talking. Allegedly, she died in her sleep late one evening.

“I’d been telling her about the day’s round of golf but, saving the best till last,” he recounted. “Then I got to the big whammy…17th hole, 168 yards, flushed a six iron as pure as ever and the ball rolled right into the cup. Only hole-in-one I’ve ever had. Most exciting moment in my life and Mabel just sat there not saying a word.”

If he hadn’t been so upset about that, Mabel might have sat there dead until Sidney came down for breakfast the next morning. As it was, he moved closer to her and began to repeat the story. Not sure how far along he proceeded but, it eventually dawned on him that his wife had become a corpse.

Fortunately, I don’t worry so much about my health. Worry creates stress and stress creates disease. That’s why it’s called disease…dis-ease. Genes are critical and I have good genes…my mother’s genes. She just turned eighty-seven and is in robust health. Of her five children my body type resembles hers the closest. With plus and minus a few salient features, of course.

As for golf…it’s a marvelous game which I used to play a great deal before moving to Thailand nineteen years ago. Since then, I may have played a dozen times. Still, I maintain a 14 handicap…every club in my bag is a handicap.

The one sporting event of the year that I make a special effort to watch is The Masters Golf Championship. I consider it to be one of the greatest spectacles of human drama on any stage. “Grace under pressure,” as Hemingway would put it. Magnolia Lane, the Butler Cabin, Bobby Jones, the Green Jacket…all played out over four days on a piece of real-estate that probably comes closest to resembling The Garden of Eden.

I realize that many, if not most, people consider watching the game to be a colossal bore. Odds are that’s because they’ve never played it. I would encourage all moderately well-to-do people, regardless of their age, to give it a try. They may find it stressful but, a lot less debilitating than worrying about their damn health.

Ghost of Joe Campion Mischief...

RedBook at Cathedral Rock RedBook at Red Rock

Campion Day of Remembrance
Class of 1970 tradition
December 4th for Alumni
December 1st for Saint Edmund

Alumni who have passed in 2016:
Glenn M. Burkholder19532016-02-10San Antonio
John T. Kalb19462016-02-15Dubuque
Michael Luke19722016-02-20Chicago
Martin L. Ohlert19592016-02-26Prairie du Chien
Thomas J. Rieckelman19702016-02-29Glenview
Donald E. Casey19422016-03-14Lake Forest
Michael B. Lange19522016-03-19Tiffin
Christopher B. Braun19722016-04-02Decatur
James J. Williamson19472016-04-14Appleton
William G. Simpson19412016-04-24Chicago
Irvin B. Bruce19472016-05-28Colorado Springs
John J. Gaffney19572016-06-01Rockford
Abbot G. Spaulding19512016-06-04Homewood
Michael R. Obmascher19692016-06-28Prairie du Chien
Chuck Lambeck19602016-07-04Oshkosh
Robert A. Westerkamp19522016-07-05Lakewood
Timothy J. Stock19632016-07-09Rock Island
John Joseph 'Jack' Becker19472016-07-25Park Ridge
Jim M. Temple19532016-07-27Des Moines
Patrick F. Brady19632016-08-10Chippewa Falls
James W. Ryan19722016-08-11Janesville
Patrick L. Crooks19522016-08-26Wausau
John R. Toomey19502016-08-28Oak Park
Thomas G. Doran19542016-09-01Rockford
Philip Sharkey19542016-09-04Toulon
George William Parker, MD19532016-09-05Delaware
John David Farrell19552016-09-18Clarksburg
James W. Bayley19572016-10-03Lafayette
John L. Thompson19632016-10-28Atkins
Bob Haverkamp19532016-11-08Naperville
John E. Bernbrock, S.J.19442016-11-11Aurora
James W. Ryan19572016-11-18River Forrest
Ralph Lawrence Schiavone19702016-12-20Berkeley
Robert S. Maxwell19472016-12-26Lexington
Denis D. Faber, M.D.19532016-12-28Dubuque

Alumni who have passed in 2015, 2014, 2013.
Faculty who have passed:

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