Sunday, June 03, 2007

Heading Back To Cabrini

Mansion_front009 Last night I headed back to Cabrini for my 15th reunion, a poorly promoted, but nicely-executed dinner for the 12 or so members of the Class of 1992 who decided to gather.  It was a pretty pathetic showing, but still a fun time.  Four members of the Loquitur 1990-91 Editorial Board made the trip, and three of us live within five miles of each other here in South Jersey.  Carlo "The Chief" Iacono, Jen Morrison Naddeo, Managing Editor, Frank Emmerich, Photography Editor and myself were there representing the '92 paper people. 


Traveling the furthest for the festivities was Mary Shimkus Keinz, who was in town from Utah.  Jacqui Ricci Seeton came over the bridge from NJ.  Kathleen Finerty Sardi also made an appearance with my first college roommate and her husband Marco Sardi.  Aside from the silver gilt hair, Marco hasn't changed a bit and it was a pleasant surprise to see him.


Also in attendance were my girlfriend, who spent a lot of time talking to Carlo's wife Anne.  Dr. Angie Corbo, Class of '90,  is Frank's better half.  We also enjoyed the company of Lisa Lipar Schweitzer and Trish Greib, Class of '93, who were escaping kids and husbands for the dinner.  Bob Walter, '05, made us all laugh when he introduced himself as 'young.'  Dude, when you're trying to hit on somewhat older women, avoid noting the age difference.


A few of the faculty and staff dropped in.  Doc Girard held court as usual.  Marilyn Johnson hasn't changed a bit.  Toni "I am busy ruining this college" Iadarola didn't bother to stay for dinner. I enjoyed my conversation with Nancy Costello about how I was struggling with the place that Cabrini has become and what it did to John Dzik.  I'm not sure she understands, but I wasn't really tying to articulate it very well.


A couple of thoughts came out of the visit. 


First, the mansion, designed as by Horace Trumbauer is a wonderful building and setting, but is being severely neglected.  The floors are warping, the fixtures are aging badly and the basement is taking water.  They need to do something fast before the centerpiece of the campus falls into ruin.


Second, the turnout was a tragedy.  I'm not sure if it was because it was poorly promoted, or because so many of the alums remain disaffected, or because it's not a particularly interesting dinner, but 25 people for a reunion dinner was awful.  I hear the young alumni beef and beer on Friday night was better attended.  Perhaps more folks went today to the mass and breakfast.  The Mansion event used to be the signature event of the weekend and it has obviously fallen off to the point that it needs to be revitalized or scrapped.


Third, it was pathetic that the college's president didn't stay for dinner.  Jolyon Girard was left to make  a brief statement that Toni Iadarola had left for the night.  One can only hope the college will survive until she leaves office.


Fourth, we all had some fun.  Both last night and 'back in the day.'  While I know it got old for the spouses and guests, we all had a great time reminiscing and telling stories about our youthful indiscretions.   Thankfully Marco was gentle in his story telling and my girlfriend if very accommodating!


Finally, I wandered through the mansion and realized how much I missed seeing some people.  John Dzik should have been able to be there, but I don't think he feels welcome anymore, despite his status as an honorary alum.  Denise Edwards was never far from our thoughts and I wish we had not lost her back in December of 1992.  The House 7 Mafia was somewhat represented, but we need to do our own thing I think.


All in all, no one has changed much.  We were good friends back then and we easily let the years melt away and slipped back into that mode.  We were most interested in talking about our kids and how wild we used to be. Our kids are all wonderful and we were wilder than we wanted to admit.


See you all in 5 years!


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