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Like some others, it looks like a pre-scheduled conflict may keep me from
attending the planned reunion in August. In lieu of an appearance, thought
I'd provide an apologia on my doings since Mater Cleri.
My class ('74) was the final
graduating class from MC. Some say our class
signficantly contributed to the demise of the school; they may have
something there. After MC I went to Bishop White for a semester. I still
recall my "parting" discussion with Msgr. Donnelly. When I told him that I
had decided to leave the seminary he said: "but is this God's decision?" I
replied "I don't know; but it doesn't make any difference because he doesn't
have a vote." Ah, the bridges we burn in the heat of the moment.
I continued at GU, rooming one semester with Joe Kunkel and one with Jerry
Moro. During the summers I worked on Tom Foley's staff in Washington, D.C.
and in his Spokane field office. After graduating with a degree in English,
I spent the next year and a half working in D.C. for Foley and a 3 month
stint working on loan to the White House on Carter's staff. My life as a
political staffer ended when Foley told me it was time for me to go to law
school. I ended up at the University of Idaho, mainly because they agreed
to pay for part of my tuition.
Unlike a lot a people, I enjoyed law school. After graduation I worked with
a Spokane firm for about 3 years, then moved to Seattle in early 1986.
The ex-Mater Clerians lawyers club seems to have a rather small enrollment.
I know of Mike Pontarolo in Spokane, Mike Lynch, and Tom Robinson (also in
Spokane). Kevin Grady should have an adjunct membership based on his
employment at Perkins Coie, a large Seattle firm. I'd be interested in
hearing if anyone else from MC added a JD after their name.
My wife Lori and our children (Brent, 12; Erin, 7) live north of Children's
Hospital in Seattle. Kevin and Mary Swindal Grady are neighbors and fellow
parishoners at St. Bridget's. Our kids go to school at Villa Academy, a
former orphanage founded by St. Frances Cabrini. We recently completed a
festival at the school to celebrate her life--it was especially poignant
because the school was the site of one her verified miracles.
The Mater Cleri circle still touches my life. I was able to get together
briefly with my old debate partner Jim Swindal during the fall. I exchanged
some e-mails with Brian Mee last year regarding the success of the Gonzaga
Last year I was in Spokane for a GU basketball game and decided to drive out
to Colbert to show my kids where I had spent four years of my life. I was
aware that the building had been used by the diocese for a few years as a
retreat center, then later occupied by Lakeside Recovery Centers as an
in-patient rehab facility (an irony that didn't escape me). But imagine my
shock, indignation, and dismay as I drove up past the old dairy barn at the
base of the hill and saw the sign that said "Welcome to Northwest Christian
School." Vanquished by our old enemy...Jeez. Oh well, I can cling to the
memory of Foxley beating those bastards in overtime 30 years ago, still one
of the best basketball games I've ever seen.
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