2002-10-12 / Community

1942 Notre Dame Class Holds Football Reunion

1942 Notre Dame Class
Holds Football Reunion

Notre Dame graduated about five hundred men in 1942 and close to one hundred are still alive. World War II had just begun for America so almost the entire class joined the various military services. During the years 1938-1942 twenty men from Belle Harbor and Rockaway Park were students in South Bend.

The class produced some outstanding individuals. Two state governors, many congressmen, several doctors, many lawyers and judges, FBI agents and businessmen. Frank Gabeski, for whom an airport in West Hampton was named, was the second leading Air Force ace in Europe and Korea. He was also President of the Long Island Railroad. Cliff Brosy, a football player from Ozone Park and an engineer for General Electric, upon his death, left the school almost 2 million dollars and a note of gratitude. Albert Plotkin, of South Bend, the only Jewish member of the class is now the leading rabbi in the state of Arizona. Frank Welker was a sheriff in Broward County, Florida. Most of the graduates attributed their success in later life to the very strict discipline, second only to the military academics that they lived under during their student days.

On September 12 to 15, 2002 twenty men and their wives attended the reunion at the United States Golf Academy in Plymouth, Indiana. Steve Graliker, our secretary, and a carrier pilot in World War II provided us with a huge van to visit and shop on the campus. He is the one who secured game tickets, made reservations and solved problems involving the reunion. On Saturday morning we were driven to an elaborate tailgate party and cookout prepared by another classmate, Judge Bob Miller of South bend.

As game time approached we were provided with golf carts and drivers, and taken to the sold out stadium gates to see the Michigan game. We watched a very exciting contest, which Notre Dame was lucky to win. After the game we had a catered dinner at the Joyce Center and our trusty pilot got us safely back to Plymouth.

On Sunday morning the group departed taking cars and planes to various home locations. On the plane home we began to realize what an unbelievable experience we had visiting a very special place and meeting some very special people. Present and former residents of Belle Harbor who are members of the Notre Dame Class of 1942 and the St. John's Prep Class of 1938 are Bud Conconnan, Eddie Sullivan and Jim Tracey and yours truly.

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