TeamMates December 2007

Here are some recent snapshot glimpses of memories and current happenings from Cal Big C Team Mates. If you'd like to share your memories and/or what's going on in your life these days with team mates and other Big C friends, send them (the memories, not the friends) via e-mail to (use TEAM MATES as the subject line). Or, if you prefer, drop a note to The Big C Society at PO Box 5075, Berkeley, CA 94705. Either way, we'd love to hear from you, and we'll post your information in the TeamMates News section on our web site as soon as possible after receiving it.

Dick Day (Football, '54) relives this moment from a Cal football trip to the East Coast. Cal was playing the University of Pennsylvania at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. Dick was Co-Captain for the game along with Tom Dutton. At a pre-game event, Dick and Tom were presented with a special commemorative game ball by a hometown girl who, word had it, had just become somewhat of a movie star. Dick says his thoughts were on the game, and when she was introduced to him, her name went right by him. Later he learned the name of the young star . . . it was Grace Kelly

Dick, there's focused and then there's really focused. You win the really focused award!!

Thanks to Tom Adams (Crew, '52) for sharing his favorite Cal moments with Team Mates: the trip to New Zealand in 1951, sweeping Washington in Crew in 1952, going to the Olympic Trials in 1952, and four years of crew under the legend, Ky Ebright.

The All-Time Cal Rooter Championship has to be awarded to Bob Ballachey (Crew, '38). At 95 he's still seeing all the football games - from the same seats in Memorial Stadium for the past forty years. Also follows other Cal teams . . . with Big C pride and Blue & Gold passion . . . but probably not from those same seats in Memorial Stadium

The Ed Bartlett (Football, Rugby, '52) clan - 18 strong including Ed, Ann, the kids and grand-kids - recently convened in Palm Desert to celebrate Christmas, and early celebration of Ed's 80th birthday, and Ed and Ann's 55th wedding anniversary coming in April of next year. Congratulations to Ed . . . to Ann . . . and to all the kids and grand-kids for putting up with Ed for lo these many years!

Michael Blair (Track & Field, '2000) proposed to Shawna Kirschenmann while on a vacation trip to Italy and guess what?? She said YES (or Si . . . or whatever they say in Italy when the right one proposes spending the rest of your lives together)!!! Michael and Shawna will be married on August 16, 2008 in Napa. Congratulations!! (wonder if they'll serve Italian wine at the reception???)

Good to hear from Dr. Jason Clark (Diving, '89) who has been practicing Pediatrics in Redwood City for nearly eight years. He and his wife, Christine, were married at The Faculty Club on the Cal campus in 1995. They have two children - 11-year old Erik and 9-year old Kirsten.

Bob Dal Porto (Football, Track, '49) popped a few 'pride buttons' watching granddaughter Lindsey Dal Porto graduate this past June. Lindsey was a 3-year member of the Cal Dance Team. Bob is semi-retired from the cattle business & Clostom (sp ??) Farming in the Oakley area. He's also a newly appointed member of Pappy's Boys Board of Directors. (Hmmmm. Semi-retired. That sounds suspiciously like a move that involves cramming all the familiar headaches into about half the time.)

Leland Faust (Swimming, '68) was named to their All-America Team by USA Triathlon in May, 2007. Congratulations!

Bill Haines (Swimming, '60) continues to "do athletics" - thanks, he says, to good coaching from 'The Silver Fox', George Schroth (Cal's Swim & Water Polo Coach in the '40s and '50s). This past summer, Bill competed in eight (8!) sprint triathlons. He says it's a good way for a 70-year old to stay healthy. We're guessing Bill may have a financial interest in Tiger Baum or Ben Gay or some other manufacturer of magic muscle & joint pain relieving elixirs. (and if he doesn't, he should have!)

Ivan Houston (Track & Field, '48) wrote to belatedly report the sad news of the passing of his brother, Norman Houston in January, 2006. Ivan notes that Norman was one of the first African-American football players to earn his Big C - having done so in 1942 as a guard on the Cal football team. After World War II, Norman attended UCLA - where he did not play football, but did graduate (1948). He went on to a long and distinguished career in business and government. Thanks for letting us know, Ivan. We'll hold Norman in our memories.

Heather Diers (Volleyball, '04) became Heather Janiak on June 30, 2007 when she married David Janiak at Grace Lutheran Church in San Diego. David is a 2003 Cal alum and was a member of the Cal Crew Team. The two met at Cal in 2002 . . . graduated . . . and, after living in Europe for almost two years, have begun their careers. Heather is a high school history teacher and also the varsity coach for the boys' and girls' volleyball teams at Madison High. David is head coach for the mens' novice crew at USD, and works in the NCAA compliance office. 

Tom Mulcahy (Crew, '43) checked in to confirm he's still 'hanging out' (as much as any Cal guy can enjoy hanging out in Palo Alto) and enjoying retirement. He's watching his son, Tim (Cal Water Polo, '72) groom his son (whose now a high school frosh) to be the next Mulcahy Water Polo Big C winner.

In addition to reporting on his results in the Arkansas Senior Olympics in September (see Team Mates article published in November), Bill Keller (Swimming, '48) recalls a favorite Cal moment from 1948 when he and Jack Lavery were divers competing for the Bears. Jack was the National High and Low board champion at the time . . . virtually unbeatable according to Bill. The Cal meet with Stanford was at The Farm that year. Bill recalls that Stanford didn't have very good divers that year, and actually conceded the diving - giving Cal First and Second places. (Sounds like the early inspiration for their Rugby team's recent action.) Then, after conceding the diving event, they asked Jack and Bill to put on a diving exhibition from their 10-meter tower. Jack had done some diving from that height, and proceeded to do a whole series. Bill, however, had never performed off a 10-meter tower. As requested, though, he did three dives before the realization sunk in that a free falling body - hitting the water flat - reaches terminal velocity in 32-feet at about 125 mph. His first-time exhibition diving from 33-feet in the air - and his desire to accommodate the Stanford request - understandably lost their appeal. Rather quickly.

Ben Kollmeyer (Track, '93) is living an active - and 'Stanford-fee' - life in Mission Viejo. He's surfing, mountain biking and running (although, he says, not very fast). Says he still doesn't own a stitch of red clothing and once again will be refusing to put a tree in his house for the holidays. C'mon, Ben . . . how about the rush that would come from going out and cutting one down? 

Julia Nichols (Crew, 2000) just finished competing on her 5th USA Rowing National Team at the 2007 Pan American Games W4x Silver. She's an Olympic hopeful for Beijing, 2008 . . . and we all congratulate her on her past accomplishments and wish her well for the future.

Roslyn Mack (Track, '93) wrote to let Team Mates know that sister Joslyn Mack-Wilson now lives in Bulgaria with her husband Larry. Joslyn is a diplomat and Larry teaches in the international school there.

Bill MacLaughlin (Swimming & Water Polo, '53) is now semi-retired after 57 years of successful industrial and commercial real estate development in the San Jose and Sacramento areas. He founded MacLaughlin & Company in 1965 and has turned over the presidency to son Jim MacLaughlin, who earned his Big C in Rugby in 1986 & '87.

Joe Merlo (Football, '43) has moved to Bakersfield. Says he can now look out his dining room window and see his daughter's home. Also says she provides great support for her 87-year old father.

Bill Perry (Wrestling, '53) is in the process of selling his company. Plans to stay active for a while to offer advice and counsel, and also to run a couple of smaller companies in which he has interests. He also may (or may not) do some consulting while winding down. Bill's looking forward to watching his four grandsons play competitive soccer, tennis and baseball. ( They apparently don't have much interest right now in wrestling . . . but maybe college will change their minds.) Bottom line: Bill's looking forward to more time enjoying his golf and tennis . . . and less time wrestling with decisions.

Heather Petri (Water Polo, '2001) is currently training for her third Olympics. The Games begin on 08-08-08, and the women's water polo team will head to China as World Champions after capturing Gold in the March 2007 Aquatic World Championships, which were held in Australia. Go Bears. Go USA. Go Heather! 

Darryl Stallworth (Football, '87) recently left the Alameda County District Attorney's office to hang up his own shingle as a private practice attorney specializing in Criminal Defense. For all you Bears facing charges of one sort or another, his new firm is Taylor, Goins & Stallworth, and he's located at 1330 Broadway, #1701,Oakland, CA 94612. Call him at (510) 893-9465 or reach him on the web at

Jim Phillips (Football, Rugby, '65) and his wife, Meredith, live in Gig Harbor, Washington. They love the Northwest - even though it is in the heart of Husky country. They have two sons and a daughter - one of the sons lives in Bend, (Oregon), the other in Newport Beach in Southern California, and the daughter lives in Portland. Also part of the Phillips family tree: three SUPER cute granddaughters with a fourth grandchild on the way. Didn't say whether #4 is on the way to Portland, Bend or Newport Beach, but DID imply that wherever the birthplace, super-cuteness is a given. Jim has been retired for 10 years and, weather permitting, plays golf about three times a week (seems like the key phrase there is "weather permitting" . . . translation - he gets to play three times a week once or twice every year. He also still gets together with past team mates for a round of golf once or twice each year . . . says his team mates were/are the "greatest guys in the world!" (I think that means they let him win).

Ned Robinson (Swimming, '47) checked in and pointed out that, though his class year was 1947, he was allowed to compete in 1948 because the US Navy had pushed him through college in three calendar years. He also graciously shared his greatest frustration: specifically, he never lost a race in his last two years of swimming the 440 at Cal . . . EXCEPT to Ralph Sala of Stanford. Ned says they were close finishes, but "close doesn't count." It may be worthwhile noting that Sala was the NCAA Champion at that distance. Another Robinson observation: the best natural swimmer he saw at Cal was Stan Morketter. Stan was good but, according to Ned, would have been GREAT. . . except for the fact that Stan had a nasty habit of letting parties get in the way of training. (doesn't say whether he accompanied Stan to those parties . . . or was even invited) Another memory - at the conference meet in 1947, Duke Kahanamoku and the University of Hawaii swim coach invited Ned and the aforementioned Stanford Indian Tree swimmer to train with him for the next year and said that, if they did, he would "guarantee" that they would both make the '48 OIympic team. Both Ned and Ralph turned him down and stayed in school. And, Ned says, "No regrets."

Benson Roe (Crew, '39) recalls that the 1938 Cal JV Crew was defeated by Washington in April, and not funded for the IRA Regatta in Poughkeepsie, NY. So, instead of hanging up the oars, the crew organized and sold enough raffle tickets to finance the trip. Their dramatically improving performance prompted coach Ky Ebright to match the Cal Varsity against the JV boat and guess what . . . the JV boat won by 3-1/2 lengths and was rewarded by being recognized as the Varsity boat. Later that year, Navy beat them by 4 feet in the 4-mile race. The following year, however, that same Cal crew won the Varsity race, setting a 4-mile (world?) record in the process. Quite a memory . . . and quite an inspiration for all aspiring athletes in all sports. 

Dick Rahl (Crew, '55) and his wife sold their Piedmont home of 35 years in September, 2005, and now divide their time living part of the year in Oakland and part of the year in Dallas, Texas, where their two daughters and two grandsons live. No Crew offspring, he reports, but notes (with more than just a modicum of pride) that their son runs Ultra-Marathons, and one of their daughters (a physician at The Cooper Clinic in the Dallas area) is a sub-three hour marathon runner. Says she runs all over the world. Doesn't say whether that's because she loses her way a lot or (more likely) enters multiple events in multiple countries. Dick enjoyed attending the Don Bowden tribute dinner at Cal this past Spring, and says he was one of the few people in the room that night who actually saw Don beat Ron Delaney in the 1957 NCAA meet in Austin. (Dick was stationed at an Air Force base North of Dallas, flying F-86D's at the time.) Turns out Delaney also watched Don beat him that day, but from a slightly different angle.

Bob Ware (Baseball, '46) identifies three fond memories of his days at Cal: (1) beating St.Mary's Pre-Flite, (2) playing with Wayne HooperEd SanclementeJerry HuttonGeorge Quist and Sam Rosen, and (3) living with Clint Evans. Hmmmmm. Living with Clint Evans. Now there's a visual. If we had 30 or 40 pages to describe the details from that adventure we could probably sell enough copies to finance the entire Cal Athletics program for 5 or 10 years! Maybe more.

Len Wheeler (Football, Rugby, '44) reports that he and Marian are enjoying life in Avila Beach (near San Luis Obispo) on the Central California Coast. They stay busy with travel, community projects, gardening and visiting with friends. (He grudgingly observes that, during hiking adventures, the hills are getting steeper!) The Wheelers would welcome calls and/or visits from class mates. (805) 595-7008 . . . PO Box 2401, Avila Beach, CA 93424.

Perry Conner (Honorary Football, '40) was featured, picture and all, in a recent Contra Costa Times newspaper article that chronicled the accomplishments of Cal's 1937 National Championship 'Thunder Team.' Actually Perry, a guard on the '37 team, was pictured twice . . . one that was taken recently in his Cal cap in front of his Blue Cal flag that he proudly flies outside his Walnut Creek home . . . and one taken in his #39 jersey that appeared in a 1937 game program. Perry remembers his old teammates with fondness . . . especially those that still join him in following the Bears every football season - Bob Wilhelm who lives in San Rafael and Ray Rosso whose home on Lido Island lies in the midst of a bevy of crazed Okalahoma, UCLA and USC nut-cases. Seems obvious that, 70-years after they played alongside the likes of Vic Bottari, Sam Chapman, Bob Herwig, Perry Schwartz, John Meek, Vard Stockton, Claude Evans, Bill Stoll, Dave de Varona, Dave Anderson and Willard Dolman - and even through Perry, Bob and Ray are in or close to their 90's -they do indeed personify the concept of teammates when it comes to loyalty, friendship, admiration, pride and history.

Kasandra Cronin (Field Hockey, '93) is living in Vancouver, British Columbia and working as a criminal defense lawyer. She and husband Dan Lambert (who was boyfriend Dan Lambert when the two were dating at Cal) have a daughter, Monica, who was born in January, 2005. Kasandra says hey love BC, but will always be proud of their Golden Bear roots.

Lowell Holcomb (Basketball, '47) says one of his fondest memories was playing for Cal in the 1946 NCAA Championship in Madison Square Garden alongside Jim Smith (who Lowell calls his 'mentor'), Andy Wolfe, Bob Hogeboom, Cal Riemke and others under Coach Nibs Price. Lowell says he blocked a lot of shots - including one launched by teammate Bob Hogeboom which, Lowell said, was a mistake (the block . . . not the shot). He also reports that he made one free throw in the game (but doesn't report how many he attempted). And for a not-so-fond memory? Lowell hasn't gotten over not being able to take make-up exams when on basketball team trips. Oh . . . and the fact that the Engineering Dean at the time prohibiting him from playing during his senior year. (Hmmmm. Ya think maybe Hogeboom got to the Dean??) Lowell's 7-foot son, Derek, played one year under Bobby Knight at Indiana, then three years under coach Lew Henson at Illinois. Lowell wishes Derek had played at Cal. So do we.

Peter Van Houten (Baseball, '56) and his wife, Betty (Cal, '57) recently celebrated their 51st Anniversary. (WOW. That's a lot of 'Yes, Dears,' 'You're right, Dears,' and 'I'll take care of it right away, Dears'!!!) Peter worked in student services at Cal for forty years and retired in 2000. Peter and Betty now live in Twain Harte (where Peter often sees his old JV Coach, Cas Munoz . . . who keeps telling him to take two and hit to right!) While working at Cal, Peter received his Master's and Doctor's degrees from Berkeley. He now does a good deal of admissions outreach work for UC, and visits high schools all over the state while he and Betty travel. The Van Houtens have five children and eleven grandchildren. Eldest daughter, Wendy Hanson, is Director of Annual Giving for the Library at Cal.

Mel Witt (Crew, '55) has retired after fifty-three (as in 53) years in workers' compensation law that included serving the California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board as an attorney, judge, commissioner, and chairman. He also served as an adjunct professor of law at McGeorge School of Law and Golden Gate School of Law, as well as an instructor at U. C. Extension. Few more years and the guy might have picked up a little experience. In 2006, the State Bar of California awarded Mel its Lifetime Achievement Award. Mel has been married for 58 years to Dorothy H. Witt, M.A. Cal Berkeley School of Librarianship, 1966. They have two daughters: Ann is an attorney in Washington, D.C. on the staff of Congressman Henry Waxman. Mallory is a Professor of Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance. Oh and about that experience thing? In addition to the aforementioned attorney, judge, commissioner, chairman and professor stuff, Mel was also the founder, editor and publisher of the California Workers' Compensation Reporter from 1973 to 2007. So maybe he did glomp onto a couple of grains of wisdom throughout his career.

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