San Diego Plays Perfect Host for Class Mini-Reunion

By Mark Swanson '71, Class Secretary

Photo credits: Tim Tosta '71, Suzette Gardner

September 18, 2014

Our Class mini-Reunion took place on a warm and sunny weekend in San Diego in late September. Several Classmates managed to squeeze in rounds of golf at The Farms (where Kuntz is President) and Rancho Santa Fe GC (where Bing Crosby started his Pro-Am), or hike the bluffs at Torrey Pines State Park. The Friday night Class reception and pre-game Princeton Varsity Club event gave about a dozen Classmates a chance to say farewell to Gary Walters '67, and to meet and listen to new Athletics Director Mollie Marcoux '91 and Head Coach Bob Surace '90.

The Saturday pre-game tailgate was held under brilliant skies. Princeton alumni from all of California, along with family members of the football team from across the country enjoyed the grilled offerings and beverages. The pre-game was organized by the Princeton Club of San Diego. A palpable buzz from the Tiger faithful set the stage for an exciting afternoon of high-scoring football, in which the Tigers lost a West Coast game for the first time in its storied 145-year history of play. Princeton's intricate offense was in early-season form, as the explosive running and passing games were glimpsed intermittently. Princeton's hurry-up offense sputtered after the Tigers took the lead early in the third quarter. From then until the last few minutes of the game, multiple three-and-outs on offense led to a wilting of the Tiger defense, under the stifling heat, and the Toreros took a lead they would not relinquish. Princeton's front seven played surprisingly well for its inexperience; the biggest shock was the failure of the talented, experienced defensive backfield to make plays against the University of San Diego passing game. Long pass plays to speedy Torero receivers accounted for or led to the difference-making touchdowns.

Ron Rubinstein made a surprise appearance, sneaking off briefly from family wedding events 40 miles up the coast to say hello. The class dinner at Julie and Geoff Smith's house, high above Carlsbad and La Costa, was exquisite:  panoramic views of the coast and sunset, great fellowship, tasty Mexican food, and a variety of beverages.  71ers seen over the weekend included locals Nancy and Stu Rickerson, Rick Ostrow and Elyse Dasko, Susan and Bill Kuntz, James Alford and Dan Ruchman.  Greater Los Angeles sent Brian Langston, Barbara and Tom Sinclair, and Paul Deibel and Mark Wine and wife Carol.  The Bay Area contributed the attorney trio of Mike (and Kathy) Ladra, Brad (and Judy) O'Brien, and Tim Tosta (and Nancy Martin).   From out of state came Mark Swanson and Suzette Gardner (from Nevada), Bo Hunter (long-distance winner from Hawaii) and class president Podie Lynch (from Connecticut).  Yes, Greenwich CT is closer to San Diego than Honolulu!  Thanks to Tim and Suzette for contributions to the picture gallery.    

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