Dik's Ravings


Dik Saalfeld '80
Washington correspondent


I recently had dinner with Marty Putenis '79, his wife, and their four pure-bred Latvian children. They were in town on your typical Washington, DC vacation: see as much as you can in three days without committing infanticide. They were doing a fine job on both counts, as they are very nice to their children, but I think this is because they snork up free samples from Marty's job with Sandoz Pharmaceuticals. The wee one, fresh out of the oven, spent the whole evening wailing like a politician on judgement day. Fortunately we were in the worst Chinese restaurant in Christendom, so I didn't have to worry about showing my face there again. The 112-year-old Chinese waitress didn't mind the ruckus at all, but scolded me for getting grease on the cloth napkins; she gave me a stack of paper ones to use instead. Meanwhile, Marty's oldest son was standing on the bar singing "It's a Long Way to Riga" while his younger brother accompanied him on the hammer dulcimer, which looked suspiciously like a rack of martini glasses.

Kurt Dodd '79 is away from his desk at the US Geological Survey on a field assignment as a mole on Capitol Hill. I think it's with the Committee on Rocks and Dirt. His job is to keep Congress from firing him. He works in the coveted Rayburn Building, where I used to work when I was a congressional communications director. His work is much more important than mine was, but he has a basement office whereas my office had a glorious view of the US Capitol. Nyah nyah. Of course he has no time for staring out the window which, as far as I can remember, was my total job description. Also, I was there before the onslaught of the forces of evil, and people returned my calls. Ah, those halcyon days of yore, those pre-Newt days of bulging social programs and saftig young interns in peasant dresses.

Tom Berg '80 is living nearby in northern Virginia. He is on assignment at the Pentagon. He is pursuing a master's degree at night. He has three daughters, which means he is outnumbered by females 4 to 1. Who can ever forget Tom's immortal words, uttered during the chapter meeting in which we were discussing why we could never catch sorority chicks sleeping naked: "Guys, you gotta understand women." Ho ho! We certainly hope Tom has grown out of that phase, otherwise we can soon expect to visit him in the rubber hotel, being sure to check our belts and shoelaces with the nice man in the white suit. "Men are from Pi Kappa Alpha, Women are from Planet Gorgon."

Neil Best '82 writes that wife Paula Goldman will soon produce a sibling '19 for daughter Halle '17. Neil is Newsday's Giants beat reporter and is tired of interviewing naked sweating behemoths who can't play football.

Paul Wessel '83, wife Adele Ziesk and their two daughters moved into classier digs recently after Paul was made a partner at Dewey Balantine in New York City.

Steve Amador has yet to pony up dollar one four years after incurring a thousand dollar debt due to an intemperate wager made in 1984. For those in the dark, Steve bet me that no Democrat would be elected to the White House before the turn of the century. Steve was once a man of honor. Let's all join together in making his life a living hell until he forks over Mr. Green!

The other day my ladyfriend Kelley and I met with brothers Nate Rudgers '82 and Tom Carbone '82, along with their respective wives and children. We visited the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, then sat in the grass gabbing. Tom is closing billions of dollars worth of deals for his company, Wartsila Diesel, and Nate is still deputy commissioner of agriculture for New York. I announced my plans to regrout our downstairs bathroom. Tom's wife Carson Dombrowski '83-ish is as luscious as ever, if I'm still allowed to say that. Their two girls will be following in mom's footsteps, as I have done so often in the past. Carson's sister Dreamgirl Leslie Dombrowski '80 is finishing up a year abroad teaching the French about grapes and wine, subjects she has mastered during her tenure as a professor at the University of Kentucky. In return, the French are sending a professor from the University of Paris to teach us how to make moonshine and knock up our sisters. Nate's wife Nancy, incidentally, is still bemoaning her decision to let Nate teach the kids the "Eat Bite" song, the only ditty that could make Gibber blush. Speaking of Gibber, he doesn't call or write as often; Kelley thinks this is because my medication is starting to work, but I think it is because he keeps selling the phone cards and stamps I send him.

A bunch of guys who have nothing better to do have been egging each other on through e-mail messages to attend Homecoming this year. This could be a strong alumni-turnout year. If you do the e-mail thing, set up mailing lists of brothers and keep in constant contact with them, flooding their electronic mailboxes with jokes and pleas to attend Homecoming. Kind of a virtual fratlodge without the beer. Say, what do the boys at the lodge do now what with this nazi crackdown on student drinking? I'm guessing the days of the 24-hour-keg are over. Sure, we were indolent, intemperate laggards, but we had fun, at least according to my notes.

If anybody is interesting in developing business contacts in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, or the former USSR, I may flip to the private sector because this election monitoring isn't blowing my skirt up anymore. Call me in DC. I'm in the book.

In closing, I'd like to share something Gibber told me one Sunday morning when he woke me up so he could cut the grass, something I'll never forget: "There's something green in your hair. Also, your eyes are pointing in different directions." Damn, I miss him.

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