Browsing Posts published by Mike Rush

You will soon receive a notice from HBS about the rugby reunion. It has been approved to have our rugby reunion in the usual HBS reunion weekend and we will be able to take advantage of the HBS Alumni Reunion support such as activities on campus/food and seminars. If this is your normal reunion year, you will have to register with HBS for your class year if you want to do your section parties and Saturday activity with your class. Our rugby functions are separate and set up by us, but we have excellent administrative support from HBS.


  • October 4th Friday night cocktail reception downtown, 1 International Place
  • October 5th Saturday day: rugby activities/games/cookout on the Harvard Pitches
  • Saturday night: Gala formal 50th dinner at Harvard Club, Commonwealth Avenue
  • Other details to follow after we start with the HBS Alumni notification from their staff. This will be an event for all former and current ruggers at HBS so be prepared for first come/first served decision once we decide on costs and other final details.

Please support the RFC with any dues if you are an Old Old Boy…working capital is key as we have a big 2013 on tap!!!

Dues for October 2012- October 2013 are $ 35

Check to Mike Rush or PayPal at Make sure to select ‘Gift’ to bypass their fee…

1100 Salem Street
# 47
Lynnfield, Mass. 01940

DUES HAVE BEEN PAID LIST (as of December 1, 2012):

Ferrara, Bob
Ferrara, Ray
Watson, S.

It was warm, the leaves russet, the pitch dry and the beer cold… could we have asked for a better environment to welcome back the alumni in their annual Columbus Day weekend tussle with the HBS wannabes!

The Bleacher Bar Friday night was an interesting venue to see another field of dreams…one dashed by a horrible Red Sox season. Was this a harbinger of the next day’s contest for the young’ns?

The set up by Regan the Terminator Turner turned out to be an excellent place to clink glasses and prepare the lads for an outstanding evening.

The Saturday match, ably refereed by Big Bird Rush and then the master arbiter, Lord of the Rugby Dance John Fitzgerald, was a back and forth affair with many a lunging at air and visions of the “backs of the backs” heading for try time. The Old Boys leapt into the lead with tries by Saul de la Guardia, Liam Patrick and Josh Walton and seemed to be putting a mighty whooping on the youth of HBS. But Zach Simmons managed to swivel hip his way to two tries, Shwan Kazzaz dipped in for another and the game was closer as the tries were converted by the bulwark foot of Zach Simmons, albeit at point blank range. In the next two periods Molonai Hola ripped off his usual Island Hop for a try and Smiling Jim Pottow completed a lovely give and then get back for a two try lead. In the last period, Pops Poppinga managed to dislocate a tackler’s pride with just a twitch of his elbows for a nice touch it down, to offset a mighty field locomotive in Mike Porter who ripped off a long run through a flailing Old Boys effort. Final was 30 to 26 Old Boys, but after the beer drinking, no one remembered the score nor the fact that the referees were both Old Boys… often the portent of a liberal reading of rugby law!

Many thanks to Gene Skowronski, the eminent field chef, and his dancing brats! Tommy Doyle’s never heard such a heavenly choir as Stuart Haughton, Gene Skowronski and Mike Rush were hard pressed to match the theatrics of Jumping Josh Walton, but a good bum titty it was and the cheers echoed into that good Cambridge night!

Next year is the 50th celebration which will be the weekend of October 4/6, 2013 so please refrain scheduling any training or dental work for that weekend. We will take care of it in our own way!

Details for the weekend gathering of the clan:

Friday, October 5th – 6 to 8pm
Old Boys and Current Side drink

Bleacher Bar, Fenway Park
82A Lansdowne Street
Boston 02115

Saturday, October 6th – 10 to 11am
Game & Cookout – Old Boys vs. Current Side… cookout with Geno “Emeril” Skowronski to follow.

Harvard pitch (usual location near tennis courts) Be on time since we have the pitch for only that period.

Harvard will be playing Cornell at 1pm in the stadium for football lovers…

EVENING: SingaSong with wet whistles at Tommy Doyle’s, near Harvard Square, Cambridge

Columbus Day weekend is closing fast and here are the details:

Friday, October 5th Drink up/light food at HBS building/near campus at 6 PM… website will post final location.

Saturday October 6th Rugby match begins at 10 AM on usual Harvard pitch; alumni vs. current lads.

Cookout at 11:30 AM with Chef Geno Ski Cat

Tough time to get fields as Harvard plays Cornell in football at 1 PM… evening to be at Tommy Doyle’s…

Current side also has a game Sunday morning October 7th on the pitch… details to follow.

Renew the bond! Please pass this on to any HBS outliers who pretend they play rugby!!!

Ranger Rush expects to see you there.

Remember your days on the Kresge pitch and the Harvard playing fields — wearing the crimson and white, singing and toasting your brothers in the manly sport of rugby! Calling all rugby players from HBS to return to your rugby roots for the October 4 through 6 weekend at the 50th anniversary gala. Formal reunion dinner, rugby games, merriment and liniment available! Help us find your rugby brethren and let us know where you are!

Contact Mike Rush ’72 at or 781-842-4696

Note the date is 2013 so mark it down now and plan ahead!

On April 15, the remains of our good friend and classmate Tom McLaughlin were interred in Arlington National Cemetery, surrounded by the white headstones marking the graves of other of our nation’s foremost military heroes.

Most of us were aware Tom had served with the armed forces in the Vietnam War, but I’m reasonably certain none of us knew the full extent of his exploits until the days leading up to his death.  Punctuated by a photo of Tom in his flight suit standing out front of his F-4, his obituary in the Boston Globe took up most of a full page.  Reading it, I learned that Tom, a Captain in the United States Air Force, has been one of the most decorated veterans of the conflict.  Awarded the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross and Four Oak Leaf Clusters (meaning he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross five times) and many other awards and citations, Tom’s exploits, let alone courage, defy description.  In fact, my view is that had we known the stories about Tom, some of us might have had difficulty striking up a conversation with him.

Which is my guess why Tom never mentioned a word about any of it.  To anyone—apparently even Tom’s wife Sally and his children were only told necessary details.  It was not until his doctors had told Tom late last year of his deteriorating condition that he had mentioned to Sally that there was a wooden box full of things from the war he needed to talk to discuss with her.

The evening before the ceremony at Arlington, Bobby and Mary Haft, Martin and Diana Hannes and Bill and Mary Schleyer hosted a gathering at the Hafts’ home in Washington, D.C.  Together with Sally, Tom’s three sons and several members of the family, a host of Tom’s Section A classmates and their wives in many cases—John Bunce, Bobby Haft, Martin Hannes, John Hauge, myself, Doug Martin, John O’Donnell, Billy Schleyer and Dan Shypula—as well as several additional members of HBS Class of ’77, including in particular a dozen or more HBS Rugby Football teammates, spent hours celebrating Tom’s life and reminiscing.

The next day at Arlington under a clear blue sky, escorted by an Air Force color guard and a full military band, Tom’s flag draped coffin was laid on a caisson and pulled by mounted soldiers, one horse rider-less, down Marshall Drive to Tom’s grave site.  After a brief ceremony in which the band performed Nearer My God to Thee, followed by a bugler playing Taps and a twenty one gun salute, the head of the color guard presented Sally with the Stars and Stripes, and we said goodbye to Tom in his final resting place under a willow tree.


I was close to Tom, not just because we were both members of Section A, but also because we both played rugby, first for the Harvard Business School Rugby Football Club, and later for the club’s alumni affiliate—the Harvard Olde Boys.  And we played both conventional rugby, and something we found more exciting:  “Seven-a-Sides.”  In Seven-a-Sides rugby matches, the teams have only seven players, not fifteen as in conventional rugby, meaning the game is much quicker.  And grueling.

My fondest and most admiring memories of Tom were when we played together for HBS in Seven-a-Sides rugby matches.  Due to their taxing physical demands, Seven-a-Sides matches are shorter, and therefore are played in a tournament format.  The lucky teams win and move on, but watch out what you wish for:  keep winning and you must play multiple matches—in a single day.

My poem about Tom for Sally and the McLaughlin family is about one of those days:

A Life

Three seven-a-sides; three seven-a-sides today.
A life of days.
I am alone: the locker room door slamming, my mates long gone.
Chilled: slumped on a bench, my head flattening against the cold metal cabinet.
Stained: the grass and crud ground into my knees and elbows, the smell packing my nostrils.
Crusted: salty sweat caked on my face and eyelids.
Crushed: my throat scratching, my lips cracking.
Wracked: the pain penetrating the marrow of my bones, shooting up my spine, breaking my ass.
Loose: my joints popped, my soul as easy as the torn athletic tape hanging from my wrists.
Content: my heart humming.
Proud: no one else could survive this.
Triumphant: I can do it again tomorrow.
At peace: the drip, drip, drip of the empty shower like the beat of my life.
Lord, I pray: don’t let them find me here.

For Tom McLaughlin
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
December 2010

By John D. Kuhns