All Those Rowdy ‘Jesuit Boys’ Drop in for Monday Lunch

Even pandemic couldn’t pause decades-old weekly reunion at Campisi’s

If you notice boisterous talk and laughter emanating from a long table of mature fellows lunching on a Monday at the Campisi’s at Lovers Lane and Inwood Road, you are likely in the company of The Jesuit Boys. 

Sometimes referred to as the Barbers because the waitstaff initially assumed their vocation since barbers are usually closed Mondays, the group of Jesuit Dallas alums has carried on this tradition of carrying-on for over 22 years. 

I recently joined them, via an invite from Pat Lindley, for an entertaining lunch during which loving jabs and zingers flowed along with the red wine. 

“It all really began in 1985, when our 20-year Jesuit reunion rekindled old high school friendships,” member Richard Cronin explained.

A group started meeting five times a year at various locations, usually weekend excursions organized by Mike Coston (Jesuit ‘65). 

“Five times a year wasn’t enough, so a weekly lunch seemed like a good thing to do,” Richard said.

So, the Campisi’s lunch tradition was started by Jesuit ’65 alums Richard, Pat, Bill DeOre, and Jim Snodgrass. 

Several in the group grew up with restaurant founder Joe’s daughter, Marie Campisi. Marie’s son, David, now operates many of the Campisi’s chain of restaurants with his cousin Kenny. 

“They’ve been great to us,” Richard said. “We get a little rowdy on occasion, but they take it in stride. The staff treats us royally.”

For the first 15 years, the group was all ‘65 Jesuit grads but has since grown to include Gary Labac, Raleigh Davis, Bill Malone, (all ‘65 grads), Ron Caravella (‘62), Frank Hart (‘67), and youngster Mark Lindley (‘87). 

Semi-regulars include Dick Erler and Greg McCone (‘65), Dennis Furlong (‘67), Phil Civello (‘68), and Bruce Hamelin (‘64), who makes the 220-mile round trip from Waco nearly every month. Chip Brenner (‘65) even drops in from New York for every Christmas meeting.

Harazet Martinez has been their long-suffering but well-tipped server for 20 years.

“We became so close to her that we went to her wedding in Corsicana in 2020,” Richard said. 

When COVID reduced Campisi’s to takeout only, the boys retained their Monday ritual, dining 6 feet apart under the trees in the parking lot near the dumpsters.

“We brought our own tables and chairs,” Richard recalled. “Harazet would come out, take our orders, and bring everything out to us.” 

Humor has kept the boys together as much as nostalgia and camaraderie. 

Jokes, funny stories, and mock insults fly across the table with the pizza and bread. After they heard of their Barbers moniker from the staff, they gave Harazet a birthday cake with several barbers’ scissors sticking protruding from the icing instead of the customary candles.

Though some members have passed away and join them only in spirit, The Jesuit Boys keep the tradition of school, friendship, and family alive and laughing.

Theirs is a heartwarming testament to the lasting, life-enriching bonds that can be forged at an institution such as Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas.

Share this article...
Email this to someone
Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.