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Random Acts of Kindness

Welcome to the Council Rock High School Acts of Kindness Forum.

This forum is designed for classmates to add comments, photos and recollections of a classmate who has accomplished some act of volunteerism, act of kindness or accomplishment that has gone basically unnoticed and the classmate would not think worthy of sharing.

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To post a photo click on the box to the right of the "Source" box.

 


 
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05/06/15 08:49 PM #1    

David Williams

 


 

I'd like to thank Bill Pugh for honoring my request to reconfigure the website to accommodate this section.

I had an epiphany while posting a memorial for Jim Neithercott. I realized I've lost contact with nearly all of my homies and it struck me I'd like to communicate about the exceptional circumstances of classmates who remain vertical. I wanted a mechanism for giving recognition to friends and classmates who've touched me in a special way. And, I suspect I'm not the only person to feel this way. You know, honor the classmate(s) who invented post-it notes. Wait a minute, Romy, that one's taken ;-)

I have a couple of additional entries to post and I expect to get them up in the next day or two but for this first very special recognition my heartfelt thanks goes out to Creig Rossi for his help when my father decompensated with Alzheimer's Disease. This took place in 1991 and necessitated several trips back and forth from Illinois to Bucks until he stablized and I was able to arrange a transfer. FWIW, irony can be defined as being one of a team of three who implemented a dementia special care unit in 1989 to which you admit your father two years later.

Creig let me stay with his family, lent me wheels, fed, and propped me up emotionally during a rough time. I can't say thanks enough for his friendship and compassionate hospitality.


05/06/15 08:51 PM #2    

David Williams

While there's space to wax eloquent about ourselves in the bio section many of us are probably too modest. So I thought 'why not brag on one another' and with his endorsement I've taken this opportunity to showcase Steve Zettler's accomplishments. When it comes to publishing, Steve's the real deal.

What about Steve? Well, in addition to being Renaissance Man (www.stevezettler.biz) Steve is a successful novelist. Lots of people attempt to write a novel and some actually complete the task yet few succeed in getting published, especially not multiple times. I encountered Steve's gift about fifteen years ago. While cruising new fiction at my local library I came across one of his books. Thinking this can't be MY Steve Zettler I 1) borrowed the book, 2) confirmed he was the author, and 3) discovered it was a great read. Amazon shows Steve published three novels on his own and twelve with his wife under the pen name of Nero Blanc. Not too shabby. We talked on the phone a few days ago and it was good to touch base after five decades. The last time I recall our being f2f was at a Hilltop Lodge function probably during Christmas break 1965. IIRC we commiserated about the stifling provincialism of South Carolina university life. Steve dropped out of Clemson in favor of the Marines and I transferred out of USC.

Steve has made several of his novels available for download free of charge.

Way to go, Steve, way to go!


05/06/15 08:56 PM #3    

David Williams

While its gauche and unseemly to toot your own horn it strikes me as OK in the reunion context to brag on an old friend, report his exceptional achievement and share a vignette of how careers unexpectedly intersect. FYI our classmate, Alan Magee, is a remarkably successful artist. Google generates a daunting CV; academic vitae go on for pages and a tenured full prof would be jealous of the number of entries. Al once mentioned being interested in New Realism and for some reason that stuck with me. In my oh-so-limited fund of artistic knowledge NR seeks to recreate photographic images. I became a VA psychologist and in 1985 a veteran brought a copy of Time magazine to session; I can't say more without breeching ethics. Time did a ten years after edition of the war and its aftermath. The cover juxtaposes the famous image of Saigon evacuees scaling a tower awaiting arrival of the next Huey for their ride to freedom with an image of the Wall. Something about the picture rang a bell so I turned to the index page and discovered “Cover: Illustration by Alan Magee.” Boy Howdy! With great restraint I suppressed the impulse to do a happy-dance and shout, “I know this guy, we're homeys.” I thought a lot about Al and his family the next few days. I pumped gas for his dad, a great guy to work for, at Washington's Crossing Esso our senior year. My favorite memory is of shilling at the Jersey shore. Do you remember Weirdo gearhead art? Al was the Weirdo sweatshirt maven so we hatched a plan to make a few bucks and set up a mobile studio – easel and air brush -- at a boat race somewhere on Long Beach Island. I donned a sweatshirt and worked the crowd generating business while Al drew day glo Michelangelos. Now I'm certain none of you did this – and in retrospect it was crazy dumb – we got a bit tipsy that evening and had a near fender bender. The other driver, a lady, insisted upon seeing Al's license and while reading it commented, “You smell like a damn brewery.” Al responded by snatching it out of her hands and replying with a flat affect, “Where does it say that?” She chuckled, relented, and told us to beat feet.

To this day I don't know if his quip was spontaneous or a brilliant deflection. Whatever. It worked and probably spared us a night's accommodation on the Garden State.

Way to go, Al, way to go.


05/06/15 10:40 PM #4    

 

Gale Lorenc (Wiik)

David, I loved these remembrances, kindnesses, and achievements.  You write so well and have lots to tell. Keep 'em coming! I read one of Steve Zettler's wife, Cordelia's books. It was a mystery set in old world Philadelphia.  I loved feeling just like I was living in the time of 1842 discovering the clues in the novel. The Conjurer .


05/07/15 10:17 AM #5    

Patrice (Pat) Neely (Kindle)

David- Thank you for your Random Acts of Kindness. You are a talented writer!  Someone at school was reading that issue of Time. I saw the cover and thought to my self what a great job the artist had done.  A few minutes later when I found out who the artist was, I wasn't surprised that it was the Class of 65's very own Alan Magee!! Has anyone been in touch with Alan?


05/07/15 04:34 PM #6    

Barb Jerrom (Topham)

David,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the reunion web site for all of us to experience.  I often wondered what you guys did on those trips to the shore!  Hopefully you started a trend with our other classmates to share these "unpublished" personal stories!!!  What a "gift" to beable to read these accounts BEFORE the reunion and have some background in place as we meet others for the first time in 50 years!  Your thoughtfulness may be convincing enough for some folks to change their minds and COME to the reunion!!!  Tell, Pat that Alan and Monika have responded to the web site and they ARE coming!

I am looking forward to this "once in a life time" reunion!!!!  Your response is a wonderful "THANK YOU" to our hard working committee for making this all possible.   See you there!  Barb Jerrom Topham


06/04/15 08:23 PM #7    

Steve Miller

Speaking of Alan's terribly insightful art for major publicaitions, I recall one he did many years ago of the Statue of Liberty holding up a traffic signal, with obvioius meaning to red, yellow and green.  I believe it was the cover of the magzine section fo the New York Times. It is still current.  I have followed Alan's art closely since we were colleagues at CR.  He is without question one of America's great aritsts of insightul realism.

 

Can't wait for the reunion - what an incredible 50 years it has been.

 

Steve


07/25/15 10:49 AM #8    

David Williams

“The Arny saved my life,” mused Robin Hunt at the close of a lengthy conversation; our first in nearly fifty years.

Reading about our lives has been fun and informative. Since their academic stars shone so brightly I wasn't surprised to discover Bill Quinlan went to med school and Johnny Van became an attorney. OTOH, I didn't anticipate Rob's career choices and since his bio doesn't do him justice I decided to fill in a few gaps.

I can barely recall a time when I didn't know Rob. I knew him to be an artist, an entertainer, Hilltop Lodge host exemplar and owing to his being the son of two of the kindest people to inhabit Planet Earth, a person with a big heart. I recall his interest in art included performance art by way of John Zacherle (AKA Roland)-inspired, neighborhood Shock Theater. I also recall an impish side and had she known him my grandmother from the old country would have, I'm sure, addressed Rob in her thick Welsh accent as Daibando (pet name for little devil) as she did me when I acted up. I'm pretty certain he cooked up a scheme the gang hid from our parents of hitchhiking to Trenton to see Gary US Bonds when “Quarter to Three” topped the charts in June of '61. I recall his being the subject of Frank Manzo's version of sensitivity training and I vividly recall riding shotgun in his blue MGA while attempting to enter the Holland Tunnel via the exit lane for a bit of underage beer drinking. I wasn't surprised to learn he wore a variety of hats but I'll reiterate what I said to Rick Search. “You've got to give me a head's up so I can double my anti-hypertensive,” when he filled me in that Rob morphed into a medic in Vietnam and, ultimately, Senior Master Sergeant USAFR. Two words I never anticipated hearing in tandem were 'Sergeant' and “Hunt.”

After dropping out of Pratt Institute Rob gravitated from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Not your Simon and Garfunkel, Greenwich Village, Feelin' Groovy upbeat Manhattan; more like a Lou Reed, Sweet Jane, East Village-Alphabet City, down and dirty, sketchy edge version. The downward spiral was averted when Rob received his draft notice and departed NYC for a tour in Vietnam as a helicopter-borne (dustoff) medic.

Post discharge Rob made his way to and fell in love with the Northwest where he acquired a Moo U film degree. I hope my wife, also a Montana State alum, doesn't discover I've dissed their alma mater. My purpose after reading his bio was to determine if he and Linda had an MSU film school friend in common. They don't. Given meager Big Sky film-making opportunities Rob drove an 18-wheeler for several years until he resigned himself to life elsewhere. He briefly signed on with George Lucas' studio in San Francisco although he ultimately landed in Southern California and made a career in the Hollywood film industry.

Seeking contact with, I quote, “'regular people like cops and EMTs” in 1984 Rob reupped in the Air Force Reserve. He pinned medic wings back on with active duty deployments to Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom. Rob was promoted to E8 which in the NCO spectrum is the equivalent of a 3-star, lieutenant general. Additionally, with the shrinkage of active duty forces the reserves took on a more integral role in the overall military mission and Rob wound up reporting through Washington via Headquarters AF Surgeon's Office with a Pentagon email address where he became acquainted with the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. Rob retired after twenty-eight years service and he arranged to be discharged in DC on the day his eldest daughter – formerly aircraft mechanic/African missionary -- was sworn into the Navy at Bethesda to attend medical school at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Merging a desire to return to the Northwest with interest in an encore career, in 2007 Rob retired from the film industry and– pardon the metaphor mix – used his nest egg to bet the farm and buy a ranch in Ellensburg, Washington where he produces hay and natural beef cattle. Eight years in, and after breathing a sigh of relief, he reports the gamble is paying off.

What can I say in summary? Its been a long, strange trip? I don't think so. The phrase is hackneyed and Jerry bought the big, metaphorical farm. Anyway, most of us have more than just a touch of grey and the Dead closed up shop at Soldier Field a couple weeks back. How about this? Very nicely done, Rob; very nicely done.

One last thought, Senior Master Sergeant. I still have an active license and clinical privileges within the VA system so if you even think about issuing orders to this E3-turned-psychologist I'm gonna interpret it as delusional and generate a 72-hour mental health hold smiley

Here's to old friends!

 

 


07/26/15 06:14 PM #9    

Wes Kench

Some went to Canada or joined the guard to avoid real service.

Right Wing News's photo.


09/23/15 11:00 AM #10    

Linda Wiggins (Martin)

Gratitude for Margie (Yocom) and John Horn:

Margie and John Horn are two of the kindest people I've ever met. I knew it already, but it became even more apparent in 1987, when my husband (Mike) was seriously hurt. He was (and still is) confined to a wheelchair.

All during his hospital and rehab stays, Margie and John visited him faithfully, took him his favorite chocolate chip cookies, sent cards, made calls, and visited me to see if I needed anything. When they added a deck to their house, they included a ramp from the driveway - so Mike could still get into their house. We've been able to continue to visit their home through the years, and share in family events and celebrations with them. They didn't consider any of it a big deal, but from our perspective it was huge.

Thank you Margie and John - for your caring and sensitive kindness to two people who treasure your friendship. We are indeed blessed.    Linda (Wiggins) Martin


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