Roger Watson

Profile Updated: July 30, 2019
Residing In: Shippensburg, PA USA
Spouse/Partner: Patricia Colyott
Homepage: www.colyottwatson.com
www.wedoflood.com
Occupation: Insurance agent
Children: Scott 1969
Nicole 1973
Stacey 1975
Jessica 1978
Military Service: USMC  
Grandchildren:

Peter, Joshua, Benjamin, Will, Sadie and Julia - These include two sets of twins. Sure tough to see them get old - my oldest is 17 now. First one to soon be off to college. What is it about getting older that the years seem to speed up. It's like we only get 300 days while everyone else is getting 365.

School Story:

Many funny stories - sharable? Well maybe not so much. Suffice it to say our class has some very funny people!

Which Junior High School did you attend?

Warren

Which Elementary school(s) did you attend?

Williams Elementary School

Are you on Classmates.com?

Yes

Do you have an alternate mailing address?

Roger@wedoflood.com or roger@colyottwatson.com both work and would make acceptable backups.

Where were you when President Kennedy was shot? Describe the scene.

Returning from a visit to Newton South with a wonderful person whose identity shall remain secret since we were engaged in an unsponsored, unsupervised road trip.

Who was the person who most influenced your life? (For good or bad) What did they do to affect you? How is this influence affecting you today?

My grandfather and grandmother - I cannot blame them for my failures but whatever I have been able to accomplish in life can be traced back to their influence and love.

If you won a large Lottery prize, what would you do with the money?

Besides pay taxes?

What memories do you have of grade school or Jr. High?

These were the best of times. Outside of my family and a few others, I feel closer to my elementary school classmates than anyone. There is not much that I wouldn't do for them.

They were an incredible bunch of kids. Talk about being blessed.

Books or Movies that had a profound impact on your life

Battle Cry by Leon Uris

The worst moment of your life:

The deaths of many loved ones, close friends, and fellow Marines make this a plural statement, there have been many.

The BEST moment of your life:

The births of each of my children are hard to top and like the previous questions this is also a plural statement - these birth are closely followed by the births of my grandchildren.

Accomplishments you are most proud of:

My personal accomplishments are of little consequence, the accomplishments that have given me the most joy were those reached by people I was fortunate enough to be part of their lives. The people that my children have grown up to be in spite of me are at the top of my list.

Tell us all about your family; your parents, grandparents, siblings, children, g-children, etc. Who influenced you, who are you most like, which child is most like you, what have your siblings and children accomplished? Etc.

This will require more time and space than I have allocated. Like the credits, you might find in a book, I have been influenced by many, but I take full responsibility for who I am and what I have become. The good I will give credit to so many others but the bad that is all my own doing.

OK - the biggie: What have you been doing for the last FIFTY years?

Learning, growing, failing, learning, growing, failing and the beat goes on. I have learned more and grown more in my failures - so wow have I grown. I suspect that that will be my pattern until the day comes when I cannot fail anymore.

AND.... what have you planned for the NEXT 50...?

See above :)

What would you like to be most remembered for?

That I was able to make a difference in at least one person's life.

Who would you most like to see at this reunion?

The better question and the smaller answer would be who don't I want to see at the reunion.

Current Pet Peeve?

I can't respond to this - it is already difficult enough for me to cross the border into Massachusetts - If I made my pet peeve public I'd be hit with a lifetime ban.

When you were in High School, what did you hope to accomplish in your life? Did you meet your goal?

I looked to enter the Marine Corps and the go to college. After that well it was something of a crapshoot. I accomplished the first two and well I have been living the crapshoot ever since and loving every minute of it, well almost every minute.

What is your biggest regret abut your high school years?

I doubt I could reduce it to one regardless of how broad that might be. However, what sometimes haunts me are those that I hurt in some way - indifference, cocky, clueless about peoples feelings, judging people by my standard without regard for their standard. I'll stop but you get the drift.

The thought: You either hate losing bad enough to change, or you hate to change bad enough to lose covers most of my life and in high school, I didn't want to change and in so many ways I lost a great deal of what I could have had.

What is you biggest regret since high school?

I settled for jobs that paid the bills while not being willing to change to find the job that I loved or the profession.

Essay Question: "If I knew then what I know now...."

I would have dropped my focus on life being all about me and changing to focus on the needs of others, what I could do to help them succeed.

What would you like to tell today's High School students? (Before they start, during their high school years, or when they graduate).

Take ownership of all you do and who you are. Who you are and what you become is on you. Be quick to give credit where credit is due, be quicker to take responsibility for poor performance or failure. Learn from your failures because you will never learn as much from your successes. Look for the opportunity in every failure - it's there.

Did you ever skip school?

Has the statue of limitations on this run out? Is there security that will keep my grandchildren from hearing about this?

Oh yeah - it was one of my favorite pastimes - in fact some may say that I was majoring in absenteeism.

Where have you lived? States, countries, continents... did you move much?

Africa, Asia - MA, SC, NC, GA TX, IN, CA, ME, VA, FL and cameo appearances in many others.

Can you (still!) drive a stick shift? What kind of car do you have now? What was your favorite car that you owned? Did you ever get your dream car? Where did you get your license? (How many time did you have to take the test ?)

Absolutely. My favorite car was a 1990 Ford Taurus SHO that did a legitimate 140 off the floorroom. Many dream car was one that would never leave me standing and I have never been left stand - so ya I got my dream car many times over.
Got my license in West Newton on my 1st attempt.

Favorite food? Dessert? Do you cook?

Ice cream - it is one and the same. My cooking can best be described as survival cooking - you eat your failures, which are many, and when all else fails, well there is cereal and peanut butter along with what it works in all circumstances - Ice Cream.

Have you ever sung Karoake?

Everyday just about - some call it a shower.

Which college (or other higher education) did you attend?

University of Maine (Orono)

Which Reunions have you attended?

Tenth
Fortieth
Fiftieth

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Jul
30
Jul 30, 2019 at 5:33 AM
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Jul 29, 2019 at 3:37 AM
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27
Jul 27, 2019 at 5:56 PM
Jul 27, 2019 at 7:48 AM
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Jul
26
Jul 26, 2019 at 2:58 PM

Posted on: Jul 25, 2019 at 3:34 PM

On November 2nd, 2014, I had the first seizure of my life, and that seizure led to a date in an operating room on December 22nd, 2014, with a brain surgeon. The surgeon told me that I had about an hour and a half to live if I didn't have this emergency craniotomy right now. I did, and I was home for Christmas and went back to work one week after my surgery. Fortunate? Absolutely.
Why am I sharing my medical history with you? Did you notice that my life or death surgery was about 7 months after our 50th reunion? That's why I am telling you not because of the surgery but because of the reunion. Now, I will not tell you that as I was laying on the operating table waiting to for the lights to go out and wondering if they would come back on again, that I was thinking of the reunion. Nope, not at all. Yet, it wasn't long after that I did begin to think of the people, I saw at the 50th reunion, and I was both glad and thankful I had a chance to see and spend a brief amount with those I could.
July 17th of this year I had the chance to go to San Diego and spend a long weekend with David Bliss. As a bonus, Bob Biederman came down from Long Beach and spent Thursday with Dave and me. I think Bob has some words of his own that he would like to share with you about our meeting. I just want to say that we jump-started celebrating our 55th reunion early and I am so thankful that I was blessed enough to have that opportunity.
Wherever you may be living now, it is likely, that as a member of the class of 1964 you received an E-vite to our 55th reunion on October 12th, 2019 at the Woodland Golf Club (formerly the Woodland Country Club). These festivities will begin at 5 pm with the official ending time at 9 pm. Unofficial ending time is of your own choosing. If you live in the Boston area or are going to be in the Boston area that weekend (as I am) I would really like to see you there. I am still looking to meet a minimum of 5 people that I didn't know in our class or some I knew of, but I didn't know. I think that many people there would very much like to do the same thing.
We recognize that many, and perhaps most, of you live outside of the "easy to get to Woodland" area and understandably, we won't have the opportunity to spend time with you. I realize that this is rather short notice, but what if you had your own 55th reunion? I am not suggesting that you celebrate our 55th reunion by yourself but, like what Bliss, Biederman and I did, get together with classmates living in your area and celebrate with us.
Perhaps, we could even have several reunions happening on the weekend of October 12th across the country. That would be cool. It might also be cool if we could have an event reporter or two who could share some of the highlights of your event on the website so everyone could share some of your celebration with you. There is no group too small to celebrate our class' 55th reunion wherever you are.
If you live in an area where there are several of you, agree to a time and place and send it to Helen and ask if she would publish it on the website so that if someone is going to be in the Florida area and that group has plans to celebrate our 55th they stop in and join the fun.
Perhaps for our 60th reunion, we can all plan on gathering together in Newton for a weekend celebration, but for now, I would really enjoy thinking that throughout this country people are gathering to celebrate our graduation from Newton High School in 1964 wherever they are.

I want to share with you why I feel this is so important that we get together no matter where we are just to share some good times and maybe some bad because all too soon, we won't be able to do that. When I flew out of San Diego early Sunday morning July 21st, I couldn't get beyond the thought that I just might have seen David Bliss for the last time. It may be the last time I see him alive or the last time that I will see him when he knows who I am. It was great to see Bob Biederman who I haven't seen in 55 or more years, and for all practical purposes we started a new friendship, but at the same time, I might just be saying goodbye to a very old friend of 55 years.
Are our reunions meaningful to me? You better believe they are. Wherever you are, whenever you can, find some classmates and celebrate our 55th year as a class family. If you are in the Boston area, please meet with us on October 12th at 5 pm at the Woodland Golf Club. Wherever you are and whoever you are with, "let the good times roll!"

Roger Watson posted a message.
Jun
13
Jun 13, 2019 at 4:12 AM

Hi Laura, I am glad you joined. It was a joy talking with you. It was a good thing that we didn't get around to talking about your occupation, I might have tried to keep you on the phone for awhile longer. Hopefully, some other time. Thanks again, for your time.

Roger Watson posted a message.
Jun
12
Jun 12, 2019 at 10:10 AM

I expect that among our class, many of us are parents, grandparents, and even some great grandparents. If you do not find yourself in one of those categories, you have likely found yourself in an environment where you are interacting with many people, be it school, work, or socially. If so, the following may be of interest.

One of the more popular topics of late is bullying. We have all been there, either as the one being bullied or the one doing the bullying. When we think of bullying our minds most likely jump to our time in K thru 12. But bullying doesn't stop there.

We see it in the workplace or even in our social circles. I won't get into the ins and outs of the psychology of bullying, but I believe that both the bully and the bullied have issues that need to be dealt with. Living in a man's world, most men have experienced hazing/bullying in some manner, most often it is physical. I cannot speak for women, but, I have no doubt it exists. Perhaps for them, it is more mental and emotional than physical. Regardless, bullying is bullying.

Wikipedia states that; "Bullying is the use of coercion, force, or threat, to abuse, aggressively dominate or intimidate. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception (by the bully or by others) of an imbalance of physical or social power. This imbalance distinguishes bullying from conflict.[1] There is no universal definition of bullying. It is widely agreed upon that bullying is a subcategory of aggressive behavior characterized by the following three minimum criteria: (1) hostile intent, (2) imbalance of power, and (3) repetition over a period of time.[2] Bullying may thus be defined as the activity of repeated, aggressive behavior intended to hurt another individual, physically, mentally, or emotionally."

I cannot explain it, but from the time I was six or seven years old, I have despised bullying. I can not even watch a TV show or movie where someone is being bullied. Having said that I would suppose that I am not exempt from being a bully. Perhaps I have intentionally or unintentionally blocked those moments from my life. I can only say I am sorry to anyone I have bullied, and I am ashamed of what I have done to hurt them.

My intent is not to make this about my "true" confessions but rather to change our focus about bullying being about kids to bullying be something that we have to deal throughout our lives and so the question arises - What are you, what we, going to do about it?

We have an obligation to ourselves, our spouses, kids, grandkids, great grandkids, nieces, nephews, relatives, friends, and associates to look at our own behavior and ask ourselves the question: Am I bullying someone? Am I a bully? After we answer that question, the next one is: Am I being bullied?

Once we have looked in the mirror, we need to look around us to see if there is anyone we know that is being bullied and ask ourselves, "What can I do to help?" What can I do? There is no easy solution, but two strands of a rope are stronger than one.

Please watch this short video and pass it on to someone you feel will benefit from it. I have sent it to my children and my grandkids as well as many friends (please include yourself as one of my friends). It is a simple video of one solution to bullying. It might give you some ideas. There are no viruses.

https://www.facebook.com/DumbTextss/videos/2280012128889512?s=65701970&v=e&sfns=xmo

I hope you all have a healthy, safe, and wonderful summer. Enjoy!

Roger Watson posted a message. New comment added.
Jul
26
Jul 26, 2019 at 4:17 PM

Posted on: May 01, 2019 at 9:32 AM

In an on-going effort to correct undeliverable email addresses, I called Mary Hendricken Martell to get a correct address for her. In making phone calls, I have encountered out of service phone numbers, or an invalid phone number and there is nothing more I can do. If there is a valid phone number then if I do not get an answer, I will leave a message asking the person to call me back after including a brief reason for the call. I left a message on Mary’s phone, and she was kind enough to call me back.

Many of people that I call are immediately suspicious of a scam and not without reason. Whether or not I reached them directly or they are returning my call many conversations started like this: Who did you say this was calling?" " Hi ________, this is Roger Watson, I am a classmate of yours from Newton High class of 64." The response then goes one of two ways: "I don't know a Roger Watson" or " hmmm I think that name sounds familiar, but I am not sure." There is nothing like few phone calls to old (emphasis on old) classmates to make you feel humble. Perhaps Leo Tolstoy had me in mind when he said "Perfection is impossible without humility. Why should I strive for perfection, if I am already good enough?" I am not quite good enough.

Mary Hendricken Martell and I had a great talk on the phone. (By the way, she was one of those who said that the name sounded familiar.) Mary thought my phone call was about trying to get her to come to the reunion. Mary isn't interested in coming to this year's reunion because at an earlier gathering she didn't feel very comfortable or that anyone cared if she was there or not. It saddens me to hear comments like that. I went on to tell her that part of the purpose of updating email addresses is so that if there is a need for getting information to the entire class email would be the method of choice.

In our earlier reunions, some of us may have been impressed with what we were doing, the amount of money we were making, or our titles, but at this point of our lives none of that matters. From my perspective, none of those things were important back then, and they are even less so now. I do not want to oversimplify but at this point in our lives, it is all about relationships, or it should be. Consider this: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou

Mary and I talked about how she had lost touch with some of her best high school chums. I told her that she should get on the website and look to see if some of her friends were on there. We decided it might be an excellent opportunity for touching bases with old friends and keeping up with both the good news and the not so good news of what is going on with our classmates. I know that we have some people who will go out to the website occasionally to see what is happening but don't comment or if they do, they don't say too much. I wonder if we are getting the most that we could out of the website as a way of staying in touch with each other.

We are trying to get some of our classmates to write a 750 to 1,000 or 1,500-word bio about the impact that NHS and their classmates had on their lives and careers. It is one way in which we can get to know each other better. We have people in our class who have overcome significant hurdles in their lives and have matured into people that we would all be proud to say we knew.

I would love to hear any ideas that you have regarding what could be done to make the web site more useful for you.

Mary, an orphan who went from one home to another until her parents chose her. She went to Weeks, and when the school board drew the boundaries for who would go to South and would go to North, she and one other girl came to the high school, separated from her junior high school friends who all went to South. I believe Mary said that she had a daughter and a son with three grandkids. She has been a widow for 34 years. For personal reasons or otherwise, she has been cut off from many of her high school friends. Now, after 73 years in Massachusetts, she is in the process of selling her home, moving to Florida and making a new start. I am not sure where she will end up in Florida, but I hope that she will be able to contact some of her Floridian classmates.
Mary's actions and attitudes are ones that I need to try and duplicate in my own life. She spent much of her adult life as a single parent. I was also a single parent, by divorce and not by death, I was likely in a better financial situation than Mary and after seven years raising my kids, I met a young lady who has been my wife for 31 years. Yes, there are some similarities between portions of Mary's life and mine, enough so that I appreciate much of what she has done, but it would be difficult for me to match Mary's determination and courage to start a brand new life in a brand new place at 73. She is a special woman in my book. And as unusual as Mary is, I know that she is not unique in our class. There are many of you out there that have faced challenges, sadness, perhaps even despair, that have found the strength and courage not to allow your circumstances to steal your life.

None of us in the NHS class of 64 should need to walk alone at this point in our lives. We all have a shared set of failures, pain, and suffering. We all need another person or persons to share this road (whether we want to admit it) until the way ends. We need to be there for each other. Yes, we will all die alone, but I would rather face life or death at this point in my life with family and those who know me best than with a bunch of well-meaning acquaintances or strangers.

To the Marys of our class thank you. For the Marys of the class who are struggling and could use some encouragement please reach out to some of your classmates. As Mary is showing us, it is never too late for a fresh start.

By the way Mary’s email is marymartell1946@yahoo.com if you would like to drop her a line.

Roger Watson posted a message. New comment added.
Apr
28
Apr 28, 2019 at 10:20 AM

Posted on: Apr 27, 2019 at 8:47 AM

Needed: A Caring Hand

Do you remember the old saying "A watched pot never boils?" I get it. When I was waiting to get my driver's license, to enlist in the Marine Corps without parental permission, and of course the day I could have my first legal drink. Those days, trust me, I was watching, and that pot never did seem to boil. Now, I am still kind of watching, but now that same pot is always boiling. Like the old egg timer (might be more appropriate than I want to think about) with that gentle, slow, steady trickle of sand we are used to seeing now looks like an Iraqi sand storm.

Sorry for taking a long way around to saying goodbye to another April and looking forward to May.

Some time ago I mentioned that we need a way to let people know when one of our classmates could use some support. To my knowledge, this is the best way of alerting you to someone that needs encouragement.

I have been trying to contact class members whose email addresses appear to be no longer valid. I made a call to Nancy Heffren because the invitation we sent her for the 55th Class Reunion was undeliverable.

After speaking to Nancy's husband briefly explaining who I was and the purpose of my call he gave the phone to Nancy. Nancy is one of my unknown classmates, and so it took a minute for me to describe the purpose of my call. After a brief conversation, she handed the phone back to her husband to give me their updated email address.

Once her husband came on the line, I asked him if everything was all right with Nancy. She had sounded weak and tired when we spoke. He said things weren't all right and that Nancy was diagnosed with full-blown Parkinson's disease. I asked him if I could share their email address and phone number with class, and he said, please do.

If you knew Nancy, or even if you didn't, during our years are Newton High, please contact her. I think both she and her husband could use some encouraging words. They live in New Hampshire. The email address is ravencost5512@outlook.com, and the phone number is 603-424-7623.
We all know how devasting Parkinson's is, and while we can't cure it, we should give them all the care and support that we can provide.

Thanks for reaching out to them.

Roger Watson posted a message.
Apr
26
Apr 26, 2019 at 2:59 PM

I realize that this isn't the norm but I know there are a number of our classmates from the Auburndale area that might be interested in knowing that Robert (Bobby) Cerra died April 8, 2019. He was a favorite kid of many of us. He has completed his journey on this earth, may he lay his burden down and rest in peace.

The obituary from the Boston Globe follows:

ROBERT L. CERRA Obituary
CERRA, Robert L. Retired Massachusetts State Police Sergeant, Monday, April 8, 2019. Devoted husband of Mary Joyce (Flanagan) Cerra, father of Robert Reno Cerra and his wife Mary (Hamel), grandfather to Katherine Rose and Abigail Rita Cerra. Son of the late Reno L. and Grace (Gorgone) Cerra, and a longtime Big Brother to Christopher Fenton of Worcester. A lifelong resident of Newton, he was a graduate of Suffolk University and the Massachusetts State Police Academy, where he later served as a guest lecturer. During his career with the State Police, he was assigned to numerous barracks throughout the Commonwealth, as well as the investigative division of the State Police targeting Organized Crime. After his retirement in 1994, he was employed as a security investigator for several Boston area financial institutions, and later served as an Assistant Director of Security for the Massachusetts Transportation Department. A lifelong member of Corpus Christi-St. Bernard Parish, the St. Vincent De Paul Society, the Big Brother Association, the Boothbay Historical Society, the Early Industries Association, and the V-8 Club of America. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts State Police Museum and Learning Center, and the Former Massachusetts State Troopers Association. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, April 13th at 10AM in St. Bernard Parish, 1523 Washington St. West Newton. Visiting Hours will be Friday evening from 4-7PM in the Burke & Blackington Funeral Home, 1479 Washington St., WEST NEWTON. In lieu of flowers, donations to SPAM (State Police Association of Massachusetts) Benevolent Fund, 11 Beacon St. Suite 700, Boston, MA 02108 would be appreciated. Burke & Blackington BurkeFamilyFuneralHomes.com

Roger Watson posted a message.
Apr 26, 2019 at 1:49 PM

Howard, thank you for joining the website. I just wanted to welcome you aboard. If you search through the class profiles, I expect you will find some old friends there. You might want to drop them a line to say hey. Like many things the more you use this, the more helpful it becomes.

It is nice to have you with us.

Apr
22
Apr 22, 2019 at 6:02 PM

Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 at 12:05 AM

Roger, I didn't know you or of you in high school. I was lost in my studies or very involved in various outside activities aside from school. I have enjoyed your writings and getting to know you through them. Your recent words remind me of one of my favorite quotes which I have based my life on. I am sure you probably already know it.
"I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." Etienne De Grelette

Roger Watson posted a message. New comment added.
Apr
26
Apr 26, 2019 at 1:41 PM

Posted on: Apr 20, 2019 at 4:15 PM

The most influential people in my life had little or no influence in the world.

By now every member of the class of 1964 should have received an email invitation to our 55th Class Reunion to be held October 12, 2019, at the Old Woodland Country Club from 5 pm to 9 pm. If you haven't received that invite, please contact me (manyhandsfarm@gmail.com) or any other member of the reunion committee to add or correct your email address.
Helen Boyd and Robert Winograd have done a yeoman’s job of putting together a database for the class of 64. It would be great if we had everybody on the database, but that is wishful thinking. It would be nice if we were able to add as many members as would like to be included and to keep the information updated.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking to a classmate that had no email address registered with the reunion committee. I had never known her. She lived in Watertown, worked in Burlington and fulfilled a life-long dream and retired to live on the Cape. It was refreshing to speak with her not just because I had never met her but to learn about her and how she lives her life today. I won't call her a minimalist, but she is big into uncomplicating her life. She does not have email, she's not on Facebook, why, because she doesn't have a computer.
I told her that she is unique in my world - how does one survive currently without a computer? Sure, we don't know everything about a computer, but hey that's why God gave us grandchildren.

Our inboxes are overflowing with ads telling us how we can erase all of our wrinkles, or buy some new invention that will help us find the toilet in the middle of the night without having to turn the light on (I bought this, and I love it). Everyone is vying for our attention or perhaps better said our money. They tell us that people can track us, watch us and listen to us through our computers. Have computers led us into great information/technology age? Is the advent of the information/technology age just a massive scam to sell us something else we don't need, don't want, but buy it anyway, period?

My newly discovered classmate didn't quite convince me enough to trash two desktops, three laptops, three pads, and two smartphones. She did make me ask the question: Am I living a better life because of all the marvelous aforementioned "gadgets?" I don't think so. I envy her freedom. She is living "the uncomplicated life." She and I may have spent 20-25 minutes on the phone, and quite frankly that is the best 25 minutes I have spent on the phone in a long time.

Not long ago I wrote a note about Steve Carroll and his death and the impact it made on me. I commented that while I knew Steve, I played football with him for two years, I didn't know him. After 25 minutes on the phone with my classmate, I knew more about her and her life than I ever did about Steve's.

In that same note, I stated that I would try to meet five people that I knew but didn't know or didn't know at our upcoming reunion. I got a response regarding my note from Bob Biederman. Bob qualifies as one of those people that I knew but didn't know. I responded to Bob's comment and told him that I would love to meet him at the reunion. He replied that while he would like to, he would be in Sydney Australia. That little back and forth happened on March 15th of this year. If you asked me today who Bob Biederman is, I could not tell you everything about him, but I sure could hit on some highpoints.

Today, I would consider Bob one of my best friends in the class of 64 and one of my best friends’ period. If you do not know me, you will have to trust me on this; I do not take the word friend lightly.

Timing is everything. If we had known each other well in high school it is likely we would not have got along (it would be interesting for some of you who know both of us to hear your opinions), but that was then. If you want to know about the man, Bob Biederman read his book "Marbles." If you're going to know Bob spend some time communicating with him.

Where am I heading with this? Here are two people in our class, one that I didn't know and the other I knew of him, and that was it. In just more than a month I have made a friend and an acquaintance that has helped make me a better person because I am part of this class.

I realize that not everyone can attend our reunion, distance, money, other plans, health, life, in general, can get in the way. But phones, emails, Facebook, and this website are avenues that we can use to reach out to each other.

Titles, awards, degree, money, houses, fame, fortune do not make a successful person. The most influential people in my life had little or no influence in the world. Judging them by the world's standards, they were losers - no way would the world see them as success stories. The philosopher Seneca said centuries ago "Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness." What made these people special is that they lived by that simple rule and they practiced that rule at every opportunity they had.

If you want joy in your life, learn to practice kindness. Kindness is not dependent on our circumstances. What is the price of a smile, a thank you, a pleasant good morning or good evening? What is there that can prevent us from being kind? Only you and me. Frequently, on this web site, we read about people that could use a kind word, a note of encouragement or maybe even a phone call and the question I have to ask myself is “If not me then who? “

I mentioned that our classmate Jimmy Hoover was kind. It always made me feel better when I saw him, and his kindness came in the form of a smile. There is not one us in this class that could not show some kindness to a classmate (s), and there are none of us in the Class of 64 that has more joy than we need in our life. From the yearbook, from this website, from the small gatherings of classmates across the country, from the reunion, how you find them is not vital but someone(s) needs an act of kindness from you, and that is important for them and you and your joy-filled life. I know it is for mine.

Apr
16
Apr 16, 2019 at 3:20 PM
Apr
02
Apr 02, 2019 at 4:17 PM
Roger Watson posted a message. New comment added.
Apr 02, 2019 at 2:22 PM

Posted on: Apr 01, 2019 at 12:43 PM

I wanted to take some of your time to share some observations about some recent events on our class website.

Last week one of our classmates shared an experience with us that is sadly, just one of many like incidents making headlines across the country. The difference with this incident is that it took place in New Hampshire at Plymouth State University, and one of our own is right in the center of it, Michael Fischler. I would ask you to read Michael's post if you missed it.

Michael was comfortable enough to share his struggles with us, his classmates. I don't know what that might have cost him, but I hope that his example might encourage others of us to share our struggles here as well.

The example that Michael provided on dealing with a crisis in his life is one that, without being overly dramatic, could be a life-changing for many of us. Taking a tremendous personal difficulty and turning it into an opportunity for growth and change in his life, not only does him credit but allows us to see how we might deal with difficult challenges in our own lives. We might be considered old by some but we are not dead, and therefore we can still learn, and this is a lesson we should make our own.

It makes me feel very proud of our class for the many that have shared their support for Michael on this site. It is what we should expect from each other. To be willing to share another's burdens is an act of kindness that serves to make each of us just a bit better and helps to encourage a classmate that could use it.

Many of you may have noticed that we can now add teachers to our class profiles. It is a joy to honor teachers, who meant a great deal to us, to our class profiles. These teachers made such a difference at a time in our lives when we needed people that would help us move closer to be the person we were created to be. Not all of us were open to help, but those lessons made a difference maybe not so much while we were at NHS, but later at various times in our adult lives.

Bob Biederman added our principal Robert Mecham to the class profile list along with some comments about the difference Mr. Mecham made in his life. Bob's thoughts gave me an entirely different perspective on Mr. Mechem. It made me wish I had known Mr. Mecham better. Bob concluded his comments about Mr. Mechem by saying and I quote: "You couldn’t help but respect the person he was, an example I can only strive to emulate." After reading Bob's story, it wouldn't hurt me to be able to emulate Mr. Mecham as well. Thanks for sharing that Bob. I would suggest reading Bob’s comments if you haven’t.

My final observation is the debt of gratitude that we owe Helen Boyd. She has been instrumental in making adding our teachers to our class profiles happen. For years she has worked behind the curtain keeping our site up to date without a lot of recognition at least by me. I want to publicly thank Helen for her constant willingness to do whatever is necessary to update and maintain our website. Thanks, Helen, for all that you have done and are doing to keep this website running so smoothly. Bless you. P.S. I am not trying to weasel out of the drinks I owe. See you in October.

I hope to see many of you in October as well. It’s not too early to begin to make plans if you haven’t.

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Mar 29, 2019 at 6:24 PM
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Mar 28, 2019 at 1:07 PM
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Mar 26, 2019 at 6:03 AM

Posted on: Mar 25, 2019 at 1:37 PM

Just A Thought

Yesterday, March 24, 2019, Alan Crosby and I were making the argument for adding Steve Carroll to our list on "In Memory" classmates. Helen Boyd was kind enough to accept our reasoning and added Steve's name to the list. In addition to Steve, we suggested that James Ronayne and Howard Ferguson be added as well. Both Alan and I felt that the contribution that these men made to the lives of so many of us was critical for our development as young men. We had an athletic department, staffed with men who were focused on our development into young men first and victories on the field, track or court, afterward. (This isn't meant to be a men's only deal, but I don't want to talk about women's side of which I know nothing (this is something of a change for me)).

As a student at NHS, I could have cared less about the academic side of life. I suspect that many of you were just the opposite or had a more balanced view of what was important in high school.

My favorite teachers were few. Interestingly, without realizing it at the time, their teaching and care for me as both a student and a person was instrumental in my growth as a person and student (that student transition, unfortunately, did not take place until I was 23 years old and a second-semester freshman in college).

John Ruskin, an English writer in the 1800s, as quoted by Leo Tolstoy, said, "Look at all of your knowledge as a gift, as a means of helping other people. A strong and wise person uses his gifts to support other people."

Tolstoy paraphrased that statement as "Help should be mutual. Moreover, those who accept help and assistance from their brothers should pay them back, not only with money, but with love, respect, and gratitude."

I owe a debt to so many of the faculty at Newton High School that I am hard pressed to suggest that I have approached a point of breaking even with the debt that I owe them. What do I do? How do I "Pay it Forward?"

It is only with the maturing years that I have reached a point of beginning to understand the gifts that they offered me. With that understanding came a disquieting thought, that for many years I chose to ignore, dismiss, and refuse to acknowledge their influence upon my life. I denied the fact that I owed many of my high school teachers and guidance counselors anything at all.

I have tried to make restitution in attempting to make a similar impact on the lives of others that crossed my path. The changes in their lives were not always immediately visible. I grew to respect the care and understanding that my teachers must have had when dealing with the likes of me. I think this might best be what is known as payback.

Here is my question, is there a way that we can show love, respect and gratitude for all that our "teachers" at Newton have given us? Perhaps many of them should be included in our "In Memory" not as guests because they were molders and shapers, leaders and guides, helping us, in many cases not just to be better students, but better women, and men, for that we owe them a debt of gratitude that we are hard-pressed to pay back. If we have a life, we should be engaged in paying forward that gift they gave to each of us.

Here is a thought, (be advised this is a rare occurrence) what would you think of another area on our website, A Wall of Merit; A Wall of Remembrance; maybe "Thanks for Caring?" The idea would be a place where we could celebrate a teacher, coach or counselor or an administrative person, that made a significant contribution to your life. It would serve to say thank you and let others know what that person meant to you — just a thought.

"Moreover, those who accept help and assistance from their brothers should pay them back, not only with money, but with love, respect, and gratitude."

Roger Watson posted a message. New comment added.
Mar 26, 2019 at 1:58 PM

Posted on: Mar 14, 2019 at 3:12 PM

Bob - I am so sorry I deleted your post in my effort to respond to you. I cannot replace your post or at least the wisdom to do so is lacking. But here is my response to your kind post. Again, I apologize.

I hear you, Bob and of course you are right about making the most of where you are and that it is difficult if not impossible to know someone by a brief conversion. It doesn't take long to share a memory or event, offer an apology, a congratulation, thank you or a word of encouragement.
Take us for example. We knew each other, and we had friends in common, but you and I were never close. We knew each other from a distance, but that was about as far as it went. Will we be blood brothers after the reunion, no. But if you and I spent a couple of minutes speaking to each other about Marty O'Gorman, or someone else or something else, we would have an opportunity to size each other up and hopefully feel thankful that we had shared those few minutes. Will our lives ever cross paths again perhaps not but we would have shared a few steps on each other's, and that can't be bad. I would be good with it.
I hope to see you at the reunion and if so let's plan to spend a couple of minutes with each other. I know I will come away being better off than before. :)

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Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:32 AM
I am holding twin grandsons Joshua and Benjamin - vintage 2004. Not quite so easy to do today.