Is This Any Way to Run An Airline?

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If you need to get in touch with any of the authors of this content and don't have their email address, send me a message at the address above and I will forward it on to them. I can not guarantee that they will answer - but I will forward it to them.


Gateway: The First Day 1964

A warm September day this first day of school. My first day in Gateway Regional High School just a few yards down the road from my home.
I don't have to rush to get ready, the school is right behind my house, so I stay in bed for as long as I can, savoring the last minutes of summer vacation.
There is no way to prepare for this, to be thrown into a new building with hundreds of other kids from four different towns, four different worlds.
I and everyone else will be creating something new in this rectangle of bricks and mortar, rising up from what used to be Mr. Rizzuto's field.


Summer of '71 Chapter 01

I had dropped out of my first semester at Rutgers Camden. I didn't like college at all, and I had no idea what to do in life. I had a vague ambition about being an actor, but not the foggiest idea how to go about it. I took a job with the company I had worked for during the past two summers, unskilled labor unloading trucks, and then I ended up emptying trailer loads of magazines at the post office building near 30th Street Station in Philly. It was a dirty, thankless job, but it was easy and I was on my own and unsupervised.


Going A Long Long Ways to Find A Surprising Song Coming At Me

"A dugout, Marie", I said. "A dugout, not a canoe. A canoe is a whole 'nother level of culture."

A dugout is a log with part of the log removed.

Here's a link to a photo of a few dugouts

These were about the size of the one that I was ferried across the Niger River on when visiting a friend in the Peace Corps in Niger in 1977.


Remember Your First Days Without Training Wheels?

On Saturday May 3rd, 2009, my grandson, Mason, asked to have his training wheels taken off his bike. His father, Aaron, being a really good father, broke away from the job he had started of getting the boat out of the barn and readying it for the new season.


The Hits of 1965 - Youtube keeps them accessible - Listen!!

Jack Wiler has a blog - not really news now - but he listed the hit tunes of 1965 and I thought that it would be fun to list them with links to youtube vids of them - with the sound of course... His blog is

I don't think we had all these 45s at my house and my sister loved to listen to records.

I don't have this many now. There may only be one 45 rpm record in the house and it is not a hit.

But I can listen to them when I please long as no one takes my internet awaaaay --- sort of like don't take my kodachrome away.


A little info on the ancestors of Bob Thomas in Gloucester County - Ganttown Rd - near Turnersville, NJ

Recently I have taken an interest in Genealogy - fortunately some of my relatives have also. One of them used her/our family history in writing her master's thesis. Her name is Karen Lynn (Gant) Heiser. She is a graduate of and an employee of Rowan University. She grew up in Glassboro, NJ.

You can click on the link to download the Word Doc that she created. I recommend downloading the link and then opening the file. Enjoy!

Gant Genealogy


Teachers remembered

more from Ruth Hammell


Mr Wilkinson was one of the best teachers I can ever remember

The art room was a haven and favorite place to escape to, Thanks to Cindy Smith.


Advantages of being the 1st graduating class from Gateway:

Ruth Hammell, '69, sent this to Bob Thomas via Facebook at 10:00am February 6

Advantages of being the 1st graduating class from Gateway:

1. We were "upper classmen" in Freshman Year.
2. Could play Varsity sports in Freshman Year.
3. We had a big huge brand new school all to ourselves in the beginning.
4. Graduated in the illustrious year of "69.

Can't think of too much else , but maybe some others out there could add to this list.


Summer of '71 Chapter 19

So, you may be asking, did this really happen?
Yeah, it happened, alright.
I and a bunch of friends went out for an afternoon of fun and instead we got caught up in a murder-suicide; a personal tragedy with really bizarre overtones.
A young man my age was so troubled that he was able to convince himself and two of his closest friends that he should die, and they made it happen.
I was troubled that summer too, and so were many young men my age who still worried that their lives would be cut short by being sent to Vietnam.


Summer of '71 Chapter 18

Michael. That was his name, the name of the young man who convinced himself that he needed to die a violent death in order to serve Satan and command a legion of demons. He not only convinced himself, he managed to talk his two friends into tying him up and throwing him into a lake, and then walk away from it like nothing happened.
So I had found the body of a Satan worshiper who wished to die a violent death.
He died a violent death with the help of his friends.
Think about it.
Think real hard.


Summer of '71 Chapter 17

It was hard to believe the truth, but there it was. A 20 year old young man was dead, and I had found his body floating in a lake in an abandoned sand quarry.
This young man was murdered, but not murdered.
It was a sort of suicide, but with a little help from some friends.
I couldn't believe what the newspapers were saying.
This guy from Vineland had convinced his two teenage friends to tie him up and throw him into a lake so he could die a violent death. He needed to die violently, he told them, so he could serve Satan and command a legion of demons.


Summer of '71 Chapter 16

Think hard, real hard. How persuasive do you think you could be? How much influence do you have with your closest friends? Could you get them to believe something supernatural? Could you convince them that another world exists, and that they could help you get to that world?
Think hard.
Think really hard.
The newspapers are hitting the pavement.


Summer of '71 Chapter 15

Usually you don't have much to say to your parents when they ask you how your day has been.
Of course my mother didn't believe me at first when I told her I found a dead body floating in the lake we went to swim in. She had been just as perplexed about us all going there as the police had been. What's the big deal, anyway? If we had all decided to go down the shore for the day nobody would have questioned that now, would they?


Summer of '71 Chapter 14

So here we were watching the Vineland/Millville area's finest investigate what appears to be a murder at the Menantico Sand Wash. The sandy soil is making life difficult for the patrolmen and detectives. They slip and slide down the incline towards the body, and several of them lose their footing, and they tumble towards the water's edge. They take photographs and scour the scene for clues, and then they wait for the coroner to arrive.


Summer of '71 Chapter 13

The day wasn't going as planned. What was supposed to be a day of fun in the sun had suddenly turned into a murder mystery.
It had to be a murder, right? You can't tie your hands behind your back.
We had to go to the police. Which police? Were we in Vineland or Millville? Who could tell? None of us even knew where the police stations were around here anyway.
Wait a minute. Those two boys hanging around, they're local kids, they must know where the police are.
So Sherri and I and the local kids are in my 63 Fairlane heading for the police.


Summer of '71 Chapter 12

A beautiful summer day in June, and I'm getting ready to swim out to a dead body in a lake in an abandoned sand quarry somewhere near Millville or Vineland.
A dead body?
What am I doing here?
I'm pretty tired from swimming out there and back from before, so I decide to take a small inflatable raft, you know, the little ones you use in swimming pools.
Sherri Ehlers says she'll go with me for support.


Summer of '71 Chapter 11

No one believed me. Not John or Keith or Lynette or even Sherri.
"He's pulling our leg," one of them said.
"Yeah, you're just trying to prove what a good actor you are."
"You just want somebody to swim out there and make a fool of himself."
"It's just a log with some moss on it."
"Yeah, or just a turtle or something."

"I tell you it's a body," I said. "I don't know for sure if it's real or not, but that's a body out there."


Summer of '71 Chapter 10

So I'm swimming across this lake, and it's a lot farther to this thing floating in the water than I thought, so my arms are getting tired. I'm getting closer to it, but I still can't make out what it is.
It's round and dark, and it sure looks like moss of some kind in strands floating off of it.
My arms are tired, and I'm tired, but I'm determined to see what it is. Good thing the water isn't very cold or else I'd never have made it this far. They're calling out to me from the shore, asking if I can tell what it is yet.



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