1970

year of graduation from Gateway

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.

2006 Recording of Jack Wiler reading his poem Back To Work

Use the link below to access the recording.

Recorded at the Cornelia Street Cafe in NYC.

http://corneliastreetcafe.com/

Jack Wiler's World

Jack Wiler attended Wenonah Public School from his first grade in 1958 until sixth grade. After Wenonah Public School he attended Gateway Regional from 7th grade until he graduated with the Class of 1970.

On October 20, 2009 at age 57 Jack passed away. He had been diagnosed with AIDS in 2002 and had a very tough struggle. He moved back to Wenonah during his recovery and saw Wenonah through the eyes of an adult.

You can hear a recording of Jack acting in a one man play based on his books at the following link on this site.

Jack Wiler's wiki page with links intact.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John M. 'Jack' Wiler (December 14, 1951 - October 20, 2009) was a American poet and AIDS survivor. id="wikipedia_cite_ref_0" class="reference">[1] id="wikipedia_cite_ref_1" class="reference">[2]

Jack Wiler - en.wikipedia.org article

This article may be deleted sometime in July, 2010 -- he's not famous enough says one of the editors of en.wikipedia.org

Jack Wiler
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedia's deletion policy.
Please share your thoughts on the matter at this article's entry on the Articles for deletion page.

Jack Wiler performing Steven McCasland's adaptation for stage of Jack's book, "Fun Being Me"

Jack let word out that he was going to be performing a one man play in August in NYC. Through a fortunate turn of events I was able to attend and even record the audio of his play. Below I am quoting the notice about the play that Jack put on his blog about the play.

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.

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?

Blatant self-promotion

I write a blog. I guess you'd call it a personal history blog. I heard Jack Wiler call it a social commentary blog to another writer.
Whatever you want to call it, give it a try. It's about the 1950s and 1960s and how I felt growing up in Woodbury Heights and how what was going on in the world affected me and everyone around me.

http://maddoxcorner.blogspot.com

If you're reading my Summer of '71 story and you're wondering if it really happened or not, well the answer is, yes it did.
Just ask Keith Madden or Alan Kinkle or Sherri Ehlers or Dave Yurkow (if you can find him).

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.

Summer of '71 Chapter 09

We found a lake that had a relatively flat beach area, and a level enough spot to park our cars. The lake was pretty big, and the opposite shore from us rose up in a steep incline. The volley ball net was set up, the grill was ready to be fired up, and some of us were thinking about testing the waters of the lake.
The water was clear, with that tint of cedar so common here in South Jersey.

As we were playing volleyball, I kept noticing something bobbing up and down in the water way out past the middle of the lake, somewhat closer to the farther bank.

Summer of '71 Chapter 08

Two young boys walked out of a sand quarry on a moon-lit night in June. What did they talk about? How did they feel about what had taken place? What was on their minds as they headed for home? Only they knew what happened and what they had done, and what they had left behind.

Three carloads of teenagers entered the sand quarry on a beautiful day in June.
"Man, you were right, John," one of them said. " It's the perfect place. Yeah, it's the perfect place."
"Now let's get goin'!"

Three carloads of teenagers began to party in a sand quarry on a beautiful day in June.

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