“Had A Little Help From My Friends!”

a little help from my friends


Happy Hump Day, Folks!

Yes, I believe it was last Wednesday when I last wrote an e-mail message/blog post.  I was so excited to be going back to Princeton University for my 40th Reunion for the Class of 1976 … and I made it there … with all of life’s “twists and turns” … as I was able to learn over the years.  Nothing often goes as one plans it … and … one MUST be prepared for those unexpected events and changes.  I often try to carry faith in my Creator that whether or not things go according to MY plan … The Creator has my back!!  In case you need any testimonials, let me know!
The trip was incredible.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I had to adjust and adapt along the way.  For example, I had to transfer funds from my debit card to a credit card that had like a $2.00 balance/available funds.  HERTZ rental car office said that in New York, they don’t accept debit cards as a means for paying for a car rental.  They asked to “hold” nearly $400 dollars on the card to reserve and pay for the rental!  I was in shock … as I hadn’t done much car rental at airports in my life recently … can’t even remember the last time I did … maybe my trip to Madrid, Spain where I rented a car and drove the countryside from Madrid to Malaga and Granada … even visited the Alhambra Palace!  So, the clerk at HERTZ was very helpful and suggested that I transfer the funds from my debit card (how did she know I had the funds on my debit card?) to my Capital One card.  Frugally and luckily, I had been saving a bit here and a bit there so I could have some funds though the reservation, which I had made on line in Florida, indicated that the total cost to rent the vehicle for three days was $135.00 … THIS is why I was in shock!  $400 is what they were asking … as a deposit … from which the rental cost was to be deducted.  However … since my reservation was from a HERTZ not located at the airport, the clerk informed me, that due to airport fees and taxes, the price would NOT be the same.  So, the $135.00 became $195.00!!!  Again, fortunately, I had the funds on my debit card … for various reasons which some of you may know … and others not … with still a third group who may not even care!  The Creator has a master plan!
The experience of the Class of 1976’s 40th Anniversary was something comparable to a Disney Land experience, as I joked several times!  Everything was well organized, the campus remained orderly and clean while each class had their own tent where meals were served and parties were held with live bands each night.  The food was over the top for each meal, we had wine and beer servers each night and the students who ran the “Rovers” to transport us across campus and those who served us at the tents were extremely cordial and polite.  I really appreciate a person who is kind and gives an occasional “thank you” and says a “you’re welcome” in response.  For me, it is this type of behavior that keeps the “good karma” going.  My friend from the Brahma Kumaris, Roz Reich, told me before I left, “John, go and share your light!”  Indeed I did!  One or two former classmates shed tears as we hugged after having NOT seen each other in 40 years!  Two guys with whom I attended St. Paul’s with, John Henry Low and Tom Hewson, were there, too!  At the parting breakfast held at the “Grad College” dining room, which resembled the dining room at St. Paul’s School, the three of us got together and took a photograph!  We hugged each other, smiled and talked about meeting again, maybe at SPS for our 45th Anniversary of the Class of ’72 from our Alma Mater!
I want to take a minute to thank Lloyd Lawrence, esquire and classmate who sent me lots of information about the Reunion and suggested I contact our Class’s fearless and organized leader, a cool a calm Willy Landrigan, to see if I could get assistance in covering the cost of the Reunion’s festivities which ran a bit above $250.00 per day.  Willy gave me a code that allowed me to register for the festivities which included not only housing for Friday through Sunday in a dorm room at Edward’s Hall, but each and every meal and event as we each were given a wrist band upon completing the sign in at our class tent.  Thanks so much to BOTH of you gentleman … I couldn’t have done it without youse!  Between the positive energy flowing from each of our hearts and their wishing the best for me … I was able to attend and enjoy every day of the Reunion of the Class of 1976 at Princeton University!!  Am I proud?  You bet I am!  Thanks to all, including my sister Edna where I stay sometimes on the weekend visiting she and my daughter and grandson, who helped me “Git ‘er done!”  Had a little help from my friends . . .
John I. Cook, Director

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