Remembering Peter Christian Fry on 9-11

PeterPeter & his daughter

 

On the anniversary of 9-11, with all the memorial services, only one name from that tragic day rings in my head. He had been one of my students at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts, in the mid-1980s. His name was Peter Fry.

Peter died in 2 World Trade Center. He worked for a global securities company—and always took his early morning coffee at Windows on the World. We presume that’s where he was when the plane hit the Tower.

No one wants to dwell on the horrible few hours on that day.

Instead, I always recall the tall student who took the seat near the door in the front row of all my First-Year writing classes. He took three with me: Language Skills and the two Writing Workshop basics. He was likely the best student in the class, the most dedicated, never missed one of my classes.

He held the distinct honor of being the first student to come to one of my classes barefoot. In exchange, I went to his lacrosse games. During Parents Weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting his lovely parents—straight out of central casting, it seemed to me.

Since I also was coordinator of the skills center, he often came to my office and served as a tutor. My connections to him seemed odd—like the time I ran into him at the local mall. Peter Christian Fry stood out from hundreds for me.

So, the terrible day that the Dean said to me that Curry had lost a student at the Twin Towers—someone who pre-dated his tenure at the College, I was in shock at the name:  Peter. How could it be optimistic, charming Peter.

He was part of the Program for Advancement for Learning at the College and his mentor over there was a priest fondly called Father Joe Arsenault who later married Peter. We later commiserated over the loss, and Joe told me that Peter recalled me as one of his favorite professors at his wedding to fellow alums. It was chilling to hear years later.

There is a flat stone memorial to him on Cape Cod at the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. It was put there by his wife because it was one of their favorite spots for him and his two little daughters. Some who go there actually feel his spirit or presence in that place of peace and beauty. It does not surprise me.

A few years ago I would have scoffed at spirits remaining among us, but in recent years I have written two books on the spirit who lives at my home. He died on the Titanic and his family owned my property. It seems terrible tragedy releases good people.

There was a plaque in the classroom commemorating the Titanic victim where Peter sat, near the door. How strange it now seems to me that these two young men died under infamous circumstance and were both there in that room at one time. Peter always sat near the plaque to the lost young college student named Richard Frazar White.

Spirits are good people who have the freedom to go wherever they want in the years after their lives.

Richard White and Peter Fry died too young, full of promise, and for the rest of my life, I shall be touched by them. I remember.

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Classic Tale of Hockey Returns After a Long Hiatus

DATELINE:  Sordid Sports Fiction

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After twenty years and a long time out of print, the best novel on the sport of hockey has returned for readers, new and old. Rink Rats is a shocker still. It’s now an e-book and will be available in paperback soon.

Based on life during one college season during the 1990s, Mike Tortorella’s story continues to be controversial and revealing.  Mobie Monaco, the erstwhile captain of a rag-tag bunch that follows his lead into depths of depravity, narrates his life-story.

With hockey players enjoying a long-established reputation as the wild men of sports, you can certainly expect an adult tale of moral turpitude. Tortorella’s tale is a spiritual journey above all else, whether it is a quest for a championship, or a test of one’s moral character.

The story is built around the effort to commit every deadly sin they can encounter and break every Commandment that is set in stone. All the time there is an interesting parallel to Melville’s voyages. Far more metaphoric, the characters are like rats leaving a sinking ship, but are more familiar as the young players who hang around hockey rinks and become enamored of the lifestyle. This is NOT a young-adult novel.

The original story keeps its freshness and provides insights into the daily life, practice, and play on and off ice that can only come from someone who was there.

You may think the novel will only appeal to a certain fan of a political stripe, but self-knowledge is indeed a dangerous avenue to pursue. We aren’t sure how much of the tale is completely true—and how much of it is so unbelievable as to be utterly true.

These rough-and-tumble players are not figure skaters guilty of icing, but you will experience their notorious escapades. In the final analysis, as Tortorella’s book states, “The great shroud of the ice age rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.”  The human condition is indeed timeless as seen in one breathtaking season at a New England college.

 

The Akashic Record and the Ghosts of Mill Circle!

 DATELINE:  My Friend from the Titanic

Richard with Author selfie Author with Richard

Ancient Aliens struck gold again with a recent showing of “The Akashic Record,” the tenth episode of the twelfth season.

In case you missed it, this one raised the issue of a fount of knowledge, from all beings and creatures of the universe, stored like our modern computer cloud, floating out in the shimmering quanta of the universe.

Though Akashic Record has been accessed mostly by mystics, prophets, and artists, using a portion of matter at the back of the brain, Ancient Aliens had its own focus:  strictly focused on the predictive element of the cosmic cloud library.

They saw it strictly as a means to give that crystal ball some legitimacy when you do readings of future events.

They only briefly mentioned, in passing, the ability to draw information from the cosmic library about the past. The Akashic Record may be the best way to explain the memories, ideas, and knowledge, of history being mined by artists, poets, and writers.

Some call it channeling. Others dismiss it as meditation from a swami, but a few of us believe strongly that we have often reached a memory of a past life and a past vision to write down on a page for a book.

For years we were always amazed at our ability to see what some historical person saw and put it in one of our fictional—and lately, nonfictional—books.

We have drawn on Billy the Kid, John Wilkes Booth, and even Dr. Francis Tumblety, who claimed he was the Ripper of Whitechapel.

Those books are available on Amazon.

Lately, we discovered that we have been able to reach a spirit of someone who died on the Titanic. Indeed, we only learned about this after we purchased one of the homes he once lived in. His name was Richard and he was on Titanic, as a gift from his father, for graduating from Bowdoin. He perished with his father.

For years in a college classroom where I taught, there was a little bronze plaque commemorating Richard and his father’s heroism in helping others on the Titanic.

So, it came as a shock when a psychic named Nicole told me that the spirit of Richard was following me around for decades, wanting me to write a book about his life. She saw him hanging over my shoulder. It rattled her. I never see him, though he does make noises to communicate with me in recent years.

How could I write a book about a dead person who left no record of his life?

Richard worked in strange ways, coincidentally bringing people to my attention who had personal papers, photos, and knew his descendants. The result was a book called Tales of a Titanic Family. It’s all true, and Richard directed me to find a treasure trove of info on his life.

Now, it seems my discoveries were based on the Akashic Record.  I have now written a book on my experiences with Richard at my home. It’s called Ghosts of Mill Circle, mainly because the street he lived on, where I now reside, has many spirits clinging to their old haunt.

The recent show on Ancient Aliens has explained, obliquely, why I have been able to write this true account.

So, forgive me for using this blog for something out of the ordinary, but it now seems connected to everything else in the cosmos.

Tom Brady Writes a Book: Sort of

DATELINE: Literary Lightweights

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No, we are innocent of the crime:  we did not ghostwrite Tom Brady’s new book: The TB12 Method.

We suspect that even Tom does not know who wrote his book. He only found out he wrote a book recently.  He has been busy doing other things, like traveling to China, training for the new season in Wyoming, and charity events—not to mention teaming up with Tony Robbins.

The Robbins event would have been a good chance to announce his new motivational book.  He didn’t because the corporation behind Tom, into making money, only tells Tom about the checks he receives for endorsements. So, who wrote Tom’s new book?

And will this be a better best seller than Tom’s pajamas or secret recipe compilation? It likely won’t be cheap to buy. Tom likes expensive prices on his merchandise. He learned that from Tony Robbins.

The world learned this week about Tom Brady’s new literary effort that is based on his dietary, physical training and personal philosophy.  The book will be out during the upcoming season to maximize royalty payments.

We don’t know when Tom had time to write so-called book, but certainly the idea was floating around when he did the Tony Robbins motivational speaker show in Boston. If he had been working on the book then, he would’ve likely mentioned it during his appearance as a motivational speaker. He did not.

However, he may have been inspired to come up with a book to make more money when he heard Julian Edelman wrote a children’s book about a greedy squirrel with an obsession on nuts.

Tom’s book is already a best-seller on Amazon–without a cover or a price.

We would like to take credit as Tom’s ghost writer, but the book apparently is not about ghosts, nor one with humorous intent or comical asides.  Tom does that quite well– but we are slightly better.

So, we are forced to ask Tom: Was it something we said in one of our nasty books on a previous Patriots season or on the scandal of Deflategate that caused Tom’s handlers to select a different ghostwriter?

We know Tom would have picked us if he knew he was writing a book. He appreciates excellence in grammar.

In Defense of Trump University

DATELINE:  State of Lower Education

Dumb America

As any professor of an American college or university can tell you, the attempts to lure students to Trump University by fudging facts or obscuring credentials is commonplace.

If you are going to dun Trump University for its recruiting of students, you are on a slippery slope.

Nearly every private college in the United States is fighting for students to sign up for their programs. If that means putting on a happy face to cover up unhappy faculty, then so be it.

Most colleges have secrets they hide when they take prospective students on a campus tour. Why would Trump University be any different? If Hillary Clinton is going to call Trump U a fraud, she had better be ready to label many more higher-learning places as something less than educationally honest.

The shrill Attorney General of New York is going after Trump’s school, but leaves unaddressed other institutions that have promised good jobs, a productive learning environment, and more, to unsuspecting students who have taken out large loans to pay for their education.

Colleges in America are now sausage factories and not places of liberal education. Heaven forfend: they hate that label. We are now in a revolution to make college a fancy vocational experience. You better have a high paying job and hands-on courses to make a fortune with that degree.

The truth is somewhat less glamorous, and Trump U merely falls into the mix of what has happened to the coveted degree that people believe makes them ready for big bucks.

The idea of learning and becoming well-rounded, a better person, died several generations ago on college campuses.