Words

Childhood Memories: From the Perspective of a Child

Looking to minimize the amount of physical hoarded objects in my life, I stumbled upon a book I created in 1997.


It appears I was pretentious enough in the 8th grade to name my version of our major autobiographical project for Mrs. McCue’s class as “The Wisdom of Phil Le.” Because, didn’t you know? I was full of wisdom by age 13.

But really, my intentions were innocuous. I can recall the influence in producing such a name, a book I picked up while on the big field trip we took to Washington DC that year. It was in the Smithsonian bookstore that I fell upon a collection hidden in the far left hand corner of the golden lit room. “The Wisdom Of” series. From this series I purchased “The Wisdom of Zen.”

In picking that book, a collection koans Marc De Smedt felt appropriate to represent Zen, “The Wisdom of Zen” became the model for my self-made book: a collection of short narratives and inspiring excerpts from a myriad of sources I thought valuable to a future self in the coming years. If I would find this a daunting endeavor today, looking at this hardbound time capsule, there is no indication this was the case then. But here I am 17 years later flipping through pages of dot-matrixed type and poorly written words. With each turn I can hear the aged glue crinkle knowing giggles at what it must feel like to jump back in time to your own adolescent brain.

“Kind, sensitive, smart; who fears fear, who wishes for peace and love.”
–like the 140 character autobiographies seen on Twitter

The book does not hide my deep Christian upbringing. As a matter of fact, I currated portions of the book with resonating quotes from the Bible. These sections share verses on faith, love, good work and good deeds. They also demonstrate my past fears of sin and punishment in an imperfect of the world. In contrast, other sections reflect my exposure to other world religions, the writings of Albert Camus and, believe it or not, Bruce Lee (he was quite philosophical when not on screen kicking bad guys and flexing muscles.) This amateur work is anthropological evidence for the existential quest, my search for meaning in 1997 (unfortunately for my 13-year-old-self, I wouldn’t stumble upon Victor Frankl’s work for another decade and a half.)

I wrote about hope, hope for myself and for those around me. “Everyone has hope, whether it be for the family you love or the friends you meet each day. Hope is very important to people like us. Without out it, what would we be?” Apparently I questioned things like “Why am I here?” and hoped that in simply asking the question, we had purpose.

In one section was a copy of a favorite Zen parable of mine which involved a rooster trained for fighting. After many stages of conflict it was when the rooster didn’t mind its opponents anymore, not out of a lack of fear, but out of a lack of self, was he deemed ready by the king and the sage to fight. By then, the rooster wasn’t interested in fighting his fellow roost any longer. How simple that sounded then and how hard it is to try to learn that now.

This collection, this “Wisdom of Phil Le” was one of those teenage amalgamations of knowledge, an example of a youth who wanted to understand his world and so in regurgitating thoughts that came before him, thinks he does. It’s funny to read through it now as I see a lot of influences still with me today. As a matter of fact, some things haven’t changed. Other things, well, they’ve changed quite a bit.

My favorite out of this collection is a personal piece I wrote entitled “Childhood Memory.” It appears nostalgia held true then as it does now.

“Childhood is the best of times. It is a time when innocence is in the heart and fun is all you understand. Some of my best childhood memories are spending time with my two friends, Dan Alburger and Caleb Sebra. Though we are not as close now as we once were, we had great times together and they stay with me now. One of our favorite things to do was to sit and write together. We would meet up and just write.

Dan and I still have our stories from when we were younger. The stories were not done as well as to the ones we try to write now, but of course, we were much younger then.

Caleb and I grew up interested in the martial arts for as long as I can remember. Caleb is now in Bushi Karate and I hope to study different martial arts one day. I can only learn about them through books right now.

The three of us, we are each in our separate worlds doing different things these days, but in my heart they are still the best of friends. Together, we were great. I hope that as time goes on, we stay that way, as far apart as we may be.”

I reread those words a younger version of myself wrote and I feel as though they could have existed in a recent incarnation. Out of the entire book, this page is unadorned (save for the terrible italic serif font I chose.) In its description, it poses a question, looks to the future and holds on with hope. It shares the great value friendship had for me then and gives reference to why friendships are dear to me now.

Looking back on the entire analogue-would-be-Tumblr I created for myself, I find future me (well, I guess it’s present me now) asking the same questions posed within this book. I am wondering a lot of the same things. And in that wondering I am still using words, art and imagery to explore the questions that arise through daily living. The wisdom imparted from the book, if I can call it that, isn’t what I explicitly wrote then; the wisdom is in the process in which I chose to make meaning of things that were on my mind.

No one but my teacher at the time and my English teacher from the year before read this book. Outside of them, this was a book on self reflection, on preserving important memories, on recording honest feelings. I suppose it’s not very different from the collection of sketchbooks I keep to this day. And it’s a reminder to keep asking, to try answering and to keep creating. Because, “Running water never grows stale. So, baby, you just have to keep on flowing.”*


*Bruce Lee.

The Art Requires the Whole Man

My reflections on the factors behind my quest for success and the start towards the reconciliation of such a burden.


As originally published via The Good Men Project


“Ars totum requirit hominem.”

I write those words in every sketchbook I start. The phrase is in reference to the obsolete tradition of alchemy. It speaks of the requirements between Art (work/discipline/endeavor) and man, of their irrevocable tie to one another to create something of value, to be someone of worth and that this creation would require the sum of his being. This resonated with me.

The Magnum Opus, the Great Work it was called.


I remember the moment of my resolution in creating a life’s work, something the family generations preceding me could be proud of. It was a 10pm third-grade evening umpteen years ago, eyes blurry with tears and a yellow No.2 pencil in my hand. I was sitting at the kitchen table, legs dangling over pea-colored tiled flooring, so tired, so tired, with an angry mother over my shoulder.

The moment produced a combination of senses mingled in shame and anger, of guilt and damaged pride. I trembled shaky cursive across a sheet of loose-leaf, my pencil scribing words I no longer recall. Why was I so stupid as to have misspelled these words on last week’s quiz? Why was I so careless?

My mother was still angry, disappointed at how I could let something like this happen. Wasn’t I concerned with my future? Didn’t I want to become something? Didn’t I understand the hard work she was doing in order for me to have a meaningful life? Couldn’t I spend a little effort getting some silly words spelled correctly?


Looking back I can empathize with her situation. She felt alone in a new world that never grew quite familiar. She worked long hours in midst of mental exhaustion induced by her relationship with my father. Her worries about making the next round of bills permeated our home. She was loving, but easy to frustrate, always a step away from irritability. And she was so fearful of my ever living the life she had to endure. And so that was the culture of our home—failure was not an option.

I no longer remember what those misspelled words were, but those errors and that evening still swirl in my head. They conjure intertwined feelings of a son’s duty, a first-born’s responsibility to make something of himself, to honor the sacrifices of a (pretty much) single mother. I can’t remember a time when the stakes weren’t so pertinent. My godparents frequently reminded me that I was destined for great things. That the hardships my mother inherited were never in vain; they were for me, the fruits of labor borne through me. I can’t remember a time when no bar of some expectation was just out of reach, a time when I didn’t feel I had to dig myself out of whatever it was that I was told I needed to get out of in the first place.

The sense of guilt was worse. A year ago, overwhelmed, distraught and floundering between maintaining a day job, creating a startup, teaching, contributing to a collective art project, and stumbling over a relationship, I called my mother. I was always anxious to call her as she never had anyone to exasperate her problems with—for as long as I could remember, I was that person. But this night, I needed to ask for some advice of my own. I shared my feelings of inadequacy, of the relentless sensations of pursuing some grandeur I couldn’t see, and of the crushing fear of failure that seemed to always loom above me.

“I feel tired all the time. I wake up anxious, not looking forward to the day, not driven to really excel. I feel depressed I think,” I said over the phone.

“You think I’m not tired? I am anxious and depressed all the time.”

“I know,” I say. Not really knowing how to respond I continued with, “Mom, you’re getting old, please stop working overtime. Besides, don’t you ever get bored?”

“How can you be bored when you have a purpose?” she responded.

The matter-of-factness took me back. It startled me, even shocked me, because I knew she truly believed it. My mother started working in the States since she landed here from Vietnam. She met her sponsor family at age 18, working, working… she still works every hour she can get her hands on. She’s come a long way since she’s hit these shores, but it was never easy.

“I get tired. But then I remember. The tiredness goes away when you have vision.”

She doesn’t see her working days ending anytime soon and still, she works hard. Because dammit there’s just no other option. This is life.

Right?


I was the son of immigrants. Of foreigners. First male of a generation across two family names. First collegiate graduate. First born into joys of Western comfort. And so, it wasn’t just a blessing: it was duty. The question of success was never a question. It just was. I just had to be.

But duty is never that easy, is it? How does one explain that sense of burden? I was expected to appreciate it as privilege: male privilege, Western privilege bestowed on the son of runaways. But all I felt was a relentless weight that drove itself into knots. The guilt of laxing through a study session or calling sick out of work. The shame of feeling that life was sometimes difficult.

The strength and stoicism this required. All feigned, I knew wasn’t allowed those feelings. I wasn’t supposed to have weakness let alone express it. I was a man, product of trials greater than mine. Where was my Magnum Opus? When would I build my noble house? Where was the meaning in my work? What was I working for? When would I stop feeling so utterly inadequate?

As I threw myself into my work, I ignored my relationships. I ignored former hobbies and passions. My myopic sense of perfection’s pursuit, of finding that ingredient that would turn my perceived leadened-self into gold drove me onward. The equation made sense: anything could be attained through diligence and discipline.

If I just worked hard enough I could be closer to perfection. The closer I was to perfection the closer I would be to love. With success, with security, with accomplishment, if I achieved the unachievable I would earn respect. If I devoted myself to the impossible, I would never feel sorrow again. I was set on making an impact on the world, because that is what it would take for me to accept myself.

Of course, these were all delusions. And it took years of missteps and losses to really take a look at what was important.


“And yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.” Leo Tolstoy, “Three Methods Of Reform: Pamphlets”

Not too long ago I reached a point of diminishing returns, of exhausting myself and ruining some relationships. The jolt I received from this took on other forms of self-doubt. How could I have been so selfish as to think only about me? How could I be so concerned with making something of myself that I sacrificed all that I already had around me?

It was around this time that I met with a mentor of mine, a former college professor. We occasionally corresponded over the last several years and decided it was due time to meet for lunch. We discussed our endeavors, reacquainting one another with our projects, of life and of what we had accomplished and what we were looking to accomplish. I mentioned to him my shift in careers focusing on the social service sector as a reaction to my self-involved pursuits. I told him of my ambitions with a variety of projects, of wanting to better the world in some way. That, was of course, the meaning I’d been searching. But where was the key? Where was my Philosopher’s Stone to make such a goal happen?

“You know Phil, it also comes with age. You reach a point and you realize that your life is the good work. Living your life is the project. I wake up in the morning wanting to be a good person doing good things. That is my project.”

And it was at this point that I finally took a look at what was important to me, of all the good I already had in life. Perhaps the ingenuity of the Magnum Opus wasn’t in its ability to provide an answer at all. Perhaps its significance was in its impossibility. It made one search and search and in the end notice patterns. In that searching, certain models succeeded while others did not. It was the awareness of these patterns and the fortitude to hone them that provided us with the chemistry and physics of today.

And so, while there was no direct elixir of life and no transmutation, perhaps the process of learning from that journey was the answer itself. The failures and the successes. The joy and the suffering.

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
T.S. Elliot

My circumstances dictated that I wanted to have a “good” life. A life provided for. A life in which I wasn’t only happy, but a life full of meaning and worth. And perhaps with all my angst and all my insecurity I failed to notice the successes that were happening right now. Sure there were varying degrees of struggle, small bouts of suffering, but for all of my fears and pressures of success, I was succeeding.

I am achieving what is needed. I am what I need to be right now. I am all right. I am the art that requires the whole man. The art and the man are one and the same.


  1. Republished from http://goodmenproject.com/business-ethics-2/the-art-requires-the-whole-man/#2YQ32MsIZU3lKesd.99
  2. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/03/Alchemical_Laboratory_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_14218.jpg

Formations

On teamwork and individualism


Shield to Shield

While working today’s social hour, I flipped through a few pages of a book entitled “A Study of History” by Arnold J. Toynbee. It was here that I came upon a part in particular speaking of the evolution of the Spartan phalanx. 1

A phalanx is a general term for military infantry formation. The popular construction of the word describes a military arrangement of tightly packed soldiers armed with spears and interlocking shields. The shield of your colleague’s protected your exposed right side and your shield in turn protected your fellow teammate’s right side. The dense nature of the arrangement provided a compact defensive structure within an offensive mobile force. The Spartans in particular were able to maintain flexibility in this arrangement due to their single-handed dory spears (as opposed to the Macedonian double handed spears) and their short iron xiphos swords, thusly able to function as a single unit while maintaining some autotomy of the individual.

“One-against-one, they are as good as anyone in the world. But when they fight in a body, they are the best of all.” 2

While Tonybee chronicles the evolution of the basic phalanx into more sophisticated military formations, the modern analogy here is less to the lasting integrity of these specific strategies in an ever evolving battlefield and more on the fundamental component of their value: that each individual member is an integral component to the overall integrity of the unit.

Collaboration today is similar. A part of the usefulness in collaboration is the trust in your team and the ability to defer to their various disciplines of expertise . Relinquishing control doesn’t mean catering to your team’s whims, but rather placing trust in why you have a team in the first place. Each member has his and her strong attributes, each is capable of catching any holes you or any other member may make, and each reinforces the movement forward through tightly formed strategy. Like the phalanx.

Transcend Yourself.

There is strength in vigorous individuality. The composite of the whole is completely dependent upon the constitution of each individual member. And this is where disruption, the positive kind, can come into play, where diverse individuals challenge one another to provoke invigorating new solutions. This is the crucial spice in the recipe of innovative culture.

It can take a single idea to spark action, but it takes action to keep that spark burning. IDEO’s one tenant for Human Centered Design is to compose a team of varying abilities and disciplines.3 This diversity creates a breadth and depth of experience, but provides lateral thinking that enables the connection of a variety of dots—dots which likely may not exist without a particular member in the fold. Consider a melting pot of the strongest points of culture, perspective and skillset—this is innovative teamwork, when one’s individual value reinforces something greater than himself. When one can, for the moment, put his own individualism aside for the common strength of a greater goal.

“The most effective moral communities – from a well-being perspective – are those that offer occasional experiences in which self-consciousness is greatly reduced and one feels merged with or part of something greater than the self.”4

Our relentless individualism shades the fact that everything we do affects our society, the people around us, the people in our lives. Strengthen oneself to strengthen those around us. That’s why many of us got into the fields we got into in the first place; to make the world a better, more interesting place. And I believe that if we, from time to time, realize that our individualism is stronger when applied to the benefit of the formation, of the goal, of the pursuit, of the good for our constituents, that we can very rarely go wrong.


1. A Study of History, Volume V, The Disentigrations of Civilization; Arnold J. Toynbee
2. Herodotus vii (trans. G. Rawlinson)
3. HCD Tool Kit; IDEO.org
4. “Hive Psychology, Happiness & Public Policy“; J. Haidt, P. Seder & S. Kesebir (as quoted from Why Teams Make Us Happy; Scott Belsky)

 

Light Magic

Bus rides are usually hectic. By the time the public’s leviathan scoops me up at my stop, I can barely inch over the yellow “DO NOT CROSS” line that demarks the start of the aisle and the end of the driver’s zone.


I don’t mind standing as I’ll be sitting most of the day anyway. But the weight I see on the sullen faces around me forebode their 9-to-5-gruel. And this tempts the phantom knots I can feel in our collective shoulders.

This morning it’s different. While it started with a leaden gloom, the sun’s peaking over and out from it’s five-day hiding. The bus is empty and I have a seat. I actually have a lot of seats. I choose to only occupy one.

The mothers beside me speak with light, accented notes. Their intonations are from two different regions of the world. The little boys with them have none.


Moments earlier, clomping up onto the bus from Green Street and striding gallantly down the aisle, the one boy cried, “It’s magic!” Grinning, he was clearly excited to see he’d somehow synchronized his commute schedule with his morning friend yet again.

“There is no such thing as magic honey,” chides his mother as they sit down across from the first mother-son pair.

The boy continues to speak. He tries to spell on the bus. He doesn’t get it right, but he’s determined to wrestle through breaking down “ingredients.” After a couple of “i” and “n’s” he stops.

“We could look it up in a dictionary you know. Oh! I know how to spell ‘dictionary’!”

Alas, before he can provide adequate solutions for either of those words, his stop arrives. “We should ask Google how to spell them,” he claims as he gets up for the door. “It’s not the smartest person. Google’s not a person. But it’s the smartest network.”

He slides down the seat and stubbles down the steps firmly grasping his mother’s hand.

“You become the smartest person by working hard like you just did,” says the other mother. Her and her son wave goodbye with big smiles.

He gets off the bus with his mom that told him magic doesn’t exist and they both continue on their way.

“See,” says the other mother to her own young boy, “he does not know how to spell those words, but yet he tries and tries. There should be no fear to learning.”

Now that is magic.

Rain-streaked Windows

“Suffering as the great educator is denied by the Western mind, which always pursues happiness.”
Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit


1

Again the rain begins. And so it’s been. Stare long enough out there into that rain-streaked window and you may start to lose sight of the picture on the other side. What you may start focusing on however, are the little globs dribbling down the panes. Some droplets may defiantly cling, holding on rather than sliding down to meet with others. Some likely pool in a corner, weighing heavily with every patter.

Waiting. Weighing. Waiting…

The magic is in those raindrops you know. Each reflects and refracts a familiar world into something distorted and new. It beckons you to look upon the familiar with unfamiliar scope. There’s a tiny microcosm in those droplets, every one of them. And they all magnify the existing world. Don’t believe me? Next time, take a look through a raindrop and tell me what you see.


2

Tears are probably similar in that way. They are probably similar in that way though I wouldn’t know. It’s been a long time since I’ve shed one.

I’ve forgotten how.

But if I were to use my imagination, I imagine that tears falling from your eyes are similar to the raindrops falling from the sky—tiny beads filtering your view. I imagine you can learn a lot from seeing through them. Not beyond them, but literally, through as you would bifocals, trifocals even, into another world.


3

Tears are probably a bit like the words you hold inside yourself, the words you want to say during all those awkward silent moments. You know those moments, I know you do. Those moments in which you need the right words to mean what you’re saying, but none exist. Those moments that slip beyond cordial “How’s the weather?” and “Did you have a nice weekend?”

I’m talking about those moments where the silence is shouting everything you’re feeling and questioning everything you’re screaming from within. It’s that awkward moment you’ve reached where no audible language can translate what you’re bearing, what you’re breathing.

You know the scene. You’ve been there. Sometimes it’s with a friend on the other line and she’s sitting there listening to your quiet. Neither of you say anything, but she hears it in the void, in the blank gap of darkness I always picture separating phone lines and airwaves.

Or maybe you’re at the bar and your buddy sits beside you picking at the coaster, tapping the edge of his pint to echo the reticence. It’s uncomfortable, but he’s uncomfortable with you. You don’t say anything, but he doesn’t either.

He. She. They are your friends and aware you’re feeling feelings and that you have no way to tell them so.

And so you wrap your hands, slip on the gloves and find a language that can convey the conviction to your thoughts.


4

Hitting the heavy bag is probably similar to the pattering of the rain. It offers a cadence, a rhythm your words can’t describe. It’s like the music others turn to, but here the lyrics are the poetry of a different language.

Because that’s what men do. We don’t give in to things we can’t fight with our fists. We shell up and punch through. Why would we be “man enough” to explore the origins of our sorrows when we can numb them by punching them away? Why should we communicate our care, concern and fears when we’re taught to “man up or shut up”? Why should we do anything but see:

love = vulnerability = weakness

And so you don’t want to shut up. You want to fill that nihility with your speech and so you keep throwing those combinations hoping they’ll unlock the response you’ve been looking for. It kept you safe before. Why not again?

Jab-Cross-Hook.
Jab-Cross-Hook.
Jab-Cross-Hook.

And Hook. And Hook. And Hook and Hook and Hook.


5

Unshed tears are probably similar in that way. You know they want to talk to you, but they don’t know how to break the threshold of silence. So you and those hidden tears acknowledge each other. You’re both subdued allowing solace in knowing you both care.

Men cry. But I can’t. Instead I look out at rain-streaked windows imagining what it’s like to answer a silent vacuum. The world sheds a tear so that I can hear. And when I can’t answer back, I let the beat of the canvas bag answer for me.

And now that it’s gone it’s like it wasn’t there at all / And here I rest where disappointment and regret collide / Lying awake at night / Up all night / When I’m lying awake at night.

Men cry. But I can’t. Maybe if I keep writing instead of fighting I’ll remember how.


Further Reading

Fears for Tears: Men and Vulnerability Higher Unlearning, The Good Men Project

Why Is Our Society Obsessed with Modern Men and Maniliness? Nicole Johnson, The Good Men Project

Welcome Home

“It is a strange thing to come home. While yet on the journey, you cannot at all realize how strange it will be.” Selma Lagerl

I’ve been attempting to adequately describe what it’s like leaving Matthew to continue the journey while I head home to start new things, meet new people and yet continue where I left off in July. It’s proving difficult.

Being home… well Lagerl says it best. But maybe the photos below can help.

While trying to figure how to best write my experiences of being back…

…I’ve attempted to re-familiarize myself with the city, biking to and fro…

…engaging local establishments, meeting up with old friends…

I’m still working on my thoughts.

I’m still lost in them.

I feel lonely.

I feel astray.

I’ll continue to sort this out. In the meantime, welcome to Philly. Welcome home.

Behind the Spaces

A year ago, I stepped out into Paris and felt at once wonder, awe and confusion. The buildings were so close to me as to feel confining, looming, tempting to fall atop one another, to fall on top of me.

As we wound our way towards the Seine, even larger, epic sculptures rose, the grandeur of it all was magnificent, but also overwhelming.

We continued walking, the space aired out a bit, the arteries of the city opened up to us. We stepped into throngs of cheery people weaving in and out of the streets, alleyways and each other. It was the Summer Solstice. Despite the joy that grew out of the shared festivities, when I think back to that night I remember looking behind towards the Notre Dame while noting:

“As beautiful as these spaces and structures are, someone—a lot of someones—built all of this.”

It’s easy to cascade over the spectacle of such monuments, to stare in amazement at the sheer dominance of human achievement. All it took was an idea, a genius, a king with a vision: these immense markers of civilization now sit to spell France’s glory.

But it wasn’t just one Louis’ vision and it wasn’t one Old Master’s persistence was it? It took many hands extending from overburdened backs to carry each piece of stone that made the historical monuments we see today. It clearly took a millennium of vision and certain genius for these to exist. But it also took the hard work of the unsung to manifest that idea.

The same is with any modern project, objective or goal. It’s easy to gloss over the machinations churning in the background as Matt and I travel the States. Yes, we do quite a bit of work ourselves, unnoticed by the general public. The grind of waking up early, following up with the professionals met days prior, mapping out a route for the new city we’re in, plotting the engagement of strangers and organizations alike, the continuous introduction of the project and the meeting of a new person to new person to new person for hours end over. It’s not a stagnant nine-to-five desk trap, but it is work. We’re lucky enough to have the opportunity: we enjoy it.

Behind it All

There is more to SBYF than just Matt and myself, however. The pictures and stories come from our point of view, but a very integral team sits behind us, behind the spaces, no less important to the project. They helped make SBYF what it is today, are helping make what it will become.

They all give their time willingly, donating extraordinary amounts of effort to create the digital storybook that carries the project’s parable, to test postcard prompts, to create copious amounts of logos, images and designs. These professionals shoot hours of video, edit hours of video, sound engineer music, record voice overs, hand sketch/draw/paint illustrations, execute well-planned photographs, design the experience (of three iterations) of websites and build physical exhibit structures. These are the folks helping make the idea happen. They are the ones Matt sits with to plan the direction of our mission, to discuss how to best preserve the beautiful postcards you send back and how best to showcase them. When the logistical weight of growing an intergenerational community looms over top, they are the helping hands that guide things forward.

Amidst the project’s mission to bring intergenerational connectedness, to foster relationships and to bring about the awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, it’s easy to forget the team that is helping in every way they can, bringing together their creative and logistic energies to achieve the SBYF Project’s goals. The value of work they bring to the table is staggering.

If there is one thing I’ve learned while working with a talented pool of hardworking individuals, it’s to value the people you work with and to value their creative efforts—especially when it’s donated. Sometimes it’s easy to dimiss their creation as simply a means to an end, but they’ve dedicated a part of themselves in making that tool. It only does these folks justice to mention them by name:

Whitney Krape
Steve Schaller
Robert Tontaro
Jason Finau
Ian Leibovici
Georgia Castellano
Dan Waldron
Arvil Prewitt
Andrew Christiano

And of course, you. Thank you for supporting our project (all of you who were once strangers and now no longer are!) and for submitting your memories. Without your page in the story, our book would be incomplete.

Entrenched in the day-to-day of the operational side of things, I wanted to take a moment and thank you, those that sit behind the spaces.