Richard Ross Class of  1967

  Where to begin?  I went to the University of Florida where I graduated in 1972.  While there, I was involved in a serious motorcycle accident resulting in my being in a coma for five days and almost being killed.  I came out of it with a paralyzed right arm.  I'm a freelance writer now, so I guess I've become pretty adept at typing with one hand.  I've been married to the same woman, Linda, for 25 years.  I met her in Atlanta.  She's an elementary school teacher.  We have no kids, just a dog (a Lhasa Apso named Coco).  After reading so many e-mails from fellow alumni who have been married two and three times I feel like I'm abnormal, having stayed married to the same woman (my first and only wife) for 25 years.  It's ironic-- my brother, the decidedly BMOC and model of perfection in high school, has been married twice with four kids to support, while me, the class clown, has remained in a stable relationship.  Go figure.

  The only reunion I went to was the 20th.  I was in Atlanta for the tenth and couldn't get away and the prices for the 25th(?) And 30th(?) got so high that I chose not to go.  When Pam Bledsoe and Marilyn Fizer were arranging them, they were fine, but then, when some large company took over handling the reunions they started to suck.  I'll try to get to the 35th especially since it will most likely be in Miami and I'm living in Broward County now. I moved back to South Florida in 1981 where I've lived in Sunrise ever since.

  I've corresponded with only a few alumni so far.  Because of e-mail difficulties before now, I only was able to read stuff from the Southwest alumni from January-May 2000.  When Mickey told me at the end of May that he had some e-mails from your internet group, he said he'd send me the hard copy since I didn't have an e-mail address yet.  I expected to receive a few pages of e-mails.  What I got was 96 PAGES of hard copy.  I read through the messages, many of which were from people I didn't remember, but many I did. I would like to mention a few of these people now.

Jeff Fain-- you have nothing to feel inferior about.  Your letter back in May stating that you "wanted to travel in our circles so you could garner some crumbs from our table" was ridiculous.  Each of us had our own circle of friends, and you need have no regrets.  After reading about what you did since graduating from high school you've had an amazingly interesting life. Your experiences in the music business and your talent as a portrait artist have afforded you experiences many of us will never have.  Don't even think about what you missed out on in high school-- that was then, this is now. You've had a great life.  And believe me, my "experiences with the gals" were not nearly as fantastic as you might have thought.

  Welyne Morton expressed an interest in locating me.  I haven't been hiding--I've been at the same address since 1981.  You could have found me through Mickey, of course.  Now that you have my e-mail address, write me. Welyne, you were one of my favorite people in jr.  high and high school. I'd enjoy hearing from you.

  Paul Korman wrote you number of e-mails.  I wrote to him but have received no reply.  His "last man" idea was fine in theory, but there would be no valid way to confirm who the last surviving member of the class of '67 actually is.  Because our class is spread all over the world, someone could live to be over 100, but because he/she may not be on the internet or in touch with anyone else, no one would know about him/her.  Thus, how could the real "last man" be verified?

  A lot of classmates have died in the past 33 years.  I know John Rotunno died back in the 70's, but how did he die?  If anyone knows when and how these other people died, let me know-- Ray Bare, Robert Apt, Fred Savoreaux, Steve Sakezles.  I can fill you in on the details of some of the people who have died.  If I'm repeating any information, I apologize-- I don't know what's been mentioned in the alumni messages before now.  Sharon Austin died very young-- she was in a car accident and died way back around 1965.  Henry Jacobson, who was in excellent health, used to jog every morning.  One morning, after finishing his run, he collapsed in his front yard and died of a massive coronary.  I got this information first hand from Barry Bernstein(where is he now?) about 15 years ago.  Barry and Henry were very close.  Sandy Goldstein developed spinal meningitis and died very soon after it was diagnosed (within days, I think) back in the 1970's or early 80's.

  Marshall Aronowitz died of prostate cancer in the late 1960's or early 70's. Marshall and I go way back to fifth grade at Blue Lakes elementary school where he and I were in the same class with Rodger Aidman, Bob Siebold, Robert Apt, Carol Miller, Nancy Wityak (where is she now?) and Jerry Perch (names that have popped up in e-mails in the last few months).  Marshall went to the University of Florida in 1967 and was in the same fraternity as me.  He was there for two or three years and then died.  Steve Weinstein was a real tragic story.  This, according to Jerry Perch-- Steve went out to California and got involved with drugs.  He overdosed and was found dead in the gutter.  The funny thing about Steve Weinstein is that I saw him around 1969 or 1970.  I was in Dadeland, with my arm in a sling, still recovering from my motorcycle accident, and Steve saw me.  He apparently had heard about my critical accident and the first thing he said to me was, "I heard you were dead." How's that for irony?

  Another interesting "small world" story-- while I was living in Atlanta in the early 1970's, I was standing at the elevator in a downtown department store and who comes up?  Rodger Aidman.  It turns out that we have followed similar paths.  I went to Atlanta after graduating from college; so did Rodger.  I ended up back in south Florida; so did Rodger.  I last saw Rodger at a party given by Arthur Schneebalg in Miami about ten or fifteen years ago.  I assume Aidman is still in Miami.

  Well, I've rambled enough.  Since I'm a freelance writer I spend a lot of time on the computer and would love to hear from anyone else who has no life.  Anything happen with the mini reunion in Boone, N.C.?  And who picked Boone, N.C.  as a location?  Where the hell is that?  How about Buckshoe Bend, Arkansas?   Just kidding-- after all, I was Mr. Wit "67.  You can still count on me for comic relief.

Richard Ross (married name Ross)

p.s.  I noticed in an e-mail from Susan Losey a few months ago that she said she always thought Rodger Aidman was cute.  Hey, Susan, what planet are you from?

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