Posts Tagged ‘North Plainfiled’

Scranton Reads, Part 2

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Scranton Reads: Serendipity and a Priceless Moment of Affirmation and Gratitude

Written by Tony Mussari, Sr.
Edited by Kitch Loftus-Mussari
Photographs by Kitch Loftus-Mussari
Copyright Mussari-Loftus Associates, LTD 2013
All Rights Reserved

In reality, serendipity accounts for one percent of the blessings we receive in life, work and love. The other 99 percent is due to our efforts.  Peter McWilliams

Every now and then, something happens that takes your breath away and makes you feel good all over.  ItButton_IMG_0034 creates a memory that lasts a lifetime.

Kitch and I had one of those moments three days after our Scranton Reads screening of Walking Into the Light at Gettysburg. It came in the form of a letter from two people who sat in the front row during the screening.

Rather than try to explain what happened, I would like to share the letter and the moment with you.

Dear Dr. Mussari,

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation of "Walking Into the Light" in Scranton on Wednesday evening.  It was truly an emotional experience for both of us.  Having lived in North Plainfield for 32 years, raised three children who went through the school system, and having taught there for 22 years, your film was truly exciting and thought provoking for both of us.

For the past three days I have been reflecting on your film.  I am happy and proud to realize that North Plainfield is a town that truly portrays America on its best day almost 365 days per year.  It is a town where people of many nationalities work and play together every day. I honestly never thought about it before.  Maybe it should be a "role model" for the world.

This is not new to the town.  In the year 2000, our youngest son, Kevin, was a senior in high school.  He shared the role of co-captain of the varsity soccer team with a Hispanic boy, who was a good friend of his. Our son excelled at languages, and after taking Spanish for five years, and having many Spanish speaking friends, he became quite proficient in the language.  

At the Fall Pep Rally, the two co-captains came up with a plan to address the student body speaking their un-native language.  Our son, Kevin, addressed the student body in Spanish, and his friend addressed the student body in English. The audience of approximately 1100 students went wild with applause and acceptance.  I remember feeling so proud of the student body at that time.

I think your film captured the ability of young people to change their views of the world.

The young lady, Chelsea Blue, illustrated this, when she stated that her opinions of General Lee changed when she realized that he actually loved his country, and didn’t really want the war. Kids don’t always realize the different perceptions of people.  This may well be the root of problems in schools, and the world in general.  My hope is that the young people in your film will take what they learned and "pay it forward."

Thank you for taking the time to make such a film and to show it in Scranton.  I’m sure the young people who attended the other night learned a lot.

Diane and Bill Perry

Thank you, Diane and Bill for giving us permission to publish your letter in our blog.
Thank you, for your kind and encouraging comments about the documentary and the work we have been doing in North Plainfield. The honesty and sincerity of your comments fill us with gratitude and appreciation that only a poet can accurately describe.

Samuel Johnson wrote 11 words that record what Kitch and I are feeling about your note:

Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.

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