Last week’s cover story, "Duck and Cover 2005: For disaster planners, Katrina is a wake up call," made us look at our own disaster plan and pat ourselves on the back. We have our computers backed up, plus we have off-site storage for both electronic files and archived copies of the newspaper.
Then at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, with 19,000 copies of that cover story sitting on a loading dock in southwest Philadelphia, we got a phone call from Florida. It was our regular driver, on vacation, warning us that the substitute driver couldn’t pick up the truck. While it was parked where it was supposed to be parked, it had been locked, and the key was unavailable. Our regular driver in Florida had the home phone number for the truck rental proprietor, but it was out of date.
Now our man in Florida needed to know if the printer could accommodate a different size truck. We knew the main phone number for the printer, but we didn’t have the extension for the loading dock. Did we have a call list for our delivery crew? Of course not. We had everything but.
We escaped serious problems last Wednesday. Our driver managed to rent another truck near the printer. Though the truck was the wrong size for the loading dock, the substitute did get the papers loaded and somehow managed to get them to Roszel Road only about an hour behind schedule. By the end of the day the problem was a distant memory.
But it shows that, while hurricanes make for high drama and great television (see Richard K. Rein’s column on page 63), you don’t need a hurricane to discover that your disaster plan is inadequate. So now we are rethinking our plan, this time by using the checklist from "Blueprint for Emergency Preparedness," the check list provided by the task force put together by the state commerce, economic growth & tourism commission (609-777-0885). The first item on the list could have helped us last week:
Maintain a phone list of key employees and customers and provide copies to key staff members. Develop an emergency contact list.
The lesson learned: Hard copies still count.
Where Are They Now?
Alumni associations can claim all they like that they exist for networking and career opportunities. But, c’mon, we all know better – they’re really just a way to extend the party!
That’s what the Penn State alumni seemed to say in the January, 1988, photo that was resurrected for the October illustrationi in U.S. 1’s 2005 wall calendar. Back then they cheerfully (and whimsically) represented the central Jersey chapter as part of a story U.S. 1 did on alumni associations active in the Princeton area.
Most of the people in the photo – Doug Danweber, Luann Angelo, John LaRose, Chris Krier, Tony Salvaggio, and Dot Podlesney – worked for GE Astro Space. Only Fred Hetzel hailed from another corporate home, working at the time for Squibb. Everyone agrees that Salvaggio was the driving force behind the group, the rabid Nittany Lion football fan who wanted company on game day.
In time, GE Astro was sold to Martin Marietta, which eventually morphed into Lockheed Martin Space Systems. Some alumni moved with the company: Danweber to Arizona, Salvaggio to California. Marriage and motherhood called away Angelo, who now lives in Marlton. LaRose married, moved to Muncy, Pennsylvania, and became a pilot for the state police. Krier and Podlesney are unaccounted for, their trails having dimmed over time.
The only person depicted who remains in the area is Fred Hetzel, Class of ’64. He has lived in Princeton Junction with his wife, Marianne, for 32 years. Their three children have grown and gone out on their own – Molly, a securities analyst in Arlington, Va., Rick an architect in Atlanta, and Kevin a home renovation specialist in Medford. The couple have two grandchildren and just this month celebrated their 40th anniversary.
A few years after the photo was taken, Hetzel chose the entrepreneurial route and is today the principal of Kemari Consulting, lending his expertise in the development of medical devices. He also acts as an expert witness for cases in which medical devices – catheters, breast implants, surgical sutures, and the like – have failed.
Hetzel holds degrees in chemistry from both Penn State and Ohio State. But as a doctoral student at Ohio State in 1964, Hetzel remembers daring to take his Lion loyalty into enemy territory.
"I went to the game against Ohio State that year," he says. "I think I was the only person in the stadium cheering for Penn State. I barely escaped with my life, as I recall." (The Nittany Lions won the game, 27-0.)
It must be noted, too, that the man who is in the photo in spirit but cardboard-only in reality, Joe Paterno, remains at Penn State. Jo Pa is in his 55th year of coaching at Penn State, 40 of them as head coach. During the 2001 season, he passed Paul "Bear" Bryant to become the leader in career wins by a major college coach. He’s had his good years and bad, but Joe’s boys are 7-1 so far this season.
While the central Jersey chapter is now inactive, the Penn State Alumni Association is still going strong. Having begun in 1870 with a dozen alumni meeting in their beloved Old Main, the association today is the largest dues-paying alumni association in the country, with 156,142 members. (Full disclosure: This writer is herself a graduate of Dear Old State and wrote the original story. That’s as close as she’s going to get to claiming her graduating class.)
Everything is not as it seems in the photo, however. Having the photo described to him, LaRose laughs and says the person identified as him is really someone else. He remembers the U.S. 1 photographer gathering the group together. LaRose was leery of being in the paper, though, so he wandered off at the last moment. Yet somehow his name still made it into the caption. After the passage of so much time, no one can identify the mystery man in the photo. So, if you’re out there, you hail from PSU, and you want to claim your mustachioed 1988 self-call and fess up!