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1. It's Maple Sugaring Weekend (the first of two) up here in the North Country, and we're headed out at some point for a pancake breakfast at one of the local sugaring houses.

2. I have actually gotten a chance to watch some of the NCAA tournament this year. I have not had cable television for the better part of three years, but I realize I really do enjoy watching sports on TV. It's also nice that it's all available free on the internetm but I still like the big-screen.

3. One of the people who had a real impact on me when I was in high school was our assistant principal and football coach, Sal Augeri ("Sal is your pal.").

Anyway, I was reading the hometown paper this morning, looking for something, and I discovered that Bob Mudge, who was a little older than my dad, had passed away. Mr. Mudge was one of the those hometown guys, who stayed and became a comnmunity leader. He was the principal of the high school for years, coached sports, was on the Town Council and School Board.

What I never realized, was his impact on the man who had an impact on me.

From the Westerly Sun

Former Westerly High School principal, football coach and school superintendent Salvatore Augeri, reached at his home in Florida, was “devastated” by the news about the man he called his “second father,” the man who made a profound difference in his life.

“Even though I knew this day would come,” said Augeri, “Even though I’ve thought about it and have almost been expecting it, I’m devastated. I am missing him already.”

Calling Mudge “an unusual teacher and an unusual guy,” Augeri echoed a sentiment repeated by many; Bob Mudge, was an outstanding athlete, statesman, mentor, gentleman and “a true, true friend.”

“He changed my whole life,” Augeri said, recounting the day Mudge asked him what he was planning to do following his graduation from high school in 1956.

“I’ll never forget it,” he said, “When I told him I was planning on going to work at the S & S Food Fair, he told me, ‘You’d better get yourself to college.’”

Mudge proceeded to walk Augeri through the college application process and on to acceptance at the University of Rhode Island. Later Mudge would encourage his protégé to earn a master’s degree and seek the top job for teachers in the town.

“I never would have gone to college if it hadn’t been for Bob,” said Augeri. “He knew just about everything you could know about the town of Westerly – everything.”

“His leadership and his guidance made my life,” he added.

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September 2015

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