In Memory

Alan McFarlane

Alan McFarlane

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10/29/13 11:29 AM #1    

Jeffrey Mohn

Small events...tremendous outcomes.

I was friends with Al beginning in grammar school and all through high school. He got me my first job in ninth grade at Kiddy Lane at the Bergen Mall. Loading the little kids on and off the rides all day Saturday. Eight hours work, and at the end of the day we got a $10 dollar bill.

We were also members of the Maywood Civil Defense\Auxiliary Fire Department, which we joined as soon as reaching the minimum 15 1/2 year age limit. We were trained in fire fighting and the use of rescue equipment, and also participated in various parades during the summers. It was a learning experience in more ways than one, especially when we joined in the after parade activities, which consisted principally of hanging around and drinking beer with the other firemen. A much more innocent time.

Al was always a fan of cars, and he constantly tinkered with that Buick he owned; eventually turning it into a pretty hot street machine.  He also began spending more and more time up at Greenwood Lake, where his brother-in-law owned a construction business.

So let's get to the point. Al had an incredible influence on the direction of my whole life.

First one...... One evening he and Wayne Holt were cruising around the McDonald's parking lot in Hackensack...Al was looking to pick up girls.  They spotted two in another car, and tried to get them to stop and chat...the girls either wanted no part of them or were playing hard to get. Either way, Al was persistent to the point total embarrassment when they finally stopped on Kinderkamack Road and, believe it or not, agreed to a date.

Long story short; that persistence and chance encounter led directly to his meeting his wife, Betty, and my meeting the girl that I've been married to for forty two years.

Second one....For those of us who did not go directly to college, the specter of the draft loomed imminently in the summer of '65.  A group of us, including Al decided to check our options in the various branches of the military.  While we were dithering, Al suddenly announced that he had signed up for the Air Force. When we asked why...he said "I like the uniform".  Somehow, he convinced me and Wayne and another friend to join with him, which we did. A few weeks into basic training, the Air Force discovered that Al had a minor medical condition that they could either treat, or give him a medical discharge...and  he chose the discharge.

So it goes. Al left the Air Force and went back to work for East Arm Construction, and eventually moved to Florida with the business and his family. Wayne went off to Vietnam and I did my thing, which led to a whole different direction in my life. We eventually lost contact with Al.

R.I.P. old friend. Who knows what would have been without you.

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