Tuesday, January 29, 2008

John Hinde January 29, 2008

Hello Gang,

I'm going to miss Jim.

It's been tuff to loose anyone from our classespecially the ones you have known from kindergarten and have reunited recently only to find out they have passed away.

I just want to say how lucky we are to have each other and how much that means to me. Our class was very special, in that, we took care of each other. That's what I remember about Jim Altman...he took care of me and everyone around him. He had a way with social skills that is rare and was unique to him. Despite his temper he always managed to "Keep the Peace" ...wherever possible, yet he never let anyone walk on him. He always spoke his mind and you could say he was a man of authority on all kinds of things.

Jim Altman had a great smile and even better a funny laugh...hard to describe... but very different and contagious. Jim was a dear friend of mine and taught me many things, like how to interpret Bob Dylan songs. He would say "Johnny you know there are a lot of hidden meanings in Dylan's songs ...and I think I know most of what he's saying" Then he would tell me in detail what Bob was really saying. I found those days with Jim fascinating and a wonderful experience. Jim was a great musician and we are going to play several songs in memory of him at his tribute, like the one sung by Keith Harris..."Forever Young"....thanks so much Keith, I know Jimmy will real like this one.

Jim was ahead of his time. He asked a lot of questions about all kinds of things...water supplies to solar energy. His latest comments at the reunion were about energy and recycling. He and I agreed on many topics and I told him that we can make a difference by starting in our own "backyard" ...recycle as much as possible and stop filling the earth with trash. There are so many programs that can help us to wisely use WATER, ENERGY, and BUILDING MATERIALS. Jim would say "We need to take advantage of the new materials to build our homes." As a retired General Building Contractor, Jim always looked at what he could do to protect the homeowner's interest.

A quote from his web site:

"Professionalism, Integrity, Quality Service, Proven Results and Win-Win-Win Negotiation make doing business with me the "Real Deal in Real Estate."

I'm going to miss Jim...big time. I love you like a brother ...may you rest in peace.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Suddenly a widow

I'm wondering if anyone else in the class is a widow or widower. My husband died unexpectedly about five weeks ago from complications of kidney transplant surgery at age 49 (yes! I had a younger husband), and I was the donor. I would really like to hear from anyone else who has experienced the really wrenching loss of a spouse.


Memories of Jim

As I read the memories that Al, Mike & Nancy shared about Jim, I realized my memories are much the same. Jim & I had several classes together and lunch too, if memory serves me. He was smiling, friendly and welcoming. He was always interested in what someone had to say, no matter who they were. It was wonderful to see him at the Reunion, even though we chatted for only a few minutes. I will miss his warmth and charm, but will treasure the mental picture of him smiling at me in class at HPHS.

Maxine Levine Souza

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Al Hackman 1/27/2008

A Partially True Story About Jim Altman
I used to park cars with Jim Altman, when we both worked for HDO Productions. This was probably in our Junior and Senior years of High School.
I remember working with Jim twice (or so I'll claim) although it was so long ago I'm not really sure.
For the sake of the story, I'll stipulate that I'm exaggerating a little and call it one night. It was in the middle of winter, and we were parking cars at the Anixter's house. There was some kind of big, fancy party going on there, and the adults were dressed to the nines. There must have been fifty guests or more.
Well, we had the not-so-tough assignment of parking (and driving) some great old American cars. I'm talking about Cadillacs, Pontiacs, Chryslers, Lincolns and Buicks. Big gas guzzlers, made in the U. S. of A. back in the day. We were wearing red vests, freezing our asses off (although, now that I think of it, it might really have been summer). Jim was the ringleader, I was just a disciple of his. Jim knew way more about real life than I, and I looked up to him. He may have been one of the only guys I knew from Highland Park who knew how to smoke and drink with great panache. Like an old time movie star, he was. Suave, that's what he was.
Mrs. A came out at one point, slurring and weaving as she walked, and invited us into the kitchen so we could get something to eat with "the help." I'm talking about black people, in case there's any doubt about who "the help" was in those days. So Jim and I went into the kitchen and stuffed ourselves with whatever the guests were having. And Scott eventually came in to say hi and said we may as well have a few drinks while we were at it. Man, we got hammered. I guess no one gave much thought to driving drunk back then. I know we didn't.
We got tips of as much as $5 at the end of the night from couples whose cars we were more than a little thrilled to be parking and driving--and drive them we did. We would typically take them for a little spin around whatever block (or blocks) were nearby. Use your imagination. I think we were on or near Sheridan Road, but I'm thinking back more than forty years, and I've already asked for poetic license.
When the night ended we counted up our money, comparing notes about who was or wasn't a great tipper. Jim probably had more. Ater all, he knew how to drive stick and I didn't.
So, Jim was a role model for me. Like a big brother. He was one of the many guys from H. P. who helped explain the facts of life to me. Now that I think of it, he looked like the cat who ate the canary. What a grin he had!
From what I can tell, we were lucky and privileged to have grown up where and when we did. I feel the same way about having known Jim--and many others of you as well.
I never saw Jim again after graduation. I hope his pockets were stuffed with cash when he died.

From Mike Meierhoff January 27, 2008


I'm not much of a blogger or big on mass communication, but I did want to say that I was very sorry to hear the news about Jim Altman in your recent email. He was a fine example of an HPHS student, and a great classmate. Most important, I simply remember him as a good person.

I worked for Jim's uncle, Ralph Altman, at the Altman Camera Company in Chicago while I was in college, and Ralph, who had no children that I knew of, thought of him almost as a son, and would frequently pull me from my sales job to show me pictures and letters from Jim, keeping me (and I'm sure others) posted on how well he was doing. He was very proud of Jim.

As I said, I'm not much of a blogger, but I would appreciate it if you could pass this on to the reunion page, and to Sari and Nancy for his tribute. Unfortunately for reasons of both distance and health (Labs on Thurs. and Chemo on Friday) I won't be in a position to attend.

Thanks Fred, and I hope all is well with you. I do have plans to visit my parent's graves on the North Shore this summer with my sister if I can, and I'll let you know if I'm coming to town. Meanwhile, I have plans to see Peggy and Mark Shapiro on Wednesday here. We were planning on watching the reunion DVD if it arrives in time.

Have a Good...



Friday, January 25, 2008

Tribute to Jim Altman on Tuesday, January 29

Nancy Meserow Mesehan, Sari Kadison-Shapiro and John Hinde have planned a tribute to Jim Altman for 7:00 PM Tuesday, January 29 at Bertucci's in Highwood.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

From Alfredo Monteverde December 31, 2007

Dear friends:

From the heat of Summer in South America, I like to share with all and everyone of
you my deep whishes of a GREAT AND HAPPY NEW YEAR.-

My hope is that you'll enjoy every minute of every hour in each day of the 2008 to
come, starting it today!

Regards to the boys, Love to the girls,

Alfredo Monteverde