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Jon-Erik on JP Mullin: in his own words

A Couple of Pages from JP Mullin's 1976 Tenakin Yearbook

JP Mullin had a lasting impact on Jon-Erik -- and, on a couple of ragged pages once xeroxed from JP's own 1976 Tenafly High School yearbook -- carried around by yours truly for many years in a scrapbook -- and mostly forgotten until now, we have Jon-Erik's actual words describing what JP meant to him.   They clearly explain why we have chosen to include his teacher, senior class advisor, and friend on our website:

"Dear J.P.,

"As you said, there is absolutely no way we can say and express all the events we've been in together and emotions involved.

"So many kids and especially myself really
appreciate all you have done for us and THS.  I love this place, or more correctly, the people within it.  I suppose my feelings toward the school and my friends here may change, but I'll always have some damn fine memories of this place and people like you.  When I grow slightly older and have kids, I hope I can have as deep a love and purpose you seem to have in your family. 

"Though rough waves and mean sharks plague the Tenakill Sea,
There is no place on the earth that I'd rather be.
The friends we have made are the essence of life,
friends of old and friends of New.
Though severance, by time, of our ties be eternal,
Remember me - I won't forget you.

"I'm leaving, and can freeze things, life at THS in general.  You can't.  Keep working (and I know you will) to maintain Tiger spirit in THS and life.

"Love, 
Jack
'76"


***

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Few people knew it, but the publicity stories at the time didn't get Jon-Erik's life story quite right: it's often written that he moved to New York City days after his graduation from Michigan State University in May 1980.  He didn't.  He moved back that summer to Bergen County, NJ.

 By this time, his mother had remarried, his brother had long since gone away to college, and his childhood home at 35 Elm Street was sold, so he divided his time living in two places: with his Aunt Dorie and Uncle Ed in Cresskill, and on the Mullin family's den sofa in Park Ridge.  JP would lend him his Trans Am to drive into Manhattan for regular classes and auditions, and Jon-Erik balanced this time with jobs including janitorial work at Tattered Tom's, a small pub in Cresskill, NJ, bartending at Farrell's Ice Cream shop in Paramus Park, Paramus, NJ (which had recently started serving alcohol), and lifeguarding at swimming pools in area towns like Saddle River, NJ.   Later, he would move to Manhattan full-time, where he would work briefly at Bond's International Casino and as an apartment cleaner, between interviews and classes. 

But those early days wouldn't have been successful without JP's generous assistance.  Jon-Erik was always deeply appreciative of this, and had great affection for his friend and mentor.  He would continue to write JP and the Mullin family regularly after he moved to LA and attained career success.

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