Welcome to Windsor Park Stories

In this age of 30 minute sitcoms, brutal police dramas and sensational talk shows, a breath of fresh air is blowing across the broadcast airwaves. It emanates from a serene but inspirational place called Windsor Park. After you visit Windsor Park, you will feel uplifted as well as reminded of humanity's aptitude for overcoming the toughest of obstacles.

Professional journalists with the proverbial "nose for news" have always known that some of the best stories do not involve the actions of high profile public figures. Instead, they are a part of the lives of ordinary people with extraordinary stories to tell.

This is the concept behind Windsor Park Stories. Produced by the award-winning team of Mussari-Loftus Associates of Dallas, Pennsylvania, Windsor Park Stories calls out to everyday television viewers with messages of hope, inspiration and service.

Despite Windsor Park Stories focus on everyday people, the series is not simply a collection of observations about regional life. Instead, it centers on the real life experiences of people who visit the gardens at Windsor Park. Many of the stories are told by residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania, while others are told by people who live half a world away.

Thinking About Joe Paterno PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tony Mussari   
Sunday, 22 January 2012 13:59

Joe Paterno

Written By Tony Mussari, Sr.
Copyright 2012
Mussari-Loftus Associates, LTD
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In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Dr. Martin Luther king

The news of Joe Paterno’s death did not take me by surprise, I expected it. Anyone who followed his story during the past two weeks, knew that Joe Paterno’s days were numbered. Nevertheless, I was saddened to read about Joe’s passing.105_Joe Paterno

During my lifetime, I had three encounters with Joe Paterno.  All of them were positive.

The first time I called him, he answered his own phone. I invited him to be a speaker at a banquet here in my hometown.  He could not attend because of health problems his wife was experiencing. He graciously volunteered to get us another speaker, and he did.

Our second meeting happened when my brother Ken introduced me to Joe at a social function. He was polite, gracious and very friendly.

The third contact took place 21 years ago. My brother, an avid Penn State fan, died shortly after he left the Blockbuster Bowl in the third quarter.  The cause, a fatal heart attack.He was 53-years-old. Our family was devastated. I wrote to Joe Paterno to tell him about Ken’s death. I asked him to write a letter to Ken’s wife and children to ease their pain.

This is the letter he wrote:

105_ Paterno Letter A800

During an interview for Windsor Park Stories in 2007, Lee Lispi, one of Joe Paterno’s players, spoke about Joe Paterno the coach and the man. You can watch that interview at this address:

http://www.windsorparktheater.com/index.php?option=com_hwdvideoshare&task=viewvideo&Itemid=27&video_id=102

Much has been written and said about Joe Paterno during the past few months. In my mind’s eye, the words William Shakespeare wrote for Mark Antony should be comforting to Joe Paterno’s family and instructive to us:

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;105_JCFolgLib
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest -
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men -
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

105_J Paterno TFDOn this day of parting, the words of Joe Paterno ring true for me.  This morning I sent his words as a thought for the day to a friend and former student to ease the pain of a recent setback in his life.

Joe Paterno, coach, teacher, philanthropist, husband, father and grandfather is dead at 85. He achieved greatness. He empowered others to do good work on and off the field. He was human. He made mistakes, and one serious and haunting misjudgment. He lived long enough to acknowledge that misjudgment.

He was, in Shakespeare’s words, an honorable man.

May God have mercy on his soul.

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Last Updated on Monday, 23 January 2012 07:39
 
Be Yourself: Our Face of America Journey Continues PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tony Mussari   
Monday, 16 January 2012 16:59

Be Yourself!

Written By Tony Mussari
Copyright 2011
Mussari-Loftus Associates
The Face of America Project
www.faceofamericawps.com
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To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. Ralph Waldo Emerson

N.E.D., Hallelujah!

If you have been following our Face of America journey, you know the good, the bad and the ugly about Kitch’s battle with breast cancer. We shared our story as a patient and a caregiver to help others better navigate the dark gravel road called cancer.106_Kitchsm

In this our first newsletter of 2012, we would like to share some very good news.  Kitch completed all of her post treatment tests, and recently she heard these words from her primary care physician: “No Evidence of Disease!”

The acronym N.E.D. filled our hearts with a kind of joy and relief that defies description.

To everyone who helped reach this goal, we want you to know that we are grateful for your acts of kindness and your prayers of healing.

We are forever indebted to the doctors, nurses and medical technicians, who gave Kitch the competent and compassionate care that produced this positive outcome.

You can be sure that we will spend the rest of our life helping others meet the challenges of cancer so they can hear the words “No Evidence of Disease.”

Looking Backward

Two years ago this weekend, Kitch and I were in Yarmouth, Maine.  It was the first trip in what would become our Face of America journey across America. 106_yarmouth1

While we were there, we attended Sunday service at the historic First Parish Church. We visited with Frank Knight, one of the most respected citizens in Yarmouth and the revered caretaker of Herbie, a 240-year-old Dutch Elm that was about to be taken down.

“You get old because you stop doing things,” Frank Knight told us. “You don’t stop doing things because you get old.” The former tree warden of Yarmouth knows what he is talking about. He was 101 years young when he shared this advice with us.

For three days, the Down East Village Restaurant and Motel was our home.  Ed and Sue Ferrell were perfect hosts.

To this day, we have fond memories of our visit to Maine, the people we met and the things we learned there about America at its best.  We are looking forward to a return visit, if and when our book is published.

You can read about our experience in Maine at this address:

http://faceofamericawps.com/news/visiting-maine-in-search-of-the-face-of-america/

Happy Birthday, Dr. King

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Day, Kitch and I would like to share some of his quotations that remind us of what America is on its best day:106_mlk loc

Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.

He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.

Life’s most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.

The time is always right to do what is right. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

We must accept finit106_RFK MLKe disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

When I think about the life and death of Martin Luther King, the poignant words spoken by Senator Robert Kennedy come to mind:

Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice for his fellow human beings, and he died because of that effort...Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and to make gentle the life of this world...Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.

Why?

Recently, someone asked me a vey pointed question: “Why do you spend so much time searching for the Face of America on its best day?”

My answer was quite simple: “I am trying to be useful.”

Yes, useful.

When Kitch and I produced corporate videos of J.P. Morgan’s CEO, Dennis Weatherstone, he was quick to tell large audiences of employees 106_JPM Door that among the most important people in the bank were the people who worked in the mail room. “If they get it wrong,” he would say, “everything can fall apart,”

That does not mean that CEO’s, and other executive types are not important, but  without the men and women who are on the ground in the classrooms, offices, operating rooms and mail rooms of institutions in cities and towns across America, not very much would get done.

These are the people who make America work. Seldom if ever, do they get any attention.  Their work does not make the headlines. They are not the subject cable news programs. In a way, they are very much like my father.

My father was a signal maintainer for the D&H Railroad.  If he got it wrong on the job, trains would crash.  If he got it wrong at home, I would 106_dadnot be writing this. He was not rich, powerful or famous. He was the most important and lasting influence in my life.  Watching him sacrifice for his family gave me a Ph.D. in what really matters in life.

He was not an angry man. He was not a self absorbed man. He was not stressed out about his situation.  His world was his family, his neighborhood and his church.  He was thoughtful, generous, and kind. He took pride in his work, and he was grateful for everything he had. He was a patriotic and loyal citizen. He lived a useful life.

From my father, I learned that the greatness of America can be found at the ground level. He taught me by example to live the words of Emerson:

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.

As we begin the third year of our Face of America journey, Kitch and I are determined to do what Suzanne McCabe encouraged us to do:

Please keep on focusing on the positive people and happenings around us.  So much of what we hear and read focuses on the negative – your stories remind us that we really are surrounded by good, but the negative tends to drown it out.  Please keep giving good a voice!

Toward that end, you will find three new articles in our Face of America Blog. They highlight the accomplishments of three genuine Faces of 106_collageAmerica:

Mollie Marti, Holly Berry and Debbie Heberling.

You will find their stories at these secure addresses:
http://faceofamericawps.com/news/walking-with-justice/

http://faceofamericawps.com/news/serendipity-meeting-holly-berry/

http://faceofamericawps.com/news/service-with-a-smile-and-kind-words-to-match/

Until the next time, we hope that all of your stories have happy endings.

Tony & Kitch Mussari

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Last Updated on Thursday, 19 January 2012 10:37
 
Christmas Greetings from Windsor Park PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tony Mussari   
Sunday, 18 December 2011 19:53

Christmas Greetings from Windsor Park

By Tony Mussari
Copyright 2011
Mussari-Loftus Associates
The Face of America Project
www.faceofamericawps.com,
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"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.” Charles Dickens

Moments to Remember!07IMG_3300

Kitch and I would like to share a few of the magic moments we experienced during our recent Face of America trip to North Plainfield, New Jersey. To be honest, these were four of the most wonderful days of the year. They were filled with learning moments, teaching moments, affirming moments and humbling moments.

The learning moments happened during a production of A Christmas Carol.  At one point in the play, 60 students, teachers and administrators were on the stage dramatizing the words of Charles Dickens.  They helped everyone in the audience better understand the spirit and the meaning of Christmas.  Kitch and I were exhilarated and rejuvenated by the profound words of Charles Dickens and the excellent performance of his play in North Plainfield.

If you have a minute, you can read about our evening with Dickens and how the play puts Christmas in perspective. You will find it at this secure address:

http://faceofamericawps.com/news/an-evening-with-dickens/

107_RCMHAnother learning moment took place at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Kitch and I attended the Christmas Spectacular with Jacqueline and Tom Mazur. There were many aha moments during the stage show. The one that made the greatest impression on my heart involved a song Closer Than You Know. It provided the theme for a prophetic story about a frazzled mother who was looking for the perfect Christmas gift for her daughter.

This secure address will take you to an article about our Radio City Music Hall Christmas experience and some pictures we took of the building once heralded as the showplace of the nation:

http://faceofamericawps.com/news/a-day-in-new-york/

Teaching Moments

The teaching moments happened during and after two student assemblies at the North Plainfield Senior High School. I was given an opportunity 107_Emilys Legacysmto speak to more than 1,000 students before two separate screenings of our documentary Shanksville, PA: A Place of Transformation.  I did my very best to introduce the students to the Legacy of 2LT Emily Perez, the meaning of the word hero and the importance of community service.

If you are looking for something to counteract all of the negative messages we get in the news these days, the short video we produced about Emily’s Legacy and the two articles we wrote about the students we met in North Plainfield will lift your spirits and give you hope.

These links will take you to the short video and the articles:

http://faceofamericawps.com/video/emilys-legacy/

http://faceofamericawps.com/news/four-days-in-north-plainfield-nj-part-3/

http://faceofamericawps.com/news/four-days-in-north-plainfield-nj-part-4/

An Evening like No Other

107_joflgOn December 6, the North Plainfield school district hosted a community screening of our Shanksville documentary. It was an evening of special moments and unexpected surprises. In every respect of the word it was a perfect experience.

Kitch and I have tried to record the magic and the memories for you in this article:

http://faceofamericawps.com/news/four-days-in-north-plainfield-nj-part-5/

Living Christmas

Please accept these offerings as a Christmas present given from our hearts to everyone who has been kind and helpful to us during our Face of America journey across America and Kitch’s year-long battle with cancer.107_GiftNPS_sm

If you are wondering why we continue to search for the Face of America on its best day despite all of the reversals, obstacles and setbacks, if you are wondering why we are determined to highlight stories of hope inspiration and107_rocktree service just like we did whhen we were producing Windsor park Stories, you will find our inspiration in the courageous life of 2LT Emily Perez, in the wonderful work being done in the North Plainfield School District and the encouraging words we receive from people like you who read our newsletter.

A few weeks ago, a person we admire and respect wrote these words after she read our November newsletter:

“Please keep on focusing on the positive people and happenings around us.  So much of what we hear and read focuses on the negative – your stories remind us that we really are surrounded by good, but the negative tends to drown it out.  Please keep giving good a voice!”

As Kitch and I look forward to Christmas and the New Year, the words of Charles Dickens fill our hearts with a desire to live the Christmas spirit every day of the year:

“I have always thought of Christmas time… as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time.”

Merry Christmas, and may God bless us everyone.

Tony & Kitch Mussari
Producers
The Face of America Project
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Last Updated on Sunday, 25 December 2011 11:54
 
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