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Old 08-21-2009, 10:59 AM   #1
Cliff Schorr
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Mike Alterbaum

Dear Wel-Met Friends,
I have very sad news to report. As some of you may already know, our dearest friend, Mike Alterbaum, has been battling cancer. Unfortunately, his illness has suddenly worsened and there are plans to move him into hospice. Several of us are making plans to visit him in Houston in the coming weeks.

For those of you that don't know Mike, he is the creator of this website and the organizer of the most recent (and successful) Wel-Met reunions. He truly has Wel-Met in his DNA!

If you wanted to reach out to Mike either here or directly, now would be a good time to do so.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike and his family. We love you, Mike

Cliff Schorr
clschorr@aol.com
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:06 PM   #2
jmfeld22
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Cliff

I live in Houston and spoke to Mike several times over the years - please let me know what hospital and when.

Jay Feld
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:03 AM   #3
EddieK
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Mike (Peach) Alterbaum

This is such sad news. Peach is absolutely the energy behind the website and reunions...Many of us have known him since we were little kids. He has always been a uniquely talented and wonderful person. Those who know him as an adult may not be aware that back in the day he was a phenomenal athlete - also a fine guitar player...Cliff's comment that Wel-Met is in his DNA is perfect !

Any details on how he can be reached would be appreciated.

Eddie
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:40 AM   #4
Cliff Schorr
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Mike Alterbaum

Eddie, shoot me an email at clschorr@aol.com and I can give you the contact details. Hope all is well with you-
Cliff
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Old 08-22-2009, 01:50 PM   #5
roz
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I, too, have been in close contact with Mike this past year during his brave battle.

I am going to try to visit Mike sometime during the week of August 31. I will probably be there for a day or two depending on flights etc. as I need to be back home by Labor Day weekend. If anyone would like to coordinate a visit, please get in touch with me. Otherwise, Jay, or any other Houston folks, would you be able to help me get to the Hospice?

Roz

Last edited by roz; 08-22-2009 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 08-22-2009, 04:59 PM   #6
Harvey Shiffman
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mike our thoughts and prayers are with you, everyone who has ever been to wel-met and appreciates all that you have done to get us back together send their positive energy to you
best
harvey
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Old 08-22-2009, 05:40 PM   #7
robbi goldberg
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mike: thanks so much for all of your efforts at bringing us all together -- and for bringing us back to camp. it was so fantastic to be there with you and everyone else..........you are in my thoughts and i am wishing you peace and all the best. i hope that those who will journey to see mike in houston will give him a huge hug and kiss for me......much love, robbi
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Old 08-22-2009, 06:23 PM   #8
tgrossman
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To Mike

Mike,

If not for your tremendous efforts ..... I would not have been reunited with so many wonderful people.
You furnished me with the WEl-Met artwork ..... I was able to produce the T-shirts which everyone enjoyed .
Thank you for getting the ball rolling ........... my thoughts and prayers are with you, and your family.
I wish you Peace.

Todd Grossman

Last edited by tgrossman; 08-22-2009 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 08-22-2009, 06:51 PM   #9
David Fried
 
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Unhappy

Cliff thanks for the update. I will always insure that Mike's legacy will firmly attached to this site. We would not be here if it wasn't for Mike's vision and energy.
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:48 PM   #10
rchshp
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Mike,
One of the best summers of my life was when we camped out across the country together. About 7 years ago you called out of the blue to tell me of the website and catch me up on all our old friends. I was so glad to hear from you and it was even better when we got together for the reunion. You might not know it but back in division 2, I was one of the younger kids and at the other end of the row were the older kids, there was one kid who was named Peach and I dreaded when we had to play you and the other big kids in baseball. You guys would regularly clean our clocks. Mike thanks for the memories and for getting us all together. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. All my best - Rich Shapiro
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:09 PM   #11
Ira Shuldman
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Mike
though you and I have never met, being part of the Wel met experience is connection enough. Thank you for starting the site and having the insight to remember what was then and how it changed many of our lives. As Cliff said you have Wel-Met DNA, an understatement. Thanks for allowing us to have the memories from you work.
thanks Mike
Ira Shuldman
Barryville, 63-69

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Schorr View Post
Dear Wel-Met Friends,
I have very sad news to report. As some of you may already know, our dearest friend, Mike Alterbaum, has been battling cancer. Unfortunately, his illness has suddenly worsened and there are plans to move him into hospice. Several of us are making plans to visit him in Houston in the coming weeks.

For those of you that don't know Mike, he is the creator of this website and the organizer of the most recent (and successful) Wel-Met reunions. He truly has Wel-Met in his DNA!

If you wanted to reach out to Mike either here or directly, now would be a good time to do so.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike and his family. We love you, Mike

Cliff Schorr
clschorr@aol.com
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:26 PM   #12
rriporte
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So many memories Mike. Just thinking of you brings a big smile to my face. There are so few people who can live in the peace that they have brought such happiness to so many. Love you and thinking of you. Roberta (Roz, you give that gorgeous man a great big kiss from me...ok?)
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:11 PM   #13
paullanger
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Catalyst

Hi Mike:

I want you to know that you are the catalyst that sparked a reconnection of a close group of Barryville Campers. It was this site that brought together our little cadre in 2003 after so many years. We remain in touch and see each other often. Thank you again for giving us this everlasting gift.

All my best wishes to you.

With love,
Paul Langer
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:05 PM   #14
CarolPotashnick
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Mike, you made such a difference in so many lives and made so many people so happy. Thank you for everything you did for the Wel-Met family. What a gift. I wish you only the best and peace and love. Cyberhugs, Carol
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:50 PM   #15
Bruce Sorkin
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Thank you

I only found this site today and I have been busy looking through the names and memories. You put in just incredible amounts of work on this. It is fantastic. My prayers will be with you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Bruce Sorkin
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:41 PM   #16
Alan Alterbaum
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I was in Houston to see Mike last week and, while at times he is in another
world and doesn't know what year it is or what month it is, he does come out
with Wel-Met names and stories from years ago as if they happened yesterday.
It is remarkable to see his brain in action. Cliff is right when he says he has Wel-Met in his DNA.

As I get updates, I will post more information. Right now, the news is not good at all as his condition deteriorates daily. Gerry and I are also going back down Labor Day weekend. I will bring down with me a printout of all of the messages that have been posted and I will read them to him so he hears what all of you have to say.

In the meanwhile, please know that everyone's thoughts, words, and calls help give us strength. Let's keep using the website to stay in touch. It is what Mike would want.

He does not have a phone available, but his address is Houston Hospice, 1905 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, Texas 77030.

Gerry and Alan
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:54 PM   #17
todd
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memories

So I just spent an hour going back to the beginning, book 1, and and I am forever
grateful that we all have Mike in our lives.

As a result of knowing him (and his initiating this site) we have reconnected with so many old and dear friends and revisited so many happy memories.

The existence of this site has brought so much joy to so many special people.

The fact that so many of us now talk and write and see each other on a regular basis is Mike's greatest gift.

What a loving legacy!

Marty, Cliff and I are heading to Houston on Friday. We will bring all of you with us in our hearts....
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:55 PM   #18
CarolPotashnick
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Alan and Gerry, Wishing you and your family strength, comfort and peace at this difficult time as well...Carol et al
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:55 AM   #19
Ron Rosenberg
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Reconnecting...

Hi Gerry,

About six or seven years ago I got an e-mail from an old friend - completely out of the blue - with a picture of Mrs. Jensby holding a chicken up by its neck, and a link to www.wel-metcamps.com.

I spent the next three hours sifting through the postings, seeing many familiar names, both campers and councilors alike. Unfortunately, I was on vacation in the Adirondacks with my family at the time, so that didn't go over that well. Still, how could I stop? It was Wel-Met!

Although I didn't make it to the first reunion at the Neville, I did make the trek up to Narrowsburg in '05 - no small task since I had just undergone 5-1/2 hours of knee surgery just a month before.

We had 12 people from our group (Pioneers '74 / WT2 '75) in what I believe was the largest contingent from any year - 13, actually, if we include you, since you were a very popular girls' councilor for our group - I believe in Unit IV and V.

This was a very surreal and very special experience since most of us hadn't seen each other in over 30 years. And still, it was like we had just been together a week ago. That was the nature of the bonds we formed during all those years together at Wel-Met.

And it was all made possible by Mike's extraordinary effort and commitment.

Please extend my sincere and heartfelt thanks to Mike for making it possible for us to rediscover these very special relationships - both virtually, and at the reunion, held on what one person described as "the sacred grounds themselves."

Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

-- Ron Rosenberg
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:10 AM   #20
Siehs
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Mike

Whenever I see a red vintage truck circa 1950, I think of Wel-Met first and Peach second, (Sorry Marty, Marty, Mark and Todd). Thank you for being the catalyst for bringing us all together through this website and the reunions. Thanks for bringing us our mail, our cookies and milk, taking us to the Hospital in Honesdale when we broke our arms and for the ice cream afterwards. Thanks for finding the lost campers that just started walking down the road out of camp and for the rides to Narrowsburg. Thank You, Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:17 AM   #21
Maxene
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Mike

I've always had wonderful Wel-Met memories. I would consider them to be among the best years of my life. Thanks to Mike we have been able to rekindle friendships and re spark so many wonderful memories. This site was the reason I climbed up into my attic to recover my Wel-Met scrap book, that I have posted here and on the Wel-Met face book site. Through Mike we were able to connect to our Wel-met family. Thank you Mike for creating and managing this wonderful site.

That's what Wel-Met is, a family. Even though we now are scattered all over the country and the globe, as in any family we come together to offer help and solace when one of ours is in trouble. Some of us, like myself have never met, Mike, but being part of the Wel-Met experience is connection enough. . Thanks for bringing these memories and connections back.

Our thoughts of love are with you and your family during this difficult time. Wishing you all strength, love, and peace.

Maxene Diamond Spindell
Barryville Staff
1967?-1971
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:35 PM   #22
bgold57
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Alan,

I spoke to Mike just a few weeks ago, maybe a month.
He and I talked for about an hour and laughed about old times.

Although I knew he was sick, he did not indicate that the cancer had progressed as far as it has.

I asked him at the time whether he felt like there were things he wanted to do, things unfinished and his response to me was

" You know Beth, I am a lucky guy. There isn't anything I feel that I have to or want to do"

I was struck by his statement... "I am a lucky guy". If this doesn't sum up Mike I do not know what else does.

He always held a positive attitude, and held a light up for the rest of us with his emphatic way of talking and his love for his friends and of course for Wel-Met.

He told me he was planning another reunion and he was going to call it...

"The last round-up!" He laughed saying he thought is was a good name.

I have sent along a card to the hospice house and hugs to be given by marty and todd when they get there.

I hope that you can share these messages on the forum with Mike so that he can know how loved he is.

I will be thinking of you and Gerry and sending prayers for Mike and his wife and daughter as well.

love

Beth
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:32 PM   #23
Docbrett
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Friendship

They say love endures. Michael's love for each of us is witnessed and expressed each and every day. Together we find love, friendship, comfort, laughter and remembrance. We find one another. Strength in numbers, commonality from our shared experience.

Michael's vision is for us to again be reunited in the present through a link to our past. His great gift to us is unwrapped each time we log onto this site. Damned if he didn't accomplish it!

As a kid, his was always the voice of reason, the calming influence, the bridge that narrowed the gap of misunderstanding, that remarkably maintained friendships even in the face of adversity anger and frustration. That is Michael.

If peace is to be made, if a rift is to be mended, you always know he will be somehwhere quietly healing the wound, somewhere in the mix working to put things right again. Putting people back together. Reaching out.

The "Great Communicator" has nothing on him. I witnessed his magic repeatedly. Softly he could reason you back into the fold. His greatest pleasure comes from knowing everyone is ok, everyone has been taken care of. His great gift is always his gift to others.

I guess courage and strength of character doesn't always roar. Sometimes it is simply the quiet voice at days end that says, "I will try again tomorrow." Michael simply puts your hand in his and finds a way to help you. To teach you. He always has.

Peach, I am truly blessed to have you as my friend. You innately knew we felt as you did, and through your strength and vision you once again let us come together. Each one of us owes you a debt of gratitude. Thank you and God bless you. You are in my thoughts and my prayers. You are forever and always deeply loved.

Brett Finkelstein

Last edited by Docbrett; 08-27-2009 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:19 PM   #24
Barb Scheinman
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Update on Mike

Hello Friends -
Some of you know me, I was once married to Michael, and he and I have remained very close over the past years. Early today, Michael's wife and best friend in Houston were called to the hospice because Michael's condition worsened. He is now in a coma, and it is not known how much longer he will be with us. Some - me included - had arrangements to go down to Houston to be with him. Now it may not happen. But if it does not, then it was not meant for Michael to be remembered in any way other than full of life. That is how he always was, that is how he would want to be. Since he cannot be that way now, it maybe was not meant to be for us to see him this way. The important thing is that Michael is not in pain, he does not know what is happening, and he is where he can get what he needs. Those of us who love Michael are suffering, but Michael is not. He is dreaming of Wel-Met, and all of his friends who will always have him in our hearts.
If anyone wants to reach me, my cell is always on: 949-500-2268.
My heart is broken, but full of love for you all - Barbara
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:27 AM   #25
JaneGoldschlager
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Mike

My thoughts are with you, Mike. Wherever you are, you are a special and loved man. Peace always. Love, Jane Goldschlager
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Old 08-27-2009, 11:21 AM   #26
jmfeld22
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RE: Mike

Our thoughts and prays are with you.

Jay
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Old 08-27-2009, 01:15 PM   #27
Alan Alterbaum
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Dear All,
Michael passed away this morning around 11:35 this morning (NY time). Alan was on the phone talking with Diane. I guess he was waiting for his big brother to be with him, if not in person then the next best thing. Thank you all for your loving thoughts and support. As of now we don't know any of the specific details being either in Houston or NY but will post the info. when known.
Gerry
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Old 08-27-2009, 01:43 PM   #28
Barb Scheinman
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Michael Robert Alterbaum - PEACH

Dear Friends -
It is with a heavy heart that I have to tell you we all lost Michael this morning at 10:40 am Houston time. His brother Alan was on the phone with Michael's wife Diane at that very moment, so he was, as always, there for Michael. Michael's wife and his Houston best friend David were with him till he was gone. Michael did not suffer, he did not know he was dying, and he fought his illness until the end.
Because Alan and Cliff are both out of town, and we know everyone had Michael in their hearts and would want to know, I am posting this on their behalf. Alan or Cliff will provide information here when it is available, and when they can.
One of the thoughts that always kept Michael from anger in response to the disease we all hated was that if he never had cancer, he never would have reconnected with all of the Wel-Met friends he loved so much. He always looked at this time of his life only from the positive perspective. In doing that, he gave all of us the strength to do the same. If Michael could be positive, it was the least we all could do for him. He was so grateful for finding Wel-Met again, and always down-played how grateful we were to him for doing it for all of us. Michael is a gift that we will have with us forever.
As you know, Michael's favorite musician was James Taylor. (We actually invited him to our wedding. Weren't we dorks?) One of Michael's favorite James Taylor songs was 'You Can Close Your Eyes'. He played it at all the reunions. If you can, play it and the words will take you to Michael. If you know Michael, you know he will be watching over his Wel-Met family always.
Heartfelt condolences to Michael's wife Diane, daughter Lisa, niece Jessica, nephew Jordan, and particularly loving sympathy to Alan and Gerry who are our family as well.
With Gratitude for having Michael in my life - Barbara
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Old 08-27-2009, 01:51 PM   #29
Harvey Shiffman
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RIP michael
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:31 PM   #30
jmfeld22
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There is nothing else to say but we will miss you!

RIP, G-D Bless!
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