20 Fun Things You Didn’t Know About Al
Our newest member of the OMS team, Al Rooks, is rounding us out this month with some of his lesser known fun facts. Read on to get to know Al as we welcome him to the OMS crew!
- My grandmother Marie lived with us when I was growing up and lived to 93. She was one of 12 children who grew up on a homestead in South Dakota without electricity or running water. All of her siblings lived into their 90s – and some into their 100s!
- I went to baseball games at the old Yankee Stadium, before it was remodeled, which is pretty much as it was when Babe Ruth played there. I even got to see Mickey Mantle play. I also saw a Phillies game at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia, which opened in 1909 and was torn down in 1976.
- My mom was a nurse in the U.S. Army during World War II, serving in Marseille, France. She treated both U.S. soldiers and German prisoners. My dad was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy at the age of 19, serving on the USS Prairie.
- My high school, John P. Stevens in Edison, NJ, was named for the president of a textile firm known for union busting, and my junior high school was named for President Herbert Hoover, whose lack of a response to the Great Depression made him hated by millions. So proud.
- My uncle Bill ran an auto repair shop in Metuchen, NJ, called “Bill’s Ineffable Automotive Rehabilitation Center,” which had a motto of “We make your car run good, like it used to could.” It was a satire of the bad grammar used at the time in many commercials. A picture of the shop’s sign was featured in New Yorker
- After high school, I spent 6 weeks driving around the country with my brother Doug in a 1966 Volkswagen beetle – with no air conditioning.
- While on this trip, we drove through a section of Wyoming on an interstate highway for 80 miles without seeing another car or any sign of civilization. The only exits were onto dirt roads, one marked “Crazy Woman Creek” and the other marked “Dead Horse Creek.”
- While employed by Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, my dad worked for David Rockefeller, one of the richest men in the world at the time.
- This fact impressed a girl at college that I was trying to ask out, when nothing else worked.
- During college, one of my summer jobs was working as a cook and caretaker for an eccentric millionaire on his island in Lake Winnipesaukee, which is located in New Hampshire. I didn’t know how to cook.
- I’ve hiked about half of the 4,000-ft. peaks in New Hampshire (there are a lot of them!)
- I taught basic composition as a teaching assistant and graduate student in English at Northeastern University in Boston. One of my assignments was for students to describe why they liked a particular book. One student wrote the book he liked must be good because it had won the “Pulit Surprise.” No kidding.
- While at Northeastern, I played Henry Higgins in Pygmalion.
- I shared an elevator ride in New York with Muhammad Ali.
- I met my wife, Nancy, on a commuter bus in New Jersey, on our way to New York City.
- I met Warren Buffett at a trade show, where he gave a talk to about 50 people. He was very gracious, talking and shaking hands with everyone. I asked him for a business card, and he dug through an overstuffed wallet, saying that he thought he might have a card from Geico, one of his companies. Turned out he did not have one, but he did show me pictures of his grandkids instead.
- A friend from junior high school, Mark Polansky, was later an astronaut one of the Space Shuttle missions.
- Many years ago, my wife organized an event for Colgate and got Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to appear at the event, along with several other famous astronauts.
- I still like to play basketball, 42 years after being the starting center on a recreational league team. We won the championship in the 1973-74 season!
- Most people know me as Alan, but at Outlook Marketing I’m known as “Al.”
Stay tuned for next month, when we continue the fun and share some new reveals about our team. Keeping up with all our OMS 20th anniversary activity? Keep an eye on our social channels, and maybe you’ll spot your photo with the big 2-0!