|• Fall 2003||Magazine Archive & Search • Muhlenberg Home|
Many people have wonderful stories of Milton “Scotty” Wood. Here is mine…
One of my childhood memories involves Scotty Wood. It was the summer between second and third grade and I lived in California. My parents went to Hawaii for vacation and I spent two weeks in Allentown with my two sets of grandparents. I was to spend one week with my mother’s parents and one week with my father’s parents, all longtime residents of Allentown. To this day, I know I got the better deal.
The two weeks were filled with fishing in the Poconos, my introduction to Yocco’s hot dogs served with chocolate milk, lunch at the Patio at Hess’s, ice cream from the Ritz, feeding the squirrels at West Park and countless rides at Dorney Park. It was a special time.
Midway through my second week, when I was visiting my father’s parents, I woke to bustling in the kitchen. My grandfather was busy preparing something – mixing this, getting that out of the fridge, clanging pots – it was a real mesh of sounds. All my grandmother said was, “Stay out of Pop-Pop’s way – his friends are coming for lunch.”
I sat at the island in the kitchen watching the “master chef” at work. On this particular day he was making oyster stew – one of his specialties. (In reality, I think, my grandfather’s only two culinary specialties were oyster stew and oyster stuffing.) At some point “real old” men began to arrive. They were probably in their early 50s, but they seemed really old to this 7- year old. First came Mr. Harris and Mr. Rockmaker, followed by Mr. Stecker and Mr. Wood. There might have been others, too, but I remember those four very vividly.
Some 28 years later, I remember that the last one to arrive was Mr. Wood. He got down on one knee and looked into my eyes, saying, “So Mary (my grandmother), this is the young Tilghman H. Moyer IV that I have heard so much about – seems like a long name for such a small boy.” My grandmother responded with, “Don’t worry Scotty, he will grow into his name.” They both laughed.
During lunch my grandmother and I played the card game War in the kitchen while the men attended to serious business – lots of laughing, a little friendly arguing, and some boasting about this or that. Even to a 7-year-old, it sounded like a grand time.
Twenty years later, I found myself in the home of Scotty Wood, this time as a fairly new member of the development staff at Muhlenberg College. I had volunteered to visit Mr. Wood to update him on some new happenings in the athletic program at Muhlenberg. Truth be told, Mr. Wood and I talked about my grandparents more than about Muhlenberg athletics that day. He told stories of my grandparents that I otherwise would never have known – I am forever grateful for those conversations. Mr. Wood and his first wife, Mrs. June “Betty” Wood, always welcomed me into their home. Our conversations always centered around our families, the Wood Company and Muhlenberg College – in that order.
In the summer of 1976, I certainly did not know that the person who wondered if my name was too big for me would affect my life as an adult – but he did. Muhlenberg is forever grateful for the involvement of Scotty and Betty Wood in the life of the College, but again, truth be told, so am I.
Tilghman H. Moyer IV is vice president for development and alumni relations.
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