Cast of Characters
What follows are fun, light-hearted descriptions of the individuals that set out each day to do good works and change things for the better. Meet anyone of the people below and you’ve met a work in progress that is truly remarkable. Plan a visit in the near future and check out these wonderful folks who co-create each day from start to finish: No day is the same.
Cal makes a point to greet everyone who comes to the Life Experience School. He will be sure to ask you who your favorite superhero is. He loves Lego. He has completed many intricate Lego projects that he proudly displays at home. Cal has spent many years volunteering with the Millis Police, where he is an expert shredder. Cal is the proud grandson of Richard C. Hottelet, who was the last surviving member of the Murrow Boys. With Lewis, Cal has worked to create a bust in honor of his grandfather’s work as a CBS news correspondent during the second World War, Korea and Vietnam. He plans to share his grandfather’s story with libraries and schools of journalism.
Betty came to the Life Experience School a few years ago and has significantly impacted everyone here. She quickly has become a key member of LES. She reminds us to slow down and appreciate life. She volunteers at the Hope Chest twice weekly and is an outstanding baker. Betty is always willing to lend a hand, often just seeing what needs to be done and taking care of it. Betty is an expert rug hooker and enjoys jigsaw puzzles. She loves her morning coffee and reminds us all about living a mindful life.
Elisabeth, who now prefers her formal name to Lizzy, makes the most of every day. She has a busy schedule, including volunteering at Woodside Montessori and Happy Hours Preschool. Elisabeth reads to the students at Happy Hours and assists the teacher at Woodside. On Fridays, many people order sandwiches, and Elisabeth helps collect money and place the orders. Elisabeth loves to spend time skiing with her family in New Hampshire. She is always up for a game of Lion King Uno, her favorite game. Elisabeth’s bright personality and positive attitude always keep our spirits lifted.
Bobby has been part of the Life Experience School since he was eight when he became fast friends with Christopher Randa, Meg and Lewis’ son. A friendship that has lasted for more than thirty-five years. Because of Bobby’s longevity at LES, he is the one to go to if there is anything you need to know about the past fifty years of the school. Bobby has worked for many years at Pretty Paws in Millis, now Four Paws, assisting the owners as they groom dogs and keeping the shop in tip-top shape. He knows everyone’s birthday, even people who are no longer here. Bobby is a longtime member of the Human Rights Committee.
Maureen is a born businesswoman and successful entrepreneur. Buddy’s Best Biscuits has earned a reputation as a sought treat for dogs everywhere, including at Seven Arrows Herb Farm in Seekonk. Call the school to place an order if you are in the market for irresistible treats for your canine friends. Maureen is a true Boston sports fan and rarely misses a game. She found the Olympic Channel after the winter games and enjoys reliving many of the most exciting moments. Maureen appreciates time spent outside in the sun getting vitamin D.
Courty is happy to be back working at C&L Frosty most days. He usually joins us once a week for lunch or visits one of his favorite spots-Victory Lane, for a well-earned burger. Courty has earned the status of an LES legend due to being the original student 50 years ago. His acts of civil disobedience in the name of justice for people of all abilities make us proud. He is a fan of technology, especially his cell phone and iPad. Courty has also been a model train buff for many years. In 2022, Courty celebrated his 60th birthday with close friends (see photo left).
Eric is the person we have all come to count on. He has strong convictions and thoroughly enjoys a good debate. Eric has become a valued member of the Encompass Gym in Millis and volunteers there three times a week. He looks forward to working with his trainer weekly at the gym and is pumped beyond belief. Eric and Phil are still hosting Sports Talk after six years, keeping us updated on local and national sports. He is a Clemson fan and a big movie buff. Eric is a huge people person and coffee drinker. His energy is endless and his sense of adventure insatiable. Over the past two years, Eric has demonstrated a unique capacity to grow and expand his horizons and become the person who knows, intuitively, his potential is enormous.
Phil is a big sports fan and enjoys watching the Patriots, Bruins, and soccer, and he is a die-hard Florida State fan. He is an avid political and history buff and the master of presidential trivia. Eric and Phil’s Sports Talk continues entertaining fans with all the sports news. Follow them on Facebook to get notifications when they are broadcasting live. A long-time cashier at the Hope Chest in Millis, he is cheerful to everyone visiting the store. Phil became an uncle recently to his nephew, Brooks, son of his sister, Amy. He is a powerhouse of enthusiasm and eager to join in on all peace and social justice projects Lewis presents to the group.
Kirstin is a lesson in allowing time in your day for the things that bring you joy. She is an accomplished piano player whose music fills the school. A long-time fan of the Lemon Drops, their song, Green Tambourine, is one of her favorite songs to play. An avid writer, Kirsti recently brought her journals here to LES. She began writing in high school; at last count, she had finished more than 140 journals. Kirsti shares the weather with us daily during our morning meeting. She enjoys word search puzzles and preparing soup and pizza with Lewis as a special treat on Tuesdays and Fridays. Kirsten distinguishes herself as the very first LES Poet Laureate.
Matty has been the MVP of LES for many years. His gentle manner reminds us all how important it is to be kind to others. He has worked at both the Medway and Millis libraries and assists with reshelving books using the Dewey Decimal System. Matty is also a long-time volunteer at Marhino’s Pizza and is an expert pizza box folder. Matty is also a new uncle to his sister’s daughter, Calista. An avid golfer, Matty spends many hours on the golf course with his Aunt Mary in Maine. He enjoys working on his intricate LEGO projects and listening to books on tape. Matty helps keep our Little Free Library full of books for people to read.
Richie Consider yourself lucky if your day involves spending time with Richie. He is one of the kindest people. Richie has worked as a volunteer at Wildstar Farm in Sherborn and often assists Lewis in sprucing up the Pacifist Memorial. Richie can find lost things when most of us have given up. We consider him our own personal St. Anthony. He sees what needs to be done and takes matters into his own hands, always thinking of how he could be helping others. It could be raking leaves, bringing Meg’s overnight bags to the car, or stacking wood. Riche is the biggest fan of everything Chevy, the Millis Fire Department, and especially the fire chief.
Mary has been at the Life Experience School since 2013 and has left her mark, always greeting every person with a smile. Her kind personality draws everyone in. She is an accomplished seamstress who spends time sewing with Meg and has been learning rug hooking recently. Mary has been working on her new business, Mary’s Loving Scents, and an upcoming jewelry business. She enjoys exercising and doing art projects. Mary loves playing Words with Friends and doing word searches and loving up our newest puppy addition to the school, Sancho. She also enjoys cooking breakfast, dinners, and desserts.
Jimmy is someone we all have come to count on. He is our faithful driver for some of our members. Jimmy has worked as a service clerk at Roche Brothers for the past 15 years. Jimmy has often competed in the Special Olympics as a skilled basketball and volleyball player, once traveling to Nationals. He is a car enthusiast and adores spending time with his nephew and nieces. Jimmy also cares for the grounds of the Pacifist Memorial. He is a trustworthy driver, bringing several members back and forth to jobs in the community and getting them and from LES. Jimmy is that one person everyone can count on as a friend whose heart is as big as his size.
Cindy has been part of LES for many years, coming to join the staff in 2016. Before LES, she worked at the Woodside Montessori School. Woodside has had a longtime relationship with LES through community service projects and working with their Upper Elementary, which continues to flourish. Cindy leads weekly classes in American Sign Language, as well as running a Book Club. She also helps take care of the Little Free Library at school with Matty. Cindy is pursuing a master’s degree in Creative Non-Fiction writing at Bay Path University with plans to graduate in the spring of 2023.
Lauren first came to The Life Experience School to pick up her sister from school before joining the team as a one-on-one staff person to work at home with another student. She is now a full-time staff member. Lauren graduated from the School of Visual Arts in NYC with a BFA in traditional animation and is more than happy to talk cartoons and movies with the gang. She brings creativity and humor to the table and can often be found playing games, leading art projects, or working on our bi-monthly LES newsletter. She is also the resident IT person for Zoom and all other technology. If you got an LES e-mail, it is probably from Lauren!
Skylar came to LES during a week-long internship as a seventh grader at Woodside Montessori Middle School. She enjoyed helping Cal work with his business, Cupid’s Cookies, and set up our original Facebook page. An avid equestrian, she once leased Abbey Randa’s pony, Cupid. Skylar is beginning her career as a registered nurse and was recently engaged to Jamie, who has also worked at LES. She loves taking long walks with the group and baking bread to accompany Lewis’ soup on Tuesdays.
Cindy N. the newest member of the LES staff. She drives one member back and forth each day and then joins us some days at school. Before retiring, she worked as a massage and neuromuscular therapist for over thirty years with a practice in Medfield. For many years she was the assistant coordinator of the Dover Sherborn METCO program. Cindy was a journalism major in college and worked as a newspaper reporter. She enjoys being part of our Morning Meeting, playing games with the group, and soup day. She is a sporadic writer of poetry, personal essay, and memoir.
Meg The joy, vitality, and creativity that have come to characterize The Life Experience School requires the involvement of everyone, but especially Meg who for nearly 5 decades rises each morning with her husband Lewis to co-create this journey we call The Life Experience School. With the care a mother bear gives her cubs, Meg looks after everyone as though they were family. Rarely seen without the School’s mascots, Rory, the Scottish Collie, and Sancho, the rescue mix, Meg’s love of animals is ever-present (going on 30 years as a vegan with Lewis). Meg is the touchstone for parents and state agencies as she works collaboratively with staff to meet the ever-changing needs of each person and animal at the School.
Lewis The message of peace and social activism of the sixties and the lives of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. continue to motivate Lewis’ thinking and way of doing things. The words of RFK during the ’68 presidential campaign sum up his modus operandi – “Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.” Lewis can be found at the School, the Peace Abbey Cottage, The Pacifist Memorial Park in Sherborn or the new Abbey South Shore office in Plymouth at the Rev. John Robinson Center.
With Meg, Lewis rises each morning with The Life Experience School dream on his mind. He is in the midst of formulating, in his mind, a book about his 50-year sojourn of peacemaking entitled, It Was Just A Dream Some of Us Had. And the dream lives on. (Reflections on the Tao by Kate Marshall who created the documentary Nothing to Get Hung About.)