As a Biology major one of the most challenging courses for Michael in his junior year at the University was Organic Chemistry.The second week of the spring semester the professor wrote a series of answers to the main topics that would be covered ion the course.Few of the students paid scant attention to these details but Michael wrote them all down and memorized the answers to the problems.He was amazed two months later when the final exam in the course was literally what he professor had written on the board two months prior. Before he answered the questions he raised his hand and requested that he speak with his professor. As the professor made his way to Michael’s desk he said ‘Is there a problem?” Michael always aware of the ethical considerations of every issue whispered “the day you wrote those on the board I memorized them and am not sure that my test results would be ethically achieved.”The professor stroked his chin in amazement. “Mister McNally you are a rare bird and please answer the questions because if you were wise enough to memorize the answers without malice or forethought you deserve the grade that your wisdom will provide”Michael aced the course, and kept his straight A record in all course work intact.
Arlene had finished her program at the Katherine Gibbs finishing school and was presently employed at the prestigious law firm Henry and Doyle in Jersey City. She and Michael had planned on a June wedding at the end of Michael’s junior year .They thought it would be a time less hectic than the following year when Michael would be entering medical school in the fall. Michael had applied to four medical schools in the area ,but his first choice was Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
Arlene and Michael were married on June 6th in St.Alolysius Church. Donny and Danny were the best men ,and Mary Ellen McGlynn Arlene’s dear friend was the maid of honor. Father McNulty was the celebrant of the nuptial mass, and delivered a beautiful tribute to both Arlene and Michael and their families in the homily.The ceremony was followed by a reception at the Casino in the park paid for by Arlene’s oldest brother a successful owner of a food produce company.
After the reception the newly married couple drove to Belmar for their honeymoon. Aunt Mary had vacated her home for a week and they began their married life at the shore..It was a lovely cottage one block from Lake Geneva the small body of water that separated Belmar and Spring Lake.The following week Aunt Mary and Donny and Danny joined the love birds for and extended vacation.Michael had a job at the Mommouth resort in Spring Lake as a tennis assistant, and Arlene after two weeks returned to her job in Jersey City.Every Friday she would make the trip back to the shore .One Saturday in the beginning of August Michael had the day off and he and Arlene took the boys to the bay in Point Pleasant.The ocean in Belmar had been quite rough with dangerous riptides due to a recent storm and was precarious for swimmers.
Arriving at the bay they picked a spot at the northwest corner of the pier which had a series of picnic tables.They were all in bathing suits already because they had changed at the home of Arlene’s cousin. Eating was the last thing that Donny wanted to do but ate his sandwich in record time. He could not wait to go swimming but Michael utilized the one hour rule before they could go into the water.The swimming area was crowded but Donny led the parade and performed a perfect cannonball into the water. Shrieks of joy and playful dunkings were happening all over the area, Michael dunked Danny and was in turn submarined by Donny. After an hour or so Donny swallowed some water and decided to swim to the ladder and take a short break .As he ascended the ladder he was unaware that an electrician was working on a neon sign and had forgotten to cut the power when he went to his truck for a Phillips screwdriver. Donny who was still partially in the water accidentally touched the sign and the electrical current went through his body. The electrician in horror witnessed Donny being electrocuted and raced to shut off the current. Michael ,Arlene and Danny were still in the water, but became aware of some type of commotion on the pier. Michael looking around but could notfind Donny and \swam to the area of the commotion on the pier .Climbing the ladder Michael noticed that there was a large group of people at the edge of the pier. Michael was calling Donny’s name out as he made his way to the crowd hoping that his brother was somewhere in the area. He was overcome with fear when he saw Donny cradled in the arms of two men. Michael raced to Donny and held him in his arms”He;s my brother.What happened to him?”At that moment an ambulance arrived on the pier and two emergency technicians rushed to Donny’s aid. Michael was requested to let them attend to him but after a few minutes one of the attendants asked Michael if he was related to the young boy.Michael was beside himself and said yes he is my brother are you taking him to the hospital?”The technician sadly responded.”I am sorry,,he is gone and there is nothing we can do but take him to the Hospital. Michael literally collapsed to his knees and Arlene and Danny embraced him.Losing his Mother was wrenching, but this death was a mountain that Michael would have to climb for years.