Friday, June 21, 2013

"These are Roman Stones" - for Fritz Lake

In 1984, Mr. Dillahey's European Studies Class at Peddie took a trip to Italy. It was a close-knit group, which included juniors and seniors. We were chaperoned by Mr. and Mrs. Dillahey and Mr. McCagnan, also known as "Vic". Fritz Lake was one of the juniors, but we were close friends because we lived in the same dorm, Rivenburg. We were "froggies" and Fritz was an affable, well-liked young man.

Mr. Dillahey was the main tour guide, and he was absolutely superb. Toward the beginning of the tour, he said, "These are Roman stones" when pointing to Roman ruins. A few of us, including Fritz, found that amusing and it became our catchphrase for the whole trip to Italy. At random moments, any one of us would enthusiastically bellow out, "These are Roman stones!" Fritz found that especially funny.

We would be walking down a narrow alley to an ordinary looking doorway, and Mr. Dillahey would open the door to reveal an extraordinarily beautiful, hidden basilica. That's the kind of tour it was. Whenever we wanted to make Fritz laugh, all we had to do was say, "These are Roman stones!" and we would all dissolve into laughter. Fritz was in Latin class, but I'm not sure if he easily kept up with Pope John Paul II when we attended Sunday mass during the Holy Year of Redemption.

I was very sad to learn Fritz passed away recently. It was sudden, very unexpected, and he left behind a beautiful family. He was planning to take his daughter to Italy, to relive some of the things we experienced together in 1984. When I came across these pictures, I realized they had taken on a whole new level of significance. These were just a few of the incredible things I witnessed with Fritz by my side. So, for Fritz, "These are Roman Stones!"


  1. I'm so sorry. Cherish these wonderful memories.

  2. Thank you so much, Bill. Very lovely!

    1. It's an honor to pay tribute to Fritz, and a pleasure to share memories of such happy times together.