My heart, soul and world record were shaped by the people of Mountain Lakes. My future was extensively aided and abetted by the life changing experiences I was exposed to during the 13 years of my family’s residence there.
I was born in Brooklyn, New York July 31, 1946 and came to Mountain Lakes at age 12, 1958, for quality schools. I lived at 302 Morris Ave. with 2 brothers James(Jim) and Jonathan.
I swam for MLHS 1960-64. We were State champs 1962 and 1964. Bill Kogen was the coach and heart and soul of swimming then. He had great influence on my drive to be the best I could. I also worked as the manager of the football and baseball teams as I wanted then to end up coaching sports.
George Wilson had great influence on me and as with the late Bill Kogen we remained friends until now (Bill died 2 years ago)
I was president of the student government and best friends with Kit Falcon (ex-mayor Mountain Lakes) also Len Swec, Pete O’Niel, Pat McCormick and Barton Jones. I learned the value of helping others while still trying to be the best you could be. Also had high expectations for future success, especially being around Bill Kogen and Pete Haas two very great living examples of hard working, smart successful people. Also George Wilson and Mr. Clark wonderful coaches and humans.
Mountain Lakes is a place where everyone wanted us kids to grow up as successful, intelligent caring adults. Very Unique.
Then I went to Springfield College to learn to coach, get a Ph.D. and teach and coach in college. Was captain of the swim team there and an all-american division II. Finished undergrad and while in grad school was drafted. Before serving I was the 3rd ranking pro swimmer in the world professional long distance swimming association. We were pro’s who swam greater than 10 mile open water races — no wet suits.
While in the army as a second lieutenant, I swam the English Channel for the world record in 1972 (it is in the Guiness Book from that year and the next). I decided to go to med school in 1973 and graduated med school in Kirksville, Missouri in 1977. Swam the english channel 2 more times. Never for a record again. Once is enough!
Went to med school, residency, and am now a board-certified urologist and fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
it is interesting that Dr Zufall, MD of Mountain Lakes was our church group advisor at the Community Church. He was a well-known urologist in Dover. One of his four daughters is a physician now.
My parents left in 1972. I return to visit on occasion and still love the town.
There is a Web site that lists all successful channel swims:
|England to France:||http://soloswims.com/CSA-E-F.htm|
|France to England:||http://soloswims.com/CSA-F-E.htm|
The site lists 801 successful E to F swims and 195 F-E. The first successful one was by Matthew Webb of England in 1875 with a time of 21:45. Hart’s was very fast: 9:44 in 1972. That was the fastest up until then. Quite a few people have exceeded it since but he is still #108 fastest out of 996!! Hart is listed as swimming the Channel again in 1976 with a time of 9:50. Those are the only ones listed.