The Hero, the Protector, the Healer, and the Lover

At a graduation ceremony at a large Midwestern high school in 1964, three fine young men from different walks of life and a kind young woman formed a friendship that would last for many years. They loved and cared for one another through hardships and shared their strengths and hearts.

Gene Sandusky—popular and admired by all. He was gentle and sensitive yet exceptionally charismatic. Gene was a football quarterback and magic on the basketball court. He was class president, graduation speaker, and recipient of scholarships and awards. To Carol, he was the kindest, most handsome man, but somewhat sad. Gene was highly respected, and he was the hero.

Mike McVary—brilliant, athletic, and wealthy. He could have gone to the best college, but he chose to go to Vietnam instead. He was generous to a fault and helped veterans and his friends although there were some things his money couldn’t buy. He was extremely protective, especially of Carol. Mike had an infectious, pleasant personality, and he was the protector.

Carol Sullivan—kind, pretty, and smart. Alongside Mike, she was considered rebellious and denied honors and scholarships. She was a generous girl who gave of her heart. When her friends were ill or injured, she knew how to help and heal them. She carried many secrets locked within her heart. Carol was very strong, and she was the healer.

John Kelley—abused as a child and handicapped, but he always smiled. His three friends tried to make his life easier. Even though growing up in extreme poverty, John had a sweet nature and loved everyone. No matter how many times he was knocked down, he always got up and tried again. John was a survivor, and he was the lover.

--Carol Brannin

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