and I hope everyone recognizes the sadness and worry on his face and sees and feels his pain and says a prayer for him and Tim -- please say hundreds of them. EVERY ONE IN THE COUDERSPORT/WELLSVILLE/OLEAN AREA KNOWS BETTER!! YOU PEOPLE/SHEEPLE KNOW DEEP DOWN IN YOUR HEART MR RIGAS WOULD NEVER EVER DO THIS TO US... YOU KNOW IT DEEP IN YOUR HEART I KNOW YOU DO.... THINK ABOUT IT PEOPLE -- THINK ABOUT THE THINGS YOU KNOW, THE THINGS YOU HAVE HEARD, THE THINGS YOU FEEL ABOUT MR RIGAS AND ASK YOURSELF AGAIN WITHOUT THE INFLUENCE OF MAINSTREAM MEDIA OR SOMEBODY ELSES OPINION-- ASK YOURSELF - WOULD HE EVER DO THIS TO OUR COMMUNITY --- NO WAY IN HELL! AND YOU KNOW IT DEEP DOWN IN YOUR HEART...
PLEASE everyone take a moment to adopt Mr. Rigas' views on PRINCIPLES AND STANDARDS and PLEEEEASE
WAKE UP AMERICA --
MR RIGAS is an angel !
I have watched this interview 5-6 times in just a couple days ! .. it makes me sooo sick to my stomach... !
another thing ---- go to youtube.com and watch the full version of the OBAMA DECEPTION ----
and one more thing...
This country is not a democracy --- it is....... to the REPUBLIC for which it stands ---- America is a Republic --- somewhere along the line "they" started convincing us that America is a democracy and a democracy is mob ruled, democracy is BAD... even politicians call it a democracy.... believe me I go to the places they are interviewed and almost every politician i come across states that America is a democracy and it is NOT it is a REPUBLIC --think about the PLEDGE of ALLEGIANCE --to the REPUBLIC for which it stands!!!! - and to conclude this note -
--- The truth WILL come out in your lifetime Mr Rigas...!
if anyone has anything to say GOOD OR BAD --- I personally will be checking this page daily and love a good debate especially when I cannot lose ---- MR RIGAS, who is an angel, WAS FRAMED! and we just sat here an watched --- shame on us !!! NOT ME -- I AM SOOO GLAD I HAVE A BIG MOUTH ---
ALL MY LIFE MY GRANDMA BEEN SAYIN TO ME CRYSTAPO - STOP BEING SO RADICAL AND I SAY NOOOO GRAMMA I AM RADICAL OUT OF PRINCIPLE AND SHE DOESN'T SAY ONE WORD BECAUSE SHE KNOWS AND EVEN THOUGH MY GRANDPA WARNED ME SINCE I WAS JUST A LITTLE BITTY BABY I HAVE ENDLESS MESSAGES FOR THE SO CALLED GLOBAL ELITE STARTING WITH THIS:
FREE MR RIGAS !
June 25, 2010 Mr Rigas -- they framed you !! I have learned some things in the last year of my life and I always knew something was just not right but now I KNOW that you were point blank framed !! Mr Rigas I am so sorry! You do NOT deserve this treatment -- they are liars-- YOU ARE AN ANGEL- when I saw the cops drag you to the cop car in NYC I became irate and radical inside and I cried to my 80 year old grandparents for months and I couldn't get the vision out of my head -- Mr Rigas that was years ago. ---I still cry to my grandmom and she says one person cannot help you but I still cannot get that horrible vision out of my head... they humiliated one of the most beautiful men on the planet ---- I feel sooooo strong about helping you and I am going to try to figure something out --- YOU WERE FRAMED!! I have no doubt in my mind or my heart !!
I met with you at the farm before your sentencing and I told you I wanted to write a book about your random acts of kindness.... now I want to do much more than that and Im gonna ----- I am watching and reading everything I can find on your situation and life ---
YOU KEEP A SMILE ON YOUR FACE and I am sooo proud of you for not plea bargaining with our evil Illuminati Government. And Mr Rigas your family values are second to none.
you are very lovely and I want you to remember that... I believe in you.!!!
March 4, 2010 Hi John,
This is Dave Del Vecchio from Rochester, NY. I just found this web site & so happy I did. I hope you are feeling well. I have not been hunting in PA. lately. Not the same. I miss our little visits. I am always telling my friends what a great man you are. I have the utmost respect for you. I could not believe how a busy man like you would take time to have a cup of coffee with me. I will never forget that!!!
Is it OK to e-mail you? Also would you like me to visit you when I go south? I am looking forward to hear from you. Your friend always, Dave
March 2, 2010 John,
While browsing the internet searching for information about your trial, I came across the following and I hope you put this on your website.
Adelphia and Rigas Audits
Ref. SEC Rel. No. 57244/ January 31,2008 Admin. Proc. File No. 3-12064 Matter of Gregory Dearlove
Deloitte's audit team had been auditing Adelphia and Rigas for numerous years. The 2000 audit remained largely unchanged from prior years. The team consisted of about twenty staff accountants and tax professionals, divided into subgroups that were supervised by ten Deloitte managers and headed by senior manager William Caswell, who reported directly to Dearlove.
Several of the Deloitte managers had significant prior experience auditing and reviewing Adelphia's annual and quarterly reports: Caswell had spent six years working on Adelphia engagements; Ivan Hofmann and Robert Fitzgerald, both audit managers, had each spent five years. In addition, Michael Lindsey served as the concurring partner as he had on Adelphia audits since 1996, and Stephen Biegel was assigned as risk review partner after serving in that capacity for the 1999 Adelphia audit. Dearlove had once met Caswell at a firm meeting but did not otherwise know any members of the Adelphia audit team when he assumed his role as engagement partner.
Deloitte devoted an estimated 21,000 hours to the audit of Adelphia's 2000 financial statements and related accounting advisory activities; Dearlove himself spent over 700 hours. Dearlove spent a total of ten to fifteen days on-site in Coudersport with the audit team. Dearlove participated in discussions with the team, reviewed workpapers and underlying Adelphia documents when the team brought them to his attention, and "worked through the issues" with his staff in what Dearlove characterized as a "consultative process." At the end of the audit, Dearlove looked at certain workpapers and drew conclusions as to whether the team completed its review. Dearlove testified that he also consulted Deloitte's national office on a number of accounting issues during the course of the audit, mostly involving revenue recognition.
On March 29, 2001, Deloitte issued its independent auditor's report, signed by Dearlove, which stated that it had conducted its audit in accordance with GAAP and that such audit provided a reasonable basis for its opinion that Adelphia's 2000 financial statements fairly presented Adelphia's financial position in conformity with GAAP.
Dearlove asserts that he could place some reliance on audit precedent. Moreover, in his view, the fact that prior auditors reached the same conclusions is "compelling evidence" that Dearlove acted reasonably. Between 1996 and 2000, several Adelphia subsidiaries and some of the Rigas Entities had entered as co-borrowers into a series of three credit agreements with a consortium of banks. Although the agreements differed in the amount of credit available, their terms were substantially the same: each borrower provided collateral for the loan; each could draw funds under the loan agreement; and each was jointly and severally liable for the entire amount of funds drawn down under the agreement regardless of which entity drew down the amount.
Combining the features of term loans and revolving credit lines, the agreements permitted co-borrowers to draw funds and repay the loans at will and required almost no principal payments until the loans began to mature in 2004. The amount of debt outstanding under the agreements therefore could fluctuate as co-borrowers drew down and made payments on the loans. Cross-default provisions in the agreements provided that it was considered an event of default if the borrowers failed to timely pay any other substantial debts - co-borrowed or otherwise - they had assumed, which would permit the banks to demand immediate payment of all outstanding amounts. The agreements also provided that an event of default occurred if the Rigas family lost its majority control of the co-borrowing companies.
Independent Audits (directed by the Prosecution)
Independent consultant auditor Robert DiBella had stated that obligations accrued by a Rigas entity were entered in the journals appropriately. Mr. DiBella oversaw 25 independent workers who prepared the 22-page summary of transactions from 1999 and April 2002. There were 100,000 transactions analyzed. Consultant Mr. DiBella (while on the stand) was asked if there was anything ''sinister" about the entries. Mr. DiBella said "If there is, then I've been in the wrong profession"
Mr. Mulcahey's Testimony
Mr. Mulcahey told federal jurors in New York that internal records kept by Adelphia on syndicated loans were not inaccurate and merely showed more detail than the reports given to lenders.
Mr. Mulcahey was found not guilty, while John and Tim Rigas were convicted to serve 15 to 20 years in prison.
Justice Department and John Ashcroft's Shifting
There has been a major shift of policy of the Justice Department, once known for taking down giant corporations, including the accounting firm Arthur Andersen, has put off prosecuting more than 50 companies suspected of wrongdoing over the last three years. NY Times reference states that John Ashcroft's consulting firm has been involved in cases to avoid criminal prosecution. It also indicates that a few years earlier, in the age of Enron, these kinds of charges would probably have resulted in a criminal indictment. Apparently, Monsanto was allowed to pay $1 million and avoid criminal prosecution by entering into a monitoring agreement with the Justice Department.
John and Tim Rigas who have audit evidence that they did nothing wrong are serving 15 and 20 years in prison while Ashcroft's clients are only paying fines.
Rigas Memorandum Submitted to the courts dated 4/15/2008 (highlights)
Prior to the criminal trial, Carl Rothenberger of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney Law Firm who had performed legal matters for Adelphia consistently refused to speak with the Rigases' defense counsel. Through his counsel, he advised the Rigas defense team that, if he were subpoenaed to testify at trial, he would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights. Rigas defense counsel was also advised that Rothenberger took a similar view with respect to the government: he would not talk to government investigators or lawyers and would assert a Fifth Amendment privilege if subpoenaed.
He did in fact agree to be interviewed by the U.S. Attorney's Office prior to the criminal trial. The interview took place over two days shortly before the criminal trial. He was interviewed on February 20 and 21, 2004 by Christopher Clark, one of the prosecution's trial lawyers and by Thomas Feeney, a U.S. Postal inspector. Thomas Feeney took notes of the interview. Letter from Clark dated February 24, 2004 did not disclose that Rothenberger had been interviewed nor did it advise defense counsel what exculpatory information was in the government's possession. Following the interview, the prosecutors decided not to call Rothenberger as a witness at trial.
After the Rigases' trial, Rothenberger was also interviewed by the SEC in December 2004 concerning the SEC's investigation of Adelphia matters. There was a court reporter present who transcribed the interview. The government has never produced the transcript of this interview.
After the criminal trial, Rothenberger was deposed in a civil proceeding for 13 days - far longer than any other witness. He offered a vast amount of exculpatory evidence on the very issues that the government had questioned him about and Rothenberger stated consistently that he did not believe that any type of fraud had occurred. His statements during the government interview were surely consistent with his subsequent sworn testimony and must have contained similar exculpatory evidence.
It is indicated that the government has still not identified the names of any other Buchanan representatives that it interviewed let alone produced those notes. In addition to the Buchanan lawyers, the government has also refused to produce any notes from interviews of representatives from the banks involved in the co-borrowing facilities that were used for many of the securities purchases at issue in this case or even to identify who was interviewed.
In September 2007, the government informed the Rigases for the first time that it had taken notes of its initial interview with Rothenberger. The government then refused to produce those notes in response to an informal request by the Rigases.
Following the criminal trial, the government has refused to produce the notes taken by the SEC during Brown's preparation for his testimony in that case. Given the exculpatory nature of Brown's testimony in the SEC proceedings, it stands to reason that the notes of interviews in preparation for that testimony would contain exculpatory information that should be produced to the defense. The production of all of this information is constitutionally mandated.
Basically, the government argued that the Rigases were not entitled to the notes mainly because the law only requires that the government identify those witnesses of which the defense is not aware and that the law does not require that exculpatory evidence be produced. Although the Rigases strongly opposed the government's arguments, the Court nonetheless denied their motion.
By letter dated February 28, 2008, counsel for the Rigases requested that the Government produce:
1. any and all notes of interviews by the government of any Buchanan Ingersoll attorney including, but not limited to, Carl Rothenberger, Bruce Booken and Paula Zawadski.
2. Any and all notes of interviews conducted by the SEC of James Brown
3. Any and all notes of interviews of representatives from the banks involved in the co-borrowing facilities.
By letter dated March 25, 2008, the government refused the Rigases' request, citing Judge Sand's opinion in the criminal case that the government has no obligation to turn over information already in the possession of the defense.
The Rigas argument is the government should produce to the Rigases the notes from the interviews conducted by the prosecutors in the SDNY action and the SEC with Buchanan Ingersoll attorneys, including Carl Rothenberger, representatives of the banksinvolved with the co-borrowing facilities, and Jim Brown. The government has an affirmative duty to produce any evidence favorable to the defendant that is material to either guilt or punishment.
There is now a consistency of documented information and evidence from the Dearlove Case, Dibella Testimony, Mulcahey Testimony, and Rothenberger Interviews which is evidence that John and Tim Rigas did nothing illegally. James Brown is now standing out there alone. That's a five to one odds in favor of Rigas.
November 7, 2009 Mr. Rigas,
I have spent my life hearing about your good deeds and seeing for myself the wonderful things you did for your community and employees. I wanted to thank you personally for the kindness and generosity you've shown toward my family. My father, Wayne Burrous, worked at Wending Creek for years before being put on disability and has always spoken very highly of you.
We all have you in our thoughts and prayers. Ashley McKee (formerly Burrous)
November 4, 2009 Mr. Rigas,
I have just recently learned about the history of Adelphia through a research project I was assigned in my MBA program. A good friend suggested I choose a company within the television industry since that is our occupation. Our family owns a production company (The Broadcast Group) and budding network called The Motivational Network. Even in reading all of the articles that my university provided me, I knew there had to be another side of the story. I only regret that I read all of the negative reports first. When I came across the website tonight that James set up, I couldn't help but feel compelled to write and find out what the latest status is with the eldest Mr. Rigas. I hope he is well and able to communicate. I would love to send him my encouragement and let him know how important it is that his story be heard and his experience shared with others in the Christian television industry. I believe with all my heart that many of the well-meaning people in this world who are given a bad name will be vindicated by our Father. So it is with great hope that I write and let you know that the Rigas family is in my prayers. If there is an opportunity to converse with Mr. Rigas, I would be honored.
Thank you, Elizabeth Hill
July 15, 2009 Mr. Rigas,
I wanted to write you a note to say how much I have appreciated you, your family, and the positive impact you have had on my hometown of Coudersport and the surrounding area. Like many, I have closely followed the unbearable and unfair proceedings of the last 7 years and I only wish we could turn back the clock and allow it all to unfold differently.
I hope you are doing okay and are finding peace and friendship from the many people who support you and admire you. You are an incredible man with a large heart, and you have been and continue to be an inspiration to me.
I also want you to know that I appreciate the opportunity you have given my father, Ed Wetzel, in his job and relationship with you. He speaks often of you and always in a positive manner. After Dad's retirement from truck driving, my mother passed away shortly thereafter. Dad continued to work with Adelphia, and his job with Adelphia was not just a job, but a sense of pride and belonging to something special, and a bridge that carried him through to this day. He expressed to me this last weekend that he misses those days as your "chauffeur".
I was in town last weekend for my 25th class reunion, the Class of '84. It is difficult to see the economic impact on the town, but is more difficult to see that the impact on the community's spirit. I get to Coudersport about every 4-5 years, so I can see huge changes, and I've never seen a regression like this. But Coudersport Falcons are tough, enduring and ingenuitive people and we will rise up and fight.
Take care, Mr. Rigas. And thank you for everything you have done for all of us in Coudy.
Your friend, Scott Wetzel
December 25, 2008 Mr. Rigas,
I have just come across your email address of all days Christmas. I have thought of you and Mrs. Rigas quite often since I last met with you in Olean at the furniture store.
I would like to say that I grew up experiencing many gatherings that you or Adelphia had established for customers and the Greek community. Mr. Gianas was a great friend and benefactor to me. He provided so many opportunities for me growing up. Mr. Gianas always was proud to speak of you when giving me advice. I want you to know that as I write this email, you and your family are in my thoughts. If you get to respond to this email, please let me know if I may be able to respond to Mrs. Rigas or forward to her my thoughts.
Mr. Rigas, if you remember, I ran Great Lakes Supply with John's son Pete. We have since parted ways and Pete still has the supply company open. I have located to Winston-Salem NC with my family. I am currently in the building industry as a Custom Homebuilder. Our web site is www.colbyhomesinc.com if you would like to take a look. We have been so fortunate since our move from Wellsville. We have avoided the trouble in the building market with custom homes we build for clients rather than speculative built homes. My experience growing up in small town Wellsville has made me my success by understanding the importance of taking care of our customers!
Again, you are in my thoughts. I hope all is well with your health and that you beat this situation that has unfortunately been created. I do know you personally and feel fortunate to have met you and your family.
Take care... John Garfield
December 22, 2008 Dear John,
It's been 3 years since I left the St.Marys PA area after 28 years of service in the cable industry. It was an exciting part of my life working for Cletas Heller and being part of your growth changing the way customers received cable services. I enjoyed the conversations that Cletas told me of how hard it was in the 50's and 60's getting the cable to work. He mentioned he talked to you numerous times over the years on what types of cable to use, antenna's, amplifiers to headend equipment.
I know how you feel when all the years of service you have contributed to the cable industry and have those years tarnished, and have everything taken away that you have earned. As good friends of mine back home say; keep your head up high, you have done a great job. I wish you and your family a joyous holiday season. It has been a great pleasure working with you and your family over the years.
Ron Snelick Former GM St. Marys PA
December 6, 2008 Dearest John,
We think of you and Tim and your family every day. I hope you know how much we love you. In spite of it all, I bet when I see you again you will still be that same handsome man you have always been.
Love, Carolyn Berfield
October 27, 2008 Dear Rigas Family:
First, let me say that I am sorry to read about your family members being in federal prison. I will pray for them.
The reason I first became acquainted with your family was through the heartwarming story entitled "YaYa" written by John Rigas on January 30, 2007. I accidentally came upon while I was researching my Greek heritage.
My grandfather came to America in 1915 as a ten month old baby along with his mother, Vasiliki, older brother, Demetrios, and older sister, Asimo.
Vasiliki, my great-grandmother, was from the town of Arahova like YaYa Eleni Brazas Rigas. My mother believes the maiden name for Vasiliki was Kalimanios (I am not sure of the spelling). According to the 1920 census taken when they were living in Johnsonburg, PA, my great-grandmother was born around 1880, so she was much older than YaYa Eleni Brazas Rigas.
I do not know much else about Arahova other than my grandfather telling me it was mountainous. My great- grandfather was from Neohorion, Napaktia which I believe was nearby but across mountains.
I was curious if you have any more stories to share or people I may contact regarding my personal search for my Greek family.
I realize this is a terribly difficult time for your family and I hope I am not imposing upon you with my requests.
Again, thank you for sharing the wonderful story about "YaYa."
May God bless your family with His love and peace found in Christ Jesus.
August 19, 2008 Hello Sir,
I was originally employed by Prestige Cable Television, and I worked for Adelphia Media Services as Local Sales Manager in the Atlanta area from 2000 until the company sold. I work for Comcast now. I always enjoyed my time at Adelphia, and I made a lot of good friends there.
I am sorry for the difficulty that came your way. I hope everything is as well as it can be.
June 20, 2008
I feel the judge is not acting impartial when he states, defendants have shown "no remorse" or take responsibility for what happened at Adelphia.
Why the hell would they show remorse and take responsibility when they are trying to prove they are innocent. Jim Connor
June 17, 2008 John,
My name is Todd Kinley. My father lives up on top of the mountain above Baker Creek Road behind your father's house outside of Coudersport. He, my Mother, my Brothers, Sister, and their families have lived there for several decades. I lived there in 1979 during a break from college while I built a house for my brother. We have all been following the sad case of your family for the past six years.
I have just read your article "May 22, 2008 - James Rigas Statement From The Resentencing Hearing In New York" and felt compelled to send a comment to you. I truly hope that you are telling the truth. Your statement has clarified several aspects of the history of this situation and I must admit that it has changed my mind on several issues. I am left feeling that a great injustice has been perpetrated on you and your family.
I know that even though your family and my family have been neighbors for decades, we come from very different worlds. However, I know what it is like to have the support of a great Father and I know the value of family. I trust that yours will weather this storm and that the truth will prevail.
Hopefully, someday when I come to Coudy to visit my parents, we will be celebrating the release of your Father and Brother and your family's vindication. Until then, I wish you better fortune.
August 7, 2007
Coudersport Theatre & USA Today
Hello Mr. Rigas,
On my flight back from Minneapolis yesterday (Monday August 6th, 2007) I was glad to see that finally you were able to present some facts from your side of the situation.
I hope that perhaps an appeal to re-examine your case will be granted. In my travels when Adelphia has come up in conversation, I made it a point to always say that your side of the story has not been allowed to be told. While growing up in Coudersport, I knew Ellen and James in School, while not close friends (age / grade difference) I felt your family was kind and was like the rest of us in the area.
I still work in the broadcasting industry as an Engineer in charge of a mobile television production unit (tractor/trailer unit). I work mainly on the technical side of producing sporting events for distribution into America's homes.
While surfing the internet this evening, I came across your nostalgia page for the Coudersport Theatre. Some how, I was omitted from the list of employees in the 70's. I worked as a projectionist from the fall of 1978 to the summer of 1980.
Best to you and your family Jim
July 10, 2007
I was sent a link to your website today and have been pursuing it as I have had time. I thoroughly enjoyed the story about your mother's journey and the family history. Having been associated with the Rigas family since 1994, it was nice to read about how it all started from the very beginning. I am no longer living in Coudersport but it will always be my home thanks to you, for giving me a chance to prove myself back in '94. I had a wonderful experience and numerous memories that will never be forgotten working for Wending Creek, Adelphia, Hyperion, Adelphia Business Solutions, and finally TelCove.
Thank you for everything you have done in the past and I wish you and your family the best. Shawn
July 6, 2007
I'm very, very glad that I stumbled upon this website. Working at Texas Hot this summer has left me remarkably contemplative about family history, and your writings on the subject are wonderful (I've always regretted that I never knew my great-grandparents, but your memories succeed marvelously in bringing them to life). I'm thrilled now that I've found an invaluable link to the Rigas past and have never been more proud to be a member of this family and your grand-nephew..... what you've written is something to be treasured and I want to thank you so much for taking the time to do it. I'd genuinely appreciate it if you could give Aunt Doris and everyone else my best wishes and hope you continue the focus on what really matters in life during this difficult time..... and of course, I look forward to more writings.
God bless, Alex
January 8, 2007
This morning I saw the article posted on line as it appeared in the Buffalo News about the Adelphia issue and John Rigas. This saddens me once again to the point of tears. The fall of the company and the terrible things that the Rigas family has gone through is horrible. There is no doubt in my mind that this entire scam was nothing more than a frame job to make the government look like they were cracking down on white collar.
Those behind the scenes at Adelphia that turned against the company and the Rigas family (especially John) should live in shame for the rest of their lives. As a former employee myself I have moved on but will never forget the warmth I shared in that company. I will always remember the encounters with the family and the thoughts of all they did for many other employees. John ... if you read this please take care and remember that you are still in the thoughts of many.
Today after learning of your site I came home and jumped right on here. I want to deeply thank you for telling me about the history of the Texas Hot being there.
As I told you my family The Fanton's from Wellsville spent many of nights, days and afternoons there. I also would like to tell you thank you for the stories about my uncle Leon Fanton. He was and will always be a sweet and special man to me. He was more than my uncle he was a very good man. I went home and told my father(Ken Fanton) about the cat fishing stoties and he also enjoyed them.
Thank you and I am looking forward to the next story you are writing about your mother and father.
Patti Fanton Tritt
Dear Mr. Rigas,
I wanted to thank you again for attending my fathers funeral visitation in June 2006.
My dad mentioned your name to us many times over the years and appreciated your friendship. Once again thank you again for your kindness.
Best regards, Bill LaChance
You may or may not remember me, but I appreciate the time and help you gave me during my time as Potter County coordinator back in the late seventies and during the congressional campaigns of Bob Farber in Pa. and George Hasiotis in Buffalo. I remember meeting you at your home in Coudersport and how proud you were of your children. I admire you for your loyalty and want you to know that I feel very fortunate to have met you. You and your family are in my thoughts.
I would just like you to write an autobiography. You have so much to tell the world about how a small town boy works and starts with almost nothing and ends founding a multi "billion" dollar corporation. Granted there are a few more people from Wellsville that have become millionaires but no other "Billionaires". Most of the millionaires were continuation of family money. I think the number who have accomplished anything comparable to you could be counted on one finger. There aren't that many people in the country that have accomplished anything like you.
You rank as a hero to me along with my Grandmother Connor, who ran a boarding house on Park Place here in Wellsville and my Mother, who raised four children after being widowed.
That is in my book placing you in pretty lofty company.
I have great respect for you, John and all you have accomplished.
Sincerely, Jim Connor
Dear Mr. Rigas,
Don is my husband's second cousin. He is a very nice man. We graduated in 1958 so we're looking forward to our 50th reunion.
Yours, Virginia Vossler
I've made so many attempts to send you an email! I hope this one gets through!
We enjoyed our chat with you at the Crittendon last Friday evening! I'm glad you told us about your website. I read your family history and found it to ve very interesting! Please keep adding to your story!
Virginia Vossler String teacher
These are a few remembrances of John Rigas- as I know him--a man of integrity, warmth, and love for his community. For several years John had me search for those in our community who needed that extra boost of energized help that only John could give-but with the understanding that whomever he helped must never know that he was their benefactor. I acted as the individual between those in need and our gentle Greek giant.
About 15 years ago a young man who was born and raised in Coudersport was tragically murdered in a western state, and the family had no monetary means to bring his body home so they could grieve and give him a proper burial. Someone who knew I was close to John, called me and I placed a call to John, who happened to be in Colorado at the time.
He asked me to handle everything and I called the funeral director and told him to make all the arrangements and send John the bill. The boys body arrived home by airplane the next day, was brought home from the Buffalo airport, and funeral arrangements were made by the family. Not only did John pay for the funeral, the transportation of the boy, the casket, but the buriel plot and stone for his grave. Because of John's help, this family was able to bring their son home where he belonged, instead of having him buried in Potter's Field in Arizona. As I recall, John went to the funeral and the family was unaware that the man standing before them was the one who brought their son home to Potter County where he belonged.
I learned several years ago about a young mother of two sons who had struggled for three years to further her education. She was one year away from becoming a registered nurse, when financial difficulties befell the family and she told me she would have to quit school. I called John- and the rest is history. She is now a wonderful, caring and compassionate nurse right here in our area--all because of John working behind the scenes to help her.
Yet another time I learned about a young mother who lost her job through no fault of her own and was threatened with mortgage forclosure. Once again I called John and he wrote me out a check- I took it to the bank and got a money order made out to this woman and gave it to her. The only thing I asked in return was that she write a thank you note entitled "To Whom it May Concern," in order to protect John's confidentiality. Today, many years later she is still living in her little bungalow, thanks to John Rigas.
There were many other instances throughout the years I acted on John's behalf and I always maintained silence whenever those who received his generous gifts would ask who gave the gift. Perhaps they suspected, but never pursued in their quest to learn who was so kind as to remember them when they were suffering.
So whoever may read this, and were critical before about John, I hope you remember the good and wonderful things he did for our community. I have remained loyal to him, and will continue to do so--because I saw the many generous acts he bestowed on our community- not often with any fanfare, but just because he's the kind of man with a soul that has no boundries- and a heart that fills with tears when he realizes that there are still those out there who are suffering and he is no longer able to help them. God Bless You, John. You are loved.
I am Paul Flurschutz--I ran onto your website so I thought I would say hello. Your article on the Texas Hot was great. We were just there (had three hots) this past weekend. It was Ed's 80th birthday and we had a nice get together of all our families.
We have followed all your problems and are 100 % behind you. I know you too well to be any other way. Marge and I wish you and your family all of the best and pray things work out well. I joined the Russian Orthodox Church in Auburn a long time ago. I am the choir director and really enjoy the services as well as the music.
Hope to see you again soon, Paul and Marge Flurschutz
Let me first say thanks for the details about the Texas Hot. I love that place. My family and I lived in Wellsville from 1988-1998. I have eaten many Texas Hots and loved them and the restaurant. I will never forget the sight of you and Gus walking down Main St. the day of the 75th anniversary parade, and then Tommy riding on the elephant. Great times. We loved living in Wellsville. I only wished the employment at Dresser-Rand would have been more stable.
Best Wishes, Scott A. Stimely
I enjoy your writing a lot. Keep up the good work. You made the history of the Texas Hot come alive. Great writing. You have a way with words.
Just logged onto your web site and I love it. It is great what a nice piece of Coudersport to send to the world. I sent it on to Safia and Sarah and I am sure they will love to read your comments.
We had a great time with you and Doris last night at dinner and we have it again soon.
I will keep reading your website and I hope it turns things around. What a travesty of justice life is???
With all our Love Scherie & Murtaza
Good Morning John,
Quiet Sunday morning. And my former level of gumption seems to be somewhat in remission too. Wife and grandchildren are not do in 'til later today after a week long trip to Cape May. And since I've been toying with the thought of sending a few words your way for some time now I'm going to do it quickly before procrastination grabs me by the shorts again.
And so, just wanted to let you know that I and my children and my children's children are extremely appreciative of your generosity in allowing your lands to remain open for public fishing. We've all spent time flipping spinners in the River as it wends it's way through the Farm. And the girls have caught and released tons of blue gills in the large pond near the special reg upper boundary.
And lastly. My friends in TU would like to see a reg change from, artificials only to fly fishing only in those waters through and extending below the Farm. I've have tried to describe to our fly fishing friends the hard felt sudden hammer when a trout running at full bore slams a spinner. But gosh, those poor sould just don't get it and their only responce is a blank stare.
But again Mr Rigas, thank you. And God bless you and your family, and the best of luck, especially in the days to come.
Thank you for your kind letter. I’m glad you and your family are enjoying the fishing.
Did Jeff get the sealcoat tank ready yet? Hope the appeal is going well!!! If you need anything that I can help with please let me know!!! We r praying for u and your family!!! I wish u didn't have 2 go thru all this crap - it just isn't right!!! I pray God will make it rite! Love ya like a dad!! Have a good weekend!!
This letter is to the whole Rigas Family. Ralph and I have prayed for you and thought about you often. Ralph has stopped by several times just to see if you are doing ok.
We have faith that you are innocent of the charges and that justice will prevail. Our hearts go out to the whole family. This must be such a terrible strain on everyone. We wish there were something we could do for you. Your family has been so good to so many people. In our hearts we truly believe that whatever you do in life will come back to you. Because of all of the good that you have done, we are sure that this will work out for you too. My mother used to say it is darkest before the dawn. I pray the dawn will come soon for you all and this will be over.
Please know that there are so many people who really do care about you and wish you the very best. Our prayers and hearts are with you all.
Ralph and Margaret Caldwell
I just wrote a letter to the governor on you and Tim's behalf. I wish I could do more! I'm trying to win the lottery so I can help you with your legal expenses! Keep your head held high and don't lose faith my friend! We are praying for you!
Love ya man!
You are invited to email questions, comments and letters, bearing in mind that my legal situation may not permit an answer to all inquiries. -John Rigas