Preston Cook

Profile Updated: December 12, 2021
Residing In Wabasha,, MN USA
Spouse/Partner Donna Cook, 35 years
Homepage View Website
Occupation Retired
Children Five Step Children, Ten Step Grandchildren, Five Step Great Grandchildren
Military Service Drafted, US Army, 1966-1968  
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On reflection, three movies profoundly shaped, and directed, my life. “Around the World in 80 Days”, “A Thousand Clowns” and “Lawrence of Arabia” each changed the trajectory of my life. Let me briefly explain.

The 1956 movie, “Around the World in 80 Days”, inspired thoughts of travel and adventure through high school. By spring of 1965, after saving $3000 working at the post office, I embarked on an around the world solo adventure, returning not in 80 days, but in 400, traversing through 40 countries on three continents. Hitchhiking through Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East to Kabul, Afghanistan, for the most part ending my ground travels due to political unrest and two draft notices. Flying the balance of the travels to India, Nepal, Thailand, Malyasia and Japan, to name a few. The adventure opened my mind to diversity in people, places, culture, food, as well as being a great educational experience. My enthusiasm for adventure continues, traveling to all seven continents, as much as possible by land, train and ship.

“A Thousand Clowns”, the 1965 movie from Herb Gardiner’s 1962 play, influenced me with a one liner; “You can’t have too many eagles!” Collecting American eagles, as Murray Burns in the movie did, became a passion, later a compulsion, during the next 40 years. The collection now consisting of over 20,000 such items, likely the largest such ever assembled. A book is forthcoming in 2015. A building has been purchased to house the collection for a museum.

When asked how I met my wife, I often say Lawrence of Arabia introduced me to my wife. The 1962 movie, with the same name, viewed on a Tuesday night in early 1985, double-featured with, “A Man Who Would Be King”, left me too tired for my regular early Wednesday morning workout. I went the following Thursday to meet a woman who would eventually be my wife, who ONLY worked out Tuesdays and Thursday. Donna has now been my one and only for over 28 years.

School Story

I was an absolute academic failure at ETHS, graduating 789 out of 862, with a 4.06 GPA, and I pursued no activities. The yearbook states no more than my name. But my underperformance during my time at ETHS is not a reflection on the quality of education and opportunities offered there; instead it reflects my engagement in activities other than scholarly. During high school I worked constantly, on my own and for a variety of employers, to gain the knowledge and skills I was drawn to, and to provide myself with material goods that were important to me at the time. Nonetheless, I have always had good feelings about ETHS. I’ve remained friends with many people from my class, have attended every reunion and even been a member of the reunion committee. This past year I helped raise funds to create a permanent annual award in the name of the class of 1964 and Jack Rakove, a Pulitzer Prize–winning graduate of our class.

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Aug
01
Aug 01, 2022 at 11:46 AM

Happy birthday Preston ! I hope you enjoy the day! Stay safe and healthy. God Bless you and your family and may the Eagles continue to bless you and and our country.
Rommie HOF Honorary Captain

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Aug 01, 2022 at 3:33 AM
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Mar 17, 2022 at 7:01 PM

Bill and I went to Willard together.  Cub scouts also.  Then, like with too many former classmates, we lost track of each other, only to connect on Facebook several years ago.  We were of like mind on the major issues as well as small ones, like the proper feeding of hummingbirds.  I feel a loss.

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Dec 13, 2021 at 7:58 PM

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Dec 13, 2021 at 7:58 PM

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Posted on: Dec 11, 2021 at 4:07 PM

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Dec 13, 2021 at 7:59 PM

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Posted on: Dec 11, 2021 at 4:01 PM

Preston Cook has a birthday today. New comment added.
Aug 01, 2021 at 4:32 PM

Posted on: Aug 01, 2021 at 3:33 AM

Nov 10, 2021 at 8:43 PM

Posted on: Feb 06, 2021 at 2:47 PM

From your last posting I was delighted to learn you still live in CA part time and you are still driving a Tesla. Thought we had lost you to the Midwest and as a Tesla convert. You were thinking of stopping the lease on your Model S. I wondered how anyone could go back to an ICE after driving a Tesla. Ginger May and her husband met your personal trainer, now without you, on their regular hiking path. He was sorry you had moved to the Midwest. They are leasing their first Tesla and love, love, love it. Are you in the same house in Novato? Same email and phone? When things open up, I'd like to arrange another North Bay get together.

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Aug 11, 2020 at 2:44 PM

Posted on: Aug 11, 2020 at 6:11 AM

I am moved to hear you remain on the right side of the grass. Happy Birthday.

Preston Cook has a birthday today.
Aug 01, 2020 at 3:33 AM
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