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"The Secret Society of Serendipitous Service for Hal is quietly at work: groceries left anonymously on the porch of a family down on its luck. A snow-clogged driveway surreptitiously cleared overnight. A waitress staggered by a $50 tip from a stranger. All done in the name of Hal Reichle, a Northeast Ohioan killed when his helicopter crashed in the first Gulf War. Since his death in 1991, Reichle's friends have honored the memory of a man who 'is kind of a cross between John Wayne and a leprechaun,' said Roger Cram, an administrator at Hiram College in Portage County. Just who performs these acts of kindness (known as 'pulling a Reichle,') is, by design, a mystery. But Cram estimates there could be 100 such 'Reichles' a year. ...

"'[Reichle's] charisma was the envy of anybody. ... But Reichle's real legacy was created without fanfare,' said Cram. Noticing a house urgently in need of repainting, Reichle did the work while the family—strangers to him—was out of town. A secondhand car mysteriously materialized for a factory worker. A teacher awoke on a snowy morning to a clear driveway. A classmate, turned down for a loan by a Trumbull County bank, prevailed after Reichle intervened, relying only on his charm and powers of persuasion. Reichle, who graduated from Hiram with a management degree in 1986, was an Army chief warrant officer when he died at age 27. But the stories of his good deeds survived. ...

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The Wide Sweep of Spiritual healing
May 19, 2003
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