Michael Rodio | January 15, 2015
In the summer of 1996, James Perri was 24 years old. And he was invincible.
In high school they called him the Iceman. Stoic. Unshakeable. The kind of guy who inspires loyalty, the kind of guy who has more than one best friend.
Ask the best friends from Manalapan, New Jersey: Pat Ronan, Mike Masone ’94, Pat Hanlon ’94. First bound together by the baseball games in the Perri backyard. Kids in the same classes throughout grade school. Then high school lab partners. Friends so close they’re family.
Or ask Ron Mnieckowski ’94, who at Notre Dame bonded with Perri and Hanlon, the “Jersey ruffians,” or Mike Towers ’94, whom Perri and Hanlon nicknamed “Hammer,” as in MC, because of his dancing ability (or lack thereof, depending on who’s telling the story).
They love James Perri ’94: Superhero tall, lantern-jawed, genuine Jersey tough guy with a heart of gold. The quiet genius, the guy who gets an A on the most challenging organic chemistry exam at Notre Dame. Invincible.