A Friend of a friend-Jack Fertig and Rick Miller-January 3

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for January 3, 2015.

Rick Miller has been a friend of mine since 1980. He and I were Assistant Basketball Coaches together at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. His wife Sherry and my wife also were pregnant at the same time in 1981 and both had sons born 10 days apart in August 1981.

Prior to me arriving at Western Carolina Rick had another good friend who was also an Assistant Coach at WCU named Jack Fertig. In 1980 Jack left Western Carolina to take a coaching position at the University of Tennessee. Jack later coached at Toledo, Southern Cal, and Frenso State. Jack is a fabulous speaker and author of two books. If you want to learn more about him go to the link below:


The friend-RICK MILLER-shown below with his wife Sherry


The friend of the friend-JACK FERTIG


Rick Miller’s Story on his friend Jack Fertig-Pet Deposit

Jack Fertig became a campus legend just a few weeks after he arrived.

Jack came to Western Carolina to be a an Assistant Basketball Coach from Robert Morris University and everyone was impressed with his personality and quick wit. He was a single guy and Cullowhee, NC basically being a village did not offer many housing options. Thankfully WCU had faculty/staff housing.

Jack applied at WCU Housing Office and got a small older apartment. He was giving a copy of the rental agreement by a female staffer including all the policies and procedures of living in WCU housing. Jack was also asked if he would have a pet in the apartment and he replied no. The staffer told him emphatically that if he acquired a pet it required a $25.00 pet deposit. The individual told Jack we are a trusting campus and we expect our tenants to be truthful if they have pets.

About a week elapsed after Jack moved in and he noticed he had an ant infestation in his kitchen. He read his rental agreement and it stated he needed to report it immediately. He went by the office and told the staffer about the ants. Three days went by and no one came to treat the problem. Jack went back to the office and reminded them of his problem just a little bit exasperated.

Another three days went past and Jack still had ants. He grabbed his rental policy and procedure manual along with his checkbook. He marched into the WCU Housing Office and insisted to see the female staffer that he dealt with previously. She came to the counter and Jack handed her a check payable to WCU Housing Office for $1,000,000. In the memo section of the check on the bottom left was written “Pet Deposit Ants”.

Within the hour the ants were gone and Jack’s check was returned.

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