With a few bumps in the road (some additional items needed; promised help not arriving) Leslie's system was installed on Aug 14 and 16. She was shocked and very moved by the care and generosity shown to her.

I have used the virtual system builder to post photos and tell some of the story. I anticipate Leslie will be sending me a "thank you" note for everyone on Audiogon, which I will post in the thread once I receive it.

In addition to the major items donated by A'gon members as described in the virtual system, a big "thank you" goes out to Leslie's local counsel, David Ghannam and Tim Attalla, who donated a new Sony widescreen TV.

The system sounds and looks great. Leslie is thrilled. When you think about it, this is an amazing and wonderful thing we've all done. Can you imagine being in Leslie's shoes and having someone show up at your house and install this for you?

I learned that Leslie is a very generous person, who has frequently had her generosity taken advantage of by others. To her and her niece's recollection, this is the first time that something really generous has been done for her.

Thank you to the many A'gon members who donated items not specifically described in the virtual system -- the cables, vibration control, CDs and videos. This was a wonderful and very moving experience (even if my 51 year-old shins are still sore from kneeling on the floor for 2 days).

Maybe this will be just the first system donated by Audiogon members to deserving individuals? The future, and the ability to make dreams come true -- as shown by this event -- are ours.

Many, many thanks to everyone.

Warmest regards,

Paul Frumkin

Components Toggle details

    • The System Fired up!
    On Friday, Aug 13, my wife and I drove to Michigan, and the installation began on Saturday, Aug 14. (A'gon member Sogood51 said he'd come and help, but didn't show or return e-mails -- hope he's okay). After assembling the system, it was clear that we needed (1) an equipment rack; (2) speaker stands; and (3) longer cables for the surround speakers. So I went out and purchased those items. Also, Leslie's friend had told me she had a VCR, and so I didn't ask for a donated VCR. Well, she had a VCR alright ... a mono one about 20 years old! So I went out and bought a new Sony VCR, too. On Monday, Aug 16, I returned to Leslie's and (1) disassembled the system; (2) assembled the equipment rack; (3) assembled the speaker stands; (4) re-assembled the system; and (5) replaced and re-routed the cables for the surround speakers. What a day! Photo is of the system fired up.
    • Kyocera DA-01
    A photo of the equipment rack. CD player donated by Jeff Logan.
    • Pioneer DVD player
    Pioneer DVD player donated by Mark Drum (Cine100). Photo of Leslie in front of the system.
    • Denon Denon
    Top-notch Denon Receiver donated by Guenther Hartfeil (Ozfly) and friends. Photo of the system.
    • Infinity Infinity
    Infinity L, R and center channel speakers donated by Mike Sylvestri. Photo of the sytem fired up.
    • PSB Subwoofer
    PSB subwoofer donated by Tom Kolena. Photo of Leslie and her niece (Sweet Dreams) Tanya.
    • Sound Dynamics Sound Dynamics
    Surround speakers donated by Mark Gringer. Photo of Leslie and yours truly (tired and sweaty after taking the system apart, assembling the equipment rack, re-assembling the system on the rack, assembling the speaker stands, and velcroing the speakers to the stands).
    • Grado Headphones
    Donated by Mr. John Grado himself! Photo of Leslie enjoying the World's Finest.
    • Many Thanks to all who made this possible!
    Photo of Leslie holding the card listing everyone who contributed to make this dream come true. I sincerely believe that this home theater system (and the donated music and videos) will do much to improve the quality of her life.

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Hi everyone,

Leslie e-mailed to me the following letter, which she has asked that I post to share with you all. For increased visibility, I will also post it in a separate thread. Here's her letter:

Dear Audiogoners,

I want to thank everyone for your caring and kindness. The home theater all of you put together for me is truly wonderful. I haven't left the house since it came (ha ha). I was in awe to think that there are still good people in this world who would do this for someone they've never met.

Paul told me on the morning of August 14, "This is going to be a Special Day." It was truly amazing! Not only that I had been given a very special gift, but also hearing the stories about the people who had so kindly donated all this wonderful equipment.

You have all touched my heart in a very special way. Thank you again so very much.



FYI, here's a part of the statement of facts from the brief I wrote in the Michigan Supreme Court:

Early in the evening of Sunday, September 19, 1999, Ronald Mark Bennett (“Bennett”) decided to get drunk. He had at least eight to twelve drinks in one or more bars before he went to Stingers, and was almost certainly visibly intoxicated when he arrived at Stingers. Nonetheless, Stingers continued to serve Bennett another eight to twelve drinks. Stingers even stayed open unlawfully late, and continued serving Bennett alcohol until well past 3:00 a.m. Bennett also testified that someone at Stingers supplied him with cocaine, which he snorted in the bar. Stingers then allowed a visibly intoxicated Bennett to get behind the wheel of his uninsured car, with fate left only to decide who would become his victim.

Unfortunately, fate was not kind to Leslie Langrill in the early morning of Monday, September 20, 1999. Driving eastbound on Eight Mile Road, Bennett utilized a “turn-around” to head west, but he did so at a high rate of speed, ignored the stop sign, and slammed into Langrill with such force that Langrill was ejected from her car and sent flying across two traffic lanes.

Langrill landed face down on the curb in a pile of rubble, which a moment earlier had been her car. She was unresponsive to witnesses at the scene, and later, unresponsive to the arriving Warren Police officers. Bennett fled and drove home. He was so intoxicated that he “parked” his car in the middle of the road and left his driver’s door open. Lab tests showed he had a blood alcohol level of .29, in addition to the cocaine. None of these facts are contested.

Today, Bennett is in prison. Bennett’s prison is made of concrete, glass and steel. Sentenced to a term of 29 months to five years, Bennett will likely end up serving less than two and one half years in prison. He suffered only minor injuries, which completely healed long ago. Once released from prison, Bennett will be able to pick up his life and do all the things he enjoyed doing before the early morning of September 20, 1999.

Today, Leslie Langrill is also in prison. But unlike Bennett’s prison, Langrill’s prison is not made of concrete, glass and steel. Instead, Langrill is serving a lifetime sentence in her own twisted and broken body. A vibrant and active person in her mid-30's at the time of this tragedy, Leslie’s spine was severed. She is permanently paralyzed from the chest down. She spends her days in one of two places – her bed or her wheelchair – and she is unable to move from one to the other without assistance. She initially required 24 hour a day assistance. She has now “improved” to requiring “only” 16 hour a day in-home care.

Unlike Bennett’s sentence, Leslie Langrill’s sentence will continue for of all her remaining days. Unlike Bennett, life for Leslie will never be the same as it was before the morning of September 20, 1999.


Hi Ray,

Thank you for your kind comments. I think the demonstration of care and generosity shown by our fellow Audiogoners has lifted the spirits of many and provided a healthy dose of (restored?) faith in basic human goodness and kindness. While the project was my idea, it was the generosity of our fellow Audiogoners who brought the idea to fruition and made the dream come true.

This is the genesis of the project:

Leslie was hit by a drunk driver a few years ago in Warren, Michigan, when Leslie was in her late 20s. She almost didn't make it, but survived ... although paralyzed from the chest down. My friend and client, David Ghannam in Dearborn, Michigan, represented Leslie in the trial court in her action against the bar which had served the visibly drunk driver. The trial court dismissed the case, saying the bar had not been sued soon enough.

David asked me to look at the file for appellate purposes. I concluded the trial court erred by starting the "clock" from the wrong date. I drafted the appeal and assisted with developing the oral argument before the 3 judge panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals. We won that appeal, and the Court of Appeals remanded to the trial court for further proceedings (i.e., trial or settlement). The bar has since asked the Michigan Supreme Court for permission to further appeal; that decision won't be made for another few months.

The driver himself is uncollectable and in prison. The bar only has $50,000 in insurance. Leslie might see $33,000 from the case. As you likely know, 1/3 goes to attorneys fees (not mine; I did my initial work at a reduced hourly rate, and I wrote the brief opposing the bar's application for permission to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court (28 hours' work) for $0).

I concluded that $33,000 would make little difference to Leslie, given her catastrophic injuries and lifetime sentence in a wheelchair. I thought about how to help this lady and improve the quality of her life. Getting out, as you can imagine, is difficult for her. I thought, "Well, if she can't go to the movies, let's bring the movies to her!"

Hence, with permission from Audiogon, I posted the story and asked the folks here if they could donate any excess equipment. I had hoped that, over a month or so, many or most of the pieces needed would get donated (not the widescreen, though; the lawyers would take care of that). To my amazement, a complete system was donated in 30 hours ... 30 HOURS! That blew me away. I am still humbled and moved by that showing and experience.

Last week, on Aug 13, I took a week off from work, and my wife and I drove from Delaware to Michigan. Leslie knew nothing about it. I called her at 9am on Saturday, Aug 14, and told her to get ready -- that this was going to be a special day. The widescreen was delivered shortly before I arrived at her house. You can imagine the impact of such a surprise! I intially installed the system that Saturday.

I subsequently decided she needed an equipment rack; speaker stands; a new VCR (I was told she had one; she did -- it was 20 years old and mono); and new, longer cables for the surrounds. So I purchased those items on Sunday, and returned Monday. I took apart the system, built the rack, assembled the speaker stands, velcroed the speakers to the stands, re-assembled the system on the rack, and re-wired and re-routed the cables to the surrounds. That is the completed system you see in the photos.

Leslie's system is complete. The only additional items that would be helpful are more CDs, VHS tapes and DVDs. As I've stated before, no one should donate movies or CDs they'll watch or listen to again; rather, just stuff you'll likely never listen to or watch again. Items can be sent directly to her, since she has given me permission to post her adddress:

Ms. Leslie Langrill
20815 E. 10 Mile Rd.
St. Clair Shores, MI 48080

Warmest regards,