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Freshman Gets Mystery Stereo

Hollis Resident Terms it God's Gift

By Kenneth A. Gerber

Late yesterday afternoon, two delivery men knocked on the door of Hollis 6. They said they had a fully assembled--and fully paid-for--Sony stereo system for Brian J. Gimotty '89.

But Gimotty hadn't ordered the stereo, valued at $860 and accompanied by a note wishing him a happy birthday.

Gimotty, whose birthday is not for several weeks, and roommate Paul H. Ryder '89 are convinced that this is no run-of-the-mill surprise present.

The gift--the second anonymous donation this term for the room's two residents--is the work of God, they said.

The pair also said they believe "the Big Man upstairs" singled them out to receive $100 in cash, which an alleged "Hollis alum" secretly deposited in their mailbox in late September.

The two stereo delivery men, who claimed to hail from Montreal, said they didn't know who had sent them to Cambridge. They said the benefactor had paid cash for the six-piece system, which included a direct-drive turntable, a Dolby cassette deck, a graphic equalizer, an AM-FM receiver and two 80-watt speakers.

"We're both real strong Christians, and our reaction was 'Thank you, God,'" Ryder said.

"God had all this planned long ago," Ryder said, adding that God had told him shortly before coming to Harvard to buy Maxell tapes, presumably in preparation for the gift.

The stereo and $100 presents are "more than coincidence," Gimotty said. "It happened, so it's part of His plan."

Gimotty said he has not excluded the possibility that the two gifts were sent by the same person, but that there is no way to trace their origins.

Hollis Hall residents are "as shocked as we are," Gimotty said. "After the $100, they told us we were lucky. After the stereo, they broke down and told us we were blessed," Ryder said.

"We all wished we lived in room 11. We've all got our sleeping bags ready to move in," said Hollis proctor Tony Williams.

The two plan to use the stereo to spread God's word, they said, by recording "Christian rock" albums and giving them away to any interested recipients. Ryder said God told him to do this.

"We know a person did it, but we thank God for it. We thank God for that person, we pray for him. It is more blessed to give than to receive," Gimotty said

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