Michael J. Armstrong: Counselor
J. Armstrong had an uncanny way of looking people deep in
the eyes and telling them things that stuck with them,
that sometimes changed their lives.
There was the confused, rambling Grateful Dead fan he
met on a train in 1993, who was hooked on drugs and on
the run from his parents.
The young man wrote Mr. Armstrong a letter shortly
after their meeting that Mr. Armstrong's family
found in a drawer when they cleaned out his Upper East
Side apartment after Sept. 11.
"After talking to you," the young man wrote, "I've
worked everything out with my parents and will be
returning to work for them and continuing a drug-free
life. I have positive goals but I almost threw them away.
I just want to thank you for helping me."
There was the man from the Upper East Side who served
time in prison. When he got out, he was shunned by most
people; Mr. Armstrong went out of his way to talk to him,
to make him feel welcome.
"Since Sept. 11, we've realized what a great impact
he's had on people's lives," said Catherine M. Nolan,
whom Mr. Armstrong, 34, a vice president of sales at
Cantor Fitzgerald, was to marry on Oct. 6.