The Wheatley SchoolAlumni Association Newsletter # 153

Arthur Engoron

May 21, 2024

Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 153.

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According to Substack, in the first 24 hours after publication, Newsletter # 152 was viewed 2,876 times, was “liked” eight times, and received one comment. In all, 4,727 email addresses received Newsletter # 152.

The Usual Words of Wisdom

Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (Class of 1963), you can regale yourself with the first 152 Newsletters (and much other Wheatley data and arcana) at

The Wheatley School Alumni Association Website

Also, thanks to Keith is our search engine, prominently displayed on our home page: type in a word or phrase and, wow!, you’ll find every place it exists in all previous Newsletters and other on-site material.

I edit all submissions, even material in quotes, for clarity and concision, without any indication thereof.  I cannot and do not vouch for the accuracy of what people tell me, as TWSAA does not have a fact-checking department.

We welcome any and all text and photos relevant to The Wheatley School, 11 Bacon Road, Old Westbury, NY 11568, and the people who administered, taught, worked, and/or studied there. Art Engoron, Class of 1967


Writes Matthew Sanzone (1959) - “In response to Ken Martin’s Hillside Ave. stroll: there was Mahoney’s, Berry’s, Rudy’s Delicatessen, and Hildebrandt’s: a ‘red carpet’ walk!”

Writes John Moncure (1960) - My dad, who suffered through the Depression, bought his first (and only) house in 1950 at 6 Amherst Road, Albertson—-one of Levitt’s first post war developments—which sold out in 18 months and caused him to start Levittown—further out east—which was also a huge economic success—all post-war success were facilitated by GI benefits—

Writes Paul Hennessy (1960) - “Saludos Bob (Holley) (1958) & Martino (Ken Martin) (1960),

 You blokes have done some outstanding research on the history of our beloved East Williston. 👍🦮

The Shaffers are an outstanding family with many accomplishments and a strong influence on our town and youth. They were touched by pain and tragedy in later years, especially the untimely deaths of our friend Chuck (Charles Shaffer, 1961) and, later, his son's drowning, which his mother witnessed.

Your research also taught me something I'd never known about the street I lived on -- Post Avenue -- apparently named after the prominent Post family you refer to re: the fire.

I'd wager that the barn used by the veterinarian named ‘Martin’ was the same one on Paul ‘Bick’ Keister's (1960) property --- our frequent party venue and home of the infamous Spartan Club (an appropriate theme song from one observing our festivities would have been, "Who Let the Dogs Out?"🤣🦮☘️).

Cheers, Saludos, L'Chayim,  Pablo”

Writes Robert “Bob” Holley (1958) - “Hey Martino, I saw your post in Wheatley Alumni Newsletter # 152, so I got curious ...

I witnessed the Jotham Post mansion fire in or about 1950. Later, as a historian, I became familiar with some of the old families that lived on the first block of Main Street (later, “East Williston Avenue”) just to the east of the LIRR Line.

Attached are a few scanned pages from East Williston History 1663-1978 by Nicholas Meyer & Cyril Lewis, copyright 1957. The second image shows the six large houses that existed on the north side of Main Street between the LIRR tracks and High Street (the first northbound street east of the railway). Left to right (west to east) were homes of Jotham Post (burned), Fred Post, John & Mary Willis, and Foster Oakley. The last two homes belonged to the Benjamin J. Pine estate. Benjamin J. Pine (1833-1912) was a fertilizer dealer who had a sales place a few blocks south, on Ogden Avenue. Benjamin Pine appears on Main Street in the 1910 census, and his son, James T. Pine (1867-1948), appears in the proper place, next to the Oakleys, in the 1920 and 1925 censuses. In 1930, however, the home just east of Foster Oakley's was being rented by a Charles Martin (1875-1957) whose occupation was VETERINARIAN! See attached 1930 census page.

So everything in the East Williston website accords pretty well.  Now, could one of the Pine homes, with a barn behind, have been the scene of Bick Keister's (1960) infamous Barn-- home of the Spartans?.  Unfortunately, this is where my memory fails; what I remember most about Keister's barn is you guys repeatedly hot wiring my MG sports car and driving off with it (so glad my Dad never knew!). What I cannot remember though is which of the six houses belonged to the Keister family.  My guess would be the third or fourth house from the tracks, but NOT the fifth or sixth house.  The East Williston History book scan actually shows a large barn behind the Foster Oakley home. Guess we won’t have a reliable answer until Bick pipes up.

As for Rev. Shaffer, please find attached a newspaper clipping I found and distributed around to others last year.  You may have to play a bit with zooming to read it well, but it is a neat piece of history! Best & VQ, Bob Holley”


Writes Art Engoron (1960) - From in or about December, 1953 until leaving for college in 1967 I lived on Bengeyfield Drive, between Oakley and Griffin Lanes, very close to East Williston/Hillside Avenue and the LIRR station. I remember the following, from West to East:

On the north side of Hillside Avenue, just east of the tracks, there was a tiny shed in which an old man worked raising and lowering the barriers to crossing the tracks when a train was approaching or leaving. The shed was demolished a few years later, when the barriers were automated. Just east was a stand alone butcher shop, with, I seem to remember, sawdust on the floor. That was abandoned a few years later and demolished a few years after that. Just east of that was a semi-circular driveway, with concrete or stone posts at either end, which I figured was just some nice civic decoration. Fast forward to about 1966 and I’m in the East Williston Library, and there’s a large painting (probably still there, somewhere) of a mansion set behind the semicircular driveway being consumed by flames. The driveway finally made sense. The mansion was probably the Jotham Post house, and the fire was probably the one Bob Holley (1958) remembers seeing. I hadn’t thought of this before (it’s only been some 60 years), but the fact that the East Williston Fire Department was a block away from the inferno shows the limits of such enterprises.

Alma Mater

Writes Gene Razzetti (1961):  “Art, I do not remember the first ‘To’ in the last line of the Alma Mater, as classmate Richard Kopelman (1961) claims, but his grades were better than mine. What we have here is two ‘80-somethings’ in a memory contest. Suffice it to say that if Dr. Wills wrote it, it was right.  Time for my nap. Best to all, Gene.”

Writes Art Engoron (1967) - I’m a ‘70-something,’ and I think that Matt and Gene are both wrong……and I don’t care who got better grades. I believe that the last line was “Our Alma Mater, Wheatley High, hail to thee.” And yes, I know that “high” is not part of the school’s official name, which is “The Wheatley School.”

Class of 1984 40th Year Reunion

Writes Gina Potenza (1984) - “Hey Fellow Wildcats……Lets Catch Up!
When: Saturday August 17, 2024, 7:00 pm
Where: Albertson VFW Hall
            155 Searingtown Road
            Albertson, NY
There will be appetizers, a hot buffet, dessert, and bottled beer and wine, top shelf spirits, sparkling water, regular & diet soda.

We will also be dancing to our 80s favorite tunes!

Cost: $125 per person. 

Please make CHECKS payable to:

            Gina Potenza

And mail to following address:

           5 Bainbridge Ave

           Melville, NY 11747

Or Bring Cash

Please RSVP by 7/28/24 so a final count can be obtained by the beginning of August. All taxes and gratuities are included in the final price! 

Looking forward to seeing all of you!”


1960 - Paul Keister - “My wife, Betsy, and I live in Indian Land, South Carolina and are happy as can be. I retired from banking, and she from teaching high school. Life is good, but at 80 years of age, there may not be many years left!!!  
Warmest regards,
Paul & Betsy Keister
23060 Whimbrel Circle,
Indian Land, South Carolina 29707

1965 - Writes Malcolm Dobrow - “I want to thank classmate Roger Morris for the very kind words about me and, especially, my dad (father also to my brother, Harvey Dobrow, 1960, and my sister, Maris Dobrow, 1972).

The ‘Blowing up the Toilet’ incident to which he refers is part of Dobrow family lore.  In fact, on the occasion of me being honored as President of The Medical staff at a local hospital, Harvey recounted the incident in front of 500 physicians.  I was never looked at the same way again.”

1965 - Norman Resnicow - Remembered

Norman Resnicow (1965) died on May 4, 2024. He was the brother of Eva (1968), David (1972), and Ruth (1975), and is also survived by his wife of over fifty years, Barbara, his sons Daniel and Joel, and two grandchildren. The Resnicow family moved to East Williston in 1955, and the house on Weeks Road remained the family home until the death of matriarch Melly Resnicow in 2013. 

Norman attended Yale College and Yale Law School and was a partner at several law firms in New York City. In 2016 he received the Attorney Professionalism Award from the New York State Bar Association for his “long and distinguished career in transactional law and his lifetime of pro bono service to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society in its refugee resettlement services.” He served for 37 years as a director of HIAS and volunteered hundreds of hours as counsel to the organization, which helped to settle his mother’s family when they arrived here in 1939 as refugees from Germany. 

Norman with, L-R, sons Danny and Joel in 1981

1969 - Peter Siegelman - In His Element

May be an image of 1 person, skateboard and surfboard

May be an image of 2 people, beach and ocean

1970 - Joseph Elterman - “Hi Art, Just now viewed Newsletter # 148 with its story and video regarding Andy Varipapa.  I have never seen such amazing mastery performed on the lanes.  Truly, Andy was a singular talent.

I spent most of my early years in the Herricks School District.  I recall that Veripapa’s son, Frank Varipapa, who was referenced in the article, was a varsity football starter for the Herricks Highlanders back in the early 60’s.   I remember watching him make some great plays on the gridiron.  Anyway, I am going to go on Amazon and order a copy of the book about his Dad, Andy. It sounds like it’s an interesting and entertaining read.

Joey Elterman Continued - “Hi again, Art, I just received the book about Andy Varipapa and in perusing it I discovered that Andy’s son Frank got married in 1949……so the Frank Varipapa that I remembered must have been another relative, perhaps a nephew or grand nephew?  Oh, well. Thanks again! Joey”

Fan Mail

1960 (Paul Keister) - “My wife and I very much enjoy getting your email updates and thank you for your efforts!!”

1960 (John “Monk” Moncure) - “Art—-you are doing a great job—- hang in there—Monk”

1965 (Jeffrey Orling) - “Appreciated as always Art,..…Thanks!”

1970 (Joey Elterman) - “Grateful to you as always.”

1972 (Jean Walsh) - “Thank you.”

1980 (Sharon Nassau) - “Thanks Art. I appreciate you.”


That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 153.  Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.


  Arthur Fredericks Engoron, Class of 1967