The Wheatley Alumni Association Newsletter # 154

Arthur Engoron

May 25, 2024

Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 154.

All underlined text is a link-to-a-link or a link-to-an-email-address. Clicking anywhere on underlined text, and then clicking on the text that pops up, will get you to your on-line destination or will address an email.

According to Substack, in the first 24 hours after publication, Newsletter # 153 was viewed 2,679 times, was “liked” 12 times, and received two comments. In all, 4,727 email addresses received Newsletter # 153.

The Usual Words of Wisdom

Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (Class of 1963), you can regale yourself with the first 153 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

The San Francisco Bay Area Wheatley Reunion Is Nigh!

Writes Larry Rosenthal (1965) - “My very own brother, Steve Roselaren (’67), will join Laura Herbst (’74)Nancy Kurshan (‘61)Mark Lauria (‘61)Richard Weiss (‘62), Shelly Levinthal (‘68) , Karen Schaller Hampton (’64)Alice Wilkins (‘64)Bill Meyn (’74)Laura Herbst (’74), Mark Luria (‘61), Larry Weiss (‘73),  Lizzy Lynn (‘64), Peter Siegel (’66), Roy Nierenberg (’63), Barry Gordon (’65), Rich Weissman (‘72), and yours truly (’65), at The Third Annual (?) Unofficial San Francisco Bay Area Wheatley Reunion Potluck—TTA(?)USFBAWRP—Sunday May 26, 2024, 12:30 - 4:00, in my Berkeley back yard. Interested Wildcats, last minute confirms are fine,  just email me at All are welcome!”

1977 - Wheatley’s Long Island Field Hockey Championship

Writes Tami Smith (1978) - “I want to pay homage to the 1977 Long Island women’s championship field hockey 🏑 team & to coach Loretta “Lori” Roux for helping us to get there. We were the last field hockey 🏑 championship team that played at Wheatley. 

Prior to becoming Long Island champions, we 1st had to win the Nassau County championship.  Prior to the Nassau County game it had rained for days. The administrators kept postponing the game. They wanted to wait until the field was dry to play. Finally, they felt like they couldn’t postpone it any longer. So we started to play, shortly after which rain started falling, but we kept playing. There was a lot of slipping and sliding and being covered in mud that day, but we won the Nassau County Championship
🏆 😁👍🏻🏑👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻


Later we went on to beat the Suffolk County champions to take the title of Long Island Champions in field hockey. 🏑 

I’ll also never forget Coach Roux giving us sterling silver field hockey pins after winning the Long Island championship. It was such a beautiful honor. 

I will never forget Lori Roux. She was the best coach and person. I am truly a better person for having known her. I was so sad to read of her passing, noted by Wendy McClure (1979).  My deepest condolences go out to her family.  May Loretta “Lori” Wilson Roux rest in peace. 🙏🏻

Wheatley no longer has a field hockey team. It was removed not too long after winning the Long Island Championship. What a shame!

This is me now, and yes, I still have my jacket and trophies 😁🏆

Sincerely, Tami H Smith, Class of 1978

Wildcat in the News - Meryl Brodsky, Class of 1966

The NYT had  a piece on Katharine Hepburn last Sunday, May 19, 2024, that had a photograph of and quoted Meryl Brodsky.

"Meryl Brodsky, an economics policy analyst, recalled Hepburn’s sometimes salty relationship with her neighbor Stephen Sondheim, who died in 2021, and lived in an adjacent townhouse that recently sold for $7 million.

‘There’s a story about how Sondheim would grouse about her threatening to call the police on him because he liked composing on his piano in the wee hours of the night,’ Ms. Brodsky said. ‘She hated it.’

Then Ms. Brodsky turned to [a neighbor, Anne] to ask about her favorite Hepburn movie.

‘The African Queen’ is mine,’ [Brodsky] said. ‘What’s your favorite, Anne?’

‘Maybe “Adam’s Rib,”’ [Anne] replied.

‘“Adam’s Rib” is so great.’

‘Remember when we screened it out here?’ [Anne] said. ‘Everyone was here. That got a big turnout.’”

Alma Mater - The Definitive Answer

Writes Steve Nelson (1958) - “To end any confusion over the lyrics to the Wheatley Alma Mater, here they are as printed in the program for the first commencement, in 1958.

“May loyal hearts in memory

Forever praise thy name,

Our ALMA MATER noble and true,

For endless years the same.

So Veritatem Quaerite,

May e’er our motto be,

Our ALMA MATER Wheatley High,

Hail to thee.”

I don’t understand why it didn’t say “School” instead of “High,” since that wouldn’t affect the rhyme scheme or the meter. Maybe after all these years it ought to be amended, assuming anyone sings it anymore. Steve Nelson, 1958”

Writes Art Engoron (1967) - The attribution, published in Newsletter # 150, of Alma Mater to “Godfrey Wills, 1959,” sent by whom-I-cannot-remember, was obviously incorrect, as were the lyrics published therewith.

Writes Beth Davidson (1959) - “The last line of our Alma Mater definitely referred to Wheatley High. I can hear this song in my head right now.”

Writes Jill Simon Forte - “I may be old, but that last line stays in my memory!”

Writes Hilary “Lori” Wallach Marshak (1968) - “Art, Of course you are right - and I have an uncanny memory for every jingle, song, and camp color war song I ever heard.

I also want to suggest a challenge - when I can't sleep, I recite (to myself) every house on Schoolhouse Lane - including kids' names, parents, and sometimes pets. It does put me to sleep.”


Writes Bob Holley (1958) - “All this geography/realty stuff  is a bit confusing, especially because these East Williston houses apparently go all the way back to the 1880s.

In the case of #19 East Williston Avenue, there are two structures-  the house nearest the street and what I am now assuming is Bick's Barn (indicated by the red arrow) in the rear.

For discussion, I have referred to  the homes I remember as #1 to #6 --  moving 

left-to-right from west to east.   

(1)  #3 East Williston Avenue -- originally owned by Jotham Post - 

      burned down in 1950; replaced by a park.

(2)  #11 East Williston Avenue--  originally owned by Fred H. Post --  

      razed and replaced by apartments on the west side of Bengeyfield Dr.

(3)  #15 East Williston Avenue--  originally owned by John & Mary Willis;

      this home is the oldest of the properties that are still standing!

(4)  #25 or #19 East Williston Avenue--  originally owned by Foster L. Oakley;

      this is the home (#19) Paul Keister says he occupied;  I have no idea why

      the history book said that the home was once at #25 Main Street. 

      It is presently standing at #19 East Williston Avenue.

(5)  #29 East Williston Avenue--  originally owned by Ben F. Pine;

      rented to veterinarian Charles Martin -- late 1920s -- into the 1930s

       It is presently standing at #29 East Williston Avenue.

(6)  #35 East Williston Avenue--  originally owned by the Ben F. Pine  estate;

      razed in the 1950s? and now a vacant lot abounding both East Williston Avenue

       and High Street

So west to east, only three of the central houses survived. The first, #1, burned down and eventually became part of a park.  The second, #2, is now site of an apartment house on the west side of Bengeyfield Drive, a street later (1960s?) inserted  northbound from East Williston Avenue. Homes #3, #4, and #5 still appear as described above, and #6 was leveled prior to 1960.

Still confused?  Take some time and play with Google Streets and Google

Maps ;  I am shocked at how much you can see; it's a bit eerie! I just looked at my East Williston home at 10 Ridge Road (kinda wish I hadn't).

I think Bick’s Barn is still there in the far west, back side of the large deep lot at #19 East Williston Avenue. I hope that we’ll hear some confirmation of this analysis from the one who must know best – Paul Keister.  If he can fill us in on the history of the home, that would also be of great interest.  The old owner,  Foster L. Oakley (1862-1930) was a rather well known  proprietor of a local business specializing in agricultural supplies and farm vehicles – one of which was the notable state-of-the-art  (1891) “East Williston Road Cart,” built by his business partner, Henry M. Willis. Best & VQ, Bob Holley”

Writes James Seaton (1973) - “Hey Art, Your note about the East Williston train crossing reminded me of two ‘spooky’ experiences I’ve had over the years. The first was at the East Williston train station. As I was riding my bike and approached the train crossing, I thought to myself, ‘I’ve never seen these gates coming down before. Wouldn’t it be amazing if a train came along right now?’  At precisely that moment, the bells started ringing, lights started flashing, and the gates descended.  But then…..there was NO TRAIN!  After a minute or so, the process reversed: lights and bells and the gates went back up…but never a train at all.

Another incident similarly spooky that had nothing to do with Wheatley: in my junior year at Yale, I lived in a communal home right on Long Island Sound in Madison, CT.  To make some money, I took on a job as a substitute postman.  I was on my way to the Post Office at 4:30 am to begin sorting the mail for my rural route.  It was dark out, and the street was deserted.  I was driving past a large estate on a corner that was surrounded by a high masonry wall that came right to the property line.  Because of the wall, I couldn’t see anything around the corner.  When I was approximately 10 ft. from the intersection, I heard a voice commanding me to ‘Stop the car!’  I stopped the car, and the instant I did, a young boy riding a bicycle came out of nowhere and crossed directly in front of me.  If it hadn’t been for that voice getting me to come to a full stop, I for sure would have killed him.

Like I say….spooky.

Best, Jim

Writes Edward B. (“Woodie”) Ryder (1973) - “As a former member of the East Williston Fire Department, as was my Dad, I’m sure the response to the inferno at # 3 East Williston Avenue was fought with mutual aid from other volunteer fire departments; regardless of the proximity of headquarters to the fire scene.”

Writes Mark Harvey (1975) - “Hey Art, I just finished reading Newsletter # 153, and the ‘Hood History stories about East Williston Avenue, given in such detail, fascinated me. I have memories of visiting the East Williston Greenhouse, where a distant relative of mine, Fritz Weidel, worked. I don’t have a lot of information about him and his relationship to the village. Does anyone remember him?

In addition, the burning of the Jotham Post Mansion reminded me of another fire. I grew up on Arbor Lane in the Country Club and vaguely remember a huge fire at the Valentine Mansion. This was across from Barnyard Lane on the west side of Roslyn Road in the section know as ‘Rosewood.’ This had to be in the mid 60’s. Would love to know more about this and the Valentine family.

I also want to give a shout out to an old neighbor from Arbor Lane, Andy Wilkins (1969). I remember him as a really good guy. Although he was older than me, he always took the time to talk while he was out walking his dog. He was always so kind and helpful when my mom was sick. Not sure I ever thanked him. Andy, I hope you are well...

Regards, Mark Harvey, Class of 1975,


1964 - Susan Obrant

1965 - Jeffrey Orling - “Thanks Art...makes me nostalgic and realize how much I have forgotten.... and what a great place to grow up it was. It makes me feel guilty that I lost track of old friends. Best, Jeff

1968 - Sheli Nan Hershcopf - "“Dear Wheatley friends, Thank you for attending the premiere of my piece for string orchestra, BACKLASH! It was a marvelous concert . Here is a photo of me with the conductor Maestro Max Lipshitz, also a composer. and famed composer and guitarist Jose Lezcano, who  also had a piece on the program. Looking forward to next time. Sincerely, Sheli Nan

L-R - Famed composer and guitarist Jose Lezcano, Maestro Max Lipshitz, Sheli Nan

1969 + 1971 - John Poulos (1971) Remembers Peter Siegelman (1969) - “Thanks for the memories. The picture of Peter with the surfboard was a rush. I sold him that board, it was a Greek (literally, made by ‘The Greek’). It was VERY light weight, very thin cloth, very little resin, not hard to put a dent in if you didn’t handle it right. Peter bought another board from me, a Seeker, that was custom made for me in Cocoa Beach back around 1970. WOW……one picture……LOT’S of memories. I’ve thought about Peter every day for the past couple of weeks… what a great guy!”

1972 - -- Amy Jean Hershcopf Levine - With Big Sister Sheli Nan Hershcopf (1968)

L-R - Sheli, Amy

1971+1973+1974 - Michael Weiss (1971), Peter Simel (1973), Karen Spielman (1974)

L-R - Michael, Karen, Peter, Bocaire Country Club, Boca Raton, FL, 5/24/2024

1971 - Miles Fidelman - Visionary

Writes Miles - “As I turned 70, I have been gearing up a new venture - heading off to rebuild suburbia, before it falls apart around us.

1971 - John Poulos - Letter to the Editor of Newsday

It reads as follows: “How sad. As a graduate of both North Side School in East Williston and The Wheatley School in Old Westbury, I think that a better alternative to putting the students in a pen would be to build a large bunker and hold classes inside of it. That way, we would know for certain exactly where the are, and only a few armed guards would be required to insure their complete safety.

As a civilian responder after the attack on The World Trade Center on 9/11, I understand the concerns of the students’ parents. But why go half way? A bunker is the obvious answer. - John Poulos, Freeport”

Fan Mail

1966 (Peter Siegel) - “Keep the Newsletters coming, and thanks for all you do on them.”

1967 (Lee Fein) - “I love the Newsletters.”

1967 (Scott Frishman) - “Art, Always a joy to read. Thanks as always.”

1967 (Laury Monk) - “I love reading the Wheatley Alumni Newsletters.”

1968 (Donna Brescia) - “I appreciate your work on the Wheatley Newsletter.”

1968 (Hilary “Lori” Wallach Marshak) - “Thanks for doing all this.”

1975 (Mark Harvey) - “Art & Ken, thanks so much for what you do for the Wheatley community! I love the Newsletters.”

1978 (Tami Smith) - “I love 🩷 reading the Newsletters.”

1982 (Maria Reyher Meredith) - “Thanks for all that you do to keep us connected, entertained, and informed.”

1993 (Antoine Delgrange) - ❤️


That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 154.  Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.




  Arthur Fredericks Engoron, Class of 1967