Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 160. 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.

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Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 160.

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.

Newsletter # 159 was viewed 2,834 times, was liked 10 times, and received three comments. In all, 4,725 email addresses received Newsletter # 159.

The Usual Words of Wisdom

Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (Class of 1963), you can regale yourself with the first 159 or so Wheatley School Alumni Association 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

Alma Mater

Writes Steve Nelson (1958) - “I regret that I must disagree with my good friend Art Engoron (1967) in his defense of the name “Wheatley High” in the Alma Mater. The name of the school is hardly a “technical matter,” as he says, but goes to the heart of what The Wheatley School is and was meant to be. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary in 2006, our founding principal, Norman J. Boyan, wrote in a front-page column in The Wildcat: ‘The Wheatley School very early became a name which all of us can and do cite with pride.’ To emphasize the point, the editors of the Wildcat ran that statement as a “pull quote” in large, bold lettering. Perhaps when he wrote the Alma Mater at the time Wheatley was founded, Dr Wills did not get the memo, the name was to be ‘School’ not ‘High.’ There is a Wheatley High in Houston. But there is only one Wheatley School. The Alma Mater should be corrected to reflect who we really are: “Wheatley School our ALMA MATER.” All of us can and will sing it with pride.

Writes Matt Sanzone (1959) - “My 2 cents: The Alma Mater should never be changed.”

Writes Donna Harmelin Rivkin (1963) - “Dear Art, I agree with you regarding our alma mater. It should stay as Dr.Wills wrote it. Dr. Wills was our Choir Director and my first voice teacher before going to Juilliard. I miss him!! Donna Harmelin Rivkin❤️🎶

Writes Alison Kent Bermant - “There’s little chance that the Alma Mater will be changed. I was told that it hasn’t been sung in years! 😩

Writes Art Engoron (1967) - I think that there are two fallacies in the essay of my good friend Steve Nelson (1958). The first is when he writes thatThe name of the school is hardly a ‘technical matter.’” “Wheatley High” is not “naming” the school; it is merely “referring to” the school. The second is when he relies on a quote by Norman Boyan, Wheatley’s first Principal: “ “The Wheatley School very early became a name which all of us can and do cite with pride.” Principal Boyan, who died a few years ago at the age of 99 or so, was, obviously, referring to the school itself, not the name of the school, as something that could be cited with pride. Steve was Wheatley’s first valedictorian. He is a great writer, a published author, and an extremely smart fellow, but I think that he’s on the wrong side of this “academic” debate.

Steve Nelson replies: I will take Principal Boyan at his word. The name does embody what the school stands for, and is part of what makes it a special institution.

‘Hood History

Writes Matt Sanzone (1959) - “Sandra Brodkin Dreis (1968) omitted the bits of bacon in Rudy’s potato salad, a recipe that I have been unable to duplicate 🤔

Writes Mary Lee Holley Cerillo - “In response to Sandra Brodkin Dreis (1968), I so agree with you that Rudy’s had the best potato salad on the planet.  I have never ever tasted anything as delicious anywhere I have lived. I would love to have that recipe if Rudy or his relatives are still around.  Thank you for also mentioning Italian Gardens on Jericho Turnpike.  My husband of 57 years and I had many dinners there and loved their cheese pizza.  We would also do take out on a Sunday night.  Brings back so many fond memories of high school days.

I also have to say that Williston Park had Hildebrandt’s, which still exists.  I loved their chocolate chip ice cream and cinnamon bars.

Sandra if you ever discover any delis like Rudy’s in Winston-Salem, please let me know.  We visit there quite often and are an hour up the road in the mountains.”

Writes Bob Lauritsen (1970) - “In response to Sandy Brodkin Dreis (1968): “I worked at Rudy’s while at Wheatley. It was my first job, and I loved it. The owner at the time was tough, but the rest of the staff was great. I learned so much there. 

For over 50 years I have also been trying to recreate Rudy’s potato salad, both the german and the mayonnaise versions. And I was in there making them for nearly two years. I still can’t get it right. 

The potatoes were cooked with skins on, 50 lbs. at a time. We could go through 200 lbs. or more every weekend. 

The mayonnaise version was the same recipe as the german but with mayo added. Parsley and shredded carrots were added on top of it as garnish. The German potato salad had bacon and parsley as garnish. 

Sugar was definitely in there, as was fresh lemon juice! These added sweetness and tartness and inhibited oxidation. Salads stayed fresher longer. Not that they were ever more than one day old. 

Cole slaw was also made in massive quantities. I shredded crates upon crates of cabbages regularly. After shredding, salt, pepper and sugar were added, and the cabbage rested overnight. We added mayo, vinegar and lemon juice the next morning.”

Writes David Packer (1970) - “Nice to see all the recent references to Bengeyfield Dr.”

Writes Dan Wolf (1971) - “Art, I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Alfred Florman - He was kind, interested, and always had time, but he was very stern when it came to ensuring that his instructions were followed. It’s sad to see where the business of medicine has gone and that that kind of care can no longer be practiced.”

Down (Up?) With the Fence

Writes Matt Sanzone (1959) - “My two cents: absolutely no fence at NS school.”

Writes Ed Roman (1961) - “I was particularly interested in the article about building a fence around North Side School. It piqued my interest because I lived only two blocks from the school, and I attended North Side from kindergarten through sixth grade. I played Little League baseball on those fields from ages 8-12. Even more relevant, those open fields were the primary venue for 80% of my summer activities. The baseball fields were used most often, but the parking lot with the large brick wall was used for handball and stickball games, not to mention a large flat wall just to hit a tennis ball against. And of course, climbing the trees was also a summer pastime. Most of my summer would have been lost if there was a fence keeping me out. I think some of the pertinent questions need to be: Have assailants entering the building been a problem? Do they have security in the building to deal with anyone entering? Will putting up a fence even keep assailants out? Are students running off-site really a problem? Since so many students walk to and from school, wouldn’t that be the easiest place for an assailant to attack a student, rather than entering school grounds?

The first part of the article mentioned one of the reasons for the fence was “...to keep students from running off-site…” I have trouble comprehending that one. Along similar lines, my son’s high school in Florida had a policy of allowing only 20  unexcused absences per year. I was astounded, since I never remember ever being allowed any unexcused absences in my entire K-12 schooling. I guess both that, and the fence, are evidence that times have changed.”

Writes Elvira “Vivi” Cilmi Kunz (1964) - “I would hate to see the rollings hills I loved be fenced in, creating a more citified scene, in the places where I have often taken my children to romp.”

Writes Sydell Horowitz Weiner (1964) - “Hi Art, The discussion about the fence around North Side brings me back. I remember 6th grade, in 1958 (before the kiln blew up). A few girls talked me into sneaking off campus at lunch to go to Hildebrandt’s. I think it was Beth Sack and Bobbi Shire, and maybe Jackie Axel, but I was a willing participant. We has so much fun and never got caught. How can kids break the rules if they’re closed in by a fence!!

Writes Charlie Nash - “Good morning, Art, Wow, I was shocked to learn that a fence might be built on the campus of North Side School.  I, too, attended that fine educational institution in my early youth, though I was very familiar with the office of the principal due to my rebellious behavior.

This development simply accentuates the incredibly sad, but real, increase in violence in our country, including attacks against students and faculty at school campuses of every kind and nature. I pray for the safety of our children throughout our country and the world itself.

Thank you for bringing this matter to the attention of the Wheatley alums.

Best regards,

Charlie Nash

Class of ’72 or maybe ‘73

(I did escape in ’72, rather than ’73)

Writes Alan Litman (1981) - To The Wheatley School Alumni Association,

I just read an opinion piece about the fence that has been proposed to help the children at Northside be safer. Unfortunately, the logic that was in that piece as well as from other mostly older graduates without school age children is that nothing bad has happened before and the view is beautiful. The person that wrote this showed a picture of a post and called it an opaque fence. It was a post not a fence! The proposed fence is beautiful, and I would love it at my house…where I have a fence. Do you have a fence at your house and if you do why? Have you been robbed before or are you hoping to make it harder for some bad actors in the future? In what business, security plan, retirement plan are you not making changes based on the environment, market conditions or changes in your life? As I watch the survivors of Sandy Hook graduating, I am saddened by the selfishness of my former neighbors. I lived in the district for over 40 years, and while I still live close by I am not a current resident. Yes, the view is nice, but listening to security experts tell us to have a fence and then saying no because of the view or nothing happened in the past is malpractice. I wish the people that had this opinion would indemnify the district personally in case the unthinkable happens. I would personally contribute towards the fence; will you contribute to the families that suffer if a worst case scenario happens?  Love the views….go visit a park, keep our kids safe and build the fence. Thanks, Alan”


L-R - Barbara Newman and Ed Brown at the 65th-Year Reunion of the Class of 1958 (Wheatley’s first graduating class!) in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts

1958 - Edward Brown - Going Strong

Writes Art Engoron (1967) - I’ll know more about Ed Brown when I finish reading his autobiography, “Forks in the Road.”

For now I can definitely say that he works out every day, which is why he’s as fit as a fiddle; he’s had a long, successful career as a physicist; and he has a lovely significant other, Nancy Yanofsky. On Thursday, June 13, 2024 the three of us had a great time dining at Il Tinello on West 56th Street in Manhattan. I’m sure that there will be encores.

L-R - Ed Brown (1958) - Nancy Yanofsky - Art Engoron (1967)

Ed and Art Outside

No wonder the pasta tasted so cheesy.

Ed and Art Inside

1961 + 1962 - Gene Razzetti (1961), Walter Brunner (1961), and Jon Bagdon (1962)

Writes Jon - “I would very much like to thank Gene for the very kind words he wrote about my taking care of Walter Brunner. I am actually humbled by his kindness. Now that Walter has passed away, I think it is OK to mention a situation that was actually quite comical. One night, Walter had called me and implored me to rush down to his apartment. When I arrived, there was Mr. Brunner sitting on a towel in his birthday suit. As he was unable to get into his hospital bed alone, I then spent almost an hour trying to lift his  250 pound body up onto it. Believe me, that was quite a chore, but somehow I actually succeeded. You just can’t imagine!!!!”

1965 - Elvira “Vivi” Cilmi Kunz - Slugger

Writes Vivi - “Hi Art, I attended North Side School from 1st-6th Grade and have wonderful memories of each teacher. My favorite story about the North Side grounds is when I was playing baseball with a bunch of classmates after school.  I actually hit a homer and broke the Art Room window!  I was thrilled.  Mr. Wathey, not so much. Still, he was gracious as he instructed me to move downhill so that this would not be repeated.  The problem at the time was that girls did not have field preference by the baseball fields and had to play up the hill.  Vivi Kunz”

1967 - Shirley Vogl Quarantello - “Regarding the book by my 1967 Classmate Ben Ross, The Polluters: The Making of Our Chemically Altered Environment (Link to The Polluters), I am quite certain that my sister Ginny Vogl, Class of 1962, passed away from ALS due to her exposure to chemicals in many circumstances.  Where she lived in St Petersburg, Fl., planes were systematically spraying for mosquitoes. She also spent time in parks there that were sprayed very often as well.  Statistics indicate that ALS is not a rare disease anymore.”

1970 - Writes Bruce Goldsmith to Mitch Shapiro - “ Hi Mitch, the main Frisbee game is officially called “Ultimate Frisbee,” and I have played if for approximately 2 to 3 hours every Sunday for the last 8 years. The level of play has greatly improved, as can be expected.”

1970 - David Packer - “What Might Have Been”

Writes David - “Hi Art, I admire all of you lifers who found complete fulfillment in the NYC metropolitan area. Sure, living in southern California; Austin, Texas in the days of Ann Richards; and now the historic small city and beautiful marsh lands of Savannah, Georgia, has kept me from regretting other things, but the Newsletter makes me circle back and wonder what might have been. Life can be a game of inches. Around 2010, I was about to be offered a position (or so I was told) with the American Institute of Physics, headquartered in Melville, NY (I had switched from research and teaching to science publishing years earlier), but a new Executive Director seemed to scramble the plans. For a moment, I thought that Thomas Wolfe was wrong ,and that you can, indeed, go home again.   

One plus is that landmarks like the East Williston train station can still stand in my mind. Walking to Concord and High Streets to board the school bus seems almost palpable. Alas, no do-overs in life.    All the best, David”

2014 - Dani Estis - On May 26, 2024 in Paris, France, Dani got engaged to Reid Karp


Fan Mail

1961 (Ed Roman) - “Art, as always, I enjoy these Newsletters, as they bring back fond memories. And now that I am in my eighties, memories and grandchildren tend to dominate my life.”

1961 (Elaine Sirota Coel) - “I appreciate the Newsletter.”

1963 (Donna Harmelin Rivkin) - “Art, I  appreciate all your ard work! Thank you!”

1964 (Susan Obrant) - “Thank you, Art.” ❤️

1965 (Jeff Orling) - “Thanks, Art.…..reading the Newsletter is always a pleasure. Jeff”

1966 (Richard Jalonack) - “You go, Art.”

1967 (Jill Simon Forte) - “Lots of history in the last Newsletter.😊

1967 (Barbara Smith Stanisic) - ❤️

1978 (Tami Smith) - ❤️

1981 (Bob Freier) - ❤️


That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 160.  Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.


  Arthur Fredericks Engoron, Class of 1967