The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 161

Arthur Engoron

June 19, 2024

Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 161.

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 # 160 was viewed 2,628 times, was liked 11 times, and received three comments. In all, 4,724 email addresses received Newsletter # 160.

The Usual Words of Wisdom

Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (Class of 1963), you can regale yourself with the first 160 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

Wildcat Piano Performances

Writes John Corwin (1964) - “Hello, fellow Wheatleyites. I will be performing a piano recital at the Kaufman Music Center at Lincoln Center, 127 West 67th Street, on Saturday, September 21, 2024, at 4:00 PM. The program will include music by Beethoven, Chopin and Debussy, as well as Mozart’s Piano Concerto #21 (“Elvira Madigan”), K. 467. This last piece will be played on two 7-foot Steinway pianos: I will play the solo part, and my teacher, Renee Guerrero, will play a reduction of the orchestra part.

If you are interested in attending, please email me at johncorwin2@gmail.com, and I will add you to the evite list. Invitations will go out in August. Admission is free.

Writes Takemi Ueno (1983) - “On Sat., June 29, at 7:00 pm, I will play with the Litha Symphony Orchestra at the Church of the Holy Apostles in Manhattan (296 Ninth Ave., at 28th St.). The program and ticket info are available at The Sounds of Destiny: Gala Fortuna

Alma Mater

In Support of the Wheatley Alma Mater

Writes Patricia Wills - “My name is Patricia Wills.  I am the daughter of Dr. Godfrey Wills, who wrote the Wheatley Alma Mater. My father was known for his musical talents, but, more importantly, for incorporating in his teaching his desire and ability to engage his students in music creatively.

This was evident when he invited all students in the Wheatley community to participate in crafting the lyrics for the Alma Mater.  Every day for a week during homeroom, the music composed by my father was played over the P.A. system for all students to hear.  Along with that came an invitation for all students to submit their ideas for the lyrics.  As a result, we have the lyrics, written inclusively, as we know them today, and as they have been since the first commencement held at Wheatley in 1958. It is my hope that the legacy of my father, as a long-standing, legendary member of the Wheatley faculty, as well as his professional judgement and talent, be respected, and that the Alma Mater remain unchanged as is only right and fit.

Writes Patricia Jennison McNally (1974) - “I am Patricia Jennison McNally, Wheatley Class of 1974.  Dr. Godfrey Wills was my step-father as well as my music teacher at Wheatley. I am speaking for the entire Wills family as well as for myself as an alumna. I know that if Dr. Wills were consulted about altering the lyrics of the Alma Mater, he would be totally against changing them in any way, not because of himself, but because of the students who were so very proud to participate in the process of choosing the words.  I’m sure that students of today would be very inspired to know how Dr. Wills included the school community in writing the Alma Mater.  This is part of Wheatley’s proud history.  Unfortunately, our beloved ‘Doc’ has passed on, but his memory is very much alive in the hearts of countless Wheatley alumni and in the words of the Alma Mater.  The Alma Mater is an important part of Wheatley’s history as well as Dr. Wills’ life’s work as music director for so many years. Therefore, the Wheatley Alma Mater must be respected as such and be left untouched.”

Writes Marguerite (“Poppy”) Russek (1962) - I agree with Steve Nelson, the words should have been “Wheatley School.” On another note, aside from the debate about the Alma Mater, Mr. Boyan‘s Wildcat article (see below) with his reflections on Wheatley’s origins is interesting on its own. If Steve has it, it would be nice to publish Page Two so that we can read the rest of it. Thanks”

Writes Jill Simon Forte (1967) - “Our Alma matter, WHEATLEY HIGH, hail to thee 🤣

Writes Patricia Jennison McNally (1974) - “Hi Art, Well, it seems that the saga of the Alma Mater continues!  Thank you for your comments of support of the Alma Mater as written and sung, and it is nice to see the statements of other who feel likewise.“

 

‘Hood History

Writes Robin Guadalupi (1977) - “I am joining the ‘band wagon’ about the famous Rudy’s Deli.  I can still (and often to this day). remember the smell of that deli.  How I would love to go there just for their potato salad.  I think I may have enjoyed the German style better because of the bacon.  To this day, I can not stand any commercial potato salad and will refuse to partake when people bring it to parties.  (I think people put Miracle Whip in it.  Yuck!)

That said, Rudy’s was the ONLY commercial potato salad I would ever eat.  

My family’s recipe (thanks to our Grandmother, Nanny) is much loved by all who taste it at either mine or my sister’s (Karen Guadalupi, 1975) house and rave about it.  We don’t even attempt to try to make it like Rudy’s.  But the memory of how great it taste is still on my tastebuds.   I do not think that deli’s like that even exist anymore. Obviously, based on the Newsletter, many of you know what we are talking about when we mention ‘Rudy’s potato salad.’”

Down (Up?) With the Fence

Writes Matt Sanzone (1959) - “I was a principal in Port Washington during the Columbine tragedy through the World Trade Center attack on 9/11 (my birthday, btw). Over the course of my tenure preparing for potential emergencies, the most difficult and challenging was evacuating a building safely. Of course, there is no intensity during a practice drill, but if there were an active threat within a building and evacuation was required, would the ‘fenced in school’ exacerbate the emergency?  I believe it would. A fence won’t keep a deranged person out of a school, but it could keep the staff and kids in the school. My experience as a principal in Port and Locust Valley tells me that most schools have buttoned up to be as secure as possible. Fencing was never considered as a security measure.

Writes Jill Simon Forte (1967) - “I read all about the controversy over fencing in the North Side School. I can’t provide much insight, as I attended the Willets Road school, but if my two cents mean anything, fences cannot protect the children from bad actors. Unless they plan on putting barbed wire on top 🤪, locking the doors makes better sense!”

Writes Tim Boland (1967) - “When a discussion arises about fencing in our former elementary schools for today's students’ security, should we not be looking at ourselves, who have been the ones in charge, for allowing our communities to reach such a crossroads?  

Writes Dennis Rosen (1979) - “I was bothered by the Newsday caption that read "North Side School, the only fenceless East Williston district school." So, I decided to investigate.

The North Side School:

Discussions about a North Side School fence began in late 2017.  Unless you have a Newsday subscription, you won't be able to read the following article:

Battle to build East Williston school fence takes another turn

https://www.newsday.com/long-island/education/east-williston-school-fence-a01cabbs

However, I've summarized it here:

Newsday (May 17, 2024)

Discussions about a fence began in late 2017, and the district began building the 6-foot-tall structure around three sides of North Side School, a K-4 school serving more than 500 students, in the summer of 2019.

Construction stopped after a group of residents sued, alleging the district’s failure to seek local zoning approval deprived them of their “rightful participation” in village governance.

The East Williston school district's ongoing legal battle to build a fence at North Side School has seen a significant development. The state Appellate Division overturned a previous ruling that stopped the construction, stating that the State Education Department (SED) should have been included in the lawsuit due to its regulatory authority. The case, which began in 2019, questions whether the state or local municipalities have jurisdiction over school construction projects. The district argues that state approval is sufficient, while residents claim local zoning approval is also needed. The appellate court's decision sends the case back to the lower court to determine if the state has exclusive jurisdiction. This case could set a precedent for school districts across New York State, clarifying who has the final say in school construction projects. The fence is intended as a security measure for the school. The litigation continues as both sides prepare for further court proceedings.

If you want more details, you can read these for free:

https://www.lilanduseandzoning.com/2019/10/28/supreme-court-reminds-schools-are-special-but-not-exempt-when-it-comes-to-local-zoning/

https://islandnow.net/readers-write-ewsd-continues-to-show-lack-of-openness-on-n-side-fence/

Matter of Cuomo v East Williston Union Free Sch. Dist. (2024 NY Slip Op 02702) (nycourts.gov)

(No, that “Cuomo” is not who you think it is :)

FYI - Chronological Timeline – Fence Project

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q4ukJ03zR5-kb0yqESjPfqpz-5DBeDTIoGAp5e8aFkA/edit

Here are the May 1, 2019 Plans that the State Education Department approved:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1f47xumv_KGufBd2lRDpUEtzLhxuMzwdn/view

No fence in front.  So, attackers can just walk right in anyway :(

The Willets Road School

I don't recall the Willets Road School having a fence ‘around’ it. The fences on the west side are likely owned by the neighboring homeowners, while the fence on the south side probably belongs to the golf course.  There’s no fence in front.  Here are some photos I found online:

Willets Road School Photos

Here’s another image of the Willets Road School. Is that a gym? When did they build that? ;)

Willets Road School Mystery Building

The Wheatley School

I recall seeing the entrance gates to the Wheatley School parking lots closed once. Do they close them now? Any proposed fence at North Side would face the same issue. What good is a perimeter fence if you can just walk or drive right into the parking lot?

Writes Anonymous - “In a note about the proposed fence at North Side, the author submitted a screed that concluded by stating people against the fence should pay reparations if an incident - such as a shooting - occurs. So, there'd be dead kids, and if you thought the fence was not a good idea, on top of the sadness, you'd make payments.

There's been debate on issues in the past, but, really, this takes it to another level. Pretty certain no alum wants to read this, and pretty sure that we're all there for stories and, when there's a debate, a good-natured conversation.

I don't have a great solution.”

Sings Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters - “Don’t Fence Me In.”

Way Out West

Writes Elaine Sirota Coel (1961) - “I enjoyed seeing photos of the Wheatley Reunion in Berkeley, CA, last month that Larry Rosenthal (1965) organized.”

Graduates

 

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 (corrected from last issue).

1961 - Jerome “Jerry” Mintz - “I know many of the people who attended Larry Rosenthal’s (1965) Berkeley, California reunion last month. In some cases, I played tennis with their fathers, including with Larry Rosenthal's father, Herb.

I'm still running AERO (educationrevolution.org) and playing and teaching table tennis. A few years ago I won the national over 70 championship. Jerry”

1961 - Gene Razzetti - “My classmate Elaine Sirota Coel did me the honor of being my date for our Senior Prom. A great young lady, ‘Elaine the Brain’ raced through high school in three years.

At our Senior Prom, Jerry Jerome, well-known band leader and the father of four great Wheatley kids, Al (1960), Bill (1962), James (1964), and Jerold (1966), brought in part of his band and played for us. He raised the roof with great dance music. 

The theme of the Prom was ‘A Night in Venice.’ It won by majority vote, but not without some dissenters. A bunch of us set about decorating the Gym to create the scene, working after school hours.  One afternoon, a dissenter, Classmate Bob Kramer (1961), walked into the Gym. The first three guys he saw working were John Buonocore, Robert Manniello, and Gene Razzetti (all 1961). “Serves you right,” he said (not seriously): “The Italians wanted the theme; they should do the work.” 

Well, Bob Manniello, with his looks, grades, sports, and swooning girls, had more to do than think about whether he was Italian. For my part, I was ready to extend to Bob Kramer the “International Finger of Friendship.” I never got to it. Best pal, the late, great, John Buonocore said to Bob: ‘You’re right, Bob. Just for you, we’ll tear all of this down and change the theme to “A Night in Jerusalem.” We’ll make the bandstand into a courtroom and reenact the Eichmann Trials.’ Bob left, not to return. 

Later, the legendary Vice Principal (later Principal) Mr. Walter Wathey walked in, looked around, and shared this astute observation: ‘It still looks like a gym.’ Gee, thanks!

Best to all, Gene

P.S. Please don’t change anything about the School Song and don’t put a fence around North Side.  G.R.

1961 - Elaine Sirota Coel - Marilyn Lee McKelvey (1962) and I have been communicating by email for the last few years. I told her she should have her own blog. I live in Hawaii, Kailua, with my husband of 59 years . We have 3 daughters and 7 grandchildren. Thanks to Gene Rosetti for his kind words a while back.”

1965 - Barbara Ashley - “Dear Art, This will mark another alum heard from. Enjoying as I do, reading about fellow Wheatlyistes, it only seems fair that I add a summary of my past 60 yrs to the record as well. 

After Wheatley I attended Oberlin College. One semester I spent as an Oberlin exchange student at Tougaloo College. I was one of 4 white students at this traditionally all black college outside of Jackson, Mississippi. It was 1967, a tumultuous time for race relations and my real-life education was rigorous indeed - a semester with lessons that stayed with me for life. 

After graduation I moved to Cambridge, MA where I worked for 7 years as a psychotherapist on an in-patient unit run by Harvard University - by the time I left, I was supervising 1st year psych residents and was a member of the administrative committee. 

After leaving Harvard, I took a sharp turn and became a buyer for Bloomingdales based in Manhattan.  At first I was buying fashion accessories; later I was buying home accessories. My years at Bloomingdales provided me with an excellent business background, indulged my interest in design and fed my passion for travel. I travelled regularly to parts of Europe and the Philippines, but most extraordinary was being one of the first foreigners permitted into Mainland China in 1978. 

When I left Bloomingdales I chose to take a trip around the world before returning to another high stress merchandising job. Upon arriving in Bali, I was totally smitten. I finished my trip around the world, sublet my apartment and returned to live in Bali indefinitely. 

For me, Bali, her people and culture was the closest that I had ever known to Paradise. The island was physically magnificent. The Balinese people have strong traditions with spectacular rituals. They engage all of the arts in expressing their worship of their gods and of the nature around them. The Balinese are a strong people and a proud people with an abiding belief in karma. 

When I moved to Bali in 1980, banana leaves were used as wrapping for items and as umbrellas in the rain. Roadside trash consisted only of discarded banana leaves and scraps of fruit peel and flower petals fallen from their offerings to their gods. 

I lived in Bali for seven years. To this day I look at that as the defining period of my life. I could write chapters on my experience there, but that is not the purpose of this entry. 

I left Bali for several reasons. Suffice it to say that the Indonesian government was not a welcoming place for ex-pats to develop a business, and after seven years I needed to put my talents and interests to work. Ironically, once back in New York, I took on a project that entailed working closely with the Minister of Trade for Indonesia. After our time together he proposed major changes to Indonesian trade policy that dramatically facilitated the ease with which ex-pats could develop and conduct business. 

Additionally, and as importantly, Bali was changing quickly. The village where I lived with no running water, no electricity and no telephone now has a Starbucks, multiple Polo/Ralph Lauren shops, and traffic so bad that one moves faster by foot.  The plastic pollution (unknown when I arrived) is so extreme that it is the subject of international newspaper reports…. It breaks my heart to see this. I no longer return.

In 1987 I returned to the US and took a position as SVP of Retail for The Taubman Company. Since their business was shopping malls, I reasoned that I would re-acquaint myself with the industry and I could move from there. In fact, I spent 13 years with Taubman, living primarily in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where they were headquartered, but with regular periods of time in NYC. 

In 1999 I left Taubman, returned full time to NY, and retired.  Since then, I have continued to travel extensively. I have dear friends in France so I visit twice a year, which gives me a chance to be a part of their children’s lives and to speak French. By now I am reasonably fluent, and I get enormous pleasure out of foreign languages. (My Indonesian was never as good as my French and I am losing it from lack of use… although I did speak in Indonesian with Barack Obama!)

I am the first to be surprised that I never married. I could use my unorthodox life choices or my various relocations as possible explanations, but there is no simple, single explanation. At times when I see truly happy marriages, I am sorry that I did not have that. Much of the time, however, when I see unhappy and broken relationships, I wonder if I didn’t make the better choice for myself. 

Amongst my friends, I am in close touch with several classmates. Friendships with such history are particularly dear and are a treasured part of my life. I am in close and regular contact with - Bob Stern, Ann Greenberg (she moved to Roslyn High in 10th grade), Bob Halper, his twin brother Andy Halper, Linda Sherry, and Jane Wild Carrel (all 1965)

I have good health, dear friends, abundant blessings... and it all began at Wheatley.

 

Jane Wild Carell ‘65 and Linda Sherry ‘65 visiting me in NY

 

Bob Stern ’65 and his wife Daphne are very special friends

 

Ann Greenberg celebrating her mother Louise’s 100th birthday. Louise has known me since Willets Road School.

 

Bob Halper ’65 with his wife Marilyn Bardot ’64. Marilyn and I both volunteer for this marvelous, non-denominational charity.  I don’t have a recent photo of Andy Halper. I confess that I considered using another photo of Bob, but I decided against it even though Bob, Andy, and Marilyn may have been the only ones that would have noticed!

 

With my sister Karin ’67 (left). Nothing can replace sisterhood.

 

Sadly. we lost Gail Wittkin Sasso ’65 this past year.

Barbara Ashley”

1966 - Lorraine Gallard - “In June 2023, I used the occasion of my husband’s absence (on a week-long bicycle trip with his daughter) to fly to California to see my great friend Alice Wilkins (1966).  In years past, when Alice’s sons were in college in New York City, our visits were more easily scheduled and more frequent.  And while our phone calls are great, I really missed spending time together in person.  Our visit was, of course, absolutely wonderful.

 

L-R - Lorraine Gallard, Alice Wilkins

In reminiscing about our class, Dan Willard’s (1966) name came up.  I was in a ninth grade ‘experimental’ chemistry class with Dan.  It was taught by Mr. Robert Fitzgerel (not a typo), who I think was hired specifically to teach this new curriculum, a feature of which was that you didn’t have to memorize the periodic table.  Not too long into the school year, Mr. Fitzgerel told us that he had gotten negative feedback from parents and that the administration was going to terminate him at the end of the term, so he handed over the teaching duties to Dan and Ned Lagin.  I have vivid recollections of the two of them at the blackboard with chalk in hand explaining moles (as in ‘molar volume’) and chemical equations.  I knew Ned had had a stint as a keyboardist with the Grateful Dead, but I had to look up Dan – and sadly I found his obituary, which I hope people will read because it evokes the kindness and brilliance he displayed in high school and which was still so evident at our 50th-year reunion gathering at Larry Fox’s apartment.

https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/timesunion-albany/name/dan-willard-obituary?id=39097521

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Willard

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ned_Lagin

The second photo was taken in May at the Manhattan School of Music 2024 Gala, at the Rainbow Room above Rockefeller Center.  I have been chair of that board for ten years, and at the March musical theatre production of Nine, I noted that one of the leads was from East Williston.  Sure enough, Kaileigh Fiorillo turned out to be a Wheatley graduate (2021).  I made it a point to get a photo with her and our honoree, Brian Stokes Mitchell.

 

L-R - Kaileigh Fiorello (2021), Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lorraine Gallard (1966)

And finally, a note about the “multi-class, multi-school gathering way back when” photo, with members of the Classes of 1958, 1959, 1960, and 1965, published in Wheatley Alumni Newsletters # 140 and 141. I met one of the non-Wheatley people, Judy Schatzow, about 20 years ago, and I sent her the photo, which filled her with good memories of that time and of her friend Helen Kritzler (1960).

 

First Row - L-R - Charlie Shapiro (with open collar) (1958), Ronald Forman (wearing white pants) (1958), Betsy Shapiro Sasso (1965), Sue Seigel (non-Wheatley), Helen Kritzler (1960), Jeff Philipson’s first wife (non-Wheatley); Jeff Philipson (1958)

Second Row - L-R - Brian Sirota (1958), Julien Hennefeld (1958), Steve Perlin (1958), Rus Karaviotis (non-Wheatley), Alan Gordon (briefly Wheatley 1959), Eddie Kritzler (1958), Kenny Harris (non-Wheatley), Judy Schatzow (non-Wheatley)

Pure Left to Right - Charlie Shapiro (1958), Brian Sirota (1958), Ronald Forman (1958), Julien Hennefeld (1958), Betsy Shapiro Sasso (1965), Sue Seigel (non-Wheatley), Steve Perlin (1958), Rus Karaviotis (non-Wheatley), Helen Kritzler (1960), Alan Gordon (briefly Wheatley 1959), Eddie Kritzler (1958), Kenny Harris (non-Wheatley), Jeff Philipson’s first wife (non-Wheatley), Jeff Philipson (1958), Judy Shatzow (non-Wheatley)

2014 - Dani Estis - Writes Dan Wolf (1971) - “Nothing could be better than Dani Estis getting engaged in Paris!”

Fan Mail

Administration (Joseph Wiener) - ❤️

Faculty (Karen Bartscherer) - “Art and Keith, These Newsletters seem to come so frequently, and yet, there’s always a fresh batch of engaging submissions and terrific photos. Thanks so much for your continued efforts. As so many others have said, this Newsletter is a favorite, landing in my inbox otherwise overstuffed with pleas for donations and other junk mail!”

1959 (Stephen Lehman) - ❤️

1960 (Donna Maxfield Chimera) - ❤️

1961 (Jerry Mintz) - “Hi, Artie! I just wanted to let you know that I read all of these Newsletters. They are great!”

1964 (Richard Ilsley) - ❤️

1964 (Susan Obrant) - ❤️

1965 (Barbara Ashley) - “I appreciate the efforts of you and Keith.”

1965 (Jeffrey Orling) - “Art, You are a saint for doing these Newsletters. They mean so much to me. Thank you once again. Best, Jeffrey”

1966 (Lorraine Gallard) - “Art, your amazing work speaks to all of us……and to others as well!  Many thanks, as always.”

Mitchell Frey (1971) - ❤️

1971 (Dan Wolf) - “Thank you and Keith for your continuing efforts.”

1974 (Bob Berta) - “Hey Art - “The Wheatley Alumni Newsletters are always welcome. Thanks for doing a GREAT job in keeping those of us who care about Wheatley informed and entertained.”

1974 (Patricia Jennison McNally) - “Producing a quality newsletter must be quite a challenge, and I thank you for a job always well done!”

1976 (Robin Firetog Glanzberg) - ❤️

1978 (Tami Smith) - ❤️

1981 (Peter Weiss) - ❤️

1983 (Takemi Ueno) - “Thanks to the Newsletter, I learned that my classmate Theresa D'Amato got married on June 1. I just sent her a congratulatory e-card.”

2010 (Alex Estis) - “Great Newsletter! Thank you!”

???? (Anonymous) - “Your Newsletters are a treasure. I love them”

Closing

That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 161.  Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.

Art

  Arthur Fredericks Engoron, Class of 1967

  WHEATLEYALUMNI@AOL.COM

  ARTENGORON@GMAIL.COM

  WWW.WHEATLEYALUMNI.ORG

  646-872-4833