Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,
Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 70.
Note - Anything underlined is a link, or a link-to-a-link, and anything not is not, because Substack will not allow you to underline anything OTHER THAN a link.
The Usual Words of Wisdom
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Question AND ANSWER for the Wheatley Community
“Does anyone have a record (or memory) of the various speakers, performers, etc. who participated in the PEER program during the early 1970s?” Liz Barnett Ackert (1974)
Writes Kim Downes ( 1972) - “Famed guitarist Les Paul was part of the PEER program.”
1962 - Madeline Moret Armstrong - Wheatley to New York City to Mendocino
Writes Madeline - “I am a retired NYC teacher now living in beautiful Mendocino County, California. WHEATLEY was such a great school which gives me the fondest memories! MADMAD1944@YAHOO.COM”
1964 - Michael Garin - Building an Ecosystem in Abu Dhabi
Writes Michael - “I send you all my warmest regards from halfway around the world. I have been working in Abu Dhabi for the last fifteen years helping to build an ecosystem to support the growth of the creative industries so critical to the successful migration from a resouce-based to a knowledge-based economy. Happily, this effort has paid rich rewards, with Abu Dhabi now seen as the creative hub of the Arabic-speaking world, winning two Oscars, two BAFTAs, twelve Emmys and three International Emmys. The growth of the digital and gaming sector is set to surpass these achievements and will further propel Abu Dhabi's economic growth as a global leader in this rapidly growing industry.
In recognition of these achievements, earlier this year I was appointed as the first Director General of the newly established Creative Media Authority, becoming one of the most senior expats in the Abu Dhabi government.
I owe Wheatley an enormous debt of gratitude for the education and values that set me on this extraordinary journey that led me so far from my beginnings.
Finally, I'm happy I was able to provide this update before you read all this in my obituary. 😅
1966 and 1969 - Tobi and Fred Eisenstein - Dad’s Long and Amazing Life
Writes Alison Kent Bermant (1966) - “Julius was the father of Tobi (1966) and Frederick (1969) Eisenstein. He and his wife owned the bakery in the Westwood Shopping Center. They made the very best 7-layer cake and seeded, sour rye bread in the history of the world.”
1966 - Kathy Maxim Greenleaf - Deceased in late 2020
Writes Art Engoron - Kathy’s wonderful life is well-detailed in the linked obituary (which includes a photograph). She sent me several pieces of “fan mail” over the years. Reminds me of that saying, “If you need something done, ask someone who’s busy.”
1967 - Art Engoron - In the News
1967 - Robert (“Bobby”) Silverstein - Successful Political and Legal Activism
1968 - John Clarke - Remembering When
Writes John - “I’m trying to survive my unsubstantiated ‘termination’ by NYC and the Parks department in Brooklyn. My ‘religious exemption’ request was denied, supporting the “mandate” and compliance, and ignoring a LAW established in 1964 guaranteeing religious freedom. It’s part of the world we live in outside of our alumni associations. Life in 2020-2022 has dramatically changed from our Wheatley High School days. ‘Remember When” may be all we will be allowed to do soon if we don’t wake up! 🙃”
1968 - Jill Silvering and Tom Glaser - Married 51 Years!
Writes Art Engoron - Jill and Tom were born two weeks apart and have spent their lives together!
1969 - William Kirchick - His Son, the Author
James Kirchick has written “Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington,”
A reviewer writes as follows: “I’ve been slowly and raptly making my way through and advance copy. (It’s scheduled to be published in May.) “Secret City” is a remarkable, hugely impressive accomplishment — exhaustively researched, skillfully told, erudite, heartfelt — that speaks not only to the impact of double lives on our nation’s life but also to the individual toll of veiling your soul. It makes me sad. But more than that, it makes me grateful, for all that has changed since those days of lies and whispers.
Part of the dedication written by Kirchick, who is gay, says it all. He thanks “all those who unburdened themselves of their secret, so that I did not have to live with mine.” Amen.”
1972 - Seth Michael Katz - 50th Year Reunion Approaching
Greetings fellow Wildcats!
Well it's here: OUR 50TH-YEAR CLASS REUNION! How is this possible, and how could the years have gone so fast?? Those of us who have gotten together for previous reunions know the joy of reconnecting with our former classmates, some of whom have renewed past friendships as a result of our reunions. And for those who have been waiting for the 50th...well...IT'S HERE!! - - and quite possibly our best last chance to get as many of us together as possible to celebrate our fellow classmates, so many of whom have gone on to do tremendous things in life, big and small. It has been said of our class that we are one of very few classes who maintained a strong bond and sense of connection with each other all these years. Perhaps it's because we were so unique, being the last 6th graders at Northside and Willets Road, the last 7th graders at Wheatley, the last 9th graders to have a 'Graduation,’ and the last 11th graders to have a 'Junior Prom'. Perhaps it was the time of the season - - 1967-1972 were heady years to be 'coming of age'.
It is my honor to Chair our 50th Reunion, and the first Order of Business is to form a Reunion Committee. All those who would like to help make our 50th a special event we will always remember should please respond to LIV2SKIFOREVER@GMAIL.COM
There are many ways to help - - from being directly involved as a committee member, to emailing fellow classmates, to simply donating time and helping with general organization. Once the committee has been established, a series of zoom conferences will be held for specific event planning.
We are considering dispensing with a 'full on dinner' this year in favor of wonderful pass around hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, fruit and cheese tables, and crudites. There will be a complimentary champagne toast, accompanied by a 'cash bar.’ What is being envisioned is a high class cocktail party from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., which will give all of us the opportunity to make spontaneous plans for "after-party" dinners and get-togethers. Of course we will have a dj with great music and dancing, a wireless 'hot' pass around microphone for impromptu toasts and 'interviews', as well as a live 'zoom board" for classmates who are unable to attend but would still like to be part of the event, along with special awards, all of which should make for a fun and memorable evening ! Also being discussed and considered are a Sunday brunch, which would be a la carte, along with an informal pre-Reunion get together Friday evening at an as yet to be decided location.
The dates being considered are the 22nd and 29th of October 2022, and the anticipated ticket price is $100.00 per person. Also, and without taking any political positions whatsoever, but strictly as a health issue, it is being requested that all attendees be fully vaccinated for the comfort, health and safety of all.
It is if course understood that we are six months away from our celebration; however it would help with event planning (even at this early juncture) to know from those of us who can say, whether you are a definite 'yes', a definite 'no', or a 'maybe.’
Certainly, this year's REUNION presents some special challenges - - but we are WHEATLEY WILDCATS - - and we will rise above it all to have our best reunion ever!
Looking forward to hearing back from all of you, and seeing everyone in October. Until then stay healthy, and all the best. Seth Michael
1980 - Joseph Burke - In Court With A Suspicious Character
Writes Art Engoron - Joe and I have been working on Election Law cases together. Wildcats are everywhere!
1960 (John Moncure) - “Thanks, Art.”
1961 (Jill Davidson Blaney) - ❤️
1962 (Robert Freiman) - “Thanks for the latest newsletter. Interestingly, more eras were heard from without the domination of the classes of the sixties.”
1962 (Lois Kass Kleinberg) - ❤️
1962 (Madeline Moret Armstrong) - “Hi! I love reading your newsletters and looking at photos.” MADMAD1944@YAHOO.COM
1962 (Margaret (“Peggy”) O’Grady Jesser) - ❤️
1963 (Donna Harmelin Rivkin) - ❤️
1964 - (Michael Garin) - “Like all the readers of this wonderful newsletter, I am grateful to Art for his diligent efforts to keep us all connected.”
1964 (Davida Tunis Philips) - “Thanks, Art, for another great Newsletter! I always enjoy reading them. I especially liked seeing the photograph of you and Bob Freiman (1962)…you both look great!”
1965 (Penny Asbell Deveney) - ❤️
1966 (Richard Jalonack) - “Keep up the good work.”
1966 (Alison Kent Bermant) - “Thanks, as always, for the latest Newsletter.”
1967 (Scott Frishman) - “When I see “Wheatley Alumni Association Newsletter” I get so excited to read what you have written about our Teachers and Classmates!!!”
1967 (Jill Simon Forte) - ❤️ - As always, thanks for all the effort that goes in to having us remember our beginnings, and bring me out of everyday to feel nostalgia about those Wheatley days (when I stalked Bob Forte (1965) in the halls, after seeing him play with his band in the Varsity Review). bI’m still so very happy to be married; next month will be 53 years: 2 kids and 6 grandkids 😊. I am still in contact with four of my old friends, and thanks to this newsletter there are more."
1967 (Barbara Smith Stanisic) - ❤️
1968 (Lois Hegyi Goldstein) - ❤️
1968 (Chris Srinivasan) - “Great job (as always) on the newsletter. I appreciated your nod to ‘Obsolescence’ last issue, after Cameron Kane (1970) reached out with his Wheatley Alumni Film Club - Link idea.
1969 (Gerry Gersh) - “Another great newsletter.“
1968 (Michael Wohl) - “Thanks Arthur…..great stuff.”
1969 (Rhoda Garfinkel) - “I totally look forward to your newsletters; thank you for publishing them.”
1969 (William Kirchick) - “Your newsletters are always extremely informative.”
1970 (Robert Abramowitz) - ❤️
1972 (Jean Kappes) - “Thank you for all your efforts. I enjoy reading all the material you provide regarding Wheatley.”
1975 (Daryl Rothman Malter) - ❤️
1975 (Robert Wechter) - “Keep up the great work on the Wheatley Alumni Newsletter.”
1976 - (Charles Helsel) - ❤️
1976 (Daniel Kessler) - ❤️
1979 (Jim Prevor) - “I left the school district after I.U. Willets but enjoy your reports on many old friends. Thank you very much for the work you do.”
1982 (Chris Leonardi) - “Another great edition.”
1986 (Barbara Kayton Talbot) - ❤️
1997 (Kristina Fiorillo Saxena) - “Thank you very much for the work you do for our high school.”
1999 (Danielle Contillo) - “Thank you for your dedication to our Wheatley community!”
That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 70. Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.