Wheatley Alumni Newsletter: Number 22: September 10, 2018
Dear Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,
Welcome to the Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter #22.
Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (1963), you can regale yourself with the first twenty-one newsletters (and other Wheatley data and arcana) at The Alumni Association Website. Alternatively, if you are completely uninterested in Wheatley matters, please don't hesitate to ask me to remove you from my general distribution list.
Once again, I have allowed myself the liberty of editing all submissions, even material in quotes, for clarity and concision, without any indication thereof. That being said, I hereby disclose that I have “cleaned up” some of the grammar, spelling and punctuation in the lengthy-but-charming autobiographical note of Jeff Leeson (1965).
That process may have removed some of the charm, but there’s still plenty of it, and I highly recommend plowing through every word ...it’s a gem.
1958 – Edward Brown – Appreciates Wheatley
Very good to hear from fellow graduates of “my school.” And yes, I do sort of “take ownership” of it, because I was a member of the (now rapidly diminishing) first Wheatley class. I saw that Bobbi Kaufman left a comment in Newsletter # 21, but there usually aren’t too many such comments from my class members. We are, however, having a 60th-year class reunion this coming October.
Every time I think about it, I realize what an absolutely fantastic school we created back in 1956, which is when our class moved over from Mineola High to this brand-new school as 11 and 10th graders, thus making us the top dogs for two years. All the incredible people we graduated with who went on to amazing careers has got to be fairly unique amongst public high schools in the U.S.
I’ve been working on an autobiography for a while now. I’m up to over 120 pages; a fascinating adventure! However, that would obviously be a little much for this Newsletter, so what follows is just a brief summary of the major “stops along the road” since I graduated from Wheatley.
Went to Washington & Lee University, majored in physics, graduated with a B.S. in 1962. Went on to NYU for graduate school, also in physics; got an M.S. in 1964 and a Ph.D. in 1970. As I had taken ROTC at W&L, I had to fulfill an active duty commitment in the Army for at least two years; went in during the Vietnam War in 1968 as a Captain, was ordered to go to ‘Nam just before the Tet Offensive, but at the very last moment (like one week before!) I got new orders assigning me to an Army laboratory in Washington. Did my two years in uniform there, got out in 1970, couldn’t find a job as a physicist anywhere, so I decided to stay on for a little while as an Army civilian. That “little while” ended up being 31 more years!!!
Absolutely fantastic career in the Defense Department; did great things, went great places, met great people; retired from the government in 2000. Went to work for The MITRE Corporation, a not-for- profit that supports various government agencies. Over that time, I’ve worked with various parts of the Defense Department and the Intelligence Community; and again, a truly great adventure
So now after 51 years my career is winding down. Over that time, I got married, had three great kids, got divorced, and had eight grandchildren (but lost one of them very tragically a year ago). I have been living with my fabulous “Significant Other” for 22 years now, and we have been having a great life together. We have a wonderful home in Bethesda, MD, and we’ve traveled to various places around the world. However, most recently we have become official “snowbirds” with a condo down in Florida. We are planning on doing six months there a year and to switch our legal residency to Florida.
As for me personally, I run, I bike, I work out, and I see a whole cadre of medical professionals on a regular basis just to make sure that all my parts are still in good working order. Here’s a fairly recent picture of me on Nantucket, where we vacation every year for a couple of weeks in the Fall “Shoulder Season.”
1961 Gene Razzetti - Memories
Always great to hear from/about Deborah (Kerstein) Brosowsky. She was one of our most "fun" classmates. Glad she skipped a year to catch up to us. Mr. Doig was a living legend in my time at Wheatley. He was beyond enthusiastic. I never had a class with him; but I would not have traded Mr. Loring. As a Vietnam Veteran and 27-year Naval Officer, I remember both the bravery over there and the protest back here. There was a great deal of both.
1964 – Steven Morris – More on Vietnam
Here is a picture of the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial
Clearly the Vietnam War continues to haunt us, as it is eminently clear that America has never really come to terms with the war and its aftermath.
I barely knew William Nuebel—I was a grade ahead of him, but his death has haunted me for 50+ years now. Every time I visit the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D. C., I search for his name on the Wall and slide my fingers across it. I don’t think I’ve ever been to the Memorial without tears welling up in my eyes. To me, the Vietnam War years and the era of the mid- to late-1960s were the seminal years of my life.
Nuebel and the other 50,000+ servicemen and servicewomen who made the ultimate sacrifice should be honored no matter what one’s politics were at the time.
1965 – Dr. Jeffrey Leeson - Autobiography
Preamble - How on earth Arthur ever found me years ago, for his emailing list, I have no idea, as I’ve had virtually no contact with Wheatley brethren for 1/2 a century. Regardless, I always read his newsletters and bios with interest. For a number of reasons THIS time I thought I’d respond to his admonition [“Send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary”].
For those who graduated before 1965, you probably knew my older brother Sheldon (1962) for his acting, comedy, and musical skills….to this day I remember him as a main attraction in the “Senior Skits.” Our younger brother, Floyd (1974), is a petroleum engineer in California.
I grew up on Brown Street in Mineola, two blocks north of Jericho turnpike and the Sheridan Bowling Alley...in-between Arlington and Roselle Streets and Barwick and Sheridan Boulevards. This was a Levitt community, with kids in almost every house on the block. Across the street from the Leesons were the Brodkins [Richard, a surgeon; and Sandra, an actress, dancer?] I saw their parents, Dave and Harriet, at my dad’s funeral in Orlando about 20 years ago. Next door on the other side were the Belmontes: Joe (1960) and Richard (1965).
Further down the block were the Roman kids; Richard Michael (1965) was an incredible multisport athlete, and across the street from him were the Tills [Peter is an attorney in NJ]. Another family was the Zeravicas: Mark (1968), Mary (1970), John (1973), and Frank (1977). Their dad was a merchant seaman. Across the street from me were Jill (1968), Robert (1970), and Sharon (1975) Silvering. Most of my Wheatley news comes from my mother, who has kept in contact with several of the families that lived on that block. She is now in Orlando, 2 blocks from Sea World. still living on her own at 94, legally blind....so apparently I come from “good stock,” as she would stay.
Over the past 50+ years I’ve heard by phone from two fellow students. In or about the late sixties I received a call, out of the blue, from Mark Messing; and maybe 5 years ago from Jeff Rothstein [from Bengeyfield Drive], whom we used to call “Rabel.” He’s a professional gambler in Las Vegas...I saw him on World Series of Poker TV on two occasions.....I believe he made it within one table of the final table.
For those who graduated in 1965, you might remember me as the class clown [1st grade thru 11th] and then evolving into a “loner.” I helped decorate the gym for the senior prom, at Judy Lutrin’s request, but did not attend. Judy owned a yellow Mustang...wow!... and used to sit behind me in 10th grade geometry; she would run her pencil through my hair; I never figured out why. I was on the track team for a few years, as a two-miler.
Confluence of events: why write this now? As I approach my 71st birthday I’m in pretty good shape; just ran [slowly] a half marathon, and have blood pressure 115/75, pulse 44. For the last 3 years I’ve been on a low carb diet, losing 50 pounds and dropping waist size from 41 to 34. I jog about 20 miles per week, at altitude, and play four-wall handball 4 times per week against 30, 40, and 50-year-olds. I learned to play one-wall handball or a variation of it, with a pink Spalding (“Spaldeen”) ball, against the big brick wall at North Side; I used to play with Roger Meisenhelder (1965) [fisherman, ragtime piano player?] and other kids.
All the above are reasons to be a “Refusenik,” to use Arthur’s jargon, to writing my bio. On the other hand......For the umpteenth time on PBS I saw Peter Paul and Mary 50 Years....seems like it’s the most frequently seen show on Colorado PBS; I first saw them during my freshman year at Pitt [November ‘65] and in the years since 3 or 4 more times; my all-time favorite group. PP&M fans of course know about Mary’s death several years ago, and seeing them on PBS over and over reminded me of one’s mortality. Also, after the half marathon in which I won my age division [no other 70-year olds!@#$] I thought I’d check on my life expectancy, and googled “life expectancy if born 1947”; the answer was “72 years,” and I got really depressed and figure I better write my bio quickly !
So, here’s my bio.
Unlike many of my classmates, who had their pick of prestigious colleges, only one accepted me. I can still quote the University of Pittsburg’s acceptance letter: “Frankly Mr. Leeson, we are taking a calculated risk accepting you...” [Pretty good math SATs, pretty bad GPA]. I made the Dean’s list the first few terms, for which I give Wheatley’s faculty, Board, and curriculum teams full credit. I was not exposed to any concepts in my freshman year that we had not already learned at Wheatley! Those were the years before Tony Dorsett went to Pitt, and the years when Terry Bradshaw was just starting with the Steelers...so not much good football then. I wanted to go on to medical school, but my grades deteriorated after my freshman year....while I graduated in 3 years, going to school year-round...I failed to be accepted in medical school.
So, I took the next best alternative.......I enlisted in the MARINES. Remember, ’68-’69 was the height of the Vietnam War. Thus, after graduating in ’68, whenever I went on a job interview, the following occurred...
Hiring Manager: “Good morning Mr. Leeson, glad you could come in for this interview. Please be seated”. Jeff: “Thank you.” Hiring Manager: “What’s your draft status?” Jeff: “1A” Hiring Manager (standing up): “Thank you for coming in, and please be sure to visit us again in two years when you ‘get out.’”
After almost a month of this I threw in the towel and enlisted. I remember calling up my father, from a phone booth, on a cold, dark December ’68 evening and telling him I had just enlisted...for the first and only time in my life, I heard my father cry. Although I went to the [in]famous Parris Island and Camp Lejeune for basic training, I did not go to Vietnam...instead, because of good test scores, I ended up being a computer operator [IBM 360’s] at a large supply base in Georgia. Got out in 1970. Now, about My Three Careers.....
Career One: Corporate America’s Manufacturing Sector
I returned to Pittsburgh after discharge from the Marines and got a job as a Quality Control Manager at a flat glass manufacturer [windows, windshields, and architectural glass], Combustion Engineering Glass Inc. I had never been in a factory, knew nothing about glass, did not know what QC meant, and had no management experience...I guess the job market was good. Company was a new float [not flat] glass plant. If you broke a window as a kid, your dad went to the hardware store and bought a pane of sheet or plate glass. Pilkington Brothers in the UK had developed a propriety NEW way of making flat glass, called the “float process,” and that’s been the dominant method ever since.
Spent 2+ years in Pittsburgh at CE Glass and then was recruited to a position at another float glass company, Guardian Industries, near Detroit. Spent two years there and then moved to a hand-blown glass crystal company, Tiffin Crystal, in Tiffin Ohio, perhaps the original crystal stemware firm in America [even before Lenox Crystal]. Ask your mom if she ever heard of Tiffin Crystal, in Tiffin Ohio, small town America. Spent 6 months there and was recruited to a swag lampshade glass company...in Brooklyn. This was a 20th century sweatshop, run by a person who gives Jewish business owners a bad name...survived 2 years there, living on the 21st floor of one of Starrett Cities’ Apt buildings....and was recruited back to Tiffin Crystal, but this time as the Plant Manager.
From there, got my first big step in Corporate America....recruited as plant manager by Thermos Company [school lunch kits, Thermos bottles, coolers, and Grills], in Norwich, Connecticut [where I met my by-now estranged wife] and later moved to a larger division as VP Operations in Freeport, Illinois, responsible for 3 plants [Halsey Taylor water coolers, Thermos Coolers, Bottles, Thermos gas barbecues].
After Corporate Reorg, found myself looking for work again and was recruited to VP Operations position at CUNO Filtration, a manufacturer of commercial [and consumer] grade filtration equipment in Meriden, Connecticut; we lived in Wallingford, Connecticut...just up the hill from the Wallingford Theater. [So by then I had moved to and from Ohio twice, and Connecticut twice].
If you work on or own a nuclear sub or aircraft carrier, or a nuclear power plant or pharmaceutical or chemical plant, you probably used CUNO filtration equipment. Lasted only 6 months.....as my personality conflicted with the CEO...so in 1991 I found a new position....on Long Island for the first time since leaving for college in ‘65...in Ronkonkoma, at Lumex Company. We lived in Miller Place, on the North Shore, near the Port Jeff ferry to New Haven. Lumex had two divisions...Lumex, which made durable medical equipment [walkers, crutches, wheel chairs] and Cybex [fitness equipment]. Prior to another corporate takeover, the CEO asked me to visit the Cybex divisions plant in Minnesota to help turn that plant around. To make a long story longer, I ended up as VP of stand-alone Cybex Corporation. Below you will be reading about the fitness industry. If you ever or currently visit any fitness club, YMCA, 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, etc., you probably saw the brand name Cybex. Stayed as VP through another corporate takeover and once again found myself on the job market.
Along the way the CEO decided to relocate the Corporate Headquarters from Ronkonkoma to Colorado Springs, CO. I had fallen in love with Colorado during 4 separate week-long cycling tours [not motorcycle...bicycle]. I had gone on these “Pedal the Peaks” tours...each about 500 miles spread across 6 days of cycling...23,000 ft. of climbing, and loved the mountains and climate. So when the CEO asked if I wanted to relocate to Colorado, I immediately said “Yes.”
For those fitness enthusiasts, Colorado Springs is at about 6,000 ft. We are home to the Olympic Training Center, USA Hockey, USARacquetball, USA Badminton, USA Basketball, etc., etc.....Also home to Pikes Peak...where if you wish you can enter the Pikes Peak Marathon...up 13 miles, 8,000 vertical ft, and then down. I did it in just a little over 7 hours of running. If you don’t have that amount of time, Google search “Manitou Incline.” Sports Illustrated once called this one of the country’s top ten “hiking trails.” It’s an old incline railway trail....average slope 44 degrees...steepest slope 66 degrees...2,500 steps of PURE cardio overload [a.k.a. HELL]......and its FREE! [you only have to pay for parking]. Colorado Springs is about 40 driving miles from Cripple Creek-yes, the real Cripple Creek, where buildings built in the 19th century still dominate the town.
Career 2 Small business start-up and ownership
The founder of Cybex and I, both living in Colorado Springs, decided to start our own strength training equipment company, called Free Motion Fitness. If you belong to a fitness club that prides itself on the latest innovations, you probably have seen or used the Free Motion brand Cable Cross machine, among others. If you look on the back, at the serial number, and it’s below #2000, I might have built it myself....until we hired enough employees. Due to this patented line of equipment [my partner gets 100% of the credit; he’s the WORLD’S foremost designer of strength training equipment] we grew first year sales to $10 million, achieving break-even by month seven. For those accountants or business owners among you, you know that a company growing very fast sees cash pouring OUT, not in....we eventually ran short of cash and were forced to sell the company. I took my share of the proceeds and purchased a commercial print shop [REAL printing presses, not Xerox machines] and entered the hardest 7 years of my life; essentially worked for nothing, profit all negative, lost my home, etc. Thus ended career two...small business ownership.
Career 3 University Faculty
As the printing business was obviously failing, this being the late 90’s, the last few years of its life, I found another source of income....teaching at the college level [career 3....still in it]. Not having a doctorate, teaching at traditional universities was out of the question; so in 1999 I began a career teaching grad and undergrad courses in the non-traditional higher education sector [online and ground courses at U. of Phoenix [now almost defunct], DeVry University[now almost defunct], Webster University, Colorado Technical University, Pikes Peak Community College, and, most recently, at a bona fide university [I had earned my doctorate along the way, at age 66]... Colorado State University, in Pueblo Colorado. In the aggregate, I’ve taught approximately 900 grad and undergrad courses, to about 15,000 students, online and face-to-face, in finance and accounting, statistics, economics, strategy, management, and marketing. While most college faculty must focus in one discipline, my 3 Master's Degrees, along with my doctorate, allows me to teach in multiple disciplines. I’m typically teaching 5-6 different courses at a time, spread across 5 colleges.
My doctoral dissertation and subsequent research have focused on the importance of the manufacturing sector to US GDP growth. I personally feel our Federal Government has given up on this sector, DESPITE what you hear many politicians and candidates say; I look at what they DO via legislation and regulation.
Meanwhile, the good news about university teaching is that it’s one of the few careers where age and experience are a PLUS!!
I’ve lived in Colorado Springs since 1996 and plan to stay here; the mountains, no humidity, few bugs, mild weather, 320+ sunny days/yr, LOTS of young people.....all have made it one of the best cities to live in for many years [Business Week put us #1 this current year]. My son Jacob lives here too; a big strapping 27-year-old. Jacob was born when we were living in small town Illinois. We lived in Lake Summerset, 1/2 way between Freeport and Rockford, Illinois. Given that my wife was 41, we were considered a high-risk pregnancy, so we travelled to U. of Wisconsin, Madison, for the ob-gyn. After Jacob was born, I wanted him to grow up as a Jew, but there was no synagogue for about 40 miles. So Christine and I went to a small farm country church and had him Christened!
When we moved back to Wallingford, Connecticut [CUNO Filtration], we of course had many choices of synagogues. Still wanting him to be Jewish, I called a local temple’s rabbi and inquired about having a bris [circumcision] and if they could recommend a moil [surgeon rabbi].
Asking me a series of questions over the ‘phone, he finally asked for the mother’s name...I said “Christine”...after a pregnant pause he reminded me that in the Jewish faith the baby takes on the religion of the mother. So the bris was a no-go. I asked what I could do, and he said have the baby [by then 3 months old] converted from Christianity to Judaism. I found a place in New Haven, Connecticut to do the conversion. This required a “washing away” of Christianity by going through a total immersion bath. The house I took Jacob to in New Haven had a cistern, a huge eight-foot-deep tank of rainwater!!!! I jumped in with Jacob and thought the conversion was over; the rabbi said no, you have to totally immerse the baby underwater....I said the 3- month-old did not know how to swim or hold his breath...the rabbi said blow in his face...and quickly dip him under water....it worked, and when I raised him above the surface.....voila!....he was JEWISH! Incredible!
As we all enter our sunset years...I have only one personal selfish wish.....I would trade ANYTHING to be reborn as a fly on the wall and be able to watch my son...at work, with his friends, etc.....just watch and listen to him. Does anyone have Faust’s ‘phone number or email...I don’t do Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.
God bless and hope all is well with you and your families for years to come. JBL3685@comcast.net Dr. Jeff Leeson 719-685-1913
1965 – Carol Tankersley Ozmer – 50th Wedding Anniversary
My husband and I live in Fort Worth, TX, and celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary last December 17th with our 3 children and 8 grandchildren.
1966 – Linda Rignel Bertani – Memory of Mr. Stewart Doig.
Richard Buzen, Class of '62, wrote about Mr. Doig being inspiring.
One thing that sticks out in my Wheatley memories was Mr. Doig standing on his desk to make a point that he never wanted us to forget. Unfortunately, I only remember him standing on his desk, as it was so impressive because he was so tall.....but I can't for the life of me remember what the point was. Anyone else from the Class of '66 remember that day?
1967 – Laura Davis Rand – Deceased
Laura (and her sister, Barbara Davis Finch, 1970) lived at 37 High Street, East Williston, back in the day. She was born February 9, 1949 and died September 3, 2018.
1967 – Helene Feiner – Recently Spotted in New York City
Helene lives on the West Coast but was in town last month to celebrate the 75th birthday of her sister, Barbara Feiner Kulick, 1961.
1967 – Kenny Lang – Still Rockin’ & Rollin’
Our High School band was called the NuTones. We took the name from the company that makes doorbells, ventilation hoods, etc. We even fashioned the name as they do….I guess a patent infringement. The members were Phil Kane and myself on guitar, Howie Kirchick on bass, Bobby Jacobs on drums, and Don Lansky singing. It began in tenth grade and lasted sometime into eleventh. At college I was in a jug band. We played at a coffee shop in Saratoga one time. The owner was a friend of Pete Seeger, and Pete happened to be there visiting when we auditioned…..that was cool. Then nothing for many years until I got giddy and decided to try to put a rock band together for an East Williston Fire Department party when I was a volunteer firefighter there. A few of the guys played instruments and liked the idea. It was supposed to be just a one-nighter but led to the current iteration of the band "Spontaneous Combustion," which has been together close to 25 years. Just shows it never leaves your system.
Class of 1968 – 50th-Year Reunion
On May 4th and 5th, 2018, The Wheatley School Class of 1968 gathered in New York City for our 50th-year Reunion. The two- day event was organized on the ground by classmates David Hechler and Arlene Rappaport Vezza. The first evening was hosted in gracious fashion by David Pinter and his wife Cindy at their New York City apartment. Their place was a buzz of energy and laughter as people got caught up in stories from years of having not seen each other. Many friendships have remained steadfast regardless of how many years have passed. Despite the Pinter’s accommodating us in fine fashion, due to the energy of the evening, we left them with a two-year supply of “pigs- in-a-blanket,” and enough Jarlsberg cheese and crackers to feed the next Super Bowl attendees. Difficult to eat anything when your mouth is so busy talking.
The next evening we enjoyed more schmoozing and story-telling at a sit-down dinner at Fraunces Tavern, in downtown Manhattan, near Broad Street (like I even know what I’m talking about...I was lost, personally). Attendance was great—55 classmates (and a few significant others) were present; most for both nights, and just a handful attended one or the other event. People came from as far away as........New Jersey! Others came from Washington State, California, the Canadian Maritime Provinces, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, New Mexico, and even Guam. It was interesting to see how things turned out for many. The vocational range was an eclectic one: educators from all levels of academia, artists of all types, writers, medical professionals from all fields, business people, attorneys, diplomats, community service workers, and even those who spent some years as ski and surf bums (and some still!!). The only regret is that we didn’t get to visit with our classmates who couldn’t make it. We paused to remember the almost two dozen who have left this life too early. We took many photographs and subsequently set up two website links for both historical and reunion event material for ongoing access for all our classmates. It was truly a rewarding gathering........a wonderful, fulfilling time for all.
1968 – Kenny Gallard – Rancher + Cowboy
Kenny also worked on his class’s 50th, and he wrote the preceding summary of it. He and his wife live on and own the Red Cloud Ranch (named for the Native American Chief who surprisingly successfully fought the US Army; you can check him out on Wikipedia), near Taos, New Mexico. Red Cloud is not a dude ranch......it’s the real thing, covered with tall vegetation with streams, horses, and wild animals.
His house is a comfy log cabin. Kenny’s amazing skill set would be the envy of all those cowboy actors I used to watch on TV Westerns as a kid. He’s also a gracious host and an attentive and articulate correspondent. Thanks again, Kenny.
1969 – Kenneth Zacharkow - Deceased
Writes sister Wendy, 1975 – “It is with deep sadness that I report that my brother Kenny, known to most as “Zack,” passed away suddenly at one of his favorite places, his cabin at Crown King, Arizona (formerly Alta Calfornia).
Outlaw, his kid, is fine. We are considering a Celebration of Life. Zack was a wonderful brother and a friend to many. He will be missed Writes Steve Metzler, 1969 – “Zack, a good friend of mine, was in his beloved cabin in Arizona when he apparently suffered a heart attack. Zack was one-of-a-kind, a man who lived life large and on his own terms. I will miss his life force dearly.”
Besides Wendy, Kenny leaves behind Dennis, 1967. Their sister, Georgeanne, 1963, predeceased.
1971 – Steven Brautigam – Long Islander
I have worked for over 30 years in municipal finance and as comptroller. Currently, I work in Ocean Beach on Fire Island, and I live in Laurel, on the North Fork of Long Island. I am single, with a son and daughter.
1974-David Caine– Down South
Hello from the Peach State! Thank you for providing us alumni with the Wheatley Wildcat newsletter; I am always interested in reading about my colleagues. Over the years, I have evolved into a "foodie" and enjoy watching "Diners, Dives and Drive Ins" on the Food Network. What a pleasant surprise last week to see the host feature our own Hildebrandt's Restaurant, located in Williston Park, on his episode of famous dessert establishments. Wow... talk about going back in time, especially when my baseball/basketball buddies would visit this iconic place for a refreshing beverage after multiple games of hoops or 9 innings on the diamond during those summer days at the neighborhood park.
I have been very fortunate to live in various cities throughout this great country of ours. Prior to returning to Georgia, I resided in McKinney, Texas, where the outside temperatures during the summer months would rise to 115 degree……talk about frying an egg on the sidewalk! One day, I was describing to my work colleagues, native Texans, about how we Northerners would shovel the snow from our driveways during those frigid winter months to play a game of basketball. They looked at me in total astonishment. LOL.... All the best, David
1976-Paul Giarmo - The Final Words on Vietnam
In response to the reply of Hal Whack (1966) to my earlier email about the Vietnam War, I have a few things to say.
First of all, it is insulting for Hal to suggest that I don't know my history. I hold a minor in American History from Stony Brook University, with a major in Political Science with honors. As a lifelong historian, I am constantly "reading up" on history, particularly American military history; and I am well-aware of Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnamese people's armed resistance to the Japanese military occupation of their country both before and during the Second World War. Furthermore, we can debate ad infinitum the so-called "Domino Theory," which held sway during the 1950's and '60's (and not just in Washington, but in many other Western nations as well); but that's not my intent here.
My intent here is to point out that OUR fellow-citizens’ sacrifices should have been honored by us all, whether you agreed with the policies or not......and they were not. How do you think the average
G.I. felt when he read articles about student-protesters burning American flags on college campuses while he and his buddies were being shot at and blown up by enemies that many times would hide behind women and children for cover? It had a devastating effect on troop morale. And to then come home and be spat upon by these spoiled, radical-leftists.
And one final point for Mr. Whack, who seems to find it acceptable to mention friends of his that served in the war but finds it unacceptable for me to mention my "identification" with my cousins who patriotically served their country – I, too, volunteered for service in the U.S. Air Force, and I was Honorably discharged (I'll be happy to send Hal a copy of my discharge if he wants). So please, sir, don't refer to me as an “Armchair Warrior.” I served my country - you didn't.
Art, please print this letter in the next alumni newsletter - this will even the "score" at two for Hal and two for this former airman. Thank you very much.
1999 - Eric Brach - Third Book
Eric’s third book is “a very exciting series of true stories of the criminals whom no one would suspect.” Recently (and perhaps still), it was # 1 in its category on Amazon. Eric is the son of Vicki Seltzer Brach (1965).
Double Lives: True Tales of the Criminals Next Door, by Eric Brach
John Wayne Gacy. Ted Bundy. Jeffrey Dahmer. Everyone has heard of these sociopaths and their crimes, and yet, no one is scared of them. Why? Well for one, they’re all dead, but it’s more that -- after all, movie villains aren’t even real, yet people remain frightened of the bad guys on the screen long after the lights come up. No, what makes these criminals seem almost pedestrian is that we can see them for what they are; they hold no mystery. Dastardly though they were, they’re famous. They’re celebrities. For all intents and purposes, they’re Paris Hilton.
The serial killers among us.
Why are kids afraid of the monsters under their beds? Because what really shocks us is the unknown. It’s the commonality shared by Adnan from Serial and Jame Gumb from Silence of the Lambs: the criminals who blend in, who don’t stand out, are the ones that captivate us the most.
The banality of evil and crime
Double Lives chronicles those very monsters who walk unnoticed among us -- the neighbors and students, professionals and friends living out criminal double lives. It's a nonfiction expose and a search that details the exploits of some of the worst serial killers in recent American history, all of whom succeeded in going undetected for years while perpetrating one gross crime after another... all in their own hometowns. Gender? Race? Age? Socioeconomic class? It doesn’t matter. All stripes of people from all walks of life are profiled within.
The Eagle Rock Arsonist. The Bath School Bomber. The Mountain City Murderess. The Philadelphia Black Belt Bank Robber
What is it that makes these criminals so interesting? The monsters who walk unnoticed among us – students and neighbors, professionals and even friends leading criminal double lives – all capture our interest in ways that nothing else can.
Double Lives: True Stories of Crime and Addiction Across America begins with the author’s search for answers as to how people he’d known, people he’d called “friend,” grew into adults who nurtured secret, criminal alter egos – and it evolves into a series of vignettes detailing how some of the worst Americans in recent history went undetected for years while successfully perpetrating one gross misdeed after another... all in their own hometowns.
Faculty (Bob Brandt) - Thank you for the Newsletter. It was, as always, a real joy to read and to know how the family is doing. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
Faculty (Steve Finkelstein) - Thanks for doing what you do for Wheatley alum!1958 (Edward Brown) - Thanks for taking on this effort.
1958 (Barbara Newman) – Thanks for your great work on Newsletter 21.
1959 (Mathew Sanzone) - Another gem! Thanks again.
1962 (Marty Gettleman) - Thank you so much for the newsletters. I absolutely enjoy reading about old friends. Please keep up the great work.
1963 (Marcia Friedman Mayer) - Great newsletter, Art!
1965 (Carol Tankersley Ozmer) - Thank you so much for all your hard work with the newsletters........it's great to hear about everyone from Wheatley.
1966 (Linda Rignel Bertani) - Thanks to you and Keith for a great job as usual.
1966 (Suzanne Stone) – The newsletters are extraordinary.
1967 (Arthur Brown) (Ed’s brother) - You have done a great job keeping all of us up-to-date.
1967 (Scott Frishman) - Great newsletter as usual, my good friend! 1967 (Ken Janowitz) - Thanks for your continuing efforts to keep us all informed.
1968 (Ken Gallard) - Another interesting newsletter.......well done, as always.
1969 (Penny Rakoff) - Thanks for maintaining The Wheatley School Newsletter.
1970 (Bobby Abramowitz) - Thanks for taking the time to keep our community connected. I much appreciate it.
1971 (Melissa Greenfield Rubin) - Thanks for keeping us up-to- date! 1972 (Debra Soffer Beilin) - Thank you, Arthur
1974 (Victoria Abbott Pitcavage) – Keep up the good work. 1974 (William Bosshart) - Keep up the good work!
1981 (Robert Walzer) – Thanks.
1994 (John Lianoglou) - I struggle to read most of these, but am consistently impressed by how much you manage to pack in. It’s yeoman’s work, and it’s astonishing just how much time and care I see you’re able to invest. On a nerdier level, I also wanted to applaud your considerately consistent use of BCC . Good work and best wishes......the Wheatley alum community is fortunate to have you and Keith.
That’s it for the Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 22. Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.
Art Engoron, '67, 646-872-4833, WWW.WHEATLEYALUMNI.ORG