The Wheatley Alumni Association Newsletter #32: May 14, 2019

Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,

Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 32.

Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (1963), you can regale yourself with the first thirty-one newsletters (and other Wheatley data and arcana) at  Relatively new, and also thanks to Keith, is our handy-dandy search feature:  type in a term or phrase and find it in all previous newsletters and other on-site material.  Wow!

Conversely, if you are completely uninterested in Wheatley matters, please ask me to remove you from my distribution list.

I edit all submissions, even material in quotes, for clarity and concision, without any indication thereof.  I do not censor ideas, which may not be, and often are not, the same as mine.


1958 - Anita Silvers - Renee Gershen Nadel (1960) Remembers Anita Silvers

Writes Renee – “I am saddened to hear of the death of Anita Silvers, brother of my classmate David Silvers.  I remember her well and, though she was two years ahead of me, I always knew how bright and how brave she was.  I am also a polio survivor and am well aware of the difficulties she must have had.  I applaud her efforts for the disabled.”

1958 – Everyone – Commencement Booklet

Thanks to graduate Robert Holley.

Page One is Top Right

Page Two is Bottom Left

Page Three is Bottom Right

Page Four is Top Left



1961 – Carol Jalonack Blum – Still Fiddlin


1961 – Dede Ragonnet - Deceased

Dede passed away on May 11, 2016.

1962 – Philip Christensen – Looking Cool in a Hot Place (Barbados)


1962 - John Cilmi – On Second Thought

Writes John – “On the subject of positive and negative experiences at Wheatley, I, too, have mostly unpleasant memories.  However, I am quite clear that while they were in part due to the adolescent antics of my classmates, they were mostly attributable to my own foibles.  I haven’t lived in NY for many years, so my last visit to Wheatley was for the Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration more than a decade ago.  It was at that event that I came to grips with the extraordinary school I had attended and how many opportunities I had missed while getting an education that has served me well throughout my life.  Thank-you, Wheatley!”

1962 – Bill Jerome and Jay Samoff – Pillars of the Class

Writes Philip Christensen – “Glad to see you, Art, in Newsletter # 31 being ‘held up’ by two of the pillars of the Class of 1962: Jay Samoff and Bill Jerome.  I assume that ‘(L)’ and ‘(R)’ are not meant to identify their respective political dispositions.  For those of us who remember them, they look remarkably similar to how they did back at Wheatley.”

1964 – Richard Maxfield – Deceased


“Dr. Richard Maxfield passed away suddenly at home on October 17, 2018 in Topeka, KS.  He was born in Mineola, NY on September 12, 1946 to Ruth Blank Maxfield and Edwin Maxfield.  He will be remembered as a well-respected psychologist, a devoted husband to his wife of 33 years, Susan, and a beloved father to his daughter Amelia and son Jacob.  He was adored by his grandsons, and cherished as a son, brother, uncle and friend.  Above all Dr. Maxfield was a helper and a listener.  It is his continued devotion to working and living in the service of others for which he will be remembered most.”

1965 - Jane Goldenberg Fire – Punk Rocker in the News


Jane was a member of the Punk Rock band The Erasers.  That’s her on the far right, sometime in the 1970s.  Read all about it in the New York Times:

1965 – Richard Rogers and Robert (“Bob”) Strumpfler – A Seed Was Planted

Writes Richard – “Art, Thank you for the article about, and picture of, the Strumpfler family, including their Dad Fred, a former Western Electric executive, who is 100 years young.  Bob Strumpfler and I were in the Class of 1965 and were good friends at North Side as well as Wheatley.  I spent quite a bit of time at their house and it was a conversation one day with Fred that planted a seed that a couple of years later led me to a career I truly loved.  Fred was a manufacturing-operations executive at the time.  The conversation we had was about the employee and labor relations aspects of his job.  I was initially a chemistry major in college but wanted to make a change, not unusual.  The seed planted by Fred led me to major in Labor Studies at Penn State and, after two years in the Army (I won the draft lottery), to a Masters Degree in Human Resources at Michigan State.  Simply said, I had a great career in HR:  two Fortune 100 companies, one global 1000, two very successful venture capital/management owned companies (had equity in both) in four different industries.  The last twenty five years I was a Chief HR Officer and worked directly for six different CEOs.  The seed planted by Fred in the 60s flourished into a challenging and rewarding career for which I will forever be thankful to him and the Strumpfler family.  Dick Rogers, Kissimmee, FL, 203.556.8696 (cell)”

1966 – Claude Lévy – Artistic Director of Upcoming Concert


1967 – Benjamin Ross – Retired but Still Active

Ben fiercely advocates for mass transit at Maryland Transit Opportunities Coalition,

1967 – Jill Simon Forte – Grateful

Writes Jill – “Even though I have mentioned this before, thanks Arthur for your effort on behalf of us Wheatleyites.  I certainly didn’t take advantage of the exceptional teaching from our alma mater.  But my experience was a fun one.  I made great friends that I am still in touch with (and one that you helped me with) and I enjoy the reunions.  Certainty the BEST thing I gained from being in Wheatley was my fantastic husband Bob 😍.  We will be married 50 years this May, but we met earlier, when I was 16.  These have been the most memorable, wonderful years, brought me two children and six grandkids.  I lived in many places on L.I. and Florida; I am now settled in CT.  It seems like our life is a movie in my mind and went so fast.  When going down to Long Island we visit all our old haunts……wow, so different!  Please keep us up on our past lives, we love it.”

1967 – Carl Thomas Wirth – Those Adolescent Years

Writes Carl – “Art...received the latest newsletter the day after birthday #70...many of our classmates are older, a few are younger, but then there's my "twin" sister Nan Maslow...always great to be reminded of a few wonderful years in a lifetime (so far) of many...but I understand those that do not look back with fondness on their high school years.  For quite a few years I have been president of the alumni association of the little college I attended in Nebraska, and whenever we organize reunions we get those same comments.  Every so often I will get an invite to be a Master of Ceremonies at a high school reunion of a class I taught; of course,  those that attend remember all the good stuff about their high school years, but you do hear from those attending that someone who didn't show "hated" those years.  While we all hope that one could look back at Wheatley with warm memories, we have to remember how hard those adolescent years were...pimples...lonely Saturday nights without a date...failing a test you spent hours studying for...sitting alone at lunch...a teacher who hated you (or so you thought)...wearing something that somebody made fun of...not being accepted by a certain group...the list goes on.  But still, Art, we are glad you help us remember the good friends we have not thought about for a while...glad to see a certain teacher is still alive or wishing one gone you can say "thank you" to...keep up the good work, keep the good memories alive.”

1968 – Todd Strasser – Author Extraordinaire

Writes Todd – “I want you to know that Candlewick Press has just published my very autobiographical novel, Summer of '69, which takes place mostly in Roslyn Heights and environs, and even has a brief scene at Wheatley.  There are also scenes in New York City and at the Woodstock Festival, which I, and quite a few other folks from the Class of '68, attended. 

The book has only been out for a week and we are awaiting more reviews, but Kirkus, a major review journal for new novels, said: ‘Strasser perfectly captures the golden haze of youth and life on the cusp of adulthood. Readers fascinated with this time period will find much to enjoy...  Vietnam, Woodstock, road trips, and acid trips: a sweetly bittersweet, surprising, even melancholy bildungsroman set against a world in flux.  Groovy, man.’

And Book Central wrote: ‘It was an absolute delight to revel in Strasser's sparklingly dark prose, with its elegant turns of phrase and inventive combinations of words.  This is the only book I have read about this time period that made me really understand what all the sturm und drang among teenagers was about.  Summer of '69 rings absolutely true to the Vietnam era.’”

1969 – Jay Hack – Tailgate Party Maestro


Writes The Wall Street Journal – “Longtime Jets fan Jay Hack brings three-figure Napa Cabernets, well-aged Chardonnays and even the occasional Châteauneuf-du-Pape to his tailgate parties at MetLife Stadium.  But he draws the line at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche. That, he says, would be going too far.

Mr. Hack, a partner at the Manhattan law firm Gallet, Dreyer & Berkey LLP, has been hosting home-game tailgate parties for the better part of 20 years.  And while the wine is always important, the food is key.  Mr. Hack gives considerable thought to the menu, which he inevitably tailors to play off the name of the opposing team.  For example, at Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans, Mr. Hack cooked ribs.  ‘You have to eat the heart of your enemy before you go into battle,’ he explained as he hoisted the first of three giant slabs of ribs onto one of his three portable grills.

Napa Cabernet was the favorite pairing with the enemy’s fare, although there was also a bottle of German Riesling and a bottle of 2004 Aubert Chardonnay.  (White wine is much less popular than red, said Mr. Hack, because he tends to cook beef.)  At Sunday’s get-together, the Napa Cabernets included Myriad, Nickel & Nickel, Fortis, and Haber Family Howell Mountain Cabernet.  The latter was a contribution from his cousin, Alan Hack, a psychologist based in New York.  ‘It was given to me by my accountant,’ explained Alan

Hack.  ‘I thought this was the perfect moment.’

Mr. Hack’s cousin was one of a couple dozen friends and family members—and at one point, complete strangers—who partook of Mr. Hack’s food and wine.  Besides the ribs, Mr. Hack offered potato pancakes, brisket, tuna and croque monsieurs.  The latter was for his friend, Cheryl, a member of Mr. Hack’s New York wine tasting group, who was attending her very first tailgate party.  Cheryl had never had a croque monsieur outside of a restaurant, Mr. Hack explained.

Mr. Hack plans the menu days and often weeks in advance and does the prep work at home in Westchester so that he is ready to cook as soon as he and wife Rebecca arrive at the stadium between 10:30 and 11 a.m.  He comes well-supplied: three grills, two large folding tables, a large assortment of cooking implements, including quite a few serious knives, and a box of good glassware. ‘Schott Zweisel from Costco that cost about $3,’ he said, showing me the box.  ‘I got tired of breaking my Zaltos when I was here,’ he said, naming a pricey stemware that retails for about $50 a glass.

Are there any rules about what wines that his guests can or can’t bring?  There aren’t, replied Mr. Hack, although there are rules about food: no hot dogs or hamburgers. ‘And no wine in a box,’ interjected his wife, who was tasting the Haber Cabernet and pronounced it ‘excellent.’

Sometimes, strangers want to drink his wine, too—and even offer to pay for it.  Mr. Hack told the story of a woman who wanted to buy a glass because her friends only had beer.  Mr. Hack poured her a glass—free of course.

Sometimes, Mr. Hack has been on the buying end.  ‘I bought a bottle of 1983 Chateau d’Yquem in the parking lot eight years ago,’ he recalled.  The price was $200. The seller was ‘a guy who bought it from a cellar in Staten Island,’ he said.  Mr. Hack lamented that he lost track of him when the parking lot was reconfigured.

There is one more home game on Dec. 27. The opposing team is the New England Patriots, the Jets’ nemesis. Mr. Hack is already planning the menu. ‘I’m thinking a homemade New England clam chowder,’ he mused. And the wine? ‘I’ll probably bring an Aubert Chardonnay or a Sine Qua Non white,’ he replied. ‘You have to bring really important wines for really important days.’”

Article by Lettie Teague in the 12/15/2015 Wall Street Journal

1973 – Jeannine McClure Bradley – The Third Degree

Writes Jeannine – “I received three university degrees within ten years ...all when I was over the age of 50...BA, BSW & MSW,'s never too late to go back to school!!”

1973 – Sanford (“Sandy”) Stern – Movie Mogul

Writes classmate Jeannine McClure Bradley – “Sandy Stern has become a well-known movie producer.  Here is the link to his Wikipedia page:

1979 – Gwendolyn McClure – Master Vocal Sound Healer


Writes Gwendolyn – “Dear Arthur, My beloved sister Jeannine had the brilliant idea of sharing with you about my upcoming adventures!  See below.  Love and Blessings, Gwendolyn aka Wendy Maude McClure”

Click on these links for more information. Sound Healing Adventure

1981 – Richard Ardito – Life in Armonk

Writes Rick – “My boys, Ory, 11, and Damen 8, go to Byram Hills Schools here in Armonk.  Oddly enough, they are the Byram Hills ‘Bobcats.’” 

1989 – Joseph Apicella – Where Does the Time Go?

Writes Joseph – “I can't believe it's 30 years since I graduated.  I hope everybody is having a great life.  I live in Florida with my wife Diana and my two boys, Anthony and Joseph.   What I miss most about high school is the sports I played. I remember the last race of track and field like it was yesterday.  It was a 4 x 400 relay and we won by a full lap.  We were coached by Mr. Walsh.  My niece, Cecelia Jozef, is graduating this year from Wheatley.  My sister, Kathy Apicella Jozef, graduated in 1990.  What fun it's been watching my niece play sports for my old school.  She was selected to the All-Long Island soccer team as goalie this past season.  I received the George Glaser Memorial Award my senior year.  My niece says she walks by the plaque with my name on it all the time.  Unfortunately I can't play sports anymore due to injuries, but the memories of high school are not forgotten.  This year marks 25 years since the passing of my classmate Deirdre “Dee” Izzo and my brother Jerry Apicella, Wheatley Class of 1983.  As far as I know she is the only one in our class that is no longer with us.  My best to everybody in the class of 1989.  Thirty years sure went by fast.”

2009 – Amanda Hartman – Hanging out With Art


Amanda is a student at Brooklyn Law School.  Starting in late May of this year (2019) she will be a summer associate at Cahill, Gordon & Reindel, a prestigious “Wall Street” law firm perhaps best known to the public as the home of partner Floyd Abrams, the famous First Amendment lawyer who represented the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case (after the Times’s long-time attorneys supposedly said that if the Times planned to publish the documents, the firm not only would not defend the it but, rather, would denounce it to the government).

Fan Mail:

Staff (Wes Berkowitz) – “Keep up the great work - it’s very appreciated!”

1960 (Renee Gershen Nadel) – “You are doing great work keeping us all connected.  Thank you so much for being the glue for all Wheateyites.  Much appreciated, Renee”

1962 (John Cilmi) – “Thanks again for all your efforts.  They are not wasted.”

1966 (Kenneth G. Distler) – “Never have I seen as consistently fabulous an effort on behalf of keeping a school’s alumni in touch with each other and on top of fellow alumni’s lives as this ongoing, unfailingly thoughtful, and ever content-and-contact-rich endeavor engineered brilliantly with ceaseless dedication by Art Engoron, supported superbly by Alumni Association webmaster Keith Aufhauser.  Art’s now long-term Wheatley School Alumni Association news/bio/get-together enterprise is WAY BETTER than any COLLEGE alumni association effort I’ve ever seen! – Ken Distler, ‘66”

1966 (Suzanne Stone) - Dear Art, You did it again.....made my eyes swell with tears reading about all the Wildcats that I knew from near and far or did not know at all.  Somehow, their life stories always resonate with me.  Also, thanks for your heartfelt explanation of why you do what you do for us....very touching!!!  Take good care – Suzanne xo”

1966 (Karen Wattel Arenson) – “People who don’t do what you are doing have no idea of how much time it takes.  Congratulations - and thanks.”

1967 (Jill Simon Forte) – “Thanks, Arthur, for your efforts on behalf of all Wheatleyites.” 

1968 (Ken Gallard) – “Thanks for the newsletter.  Coincidentally, I heard from my classmate Gary Kenton yesterday afternoon.  He and his son are heading this way to visit later in May.  Cool!  Another Wheatleyite heads down the dead-end road of NM!  LOL...”

1968 (William Shechtman) – “I love your newsletters.  I wish I had had a computer 30 years ago.  Your newsletters are greatly appreciated by me and many other people with whom I reconnected because of you.  Thanks again for all your hard work.  Billy”

1972 (Ilene Kent) – “Thanks Art!!”

1973 (Jeannine McClure Bradley) – “Thanks for the newsletter, Art.”

1973 (Edward Ryder) – “Nicely done; once again.”

1973 (Richard Warren) – “Art, I sincerely appreciate your efforts and results to get this project up and running.  For those of us who left for college, per your data analysis to a state, Georgia, and a school, Emory U., with very few Wheatley graduates - and hardly been back it - is a great connection.  I was friendly with many, including your twin brothers (Danny and Gerry), and other Bengeyfield Boys.  And alphabetically I was almost always next to Sara Weiss.  I made it to our 'first' reunion, but none since.  My contact info is Richie Warren, CLU,  PO Box 700, Duluth, Georgia 30096-0013, Cell 770-402-0058, RWARRENBUNCH@YAHOO.COM

1974 (Robert Berta) – “Thank you, I read this all.  My class is not very talkative.........../s/ Bob Berta”

1975 (Robert Wechter) – “Thank you, Art.”

1978 (Brian Shea) – “Thanks for your efforts to create and distribute the Newsletters!”

1979 (Gwendolyn McClure) – “Thank you Arthur!  Love and Peace to you!  Gwendolyn 🙏💕”

Just For Fun


(Submitted by Cliff Deaner, 1969)


That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 32.  Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.


Arthur Fredericks Engoron

The Wheatley School Class of 1967