The Wheatley Alumni Association Newsletter #36: October 13, 2019
Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,
Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 36.
The first item up is a final reminder about the Class of 1979 40th-Year Reunion, Saturday, October 19, 2019, 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM, at Seasons 52, Roosevelt Field, 630 Old Country Road, Garden City, NY 11530, 516-248-5252, $75 per person. Contact David Greenapple, DGREENAPPLE@YAHOO.COM, if you need any further information.
Next item up is the usual: Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (1963), you can regale yourself with the first thirty-five newsletters (and other Wheatley data and arcana) at http://www.wheatleyalumni.org/ Relatively new, and also thanks to Keith, is our handy-dandy, super-duper search feature, prominently displayed on our home page: type in a term or phrase and, voila, you'll find it in all previous newsletters and other on-site material. Wow!
Meanwhile, 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 often are not the same as mine. I include Wildcat-written letters-to-the-editor published in the mainstream media (which may not reflect my own views) because their publication is ipso facto newsworthy in WheatleyWorld.
Merle Levine - Deceased
Merle taught Social Studies at Wheatley for 14 years. Here's an obituary from the Retired United Teachers of Northport:
passed away in her sleep on September 12 at the age of 95. Predeceased by Seymour, her husband of 63 years, she is survived by her five children, Deborah, Jeffrey, David, Steven and Robert; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Merle and Seymour retired to Greenport, Long Island, where she remained active working for the rights of women, minorities and the poor. She served as founder and president of the Community Action Southold Town and was secretary of the town's Anti-Bias Task Force. For her lifetime of social justice advocacy, she was honored in 2016 with the Helen Wright Prince Community Award from the Southold Town Anti-Bias Task Force.
A memorial celebration of Merle's life will be held Sunday, October 20th, 2-4 pm, at Peconic Landing, 1500 Brecknock Rd., Greenport, NY in the Community Center.
Ruth Rockmore - Deceased
ROCKMORE-- Ruth Frankel, a retired English school teacher and bridge aficionado, passed away early Friday, September 13, 2019 after a valiant two-year battle with leukemia. Born May 17, 1928 to Sallie and Jacob Frankel, she was raised in Brooklyn with her sibling Sheldon, and attended James Madison High School and the Juilliard School of Music. She went off to Syracuse University at the young age of 16, where she worked and played hard; was a sorority sister in IOTA, was her freshman year beauty Queen, and ultimately graduated cum laude in June 1948. Two years later she married Henry (Hank) Rockmore; they had two children Gayle and Robert, her pride and joy. She received a Master's in Education from Hofstra in 1962 and then worked as an English teacher in the East Williston School District, where she taught for 25+ years. Ruth had a zest for living and hers was a life well- lived. She was a wonderful cook; talented artist; beloved high school English teacher; avid, nationally-ranked bridge player; and trusted friend, not to mention adored daughter, respected sister and loved mother and grandmother. She is survived by her daughter Gayle Berg, her son Robert Rockmore, and daughter-in-law Alma. She has five grandchildren (Carly married to Jeremy Koenig and Jarret Berg married to Jennifer; Jonathan, Noah and Saul Rockmore) and one great-granddaughter Arielle Berg; as well as a network of beloved extended family members, friends and students from Long Island, North Shore Towers and Boynton Beach whose lives she has touched along the way. We will remain forever grateful for the precious time we had with her and will honor her wishes that we celebrate her long life with love.
Howard Storm - Deceased
According to his daughter, Amy Storm, Howard passed away on January 8, 2019. He was an inspirational teacher during Wheatley's earliest years.
Multiclass Reunion Success out West!
Writes Larry Rosenthal (1965) The First Annual (?) Unofficial Bay Area Wheatley Reunion Potluck [held in Larry's Berkeley back yard] was a roaring success! Despite a few late regrets, 19 attendees, including Fran (Mittelmark) Granet (1972) all the way from Santa Barbara, showed up on a picture perfect afternoon to greet old and new friends and share Wheatley memories.
Larry Took Attendance:
Barry Gordon '65 & Aldene Gordon
Dave Kelvin '69
Dean Shephard '67
Julie King '78 & Don Abramson
Larry Rosenthal '65 & Peg Datz
Peter Siegel '66
Rich Weissman '72
Steve (Rosenthal) Roselaren '67 & Heather Roselaren
Shelly Levinthal '68
Susan Stone '70
Suzanne Nash Horsley '66
Wendy (Strickman) Hoffman '70
Willa Kozupsky '70
And what's a report without pictures?!
That's Larry sitting in the front, brother Steve (1967) to his left, and Willa Kozupsky (1970) to his right. The next row L-R is Susan Stone (1970); Suzanne Nash Horsley (1966) and Fran (Mittelmark) Granet (1972). The next (somewhat diagonal) row L-R is Alice Wilkins (1966), Wendy Strickman Hoffman (1970) (both wearing striped shirts), and Richard Weissman (1972). The top row L-R is Barry Gordon (1965) (L) and Peter Siegel (1966) (R).
(L to R) - Willa Kozupsky (1970) and Alice Wilkins (1966) . Both grew up on Arbor Lane in Roslyn Heights.
1958 Edward Brown . One of Wheatley's First.
Writes Ed: Unfortunately (and not really surprisingly), each one of your newsletters seems to have fewer and fewer entries from the members of my class : The First Class. Time does indeed move on, and as a mentor of mine taught me some years later, Life's too short to drink cheap wine! So let us all keep focused on what's really important in our lives.
And to any of my classmates who might be reading this note, we had a 50th, a 55th, a 57˝th, and a 60th reunion. And each one was wonderful (although obviously decreasing in size). So do any of you out there now have any views on maybe a 62˝???
Little Eddy Brown
1958 : Brian Sirota, Deceased
SIROTA--Brian. June 27, 1940-May 6, 2019. After a brave battle. A true gentleman and renowned buyer for 30 years at Macys. He will be greatly missed.
1959 : Matt Sanzone, Da Coda!
THE WHEATLEY STORY
Chapter Four: Twelfth Grade
(Coda to THE WHEATLEY CHRONICLES - My Journey Through High School - 1956-1959)
Senior year seemed to creep up on us. I'm not sure if we were ready for this important milestone in our march through the system. The initial weeks of the year found our class busy filling the time beyond scheduled classes with myriad activities, including the school newspaper, Wildcat's Roar; the yearbook, Aurora; and the various sports teams. The usual routine class elections were held, and, as expected, Ken Goldman was chosen as our class president. There could not have been a better choice, because he connected all the dots within the class no matter with what group you identified or what your interests were. Football filled my daily interest, much at the expense of my academic responsibilities. That plus a girlfriend pretty much dominated my fall semester. Yet, the school felt very different, like missing a big brother who had gone off to college. I missed the influence, bravado, brashness, energy and verve of the Class of '58, not to mention a few good friends, especially Kleban, Perlin, and Bruce Richardson. That class left a very, very large pair of shoes to fill. No longer the â€śmiddle child, we had to strike out on our own.
I couldn't pass up another chance to dip into some hot water, and this time it was my decision to cut class, one class only. Observing that attendance was taken after first period (my memory may be suspect on this), I thought I could miss the first class, be back in time for the second period and no one would be the wiser. The motivation for this plan was that I could drive my girlfriend to work and be back to school in time. I failed to mention that students were not permitted to drive to school then. The plan seemed to work exactly as I had anticipated, at least the timing part of it. Later that morning I was summoned to the office. It seemed that there was a Cadillac sedan parked in the teacher's parking lot amid a lot full of Fords, Chevys, and Dodges. My Dad's car stuck out like a sore thumb! How the school figured it out was above my level of comprehension, but I was snagged. That was the ONLY class I ever cut!
Although I wasn't particularly motivated academically (my mind was usually on the next game or wrestling match or girlfriend), I did enjoy and most times looked forward to classes, especially English with Mr. Storm and social studies with Mr. Loring. Both teachers had unique and engaging teaching styles. Mr. Storm created an environment that was comfortable and open without being critical. Mr. Loring had a way of commanding my attention in an engaging manner. He made history come alive. I once related to my parents, in answer to their nightly question about how was school today, the discussion in Mr. Loring's class about Che Guevara and Cuba's rebellion. Well, that set off a ruckus in the Sanzone household and served to reinforce their fears about public school. I knew we should have sent him to St. Agnes High School! My parents were terrified by Senator Joe McCarthy's infamous hearings. Most times it was better to respond with a nothing special when asked about school.
Mr. Cautela and I had a good relationship and he sort of took me under his wing throughout the year. Longfellow's lines from My lost Youth
A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.ť
certainly applied to me, and Mr. Cautela helped steer me through the turbulence. Mr. Davis and Mr. Stevenson also played a huge role in guiding my future when it came to college admission.
Wouldn't we all like a Woody Allen experience like the one in Midnight in Paris,ť just to spend a few more days with all those great teachers? Who wouldn't give Elsie Bodnar one big and glorious hug?
There are one or two more confessions for me to make before I close this brief memoir of my time in The Wheatley School, a name most of us steadfastly refused to pronounce when asked what high school did or do you attend. Apologies to the founders.
I had earlier said I would tell more about Mr. Storm's direction of the play Our Town.ť It was in the spring of my senior year, and I and a few other fellows, Johnny Votano, Ken Douglas, perhaps one or both Tom and Stu Sanderson joined the ensemble and served as the stage crew. Mostly tasked with painting sets and moving furniture, we were involved and felt part of the show. Barbara Bodenstab played Emily as I recall. Bruce Fields and Nancy Duff must have had leading roles as well, and I am sorry to say my mind is a blank about the others. One of us thought it a good idea to bring a few cans of beer to the workroom where we were painting sets. Probably some Rheingold. We left the empty cans in one of the lockers. The following Monday one of the custodians discovered them. Word spread quickly and we had some time to â€śget our story straight. My buddies agreed to clear me, and they took the blame. I skated but didn't feel great about it so now I can purge my soul of this blot. Apologies to Norman and Wes! At this time, however, I do wish categorically to deny that I had anything to do with pouring salt into the sugar dispensers at Hildebrandt's Ice Cream Parlor.
The school year wound down and so did our time at Wheatley. Too brief but full of lasting memories. Our prom was held in some studio in the Roosevelt Field Shopping Mall, which was quite different from the one that exists today. The prom ended and a few of us couples drove to Manhattan to a night club, leaving when it closed at 4AM. We went home, changed clothes, and then spent the day at Jones Beach. Oh, What a Night!ť Wheatley: Oh, What a Ride!ť
Most of us probably didn't know at the time how deeply the Wheatley roots would grow in us, but reading the Wheatley Alumni Newsletters that Art labors over gives all of us the evidence we need to know; Wheatley was special for us and no doubt continues to be so today.
Sixty years have glided by since I wore the red and white, so any mis-memory parts in these chapters beg your indulgence.
Matt Sanzone, '59
Writes Patricia Kirk Hefferan (1961):
'I have been totally fascinated with Matt's dialogue and wonderful writing skills. It was just pure pleasure reading his memories. I think he and I are on the same page. Not for nothin' Matt, but I thought you were one of the totally cool guys at Wheatley, but out of my league. You always seemed such a "large" person - full of fun and confidence and a true zest for life. You saw Wheatley very much as I did, but you participated more through sports and your own vitality. I lost my Wheatley Yearbook somewhere along the way, but your writing has helped atone for the loss. You have made Wheatley come alive for me. I have always struggled to understand The Wheatley School. I looked up some information about our school recently and we are tops in everything except one area - Diversity. Imagine that!ť
1960: James Turco, Remembering Wheatley Football
My memory banks scream out to me that my best friend Rickie Sack played on Wheatley's Junior Varsity Football Team as I sat in the stands with his mom & dad watching and blowing an air boat horn every time Richie did something great like---Move ! I think they called themselves The Bandits.ť I myself never participated in the sport but spent my time in the gym with the weights, ropes, horses, wall bars and spring board to end up winning a medal and certificate from the Marines for their whole-school fitness test!
1961 Everett Jacobs Deceased
Writes brother Jeff Jacobs (Class of 1963): "Everett passed away Saturday (Sept 28) in California after battling repercussions from diabetes and then developing pneumonia and, ultimately, congestive heart failure. He left behind a beautiful family, including his wife, two sons and daughters-in-law, as well as four grandchildren. He always recalled his days at Wheatley with fondness and affection, so I thought I would let his classmates know.
Writes classmate Gene Razzetti I just learned with great sadness of the death of my friend and classmate, Everett "Ev" Jacobs. Ev came to Wheatley for his senior year from nearby Roslyn High School. The Jacobs Family lived on Pasture Lane in Roslyn Heights. His parents had built an apartment on to the house for Ev's grandparents. How's that for family values?
Ev and I had known each other for two years before he came to Wheatley. Both of us being Catholic and in public high schools, we attended Confraternity for Christian Doctrine (CCD) classes one night per week during the school years. We had Latin and Study Hall together. What aggravation we did not give Mr. Fradkin, we saved for Miss Feindler. Ev played varsity football with a great competence, focus, and determination.
After graduation, Ev and I were roommates for one semester at C.W. Post. We got along fine, even though he was everything I was not then or now. Good-looking, well-built, self-assured, and athletic. And Cool. Where he went, girls followed. He loved playing music as much as he loved playing sports. He was amazing on drums and was teaching himself both guitar and saxophone.
We went our separate ways in 1963. Ev stayed at Post, and I finished at Adelphi. To my regret and, perhaps, shame, I never kept in touch. I saw Ev's younger brother, Jeff, at the Wheatley 50th Anniversary. Jeff said that Ev had moved to California but was dealing with an angry cancer that likely led to his subsequent weakness and death.
God Bless and Keep You, Ev"
1961 Pamela Webber Schad Brown Deceased
Former Amityville resident Pamela Schad Brown died in California on July 30, 2019, at the age of 76. She had lived in California for five years.
â€śShe was a wonderful and very loving mother and grandmother who cared deeply about her family, said her son, John Schad.
Mrs. Brown was born on July 30, 1943 in Mineola, to Wolfert and Marjorie Webber. She graduated from The Wheatley School in Old Westbury and Southern Seminary College in Virginia.
She lived in Amityville for almost 50 years, and worked in the admissions office at New York Institute of Technology for more than 20 years.
She was active in the Colonel Gilbert Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Amityville and was honored in 2012 for 40 years of dedicated service. Mrs. Brown was a descendant of Richard Warren, who arrived on the Mayflower. She was involved in the Junior League of Amityville and as a judge for the July 4th Parade.
A longtime member of Grace Episcopal Church in Massapequa, she served as the Director of the Altar Guild, as a Lay Minister, and as a Healing Group member.
Mrs. Brown was previously married to John H. Schad, Jr., and to James E. Brown until his passing in 2009. She leaves behind her children John and his wife Amelia of Westlake Village, California and Robert and his wife Andrea of Augsburg, Germany, as well as her granddaughters Sabrina, Samantha, and Mandy.
Cremation services were private. She requested that donations in her name be made to NoKidHunÂgry.org, P.O. Box 75475 Baltimore MD 21275-5475.
1962 Naomi Klotz Obie Junior Prom Finery and Two Dates
Left-to-right James Turco, 1960; Naomi; Richard Sack, 1961
1962 : Madeleine Wild Life in Sonoma COELM001@HOTMAIL.COM
Writes Maddi: When I think back on my years at Wheatley, I feel lucky to have gone to such a beautiful school in a peaceful setting with great teachers. I made it through school with good friends, humor, drama, a lot of laughing, love of learning, and I am still proud that I became captain of the cheerleaders! Much of the work I've done and my ethics (thanks, Mr. Doig) are a direct result of my Wheatley experiences and first-rate education.
I've been married for 35 years to Roy Blumenfeld, the original drummer for the legendary Blues Project (some of you may remember them), and we live in Sonoma Valley Wine Country. I've been a voice-over teacher/coach since 1991 and have done voices/casting /directing for video games. Roy and I produce audio books, demos for voice actors, and commercials in our Radio Magic studio. We also own and host an Airbnb vacation rental on our property named BE HAPPY! And the beat goes on. For fans of THE BLUES PROJECT, Roy will be touring on the East Coast in October. Here's his website, dates and venues.
And if you're coming to Sonoma, please feel free to be in touch and say hello!
L-R: lead guitarist; Steve Katz (lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist); Roy Blumenfeld (drummer and vocalist); keyboardist; bassist. Writes Art Engoron (1967) On 10/3/19 I attend The Blues Project gig at My Father's Place in Roslyn with Mitch Stephens (1967), Phil Wild (Maddi's brother, 1972), and Phil's son Nathan. The venue was pleasant, and the band was terrific, so catch them if you can! BTW, I took the photo, and I apologize that Steve's face is obscured. Click on either link and you can see them all better.
1963 + 1967 L-R - Susan Miller Astor and Cynthia Shapiro Chadderdon
Celebrating Cynthia's Birthday (with similar shirts).
1964 Brian Stone Living a Life in Law
Writes Brian : I still practice law throughout metro NY and in northeastern PA (the Poconos), although I recently changed my primary residence to the eastern shore of the Chesapeake, where I provide volunteer legal services for the indigent. I have been happily married to Ellen Wulforst for decades, and we have 2 daughters and 3 grandsons. My sister Linda (Class of '67) is doing well; however, we lost our brother Jeffrey (Class of '60). Best wishes to all.
1965 : Barbara Ashley (L) and Jane Wild Carrel (R), A Mini Wheatley Reunion
Writes Jane - After seeing all the great pictures in the newsletters, we were motivated to send our pictures, too. We spent a fabulous evening in NYC dining at Toloache and attending the Broadway show, 'The Book of Mormon.' We had fun reminiscing about great friends and times at Wheatley.
1965: Richard (Dick) Rogers Family, and Community, History
J. Alfred Valentine
Writes Dick : Al Valentine was an entrepreneur, businessman and community leader who lived in East Williston most of his extraordinary life. He was also my grandfather.
In his early years he worked as a farm hand on the successful Robbins Family Farm that included parts of present day East Williston, Roslyn Heights and Albertson. He married the farmer's daughter, Gulielma Robbins, who was raised a Quaker. According to family history, he told her he would be more successful than her father ever dreamed. He kept that promise.
Robbins Drive off Roslyn Road was named after the Robbins Family Farm. The farmland was sold by my Grandmother to a developer named Levitt (yes, that Levitt) after World War II, and the current day Roslyn Heights became a reality.
The many accomplishments of Al Valentine included: The Valentine Agency, a Real Estate and Insurance business he founded, initially in Williston Park on Hillside Avenue, and more than 100 years later it is still in the Valentine family, run by my Cousin Robin in Mineola; he was a developer and built several homes in East Williston in the 20s and 30s; my grandparents were two of the twelve founders in 1925 of the Community Church of East Williston, located at the corner of Roslyn Road and East Williston Avenue; he was one of the three founders of Roosevelt Raceway in 1940, the first trotting racetrack in the US, first as Executive Vice President & General Manager, then Chairman of the Board, and many have said he was undisputedly the man in charge from the beginning; for many years President of the Queens-Nassau Agricultural Society, the sponsor of the Mineola Fair, a major event on Long Island for over a century; President of the New York State Agricultural Fairs; President of the First National Bank of Mineola in the 50s, eventually bought by Franklin National Bank; President of the South Oaks Hospital in Amityville from 1955 to 1975, which provides psychiatric and nursing care; and a Trustee of Adelphi University when he died in 1976.
As a high school graduate one of his proudest moments was when he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Adelphi for his life achievements and support of the University.
A couple of anecdotes you might find of interest: he witnessed Lucky Lindy's takeoff from Roosevelt Field; some classmates from Albertson may remember him in the 1950s occasionally driving a horse drawn sleigh on side streets giving kids a ride when the snow was deep enough; my grandparents lived on Fairview Avenue in East Williston for many years before moving to the Valentine Farm in the 1940s on Roslyn Road (bordered by remnants of the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway, Albertson and the Long Island Railroad); the old farmhouse was periodically a stop on the underground railroad Valentine Drive is now a street in the community where the farm was located; and any service man or woman returning home during WWII through Mitchell Field was given a free call home courtesy of Roosevelt Raceway.
As you might expect, his impact on my life continues to this very day. All in all, a life well lived!
As for me where to begin?! The fifty-four years since I graduated from Wheatley have been rewarding on every level. I feel very fortunate and genuinely blessed: family, career, life experiences, etc.
Becky and I celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary this year on July 24th. We met three months before I graduated from Michigan State University with a master's in labor and Employment Relations (1973). She remains my best friend, lover and soulmate. We couldn't be prouder of our son and daughter as they follow their passions. Doug is a Quinnipiac University business graduate (2005). Following five plus years on the corporate track, he left for the West (Yellowstone). He now works for the Big Sky Four Season Resort in Big Sky, Montana (Accounting Manager). Big Sky is the largest ski resort in the Continental US. He has a condo on the mountain and is an avid snowboarder he averages anywhere from 250 to 500 miles per year. Meredith followed me to Penn State (Class 2007) and completed an MBA at American University (2012), lives in DC and works for her third high-tech, high-growth organization, Evolent Health, in Arlington, VA (Sr. Director Operational Performance). Evolent's mission is to help major hospital systems deliver value-based care in the changing world of healthcare, no easy task these days. The company went public in June 2015. The big news for us in 2019 is that both kids are getting married.
The elevator speech : I've worked for two Fortune 100 companies, one Global 1000 company, and two venture capital/management-owned businesses (had an equity position in both) in four different industries (forest products, packaging, consumer products, and for the last fifteen years healthcare). The last twenty-five years I was a Chief Human Resource Officer and worked directly for five different CEO's. All in all, a great ride. I've always believed, if you follow your passion, you won't work a day in your life -- this was true for me. I retired from ConnectiCare, Inc. & Affiliates on May 1, 2015 after 15 years on the Executive Team. CCI (was venture capital/management owned and is now privately held), has approximately two billion in revenue). It is a great company that makes a difference in the lives of the people it serves in Connecticut. The mission: ensure members get the healthcare they need. The brand equity is built on a foundation of excellence in care management and customer service. The leadership and employees of the company live the mission, which is why the company consistently outperforms larger competitors (Aetna, CIGNA, UnitedHealthCare, BC/BS) in both quality of delivery and service
Life Experience: Family, friends, great schools (Northside & Wheatley), Penn State, Michigan State, and the Military (I was one of the original winners of the draft lottery, volunteered to be a paratrooper jumping out of jets in the 82nd Airborne). Also, mentors, working on a farm in Finland the summer of 1968, travel (US and abroad), and community service all made a difference and enriched my life and others. My community service has included: Human Resource Leadership Forum of Southern New England Founding Board Member; MetroHartford Alliance - Chairman Senior HR Taskforce; Penn State University, Affiliated Program Group (School of Labor & ER) - Board Member and Development Chair; Leadership Greater Hartford (mission is to bring the not-for-profit and for-profit organizations in Hartford together to build leaders while building communities - Board Chairman; Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) - Advisory Board Member; University of Pennsylvania , Wharton Research Advisory Group Member; Youth Soccer Coach and Scout Leader.
The Next Chapter! We are enjoying retirement; love the freedom to explore whatever we choose. The world is our oyster and we are going to make the most of it. There are things we want to do, places we want to go, and people we want to spend time with. We sold our home in Connecticut (2015), moved to the home we built in the Orlando area in 2006 and became Florida residents in 2016. We live in a very active community and spend the summers travelling: Montana, Washington DC, Maine, as well as International travel. This year our plans include: a month in Australia & New Zealand, three weeks in the Mediterranean, a hiking trip in Normandy, our daughter's wedding in Virginia, our son's wedding cruise in the Caribbean, and a month in Bozeman, Montana. Feel free to e-mail me at: email@example.com
1967: Mitch Stephens. Triathlon Man/Birthday Boy
Mitch recently completed a Triathlon on Long Island:
His September 1940s-themed birthday party included many a Wheatley graduate
L-R: Sister Beth Stephens (1972); cousin Phil Wild (1972); cousin Michele Sklaire Jacobson (1964); Mitch; friend and classmate Richard Friedman; friend and classmate Art Engoron; friend and neighbor Eva Resnicow (1968).
1967 + 1969 . Then (1969) in Europe; Now (2019) in America
Both photos, L-R - Paul Cantor (1969); Jeff Cohen (1967); Jon Miller (1969); Steve Wechselblatt (1967)
Writes Jon: Our class seems to have dropped the ball on a 50th-year reunion, but we haven't let that stop us. Fifty years ago, Paul Cantor (1969), Jeff Cohen and Steve Wechselblatt (1967), and I (1969) bummed around Europe together. We started reuniting on our 30th anniversary at Jeff's house on Long Island. Ten years later we met again at my house in New Haven. And this year, our 50th reunion was in Asheville, NC at Steve's beautiful home. Mitchell Rosen (1969) joined us and took this year's photo.
P.S. I remain very happily married to Andrea Seaton (1970). Our oldest daughter lives with her husband and three kids in Brooklyn. Her sister lives around the corner here in New Haven with her husband and two daughters. Life is good. (Politics, not so much.)
1969 - Deborah Willard Goldenberg Daughter's Wedding
Writes Deborah : These are my three kids, from left to right - My daughter Stephanie, an elementary school teacher working in a private charter school in Duluth, GA. Next is the Bride, my younger daughter, Jennifer. She is a family therapist. Next is William, an ER Doctor. After he completed 4 years of medical training and 4 years of residency, William was stationed at a Naval base to complete his 4-year obligation to the navy. He was decommissioned with the rank of Lt. Commander. Two years ago he returned to the same naval base, this time as a civilian doctor.
From L to R that's William; Stephanie; my husband Allen; me; Jennifer; David (the groom); David's mother, Barbara; David's father, Steven; and David's older brother, Richard.
What a party?!
1969: James Maxfield, In the Capital of the Lone Star State
Writes James: I'm in my 30th year of teaching at Austin High School in Austin, Texas. Austin is a very cool city, but everybody and his brother wants to come here, making it more and more expensive every year. We're trying to turn Texas blue, or at the very least purple, in 2020. I remember the 1966-67 wrestling team which included Dean Shepard, Shep Messing, and Bobby Scandurra. I also remember bumping into my classmate Rob Rosenthal at the two seminal events of my youth, the Poor People's Campaign in '68 and Woodstock in '69.
1971: Verne Deffner Uvezian, Deceased
Verne passed away in Florida on 9/21/19 after battling various illnesses.
1970: David Berwald, Letter to the Editor of the New York Times 9/18/19
We live in a time when longstanding norms have been smashed or set aside at unprecedented rates. The norm of holding presidential debates should be questioned by the president's opponents.
The 2016 presidential debates devolved into name-calling and outright lying, leaving fields of detritus for the fact checkers to clean up, but the damage was already done. A Democratic National Committee decision to eschew these debates with Mr. Trump, deferring instead to media events with the individual candidates, will allow the primary candidates to campaign on their policies and individual abilities, not their macho characteristics. It will also deprive Mr. Trump of an opportunity to tear down opponents based not on substance, but on craft and stage presence in other words, street fighting.
This will afford the public a better opportunity to cast their votes for the most qualified candidate based upon the issues.
Delray Beach, Fla.
1970: David Packer , Settling Down South
Writes David: Dear Art, Nostalgia grows with age. I lived in Westchester from 2004-2016, but I also moved around over the years, looking for something in academia (Austin, TX) and then in science publishing (Princeton, San Diego, south Florida). I currently work out of Skidaway Island, Georgia, which is part of Savannah, a city beautiful enough for General Sherman to spare at the end of the Civil War. My mother died in 2014, but my father is still very much alive at 95 in Guilford, CT. My sister Susan Packer (Class of 1968) lives in Princeton, having retired from the University a few years ago. How quickly a half century seems to melt away?!
1972: Robert Biancavilla, Love at the Bakery
Left-to-Right : Christine Alt Gnatowsky (1981); Robert; Dolores Gnatowsky, North Side School Librarian for 40+ years and mother of Diane (1974), Steven (1977) and Richard (1979) Gnatowsky; and Steven.
Writes Robert: I love when old friends from high school stop by my bakery.
1974: Peter Sheft - Deceased
Peter Ian Sheft, 63, of New York, New York, passed away on August 28, 2019. He attended Wheatley for eighth and ninth grades, 1969-1971.
Peter was a Senior Financial Advisor and Vice President at Merrill Lynch and co-founder of the Nesser Sheft wealth management team. Peter worked developing and implementing integrated wealth and portfolio management plans for high net worth individuals, corporate executives, endowments, foundations and institutions. Peter's previous investment management experience includes the Private Wealth Management Groups of Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Lehman Brothers.
Prior to his financial services career, Peter practiced law with Phelps Dunbar in New Orleans and the New York litigation law firm of Sheft & Sheft.
Peter graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall School, Duke University (cum laude), and the Georgetown University Law Center. He was active in a number of philanthropic endeavors; he was a member of the board of trustees of 70 Faces Media and a member of the board of directors of My Jewish Learning. He was active with the UJA-Federation of New York, the Jewish Community House in Bensonhurst, N.Y., the New York Association for New Americans, and The Partnership for Jewish Life. He was also a member of the Park Avenue Synagogue.
Peter is survived by his wife Nancy Peretz Sheft and their 13-year-old twins, Suzette and Grant. He is additionally survived by his mother and father, Monique and Leonard Sheft, and his sister and brother-in-law Danielle and Leland Deane and their children Ashby and Galen.
Writes a friend Farewell to an accomplished, warm, caring human being.
1975: Robert Bernstein, Honoring Thomas Kuveikis, Wheatley 1971, 9/11 Victim
Writes Robert - Everyone has his or her 9/11 story and how the sadness, horror and anger of that day has forever affected our lives. I knew many people who died that day - most of whom were college acquaintances with whom I was no longer in contact. For many years I watched every 9/11 memorial as the 3,000 names were read aloud at the solemn ceremonies. Several years later in watching the roll call the name Thomas Kuveikis (Wheatley '71) was read. I literally began to cry. I hadn't had any contact with him since the late 1970s, but Tommy was a very positive influence in my life.
My first paying' job was at Carvel on Glen Cove Road. I was probably 17. Tommy was my manager and coach, teaching me how to make flying saucers, ice cream cakes, brown bonnets, etc. But more importantly, he taught me about work ethics: don't cut corners, respect business, finish the job. He was also great to work with because he was one handsome dude and needless to say attracted a steady stream of regular young ladies.
For years after, I knew he had become a firefighter but again had no contact. In a country of cowardly/corrupt politicians and grossly greedy business leaders, Tommy, at age 48, marched into that building in what he probably knew was a suicide mission. He was a true hero who gave his life attempting to save others, and I honor and cherish his memory.
More about Tom Kuveikis
If there's one
thing Karen Kuveikis Carroll (Wheatley 1973) has learned from the tragic death
of her brother, New York City Firefighter Tom Kuveikis, on 9/11, it's that life
is a gift.
Between 9/11 and two months later, when our father died, my perspective on life changed,' said Carroll, a Wappingers Falls resident. Every day you wake up and get out of bed, be grateful that your feet hit the ground and never take anything for granted.'
Carroll is one of five siblings Kuveikis left on 9/11. He was 48 when he died, worked at Engine Company 252 in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and would have celebrated his 24th anniversary with the FDNY on Sept. 24, 2001.
Kuveikis was known for his generosity to strangers - he would literally give the coat on his back to a homeless person - and Carroll said she tries to emulate that aspect of her brother's character every day.
He would help put out fires on his day off and was never interested in material things,' she said. Every day I wake up, I try to do something for someone, to make a difference. I volunteer in (my children's) school system and I help a man in a nursing home. I like to think it's part of my brother's legacy.'
Like many who lost loved ones on 9/11, Carroll said that sometimes, it feels like 10 years, while other times it feels like the tragedy happened just last year. She and her siblings will head to Ground Zero for the 10-year anniversary, as they have in years past. But she's hoping that others who attend show respect to those who lost loved ones.
This is a time to remember people we loved and lost,' she said. It has disturbed me in the past to go to Ground Zero on 9/11 and see people who aren't paying attention or are talking on their cell phones. If you can't behave yourself, don't come.'
Carroll, who has two boys of her own, said she often sees her brother Tom in her sons.
They love to tease me, and that was my brother Tom. The more he could tease me to get me riled up, the better,' she said.
One thing Carroll said she tries not to do is hold onto the anger she had for the people who killed her brother.
You can't be angry at everyone forever. "The people who did this will get theirs," she said. "My brother would want us to stay strong and know that things will get better."
1976: Carol Ann Dondiego, Wheatley and Sports
Writes Carol: I'm glad to see a fellow Class of 1976 graduate, Paul Giarmo, writing. I wasn't involved in sports at Wheatley, but I agree with what's been written in all the previous newsletters..it's a shame for a high school not to have a football team!
1976 : Paul Giarmo ,Football Builds Character
Writes Paul: I thoroughly enjoy reading Matt Sanzone's recollections about Wheatley's early years - a nice mix of personal memories and school history. Also, I appreciate Patricia Kirk Hefferan's (1961) support regarding Wheatley football and how the Board's refusal to consider football is a form of elitism. The clincher for me was when the Wheatley principal responded to Mr. Hefferan's inquiry by saying, 'Anybody interested in playing football we refer to Carle Place.' That tells you everything you need to know about Wheatley's attitude towards sports. And this attitude has thoroughly infected the student body. At Wheatley's Homecoming Day last year, a Wheatley student even admitted to me that the school had become like a country club,' with few students going out for sports in general, and football in particular. How sad.
Finally, I would like to thank my classmate and football teammate Ted Lipsky for his letter in support of my efforts. Ted and I were teammates for years on the gridiron and were among many who brought back varsity football to Wheatley after a two-year absence. I completely agree with Ted when he says that sports builds character as well as school spirit; and many Wheatley students are sadly lacking in the latter. Enough with the participation trophies - try out for a team and be proud to wear the red and white - we were!
1976: Steven Solow, Remembering Wheatley's 9/11 Victims
Writes Steve: Arthur, I've been thinking about the two Wheatley alums who died on 9/11, Thomas Kuveikis, Class of 1971, and Glenn Kirwin, Class of 1978. Tom was a firefighter and Glenn was a trader in the WTC. Glenn was also my soccer teammate at Wheatley. As I write this, I'm sure many of our classmates are remembering that terrible day.
1982 : Carolyn Greenberg, Deceased
She leaves behind brothers Leonard (1976) and Scott (1980).
1998-1999: Dinner at Toku in Manhasset, NY, August 2019
Clockwise around the table, starting lower left: Marisa Gallagher Leichtling (1998); Jennifer Klein Schwartz (1998); Jessica Brach (1998); Lauren Sutton Potashnick (1998); Neal Gold (1999); Diana Moss (1998); Lindsay Bender Waiser (1998).
1960 (Barbara Frankfort Patrick) As always, a wonderful read; brings back fond memories. Thank you for taking this on.
1962 (Madeleine Wild) Hi Arthur! I really enjoy reading your newsletters. Thank you for doing such a great job.
1963 (Donna Harmelin Rivkin) Each of your newsletters are amazing & well written.
1963 (Donna Kenton) Thanks again for doing this. I greatly appreciate the time you put in on our behalf.
1964 (Brian Stone) Keep up the great work on the Newsletters.
1965 (Cliff Montgomery) Appreciate the effort Arthur. Thanks as always.
1965 (Barbara Ashley) - I always enjoy receiving your Wheatley updates.
1965 (Jane Wild Carrel) Thank you for all your hard work!
1965 (Jane Deutscher Fishman) Thank you, Art, for all your hard work holding the alumni association together with your magnificent reports.
1966 (Suzanne Stone) As always, thank you for inspiring our sentimental passions and collective memories, and for sending bittersweet chills through my body. The Wheatley stories continue to amaze, touching my heart with smiles and tears. Mazel Tov for your extraordinary efforts & accomplishments on behalf of all of us! And thanks for inspiring Wildcats of all generations to reminisce, share, and confess.
1967 (Robert Hecht) Great job with the newsletter and keeping everyone informed!
1968 (Chris Vasan) Those newsletters, your other communications and in-person encounters are like a (non-profit) cottage industry where the cottage residents are flung far and wide. And yes, reinventing their realities over the decades. There's a book or movie in there somewhere, should you ever find the time to enter that reality. My opening scene might be on our Frisbee field in May 1967 - followed by Jon Sarnoff looking the other way as the throng heads for the Roslyn Country Club pool afterward - upon which the whole thing gets 'unstuck in time' to invoke Vonnegut. You deserve the admiration (mine included) for starting this up and keeping it going literally through the ages.' No need to reinvent that.
1969 (James Maxfield) Thanks for doing the newsletter. It's fun to read.
1970 (Robert Lauritsen) Thank you. I enjoy the newsletters, though my experience of Wheatley wasn't all that pleasant. With 50 years of perspective I now understand more about why. I do appreciate all the work you must put into the newsletters.
1970 (David Packer) I admire the work you have done to maintain these high school connections. Fascinating to see the success that so many classmates have found, and sad to read of the deaths of old friends who remain so young and alive in our memories.
1973 (Sally Danto) A line to let you know I really appreciate the Wheatley Newsletters. Many thanks for compiling and sending.
1976 (Ted Lipsky) Thank you Art.
1974 (Joyce Comito Friedman) Art, thank you for all your efforts always. Great issue!
1976 (Carol Ann Dondiego) Many thanks for keeping us Wheatley alumni up-to-date with the Wheatley goings-on! I especially like reading the stories from the earlier alumni.
1977 (Carol McDowell Shaheen) Thanks for all you do for the Wheatley alumni!
That's it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 36. Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.