Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,
Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 37.
Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (1963), you can regale yourself with the first thirty-six newsletters (and other Wheatley data and arcana) at http://www.wheatleyalumni.org/ 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. Amazing!
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.
Ashley Vincenzo and Rahul Ajmera – Award Winners
Ashley won First Prize and Rahul won Third Prize in the High School Category of the New York State Archives' 2019 Student Research Awards.
We’re proud of you and the school.
Howard Storm – Deceased January 2019 – An Appreciation; An Inspiration
Writes Patty Kirk Hefferan (1961) – “ Mr. Storm was one of my most memorable teachers. He taught me to understand and love Shakespeare. He taught my English Honors Class. Mr. Storm is the reason why young people begin to love learning. For him, teaching was not just a vocation, it was a passion that he was gifted to be able pass on. He has always been an important memory for me, as well as an inspiration. I am sure that it is true for a lot of the lives that Mr. Storm touched at The Wheatley School.”
Writes Tim Jerome (1961) – “I was saddened to hear of Howard Storm’s passing. You mentioned that he was an “inspirational teacher.” Well, he certainly was for me. He was one of the teachers who saw and encouraged my interest in theatrical performance. He started me on the road I’m still happily treading. I’m pretty sure that he became the faculty advisor after he encouraged me to launch the Wheatley Dramatics Club in my senior year (see pic).”
Multiclass Reunion -- Success out West! -- More Photos
Here are two more photos from The First Annual (?) Unofficial Bay Area Wheatley Reunion Potluck, conceived and hosted by Larry Rosenthal in his Berkeley back yard on Sunday, September 15, 2019 a picture-perfect day (hence, the photos).
That’s Dean Sheppard (1967) in the foreground; Aldene Gordon (spouse of Barry Gordon, 1965) to his left; and Shelly Levinthal (1968) to her left.
1958 – Robert Holley – Weather Forecaster
Writes Robert – “I spent 12 years of my life getting an education in how to save lives with hurricane forecasting. Mike Garstang, my major professor, and my fellow FSU grad school researchers launched the very first weather data buoy into the Atlantic Ocean off Barbados, West Indies, in the summer of 1968. Mike almost drowned during the placement. I was responsible for archiving and processing much of the data that came off that buoy. I spent three years (1972-75) at the National Data Buoy Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, helping to develop a robust, affordable data buoy that could be deployed all over deep oceans.
Now, there are many hundreds of data buoys feeding prediction models which furnish hurricane tracking information that, when accurately reported, can help avoid panics and tragedies like those we have suffered right here in Miami-Dade.
Since 2005, I have been engaged in private tropical storm forecasting, “The Weather Insider,” that is presented as a public service on our local civic association website at https://fairwayestateshoa.com/weather-insider/
During the 2017 hurricane season, using the European prediction model, the “Insider” predicted within seven miles, thirty hours in advance, the landfall of Hurricane Irma.
B.S., Meteorology - FSU 1962
M.S., Physical Oceanography - FSU 1972
“The Weather Insider”
1960 – Lorraine (“Laurie”) Enos Dendtler – Deceased
Lorraine died on Wednesday, September 4, 2019, in St. Louis, MO. Born October 30, 1942 in Mineola, New York, the daughter of Mildred and William Enos, she graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA in 1964. She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Dale; her children Jennifer (Mike) Hojnacki and Emily (Tim) Nolan; grandchildren, Grace and Lucy Morris, Michael and Emily Hojnacki, Christopher and Katie Nolan.
1960 – Renee Gershen Nadel – Use Your Yearbook
Writes Renee – “Thanks to Matt Sanzone for reminding us of wonderful Wheatley times. And if any of you still have the GOLD 1960 Aurora, check it out as well for lots of good memories. I was editor of that year's Aurora, and I know that our goal was exactly that---preserve the memories for the future. I hope that we were successful!”
1960 – Judith Schuh Seelig – Deceased
Writes sister Marjorie Schuh Silver (1966) – “I'm sad to report the passing of my sister, Judy Schuh Seelig, on October 26, 2019 in Glendale, California. It was rather sudden and appears she did not suffer. It's pretty much the death she wanted, albeit perhaps a bit sooner than she wanted.”
1961 - Mark Luria - Appreciates Matt Sanzone (1959) and Wheatley
Writes Mark – “Who knew that Matt Sanzone is not only a great athlete and a really terrific person, but he’s also a very talented and entertaining writer?! There were and are so many of our alumni that have gone on to be contributing members of society, and I really love hearing their stories. We are not all doctors and lawyers and Indian Chiefs, but that is not important. We share a past, and the essence of what Wheatley was and what it is today, and how it contributed to shaping our lives. The sweet memories conjured from so many people's stories help stimulate my memories and remind all of us what a great opportunity Wheatly provided. Of course, not everyone has positive memories. We were teenagers and human, and the circumstances were different for each of us. The sadness of losing people is also part of the real world and affects us all.”
1961 – Maddi Wild – Response by Ken Gallard, 1968
Writes Ken - “Say Art...I briefly scanned through the new newsletter (# 36) and caught that bit from Maddi Wild (1962) referencing being married to Roy Blumenfeld, the Blues Project drummer. I did not know Maddi, but I had to laugh at her saying, "some of you may remember them.” What, are you kidding??? Anybody who was paying attention to cutting-edge music at the time knew who those guys were. And yes...I still listen to them. What a great band!? Go get 'em Roy...and Maddi, too! Thanks, Ken”
1962 – Sylvia (“Tina”) Porini Leland Duke – Deceased
Writes classmate Ruth Rennert – “Tina lived an exciting, joyful, adventurous life filled with many friends and family members who greatly adored and loved her and will greatly miss her.”
Writes widower Steven Duke (a Yale Law School Professor) – “Tina finally succumbed on 3/5/19. She was ready to go. We had a nonreligious memorial event for her on May 11th here in Fairfield, Connecticut. Our families would love to hear from her classmates and friends at STEVEN.DUKE@YALE.EDU.” Tina’s sister Cynthia Porini Kirby (1959) predeceased her; sister Claudia Porini Olson (1970) survives her.
1964 – Elvira (“Vivi”) Cilmi Kunz, Nancy Gittleson Hodson, and Vandana Bhole
Elvira (“Vivi”) Cilmi Kunz and Vandana Bhole
Nancy Gittleson Hodson, Elvira (“Vivi”) Cilmi Kunz and Vandana Bhole
Writes Vivi – “A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Nancy Gittleson Hodson letting me know that our special Indian foreign exchange student, Vandana Bhole, was in the states for a family event and would be staying with Nancy for a few days. Nancy was so generously trying to get together the people who knew and loved Vandana 55years ago. We were actually able to have a lovely dinner together! How great it was to remember all those wonderful times walking the hallways of Wheatley hand-in-hand Indian style! Of course, it was like we had no years between us. We relished the music in our lives that remains today and that we enjoyed at my mom’s after her first lasagna dinner. Vandana’s smile and laughter brought back the genuine appreciation we had for each other so long ago. It was truly a treat to spend time reminiscing about our Wheatley year together. Thank you to Nancy and her wonderful hospitality!”
1964 – Richard Maxfield – Remembered by His Brother James (1969)
Writes Jimmy – “October 17th will mark the one-year anniversary of the sudden passing of my brother, Dr. Richard Maxfield. Richard was an outstanding psychologist in Topeka, Kansas, where he first went to be part of the staff at the Menninger Clinic. He later had a private practice for 28 years and was a past president of the Kansas Psychological Association. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Susan, his son Jacob and daughter Amelia, and his 2 grandsons, Ian and Kai. While at Wheatley, Rich had many friends and was a co-captain of the football team with his best friend, Frank (‘Binky’) Brescia.”
1967 – Susan Altman Feit – Daughter’s Nuptials
Susan’s daughter, Rebecca Feit, was married to Blane Digiacomo on October 22, 2018. https://www.theknot.com/us/rebecca-feit-and-blane-digiacomo-oct-2019/photos/2120054
1967 – Arthur Engoron – Freedom of Information + Council Censure
1968 – Lisa Mintz Harris – Brother Bill and Granddaughter Cora
Writes Lisa – “My brother Bill, Class of 1964, a wonderful artist, passed away back in 1966, but he will always be in everybody's hearts. Here’s a photo of Bill and me when we were kids:
I am a retired educator and case worker and a published writer and photographer. Most important of all, I am a proud nana of Cora, two years old, who, in the photo is dressed as…..you guessed it…..Batgirl.”
1968 and 1969 – Joel Blumenthal + Sarah (“Sookey”) Rosenberg Aldag – Small-World Story
Writes Joel - “So I'm attending a late summer garden party and helping myself to some of the fresh oysters being served up from the Oyster River here in Durham, New Hampshire, our home since 2005. A lovely lady next to me is cracking open the cocktail sauce and horseradish for garnish. A mutual friend happens to mention something about her high school on Long Island.
‘Where did you live on Long Island?’
‘Oh really, did you go to Wheatley?’
‘Yes I did.’
And so I connected with Sookey Rosenberg from Strawberry Lane, Class of 1969. She has lived in Lee, NH, near Durham (same school district) since 1996, and we agreed that though we had no idea who each other was in Wheatley days (I lived on Parkway Drive), as neighbors we will no doubt be reconnecting again!”
Jirka Kende – 1968 – A Short But Memorable Time at Wheatley
Jirka Then, In Prague
Writes Jirka – “Hi Arthur, I was at Wheatley for only a short time, but maybe some people remember me. Here are a few memories and a short autobiography.
At the age of 17 years the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia in Summer 1968 caught me in the US, where I spent my summer holidays at the home of my uncle, Viktor Glaser, the father of my second cousins George (1965) and Tom (1968) Glaser, both Wheatley graduates, in Roslyn Heights. As going back to Prague was impossible for the time being, I decided to attend the local high school, Wheatley.
It was a great experience; the school was so different from what I knew from Prague, free discussions instead of just listening to the teachers! Me and an Afro-American girl, who was at Wheatley for one year and as far as I remember the only one at the school, were asked to go from class to class and tell our stories, me about the “socialism with a human face” in Czechoslovakia, and she about her experiences as an Afro-American. Besides many other things I learned about life in the US, the racial issue was new to me, just as was the drug culture, which was widely spread among the students at that time – in Prague we preferred cold beer ðŸ˜‰, but I’ll never forget the “high experience” during the Cream concert at Madison Square Garden that I attended with some fellow students…
After a few months, at Christmas 1968, I left the US to go back to Europe, first to the UK, where my sister stayed after the Russian invasion, and then back to Prague, hoping to help to save the “socialism with a human face” which, as you might know, unfortunately didn’t work out. In 1971 I met a girl from West Berlin, which until 1989, when the wall fell down, was the so-called “Island in the Red Sea,” surrounded by the German Democratic Republic, which was a Soviet satellite. In 1973 we got married in Prague, and I moved to Berlin, where I studied economics and, after that, library science, and started to work at the University Library of the Free University of Berlin. After some years working as a librarian, I became the deputy director and was mainly responsible for the IT systems of all libraries of the university, introducing in 2017 the most modern cloud-based library system, “Alma.” Parallel to my job in the university library, I was for 10 years Chair of the International User Group (IGeLU) of the company (Ex Libris), which produced the library IT system we used. Members of this organization are also in many US libraries; for example, Ivy League members like Harvard and Princeton, and schools such as MIT; and so, over the years I kept in close contact with the US, not only because of my relatives, but also through many American colleagues. I finished my career last year as the managing director of the University Library. Since 1973 I have lived in Berlin; I am married and have a 35-year-old son.
In spite of the difficult times that brought me to Wheatley, I wouldn’t want to have missed the few months I spent there; and from time to time I still like to think of the many friendly fellow students and teachers I encountered there and their understanding of my special situation!”
Jirka Now, In Berlin
1969 + 1973 – L-R - Michael Lorenzo (1969), Bonnie Greenberg (1973), and Gary Metzger (1969) – Out West
1970 – Stefani Fusey Valadez - Remembering Merle Levine
Writes Stefani - “THANK YOU, ART. I was so sad to read about Merle Levine. She was one of my favorite teachers (along with “Bullet” Bob Bernstein, Alicia Mira, and Bernie Seiderman). Merle’s son was my boyfriend before I moved out to LA in 1969. BTW, I loved reading the latest Wheatley Alumni Newsletter; the pictures were great! I wish I had known about the Berkley reunion; I could’ve come up from LA., especially as Willa Kozupsky remains a dear friend. Reading the obits is always sad and sobering. Take good care, Stefani Fusey. PS & FYI - I slipped in between years. My actual class should’ve been 1970, but I graduated in 1969, right after finishing 12th grade English in Summer School, which allowed me to graduate a year early & get out of Long Island. I finished the year with Woodstock & moved to LA in that order. ðŸ˜š”
1979 – 40th Year Reunion – 10/19/19 – Seasons 52, Roosevelt Field, Long Island, NY
1985 – Jared Goldstein – NYC Tour Guide
Writes Jared – “I just celebrated 14 years as a licensed professional NYC Sightseeing Guide. Some of my best work revolves around themes and biographies, like my John and Yoko tour, Santa Claus NYC History tour (written up in the New York Times and The Forward). I have developed tours about the Highline and Sustainability for St. John's, as well as the Sociology of the Highline & Hudson Yards for Hauppauge High School.
One highlight was showing classmate Steven Weinstein's wonderful family around Greenwich Village.
I love that I keep learning and meeting people who want to learn and enjoy themselves. Interested people can learn more at http://JaredtheNYCTourGuide.com .
I stay in touch with classmates Michael Prager and Russell Rosenberg, and sometimes pal around with Beasley, Jeff Young, Alex Barnett, Martin Rosenburgh, and other fine fellas. Lots of good Wheatley Memories. Many others are in my heart and thoughts.”
More on Football – Reactions Welcome
Nothing to do with Wheatley in particular; just a perennial issue in school sports.
Guidance Counselor (Wes Berkowitz) – “Wonderful keepsake issue Art! Thank you!”
1958 (Audrey Warde Muccio) – “Thanks for the updates.”
1960 (Richard Braunstein) – “I very much love your publication.”
1961 (Mark Luria) – “Hi Art, I want to congratulate you on the incredible achievement you have pulled off. When I was first informed of your attempt to put together the 50th-year reunion for Wheatley, I was skeptical about anyone accomplishing such a monumental undertaking, especially with the time constraints you were working under and the fact that you were also a full-time working judge. As I was involved in the reunions for my class’s 30th through 50th, I was aware of how demanding the task could be. On top of putting the reunion together, you have now managed to continue to provide the very valuable and continuously interesting newsletter. Fantastic!! So thank you for your continued effort on behalf of all the people who attended Wheatley. Keep up the great work. Warm regards, Mark Luria”
1963 (Stephen Shikes) – “Art, I spent the morning reading the newsletter. Many thanks to you and Keith for keeping the flame. It's not only that Wheatley made a difference in our lives, it made it possible for us to make a difference in other people's lives.”
1964 (Elvira Cilmi Kunz) – “Hi Art, Once again, thank you for keeping us connected!”
1966 (Bette Spiro Neuman) – “Hi Art, A shout out to you for this newsletter. I look for names I know every time it arrives. News of how it’s going for everyone matters to me. Thanks.”
1966 (Suzanne Stone) – “Dear Art, Thanks for another fascinating read. I was especially touched by the cherished memories of Thomas Kuveikis. He was a very special man.”
1967 (Robert Jacobs) – “Hi Art, Kudos again for another informative and interesting newsletter. I hadn’t realized that Wheatley alums were directly affected by 9/11. Wheatley really was a microcosm of the country through the life and careers of the alumni (although through rarified air, given our educational boost). Mitch Stephens is in better shape now than during all of the Irwin August and Bill Lawson’s gym classes. Congrats to him! Fun to see the Rosenthal brothers. I spent a lot of time at their house on Pebble Lane. Thanks for keeping us informed and the work that you do. Bob(by)”
1967 (Corinne Zebrowski Kaufman) – “Hi Arthur, Terrific as always! Thank you, and all who contributed, for a great newsletter.
1970 (Willa Kozupsky) – “Thanks for all you do for all of us scattered Wildcats!”
1972 (Joel Harris) – “Art: Thank you for putting together these great newsletters/updates. Always fun to read….”
1973 (Edward B. [“Woody”] Ryder) – “Bravo. When it comes to these alumni newsletters Art, you're truly a ‘learned hand.’”
1974 (Robert [“Bob”] Berta) – “Hi Art, Good job, as always. Keep the issues coming.”
1975 (Heidi Mok Sorenson) – “Thank You for spending so much time on the newsletters.”
1975 (Taras “Terry” Sawchuk) – “Hi Art, Thank you for all of your efforts to keep the Newsletter going and helping us keep up with Wheatley current events. Take care & thanks again, Terry.”
1979 (Gwendolyn [“Wendy”] McClure) – “Thank you, Arthur! Very touching and special! Love, Wendy M. McClure '79”
1980 (Cheryl Feidner Murad) – “ Thank you for keeping everyone in touch. Wheatley was a very special HS experience.”
1980 (Norman Levine) – “I enjoy seeing what’s going on.”
1985 (Jared Goldstein) – “Thanks for the newsletters! Lots of perspectives gained and memories stoked. Keep up the wonderful work.”
1986 (Barbara Kayton Talbot) – “Thank you for sending the Wheatley updates! I have been so impressed with the impact people have had on others following their time at The Wheatley School. Thinking back to my Wildcat days, I can remember the goals of the teachers: show up, do your best, and ask for help if you need it… because time goes past quickly, and this is just the beginning of a future of learning. Our education was a wonderful gift, and the teachers made sure you knew its value. Please keep the newsletters coming!”
That's it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 37. Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.