The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter #55, January 22,2021


Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,

Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 57:



The Usual Words of Wisdom


Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (Class of 1963), you can regale yourself with the first 56 Newsletters (and other Wheatley data and arcana) at  Also thanks to Keith is our handy-dandy, super-duper search feature, prominently displayed on our home page:  type in a word or phrase (such as your name) and, voila, you’ll find every place it exists 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 am a card-carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union, and I do not censor ideas, which often are not the same as mine (although I do filter out the occasional personal attack, if it goes beyond mere disagreement or criticism).  Particularly given the current political climate, with its deep divides, please remember that in publishing material I am not taking sides or advocating for or against any thing or any one, I am only distributing what people send me.  I do not have a fact-checking department, and I do not vouch for the accuracy of what people tell me, although occasionally I correct obvious errors or refuse to publish blatant falsehoods.  I consider “Newsletter-worthy” anyone being quoted or featured in what I’ll call “traditional media,” no matter what they are saying or for what they stand.


Please let me know if you will permit me to publish your email address, snail-mail address, and/or telephone number, along with anything you send me, or just standing alone.  If you do not indicate either way, I’ll assume that you are “opting out” (i.e., that you do not want me to publish any of your contact information).  Scores of alumni email addresses can be found on the Wheatley Public Directory,


I welcome any and all text and photos relevant to The Wheatley School and the people who taught and/or studied there.



Public Service Announcement

Submitted by Robert Scandurra, 1967 – “INCREDIBLE site if you love music. ENJOY!

The Nostalgia Machine




Photo of the Old (and New) Guard, Approx. 2005, the Diner at Glen Cove Road and Jericho Turnpike.

A group of people posing for a photo

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Writes Art Engoron (who took the photo) – “Identifications are uncertain and incomplete, but here’s my best shot (L-R): ??? (daughter of the next ???); Elizabeth O’Connor Bradley; ??? (mother of the first ???); Carolyn Wilfert; ???; Elizabeth Auerbach; Bob Bernstein (hands on EA’s shoulders); ???; Joseph McCormack; Ruth Rockmore; Jack (“Cat”) Davis; Ms. Rutenberg; Walter Wathey; Edward Ouchi; ???; ???; ???.  More complete (and accurate?) IDs will follow in next newsletter.”



Phyllis Johnson

Writes Scott Frishman (1967) - I had a major league crush on Ms. Johnson, who I think  taught me French one or two years.  Now that I see that she was only 23-26 years old I don’t feel so bad😊.  “Voila Monsieur Thibaut; Voila Madame Thibaut; Madame Thibaut et la femme de Monsieur Thibaut”





1961 – Richard Kopelman – Wildcat Writer”


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Writes Richard – “Here’s a note about the book I authored that was published in 2020.  The attached captures the essence of my 20-year endeavor.



1965 - Robert Gregory – Occasional Bursts of Brilliance

Writes Bob – “Over the past 1 1/2 years I have been trying to answer the question, "Who am I?"  I have reshaped my autobiography numerous times in that period.  This is not the usual "jaw dropping" bio.  I've always considered myself to be about average, with occasional bursts of brilliance.

I am the adopted son of Willoe and Mildred Gregory, a blessing that I will never forget.  My sister, Jane, was adopted also.  We lived on Charles Street.  I attended the North Side School from Kindergarten through most of fourth grade.  It was in the third grade that Mrs. Irvine taught me American history.  There was something special about the Civil War; the gallantry, the strategy, and the heroes that inspired my life-long interest.

Early in the morning of March 2, 1957, our community was awakened by the sound of sirens.  My father, the newest member of the East Williston Volunteer Fire Department, dressed hastily and left the house.  We peered out of a second story window and saw flames rising above the homes in the direction of the North Side School.  Later that morning my father returned home and confirmed our fears.  On that day hundreds of students gathered in front of the school sobbing and with looks of disbelief.

I was made to take accordion lessons, the party instrument I was told, ha!  I also took ballroom dancing lessons, for which I am very thankful.  I enjoy dancing today.  I was on the Junior Varsity wrestling team for two years and delivered newspapers for a little spending money.  Looking back, I should have shaped a career around my Math skills, but I didn't.  I scored in the 98th percentile on my SAT.

After graduation I was on my own and missed some opportunities due to poor time management.  Call me a late bloomer.  I attended Pennsylvania Military College (“PMC”) as a full-time cadet in the Engineering program.  That didn't go well.  In my second year I switched to Economics.  I took advantage of many programs offered by the local YMCA, including First Aid, CPR, Senior Lifesaving, and SCUBA (self-contained under-water breathing apparatus) diving.  I formed the PMC-SCUBA Club, and the next summer I attended a two-day working seminar to earn my Instructor certification.  I gave many students the opportunity to enjoy the under-water world over the years.   

One night at school I was awakened by a commotion in the hall.  I peeked out my door to find four students staring at a body on the floor.  I dashed down the hall to find a student lying on his back, face covered in blood, a pool of blood beneath his head and convulsing.  He had slipped while running down the hall and slid into the corner of a medal door-frame.  I ordered one student to call 911.  I sent the other students scavenging for a towel, a pillow to elevate his legs and a blanket.  I carefully dabbed the blood from the student's head until I found a long gash.  I applied direct pressure to the wound until the ambulance arrived.  Two days later he was released from the hospital and thanked me for saving his life.    

My second year at PMC ended in disaster.  I had a bout with mononucleosis (the sleeping disease).  I moved back to Long Island with a very few credits.  I spent the next summer as a life-guard at the Mineola Community Pool.  In a proud moment that I will never forget, while on duty, a young child jumped off the high diving board.  He began to struggle in the water.  Seconds later his sister landed behind him and grabbed his shoulders, pulling him under the water.  I dove into the pool and rescued both children simultaneously.  As I climbed out of the pool I was greeted with a standing ovation.

In 1969 I had to make a life-changing decision, either move to Florida with my parents who retired or stay on Long Island and become self-sufficient.  I decided to stay.  I enlisted in the U. S. Navy and proudly continued a tradition started by my father and father-in-law, who served during WWII.  

Two assets that I had going for me were determination and motivation.  Getting back on track, I took classes during the day at Long Island University and worked the grave-yard shift at the Post Office in Hicksville to pay my expenses.  I continued to earn 12 credits per semester until I finally finished my degree in Economics.  I married Maureen Daly (East Meadow High School).  I was hired by General Motors Acceptance Corp. into their Collections Department as a Field Rep.  I was promoted to Credit Rep.  Later, I assumed the duties of the Asset Disposal Supervisor in an office that eventually closed in 1985.  Meanwhile we bought a home in Holbrook.  Maureen gave me my two greatest blessings, my sons , Rob and Ryan.  Rob married Shanelle Luna, who gave birth to Nolan.  Ryan married Marie Perry, who gave birth to Gavin and Patrick.

I spent the next six years as the Compliance Manager for Marine Midland Automotive Financial Corporation, supervising a department of six employees and auditing our regional offices.  During that time I earned the coveted Marine Midland annual "Award of Excellence" for personally recovering millions of dollars of accounts receivables.  It was no 40 hour a week job, but it was very self-satisfying, and I was well compensated.    

In 1991 the company was sold to Ford Credit Company doing business as "PRIMUS Automotive Financial Corporation,” south of Nashville, Tennessee.  I supervised four departments before I was appointed to a special Procedure Development Team.  PRIMUS was dissolved in 2001.  All of the employees were absorbed into Ford Credit.  I avoided a lay-off late in my career by taking a position in the Collections Department hunting for dead-beats on the Skip-tracing Team.  I retired in 2009.

During my employment with PRIMUS / Ford Credit I formed the Blood Drive Recruitment Committee and chaired it for 10 years.  We collected more than 5,000 units of blood and led Williamson County businesses in blood collections every year.  In 1994, I received the PRIMUS quarterly "Satisfaction In Action Award" for my contribution to the blood drive.   I served as the Financial and Fund-raising chairs on the Board of Directors, Williamson County Chapter of the American Red Cross from 1998-2000.  During that time we broke all of their fund-raising records.  In 2000, I was presented with the Red Cross "Exceptional Volunteer Service" award at a luncheon in my honor.  A short bio of my accomplishments appeared in the book "Tennessee's Volunteer Heroes, 2001."  In 2002, I received the "President's Award" for my dedication to blood services.  It didn't end there!  In December 2020 I was awarded a certificate of accomplishment for reaching the 20 gallon level, a journey that began with a needle-stick in 1984.

In 1994 I purchased a well rusted and neglected 1957 Ford ‘Fairlane 500.’  During the drive home I had to open all of the windows because the exhaust fumes were choking me.  It began to rain.  The windshield wipers didn't work.  I was soaked.  It was at that point that I realized that I may have made a mistake.  After two years of restoration work and detailing, a new paint job, a continental kit, sport mirrors and a rear deck antenna, my car was ready to turn heads at any car show.  I sold it in 2006.

A red and white car

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Robert’s restored1957 Ford ‘Fairlane 500’

The two weeks of training to be a Technical Writer were crucial in later-life by giving me the organizational skills to become the author / self-publisher of "Civil War Ordnance, An Introduction" and "The Forty-Second New York Infantry, 1861-1864" (available on Amazon and at most Civil War National Park book stores), which I published in 2011 and 2019, respectively, through my company, Potomac Publishing Co.  I have also written numerous articles for related publications. 

Maureen lost a two-year battle with cancer in 2016.  I was her only care-giver.  I recovered from the trauma, then I moved on.  Two years later I met my life-partner, Fay Copeland.  We live in a gated community in the rolling hills of Mount Juliet, TN.  I have enjoyed cruising the western, southern and twice the eastern islands of the Caribbean.  I have traveled to Germany, Austria and Italy.  I enjoy spending time on my power boat and playing billiards.  I stay fit by swimming laps and playing Pickleball (twice a medalist in the Senior Olympics, Men's Doubles).  Since my wife passed away I have taken an interest in cooking (perhaps out of necessity).  I am constantly trying new recipes.  Life has been good!

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Robert in his boat, named, "FOLLOW MY DREAM."



1966 – Charles Adron Trantum – Deceased

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Writes his union (Theatrical Stage Employees, Local One) – “March 3, 2021, Dear Brothers, Sisters, Kith and Kin,
It is with a deep sense of sadness and regret that I must report to you the passing of our 32-year Member, Brother Charles Trantum, on March 1, 2021.  Brother Trantum was the Head Soundman at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury for many years and worked throughout the Nassau County jurisdiction.  He was born in 1948 and served our country in The United States Navy.  Brother Trantum was initiated into Local 340 in 1989, becoming a member of Local One with the merger.
He is survived by his wife, La Young Trantum; his two sons, Leland and Charles Trantum II; his daughter, Elizabeth Stogden; and his grandson, Kasch Stogden.
Reposing:  Moloney’s Hauppauge Funeral Home, 840 Wheeler Road (Route 111), Hauppauge, NY  11788.  Phone:  631-830-6003
Viewing:  Sunday, March 7, 2021 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the funeral home.
Interment:  Private due to COVID Regulations.
Brother Charlie will be missed by family and friends alike. May his soul Rest in Peace.

1967 + 1970 – Ginny Bindman Westerfeld and Jacquelyn Finger Hall – We Are Everywhere!

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Writes Ginny – “Hi Art, I ran into a fellow Wheatley graduate on the beach walkway at the Florida condo I’m staying at on Hutchinson Island, Jensen Beach, near Stuart, Florida.  We discovered in our conversations that we both graduated from Wheatley.  Her name is Jackie Finger (Hall), and she graduated in 1970 (on left).  Small world!  We thought we would pass along the photos.  Best regards, Ginny Bindman Westerfeld”


1967 – Art Engoron – Two Photos

Dad and Mom at Home, Circa 2000

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With Lawyers and Other Strangers, February, 2021, at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, Manhattan – The two brothers are on the far left; I’m on the far right.


1967 - Scott Frishman – Wheatley Athlete

Writes Scott – “I tried out for the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Team but was never quite good enough.  Coach August had suggested I do so, as my arms were always pretty strong.  Those recollections of the team that did so well were great.  I was on her Cross-Country team in 9th and 10th grades.  We had a strong team that included Richard Rasmussen, Paul (“Flea”) Ingrassia, and Paul Riefberg.


I was fair at best but loved competing.  Many people felt that Coach August was too tough, and like a Marine Drill Sargent; but  I always liked and respected him; and he liked me because he saw I always gave a lot of effort.  He was a taskmaster but was fair and had a great heart.


I remember our running in Suffolk County on the Long Island Expressway Service Road, up and down hills.  We also ran around what was the National Guard area off Harbor Hill Road in East Hills, where East Hills Park is now situated, around the corner from where I currently live.  We used to run in Old Westbury, as well.


To quote Julia Roberts in ‘Pretty Woman,’ ‘Stay Cool.’”



1967 – Leslie Metzger – Marries Gary Mantello

May be an image of Leslie Metzger, standing and flower

Writes classmate Kathy Saunders Melloh – “It was great to meet Gary and see Leslie in Vero Beach.  Her Dad lives in Boca and recently turned 100.  He sang ‘da, da, da-da,’ which was his version of ‘Here Comes the Bride.’  She held his hand as he ‘walked’ her down the ‘aisle’ in a wheel chair.”



1973 – Gail Gimbel – Classic photos


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L-R – Michael Reinhardt; Gail Gimbel; Dale Kramer; Leslie Rosenblatt; ???; ???


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Pictured are Gail Gimbel, Dana Devon, Bonnie Greenberg, Laraine Hare, Amy Hershcopf

1975 - Kendall Brautigam - Remembered

Writes classmate Sallie Burch – “Kendall Brautigam was my next door neighbor for 7 years.   I am saddened by our loss. Kendall was my first friend in East Williston.”

Writes classmate Robert Vincze – “Kendall Brautigam always made you smile.  God bless his family.”

1978 – Bradley Feuer – Surgeon and Author

Writes Brad – “Serving as Chief Surgeon of the Florida Highway Patrol, I recently had an article, "First Responder Peer Support: An Evidence‑Informed Approach,” published in the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology (January 2021).



1986 – Vincent Ferragamo – Music Man (“Like it was Yesterday”)

Writes Vinnie – “I welcomed 2021 with Covid-19.  It was not too horrible but still kept me out of work for 2 weeks.  Recently I came across a few photos that bring back some amazing memories.


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Willets Road School Jazz Band, circa December 1980.  “That's me on the piano.  We were led by teacher Mark Meyers, who was and still is my musical mentor.  To this day we still talk about Frank Sinatra and other musical memories.



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In my senior year we were able to take Work-Study, a class ran by Mrs. Elizabeth O’Connor Bradley.  We had to take a few morning classes and then go out and work our part-time jobs.  We were a small class and these two pictures were from a field trip in September 1985.  Mrs. Bradley took us out on a charted fishing boat!!!  How cool is that??!!  The photo above was taken bright and early in the Wheatley parking lot... Life seemed pretty simple back then.



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Here we are on the fishing boat:  Mrs. Bradley, Vinnie Ferragamo, Agostino Martins, Greg Slayton, Glen Sansone, Diane Dowdell, Arlette Noboa, John Kern.  I can still remember like it was yesterday.”



Photo Quiz Answer

Writes Art  - “I believe that the couch sitters, L-R, are Tom (1967), Paul (Chaminade), Andy (1965), and Jimmy (1970) Doyle.  Their two younger siblings are in front.

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Fan Mail and a Few Miscellaneous E-Mail Addresses and Comments



1965 (Robert Gregory) – “Thank you so much for your dedication and hard work to keep the Wheatley alumni together and well informed.”


1966 (Angel Di Benedetto) -; 206 849-3915


1967 (Scott Frishman) –; “As always, a great Newsletter, and particularly interesting.  My mother was friendly with Merry Orling’s mother, Marie, who was French.”


1967 (Corrine Zebrowski Kaufman) – “Dear Arthur, I so appreciate the time and energy it takes to keep us all connected. Many thanks to you and Keith for keeping it going.  Warmest regards, Corinne”


1972 (Susan French) – “Keep going with the updates on our classmates.”

1972 (Robert Porrello) –


1975 (Sallie Burch) – “Thank you, Art, The newsletter brings me such joy each month.  Kendall Brautigam was my next door neighbor for 7 years.   I am saddened by our loss. Kendall was my first friend in East Williston.  Again, you rock, Art  Fondly, Sallie Burch”


1977 (Bradley Feuer) – ‘Thank you for all that you do.”


1979 (Amy Gould) – “Love the newsletter!  Read Cathy Rath’s book!”

1982 (Jeff Zaremsky) – “Thank you for including my segment with the other interesting stories.


1986 (Vincent Ferragamo) – “I love your Newsletters and am always looking forward to the next one.  Keep up the awesome work and thank you.”



That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 57.  Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.


Arthur Fredericks Engoron

The Wheatley School Class of 1967