Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 59:
Reminders – Please use email@example.com or 646-872-4833 to reach me. I’ll continue to check my AOL accounts, but they constantly underperform. If you haven’t in a year or more, please check the Lost List, http://wheatleyalumni.org/Lost/Lost%20List.html, to help us “Find” people.
Thanks – To Ken Gallard, Paul Riefberg, Chris Srinivasan (all 1968), Lesley Kelman Koeppel (1983), and others (“virtue is its own reward”) for recent help.
The Usual Words of Wisdom
Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (Class of 1963), you can regale yourself with the first 58 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 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 our 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 (although I do filter out the occasional personal attack if it goes beyond mere disagreement or criticism). Particularly given the current polarized political climate, 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.
If you send me anything, please indicate whether I can publish it and/or your contact information. Scores of alumni email addresses can be found on the Wheatley Public Directory, http://wheatleyalumni.org/PublicDirectory.htm
We welcome any and all text and photos relevant to The Wheatley School and the people who administered, taught and/or studied there.
1961 – Jerry Mintz – Letter to the Editor of Newsday
Writes Art Engoron – Jerry is Wheatley’s first and foremost Educational Revolutionary!
1964 – John F. Sullivan – Doing Well and Doing Good in Kansas City, MO
Writes John – “In 1960 I transferred to Wheatley from Westbury, so I did not have the opportunity of the Northside/Willets Road educational development process.
While at Wheatley, I enjoyed average to minimal scholastic success, no athletic ability, and occasional bullying by a person(s) no longer with us.
I remember not doing well on the Marine Corps Physical Fitness test at Wheatley, only to find myself doing daily workouts in physical training (PT) on Parris Island 6-8 years later in basic training as part of a 6-year Marine Corps Reserve enlistment.
I remember Dr. August as not only a great guy but as someone who scaled the ropes in the gym using only his arms and upper body strength. For me, who used upper-body and wrapping the rope around my feet to push up on the rope, that was an impressive feat. I can still visualize him doing it.
Life, in my 75th year has been good. Rebecca, my bride of 29 years, and I enjoy the blessings of 4 children between us, their 4 spouses and 4 grandchildren.
I chair (and volunteer at) a homeless Ministry in Kansas City, MO. We are doing well and have made connections where some people on the streets have actually changed their lives. A lady who was a drug addicted prostitute since she was 15 came to us and said she wanted to get into recovery. She did and has changed her life direction – we keep in touch with her. She recently sent us $200 to thank us for what we did for her. That is and always will be a memorable gift. Anyone who is thinking of volunteering at a homeless Ministry should do it. When a person has left the streets, drug sales or use, prostitution, or other aberrant behavior, their countenance changes from fear, desperation and panic to serenity and peace. It is a visible, moving sign that a life has changed. Pretty awesome stuff. We should have a website going live in the next month or two. I will share the address once it is operational.
Regards, John F. Sullivan, (M) 913 219 3123, (E) firstname.lastname@example.org
1966 – The Kent Family – Alison Remembers Her Parents
With great sorrow I write to inform everyone of the death of my parents. Many knew my dad, Donald S. Kent, as their physician. He died at 100 on February 22. My mom, Madelaine, who classmates may remember as a Brownie and Girl Scout troop leader and Wheatley PTO president, died 16 days later at 97.
They had been living in the “Independent Living” section of The Amsterdam in Port Washington. The only reason that they were able to stay there is because of the astounding and loving care that they received from my brother, Bill (1975). Mom and Dad lived wonderful lives, travelled to just about every corner of the world, were married weeks short of their 75th anniversary, and were still playing duplicate bridge until about two years ago.
They are survived by their four children, Alison (1966) (and Ed) Bermant, Stephen Jace (1969) (and Debra), Ilene (1972), and William (1975); two grandchildren, Jason (and Lyssa) Bermant and Carrie (and Jamie) Bornstein; and five great grandchildren, Brady and Cody Bermant, Eliana, Dov, and Jonah Bornstein.
To lose both parents within such a short time (not Covid related, thank G-d) was a terrible shock. But we are all grateful and feel blessed for the many years we had with them and that they lived to see Joe Biden elected President.”
1967 – Art Engoron – With some Buddies at Peter Luger Steak House, Brooklyn
Writes Art – “The NY Times trashed this venerable place in a review about two years ago. The food and service were fine, but the German fried potatoes (similar to hash browns, but drier) were much better at Wolfgang’s, at Park Avenue and 33rd Street in Manhattan. Unfortunately, that place is deafening. Keens, on West 36th Street, proved terrific in all respects. In case you haven’t been paying attention, that’s me on the far right. My good buddy, Scott, a lawyer, and his brother, Keith, a doctor, are to my immediate right.”
1967 – Graduate in the News
https://www.boweryboogie.com/2021/05/city-postpones-certification-of-controversial-soho-noho-rezoning/ (Warning – Not all statements are accurate). Excerpt: “Several neighborhood groups had sued the city on Friday to halt the controversial rezoning due to a lack of in-person public meetings. However, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron denied the request for a temporary restraining order, ruling that there was ‘no showing of immediate, irreparable harm’ in letting the process move forward.”
1968 – John Moretti - Deceased
1968 - John Mountford - Deceased
Writes his widow, Colleen Mountford – “John Mountford, Class of 1968, passed away on April 5th. He enjoyed reading these newsletters.”
1971 – Claudio Nassau – Studied Hither and Yon Before Settling Down
Writes Claudio – “I was born in Santiago de Chile in 1954 to German Jewish immigrants who escaped the Holocaust. My father moved from Germany to Chile in 1936; my mother, via Britain (where she served in the British army), followed in 1951, still single. Two older twin brothers and one younger sister, all born within 3 1/2 years, made for an exciting, generally happy upbringing.
In September 1970, at age 16, immediately following the presidential elections that saw socialist Salvador Allende rise to power, we left Chile and moved to Roslyn Heights, NY. My welcoming uncle and aunt´s four children attended/had attended Wheatley. The school admitted my sister Daniela and me with spontaneous generosity and solidarity.
I have wonderful memories of my year at Wheatley--rich lessons in the social sciences, math, physics, English, and more (what a stark contrast to the rigid memorization techniques at school in Chile!); wonderful, fun, and friendly students and engaged teachers who were sincerely interested in Daniela and me; theater ("A Thousand Clowns"), mini-skirts, trips to Fire Island and Manhattan, driving lessons.
Wheatley honored me with a high school diploma, and I moved on to the University of Rochester. After a year of soul searching as a freshman, I ended up majoring in economics. Following graduation in May 1975, I spent an "off year" in Germany, studying at the University of Cologne, traveling throughout central Europe, taking photography lessons, and earning a few Deutschmarks at the new McDonalds next to the cathedral.
Then I spent 2 years in Palo Alto, CA, getting my MBA at Stanford. My first full-time job after graduation was with Morgan Guaranty (now JP Morgan) in New York, covering Argentina. After 4 years I decided (with not-so-subtle parental pressure) to join the family business in Mexico City. I´ve been here since 1982 and took over as CEO when my father passed away in 1993. It´s been challenging at times but, overall I have no regrets.
I married Iris, a Mexican woman, 34 years ago, and we have four great children. They have all followed their individual passions--in the arts, psychology, economics, and business. They are busy while Iris and I await grandchildren... One child lives in Tel Aviv, the other three in Mexico City; one of them, just married, is about to move to New York for a few years.
1972 – Rich Weissman and Others Plan a 50th-Year Reunion
To the Class of 1972 - Next year Is our 50th Anniversary! Join us for the Long Island Reunion and for a Palm Springs Party
Seth Michael Katz will be heading up the official 50th-Year Reunion on Long Island, to be held in the fall of 2022. Please volunteer to work on the reunion team; you can contact Seth at email@example.com.
In addition, Rich (Richard) Weissman and his husband (J.D. Horn) are hosting a weekend event at their Palm Springs (California) home on March 12th and 13th, 2022, for the entire class and their spouses/partners/significant others to celebrate the 50th anniversary. It’s not the “official” reunion on Long Island, but a party. They will cover the costs for the event (catering/bar, valet parking, entertainment). It's their treat, and people from other classes who live in the Palm Springs area are invited, too, as are faculty. Of course, each guest provides their own travel and hotel. They'll host a Saturday night buffet dinner with live music and then a Sunday pool party with buffet brunch. Their Palm Springs house can hold large events, so no worries if there is a large crowd. March is a good time for visiting Palm Springs (great weather). Casual attire. The date is COVID dependent.
And if you are from another class but live in the Palm Springs area (or simply want to attend), or if you are faculty/administration and would like to attend, please contact Rich directly at his contact information below.
Director, The Richard Norris Weissman Charitable Fund
Data Scientist, The Center For New Data (volunteer data analytics consultant working for equal voter rights and access)
firstname.lastname@example.org (personal email)
RichWeissman@richweissman.com (fund email)
www.richweissman.com (website - bio, articles, and information on charitable fund)
1972 – Charles Nash – The Nash Trio
Writes Charlie – “My two sisters, Suzanne (1966) and Laura (1968) are each doing well. We are all getting together at my vacation home in northwestern Montana in early July. As you’ll recall, I hung out with your younger twin brothers (Daniel and Gerald, 1973) back in the day, playing sports and spending time at your parents’ home playing ping pong.”
1974 – Cathy Gould Rath – Her Sister Plugs Her Recent Novel
Writes Amy Gould (1979) – “I hope people read Cathy Gould Raths’ novel - The Ripple Effect!”
1975 – Laurie Senz – Living the Good Life in Boca
Writes Laurie – “Hi Art, My husband and I bought a house in the Boca Raton area 26 years ago and have finally started to clean out the accumulated ‘stuff’ saved in our attic, garage and back closets. I came across a folder with a fading letter (see below) from Ted Tchack, Stu Doig, Steve Ehre, and Peggy Gaynor (the school counselor), the founders of Wheatley’s School Within a School (“SWS”) program. I can’t recall who the other signature is from, but maybe someone else can. I apologize for the fact that the letter is faded and difficult to read. It’s easier if you magnify it on your computer screen.
I’m not sure whether Wheatley still has this program today, but it was iconic and innovative, as well as highly controversial. I couldn’t wait to join. I recall we did all sorts of community events; the students had to teach other students, and we had circle groups where you had to talk and then stand in the middle, close your eyes and fall backward, trusting the other students to catch you. To this day, I think the SWS was a turning point in my life. Being able to learn in ways that interested me, given responsibility, and being allowed to breathe while being forced to interact with other SWS’ers outside my close circle of friends changed who I was and helped me become the person I am today.
I still live in Florida, as I love the weather, boating and not shoveling snow or wearing layers. My best friends from high school are still my best friends: Joan Goldstein Huskins Parker, Gretta Zibaida Seidel, Heidi Mok Sorenson, and Toni (Antonia) Furfari O’Day (all 1975). We normally meet at least once a year in Manhattan, but with Covid that didn’t happen this last year. Joan and I usually spend a “girls” week in the Caribbean every winter, but cancelled this year’s trip for the same reason.
I have a son I adore who is 26-years-old, lives in St. Petersburg, FL, and who is an entrepreneur. In fact, if anyone needs a website, check his main biz out: www.creative813.com My only regret is that he didn’t have a school experience like Wheatley. Our class had fewer than 200 students; my son’s graduating class, in Florida, had almost a thousand. As Wheatleyites, we were lucky to be part of a group experience for so many years, starting with North Side. So many memories, some hard, most that still bring a smile.
Anyway, I got to those islands everyone thought I’d live on to write my book, but I never settled on one. My book? Who knows, maybe still to come. After 15 years earning my living as a freelance journalist and travel writer (remember those travel books - Birnbaum’s, Fodor’s and Access – well, I wrote a lot of the Caribbean sections), and being published in major newspapers and magazines, I retired to be a mom and opened (and still own) an advertising agency that specializes in recruitment advertising. Life is good, and we hope to have lots and lots more years to enjoy it, but I have to say, being 63!!! still shocks me. So while you always say to write your own story before it’s an obituary, this is just a few lines prompted by finding a fading SWS letter. Hello to the Class of ’75!
Writes Scott – I thought I'd share with you and your readers a fun evening that I and some fellow classmates from the Class of 1994 had a few weeks back on Zoom. Some of us hadn’t seen each other in over ten years. We also invited a special guest, Mr. Matthew Haig, who was basically an honorary member of our class, having followed us from 5th grade at Willets Road to our days at Wheatley. Here's a pic from the zoom get-together:
(L to R, Top to Bottom): Todd Zipper, Scott S. Kramer, Barak Klein, Eric Levy, Greg Brochin, Jordan Harman, Matthew Haig, Henry Decsi, Zachary Cohen, Robert Benhuri).
Fan Mail and a Few Miscellaneous E-Mail Addresses and Comments
1961 (Patricia Kirk Hefferan) – “Congratulations on a charming newsletter. Very well done.”
1964 (John F. Sullivan) – “Art, many thanks for your great, hard work and for continuing the Wheatley connection – so much appreciated and so quickly takes us back to the Wheatley days.”
1965 (Steven Cohn) – “Thanks for all the work you do for the Wheatley alumni.”
1966 (Norman LeoGrande) – “I enjoy your Newsletters, except for the obituaries. I often get warm and fuzzy feelings and laugh, with a few tears occasionally.”
1968 (Ken Gallard) – “As usual, enjoyed the most recent newsletter. Thought that shot of the faculty, etc., at the diner was a nifty one. Very recognizable faces, for sure.”
1969 (Job Hopfan) – JHOPFAN@AOL.COM
1970 (Candice Maller Sherman) – “I certainly enjoy receiving each and every newsletter and especially appreciate the photos. I was readily able to identify several of the faculty members in their luncheon picture w/o looking at their names. Truly amazing after 50+ years. In any event, thank you for all that you do to pull things together and keep us informed.”
1971 (Claudio Nassau) – “Thanks for your great work, Art!”
1971 (Diane Sharrock Moretti) - “I love that you have launched this newsletter and website.”
1972 (Charles Nash) – “Thank you for continuing to keep all of us Wheatley Grads informed and for passing along the communications you receive from other Wheatley Alums.”
1975 (Laurie Senz) – “Thanks Art. I look forward to your monthly newsletters, which I much enjoy.”
1979 (Randi Glasser Dawson – “In the great teacher group photo Mr. Ouchi looks the same as he did 1979!!! Thank you for all you do!!!”
1979 (Amy Gould) – “Thanks for all you do.”
1987 (Leigh Snitiker) – “Many thanks for all you do!”
1994 (Scott S. Kramer) – “Thank you for publishing all these great newsletters.” WWW.SCOTTSKRAMER.COM
That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 59. Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.
Arthur Fredericks Engoron
The Wheatley School Class of 1967