Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,
Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 89.
According to Substack, in the first 24 hours after publication Newsletter # 88 was viewed 3,197 times, was “liked” 11 times, and garnered three comments (all positive).
All underlined text is a link-to-a-link (or, rarely, an email address). Clicking anywhere on underlined text, and then on the link that pops up, will get you to your on-line destination.
Six-Year-Old School Shooting
I am not writing about a school shooting that happened six year ago (although that would be horrific enough), I am writing about a six-year-old boy who on January 6, 2023, in Newport News, Virginia, shot and serious injured his teacher with a handgun. The usual voices are calling for more mental health services. Yes, there should be more mental health services for the craven legislators who allow predictable, preventable tragedies like this to occur.
Also, thanks to Keith is our search engine, prominently displayed on our home page: type in a word or phrase and, mirabile dictu, you’ll find every place it exists in all previous Newsletters and other on-site material.
I edit all submissions, even material in quotes, for clarity and concision, without any indication thereof. I do not vouch for the accuracy of what people tell me.
We welcome any and all text and photos relevant to The Wheatley School, 11 Bacon Road, Old Westbury, NY 11568, and the people who administered, taught and/or studied there.
More about Murray The K!
Writes Peter Altschuler (Murray’s son) - Murray the K’s World was the first multi-media discotheque in the United States, predating Cheetah in Manhattan, and occupying an unused airplane hangar at what remained of Roosevelt Field, the airport that was the starting point for Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic.
The Wallachs ran a jewelry store in the area (on Northern Boulevard between Roslyn and Manhasset, unless I’m totally senile). My mother was a regular patron, and the Wallachs and my parents were social friends, as well. In fact, I can remember swimming in their pool on occasion……though I can’t remember which occasions.
As for James Wallach’s contention that there was “a legend living in our neighborhood,” that wouldn’t be quite right. My father was a Broadway baby, born and raised, and never lived anywhere other than Manhattan until the 1970s. That's when, following the demise of WOR-FM’s progressive format, he had stints at radio stations in Toronto and then Baltimore and D.C. before returning to NY to do a show on WNBC.
When we lived in Roslyn Heights between 1950 and 1963, my mother was married to Leonard Altschuler, the second of her three husbands (Murray was married six times) and the man who adopted me……which is why my surname is ‘Altschuler,’ not ‘Kaufman.’”
Writes George “Dixie” Howell - Dear Art, I was excited to read the item by Peter Altschuler about Murray the K and about Murray being his father. To me that is impressive, that a Wheatley Alumnus was the son of Murray the K. Murray the K was my, and others I am sure, favorite DJ in the 50s and maybe the 60s on WINS. He played the songs we liked or maybe we liked the songs he played. And I never stopped smiling about the "submarine race watching" line that he always said.
Reminded me of another DJ that broadcast in St Croix, VI on WSTX - (the late) Walter Brunner of the Class of 1961. Walter and I were best friends at the time, and he had a rock and roll program on Saturday nights on the station. I used to go visit with him during the program after finishing work at his restaurant. We used to have a joint or two and listened to the music. He gently introduced me (a Beatles fan) to the Rolling Stones, who I grew to appreciate so much as the years went by. Two great DJs. Here's to music! On Old Years night of 2022 (as they say in St Croix).”
Writes Leslie Buckner Strauss (1967) - “I especially enjoyed Peter Altschuler’s write-up about Murray the K (and the “swee-a-zingin’ swaree” on 1010 WINS). It brought back the amazing memory of Murray broadcasting from my father’s bridal store window (“Buckner’s”) in Jamaica one summer night in the early ‘60s. I have no idea how that came about, but it was amazing for a young teen to be involved in such a celebrity event. Not sure I was a submarine race watcher yet. Thanks, Peter, for the memories.”
Writes Art Engoron (1967) - “In or about 1962 my brother Frank Engoron (1970) had a legendary birthday party in our Bengeyfield Drive basement. As a birthday present someone gave him a “Murray the K Live at the Brooklyn Fox Theater” record album, which had some pretty good live music and a monologue by Murray. Two of his lines, typical of the time, were as follows:
Girl - “Are you Italian”?
Boy - “Why?”
Girl - “Because you got roamin’ hands.”
Boy - “Do you believe in a hereafter?”
Girl - “Why”
Boy - “Because if you’re not here after what I’m here after, you’re going to be here after I’m gone”
In any event, Murray was a HUGE deal back then, and a classic New Yorker of his time…..and ahead of his time. His Wikipedia entry makes for fascinating reading.
Writes Elvira (“Vivi”) Cilmi Kunz - “Hi Art, Thanks for the fun Rock & Roll news. I had graduated before the Rascals came to Wheatley, but after they made it big, I enjoyed their concert at St. John’s University when I was a sophomore. They played to a packed house and raised the roof with ‘MIDNIGHT HOUR’! Happy New Year!”
Writes Jill Simon Forte (1967) - “I distinctly remember seeing the Rascals at school in the gym. Bob (Robert Forte, 1965) was with me, another fun memory. I wonder if many of our classmates remember when Bob and his band played in the auditorium. That was the first time I took notice of him, after which I followed him around the halls, telling him I thought he was great 😁. That led to 53 wonderful years together, two kids and six grandkids 😊. Amazingly, I still keep in touch with a few of my friends from that time.”
Writes Joel Blumenthal (1968) - “Art, I loved the Young Rascals, too, and like my classmate Ken Gallard, I always considered them a Long Island band!
I’m sorry I missed them at Wheatley, but I do remember seeing guitarist Gene Cornish tooling around in his convertible Bentley (maybe it was at Carvel), and I distinctly remember seeing them at the Westbury Music Fair a few years after their Wheatley appearance.
Peter Altschuler’s story gives credence to the ‘local folklore’ I remember growing up on Parkway Drive; walking past a certain house a few doors down from mine, it was always mentioned that ‘Murray the K used to live here.’ It was our neighborhood’s big claim to fame at the time!”
Writes James Wallach (1969) - I was quite young when my family would drive by the Altschuler house in the Country Club. Apparently my mother, Suni Wallach, was friends with Peter’s mother. And Suni told us that Peter’s father was Murray Kaufman. A legend living in our neighborhood! And he opened a place on Old Country Rd. called The World. Ahead of his time!”
1960 - Another Mini-Reunion
L-R - George (“Dixie”) Howell; Lucy Mullman; Ken and Cheryle Martin; Charlie and Mary Ellen Zimmerman
For our Brothers and Sisters – What’s the Glue?
We are the Class of ‘60
We met a long time ago.
At a place called Wheatley High School
right on Bacon Road.
A time of bucolic wonder
with the world at peace and hopeful.
There was no thought of trouble
to mar our high school days.
Our possibilities seemed endless
we were lucky that way.
As teens we were idealistic, genuine and real
Full of energy and joy.
We were the real deal.
A bit of recklessness was spent
As we eagerly took part in all
The academic, sports and social events.
Dispersing to various colleges, no longer so secure
The times were becoming turbulent
As we underwent our individual enlightenments.
On holidays we met up at the Picture Lounge – our watering hole
A different feeling could be told.
Those carefree times had ended as different challenges arose.
The chapter of our early years came quickly to a close.
On to careers, families and adapting to these new roles
The group still persisted to meet
As it became vital to our collective souls.
Throughout the decades we continued to reunionize
come rain or shine. It was always a prize.
Our journey could use some explaining as we aim to understand
the whys of our connection, which certainly was never planned.
What is its glue? Does anyone really know?
And would the discovery of it be so new?
Is it a magic elixir that casts a spell?
But of course, we all know that magic explains really nothing very well.
Perhaps, an explanation that I proffer for your view -
Might sound so simple but it’s worth stating anew.
These good and special feelings we share with each other today
Are nothing more than a refinding
Of what there was back in the day.
I hope that you enjoyed this rhyme
It’s what I feel is true.
But perhaps you’d like to add a line
of something that would be new.
By Lucy Mullman
1961 - Jerry Mintz - Education Guru - Letter to Newsday Editor, January 6, 2023
1964 - Michelle Sklaire Jacobson - Bringing it All Back Home
Michele Sklaire Jacobson ‘64 with Spencer Singer, the new owner of Hildebrandt’s.
Writes Michele - “I remember fondly Stewart Fox and Susan Martin Edlavitch. They were both in my first grade class and in many other classes at Willets Road School. May they both Rest In Peace.
1965 - Jeffrey Orling - The Memories Keep Pouring Forth
Writes Jeff - “Peter Solow and his wife Susan came for a sail on my boat a few years ago. For some odd reason.….I remember riding my bike to a barber shop in a mall near the intersection of the LIE Service Road and Glen Cove Road. The barber shop strip mall is where a Bank of America is now. When I did drive back to the old neighborhood.….everything had changed and was unrecognizable. I, too, took tennis lesson at the RCC, with a guy named Shukow? He was short and very tanned. I was lousy at tennis! I spent a weekend on Andrea Levine's father's boat, on the South Shore.
Wheatley was such a great place to go to school. It was there that I first smoked pot. I hated gym class. I remember Bill Lawson, a gym teacher. I recall Dr. Simendinger (Belasco) for biology! Odd how memory works...”
Jeffrey with wife Elsa on the Vanderbilt Estate in Centerport
Jeffrey with Soprano Anna Netrebko
1966 - Glenn Greenbaum - “My family also had a Roslyn Country Club membership, and I have wonderful memories. Marc Messing (1965), George Glazer (1965) and I were on the initial swim team that included Shep Messing (1967) and Neil Penkower (1966) (who was also our best diver). The RCC was better than camp.”
1966 - Diana Noble Rubinger - “Hi Art, Good Morning from South Carolina; I hope you are well! I find it amazing to discover such details about our years at Wheatley and beyond. I have included a little piece of one of my memories.
I grew up on Shepherd Lane, along with my sister, Barbara (1968), and brother, Henry (1972). Our little area of the S Section was very close knit, as most of our families moved in at the same time, in 1950. I remember Mr. Levitt directing a crew to shore up the large pine tree in front of our house, the rather awful green and red vinyl floors; and the swinging bookcase.
One of the most terrifying parts of the S Section was the James house. Mrs. James had about five Dobermans who would like nothing better than to jump the fence that surrounded the front and back of their home. We were all instructed that if the dogs jumped the fence we were to go to the nearest neighbor. Once Stephen Bernstein (1967) and I were walking home from the bus stop and followed a trail of blood down the snow covered street. We both were very anxious because we thought that the doberman’s got loose. As it turned out, one of Mrs. James' dogs attacked another dog, which unfortunately got bitten and ran down the street with blood dripping from its neck. Needless to say, we were happy to get home in one piece.
S Section neighbors included the following families: Jerome, Weinstein, Jacoby, Kritzler, Greenapple, Stevens, Diamond, Bernstein, Goldberg, Jarret, Stone, Robbins, Forman, Goldstein, Bond, Kay, Ardell, Fox, Malsky, Glasser, Wattel, Walsh, Rignel, Winters,....just to name a few.”
1967 - Howard Senft - The Roslyn Country Club - Sadly Downhill
Writes Howard - I grew up in the “S Section” on Sherwood Lane. In the late 1980s and early 1990s my friend Stu Fox (non-Wheatley; not to be confused with Stewart Fox, 1964) and I held the lease to the Country Club. His parents ran the snack bar. We re-did the pool and tennis courts…..but the community residents never paid more then $100 for a membership, which made it very difficult to operate a successful club. I'm still in contact with Stew, and it's sad to hear that the club has gone downhill. The residents still don't realize the gem in their own backyards!”
1968 - Sheli Nan Hershcopf - Piano Woman
Writes Sheli - ““Greetings to All. I am a professional composer, pianist and harpsichordist. I have a wonderful concert coming up in NYC on February 23rd. You are all invited. There is no charge. Details to follow. I was commissioned to compose a double quintet for winds and strings in October of 2017. I met in the city with the conductor Max Lifschitz a number of times. This was pre-Covid. I live in Berkeley, CA, and I wanted to bring some hope into our lives, so I named the piece ‘American Promise.’ Then came Covid. The piece is finally being performed, and it would be wonderful to see you there. Many of my works are on YouTube for the curious, and here is the YouTube link to my work. I have performed and had my music performed all over the world. All best, Sheli Nan (Hershcopf 1968)
1969 - Jack Lipsky - Fun in the Sun at the Roslyn Country Club
Writes Jack - “Art: I occasionally drive by my old house on Locust Lane and then the Roslyn Country Club. I agree with Nancy Wechselblatt Hirsch in the last edition of the Newsletter (“Life During and After the Roslyn Country Club”) that what happened to the Club is disgraceful. My brothers and I spent so many summers there enjoying all the facilities: tennis, swimming, paddle ball, stick ball and the snack bar. Also, I would like to add my name to the list of Wheatley Graduates who worked there; I was a lifeguard during the summer of 1970.”
1969 - Michael Lorenzo - Needs Help
Writes Art Engoron - “Michael Lorenzo is suffering serious health issues, although apparently he is home from the hospital. Many Wildcats, including Mark Goldberg, Lynn Greenbaum, Billy Kirchick, Steve Lansky, Bobby Orgel, (all 1969), and Jane Roeder (1970) (sorry if I left anyone out) are helping organize Wildcats to contribute financial help for Michael.
I remember Michael from Wheatley as charismatic, and a few years ago we corresponded intensely, culminating in the following self-examination of a rather interesting life (published in Newsletter # 2 AND in “Whatever Happened To……” on the Wheatley Alumni Association website). Please consider contributing via the following link (and I’ll post updates as I receive them). Michael Lorenzo Donation Link
Michael Clark Lorenzo - 1969 - In His Own Words
“I was born in New York City and grew up in East Williston, on East Williston Avenue. My father was the school doctor at North Side School until he passed away in 1961. I was a student there from kindergarten through 6th grade, and at The Wheatley School from 7th through 9th grade. My mother then sent me to Saint Paul's School in Garden City as a boarding student. I was there for one year; then at Long Island Lutheran for a year; then returned to Wheatley as a member of the Class of 1970. I doubled up on course work and managed to graduate in December, 1969.
Next, I was a Writing major at Goddard College in Plainfield, VT for one fantastic year. I lived in a dormitory that functioned as a small community of drunken-but-brilliant artists. Peter Green, the founder and lead guitarist of the original Fleetwood Mac, who had just quit the band [editor’s note: and supposedly had given away all his money], came to Goddard at our invitation. Peter and I became fast friends, playing music together daily for three months. Nevertheless, I dropped out to ‘go on the road.’ Hitchhiking around the USA, I gave poetry readings, played music, and worked every kind of hard labor imaginable. I lived on a commune in Maine and, later, settled in Richmond, VA for five years. The Sixties grabbed and held me tight with a magnificent vengeance, which I embraced with a mad obsession that carried through most of the Seventies.
I finally turned my life around in 1977 and began five years of work counseling teenagers who were abusing drugs and alcohol. Two years into that I added a ‘second shift,’ studying Television and Film at the New York Institute of Technology, receiving a BFA in June, 1982. Upon graduation I moved to Los Angeles and worked in the TV/Film industry for 25 years. Like most folks, I began in an ‘entry level’ position, but I soon moved up the ranks to Assistant Editor, Post Production Supervisor, Field Director/Producer and Writer.
For the majority of my career my ‘bread and butter’ was editing film and video. I was a member of the Director's Guild and Editor's Guild; was lead editor of an Oscar-nominated, feature-length documentary; and I collaborated with the likes of Norman Lear, Graham Nash, The Jim Henson Company, and Ringo Starr. I worked on the 10-hour documentary ‘The History of Rock and Roll,’ in which B.B. King and Carlos Santana both said that the greatest British blues guitarist (just think of the competition!) was, none other than, Peter Green (who, BTW, wrote ‘Black Magic Woman,’ a huge, enduring hit for Carlos Santana and his band). At 55 I retired from ‘Hollywood.’
Meanwhile, after many relationships over the years, at age 40 I got married, and in 1992 my son, Anthony, was born. My wife and I divorced in 2000. In 2007 she and her new husband moved to Northern California, and I followed, to remain present in my kid's life. For a while I set my sights on Europe, specifically an artist colony in the mountains two hours north of Rome, and I spent a year teaching myself Italian (to go with my Spanish and French). However, reality intruded, and I stayed, and for the past ten years I have been living in a cabin in a remote mountain area of Northern California, near Nevada City.
Currently, I pursue my artistic passions; read obsessively; and research such topics as literature, painting, philosophy, Carl Jung, and recondite spirituality. Relentlessly dedicated to writing, I have published two novels and a poetry collection. I compose, play, and record music in my home studio. My appreciation for music covers Classical, Jazz, Blues, Soul, and Rock & Roll. I have always loved playing sports; if hard-pressed to pick two favorites, I'll go with baseball and rugby. I am passionate about hiking, fishing, motorcycles, photography, and films. Whatever my accomplishments in life, the one I cherish most is being father to a brilliant son.
I remember Wheatley fondly, especially my numerous friends and some favorite teachers and staff. In 9th grade I was the lead singer and guitarist in a rock band, ‘The Ravens,’ which performed in The Varsity Review and included my lifelong best friend, Bobby ("The Boy Wonder") Orgel (1969), who went on to play keyboards and arrange for Natalie Cole. Our band also included Jimmy Byrnes and Artie Ernst, both in the Class of 1967.
I agree with Art Engoron: ‘We are everywhere, but we are all connected.’ As William Faulkner famously said, ‘The past is never dead. It is not even past.’ I have always related to this concept of ‘the eternal moment,’ in which people and events transcend all bounds of time.” Michael Clark Lorenzo, July 2016
1969 - Homer Smith - Deceased (No details available at press time.)
1970 - Cathy Gerson - Having Fun in a Crowd
That’s Cathy in the front row, far left
1975 - Ruth Resnicow - At George McGovern Presidential Campaign Headquarters, 1972
Writes Ruth - “Going through some old photos I found this:
It was taken at McGovern headquarters. To the left of me, wearing a white T-shirt, is Marc Geller (1972), and I believe that's Mr. Brandt sitting on the floor in front of us. I have no idea who the other people in the photo are.”
1982 - Richard Flach - Deceased
Richard A. Flach, 58, of Great Barrington, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 25, 2022. He is survived by his two children, Casey and Eamon Flach.
A jack of all trades and master of tons, Richard's passion for flight led him to the military. As a decorated Staff Sergeant, Richard completed two tours in Iraq and helped execute countless rescue missions on a local and national scale.
As a retired, disabled veteran, Richard used his spare time to conduct work with the Commission on Disability on the Town Council. His generous heart and helping hand always extended to the town he loved.
A gifted architect and stonemason, Richard had an affinity for the intricate art of stone masonry. He was able to express this passion through a myriad of restorations, fireplaces, and stone walls; whose strength holds residually throughout the years...
Deeply loved and cherished by his family including his two brothers, Michael (and his wife Barbara) and David Flach; as well as his three sisters, Victoria Flach Reardon, Suzanne Flach, and Karen Flach Moxon (and her husband, Bob Moxon). Uncle to Cassandra and Christian Schlega, Brian and Daniel Flach, Ben Moxon, and Jaden Flach.”
1959 (Tracey Lanthier) - “I enjoy reading about our school. Thanks, for your fine work.”
1959 (Stu Sanderson) - “Art, another enjoyable Newsletter. Even though I was a '59 graduate, I enjoy reading the articles and stories of the more current classmates. Very best wishes for 2023.”
1960 - Arthur Diamond -”You are doing a great job, and it is very much appreciated.”
1960 (Donna Maxfield Chimera) - ❤️
1961 (Eugene Razzetti) - “Art: Thanks to you and Keith for another year of great newsletters. Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year, Gene."
1964 (Michele Sklaire Jacobson) - “I always enjoy the Newsletters. Thanks so much!!!”
1965 (Cathy Fields Lehrhoff) - ❤️
1965 (Jeff Orling) - “Once again, thanks for putting this all together. I totally enjoy reading these reports.”
1966 (Diane Noble Rubinger) - “Thank you for doing such a terrific, amazing job.”
1966 (Suzanne Ellen Stone) - “Dear Art, Thanks for the New Year's Eve Newsletter treat. You, Keith, and everyone's anecdotes and reminiscences continue to amaze me. Wishing you and all the Wildcats a happy, healthy and blessed 2023! Warmest wishes!”
1967 (Jill Simon Forte) - “Thanks for your dedication to keeping us thinking of good memories.”
1967 - Barbara Smith Stanisic - “Thank you, Art, for sharing a wonderful year with us, along with some sad news. Happy New Year to you and your family 😊.”
1968 (Sheli Nan Hershcopf) - “Thank you, Artie, for the opportunity to connect with so many Wheatley graduates.”
1969 (James Wallach) - ❤️
1970 (Mark Gordon) - “Arthur, you honor all of the Alumni.”
1970 (Jill Ostrower Trovillion) - ❤️
1970 (Michael Rubin) - ❤️
1973 (Robert Valicenti) - “Thank you for all that you do and for keeping us connected!”
1974 (Gregory Cave) - “Art…..You are ‘Our Glue’…..for the entire Crew! Happy New Year and thank you once again for all you do. Peace and love.”
1975 (Ruth Resnicow) - “Thanks for doing such a great job on the Alumni Newsletter!”
1975 (Andrew Schwartz) - “I loved the story of the Rascals and Murray the K.”
1976 (Robin Firetog Glanzberg) - ❤️
1977 (Maryann Donnelly Kreischer) - ❤️
1978 (Daniel Paisner) - “Thanks for your dedication to our community.”
1980 (Bill McLean) - ❤️
1983 (Monique Lazar Ruane) - I love reading the newsletters and appreciate all the work that goes into its publication. I’m always so amazed at how such a small school could have housed so much talent! Happy New Year and thank you!❤️”
1986 (Mary Elder Killelea) - ❤️
2002 (Benjamin Brodsky) - “Thank you and Happy New Year.”
???? (“AJB”) - ❤️
That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 89. Please send us your autobiography before someone else sends us your obituary.