The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 97
Closing in on 100
Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,
Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 97,
According to Substack, in the first 24 hours after publication Newsletter # 96 was viewed 3,024 times and was “liked” five times.
All underlined text is a link-to-a-link. Clicking anywhere on underlined text, and then left-clicking on the link that pops up, will get you to your on-line destination.
The Usual Words of Wisdom
Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (Class of 1963), you can regale yourself with the first 96 Newsletters (and other Wheatley data and arcana) at
Wheatley School Alumni Association Website
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. Art Engoron, Class of 1967
Peggy Gaynor - Writes Dana Olson (1975) - “Greetings, Art. Thank you so much for posting Peggy Gaynor’s obituary. I came to Wheatley in the fall of ‘73 for junior year. I was making a huge transition from NW Pennsylvania to Long Island, and I knew no one. Peggy Gaynor was so kind and helpful and wise; she truly was a lifeline for me. I wish I had known that she was in Fargo, ND all these years.”
1967 - Richard Friedman (1967) - Ping Pong Chronicles
Writes Richard - My classmate Jack Wolf asked if anyone could remember the nicknames we used in our Ping Pong League. That league lasted for years. If I had our names in one column and our nicknames in another column, I'd be able to match them. I even brought the iconic "score sheet" that was on my basement wall for years to a class reunion (at the Roslyn Country Club in 1992). Here’s what’s popping into my head.
Jack Wolf was “Jasper.”
Art Engoron was “Grono.”
Mark Friedberg was “Fribbles” (which was carried over into daily life as well.)
Danny Quaranto was “Squanto”
Larry Baum, uh, maybe "Pounds," which was what his initials, LB, stood for.
David Krauss? Maybe "Sour Krauss" from "Sauerkraut," (memories do fade and change <sigh>.)
Ken Markham? If he was in it, maybe "Pojo." Don't ask me why!
I don’t recall anything for Freddy and Larry Hanft.
Myself? I might have been "Reach," which was a camp nickname.
I can't imagine ever having discarded this memorabilia, so maybe someday I'll find it.”
1967 - Mitch Stephens and Art Engoron - Practicing a Handoff
Writes Art - On February 12, 2023, Mitch and his wife, Esther, hosted the classic Super Bowl party: a game of touch football in a park (Riverside) in the dwindling daylight, pizza, beer, and watching the big game on a wide-screen TV (wagering optional). The oddsmakers predicated a close game, and close it was.
1969 - Paul “Flea” Ingrassia - “I would like to give a personal shout out to my old teammates; my life has been better for knowing you all: Richard “Dick” Rasmussen (1967), Joseph “Joe” Cilmi (1968), Douglas “Doug” Colucci (1968), Mark Goldberg (1969), Robert “Bob” Bush (1970), Gregory “Greg” Fitzpatrick (1970), Steven “Steve” Shukow (1970), and others. To you and my friends, I thank you all.”
1969 - Homer Smith - Renaissance Man - Dies of Covid-19
Homer Smith Obituary in the Ithaca Journal
1970 - David Berwald - “I was on that American Youth Hostels bicycle trip with Liz Siegel (1969) and Frank Engoron (1970), but I have no photos to prove it. We were in Montreal, Quebec City, and The Laurentian Mountains, where the biking was more difficult.”
1970 - Ellen David - Labor Activist
Writes Ellen - “I am totally engaged in the - shockingly - revitalized labor movement. Virtually every waking moment (when not caring for grandbabies) is engaged with workers who are organizing (and striking) in education, health care, journalism, and the non-profit sector. Plus.….I'm still maintaining a very active organizing portfolio with Chinese and Hong Kong labor activists, both at risk at home and in exile.”
1972 - Robin Freier Edwards - Another Fan of Hugh Gershon (1966)
Writes Robin - “Hi Art, I loved reading Hugh Gershon's submission! He was the boyfriend of my sister Leslie (1967) all through high school, and I, as the little kid sister, was always in awe of him. Hearing about his life since Wheatley was great!”
1960 - Ken Martin - Response to Robert Campagnola (1966)
Writes Ken - “Robert Campagnola’s essay in Newsletter # 96 is the finest piece of writing, in my humble opinion, that I have read in the Wheatley Alumni Newsletter. And, BTW, there have been some outstanding compositions found there.”
1972 - Jacqueline Obrant Millstein - Response to Robert Campagnola
Writes Jackie - “Normally if someone writes on Facebook (or in this newsletter) and I count more than three paragraphs, I scroll right past it. I discount it as being written by someone who doesn’t know how to edit. But your story was mesmerizing. I ignored office emails and the subsequent texts asking why I ignored their emails. It was beautifully written and haunting.”
1974 - LauRha Frankfort - A Life of Creating
Writes LauRha - “Dear Art - I finally got around to writing a bit to share.
I loved my time at Wheatley. I was so inspired by so many wonderful creative and sensitive teachers that touched my creative soul. Merle Levine taught me to journal, which pretty much saved my life. Pete Pane gave me music and friendship and my first clarinet students at 15-years-old! Aaron Kuriloff listened to me for hours, and let me draw the naked body! All those teachers just expanding and sharing their wisdom. God Bless Them! And, of course, even Richard Nixon, who cornered me by the front doors as we streaked through the halls.
You know what? I am still in the naked business. John, my Family Doc husband, and I kid that we both are in that business. I paint them, he fixes them. Ahh, the beauty of the human form and the animal form and all form! I want to draw them. Feel the line. So I continued my study of art at the Art Students League in Manhattan, studying with Marshall Glasier……wow, what a teacher he was?! He taught me how to draw an honest line, to really draw what I see. I have been drawing and painting all this time and have been in many galleries and have sold a bunch of art. I mostly paint the human and animal form, Healing Art, Music Themed and Erotic Art.
I met a wonderful couple, Barry and Suzi Kaufman (who I think lived on Shepherd Lane), who developed an Option Therapy Process for their autistic child, Raun. I wound up working with autistic kids for years and learning to love unconditionally with very little expectations.
I also have been playing music for all these years, something I bet you would never have guessed, hahaha. This is my heart and soul for sure. I love all music and have played in Orchestras, Pit Orchestras, Big Bands, Small Bands, Trios, Solo Gigs...I play more than 15 instruments and mostly gig on the Saxophone, guitar, Chinese zither, vocals and some keys.….I love Jazz and mellow blues and rock. I write songs every day. They just come out of me, words and melody, usually while I am walking our Great Pyrenees, Zeus. I love my recording devices!!!
I left Indiana University after 2 years and gave up my music scholarship because I felt it was too uptight for me. I went back to New York and lived in a house in Sea Cliff. I taught and played music and eventually moved to the City and lived with my first husband at the corner of 106th street (Duke Ellington Blvd!) and Central Park West…..The Boot of Harlem, for sure! We were renovating old Brownstones. What a life that was.…playing music in NYC, studying music with a famous, wonderful blind teacher, Lennie Tristano, who really taught me to play what I hear in my head! True improvising! I have been blessed with wonderful teachers in my life, starting with my parents and grandparents!!!
played gigs, studied at The New School for awhile, silk screening and dyes and eventually was a partner in a silk screening business. To this day I still design for people and reproductions.
I was glad to get out of the Garment District in NYC and run a Screen Printing Business, which had us doing shows all over the country. My favorite was the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show every year. Rock and Roll!!! But I had to get out of town after my not-so-Kosher partner got involved with some bad guys, died, and I was ready to move to beautiful Phoenix AZ!! When I got here I kept my Screen Printing Business going, kept doing gigs, and continued to teach music and art.
Then I met Grand Master Hong and started learning Medical Qi Gong, which has brought together all my talents. All energies in different clothing! I worked side by side with him, seeing patients and teaching workshops for 20 years. I've been teaching Qi Gong and healing energy forms for over 20 years now. I've worked at hospitals, cancer centers, heart rehab centers, gyms, and spas. But what I love most of all is my long-lasting Sunday morning class that I still teach, now on Zoom. Anyone who wants to hop on board just email me, LauRha.firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost $1-$10 you decide. Qi Gong moves slow and easy and is fun and you can do it in any condition and at any age. I teach with lots of laughter, and the stretches are for boosting your immunity, which in the long run is really all we have! And of course our attitude. I play instruments and always heal with some sort of vibration. My dog and two cats Zoom bomb regularly...
My Husband of 30 years, John, was a Family Doc for 50 years, and the last 30 I ran his office and learned a lot about medicine and healing and watching families grow old and be reborn again.
It was the perfect place to test out my Eastern Healing Knowledge and see if what they taught really was being reflected in patients’ charts. Feng Shui in our body and out side our body.….Balance Health! I love the whole thing.
I recently read my high school quote and it said, "To communicate is the first step to understanding." I sure lived that one.….I have been blessed with amazing students during my 50 years of teaching. Lucky me that I get to inspire and share my gifts with others. Yes, for me, I guess, God gave me all these great teachers so I could be part of the Expansion of Wisdom…..Just keep passing it along.
I hope that all of you are doing well. Stay Happy Healthy and filled with Kindness.
The Wheatley School Alumni Association Forum/Soapbox
Writes John Sullivan (1964) - “Art – I read newsletter # 96. as I have those before it, with a touch of cynicism. Seems like most people, in their writings, address their days at Wheatley or beyond, usually of their successes.
As a member of the Class of 1964 and one whose Wheatley attendance was on the fringe (non-athlete, non-student, not socially acceptable, etc.), I don’t have any memorable Wheatley moments to recount, other than being bullied, which I addressed in earlier correspondence.
What I find interesting is that the people who respond to the newsletter are mostly the same respondents for each issue, and that no one seems to address what they are doing in their later years to continue the social initiatives learned or started at Wheatley. Classmate Danny Cohn is living a life of serving others – I don’t recall if I saw that on Facebook or in the newsletter – he is making lasting changes in lives. That is impressive. Most of the writings recount historical or current glories. That is wonderful for those who lived those experiences – I am glad life is/was good for them.
My life, given my Wheatley track record, or lack thereof, should not have been as rewarding (business or personal) as it has been. Blessed with family, a wife who is beautiful inside and out (I usually hear “Hi John, where’s Becky”), the ability to serve one of the worst demographics in Kansas City, Missouri (drugs, prostitution, guns, etc.) and tell the people I serve there, ‘I am “John,” not “Sir,”’ is an incredibly rewarding experience.
Would be so good to have other readers of the newsletters share their stories of community service and outreach. Possibly we could set up a forum in the newsletter (not wanting to have too many forums with the newly launched Political forum) or website where non-profit obstacles (staffing, funding, program creation and design, to name a few) could be discussed.
Given the geographic spread of recipients of the newsletter, I would assume many of the 3000+ readers are touching lives and making a difference somewhere. Would be good to hear from them to balance the vitriolic conservative comments and to know Wheatley graduates are continuing to make a difference in the world. Thanks, Art.”
Writes Richard Steiger (1965) - “I like reading the political discourse in the Forum/Soapbox Section because doing so reminds me of the political demonstrations that used to take place, while I was at Wheatley, protesting the Vietnam war. Brings back memories. For those that complain, JUST DON'T READ THAT SECTION. I find it very entertaining to read the different viewpoints.”
Writes Joel Blumenthal (1968) - “I can’t help but comment that I got far more value from Robert Campagnola’s long but fascinating self-diagnosis piece than from the usual political rantings provided by Jay Cummings……though it IS important to hear from both (“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”). I also appreciate the dividing line you have drawn between the two.”
Writes Jane Sherry (1971) - “Hi Art, I’m saddened by all the flak you’re getting by choosing to put controversial opinions in your newsletter. It's pitiful that people judge you for it and tell you what should be in a proper newsletter. So thanks for taking this on, and I do hope it continues to make you happy, offering this service to the Wheatley community, such as it is. Although I don’t have any of the distinct memories of Wheatley days so many folks on your list have…..of teachers’ names, specific events, or friends…..it’s still interesting being the proverbial fly on the wall. I wonder and feel saddened by the fact that so many felt those Wheatley years were the best in their lives! I also don’t recall getting such a great education there; perhaps my own bad attitude was at fault, but I recall graduating and feeling like I never learned any critical thinking there, or learned how to learn.
I don’t regret much in my life. After my very bohemian existence for so many decades, what a waste it would be for me to have regrets. I wouldn’t have traded anything that’s happened to me in my life, as it made me who I am.
Luckily my husband and I live and work from home, as we have for 20 years, with an online business, and we live in a beautiful neighborhood in Winston-Salem, NC, where we can get outside, as well as garden in a neighborhood community garden, the oldest in the country, since the 1700’s! I miss NYC, but the NYC I miss hasn’t existed for so long. I came of age as a young artist in the early 70’s, when Ed Koch was mayor and the city was broke, rent was super cheap, and mental institutions had released tons of their mentally ill onto the streets. Times Square was gritty, graffiti-filled, crime-rampant, but I guess I preferred that (I was youngish) to the gentrification, Disneylandification, and overall destruction of what made NYC a great melting pot, before rents were so high that only the rich (1980’s and 90’s) could afford to live there. Hard to understand how a six-figure salary isn’t really enough to live well in NYC. We live in strange times.
Writes Edward B. “Woody” Ryder IV (1973) - “I concur with my decades-long friend Greg Cave. If I wanted to listen to or read about politics, which is a life-long hobby of mine, I wouldn't want to read about them in an alumni association newsletter. I would rather switch between MSNBC and FOX on the television, alternate Mother Jones and the NY Times with the National Review and the Wall Street Journal, and alternately read social media posts from Marjorie Taylor-Greene and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.”
Writes Paul Giarmo - 1976 - “Dear Art, Glad to see that the Newsletter is reporting on current Wheatley events; such as the January 28th Wildcat victory over Locust Valley in boys basketball. I was at that game, and it was a raucous affair, with Wildcat pride quite evident in our 63-57 drubbing of the Falcons. Now, if we could only channel that energy and pride into returning football to our Bacon Road home (sigh).
But onto more serious issues. Although I continue to feel that political discussions in a high school newsletter are inappropriate, as you are continuing to include them, I will add some (more) of my own. Kudos to Jay Cummings (1960) and Rhoda Kalkin Schneider (1961) for their recent ‘letters to the editor’ and their contributions to balancing out the distressing liberal biases of several Wildcat graduates from the so-called "enlightened" 1960's. Jay is exactly right when he criticizes the Administration of ‘Sleepy Joe’ Biden and his cadre of leftist, ‘woke’ radicals; who consistently portray our country as evil, racist and homophobic. I am so tired of the name-calling tactics of the intolerant leftists and their anti-white, anti-Christian, Critical Race Theory Teaching zealots. It is not racist or intolerant to demand secure national borders. What IS racist is open borders advocates in Martha's Vineyard who want illegal aliens (yes, that's right, not ‘undocumented immigrants’) but who then complain when these same illegal aliens arrive at their gated and segregated communities and call the police to have them removed to ‘less’ affluent communities. What hypocrisy?!! These same Democrats want to give these aliens the right to vote, and in the case of New York City Mayor Eric Adams, rooms in some of New York's most expensive hotels. What nerve? What sense of entitlement! Rhoda is justified in supporting the removal of Ilhan Omar from her national security committee assignment. Ilhan’s anti-Jewish, anti-American, and pro-Palestinian positions are well-known, and they present a major problem for our country. Too bad these self-loathing Democratic leftists (a/k/a ‘The Squad’) continue to support her and her ‘agenda.’ Our great nation is in decline due to these leftist extremists and their condescending policies. Using ‘shaming tactics’ to ridicule and censor conservatives and moderates such as myself will only backfire on these snowflakes. I have a First Amendment right to free speech, whether or not the liberal media and their politically-correct corporate sponsors like it. To all you 1960's refugees I say this: you're entitled to your opinions, and I'm entitled to mine. Don't denigrate my opinions or characterize me as some sort of privileged white male living in the ‘evil patriarchy’ of the United States. I'm quite certain that I can back up my opinions. I have a bachelor's degree in Political Science (with honors) from Stony Brook University and a minor in American history.”
Writes Robert Hersch (1984) - “Keeping in touch with a close community is great, even if the political views differ."
1962 (Lois Kass Kleinberg) - “Thank you for all the amazing Newsletters. I look forward to each one.”
1965 (Glen Hammer) - ❤️
1965 (Richard Steiger) - “Art, Thank you for your efforts in generating these newsletters.”
1966 (Lee Nagel) - ❤️
1967 (Ilene Kornblath Rosenbaum) - ❤️
1967 (Jill Simon Forte) - “The latest edition of the Newsletter made me smile.”
1968 (Joel Blumenthal) - “Thanks for the great work you continue to do!!”
1968 (Janis Klotz Smith) - ❤️
1969 (Paula Panzeca Foresto) - 👍
1969 (Beth Pollack) - ❤️
1971 (Jane Sherry) - “Well done, Art.”
(1972) (Robin Freier Edwards) - “Another great issue! Thanks so much for all your efforts keeping us Wildcats in touch.”
1972 (Richard Saunders) - ❤️
1974 (LauRha Frankfort) - “Thank you so much for such a wonderful newsletter!!!! You are a beautiful soul for sure. You have gotten us to feel like a big family!!!”
1975 (Dana Olson) - “Thanks for the newsletter, Art”
That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 97. Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.
Arthur Fredericks Engoron, Class of 1967
© 2023 ARTHUR ENGORON