The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 99
99 and Counting!
Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,
Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 99,
According to Substack, in the first 24 hours after publication Newsletter # 98 was viewed 2,954 times, was “liked” 10 times, and received two comments (one positive, one neutral).
N.B. - Please ignore the solicitations for “donations” or “funding” or “subscriptions” or “pledges” of any kind at the end of these Newsletters. Substack puts them there, without my consent (and for a long time without my knowledge). I am trying to get them removed (Substack does NOT make that easy to do). I have never taken a penny for my Wheatley Alumni activities, and I’m not about to start now.
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 98 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 use it all the time; it works!
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
Physical Education Teachers - Writes Gene Razzetti (1961) - Art: Recent Newsletters mentioning Wheatley’s coaches in general, and Mr. Bill Lawson in particular, have me recalling a funny incident, circa fall, 1959.
The Football and Soccer Teams practiced every weekday afternoon out in our ample playing fields. The Soccer Team, under Coach Sheldon Maskin (Soccer, Basketball, Guidance), had not been doing too well. In fact, Mr. Lawson had been heard to quip to Mr. Maskin: “Any more losses and you could be working in the library.” Later that week, in an unprecedented move, Mr. Davis and Mr. Lawson walked the entire football squad to the Soccer Field to cheer for the Soccer Team while it played another school.
This was an excellent lesson in sportsmanship for all of us, and the opposing team did see Wheatley “solidarity” – contrived and superficial as it was. Undaunted (although perhaps impressed), the opposing team continued to kick its way to victory. Mr. Lawson, never known for his dry wit, said to Mr. Maskin: “You do know the Dewey Decimal System, don’t you.” Best to all, Gene.
Music Teachers - Writes Arthur H. Brown (1967) - Dear Art, The Music Department lost two very good teachers. Mr. Robert Pearson, who taught the band, and my good friend Doctor Godfrey Wills, whom we all called “Doc.” He was very helpful and understanding. At Wheatley I was teased and bullied, and Doc helped me get through it and made me feel a lot better.
Writes Takemi Ueno (1983) - “Thanks for letting me know of Ms. Rinaudo's death -- it is sad news, but it is important to know about it. She was the first -- and, so far, only -- teacher with whom I took private cello lessons. I will make a donation in her memory, and I will also devote my next concert to her memory.”
1958 - Steve Nelson - Publishes Recently Deceased Wife’s Novel
Writes Steve - “In 1956 a 10-year-old girl named Jan Lewis spent summer days around the pool at the Roslyn Country Club. She didn’t live in the Country Club community, but she was the guest of a family who were members of the club. At the time, I was 15 and lived a block away from the club on Pebble Lane. I hung out at the pool all summer, but as a teenage boy I never noticed her. In 1969 I was living near Harvard Square, a block away from a pub called The Plough & Stars, a favorite hangout. One night at the pub a friend of mine named Ann introduced me to a friend of hers who was visiting for a couple of days: “Steve Nelson… Jan Lewis.” We spent the evening chatting over pints of draft Guinness Stout.
In the mid-1970s Jan, by then my wife, wrote an historical novel based on the true story of a young woman from Massachusetts named Deborah Sampson, who disguised herself as a man, enlisted in the American army during the Revolutionary War, and served undetected for 17 months. She was chosen for an elite infantry unit, was wounded in combat against Tory loyalists terrorizing the Hudson Valley, and was promoted as an aide to a general. At the time, Jan’s book did not get published. But after she passed away in 2020, I decided to publish her book myself, which I just did. The Memoir of a Female Soldier is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BTT6MZ1L.
(Cover photo of Jan taken by me when we lived in Deborah Sampson’s birthplace, 1974)
1963 - (L-R) - Marilyn Nadel Fox, Marcia Friedman Kramer Mayer, Frannie Kraman Freedman, and (seated) Louise Sobin
Writes Marcia - “On February 21, 2023 the four of us met for dinner at Chris & Tony’s Restaurant & Lounge in Syosset. Marilyn lives in Oyster Bay, Louise in the Roslyn Country Club, Frannie in Melville, and I in Laurel Hollow. Marilyn is still working, as a real estate broker for Daniel Gale. The rest of us are retired. Better you should picture us when alive than dead. (An obliging waiter shot the photo.)
Two of us (Louise and I) have buried husbands, and all of us have buried parents, so the otherwise upbeat talk touched on cemeteries and tombstones. Three of us (Louise, Marilyn, and myself) have granddaughters now enrolled at the University of Michigan, and one (Frannie) has a daughter who long since graduated from there, so lots of commonality on that score as well. We also spoke about our shared political values and current exercise regimens.”
1967 +1970 - L-R - Jackie Finger Hall (1970), Lorraine Eisner Fitelson, and Ginny Bindman Westerfeld (both 1967)
Writes Lorraine - “I was visiting Ginny in Jensen Beach, Florida, and she has a neighbor from Wheatley, Jackie Finger Hall (1970)! Here we all are!!”
1968 - L-R - Jon Rosenbloom, Joel Blumenthal, Andy Forstenzer, and David Pinter
Writes Classmate Lois Hegyi Goldstein - “I just want to give a shout out to Joel Blumenthal, Andy Forstenzer, David Pinter and Jon Rosenbloom. You all look great. It must have been fun to get together. Enjoy your winter down south and continue to stay well and have fun!!
1968 - Ricki Spier Cohen) - Small-World Stories
Writes Ricki - “I recognized the four golfers immediately!
Reading the post by James Wallach about Mr. Lawson owning a sleep-away camp that he attended brought back some odd memories of my own. After graduating from SUNY Buffalo and before getting married, I began my math teaching career by substituting in many Long Island school districts. I applied to the Great Neck Schools and was interviewed by none other than one of my former social studies teachers at Wheatley, Bernard Seiderman, who I believe was an associate superintendent of the Great Neck District at the time. It was a strange experience. Did he remember me as the very shy student who rarely raised her hand? Did he remember me at all? I got hired, and the first time I was called to substitute, I faced a group of students who I had in my bunk when I was a counselor at a sleep-away camp called ‘Tyler Hill.’
A Wheatley biology teacher, Ozzie Stewart, worked at a sleep-away camp that I worked at before my time there. When he heard that was what I was doing during the summer, he told me about his experiences at that camp. Then he visited the camp during that summer and I got to see him again. The other thing I remember about Mr. Stewart's class was the biology lesson about the human heart. He did not bring us any human hearts, but a trip to the kosher butcher supplied him with a few cow parts, and there was the trachea, lungs and heart, and a metal tag in Hebrew indicating that the products were kosher. He proceeded literally to throw the cow parts from the front of the room onto a few lab tables so that we could investigate them. I also remember that Mr. Stewart would wear a tie-tack of the item that we were dissecting, such as a frog or a crayfish.
In 11th grade I was once at the house of Mitch Stephens (1967). I met his mother, who I remember as a petite, pretty blond. She looked very familiar to me. Then I realized that she was a long-term substitute for Lula E. Smith, who I had as a teacher at Willets Road, and Mitch's mom was my teacher!
I remember when Mitch and classmate Art Engoron slept over at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair. I met them there the following morning, when I was in 9th or 10th grade. Our friend-in-common at the time was my classmate, Sharon Wolf.”
Moral of the story .... always be at your best! You never know who you will meet again down the road of life.”
1969 - James Wallach - Other Camp Experiences
Writes James - “Just a follow-up on connections: the summer I wrote about in Newsletter # 98 was my third year of sleep-away camp. My first was at Camp Talcott, a YMCA camp. How or why my parents found it I’ll never know…..but after a week of being homesick and crying every night I was inducted into the Owl’s Club, where I met Andy Forstenzer (1968), who kind of took me under his wing and changed my camp experience completely. The next year I went to Camp Pocono Highlands without knowing anybody, and on the bus found classmate Johnny Rutenberg, who was a veteran of that camp and who showed me the ropes. Turned out I went to camp as either a camper or counselor from summer after 3rd grade until summer before senior year in college. That wouldn’t have happened without those early school connections.
L-R - Front Row - ???, Jonny Prince, ???, Jimmy Wallach, Jimmy Nordlinger (1970), ??? Steve Lansky (1969)
Back Row - Charlie Trantum (1966), Roger Kansakas, Jay Keillor (1966), Bob Campagnola (1966), Don Lansky (1967), Denis Feldman (1966), Jeffrey Knetzer (1966), Chuck Logan, Tony Gallo(?)
1969 - Writes Paul “Flea” Ingrassia - “In response to memories of Coach Lawson's camp: by the time I was in high school it was a football camp for our football team. I went for two years to get ready for cross-country; the first year was with Dick Rasmussen (1967); the second year I was withBob Bush (1970). Coach Lawson's uncle, Ernie, the athletic director at Great Neck South High School, would give us cross-country workouts while the football players practiced. It was a great time of bonding for Dick and me and Bob and me. I also have many fond memories of the fun we had the following year and of the hospitality of Coach’s wife and mother.”
1970 + 1960 - Mitchell Shapiro + Ken Martin - Wheatley 1970 Meets Wheatley 1960
L-R - Ken (1960) and Cheryle Martin, Mitch (1970) and Donna Shapiro
Writes Mitch - “In New Smyrna Beach, Florida, my wife Donna and I had a great time with Ken and Cheryle Martin and Earl Ewing (Ken’s Cousin, who taught at Wheatley from 1964 to 1967 and again in 1969). Donna and I drove three hours north just to meet them for a couple hours, and let me tell you, it was well worth the trip to meet Ken and to get to know him and his wife, Cheryle, and to reminisce with Earl about Wheatley days. Very interesting people, and I’m looking forward to building my friendship with them as time goes on. Connecting with alumni I never knew is a great experience, that much I must share.”
L-R - Ken Martin (1960), Mitch Shapiro (1970), Earl Ewing (Faculty) - Showing the Colors.
Writes Ken Martin (1960) - On February 17, 2023, my wife Cheryle, cousin Earl, and I had the pleasure of having lunch with Mitch Shapiro and his lovely wife Donna in our New Smyrna Beach, FL home.
L-R - Cheryle, Mitch, Donna, and Earl. Ken is reflected in the glass, top left corner.
Some background is in order. I first learned of Mitch Shapiro in Art Engoron’s splendid Wheatley Alumni Newsletter. The particular squib was about a meeting between Art and Mitch that mentioned the remarkable charity that Mitch started almost 20 years ago. Hello Google and Hi to the website describing the charity: Help America Hear. Mitch and I connected via the site and we exchanged several emails. At one point Mitch mentioned that he and Donna planned to visit his mother and sister in south Florida during February, and he suggested that we meet each other. My reply was, “Great.” So we did.
What an inspirational individual our fellow graduate, Mitch Shapiro, is! He grew up in the days when childhood physical challenges were not easily diagnosed, nor addressed in a school setting. Unbeknownst to him, he had severely degenerating eyesight and failing hearing. He graduated from high school, took a few classes at a junior college, and eventually entered the family restaurant business, where he worked for 25 years. Mitch retired and both his eyesight and hearing continued to deteriorate. Currently, he is virtually blind, although his hearing, aided by a cochlear implant, gets him by.
At lunch, Mitch told a story that I want you to know. He was at a conference in Asheville, NC, and a speaker said words to this effect: “Take the weaknesses you have and turn them into your strengths.” This was an epiphany for Mitch, and he took the suggestion to heart. He started his charity and has never taken a dime from it, yet Mitch has raised a lot of money and helped countless young people address their hearing issues. And Mitch helps the charity financially by appearing in many venues, where he performs as a standup comic. His schtick revolves around his blindness and hearing problems. You read that correctly: he raises funds by making fun of himself and his limitations. You can read about Mitch’s Help America Hear charity at the following link:
Mitch Shapiro's Help America Hear Charity
Listen, my fellow alumni, Mitch Shapiro’s charity needs financial help. He told me so. Thus, I’m asking those so inclined and inspired to go to his webpage and make a donation. He is not only one of us, but he is a true American hero in our midst.
Veritatem Quaerite (Seek the Truth)
Writes Art Engoron (1967): Some 4,000 people receive this Newsletter. If everyone donates just $20, we could make a big difference in the lives of many people.
1972 - Robin Freier Edwards - Responding to Glen Hammer (1965)
Writes Robin - “Hearing from Glen was so nice! I was only eight-years-old when the Hammers moved out of the school district, but when they lived across the street from me, I followed his younger twin brothers, Jay and Lee, around like a puppy! I idolized them - they were like big brothers to me (and I think I was the only one who could easily tell them apart!). I have so many wonderful memories of them (Foxy, their box turtle; the monkey that they brought home as a pet; the mini-alligator; and so many pranks!). Such great memories! Glen, please give them my love!”
1976 - Lisa Kozupsky Pritchard - A Nurse Asking Us All to Help
Writes Lisa - “Please Give…..It Matters…..and other Incidental Points of View.
I would like to respond to John Sullivan’s contribution and his struggles in the Non-Profit arena of our Medical and Social communities. You are not alone in your funding and operational woes. You are absolutely amazing in your commitment to those whom we turn away from and who’s situations can be terminally difficult to solve on so many levels. You are a hero to me. To the Wildcats and their families who may think their money is not spent well, I beg you to rethink your stance. Your contributions are well spent and desperately appreciated. There are many of us in different aspects of procuring kindness. We are the Nurses, Doctors, and Master-level Social Workers who run non-profits and private practices. We are Computer Programmers, Fire and EMS, Physical, Occupational Therapists, Supply Chain and Travel Agents. The list is expansive and endless. I am one of many Nurses who Woke up (this time, not by my cat) and decided to Liberally sprinkle compassion. After many years as an ER/Trauma Nurse, I switched to the Surgical Recovery Room, which afforded me the ability to volunteer with Resurge International. Through generous donations, I have been able to volunteer in Vietnam multiple times, Ecuador, Bolivia and Tanzania. I will be leaving in a few week to go to Paraguay with Operation Smile. Being Woke up at very early hours of the morning, we to go to Third-World hospitals and work very long hours. The constant asking of the interpreter, “What did they say?,” is always a given. Fighting back tears that start with tragic family plights, instruments that don’t work or don’t exist, X-rays hung on van door windows to view during roadside surgical consultations, are the norm. Never forget to bring duct tape. As we see in Turkey/Syria and Ukraine, the need is overwhelming, as it is also in our own neighborhoods. Please give.
If your life is full of unabashed name-calling for those you think have been Woke in the middle of the night by my cat, please volunteer. Maybe your angry view of being Woke up might transgress to the abyss of exhaustion, kinda smelling bad, pining for any piece of equipment that works, and, of course, Don’t ask, Don’t tell - what you are eating for lunch- just eat it. Add lack of funds to the feeling like you are drowning by the onslaught is constant. Until that one glimmer, and the world opens up. Please give your time, any non-counterfeit cash lying around, equipment, or your expertise. It does make a difference.
OK…..Here’s my Bio before I Die:
1. Bad Behavior
2. Defying all very good sound advice whenever I can.
3. Cursing - My father taught me well. I have written proof.
4. Horseback riding still, after everything - see # 2
I have references for all stated above, for any Wildcat who is contemplating that this is a self-absorbed conspiracy theory.
Tanzania - A mother holding her baby in the operating room as the child is given anesthesia before the start of surgery. Note the red trash bag on her head. There are limited surgical caps available but many plastic bags .
1980 - Adam Goldstein - Belated Response to Steve Rushmore Article in Issue # 78
Writes Adam - “I enjoyed Stephen Rushmore's article about his family's farm in Roslyn Heights. I had no idea. Interesting and informative. Great pics.
Steve Rushmore Article on Rushmore Farms, Prelude to the Roslyn Country Club
Can also be accessed through The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 78
The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 78
1983 - Mark Horowitz - Muscle Man
Mark Horowitz and a 98-pound weakling
Writes Mitch Stephens (1967) - “Spotted In Nashville.”
Writes Judy Bregman (1967) - “Here’s what’s distilling in the Midwest!”
The Wheatley School Alumni Association Forum/Soapbox
Writes Karen Bartscherer (Faculty) - “Art and Keith, The Newsletters seem to be more diverse and interactive lately. Contributors are offering more detailed memories and are sharing engaging updates about their current lives. Perhaps the recent considerations about whether to include in this publication any contemporary topical commentary has stirred the pot, so to speak, and have encouraged lively and meaningful exchanges among more and more readers of this outstanding Newsletter.
One opinion that will provoke no argument, I am sure, is that both of you, Art and Keith, deserve a great deal of thanks from all of us. With each edition, you create an uncommon opportunity to reminisce and reconnect for a diverse group of people, many of them well on in years, all of them with a shared past spent in the East Williston School District, whether as a student, a teacher, or an administrator. Bonds that continue to provide a sense of community and belonging, persisting for decades and decades are exceptional; I’d say extraordinary, really.”
Writes Jay Cummings (1960) - “I was a child of the 50’s. Everything we did we was surrounded by patriotism and romance. Every Doo Wop song was about love. It was a time of innocence. In public school in Queens we had to learn every patriotic speech, and to this day I remember every word of every one. I love my Country and cannot relate to the woke, progressive, socialist politics in today’s society. I feel sorry for the next generation. We just saw how young girls are in a lot of trouble. We see all of academia failing our youth, as we have fallen to 26th in the world as China continues its desire to take over the world. Social media is destroying our youth, and so is the spending of the tax-and-spend, liberal, free stuff politicians, who buy votes (ie: forgiving the responsibility of paying back their student loans, and why is college $75,000 a year?) and opening our sovereign borders to unvetted millions hoping they and their offspring will vote liberal. Hopefully they will see they came from a failed socialist Country not wanting the same here, by creating a debt that will be born by our children and grandchildren. I want to give a personal thank you to everyone who understands where I’m coming from, which is a free market capitalistic conservative point of view. No one ever gave me a penny. My thrill came from working hard, smart, and honest in the world of New York commercial real estate. I had my bad years as a broker but never quit, now having peace of mind and of course good health for the rest of my life. I wish everyone the same, and I thank the grads who feel the way I do.
The perfect example of the liberal political mind: They cause the problem and then come to your rescue. They spend us into oblivion, inflation goes through the roof and then the liberal big government comes to your rescue with trillions in free stuff spending that is your money. They caused the Ukraine war with a feckless foreign policy (like in Afghanistan) weakness which Dictator’s see and then then spend billions of American taxpayer’s dollars to rescue the invaded countries. Up next is Taiwan, where we will be spending more billions to come their rescue and billions to rebuild Ukraine and who suffers the most, it’s our children and grandchildren who will have to pay the debt. If Trump was still president there would be no war, there would be 1.4% inflation, there would be $2.00 gas, there would be secure borders, we would be energy independent, we would have peace and prosperity like never before! Vote liberal and destroy the future of America, the once Shining City on a Hill”
Writes Carol Becker Goldberg (1961) - “Art and all: I usually just enjoy reading the newsletter. But now I feel like saying something.
I quote Nancy Kurshan.
‘The Class of 1961 was great. I appreciate my classmates more now than I did then. And I appreciate some of the people who are willing to talk with me even if we don’t agree. I believe in conversation and dialogue. To me, that’s much of what being human is about.’
Nancy, I hope you do not mind me quoting you. I have always tried to live my life according to your above words. I have a fairly good-sized family. We run the gamut Religiously and Politically. The one thing we all do when we get together is respect each other. We always have a great time. The same goes for my friends. Somehow, if you take the time in life to show respect for one another, life will hold some wonderful times. The entire world could use respect and consideration now.”
Writes Rhoda Kalkin Schneider (1961) - “I appreciate your response, Fred!” Writes Fred Carillo (1960) - “Paul Giarmo (1976), you are a Patriot of the America we knew during the 50’s! God Bless Jay Cummings (1960), Rhoda Kalkin Schneider (1961), and you!!!”
Writes Jeffrey Jacobs (1963) - “Apparently I was mistaken, Rhoda (Kalkin Schneider, 1961). There are at least 2 or 3 patriots among Wheatley alumni who have the good sense to acknowledge you! Seriously, it does make me wonder how many Wheatleyites identify themselves as "patriots" or "constitutionalists" or (perhaps less willingly these days) "Republicans")…..don't you wonder?”
Writes Jill Simon Forte (1967) - “YAY to Paul Ingrassia and all the liberal, free-thinkers that Wheatley produced ðŸ˜.
Faculty (Robert Brandt) -💗
1962 (Richard Glassman) - 💗
1964 (Natalie Cobb) - 💗
1965 (Clifford Montgomery) - 💗 - “Another great Newsletter, Art.”
1967 (Arthur H. Brown) - “I alwasy look forward to getting the Alumni Newsletter. Thanks again for all your work.”
1969 (Paula Panzeca Foresto) - 💗
1969 (Beth Pollack) - 💗
1970 (George Ryan) - “Thank You, Art, for all you do. The Newsletter is always informative and interesting!”
1971 (Mary Demelas Bonsignore) -💗
1974 (Bob Berta) - “I look forward to the Newsletters, which many people enjoy. Arthur, you have our hearts and minds.......and people see you as fair........so all is good. Keep up the great work.”
1976 (Lisa Kozupsky Pritchard) - “Thanks for your wonderful, fabulous, time-consuming work.”
1976 (Leigh Tessler) - 💗
1977 (Peter Fitzpatrick) -💗¸
1979 (Jannette Knowles) - 💗
1980 (Gary Correnti) -💗
1990 (Dana Lieber Moriarty) - 💗
???? (Elizabeth) -💗
That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 99. Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.
Arthur Fredericks Engoron, Class of 1967