Lots of Material Keeps Coming in Over the Transom
Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,
Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 102!
According to Substack, in the first 24 hours after publication Newsletter # 101 was viewed 3,918 times, was “liked” 12 times, and received one comment. Four thousand, six hundred and forty seven email addresses receive the Newsletter.
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 101 Newsletters (and other Wheatley data and arcana) at
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
On Friday, April 14, at 8 PM, Takemi Ueno (1983) will play with the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Space (Broadway & West 95th St.). The program consists of the premiere of "Fractured Nation" by Arturo O'Farrill (a 7-time Grammy Award winner specializing in Afro-Latin jazz), "Scheherazade" by Rimsky-Korsakov, and selections from "Swan Lake" by Tchaikovsky. Tickets are $23 for students and seniors. Regular tickets are usually $30, but you can get them for $25 at the orchestra's website (Advance Ticket Sales – New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra (nasorch.org)) until 3 PM the day of the concert.
That Other “Wheatley” School
John Mok, Class of 1968, forwarded me an article from which the following is excerpted: “Although Texas has given the Houston Independent School District a B rating, it plans to take over the Houston schools because one school, Wheatley High School, has not made sufficient progress since 2017.
Finally, everyone is identified:
Top - Richard Perlin
Middle L-R - Mike Lonegan, Mitch Laskey
Bottom L-R - Mike Wohl, Mark Zeravica, Richard Frankfort (all 1968)
Kenny Gallard (1968) identified the player in the middle of the bottom row as Mark Zeravica. Kenny also writes, “Yeah...that Eastern Military Academy victory was a big deal. We really showed up in force for that one. We had a blast.”
Writes Ellen Frey Wineman - “Hi, Arthur, I thoroughly enjoy the Newsletter, but I don't often feel the need to write in. I particularly enjoyed the article about the history of Wheatley football, but I have to correct the record concerning Wheatley's big win against Roslyn in 1965. You see, my husband, Andy Wineman, went to our arch rival, Roslyn. Yes, I married him anyway. He graduated in 1965. He offers these corrections. In 1965 Roslyn High School teams were not called “The Highlanders”; they were called “The Bulldogs.” One of his closest friends was the ‘enormous’ player Anthony Napoli (1965) remembers. His name was Ray Lesch. While Ray was a large and imposing figure, Andy says he was never as huge as Anthony remembers. Maybe it was the white uniforms. Ray was also one of the nicest guys around. He was truly a gentle giant. Sadly, Ray passed away many years ago. It is nice to know that he is remembered, even though it was in a brief encounter by someone he never knew.”
Writes Bernadette McCrave Quinn (1983) - “What great stories about the football team?! Great for Tom Fitzpatrick to get some good input.”
David Israel - Appreciated
Writes Donna Brescia (1968) - “In Newsletter # 101 I was happy to see David Israel, who introduced me to poetry in my all-time, still-on-my-shelf book of poetry, Reflections on the Gift of Watermelon Pickle. I think of him and his fabulous class each time I pick up that book!”
Writes Jonathan Sporn (1971) - “Dear Art, Thank you for the photo of David Israel, the Wheatley teacher who had by far the greatest impact on my development. I’m glad to see that he looks like he is still capable of, in the phrase that he used when it was time to move forward with the lesson plan, ‘beating his way up the Zambezi.’ At the all-class Wheatley celebration a few years back, I had the opportunity to tell DKI how much he’d meant to me, and I hope it brings him satisfaction to be reminded.
Irwin “Ozzie” Stewart - Writes Mara Danziger Robinson (1967) - “He kindly showed me around Berkeley (and I don’t remember where else) in the summer of ’66, when my Arista Teen Tour stopped in San Francisco. It was so nice of him to take time out of his day to do that.”
Herbert Wheeler - Many alumni fondly remember Wheatley mathematics teacher Herb Wheeler. He was engaging in the classroom and for years supervised the Cycling Club, called, inevitably, Wheelers’ Wheelers. The club even had its own patch (submitted by Howard Davidson, 1972):
1961 - Judy Gruskin Howell - Sisters at a Party
Top to Bottom - Amy Gruskin Gerstein (1966), Judy Gruskin Howell (1961)
1963 - Mary Lee Holly Cerillo - Still Alive and Kicking
Writes Mary Lee - “My husband Andy and I are still enjoying our life in the mountains. We are active in our community, enjoy hiking, nature photography, knitting and spending time with our basset hound.
We celebrated our fifty-sixth wedding anniversary on March 11th. Seems hard to believe that I met Andy at Wheatley when I was a freshman. He actually worked on my campaign running for class secretary on the Olympic Party. I lost to Leslie Schiller (Fisher). I should have known then that somehow I’d end up in politics.
1966 - Amy Gruskin Gerstein and Suzanne Stone - Friends with their Husbands
L-R - Amy’s husband Richard Gerstein; Suzanne’s husband Paul Miles; Amy; Suzanne, at Carmine’s Upper West Side Restaurant in NYC on Amy’s 75th birthday.
1966 - Neal Kirby - Fire in the Mountains
Writes Neal - “Hi Art, Given our age and certain health conditions, my wife and I have barely been out of the house the past three years, but I hope to make a pilgrimage back East to visit before my knees fuse.
As I sit here watching yet another rainstorm, I’m mentally preparing for the inevitable phone calls from friends and relatives on the East Coast. Since the passing of my 93 year-old uncle last year, I have officially become the family alter kaker, which bestows the right and privilege of being cranky. So they know what to expect. Now having lived in Southern California for 52+ years, I am quite familiar with the climate and weather, and I am growing weary of being told I should be grateful for the rain. I am, to the extent that it’s something different! I live in a community called Coto de Caza, in Orange County. Our average yearly rainfall should be about 14 inches. That’s four inches above the definition of a desert. I jokingly refer to our seasons as brown or green – four months of green hillsides and eight months of brown. Our “rainy” season is usually between late November and early March – that’s it. Maybe once every two or three years we’ll get a July thunderstorm that’s blown westward from Arizona during their monsoon season. My house is at an elevation of about 900’, and we sit at the base of a 6,000’ mountain (Santiago Peak). All the snow you are seeing in the news in SoCal has occurred in two mountain ranges about an hour north and an hour east of my location. They are beautiful locations with lakes, trees, etc. Not my mountain – we are too close to the coast. The only trees you’ll find are a few live oaks tucked into north-facing creek beds (usually dry). Otherwise, it is covered in sage and other bushes.
So yes, we need the water – most of the western US has been in years of a climate-change-induced exceptional drought. We don’t need it all at once. Northern CA has seen terrible flooding. The Central Valley is as flat as a pancake – the water has nowhere to go. The snow in the Sierras and our Southern ranges has been way above normal, trapping residents and collapsing buildings. We do not have those problems (well, some landslides near the coast) where I live, but here’s what will happen. On the “lighter” side, all this rain, causing an over-abundance of plant growth, will result in a wildlife explosion this spring. Mice, rat and rabbit populations will go off the charts. This will result in a large increase in the populations of hawks and coyotes. Watching the hawks soar and circle is fun and relaxing, but being awoken by packs of coyotes howling on the nearby golf course at 1:00 AM can get annoying.
Now, the “dark” side (Luuuuke!). The grasses and sage, etc., will grow exponentially in the next three months. What should normally be 2-3’ high will become 6-8’ high. And, regardless of the amount of rain we get, this will all dry out between May and July. By August, it will not just burn, but become explosive.
Here’s a pic of our last big fire (arson-caused) in 2018.
My house would be at the right edge of the picture in the middle, on the back side of the hill. This view is from the west looking east, overlooking the small community of Rancho Santa Margarita. Though the fire started on the east slope, as pictured, it came over the top about an hour after this picture was taken. Very fortunately, an early morning westerly sea breeze came up to assist the firefighters, who stopped the fire only about a mile from the town. Bottom line? We are not looking forward to this summer – time to break out the Nomex underwear. Best to all – Neal”
1967 - Jack Wolf - Pictured with Tommie
1968 - Paul Ingrassia - Thankful for Coach and Teammates
Writes Paul - “Further remembrances of the cross-country team: Not only have I had long-term relationships with some of my teammates, but I also would like to give a shout-out to other members of our family. Coach Irwin August found ways to make our experiences fun and sometimes a little crazy despite working us extremely hard. I would like to pick out certain teammates for their contributions to my life, though with close to 30 members of the team, these people are only a sampling. Steve Shukow (1970) juggled two sports, but he always performed well when we needed him the most: the two county and state championships. He once managed to finish 8th in the state. Greg Fitzpatrick (1970), a lifelong friend, was the key to our county and second state titles.
The runners farther back always brought something as well. Lance Stein (1970) was usually back in the pack but always showed the effort and determination to do his best. I had many adventures with Herman “Will” Harjes (1969) and remember hanging out at Ricky Lowenthal’s (1970) house. Pete Siegelman (1969) could always make me laugh with his quick wit. There were so many more and to all of you, you helped this shy, insecure teen to perform way beyond my belief in myself. Thank you all for your friendship and support.”
1972 - Jacqueline Obrant Millstein - A House in the “S” Section
Writes Jacqueline - “In 1956, my family moved from Philadelphia to the Roslyn Country Club “S” Section. Our house had a lovely backyard with a crab apple tree (the “S” Section having originally been an apple orchard). These were not eating apples. They were little grenades. When it got windy the sound of them hitting the lawn would wake you from a sound sleep. But my dad refused to chop it down.
Over the years, many families expanded, built second floors and installed pools. By the 1970s, there were only a few original Levitt houses left. When we renovated in the mid-1960s, my dad built a miniature version of the house out of balsa wood - completely to scale, to show the architect his plan for the major addition of a den and a studio with great natural light for my mom (she was a painter). Two years ago, while out on Long Island, my family and I drove past the house, and it was gone. In its place, a McMansion was under construction.”
1972 - Judith Oppenheim Darrah - Happiness up North
Writes Judith - “Not my obit yet: After graduation I headed to Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. With my business degree in hand, I moved to Manhattan and began a career in advertising. I retired in 2000 as VP Director of National Broadcast at an ad agency (my dream job). In 2000 I moved to Ontario, Canada and married the man of my dreams. We have a son living in Ottawa with our soon-to-be daughter-in-law.
Life in Canada has been wonderful. A little more snow than Long Island (okay sometimes a lot more) and free healthcare (it’s not perfect but it works).
SuZanne Zenker Gilbride’s History of Roslyn Heights homes was great. Ah, yes, the radiant heat in the floors. Every time we had a leak my mom would call Joe Orr. He would remove a linoleum tile and dig down to the copper pipes, fix the leak, fill in the hole, and cover it with a new matching tile. From where did all the tiles come?
1973 - Edward Ryder) - Still Young
Writes Woody - “Thanks Art. Great photo in front of the Great Neck Diner of David Israel, Karen Bartscherer, and that other guy. As the spouse of a proud United Federation of Teachers member, who is in her 3rd decade of being a NYC Special Ed teacher, I continue to applaud David Israel for his role as union president at Wheatley.
1976 - Jessica Fadem - Deceased
Jessica died in 2013 of ovarian cancer. She had been a professional dancer, a Pilates instructor, and had just been certified as a Homeopath when she fell ill. She was living in Brooklyn with her son, Sam Horowitz, whom she adored. He has grown into an exceptional young man of whom she would be enormously proud.
1981 - John Hughes - Appreciated Once More
Writes Bernadette McCrave Quinn (1983) - WOW! I just read the piece by John Hughes (1981) in Newsletter # 92 and I am in awe. What a great story?! I was good friends with his brother Patrick (1983)!
Faculty (Robert Brandt) - ❤️
Faculty (Marge Mayerson) - ❤️
Parent (Leah Tchack) - “I send my thanks and admiration for all your Wheatley work.”
1961 (Joan Bressman Hoffman) - ❤️
1961 (Camille Napoli Cannizzo) - ❤️ - “Thank you always, Art and Keith, for all the Newsletters that you put together for us to enjoy. My Baby Brother, Anthony “Tony” Napoli, loved writing, and I loved reading, his memories of Wheatley. I couldn’t get over how much he remembered……I was impressed and proud. All the memories that were submitted were wonderfully written and how nice to recall some names and remember others vividly. Baby Bro, as I call him, had emailed me a copy so I am glad it made our amazing Wheatley Newsletter….looking forward to more…...xxxCamillexxx 1961”
1961 (John Rigrod) - ❤️
1963 (Mary Lee Holly Cerillo) - “I appreciate that you’re religiously getting the Wheatley Newsletters out. What a good alumni you are?! I also appreciate Keith and all he is doing to keep all of us in touch.”
1964 (Richard Kaplin) - ❤️
1964 (Steve Morris) - “Great Newsletter Art! The sports recollections were wonderful. It seems as if they happened just yesterday. And Ken Yagoda is right: Roger Sullivan brought excellence and inspiration to everything he did.” ❤️
1965 (Barbara Ashley) - “OMG, the amount of effort you put into this newsletter - no one could ever imagine.”
1965 (Glen Hammer) - ❤️
1966 (Ken Distler) - “This newsletter, truly a long-term labor of love, remains excellent. In fact, it seems to get ever better. I doubt there exists anywhere else such a marvelous archive of high school graduate lives, memories, tales and opinions. Simply an astounding effort.”
1966 (Neal Kirby) - “Thanks so much for keeping the Wheatley Newsletter going. I very much enjoy reading news of my old classmates and our school and its environs.”
1967 (Mara Danziger Robinson) - “Keep up the good work.”
1967 (Scott Frishman) - “Hi Art, A wonderful Newsletter, as I always expect from you.”
1967 (Cynthia Shapiro Chadderdon) - ❤️
1967 (Jill Simon) - “The Newsletters are fun. I love reading about the people that I remember.”
1968 (Donna Brescia) - “Thanks again for a great newsletter, Art.”
1968 (Lois Hegyi Goldstein) - ❤️
1970 (Cathy Gerson Lee) - ❤️
1970 (Maria Giordano Gittleman) - ❤️
1970 (Howard Davidson) - ❤️
1971 (Donna Faruolo Gillen) - “Thank you, Arthur and Keith, for all you do in gathering and sharing so much with us all!”
1972 (Judith Oppenheim Darrah) - “I just finished Newsletter #101. Fantastic!! The sports memories were wonderful. The things I never knew. I do recall a victory party after a football game where Wheatley scored a touchdown but lost the game. Thanks, Art, all the newsletters are heart warming to read. The one with Tommy Glaser’s parents’ story was the best, and #101 is a close second. I never knew Tom Kuveikis, but I wish I had. He was a real hero on 9/11 and all the days before.”
1977 (Peter Fitzpatrick) - ❤️
1980 (Cheryl Feidner Murad) - ❤️
1981 (John Hughes) - “Many thanks for all that you do.”
1990 (Dana Lieber Moriarty) - ❤️
That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 102. Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.
Arthur Fredericks Engoron, Class of 1967
© 2023 ARTHUR ENGORON