HERD IN THE HALLS II
Well, here we are again with more 60th anniversary stuff...
Some folks added things to what they gave us already, some wrote in with new inputs, some had comments on what was already published, and in one case, I somehow misplaced an original input and now bring it forth. In any case, here are more memories and reflections about Chappaqua, Greeley, and the past 60 years.
For starters, in keeping with the theme of memories of the town and people we knew as we grew up there, we have a wonderful memoir by Gene Sheridan. Gene attended high school at the Cardinal Stepinac School in White Plains, graduating in 1959. He was friends with many of us, and participated in lots of sports activities in town. (He and Tom Stephens and I played Little League ball together the very first year of LL in Chappaqua.) You will probably remember the grocery store his family operated for many years on downtown King St.
Merchants & Memories, Growing up in Chappaqua
By Gene Sheridan
I have always been interested in the people who have emigrated to the United States and help build America. Movies such as “I remember Mama,” with its portrayal of a lovely Scandinavian family, a recent PBS show about Boris and Bessie Thomashefsky, who emigrated from the Ukraine and were responsible for the founding of the Yiddish theater in America and a Greek couple who settled in Detroit gave insights about the immigrant experience. So here are some of my memories.
Eugene Sheridan, my father, who emigrated from County Cavan, Ireland in 1927, bought Jack Diamond’s grocery store at 17 King Street in 1946. We lived in the back of the building on the second floor. About 1956 he moved the store across the street to 12 King Street. He sold the grocery business and went into real estate for over 30 years. JEN MCCABE SHERIDAN, my mother, emigrated from County Longford, Ireland in 1929. Besides being a homemaker, she worked in the grocery stores. About 1951, my parents bought a lot from the HAVILAND family and built a home at the corner of St Johns Place and Prospect Drive. My mother won a contest to name the neighborhood “Cloverlea” on Hardscrabble Road at the end of Douglas Road. My sister Patricia, has been a member of the Sisters of the Divine Compassion in White Plains for 55 years. Carmela, my wife, retired after 20 years of teaching and I retired after 20 years of social work. We created and operated a bed and breakfast for 12 years near West Point in a 200-year-old home built by Irish immigrants.
Next door to us in Chappaqua, was the CARTISANO family who operated their shoe store on the first floor of their building. Antonio, who immigrated from Southern Italy via Canada, and his wife, Carmela, also an Italian immigrant, their daughter Frances, who sadly died about age 30, and their two sons, Vito and Rudy, lived above the shoe store. Mr. Cartisano, who was born on Columbus Day, loved to walk and lived to be about 104 years old. In the late 40’s or early 50’s, Vito, Rudy and I walked with him on the Saw Mill Parkway, which was under construction, all the way to Mount Kisco, and we got home somehow. Rudy owned La Scarpa, near the bottom of King Street and he eventually sold that business. Today Rudy lives in Florida. Vito, who said he was often teased in school about his Italian first name, moved from Pleasantville several years ago to North Carolina.
Between us and the Cartisano family was DICK BUETI and his GREELEY barbershop. ROSS was an assistant barber in the shop. He and Ross cut my hair from the time we moved to Chappaqua until I went off to Providence College in 1959. NICK BUETI, Dick’s brother, was known as an expert in his field and owned GREELEY TAYLORS on South Greeley Avenue.
To the left of us was MURRAY’S 5 & 10 CENT STORE, owned by MURRAY and FANNY KUPERSCHMID. They established their business there in 1941 after moving from the Bronx where they lived and had a store in Harlem. Murray was born in Poland and was a volunteer fireman in Chappaqua. Fanny was born in Germany was was active as a volunteer with the Red Cross for 50 years. Longtime employee, Mary Schipponne, lived in Millwood and died several years ago in her 90s.
Beyond them was PADDY PREDERGAST, who owned THE CENTRAL BAR and the Tudor style building above it. Paddy, who was from County Cork, Ireland, had a son John Joseph, who became an attorney and lives in Washington DC. The Kuperschmids lived in one of their apartments when they moved to Chappaqua. Mrs. KIANIE (sp?) owned a gift shop just to the right of the Cartisano’s driveway. On the right side of her house just after the alleyway was the office of IDA RICHARDS, real estate broker and insurance agent. She sold her business and retired to Syracuse, NY.
ROSE CLEANERS was across the street from our first Chappaqua home on King Street. Next door to the cleaners was DR. DONALD CADMAN’S “drug store.” He had three long-time workers there, Eddie, Joe and Al. One of whom, I think, his last name was Smith, lived in the Williamstown section of Mt. Kisco.
On the corner was the original GREELEY HARDWARE in a brown building operated by ABE and his partner, whose name I cannot recall. The building was torn down and a new brick building created where Starbucks and other stores are now.
ANTHONY MAGNOTTA, born in Italy, was another tailor in town at 53 King St. and South Greeley Avenue. CHAPPAQUA CLEANERS & TAILORS is still owned by the Magnotta family.
JIM FORSTER leased the TEXACO GAS STATION, had a manager named Gene; was Chappaqua Postmaster for a while and lastly a Realtor. Don Rhoane (sp?) took over the gas station and his son ran it after the father retired. The gas station was replaced with a building designed by the noted Chappaqua architect, CHUCK NAPOLI.
ANTHONY, commonly called TONY, and LAURA or LORETTA VISCOMI, owned the “Twin Diner” located at 27 South Greeley Avenue. It as called by that name because it was two diners put together side by side. Tony came from a town in Calabria on the Ionian Sea called Soverato Superiore, at age 17. She was born in Brooklyn. They raised their eight sons in the back of the diner and operated it for about 40 years. Tony went back to Italy on a trip with family members and died there after four days in the same house and the same room he was born in.
FRANK KIEFER, TEACHER AT THE OLD Horace Greeley HS, spent many hours correcting students’ papers and creating lesson plans at Viscomi’s Diner, according to John Viscomi.
BILL ELMAN’S stationery store (United Cigars) was across from the Twin Diner.
Also, on South Greeley Avenue was J. BAIN TURNER’S real estate office. LARRY CASO’S SQUIRES OF CHAPPAQUA. Larry was a great supporter of town sports, was very involved in town affairs and had a popular band that played at many occasions in the area. He passed away in 2004.
WILLIAM WEBER, an immigrant from Holland, had his florist business and greenhouse on South Greeley Avenue. I am told and vaguely remember he had a daughter who helped in the shop.
GEORGE HOWE was a long time Realtor in town: he passed away in his early 70s. ERIK NOCOLEYSON was an insurance agent nearby. He passed away in 1979 and his son has carried on in the same business.
The CHAPPAQUA NATIONAL BANK was on the corner where the Bank of America is now. MR MONTROSS was on the Board of Directors. The bank was closed on Saturdays, but in an unexpected emergency, such as family death or illness, CLIFFORD FISCHER would be glad to run down and open it up for the needy family.
Across the street from the bank was a building owned in the 1970’s and beyond by Dr. John Dolce of Rye. At the south end of this building was Police Officer TULLY’S LAUNDROMAT. Dr. Dolce also owned the brick building on the northwest corner of King Street and North Greeley Avenue. I remember a wanted poster about bank robber Willie “The Actor” Sutton posted on the outside of this building. A branch of the New York Telephone company was upstairs. Everybody in town was Central or CE 8 . . .
PHIL KOURIASIS, a Greek immigrant, who lived in Briarcliff Manor, next to St. Theresa’s church, owned the luncheonette across from the Chappaqua National Bank. Later the luncheonette became the Fish Market restaurant and later another restaurant. My father’s real estate business was on the north end. My father had moved his business to South Greeley Avenue from 39 South Bedford Road. CITIBANK eventually took over the restaurant and real estate spaces.
FRANK LARIZZA had two MOBIL GAS SATIONS in town; one was at the corner of South Greeley and Depot Place and the other on Bedford Road, where the car was building now is. He and his wife, Louise, raised two girls, Carolyn, who was a nurse, and Cecile, aka Sr. Marie Cecile, RDC, has been Principal of Our Lady of Sorrows Elementary School in White Plains for nearly 30 years.
MR. WILLIAMS was the ticket agent at the railroad station. The station was headline news in 1951 about someone stealing money from the newspaper change bowl. The local thief was secretly filmed (but never disclosed) by Mr. Williams. The story was picked up by the NY City newspapers and got a lot of attention. He subsequently made a TV appearance on “It's News to Me,” a celebrity panel show similar to "What's My Line?"
Ed. Note: That of course was my dad, and he told my sisters and me years later that you really couldn't tell anything for sure from the film, but just the threat was sufficient.
TOM RILEY was the manager of the Grand Union and Mr. GRIECO, who I believe lived in Hillholme, was the manager of Gristedes when they were at the bottom of King Street.
I think the old Post Office and the old Grand Union were located in the building occupied by Family Britches and their adjacent stores. The Post Office moved to North Greeley Ave. and Grand Union moved to the Nardozzi property at the top of the hill.
The old railroad depot on North Greeley Avenue, now the location of CVS and its parking lot, was where the 1947-1949 FREEDOM TRAIN stopped to display some of America’s famous historic documents. I remember visiting that exhibit with my mother and I have the book that was sold there.
DOUG HUNTER, after retiring from the TNC Police Department, operated a septic service from his home on North Greeley Avenue.
Another barber shop, operated by MR. PAPPELEO, an Italian Immigrant, was located on North Greeley Avenue. I believe a number of Italian families lived in that area, some of whom worked for the Town Water and Highway Departments.
DR. NELSON was our family doctor and he lived in the building just after where Douglas Elliman Real Estate is and where attorney ROD DAVIS was in the back.
MR. DUPONT was a music teacher and had his studio on upper King Street. He played the trombone in a NYC TV show orchestra.
On the corner of Prospect Drive and King street, lived MANUEL PEREZ and his family. He was a mason contractor in town and an immigrant from Spain.
At the top of the hill FRANK NARDOZZI and FAMILY owned the GRAND UNION SHOPPPING CENTER complex where Walgreens and other stores are now.
BILL DAVIS, New Castle Police Officer, (and later on the Board of Schenley Industries) owned HILLTOP LIQUORS.
CARMEN CARROZZA was born in Solano in Calabria in Southern Italy and emigrated with his family to America and settling in Chappaqua when he was 9. He played “up front” with many symphony orchestras as a classical accordion master. He performed all over the world and trained hundreds of local children to play in their musical instruments. The American Accordion Association named their main scholarship after him.
A community of French Immigrants lived off Overlook Drive. They were the HELPERS OF THE HOLY SOULS, a Catholic order of nuns who offered retreats there. I delivered groceries to them, even though they were critical of my father’s store being open on Sundays.
Working for the Town of New Castle, DPW, garbage truck section, was a man of forced immigrant heritage. I and others used to wave to him and say “Hi Scotty.” He was the only African American that I recall seeing in my youth in Chappaqua. With the help of the New Castle Historical Society and other sources I was able to clearly identify him as FLOYD MONROE SCOTT. He was a graduate of Horace Greeley High School, class of 1957. Floyd was also a member of the chorus and the Industrial Arts Club and a noted baseball, football and basketball player. I think he lived in Kisco Park while going to school in Chappaqua. Scotty went on to serve in the US Army, was married and had five children. Floyd was recognized as a handsome dresser. He was born in Peekskill and died there in 2014.
When my father was showing homes for sale in the 1960’s he showed an African American couple a property in Lawrence Farms. He was called the next day by a resident who said, “Why did you show those people a house in our neighborhood?” He told the caller, “They were financially qualified and it’s the law.”
I was not aware until the 70’s of the famous WILLIAMS family living on Route 100, Millwood. VANESSA WILLIAMS grew up in a musical family and was educated from the first grade through high school in the Chappaqua School System. She became the first African American Miss America and is a famous singer and actress. Vanessa and her mother, Mary William, a musician and retired teacher, recently wrote the lovely and revealing, You Have No Idea.
I often visited the SUTTON FAMILY farm on Whippoorwill Road to buy their corn. When it was available, the sign “Corn is Sweet” was displayed at the entrance to the farm.
HUGO WINTERHALTER, who was born in Wilkes-Barre, PA. in 1909, lived in Chappaqua for many years until his death in 1993. I call him a “merchant of music.” Mr. Winterhalter was a noted composer and musical arranger for Dinah Shore, Billy Eckstein, Perry Como and Eddy Fisher among others. He lived on an estate at the end of Spring Lane. He was a customer in my father’s grocery store. I have a postcard of Blarney Castle, Ireland sent to my parents signed by him. I delivered groceries to his house several times. He had several Billboard hits, including “Canadian Sunset” which reached #2 on the charts. On a 1959 album, 2 Sides of Winterhalter, he composed and recorded “A Chap from Chappaqua.” I have this album.
BERT SUGAR, sports writer and boxing historian, who was always pictured wearing a hat and smoking a cigar, lived on Roaring Brook Road near the current high school was another person I remember. I am not sure if he was a customer of our grocery store or my father sold him his house.
Lastly there is TOMMY MANVILLE, heir to the Johns-Manville asbestos fortune. While he was not a merchant in town, he “manufactured wives” by being married eleven times. Our family had some dealings with him, probably delivering groceries to his home. He died in Chappaqua of a heart attack in 1967.
Corporations control 75% of the business in the United States. Yet, it is the remaining 25%, the small merchants of America, that are essential to the growth of communities such as Chappaqua. The merchants in this village, both immigrants and descendants of immigrants, are connected in a long tradition of economic growth.
Will Risley gives us a nice review of the various inputs and the newsletter in general, and also adds a few more vignettes to fill in some of his previous comments.
MORE SPORTS STUFF:
One more football story, about the best two-play sequence I ever saw in Chappaqua. Terry Raymond was a junior and starting running back on Tom Gilburg's great senior year team. Tom was such a good blocker, and pretty fast, that he saw Terry was breaking a long run but there was one opposing tackler downfield who might catch him. To be perfectly legal, Tom sprinted downfield past the defender, then stopped short and blocked him low. Naturally the guy's momentum carried him over Tom, so that when he landed, Tom was now behind him. The official saw Tom behind the kid and threw the flag for clipping, a terrible call on a textbook-perfect block. We sitting on the bank saw exactly what happened and could not believe the call. So the play comes back and they move us back another 15 yards, putting Greeley close to its own end zone. Then on the next play Terry breaks one all the way and simply outruns the opposing secondary for about an 80-yard TD (I think Tom leveled the linebacker this time, giving Terry a wide area to take off in.) The crowd went bananas with delight at the TD, as it sort of seemed very fair, almost like divine intervention.
That was the worst call I'd ever seen downtown. Sort of like the ref blowing the call in the NFC Conference championship and putting the Rams into the Super Bowl instead of the Saints. New Orleans really got the shaft, and the Super Bowl might have lived up to its name as a battle of two great quarterbacks, Brees and Brady. But the Rams failed to show, basically, did nothing, and lost something like 13-3.
Gilburg’s BASKETBALL team was also excellent. Griff McClellan was 6'7'' at center, Tom was a 6'5" forward and block of granite, Pete O'Neil was a great shooter and ball handler. They finished the regular season 16-0 but then went to the County Center in the postseason and lost to Pelham? New Rochelle?, a team with three large musclebound guys who could all play the pivot and boxed our guys out with few or no fouls called. I thought at first that maybe the refs had it in for the guys from upcounty, but our opponent outplayed us and deserved to win.
Although I did not know him well, Bob Judd, in view of Tom Gilburg’s fame, modestly called himself "The Other End on the HGHS football team." He was an excellent football player, and he once played with a broken hand. I remember Bob as a very nice and friendly guy who went to Williams College and married Karen Turner.
Polio was very concerning. I think Chappaqua’s Dick Yeager started at QB for Dartmouth and also punted for them, as he did for Greeley. One day in Chappaqua when he had trouble punting they discovered he had polio in his leg. Jackie Corbino also had polio, bulbar polio, during high school and that had all of us Lawrence Farms East people scared, as he (like Pete) was a really good guy. (Dave reminded me that Carlos Ballantine also had polio.)
Ed note: Carlos addresses this in more depth in his section, coming up.
Dave’s references to playing ball downtown made me recall two of my favorite plays, one on the rec field, one on those great fields between the Bell School (then HGHS) and Greeley Avenue. The first was when Sid Greer, then a senior playing for Greeley's varsity team, creamed one to right field, I think against Mt. Kisco or Katonah, and the gutsy right fielder went after it. But he was not aware of how close to that stream at the edge of right field he was. He made a valiant leap for the ball, could not reach it, and kerploosh, landed in the water with a splash we spectators could see. That was the most colorful homer I ever saw on the rec field.
The second play, also a homer, was my favorite. Remember the Finlaysons---Ian, Julie and in our class, “Moose” (Stuart)? Well, the best athlete of the three was Julie. In a softball game she came up to home plate, which was toward the school building, at the base of that gentle slope (today they have put a diamond there, but there was none in our time), so she was directly facing S. Greeley Ave. Julie was very strong. She got a good fastball and absolutely crushed it. Although it was a SOFTBALL, it sailed OVER GREELEY AVENUE and onto the rec field. Can you imagine how far it might have gone had it been a HARDBALL? She jogged around the bases as everyone watching stood or sat open-mouthed. It was sort of the Greeley HS equivalent of Mickey Mantle's 565-foot homer in Washington, D.C.
In general Dave’s comments on baseball conjure up a warm feeling about all those great, large fields at the Bell School, which our new high school, in my opinion, no one has to agree, could never match. In fact, in our first two years at new HGHS (also our last two in town) the baseball field was unusable: all stones and hard, uneven ground. My brother and I once tried to hit grounders to one another to try it out one weekend, and we could not believe how many times one slow grounder could change direction. And the hard-hit FAST grounders could pop up and take your face off. The place was just nowhere near ready for play.
I really loved that OLD high school with its fields. I recall watching football games and track meets from that grassy bank between the school entrance road and the track, where on Fall Saturdays it seemed that all of Chappaqua was assembled. What a pleasant place.
Despite my and Al Campbell’s laments about our senior football season, at least we can take heart in the fact that our main cheer, so often and so well yelled out by our great cheerleaders, was, “Fight, Quakers, Fight.” Chappaqua’s Quakers, of course, were avowed pacifists. (I heard that this made it onto Jay Leno's show many years later.)
In the same vein, Al Campbell’s excellent analysis, in the first Class of 1960 Reunion Newsletter, of our football team’s psychological state during senior year, made me recall one story/episode that is sort of the athletic equivalent of the colorful academic tale of Peter Heerwagen’s inspired “I ate it!” remark in Mr. Barlow’s Physics class (which I retold in my too-long contribution to the Newsletter). When we were, I think, sophomores, and on the junior varsity, Coach Whittleton decided to take us along with the varsity to the downcounty Tuckahoe game. That was a learning experience, in that most of us sheltered Chappaquaians had never played against nor even seen an African-American. (Later I asked Dr. Miles if HGHS had ever had one, and he said he had maybe heard of one in the late 1940s. I researched this in the school library and found, I think in the 1948 Yearbook, Mr. Floyd Scott, terrific athlete and student and person.) Anyway, before the kickoff we learned that Tuckahoe had a great running back, Don Lundy, an African-American who that year became the All-County fullback. Don, who looked to be about age 20, was an admirable and intimidating physical specimen on the sidelines, as were his wife and two daughters. (I suspect Don may have stayed back a few times on the way to 12th grade.) Not surprisingly, he ran all over us that day. In the fourth quarter we trailed 53-8 (despite heroic play by small but tough Danny Navin, who made a lot of tackles) and were ready to get the heck out of Tuckahoe. As all good football players know, they are supposed and expected to be gung-ho at all times, even when riding the bench, and each and every player should be desiring the summum bonum of the football experience: playing time, i.e. a chance, any chance, to get on the field. At 53-8, Coach was thoroughly disgusted, knew the game was long since over, and walked down the entire length of the bench yelling “This is a disgrace! I’ve never seen this at Greeley. Dammit, WHO WANTS TO PLAY FOOTBALL?!” At which point the great Steve Walsh spoke for all of us JV players very sincerely by answering “NOT ME!” The Whip was speechless.
This was the same Steve Walsh, with that great sense of humor, who two years later as my center told me, his quarterback, that if someone had to have his hands up Steve’s butt for an entire game, he was glad it was a gentle guy like me. Nowadays I can’t believe he’s gone, such a good man.
REACTIONS TO CLASSMATES’ CONTRIBUTIONS TO NEWSLETTER # 1:
Lynne Dennison’s piece is a really first-rate contribution, especially because it covers the whole gamut from kindergarten through 12th grade, and because it mentions so many classmates. I did not recall the "chicken coop," which was mentioned by other classmates. I loved Lynne's comment about meeting the man she was going to marry. Bill Fitzhugh was always a great guy, and he did himself proud at Dartmouth and later at the Smithsonian in D.C.
I enjoyed the fact that the program for Bayou Flute merged Al Campbell and me on the “Set Construction…” list into “Allan Risley.” Never before had I seen that colorful typo, but am honored to be joined with such a stellar guy.
Somehow I did not know Clem Lagala crashed his car on Bishop's Flats, but I can sure empathize. One summer I was chauffeuring a major lawyer to and around NYC and also being a peon, runner, messenger and delivery boy, etc. for his 80-lawyer firm). At night I brought home his 1963 Chrysler with a 450-plus cubic-inch engine. I once floored it on the Flats and thought I was going to take off into outer space, it had so much power. That was the same engine as the Plymouth Fury used by the NY State troopers. WAY too much power and speed. I backed off the accelerator soon enough to avoid a crash, but I was terrified. Clem, let’s face it, the Flats were just too short for high speeds.
Clem’s bit re throwing horse chestnuts tweaked my Memory Lane genes. We Taylor Road guys had a line of those trees and loved to collect and throw the handsome chestnuts. He also mentioned our Cub Scouts den with Mrs. Granger. That dear woman realized we’d rather play sports than earn arrow points or merit badges or whatever. It was a delightful experience, and she was a delightful lady. I can still see her yard, right alongside of King Street Hill, and us playing there. I found Clem’s entire spiel delightful and VERY well informed, but there is NO WAY we won four football games. Only one.
Nice to know that for at least part of the year there’s a Florida group (of Dick Howe , the Holmes twins, Tom Stephens) and also a Denver-area cluster. I sure wish I’d gone to the Estes Park class reunion. (Our wonderful 20-year Chair of the Dept. of Spanish & Portuguese at the UW-Madison, where I did my Ph.D., was E.R. “Bob” Mulvihill, who was from Estes Park and loved the mountains.)
The “Dancing Class” story was great. And I liked Dave’s narrative a lot, especially since I spent 1952-59 at a summer camp in Maine (with John Fils), thereby missing Chappaqua during its best time: no school, and lots of good baseball and freedom.
Re Peter Davidson’s narrative: maybe Dale Remaly used KU as a backup school, but I know it is a fine university. In my field, Spanish, it had one of the best departments in the nation. KU is a lot more than great basketball.
Lydia Lockridge M. is VERY musically talented and technologically advanced. A pipe organ at home, wow. Technologically she is about 100 years ahead of me.
Karen Reagan’s interest in Spain is …very interesting to me, as I lived there from Sept. 1965 to June 1966, getting my M.A. from Middlebury in Madrid, while Franco ruled the roost. Lots of poverty and scarcity, but the Spanish people were wonderful. And the recent obit for Duncan Kincaid shows he was a genuinely distinguished Hispanist who made major contributions to Spanish cultural history.
Al Campbell’s narrative is terrific, the best possible in-depth analysis of what happened to us in football, especially psychologically. That he and I still share this large preoccupation is quite moving to me. I have emailed him my thanks and we are back in touch after a mere 58 years. Also, note that, contra Messrs. Lagala, Hands, Fowler et al., Al knows, as I do, that WE WON ONLY ONE GAME. HALLELUYAH.
I had a hunch that Dick Howe was the other halfback Al could not recall. We have since learned that he was, but he broke his ankle in the second or third game and missed the rest of the season. (Yes, still ANOTHER good player lost to us…).
John Rutherfoord certainly has had a distinguished career. The Higgs Boson is a huge deal. Even I have heard of that, and my science knowledge is pretty much zilch/zip/zippo/ nihil/nil/nada/jack squat.
Steve Blue’s piece was fascinating and very well written, though he gave us ---thankfully---his entire early biography (when one is that good, let it flow…). He is absolutely Mr. World Traveler, and his travels were an entire street-smarts education. He hit a chord with me in that his situation of access to water in Greece was very similar to mine in my pensión in Madrid. We could only squeeze in 2.5 showers per day; so my roommate and I were the first two, and despite our using up as little water as possible, we always heard the third guy scream loud when his hot water turned ice cold on him. The Spaniards did not take many showers---reminding me of my Dad’s comment about people with terrible B.O. on the Times Square Shuttle subway (who always held the top rail bar and thus ventilated their scent): “These guys are a bit ripe; they take one shower a year whether they need it or not.” Another fun detail about my pensión was that its only toilet paper was yesterday’s donated newspapers. We quickly learned that the Madrid daily El País’s ink was far more benevolent to one’s body than that of the NY Times International Edition, which could make you walk bowlegged for a while.
Steve Blue’s unfairly forced public apology must have been a tough moment for him, but a good lesson in how “life ain’t fair.” Especially since he won the fight. (I was reminded of my own incident with a schoolyard bully when we were at the King Street School atop the hill (later the Town Hall?). We were in 2nd grade, he in third, thus having a natural upper hand, and he was the secret marauder bully and terror who beat up kids during recess. Hidden in that row of tall trees alongside the playground, he would punch us in the back, the stomach, etc., out of sight of the teachers. Mine was Miss Kabatchnik. One day he lured me into the trees, cornered me and really gave me a hard stomach punch. After I cried a bit, I suddenly said to myself, “Wait a minute, I’m just as big as he is.” Because I was very mad, I went after him, got him in a choke hold and punched the bejesus out of him. Miss K. was coming over and I figured I’d be in huge trouble; but she was so delighted by the outcome that she let my pounding go on, and then broke it up, admonished me pleasantly, and told my adversary that, well, this was the end of his bullying for good, and she hoped he’d learned his lesson. She was ecstatic about the way it turned out, even though she did a good job of pretending that I was wrong to fight---which she said with a HUGE smile. I guess sometimes these problems work themselves out. (This is the kind of silliness I can recall after 70+ years, thanks to Steve.)
Reid Reynolds, a very good man, has cleared up a mystery for me: how my good friend, the late John Fils, whose house I visited a number of times, lived---I thought---in Millwood, had an Ossining mail address, and attended HGHS.
Jack Duncan’s blurb was uplifting: the outsider who came in over time. You helped with this, Dave, being the good and friendly guy you always were. And Jack mentioned John Fils’ s death, an event which rocked me to the core, since John and I were best buds at Camp Winona, Bridgton, Maine for 8 years, and almost always went up there together in June. A good hunter, John shot a bear and tried to drag it back to wherever, suffering a cerebral hemorrhage which ended up causing his death. As I said, this had a HUGE impact on me, and on all of John’s friends, as he was such a great guy. His dad Arnold (his parents were close friends of mine and of my parents, via camp), witnessing the outpouring of letters, testimonials, etc. after John’s funeral, so well attended by young people Arnold had never met, told me, in a dramatic moment, “Riz, I never really knew my son. I never appreciated him as I should have.” I told Arnold that yes, he really HAD known him, that I knew John was tremendously fond of him. Arnold was shellshocked by the death for a long time. He even fought against it by saying that John was going to be--- (via the Fils family money, all of it from his great mom, the former Dorothy Von Glahn, in the form of NYC real estate holdings)--- an extremely rich man. That was a sad time, for sure. At least they still had John’s younger sister, Catherine, who married a doctor and lives in Alabama. Arnold had been an old street fighter from NYC who married quite well and really---for “work”---only had to go to NYC once a month or so to collect money from the properties; otherwise he sat in the bar or out by the pool at the (very nice) Sleepy Hollow Country Club and had cocktails and conversation with his close friend, Jimmy Powers, the well-known NY Daily News sportswriter who wrote a regular column and also had a TV show on Channel Eleven.
I also found John Viscomi’s piece fascinating. And in general, I enjoyed every single contribution but just can’t comment on all of them here (if anyone has even read this far without skipping ahead). The Newsletter was enriched also by inserts like Debbie Moslander Baxter’s poem and Pete Corbino’s inclusion of the painting of our neighborhood by his very talented mom, Janet, my own mom’s closest friend. (At my mother’s funeral the minister recalled how Mom and Janet played two-piano together on many occasions: he commented, “How civilized!”)
Reality check: I'll never forget the day I went over to Wally Higgins' house to play and saw his big brother Bart strapping on his shoulder holster and gun. He and Mr. Higgins had to go down to the city to collect the income from the parking lots and meters Mr. H. owned; Bart was the bodyguard. An eye-opener for me.
I found Andy Adams's message very moving. I remember Andy as a really nice guy and a hard worker, and an absolute ace in shop class. And his Dad, Mr. Adams, my bus driver often, and a very pleasant man, made nearly the HGHS employees' equivalent of Pete Heerwagen's "I ate it!" remark. In language lab Mr. Adams was the "engineer" for the equipment (microphones, tape recorders, etc.), with which Mrs. Galas at times had trouble. In one lab session, there occurred a very high-pitched whining sound and she could not put a stop to it. She hailed Mr. Adams, who tinkered with the machines but also could not solve the problem. She finally said, "Mr. Adams, what's wrong?" His great answer: "Señora, it's the physics of the thing." (My mom, also a fan of Mr. Adams, loved this anecdote.)
When we were freshmen at HGHS the two biggest guys on that varsity basketball team which was undefeated until they played Pelham (or New Rochelle?) at the County Center, which I described earlier, were Tom Gilburg, 6'5" and built like Gibraltar, the great All-County footballer who went on to play for Syracuse and the Baltimore Colts, and Griff McClellan, 6'7", very skinny but who seemed about seven feet tall to us. And in terms of size, we are now in the age of 300-plus pound footballers even in HIGH SCHOOL, and I remember when one defensive tackle recruit arrived at the U. of Wisconsin weighing 450. By comparison, Greeley’s heaviest footballer in 1959 was Bob Burch, about 220 pounds. Almost no one in pro football weighed close to 300 pounds in those days; the Giants' defensive ends, Livingston and Katcavage, weighed about 235, and the only fat guy on the team was Rosy Grier, 285, who looked like he had swallowed a garbage can. So we can be proud that Jack Corbino, Peter's older brother and (like Pete) a very good fellow and a key guy in my neighborhood, when I once asked him how much he weighed, said: "Between 285 and 300, depending on how much I ate this week." And in one of those weeks, Jack and Jerry Alfaro came home hungry from school and ate as a SNACK nearly an entire roast beef that his mom, Janet, had ready for a dinner party. When Janet found out she dispatched them to The Pork Store in Mt. Kisco to buy her a new one immediately.
My life as a university Spanish prof for 45 years amounted to very little in New Yorkian terms, though it was enjoyable and accomplished its goal: I did not have to become a lawyer in metro NYC, commuting and making tons of money and commuting and commuting.... That commute, which I did by car one summer for five and at times six days a week, I never liked. My dad had done it every workday, an hour each way. My brother Ed later one-upped Dad by going from Yorktown to either Jersey City or Wall Street or the Metro Tech Center in Brooklyn (for various jobs he held): TWO hours each way.
It seems the Class of 1960 loved those split sessions that let us go “over town” for lunch. The feeling of freedom was immense, and the food was great.
I mentioned in the Newsletter that Armonk should have been named “Barmonk,” with one church and 15 bars. One night we drove a Connecticut kid home who was shiffazed [the Frenchified version of this word sounds classier], and his father thought we had stolen the kid's car until he realized the situation and that we had maybe even saved the kid's hash, and thanked us. At the very least he would have crashed his car, hopefully not fatally.
I remember Phil Bender as a really nice guy. Who one day made the bad mistake of bringing his new motor scooter over to my house to show it to me. I borrowed it and returned about an hour later, having given both Pete and Jack Corbino a chance to drive it. After that Phil came over only to shoot baskets.
Peter Kennedy's car accident made me recall the really scary one involving Jack Corbino, Ed Harvey (Don's brother) and two other guys I can't remember (maybe John Volkhausen?). Their VW bug hit a telephone pole and luckily the car was sort of split in half, with the pole not killing anyone---it went past them and thru the center of the car. They were in the hospital in Kisco for a while but all were OK.
And I can still see Suzi Warburton's T-bird, the coolest car around then.
Ed. note: Looked something like this.....
As you may recall, Judy Chatfield did photography for the yearbook and the school paper, and sent us a lot of really nice pictures. I put a few of them here, and you'll find several more on the "Pictures From the Past" page. And here are some of her nice memories too.
(That's Judy at the 50th reunion.)
The other evening listening on Zoom to a poet in New Jersey speaking of Hillary Clinton, I was amused to hear her mangle the pronunciation of Chappaqua. It brought back memories of a Swiss ceramicist I knew in Florence who had a bad stutter who invariably greeted me with rapid fire “Chappaqua, Chappaqua, Chappaqua!”.
My parents moved to Hillholme off King Street in 1938. The village was surrounded by farms, orchards, which over the years gave way to more and more houses, and more and more new schools. When I went off to college Mother and Dad moved to Florida.
It was a protective, unreal bubble to grow up in. Houses were left unlocked. After breakfast on a summer day you were left to your own desires, just appear for dinner - you walked freely around the neighborhood, or biked without helmets, and were not locatable with cell phones. We went unaccompanied trick or treating to the neighboring houses. The local telephone operator could tell my brother that his best pal, Dick Preiss, was not home. Cozy, quite conservative, white, where most of the men commuted into the city it seemed,
I went through the entire school system:
First grade in what became the police station. Age six I had glasses, knobby knees.
Roaring Brook - I recall the gentle kindness of Miss Hamblin. I was taking ballet lessons which I loved, but totally lacked rhythm, also piano lessons with Miss Robertson - I too young, and fearful of appearing in a recital.
At Fifth Grade we went to the Old Horace Greeley. I had Mr. Haines as my homeroom teacher. I was assigned to be a friend to Linda Thomas, who had just transferred to our school - to this day we remain close friends. We had singing with Mr. Visca, who assigned us “Listen To The Lambs All A Crying!” - for some reason a favorite of his, which we droned on and on. My voice was alto with a touch of soprano, but absolutely no transition between the two. We had baggy lacrosse uniforms, which were styled in the 1920’s. I had poor depth perception, utterly lacking in a competitive spirit, and always the last to be chosen for a team. We had social dancing, utter torture being awkward and shy - I can hear that clicking of the teacher, and the inevitable closing tune which meant release. We had bridge lessons which I purposely confused with Michigan Rummy.
I was unnaturally shy, dreading being called upon in class. I also had a vivid physical imagination, and at least twice during class slithered to the floor in a faint as eyeballs, or digestive systems were explained to us in detail.
All through this there were neighboring students that I saw in Hillholme - Carol Fisher, Peggy Dickinson, Carol Chafin, Karen Turner, Beverly Beckwith, and nearby, Barbara Marks, Louis Rothbard, Doug Weiss. We were not a band linked together. Linda lived in Millwood, so we were dependent on having drivers for us to get together
My brother, 3 1/2 years my senior was packed off to Harvey, then South Kent. My parents began to discuss where I should go to boarding school. I rebelled strongly; home was my refuge, I did not want to be under constant jurisdiction, and be forced to spend all my time with others. I loved my privacy, and freedom. They rethought the situation and decided to let me stay in Chappaqua’s school system, however Dad became president of the PTA, and Mother head of the Board of Education. Mother broke ground for our high school, and signed the bonds to finance it.
Meanwhile instead of studying, I was devouring the novels at the Chappaqua Public Library. I never bothered to learn diagramming sentences, nor the terminology of parts of speech, which handicapped me when it came to learning French. I closed my mind to math. Linda had to dissect a cow’s eye and frogs while I cringed, turning away. I dutifully made a wooden lamp in shop, and a pig-cutting-board, both still in use today. Miss Gorman was horrified when I draped a dishcloth over the spigot they way we did at home. Looking back, I realize what an exceptional group of teachers we had, and I truly regret not applying myself. They say an Education is What you Remember.... What saved me was my last year with the arrival of Roe Halper. She introduced me to art history, she loosened up my painting and drawing, made me observe carefully. She enthused over Europe, foreign films, drawing from life models. I am still in touch with Roe.
The other saving grace was the photography lab, I had been given an old Zeiss with a good lens, and loved photographing people, be they classmates, or car race drivers.
I have good memories of the Junior Musical of the great gift of the talents of Jimmy Leyden and Lee Benjamin who composed and directed a musical for each junior class.
It’s strange, I always felt to be an outsider in all those years - I admired the class leaders, so seemingly confident, attractive, bright, all the qualities I felt I lacked. My clothes were bought by my father from NY stores - always a size too large for me to grow into, and although beautifully made, hardly the styles worn by my fellow students. To me it has been fascinating in these past years to learn how many of you had your own painful memories, and insecurities., also unexpectedly the fascinating careers a number of you went on to have.
PS: I got over my squeamishness inspecting a trio of operating theaters in Salzburg where stomach operations were in progress.
I finally was forced to speak in public by Rizzoli PR when my first book appeared; my speaking debut was at the Italian Cultural Institute in New York City. I went on to do countless speeches, always with stage fright until the first five minutes on stage had passed.
Many of the sports car racing photos I printed in Horace Greeley’s darkroom have appeared in books in recent years. In the past twelve months I have posted photographs on Instagram at minouche.miss
Once I got to college I discovered I loved to study, and went on for two graduate degrees, a Fulbright, and five stays at The American Academy in Rome as a visiting scholar.
On the left, Jeff Field (I think ), Steve Walsh, Bob Burch, and I don't know (third base.) Center, Nick Bowen, Sandy Wallin, Pete Kennedy, Sue Dahlgren, Mary Lou Wintersteen, Sue Wilkinson, Brian Walsh. On the right, Jim Buckner and his slide rule.
Dan Gildesgame makes an appearance with a nice update
About 4 years ago I married Andrea. We had been going together for several years. And we moved into an apartment in the City. Meanwhile my daughter Juliana had a son in Los Angeles and he is little older than 3 years. And THEN, she had a little girl--had to be little....- who is now over 6 months. So seeing them for real is difficult, but we try to facetime.
I've been having some health issues with my back and cardio and these have been managed quite well. And they make life a little challenging.
I was a teacher of Math and Special Ed for NYC Schools for a number of years till I retired a year or so ago. I had been tutoring until the pandemic struck and waiting to go back.
So life is good. I get around OK and we live near Central Park and try to go everyday.
Fred Chambers sent some very interesting historical information and pictures. Thanks, Fred!
Happy 60th anniversary. I have attached pictures of New Castle District 8 school roster for 1913 to 1914 school year. The building was a two room school house which my father bought, took down, and used the lumber to build the house in which I grew up. The school house was located on route 133 (Millwood Road) on the Mount Kisco side of the Seven Bridges traffic light. As you head toward Mt. Kisco, it was located on the lefthand side of the road on a sharp curve near the traffic light. The other picture of my dad, James Chambers and his sister, Anne Chambers.
Herbert Spavins and his sister, Mary Spavins were his first cousins. My paternal grandfather was a grounds keeper on the Cochran estate which was towards the route 100 end of Crow Hill Road.
Herb and Mary's Father worked on the Choate estate which was at the intersection of Route 133 and Crow Hill Road. I believe Joseph H. Choate was U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James.
As promised, here's Carlos Ballantyne, entertaining and interesting as usual...
I’ve been inspired to write down a few vignettes of those ‘good ole daze’. We moved to Chappaqua in my fifth-grade year and Mr. Allard was my homeroom teacher. I can remember Peggy Dickinson, Duncan Kinkead, Tom Eller, Edith Kleuver – although she may have arrived a little later, Holly Thomas. Mary Holsapple, Lydia Lockridge. Mr. Allard regaled us with stories of how cold it was where HE went to 5th grade in the Adirondacks and how lucky we were as we could ride the bus, and how it got so cold in his childhood nails would contract and pop back out of buildings with a loud bang. I think 7th grade was Rex Thrasher and I think it was in his history class that Sturt Finlayson was asked how King Louis of France could have come up with the name Louisiana. Stuart guessed that it was because the King’s wife was named Louise – to much bemused guffawing by everyone in class. Duncan was my next-door neighbor and we palled around quite a bit for some early years – playing baseball up at Jerry Alfaro’s and ice skating in the small pond up Hardscrabble. Duncan came to inform me one day that in his class their teacher had sternly admonished everyone they could not do 2 things at once, undoubtedly referring to schoolwork. Billy Legler came to class the next day and refuted this great truism by announcing that, by some admitted contortion, he had, only the evening before, been able to urinate AND brush his teeth at the same time.
I began to hang around with Denny Joy, Peter Kennedy, Peter Davidson, Peter Corbino, and Tom Stephens and that continued until I went away to, first, prep school in 11th and 12th grade, and then college. I had a terrific crush on Carol Mante, who rode my bus all along Hardscrabble Rd. every day, and, to tell the truth it continues to this day – the crush that is. I think in modern parlance it’s called a squish maybe, but I be crushing on that girl. She and Jean Bennigton got off at the same stop with, maybe, Bob Wallace. I continued on with Helen and Holly and the Kennedy boys to Deepwood, then an interminable ride to Hardscrabble Hill and back down to my house. The ride was so boring I gave up riding the bus altogether by 7th grade and would walk and hitchhike to the now Bell School.
I contracted a very bad case of polio at Boy Scout Camp when I turned 14, from which I miraculously fully recovered. I was about a month late returning to school and I still remember the stupid bus going past me one morning to go way down toward Pleasantville before turning around and coming back to pick us all up. I just said to myself, “that’s it – I’m walking.” Walking everyday was probably the best thing I could have done for my polio rehab. To this day I am the only person of my generation I’ve ever met who has NO lingering effects from having had polio. I still vividly remember Jean and Holly coming to visit me at home after my hospital stay before I returned to school. I still miss Holly – sometimes a lot. Bruce Mygatt’s mom frequently picked me up in their reddish Jeepster and she was a prime ride as she went UP the Hardscrabble hill right past my house. My walking has continued and I have now walked to the area of the base of Mt. Everest 10 times, including 2018 and 2019 and I have a bunch of Sherpa and a few Tibetan friends. I’ve been to India 14 times for months at a time and THAT takes some walking. Just today, 26 June 2020, I hiked 8 miles up to 11,400’ on Arizona’s highest peak and was on the summit 12,633’ a week ago.
By 8th, 9th and 10th grades I had developed some expensive hobbies of coin collecting and beer drinking and my work involved a lot more walking – I had to walk and hitchhike to Whippoorwill Country Club and then I caddied for 18 or 36 holes then walked back home. Tom Stephens mom, Anita, I think, gave me rides several times. My father thought it would be good if I went to prep school for 11th and 12th grades and I was pretty much removed from the Chappaqua scene after that – up Route 22 at Trinity-Pawling School. EXCEPT, for hanging around a lot of the bars in Armonk and a few in Pleasantville and Chappaqua during summers and holidays, usually by myself. I was on a first name basis with Irene, the owner of the Willow Inn from when I was 16 years old – a business only relationship. As tumultuous as my Chappaqua years were, I now see myself as having had the wildest life of anyone I know. Expect a book someday.
Dick Howe got involved in a Facebook discussion about the New York Central Railroad and the steam and diesel locomotives, and ended up with the following story. That's Dick and his big family at a KC Royals game back in the pre-covid era.
I remember the steam days, however, my favorites were the diesels. In 1964 after graduating college I commuted on the Central while living with my folks before moving to NYC. One very cold snowy Fri. night in Dec. I worked late and then partied with coworkers and caught the 1:36am, last train to Chappaqua.Arriving N. White Plains, very much inebriated, the T3a class electric immediately got frozen to the third rail, preventing the change to diesel. I detained and wobbled up and down the station platform trying to sober up. The engineer on the American Locomotive RS 3 diesel, built in 1951, # 5504, seeing my plight invited me into the engine cab, poured a cup of thermos coffee and warmed me up till the electric was unstuck and the RS3 coupled up and departed. Years later, I built an HO scale model of #5504. In 1998 after moving to Overland Park KS. I was reading a train magazine and noticed an article about a NYC diesel on a tourist railroad in Baldwin City KS. 45 min from our home. At the first opportunity I visited the RR. and you guessed it, # 5504! I enjoyed another cab ride. The engineer on 5504 after retiring from Con rail had bought his favorite engine and shipped it to his home in KS. 5504 has since been sold to I believe the Adirondack RR and is now back on home rails.
There's a picture of that model, the RS3. Not 5504, but the same model.
Wonderful memories from Linda Lenhard
I entered Horace Greeley in 10th grade knowing only one person in the class, perhaps in the entire school. Helen Dienst's family and mine were close friends since before we were born. I have a photo in my album of the two of us in a playpen dated July 1943. We are diapers, screaming our heads off, and hanging onto the sides of the enclosure. So when Helen was in Mr. Bishoff's homeroom with me and in the Advanced Math class that was supposed to "learn plane geometry on your own, take the Regents and develop your own solid geometry during the second semester" that year, I had someone I knew to help me orient myself to my new school surroundings thank goodness. And speaking of that math class, Helen, Ann Schmidt and I were the only girls in the class. I was pretty challenged if not overwhelmed by it, as I think were the two of them. All three of us opted to transfer to less advanced math studies after the first semester. I saved calculus for college and never regretted that decision. Helen and I stayed friends for many years. She traveled to San Diego to attend my first wedding in 1969, a very small affair and we roomed together during the 50th HGHS Reunion in 2010.
As a bit of background, I lived in Pleasantville until I was 11. Then my father was transferred to Madison, Wisconsin for four years. When we returned to Westchester and I was really excited about being with my P'ville friends again, we couldn't find a house there and I ended up at Greeley. It was not an easy year to break into a new school, new group of kids, new everything. My Madison school was an enormous Junior-Senior high school and here I was at a much smaller school in a small town instead of a big city, a state capital no less. I wore my white socks differently. I made friends in the junior and senior classes and did other things differently than those in my Sophomore class. Eventually I adapted.
My memories of that first year are many. I loved Greeley's campus, brand new at the time, and a two minute walk from my house. As mentioned above I was part of the experimental advanced math program during my first year. Having taken Spanish One in my freshman year, I was a year ahead of Greeley Sophomore Spanish students. I was in class with juniors and seniors and got to know many of them. Senora Galas was an excellent teacher and made learning the language both fun and easy. By the time I was a senior and wanted to continue Spanish, Senora allowed me to sit in the third year class, but gave me advanced readings, essays to write and more. Included was the beautiful poetry of Garcia Lorca that I remember to this day. I do regret not taking Latin, but moved to San Diego at age 26 and Mexico was just a 45 minute trip away. I then was really happy I had studied Spanish. It has served me well in my travels too. As a family we studied Spanish in Salamanca, Spain the summer of 2000 and traveled the country extensively. There have been 3 more trips to Spain exploring more areas as well as trips to a number of South American countries.
I have highlighted a bit of the academics at Greeley. I must mention my all-time favorite teacher, Mr. Davis. Fortunately I had the opportunity of studying English with him both Junior and Senior years. The senior Advanced English Literature class was my favorite high school course. Dave and I talked about that at the 50th Reunion. We students read SO MUCH that year. We learned a tremendous amount from Mr. Davis and I hope we all loved it as much as I did. Starting with Beowulf and traveling chronologically through Chaucer, Donne, the Cavalier poets, Shakespeare and so many authors that I wonder how we in the class were able to manage the assignments. Nobody complained. We learned and we loved learning because the teacher loved it too!
My high school education at Greeley was excellent. I always loved science and majored in biology in college/graduate school. I was well prepared. I think the school was rated in the top ten high schools in the nation at the time. Correct me if I'm wrong. Besides top notch courses and teachers and an idyllic setting, we had plenty of sports teams and clubs and the famous Junior Musical. I was on field hockey, volleyball, basketball, soft ball and lacrosse teams that took us to various high schools around the county....New Rochelle, Fox Lane, Somers. I was on the stage crew of the Musical because when they interviewed for the production, I had such a terrible singing voice that whoever was in charge said, "you are on stage crew." When I tell people that two Broadway playwrights wrote a musical specifically for my Junior class to perform, they are blown away. We were so fortunate to have that experience.
It seems impossible that 60 years have passed since our class graduated from high school, but here we are. I think those of us who graduated in 1960 were very fortunate to have grown up in an exciting world of space exploration, tremendous scientific and medical advancement and at a time that the planet was available for us to explore. I wish everyone the very best.
Richy Kuriger sends his memories in a sort of "stream of consciousness" format. Very Interesting stuff. That's Richy and wife Joni at the Colorado reunion a few years back.
I was only at HGHS from grade 6-10 as I went to private school for grade 11 and 12 in Stanford Connecticut.
Lots of fun memories:
Remember when in Mr. Cahill’s 6th grade, we were outside for gym and Gordon white(?) I think that was his name , was a new student from Georgia , asked me one day in November, what was that white stuff falling from the sky??? He had never heard of snow!
What was the name of the coach that suspended many of the football players who had won state championship, when they were caught drinking??
Ed. Note: Mark Whittleton.
Having lunch with big huge football players who brought little jars of baby food to eat as they were full of nutrients.
Watching the volunteer fire men run from their stores to the fire house to jump on the fire trucks that parked at the entrance to HGHS downtown.
Being dropped off at school in the morning by my dad who had returned from several weeks of hunting. He grew a goatee, looked like Skitch Henderson, and someone asked,” was that your grandfather”
Fun times dancing with Anita Lindholm at school dances. She was my first dance instructor!!
History class with Mr. thrasher and thinking why was his wife the principal and he a teacher? The roles were reversed in my mind.
Fun times at the home of Kristina Olsen who lived on Hardscrabble road, just down the street from where I lived at 7 Quaker lane in Quaker village subdivision, with Anita Lindholm.
Brendon Riley , I did not know when he lived in Chappaqua, but he moved to Houston and we became great friends, fishing buddies, our kids grew Up together and we both had fishing camps in the same subdivision on Galveston island. Both he and his wife have passed. He lived on Hardscrabble road also.
Mr. Casey who lived in the Bronx but took the train up every day since the pay was more in Chappaqua.
Moving forward, today Joni and I have 13 grandchildren. First one, Richard c Kuriger IV, graduated from Pepperdine college in California and just completed freshman year at Melbourne university in Australia. Working on an international law degree.
Second grandson, Alexander, just finished his junior year at Regents college in London England. Weekends full of traveling to foreign countries and solving all their problems, (in his mind only)
Three through 13 go to age 2 and working their way through life.
Five of our children live near us in Houston. My son chad, living in Grand Cayman on 1.5 acres on the water with his wife. Reason, no income taxes, no capital gains taxes, no inheritance taxes, no property taxes. Just a sales tax. Grand Cayman still shut down to entry and exit by boat or plane. Considering opening up in September.
Joni and I live in Houston, Texas. Have a fishing camp on Galveston Island. Six bedrooms that sleeps 20 + in beds. We welcome anyone who wants to come visit and stay in Galveston. Work ethic changes once you cross the bridge . Once on island, work starts out slowly and gradually declines to zero. We face a federal bird sanctuary where no one can build, so come on down and watch nothing happen.
Retired from competitive power lifting after having set 13 records for the state of Texas, won 2 national competitions and won the bronze in bench press for the USA in the world competition. Many of my friends have injured themselves so I stopped while still healthy. You can find me on u tube as I was interviewed by ABC and CBS.
Ed Note: I had to prod Richy to tell us how much he lifted. Here it is:
Bench press was 121 lbs. for the world competition
Dead lift 281 for USA competition, first place
Squat 181 first place competition for USA
The competition first place bench press was 400+ lbs. and second place was 300+. Me at third place 121. My lift looked like a toothpick. The Russians and Ukrainians were boycotting that year due to politics between the two nations!! Had they been there I would just have been another participant. Proof that timing is everything.
Lots of stories to tell from 1969-2014 regarding my competition with these animals. This is a drug free league, USAPower lifting league. 10% get random drug tests and if fail one time, u r banned for life. Funny stories about my first attempt at a drug test. Funny stories about having to gain 10 lbs in one week to compete in a class I could win and did win.
Looking forward to our celebration of 60 years, whenever it happens.
Peter Schnall was good enough to send an (impressive) update and comments.
I really enjoyed the Celebrate 60 newsletter.
Entertaining and quite poignant . I hadn't realized how many of our classmates were no longer with us.
Now I am sorry I didn't send you something (anything) about how I am doing.
Of course, I have lots of excuses (good ones too), ilnesses, lost relatives and friends etc.
But lots of positives am retired now as Professor Emeritus of Medicine, = U. of Ca at Irvine and still working on occupational health issues. My special interest is the impact of work stress on the health of working people (see healthywork.org ) for a view of my
post-retirement project The HealthyWorkCampaign intended to share information with working people about work stress and what we can do about it (particularly relevant in the face of Covid-19 which is a serious work stressor on its own). You can find some of my recent articles online at Medium.
I have a home in Los Angeles and a home in Colombia which I share with my wife Viviola in Bogota and her two sons and I commute when there are planes flying (none now) back and forth between the two cities.
Dr. Peter Schnall
Professor Emeritus of Medicine, UCI
Director, Center for Social Epidemiology
Bob (Kevin) Malone, Class of '59, has been a follower of the newsletter and regular contributor, and sent these comments and memories.
The great piece by Gene Sheridan on mercantile Chappaqua of bygone days reminds me of two things: (1) there was a sandwich shop/deli on the corner of So. Greeley Ave. across from the bank where many of us would go from the original downtown HS for lunch. The owner (Frank, I think, a vet with a damaged hand) would only make full-size subs, so you had to stand in front of the store at lunch time and call out the type of sub you wanted (ham and cheese, Italian, etc.) and once you hooked up with someone with the same interest - or you could live with - you could go in and order, and Frank would cut the sub in half. (2) we discovered a great lunch plate at Tony Viscomi's diner. For practically nothing you could get a generous plate of spaghetti and sauce and a slice of bread. Not sure, but I'm thinking perhaps half a buck. Became too popular but remained a good deal.
On a sadder note (for me), I remember Squires selling wool athletic socks that all the "cool" guys would buy. My mother could only afford the thin white cotton ones which I was embarrassed to wear. So now, I have a drawer full of nice, expensive, white wool sox that I wear all the time! Also, one of my first jobs was at the old Grand Union downtown. Not sure what child labor laws were then, but I wasn't very old. Also spent one summer working on Mullane's garbage truck throwing trash cans up onto the back of the truck.
Thanks to all, and stay safe.
Lydia Lockridge, musician extraordinaire, tour guide par excellence, and well-known Marlene Dietrich impersonator, sends a most unusual and interesting challenge our way.
There was an interesting flashback a month or so ago when the SpaceX ship, Dragon, blasted off with a two man crew. At first, the flashback did not really formulate. Then the Dragon successfully connected to the International Space Station. In that one moment of extraordinary scientific success, the flashback came through! There it was: loud and clear. And it was from our early years at the Roaring Brook Elementary School circa 1951-52. It was a very fun and creative project by an inspired group of imaginative children. What’s not quite certain is which grade and what teacher, possibly 4th or 5th grade with Mr. McGuire and Miss Dyckman. Definitely Miss Chiapannelli*, our very talented music teacher, was an integral part of this project.
What clearly came to mind, though, was a song that was part of this original play which the class created. It was a story about outer space and life on a previously undiscovered planet. The planet was “XO5”. This was way, way before Sputnik and the Space Race and Kennedy's vision of landing on the moon - even before Star Trek! The plot focused on a fantasy-filled journey into outer space, to the stars you stared at each night and wondered "who is out there?" This was a journey with creative teachers as co-pilot.
Miss Chiappanelli lead the class in writing the rhyming lyrics set to melody as the theme song. The synopsis of the play has failed me. But there is something about music, in this case, song, that imbeds lyrics and melody into that part of the brain which with a slight spark can remember the music, or at least remember fragments of phrases and lyrics. The spark was ignited upon the arrival of the Dragon at the ISS. Voila!
Here are the lyrics to a sequential 16 measure melody that was set to a rather sophisticated chromatic harmonization:
Way out in space is where we lie. We’ll love our planet ‘til we die.
We all live in a democracy with freedom too and liberty.
Hail! Hail! To XO5! We are the greatest planet alive!
Hail! Hail! O land of peace, where brotherhood will never cease.
Due to the near seven decades that have passed, this write-up borders on an archaeological discovery: a relic from the past was discovered, scratched and has been dusted off.
Now it’s your turn, fellow classmates, to embellish this discovery and add your recollections of this elusive episode in our lives. Who can explain how this story came to be: what grade was this, who were the teachers? What was the story or was it part of something we were studying? What was the meaning of the story? The simplicity, honesty and purity of these lyrics out of the minds of ten-year-old's, is timeless. The circumstances of this flashback prompted by the current space mission points to a singular, unique and futuristic moment in our class where this elementary school project now forms a proverbial rainbow linking us with the “then” and “now”.
*Here is the link to the obituary for Agnes Chiapanelli Betts, Oct 6, 2010. It confirms her notable legacy as an outstanding musician and music educator. She was the teacher who launched my career in music. She believed in me in elementary school! “…and that has made all the difference.” [Robert Frost]
SO DO IT!
TAKE THE LYDIA CHALLENGE!
If you don't remember what that song is all about, make up your own story. Get those creative juices flowing. You've got the time (if you're following the "rules," that is.) If I get some stories, we can start a new page. Best entry wins a free lifetime subscription to newsletter.
And with that, I guess we're done for now as I ride off into the sunset.
Please let me know about any typos, errors, or transgressions (mine, not yours.)
If you are moved to send in a new memoir, however short or long, or want to update something you already sent, do not hesitate.
And, if, God forbid, I missed something you sent, tell me and I'll fix it ASAP.
Stay safe, stay happy, and stay in touch.
As always, your faithful editor remains:
14801 110th Ave E.
Puyallup, WA 98374