The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 84
Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,
Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 84.
According to Substack, in its first 26 hours, Newsletter # 83, which had 4,655 subscribers (all free), received 2,794 views and 12 likes.
Please note that anything underlined is a link-to-a-link or an email address, and anything not is not, because Substack does not allow underlining of anything else.
The Class of 1973 50th-Year Reunion is being planned for early fall, 2023. If you are interested in joining the organizing committee please email Nancy Dreyer at email@example.com or Bonnie Greenberg at Bonnie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Takemi Ueno '83 will play in a free concert with the Doctors' Orchestra on Thursday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 PM, at the High School of Fashion Industries (225 West 24th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues). The program will consist of the overture to Wagner's Tannhauser; Bach's concerto for two violins; and Dvorak's Eighth Symphony. The concert is FREE; donations are welcome; masks are appreciated.
More Responses to The Passing of Walter Wesley (“Wes”) Wathey, Wheatley Principal 1961-1979
Writes Donnita Ryan Whittier - “I’ve been enjoying reading the comments about Mr. Wathey and teachers who were exceptional.”
Writes Susan Shapiro - 1969 - “Hi Art! I am sharing with permission a response I received from Scott Wathey, Walter’s son, to my condolences. By the way, the Wathey family are fans of the Newsletters. Regards, Susan”
Writes Scott Wathey - “Hi Susan, Thank you very much for your kind words. I understand that my Dad had a positive effect on a generation of Wheatley students, and he will live on in spirit and in all of the wonderful memories we shared.
After WW II my Dad started out at the Savage School, on the GI bill, majoring in physical education. My Mom told me that she thinks Savage closed down after his freshman year, and subsequently he transferred to the Physical Education Department at NYU, where he met my mother. I believe that my Dad met your Dad either during their years at Savage or NYU…not sure at which school.
We had many dinners at the Swan Club and the Royal Lancer II, which was located about 10 minutes away from our home in Woodbury. I will always remember how nice your Dad was to our family when we ate there, having never waited too long to be seated and loving the New England clam chowder, which was always so good.
Every Thanksgiving my Dad would see your father at the Royal Lancer to pickup what seemed to be a half gallon of that great soup. Your Dad was always so gracious in doing that, as we always had a large family gathering for Thanksgiving…I believe he also got some soup for Christmas and other family gatherings.
Thanks for reaching out. It means a lot to our family at this time. Be well.
The Usual Words of Wisdom
Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (Class of 1963), you can regale yourself with the first 83 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 you’ll find every place it exists in all previous Newsletters and other on-site material.
I edit all submissions, even material in quotes, for clarity and concision, without any indication thereof. I do not vouch for the accuracy of what people tell me.
We welcome any and all text and photos relevant to The Wheatley School, 11 Bacon Road, Old Westbury, NY 11568, and the people who administered, taught and/or studied there. Art Engoron, Class of 1967
Brian Stone Remembers Joseph McCormack - “I concur with Matt Sanzone’s statement in Newsletter # 82 that Joseph McCormack was an unforgettable teacher. Daily he showed us how logically to approach a problem and to apply the principles he taught with clarity and patience. Perhaps the most important lesson he taught my class occurred after he returned from a short illness during which we had a substitute teacher. Two of the students made fun of our substitute teacher and were extremely disrespectful of her. I still remember laughing at their crude comments. Upon Mr. McCormack’s return, he lashed out at all of us. When one student protested that most of the class did not engage in the rude and hurtful conduct, Mr. McCormack forcefully noted that we did nothing to stop it. More than 200 years ago the great British statesman, Edmund Burke (who defended the rights of the American colonists and opposed slavery) stated: ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’ Sadly, history repeatedly reflects the truth of Burke’s statement. Thank you, Mr. McCormack, for teaching thousands of students the logic of math and so much more.”
Writes Art Engoron (1967) - “While a student at Wheatley I read a book called “Enough Good Men: A Way of Thinking” by a Yale professor named Albert E. Burke (presumably not related Edmund Burke, but not sure). The title came from the quote. But here’s what I found on the Web: Edmund Burke and John Stuart Mill
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It’s a quote routinely attributed to Edmund Burke. But it turns out falsely so. Apparently, he never uttered these words. At best, the essence of the quote can be traced back to the utilitarian philosopher John Stuart Mill, who delivered an 1867 inaugural address at the University of St. Andrews and stated: “Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name, and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject.”
Adds Keith Aufhauser (1963): King James Version: New Testament 4:1-17 -
“ Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. “
Plato, Republic : “The price good men pay for indifference is to be ruled by evil men.”
1961 - Correction - The Matlick Twins in Group Photo
Writes Carol Matlick Rosen - “The Matlick twins were not identified correctly in Newsletter # 83. JOAN (Matlick) Sunshine was in the top row and CAROL (Matlick) Rosen was seated!! I don’t think we EVER looked alike and we still don’t!! So funny!
Writes Art Engoron - I’m reprinting the photo with a corrected caption. Gene Razzetti submitted the original article and caption, for which he deserves much credit and thanks! (The reader can decide for himself or herself whether or not the Matlick twins look alike!)
Standing L-R: Mrs. David Kotz, Mark Luria, Mrs. John Rigrod, Jerry Mintz, John Rigrod, Mike Jablon, Debbie Kerstein Brosowsky, David Kotz, Kent Salisbury, Joan Matlick Sunshine, Tim Jerome, Gene Razzetti, Carol Jalonack Blum, Dickey Safft, Lenny Symons, Cathy Safft, Carol Symons, Audrey Lewis Johnson, Carol Kopelman, and Paul Johnson.
Seated L-R: Charlie Hill and wife, Judy Schaffel Rubin, Jeanne Messing Sommer, Richard Kopelman, Nancy Kurshan, Carol Matlick Rosen, Camille Napoli Cannizzo, and Jill Davidson Blaney.
1964 - Donnita Ryan Whittier - Caribbean Cruise
Writes Donnita - “My husband, Hank, and I just celebrated our 49th anniversary on a Caribbean cruise, and we send warm greetings to all.”
1966 - Steve Hanft - Jeff Orling’s International Broadcasting Empire (“Radio Free Wheatley”) - “A few issues ago Jeff Orling (1965) asked if anyone remembered the in-house radio station he and some fellow Wheatleyites created, or if his recollection of it is a false memory. Jeff: I remember it! What I recall is a closet about halfway down the hall from the main school entrance that you and some other students fitted out with a tape player and maybe a turntable, capable of playing recordings that somehow could be heard coming out of speakers strategically or randomly placed in the halls nearby - I don't think the signal could travel very far. One day somewhere in the haze of 1964 - 1966 I was sitting next to one of those speakers on the bench across from the auditorium listening to you and someone else (maybe Peter Coan, 1965?) goofing around and playing some ragtime. After one tune ended you invited anyone listening to make a request by talking into the speaker. I asked for more ragtime - and you actually did hear my request: the system really was capable of two-way communication!
More memories: Edith Klepper (1964) used to hang out in the "station;" she kept a coffee cup there with "I HAVE TRENCH MOUTH" written on the side to discourage other people from using it. One of the cool things about the station was that you could hide out in it simply by closing the closet door. I seem to remember a couple of frisky students were caught making out in there one day by a faculty member - and when I say "making out" I am speaking euphemistically. I won't mention their names - you probably remember who they were.
Responds Jeffrey Orling (1965) - Steve, Thanks for this memory. My memory is hazy at best. Ah, those were fun times. Speaking for myself, the sorts of social interaction and friendships like those from high school and even college don't exist for older people. Perhaps your besties remain, but the old social networks dissolve into memories. I suppose that is common for older people, many with families and scattered around the country and world. My sister Merry (deceased) lived in Florence Italy, after graduating from Barnard, until about 15 years ago. She moved in with us; and then into her own apartment down the street; and, sadly, then into assisted living. I did not attend any of the recent reunions.….but I think if there is one coming up.….I just might.
That closed circuit closet was fun! I never studied in "study hall".….or whatever those non-class periods were called.
I would like to read memories of those days from other classmates.”
1965 - Andrea Levine - Deceased
Writes sister Jodi Levine Kornblath (1973) - “Recently I have seen names from the 1965 graduating class of my sister, Andrea Levine. Gail Witkin, who recently passed, was a good friend of hers, and Jeffrey Orling, who wrote in this most recent Newsletter, was as well. Andrea passed away this past August, and my husband (Richard Kornblath, 1969) suggested that I put it in the Newsletter, but somehow I couldn’t do it then.
She was very involved in choir with Dr Wills and theatre with Mr. Seiderman. She participated in singing competitions and went on to perform in regional, off Broadway and the London theatre. However, she became very ill many years ago and was never able to return to performing.”
1967 - Abbe Levine - Deceased
Writes Classmate Art Engoron - I recently learned from a cousin that Abbe (Andrea Levine’s cousin and Dickson Circle neighbor) died several years ago. I still have a VIVID memory of Abbe at the North Side School 6th Grade Prom, at which she wore a spectacular, stunning beehive hairdo. I last remember seeing her at Christopher Morley Park, in or about 1973, with her husband, Robin Shedrow (1966).
1967 - Tributes to Robert (“Bobby”) Silverstein
L-R - Glass of Orange Juice, Bobby Silverstein (who never drank alcohol)
Writes Rita Silverstein Levin (1963) - “Hello everyone. I’m Rita, the second child of Pep and Jerry Silverstein and the younger of Bobby’s two older sisters. My sisters and brother have asked me to represent the four of us to speak about Bobby this afternoon. It's a difficult task, not just because Bobby led a rich and full life that is tough to distill, but also because he's the first of us that we’ve lost. We're all feeling shock and disbelief that our fivesome is no longer complete.
Bobby was someone different to each of us. To Marilyn and me, he was our kid brother. Marilyn remembers Bobby being the clarinetist in the Silverstein family band, in which she played piano, I played the violin, Michael played the drums and Mindy played the ukulele. We all remember Bobby belting out ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ on the clarinet at his bar mitzvah party as we joined the Conga line. All five of us went to The Wheatley School in Old Westbury—at different times, of course. I was three years older than Bobby, so I was in college when Bobby was elected by his senior class as Mr. Wheatley. I was really proud that this special honor had gone to my little brother! And frankly, I could spend the rest of this afternoon telling you all the other ways he made me proud over the course of his life.
To Michael and Mindy, he was their big brother. Just two years younger, Michael remembers having a lot of fun with Bobby—playing marbles and stickball in the street along with the neighborhood kids, going to Tunis Lake Camp together and building snow forts and having snowball fights. Mindy, seven years younger than Bobby, was the envy of all her friends because that handsome Bobby Silverstein was her big brother. At one of Mindy’s birthday parties, all the girls joined in a chorus of the then-hit song ‘Bobby’s Girl’ because they all wanted to be Bobby’s girl.
To all of us, he was our beloved brother. And for all of us, his presence is one we are sorely missing.
From the time he was a child, Bobby cared deeply about fairness. Whether he was negotiating within the family or participating in activities at school, Bobby seemed to see his role as helping everyone get the equal rights he believed they deserved. This spirit informed the adult he became and the choices he made in work and life.
It feels cruelly unfair to lose him so abruptly. But if he were here right now, I feel certain he’d remind us to tell the people we love how much we love them, because we never know how long we have with them. No one Bobby loved ever had to wonder how he felt about them.’
WaPo Obituary of Robert ("Bobby") Silverstein
“Bobby Silverstein, 73, died with his family by his side on Thursday, November 17, 2022. He will be remembered as a beacon of playfulness, intellect and unconditional love; an adoring partner to his wife, Lynne; a guiding light to his entire family; and a true force for human goodness, committing his life to public service and protecting the civil rights of others. He leaves our world a better place with a life well-lived.
Bobby was our light — the source of unwavering loyalty, trust, support, kindness and humor. He was the best friend and true love of Lynne Silverstein, his wife of 51 years; loving father of Mark and Evan and their wives Stefani and Christie Silverstein; and an adoring grandfather of Cyrus, Chloe, Bailey and Jacob Silverstein.
Son of the late Peppy and Jerry Silverstein, Bobby is survived by his four siblings and their spouses Marilyn and Carlos Medrano, Rita and Larry Levin, Michael and Leslie Silverstein and Mindy and Avner Levy, and their loving families.
Bobby will be remembered as a courageous, tireless and visionary leader of progressive social civil rights policy; a true champion and loyal friend of all people with disabilities. He employed his well known consensus-building style while serving as a staff member in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, including as staff director and chief counsel for the Subcommittee on Disability Policy of the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, chaired by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. There, he negotiated and drafted bipartisan legislation and was known as the "behind-the-scenes architect" of more than 20 bills enacted into law, including the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act. After leaving government service, he continued his public policy work until the day he died.”
Writes Classmate Robert (“Bobby”) Scandurra (“Bobby on Bobby”) - I was very surprised & sad to hear of Bobby Silverstein’s passing. He was always pleasant, always a gentleman, very smart, & an overall good guy. RIP, Bobby.”
Writes Classmate (and Student Government President) Carl Wirth - “Arthur, as you close each newsletter joking about being in touch before somebody sends you our obituary…I thought of your tribute to Bobby Silverstein. What a nice tribute to a really nice guy. Bobby was a very quiet but effective leader. As our class President, he coordinated and organized our Senior Prom. I had never been to a country club before, but I remember how much fun my date, classmate Laura Davis, and I had. What Bobby did with his life is another good example of how the education and sense of community we learned at Wheatley was put into action by many of us. His death at our relatively young age serves as a reminder that all of us must hold and remember dearly the friends we made so many years ago.”
Writes classmate Art Engoron - “Bobby was probably the Class of 1967’s ‘Most Likely to Succeed,’ and succeed he did.”
1970 - Mitchel Shapiro - On Wheatley Then and Now
Writes Mitch - “The Alumni Newsletter evokes many memories…..of good times and bad. As I look back now, as a grown and wiser person, I see that the character and values of the school staff, including custodians, cafeteria workers, office staff, Principal, Vice Principal and the many teachers, were all genuine and caring, including about our futures.
From what I have read or heard through various conversations with parents and teachers, currently, administrators and teachers are bogged down with too much paperwork and government regulations, making it tougher to teach the lessons that we learned.
1972 - Richard (“Rich”) Weissman - Steadfast LGBTQ Supporter
Rich and his husband, J.D. Horn, hosted the annual LGBTQ Congressional Caucus sit-down dinner at their Palm Springs home over the September 9th weekend for a group of 200 people. The Caucus consists of all LGBTQ U.S. Congresspeople, LGBTQ candidates running for U.S. Congress throughout the nation, and national LGBTQ and other Democratic leaders. Will Rollins, who just conceded the race to represent the 41st California District in Congress, and on whose campaign Rich and J.D. were actively involved, spoke as well. Rich, J.D., and Will also met with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Barbara Boxer in a private afternoon meeting. Congresspersons Maxine Waters, Hakeem Jeffries, and other U.S. Congressional and LGBTQ leaders spoke at the evening dinner.
Rich and J.D., through their charitable fund (The Richard Norris Weissman Charitable Fund, www.richweissman.com), and through their separate political donations, are active national leaders in the LGBTQ community, providing financial resources, strategic, and other support to a variety of LGBTQ organizations and candidates. Says Rich, "Wheatley, including the students, parents, and faculty, provided a foundation for activism based on the ideal that educated citizens need to engage in leadership roles, taking responsibility for progress in our nation and our world, ensuring that human rights and dignity are advanced."
L-R - J.D. Horn, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Rich Weissman, Will Rollins
L-R - Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Rich Weissman
1973 - Daniel Engoron, Sara Weiss Danzi Engoron, and Two of Dan’s Kids
L-R - Stacey Engoron (2007); Dan Engoron (1973); Sara Weiss Danzi Engoron (1973), and Jack Engoron (2016)
Dan Engoron with one of his three older brothers.
1976 - Robin Hegyi Sisskind - Wonderful Reunion at Son’s Wedding
Writes Robin - “I had a wonderful reunion with friends at my son’s wedding. These 1976 classmates and I have known each other since kindergarten (at Willets Road) and before! Laurie, Amy, Robin and I all went on to Syracuse University. Robin and I were roommates too! Boys who wanted to date us didn’t know which ones they were calling, as we were both ‘Robins from Roslyn’!! Thankfully, we both met our husbands in our freshman year and continue to be happily married for almost 44 years!
L-R - Lauren Paisner, Amy Berko Isles, Carole Miner Schuman, Robin Hegyi Sisskind, Robin Firetog Glanzberg
L-R - Donna Hegyi Gillman (class of ‘65), Robin Hegyi Sisskind, Amy Berko Isles, Lauren Paisner, Robin Firetog Glanzberg - friends for close to 60 years!!
1961 (Jill Davidson Blaney) - ❤️
1964 (Donnita Ryan Whittier) - “Thanks to Art and Keith for providing this great platform for Wheatley alumni to stay in touch and express their gratitude for such an excellent educational experience.”
1965 (Jeffrey Orling) - “Art, Thanks...as always. I continue to enjoy reading about the school and the people who made it memorable.”
1966 (Allan Silver) - “As always, the newsletter was excellent. Thank you for keeping us all together.”❤️
1967 (Douglas Brautigam) - ❤️
1967 (Jill Simon Forte) - “Thanks, again. I always smile when I see the Wheatley memories😊.”
1967 (Joseph Tartaglia) - ❤️
1968 (Lois Hegyi Goldstein) - “I always enjoy the Wheatley newsletters, although I’m sad when reading about classmates that have passed away. Keep writing these newsletters because we all enjoy reading them!”
1969 (Craig Backel) - ❤️
1970 (Maria Giordano Gittleman) - ❤️
1973 (Gail Gimbel) - “Your Newsletter is great.”
1973 (Jodi Levine Kornblath) - “Art, I, too want to thank you for all of the work you do on this Newsletter. I have enjoyed reading the stories and comments people make. Thank you so much for your time and all you do to remind us of where we came from. It is appreciated more than you will ever know.”
1973 (Richard Miner) - “Thanks for doing this…..I enjoy reading everything except the political positions.”
1974 (Ellen Barnett Diana) - ❤️
1974 (James Elefonte) - ❤️
1976 (Robin Hegyi Sisskind) - “Thanks for all you do, Art, in keeping us up to date!”
1976 (Jim Joachim) - ❤️
1979 (Debra Colavita Milia) - ❤️
1979 (Mary Hopkins Burke) - ❤️
1983 (Helen van Doorn Keefer) - ❤️
1990 (Dana Lieber Moriarty) - ❤️
That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 84. Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.
Arthur Fredericks Engoron, Class of 1967