Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,
Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 69.
Note - There are lots of links that may not look like or be labelled as such, so when in doubt, “click,” and then “click” again.
Warning - All photos include me; focus on the other person!
The Usual Words of Wisdom
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Question for the Wheatley Community
“Does anyone have a record (or memory) of the various speakers, performers, etc. who participated in the PEER program during the early 1970s?” Liz Barnett Ackert (1974)
1962 - Robert Freiman - Great Lunch at Forlini’s (since closed)
L-R - Art and Bob
1967 - Arthur Engoron and Richard Friedman - Best Buddies Since Kindergarten
L-R - Art and Rich
1967 - Art Engoron and Wheatley Principal Sean Feeney at the 2022 Career Fair
L-R - Art and Sean
1967 - Art Engoron - In the News
1973 - Paul Marinello - Remembered Fondly by Ilene Kent (1972)
Writes Ilene - Paul Marinello was my high school sweetheart and prom date. We dated for nearly two years until distance took its toll. He went on to live his life, marry, and have 3 boys he adored. Over the past 50 years, he and I have communicated several times, then we’d go years without any connecting. But we began to communicate more regularly in the last six months of his life . We became great friends again. He was one of a kind – very smart, goofy, funny, a music freak. Above all he was kind. He loved horses and was a loving dad. Any description would be incomplete without talking about his beloved Yankees and Giants. His smile could light up a room, and his giggle was just infectious. When I found out that his last breath was over the Christmas holiday, my heart nearly stopped. He loved life and the world is a better place because Paul Marinello, Wheatley’s 1973 Athlete of the Year, was in it.
1973 - Edward Ryder - Friendship with a cousin of Roger (1969) and Gail (1973) Gimbel.
In one of those ironies of ironies, when I transferred to American University, into the same class as Gary Simel, although then unknown to either Gary or myself, the residential life personnel at AU assigned me a junior year roommate. His name was Robert. As in “Robert Gimbel.” He turned out to be a New Jersey cousin of Gail and Roger Gimbel, who are Wheatley alumni. Rob and I are still in monthly or more frequent contact. In a further irony, the Gimbels of New York are in the printing business, while I have long spent decades as a print franchisor. ED
1974 - Updates on Many Grads - Collected by Class Correspondent Debra Copeland
David Caine - “COVID hit the hotel industry hard, and I lost my job as a Catering Sales/Event Services Manager in Atlanta back in 2020. Not knowing what to do next, I started to take several private tennis lessons from a very accomplished pro. One thing led to another, and I now teach tennis to beginners and intermediate players, along with working as a club concierge at the Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta hotel.
Laurie Cohen - “Living between Sag Harbor, NY, and TriBeCa, NYC. No retirement plans. Still working as an investment analyst, the same kind of work I’ve done since leaving my longtime job as an investigative reporter for the WSJ in 2008. (After Murdoch bought the newspaper). Looking to do more volunteer work. I previously taught writing to NYC prisoners and wish to do that kind of work again in Suffolk County. Raised a son alone as a single mother by choice. He is now 26. He graduated from Bucknell in 2017 and is now living in NYC with his fantastic girlfriend and doing great. Would love to connect with ‘74 Wheatley classmates near and far, whether by email, phone or in-person. (Facebook is not my social media platform of choice.)
Richard DuBow - “98% retired after 43 years as a financial advisor, married, living in Atlanta. Daughter in Atlanta works for our group; son is an Air Force Captain/Chaplain in Nevada, married, with our first grandchild. All is great our way
Robert Gordon Kalb - “Briefly, all is well. My wife and our kids are all healthy and enjoying life. This has been a tough year for the parents, however, as both of my wife's parents died about 6 months ago and my Mom died recently. My Dad died about 8 years ago. And so, we have moved into the period of the old folks are gone and we are next!
Both of my sons live in NYC and we visit them regularly (within COVID parameters). I am hopeful that the older one will get married and have children. Apparently the latter does not required the former (I am so old fashion). My younger son is gay and so whether he decides to have children is a bit more complex. Nonetheless they are happy, fulfilled and living good lives.
My wife is an artist and she has been somewhat disappointed by the arts scene in Chicago. She does a fair amount of international work and this makes her happy. She also has been getting involved with local community affairs in an attempt to reduce violent crime in Chicago.
I am active as a basic science researcher with a sharp focus on ALS. Also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, its horrid. I have NIH grant support and some money from the Department of Defense for these studies. In addition, I do see patients - including a clinic solely devoted to ALS patients. Rather depressing but I hope that my research contributes to the cure. One must remain optimistic!
Outside of work, I enjoy reading, regular exercise and piano. I have been taking conversational French for about 3 years and my wife and I would like to spend increasing amounts of time in Paris and Europe in general. My French is terrible!
I must admit that life has unfolded in a wonderful way for me, and I live a charmed existence. Why fortune fell my way is inexplicable, but I am appreciative.
I do think about my days in Roslyn Heights and the Willets Road School and Wheatley. I suspect that things have changed dramatically at both schools since when we were there. The last reunion we had was maybe 10 years ago and I was surprised that a not-insignificant number of classmates had died. Life is short and that is sometimes hard to recall.
Patricia Marcus - “I think it’s great that you’re trying to pull information together! I am: Retired, living in Wisconsin, and life is excellent.
Marla Romash - Writes Debra Copeland - Marla and her husband, Marc Alexander, are opening a new 46-seat restaurant, Our Table Jamestown, this Spring in Jamestown, RI. Marc is the Executive Chef, Marla is the Pastry Chef and General Manager. It’s in a great spot in the center of town, a new build-out creating a comfortable, casual spot for the kicked-up comfort food they’ll be serving for late afternoon snacks and dinner. Our Table Jamestown also includes a small bakery. Jamestown – across the Pell Bridge from Newport – is a great summer destination.
Linda Jordan Samuels - “I have moved to Winston-Salem, NC to be near my family. I’m very happy here waiting for a new home to be built.
James Siegal - I am still living in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, about 75 miles up the Potomac from Washington DC, living with my wife of 20 years, Michelle Wheeler. Our 20 yr old daughter, Michaela, is a sophomore at Bard College in Annandale, NY.
I continue to work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a trainer of professional biologists. Although my overall health is pretty good, I had serious neck surgery 2 1/2 years ago, which has made sure I will never be able to wrestle alligators again. I have kept in touch with Jerry Jacoby in Albertson and recently heard from Elyse Jaffe-Ilson, also still living on the Island. I constantly miss the loss of my old friends Lorraine Kryle and Geoff Sherrard, both gone now for over 20 years. My mother, Florence, just turned 99; she’s living in Berkeley, California, which must mean we are becoming real Wheatley seniors too.
Cliff Struhl - “Lots of interests outside of work and still hanging with some Wheatley folks like Scot Feld, George Kuntz. Dave Kandel and Buzz Bosshart. Things should be back to normal in 2024, just in time for our biggie; I’m sure I’ll be bringing honey again, now that I have 14 hives producing over 1,000 lbs. annually. Not yet fully retired but getting much more active with my carving. Mostly larger stones of up to 3700 lbs. at home studio and VT studio.
A few tidbits (from Debra Copeland):
Greg Cave restores / renovates Churches – God bless ‘em.
Maria Cilmi O’Connell is in the beginning of a training program for equine therapy.
Mike Dubb built a second pre-school for kids to best prepare them for public school. “Anna House” exists on Long Island and Saratoga, NY.
J Roy Kozupsky launched Berkshire Moonball Tennis. Part of the Mission statement reads as follows: “Increasing the number of all children in Berkshire County to have access to the sport of tennis, especially those who may not have the means to afford tennis otherwise…”
Peggy McGuire Cilmi teaches special-needs kids at a school in The Bronx, NY.
Suzanne Zenker Gilbride pursues her creative hobby of quilting (see Art Engoron’s last Wheatley Alumni newsletter).
1976 - Paul Giarmo - Amazing Wheatley Sports Fan and Archivist
L-R - Art Engoron (1967) and Paul Giarmo (1976) at Piccolo’s in Mineola, 3/22/2022
2002 - Phil Grodin - Published Author
Google “Just Tell Me What I Need to Know Phil Grodin” and you can purchase your very own copy.
2010 + 2014 - Alexander + Danielle Estis Remember Their Father, Warren Estis
Writes Art Engoron (1967) - Warren Estis was a major force in New York Landlord-Tenant and Real Estate Law for decades. He appeared in front of me many times and was always smart and passionate. Out of court he was friendly, gracious, and funny. That his children attended the same high school that I/we did is one of life’s funny coincidences. I “second” what Alex wrote (immediately below).
Writes Alex (2010) on Behalf of Alex and Dani (2014) Estis: It is with great sorrow and sadness that we write to inform you of the passing of our father, Warren A. Estis. Our father was a true titan of real estate who embraced litigation with the passion and enthusiasm of an avid sports fan. He was known to judges and opposing counsel for his fierce, colorful, and truly unique litigation tactics. He was quick on his feet, and a mercurial fighter with unshakable confidence in his own views. He had an incredible sense of humor and an unparalleled ability to make a deal.
Our father began his career at a construction litigation firm after graduating from Brooklyn Law School in 1973. In 1979, he co-founded Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. with Gary Rosenberg. One of our father’s greatest achievements was seeing the firm attain the recognition and reputation of becoming one of the top New York City Real Estate Firms.
Besides being a co-founder of the firm, our father once served as managing partner. He was the firm’s lead trial attorney and supervised and trained litigators in preparation for trial, a responsibility which he truly enjoyed. Our father was a master of cross-examination and had an unmatched ability to frustrate even the most experienced opposing attorneys. He was a mentor to many. His skills were incredible.
Over his 49 years in the legal field, our father kept very busy. He was editor and co-author of the Landlord/Tenant Law and Rent Regulations columns in the New York Law Journal and wrote the book The New York Rent Regulation Reform Act of 1997. He also co-authored the Landlord-Tenant chapter in West's multi-volume treatise General Practice in New York. He was a former member of the Housing Advisory Council of the Civil Court of the City of New York and was a member of the Supreme and Civil Court Practice Sections of the New York County Lawyers' Association and the Real Property Division of the American Bar Association. In addition to reading and writing, he also lectured judges and court attorneys at continuing legal education programs sponsored by the New York State Judicial Institute.
Our father was incredibly passionate about his work, traveling and living every moment of his life to the fullest. He will be remembered as a co-founder, boss, mentor, feared opponent, fearless leader and unbelievable negotiator, but most importantly—as our dad and the strongest man we have ever met. He lived and died on his own terms. He was larger than life and was able to achieve unprecedented success in ways that very few could ever do.
We understand many of you share in our sadness, but we ask that you take the time to celebrate our father’s memory and achievements as a blessing.
Funeral: Monday, April 18, 2022 at 10:00 a.m., at Gutterman's Funeral Home located at 8000 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury, NY.
Shiva: Monday & Tuesday 5:00-9:00 at
845 U.N. Plaza, #86B
New York, NY 10017
1961 (Deborah Kerstein Brosowsky) - “I liked Newsletter # 68.”
1961 (Camille Napoli Cannizzo) - “Thank You Art and Keith…..Camille.”
1963 (Donna Kenton) - “Art, Thank you, once again. I really appreciate the time and effort you and Keith put in to keep the spirit of the Wheatley community alive. “
1965 (Susan Wechselblatt Firsenbaum) - “I enjoy reading the Wheatley newsletter and want to thank you for all the effort that you put into it. I think it is better than ever, and I like reading about everyone, even if I never knew them or heard of them. Maybe because I am older I am feeling more nostalgic about the past. I also appreciate everything that Keith does helping you put it together. Thanks again.
1966 (Suzanne Stone) - “Dear Art, You are amazing! Every month, you reliably manage to organize an informative, nostalgic-yet-bittersweet update about our childhood mentors, friends and classmates - many quite accomplished! Thank you for your dedication to keeping us all in the loop. Bless you! Stay safe & wonderful - Suzanne Stone
1967 (Richard Friedman) - “Can excellence in preparation ever appear to be routine? Yes, when it is a true labor of love and so much time and hard work goes into it every month that we are all spoiled by the high standards you continue to maintain and yes, even improve upon!”
1971 (Mitch Mudick) - “Hi Art, I always look forward to reading the Wheatley newsletters with their updates on classmates, other students, teachers, administrators, etc. I appreciate the service you provide and all the hard work you put in. Lucky me (and us)!”
1971 (Merrie Sesskin) - “Art, I really enjoy the new, 2022 format. Keep up the great work..!”
1974 (Liz Barnett Ackert) - “Many thanks as always in your capacity as Wheatley Alum correspondent extraordinaire.”
1976 (Robin Hegyi Sisskind) - “Thank you Art for keeping us up-to-date on all of our Wheatley info.”
That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 69. Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.
Arthur Fredericks Engoron, 1967