Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,
Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 98,
According to Substack, in the first 24 hours after publication Newsletter # 97 was viewed 2,884 times, was “liked” 5 times, and received one comment (positive).
N.B. - Please ignore the solicitations for “donations” or “funding” or “subscriptions” or “pledges” of any kind at the end of these Newsletters. Substack puts them there, without my consent (and for a long time without my knowledge). I am trying to get them removed (Substack does NOT make that easy to do). I have never taken a penny for my Wheatley Alumni activities, and I’m not about to start now.
All underlined text is a link-to-a-link. Clicking anywhere on underlined text, and then left-clicking on the link that pops up, will get you to your on-line destination.
The Usual Words of Wisdom
Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (Class of 1963), you can regale yourself with the first 97 Newsletters (and other Wheatley data and arcana) at
Wheatley School Alumni Association Website
Also, thanks to Keith is our search engine, prominently displayed on our home page: type in a word or phrase and, mirabile dictu, you’ll find every place it exists in all previous Newsletters and other on-site material.
I 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
Gail Hersh Rinaudo - Music Teacher - Deceased
Writes Deborah Kerstein Brosowsky (1961) - “Gail was a terrific music teacher. She cared about her students and wanted them to love music as much as she did.”
Writes Ann Karp (Staff) - “I came to work in the Business Office in the autumn of 1974, and Gail came to East Williston after that. She was so young and lovely and a gifted music teacher. I'm so sorry to hear of her passing. Too young. My condolences to her family. firstname.lastname@example.org”
1965 - Glen Hammer - Remembering Leslie (1967) and Robin (1972) Freier
Writes Glen - “It was so nice to see the comment from Robin Freier Edwards (1972). I don’t remember her well, as she was quite a bit younger than me, but I remember Robin’s sister, Leslie (the beautiful redhead) (1967), and her mother and father. I received my first scuba equipment from Robin’s dad, as he was a supplier of those items. I think his first name was Denny. Best wishes to the Frier’s. Glen”
1965 - Jeffrey Orling - Friendships
Writes Jeff - “Reading about and from people from Wheatley is a hoot! I am sorry that I lost touch with virtually everyone from Willets Road and Wheatley. I think many of them would be fun people with whom to hang out. I would be interested to read how others reconnected after decades. I was friends with my classmate Andy Halper for years, but then we lost touch.….a shame.”
1966 - Allan Silver - Granddaughter is Top College Rowing Prospect
Writes Allan - Maggie, our youngest granddaughter, who resides in Eden, New York, is making her official visit to West Virginia University next week. The Athletic Department is paying for my daughter and son-in-law to stay in a hotel while Maggie stays in the athletic dorm. She will meet with the members of the rowing team, who will take her on a tour of the campus and the brand new rowing facility.
Maggie and her parents will attend the West Virginia University v. Ohio State University basketball game, which will be televised on ESPN. Finally, they will meet for lunch with the Head Coach and Academic Advisor of the Rowing Team to discuss her scholarship offer.
Needless to say, Maggie is a much better athlete than her grandfather.”
1968 - Joel Blumenthal, Andrew Forstenzer, David Pinter, Jon Rosenbloom
The Golf Match of the Century!
L-R - Jon Rosenbloom, Joel Blumenthal, Andrew Forstenzer, David Pinter
Writes Andy - “The Match! It started with Joel Blumenthal (Wheatley ’68 / Willets Road) sharing a photo a few months back of his golf ball sitting in the hole after an amazing drive on a par 3 (yes - a true hole-in-one!). Jon Rosenbloom (also Wheatley’68 / Willets Road) was quick to congratulate Joel and the two sought to arrange a golf outing when both were down in Florida. Wanting in on the fun, David Pinter (Wheatley ’68 / North Side) asked to join, and last, but not least, I too (Wheatley ’68 / North Side) joined the fray. For Jon, Dave and myself, this may be as close as we ever get to a hole-in-one.
L-R - Joel Blumenthal, Jon Rosenbloom
L-R - Andy Forstenzer, David Pinter
David and Joel are wintering on Florida’s East Coast (Vero Beach and Palm Beach Gardens) while Jon and I are on Longboat Key, just outside Sarasota on Florida’s West Coast. Rather than make this a Florida East versus West Coast Challenge (maybe next year), we put elementary school loyalty on the line with Willets Road versus North Side for all the marbles (actual marbles, as, despite Joel’s feat, none of us are good enough to bet real cash).
North Side v. Willets Road
The big event (using a "‘best ball’ format) took place on February 16 at Pinecrest Golf Club in Avon Park, Florida - a Donald Ross-designed course about 100 miles inland from each Florida Coast.
Early in the match Blumenthal showed his skill with several long drives and by sinking a chip from off the green. Forstenzer later holed a putt from just off the fringe and sank five other incredible putts of at least 15 feet to keep the match close. Pinter, bravely showing up despite suffering from a macular hole in his eye (with surgery to follow in early March), often rescued the North Side team with clutch fairway shots, and Rosenbloom blasted several towering drives along with multiple clutch putts (not to mention a jaw-dropping 5-wood on the par 5 16th) to keep Willets Road in the lead and uphold the honor of Parkway Drive as well. The match stayed tight, but the Willets Road pair were two up with two holes to go and closed out the North Side duo on 17 to win the match 3 and 1 (for those familiar with match play scoring). The final score (for 17 holes) was also 78 to 81 in favor of Willets Road.
Congratulations to Joel & Jon for winning this year’s inaugural event!
The (soon to be) famous Wheatley Golf Championship Cup was not available in time to be awarded this year, but each team walked away with souvenir Willets Road or North Side golf hats and special limited edition Wheatley ’68 golf balls commemorating the inaugural event.
Beer and burgers followed before the sun set on a wonderful day.
Given the close score (and especially considering Pinter’s extra handicap) there will surely be a rematch in 2024 - and the combatants have declared the field
is open for participation by other Wheatley graduates willing to risk their reputations (and waste their time) on the course. At least one challenge to proper scoring was raised (and the efficacy of North Side’s basic math program came into question), so rumor has it His Honor, the eminent jurist Art Engoron, may agree to serve as official referee / scorer in 2024.
Veritatem Quaerite”. [[Thanks to Andy for all the photos except the ones he’s in.]]
1969 - James Wallach - William Lawson’s Summer Camp, Waimea, Long Ago
Writes James - Summer of 1963, I think. Before 7th grade and the big step up to Wheatley. I still don’t know how I or anyone else was chosen for Mr. William Lawson’s camp in Stinson Lake, NH. About half of the kids were from Mr. Lawson’s brother-in-law, who was a teacher in NJ. The rest were from Willets Road/North Side/Wheatley, except for one outlier from Manhasset, Chuck Logan. There were only 16 of us, in two cabins, the older kids’ cabin unfinished with only 3 walls and a roof. We ate meals in two shifts in the kitchen of the house where the adults stayed. We walked to a neighbor’s property and were allowed to use it for softball if we kept it mowed all summer. We hiked to the lake, where I learned to waterski. And there was a summer regatta where we were lucky that the large Camp Stinson Lake was away for inter-camp games that day. I know I’m leaving out so much, but it was 60 years ago, and I was only 11. Oh yes, it was a great summer! And for those of you who knew Mr. Lawson, we got to call him ‘Uncle Bill’ all summer, but never in school.”
L-R - Front Row - ???, Jonny Prince,???, Jimmy Wallach, Jimmy Nordlinger (1970), ??? Steve Lansky (1969)
Back Row - ???, ??? Jay Keillor (1966), Bob Campagnola (1966), Don Lansky (1967), Denis Feldman (1966), ???(possibly Jeffrey Knetzer) (1966), Chuck Logan, ???
I hope that someone can identify all the others.
1972 - Jackie Obrant Millstein - “I noticed that LauRha Frankfort mentioned Barry and Suzi Kaufman. They were my next-door neighbors on Shelter Lane. Barry wrote a book about his autistic son (who I believe works with them now) called “Son Rise” (which was made into a made-for-TV movie). They had two massive Bouviers that looked like big, hairy bears and terrified me whenever I baby sat for their kids.”
1971 - David and Gail Hill Kurman - Many Marathons Man
Writes David - I recently ran a marathon in Celebration, Florida where classmate Matt Luttinger is seeking election to the Residential Owners Association Board of Directors. Matt and Jeanne live along the running route, and I returned to see them after the race, my 131st career marathon. My first was the Boston Marathon while a senior at Wheatley in 1971. I was the youngest official competitor that year and my entry was accepted thanks to two letters of recommendation. One was from the Wheatley cross-country coach, Dr. Irwin August, who affirmed that I had met the Boston qualifying time. The other was from cardiologist Dr. Fred Schilling (father of classmate Kathy Schilling Colletta), who stated that I was physically capable of running 26.2 miles. Thirty-three years later, in 2004, I ran my 100th marathon. Again it was in Boston and cheering for me from the VIP seats at the finish line were my classmate / wife, Gail Hill Kurman, and our son, J.D. (John David). We also stay in touch with classmate Carolyn DiGiovanna, who owns a home not far from us in The Villages, Florida.”
L-R - J.D., Gail, and David Kurman
1972 and 1978 - Winnie Holzman and Dan Paisner - Winnie on Dan’s Podcast
Writes Dan - Hey Art, Winnie Holzman kindly agreed to appear on a podcast I host about writing in collaboration – “AS TOLD TO: The Ghostwriting Podcast,” available on all podcast platforms. Wheatley features in many aspects of our conversation, although we mostly talk about Winnie’s wickedly successful career writing for theater and television.”
Dan Paisner and Winnie Holzman Podcast
Writes Principal Joseph Wiener - “Dear Arthur, Gail Rinaudo, a former music teacher at Wheatley, passed away on Monday, February 13, 2023>
The next day, Valentine’s Day, Wheatley hosted the annual Orchestra Long Island concert. This is a collaboration between OLI and our music department. OLI musicians coach our students in the weeks leading up to the performance, and professionals and students perform side by side under the direction of Maestro David Stewart Wiley, the OLI Musical Director. Gail began this partnership many years ago, and we dedicated the evening’s performance to Gail’s memory. Here is a link to the concert program.
Orchestra Long Island + Wheatley Music Dept. Concert Program
The Wheatley School Alumni Association Forum/Soapbox
Writes Fred Carillo (1960) - “Paul Giarmo (1976), you are a Patriot of the America we knew during the 50’s! God Bless Jay Cummings (1960), Rhoda Kalkin Schneider (1961), and you!!!”
Writes Nancy Kurshan (1961) - Hi Art, Reading the Newsletters, I have often thought of writing more about my life, but I'm a very political animal, and it's felt quite impossible to share my history and still respect the ‘no controversial politics’ culture that some thirst for. Now, however, the rules, or maybe culture, seem to have changed, though I’m a bit uncertain still. And in a recent issue John Sullivan (’64) commented that ‘no one addresses what they’re doing in later years to continue the social initiatives’ that began at Wheatley.
That’s not totally true, because I just read in the Newsletter that Ellen David (’70), someone I never knew, is ‘totally engaged’ in the ‘revitalized labor movement.’ I cheer for her and numerous others that have dropped a line or two like that.
I’ll add to the mix and say something about what I'm currently doing, at 79 years of age. In addition to commenting on my abiding love for Hildebrandt’s ice cream parlor, I did once post about a book I wrote regarding 15 years of unpaid work to abolish long-term solitary confinement & mass incarceration. I have also written a very political memoir about my life, but despite some close calls, I have yet to find a publisher for “Levitating the Pentagon and Other Uplifting Stories.” Maybe because I am so unrepentant.
But let’s go current. This Tuesday, Valentine’s Day, I was one of the main organizers of an action in front of our local Wells Fargo Bank, letting them know that if they don’t break up with the fossil fuel industry, WE WILL BREAK UP WITH THEM. WF is one of 4 banks, along with Bank of America, Chase and Citi Bank, that are the biggest investors in the fossil fuel industry. I’m attaching a video which might be hard to see on a smart phone but should be good to go on a computer. It will give you the colorful flavor of what we did:
DIVESTMENT DEMONSTRATION - WELLS FARGO
Over 100 people turned out, with music and giant puppets and chocolate kisses and A LOVE LETTER TO OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN. This March 21st we will join the national organization Third Act for a National Day of Action calling for divestment from those banks if they continue to fund climate chaos. We’ve had floods and droughts and fires out here in California, and it’s been a lot worse for people in Pakistan. One of the big banks in England has already agreed to divest. Maybe we can make them do it here!
I have a gorgeous 2 1/2 year old grandson, and I care deeply about his future and all the children of this fabulous planet we were lucky to be born onto.
If any of you want help finding better banks or credit unions to switch to, I suggest that you go to the Third Act website: Better Bank Link. I’ve been attending their weekly trainings.
I loved the education I got at Wheatley, and Mr. Doig taught me to use my voice. Well, my mom had a lot to do with it as well. The Class of 1961 was great. I appreciate my classmates more now than I did then. And I even appreciate some of the people who are willing to talk with me even if we don’t agree. I believe in conversation and dialogue. To me, that’s much of what being human is about.”
Writes Allan Silver (1966) - “I am in favor of including a "Soap Box" Section. No one is required to read it, and interesting ideas are exchanged.”
Writes Jill Simon Forte (1967) - “One of the posts in the last Newsletter was aggravating 😵💫😵💫😆😆😆. Oh well, that’s the price of free speech😉, no problem.”
Writes Paul Ingrassia (1969) - “Art, part of me wants to respond to these forum posts that spout all these right wing falsehoods, but at 71 it seems pointless to expect any sort of rational response from irrational minds.”
1961 (Nancy Kurshan) - “I follow the newsletter and always enjoy reading it. A shout out and thanks to you and my old pal, Webmaster Keith Aufhauser.”
1962 (Richard Glassman) - ❤️
1965 (Glen Hammer) - ❤️
1966 (Fred Hammond) - ❤️
1967 (Fred Amato) - “The Newsletters are terrific, keep up the great work! I look forward to reading them.”
1967 (Jill Simon Forte) - “Ahhhh, so enjoyable to read of our times years ago, the start of my hippie years, when I met Bob, great times 😊.”
1967 (Barbara Smith Stanisic) - ❤️
1968 (Andy Forstenzer) - “Thanks for all you do.”
1968 (Jon Rosenbloom) - “Thanks for continuing your work on the Newsletter - I look forward to every issue.”
1971 (Laurence Shiller) - ❤️
1973 (Susan Steinberger Pearce) - “I love the Newsletters. They are fantastic.”
1977 (Peter Fitzpatrick) - ❤️
That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 98. Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.
Arthur Fredericks Engoron, Class of 1967
Another great newsletter Art.
Thank You Art, The Newsletter is always informative and interesting!