THE WHEATLEY SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER # 78
Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,
Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 78.
According to Substack, just over 4,600 “WheatleyPeople” receive every issue. The most recent, # 77, was viewed 4,206 times in the first 36 or so hours.
Note - Anything underlined is a link-to-a-link or an email address, and anything not is not, because Substack will not let publishers underline anything else.
The 40th-year reunion of the Class of 1982 will be held on Saturday, October 22nd at the Strathmore-Vanderbilt Country Club, in Manhasset, NY. Contact Maria Reyher Meredith at email@example.com for more information.
The Covid-belated 40th-year reunion of the Class of 1981 will be held on May 6, 2023 at Hendrick’s Tavern, https://www.hendrickstavern.com/ in Roslyn. Writes Alan Littman, the restaurant is good and I think the space will be perfect for us. Please send me an indication of interest ASAP so that I can confirm the size room we need. We are scheduled to start cocktails and appetizers at 6:00, and then dinner at 7:00, with an open bar from 6:00 to 10:00. I highly suggest taking an UBER to the event or staying local. There is a hotel next door (which I am not recommending, just pointing out that it is there. https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/lgarsup-the-roslyn/. The cost is $170 per person. Checks should be sent to me at 22 Overbrook Lane, Upper Brookville, NY 11545. I’m expecting a great turnout based on the emails I’ve received and looking forward to seeing everyone. Best, Alan
Written by Steven Rushmore (1963); submitted by Benjamin Brodsky, 2002
A 1932 Time Magazine article submitted by Benjamin Brodsky, 2002
Responses to the “Warning Label,” and the Accompanying Essay decrying censorship, in Newsletter Issue # 77
1959 - Beth (“Betty”) Davidson - “I applaud your decision to print everything without censorship. Wheatley fostered ‘thinking’ - anyone who opposes that concept is way off track.
1963 Jeff Jacobs - “Hi Art: I agree with Carl Stewart, 1960, that no one should want to undertake a ‘war’ in our cherished newsletter. That said, however, expressing an opposing opinion that is fully explained should not be characterized as ‘screed’ or ‘prolix’ when it just seeks to be thorough. If it falls on deaf ears, then so be it, but the snarkiness doesn’t strike me as very polite, proper, constructive or in good spirit, particularly when accompanied by criticisms that wander off on issues not relevant to the point. So, while I am disappointed at the frequently utilized liberal tactic of disparaging the author rather than dealing with subject at hand, I nevertheless, do admire an Editor’s commitment to refrain from restricting healthy debate. Thanks.
1963 - Donna Kenton - “Dear Art, I so appreciate your thoughtfulness and the time and effort you put into your decision about political conversations in the newsletter. I actually hate them and don’t read them. I know what I believe, and I can’t handle the anger. But I completely support your decision. I would love it if Wheatleyites refrained from political screeds on the alumni newsletter, but censoring them would not be right.”
1964 - James Paley - “Great intro to the newsletter! I was disappointed that more people were not supportive of the things that I wrote, but that’s the way it goes. I’m sorry that I was responsible for a “firestorm of criticism,” but I’ve always been known for that! I guess that’s just who I am.
1966 - Clause Levy - “Great ‘Warning Label,’ Art, I’m with you!”
1967 - Scott Frishman - “I am glad that you include the differences of opinion by both factions of our alumni. I do find a few of the ultra liberals and ultra conservatives too overpowering in their views, but so be it😊.
1969 - Carol Pistocchi Strouss - “I only wish we could embrace the innocence and frivolity of days at Northside (my 6 siblings and I attended), Willets Road and, of course, The Wheatley School. As a 1969 graduate of Wheatley, I'm finding it difficult to follow the arrogance, elitism and self-aggrandizing that is ongoing in these "ALUMNI NEWSLETTERS.” Hearing about grandchildren, life changes are things I look forward to in reading them as they appear. I don't care about your political views, as I'M SURE YOU WON'T WANT TO HEAR MINE. Just remember, friends, in the end we all end up either 6 ft under or in a jar on someone's mantle for a short period of time. "YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU," so lighten up!!
1975 - Patrice Maller - “I appreciated your opening remarks in #77, and I thank you for not taking the time to censure comments.”
1979 - Amy Gould - “I think you handled it well.”
1982 - Jeff Zaremsky - “I agree with your position supporting free speech, freedom of expression, and first Amendment absolutism, not to censor opinions or avoid controversy. However, I think that the Newsletter should be just that...news about the Wheatley School and its students and staff. There are multiple forums for political discussion in the world, and I would hate to see the Newsletter becoming a place for warring factions to vent, when they can do so elsewhere.
The Usual Words of Wisdom
Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (Class of 1963), you can regale yourself with the first 74 Newsletters (and other Wheatley data and arcana) at
(If you need, 75, 76, and/or 77, just ask.). 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
Elito J. Bongarzone - Remembered by Paul Riefberg (1968)
Writes Paul - During the first day of Physics Mr. Bongarzone explained that his last name came from the French "Bon Garcon,” meaning “good boy.” Some students believed him, others were skeptical.
When I was hit by a car and broke my leg in January of 1967 Wheatley gladly supplied home tutoring, and Mr. Bongarzone taught me math. He was a comprehensive and thoughtful teacher who was accomplished at mathematics even though science, particularly physics, was his main academic area. I liked him. When discussing division questions he would say “guzinta,” meaning “goes into.”
Steve Finkelstein - HAS STRONG, PARTISAN OPINIONS
Writes Steve - Greetings Arthur, Rhoda (Kalkin) Schneider '61 and Jeff Jacobs '63, write, "The ability of a 3rd party candidate to run for office illustrates the beauty and equity of our system of governance". As a retired Wheatley science teacher who taught A.P. Environmental Science for many years, my passion and priority is and always will be environmental justice for all people and for all living systems.
But of equal or greater importance is the fact that a third party candidate can never have a chance of actually getting elected.
Citizens United allows donors - individuals, political action groups, even corporations - from anywhere in the world to donate as much as they want, anonymously, to groups who support American candidates. Our democracy is for sale!
To the contrary to what Rhoda and Jeff state, this illustrates the limitations and inequity of our system of governance.
Unless we adopt ranked choice voting, we will never get away from the [lesser of] two [evils] party system that we've been stuck with for over a century until we even the economic playing field for candidates and do away with the influence of exorbitant financing of our elections. Get money out of politics!”
1959 - Beth (“Betty”) Davidson - ““Hi Art, I graduated in 1959, the first graduating class to spend all three years of high school at Wheatley. I’m so proud to be a Wheatley graduate.
I’ve been a Speech/Language Pathologist since I graduated with my bachelor’s and my master’s degrees in 1962 & 1969. I retired in 2008 and have continued to work part-time ever since. I’m currently working virtually two days a week; I turned 80 in February and I’m in perfect health; I love my life in South Florida; and I love reading our newsletter. When I read about someone who has published a book I buy it; I want to support Wheatley graduates!
1961 - Eugene Razzetti - THOUGHTS ON EDUCATION + ONE CONTROVERSIAL OPINION
Writes Gene - “Art: I applaud (and did not know about) a student excellence award in the name of Walter W. Wathey. However, instead of another "student-jock” award, I recommend that the powers-that-be in the School District establish an excellence award in Mr. Wathey’s name for measurably superior teachers and principals who have distinguished themselves in Wheatley’s service over its many years of existence.
These days, educational performance standards seem to be declining; you get the impression that some teachers can’t even spell “Certification” let alone achieve it; and that the Union Card has replaced the Credential. We need to remind America about a wonderful school on Long Island where quality education lives and prospers under the guidance of highly motivated professionals. What was great once in NY could be great again.
No surprise, my recommended recipient of the first “Walter W. Wathey Excellence in Education Award” is Dr. Sean Feeney.
Two other thoughts from your last two newsletters: (1) An authentic “patriot” like an authentic “hero” does not recognize it in himself/herself, let alone boast about it; and (2) Everything I ever needed to know about abortion I learned in Catholic school: Abortion is murder. Best to all, Gene
1963 - Jeff Jacobs - What we learned at home.
Writes Jeff - “Most of the generation of 60+ years ago were HOME SCHOOLED in many ways. See below - in our parents own words!
1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE .
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."
2. My mother taught me RELIGION .
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."
3. My father taught me about TIME TRAVEL .
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"
4. My father taught me LOGIC.
" Because I said so, that's why ."
5. My mother taught me FORESIGHT .
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."
6. My father taught me IRONY.
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."
7. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM .
"Just you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"
8. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY .
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times, don't exaggerate!"
9. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION .
"Stop acting like your father!"
10. My mother taught me about ENVY .
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."
11. My mother taught me ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"
12. My father taught me HUMOR .
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."
13. My mother taught me GENETICS .
"You're just like your father."
14. My mother taught me WISDOM .
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand.
This should only be sent to the over 60 crowds because the younger ones would not believe we truly were told these "EXACT" words by our parents…”
1963 - Donna Kenton - Working at The Innocence Project
Writes Donna - “This is my 11th year as the Volunteer Coordinator at The Innocence Project, and it’s one of the best things I’ve done in my life. This year is also the 30th anniversary of the organization, and I often tell Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, who started it, that they changed the world! There are now innocence organizations all over the planet! We’re certainly up against some very dark forces, but this helps me stay optimistic.”
1964 - Andrea Alpert Robbins - “asdfasdfsdf
Writes Andrea - “Hi Art, Nothing very dramatic to say, but, as you can see, just enjoying the “Gramma” life. Here’s a photo of 3 out of 4 Grandkids, my daughter Nicole (far right) and her hubby, Wes and Me (pink polka dot shirt. We are celebrating Cody's 16th birthday and my 76th. Life is good here in Northern Virginia (Ashburn).”
1967 - Art Engoron - In the News
1967 - Shirley Vogel Quarantello - Rock and Roll Will Never Die
Writes Shirley - I just returned from Cleveland. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is SO COOL!”
1969 - Gerry Gersh - Languishing and Lobster
Gerry and his wife Patty in Montauk
Writes Gerry - “A lot of people are victims of PTSD from Covid-19. Several months ago the NY Times came out with one word they felt encapsulated the Covid experience.
That word is “LANGUISHING.”
I feel that this is a fair and accurate term. As a result, I give a “languishing lesson” to each one of my patients, some more in need of it than others. I caution that languishing must be compartmentalized and kept separate from one’s mood.
If not, the slow motion, boring, depressed and hard-to-get-anything-accomplished-for-the -day aspects of languishing, can insidiously piggyback onto one’s mood, making it feel much worse. As the days blend into one another, with Covid-19 one must be vigilant, from anywhere between hourly to daily, to tell oneself there are two boxes in one’s head and they must be kept separate at all times. Perhaps the more down or depressed one feels, the more vulnerable he or she is to blending the two, making one’s mood much worse than it is.
Freud taught us to ‘make the unconscious conscious.’ He was talking about insight and change. But I feel his phrase is applicable to the uncanny world we find ourselves in at this time. So make sure you put a conscious sentry at your emotional door, and if the messenger, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, doesn’t know the password, don’t let the messenger in.
1973 - Jody Blumberg Coletta - “I just learned a great, ‘deceivingly simple’ yet profound, perfect piece of wisdom!
I attended and graduated from an amazing High School, The Wheatley School, on Long Island, NY, many years ago. To this day we are fortunate to have incredibly loyal alumni who keep us all in touch by preparing and sending us an ongoing newsletter, edited by a past neighbor of mine.
Yesterday I found another great newsletter, but one thing in particular stuck in my head...interestingly, with all the shared news. The Editor addressed us all in the beginning of the Newsletter, and his points were intelligent and interesting. He included one quote in his essay, ‘Sunlight is the best disinfectant,’ paraphrased from the great United States Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, and I love it 😊. So simple and yet profound and perfect. Knowing this quote won’t likely fix the enormous troubles our country has right now .. but it helped me .. reminded me that beyond evil and avarice… there is something we are missing in our world. That something... obvious to some.. but politics can muddle even the most obvious concept.. is that metaphor of “Sunlight.”
Don’t get me wrong.. there was plenty in the newsletter to learn about and of human interest .. as there always is. I hope no one is disappointed that the ‘seemingly simple’ quote was my great take-away…but as involved in our human and political climate as I try to be… this was the quote that “hit home” for me. We all gravitate to different things... but honesty and transparency are “big” with me, as is likely the case with so many other people. So for whatever reason.. this was the quote that “wowed”me today.
I want to share my appreciation of all the Past Wheatley “Wildcats” who participate in this great endeavor, as clearly… they share the warmest memories that I do of that incredible time in our lives. 🥰 Thanks… and let’s get rid of some of these cloudy days.”
1976 - James Joachim, M.D. - Special Years at Wheatley
Writes Jim - “It was great to see the most recent group picture of my Brothers & Friends from D’Boysh - they made my years at Wheatley truly special and were the stars of the 1976 Varsity Review and the backbone of our graduating class. Great times. Thanks to all of you! 🙏🏻💜
1978 - Val Gomes - Responses to her Reminiscences About North Side
Writes Patrice Maller (1975) - “Thanks to Valerie Gomes for her memories of North Side School - they jogged memories that made me smile.”
Writes Alan Peterson (1975) - A big thank you to Valerie Gomes for remembering my Mom (Mrs Gloria Peterson) in her remembrances of the cafeteria at North Side School. True, my mom was a lot less intense than Mrs. Colonna, and the two were good friends offsite as well. But having a mom who was also the "lunch lady" came with its own weirdness, not the least of which was the wrath I incurred from my fellow students whenever she yelled at them, and just the awkward presence of her authority both at home AND at school.
Her energies didn't wane after lunch ended. She was also Den Mother for Cub Scouts Pack 9, Den 1 (East Williston), and always had good ideas for activities and projects whenever the Den got together.
I lost her to heart disease in 1993 and she is missed every day. It's nice to know she left some memories with other students on their own journeys. Thanks, Valerie.
1979 - Julie Paine Hamilton - Remembered
Writes Valerie Gomes - “I’m very sorry to hear the sad news about Julie Paine. I remember her very well, she was a sweetheart.”
1982 - Jeff Zaremsky - Photo
TRIVIA QUESTION + ANSWER+INFO
Willets Road School teacher Mrs. Owens (some sources have her as “Miss”) taught about the yellow-bellied sapsucker. Scott Frishman and Robert (“Bobby”) Jacobs (1967); Tom Glaser, Hilary (“Lori”) Wallach Marshak, Lois Hegyi Goldstein, and Paul Riefberg (1968); William Diamond and Debra Segall (1969); and Rick Lowenthal and Mindy Spier Cohen (1970) answered correctly.
Writes Scott - “Mrs.Owens started my interest in Ornithology. I would get up early some weekend mornings and go into the woods on the East Side of Willets Road school with my notebook and bird guide and list the different species that I could identify (or thought I could). I still enjoy watching birds today and have tried to bring this love of nature and bird watching and fishing to my grandchildren.
Writes Bobby - “The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker teacher had to be Mrs. Owens. She enthusiastically ignited interest in birds that I still follow today. I still have my original Roger Tory Peterson guide to the birds! I also remember another teacher, Hardy T. Finn (I have no idea why his name stuck in my subconscious). I recall he was from ‘coal country’ in Pennsylvania and encouraged us to bring in dead birds, which he immediately dissected, gutted and pinned to the wall for all to view and study over the course of the semester. How many public health laws did he violate? Ah, the innocence of youth!”
Writes Hilary - “When I was in her 5th grade class Mrs. Owens inspired me to become a lifelong birdwatcher . She and Janet Paley and Janet's mother went to Tackapausha Preserve and other places for bird watching trips. I still have the binoculars and Peterson Guide that my father bought for me when he realized I was serious. In 6th grade Mrs. Owens stopped me and a friend on the stairs to show me a giant caterpillar she had on her shoulder, and I recoiled and said ‘yuck.’ She looked shocked and said, in her Southern accent, ‘but Lori, it's only a polyphemus.’”
Writes William - “Mrs. Owens loved birds in a big way.”
Writes Debra - “Mrs. Owens’s secret nickname was 'Birdie Owens.’ For field trips she said to freeze a can of soda the night before and it would be defrosted & cold for lunch.”
Writes Mindy - “Hi Art! I’m pretty sure the answer to the trivia question about the yellow-bellied sapsucker is Mrs. Owens. I’ve actually told this story to my grandchildren: ‘My fifth grade teacher was an avid birdwatcher. She would sometimes stop in the middle of a lesson in a different subject, like math, and run to the window to point out birds.’ I’ve also pointed out various birds to friends while we play golf. When they ask me how I can identify a red-winged blackbird, I credit my fifth grade teacher.
Parent (Leah Tchack) - “As ever, thanks for all your good work for Wheatley.”
Faculty - Steve Ehre - ❤️
Faculty (Steve Finkelstein) - “Thanks for your work keeping the Wheatley alumni newsletter alive.”
1958 (Edward Brown) - “Art, As always, a great job! These newsletters continue to remind me of those days way back when I was a member of “The First Class” at what developed into one of the finest public high schools in our Nation. I enjoy reading these very much and taking a moment to think back about those days. And of course, these days there are fewer and fewer members of that great class still with us, and it is particularly moving to hear a comment from any of them. So thanks, and keep it up.”
1959 (Betty Davidson) - “Hi Art, Thanks for all the hard work you do! I love reading our newsletter.”
1960 (Richard Osrow) - ❤️
1960 (James Turco) - ❤️
1962 (Suzanna Gleason Guiliano) - ❤️
1963 (Carol Abby Benjamin) - “I appreciate all you have done to assist communication among the Wheatley alumni.”
1963 (Donna Kenton) - “Thank you for your tireless efforts on our behalf.”
1964 (Andrea Alpert Robbins) - “Thank you for keeping the spirit of Wheatley alive!!
1964 (Elvira “Vivi” Cilmi Kunz) - “Hi Art, Thanks again for a great update. It was great to see Nancy Gittleson’s, Marilyn Bardo’s and Meryl Moritz’s happy faces. I remember great times. I learned a great deal from those ladies!”
1964 (Sydell Horowitz Weiner) - ❤️
1964 (Ken Miller) - “I enjoy the Wheatley news.”
1964 (Davida Tunis Philips) - “I always look forward to the newsletters. Thanks, Art.”
1965 (Howard Klepper) - “Thanks for all you do.”
1965 (Jonathan Silver) - “Dear Arthur, I join the legions of grateful Alums with profound thanks for creating this enormous presence in all of our lives. I believe it's reasonable - the magic word - to wonder whether there exists any other public high school in the country that enjoys the cohesion you have given Wheatley, and us. Well done.”
1967 (Scott Frishman) - “Great newsletter, as usual.”
1967 (Fred Hanft) - ❤️
1967 (Robert Jacobs) - “Thanks again for another interesting and informative newsletter and for your continued work for the alumni.”👍
1967 (Jill Simon Forte) - “Thanks as always. I have been entertained by all of the writings by fellow Wheatley-ites 😏 . I alway enjoy reading these news letters. Hugs to all, from a VERY liberal grandma!”❤️
1967 (Shirley Vogl Quarantello) - “Thanks for all the work and time you put into the the Newsletters. I don’t believe there’s a better connected high school group on the planet, thanks to you.”
1969 (Gerry Gersh) - “Another great Newsletter.”
1969 (Debra Segall) - “Thanks, Art, for keeping on with the Newsletter.”
1970 (Gregory Fitzpatrick) - ❤️
1970 (Mindy Spier Cohen) - “Thanks, again, for putting the newsletter together!”
1973 (Jody Blumberg Coletta) - “Thank you for your loyalty to the rest of us. Thanks for what you do for all of us.”
1973 (Edward B. “Woody” Ryder) - “Nicely Done. I liked the photo of Jimmy Klepper M.D. (1973).”
1975 (Patrice Maller) - “Thank you for taking the time to produce another great newsletter - always an entertaining read!”
1976 (James Joachim) - “Thank-you, Art, for all that you do for all of the Wildcat Fans. Much gratitude for your tireless work to keep us connected and proud.”
1977 (Maryann Donnelly Kreischer) - “I am grateful for the Newsletters. Thank you.”
1982 (Maria Meredith Reyher - “Thanks for all you do for us.”
1982 (Jeff Zaremsky) - “Your alumni work is much appreciated.”
1986 (Christopher Saridakis) - ❤️
1990 (Dana Lieber Moriarty) - ❤️
1993 (Antoine Delgrange) - ❤️
1999 (Elizabeth Caporaso) - ❤️
That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 77. Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.
Arthur Fredericks Engoron, 1967