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Welcome, Wheatley '63 Classmate.  Yours is the 81,354th visit.

"In my opinion, the most fruitful and natural play of the mind is in conversation. I find it sweeter than any other action in life; and if I were forced to choose, I think I would rather lose my sight than my hearing and voice."

"Whatsoever the goods of fortune are, a man must have a proper sense to savour them. It is the enjoying, and not the possessing of them, that makes us happy."

"If it be well with belly, feet, and sides,A king’s estate, no greater good provides."



For the latest news from Wheatley alumni, see also the Wheatley Alumni Association. Your Webmaster acts as Art Engoron's ('67) assistant in that endeavor.  Take a look! 



First Report of the 60th.  Attendees: Send more comments and  photos to enrich the presentation. 

Standing, L to R: John Shaffer, Donna Kenton, Dory Fliegel Mark Bond, Allan Cohen, Keith Aufhauser, Jimmy Friedland, Jeffrey Ross, Leslie Shiller Fisher, Marianne Lamitola Downey, Lenny Kram
Seated, L to R: Carol Abby, Maida Holzman, Allyn Mills, Ellen Litwin, Elizabeth Stone, Susan Gross, Susan Miller, Marcia Friedman, Nancy Cohen Kram, Linda Erdman, Rick Weitz


The Friday night gathering was artfully cartered mostly by the efforts of Marianne and Leslie with Linda Erdman as chef's assisant.. As your wemaster made his way from the parking lot, he passed many other celebrations. The Long Island Marriott was hosting Indian weddings and fashion shows and the strolling guests decorated the halls with colorful saris, sparkling golden necklaces and bracelets. 

The Saturday dinner had about 6-7 persons per round table in a private area. The salmon was very good. There was no left over cheescake; every bit was quickly swept from each desert plate.  Dory Fliegel, Leslie Schiller Fisher, and Jimmy Friedland make brief remarks: Dory about how special Wheatly was and how those experiences still live in us; Leslie about how she's been assisted by Marianne Lamitola Downey,  Mery Lee Cerillo, Maida Holzman, Donna Kenton and Linda Erdman. Jimmy about how Union Free School District #2 was unique and local in that Wheatley drew students only from North Side and I.U. Willets. Our district was not a "centralized disctrict" drawing students from a larger geographical area.

Sunday's brunch at Marcia's rivaled the table that Menelaus had set for Telemachus: Smoked salmon, breads and bagels, Quiche, fruit salad,  pastries, cakes and apple cider. The Zoom call allowed those gathered to share some looks and words with the teleporting  Gary Sugarman, Suzie Schwartz, Roy Nierenberg, Stephen Shikes, and Fran Levy. 

The above is a quick summary. Attendees comments and more photos are solicited. 

For More pictures and accounts go to the 60th Reunion page. 





Rick Berman's Experiences in Television

We rarely have the opportunity to learn the details of the life of a man we knew growing up, but with whom we have not interacted for many years. Rick Berman's series of interviews for the Archive of American Television provides us that chance.  For your Webmaster,  the best part of Rick's performance is his presentation of himself: his modesty, good nature, optimism, patience, and sense of humor pervade the interviews. [Addendum: Rick contacted your Webmaster to OK the public display of this interview, and he expressed the desire to be be contacted by members of the class who wish to talk with him. Like many of us, he would like to renew acquaintances. ] 


A film than many of us saw in 11th grade physics class. Your websmaster remembers it well. 


Memories from Faculty Members you may Know (2023-01-20)

From the Wheatley Wildcat, 50th Aniversary Edition.

Laughter in Ukraine? (2022-10-10)

Your webmaster recently watched  "Servant of the People", which is the TV series that propelled Vladimir Zelenskiy into his current role as President of Ukraine. You can watch it: it's on Netflix for those who pay the monthly fees; but it is also free on a Google platform.

Zelinskiy was a comic actor before he became a Wartime President. In this series, the character of the Ukrainian people is on exhibit: a sense of humor always tinged with chagrin, the habit of corruption, the mistrust of government, and the proud sense of themselves as a nation. The scenes of the President's own family quarrels and conflicts remind us of Lucy & Ricky and Archie & Edith.. 

From Putin's point of view, the series is evidence of a USA-led conspiracy to drag Ukraine away from Greater Russia. The video certainly has a propaganda element. But is is much more than that, and worth your atention. 

Are you inclined to extend some help to UKRAINE? (2022-03-08)

Your webmaster subscribes to a newsletter written by Timothy Snyder who has written much about Ukraine's prior suffering: e.g. Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin.  He presents us with a list of organizations he knows give real help to Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees. He wrote: 

Since I first sent out a list of charities, Ukrainian citizens have proven their willingness to sacrifice: on the battlefield, defending their country from an unjustifiable war, but also in civil society, as volunteers.  When I speak to my friends and colleagues in Ukraine, this is what strikes me: everyone, despite the shelling and the bombs, is doing something.  But they could use our help

Ukraine is not a wealthy country.  GDP per capita in the United States is about $63,000.  In Ukraine it is about $4,000.  And now add to that the destruction of roads, airports, homes, hospitals, schools, all in these horrible last few days.  If you can give a little, you can make a difference.  And some of you can give more than a little.  Please do. 

Your webmaster, too aged and too timid to volunteer for combat, has contributed to the news outlets and to the refugee organizations. Please check what Timothy Snyder has to say about each organization and act according to your conscience


Remembering Melvin Rosenstein (2022-01-21)

“Mel Rosenstein was a unique and highly memorable teacher at Wheatley High, where I graduated in 1960.  Highly intelligent, witty, handsome, he understood students well because he took such interest in them, inside and outside his chemistry class.  A former athlete himself, he attended many school sporting events and often referenced specific plays/moves in his always lively classroom.  He was very popular and appreciated as our class advisor and many of his humorous expressions are still quoted -- 57 years later! -- by our classmates. That is truly a "living legacy" that will never die (until we do). RIP, Mel.”[Deceased at 90 years of age.]

Paul Hennessy – Wheatley Class of 1960
Newton, MA [penned in 2017]

Two weeks ago, your webmaster received a telephone call from a woman with an engaging voice.  She asked "Did you know anything about The Wheatley School in 1963?". She identified herself as a research associate of a Texas law firm. We assumed she had sniffed out our telephone number through Since a webmaster's duties demand that we do have such knowledge, we did not inhibit her further curiosity. Then she asked: "Do you remember the Chemistry lab?"  Relieved that her interests were unrelated to the football or basketball teams of which we had no knowledge, we quickly boasted, sinning at that moment in both pride and vanity, that we had vivid memories of that  lab and its smells, bunsen burners, beakers, and flasks. We mentioned Prof. Rosenstein's excellent disposition and that he had animated our 50th reunion with his humorous and well appreciated remarks. We spoke of the adventure of browsing the pages and pictures of the 5 lb, blue-hardcovered Fisher Scientific Catalogue of apparatus and chemical supplies. We had our own copy -- we must have seen one in Prof. Rosenstien's ofice and ordered it for ourselves. 

Then these happy memories were throttled by the revelation of the motive of her call. Fisher Scientific was the target of a legal complaint lodged by a classmate who claimed that their health was injured by the asbestos pads that divided our hot, pyrex flasks from our classroom tables. Sadly, we learned that the lab, the teacher and the experiments which gave us joy are also thought to have harmed our classmate.

If Prof. Rosenstein were alive, he'd surely do what he could to alleviate and sympathize with our classmate's suffering.

David Shedrow (2021-12-03)

David writes: "I noticed the Hamilton posting and think Jefferson should get equal billing." He further notes, "The original draft of the Declaration of Independence contained a scathing denunciation of slavery."  David's observation is very timely, since Jefferson's statue was recently removed, in chains, from NY's City Hall, where it had been for 187 years.  David also recommends the  video of the musical, 1776.  The Thomas Jefferson Foundation's might also be of interest. 


Russell Jacoby (2021-11-19)

Your webmaster has pointed out the many books and articles written by our classmate, Russell. There is a recent sign of life from the man himself, who has communicated with Art Engoron, editor of See the Newsletter dated November 14th on that site

Honor (2021-10-30)


You heard it here first ! When Lynne Howard Severe submitted her vaccination report, we reported her remarkable effort to organize a campaign in Arizona to make it possible for retired nurses like herself to help run the vaccination program. Now Lynne reports that she has been honored for this important work: she's among the most influential people in Southern Arizona, winning an AZ19 2021Prize


Memorial Gathering  (2021-09-29)

Alyssa O'Brien, Barbara Van Philp O'Brien's daughter, has asked your webmaster to post this Notice of a Celebration in commemoration of Barbara's life. She encourages Barbara's friends to contact her at or by phone: +1-207-793-8044.

Misinformation  (2021-07-31)

Stephen Carter wrote an essay for Bloomberg "In Defense of Misinformation".  It's basically the same theme as that propounded by John Milton ( cited below). WE think you'll find the short essay worthy of exmination. (2021-07-31)

Notable Vaccination News (2021-03-20)

One report on the vaccination experience by Lynn Howard (Sever) is especially worth of your attention. Thank you, Lynn! (2021-03-20)

Tell your classmates about your experience with the Covid-19 vaccinations.(2021-03-10)

 See the results of the Vaccination Survey (check back from time to time for updates.)

Look back  or resubmit your answers to the older Survey prepared by Kathy Chaikin about our "demographics".  You can view the results, too. 

Perspectives on the USA (2020-08-30)

A Life that Mattered, Charlie Parker, b. 8/29/1920 (2020-08-29)

Alexander Hamilton (1931 movie) (2020-07-19)


Since The Walt Disney Company has recently encouraged America's streamers to watch the musical "Hamilton", this link to the 1931 movie, Alexander Hamiliton, may be of comparative interest.  Hamilton gave us his own account of the encounter with the alluring and adaptable Mrs. Reynolds in his Pamphlet of 1797. Of Mrs. Reynolds, like Cleopatra, it might also be said:

"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety: other women cloy
The appetites they feed: but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies..."

Your webmaster finds remarkable that Hamilton's confession was met with sympathy and support rather than the venomous criticism typical of today's political journalism.

On Changing Pronouns: While we Reflect on Bastille Day ( 2020-07-14)

Your Webmaster today came upon an article written on the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution.  The essay discusses the innovations born during that social upheaval. It appears that the socially correct use of pronouns was a subject of keen interest even then.

Here is a resolution passed on 24 Brumaire, Year II (November 14, 1793), by the department of the Tarn, a poor, mountainous area in southern France:
"Considering that the eternal principles of equality forbid that a citizen say “vous” to another citizen, who replies by calling him “toi”…decrees that the word “vous,” when it is a question of the singular [rather than the plural, which takes vous], is from this moment banished from the language of the free French and will on all occasions be replaced by the word “tu” or “toi.”

More Thoughts on our Freedom of Speech (2020-07-04)

"If we think to regulat Printing, thereby to rectifie manners, we must regulate all recreations and pastimes, all that is delightful to man"John Milton, Areopagitica, 1644:


How to Conduct a Civil Conversation (2020-06-21)

Your webmaster senses that conversations, even among friends, have recently been fraught with extreme sensitivities and political disagreements. We now find it difficult to avoid clumsily stumbling into one conflict or another.

The attached account ,which has been authenticated by Nobel Prize winner Haruki Murakami, offers an uplifting example of  a rewarding and frank dialogue where there was toleration and good will on both sides. 


(2020-03-31) The two links above appear to your Webmaster to be related. On the left, updated information about the spreading Covid-19 virus; on the right, a 1949 movie masterpiece about a black marketeer who sold adulterated penicillin in post-war Vienna. It's based on the novel by Graham Greene, who also wrote the screenplay. Anton Karas' eerie music matches, we think, our mood during this time of the plague.  (Orson Welle's resemblance to David Friedman's black-hatted picture below is purely coincidental. ) 


Frequent  Newsletters Posted at WHEATLEYALUMNI.ORG  (2020-06-13)

Art Engoron's Informative and constantly updated Series of Newsletters regarding all things Wheatley are always available on the Alumni Website: Art is becoming more and more inclusive in his excellent editing of reports from Wheatley alumnis': achievements, failures, disappointments, life trajectories, deaths, local history, current Wheatley goings on,  and notices of planned get-togethers. All are described in vivid and photographic detail. Your webmaster encourages all Wheatley alumni  regularly view Art's postings on that site. [Your Webmaster ghosts as Art's Webmaster, too.]

A note from Peggy Meisel to the Class of '63 (2020-01-15)

Was it really 55 years ago I had such a special class? My memories of so many of you are still very clear. Our moments together in which we shared Winesburg, Ohio, Hamlet, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and especially ending The Catcher in the Rye with a reading of "The Sermon on the Mount," are still so vivid in my mind that I refer to you all in my current teaching of a Seminar in the Classics, and [in]  spearheading a Book Club, both courses held in my new living facility. 

It would be-so nice to see you all again, but it's not doable. But I would love to hear from you again! My very best wishes to you all.   Reach me at: 

 ‚ÄčDavid Friedman was in the class of '64. (2019-11-24)

Many of us remember him as the timpanist and the vibraphone player who wowed us all in the school band and orchestra. He has continued his excellent music and recently issued an album in which he performs with his son. Learn his remarkable story at 



(2018-04-3) Here's a note from Roy Nierenberg which may be of interest to the healthy and the not so healthy, and to each of us who can admire a strong character. An-interview-with-Roy-Nierenberg-part-1-of-3/

Here are some photos of the 55th Reunion , (Thanks to Art Brody and Art Engoron. )

Your Reunion Committee thanks all those who made the effort to come and join us for this event. 

Ideas, suggestions: Contact Leslie 805-450-3227,


Detectives wanted: Please do check this list of missing classmates: 

Renee Brody;

Cliff Camiel;

Claire Carmody;

Anthony (Tony) Carone;

Reginald (Reggie) Groeneveld;

Wendy Miller;

Keith Reinier;

Joyce Stone (Varonia).

Maybe you might be able to give us some help in finding them! 





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