Thursday, November 12, 2009
Mr. Perdue was a four-sport athlete at Ridgewood High School. He was an all-state running back and co-captain of the football team in his senior year. The Maroons went 6-3 that year. In addition to his being a star running back, Walt also played defensive back.
Capping quite an impressive high school career Walt accounted for 207 of the total 302 yards Ridgewood gained on Thanksgiving Day in his senior year when Ridgewood trounced rival Fair Lawn 32-6.
Walt also played basketball for 3 years, lettered in track twice and lettered in baseball. He was awarded the RHS Award for Excellence in Athletics in 1949.
For his athletic efforts, Walt was offered several scholarships. He served timed in the Marine Corps and attended college at Lehigh playing football there.
In 1960, Walter went into the sporting goods business in Ridgewood - "Perdue's Sport Shop" and a few years later purchased the famous 1931 Woody - you always knew where he was!!
I tried finding a photo but had no luck! So I thought I'd add a familiar memory (though its not the original Perdue woody!)
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Seriously though there were so many highlights to the evening and some great surprises! I will post more about the reunion but want to thank everybody for being part of it! For those that couldn't make it - you were there in spirit and, well, talked about - in a good way of course! And Jan Potdevin if you see this - THANKS a million for coming!
Pictured in the above photo are l to r: Melanie Teasley, Jen Rudy, Margaret Silvers, Chic Voorhis, Sue Nunno, Cara Worthington & Ken Merrill - Kenny you still out-dress us all!
What fun to spend an evening with tons of people you like! Just as Corey said last night - these people are real - we're all different but its just so comfortable! How many friends have we all had over the years since school that have come and gone? Its a great feeling and as Cara says, very reassuring! Thanks for making it such a great success!
In the above photo l to r front row: Pat Mercer-DiLauro, Linda Pursiano, Jen Rudy, Beth Perdue, Jan Potdevin, Cara Worthington, Corey Duvall; back row l to r: Melanie Teasley & Chic Voorhis.
Pictured above are l to r: Daun Paris, Beth Perdue, Cara Worthington, Ann Rimmer, Katie Knight & Gayle Allard.
Not all the girls are pictured here but girls you're all as beautiful as you ever were! That includes Linda Pursiano, Karen Pursiano, Terri, Kim, Cheryl, Jen Pelley, Jan, Jennifer, Suzie, Mags, Dana, Diane, Sherry, Maryanne, Theresa (and my wife Caryn!) - Jill, Lynn Malley, Beth Daly & Karen we missed you! Thanks to my wife for letting me run with this whole thing and understanding it all! It was so worth it! What is your secret girls!?
And of course you couldn't have a night like this without your tear-jerking moments like meeting Evangeline, Veronica, Kathleen and George McFall, Jr.!
More to come!!! And by the way - we are planning a BF Reunion for 2011 (hopefully at the school) which will lead up to hopefully the biggest RHS reunion in 2013 - nobody can miss these! We will start the search!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
1st Row l to r: (?), Sally Vandervoort, (?)
2nd row l to r: Beth Yingling, (?), (?), Jan Peters, (?), (?), (?), (?)
3rd Row l to r: Corey Samson, Andrea Worthington, Steve McCormick, (?), (?), (?), (?), Connie Beyer, Rob Silvers, Jill Spangler
4th Row l to r: Billy Hertan, Bobby Corcoran, (?), Emo McDaniel, Jim Potdevin
This is Jan's 4th grade photo (1963-64) with Mrs Prescott. She also had Prescott for 5th grade. Jan Peters is the 2nd one in the top row l to r. Sally Vandervoort is the first one in the middle row l to r. Ken deGruchy is last one in top row l to r.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
If you remember any of these fantastic parents you will get a kick out of the hippy party and other themed parties, the ski weekends, the father-son baseball game, Hank in the Memorial Day Parade - priceless stuff!
Margaret's dad - Sam Silvers - took and catalouged an extensive amount of photographs and Margaret has been retrieving them from her dad's scrapbooks. Its so great that we have this record of such a fun time to grow-up. Margaret and Hank Henckler have really come through! Ken deGruchy too has some incredible stuff including possibly the record of the song that was sung in the 1962 parent production called "No Space Like Home" and home movies. Stay tuned and check back often - you just never know!
Monday, June 29, 2009
Don't forget about the reunion of sorts later in the year - we'll keep you posted. Hey we may only get 5 or we may get 50 - either way, with the teachers it should prove to be a blast!
Monday, June 8, 2009
Second Row l to r: Cindy Werbeck, Linda Williams, Larry Rogers, David Johnson, Kent Meneghin, Frank Petrucci, Maryanne Vestal (not sure), Patty Fall, Alexis ?
3rd Row l to r: Anne McNaughtin (not sure - if it is Anne she passed away about 10 years ago), Debbie Brevoort, Jeff Barber, John Hall, Mark Shumeyko, Paul Davis, John Schenck, Bruce Neandross, Wayne Bond, Penny Ward, unidentified
Thanks to Ken deGruchy and Bob Shumeyko for identifying most of these "kids"! Sorry if some names are spelled wrong - email and let me know if we messed up!
This photo was personally taken by Miss Beattie. (Just click to enlarge photo - photo isn't great quality sorry!)
Thursday, May 14, 2009
This was also the time we were introduced to Dick & Jane! The Dick & Jane readers were instrumental in teaching us how to read and write at the time. Think & Do books were also a major part of our learning process. Of Dick & Jane Pat says: "Dick and Jane still rule but I used many books and my own imagination to keep you all connected and fascinated. Variety is the key."
After Mrs. Janicke in kindergarten, Pat Mercer was our first full-time teacher. Bruce Meneghin, Melanie Teasley and I would walk to school together each morning. As I recall, I loved going to school each day as a direct result of Miss Mercer. She made learning fun, but I realized later in life that I probably started school a year too early - for the most part I was always a struggling student - always trying to catch up but loved every minute of school.
We had great parties too including our first big Valentine's Day party when we decorated this huge box where we would deposit all our valentine cards that we wrote to our classmates. At the afternoon party they were distributed to everyone. It was great fun and I remember always looking forward to the cards from the girls!
We had a huge class - I mean huge - 32 kids! So Miss Mercer received help during the entire year from a woman name Grace Hensley who helped Pat get through the year - I can't imagine having 32 1st grade kids in one class! Pat recalls Grace warmly. She remained friends with her for several years until she moved from Ridgewood. Grace helped with all the paperwork and grading. She is now deceased but Pat says "I adored her!" Grace is pictured in our class photo.
Pat Mercer grew up in Margate City, NJ which is a Jersey Shore town. As she herself recalls, "It was a wonderful place to grow up and I still return often. Living in a resort town was lots of fun."
Above is a photo of Atlantic City High School where Pat graduated. It was built in 1922 but was torn down in the 1990's for something even better than a school - a parking lot! Kinda reminds you of that song by Joni Mitchell.
Pat was the 3rd of 4 children and all 4 attended and graduated Atlantic City High School. This historic and beautiful school was amazingly torn down about 15 years ago to make way for - are you ready - a casino parking lot! Sure they built a new school but ACHS was a memorable school, built in the gothic style. On a website I recentlly found this about the old ACHS: " As you walk through the halls and the rooms of these old buildings that are no longer in use, you sense a feeling of loss for the beauty that was held within these walls. Looking up at the ceilings and walls, one can find etchings that the new buildings are not graced with. These are art forms that are lost and are being destroyed all over.....". Soon, there will be a time when one looks at that parking lot and that person will never know that a high school was ever there. You could almost say that education took a back seat to gambling - sigh, but that's a debate for another blog!
Upon graduating high school, Pat attended Glassboro State College (shown in above photo) which has since been renamed Rowan University in New Jersey.
Pat relates that the first time she entered a classroom as a teacher she was hooked! She says, "I enjoyed a satisfying career. When I was student teaching, I asked my supervisor what the best school system in New Jersey was and he told me it was Ridgewood, NJ so I sent a letter of inquiry having no idea where it (Ridgewood) was and it turned out he was right. During the superintendents convention in Atlantic City I was interviewed and hired." This was February 1960. She was hired at a salary of $4,500 a year - of which she says "Yikes!"
Even at a young age, Pat Mercer was very much involved in teaching her classes - it wasn't simply a career - she took a special interest in shaping the class and trying to inspire each one of us. She recalls: "When you teach elementary school there is no such thing as typical - that is what makes it so exciting! Kids are very adaptable. When I felt the pulse of the room changing, I changed with it........you kids were so bright and fun, I had a million tricks up my sleeve and needed every one of them. ..........keeping the kids stimulated and excited to learn was no easy task."
When asked about dancing at our desks Pat recalls: "It was my belief that music helps break the ice. 'The Twist' was the popular music at that time so it was natural for me to choose it. I have always - for 31 years - encouraged kids to dance and sing each day - it brings out the best in the kids and allows their fear and insecurity to fade. Of course I pretended not to watch them but in reality that is how I found out who they were."
Looking straight ahead in the photo above is the door to the kindergarten. To the left of the door is where our 1st grade class was. We had the cloak-room outside where we hung our winter clothes and rain gear which included those rubber buckle boots! My daughter Jennie actually took the photo from outside! Photo taken December, 2008.
Of the teachers at Glen School - which included Pat Prescott, Jeannette Janicke, Amy Beattie and Nancy Cook - Pat says: "The teachers were all very close to one another. We ate lunch in that room at the end of the hallway (near Miss Beattie's classroom). Some teachers would play cards, some would read, whatever. It was a social time and we all got along." Amy Beattie and Pat even shared an apartment together before Pat got married.
Pat nails it when she says the kids cannot remember what they are taught at that young age but indeed remember the teacher, what the class was like - how they felt in that class.
Pat loves that she is remembered so fondly - that she had a hand in helping children at a young age learn and be themselves.
I asked Pat about a man by the name of Mr. Kraft. While I attempt to avoid being negative about anything it is a difficult task when talking about Mr. Kraft. He was some sort of school psychologist. As I recall I was very put off by this man. I recall that in art class in first grade, I was asked to draw a picture of my family. There were 5 of us. Each member of my family wore glasses except for me. In the picture I had drawn glasses on each of us - including myself even though I didn't wear them. Well Mr. Kraft attempted to analize this - why would Ricky draw glasses on himself when he doesn't wear them? My mom was called in - it was absurd really. My mom put him in his place and that was that. Pat recalls Mr. Kraft in a similar way. "I remember Mr. Kraft. I had a class of 32 kids and he was telling me how to talk to each one of you individually - I don't think so. He also thought I should sit on the floor so I wouldn't be higher than the kids - no to that also - amen!"
I had asked Pat what the last day of school was like for her. She responded this way: "The last day of school (all the years) has always been a real tough day. I spent so much time with these little friends and really knew who they were."
I am trying desperately to gather information about our beloved principal Art Linden but it is a difficult task. About Art Linden Pat remembers him like this: "Art Linden was a fun person and we all loved him so. Art was a marvelous human being with a family he loved dearly. I was very close to his wife Mary and to him even after I left (Glen School) in 1964. Mary's death was a tragedy and in the end - it is my opinion - he (Art) died of a broken heart. The story is tragic and wonderful but I do not feel it is my place to tell his story....just to remember them and smile."
When we were promoted to 2nd grade, we had 2 classes - I was in Mrs. Cook's class and Pat taught a split 1st & 2nd grade class. Cara Worthington recalls learning diagram sentences from Pat in 2nd grade.
Pat also recalls how parents and teachers worked so well together. Ultimately - she says - the parents are teachers too and must have responsibility for their children's learning and behavior. Pat recalls fondly the relationships she had with many parents and the mutual respect for each other.
Leaving no doubt - her fondest memory of Glen School - of teaching - is by the far the kids - "It's always about the kids"!
Show & tells were always a big part of the school days at Glen School - a chance to tell about a trip you took or collection you had. Pat remembers one show & tell when Ricky Marsh told us all how he was a philatelist (one who collects and studies stamps) and how one day she cut up the organs inside a chicken and one of us called out "Miss Mercer you are deee-gusting!"
Above is our 1st grade class - all 32 of us! This class photo was provided by both Ricky Marsh and Art Brierley (at the same time) - thanks you guys!
Front Row l to r: unidentified, unidentified, Melanie Teasley, Jan Potdevin, Karen Eide, Linda Pursiano
Second Row l to r: Betsy Kline, Barbara Durheimer, Ellen ?, Kara DeGraw, Jill Neandross, Lisa Faeth, Cara Worthington, Pam Bennett
Third Row l to r: Robbie Whittemore, Bruce Meneghin, Ricky Flannery, Ricky Marsh, David Clay, Art Brierley, Gary Vukov, Chic Voorhis, Greg Rehe, Danny Wagner, Carl Vrabel
Back Row l to r: Corey Duvall, Richie Spell, Tim Dekoker (sorry if misspelled), Paul Vaccari, unidentified, Doug Brown, Bruce Cunneen
Back-to-School night was always a big deal - especially for us kids. I remember how exciting it was to clean my desk and leave out good papers and artwork so when my parents came to class that night they would be proud. I remember writing a note and getting a note back from my mom and dad which I would find the next morning. Pat recalls Back-to-School night as fun too. "I remember being reminded to be able to answer questions on the topic of the time "Why Johnny Can't Read" - Dr. Voorhis (Chic's dad) asked the question (about that topic) and I gave a great answer - my career was on track! Parents were so lovely and respectful."
Above is a picture of Bruce Cuneen from our kindergarten photo.
In kindergarten through 2nd grade, there was a boy in our class named Bruce Cuneen. He was an incredibly happy kid and I remember him fondly though I didn't fully understand his affliction. Isn't it amazing how a child - knowing they are terminally sick can smile and be so happy? He suffered from Cystic Fibrosis. He fought to be included in everything and was always so carefree. Pat remembers this about Bruce: "He was a strong-willed little boy. He had Cystic Fibrosis - the life expectancy was 7 in 1960. He had wonderful parents who wanted him to have as normal a life as possible knowing it would not be a long life. He was a great little kid - just like all the others - no special anything - just one of the boys. They moved away at the end of the year." June Cuneen was involved at Glen School right through 1962 and was both a castmember and a member of a committee for the 1962 Glen production of "No Space Like Home". Pat continues, "He (Bruce) died soon after and his funeral was in Ridgewood. I went to his funeral and there was the darling child lying in a casket in a Cub Scout uniform.....it was a difficult time for all."
As kids we all have memories of the JFK assassination - I was in Miss Beattie's class at the time (see her profile in this blog). I asked Pat what she remembers about that history-changing day.
"The Kennedy Assassination was a day I will never forget. I was reading to the kids after they returned from lunch. Mr. Linden came in and whispered "Do not tell the kids, but the president has been shot." We had one little tv in the entire school - I could not believe what I was hearing. I waited a bit but then burst across the courtyard to find out what was happening. The kids could sense something awful had happened so against my instructions, I decided I needed to tell the kids the truth as I knew it at that moment. It was a Friday and I knew that once the kids got out of school they would enter a world of chaos so I sat them all down and told them the story. Life was never the same again. The kids knew me well and could clearly see that I was rattled and possibly even crying. I knew that people would be so stunned they would not have time or the words needed to convey what was happening so I told the truth as I knew it but more importantly, I assured them that their life would go on as they knew it."
In 1962, the entire school - just about every parent - put on an extravagant musical called "No Space Like Home". This show was produced by Hank Henckler's mom Muriel. Hank was 4 grades ahead of me! Several teachers along with a slew of parents participated in the show (including my dad). The teachers included Amy Beattie, Pete Gauharou, Barbara Zink, Charlotte Nash, Art Linden AND Pat Mercer. Pat, as it turns out was a dancing girl! She remembers it this way: "I remember the teachers were in a musical at night. I was a dancer and the theme was the moon. I was humiliated to death to appear in the outfit - not my thing!" The show was memorable simply beacuse of the sheer effort of it and the participation of practically everybody! Pat says "the parents were soooo much fun!"
Pat Mercer (center) and mom's as part of the dancing chorus from the show "No Space Like Home"!
Pat was married on June 29, 1963 and became Pat DiLauro. She recalls many of her students actually went down to Margate City to watch the ceremony! She met her husband Renato - affectionately known as "Rennie" - through her sisters who had met him at a wedding - they gave Rennie Pat's number and the rest is history! Sadly, Rennie passed away in 1996.
Pat and Rennie raised 3 children - JoAnne, John and Andrew. She has 3 grandchildren and a foster child who feels the love of the DiLauro clan! Pat still lives in the same house she has called home for over 40 years! (I love that!)
Summing up Glen School she has this to say:
"I loved every minute - Glen School was my first job. I adored Art Linden and Glen School - it was magic! I remember all of you - every detail. I have a candle that Gary Vukov's grandfather made. Being a teacher is a gift. You all taught me as much as I taught you!"
Aside from Gary Vukov, Ricky Marsh and Bruce Cuneen she recalls speaking to Kara DeGraw in the early 90's. She has been friends with Cara Worthington "forever" and recently mentioned Linda Pursiano this way: "Linda was an adorable little girl! I remember her well....also her mom who I used to see at the A&P when it was on Route 17."
Many students recall Pat fondly including Ken deGruchy and Ricky Marsh who recently told me "Miss Mercer was one of my favorite teachers - ever!" Ricky recalls fondly playing with Jill Neandross (one of the first girls he ever played with). He also remembers Jan Potdevin who attended Bucknell University with Ricky in the 1970's. Ricky's neighbor? "Frankie Petrucci but we were never in the same class." Ricky is known today as Rick Marsh. Chic Voorhis - and obviously several others - were fortunate to have had Pat as a teacher twice!
When Pat emailed me in January, I was thrilled! The connection - just like with old friends - is always there. Thanks to Cara Worthington for pointing out the blog to her!
Please click on all pictures to enlarge.
The memories are many and if you have any memories of this class or any class please share it with me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
by Cara Worthington Fekula Hyson Yale Class of '77 (November 2001)
"I have never forgotten one of the arguments made by Yale alumni against coeducation: It had always been expected that Yale would produce 1,000 leaders a year. How could this tradition continue if women were admitted? So here I am 25 years out, wondering if those traditionalists were right. Have I and the Yale alumni of my vintage lived up to Yale's expectations? And perhaps more important, have I lived up to my own?
I have to admit, though, that I am puzzled and amused by some of the entries in the "Alumni Notes," passages like this: "I am the CEO of a major corporation and travel throughout the word on a regular basis, my husband is the chief of surgery at a major medical facility, but the true joy of our lives is our three children ages 6, 8, and 10." Is this what those Yale alumni had in mind? Something is missing here. Raising kids and working full-time is harrowing and challenging for the husbands, wives, and the kids.While some alumni are taking this path, others are divorcing, and fighting for custody, and there are others who have lost their jobs, and others who will never have children. This is our reality. Sometimes it seems to me that we are afraid of telling the truth, and for those who were trained to seek Lux and Veritas this is strange indeed.
As Cara once said, "Look around!"
Monday, May 11, 2009
I recall we did a Christmas concert and a Spring concert in 5th and 6th grades each year. The concerts would include both grades.
I recently unearthed the May 24, 1967 Spring concert program (my mom had saved it - it was copied on Mrs. Larsen's ditto machine!) To have these old programs is great because it not only shows you what songs you sung but also who was part of the choir with you, who was in the orchestra and who directed you. Now I will be the first to admit that I was - at the time - torn between being happy to be picked for choir and not happy because there was debate on whether it was "cool" to be part of it - but I was there nonetheless! I - like a bunch of others - put baseball high on my list and comparing baseball to choir - well, just no comparison at the time!
Now, I have loved music since I was playing my sisters' Beatle's records. Even today I love bands like Green Day, Coldplay and The Ramones and yet - with equal appreciation - I luv Yo-Yo Ma and Sinatra too! I say this because in the same hour I can listen to The Clash and The Stones and then put on a song like "Simple Gifts" by Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Kraus. Why do I bring that up? Well to me "Simple Gifts" is one of the most beautiful songs - beautiful in its melody and utter simplicity AND "Simple Gifts" was one of the songs we sang that Spring in 1967! It is here - sung in children's voices so you can get the feel of maybe what we sounded like! The lyrics are simple but wonderful! Simply click play on the photo below - quality isn't great but that was the song we sang. (You may have to adjust your volume).
Hit play on the picture below to hear the song!
The story of the song "Simple Gifts" goes back more than 150 years to 1848 when the song was written by Elder Joseph - a member of the Shaker community in Alfred, Maine. Incredibly, this renown and simple song has only one verse but had been known as an uplifting "Dancing Song" at the time.
For the most part the song was unknown outside the Shaker community until 1944 when Aaron Copland scored the song for use in the ballet "Appalachian Spring". He used "Simple Gifts" a second time for a compliation of songs in 1950. Even the band Weezer has used variations of the song on their 2nd album as the introduction to the song "Across the Sea" and in a song on their "Red Album" titled "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)".
The song was more recently used in Barack Obama's inagauration - but to me the most beautiful rendition of the song is Yo-Yo Ma with Alison Krauss (if you've never heard Alison Krauss - her voice is beautiful).
Here are the lyrics as they were in 1848 and as we probably sung them:
'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight,
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come out right.
Talk to any former Glen School student and you'll find reactions to the Choir "thing". Here are a few responses from Glen "kids":
Tim Daly: "What's up with the choir thing? I made it and I DIDN'T want to be in it so I could be playing baseball!"
Rob Silvers: ".......I was asked not to be on the Glen School Chorus! That was a real blow to my self esteem and I have been in therapy since!"
Bob Daly: "I guess there is a pattern here. I didn't make the choir at all and I was the only one in my grade. I still can't sing!"
Trisha Daly-Hernandez: ".....I was also asked not to participate in the 5th and 6th grade choir! I had forgotten about that. It was quite devastating at the time because it was me and a few of the delinquent boys in class who I was then left alone with in the classroom while everyone else went to choir practice! I recall that they were not very nice to me at all! My mother was very annoyed that I was not allowed to join, even though I really wanted to................ I believe my mom went to the school to complain (which was not her style at all), to no avail. I remember the music teacher.....terrified me by making us sing all alone at the tryouts!"
Steven Breitkruz: "Well, I can relate to that as well. I was actually included in the 5th grade choir but then did not make the 6th grade (choir). I guess my musical talents have been diminishing ever since!"
Judy Wilson Davies: "I played flute for a short while in 6th grade."
Cynthia Wagner-Boseski: "Played the clarinet. I remember Mr. Grimm telling my mother that I showed promise when I didn't continue........"
Diana Wagner-Casey: "I played the violin 1 year and hated it. Sang in the choir as an alto.....most of the boys were sopranos. Still remember a lot of the songs we sang. To name a few: Waltzing Matilda, Oklahoma, Bring A Torch Jeanette Isabella."
Margaret Silvers: "Concerts were okay, only because I didn't "make" choir in 4th grade and I was mortified. I never told my parents when concerts were. I made it in 5th and 6th but I think only cause they felt sorry for me!"
Katie Knight: "I played flute. I sang in the choir at church and we did singing assemblies at school." (Orchestra and choir did the concerts together)
Beth Daly: "I was in choir and I remember learning to sing the song "Let There Be Peace On Earth" - it is still a favorite of mine, and I still remember all the words."
Ann Rimmer: "Sang in the choir and played clarinet. I do remember singing in the Christmas concerts ( I think Cara Worthington and I led the 12 Days of Christmas), also a clarinet solo and duet with the band leader (don’t remember his name). If memory serves me I played some Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass song." (The musical director at the time was Mr. Grimm)
Monday, April 27, 2009
The above photo was taken by Karen Pursiano and is a teaser for the Camp Green story! It shows one of the 2 eagles rescued from Penn Station when it was demolished circa 1963. Thank you Beth Perdue-Sontag for that information! Beth gets to enjoy the Camp Green grounds to this day as she lives near there. The grounds are beautiful I'm told, however the buildings that would be so familiar to us are sadly long gone.
Above is a photo from 1965 - Art Brierley is 4th from the left (front) and future Graydon Pool lifeguard Jan Koper is 5th from the left next to Art! I think this team is Gilsenan - they were a powerhouse if I remember right - I know we didn't beat 'em!
Above from left is Ken Merrill, Art Brierley and Gary Vukov - Spring 1966.
Above photo shows Art Brierley (back row l to r) and Gary Vukov. In the front row is Bobby Rogers 3rd from left (sitting). Both this photo and the one above it were taken at Vets Field - I think shortly after our RBA parade. Every year, we'd start the parade at the train station and parade to Vets Field.
Photos courtesy of Art Brierley!!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Ken Merrill, Frank Petrucci, Frank Fortino, Bobby, Martin - where are you guys? UPDATE!!! As of October, 2009 Frank Petrucci, Ken Merrill and Martin Vaz have been found! Frank is in Florida, Marty is in California and Ken was close by in NJ! We're getting there - hopefully we'll find Betsy Kline and the others!
Top Row l to r: Frank Fortino, Bill Lavery, Bobby Stewart, Art Brierley, Ken Merrill, Frank Petrucci, Alex Kramer (deceased)
Middle Row l to r: Martin Vaz, Carey Hoff, Sue Nunno, Jill Neandross, Beth Daly, Lisa Faeth, Bruce Meneghin, Elizabeth Bleeden
Front Row l to r: Irene Williams, Betsy Kline, Penny Ward, Lynn Malley, Linda Breitkruz, Lori Abrahamson
Nice goin' Art!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Imagine teaching a 6th grade class for less than one year and having a profound effect on your students. You'd probably say that's gotta be some kind of teacher - well you'd be right!
Dr. Bill Montick came to Glen School at the young age of 21. He grew up in nearby Glen Rock, NJ where he attended Central School and went onto the Junior/Senior High School where he graduated in 1964.
Above is Glen Rock's Junior/Senior high school.
It was while attending school himself when he realized what he wanted to do with his life. In his own words, Bill describes his 6th grade teacher this way: "My own 6th grade teacher - Mr. Valenti - was the coolest guy I knew in elementarty school, and most certainly was responsible for the fact that I decided I wanted to be an elementary school teacher at a very young age." He sites other influential teachers along the way but, he says, Mr. Valenti was indeed the most signifigant.
Upon graduating high school, he attended Springfield College in Massachusetts where he graduated in 1968. Ironically, Bill had gotten to know Paul Harrison at Springfield who would also end up teaching at Glen School! Bill would later earn a Masters degree from William Paterson College in the 1970's and continued his education even further when he earned his Doctorate from Rutger's University in 1981.
During Bill's senior year at Springfield College he asked the Director of Personnel at the Education Center at Springfield - Bob Sullivan - to come observe him teach at Buttonball Elementary school in Glastonbury, CT. At the end of that term, Bob Sullivan met with him and talked about what he saw in Bill's teaching. At that moment the Director took out an already prepared contract ready for Bill to sign! At the same time Mr. Sullivan relayed that Paul Harrison was now teaching in Ridgewood, NJ. It was shortly after this that Bill realized they would be working together - sharing the 6th grade classes at the same school!
When I asked Bill if he was nervous taking on a 6th grade class when he himself was so young he answered it this way: "You know, it's interesting you should ask this, and the answer is yes, but more interestingly at one time there was a Superintendent at Ridgewood, Ernest Fleishman, who at one opening convocation said, "If you don't feel butterflies in your stomach on the first day of school, maybe you don't belong here." I never forgot that, and I felt them as each new year began. Finally, in my letter of resignation, I concluded by mentioning that particular address, and then said that in September I would indeed miss those butterflies."
The above photo shows Bill Montick's 6th grade classroom at Glen as it appeared in December, 2007. Photo is property of Doug Terhune.
Bill's first 6th grade class of 22 kids would quickly develop a bond with him that is so rare with any teacher let alone a teacher in his first year at the age of 21! His students would continue this special relationship with Bill Montick to this day. He too has never forgotten how special this particular class was. Below is the class picture of that first 1968-69 6th grade class at Glen School.
Photo was taken in the center courtyard of Glen School.
Back: Dr. Bill Montick
3rd Row l to r: Scott Yates, Steve Breitkreuz, Mitch Perdue, Bryan Kreuger, Tommy Chicino, Lis Ege, Sue Crowe, Lisanne Janke, Kim Vukov, Karen Stewart
2nd Row l to r: Mary Claire Hull, Diana Wagner, Lee Kinchley, Patty Breitweiser, Patty Reese, Margaret Silvers, Barbara Demick
1st Row l to r: Roger Fortino, Charles Nalbantian, Walter Fennie, Phillip Denu
(It is with great sadness that I learned from Kim Vukov recently that Karen Stewart passed away a couple of years ago. She was married to RHS graduate Mark Vervecka Class of 1972 - she had a son).
Bill's time at Glen - while short - was memorable despite leaving Glen School on June 9th for military service. Bill wrote to and sat before his draft board and found that even though he was a teacher, he would be drafted in February, 1969. Bill found himself upset at the thought of leaving his class midway through the school year - especially 6th grade kids. To remedy this, Bill had found that if he enlisted instead, he would receive a 4-month delayed entry which allowed him to remain at Glen until June 9th.
Bill left for basic training at Fort Dix, NJ.
Once in the service Bill realized he would be going to Vietnam in April, 1971 - once he completed several rounds of special training. This included a year of basic training at Fort Dix, NJ. He took intelligence training at Fort Holabird, MD and was trained in Vietnamese language at Fort Bliss, TX. He would become a Special Agent in Military Intelligence.
Upon completion of his language training, he took off for Ben Hoa, Vietnam. He flew from San Francisco to Alaska to Japan before arriving in Vietnam.
After 6 months and 20 days Bill earned an early-out from Vietnam to continue his education. Bob Sullivan had also contacted Bill to inform him that there would be an opening at Travell School in Ridgewood beginning in January, 1972. When the assignment was accepted by the school system, he became what was known as a "short timer" in Vietnam and was back home and discharged from active duty December 16, 1971. On January 2 - as he relates - he was the only person at Travell with a deep, dark tan!
Bill would spend his entire teaching career in the Ridgewood Public School System. He initially was drawn to Ridgewood because of Ridgewood's great outdoor education program. His career included 1 year at Glen School, 14 years at Travell and 21 years at Willard! For all 21 years at Willard he taught the 5th grade.
Above is a very early photo of Willard School when it had been rebuilt after a fire had destroyed it. It would be here that Dr. Montick taught 5th grade for the last 21 years of his teaching career.
Part of Bill's style back in Glen School was making sure there was always time for a smile and he considered his special brand of teasing was accepted by his students. By this he meant that even though he was Mr. Montick - their teacher - it wouldn't keep them from being able to work together and hopefully even enjoy the class. Of course, they more than enjoyed it - they treasured it!
Bill says that he always thought it very special that at the age of 21 he was responsible for children who were only ten years younger than he at the time.
While his days at Glen were not what you would call typical, he and Mr. Harrison always found time during lunch (as students we all ate lunch at home!) to head down to Mr. McFall's office for a card game!
As I mentioned, the Glen School Class of 1969 - in large part the inspiration for this blog - remained in touch not only with Bill Montick but were also fortunate enough to spend some special moments with George McFall back in 2000 during the RHS Class of 1975 25th reunion weekend. They met with Mr. McFall at Smith Brothers Bar & Restaurant with 12 others in attendance including: Margaret Silvers, Dr. Bill Montick, John Brevoort, Ken Li, Trisha Daly-Hernandez, Sue Crowe-Wilson, Chris Leyden, Walter Fennie, Cynthia Wagner-Boseski & Diana Wagner-Casey among them.
One of the better reunions - with both Bill Montick AND George McFall at Smith Brothers restaurant in Ridgewood, NJ in 2000. Pictured are in front l to r: John Brevoort, Margaret Silvers-Myatt, George McFall and Ken Li. Back l to r: Chris Leyden, Dr. Montick and Walter Fennie. Photo from Margaret Silvers-Myatt.
In my dealings with Dr. Montick myself, I find him to be incredibly humble and another great example of the high caliber of teachers that have come out of Ridgewood's long history of educational excellence.
Below is a letter that was written as a tribute to Dr. Montick at the time of his retirement by one of those 6th grade students from his very first class, Diana Wagner-Casey. It is reprinted here with Diana's permission. Thanks to Margaret Silvers for providing it.
Who would have figured that all those years ago that the creative writing skills you pounded into us would come in handy! Reflecting back now, it was not one of my more favorite activities, but I remember sitting at my dining room table, writing and rewriting my assignments, trying my hardest to come up with something out of the ordinary to please you because for some reason ordinary just wouldn’t suffice.
And now, as I sit here trying to put together this letter, tears fall down my cheeks. “Why”, I ask myself, “am I crying?” I think a few tears come from knowing that future generations of students won’t be able to experience the wonderful learning atmosphere that you brought forth to enlighten the minds of youngsters with your obvious love of teaching. I also think that some of the tears come from a little bit of self-pity knowing that we are all growing older and, with your retirement, comes an end to an era.
I think back to that first day of 6th grade, when, there you stood…. the new teacher; a tall, thin young man, fresh from college and none of us had any idea of the impact you would make on our lives that year and the years to come.
I developed my keen love of math and science from you. There would almost be an aura of light around you or a charge of electricity as you taught those subjects to us. Who won’t enjoy learning when a teacher brings such excitement to a class and the eagerness to share all you know with them?
I remember the “Green Hornet”, the winged beast that carried you to and from school each day. When we didn’t see it in the parking lot in the morning, we knew that meant it was going to be an unexciting day with a substitute teacher.
I think back to your calm and patient demeanor, although you would sometimes show your exasperation with a bunch of us sometimes-obnoxious 6th graders. But because we thought we were so cool, you would just smile that little smile of yours and humorous in thinking that it was so. You understood the psyches of pre-teens and wouldn’t think of doing anything to crush them because you were about building, not destroying.
You sheltered us from the hard realities of war when you went off to Vietnam at the end of the school year. I still have the quaint photos of your Army life, with dogs running around and men sitting around leisurely. I’m sure it was vastly different from your true experiences in that hostile environment but for the teenage boys and girls, miles away in the creampuff town of Ridgewood, you gave us carefree junior high years and worriless days and nights.
We shared our lives with each other; my marriage to Skip and yours to Isabel, the birth of my sons and the adoption of your son and daughter and how proud you were that their birth mothers picked you out of all of the other prospective parents and rightfully so, you receiving your doctorate degree in Education and me going back to college many years later to get my degree in Computer Science.
I would look forward to receiving your Christmas card with your letter letting me in on the all of the projects you had been working on that previous year and I loved surprising you with a birthday card in December and a note with what was new in my life. Life as you had known it in the past 30-plus years is about to change. Some of the changes will be tiny, like summer vacation all year long (every child’s dream come true!) and some will be big. But no matter what, I wish you well, my friend, in all the wonderful experiences life will have to offer in the near and far future because you truly deserve the best.
Another student, one who - along with Scott Yates & Doug Terhune - started this whole Glen School phenomenon - recently shared her thoughts about Dr. Montick:
"I remember the first day of 6th grade and Mr. Montick told us he was only 10 years older than us. I had a hard time thinking about that. I was only 11, so 10 more years was nearly twice my age. He also said it was his first teaching job. I wasn't quite sure what to do with that information, either. But it was fascinating that he was telling us so much about himself. It was a little bit unnerving.
After all, Mr. Montick was - no matter what - a grown-up and a teacher. So, there was an assumed cultural divide and a line in the sand that was not to be bridged or crossed. We were cool kids, and he was a teacher-grown-up. Right?
So, why is he being so open? How should I act?
Unfortunately, I spent way too much time in 6th grade thinking about how I should act. Should I play Barbies or try smoking cigarettes? Should I like boys or get grossed out? Should I be smart or cool?
But Mr. Montick's open, easy going style meant that in his class, I could just be myself. I didn’t have to think about who I wanted to be. Whether I was working hard on a project or trying to cheat on a science test, Mr. Montick would smile and giggle a bit. He was never harsh. His overwhelming respecting and accepting demeanor was not unnerving; it was comforting.
Mr. Montick, (okay, okay, Bill) do you remember me writing all the science test stuff on my hand? Of course, you caught me, but you didn't get mad. You smiled and giggled. Now that was unnerving. How can this teacher be so nice? (I remember discussing it with you a while later, and we agreed I probably learned a lot of science that day by writing it all really tiny on my hand.)
So, Mr. Montick wasn't a normal teacher. He treated us like ourselves. He respected us. He forgave us. And, I sensed he enjoyed us, almost as friends. We not only knew his first name, but we made fun of it with him (Billy Blastoff, because he was so tall, I suppose). We knew what car he drove, where he lived, and the friends he had. We even knew a little bit about his family. His Dad was our neighborhood milkman.
6th grade was a tough year for me. I did not want to like boys other than kickball or running bases. I did not want to smoke cigarettes or cut Girl Scouts or sneak around. But I didn't want to be left out, so I tried to be cool. I failed miserably at it, and I hurt some kids along the way, for which I regret.
But in Mr. Montick's class I did not fail. I enjoyed learning, I enjoyed the class, and I enjoyed feeling more grown up because a grown-up respected me and shared his life with my class.
Thank you Mr. Montick, for being real!"
If anyone would care to add any other comments to this story please email me at cmad@ntpLx.net and I will include them!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Ken Merrill, Wayne Bond, Jill Neandross, Carl Vrabel, Greg Rehe, Jan Koper, Paul Attella, Brian Marchese - to mention just a few - if you're out there we'd love to know what you're up to!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
The photo was taken in front of the offices - the gym is to the left when looking at the photo. I'm trying to find out the exact year. We need help with names so please email me at cmad@ntpLx.net if you can fill in the blanks!! Sorry for the bad quality. Sorry for any mis-spellings!
(Click to enlarge photo)
Top Row l to r: ?, ?, ?, Adrienne O'Brien, ?, George McFall, Bob Mulrooney, Jeannette Janicke, ?, Nancy Cook, Elaine Hammer, ?
Front Row l to r: ?, Arax Mardirosian, Agnes Larsen, Art Linden, Ellen Jackson, Zita Wilcox, ?
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
If you remember, this was also the year that - as students - we got the regular class photo that was taken in the courtyard and the black & white collage of all of our individual photos.
Click on photos to enlarge.
Back Row l to r: Steve McCormick, Matt Lulamia, Bob Healy, ?, ?, Joe Yakowicz, Roger Kreuger, Steven Dean
Middle Row l to r: ?, ?, ?, ?, Amy Beattie, ?, ?, Robin Smith
Front Row l to r: ?, ?, Bobby Brown(?), Bobby Rogers, ?, Tom Nunno
If we have any of the names wrong or you have any names you can supply - email to cmad@ntpLx.net.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
(Click on photo to enlarge)
Top Row l to r: ?, Debbi Regelman, Miss Boerner, Paul Pettofrezzo, Cindy Pomeroy
2nd Row l to r: Cindy Johnson, Walter Fennie, Jane Bitzer, Caroline ?
3rd Row l to r: ?, Trisha Daly, ?, Brian Lally, Margaret Silvers, ?, ?
Bottom Row l to r: Mitchell Perdue, Pam Morton, Paul Naser, Jeff Davis, Sarah Avery
If you can help identify some faces please email me at cmad@ntpLx.net!
Monday, March 16, 2009
This is Pat Prescott's first Glen School 4th grade class. We still can't identify everyone so please help where you can! Thanks to John Teasley for supplying this great photo!
Hank Henckler told me that he can't get over how short he is in this photo (boy in the red jacket) as today he is 6'3!
Top Row l to r: Rich Vaccari, Donnie Durheimer, Jim Carr, John Teasley, Hank Henckler, Gary Werbeck, Jim Buckley, Peter Berger, Randy Duvall
Second Row From Top l to r: Kathleen Schenk, ?, Suzy Terhune, ?, ?, ?, Patty Lord, Karen Midboe, ?, Jill Harris
3rd Row Sitting l to r: Charlotte Flynn, ?, Barbara Sharp, Karen Bond, ?, ?, Patty Turnbull, ?
Front Row l to r: Larry McDaniel, We're given 3 names here its either Bobby Robertazzo, David Rehe or Bobby Brown - I could have sworn it was David
Sunday, March 15, 2009
In 1962, the Space Age came to Glen School in the form of a musical titled "No Space Like Home". The show was produced by none other than Muriel Henckler. It was an entirely original musical that was performed by Mr. Linden, several VERY talented teachers and a ton of parents. The above cover to the program was designed by Else Ege.
As Scene 1 opens we find Mr. Linden sitting in his Glen School office. From there we leave earth for Planet Pluto. After a performance on Pluto, we travel to Mars. On Mars we find there is an all-important "United Meeting of the Planets" that must be attended to before taking off for Venus for more relaxing fare - a fashion show! Then its off to the moon for a mysterious visit to Eduardo's Hideaway (incidently Eduardo is played by Henry Henckler who had more jobs in this production than anyone!) Then its off to another show on Neptune before we all return to Mr. Linden's office for the finale! Whew!
While I don't remember the show, I definitely remember sitting in the audience watching my dad Fred Flannery. He was one of the singers along with my future 3rd grade teacher Amy Beattie!
Probably the best part of this entire production was that every single parent who had a kid(s) attending Glen School was there that night - in the audience, had donated money, helped with refreshments, performed, helped behind the scenes, made puppets, designed and printed the program, the script - you name it and one or both of our parents was involved! Any young parents out there - take note - participate in your kids education! Its a win-win situation for everybody - the friendships, the school, the interaction with teachers - like everything we did at Glen School it was priceless!
We are actively searching for movies, slides or photos of this night so if anyone has anything - PLEASE contact us! So far we have 2 people that might have something so I'm hoping when they get the time to search we'll get lucky! How great would it be to find these photos and see your mom or dad? My sincerest thanks to Else Ege for supplying the photos of the program which really help to make this story! I hate spelling names wrong so if there's a name that needs to be corrected please advise!
Any parents that were part of this classic show please email me (cmad@ntpLx.net) with memories!
Here's the list of credits followed by a list of patrons (names are spelled as they appeared - I will correct if I know the right spelling):
PRODUCED by Muriel Henckler
DIRECTED by Mary Jane Crescas
STAGE MANAGER - Deenie Smith
SCENERY CONSTRUCTION - Alan Weschler
MUSICAL DIRECTOR - Bob Whittemore
PIANISTS - Don Engle and Dan Hazen
CHOREOGRAPHER - Jeanne Stanley-Brown
Dick Kreuger, Ted Shumeyko, Dennie Smith, Ronnie Schenk, Bonnie Ferrannie, Gerry Carr
Dennie Smith, Gloria Tamborelli, Jeanne Stanley-Brown, Alan Weschler, Irv Kaplan
Arlene Van Der Wege, Else Ege, Ruth Potdevin, Irving Kaplan
Barbara Brown, Gerry Carr
June Duvall, Betty Lord, Sandy Wagner
Jim Brown, George McFall
Marina Worthington, Dot McLaren, Else Ege, Sandy Wagner, Sue Shumeyko
WAYS & MEANS and HOSPITALITY
Ronnie Schenk, Helen Werbeck, Kay Kelly, Eleanor Brierley
Clo Davis, Jean Lavery, Helen LaFiura, June Cunneen, Audrey Neandross, Marion McDaniel
ACTORS & ACTRESSES
Bill Carr as Al Sycamore
Bonnie Ferrannie as Miss Carson
Charlotte Nash as Miss Rambler
Ken deGruchy as Gunther McNapp
Ray DeGraw as Wally Spotts
Marina Worthington as Zsa Zsa Cadwallader
Jack Flynn as Bert Steele
Dick Krueger as Harry Steele
Sue Shumeyko as Pandora
Ted Shumeyko as Plutonus
Ray Bennett as Rbadamanthus
Vic Crescas as Mercurio
Art Linden as Mars
Sandy Wagner as Venus
Bill McLaren as Mercury
Sylvia McCormick as Saturn
Pete Gauharou as Jupiter
Anita Bennett as Pluto
Katie Samson as Earth
John Voorhis as Uranus
Gloria Tamberelli as Neptune
Deenie Smith as Fashion Commentator
June Cunneen, Jan Ludwig, Audrey Neandross & Janet Voorhis as Models
Amy Beattie as First Moon Girl
Barbara Zink as Second Moon Girl
Henry Henckler as Eduardo
Sue Shumeyko as Nightclub Singer
Muriel Henckler & Sue Shumeyko as Two Swells
Marjorie Stockstill as First Neptunian
Helen Werbeck as Second Neptunian
Irma Sabin as First Contestant
Beth Deane as Second Contestant
Bud Van Der Wege as Ned Browler
Jim Corcoran as Zack Whaley
Janet Voorhis as Applause Girl
DANCING CHORUS INCLUDED: Jean deGruchy, Pat Mercer, Sylvia McCormick, Jessie Signorile, Jeanne Stanley-Brown, Gloria Tamborelli, Ginni Terhune
SINGING CHORUS INCLUDED: Amy Beattie, Anita Bennett, Fred Flannery, Henry Henckler, Dor Krueger, Clo Davis, Irma Sabin, Ronnie Schenk, Katie Samson, Gloria Stewart, Peg Rogers, Roy Teasley, Sandy Wagner, Barbara Zink
USHERS WERE: Henry Henckler, Dennis LaFiura, Laurie McDaniel, Duffy Smith
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Agnes Larsen - For Her Assistance
Sam Silvers - For Printing the Script
Jill Davison - Soft Shoe Arrangement
Dot McLaren - Posters
Leif Neandross - Material for Scenes
Howard Schenk - Space Prop
Bill Turnbull - Popcorn Machine & Popcorn
Below is the list of all the people who worked the various souvenir and refreshment stands! That show had to be so much fun for everybody involved! Now that the show's over let's all head over to the Henckler's for coffee!