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1962 Yearbook
>>Sports/Clubs
>>Alphabetical Listing

1963 Yearbook
>>Sports/Clubs
>>Alphabetical Listing


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THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES...

To fit four full decades into as many hours - and with over 400 people attending - is a logistical impossibility. Still, the attempt was made on June 8, 2002.

Condensing a remembrance of that evening into, say, four sentences - or even four paragraphs - is equally absurd. Still, a compendium is hereby and humbly offered. - -

We remember things as we see them, but how we see and recall people and events can depend on the circumstances of our lives - or even of a single weekend. We usually have confidence in our own memory, and we're often convinced it can record details efficiently. Actually, human memory can be a very delicate and fragile mechanism. Our experiences don't stay totally intact in our memory, because there are other forces - external and internal - that affect the original memory of an experience, a person, or an object.

We saw many we hadn't seen in decades - longer than some of our children have been living. People tend to change naturally with the passage of time. Even a structure, and even if left intact and unaltered over the years, will still appear different to us. Surroundings, too, have a bearing on our interpretation, and the impact, of what we see; those of us who visit the NY Aquarium again, even years from now, will be unable to do so without remembering that reunion. In 1966, the undersigned got to know a building (now an interpreters' college) in Germany in which Napoleon's troops were once quartered. Though the edifice itself hadn't changed by the time this writer returned for a visit after a 20-year absence, it still appeared different because he now saw it through eyes that had benefited by the learning, background, maturity and perspective of the intervening two decades. The experience was pivotal and, in a word, a revelation.

It's a given that time passes. With certain kinds of motivation, or when interfering or contradictory facts appear, our memory traces can change or be transformed - and we're usually not even aware it's happening. By extension, in certain cases (and more often than we think), we can actually have recollections of events that never really happened as we "remember" them, and to believe in memories of things that never really existed. We also tend to invest others with qualities, both positive and negative (as with lovers and perceived enemies, respectively) that they may not actually have. These very human tendencies may be a criminal lawyer's nightmare - but like it or not, that's the way of things.

The SBHS 40-ish Reunion, though, wasn't a day for technical definition to guide us. It was a day for personal pleasure and social enjoyment in which all of us there engaged. Many of us tried to remember what we'd nearly forgotten, and some of us actually tried to forget some of what we had remembered - but all of us experienced that day, and will recall it very fondly. To feel sentimental, nostalgic and wistful is not "to regret" - so it would be very surprising if anyone, even the initially skeptical, truly regretted having been there on that special evening.

Yes, we're all older now - but time has enabled an evolution and accomplishments for us that were not only impossible but actually inconceivable to us forty years ago.

AMONG FACULTY:

- Without exception, the teacher and mentor I most enjoyed seeing again, and who, during my crucial formative years, was effectively responsible, in large measure, for music being a pervasive feature of my entire life: Lee Sevush.

- The teacher who couldn't attend and who I most missed seeing - but with whom, very thankfully, I'm now in touch, whose insight is enviable, and who quite unknowingly played a small but significant and memorable role in stimulating my young imagination so long ago: Doris Lesser.

- Two people whose premature passing caused me great sadness when I learned of it during my search for our teachers: Edward Williams, who left us in 1988 at age 62, and who with literally geometric logic could easily, clearly and successfully explain to any student the most complex matters of the subject at hand; and Dr. Murray Plissner, who left us more recently and who remains in my memory as among the sanest and most enlightened of all the sometimes convoluted folks I've ever met, before or since.

AMONG ALUMNI:

- Without exception, the absolutely superb lady I most enjoyed seeing again, for the first time in four decades - years which, when I saw her, seemed to evaporate as though they had never even passed, since her appearance had changed but little - and with who I was totally out of touch until only recently: Marilyn Shattls.

- Without exception, the gentleman I most enjoyed seeing again, for the first time in several years but still a close friend with whom I've been in consistent touch ever since SBHS, and who that evening was still instantly recognized even by those who hadn't seen him at all during the interim: Bruce Levy.

- The lady I didn't recognize (a matter of my perception, not of her appearance) until she turned to me and showed me her name-tag and yearbook photo, but who I was positively delighted to see again: Linda Jaslove.

- The gentleman I didn't recognize (again, my eyesight...) until he re-introduced himself to me after so many years, and whom I had known even at PS 206: Ron Schwartz.

- The lady there I most regret not having seen, whose exponential adorability factor I've always remembered, and who soon afterward allowed me with the pleasure of meeting with her: Anne Gallagher.

- The gentleman who seemed to do more than any others combined, for both the committee per se and for everyone else, and whose middle name should rightfully be, Selfless: Stan Weilgus.

- The lady who couldn't attend and whom I thusly didn't get to greet, whose natural bearing was absolutely regal even as a girl, and who honored me with the exquisite pleasure of seeing her not long afterward: Dianne Beacher.

- The gentleman with whom I literally grew up - we lived right next door - but whom I hadn't seen in twenty years or more: Fred Simon.

- The lady whose whereabouts couldn't be established even by the combined efforts of the FBI, the CIA, Sherlock Holmes, and every known yenta, and who thusly I also didn't get to see. She represents the star atop the tree, never within reach - but as a genuine heart-stopper who got me catatonic when I'd see her, who caused butterflies in my stomach and my knees to weaken, and who could actually change my metabolism on any given day (well, so it all seemed then), she remains virtually unique in my memory: Laurie Sher.

- Two gentlemen with whom I wasn't close back then, but each of whom is most likely now a better man than I: Stewart Levine and Stan Perla.

- The lady who e-mailed me before the reunion that I shouldn't expect too much in anticipation of seeing her, but whose sweetness quotient hasn't changed at all and whose appearance is still positively riveting: Carol Berk.

- The two gentlemen who didn't attend but who I'd like to have seen there: David Assael and Lowell Bodger, both still my close friends.

- The lady I met shortly before the reunion but who I have the pleasure of seeing often since we live near each other, whose smile and warmth of personality seem to bring the sunshine with her even on dark days, and who as the gem in the setting of new friends I so regret not having known back then: Holly Stander.

- The gentleman who was an absolute whiz at chemistry and who, except for graying hair, has changed so little that I recognized him from a distance: Ira Davidson.

- Three exceptional and singular people: Shelly Brandman (knew him well back then), Robert Schwartz (knew him slightly back then), and Alan Wilk (didn't know him back then). Bob Schwartz and his efforts are the cement that bonded the event's components in preparation - to such an extent that even when he had to let go of the reins two days before the reunion, the team continued functioning without a hitch or breaking stride. Shelly & Alan are effectively responsible for enlightening me about the wisdom of reconsidering my initial decision, which was not to attend. I have no regrets about their having prompted me to change my mind, and to them goes a major share of the credit (A) for influencing me to re-think my original conclusion, (B) for my own enjoyment of the event, (C) for letting me realize I still don't know everything, and (D) for making me sometimes wonder if I actually know anything at all in the first place.

- The gentleman who long ago lived for a time on my street, whom I hadn't seen in nearly three decades, but whom I recognized immediately: Gene Atamer.

- The lady whose personal sparkle, natural charm, and extraordinary appearance have remained intact even after all this time, and whose particular in-person luster makes her seem to be illuminated from within: Erma Massa.

- For the sake of balance and symmetry: People being as they are - which is to say, only human - there were those who when they saw me thanked me for notifying them about the reunion, but who hadn't even bothered responding to my communiqué about it. Some couldn't be located at all and were thus unaware of the event; yet others were aware of it but were still unable to attend, and yet others had planned to be there but had to cancel at the eleventh hour. My sympathies are with them. Still others were apprised but evidently felt that attending a function like a high school reunion is beneath them. These folks, who will never know what they missed, are from various walks of life, some live in foreign countries, and are of various persuasions: they're the ones I frankly didn't miss and who get from me only my best wishes, but they were few and their names are better left unsaid, at least by me. They shot an arrow into the air - and where it fell, I do not care.

- New friends I've made, or older friendships I've renewed, in whatever form and proximity, since I joined the reunion cadre. I'm glad, even thankful, that a connection was made - which I hope will continue - between me and the good people I've mentioned in this remembrance of things past: Barbara Adelman-Seidman, Richard Baratz, Joy Chase, Ed Cypress, Vivian DiSpezio-DeMarco, Janice Felix-Greene, Joanne Frankle-Altman, Mark Goldberg, Ian Jagoda, Naomi Gross-Storz, Geraldine Hochman-Rosenthal, Robert Kagan, Beth Korn-Levine, Sheryl Levy-Glick, Lenore Makler-Blumer, Joan Marchese, Janet New-Morgan, Pearl Nutik-Glassberg, Sharon Reich-Weinberg, Mike Roth, Ken Salzinger, Gail Scholder-Brown, Nancy Schwartz-Lake, Margaret Valentine, and Sally Wald.

You can go home again - - but only for a visit.

- Jeffrey Dane
SBHS Class of 1961
e-mail: Jeffdane43@aol.com