Jerry Ham remembers: … the teachers strike that occurred. A good number of students refused to cross the picket line and enter Stuyvesant. A rather large group of us proceeded to walk downtown to another public high school (Washington Irving?) We stood outside yelling “don’t go in”, although it was late in the morning. Everyone looked at us through the classroom windows and a small bunch of students ran out through the doors to join us over the course of the half hour or so that we were there. We then proceeded back to Stuyvesant and most of us just went home instead of crossing the picket line and entering the school.
History of Our First (25-year) Reunion (by Stan Mandell)
Ten years went by after graduation; fifteen years and then twenty . And the Class of ’62 had not had a reunion. In 1984, Stuyvesant HS held an “All-Classes” reunion. The auditorium at our AlmaMater was packed, buzzing, and electric, with 20-year-olds to 90-year-olds catching up with classmates and friends. It was exciting. And it was an opportunity.
My brother had been to his 20-year reunion at Curtis HS, and I was both jealous and inspired. I ran into two classmates, Steve Green and Jim Brust during this event. Steve and I decided our Class of ’62 must have a reunion. But how? Steve Green lived in DC, and I lived in Seattle.
“the first LEC (planning committee) meeting was
welcoming, inclusive, collegial, and non-competitive”
We contacted the Alumni Association and discovered that we had a class representative, and old pal named Gary Roebuck. Gary matched our enthusiasm and then some. He took the reins and began to make things happen.
From a class list provided by the SHSAA he began to contact classmates who lived locally. To his credit, and that of the group, the ambience of the first LEC (planning committee) meeting was welcoming, inclusive, collegial, and non-competitive. It paved the way for the spirit and tone of that first and of all subsequent reunions.
We three decided that Steve and I would work on the format and event structure for the 25-year reunion, while the LEC would arrange for the venues, catering, and all details administrative. Thus, Steve and I were dubbed the “theoreticians” for our conceptual work. The LEC was dubbed the “obstetricians” because they delivered.
It was decided that there would be three events, to provide more opportunity to reconnect. On Friday night there was a mixer, a getting reacquainted. It was held at club in midtown. The second event was a sharing session in the Stuyvesant auditorium on Saturday morning, with coffee, bagels, and lox. The third event was a dinner-dance in the Stuyvesant gymnasium (rope-climb optional; Harold Bloomfield did a couple of laps around the indoor track, to many cheers.)
The agenda was set and the LEC delivered a memorable reunion. Friday night was mind-blowing. Seeing, recognizing, greeting, and reminiscing was vivid and glorious for so many of us. Twenty-five years. The experience was a disorienting mixture of friendship and time-warp.
The Saturday night dinner-dance allowed additional reconnecting, visiting, nostalgia. The old school, the old gym and lockers, and dancing to the oldies. 100+ classmates plus wives/dates enjoyed the evenin. We were delighted when Mr Rothenberg and Mrs Barron joined us that evening.
But, something unexpected happened to the Saturday morning sharing session. The original design was to be a “fish bowl” with several pre-selected classmates to go on stage to talk about their lives since Stuyvesant and how their experience in high school had had an impact on their lives. This would be responded to by the audience with commentary and lively discussion. (The idea came from the format of a successful college reunion event one of us had experienced.) But this format not happen.
On Friday night, after the mixer, Neal Hurwitz, John Hochman, and Mark Alper talked and balked. Neal had had much experience in event organizing, and he and John and Mark felt the planned format was not right for the reunion. They suggested for Saturday morning that the fish bowl format be replaced by an “open mic” format.
They presented the idea Saturday morning, just before the event was to begin. Quickly a decision was made to change to the open mic format. Nobody was prepared for the outpouring of stories, anecdotes, and emotion which followed. There were a great number of contributions, funny, thoughtful and poignant reflections. Amongst the many stories our classmates shared were the following: a personal narrative of a dream in psychoanalysis about a man missing a leg; accounts of the impact, positive and negative, of Stuyvesant’s academic excellence and competition; an account of a classmate banging his shoe on his desk, Khrushchev style, because Mr. Nacht was deriving a math proof incorrectly, and wouldn’t accept his several attempts at input; our valedictorian’s secret advantage he developed, helping him to become number one; and, a classmate’s story about his “Indicator” helping him to recover his memory after coming out of a coma.
“…our valedictorian revealed his secret
to being number one; and, a classmate shared
that his Indicator helped him recover
his memory after coming out of a coma.”
The 35-year, 40-year, and 45-year reunions have had the same format of three events, which has worked well. Even with the move to the new Stuyvesant on Chambers Street, we have continued the Saturday morning open mic session at the old Stuyvesant auditorium, where the voice of Dr. Roeder lingers. Venues for those later reunions have also included the Park Central Hotel, India House, SPQR, and Bridgewater’s Restaurant. We look forward to the 50-Year-Reunion as the next chapter in our Pegleg history, of relationships and memories. We look forward to seeing you there.
SAT NIGHT, PARK CENTRAL HOTEL
(click to enlarge photo and legend)
1. Peter Jarvis | 2. Mark Lubetkin | 3. Michael Kwatinetz | 4. | 5. Rich Rabinowitz | 6. Anthony Ganibino | 7. Steve Green | 8. Peter Ferdico | 9. Milt Koch | 10. Stu Peterfreund | 11. Arthur Goldfarb | 12. Alan Dombrow | 13. Fred Glazer | 14. Keith Schaefer | 15. Robert Greene | 16. | 17. Fred Brosowky | 18. | 19. Allen Cooper | 20. Ed Mendelson | 21. George Gregor | 22. Frank Guerra | 23. Donald Cutler | 24. Sani Graff | 25. Marty Bronstein | 26. Steve Wallach | 27. Rick Silverblatt | 28. Norman Trabulus | 29. | 30. Steve Markowitz | 31. | 32. Harold Silverman | 33. Mettey? | 34. Marvin Kamres | 35. | 36. Stu Edelstein | 37. Steve Parnes | 38. Arthur Epstein | 39. Steve Frist | 40. Eric Rabkin| 41. | 42. Burt Gordon|43. | 44. Jed Goldart | 45. Gary Roebuck | 46. Len Toelk | 47. | 48. John Richards | 49. Alan Levine | 50. Russel Miller | 51. Michael Liebowitz | 52. | 53. Anthony Starace | 54. | 55. John Anselmo | 56. Bob Bourne | 57. | 58. Ken Ligot | 59. Steve Meininger | 60. Bobby Colomby | 61. George Krasilovsky | 62. Harry Malakoff | 63. Donny Nussbaum | 64. Michael Bloomstein | 65. Joe Albeck | 66. Steve Shestakofsky | 67. Ian Bruce Eichner | 68. Fidel Nabor | 69. Stanley Litow | 70. Howard Medoff | 71. Martin Miller | 72. Alex Nacht | 73. Steve Fishman | 74. Andrij Szul | 75. Jerrold Goldman | 76. Harold Bloomfield | 77. Stan Mandell | 78. Neal Hurwitz
SAT NIGHT, INDIA HOUSE