OF RECENT MEPHAM H.S. REUNIONS
Class of 1956 50th Reunion
I just turned the pages of my photo album from this great weekend. Otto's Sea Grill in Freeport on Friday night Sept 29th—lots of photos, lots of memories. Friday night was crowded, informal, very very friendly and no complaints accepted.
Sat. morning a buffet breakfast at Mepham west cafeteria was followed with a tour of the school hosted by Mike Muscara. The List of Deceased Classmates displayed at Otto's on Friday included Jerry Lotto. Skip Pace had objections to this— NO WAY!! Skip appeared at breakfast with Jerry in tow. Needless to say they overwhelmed us. This drama was repeated on the Web page and picked up by ED LOWE a syndicated columnist as the Reincarnation of Jerry Lotto. [The story was in Quarterdeck 2007.] Breakfast was followed by the Homecoming Parade from the Bellmore station back to the school. We traveled in Classic Cars sporting Pirates and Class of 1956 Banners.
We listened to 50's music and danced the night away. Special tribute was made to Coach Mike Lurel. Don Forster and Joe Metzger presented him with a plaque and his wife with a lovely bouquet. Our class artist Bob Swenson added a personal touch with a portrait hand painted from 1956 yearbook photo. A great time was had by all.
Thank you to all my committee members. As your Class Rep, I'm looking for follow up stories and photos for next Newsletter. Have you had any mini reunions?? Stories to tell?? Journals are still available, use them, keep in touch. We want opinions on mini reunion - Florida - New York - 2008 - 2010??? Ideas and comments Welcome. (516-781-2196) LOVE YA - Viola Quiney Young
Class of 1986 20th Reunion
A web site has been created with pictures of the October 6, 2006 reunion.
Double-click on the thumbnails to see full size picture, or run slide show.
What a time it was—1974 Reunion ReflectionsBy Debra Robert and Larry Mancini
October 9, 2004 — Has it really been 30 years?
Remember those assignments when you had to write about an event in your life and you looked for words to fill the page? Generally speaking, we didn't look forward to those. Well, writing about our reunion is the opposite of that! We feel the need to hold back the words because there is so much that could be said.
Saturday, October 9, 2004, LI Marriott:
In some ways the evening was surreal. We were back together trading stories of our youth and getting caught up on the happenings in our lives. What fun piecing together bits of forgotten information. Seems like we missed a lot! Words are inadequate to describe how great it was to see everyone and reminisce. What laughs and good times!
There were a few times one could catch themselves with watery eyes. It's so hard to believe that time has passed so quickly. Although we've grown and changed, if given the opportunity we'd be compelled to want to do it again. Of course, we'd have to know what we do now!
Sadness lingers as rumors that some did not attend because of weight gain. We hope that is not why we had a smaller group than our 20th. Everyone did look outrageous. What a great looking group!
The committee did a class act in the way they honored those we lost to death. Their memories are with us as they were all evening. Thank you to Amy, Diana, Fran, Laura, Jeff and Grace for your hard work in putting everything together. We're pushing for a 35th!
There were so many of us, although tired of standing, couldn't leave AGAIN. Some of us could have gone for a night cap!
We really feel blessed to have grown up in Bellmore and be able to attend W.C. Mepham. They were our wonder years. Thank you to the class of '74 and for all the memories brought alive again.
Class of 1983 - 20th ReunionNovember 7, 2003
If you want to see many more pictures go to http://www.mikebar1.com
Class of 1952 - 50th ReunionNovember 1, 2002
Our 50th reunion was held on November 1, 2002, and it proved to be a memorable event with 80 attendees. We had dancing to 50's music, a great buffet, easels with photographs, and most importantly, a renewal of past friendships.
We had individual photos taken and a great group picture. An introduction was made by Art Grahame followed by brief speeches from Class President Ray O'Shaughnessy, Vice President Jeannine Kilkelly Carney, and Committee Chairman, Jim Gobetz.
There is a 22 page "Biobook" available at minimal cost.
Class of 1972 - 30th ReunionAugust 2-4, 2002
The Dinner Dance Party took place at the Holiday Inn in Plainview on Saturday night, August 3rd. The pirate theme was in full swing with pirate mugs, eye patches and alumni directories for everyone. Arrgh! Phil Press was kind e’nuff to compose yet another poem “One More Time” to the class which appeared on the back of the directory. Brian Cooper from Toronto reconnected with the “Cousins Cennamo” while Gail Berlinger Cholden finally got her yearbook signed. The years apart seemed to disappear as friends reconnected and shared stories of the past 10 years and relived times spent together 30 years ago. If the music didn’t take you back to the “Wonder Years” then our teachers did. Marlene Krutman Stein, Bernie Stein, Marilyn MacCoy, Donald Schmidt, and William Bimbie came out of retirement to join in our festivities. The party ended too soon but fortunately, the dancing and reminiscing continued till the wee hours in Monroe’s, the night club at the Inn.
Sunday noon was our “Shindig” at Pam Seider McManus’ private beach in Wincoma. Yes . . . bathing suits were optional! Keith Fishenfeld was the Master of Ceremonies at the karioke stage. Jane Swenson McCroary, Sue Maguiness Kern, and Judy Broad Hanely secured their titles as karioke queens with an unforgetable rendition of “Black Dog.” There was a huge hero thanks to Pam, beverages on ice from Keith, and plenty of goodies thanks to Steve Seger & Co.
Many thanks go out to The Alumni Association, Donna DiFillipis of Reunions of America, Committee members Keith Fishenfeld, Pam Seider MacManus, and Nancy Doty who were instrumental in planning the weekend’s events as well as Jane Svenson McCroary, Connie Mazza, and Carol Farina Kilgallin, the “mug wrappers.” There are a few mugs left. If you’re interested contact me at email@example.com or better yet, let’s talk real time! See ya in 2012 but hopefully sooner. xox denise
For the full-size reunion picture click here.
Class of 1962 - 40th ReunionAugust 3, 2002
The Class of 1962 revealed it's true 40-year-old Mepham school spirit weekend of August 3, 2002, 11 months after the most horrific attack on our country. 150 of our classmates and significant others celebrated a friendship and unity weekend. Our message was simple, "We worked hard for family and country since 1962, and we will not let anyone take our right to reunite away from us."
The reunion started on Friday night at the Plainview Holliday Inn where 60 fellow classmates looked into the crowded lounge searching for a clue to anyone's identity. As soon as eye contact was made, ear-to-ear smiles appeared on the faces of each and every reunited classmate. I will never forget when Joan Ebtinger yelled out, "Hi Jerry". Suddenly it was 1962, and the joy we experienced was overwhelming. We were with our high school friends once again. The next 5 hours flew by in an instant.
Saturday morning found us at the West Bathhouse at Jones Beach - the Class of 62' beach party revival. A group of our classmates ventured down to the ocean for a quick dip and retreated back to the safety of the food concession and picnic tables. It was reported that when Freddy Walker removed his shirt and revealed his totally in shape 58-year body; all eyes were focused on him. Freddy's wife Sheryl just kept on walking as if she hadn't noticed. Why should she? Not to be out done, Karen Pearsall Orange demonstrated that at "49" her body still made heads turn 180 degrees when she walked the sand alley to the ocean in her itsy bitsy bikini. Let it be understood, that Karen is only "49".
On Saturday evening the main event started in the elegant Waterford room at the Irish Coffee Pub in Islip. Alumni were crying and laughing throughout the five-hour extravaganza. Each smile generated more smiles. The most repeated comment from our classmates was why did we wait so long for a reunion? (Let's blame Connie Lawlor Logan.) The Stroll brought everyone to the dance floor, however the guys watched - just as they did in the "old days". Some things never change. Ed Heidicker produced a memorial video honoring our classmates who had passed away. It was an extremely moving tribute to them and there wasn't a dry eye in the room. Our DJ played our music with a few new tunes from the 70's. Dr. Jesse Wexler won the 50/50 raffle and then graciously returned his winnings to the committee, to be added to the Class of 1962 Scholarship. To top that, he also generously gave a $100.00 check for the Mepham Alumni Association. With the help of our sponsors and attendees, the committee collected $2000.00 to be given to two Mepham students in the Name of the Class of 1962.
Our weekend ended with a Sunday Brunch at the Holiday Inn Express in Hauppauge. Forty one of our toughest classmates attended to keep the spirit alive. No one really said good-bye. They said, "See you at the next reunion."
Class of 1966 - 35th ReunionOctober 12, 2001
A month before our reunion was to take place, tragedy struck in the form of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The world as we knew it was upside down and the last thing we were thinking about was a festive reunion. Our committee met and we decided that it was more important then ever to go forward with our plans. Instead of being flooded with cancellations, our number of attendees increased; a time to come together.
On Friday evening, October 12, 2001 at the Long Island Marriott Hotel in Uniondale, over a casual dinner we started the process of catching up; pictures passed, friends finding friends, no one wanting to end the evening.
On Saturday our class presented a plaque (now in the rotunda) and a moving tribute to those lives that were lost by Mepham graduates during the Vietnam War. (See details in Quarterdeck 2002, Vietnam Veterans Dedication.)
The main event in the Grand Ballroom at the Marriott looked like a wonderland, enhanced by exquisite decorations. Attended by over 250 people, we distributed an alumni biographical directory to those who attended.
With little sleep and a strong desire to continue the weekend, we had brunch at Jones Beach Boardwalk restaurant on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2001 — a perfect setting for those last goodbyes. The three days disappeared as though a moment. It was a difficult time for Americans but the decision to go forward with our plans was the right decision. The success of the weekend is living proof.
For a full set of photos, go to Class of 1966 web page at: http://krudnick.angelcities.com/mephamweb.html
Class of 1951 - 50th ReunionJune 2, 2000
On June 2, 2001, at the very fine Irish Coffee Pub in East Islip, 118 members of the Class of '51 and their friends converged to eat, drink, dance, and hug old friends, many they hadn't seen in 40 or 50 years! I think this "thank you" to the committee says it all:
"Hi Mikki! I had to let you know how much I enjoyed the reunion. You and the rest of the committee did a tremendous job. I could not believe how well everything was organized. I would have been content after they served the hors d'oeuvres, but then they brought out that huge prime rib dinner! It was excellent and cooked exactly they way I like it. With that big a crowd that is not easy to do. It is too bad that everyone could not be there. I had my doubts about going, but am sure glad I did. It will last forever in my memory." (The writer & his wife drove from California to the reunion.) Photo: Judy Ogilvie Entsminger and Mikki Hannan Wilbert
The credit goes to the terrific committee members... their professionalism and good humor. Everyone embraced one area of responsibility and doubled or tripled duties by supporting each other.
Our monthly luncheon meetings at the Irish Coffee Pub, and the blessed ease of working with the catering staff, were a joy. The serendipitous generosity of our classmates who made donations over and above the $75 ticket price, enabled us to provide an "elegantly down-to-earth" atmosphere of excellent food, great service, gentle music of the late 40s/early 50s (provided by DJ extraordinaire, Robert Loggia of Top Hat), gorgeous centerpieces, and a chockfull yearbook. Thank you all: those who worked, those who enjoyed, and those of the Alumni Assoc. who helped us at every turn.
Mikki Hannan Wilbert, Chairperson
Class1980 - 20th ReunionJuly 29, 2000
It was the Twentieth in Two Thousand for the Class of 1980. More than one hundred and fifty members and friends attended the reunion last summer at the Long Island Marriott.
The combination of seeing old friends, and for many, having a Saturday night baby-sitter, gave way to conversation, dancing, photo exchanging, and laugh out loud recollections of shared Mepham moments. Highlights of the evening included the mini-reunion photos by elementary school and the trivia quiz, proving harder than the millionaire show, with such questions as “What was the Pepes Pizza lunch special?”
Behind the reunion event, were the dedicated efforts of our own Austin Powers, Maria Portera Casal, our Class Representative, who kept our database updated from her home in Austin, TX. Special thanks must also be extended to our school Webmaster par excellence Jerry Worthing, Carol O’Keefe House, and the Mepham Alumni Association, whose advice and class records contributed to the high turnout. In fact, the reunion attracted classmates from more than fifteen states and the District of Columbia.
In addition to Maria Portera Casal, a big thank-you to the other reunion committee members, whose frequent e-mails and stellar contributions helped make the evening a huge success: Linda Bailard Governati, Ellen Provenzano-Fava, Paul Feller, Joe Levine, Sheryl Katz Massella, Linda Silverstein O’Connell and Stacey Greebel Teller. Dr. Joe, we missed you, hope to see you at the next one! During the hour-long photo shoot for the class picture, someone called out for a twenty-fifth reunion!
It’s not too early to start planning for the twenty-fifth in 2005—let’s get those e-mails going. Please send in your contributions to the Alumni Association. The proceeds make these communications, reunions and so much more happen.
To those who attended, thanks for making it such a great evening. And for those who were unable to make this one, we’ll see you in 2005!
P.S. Just in case you really want to know, the Pepes Pizza lunch special was one slice and a soda for a buck! Jane Panzeca Cloutier
Classes of 1960/61, Mepham/Calhoun ReunionJuly 22, 2000
After eighteeen months of planning, the Mepham Classes of 1960 and 1961 celebrated their Millennium Reunion the weekend of July, 21–23, 2000. Since the Calhoun class of 1960 shared the (crowded) halls of Mepham, during 1957-1958, it was decided to invite our cross-town rivals of both 1960 and 1961 to share in the reunion. As a result, over 425 guests attended the weekend events, highlighted by a Saturday dinner dance at the Long Island Marriott in Uniondale.
A dedicated committee of over thirty individuals with members from all four classes worked as ONE with a single purpose, creating and mailing flyers, setting up music and food and lodging arrangements. Our reunion weekend was full of activity, beginning with a Friday evening cocktail party, a Saturday morning tour of both Calhoun and Mepham High Schools (depending on your allegiance), the dinner dance and Sunday Brunch at the Marriott.
The committee’s work was not complete once the reunion was over. A 115-page Millennium Yearbook complete with biographies, addresses and pictures of our four classes, was published and mailed to the attendees and contributors. Speaking of contributors: over $11,000 was contributed (over and above the cost of the reunion) to help offset the cost of the yearbook and to contribute scholarships to both graduating classes at Calhoun and Mepham (awarded June 4, 2001). Brian Levy
Classes of 1939-1950 Florida ReunionOctober 22-24, 2000
Pirates Invade Florida!
Over 300 rowdy Pirates (classes of 1939-1950) invaded the coast of Florida on Oct. 22, 2000. They landed at the Inn in Melbourne and immediately overran the establishment. For two days and nights they showed off their relics, plundered the larders and walked the planks of the Inn. They hung up banners, threw their tricorner hats on the tables, ran up their garnet and gray "flags" and displayed their treasure chest of memories collected throughout the hemisphere since the late 1930's.
The gale winds and high sea kept most activities indoors, although a large group did get together and hit little white balls around a large lawn nearby. The Pirates spent most of the time together swapping adventure tales, doing jigs and enjoying the chanteys performed by a group of well trained minstrels.
The most revered relic displayed was an ancient film of the construction of the Pirates lair called Mepham. There were shots of the infamous Pirate Kings: Mr. Mepham, Mr. Calhoun, Mr. Hallenbeck, and Mr. Stunt. The still handsome Mr. Stunt, accompanied by his charming wife Winnie, addressed the troops and disclosed many nuggets of information such as - the C in Wellington C. Mepham stands for Carl. He spun yarns of yore about an infamous band of Pirates known as Cal, Sprig, Gus, and Nick.
The morning of October 24, as the Pirates were returning to their ships to seek further adventures, one was heard to ask another how much it costs to get pierced ears. The reply was --
Oh about a BUCANNEER!!
By Helen Dawson Thorgrimson, from The Gang Plank", Class of 1950 newsletter
“It was the best reunion I ever went to.” That was the consensus I heard from those who attended, approving of the blended classes. About 300 came for the big event. Held at the Holiday Inn Oceanfront in Melbourne, FL, people registered, gathered in the lobby and in the memorabilia room to meet and greet Mephamites.
There was a constant buzz of chatter and flashbulbs going off as we “rediscovered” each other and caught up on the passing years. We were well-fed and entertained. It would be difficult to make it “real” to those who weren’t there, so I’ll follow the adage that “a picture is worth 1000 words” and illustrate some of the happenings that way.
On Sunday most of the activity during the day took place in the lobby (signing in and chatting with fellow alumni) and in the memorabilia room.
Class of 1950 — 50th ReunionApril 7-9, 2000
On April 7–9, the Class of 1950 held a successful 50th Reunion. A wine and cheese party at the North Bellmore Fire Dept. VAMPS Club kicked off this fantastic weekend The next morning, we continued the festivities with a continental breakfast at the “old” school. School cafeteria personnel set up and served. What a great feeling it was to roam the halls again as students conducted tours. Several of us tried shooting baskets in the old gym (no one made a basket).
Our banquet on Saturday evening found 116 (70 of whom were classmates) renewing acquaintances, swapping stories and trying to match faces with memories.
We capped off the weekend with a snow storm on Sunday morning. One of our Florida snowbird classmates commented that she hadn’t driven in snow in over thirty years! The reunion committee had a ball in the planning for this weekend. —Fred Lorenzen
Class of ’39 — 60th ReunionSeptember 18, 1999
Well, we have done it again — another “first” for the Class of 1939—Mepham High School’s first 60th Anniversary Class Reunion, September 18, 1999.
During the week preceding our reunion, we were threatened by Hurricane Floyd up and down the east coast, and a few people who planned on coming couldn’t make it. The forty-two who did come enjoyed the usual joy that comes from the heart whenever old friends get togetier. Wilbert Buck, Rudy Riesz and their committee consisting of Bill Ogden, Janet Flanagan Sullivan, and Chuck Zorn planned this special get together and dinner at Bedell’s West Wind Yacht Club in Freeport. We were spared any damage by Floyd and had a beautiful day.
We shared some memorabilia, but the highlight of the day was the people. What a pleasure to be here…and a bit of sadness to be missing so many.
Class members included: Edith Bedell, Marie Betzig, Gladys Billings, Lorraine Doty, Loretta Eisele, Janet Flanagan, Emily Gerlach, Frances Kotlarz, John Liell, Margaret Mulcahy, Josephine Pinsdorf, Shirley Raubenheimer, Rosalie Riker, Mary Steppan, plus the committee as mentioned above. We were also joined by several members of the Class of 1940 and spouses of quite a few class members.
Cameras were clicking and some yearbooks were circulating and picking up signatures.
Optimistically, if we can keep our contact network active by e-mail, post office “snail mail,” telephone, or just plain personal contact, we could look forward to a 65th or even 70th Anniversary. Keep smiling and stay healthy!!!!!!!! —Frances Kotlarz Walton
Class of ’49 — 50th Reunion
May 21-23, 1999
LaGrange in West Islip was overcome with nostalgia on Friday, May 21, 1999, as the Class of 1949 kicked off their 50th reunion. One hundred twenty people came from all over the United States and renewed acquaintances during the extended cocktail hour, while perusing the displays of various clippings and memorabilia (special thanks to Historian Clare Worthing!). We managed to pose for a group photo, as well as individual elementary school groupings for those of us from Bellmore and Merrick, as well as Wantagh, Seaford and St. Barnabas.
Jack Kilkelly extended a welcome to all and acknowledged the hard work of the Planning Committee. We had put together a booklet containing brief biographies of our fellow alumni and also distributed commemorative buttons bearing a picture of our Alma Mater! Dinner followed, which included choices of entree and desserts, and it was all excellent. La Grange really knows how to do it. The next few hours were spent dancing, table hopping and reminiscing. The D.J. had great 40s selections and he didn’t play too loud! You could actually hear each other across the table!
Saturday morning began with a continental breakfast at the school, followed by a tour of the building. After that, we went en masse to Jones Beach for lunch at the Boardwalk Restaurant. The only hitch came when we told them we were a group of fifty. (“Uptight” is an understatement!) Next time, we’ll go in groups of six and pretend we don’t know each other until after we’re seated. Things turned out fine, however, and lunch was followed by a stroll on the boardwalk, looking out on the clean, white sand (well-peopled with pre-season beachgoers). It was another sunshiny day — just like we remembered from the “old days”! Jack Kilkelly
Class of ’58 — Florida Mini-ReunionJanuary 29, 2000
Lee Griffith, 1958 Class President, and his wife Kathy, invited all '58 Florida residents or visitors as their guests to their home in Boca Raton.
Forty Six guests attended, including Coach Nick Sabetto. The catered affair served chicken and ribs and had a surprize birthday cake for classmate Jo Ann Barreca Leone. Everyone had a great time. Thanks, Lee.
Class of ’59 — 40th Reunion
April 30 - May 2, 1999
The Class of ’59 held its 40th reunion the first weekend in May, and it was successful from start to finish. Friday night many alumni met at the Treehouse in Merrick to get a head start on weekend festivities. Class members traveled as far away as California for some Auld Lang Syne.
On Saturday night, more than 170 guests attended our “official” 40th reunion at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Bellmore, where we shared good food, good music and great company. (Charlie Brucia’s attire reminded some of us of the good ‘ole days.) Many alumni were there through the efforts of Sandy Rutkoski Jankoski, who found many of our “missing”classmates.
The Class of ‘59 was delighted to have one of our teachers, Isabelle Ramel, as our guest and is grateful to Richard Wilgenkamp and Jo Ann Barreca Leone from the Class of ’58 for arranging this.
The night came to a close all too soon with people asking when the next Reunion would be — someone suggested 2001 when we’ll all be 60. The matter was tabled. And anyway, there was still more “Reunion 40” to come!
More than fifty of us attended a continental breakfast at Mepham on Sunday morning, where Bob and Mary Rose’s daughter Melissa (a Mepham junior) took several groups of us on a tour of ye olde alma mater. It was a delightful way to spend the morning. The consensus among us—the main lobby is as grand as any, the library is still magnificent, the gym still has its own unique aroma, and Mepham remains quite a place to learn. The pride that Mepham’s staff and students feel for this extraordinary school is very apparent.
The committee included Chairman Bob Rose, Sandy Rutkoski Jankoski, Barbara Stunt Andrews, Loraine Zaborowski Hommel, Peg Zraly Davis and myself. Dixie Kinsey Simonetti
Class of ’68 — 30th ReunionSeptember 12, 1998
A thirtieth reunion was held Saturday night, September 12, 1998 at the Marriott Hotel in Uniondale. A pleasant time was had by all — 105 attended. Great photographs of the festivities can be seen on Eliot Goshman’s Web site:
Class of ’88—10th Reunion
July 11, 1998
A tenth reunion was held at the Bethpage Park Clubhouse on July 11, 1998. A fantastic time was had by all who attended. Looking forward to the 20th reunion!
October 9-11, 1998
What a wonderful weekend!!. The reunion committee was so excited and nervous hoping all would go as planned. We had real rainy weather but that did not interfere with the excitement of the weekend. Friday evening we had our wine and cheese party with about 70 in attendance. We were indeed fortunate to have the Mepham Alumni Choir come to sing for us and for the last number, "Ride The Chariots", our classmates who were in the choir at Mepham were able to join in and sing a number they did when they were in high school. Many of us had goose bumps after that number. Jan Wilgenkamp, is the director of this choir, and we sincerely thank him for his efforts.
Saturday morning at 10 a.m. we had a continental breakfast at Mepham. With at least 75 in attendance. It was exciting getting together at the place that bound us together so many years ago. Six current Mepham students gave a tour of the building. This really brought back memories when we visited the auditorium, band room, library, and gym. Before entering the auditorium many were trying to remember the sayings on the north and south walls of the auditorium.
Betty Mae Foster Parnell, Peggy Tvrdik Bowker, and Dick Bowker were handing out the Treasure Chest 1948-1998 that they put together. These three classmates were the editor, typist, arranged for the printing, and brought them down from New Hampshire. The yearbooks were such a hit that many classmates did not know what to do first, meet classmates or look up information about a long lost friend.
Allen Itzkowitz was not only our treasurer, but also the master of ceremonies. Some of our classmates shared their memories of Mepham days with us. We recognized Martha Lande Meyer who came all the way from Norway to be with us.
Sunday morning was a lovely day and about 30 of us went to the "Castles in the Sand" Museum at Jones Beach, to see the exhibits about the Long Island State Parks, especially Jones Beach. That morning Jack Kilkelly, Alumni Class Rep '49 was working at the museum. We enjoyed each others company as we reminisced about our beach days and said our good byes. Margaret Knubel Lorenzen, '48 Class Representative
Those that could not be present were not forgotten. Pictures of the class were passed around. Year books from '48to '52 were spread out and poured over. Those lost to time were remembered with slightly wet eyes and raised glasses, and plans for the future were considered. After initial hugs, kisses, and cocktails, everyone settled into endless conversation and total enjoyment.
The afternoon sped by. As dinner time approached, we lined up to fill our plates without skipping a conversational beat. Desert was served and consumed and the talk went on. As evening approached, and Morpheus lowered the shade of night, the happy band, completely oblivious of time, continued to share and celebrate the reunion.
When the time came to call it an evening, those who could not return the next day for brunch uttered their sad good-byes, embraced for one last moment and then sailed into the darkness. The remainders, reassembled on Sunday morning and resumed conversation through several hours of brunch. Again, the weather joined in the celebration and showed itself in absolute splendor.
Reluctantly, ships left port in early afternoon with promises to visit here and there. To spend a weekend with each others when possible, to write or E-Mail, to send pictures, and to reconvene at the Big One in 2001.
The gathering was without question or reservation the best time that many of us have ever had at a house party. It is difficult to convey the mood that prevailed but the love and tenderness of the moment will not be soon forgotten. I can only encourage others to try to arrange similar gatherings in their own areas for local classmates. It will be more rewarding than you can imagine. I, personally, will be most happy to assist with lists of mates in your area, suggested menu, list of necessities, etc. Just ask. Caesar Trunzo, '51 Class Representative
Class of '58 Florida Mini-Reunion
Eighteen of us arrived Friday and had dinner together at the hotel. Saturday, we all sat around the pool and looked through yearbooks to see "how young" we once were. And, of course, the BIG LIE was told by everyone . . . "Oh, you haven't changed a bit since 1958!" Ha! Ha! Actually, everyone looked terrific and thats no fib! Saturday evening took us to the Key West Restaurant for a wonderful dinner. Then it was back to the hotel for cocktails, dancing and more chit-chat. On Sunday morning, we all met for a buffet-brunch at the hotel. Around noon on Sunday, people started to head home and the parting words were all the same -- "Great to see you, and lets stay in touch. I'll see you in May at the 40th Reunion."
Some of the wonderful moments we experienced were:
One of the nicest things was that several of the folks who attended had never been to any of our previous reunions, so this was the first time they had seen their Mepham friends in thirty-nine years. Like Lee Manne, Joe Kline, Dorothy Lomangino, JoAnn Barreca, Joe Gilio and Anga Oden . . that was special.
We all decided to have a Florida reunion every October, and perhaps next year, more non-Floridians will also join in the fun. -- Richard Wilgenkamp
Class of '87—10th Reunion
The Mepham 87 had a fun reunion on July 19, 1997. It was held at the St. Mortiz in Manhattan and the turn out was larger than I had anticipated. Quite amazing to hear about the varied and successful years my fellow classmates have had - lawyers, doctors, teachers, ... Also, folks flew in from all over the US. Three of us showed up from Washington State and others from California, Las Vegas, and Arizona. Not too many children yet but I'm sure that will change by the 20th! -- Karyn Richman Barer
Class of '76—20th Reunion
On the opening page of our 1976 yearbook it says... " Just Another High School, Just Another Year..." But that didn't seem to be the case as the Bicentennial Class of '76 held its 20th high school reunion at the L.I. Marriott Hotel in Uniondale on Friday, July 19,1996. It was well attended by over half of our graduating class and their guests. The people, the songs, and the memories all came flooding back to us that night.
Peter Frampton had the biggest hit album, "Frampton Comes Alive," the group Firefall sang "You Are the Woman," and Exile hit the top of the charts with "I Want To Kiss You All Over." None of us could believe that these hits, along with our memories are now twenty years old. It seems like just yesterday that we were singing along to Jefferson Starship's hit, "Miracles" as we walked up to receive our diplomas from good 'ol Wellington C!
While the songs brought back good memories, little dancing was done since everyone around me was chatting with friends and catching up on the past twenty years! I don't remember much about the food! Everyone at my table and the surrounding tables was embracing, laughing and talking way into the night. I do hope that future reunions for all of Mepham's Alumni will leave their class members with as many warm feelings as my class shared. Deborah Balke Lindner
On Saturday evening, November 30, 1996, approximately 125 alumni from 1943 through 1996 filed into the Mepham auditorium, took the stage, and wowed a full house with an excellent concert. The concert (with no less than three standing ovations) included a show medley, spirituals, Christmas, and Chanukah songs.
Maestro Jan Wilgenkamp '56 did an outstanding job in rehearsal and for the concert as well. Nearly fifty alumni came faithfully each week, in addition to a different fifteen or more (from New Jersey, Connecticut and even as far away as Maryland.) Each rehearsal seemed like a mini-reunion in itself!
Shortly after plans were announced, many graduates who had worked with Ted Snyder (1967-75) really wanted to make this a testimonial to him. Conveniently, Dr. Snyder had just retired from a college position and, after a little bit of prodding, agreed to make the trip East from his home in Oregon and, honor him we did! The highlight of the concert was having him on stage again, making music at Mepham! Ted has lost none of his love for music or "his kids," nor an iota of his "class" and "pizzazz"! The word "charming" in the dictionary surely has his picture on that page!
Following the concert, an afterglow party was held, and six decades of Mepham alumni mingled and posed into the wee hours. Cameras and smiles flashed without end.
A limited supply of compact discs ($21) and audio cassettes ($12) of the concert are available. Contact Gemma Peluso Bienz at 516-867-1504.
Class of 1946 - 50th Reunion
Feedback indicates that the 50th reunion of the class of 1946 was a wonderful experience, and a reconfirmation that the Mepham spirit is alive and well!
Friday, October 4, 1996: The weekend started with an "at home" wine and cheese get-together. There was a constant buzz of chatter among the 75 who attended, with mostly open arms and smiling mouths of delighted surprise as people recognized each other.
Saturday, October 5, 1996: Breakfast at Mepham High School, with a tour of the school given by Mrs. Gray, Assistant Principal. The tour included nostalgic stops in the band room and the library. The new art area was interesting for the variety of techniques displayed. Much time was spent examining photos in the halls and in the wrestling room.
Saturday, October 5, 1996: Dinner at the Bethpage Country Club. The dinner was attended by 116 persons, including Mrs. Felice Gunther White, class advisor, and Dr. and Mrs. Fred Stunt, with others coming from as far away as Florida, California, and Alaska. On display were many pictures, documents and other nostalgic items. The tables had centerpeices of golden treasure chests, filled with sand (from Jones Beach, of course), and gold-covered chocolate coins, "pearls" and "precious stones." A 48-page 1996 version of the Treasure Chest was distributed to each guest. The delight of discovery and buzz of conversation continued thoughout the evening as old friendships were revitalized.
Sunday, October 6, 1996: The weekend came to its conclusion at a Brunch at South Sea Restaurant. All left well-fed and with memories to keep them warm all the way home - and beyond.
'58 Sports Mini-Reunion
At the suggestion of Lee Griffith, President of the Class of 1958, and through the heroic efforts of Richard Wilgencamp, a group of football and wrestling teammates had a mini-reunion. On September 28, 1996, at the Towne House Restuarant in Media PA, Lee and his wife Kathy arrived for what he thought would be a quiet dinner with a few friends. Kathy helped with the plans and really kept the secret.
When they entered the room they were greeted with "Gimme an M. Gimme an E. Gimme a P." By then Lee knew he had "been had." The gathering of 24 persons included football and wrestling team members and some spouses, and the big surprise of the evening was attendance of "79 years young" Coach Nick Sabetto, who came up from Florida. He looked great!
Texas Regional Reunion
Wednesday, October 16, 1996: A joyous weekend "New York to Texas" reunion was had at the historical Cherry Mountain Schoolhouse, Fredericksburg, Texas. Alumni from as far away as Nebraska enjoyed a real Texas barbeque amidst numerous decorations in the pirate theme, and in the garnet and grey colors. Old friendships were renewed, and new ones made.
News Bulletin (FLASH!!)
A mini reunion of the class of '68 was held June 8 1997 in Marlboro, NJ. Four Mepham'ers, Eliot Goshman, Hal Rosenthal, Richard Trachtenberg, and Jeff Brodnick, met together for the first time in 30 years!
The highlight came as we all viewed a class photo of ourselves from Waltoffer Ave. School in Ms. Ferme's class of 1957! Any Ms. Ferme students out there?? (Jeff Brodnick moved to NJ in his junior year and graduated from S. Freehold High.)
It was a great time and everyone looks good and healthy. Eliot is currently arranging a major reunion, as posted on the '68 Reunion website.