Great Neck High School Class of 1945 - 2003 Newsletter

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GNHS Class of 1945 - 2003 Newsleter Edition


Dear Classmates,


I have volunteered to be your humble Class of 1945 correspondent until replaced, physically attacked, or terminated by an Act of God! You can seed clouds to produce rain. I am going to try to seed our classmates to produce memories which can be shared through this newsletter.


Our GNHS Class of 1945 is special in many ways. Most of us were born the year Lindbergh flew to Paris from Roosevelt Field. WW2 ended two months after we graduated. To think that we graduated only eighteen years after Lindbergh’s flight still amazes me. My grandchildren associate that flight with the Wright Brothers and the first flight of man. Nancy and I had our first date in 1951 at Roosevelt Raceway(I lost $14!). It is now a shopping mall!


I hope our illustrious Class of ’45 will contribute to sustaining this annual newsletter to which Ted and Jane Collins are devoting so much time and energy. With your help, we can make it a shared record of our growing up, not our growing old. Surely there is nostalgia to tap!


Growing up in Great Neck during the 30’s and 40’s was a wonderful early life experience. I never tire reminiscing about those halcyon years, and staying in touch with friends I made “way back when”. I know many of you feel the same way. The ‘40s were a wonderful period for growing up. My favorite song remains “Sentimental Journey” and this newsletter can help to replay that song for many of us. E-mail has helped me to “talk” to classmates who otherwise would remain lost with the passage of time. We really had some special people for classmates and it has been wonderful to find them again and catch up on their lives.


I will start the ball rolling by dropping some names and personal experiences in the hopes that this will trigger thoughts and memories which you will send to me for sharing in the next newsletter. There are some people who have not been heard from since graduation. To simplify communications, and put less stress on memory cells, I suggest we use class names rather than married names to start with- unless there are PC objections. Married names are on a master list which we will try to keep up to date- with your help. Information you send will be protected and not used in any way for commercial, or other, purposes.


For newsletter purposes(words and photos), it is more efficient to use e/mail. However, I can scan, for internet reproduction purposes, legible, bold, handwritten or typed letters if you are computer challenged. Legibility and neatness are necessary for scanning.


My e/mail address is: husco@att.net but I also use husco@optonline.net


My mail address is: R. P. Husta, 17 Calvin Road, Wilton, CT 06897 and my fax # is: 203-762-3427 Home phone: 203-762-3027

I run a small manufacturing business, Husco Engineering, and if you are real cheap you can call me at: 1-800-752-3181 during business hours, or go to my business website at: http://www.husco.com


Dick’s First Motivational Message- April 2003


We graduated in 1945 with kids with whom many of us had been classmates since Kensington, St. Aloysius, or Arrandale grade school. Unlike our own children who had to be torn away from friends due to Dad’s job requirements, I feel our generation developed deeper relationships, and more lasting memories, then our children have developed. For instance, Class of 1945 graduates who were classmates of mine in Kensington grade school include Jane Adikes, Lois Pfaff, Petey Keyser, Laura Nadler, George Kafka, and Dickie Craven- see photo below. I recognize other faces, but not all of the names are retrievable. Assistance appreciated!


I remain nostalgic about experiences I had during those formative years. Why not share some of yours with your classmates? Help me to make this memory trip interesting to others.


I was not good enough for varsity teams in high school, but was very active in intramural sports. Tom Casey was one of my heroes with his baseball, basketball and football prowess. He was so good that he was named All Long Island High School athlete two years in a row! I saw Tom a few years ago in Great Neck and asked him how his arm was these days. It was painful to hear him say that due to elbow and shoulder surgery he now couldn’t throw across the room. If only I could do the Lindy like Tom and Millie Fogel could. I took Millie to the Sr. Prom but she did not find my 32-Step, sixteen versions of the 2-Step, very impressive.


Others I have seen since graduation:


Bob Putman(’44)- Bob lived at the end of Allenwood Road, where I lived, and he was one of our “Beach” gang which spent summer weekends at Jones Beach, played touch football and baseball at Allenwood Park, and played poker and drank beer on Friday nights. Bob was a baseball and basketball standout. He was a wonderful guy, and always fun to be around. He typed up my discharge papers at Lido Beach, L.I. when I returned from Navy Pacific sea duty in 1946. Was that a pleasant surprise! Bob married Kelly Mangan(’46), who, after Bob died in the early 50’s remarried and is now living in Connecticut. We see Kelly and Walt Richardson when we get together in Connecticut with Herb and Pat O’Connell Berry(’47-‘46).


Both Bob Putman and Bob Renneman(’44) dated Nancy Rhodes(Douglaston), but I married her- a short 51 years ago! Bob Renneman, and his brother George(’42), are buried in Zion Church(on Northern Boulevard) in Douglaston where Nancy and I were married. Nancy’s brother, Bill, helped to dig his grave. He gave his life for his country. I owe him a lot personally.

Bob Heuerman- Bob lived down the street from me on Allenwood Road. We(Bill Dein(’43), and Lou Thymius) used to pay him to drive us to high school, and he later drove me to the Sperry plant in Lake Success, where we worked one summer. He made enough “gas” money from us to buy his first Mercedes. Just kidding! Bob and Doris live in Vero Beach and we stay in touch via e/mail and enjoyed seeing them this past March at the Orlando mini reunion.


Bob and Muriel Fox Dallen(’43)- Enduring and dear friends who we see and communicate with frequently as they shuttle between their Potomac, MD and Cape Cod residences. Bob is the ultimate reunion maven for his GNHS class of 1943, and his Yale class. See photos of the mini reunion he organized in Orlando, FL this past March(2003).


Alan Nelson was a great friend growing up, and a great half miler on the track team. “Uncle Don” of radio fame, lived across the street from Alan in Kensington. He walked in on one of Alan’s birthday parties, had a few drinks, and played the piano for we kiddies. What a thrill! “Hello nephews, nieces mine, it’s good to see you look so fine”!!!


Alan married Grace Grumman. He and Grace hosted get togethers for classmates until his sudden death a few years ago. Grace lives in Vero Beach and summers on L.I. Their son, Bruce, has been deeply involved in the design of America’s Cup racing boats. Nancy and I joined the group of close friends and family who spread his ashes on LI sound off Port Washington following his funeral.


Both Coach Arthur Smith, and Ann Bottomley(’46) lived here in Wilton, CT so we saw them regularly until Art and his wife moved to New Canaan, CT where he died, at the curb, at the end of a pre-lunch walk with a friend. His son still lives in New Canaan.


Ann Bottomley Harvey remained just as red haired, and vivacious as when she was cheer leading so many years ago, but had some real sadness in her married life and died rather unexpectedly about ten years ago.


Other names, other stories. The names I have listed below, in case some of you wonder where they are or how they are doing, are some of the ’43-’47 schoolmates with whom I have remained in contact through e-mail or visits. There are some great bios and photos, in the “Memory Book” which George Faraco created for our 50th reunion.


Ned O’Connell(’44), Bob Scarborough(’44), Dick McGrath(’44), Phyllis Chesler Wald, Jim and Nancy Gillis Olsen, Mark Kirchner(’44), Archie O’Connor, Joan Greenberg Brenner, Rose Brooks Bradley, Lois Pfaff Abrams, Pinky Pfaff(’47), Petey Keyser Fischer and, of course, those who attended our great 50th reunion or who I have run into at subsequent “mini” reunions. See photos.


This is not meant to be an autobiography. I have gone this far only in an attempt to encourage others to send in their memories and contacts- and photos. I will close with some recent photos I have accumulated, and the start of a list of those whom I would enjoy hearing about/from.

Has Anyone Seen or heard from:

Jim or Eddie Robertson, Nancy Livermore, Norman Muellen(’44)???


Does anyone have an interest in hearing from, or about, others? Send me their names and I will make a Mr. Kean Tracer attempt.


The best of good health, and much happiness, to you all. Keep those cards and letters coming


Dick Husta- GNHS ‘45