Reunions Stake Out Past From Next– and Which Memories to Keep Alive

Alex Chrys (L) raises Arabian show horses, Scott Grayman (M) is the epitome of reunion attendance, myself (R) in tuxedo
Alex Chrys (L) raises Arabian show horses, Scott Grayman (M) is the epitome of reunion attendance, myself (R) in tuxedo

With all due respect to George Alper for bringing a tableful of pictures (and still remembering his best half-mile and relay times), and the ladies who were at the core of getting the Linton HS 40th reunion done in such a satisfying way (Yay! Janelle Richardson, Belle W., Anna Casillo (Gelman), Allyson T., with an attaboy! for advisor Don Lang), being back in Charlotte this fantastic Wednesday morning is a start on the Next I had the opportunity to discuss with several classmates along the way. NEVER giving up on the writing, that is a piece of all I am, but real estate is in my future—talk to me if you’re coming to Charlotte!

To say I practiced my talking and journalistic habit of inquiry mightily over five days—many would say that’s essentially what I’m remembered for and wouldn’t need *practice* (right Scott?)— was quite affirming. Beyond the reunion, my always-a-sportswriter persona felt extra alive when brother David took me to a meet-great for this year’s Siena basketball teams directly from the airport. I was also glad to have several hours with my cousin Doug, wife Cindy, and their two girls, one of which I quizzed on her continents and oceans. I always appreciate time with my Blackhawk-flying nephew, Curtiss, who was back from Ft. Drumm this weekend, and his fiancée, Stephanie. Hearing he is promotable and will be an Army captain by the time they get married in June is a good thing.

For those who didn’t make it to this reunion– or other readers who missed their last/recent or are considering missing an opportunity– the chance to share and/or compare notes at this juncture in life is legitimate. The day a book of mine wins a Pulitzer, or a 7-figure check hits my bank account for a movie script, I’ll probably still be a million or more behind Vic Mazzotti (Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP) or Alex Chrys, but so it goes. Al seemed slightly affronted about my having Googled the idea he raised Arabian show horses, because Saturday morning it seemed like he juuuust might be seeing what stuck to the proverbial wall Friday night at our Clinton’s Ditch gathering. FYI—for anyone who remembers the spray-painted note ‘Susan is a pinhead’ on a downtown wall, ‘Pinhead Susan’s’ is where we had final drinks Saturday.

That guys I played Pop Warner football with even before high school were there: Jim Schemerhorn, a prosperous looking NY lawyer now, and Bob Massaroni– who I also graduated from Brockport with– looking forward to a few more years of teaching before retirement, and thankfully past some long time physical problems, was fine. That Joe Genovesi, who also played Pop Warner, didn’t make it, but told Bob to remind me of his 1-1 basketball victories on my court, brought a small smile. So did my brother David (Class of ’78) relating how all the gym classes were made to stand at attention one particular Monday while teachers demanded to know who knew what about a torn up football field from a bunch of us in college who played football in slushy snow the Sunday before the annual Election Day Linton-MP football game. Ahh, memories! (and I *swear* we thought the season was already over.)

Steve Lussier didn’t make it either, nor hoops buddy Danny Smith, who I double-dated with for Senior Prom. No Pryzblo, Dave Karowe, Karen Cioffi, Schein twins, or Robert Relyea, who gave the use of his legs for his country in the Gulf War even before our 10th reunion. There was a Memorial Tree for classmates who died, and while everyone is a loss, I’m sure Tim Easley’s smile was missed.

That several people were just as well-preserved as Don Lang kept crediting me with—I’m talking about Belle Waddington (Freedgood), Pete Zimandonis, Karen Korniak (Johnson?), John Zampella, Linda Noonan (Leary), John Notar, Joe Litz, Cindy Bush, Jayne Binzer, Kathy Riemer (Corso), Ken Bascue, Jean Tafler, and Anna Casillo (Gelman) for starters—is why anyone who said, “I’ll make it to the next one!” missed the boat. Oh, can’t forget Mini Acevedo (Hoffman) or Patti Barbeau (Egan), who explained how a medical condition caused some bulging in her very pretty eyes when she asked if I recognized her. Patti, knees were a concern for many of the guys, but those eyes weren’t a problem, even when they were hurting you Saturday night. Of course there are names missing from this list, so I’ll ask for forgiveness in advance, but even with glasses now, Pete Z. is still a studly 6’1” with shoulders that looked awesome in a plaid jacket. Linda, tell those puppy-aged nurses to shut up! about 40 as real old, especially in YOUR fine-for-58 presence.

People are doing interesting things: Chris Boehm, who I’ve known since summers at Sacandaga Lake with the GE Alumni crew our fathers were, was right on top of the dredging of PCBs from Hudson River project (even if he sub-texted the effort as many years and billions of dollars of ‘dog and pony show’ for the EPA), and deals with “30 of the deadliest gases you could ever imagine” regarding atoms 500 layers thick on silicon wafers (tough to explain); really really smart former-cheerleader (I’m smiling, Cin) Cindy Bush *swears* her financial derivatives weren’t the sort of irresponsible crap of the too-crazy-for-own-good numbers people that helped cause the recession; Jim Thackery is doing brainy stuff, I think also involving silicon wafers—-they were starting to hustle us out of Malozzi’s about the time we talked. Hope to talk to more people about such things (my movie?) when we attempt this again in five years.

Guess I shouldn’t be overly shy about plugging my book here: ‘CARDS & CONSEQUENCES: Return of Marlena the Magnificent’ ISBN# 9781493176571, e-ver. -76557. (There’s a link and first chapter at the top of this page, in black area. Story goes well with red or white wine…)

Two doors away neighborhood girl/’Class Venus’ Allyson Towler (Grayman) was part of the reunion committee, and special props to her for persuading long time best bud Scott Grayman to be there. He had pictures of a great looking bunch of kids (6), but the Orthodox Jewish belief against celebration, because his mother died in the last year, and fact he couldn’t drive until after sundown on the Sabbath (he also drove *back* to NJ right after) goes to the core of religious tenets. We hear about intolerance of what others do in that area constantly, but self-practice like that, the world would benefit from those who do it quietly and personally.

Those who didn’t come for lesser reasons, well, the reunion was small relative to 560 at graduation, but we enjoyed it muchly.

One thought on “Reunions Stake Out Past From Next– and Which Memories to Keep Alive

  1. Hey Glenn,
    So good to see many great friends. Nice feature about reunions is no one asks your age. Seems we survived our Schenectady upbringing and can honestly say we never shy from boasting about our hometown. Others hail from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, however, none raise eye brows greater following the words, ” I’m from Schenectady”.

    As if a formal invitation is necessary…let me know when you plan to travel North, or on your return South. I’m between Exits 8A and 9 off the NJ Turnpike. Would like you to meet my family, plus good food and cheap full serve NJ Gas.

    Lastly, your words in this edition of your blog were too kind. Thanks.
    Linton Class of ’75 and Pinewood Islander.


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