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06/05/15 07:41 AM #27    

Virginia Kosmo

Well, Richard, perhaps Tom Brokaw's Greatest Generation--our parents--left us with a lot of "stuff," but, if our generation was able to get beyond the "isms" and correct some wrongs, I believe we were able to do that because of the education, wisdom, upbringing and love that our parents gave to us.  They played a part in what would become our future accomplishments.  So, I'm still on the Brokaw side.  Ginny Kosmo

06/05/15 11:02 AM #28    

Elliot Jay Feldman

Responses are rapidly becoming a chorus, but everyone appreciates earned appreciation and the Reunion Committee earned it. What could have been a proverbial thankless task transformed into a triumph of camaraderie. I add my voice to the chorus thanking the Committee.  Richie Ryan especially -- he unexpectedly bought me a drink on opening night and lubricated the proceedings thereafter with good will and good cheer.

06/05/15 03:21 PM #29    

Robert Borteck

I echo the kudos accorded by so many to the Reunion Committee for doing such a great job in both organizing and executing such a wonderful get together for all of us to enjoy.  I thought it was just great.  I very much enjoyed seeing so many friends (all at one time and in one place) that I haven't seen in decades, some of whom I had not seen since those treasured years at Ward School.

Upon reflection, one realizes how special and important we are to each other.  We are the (only) people that constitute the friends of the most formative years of our lives. We are relatively few and unique for one another. We can not be replaced. We are each other's permanent memories, brought back alive for a few hours every 5 or 10 years. Those hours, orchestrated by our Committee, are nearly as precious as the memories themselves.

Great to see you all.  Best, Rob.

06/05/15 06:02 PM #30    

Laurel Elgart


Hi to everyone! I had such a great time seeing so many of my classmates and remembering wonderful times with you. Bob said it so well! Now is the time to celebrate and continue making new memories. I know I missed talking to some of you but I hope to connect the next time. And I know there will be a next time as we all deserve it! Enjoy your families and what life has to offer.   Laurie

06/06/15 02:17 PM #31    

Linda Shriber (Chaletzky)

Not to be redundant but it was indeed an extraoridinary evening! To be surrounded by so much history, genuine happiness at reconnecting and joy was amazing! Kudos to the committee who worked so hard to put this together and who were so successful at finding a new venue!  You deserve the credit, and selfishly, I hope you all do it again!!

06/06/15 05:27 PM #32    

Gayle Purple (Hutcherson)

Fabulous job, committee wonderful fun seeing friends and catching up. Events were perfect! Thanks for all your hard work.

06/06/15 11:52 PM #33    

Betsey Brooks

I really liked the " Meet and Greet". What fun and a great idea. And then the big night. What a turn out! The nods and smiles to familiar faces, the short conversations, the interrupted conversations and the lengthy ones. Each connection, to me, no matter how subtle, will be a lasting memory.

A huge THANK YOU to all the reunion committee members for making this dance, food, fun time possible. Betsey Brooks

Oh...There was an attempt to e-mail me and it was sent back. works for me. 

06/07/15 08:09 AM #34    

Richard Lord

I appreciate Virginia's belief that our parent’s generation was the greatest generation (I give it the sacrifices of WWII) even above our generation, although I still believe our generation was greater in the all-important area of interpersonal tolerance, equality, justice, caring, and loving.

Virginia noted the caring our families gave to us, and I saw that in the families of many of my friends. I understand what that could be like. However, that did not exist for me, and so I cannot relate to it as many of you can.

I was raised by a working single mother who did not have time for me. Back then, she was a working woman in a man’s world who had to work longer, harder, and smarter just to survive in that world. Through my mother, I gained an early appreciation of the challenges of working woman trying to raise families.

When my family broke up in CT, I lost my older sisters who were of age and left home as they wanted out of the dysfunctional and now impoverished family situation. My mother took the family dog with us for my sentimentality sake, but we could not afford me let alone it. The was the one day with mother out working with no food in the house that I had to decide to feed a can of Alpo dog food to the dog or eat it myself. We split and shared it.

Back then there was no family safety net, like we have now, thanks to our generation.

We moved to Newton when my mother got a better job. My mother was beautiful, attractive, smart, and tough, and that is what got her into the man’s world of business back then. I at least got her toughness.

There were times when I knew she felt she would be better off without me so she could lead her own life without the burden of me. I loved my mother and I also did not want her to have the burden of me. Our junior year, I was one of two junior starters on the varsity football team. After the third game, I got a concussion after a particularly brutal practice. After practice, my teammates and coaches found me upright but practically unconscious standing under a shower well after everyone else had left. After getting out of the hospital, and having had a spinal tap, yes, a spinal tap, I was off the varsity. Now with a traumatic brain injury, and suffering from depression from being kicked off the varsity, and knowing my mother had the even greater burden of having to care for an injured and depressed child, I decided to leave and let my mother have a life. I purchased a bus ticket as far as my money would take me, which was Las Vegas, but the bus company called home to inform me of a schedule change, and my mother took the call. That was the end of that when she took away my bus ticket. I never told anyone about this until now.

This was a catharsis of sorts for my mother, but still she did have time for me. She never went to any of my high school or college football games. I was pretty much on my own for learning and living.

I was a Division II kid, and my guidance counselor did not recommend I go to college. Turns out I have the cognitive writing disorder “Dysgraphia” where I can barely legibalbly sign my own name. This is a family trait that occurs for some of us. My cousin Emily Dickenson had this disorder. When I switched from writing long-hand to printing essay responses, my grades dramatically improved. That, and as I also have hearing loss due to colds and resultant ear infections, I began to sit in the front of the class rather than the back so I could hear. I got colds and ear infections when the land lord turned off our heat when my mother could not pay the rent. As the Chairman of a Community Action Program, recently when I received a check for $7,000 from a Rotary Club for our energy assistance program to pay home heating bills for the impoverished, I told them my story, and said if this money can save a child from illness and hearing loss in not having heat in the home, this is one of the greatest gifts they can give to a child – hearing. Our generation is responsible for such programs as this.

I worked my way through college on scallop boats out of New Bedford. I made enough money in the summers to about make it through a school year. The job of fisherman is THE most dangerest job in the world. I also had jobs during school. I had credit in bars in New Bedford, as well as bar fights, mostly over women, and also in Gloucester as I had fisherman friends there, all before I was 21. I was in all the bars named in the Perfect Storm 10 years before the event. We fished the George’s Banks, a day and a half out from New Bedford, and there was no safe haven in which to go in a storm. My boat was almost lost in a storm, but it was not enough of a perfect storm. I graduated from college in 1969 with no financial help and no debt. I also got my MPA degree in 1975 with no help or debt, but as I now had experience in program evolution working in a HUD funded Model Cites program, my graduate school job was the Assistant Director of Instructional Evaluation for the university.

The bottom line is I have less affinity for our parent’s generation than many of you with complete and functional families caring for you as they aught where I lacked that support and appreciation of such a family life. I also like to think I am a better parent than my parents. My first job was as the Director of a Boys’ Clubs of America in an African American community in Trenton NJ, I learned early on the value of youth self-esteem, and always treated my youth with dignity and respect. That carried over to my family, and my youngest daughter (MFA degree and the Supervisor of Costumes for Women Soloists for the Metropolitan Opera in NYC) once said to me, in observing families of friends, “Dad, not only did you never hit or spank us, but you never even called us stupid.”

So, yes, I still believe our generation is greater than our parent’s generation, and I am a better member of the human family and parent than my parents.

Richard Lord

06/07/15 08:58 AM #35    

Phillip Lewis

Insperational Richard...those who make it on their own have a unique sense of pride. Stay healthy and enjoy what you have accomplished.

Phill Lewis

06/08/15 08:03 AM #36    

Gayle Purple (Hutcherson)

Wow, Richard, what a remarkable life! So wonderful that you have been a part of helping people in similar situations! Thanks for sharing your story!

06/08/15 08:06 PM #37    

Jeanne Blazar

Congratulations on a wonderful reunion.  Thank you to the entire committee that made it possible.  It was great to see so many people from our class.


Jeannie Blazar

06/08/15 11:53 PM #38    

Patricia Asaff (Savard)

This website has received volumes of wonderful and fantastic comments from our classmates regarding the reunion, it's great and wonderful success, and also the many, many thanks to the committee that put it all together. And I think, if I can speak for the committee, we are ecstatic at the results and the messages coming in from you all. But I HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE that without you classmates, who took the time, effort, planning, expenses, and possibly faced a good deal of other issues, who attended the weekend of May 29th 2015- May 30th 2015, the days would have been just another set of committee meetings. So, from the bottom of my heart, and I'm sure it includes everyone else's in the committee, THANK YOU ALL FOR ATTENDING AND MAKING THE REUNION THE BEST EVENT POSSIBLE BECAUSE WITHOUT YOUR SUPPORT WE WOULDN'T HAVE SUCCEEDED!  BLESS YOU ALL AND MANY WISHES FOR A HAPPY HAPPY LIFE AHEAD!!!          Patsy Asaff Savard

06/09/15 07:50 PM #39    

Robert Toomey

Saturday night of the reunion reminded me of what a great city Newton is and how lucky we all were to be raised and educated in this city, The committee did a great job and I can't say enough about the venue and classmates that attended. Thank you all and I look forward to the next Class of 1965 get together. 

06/10/15 03:58 PM #40    

Judith Greeley (Notartomaso)

Jim & I want to thank all the members of the NNHS Reunion Committee for their outstanding job giving us the best Reunion ever.  I know you did a tremendous amount of hard work because I had to share my BFF Mary Halloran Hay with the committee. It was incredible for us to have our first grandson, Chris Quinn, graduate from NNHS exactly 50 years after his grandparents graduated.  Chris was a captain on the football, hockey and lacrosse teams so we have been watching him play sports from last September until last week.  We were blessed to watch him in the company of Orry & Janet Panaggio who attended almost all of his games.  So wonderful to see so many classmates. And Jim reallly behaved himself so it was a great night.

06/10/15 06:48 PM #41    

Betsey Brooks

Thank you Richard for sharing your inspirational life story on land and on sea. Just amazing! As Phillip Lewis said it best, "those who make it on their own have a unique sense of pride". Moving forward I wish you the very best.

Betsey Brooks


06/12/15 05:45 PM #42    

Virginia Kosmo

Don't intend to have a continuing dialog with Richard, but I will say I didn't like Brokaw's naming of The Greatest Generation because I think all generations have made their contributions in different ways, and there really is no Greatest in my estimation, there are great people in each generation since the beginning.  I was fortunate to have fantastic parents, thus my evaluation of that generation.  Richard, thanks so much for sharing the food with the dog, for me dogs are the greatest, I even tolerate having very little room on my bed because of my little princess stretching out her entire body and refusing to budge until getting-up time. 

06/13/15 09:02 PM #43    

Carolyn Bloom

I had a wonderful  time & so enjoyed reconnecting with people some of whom I will be getting together with next month...There were people there I missed seeing so if you feel the same send me an e mail & we can catch up.

Carolyn Bloom

06/14/15 01:16 PM #44    

Jean Berman

Unfortunately I was not able to make it to the reunion and have only sporadically been following the comments since then, but Richard Lord's story was so moving that I want to thank him for his honesty and courage in sharing it. When my kids sometimes tell me that "my generation" messed things up, I have to remind them of where we were in the U.S. with respect to racial discrimination and oppression, women's rights, gay rights, rights of people with disabilities, air and water pollution, understanding of many learning and other disorders, suicide and so much more in the1950s. Our generation did a lot to move the ball forward, although we have a long way to go and have been slipping backwards in some ways in recent years. Richard has very beautifully and honestly reminded us of that.

I was one of the fortunate ones and remember my childhood and youth in Newton and my years at Newton High School with great fondness and appreciation. 


06/14/15 05:49 PM #45    

Karen Mackie (Donovan)

To all the reunion committee and their helpers - thank you for a wonderful time.  You did a great job and I know it was a labor of love but we all appreciate everything you did.  Special thanks for the memorial service on Saturday morning; very dignified and moving.   I was more touched than I can say to hear the names of those we lost too young. 

Best to all, Karen

06/15/15 11:45 AM #46    

Alan Levin

I would like to thank the entire reunion committee for all their effort.  The only thing that would have improved the reunion would be having the people we lost still with us and at the reunion.  It was really terrific and an evening I will never forget.  I look forward to the next one with great anticipation.

06/17/15 06:02 AM #47    

Elliot (Yitzchak) Lourie

If possible - it would be great if someone could attach names to the photos.  Be honest - after 50 years some of you are looking older and perhaps a bit rounder - to say nothing of the fact that I am using a large font so that it will be easier for some of you to see what I wrote.

06/18/15 04:24 PM #48    

Valerie Rosenwald

totally agree with you, elliot. although it's relatively easy to initiate a point & click with a smart phone, it's less apparent how to identify the people or places in the resulting picture. imo, there should be an app on the market which would allow users to identify the people & places. what's less clear, is if pictures can be identified after the fact. 

07/21/15 02:52 PM #49    

Ray Wilbar

Looking for old photos of Newton High? Your first stop should be the Newton Free Library.

NHS yearbooks, back to 1910, are available online at


07/23/15 09:01 PM #50    


Harriet Rodman

Hi All.............

So sorry I missed you @ the reunion. I agree with Elliot about the names. I will do this and then post it.

I just need to know WHO took the photo, so I can get permission to do this........isn't it illegal?????????

Please get back to me! I would be willing even, to send the people in the photo a copy. smiley



07/25/15 12:00 PM #51    

Valerie Rosenwald

thanks, ray, for the newton free library site. it's simple to access & easy to maneuver. examined 1965's newtonian, as well as multiple other years. one caveat: the yearbooks that were uploaded were not pristine. therefore, you'll be viewing comments from various classmates as you're flipping through the screens.

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