From Brian O’Leary:
Meredith and I have moved to Ecuador and are opening a
new center focussed on peace, sustainability, the arts
and new science, in a beautiful mountainside garden in
the Andes. We'll be opening in 07. And I see no
reason why we can't come to the 50th. Maybe we'll be
the most distant attendees...
And amplifies in a later e-mail:
Here's hoping 06 goes well for you.
After 18 months of construction, our retreat center is
nearly complete. Attached you will find a vision
statement and a few photos.
We hope you can come visit us some time.
Brian and Meredith
In his June 27, 2006 Brian brought us more up to date, responding to receiving the first 50th Reunion mailing:
Thank you Ed, thank you Serena, for being on top of
everything. I'm very impressed and, yes, I got the
physical invitation way down here in Ecuador. Thanks,
Barring acts of God and man, I'll be there! What a
An update of my website was just posted temporarily.
The latest on our new retreat center Montesuenos is
posted, as we begin to open our doors.
Please see Brian’s “vision statement” for the center and to the photos of the center and its beautiful location (pages on this site).
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From Ed Freedman
I retired three years ago but [am] now serving as Interim Executive Director of a nonprofit agency serving the housing needs of severely disabled adults. After this, I’ll retire again - at least for a while... Been hiking, birding, traveling, e.g., the national parks on the west coast, southwest, etc. Last of 3 sons entering [University of Washington] law school this fall.
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From Jo Lerro O’Neil
The pictures you have posted of all the grammar schools are just great. They have brought back a host of memories. . . .I have several pictures of the classes at Burbank if I can find them. We had some remodeling done and I'm still looking for things that were put away for safe keeping. Looking forward to the reunion. [Noting a new e-mail address] I now have my own computer. I just have to learn to use it ! Thank you for the up dates. If there is anything I can do to help let me know.
And follows up with:
Sorry it has taken me so long to get these pictures to you [3 Burbank photos and one of a recent mini-reunion with Serena Strazzulla Greening, Ellen Connors Jones and Jack O’Brien] . My daughter scanned them for me on her computer then sent them to me. I hope they will come out for you as I am just going to forward them . I have the names of those that I remember in each of the pictures. The first one is Miss Johnstone's 1st grade class at Mary Lee Burbank School . . .[and] an article that was in the paper when Mrs. Hornsey retired in 1961.
I have found many copies of both the Enterprise and the Star in the box that I thought was long gone. Hope the pictures will be clear. I will send copies of some Jr. high pictures soon.
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From George Alcock
You asked how I am.
That is kind of an open question but I am still owning and operating manufacturing businesses, now focusing on high tech contract manufacturing, (see www.beckwood.com/company.html ). If I had known that so much of our manufacturing base was going to China I would have gone into the securities business instead. However, since I like to make things, manufacturing has been my career. I am fortunate in having a great team of managers so I have time available for other pursuits.
Politics has been a hobby of mine for a long time. I am now Chairman of the Trustees of Fitchburg State College and represent all nine Massachusetts state colleges on the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and on the Massachusetts State College Building Authority (owns dormitories and other student facilities at Massachusetts state colleges).
I did not get married until I was 44. My wife and I now have a 20 year old son in college and a daughter who is a junior in high school.
Being self-employed I have no plans to retire.
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From Ann Reischauer Heinemann
I attended Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, then Chandler School for Women in Boston (secretarial, now out of business). I moved to CA where I worked for Ralph J Parsons Company as a secretary - its a kind of Halliburton worldwide enterprise. I married Steve Heinemann from Cambridge, MA (Brown/Nichols HS) while he was at Cal Tech. We went back to Belmont for 5 years while he was in grad school and we had three boys. Then to Palo Alto, CA in 1967 where Steve was a post-doc and we had a daughter. In 1970 we moved to to San Diego (via a drive to Alaska and back with 4 kids, dog, cat, two hitchhikers and 200 lbs of moose meat) where we have been ever since and had another boy. Steve is a scientist at the Salk Institute.
Over the years I've primarily been a community volunteer, first in PTA, youth sports groups, Democratic politics and local planning groups - now still doing the latter two and have added gardening - university run master gardener program - and currently training to be a docent at the Torrey Pines State Reserve.
Our five kids (35 to 43) all live locally and we have 11 grandkids. Many travels - all 50 states and every continent but Antarctica. We recently took over Steve's family summer place in Vermont so are spending more time there when not on the beach here.
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From Beth Hooper Noland
Since graduating from BHS, the journey has been long and varied, painful and joyful - and never dull. Always I have felt a calling to religious service, even back when the Belmont First Unitarian Church was keeping many of us busy with the annual Christmas pageant, youth group meetings with the Congregationalists, et cetera. The Unitarian church got me started on this path that ultimately led to my ordination 44 years after graduation to the Episcopal deaconate.
It was also in the Unitarian Church Sunday School where I fell in love with the Holy Land. Go figure. I remember Mrs. Dawes showing a map on the wall, and for some reason, that’s all I remember, but it was enough. Beginning in 1990 I began traveling to Israel and the Palestinian Territories, reading everything I could about the place. Last fall was my 13th trip there, and I’ve been through thick and thin during those trips: from shootings overhead just 2 miles west of Ramallah as we worked on an archaeological dig in the 1990’s, to conferences in Jerusalem about how Christian Zionism has contributed to the deterioration of the situation there. I have led tours, been on tours, studied there, dug there - and it is a life passion.
I was married for 16 years to a local Santa Fe man, an alcoholic whom I divorced in 1977 but who was able to attend my ordination in July 2001. He died several years ago from complications from that awful disease; our son unfortunately is on the same path as his father and lives in Santa Fe (we think).
But a beautiful outcome to those unhappy, difficult years is a golden slip of a wise and witty 8-year old granddaughter, Kate, who lives with her mother in Albuquerque. In 1998 I remarried, to a super guy, Chuck Noland, an attorney in education law. Last October, we downsized by selling our home in Santa Fe and moving to Albuquerque into a delightful Santa Fe-style condo, close to Chuck’s new job with a school law firm in the city. We are also near the granddaughter and her mom and do lots with them.
But that farewell for me to Santa Fe was bittersweet. I lived there for 45 years, during which I majored in political science at the local college and worked at the State Department of Education, up from secretary, to administrative assistant for the State Superintendent. In 1990 I took early retirement from directing the state’s instructional materials program in order to attend seminary.
As I write this, I am currently commuting up to Santa Fe each Sunday to pastor a small mission church until my replacement comes in June. It’s been an unexpected service stint, lasting nearly two years. I plan to take the summer off and then begin true diaconal duties (which never are supposed to include leading a church!) at a large local Episcopal church in Albuquerque. In the meantime, I am always thinking of the next theme for my tours to Israel; it looks like it will be based on the early Christian pilgrims to that land, and I will spend two weeks studying that subject in northern Wales this coming fall.
My sister and I still have our home in Rockport, where the times there are always refreshing. The older I get, the more homesick I am for roots. Anyone else feel that way?
I was deeply saddened by Ellen Aikenhead’s long struggle with cancer and her death some months ago. Ed promises he is going to post a fabulous picture of Ellen, Ann Reischauer and Patty Hurlbut taken at our last reunion [Webmaster note: it’s here. Geez. Just because I’ve had it for 3 years]. I remember so many of us, with fondness and gratitude for all the good times.
Except for when McDevitt and I were riding his Vespa up to Stonemans and crashed (gently, I am happy to say) sliding on the icy road. [Webmaster note: we were attempting to ride up Snake Hill Road, so were heading for someplace other than the Stoneman house; or maybe there were two crashes . . .sorry for the interruption]
One memory stands out with Christy Cogan. Christy was a neighbor of mine growing up on Waverly Street. [Jack O’Brien notes that “Christy Cogan grew up on Clark St., corner of Clover St.” Beth probably didn’t think that this essay was participatory.] She and I both loved driving out to Concord and visiting the historic sites. One day she came by the house and whisked me away for another Concord escapade, this one truly memorable. “Where are we going?” I asked. “The Emerson farm,” she replied. “What? THE Emerson….?” I gawked. She smiled. Christy didn’t waste words. We arrived at a lovely bit of wood and got out of the car. She wanted me to see the scenery, the place where no doubt Redcoats had struggled with Concord farmers. We sat on the pine needles as a man approached. Christy knew him. I was too stunned to speak: he looked exactly like Ralph Waldo and indeed turned out to be a grandson or great-grandson. He was lovely to us and said, “Stay as long as you like.” How Christy knew him, I’ll never know. It was hard to hear of her death so many years ago.
Now as we approach our 50th, I remember my father and his sister, my aunt, attending their 50th BHS reunion. They were in the same class because my grandmother wanted my aunt to take care of my father as he went through the system. I still have somewhere the Belmont Citizen picture of that class - can’t remember which year, but it may have had a Skahan in it, too - and my father and aunt looking so young! Hope my granddaughter says the same thing about me when she comes across our 50th photos!
Love to all…see you in ’07.
Beth Hooper Noland
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From Ruthi Cantor Roché
What an enjoyable 3 hours I just had tonight visiting the fantastic website you have created for the class of '57! I only became aware of the site when I received the card announcing the upcoming 50th reunion. (How can it possibly be almost 50 years since high school graduation?! I'm not old enough for a 50th reunion!) It was such fun looking at all the pictures, reading the e-mails, etc.
Although I did not graduate with all of you (I attended Cambridge Academy my senior year), I did attend Belmont Jr. High and my sophomore and junior years with you all and have many fond memories.
As for the 50th reunion....I am not sure yet as to whether I will be able to be there. If I can I would love to.
I live in Spring Valley, CA--about 12 miles from downtown San Diego. I have been here since the fall of 1968 and absolutely love it.
My life has been full of ups and downs since high school and it would take a book to give you the details. In the near future, however, I promise to send you an abridged summary of my exciting life. I have a considerable amount of time on my hands of late since I am basically homebound following surgery for a badly fractured leg.
Thanks for putting together the terrific website!
And a few days later, Ruthi wrote:
This summer has been the hottest, most humid summer we've had here at least since I arrived in 1968. Normally we get a few hot days every so often but even then we normally have low humidity and cool nights. Not this summer! And today is another scorcher. Since I can't get out much yet due to my leg recovery, I'm just enjoying being indoors with my air conditioning. The gas and electric company are enjoying my use of it, too!
Although Marshall "Dawes" Hamilt was not in our class (I think he was a class behind us), I noticed his picture in the group State Baseball photo. His brother was in my sister's class (I think she graduated in '61). The last I knew (quite a long time ago) both Dawes and his brother Alan (Harvey) were living in the San Diego area. In fact, at that time they had just moved here and I visited with them and their mom. Your website has motivated me to look for them.
I see Carolyn Stockwell Scarbro each time I visit my family in Belmont, which is at least once a year. Carolyn's backyard and my parents' backyard abut each other.
And a few weeks later, she said:
My recovery is very slow and I still have to go through a second surgery, more weeks of nonweightbearing, nursing home, etc. It's really getting old.
I'm sorry to report I haven't as yet worked on the summary nor looked for a halfway decent picture. The past several months both of my parents (who still live in Belmont) have been very ill (sometimes in the hospital/nursing home at the same time) and I haven't really been in the mood to do the summary. I also spend a great amount of time on my exercises and therapy. This morning my dad passed away so now I'm dealing with his loss and the emotional frustration that I couldn't make the trip to be there with him his last days and I can't make the trip to be at his funeral. As soon as my mood allows me, I will follow through with the summary.
I extended my condolences to Ruthi, as I’m sure we all do, to say nothing of wishing her a safe recovery.
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from Pat McCormack Lindsey
I have not forgotten I promised to send you a copy of the graduation photo from St. Lukes, class of 1953 (8th grade).
Lots has happened this year. I retired on June 1st after 50 years in the workforce (and paying into Social Security for 50 years). It has taken some getting used to.
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From Charlotte Long Jensen
11/13/06. You had asked earlier if there was any news re: Belmont. I only know about the new fire dept. which is supposed to be awesome. My sister still lives in Newton and her friend is in Belmont and they went to the site, and were given a personalized tour of the place. It wouldn't interest me, but maybe some of the others would be interested. If so, I can look further info on it.
11/14/06. Hi Ed......I believe that Pat (McCormick) Lindsey was in contact with you regarding a picture of the graduating class at St. Luke's school. A number of the class went on to BHS. Since I have the picture, I am trying to get it scanned off to you and Pat will get the names off as well. As I think I mentioned to you, I was not in the picture since at that time, I was in the hospital. . . .Hope this works
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From Frank Schultz
11/17/06. [About 50th Reunion] Will try to make it . Brings back good memories. Good pick of places. A lot of first dates and last.
11/20/06. [Transmitting pictures of Kendall School classes] Thanks for the memories. Kendall must have been big on pictures. Let me know if you get them.
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From Winni Branch Paskerian
11/20/06. We are home from our trip - had a great time with [relatives] and also with Joan and Sam [Smith]. I am attaching pictures taken on the trip. We had a nice visit with Phyllis [Knight] Desmond [while visiting our relatives]. I am attaching pictures [from our visit]. Pick the ones you like. Later I will send some old Belmont High School party pictures. Takes too long to download more than three at a time. Put on the web site if you want. We got our mailing today for the reunion. HAPPY THANKSGIVING.
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From Gerry Lasker Jones
11/24/06. Hello Ed. I believe I made contact with Fred [Haggerty] but not you. I am Gerry Lasker. Serena had called my brother's Dental office and the message then got back to me. Called Serena back and here we are! I did receive my invitation in the mail and will return it asap. I did not make the 45th for some forgotten reason. Around that time I sold a house (rental) in Hull and came back to Florida (where I now reside) and purchased multiple condominiums for rentals. They keep me pretty busy during the chilly months up north (mostly seasonal rentals).
I also run a Travel Club and put a lot of day trips and tours together for groups. It is a lot of work, but very rewarding seeing people enjoying traveling they otherwise wouldn't get to do. As people get older they enjoy traveling with groups for the security and friendship.
I sit on our developments Property Owners Assoc. Board as well as our Citrus Memorial Hospital Advisory Board. At present. we are in the process of trying to get a YMCA affiliation to our new Health and Awareness Center. It is very exciting to be involved in the beginning stages of its development.
I still have a home on the water in Hull but have not been there for some time. Just got so involved in Fla. My only daughter moved here with her son and hubby so all my loves are here. She is a lawyer but prefers to stay at home. Her husband sells new construction for our development, Citrus Hills. (It is where Ted Williams lived.) I guess I've bent your ear enough. Huh. Well, I guess if all goes well I'll see you Oct. 07.
Take Care, Gerry Jones
11/24/06 [In reply to reply]. Mr. Ed: I rented a condo last spring to a fellow from Tampa trying to start up a limo service here.
Would you believe, it was the longest Hummer I had ever seen. I forget the ridiculous figure he said it cost. Your driving a limo made me think of that.
Do you ever get South during winter? We have a lot of Chicago people here. I am sure they all live just outside of the city as well. We are taking the family to Disney (an hour away) for 4 days just before Christmas. They have a Christmas Parade every season and they somehow have snow falling. My grandson gets so excited. What ever would he do if he lived in Ma. or Chicago? If you should stray South, be sure to look us up.
Sincerely, Gerry J.
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From Meradith Clark Hill
11/24/06. Greetings! Well, it has obviously been too long since I got in touch. . . .I have just spent close to an hour viewing the wonderful website, and was pleased to see both my picture and a correct spelling, be it over 50 years old, in the grammar school collection (Chenery). Fifty years is such an incredibly long time, so I will give you an abbreviated rendition of my life, then give my "excuse" for not being at the 50th reunion to deliver the info. in person. Quick chronology after BHS: nursing school, marriage (Bill Hill, BHS class '56), two sons, intermittent nursing jobs, Merrimack College for a B.S. in Human Services Admin., multiple jobs in nursing/counseling/Admin., last job as Executive Director of small home care agency, RETIRED 1995 (yeah!), two grandsons, moved to Maine in 1995. Still have the same husband!, we are very busy in volunteer stuff, as well as enjoying the outdoors with hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing. Our most important activity is boating, no longer sailing as in the past, but powering in a Duffy '35 lobster cruiser. Trips we have taken in that boat include: St John River, Nova Scotia; Cape Breton, Nova Scotia; of course the coast of Maine; and one trip back to Cape Cod. And now my "excuse" for missing the reunion: we are working & planning nearly full time for a cruise down the Intracoastal Waterway and over to the Bahamas, starting Sept., '07 and returning June, '08. Congratulations on the excellent website, I really enjoyed viewing it. Will keep an eye on new info. as it turns up. Best wishes and good health to all in our class. Meradith Clark Hill
11/26/06 [In reply to reply]. Hello! Yup, it is OK to put it on the website. One thing that continues to amaze me is that we all, "at our age", are able to participate in the new technical world of the internet. If we had to get out paper & pen to hand write these messages, I suspect you would still be waiting! Look forward to keeping in touch via the website. Meradith.
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From Kevin O’Neil
11/27/06. Dear Ed: Sorry for the late reply [to an earlier inquiry and to a suggestion that Payson Park School had not existed, since we lack actual photos of the school]. I have so much to do in retirement (golf, traveling, eating, counting my money, etc.) Anyway Payson Park really did exist and I graduated with honors. Unfortunately the records were lost during the tragic fire and I am unable to document the awards. I lived within pitching wedge distance of PP school on 179 Fairview Ave. Some other graduates who can testify to its existence are Barbara Mahoney (her backyard was the playground) and Judy Kelly. Unfortunately there were few cameras around in those days ie 1946-1951 so no pics of PPS. Enjoy your newsy updates.
My son is getting married in Nov. 07 in Australia but as of now am looking forward to the 50th.
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From Brian O’Leary
12/4/06. Dear friends,
First I want to thank each of you for organizing what will surely be an amazing milestone for each one of us. Yes, the chances are overwhelming that Meredith and I will trek it to Boston from southern Ecuador for this grand occasion, so you can pretty much count us in. Among classmates, will we be coming in from furthest away?
We're not buying our plane tickets yet, though, awaiting word about practical matters such as entering the country safely in these Orwellian times, and some financial considerations, which I trust should clear up in the next few months.
This is exciting!
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From Billy Stoneman, Sam Smith & Joan Sullivan Smith
Dear BHS '57 classmates:
Sam and Joan (Sullivan) Smith, and Billy Stoneman, wanted to thank some of our Belmont High teachers. Who can forget how smart and kind Mr. Galt was? And we will always remember Ms. Steuerwald, who taught us Latin even when we were pretty sure we'd never learn it. And don't forget Mr. Solano, who so gently taught both soccer and Spanish. And then there was Miss Bridey, who taught French inspirationally (so that Joan could later teach French for years). And many others.
Our Class Advisor, Mr. McBain, taught us some of the most important things of all. As our Coach in Junior Varsity Baseball, when one of us tried to throw someone out at third base, thus letting a runner reach home plate, and said "I thought it was too late to throw home"-- Mr. McBain firmly said: "Don't think!" And often, in pep-talks before a game, Coach McBain strongly warned us: "No mistakes!"
This was the kind of advice we have tried to follow all of our lives.
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From Carol Peterson
I just checked out the website. . . .It is so interesting to read what everyone has been doing.
Briefly, after graduating from a small junior college, I decided I needed to get the real thing and got my BS from BU. I worked for many years for Fortune 500's, then Fidelity, and ran system projects. For health reasons I retired when I was 63, but as I progressively got better became involved in non-profits, specifically building databases.
I've traveled a lot, keep physically active and play a good game of tennis, had some wonderful men in my life, but never married. I own a great condo with a spectacular view on Beacon Hill if anyone wants to buy one?! It is for sale. I've fallen in love with the Camden/Rockport area of Maine. I have house plans, a lot and a builder. All I need to do is sell that condo.
I hear from Sandy Kronfelt Henderson now and then. She is living in Florida and her home was wrecked in the hurricanes of 2005. I think she is just recovering and I doubt she will be coming up for the reunion.
From Carol Updating us on her move to Rockport, ME
To get you all into the spirit of my moving to Rockport, ME, I've attached a photo of the little house I am renting one block from Rockport Harbor and Penobscot Bay [the photo was attached but I was unable to unattach it for display here - Ed.]. I thought only by showing it in the wintertime could I get you to come and visit! By the way, it has a swing on the porch that will allow you to swing away effortlessly at the black flies in the springtime.
[Carol included address and phone info which is not reproduced here. If you wish to get in touch with Carol about her location, e-mail her - Ed.]
I move April 16 out of Pinckney Street and April 17 into Camden.
I am quite excited by this, though totally exhausted. This is a short 3 1/2 trip from Boston, and the cold clean air alone is worth the trip. And, then of course, there is the swing. So come on up!
I was just catching up in general and thought I had missed the reunion! Lots of my friends are off to their reunions and I’ve been so busy I had not given much thought to anything other than moving. I am glad BHS is in October. I am correct, aren’t I?
Have you given any thought to creating a list of people who you have been able to find, along with addresses or e-mail addresses? I think if we had that we, as individuals, might be able to prod our old pals to go to the reunion. It is so far away, that it is difficult to commit.
I did manage to sell my place on Beacon Hill and moved to Rockport, Maine mid April. I love it! I am one block from Rockport Harbor in a small 1910 house in a great neighborhood. I am a tennis player, and I’ve never seen so many people who are addicted to the game. And, the sailing makes me long for a Herreshoff! [wood sailing vessels manufactured until the 1940s - Ed.]
Take care and have a good summer.
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From Phil Conaty (in response to a phone call from Serena)
An incredible phone call from a wonderful gal....YOU!!!
I guess I'm the most nostalgic slob in the world. Traded e-mails with Joe Nix (I gotta check the name) when he had/has a blog on Belmont in the late '40s thru the '50s. Asked him if he knew anyone from BHS class of '57 and he replied in the negative. I casually asked him to let me know if there was going to be a 50th reunion...and he hooked us up.
I'm really not a "real" member of '57 because my parents yanked me out, and I was REALLY upset, from the Junior High after the 8th grade\, to go to St. Mary's in Waltham. I made it thru the 8th grade at the Junior High. They wanted me with "all boys" in the classroom. I really never forgave them for that. The Belmont Schools were and still are the best! We moved from Belmont in June '55, to Shrewsbury, when my dad got transferred to Worcester County. So, my junior year and senior year was at St. John's High in Shrewsbury ...all boys...natch. Good education, I loved living in Shrewsbury although we were there only two years. Then to Natick in June, '57. BC class of '61.
Thence to the AF...Officers' Training, Navigator training and then TX and then the far East....Okinawa, Viet Nam, Thailand. Tons of combat flying and I'm one lucky dude I'm still here. Retired AF major, (active plus Air reserve), retired from MA teaching (Wellesley High-20 yrs) and then FL teacher retirement...14 years.
But, you put me in touch with my TRUE roots....all the wonderful times. Heck, I had great times everywhere but never forgot Belmont. Remember ALL my elementary teachers and most of the kids...we (our "class") stayed mostly together from K thru grade 6.
Am a photo nut and have, somewhere, negatives of Chenery School before it burned down.
Haven't been to Belmont in years but when I was there last, drove around to all my "spots." Walked on the field by the Junior High, my old summertime playground, climbed up to the top of the reservoir near Chester Road and stopped by the Underwood pool. Sat on the edge of the pool one day...just daydreaming of time long passed. Looked over to where we played Little League baseball ...now where the high school sits...heck, we were damn nearly State champs in '52...our first year. We clobbered two all star teams from Watertown, two from Waltham, one from Arlington and lost in State semis to Lynn.
We were so close at Chenery...from '45 to probably '53.
Thanks so much, lets keep in touch....
Phil Conaty Jr
[for Phil’s address, send an e-mail to Serena or to Ed McD]
If you "bump into" anyone that may remember me, give my address (e-mail or otherwise)
PS: I kind of feel like an interloper but none of the moving was "my fault." <grin. I would have been proud to be a member of BHS class of '57!! My brother lives there now and his youngest went to ...Winn Brook!! Natch.
[In response to my calling myself a “pest” for sending out news of web site postings one on top of the other and to the photo of the steam train over Belmont Center - Ed.]
"The pest????" Hardly....You, sir, are a treasure for the class of '57. I flat don't know how to thank you enough for all the goodies.
You are unbelievable!
- [“Treasure” he calls me. That’s what you find in old steamer trunks at the bottom of the ocean. Hmmm. As for “unbelievable” - that’s what my spouse calls me when I’m late and on other similar occasions . . .Ed]
THAT was the steam locomotive train that flattened my pennies when we put them on the track at the train station!!!! <grin Dang, they got BIG. Then, if we were rich, we put a nickel on the track . . . result was bigger than a silver dollar. Smooth as a baby's bottom.
Signed the ringer, interloper, of the class of '57.
PS: But I did "do" K-8: K-6 at Chenery and then 7-8 at BJHS, so not entirely an interloper . . .
PPS: Check for reunion in the mail tomorrow . . . have hooked up on e-mail with Brian O'Leary. No need to rush things - only 53 years since we chatted. We watched Kukla Fran and Ollie and Howdy Doody together a zillion times. I reminded him I never forgave him for easily beating me in games of ping-pong. He was damn good, AND he used a dustpan for a paddle!!!!!!!
Keeeeripes!!! He's really living in an "out of the way" place. I'll visit him there in a year or two.
"The Strand" - musta been there a million times. I remember a small store nearly next door that sold jawbreakers - hardest gum in the world. My teeth now are like stars, come out at night!!!
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From Bill Freestone
In response to posting of the photo of the steam train over Belmont Center
I hate to say it but Paul Wasser drove a 1940 ford on that roadbed
(rails were removed) which left two sets of rails over a berm. Me and
about six others (piled into the car) with him driving raced a 5pm
commuter train on the roadbed this train is on with commuters looking
out the window. We had to stop once we reached the overpass. Don’t think I ever told anyone that.
[You have now - Ed.]
3/12/07 - Second thought
After looking at the picture again I realized that it is looking toward the center. So there would have been two sets of rails going in
the other direction. Having hung out on those tracks as a young person I found myself staring at the pic for awhile.
3/12/07 (after being asked permission to publish his e-mails)
There is more to it than that.
This was in the era just before drivers’ licenses - mid fifties like the
picture of the train. Paul Wasser had his 1940 Ford Coupe in a field
down near the crossing (can’t remember the name of the street) but it
was the direction from Winn Brook that you would take to go to
He was driving the car around in the field when someone decided to
play a game called "see if you can throw me off the roof." Idea was you lay flat up on the roof as he drove around in a circle. Most slid off the smooth rear deck onto the field grass (soft). Not going very fast. All involved were laughing when they slid off.
Finally progressed to two people with one arm around the waist of the other and one hand on each door sill. All slid off.
Yours truly figured out that I could hold on with both hands to one
side and then as paul drove in the opposite direction could pivot one
my stomach and hold the other side, so could stay up without falling
off. It was from that field site that a decision was made to drag race
the train when it came through at 5 PM that afternoon.
As mentioned the third set of rails had been removed closest to the
Belmont Center side of the 3-track roadbed. So we were positioned and ready as the train came through, which I am sure was not going faster than 25-30 mph. We ran even with the train all the way to the Center where we had to stop because of the bridge. Quite funny with commuters looking at a car full of kids waving at them and running along side.
[It’s a wonder a fair number of us actually lived past age 16 - Ed.]
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From Charlotte Long Jensen - The ‘50s
7/3/07. Since we are such a great 50's group, I thought you might like to see this "video" that I received this morning. It sure is applicable to us 57ers in Belmont. Of course our theatre was "the barn" and Brighams was the place each Sunday for our sundaes. Gum chewing was taboo in my family and 10:00 PM was my curfew. . . We didn't have a DQ I don't believe, but we sure had Richards Drive-in Carfeteria.
I enjoyed it and thought you would too.
There is nothing yet that can compare with those years, even though our parents thought it was the end of civilization.
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From Ann Reischauer Heinemann about Dorte Rasmussen Griswold
7/5/07. I'm in touch with Dorte Rasmussen (now Griswold) who was in our class for a few years ending in 9th or 10 grade I believe - she is interested in coming to the reunion. . . She married a Belmont native - Bill Griswold (private schools) and her kids graduated from BHS.
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From Fred Haggerty about our locating Dorte Rasmussen Griswold
7/14/07. I called Dorte Griswold and spoke to her about the reunion, and she plans on attending. I mailed her one of the mailings Serena had sent me recently. She was Dorte Grove-Rasmussen, and apparently spent grade 9-10- & 11 in our class but did not graduate with us. Was a friend of Ann Reischauer etc.
Small world part is that we had Hanne Rasmussen from Denmark stay at our house for her senior year at BHS when our Karen was a Junior in Belmont High School. A great gal we keep in touch with and she came back for Karen's wedding as matron of honor. No relation to Dorte - but Hanne got friendly with Eric Griswold when at BHS and they keep in touch and Hanne visits with them when she visits us in the U.S. I just found out that Dorte is Eric's mother - AND Billy Griswold (husband) went to Winn Brook for awhile and I was in cub scouts with him, and think I went to his kids birthday party when we were really young. I think his Dad may have been Dean Griswold at Harvard.
Small world with Danish transfer acquaintances a generation apart attending BHS.
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From the time I was born through my Kendall School years, I lived on Benjamin Road, which is perpendicular to Beech Street. You could see Town Field at the bottom of the street from where I lived.
Paul Manning lived on Drew Road, one street over (closer to Kendall). Paul recently wrote about those days and I responded. Here’s what got said.
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From Paul Manning
8/16/07. This is Paul from Drew Rd.,how is everything over there on Benjamin Rd?
Boy, it's been a while although the old neighborhood hasn't changed that much other than the school has disappeared......It must have been Frankie Schultz with another one of his burning of the discarded Christmas trees that we would gather after each Christmas up and down the streets collecting as many as we could retrieve.........wait ‘til dark and what a glow, and the glowing ashes, blowing and flying everywhere (even on Ash St)........OOpppps!here comes the fire dept.... great times.......try to do that today and you would need Haz Mat crews and the like for all the poly-plastic etc trees........ummh love those toxic gases!
It will be great to see everyone on the 20th [of October], Add my name to the list of those fortunate enough to be able to attend.......it's very disturbing to read the names of our departed classmates, I'm sure we all remember them at one point or another, either in the class room, playing fields or the cafeteria as they were a part of "the BHS CLASS OF 57".
I'll try to keep in touch as time goes on especially if I hear of any thing important in the old neighborhood or "HOOD" as they call it today, Really hip don't you think?......sure,what's new in the hood?
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From Ed McDevitt, responding to Paul’s e-mail
8/16/07. Funny you should mention Drew Road and Benjamin Road and "The Hood.". Back when we were all little kids, the roads that weren't ours were like foreign countries. I remember that it was OK to go sledding on Benjamin, but we weren't allowed to go any farther away than Amelia Street. I knew there was territory beyond the Walsh's back yard (they lived across the street from us on Benjamin), but it was like you needed a passport or something. And anyway, that's where Dickie R. lived! Couldn't go near where he was!
Behind us all we knew of Franklin Street was E. B. Rideout and his weather station.
That all began to disappear as soon as we started going to Kendall School.
So we had really small "Hoods" with very tight borders that began to shift and disappear as we got slight increments older. Amazing.
I didn't remember the burning of the Christmas trees at all until you mentioned it. Wow.
By the way, speaking of Kendall, did you take a look at the very old photos of Kendall on the web site - the ones that show dirt roads? Those photos really surprised me. Still don't know what their dates are, but I'll ask Ted O'Connell, who sent them.
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From Billy Stoneman
8/15/07. I’m closer to my son Rafe than I have been since he was 10, since he is in the army, We email all the time, and we talk about his video on Youtube. The fine comments people are putting on Youtube are actually helping him to feel he will get a chance to be an actor after he gets out of the army. To see the 7-minute video, all they have to do is go to www.youtube.com , enter the name Rafe Stoneman in the search box, and then click on the picture of Rafe that pops up. Then, if they are willing to take a few minutes, they can "sign up", and post a comment that the whole world will see. (They should be careful not to mention my name. When I posted a comment, I used the name "Tubetumbler", for example).
Thanks to everyone for looking in.
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