Mt. Carmel Class of ‘64 Newsletter

Issue 2

December 2005

 Editor Diana Robertson Beaumont

16332 17th Ave SE

Mill Creek, WA  98012

mdbeaumont@comcast.net

 Click here for Issue 1 (12/2004)  

Last year, fresh with enthusiasm from our 40th Class Reunion, we all helped put together a newsletter.  You might say it was a class project!  And like most everyone, I was amazed at what we found to share, the high school secrets that spilled forth, and the insights we drew from looking back over the years.

 

Now after an eventful year, we all have stories to tell and wisdom to share.  We’ve all been touched in one way or another by various milestones, whether it’s world events, storms, health, family, or related to work or retirement.  Hopefully, too, we’ve had some light-hearted moments woven into the more serious ones.

 

Like last year, we’ve had some “teasers” to jog our memories.  Andy Breslin, ever the clever one with words, supplied the term “Geezer.”  Our “Geezer Teasers” included some fascinating material!  And winners who guessed correctly will receive Honorable Mention at the end of this Newsletter!!!

 

1. Does anyone remember a student French teacher who got locked in the classroom closet and why? Did it have anything to do with a small green creature in someone’s shirt pocket?

2. What was the name of the youngish glee club director who wore the low cut dress to the first performance of the Christmas Pageant? She had no trouble getting the attention of the boys in the glee club who were standing on a raised platform in front of her?”

3. Who was in the bathtub at Bob Menapace’s “Party” and why?

4. Who remembers biology teacher Bugsy sucking on her fingers after giving out the frogs to dissect...or sucking on her slip strap?

5. Who would most likely have been inducted into the sports Hall of Fame: Mike Chapel, Jose Gonzalo, or Bob Menapace?

 

As I compile this second issue of our Mt. Carmel Class of ‘64 Newsletter, I think back on our 40th Class Reunion summer before last when we made so many connections with one another.  Our contributions to our newsletter about what’s new, or not, in our lives is an easy way to keep that flame of connection alive!

 

In fact, many Newsletter recipients sent comments throughout this past year, starting last January.

 

Newsletter Tidbits:

 

Barbara Backus Boger was the first to reply.  She said:

“Finally got to read the Newsletter thanks to my techie son...it is wonderful!!  Here is some fodder for the next one: what guys had a “secret” place in the woods on the west side of town?...till Kathy Yuskoski and I found it and had to get away quickly on bikes due to the barking of my dog Max who came with us...the boys dismantled the place after that!

“Who remembers biology teacher Bugsy sucking on her fingers after giving out the frogs to dissect...or sucking on her slip strap?

“Every so often the memories of MCHS come flooding in…wait! Here comes more! Who locked me out of my own house when my parents were away and we were having another “party” (Diana thinks no one drank in high school)? I had to go to the neighbors to let me crawl through a window onto a roof then get in my house through another window...very funny, ha-ha.

“My first legal drink was at Homiak’s...where was yours?  The dances at the Mine were the best…anyone have any pictures?  Do you remember the dances at St. Stephens?

“Who was in the bathtub at Bob Menapace’s “Party” and why? I had my scrapbook redone cause it had fallen apart and Alphie Santos was in my photos, always with different girls...what does this tell you? I’d better quit now before more memories come back...Babs”

 

Andy Breslin was the next to comment:

 “A cold snowy night in the Berkshires. Good night to catch up on long overdue notes. The newsletter was great – thank you – and I hope it can continue. The Reunion really drove in the point that old friendships are so very valuable. I hope you all have a good year. The tsunami has reset the bar for how to look at everything. Andy”

 

Joyce Palembas Eckrod also said:

 “I have been receiving your e-mails and am enjoying reading the info...keep them coming.  Year 2004 was not very good for me, but hopefully 2005 will be a big improvement.  Maybe I can add to the newsletter next time…. Ta, Joyce (Palembas) Eckrod”

 

Carol Cleaver added:

 “I got a very nice letter from Betty Senkowich (Wysocki).  She is living in Houston, Texas, and works at Comerica Bank as a Personal Banker.  Last Friday I called her and really surprised her.  As I promised her, I made copies of your newsletter, and the stuff we got at the reunion and mailed them to her. Last year I reconnected with at least 7 people that I had lost contact with.  This makes me very happy.”

 

And from Marie Mudrick Scott:

 “I felt badly about not attending the reunion, but had personal business to attend to.  We did not plan on being in Mount Carmel at that time, but we ended up being there that weekend due to a family emergency.  We don’t get back to Pennsylvania very often - maybe once a year.  Joyce told me that you were working on a newsletter and I would love to be on your list.  Keep me informed.”

 

Early in February 2005, José Gonzalo wrote:

 “I just received an email from Mike Sarisky that told us about [the] newsletter –

I got to read a few excerpts from it and all I can say is that it was great.  Please include my e-mail address to those that you have. Take care of yourself.  José Gonzalo”

 

Also in February Pat Santos wrote:

Mike Sarisky emailed me a copy of the class newsletter.  It was fun to read.  Yes, Gloria, Sandy, Cimmie and I had some fun in Harrisburg many years ago.

Sorry I didn’t have much time to talk to you at the reunion.  Speaking of photos, I wrote the photographer a letter telling him that he should apologize for the poor, out-of-focus picture of us facing the setting sun, and give us a refund.  Never heard back from him.  Looking forward to another class newsletter.

Regards, Pat Santos (Juskiewicz)”

 

In April, Pope John Paul II passed away, which occasioned the Newsletter editor to think:

 

“What with the passing of Pope John Paul II this past week, I was reflecting on the fact that we attended high school in a town steeped in religion and populated by a Polish immigrant community.  I also recalled that the Pope visited Pennsylvania some years ago.

 “I’m not Catholic, but that makes no difference in my admiration for this charismatic pope who seemed to be bigger than life.  I wonder how many of us have seen him, perhaps in Pennsylvania when he visited, or during our own travels to Rome?  Any comments you’d like to share?”

 

Jean Lewis wrote back:

“I did not see the pope but I was in Rome and walked in St Peters square and was in the Basilica. It was very moving to see the millions of people so moved by such a wonderful person. I think he brought a lot of people back to the faith. Take care. Jean”

 

Barbara Backus stated:

“I think Pope Pius XXII was the Pope when we were going to high school.”

 

Gloria Unger, who is our “eyes and ears” in Mount Carmel said:

“Last week was very sad...this Pope was so special...truly the people’s pope.  I was in Mt. Carmel on Saturday and the door of the Polish church had a cross on the steps draped in black.

By the way, we lost another classmate...Ronald Hosgood. I notified Mike Sarisky.  Ron lived in Shamokin, was married, [and] the obit said he died in the hospital after a short illness.  I wonder if it may have been a heart attack...?”

 

The NEWS ITEM, ran the following article:

 

SHAMOKIN — Ronald J. Hosgood Sr., 58, of 23 S. First St., died Sunday, April 3, at Shamokin Area Community Hospital after being suddenly stricken ill.

Born Sept. 16, 1946, in Ashland, he was a son of the late James Marshall and Mildred (Butkiewicz) Hosgood. He moved to Shamokin in 1971, having previously lived in Mount Carmel.

He served in the U.S. Army from June 11, 1964, until his honorable discharge on June 5, 1967. He subsequently transferred to the Army Reserve. He was awarded the Good Conduct and National Service Defense medals, and earned an Expert Marksmanship Badge for rifle.

Having attended St. Joseph Elementary School and graduated from Mount Carmel High School’s Class of 1964, he was employed as a die-cut operator at International Paper, Mount Carmel Township. He was a member of Mother Cabrini Church, Shamokin.

On April 17, 1971, in St. Stanislaus Church, Shamokin, he married the former Marsha Mroz, who survives.

Surviving, in addition to his wife, are a daughter and son-in-law, Michelle and Brian Folmar of Reynoldsville; a son and daughter-in-law, Ronald J. Hosgood II and Nancy Spinella of Shamokin; two brothers and a sister-in-law, James Hosgood, and his wife, Shirley, of Evans, Ga., and Edward Hosgood of Linglestown; two sisters, Janice Wetzel of Fall River, Mass., and JoAnn Graham of Erin, Tenn.; and several nieces and nephews.

 

If anyone wishes to keep track of local events, the NEWS ITEM website is:

 

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=14286138&BRD=2311&PAG=461&dept_id=482258&rfi=6

 

Ron Hosgood’s passing prompted Diana Robertson Beaumont to observe:

“I’m sorry to say I didn’t know [Ron] very well.  Which made me reflect on our high school days.  I was so into myself and my own little circle of friends then.  Perhaps that was normal adolescent behavior.  But now, with mature hindsight I regret not having reached out more to be friendly with those outside my own circle.”

 

Rachel Tucker Scholvin, who had just undergone knee surgery and who goes by the tag name of “Ole Hag” wrote:

 “I am so sorry to hear of Ronald’s passing. I really did not know him well either and I hope his passing was an easy one. As for the OLE HAG, I AM HOME!!!! Both knees were done on Monday the 11th, I came home on Thursday and now have to fight to rebuild the leg muscles in my left leg. Other than being very SORE, STIFF and BULL HEADED I guess I am doing OK for an OLE HAG.”

 

Here is Linda Nolan Hearn, the person who read our Newsletter posted on the Mt. Carmel website.  Does anyone remember her?

 “I read your newsletter, it was excellent. I went to MCCHS. We also had our 40th class reunion.  I want you to know Pat Kerdock died last year.  She went to Our Lady’s Grade school.  Do you know the whereabouts of Christine Biggio?  I went to school with her at OL. I am also good friends with Ronnie Tanney and Vince Zanella.

I now live in Illinois, across the river from St. Louis.  Mary Teresa Ryniak and myself did our 40th class reunion from the Catholic HS.  It was also the Class of 1964.  I went to grade school with a lot of your classmates.  George Sewell and Charlie Hodrick, both of them have died.  Joe Klaus, wonder about him.  Candice Costello Greco was also a part of my class in HS.  I also went to nursing school at Ashland with Christine…. I grew up on Locust Street, my brothers own Nolan’s Lumber Yard in Kulpmont.

Keep up the good work, enjoyed reading about your classmates.

Thanks. Linda Nolan Hearn”

 

Speaking of our old neighborhoods and our growing up years, Michael Sarisky has some memories:

 We moved to Third Street when I was 5. My Dad lived in the house for 49 years. There were 4 families in a row there, with 4 boys about the same age: Mikie, Frankie, Bobbie, and Norman; a Slovak, a Pollack, an Italian and a Jew. We all played together during grade school years, football, baseball, sledding etc. Families used to picnic together. I learned a lot about Jewish culture.

We used to throw crab apples at Denny Hamernick cause he was from Second Street and we were the Third Street gang.  That growing up environment is sure different from the environment of the suburbs where our kids grew up.”

 

The April 2005 edition of the Smithsonian Magazine ran an article about “The Fire That Ate a Pennsylvania Town.”  Since my Dad was a geologist, he had a fascination with the underground fire at Centralia, and so the article rekindled my interest (no pun intended!).  Then Andy Breslin suggested a book and that prompted some further discussion among our classmates.

 

Andy Breslin said:

“Thanks for the news about Ron Hosgood, I did not know him well. Going back to the yearbook makes me realize I remember my life then in color and the yearbook is black and white. Regarding Centralia, there are two good books at least about it, I had both but cannot put my hands on the second. One is Unseen Danger by David DeKok, U of P Press 1986. Andy”

 

Diana Robertson Beaumont wrote:

Made me think about all the times we drove through [Centralia] when we lived in Mt. Carmel.  When my husband and I were at the reunion last August, someone suggested we take a drive by Centralia – which we did.  It had changed vastly.  Of course there were signs posted all over the place about “don’t drive in here” “danger of the ground collapsing,” etc.  When Michael sees a sign like that it’s like some kind of a challenge to his manhood, so of course he had to drive us through.  My knuckles were white from gripping the dashboard because I expected at any moment the ground beneath us to open up some yawning pit brimming with fire, like a real-life Hell-hole, and we’d never be heard from again.”

 

So Barbara Backus replied:

“My parents had a grocery store on the main street in Centralia...I worked there when I was needed. When my Dad and I delivered groceries...yes, you heard me, we delivered...we would see the fires burning and think nothing of it.  Who would have thought the whole town had to move because of those fires (except for a few holdouts). Stopped by a few years ago and you couldn’t tell where the Centralia Superette was!  Barbara”

 

And Gloria Unger added:

“I’m really enjoying connecting with ya’ll!  Living near the coal (ash) bank in Mt.C....do you remember how it would smoke...especially after a rain?  We thought nothing of it.”

 

Carole Sabol Olshefski Blair remembers:

“Actually…I do remember the fires on the sides of the road up the mountain.  [When] I rode up to Locust Gap I was so surprised to see the blue flame along side of the road there.  It was a bit scary.

Years later, there was an article in National Geographic about Centralia.  I was amazed by one of the pictures.  It was taken from the front porch of one of our friends from the class of ‘63.  Golly, I can’t remember her name; she was a really good friend of Joann Lustusky.  I can see her in my mind, but I don’t remember her name.

[Later] we drove over to Centralia, and I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I had a hard time orienting myself because there is almost nothing there.  We did drive the road to the cemetery and was so surprised to see the smoke coming out of the ground.  It was a sight that is so difficult to describe.”

 

The following month, in May, Michael Sarisky wrote:

“Just heard from Gloria Unger that Nick Kuzo passed away. Too many too fast.”  [Note: the Newsletter Editor was unable to locate an obituary for Nick.]

 

In July, Michael Sarisky wrote again to advise about the Mt. Carmel Area Athletic Alumni Association.

“Thank you for the clipping on the Centralia fire.  What a fascinating chain of events on how it got started....

Attached are two word files, which are scan-in’s of both sides of the letter I got. Not perfect copies. I could not tell from this if this is just starting up.  I joined in the hope that it flies. A Mt. Carmel oriented scholarship was good to me.

Among the officers, you may not know Dan Ficca. He was in football in my brother Tom’s time frame, 1955. He did play pro ball for a short time.  You may remember Ron Grossman, he was a year or 2 ahead of us.”

 

[Editor’s note:  details of the Athletic Alumni Association may be had at:]

MC4A

P.O. Box 272, Mount Carmel, PA 17851-0272

Questions: Dan Ficca

(570) 373-5936 1 nyjet@evenlink.com

 

When the Newsletter Editor sent out the message in November that it was time to start compiling the 2005 Class of ‘64 Newsletter, the first to respond once again was Rachel Tucker Scholvin.  She said:

“Oh, no!  She’s at it again!  Darn! Has it been that long already? I really am getting old. Guess the old one will have to put on her Witches Hat and come up with something good for you. My son was overseas twice, once to Jordon in the first round and then [was] borrowed by the Army for a tour in Germany at their hospital. Now he was kept busy during all the hurricanes deploying teams from the Air Force to the disaster sites.  Merlin [Rachel’s ferret] and I are still getting into trouble as usual but then a Witch and her familiar have to do something to have fun.

I will see what I can remember from WAY BACK THEN and send it to you. It is nice to have made contact with some of the classmates on the computer since you did the letter. Take care and I shall see what I can dig up for you. Rachel THE OLE HAG and Merlin The Great.”

 

Michael Sarisky, of last year’s blown gizzard, unfortunately lost his own personal one this year.  He wrote:

“For me and mine, 2005 has been one wild ride. January brought news of my younger son’s wife having epilepsy, which was brought under control by drugs. March brought the passing of my wife’s father, not unexpected. April brought the passing of my wife’s aunt, a very special lady and our friend. May brought terminal cancer to my wife’s uncle, another very special person. July found our older son and his wife heading off to Scotland for 3 years of postgraduate work. August found me unable to eat for about 2 weeks and in and out of the hospital until a surgeon removed the failed part of my digestive system.

August and September also brought joy in the form of two baby boys to two of our nieces.  In October we visited Scotland and had a very enjoyable time. It was a year of challenges, sorrow, new opportunity, blessings and the joy of new life. However, this ride can slow down any time it wants to.”

 

Jean Horan Lewis added her news:

“I did some traveling in September to Ireland. We did a bus tour around the island and it was beautiful. I lead a very uneventful life other than that I have a son that just got married last August, and this July he got his Master’s Degree from Villanova.  He did it at nights and worked days. Now I am waiting for them to make me a grandmother.

I still work at Sovereign Bank. I am not sure how long I will work. With the cost of health insurance I will probably work till I can get Medicare.  The bank does not offer any thing like that with the retirement. I am a personal bank rep. I do loans and open accounts and service the customers with all kinds of needs. I love the people and my job is interesting. I do a lot with the American Cancer Society like the relay for life and daffodil sales. I am on the board for Montour County.

Thank you for keeping in touch. I really like hearing from you about the class. I keep in touch with a couple of the class through email now and then. I go to Mt Carmel once in a while to visit my sisters, but they keep me in touch with the news over there. Take care. Jean”

 

Claire (Andrulewicz) Wirt Andrews responded about the high school pranks and teasers:

“Nice hearing from you. Obviously I was oblivious to those happenings during high school. I guess I was too busy studying & being daddy’s little girl. Don’t those days seem like a lifetime away? I can’t believe we are the Baby Boomers & turning 60 next year.  That sounds so old.

I really don’t have anything to report for the newsletter…trying to stay sane...trying to mind my own business, still working part-time...& really missing my mother, especially during the holidays. Enjoying my friends more than ever.  John (my oldest) turned 21 in September & we celebrated when he came home for Thanksgiving…he couldn’t wait to have his first Guinness at the local pub. It was lots of fun.

 

Barbara Backus Boger was delighted to report:

“I am a Grammy again...my daughter Amanda has a new daughter named Ella (my Mom would be so proud) who is almost 2 months old. I was born to be a Grammy! Now have 3: Phalen, 16 years old (working on his drivers permit and is a hockey goalie…my favorite goalie of course); Emily, 21 months and Ella. Now each of my 3 kids has a kid!”

 

RoseAnn Stabinski Viozzi is as full of enthusiasm as she was in high school!  And into everything!  She has memories of Mr. Kuz and his physics class!

“Some meanderings about my life: Currently living in Harrisburg, PA. Retired from a Nursing and Health Care Administrative career. I love retirement. Time goes by too quickly though. I lived in Maryland for 13 years, where I was an avid Orioles fan. I married Frank Viozzi in 1985. He is a physician, Rheumatologist, and he is also retired for the past 5 years.

I have one daughter who will be 29 years old on 12/09. No grandkids or son-in-law yet! My husband and I have several hobbies, which include fly-fishing and hunting, primarily for whitetail deer and wild turkeys. We have a home and property in the mountains, in McKean County, PA.

Besides being a baseball fan, I am devoted to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and I am an active volunteer for them. My daughter is an insulin dependent diabetic. We are active members of the Cathedral Parish of St. Patrick, in Harrisburg. We are also active in the National Wild Turkey Federation, NRA, and Trout Unlimited organizations. Can you tell that we love the outdoors! We are particularly interested in educating youngsters in outdoor activities. We have an English springer spaniel puppy who is spoiled rotten.

I really do not go to Mt. Carmel, except on rare occasions. I still have some cousins and aunts who live there. But I still get my kielbasi from Lazarski’s every year for Christmas and Easter…old Polish tradition. I follow the Mt. Carmel Tornadoes progress each year and go to the championship games in Hershey, if they make it that far.

I am extremely proud of my coal region heritage and often will tell folks who ask, that I would not trade my upbringing in Mt. Carmel, for anything.  We had lots of fun, traditions, role models, and basic values instilled in us. Regarding High School, I am still scared of Mr. Kozlowski. I dreaded his physics classes. Mr. Semicek liked to call Kathy Yuskoski and I, Stosh and Yosh. I had a crush on Mr. Diminick, like everyone else. Was I naughty, of course…but can’t tell and print it! Well, I have been chatty enough. Merry Christmas to all and a blessed 2006! RoseAnn Stabinski Viozzi”

 

Andy Breslin

“Thank you for undertaking this project. It is fun to find out what is going on, but more fun to find out what went on while we were in our own little worlds.

Pam and I are still trying to get in trips while we are very mobile and will save the more sedate for our dotage. We got in some snorkeling on Bonaire in March and also a great island for biking. Pam is chair of the international program at her boarding school and as such is encouraged to visit areas that send girls to the school. This summer we spent a few weeks in S. Korea, a real eye-opener. Amazing how progressive and education-driven the country is. Present and former students spent days showing us their world. Looking across to N. Korea was otherworldly.

Late summer we were packed into the Wind River area of Wyoming and left to ourselves with 3 friends, 10 days later we hiked out. Kind of Outward Bound for early geezers! Saw a Mountain Lion approach camp – one stealthy cat.

Got back to Spain in October with our boys and caught up with tapas and wine. We are both still working full-time, no desire to retire (rhyme). My veterinary practice has three younger vets who provide us with ample time away.

Biking, kayaking and cross-country skiing still dominate our leisure.  I cannot understand golf. I dusted my 23-year-old in a big local road bike race, much to his chagrin but a good-natured competition.

The world situation and our response to it continues to depress me. Talking to people in other countries makes me realize how far we have fallen in the worldview. Tom Friedman’s, The World is Flat made for great reading. After seeing Capote, I picked up In Cold Blood and read it again after 30 some years – what a great book.

All in all we are fine, our 2 boys are happy and healthy. I always look forward to reading the news from everyone. My only contact with Katrina was thru’ Pam’s brother Pete who set up a program to receive the displaced at Fort MacClellan in Alabama only to have it mired in a huge FEMA snafu. We have treated a few dogs that made it this far north via various organizations, many health problems.

I hope this finds you happy and healthy and ready to face another year, my best to all. Andy Breslin”

 

After hearing about bathtub antics and people locked in closets, Diana Robertson Beaumont felt compelled to wonder:

“So am I the only classmate who was so square, so prim and proper, that I didn’t know any of these things? Was there anyone else like me who was so colossally straight-laced?”

 

Rachel Tucker Scholvin offered some reassurance:

“NO you weren’t. Heck between BAND PRACTICE, Choir Practice, homework, housework, Luther League, babysitting and sleep I was as bad as you. OH I forgot my accordion lessons and practice.

Hey the OLE GEEZER thing sort of hits home. There are times I feel much older. AND there is no Shamokin chapter of Red Cross.  MS DOLE in her supposed wisdom did away with the small poor chapters when she was the head of Red Cross.

Does anyone remember a student French teacher who got locked in the classroom closet and WHY???? Did it have anything to do with a small green creature in someone’s shirt pocket??

Or what about a chemistry class who had a table sort of INCREASE the mixture of gunpowder ingredients and then hit it with the hammer so that the fire company from across the street came over. Not to mention a few teachers and a principal.

Oh well what can I say – I was in the B section with the football players!  Go figure!”

 

Anne Condron Howerter replied:

“I guess I was in the same boat as you were back in those days. I can’t believe I was so naive and shy. It seems the older we get the more hectic life is. I long for the day when I do not have to be somewhere or have something to do. I think they call that ‘Retirement.’

There hasn’t been too much going on with us except for the birth of two new grandsons. My husband’s son had a baby boy in April and Eleanor & Mike Stebila, Len & I became grandparents in October of another grandson from our kids. Remember, Eleanor’s daughter Michelle and my son Jason are married. He is just the cutest little thing.

A sad event that happened a few months ago, Ruthie Bordell lost her brother to terrible motorcycle accident.

Our combined families have a Relay for Life team and we are starting our fund-raisers for the New Year. If no one has ever come in for the Relay (which is held June 16th & 17th at the Stadium), they should try and attend. It is such a fun day and an uplifting time seeing all the cancer survivors together showing their strength and courage. We have a lot of great stands with some wonderful homemade foods, music all day long and fun events for the kids. It is not just walking around the track. The lighting of the luminaries in the evening is absolutely heart stopping. Such emotions run through you the whole day.

You might want to mention something about it in the Newsletter; perhaps some classmates would like to come in for it. Well, I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and thanks for keeping in touch. Anne (Condron) Howerter”

 

Denny Hamernick surfaced long enough to recall:

“I know of one bathroom incident.... As far as nicknames for our teachers: the obvious: CT, Jazz, Miss Schicc, Mr.B.  How about “Marble Mouth,” and just plain Leona?  Then in Junior High there was: Coach, The Bull, Olive Oyl...and who/what was “Mabel”? I’m stumped on the other goodies.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! Denny (Hammer)

 

Carol Cleaver has survived Hurricane Wilma and gives us a first person account:

                “I have been living in Florida since 1972 and never went through a hurricane.  They either fizzled out or went north.  Well, Hurricane Wilma became my first. While enjoying a wonderful fall vacation in New England, I was greeted with the news that Wilma went from a tropical storm to a category 5 hurricane overnight.

As always when a hurricane is forecast, the TV is on.  That Monday morning was no exception.  The weatherman said that the strong bands of wind would be arriving within an hour.  Thank God the hurricane shutters were all up, extra water on the kitchen counter, the refrigerator turned up as high as it could go.  Of course the bathtub was filled, so that the toilet could be flushed if we had no water, (which did happen) and the flashlights were handy. I also found a landline phone to use, as a cordless uses electric.

                Shortly after 8:00 am the winds started and then the light began to go off.  That was it for power for us for the next 9 days.  The winds got very strong but we were unable to see outside because of the shutter.  Looking back I’m very grateful that we couldn’t see the damage that was happening all around us.  Of course with everything closed the house became very hot and stuffy.

                Around 11:00 am I opened the door to the garage and immediately called to my partner to come out quickly.  The winds had shifted and were now coming from the north and the 2 garage doors were in its path.  We each took a door and braced ourselves against them to keep them from blowing in with each gust.  We stayed like that until after 12:00 pm when the radio said that the last strong wind band was leaving Broward County.  If the doors had blown in, I can’t imagine the damage that would have been done.

                When we opened the front door to go outside, the first thing I noticed was the lack of trees.  So many trees were ripped right out of the ground, branches broken off.  The stop signs were bent over or just missing.  We had a power line lying over the top of our car.  It took over a week before we found out that it wasn’t live, the other half was in the neighbors pool. A section of our fence in the backyard blew down on the west and east side.  The pool had 3 inches of leaves and twigs.  But you know what? We were alive, the house was intact, the pets safe; the rest can be fixed.

Living without power for 9 days reminded me of the Amish.  Walking around with a battery powered lantern, going to bed when it got dark and getting up at sunrise.  Showering in cold water, even in Florida was not pleasant. Of course everything in the refrigerator had to be thrown away and we had to boil water for 10 days as a water main did break.

                I’m very grateful for the little damage we had and that now everything is back to normal.  I always decorate the house for Christmas, but this year I wanted a little more to help brighten up the spirits of the people who are worse off than I am.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!

 

The very last news item to arrive, just under the wire for our Newsletter, came from José Gonzalo.  He writes:

“I was recently inducted into the Ed Romance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame for the work that I have been doing for over 30 years with the high school football team and sports in general.  I thought that an interesting trivia question would be: ‘Who would most likely have been inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame - Mike Chapel, Bob Menapace or Jose Gonzalo?’

I am still working and will continue to do so for a while – my youngest will graduate from Hershey Medical School in May so the light at the end of the tunnel is near.  Good hearing from you and keep up the good work!  Jose”

 

I guess the Newsletter Editor shouldn’t be exempt from adding her bit, and so Diana Robertson Beaumont says:

                “After a career in dental hygiene and then running a travel agency with my husband, we are now semi-retired and live north of rainy Seattle, Washington, where I enjoy skiing and hiking – yes, even in the rain.  Having had breast cancer nine years ago, I volunteer with several breast cancer organizations to help women who’ve just been diagnosed or who are in treatment.  I am thankful every day that I am still here!

                I like to write – can you tell? What began as a simple little task of finding out about my husband’s ancestry has led to a series of books – no, not best-sellers, but the sort of scholarly stuff that would make most people’s eyes glaze over:  the History of the Working-Class Beaumonts of Yorkshire, England.  We’ve had four books published and will soon begin work on a fifth.

                In my old age I’ve taken up playing the Celtic harp.  I play mostly for my own enjoyment, since I’m plagued by mind-numbing stage fright.  A far cry from the girl on a Mt. Carmel stage with a Chiquita Banana costume and a Brazilian guitar!

                Some of my very best memories are of my years at MCHS, and in that spirit I wish all my classmates only good things in this upcoming New Year!”

 

…And now – the brilliant winners with astute memories who correctly guessed our “Geezer Teasers” are:

 

1st Place for remembering the name of the student French teacher who got locked in the closet goes to………Denny Hamernick!

                He wrote:

“As far as the question [of who was locked in the closet]...it has to be Charley Mole, but I can’t remember the actual why…with the frog.  Keep the letters coming! It’s great!  Until next time...Denny (Ham)”

 

Rachel Tucker Scholvin seems to have the whole story:

“His first name was Charles and I am not sure of his last. It started with M… Moleski or something like that. It was the B section (the one I was in) that locked him in the closet. French was our last class of the day and Ed Morrison had brought a little green snake (Irving I think was his name) to school that day. He was in all of our classes and even in the library, no less, and we had no problems till French class. Every teacher knew the snake was in school [but Charley Mole] stood at the teacher’s desk so that Ed had to side step to get past him, and as he did the snake popped up out of the shirt pocket and brushed Charley’s nose. Needless to say he started with the riot act and some of the “LITTLE” football players picked him up and put him in the closet and locked the door. BOY was he pissed off when the fellows had to leave him out. Straight to the office he went and wanted us all expelled.  No one said I was an angel in school!”

 

1st Place for remembering the youngish glee club director with the low-cut dress goes to….it has to be split four ways between Denny Hamernick (again!), Pat McClosky, Ben Heil, and Carol Cleaver!

 

Pat guessed: “Last name was Mervine!”

And Denny had the rest of it: “...that would be the ‘SuperFox’…Mrs. Mervine (Peggy, I think).”

Ben Heil chimed in: “The teaser answer was ‘curvy Mervie’ but I can’t remember her first name XXXXXX Mervine.”

Carol Cleaver remembers: “Peggy Mervine was my neighbor and if they thought what she wore at glee club was something, they should have seen her washing the car!”

 

[Editor’s note:  No wonder the boys sang out of tune!]

 

1st Place for the astute memory on the “bathtub incident” goes to…Ben Heil!

 

He says: “The ice bath of the football player (alias Elvis, AKA DH) was at the Atlas home of another football player, who’s parents (lets call them Jake and Lena for fun) arrived before Elvis had sobered up enough to be removed from the ice bath. Needless to say, the party was terminated early, even while there was still beer in the keg.”

 

And 1st Place for brilliant perception about the Sports Hall of Fame inductee goes to…

Michael Sarisky, who reasoned:

“OK, this is a good teaser! Since Mike Chapel and Bob Menapace were on several sports teams in high school, it is not likely them.  It must be José cause he did so much in support of Football since high school. He put together a book of the school win/loss record going back to something like 1899. A heck of a piece of work! Congrats to José!”

 

The Editor would love to be able to post a copy of this newsletter off to all our classmates by “snail mail,” but fears the cost of postage would be prohibitive.  So instead, for those who do not have email, she has made arrangements with Jeff Kanezo, Class of '71 and webmaster of the Mt. Carmel website, to post our newsletter there.  If you know of any classmates who don’t have email, let them know that they can go to their local library and access the site at:

 http://www.kanezo.com/