APRIL 8, 2022

 Hi Memoirists of “Life Weequahic:”

Claude Bey’s (65) e-mail is changed to sundance.4.4@comcast.net.  
Lois Plisner Kernan’s (56) preferred e-mail address is now lois.kernan@gmail.com and would be delighted to connect with WHS grads of 1955-57 currently residing in the San Francisco and northern California area.
Sandra Sandi Lipson Friedman (58) joins the weekly W-conversation at sandifriedman@outlook.com.
Dolores Mayberry Trimiew (64) has also been added at trimiewd@yahoo.com.
Morning notable WHS alums:
The passing of Ben Perlmutter (42) and his business and numerous community activities are highlighted by the NJ Jewish News at Benjamin Perlmutter Obituary.
Walter Chinoy (66)
I’m sorry to report that about two weeks ago my friend, classmate, homeroom mate and former accountant, Steven Yeskel, Class of 1966, passed away. His sister Tema Yeskel Javerbaum graduated Weequahic in 1964. Walter
Gary Prager (1/61)
Many of you have noted the passing of Mel Wolkstein (6/40) on March 17, 2022. I'd just like to provide some additional information about Mel few may be aware of. Mel was, like his late brother Herb, an accomplished engineer with an established engineering practice, REACH Associates, a firm he founded in 1971.
I was associated, initially, with the national chemical engineering organization, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Mel was given the highest honor the organization could bestow on a member, election as a “Fellow of the AIChE,” an honor given to only about 1% of the membership. The rank of “Fellow” recognized his achievements and contributions to chemical engineering. Mel has been a “Fellow” for over 25 years. 
Few WHS alumni were aware of the fact that Mel was an active Boy Scout Troop Leader in South Orange. In addition to being an outstanding professional, he was a friend who'll be missed by many. Several of his fellow professionals have contributed to the WHS Scholarship Fund in his name. In my view, Mel was one of the many alums who fall below the radar. For a plethora of reasons, many outstanding alums whose personal and professional achievements, unfortunately, are never recognized. Mel Wolkstein was one of these unsung notable alums. His obituary can be read at Melvin Wolkstein Obituary.   Gary
Clark Nitz Lissner (6/63) experiences an “its-a-small-Weequahic-world” moment:
While celebrating Purim at our monthly residential community “Shalom Y'all” meeting, I was just being sociable with others sitting at the same table. We took turns reading about Esther, Mordecai and the whole situation giving rise to Purim. As is traditional with the holiday, when the reader mention Hamen (advisor to Persian King who advised the king to rid the state of Jews), everyone cranked their noisemakers. 
Mike Friedman, who was seated our table, told of his N.J. origins, related that he and his wife Gidget were living in the community together with his mother Sandi. She, too, was seated at our table. They are both from the shore area (Monmouth and Ocean County). They moved here from Howell, N.J. I told them the various locations of my experiences in our home state and queried whether they had ever heard of Weequahic H.S. Mike said, "Heard of it? My Mother went there!" I looked across the table at Sandi; her eyes were wide with surprise and mouth expressing a joyous smile. 
Sandra Sandi Lipson Friedman is a graduate of the WHS Class of 1958. 
She lived in the same house in Oakhurst, NJ for 50 years, after moving down from Hillside in the early 1971. In 2021 she relocated to the Four Seasons at the Lakes of Cane Bay in Summerville, SC. Sandi’s husband, Harvey Friedman, was also a WHS alumni, but passed away in 2005.   Clark.
Fred Derf Goldman (6/62) comments on cancellation of class reunion:
Just want to thank the reunion committee for all the hard work and money they put out for the second time now that are reunion is officially cancelled due to an insufficient response. The first time was for are 55th; this time for our 60th. It's just hard for me to understand why between the classes of January and June, over 600 grads, that they couldn't get over the 44 to come to the reunion. Maybe Covid has a little to do with it but, by May 2022, I would think that the situation would be much better. I you can get over 60,000 to be at a football game, and most not wearing masks, the pandemic should have not been an issue for the reunion.
Think about how many times you have the opportunity to see the people you grew up with and helped shape your life. Only once; and maybe never again! So, from someone who graduated number 601 from the class of 600, thank you for the effort. Derf
Jac Toporek’s prior comment on The Mosque Theater continued to bring up memories:
Herman Rosenfeld, (67)
My mother would often regale us with the story of watching the first “talkie,” The Jazz Singer, at the Mosque Theatre in1927 (?), almost a century ago! Herman
Barbara Zieper (64)
I remember going to the Mosque to see Jack Kennedy at a political rally. Barbara
Jan Krusch (6/58)
My memory was jogged when our tireless correspondent, Jac, recently asked if the Mosque Theatre was ever a movie theatre. I don't know the answer to that question, but I do remember that, in its heyday in Newark, the Mosque featured many performers in its huge auditorium.
The most memorable show, for lucky me, was seeing the incomparable Judy Garland there, I believe, in the early sixties. I think she ended the show with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." She may have done an encore, but I don't remember that; I do remember, however, that when the show ended, it seemed like the entire audience bounded to the stage wanting to carry her off. If you were lucky enough to get to the stage, Judy shook hands with everyone there. WHAT A PERFORMER!  Jan
Nathan Himelstein (South Side 1/55)
In response to Jacqueline Kaufer Klein (66), Sol Hurok was the impresario at Carnegie Hall in New York, but Moe Septee (a Newark born young man) was the impresario at the Mosque and also the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. Another interesting aspect concerning the Mosque theatre. Downstairs was a night club and Ballroom called The Terrace Room where many dances were held and Big Bands played.  Nate
Jacqueline Kaufer Klein (66)
Correct, Nate. Thanks. Jacqueline
Warren Bratter (1/60) visits “home” and shares thoughts:
Good afternoon from a gray, cold Cos Cob day. The fighting in Ukraine, where many maternal and paternal family members emigrated from to the States; and where some still lie in unmarked common graves victims of Stalin's artificial famine of the early 30s has compelled me to emotionally revisit my Weequahic neighborhood. This is a written memory passage of that journey.
I have been down streets changed by conflict or years of neglect. Streets where outsiders are accosted by menacing looks of those weary of strangers. In the rabbit warren dirt Calles of Caracas' hillside slums, along the produce-littered back alleys of the Kalsa, Palermo, Sicily’s ancient Arabic district, or amidst the burnt-out buildings of Kelly Street in the South Bronx of the 1960s, I have been challenged and threatened but always allowed free passage to complete my research protected by locals—young and old—who negotiated my movements.
Here I sat then in my car—on my street, Clinton Place, in front of 439, my former home, at the corner of Vassar Avenue, half a block to the high school. Here I sat at what used to be the fulcrum of the central axis of my life. From here, I snuck out of my second-floor back window at night to Fern’s house three doors away; walked up Chancellor to Syd’s; jogged all the way up Goldsmith and vaulted the fence to run on the Untermann track at night; ran to Hansbury or Keer to be with Brian, Sammy, Lenny or Allen. Here I sat protected only by 60-year-old memories and the confines of the car.
I was home—my first trip back in decades to the streets, houses, businesses, trees, and backyards that are surprisingly still prominent features in the internal landscape of my life. Sitting here assaulted by ghosts of the past, remembering the days when I first arrived here having left my boy Flax back on Baldwin. Trying now to calmly absorb all that my eyes were taking in. And listening to quiet voices in my head calling me back, another sense, a preternatural one learned long ago when this was my world, friendly but with hidden dangers, nonetheless. That preternatural sense now told me, as I was sitting here, that the street I had known was years away and the present was but a memory of the past.
So here I was, sitting in my car, traveling down memory lane, just sitting there behind the wheel conjuring a distant past, wishing to enjoy the pleasures of those memories. An inquisitive resident, questioning what I was doing here, watched me from across the street on the east side of Clinton Place from the second floor of what used to Dr. Teitelbaum’s dental office. But this trip back to my street now felt more like an intrusion on the "present." I started the engine. I didn’t need to look in the mirror. No traffic had passed since my arrival here 20 minutes ago. The 14 Clinton Place bus hadn't passed by. No one was walking.
I had been on a street like this recently. A couple of years ago in the Vedado, one of Habana's most noble neighborhoods, where together with a young “jinetero,” literally a jockey, but now a slang word for young kid with a bike who hustles tourists, I walked its deserted streets, emptied of people street after street. And now here I was on Clinton Place and Vassar pulling out into the two lanes, no cars, no people, no DQ, no funeral parlor at the crossroads of Chancellor and Clinton Place. Habana flashed in front of my eyes. I understood why the Vedado had been gutted and its citizens had fled Castro. With that concussive burst of images, I understood that instead of a simple nostalgic visit back home, that this trip had become a search for a much larger truth because I realized that while I could understand the social forces that had emptied and punished a faraway neighborhood, I didn't understand this Weequahic ghost town before me.
I turned right now and continued up Chancellor Avenue towards Syd's and recognized that what I was looking at was not just a function of time. It was not just a function of the normal cycle of a big city's birth and renewal or of the usual pattern of social mobility and change as a neighborhood's ethnicity shifted, and generations moved onward and upward to the Suburbs. We had vanished.
Seven decades of setting roots in and growing a community and Weequahic, the Weequahic of Clinton Place, disappeared. Looking around me as I drove slowly towards the high school, it seemed to me that we had left without packing our bags. The 1967 riots found me married, a first born on the way, living and teaching in Upstate New York at Elmira College. Mom and dad were still on Clinton Place. My sister Ellen was in love and she too would soon marry (to be continued). Warren
Home Sweet W-Home:
Elaine Sheitelman Furman (6/56)
Remembering the past while living in the present there are warm memories but they are not all warm and fuzzy. I forget many of the unpleasantries which I am sure existed. A shout out to Nate Himelstein (South Side 1/55) who joined me at my prom with another Weequahic senior.
I went to Rutgers in Newark, while some of my classmates went elsewhere. Thanks to Rutgers I became a pharmacist for the next 52 years. After pharmacy college, I moved to New Brunswick where the opportunities were not the same as in Newark. Tuition became more expensive.
I also want to give a shout out to all my Schley neighbors who were maybe one or two years older or younger than me. Elaine
Mike Siegel (1/59)
To Warren Bratter (1/60), I was the quarterback on the 1958 football team. That is where I first met Eddie Barker (1/59) about whom you recently wrote in the weekly newsletter. I remember well the game that we beat Linden High School for the first win in three years. Eddie was a great teammate (as well as you). Mike
Lenny Grossman (6/49)
The ham and cheese sandwich bar at Stash’s (pictured, below) was always great. When Stash ate everybody ate. Lenny

The WHS NOTE is emailed to you by the WEEQUAHIC HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION for the CLASS OF 1963 ASSOCIATION and editor, Jacob Toporek.


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