Paula Fincke Garrett (68) extends invite:
To Newark kids, graduate years 67 to 69, we are getting together for a luncheon on July 12, 1 PM, at Seasons 52 in Edison, NJ. If you went to Maple, Chancellor or Weequahic, would love to have you join us. Contact me 732-580-0809 or via e-mail to email@example.com. Paula
Responses to prior comments on WHS vets of the Vietnam War:
Lew Wymisner (64)
Alan Baskin, my WHS classmate, was a Navy Sea Bee and went to Vietnam, twice. He came home in 1968 and later was commissioned into the Air Force Reserve where he retired as a Colonel. He lives in San Diego. Lew
Herb Segal (59)
Fourteen of my twenty-seven years of Army service were focused on the conflict in Southeast Asia and its aftermath as a Walter Reed intern meeting the nightly casualty flights, researching early agent orange exposure, experiencing the ground shake with B-52 strikes, surviving a helicopter crash "near" the Cambodian border, using my Weequahic French to interact with my Vietnamese medical colleagues, later preparing stateside Army bases for Vietnamese refugees and, still later, watching Lao hill tribes families escaping across the Mekong, and working in Cambodian and Lao refugee camps. Together with two subsequent trips to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and vivid memories of three friends who died in combat, those events still largely define me. Herb
Richie Gerber (6/63)
There are a few more Vietnam vets from our June 1963 class. The one I can remember at this moment is Irwin Shotsky. Seymour Schissler is another. I was lucky enough to stay in the states. Richie
Steve Bogner (66)
Several years ago, told me Ernie Bethea (6/63) did serve in Vietnam and was seriously wounded with shrapnel. He came back, but ultimately passed away. You can check with Claude. By the way, Claude and Earnie were two of the nicest guys I have ever had the privilege to know. Steve
Claude Scott Bey (1/65)
Ernie Bethea recovered from his wartime injuries, briefly attended college and, sadly, passed away in the mid-80s. He served in the US Marine Corps. Claude
Enid Hinkes (60)
The comment about Weequahic Alumnus Michael Swangin, who was killed in Vietnam, made me wonder whether the memorials at Untermann Field are still there for the Weequahic WWII and Korean War graduates who were KIA. If I recall correctly, each serviceman was remembered with a large stone and bronze plaque with the graduate's name, service and date of death on it. They were placed in the far corner of the field.
I am also curious to know if the names of the Vietnam KIA were added to the markers. Is there a list of the Weequahic graduates who were killed in the Vietnam War? Enid
Phil Yourish (64)
In reply to Enid, I'm not aware of a list. There is a plaque outside the auditorium at Weequahic with a listing of students who died in World War II. Phil
Myra Lawson (70/WHSAA)
Enid, we were contacted in the past by a couple of people concerning WHS alumni to make sure their names are included in the Vietnam Vet Memorial in Holmdel.
Enid asked about memorial stones at Untermann Field that were placed there in memory of servicemen who died during WWII and the Korean War. I was at the school recently and Mr. Ellis, the Athletic Director, and I walked to the area mentioned (behind the visitor bleachers) and tried to find them (or anything close). Unfortunately, we didn't find them. It is possible that they are still there covered by the concrete installed under the newer bleachers or simply covered by dirt and grass over time.
As a note, there is a plaque outside the auditorium which lists servicemen who died in WW2. This is the school's 90th anniversary, and there may be other hidden 'treasures' in the building. If I come across anything noteworthy, I'll share.
Howard Spatz (64)
I was sad to hear that one of my classmates, Mike Swangin, was killed in Vietnam. I was not really close to Mike but we were friends and we spoke occasionally. He was a straightforward individual and a straight shooter. I remember him as an honest and respectable individual. It is terrible that his life was cut short and he could not enjoy all the years that many of us had. I am not surprised at all that he was a hero and did the right thing. May he rest in peace. Howard
Gary Prager (6/61) points to the path to many successes was laid down at WHS:
Having read several comments in the “WHS Note” about “Heroes” of Weequahic High School, I have to respond by noting that there are many, many very accomplished alums who've remained below the radar. Another quick case is someone with whom I went to grammar school, Larry Foster (George Lawrence Foster III (6/60). We both lived on the same block. Larry played football for Weequahic. He graduated from Howard University Medical School and later became a dental surgeon at Harlem Hospital. Another outstanding alum who is an unsung hero.
Another was Bill Fruchter (6/60). He played basketball for the team that went to the state championship (when they lost). He later went on to become a successful attorney until his passing. One could make a lifelong career uncovering these individuals who made real contributions and accomplished so much in their personal low-key lifestyle. As I've always maintained, Weequahic wasn't a high school, it was a way of life. I hope that self-confidence can always be maintained. Gary
For Alan Ginter (64/65) and Jerry Wichinsky (64) ushering at The Mosque had its benefits and memories:
Reading the comments about the Mosque Theater reminds me of all the shows we, as ushers, were privileged to see. The memories came back when I recently heard that Bobby Rydell died. Saw his show there, but also played for him in the Catskills at the Raleigh Hotel. I worked for Seymour, the Ushers' "Supervisor," along with Bobby Keil (6/63), Thom McCloud (65) and my cousin Hal Teitelbaum (65). Ushers had access to backstage for all the shows. Regardless of the performers, we could walk right up to them and talk; Maria Tallchief, The Temptations, Little Stevie Wonder, Tex Ritter, The Kingston Trio, Johnny Mathis, Cannonball Adderley and the list goes on and on.
Before I was an usher, Jeff Davis (64/65) and I saw Bobby Darin with the Jimmy Dorsey (ghost) Band. Before that, I saw the Will Mastin Trio featuring a very young Sammy Davis, Jr. Mr. Scocozza (Mr. S) Weequahic Band and Orchestra Director, was also concert-master of the New Jersey Symphony and we saw him at the Mosque often. All of the record labels, whether Soul, Pop, R&R, R&B, Jazz, or Country would put on reviews so you could see many stars on the same show.
Once, after a shift as ushers, Thom McCloud and I stumbled onto the set of “Zacherly”. Yes, THAT Zacherly. He was in costume and everybody was there, Gassport, his wife in the coffin and the Sulphur Pit. What a kick. I was even on “Junior Frolics with Uncle Fred.” Alan
Like some others commenting here, I also was an usher at the Mosque Theater (later Symphony Hall). I ushered there from junior high school through high school and into college. What a great opportunity to see some phenomenal shows and performers I otherwise would never have had the opportunity to see.
During that time many of the top rock groups performed there including The Rolling Stones, Dave Clark 5, Beach Boys, Bob Dylan and on and on. As ushers, part of our job was to stand on the stage to keep the screaming girls from rushing the stage. What an experience!
My first show was on October 7, 1961 and it was the greatest show I have ever seen. And those of you who know me will attest that takes in a lot of territory. Judy Garland repeated her Carnegie Hall concert from April of that year (see show ad, below). Words cannot describe it. Jerry