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From Marvin Zonis
April 9, 2018
Distressed to hear of John’s illness and hope he makes a complete recovery…I am mightily impressed by Steve Wasby’s continual productivity. Congratulations to him on his new book…

From John Keane
April 7, 2018
Steve  .It is an interesting cover to say the least. I like the essential colors which make a fine background for your youthful smiling portrait, and those many arrows showing much activity going on. Although  It is all a mystery regarding what they are saying.
My Best,

From John Keane
April 7, 2018

Hi Joe and Nancy,
Home from Hospital today after stroke a few weeks ago.
Please tell the class I send my hellos and best wishes to all.
Thanks for all you do for us.
(I look at it from a different perspective John. Thanks for all you have been doing for us… God’s grace, peace and healing be with you—Joe)

From Joe Mazzei
April 6, 2018
I
heard from Steve Wasby with the following news:
Mt. Ida College will close at the end of June. The facility is being purchased by UMass. Present students will be allowed to transfer to U Mass-Dartmouth.

Just wondering; did any of our classmates go to Mt. Ida. I do recall that ’back in the day' it was a two year women’s college. Later, perhaps in the 80s it became a four year school. Don’t have a clue if it ever became co-ed.
(Researched a bit; it became co-ed around 1976—JM)

From Carolyn (Whitford) Scott
April 5, 2018
 There is a website called "Flying High Above Downtown Alfred, Maine" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aF_riixCtk. It was taken by a drone. It is BEAUTIFUL!

We have a Shaker Museum in town and the playing of Simple Gifts in the background rounds out the video so nicely.

My dear little town I love so much.

From Steve Wasby
April 5, 2018
Joe – This is the cover for my new book, the release date for which is now April 18 (moved up from mid-May).

From Eleanor (Noone) O’Connell
March 31, 2018
Wish you the very best.  Misery likes company- Six weeks ago I went to the Emergency ward twice.  My OLD body hurt every where.  At he end (after checking for the flu etc.) I was told it was viral.  Thank goodness for Tylenol. (Thanks Eleanor, It has taken awhile; but I’m doing much better. Also happy to say that I didn’t ‘pass it on' to the bride—Joe)

From Carolyn (Whitford) Scott
March 31, 2018
Loved Marion's memories. So many of hers are mine as well. Gee, I thought I was the one who took the eraser!

My favorites at Woolworth's were the little green turtles. I had one that lived a LONG time. He wintered in the mud in the pan I provided, and lived in the closet underneath the water heater.

A close second at Woolworth's were always the paper dolls!

Of course, Mr. Anderson's dance classes and ballet classes and Winters are recalled.  Both my daughter and I stopped ballet classes for
financial reasons once orthodontics started!

One day, my dad dropped his check and deposit slip into the mailbox on the corner at Harvard Trust. Someone came and dug it out for him.

I was recalling pajama parties the other day, and late night walks to Cushing Square and the reservoir, etc.  Such innocent fun in those days,
no fears, etc. Marion, Nancy Johnson, and several others.

From Anne (Hazen) Bowen
March 30, 2018

Bonaire eh?
Sorry you were sick on your cruise but I couldn’t let your mention of Bonaire go unnoticed. I am on Bonaire now but fly home tomorrow after three weeks here. This is my 30th year here and I still love it. I come for three weeks every year to snorkel and see friends. I hate to say it but I liked it better before the cruise ship industry discovered it!  I hope you recover quickly

From John Keane
March 13, 2018
Hi Joe,
House across the street from me. Now at 25 inches and still snowing at 8:00 PM.
I thought this might add enjoyment to your warm vacation.

Hope it’s a good one.

From Marion (Schmitt) Ellis
March 12, 2018
Hi Joe -- I hope you will have a great trip to FL -- although if you were up here, you'd have to worry about whether in the teeth of our third "northeaster" your plane would take off.  (I thought in the old days -- Don Kent days - a nor'easter was always a storm, pretty unique to New England,  that came in from the north Atlantic, not just any circular storm that came up the coast bringing NE winds -- but of course we didn't have satellites, etc. then --)   So far, here in NH we've been much more lucky this winter than MA; I'm prepared for a power failure, but so far haven't needed to use our ancient generator -- just needed to reset the clocks and answering machine a few times.

I had comments on several threads recently -- which I'm sure can wait until you return, but I'll write them now.  The first is about Woolworths and Cushing Square.  I lived closer to the Square than any other classmate and spent a lot of time there.  Woolworths was where I would spend my allowance (25₵/week).  But I remember it most as the only place I shoplifted -- only once -- an eraser I think -- and I felt so guilty about it that I never did it again-- I think I snuck it back.  But obviously the caper has stayed with me!  Occasionally I would walk on to the Harvard Trust Bank where I had an account; the teller would take my 10₵ and enter it by hand into my bankbook.  Across the street, up a flight of stairs next to Winters' Hardware (which is still there), was the hall (which is not) where in grade school I had "ballet" (anyone remember Miss Campbell?); and later in Jr. High, it was where lots of us had ballroom dancing lessons with Mr. Anderson -- that was in the late afternoon when we were 7th (8th?)  graders and early evening a year later but I don't remember what day.  I remember that we lined up by height and everyone, especially the boys, had to wear white gloves; the girls had long dresses for the evening classes.

But that hall was also where I had church every Sunday morning.  We would uncover the altar, which was on the small stage, and the organ to the left of it, set up the folding chairs, and get out the hymnals; my family was often involved in this since we lived so close.  The Lutheran Church already owned the property up on Belmont Street, but the war came and their ambitions to build a proper church had to wait; the church was finally built in 1950, and still is there today; Sylvia Elso, Marilyn Weedon, and I were in the first Confirmation Class in the new building.

But another important memory: "Cookie" Whitford lived on Chester Road around the corner from me; I would "call for" her every day on the way to school (except when we had a big falling-out in Grade 2-----).  We had 11/2 hrs. to go home for lunch, and usually we'd walk those times together also.  Well, Mrs. Whitford worked at a gift shop in Cushing Square a couple of days/week, and on those days Cookie would walk past my house on Common St. and have her lunch -- usually a peanut better sandwich -- at Elsards, a luncheonette a couple of doors up from the gift shop.  On those days often she would "call for" me after lunch on the way back to school (Chenery.) Sometimes, she would have lunch at my house; but also, sometimes I would get money from my mother and go with her to Elsards -- that was really exciting for me, but rather ho-hum for Cookie.

By the way, when passing through recently I had an early lunch at Moozy's -- it is located where Trapelo Rd. and Belmont St. diverge, near the Oakley Country Club; in previous lives the building was a Brighams and, I think, a Baileys.  Their sandwiches seem to be named for the elementary schools of our day.  I  mentioned to the young man who was making my sandwich (I think I had the Kendall) that I had gone to Chenery, which I was surprised to see on their list.  He was unimpressed and said that so had he!  I had to inform him, all news to him, that when we went to his "Chenery", it was just called the Junior High, and that the administration building now next to it had once been the Chenery Elementary School.  He didn't seem to be any more impressed.  Sigh-------

Sorry this has gotten so long -- feel free to chop it up!  My comments on other threads will wait! (Chop up? I wouldn’t dare. Each memory you have will “stir up” that many more—- JM)

Best --

From John Keane
March 11, 2018
Joe and Nancy,
Have a good vacation, well earned .

We lost power and WiFi on Wednesday, got power back for a few hours on Friday but lost it again till Saturday. I burned a lot of wood in the fireplace to attempt warmth. The WiFi came back today Sunday at six PM, so here I am wishing you a happy trip.

Cheers,

From Steve Wasby
March 11, 2018
Gordon Allen did slick his hair back, but it was not a full head of hair

From John Keane
March 11, 2018
Hi Joe,
At BJHS I belonged to Mr Walker’s fly tying club. He was a personable teacher and was a customer of my paper route, who always gave a tip when I did the monthly collection. That guaranteed him a safe place for his paper , no matter the weather conditions.

That was a major life lesson.....always appreciate the people who do work for you....it’s a two-way street to best results. I think you practice this too , Joe.

My Best,

From Janet (Miller) McKee
March 11, 2018
Yes I remember Mr Allen but I had forgotten that he taught French.  I associate him with my career notebook - I aspired to being an airline hostess.  As to French in jr high, I remember Monsieur Marciano in 9th grade.  And I remember him for forgetting to return our test results - he apologized saying he had left them at home on the kitchen table.

From Steve Wasby
March 10, 2018

Gordon Allen was tall, starting to bald (as I remember), and had wire-framed glasses.

My connection with him was the Railroad Club. Remember: we all had to join a club in 8th grade, and I chose the Railroad Club.

We went on excursions – some of them on the MTA’s streetcars, some by train: I remember going to White River Jct, Vermont.

From Harley Anderson
March 10, 2018

I remember Mr. Allen.     He taught French for half of the year.  We were disrespectful in those days having nick names  for some of the teachers and administrators.  His was Greaseball because of his thick head of black hair.  I did learn a lot in that course and was able to talk with some of my French friends in far Northern Maine.  The County.

From Carolyn (Whitford) Scott
March 6, 2018
Two weeks ago, we celebrated the 100th birthday of a friend. Hers is the
third card I have had to purchase for that particular age birthday!

The same day our first great grandchild was born, a dear little girl!

Life is good in Maine!

From John Keane
March 3, 2018
Nice shot of the Patriots aircraft. I didn’t sense how big it was until I looked at the truck, which looked like a toy, and giving scale to the image.

From Steve Wasby
March 3, 2018
(late posting due to misplaced email)
I could finally open and read this now,
(March 2nd email sent by JM), as the power just came back on (at 9:30pm), after being out for 28 hours. My generator worked, so I had heat and light and the refrigerator didn’t thaw, etc. But no internet (and reading the chat on my cellphone is not the easiest).

Lots of people on the Cape without power, still – and I don’t know what the situation is with beach erosion. The third of the three  successive “astronomical” high tides isn’t until early tomorrow.  (I’m not on the water and am on slightly higher ground, as those things go here).

From Steve Wasby
March 2, 2018
I’m not going out in this high wind. Already have had power blips

From John Keane
March 2, 2018
Hi Joe,
It looks like this big storm starting here will not get to NC. They know you have had enough.
Steve should wear heavy shoes when out in the wind, armed with his camera.
Be well,

From Steve Wasby
February 28, 2018
(This is Steve’s response to a query I had heard about.—JM)
I reported that:
     When the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (again) struck down the president’s Executive Order travel ban, I was contacted by Radio Sputnik, just as they had contacted me after the first travel ban. This is the Russians’ English language Service; this time it was Radio Sputnik UK and I was dealing with Brits. They sent questions in advance and I negotiated changes. They asked me the agreed questions directly. Five minute interview, taped for use on air

From John Keane
February 27, 2018
Thanks so much for your words Joe. Certainly pass my ps on. (John’s ‘ps' is shown below—JM).

Also ,everyone who starts something always sees the limitation instead of the wonder of a start. I should send you a photo of my first attempt from eleven years ago.It was kid’s watercolor paint on a 5 x 5 piece of old white cardboard, of a goofy crooked sailboat. Perhaps some tentative classmates might then decide to make a little start.

At BHS I did not contribute anything to the class except being on the golf team.

I would like to make up for that by encouraging anyone to proceed. I would love to receive their email pictures of any attempts , and offer my observations or suggestions. I have plenty of time on my hands, and would enjoy contributing.

I’m looking for your first drawing or painting Joe !

Cheers, 

From John Keane
February 27, 2018
Hi Joe,

Thanks for your continued work on our updates. And also for proceeding with the painting shots. I hope it encourages some classmates to give it a try. Incidentally, 

my  “ studio “ is just a table in my basement. That’s all one needs.

Have a good week,

From Steve Wasby
February 23, 2018
This was sitting on the tarmac at TFGreen (PVD) on Wednesday AM

From John Keane
February 25, 2018
Hi Joe,
Things seem quiet , so here is the next Yorkshire place of interest. Captain James Cook worked here as a grocers assistant till 1745 before apprenticing with a coal shipping company and getting his seamen’s start.

Now....Please shoot me down with my thought here regarding two shots of the painting.
I wish to encourage many of my classmates to pick up some pencils or paints and make a start. I know that Bea Capraro Busa is an avid painter, and probably others waiting in the wings to try. So I included the second shot of the painting site to show how little one needs in the way of “stuff “ to start and continue.

If classmates had questions about stuff , they could ask through you, or email me any time.
I’ll certainly go with anything you decide Joe, so it’s just a thought for a dragging Winter.

Staithe’s Harbor, Yorkshire, 12X24, Water Miscible Oil—John Keane


Johns' Studio

From Steve Wasby
February 20, 2018
Joe – This morning’s NYT story about Rob Porter (White House aide, he who hits wives) has the following, in its third paragraph:

                “He grew up Mormon in a family with close ties to the elite Mormon enclave of Belmont, Mass. . . . “

That is a bit much. Yes, even before the Mormon temple was built in Belmont, there have been LDS  (Latter Day Saints) members there.

George Smith, a year behind us in high school, was the son of a senior Mormon official.  (Both George Smith’s father and Rob Porter’s

father were Harvard professors, not that that matters.)

                And  you may remember that, in our senior year,  we had an exchange student from Utah, Joye Catron, who was an LDF member

and when, in Charlie Meyers’ Problems of Democracy class, we had a section of comparative religion, she presented the Mormon perspective.

But “the elite Mormon enclave”? Nah.

There may be an “elite Mormon enclave” in Belmont, but that’s something different.

From Janet (Miller) McKee
February 18, 2018
My condolences to Michael Wald's wife Pat and family.  Pat was very good in informing us of the sad news.  I have a nice image in my mind of Michael in younger times.    Best wishes (just back from a trip to :London and Dublin)

From Pat Wald (Michael’s wife)
February 14, 2018
I'm not quite sure how to send an announcement to you.  I get the posts because my husband Michael Wald was in this class. 

Mike passed away yesterday, after a very brief illness with secondary lung cancer, primary cancer never found.  His illness progressed very fast, and he died one month from the biopsy.  He died peacefully, surrounded by family, at home.  His illness was short, but he had a very full life, enjoying his profession as pediatrician, his love of singing, hiking, sailing, traveling, his favorite dog Cleo, and his beloved family. 

Mike’s obituary may be seen at the following link:
http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/star-gazette/obituary.aspx?n=michael-wald&pid=188181241&fhid=13269

 

From John Keane
February 13, 2018
Hi Joe, To further complicate the global warming issue, my sources claim that mankind is not to blame. The problem comes from the fact that the earth’s  200 year orbit around the sun is slightly elliptical, meaning that every 100 year’s the earth is a little further away from the sun for a few decades, and therefore goes through a cooling period for a few decades. Some scientists in our class might shoot holes in this however.

Cheers,

From Rob Yacubian
February 13, 2018
I'm with you Joe. I'll take the hot weather anytime over the cold. That's why I spend the winters in Boca Raton.

When in the cold weather. up north,  I have an added feature that I love above and beyond the four heated seat:  Heated steering wheel. No  need to have gloves.

From John Havice
February 13, 2018
Hi Joe,
Just to add a thought about the Woolworths that was in Cushing Square. 

As most of you will remember at sometime in the late 40s or early 50s Woolworths and Ben Franklin, both 5 and 10 cent stores, swapped buildings. Woolworths went to Belmont Center and Ben Franklin went to Cushing Square. 

Perhaps someone in the Class of 1954 will know the reason for that unusual swap.

Stay well,

From Nancy (O’Neill) Eckstein
February 12, 2018
Hi Joe,  Nice to hear from you and our classmates on days when there is not much to do except stay warm.  Although it’s nice to look forward to two weeks of watching the Winter Olympics.  If you are still wondering why it is so cold, go to scientificamerican.com and check out “Why Global Warming Can Mean Harsher Winter Weather”.  Not sure but it does not appear to be fake news. But I do agree that heated recliners in the living room would be great for watching the Olympics - and catching up on reading. 

To Janet:  I was with you in our 3rd grade class at Payson Park and don’t remember much. I recall that Donald Mullen (my grandmother’s maiden name) was a “new kid" in our class that year and Miss Sawyer was “old” as compared to Miss McAuliffe in 4th grade. Love the photo. Like Ethan, I recall the boys in our 3rd grade class as highly enthusiastic and noisy. I am amazed by the opportunities my third grade granddaughter has today. In addition to Girl Scouts (and yes, I do remember your Mom as our amazing leader who took us on my first overnight camping trip to Cedar Hill) Eliza is the top swimmer (fly) on swim team and also loves soccer, gymnastics, and ice hockey. And she loves to bake!  Although both sets of my grandparents came from Ireland, my mother never passed on any recipes.  If Ethan’s Mom would like to share the recipe for Irish Apple Crisp with Eliza; I’m sure she would love it.

From John Keane
February 12, 2018
Hi Joe,
I can identify with your stiff knee joints and a few other locations. 
Remember that if you should have another power failure this winter , you and Nancy can jump into your car and turn on the seat heaters !
Thanks for keeping us all informed.

From Paul Lucy
February 12, 2018
Hi Joe,  the recent comments from John K. and Janet (Miller) McK got me thinking about Cushing Square; a fairly short walk from my house on Long Ave. I remember the Woolworths; we called it the “five and ten”. I remember that it had low “kid friendly” counters and old looking wooden floors. The square also had Batson’s pharmacy and Ohlins (sp?) bakery; and an A & P up the hill. Just up the street from Woolworths was the office of our family doctor, Dr. Egan; who, I believe, was also the team doctor for BHS football. Speaking of Janet, she spent time at our Washington St. playground. Better athlete than most of the boys at that age. In truth, most things about Belmont are a distant memory; but I can still name all of my teachers ... K to 6... at Chenery School. A trivia challenge for others?
Keep well; keep warm!  Best to all.

From Rob Yacubian
February 11, 2018
Janet is right,  only one Woolworth in Cushing Sq with  no  soda fountain. 
We had a Miss Sawyer, too, at Kendall who was  a much loved kindergarten teacher

From Marvin Zonis
February 11, 2018
Thanks Joe. Amazing, (Woolworth’s Menu)…I did an inflation calculation. 50 cents for a sandwich in 1957, given inflation, is equivalent to $4.36 today…Best.

From Eleanor (Courier) Chenevert
February 10, 2018
Hi Joe, I have to thank you for the laugh out loud this afternoon....has anyone ever slid a "hand rail".....no, we all slid down a bannister....I'll bet no one would have noticed if you did say that...hahaha....I don't have heated seats but I do have auto-start and it's nice to start the car from inside and have it nice and warm or cool, whichever is needed.   I also bet in 1954 a lot of didn't have a clue that we would make it to our 80's....we are all so lucky....thanks for notes and the laughs...

 

From Harley Anderson
February 10, 2018
Thanks for the updates.  Just to advise you as sort of a warning.  One of my granddaughters is headed to UNCW for the Marine Biology program.  This means we will have three sisters studying in your state which may require the patriarch to visit.  We are happy with her choice, however I have suggested that she minor in golf so she can get a job when she completes the program.   There is a rumor that global warming is s farce and is really just cycles of changing weather.

Stay and warm and keep up the good works. 

From John Keane
February 3, 2018
Hi Joe,

The menus from Rod were very nostalgic alright. Did we have a Woolworths in Cushing Square ? I remember getting a soda at one, but it might have been in Harvard Square after a Saturday morning at the “ Unie “ for movies. Also ,wasn’t there one in Boston across from the old Filene’s and subway entrance ? I could always smell their machine roasting mixed nuts upon entering, and man, I was always hungry. P.S., I’m still hungry.

Stay warm everybody,and enjoy the big game.

From Janet (Miller) McKee
Thanks to Roddy.  The Woolworths in Cushing Square didn't have a lunch counter so I didn't know there were other W's that did.

I'll add another memory test to the mix.  Yesterday I attended an event at my grandson Ethan's school.  He is in 3rd grade, in a class 24.  There are 5 3rd grade classes in the school so that makes about 125 pupils.  They had a Heritage project - an assignment where each pupil had to interview an old(er)! person and ask them about life when they were in 3rd grade. 

Where were you?  I was at Payson Park School with Miss Sawyer as my teacher.  etc.  My favorite recipe - I would say Apple Crisp.  etc.   Yesterday various mothers and fathers and grandparent interviewees gathered at the school to see the presentations and sample some of the favorite dishes.  Ethan's contribution turned out to be Irish Apple Cake made by his Irish mom.  A tasty contribution.  And quite appropriate reflecting Ethan's American grandmother and Irish grandfather.  Enclosed is a photo of Ethan from another occasion.  Ethan is the enthusiastic boy on the right.        

From Rob Yacubian
February 3, 2018
Recently received  another "faux" message from Frederick Merk which I did not open.

That Woolworth menu from yesteryear is unbelievable.

From Rod McElroy
January 17, 2018
Ward Eliott's comment (see January 7) sent me to my 55th reunion report to refresh my memory about his status as a college classmate.  Apparently not a classmate.  Delighted that he saw the notice in the magazine, but how so? Did Ward teach at Harvard, thereby getting on the mailing list?  In any event, thanks for the acknowledgement, Ward. (It was the captain of the 1958 Harvard Lightweight crew, of which I was a member, who posted that note.)

From Steve Wasby
January 16, 2018
Actually, when John Keane spoke of the weather in biblical terms, I thought he was going to refer to  storms of “Biblical proportions” – hall, sleet, freezing rain, thunder, snow, rain by the bucketful” – which some areas of the country have had – not to mention pestilences of various types, visited upon, I believe, the Egyptians, since we are talking about them.

From Carolyn (Whitford) Scott
January 15, 2018

I was most interested in Fred's WWII recalls. My sister's boy friend and my uncle were in the Navy. I recall the ration stamps, the blackouts, but most of all being at my grandparents' farm, here in Alfred, when the war ended and hearing the village church bells pealing! I will never forget that.

About Hawaii - there on a two-month cruise in 1994 which included Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific - seeing the many remains of our vehicles and armaments on the islands - then a sunami notice. We sat on the ship in the harbor for hours and never had the opportunity to go to the memorial. After the alert had been lifted, we were allowed to go ashore just a brief while before departure. We stood in a park just across from the memorial and I was so amazed that the people there were mostly Japanese. It was a very strange feeling that overcame me.

From John Keane
January 14, 2018
Hi Joe,
Good thought about latitudes and Savannah’s weather, and all those scribes hibernating for the cold times. Maybe the Burning Bush warmed Moses on a cold day in the mountains ?
Stay warm,

January 17, 2018
l have been enjoying our classmate WW2 stories of the 1940’s, very interesting. This painting scene probably looked exactly like this at that time, except for perhaps a U-Boat periscope in the distance.

Yorkshire Coast—12”X24” Oil


 

 








 From Joe Mazzei
January 14, 2018
Well… here’s a voice from the—once again—unseasonably cold South. In response to John Keane’s question below. I was curious about the thought that  Biblical scenes all took place in warm weather. Now this may be true. However, could it be that the Scribes had a problem writing in cold weather; so not much was reported, (now that’s a reach…)

Being the curious soul I am, I asked Google for the latitude of Jerusalem, (31.76N), then looked for a latitude close to this in the USA—Savannah, GA (32.08N). Savannah’s winter temps range in the low 40s to high 30s. Cairo, Egypt’s latitude (30.04N) and winter temps (low 50s), with lots of rain.

My imagination has me thinking, in Biblical times, winter may have been ‘hunker down' time; stay warm and dry, make new weapons, sharpen existing weapons. As for the Egyptians, they had to worry about how the Hebrews’ God would beat them this time. Anyway, there’s tons of history written about these times. Also, I tend to agree with John, it would seem that warm to hot weather existed for at least 9 months a year.

To inject a bit of humor, how many remember Jess Caine, a morning DJ on WHDH? After the 6 day war, (June 5—10, 1967), Jess asked a rhetorical question: “How is it the Israelis could win a war in 6 days?” His answer: “The weapons were rented.” (It was funny 50 years ago).

From Fred Merk
January 13, 2018
Hello Joe and Nancy,

After being away from my computer for a while I would like to respond to several recent postings on the BHS ’54 website. I appreciate the positive comment made by our Class Artist John Keane on Jan 2 about my camera. Also I would like to join other classmates in recollections of the Second World War. Rod McElroy’s remembrances of the war lead me to write about mine. I was a bit older than most of our classmates (should have graduated BHS ’53) and have vivid memories of the war.  On Dec 8 1941 I was sitting in Miss Small’s first grade class at Winn Brook School when Miss Burns, the Principal, announced over classroom loud speakers that the United States had just declared war on Japan following bombing of Pearl Harbor the day before. School was then dismissed.  As a 5 year old it was difficult for me to really understand what was going on. We were told that everyone had to help in the ‘War Effort’.  Yes.. we bought 10 cent stamps to lick and stick into War bond booklets. My sister Katharine (Katie) BHS ’50 taught me how to knit.  For a Church project the children were provided balls of yarn and our assignment was to make 6X6” squares. These would then be sewn together by adults to make blankets for our soldiers. How many GIs in the field were kept warm knowing that American kids were doing their part to help.  Another memory (painful) involved my friend and our BHS ’54 classmate Eric Markus. At home his parents normally spoke German. However when Eric’s friends were in the house, he would be very upset that his parents were speaking “the language of the Enemy” in front of them.

 We kids from Belmont Hill were bused to school.  Our driver, Mr. Fogarty, was a kindly gentleman...well  liked by his young passengers. Suddenly he became very sullen and quiet.  We soon found out why... his son had just been killed in action. With parental help we prepared a hand- made sympathy card which was signed by all of us. It was presented to him one day just before he opened the door to let us out. It was disconcerting for me to see this man uncontrollably crying as we exited the bus for school. Like Rod McElroy’s Dad my father was also an Air Raid Warden. When the sirens would start we had to draw blinds and turn off lights and remain at the top of the cellar stairs. He would leave the house and join other wardens in the street. The fearful mood set by wailing sirens and my Dad leaving the house made an unforgettable impression on me. Would some evil Nazi jump out of the woods and kill him?  During the war my father was Chair of the History Dept. at Harvard. He had become friends with a departmental assistant who was a Navajo Indian. One day he said that he had to leave Harvard to do “something very dangerous” in the Pacific. The mystery as to why... was frequently discussed at home. As it turned out… Navajo Indians were being recruited to serve in the war against Japan as ‘Code Talkers’. The Navajo language seemed to be the perfect option as a code because it is not written and very few people who aren’t of Navajo origin can speak or understand it.  The Code Talkers were in dangerous front lines of battle transmitting tactical information over radio. Fortunately he survived the war.

Another memory of great fear involved a beloved uncle. All we knew was that he was in California awaiting orders to be shipped overseas. My parents speculated that most likely he would be involved in the invasion of the Japanese Mainland…a bloody battle to be sure!  We had already lost another family member during the ‘Battle of the Bulge’ in Europe the previous year…and now this!

 Upon return home my Uncle told an incredible story. The troop ship departed San Diego on August 3 1945. On August 6 and 9 the United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan while his ship was still in mid Pacific. On Aug 15 the Japanese agreed to surrender.  The troop ship was ordered to turn around and come home!

My remembrances of WW II will end with an emotional experience I had about 20 years ago. My wife and I were in Pearl Harbor on the deck of the USS Missouri. We could look ashore and see the building over the underwater Memorial for the USS Arizona…sunk on that dreadful day Dec 7 1941. The Memorial represents the start of WW ll. On September 2  1945 the formal Treaty of peace was signed on the exact spot where we were standing and it represents the War’s end….
Best Regards,

From John Keane
January 8, 2018
Hi Joe,
I
t sounds like you and others are doing ok with the erratic weather.That is good.
Last week as I was standing in a foot of snow with the wind howling and the temp at four degrees,I had an odd-ball thought.....picturing all the biblical scenes, both Old and New Testament, and realizing they all are in warm weather.......Hmmm...There must be some humorous and respectful comments that could apply here?  Classmates ,any thoughts ?

From Ward Elliott
January 7, 2018
Stay warm for sure!  It’s 70 degrees and partly cloudy in Southern California today.  We’re a month into the rainy season with barely a hint of rain.  Great for walking around in T-shirts and shorts, not so great if it means the drought is back.  But here’s the California shocker that no one has noticed:  Harvard School of Public Health study announced last week estimates national early deaths from smog these days are 30,000 a year, 20,000 from fine particulate matter, 10,000 from ozone.  LA air basin has 5-6% of US population and probably has an average share of the PM deaths, 5-6%.  But its ozone levels, though 2/3 lower than when I arrived 50 years ago, are still among the worst in the land.  Best-guess estimates say almost a quarter of the combined 30,000 deaths are probably right here in the Basin, which would be 7,200 a year.  Backcast that 7,200  50 years to a population half the size of today’s, and starting with 3 times as much smog, and I come out with a cumulative 50-year death toll of 429,000 on my watch, a bit more than all US military deaths in WW2.  Who knew?  I need to check this out with the big boys who wrote the two leading smog-death studies to make sure I haven’t somehow added a decimal or two, but it sounds like a rather high price to pay for escaping Boston’s harsh winters.

On a more cheerful note, I notice in the Harvard Magazine a report from another Harvard alum that Rod McElroy was inducted into the “Man for Others Hall of Fame” of the St. John’s Jesuit High School in Toledo, Ohio, for coaching the SJJ crew for 20 years.  Who knew?  Way to go, Rod!  The word is out.  Hope you’re still on the water when the weather is good.  Lake Erie?  Maumee River?  I’ve been off flatwater rivers for 50 years but remember my calm, majestic, canoeable Eastern rivers with great fondness. 
Yours,

From Kathleen (Hennesy) Stoll
January 3, 2018

We are suffering not only from the cold, but lake effect snow here in Cleveland. and my son drove through it all from Cleveland to Chicago yesterday. My daughter in Washington DC was also safe. She teaches chemistry at Georgetown and her husband is a survivor so far at the EPA, He is a lawyer, no a scientist--that helps. Kathleen. -

From Mona (McLellan) Calthorpe
January 3, 2018
OMG there is snow in Tallahassee, Fl. today and the water fountains are freezing! I am further south near Bradenton & it was 52 here today & I put my heat up to 74!,

Haha but you know what- it won’t last long & hopefully we’ll be back to normal in a few days.  I was out today & had the seat warmers on in my car and for the first time in 13 years, had the heat on in my car! Yes I know, it’s a tough life!

(Under the heading of “snow in Tallahassee”, my son lives there and works for the State of Florida. He said that things were so bad in the area that they closed I-10 for a 10 mile stretch from the Tallahassee US-219 interchange 10 miles eastward. There were lots of accidents in that stretch. They also closed the flyover—what we called an overpass– over I-10 because there were lots of accidents on that US-219 bridge. Yep! Bridges do freeze before roads. JM)

From Rod McElroy
January 3, 2017
Wishing all the classmates a safe and healthy 2018.  2017 was a good year for the McElroy clan.  As far as 1943 is concerned (or any of the war years) I remember dad serving as an air raid warden walking though the neighborhood with his white steel "official" helmet on, mother folding bandages somewhere, next door neighbor's two sons going off to fight, and coming back intact, being very careful about installing the blackout boards in the basement windows and shutting off all the lights from the ground floor up when the air raid siren sounded, pinching ration stamps (I found a book of them just the other day), mixing the yellow dye with the margarine so that it "looked" like butter, crushing tin (not aluminum) cans, saving tin (not aluminum) foil, watching the "Movietone" news at the theater in Harvard Square and on New Year's Day when the whole family went to a Disney or Abbott and Costello movie in Boston (The latter may not have occurred until 1 January 1946, the more I think about rationing et al.)

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

From John Keane
January 2, 2017
Steve,
Very nice shot of the beach and frozen foam. The abstracts in your composition relate really well, so you definitely have a feel for photography. You , Fred Merk, and Joe M. should keep us connected with your gems.

From John Keane
January 2, 2017
Joe,
I continue to be amazed at what you have constructed , with access to different years, and a variety web sites that are of so much interest and easy to connect to. One could spend a whole day perusing around. It is an important gift to all our classmates.
Many Thanks,

From Caroly (Whitford) Scott
January 1, 2018
It was 22 BELOW ZERO this morning! 

From Harley Anderson
January 1, 2018
Thanks Joe for the update.  It is Cold  .-3   at the present time here in Hollis, NH. (@ 9:00 PM)

From Harley Anderson
January 1, 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR MY DEAR FRIENDS.
May it be a year of good health with God blessing for you and your family.

Harley & Carole

From John Keane
January 1, 2018
Happy New Year Joe,
The continued snow and cold weather created a need for some greenery and summer air. Classmates in warmer climates are hopefully enjoying their winter season in shorts.
Best wishes to all for a good year of 2018.


Old Shooting Lodge—John Keane

Happy New Year—2018

04/12/18