40-Year Reunion

 
July 28-30, 2000      
 

The early part of the 1990s was marked by a long and ineffective war on drugs and by Desert Storm, a quick and effective war in the Persian Gulf led by a new national hero, General Norman Schwartzkopf.  It was also marked by the end of the Soviet Union and the Cold War, rap music, a scandal at United Way that rocked the not-for-profit world, continued growth of the international AIDS epidemic, the Gay Rights movement and, thanks to Anita Hill, a heightened sensitivity to sexual harassment.
       
Later, the races were divided again over the O.J. Simpson "trial of the century," Dr. Kervorkian gave us a new issue to debate assisted suicides, and we witnessed mass cult suicides and a massacre at Waco, the Oklahoma City bombing and the Unabomber's letter bombs.   We had the beginnings of genetic engineering, cloning and the exploration of Mars, and the most incredible technological explosion to date right here, on the worldwide web.  And the sunset years of the decade saw record-breaking economic prosperity, a sex scandal in the white house and the resultant Clinton impeachment hearings, the tragic Columbine High School shootings, and the

New Year's Eve
of the millennium!  

What a see-saw it was!!

In this year of the turn of the millennium, the whole world has become retrospective, looking back over the events of the last century in unprecedented ways and to an unprecedented extent.  What better time for us to look back to our time of youth  just after the middle of this remarkable century  for our own personal, nostalgic examination of the societal changes we have witnessed.  This was certainly the right time to let the good time roll again with the OHS Class of 1960 Sailors' reunion.

And how was the reunion? 

WELL,
IT WAS

Yes, our 40-year reunion was surely nothing short of spectacular  for those of us who went, it was truly the party weekend of our lifetimes. It was made of the magic that melts away years and decades and brings us back to our time of youth. This phenomenon occurs just from being reunited so briefly with dear old friends and others who shared that wonderful experience with us so long ago  at that very special time of our lives that is celebrated in this website  and in our reunions.

This reunion was filled with special, new surprises.  After a number of us met "unofficially" at for lunch Friday,  in both tears and laughter, we toured our old school. It has changed a lot, but is not without its recognizable remains.  (Click here for an emotional account by one of us of a typical response to touring our school after 40 years.) As we left OHS, a blue and white, 8-foot banner welcoming us back and proclaiming that our class was  "Still Cool" and that it "Still Rules" was unrolled for the class for the first time.  

After the tour, we caravanned in our cars around town a little bit, stopping to reminisce some more at  some familiar spots  changed, of course, but still recognizable, for example, the Great Lincoln Shopping Center. We were greeted on arrival by  and surprised  at what we called "Artie's Little Red Store" (now just "The Red Store," a precursor to the modern convenience store) at Waukena Avenue and Oceanside Road, a childhood favorite for many of us, with a marquee welcoming our class back home (thanks to Mel Krimko, who arranged it).  

Friday night, after some of us met for dinner at the Pantry Diner, we met at a popular Oceanside watering hole (operated by the same family for 70 years), Johnny Russell's Oceanside Grill, where we were greeted once again by another marquee welcoming our class back home, 

and inside by the big blue and white welcoming banner, as we gathered for drinks and and spent a wonderful evening in noisy, nostalgic conversation.

Saturday night, of course, was the big event.  As we entered the Long Island at "Re-Uniondale," NY, we were greeted outside the ballroom door by a classic '55 Chevy, 

displaying a sign in its windshield once again saying, Welcome Back, Class of 1960, Still Cool,  Still Rules.  Once inside, we saw the big blue banner again.

And did we PARTY!!

Our evening was spiced with memories, some of them inspired, perhaps, by the classic car that greeted us at the door, a sentimental slide show, or sound clips featuring the voice of Alan Freed doing dedications in 1955 and  heard for the first time in 40 years  the voices of our own classmates, recorded live, on stage in the OHS auditorium in November 1959  our senior play, Teahouse of the August Moon.  But mostly our memories were inspired by conversation  lots of it!

Here are some typical reactions received from our classmates:  

  • Jeany Bomberg wrote, "What a time we had!!  How fortunate we all are.

  • Bill Liebman: "I can't imagine any other class having something so rich ..." 

  • PeeWee Weitzman: "I was so glad to see everyone ... the years melted away, and I loved it!

  • Karin Nover: "I had a great time and am really happy I came."

  • Sue Schlesinger: "Whattaparty ... it was wonderful ... had a spectacular time.  I keep thinking about it and loved every minute."     

  • Jeff Menton "What a great time ... it all came together wonderfully.

  • BJ Diamant: "... proves we were and still are a very unique group of people and very fine and good, too  ... a huge reinforcement that I grew up with wonderful people ... ."

  • And Lloyd Becker wrote, "My wife ..., who is an Oceanside grad of '66, LOVED our reunion and the class members whom she met. She has said several times how she feels more connected in spirit to our class with its friendliness and enthusiasm than she ever did with hers."

  •  

    As he did in 1990, Howie welcomed the class to its 40-year millennium reunion. This time, he focused on the differences between our collective high school experience and that of our children and grandchildren. 

    Introduced by our one and only Doreen (Silverstein), Howie approached the microphone to the tune of our website theme song, "Sea Cruise."  Appropriate ambience was afforded Howie's address by a nostalgic slide show of familiar images from the '50s, 

    as he reminded us, once again, that our time in high school "was when we formed many of the values we now hold dear and many of the most intimate, precious and lasting friendships of our lives."  

    "Reunions are all about remembering." Howie said, "And what spectacular memories we, as a class, have to share. Among other things, he also pointed out that "the older we get, the easier it becomes ― just by spending a little time together sharing such sentiments ― to turn old acquaintances into dear old friends and dear old friends into treasures.  And in just a few magical moments ― just like before ― it's yesterday once more."  (Click here to hear Howie's welcoming address in its entirety.)

    And of course, we did the Stroll once more. 

    There was lots of  hugging, laughing, smiling (almost enough to break our faces), and lots of dancing to our very own, old time rock 'n' roll.  (People who attended a class of 1980 reunion of another school  in the next ballroom conceded after both events had ended, "Your music was better than ours.")  

    And when the DJ played "Shout," well,  It WAS 1959 again.  You'll just have to see the rest of the pictures.  (Click on the Brownie at the bottom of this page.)

     Oh, what a feeling, what a night!

    On Sunday, many of us continued our party weekend of the century at the beach,

    where our big blue welcoming banner was again displayed.   Some of us  were dressed in our "official" 40-year reunion t-shirts that declared "We Rocked Around the Clock" as we continued to catch up with each other and share our feelings about the magical weekend that was then coming to a close.



  • There are 224 40-year reunion photos on 13 web pages of this site. These are the best ones selected from almost 500 made available to us.  

    Click on the Brownie to view the 40-year reunion photo album. 

    1970 

    1980
    1990

    2005

           

      
    2010

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    Copyright 2000-2005 by Howard B. Levy and 1960 Sailors Association Inc.  All rights reserved.