45-Year Reunion

Presented to the class by 1960 Sailors Association Inc.
The Main Event
Saturday Evening, p.
4 of 7




One of our very special memories came alive at this reunion in 2005 upon the triumphant return of our own school mascot,



When we were kids at Oceanside High School, we had a school mascot, Popeye, the Sailorman, who helped cheer our Sailor teams to victory. In our senior year, at least four of our classmates took turns playing Popeye; first, he was played by Bob Balsan; sometimes, he was played by one of our now late classmates, Mike Katz or David Adest, but mostly, we remember when he was played by Tom Nasca.

We knew that our Popeye had been "away at sea" for some time when our Reunion Committee decided it would be cool to bring him back for our 45-year reunion "sea cruise." Of course, we were delighted when Tom agreed to recreate the role for us in 2005.


  Tom Nasca as Popeye, the Sailorman, in 1959


                               Newsday photo

LI Marriott, "Re-Uniondale," New York, May 28, 2005



Little did we know when we planned our 2005 reunion that by some remarkable and timely coincidence, someone at Oceanside High School had the same idea that same school year and brought Popeye back for the spring 2005 basketball season. As reported in the then current May 2005 Sider Press article that is reproduced below, however, we found that a misinformed student reporter erroneously traced the long lost mascot's origin at OHS back only to the early 1970s. But we know better, don't we, Mateys? Our research tells us that the first OHS Popeye mascot was our own Bob Balsan, beginning in the 1959 basketball season. Interestingly, Bob made his career in the Navy (once a sailor, always a sailor).


You sure haven't changed much,
Popeye. And thanks for the
memory, Tom


Copyright 2005. 2008 by Howard B. Levy and 1960 Sailors Association Inc. All rights reserved.