John Breen letter to MVHS 7-7-97

                                       JON BREEN MEMORIAL FUND

                                         Mt. Vernon High School                 

                                                  c/o 101 Prospect Street

                                                                               White Plains, NY 10606


July 7, 1997


Dear Classmates and Friends,


I had the pleasure of attending the MVHS Senior Awards Convocation on a warm June 10th evening. As usual there was very large amount of recipients, awards and scholarships. I have included a copy of the program with this letter. I had the pleasure and pain of reading over two hundred essays and I can say with sincerity that there were many very good ones. The topic this year was Celebrating One’s Freedom.

The three winners were Ms. Joby George, Ms Jyoti Elavunkal and Mr.Lee Bulgin. Linda, who ably assisted me in narrowing down the field, and I were unbelievably impressed by the essay written by Ms. George. In fact, I called Mr. John Alberga, the Chairman of the Social Studies Dept. because we both doubted a high school student could author such a great and profound piece. I had no idea who she was, and I had questioned whether she was she capable of such work! Happily, Mr. Alberga related to me that Ms. George was the number one student in the class and a National Merit Scholar! It was a good feeling that all three of our winners were high ranking and award winning students. By the way Ms. George and Elavunkel were two very attractive and mature young adults.


As usual I have remained in contact with a number of you over the past months and years. Frank Engel, Larry Reich, Lew Perelman, among others keep up a pretty decent stream of communications. Henry and Madeline Littlefield have been on a trip to Europe and I have recently received rave reviews from their visit to Austria. I may have reported to you earlier that I have also heard from Arnold Siegel and Mike Rosenblum. I have also received a post card from Alan & Wendy Rosenberg who are visiting Pearl Harbor and our 5oth State. Warren and Mary Adis, along with their children are returningafter a year-long trip to Israel. We have received numerous letters and e-mails, and I envied their remarkable courage to uproot themselves and make and enjoy such a marvelous adventure.


This past weekend, July 4th, I traveled back to Mt. Vernon’s old St.Paul’s Church. At that location, the Declaration of Independence has been read for the past 115 years. Remarkably three generations of the Banning family have continuously read this most famous and cherished document. The star of the whole event, and the main reason for my attendance, was the 47th straight appearance of one Dr. Randall, who was leading the Mt. Vernon Municipal Band, which he founded 47 years ago. Though I’m sure Doc did not really remember me, I never played an instrument, but he did remember Stan Goldmark and Frank Engel who were two of his loyal students and fans. Hope all of you have a marvelous summer and stay healthy.




Richard J. Garfunkel