The Jon Breen Fund
Mount Vernon High School
100 California Road
Mount Vernon, NY 10552
April 18, 2005
Dear Friends and fellow classmates
Hello from Tarrytown, NY. I hope that this letter finds all of you and yours in excellent shape after this rough winter that the Northeast has endured. Frankly I cannot remember one winter from the next, but some stick out as worse or better than others. Since my last letter in August we endured the Presidential election, the pennant debacle for the Yankees and the end of the Red Sox 1918 curse. The Sox, with that onerous monkey off their back, no longer have the excuse of being pathetic also-rans. We have entered into our 2nd year of Gulf War II and even though our casualties have dropped off thankfully, the specter of our departure seems to be still far away. We have been e-mailing a soldier named Justin Colby who we met at the Westin Hotel in Princeton during Thanksgiving. He’s a Reservist who was newly married and just called up for a year in Iraq. It’s a bit different knowing somebody that is over there and in the line of fire, not just an abstract name out of 10’s of million. We have sent him candy and other small items. He’s had some problems accessing e-mail, so we asked our Congresswoman Nita Lowey to investigate the problem. If you wish to e-mail him, he can be reached at Justin_colby2003@yahoo.com . I am sure he would be glad to hear from someone stateside.
I was able to see the MV Knights play a few times this season, and I attended the New Rochelle –Mount Vernon Section I final. NR finally got the better of their ancient rival. Not only did the Huguenots break the Knights 50 game Section I winning streak during the season, but they muscled past the favored Knights in front of a jammed packed County Center. Well after 5 straight titles, the younger Knights, who had their opportunities to win, lost to a physically stronger and hot team. But fortune did not shine on New Rochelle at the State Finals in Glens Falls, where Niagara Falls H.S., who lost to MV last year, beat them handily.
Recently I was invited to become a member of the Student College Fund Committee of Mount Vernon that dates back to the 1920’s. Many of the current members are pretty “long in the tooth” and hopefully I can bring some ideas to the table regarding how that fund can be sustained. We had a meeting again on April 11th so if any of you have any ideas or live in the nearby region and want to participate in the future, please let me know! By the way, I was able to learn from Eric Dreyfus, class of 1955, that their AB Davis Class of is having its 50th reunion. They have a great web site, if you know people from those days, look into www.members.aol.com/ABDavisReunion55/index.html . This year’s Jon Breen Scholarship Essay is How Do You Balance Freedom of Speech Through Creative Expression that may be Abhorrent, Offensive or Illegal to Other Members of Society? The essay will be judged on one’s ability to demonstrate an understanding between the delicate balance between artistic freedom or creative self-expression, and the rights of others who feel they have been otherwise maligned by forms of expression, that are generally offensive to the moral and ethical standards of the community. This year I am giving a lecture to Mount Vernon High School AP history students, and the topic will be the New Deal and the Dilemma of the 2nd Term 1916-2004. You can see all of this information on https://www.richardjgarfunkel.com. This past week was the 60th anniversary of the death of FDR in Warm Springs, Georgia.
With regards to Mount Vernon memories, old friends Alan and Wendy Rosenberg are doing quite well. Alan is still a very knowledgeable basketball junkie and attends Knick and Net games with regularity. Warren and Mary Adis are going with us to the Museum of Natural History in a few weeks and hopefully we will meet Michael and Sandy Rosenblum for dinner that evening. Warren is still a professor at Iona and is back in the good old USA after a yearlong sabbatical in Australia, New Zealand, Indo-China and Israel, while Michael is constantly busy as real-estate broker in NYC. Jimmy Kurtz is still braving the Upstate New York weather, but has been traveling and seems as chipper and upbeat as usual. Marcia Salonger is also in the real-estate business in NYC, and tells me that skiing in Switzerland is great. I periodically speak to Joel Zalvin who’s active in the insurance business with New England Financial. Bill Bernstein, has retired from the legal department of Coca-Cola and has relocated to Florida with his wife Joan, also a Mount Vernon native. We have been exchanging numerous e-mails through the recent political campaign. Barbara Blumberg Baron is thriving in Virginia. She recently told me that she stays in contact with Elaine Knopping. I also heard from Lois Goodman, who also lives in the south. She attended the lower grades in Mount Vernon before moving overseas. I am always hearing from Frank Engel, who is a great correspondent is still teaching and playing jazz in Seattle. Larry Reich is still very active in the medical profession in Beverly Hills, and his surgery center has been the chosen locale for the television hit, “Extreme Makeover.” Stan Goldmark’s oldest daughter is up at Syracuse and he is still quite enthusiastic over Wisconsin football, Lew and Isabella Perelman are enjoying life in Virginia and he is affiliated with the Homeland Security Department. I hear from Matthew Goldberg who practices law in Oakland, Alice Marker Peters who with her husband are independent publishers in Massachusetts. Barbara Tucci Parent has been cruising all over the world. I heard from a Carol Clark, Class of 1962, who met my daughter at a conference in Boston. I also have heard from Fran Lazar Ashkin, Alan Wexler, and Carol Bellew, who just told me that she was out golfing with her son. I have done that many times, and in fact, I played with my father when he was 87 and my son Jon was a teenager. My father finally put his golf clubs away at 93, but now is plugging away towards 101 along with my mother who is 97! If you are interested in some eclectic blogging, look at my son’s site at www.civilities.net.
If you are interested in communicating via e-mail please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, no check is refused and you can send any contribution to me or directly to the high school.
Richard J. Garfunkel
2801 Watch Hill Drive
Tarrytown, NY 10591