Back Together Again:
Our group began to come back together in the fall of 2002 when Phil found a picture of Daphne and her husband Tim Reid in an entertainment magazine. He e-mailed her at their studio and she replied.
This got Phil thinking about the friends of his youth and he soon Googled up his old friend Koop (Nick Koopalethes) and was able to make contact. As they huddled in Nick's basement outside Washington, D.C. that Thanksgiving weekend in the fall of 2002, laughing about the old days, they swore (pinky shake) to a quest to bring the class back together again. Nick's wife JoAnne commented that they were acting like they were 15 years old again, and they agreed. What you see on the following pages is the result of this quest...
Margo was quickly found on Classmates.com. Phil and Koop flipped a coin to see who had to pay the $35 membership fee and Phil lost. Nick got to talk to her first and immediately sent Phil an e-mail " talked to Margo...she remembers me well, but said "who the hell is Phil Garrou !" - Koop had not lost his sense of humor. When Phil finally got to talk to her, he only asked for one thing - for her to laugh her distinctive Margo Chan laugh, which she did. That 3-some formed the inner core of the "search committee", although nearly everyone has contributed to finding somebody - with special recognition to Stanley !
Next came Nora who turned up when an inter-office memo mysteriously appeared in a Google search on the day that Phil concentrated on finding her. Two days later it was gone. Clearly, Karma was on our side.
Annette, who had run in the NYC marathon and written children's books was found next and contacted at the school she was teaching at in the Bronx:
Better Beginnings Awardees
The Better Beginnings Award program recognizes elementary teachers who are gifted in finding and nurturing the strengths of each student and fostering trusting relationships among pupils, parents, teachers, and administrators. For more information, go to the Better Beginnings web page maintained by the Office of K-16 Initiatives and Access Programs.
Claremont Community School - Bronx
Stanley was found when searching New York metropolitan area for Stanley Engs - he was #4.
Alton was Googled and found directing a non profit that helps veterans find jobs:
Frank was found Superbowl Sunday 2003, when Koop recalled the name of the town in upstate NY where his family had taken Koop camping in the early 60's. Unbelievably, Frank was still there. He came to the phone wondering who was disturbing his superbowl party. When he heard who it was, and what was planned, he responded "You mean you found Margo Chan, and she talked to you?! "
|Peter Jay Sharp Center for Opportunity |
Director : Alton Johnson
Address : Brooklyn
The Peter Jay Sharp Center for Opportunity facility performs a variety of services, including serving as one of the primary Assessment and Referral sites in the New York City shelter system. It has Ready, Willing & Able beds and offers pre-program beds to individuals who receive intensive services and benefit from sharing a facility and a culture of upward mobility with peers who are already earning money for their work and on their way to full productive independence
By late Jan 2003, we were at 10, but the rest were getting harder to find. Someone recalled that Susan had gone to high school at Quintano's in NYC. Phil used Classmates.com to send the message "desperately seeking Susan" (catchy, huh !) to "girls" in her class to see if anyone remembered her / knew her whereabouts. The first response was from Nancy Allen who turned out to be Brian DePalma's Nancy Allen ("Dressed to Kill", "Blowout" - photo left), but she did not know where Susan had gotten to. Next was a response from a "Michelle Marx" who indicated that she did know of Susan's whereabouts and would get in touch with her, which she did. From later e-mails it became clear that Michelle Mourges (now Marx) was one of Susan's best friends from NYC, went to LaSalle (a year behind us), lived in the same building as Susan did in her youth, and moved out to California with Susan after HS. ......Karma again - most definitely !
Freddie was another interesting search. Nora's older brother recalled that Freddie had gone to Charles Evans Hughes HS and Phil once again sent out messages (via Classmates) and got back a response from "Bernice Soo Hoo Lee" pointing Phil towards "the Bullfrog" who indicated that after HS Freddie had been involved with the Rock Group Left Bank . A quick trip to a Yahoo chat room discussing the Left Bank quickly located members who knew Fred's whereabouts in Florida and even sent Phil the enclosed picture of "Renee" (below).
The Left Banke's hits including "Walk Away Renee", "Pretty Ballerina", and "She May Call You Tonight" were inspired by Finn's girlfriend Renee Fladen whom Michael Brown was infatuated with (we understand why - her hair's so brilliant that it hurts my eyes !). In their album "Left Banke Too" the hooded figure in the window in the background of the LP cover is their friend (and ours) Freddie Adams"
Stefen was located after Mr. Braunstein informed us that he had moved to CA shortly after Jr High and eventually became a lawyer. Nora tracked him down in Long Beach CA, through her law offices, but he had retired a few years earlier. He was finally located when a book review appeared in Amazon.com. He has retired to Thailand and was now teaching English at Assumption College:
Review written by
Stefen Weiss (long beach, ca)
The New Yorker Book of Cat Cartoons
by New Yorker Magazine
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
"The cartoons are what you would expect from the New Yorker: pithy and full of wit. The subjects themselves capture what we must think, albeit anthropomorphically, that cats see and contemplate when they view us or act around humans. It is all so believable, in a sardonic way, and because of that truly wonderful."
Chuck turned up when a speech he had given at a Biochemical Conference gave details of his employer in New Jersey:
“GES very nicely integrates scientific meetings to demonstrate the new technology with very limited industrial marketing compared to any other meetings.” - Dr. Charles Tackney, Director, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics and Johnson & Johnson
Kathy was discovered after Stanley recalled the town in New Jersey that her family had moved to during our HS years. Phil then tracked down her father, who he called in mid Feb 2003. Mr. May was not too sure about this call, out of the blue, from someone claiming to have taken his daughter to the Jr High prom. Phil tried to convince him of his identity by telling him how he recalled that Charlton Heston lived next door to them in a cold water flat in the 1950's. Mr. May responded with a line that will forever be remembered by the group ; "...that's right young man, that proves you were around in those days...but I hope you don't think that means I will give you my daughter's phone number ! " Grandpa May still protecting his daughter after all these years - left over from all those years in Hell's Kitchen, I guess ! He did relay the message to Kathy and she was soon back in touch with the gang again.
So we stood at 14 as we entered the spring of 2003. We looked desperately for the others, but to no avail. None have appeared on the Social Security death index (good news), so we will remain vigilant.
There are a lot of Dennis Coleman's out there, including the mayor of Half Moon Bay, CA and the artistic director of the Seattle Men's Choir. Phil had interesting communications with them both. We finally found "our" Dennis in the fall of 2005, after our reunion cruise in the Bahamas, when Frank found a photo of realtor Dennis Coleman of Maryland on Google. One look at the photo and we knew it was him.
Stanley also recalled that Bruce had a younger sister named Janice. Phil found a bio which matched time and place exactly. Janice Baird, European soprano (photo left) was indeed who we were looking for, she responded to Phil's e-mail and led us to her brother.
Stanley recalled that Carole had grown up to be Miss NYC Chinatown, in the very early 1970's (we think), but to our surprise we cannot find such a list anywhere. Stanley went so far as to post "Wanted" posters of Carole's childhood pic up and around Chinatown in 2003. Stan cleverly pointed responses to Phil. The best response that came back was from a woman who e-mailed "...I do not know your Carole, but I can be your little Carole if you want me to be !!! ". CAROLE NG FOUND NOV 2007!
We have searched extensively for Sheila. Mr. Sacher recalled that she had enrolled in Brooklyn College after HS at Bronx Science. The trail seems to end there. Our apologies to the "Sheila Eisenberg" in Queens who has received calls from at least 3 of us.
Eugene was not found in 5 years. Random pleas for help to classmates at DeWitt Clinton, where he went to HS, all went unanswered. In the fall of 2007, fast on the heels of our Richmond/Petersburg reunion, we were about to begin another campaign to find past friends at DeWitt Clinton. Then it suddenly came to Phil that "we" called him Eugene, but his mother called him by his given name Eugenio. This small change in Google and a Saturday morning of searching between Phil and Nick and bingo! Dr. Eugenio Barrios dean of admissions for Manhattan Borough Community College appeared. Further details will follow, hopefully in his short bio.
We've just located Margarita Garcia, in February 2010, through her cousin. She's been living in Puerto Rico, but has kept in touch with Nancy Ward, whom we hope to hear from soon!
THERE IS NO HIDING FROM THE LASALLE JHS 17 KIDS - WE WILL FIND YOU !!!