*Members: If you have any announcements that you would like to post on the ROBS web site, please contact Nick Siciliano at
             News2@robsny.org. Announcements will be posted each month on this page. If you miss any previous month's announcements,
             you can view them at the Archives page of this web site. You can also read more news in our Newsletters. In addition, if you have
             your own web site, and would like to share it with other members, let us know and we can include the link on the ROBS site.

  IN THE NEWS                                                                OCTOBER 2009

POSTED 10/7/09 

      At the end of September 2009, Gilda Mantin, former high school English Department Chairperson was in NYC. Her former colleagues, Chris Veech, Cass Howard, Judi Weissman and Betty Stosuy headed in to visit with her. She was unfortunately in town for the funeral of her son Steven, who lost a long battle with cancer. Living in Arizona now, she is relocating to Berkley, CA to be near her daughter Lois. The group had a delightful luncheon visit in lower Manhattan. Gilda has always been held in high regard by her teachers, and they wish her much love and happiness in her new home on the west coast.

          Click on photo for larger view.


     Just a reminder to our members to renew your ROBS membership for the coming year. You can download the Membership Application here and mail it along with your check for $25 dollars to Marge Kirchner, 666 Hawkins Road East, Coram NY 11727. Make checks out to ROBS.
     If you are not currently a member, please go to the Membership page of this site to learn more about the many benefits of joining ROBS.  You can also download the application from that page.
     We hope you will be joining us, and to our current members, thank you for your renewal.
POSTED 10/20/09

     James Eckert , the husband of Linda Eckert passed away on October 18. (Linda taught social studies at Sonderling HS and retired in 2003.) Visitation will be held Wednesday at the Coster-Heppner Funeral Home, 32470 Main Road, Cutchogue from 2:00pm-4:00pm and 7:00pm-9:00pm. A celebration of life will be held Thursday from 10:30 to 12 noon, where family and friends may share their special memories, followed by a private cremation. The family asks that donations, in lieu of flowers, be made to the Riverhead Monday Night Band Scholarship Fund, 300 Pulaski St., Riverhead, NY 11901 or Northfork Animal Welfar League, Box 297, Southold, NY 11971.
     Condolences can be sent to Linda at 1635 Meadow Beach Lane, Mattituck NY 11952.
     View Obituary in Newsday and Sign Guestbook.

POSTED 10/12/09

Health Care Reform: What's in it for me?
     You are invited to an informational meeting on:
      Wednesday, October 14, 2009,
at       Brentwood Public Library
      34 Second Avenue
      Brentwood, NY 11717
There will be two sessions:
      3:00-5:00pm & 6:30-8:30pm
(You are invited to attend the session most convenient to you.)

     The National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare has joined the following organizations to sponsor this event:  The American Cancer Society- Suffolk Region,  Long Island Council of Churches,  League of Women Voters of Suffolk County, The Islip Town NAACP
      Presentations will be conducted by a panel of experts and include:
The state of the current federal legislation,
The legislation as viewed from the perspective of Medicare, Medicaid, health care providers & personal testimony,
     The panel will conclude with what we can all do to help bring about these important reforms. Q & A
     John Glaser, grassroots manager of the National Committee, will be moderating the event.
     Please make every effort to attend.

POSTED 10/19/09 

1993 Brentwood HS Yearbook

      Clem Stancik, former tennis coach at Brentwood High School, will be honored by having the tennis courts named after him.
The honoring will take place at 11:00 AM Saturday, Oct. 24 before the Homecoming Game.


     Dot Zuckerman is planning another one of her wonderful trips on January 27, 2010. It is a 22 day trip to Australia and New Zealand that will cost $6,424 per person including round-trip air transportation.
     You can view the travel brochure here to see the details and itinerary.
     For more information, and to book your trip, please contact Dot at:
Email: dotzee@optonline.net

POSTED 10/18/09

     In the mail, you will be receiving a letter regarding an amendment to the ROBS Constitution to be voted on by its members. This vote will take place at the November 6 general membership meeting at 10:00 AM at the Brentwood Pubic Library. Please make every effort to attend so you can vote on this important issue.
     Download and view a copy of this letter which contains a copy of the Constitutional amendment to be voted on.

POSTED 10/30/09

Brentwood HS Clericals 1970-1990
       Kay Avini passed away on September 24, 2009. Kay was the principal's secretary at the Brentwood High School for a number of years. Those wishing to offer their condolences may send them to her daughter and her family.
          Mrs. Linda Aveni Murray
          526 Wintersweet Court
          Annapolis, MD 21409


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NYSUT's 9th Annual Suffolk Regional Conference November 10

General Membership Meeting
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The Green-Wood Cemetery & Brooklyn History - Oct. 7

Annual Brunch - Welcome to New Retirees - October 27

AARP Defensive Driving Course - November 19

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Local /Regional
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NYC Art Gallery


John M. Sherin

     It seemed the classic David and Goliath metaphor; good guys against bad. A former Brooklyn kid, I identified with the underdogs. These, like the Dodgers’, were, similarly heroic. The Army McCarthy Hearings (which I had followed on television), had received my full after school attention knowing little as I did at the time of the dark side of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Unable yet to vote, I followed the birth of National Review with great interest even writing to William F. Buckley, congratulating him for his work on behalf of the fledgling conservative movement prior to Nixon’s prominence on the national scene. Then I matriculated Hofstra College in Feb. of ’57.
      The liberal arts education I achieved there emphasized a liberal point of view and changed my political orientation, much to my father’s disappointment. I emerged with a new found sense of civic purpose and a teaching career objective. I grew beyond dad’s influence and example as an historic family rebel, discovered Edmund Burke and the conservative intention to leave this old world a better place than it was when I found it.
      Fast forward 55 years. Ellen and I attend a backyard book party. We get home and she says, “Why don’t we look through our library and do what Carmela Criscione did? Let’s find homes with friends and family for ”all those books we no longer need.”
     That was my motivation as I embarked upon the process of letting go of what I had come to think of as old friends. Choosing one, then two, then another I came upon my scrapbook. Giving it to someone had never been an option because I couldn’t imagine who would be interested in a fifty-five year old collection of newspaper clippings. Selling it was out of the question for the same reason so I went on-line and researched The Hungarian Revolution of 1956. There I read about the Grand Celebration at Carnegie Hall in 2006, where Governor George Pataki was an honored guest and Henry Kissinger spoke. Scrolling through dignitaries I came upon the name of Anniversary Committee President, George Loewy Lovas. Once I located his phone number, I called and left a message in which I told him what I had, indicating my desire to give it to the Committee - if they were interested.  His call came the next day.

     George Lovas was 23 years old at the time of the Revolution. Yes, he’d been a participant. Emigrating afterward to the U.S. (40,000 came), he was offered but declined English lessons ( he didn’t speak a word), and scholarship to Colombia University. He spoke to groups throughout the U.S. in his language using a translator, never thinking to document a word. Preoccupied with making history none of the other members of the committee thought to save their speeches either. Several years back he had retired from his own successful furniture business. Today at 78, he has rededicated himself to his life’s unfinished goal – to witness the dedication of a statue here honoring the Hungarian Freedom Fighters. NY he said, is the only major city in the United States still without a memorial. Now in discussions with the Bloomberg Administration, Gov. Pataky is negotiating for a location. The scrapbook he described as “pure gold”. Three years ago when TV News Anchor Peter Jennings had planned to do a Special (which never aired), he’d borrowed a paperback from George illustrated in the insert at the beginning of this article. It contained a photo of a younger George Lovas holding a rifle in the back of a truck in Budapest but when it was returned the page had been carefully removed…..Why? He was unable to say. Fortuitously, my scrapbook included that paperback. George Lovas has his photo again. A meeting of the entire Committee was planned for the following week to examine the contents. Can you imagine my reaction when he joyfully reported that what I gave him comprised more material than had been saved over the years by the entire Celebratory Committee? Expressing his gratitude in an unmistakable accent he followed upon his promise to send me a Memorial Celebration Album 1956-2006 which arrived with dedication and autograph inside the cover “to a Real Friend of our Revolution with friendship, George Rovas.”
     Lest we ever forget - everything old is new again. Teachers become students and students become our teachers. Each of us is an historian in our own way providing shoulders upon which current and succeeding generations stand. Our lives beyond awareness are filled full with the small details that become ‘history’ to other generations. Our story is far from complete. It grows even as we learn there’s more to tell than we imagined. ROBS History Project is still documenting Brentwood’s Educational Revolution 1853-2009. What was your role in that Revolution? Have we interviewed you yet? 

Part of this article appears in ROBS Newsletter - Fall 2009 edition

     My story begins in the fall of 1956. It was my senior year in Hicksville High School. The semester had barely begun when the Cold War heated up in Europe. The world would shortly learn of events unfolding in Hungary through newspaper articles, magazines and on radio and television. The Voice of America was beaming through the “iron curtain” carrying free world news to peoples of Soviet occupied territories in Eastern Europe. Some of you may recall it wasn’t until October that the sparks triggered an escalation unleashing unimaginable brutality, murder and mayhem in Budapest, Hungary.
     As a young man I was captivated by those accounts of incremental foothold gains by the “Hungarian Freedom Fighters.” Defying all odds they challenged the political will of the Soviet Union. The resulting urban warfare reminded me of that band of colonial Boston brothers who responded to Paul Revere’s midnight call for the defense of homeland against English occupation. This face-off though, was different. This one involved tanks and technologically superior military might. Outgunned and outnumbered rebels succeeded anyway in ‘liberating’ the capital, initially driving Russians out of and back to the outskirts of the Budapest. The world held its’ collective breath, as in vain those gallant Revolutionaries anticipating western intervention (specifically the US) manned the barricades. All this occurred while the US & USSR engaged in back room diplomacy to avert a Third World War.
      My teenage scrapbook of my beloved Brooklyn Dodgers had been previously documenting ‘The Boys of Summer’ Pennant races and league championships of the decade culminating in the World Series against the N.Y. Yankees in 1955 – which ‘dem bums’ won. It was – NEXT YEAR. September 1956 arrived and everything changed. My scrapbook got rededicated. It became a deeply personal archive of historic and emotional importance. Through December I collected and date stamped every line of print and photographic coverage of events in Budapest I could find, following the gains and losses of those freedom fighters and Soviet response with all of the tragic consequences for that oppressed nation far removed from our Long Island of the time

Marilyn DePlaza
THE TOWN CRIER -  MarilynDePlaza@aol.com

POSTED 10/17/09

    Edward Harris passed away of prostrate cancer on Oct.4, 2009. He was a teacher in Brentwood from 1962 -1991.
     He had lived in Aiken, SC for the past eleven years. He will be greatly missed by his wife, three children and five grandchildren.
     Read attached obituary.

POSTED 10/18/09

     Saturday evening, October 10, Marilyn DePlaza and her family celebrated her husband's, 80th birthday at Casa Juancho in Miami.  You can view the photos of this happy occasion here.
     Happy Birthday Henry!

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