*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                                                                JULY - AUGUST 2009

By Patti Pagano Monsen

      On Wednesday, June 3, 2009, less than two months after his passing, ROBS presented the first public viewing of a video-taped interview to honor the life and work of Robert “Chico” Frankel. Present were his wife and daughter, colleagues, former students, and friends.  The real presence was that of Chico’s.  John Sherin’s Interview, part of the  “History Project,” has not only captured  insights, reflections, and shared experiences of an outstanding counselor and teacher, but has preserved forever a “one-on-one “visit” with a dear friend and mentor.  For those of us who had the privilege of knowing and loving Chico, the interview is a gift and treasure.  For those who never had the good fortune; it’s a crash course in humanity.
     To view the photos of this event they can be found in the ROBS Meetings & Functions 2008-09 Album in the Photo Gallery section of the Archives Page. To go directly to the photos click here.


     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.



     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

NYSUT NOTES - July 2009 By Dorothy Zuckerman NYSUT Retiree Services Consultant

  Support VOTE-COPE with your voluntary contribution.
Download the VOTE-COPE Contribution Card here.


Theater Party - August 27

Ellis Island & Museum of Jewish Heritage - Sept. 14

The Green-Wood Cemetery & Brooklyn History - Oct. 7

Sheila & Letty Sustrin
Children's Books Authors

John M. Sherin
Local /Regional
(Jigsaw Maps)600
Geography Manipulatives


Complete Team Building Kits
Teaching Cooperation/ Collaboration
Emotional Intelligence (EQ)


Alida Thorpe
Island Vision Photography, Inc.

Rick Mundy
Watercolor Prints of L.I., Adirondacks, NYC...

Gloria Hannemann
Home Improvement and Maintenance

Meet My Pets -" For the Birds"

Elmon Kazandjian
NYC Art Gallery


By John M. Sherin

      This sort of thing happens to me all the time. If you remember the movie you’ll know exactly what I mean. In the motion picture “Sixth Sense” Bruce Willis plays the part of a therapist working with a troubled boy who claims to see dead people.
      Leaving the doctor’s office after a routine visit, I backed out of her driveway and approaching the stop sign at the corner saw the next patient arrive. She turned the corner in front me and then made a left in back of me into the driveway. I did a double take because I recognized her - it was Dr. Helen Smith, a former colleague who died several years ago.
      When that happens I’m never upset. I usually say a quiet prayer on behalf of the remembered one. Those special moments serve to remind me how fortunate I’ve been to have known so many wonderful people that have passed through my life. So, I feel abundantly grateful each time I recognize an old friend or former colleague living or dead - in the face of otherwise complete strangers. The faces do not always belong to strangers either. They sometimes belong to a person I once knew either from, or because of my association with, the Brentwood Family.
      Ralph Ruggiero, recounts the time he was on vacation in Rome, Italy and he thought he recognized a young woman who he could not - for the life of him place - sitting at the next table. He approached her, introduced himself and got his answer. It was my own daughter Heather, who he had met once as a little girl in the high school many years before. And there she was now sitting next to him in Rome, Italy.
      There was another occasion when I was with my sister Betty Anne and her husband Ron Trapani in Denver, Colorado in the early nineties. We had stopped for lunch at one of his favorite Italian restaurants on the outskirts of town. The waitress, a young woman in her thirties, approached and introductions took place all around.  I was he said, his teacher brother-in-law from Long Island. “Where on Long Island did you teach” she asked? Brentwood, I replied. Are you kidding? she responded, - I graduated from Ross! “Did you know Mrs. Britt, or Mr. Siciliano? They were my favorite teachers” See what I mean? No matter where we go – we meet someone from Brentwood who got there first.

I was speaking with Vin (Jim) Carnavale now a resident of Hilton Head, South Carolina and formerly Social Studies teacher and colleague from Sonderling. One day while walking his two mile morning routine he caught up to and continued walking next to a gentleman with whom he began conversing – a total stranger he thought – until they began to share information about, what they had done prior to their move south. Both it turned out were former educators from “up north”. They next discovered they had both taught on Long Island. And then - “Brentwood?  You taught in Brentwood too? What’s your name? The “stranger” replied –“Arthur Breiger, what’s yours?”
     Weeks later Vinnie met yet another neighbor residing only two houses distant from his own in the same community. He it turns out, had been a psychologist who worked in the Brentwood District. Remember Bob Weiner? Vinnie informs me that Bob took his Brentwood ‘know how’ and ‘can do spirit’ with him to the south land where he organized the first and only Jewish Temple and Congregation of worshipers for miles around, beginning with a group of nine people that is now numbered in the hundreds. We’re from Brentwood, and “Yes we can”.

These sightings are but the tip of an iceberg of stories that we hear about all the time. For example, when Hank Salerno first heard that Chico Frankel had been diagnosed he was to put it mildly - upset. He wanted to know exactly what Chico and Bobbe had been told by their physicians also because Hank’s wife Rosie, was ill at the time with something potentially similar. Hank began to ask himself who (beside Chico and Bobbe) he might call to get information. He was in Manhattan at the time on his way to the Terminal in Penn Station when he decided he would call Jerry Cohen, Chairman of Guidance as soon as he got home. Jerry would certainly know, since Chico was a former member of his Department and a friend.

That was what Hank was thinking as he entered the first car of the train. There were no empty seats in it so he had no choice but to walk through to the next car where, he spotted Jerry and Marsha Cohen sitting on the isle midway through the coach. It happens all the time – to many of us, it seems.
      Vincent Marina is a business man and half owner of Print-A-Rama on North Broadway in Hicksville. When I first met him I liked and trusted him immediately. We talked business but we also shared personal stuff like, his being a member of the FDNY prior to retiring after 20 years. I shared with him that my father had retired from Engine Co. 282 in Brooklyn after 20 years with the FDNY and I had been a high school teacher for 30 years. “Where”, he wanted to know? Brentwood. “No way”, he said. “Why? because I graduated from Brentwood High School. I was a member of the wrestling team with Mr. Campo –they said I was pretty good”. And so he was. Steve Rochester says so.
      You, I am certain, have your own story, or stories to tell. I’ve remembered here only a few of those that I’ve heard over the years. Time and space require that I stop now.
      Tomorrow is another day, next month your issue to share - a few of those remembered sightings of yours. Let’s hear them folks

  THE TOWN CRIER -  MarilynDePlaza@aol.com

Marilyn DePlaza




POSTED 7/5/09

        In Loving Memory
    Ambros Joseph Hickey
      12/12/26 - 5/30/09

Farewell to thee! but not farewell
To all my fondest thoughts of thee:
Within my heart they still shall dwell;
And they shall cheer and comfort me.

                                  -Anne Bronte
The Family of Bob Hickey
wishes to inform you of his passing
              Mary Randall,
           Teresa Durocher,
          Kathleen Devanney
               Sean Hickey

POSTED 7/28/09

     Gail Inzerillo Latella's mother, Margaret Inzerillo, passed away on Monday, July 27th. The wake will be held at Mangano's Funeral Home on Deer Park Ave. on Wednesday, July 29th, 2 - 5pm and 7 - 9:30pm. The Mass will be on Thursday, July 30th at 10:15am at Sts. Cyril and Methodius R.C. Church on Deer Park Ave.
     Condolences may be sent to Gail Latella at 15 Briar Circle, West Sayville, 11796.

POSTED 8/19/09

     After a difficult battle Benny Yedwabnick passed away on Aug. 18th. He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. Visitation will be held at Weiss Memorial Chapel, 202 E. Boynton Beach Blvd., Boynton Beach 561-737-0001 on Fri. Aug. 21st from 2-4 and 6-8 PM. Services will be held at The Chapel of St. Andrew, 2707 NW 37th Street, Boca Raton on Sat. Aug. 22nd 11 am. Funeral to follow at The Gardens, 4103 North Military Trail, Boca Raton 561-989-9190. In lieu of flowers, please donate to American Lung Assoc. , Deborah Hospital Foundation in New Jersey or The Chapel of St. Andrew Memorial Fund. For those of you who live up north, there will be a memorial service on Long Island in a few weeks. Information to follow. Thank you for all of your prayers and support.
The Yedwabnick family
Lillian's address is 9848 Donato Way, Lake Worth, FL 33467

POSTED 8/27/09
Memorial service for Benny Yedwabnick will be held at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 754 Montauk Highway, Islip, NY 11751. 631-581-4950 on Sat. Sept. 12th at 1 PM. The church is on the corner of Rte. 111 and Montauk Highway. Southern State Pkwy. exit 43 south, LIE exit 56 south, or Sunrise Hwy. exit 45 south (Rte. 111 south to end), Refreshments following the service. Thank you for all of your prayers and support.
The Yedwabnick Family

POSTED 7/7/09

To Marilyn Deplaza
From Bobbe Frankel

     Shirley Brown was a physical education teacher at the East Junior High, later renamed the East Middle School for forty+ years. Shirley passed away on July 3, 2009 from cancer. She was born in Baton Rouge Louisiana and attended college at Grambling State College. Her husband Ricardo Brown passed away five years ago after serving for many years as an assistant principal at Roosevelt High School. She is survived by a sister Kathy Moses who was with her often over the past few years. Shirley had been planning to move back to Baton Rouge in the fall to be with her extended family. The funeral will be held at Windfield Funeral Home,7221, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70811.
      Shirley was a very beloved teacher. The students all looked at her as a mother and treated her with the greatest respect. She could handle every type of student and the bigger challenge they were the more enjoyable the experience for her. She had a great sense of humor with her students and could get the toughest students to get dressed and participate. She often told her students that she had taught there grandparents so not to try to get anything over on her. Shirley did not hesitate to reprimand or to praise a student consistently in order to get their trust. Over the years every student who had Mrs. Brown praised her and talked about how much they loved her. She gave students gifts of clothing, books, money, sneakers and clothing: however she insisted that it be given anonymously. She was very private and did not want anyone to sing her praises. She gave from the heart and yet acted at times that it was just easy to love her students.

Having been very close with her, I know the tears she would shed worrying about "her kids",as she called them. She treated her students as if they were her own. Many days Shirley would talk to the kids about different morals and life lessons, during her lunch hour. She never left the gymnasium to come to lunch. She came to school very early in the morning and stayed till very late in the day. Shirley taught gymnastics to the students and put on performances for years and years. She also had the students prepare year after year for a "Gym Show". She did most of the choreography and training herself for many years and helped get the costumes etc. together so that it was spectacular. She did get some help from Leon Weissman and Ron Albaum who taught in the gym with her.
     Mel Hamilton was in touch with her these past few years. They had started teaching together in the 60's. Shirley always said she was fine and that things were going well to most of her friends. Mel was one of her dearest friends that she did talk to about some things, yet she again was very private. If you wish to send a card you can send the card to her sister Kathy Moses at 1187 Catalta St., Baton Rouge, Louisiana.70815 Donations can be made to the American Cancer Society or to the Families in Need Program at East Middle School. Shirley was very involved with purchasing clothing, school supplies, gifts, and foods for this program during the holidays.
     All of us that knew Shirley will remember her with love forever. She was a kind, caring, and extremely competent teacher who influenced the lives of thousands of students. She saved many lives over the years through her dedication. I will be in touch with her sister in October to see about setting up a memorial for her in the late Fall and perhaps hanging a plaque at East in her memory.

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