*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 NEWSSEPTEMBER 2015
Sept 11 General Membership Meeting
"Welcome New Retirees"
Just a reminder to our members to renew your ROBS membership for the coming year. You can download theMembership Application here and mail it along with your check for $25 dollars to Phyllis Goodwin, 114 East Rogues Path, Huntington Station, NY 11746 Make checks out to ROBS.
If you are not currently a member, please go to theMembership 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.
MUSIC COMES TO ROBS ON OCTOBER 2 POSTED 9/12/15
We will be visited by members of the Long Island Classic Jazz Ensemble at our General Meeting on October 2, 2015. They will be performing several selections from The Great American Songbook. The performance will be from 10:30 to 11:30.
Expect to be entertained . . . . . . but note: The appearance comes with a warning. . . . .
We hope to see you at the meeting. Our own John Sherin will be performing with the group for your entertainment.
NEWS FROM THE BRENTWOOD HISTORICAL SOCIETY POSTED 8/29
On Wednesday, Sept. 2, the Long Island's Hidden Past segment will focus on the Modern Times school house. Danielle Campbell interviewed Ellen Edelstein, Brentwood Historical Society President, on Aug. 7, and the segment should air all day. It will also be available on the News12.com website. When Ellen receives a copy, she will also post it on the Historical Society's website and Facebook page. The next meeting of the BHS is on Sept. 21.
GET YOUR RETIREE INTERVIEW DVD POSTED 8/31/15
This is a reminder to all those who may have forgotten to pick up DVD copies of their interviews, or that of a loved one, at the May 8th History Project Presentation. Copies may still be obtained by attending ROBS 1st General Membership Meeting on September 11th in the Brentwood Public Library. Check the current accompanying list for your name, or to see if you recognize anyone for whom you can do the favor of passing the unclaimed interview along.
MARK NIZEWITZ HOSPITALIZED POSTED 8/29/15
Mark Nizewitz had a massive stroke. At this point his condition is critical and he is in the hospital. His family is cautiously optimistic that he will eventually be transferred to an acute care Rehab facility. Cards and messages can be sent to his home at 16 Country Drive, Plainview, NY 11803
************************* UPDATE POSTED 9/24/15:
Mark has better days, not so good days and bad days. It changes on a dime. He thanks each and everyone of you for your good wishes, cards, gifts and calls. Barbara receives between 75 - 100 emails, calls, texts on a daily basis. Many of you are requesting that Barbara return your call. It is impossible for her to do so but she wants each and everyone of you to know that the support is acknowledged and appreciated. Thanks.
SAD SHARING POSTED 8/29/15
Marabeth Criscione, sister-in-law of Carmela Criscione, passed away on Thursday, August 27 after a long illness. Marabeth was a long time elementary sub caller,
There will be a wake at Wesche Funeral Home, 495 Main St., Center Moriches, NY 631-878-0007, on Tuesday, September 1 from 2-4 and 7-9 in the evening. A deacon will present prayers at 8 p.m. The family requests no flowers. Cards can be sent to her daughter, T'rea, and son, Vincent at: The Criscione and Cintorino Families, 20 Laurel Lane, Shirley, NY 11967.
SAD SHARING POSTED 9/28/15
Marie Cohen, who worked in the Payroll Department and was the wife of Paul Cohen, teacher, passed away yesterday, 9/27/15. Services are as follow:
Moloney Funeral Home
840 Wheeler Road
Hauppauge NY 11788
from 4pm to 9pm today only 9/28/15
Mass at St Philip & St James Church
454 North Country Road
St James, NY
10:00 A.M. on 9/29/15
How are we doing?
We'd like to hear from you. Please visit our
Letters to the Editor Pagewhere you can share your views and comments
Why did we do it? What was our purpose in taking on such an open ended “History Project”; for which we evolved a script of questions and got answers from over 150 subjects for two decades?
We couldn’t answer the question in 1994 when people would ask “What are you going to do with the interviews?” All we could say was that for educational purposes we had to document our record now or lose the chance to preserve so many poignant accounts, funny stories and touching tales told by exemplary educators. We knew these dedicated public servants might shortly, for reasons yet unknown, be leaving Brentwood for good.
So, we decided to let time sort out the details. We began scheduling appointments. We asked questions and listened saving for generations the essence of what it meant to have been an educator or employed, in this large public school system during the second half of the 20th century. Brentwood remains an exemplar to all others; a diverse microcosm of America reflecting 124 districts on Long Island while simultaneously resembling thousands across the U.S. We’ve accomplished something here to be proud of. Whether we were interviewed or not, ours is a claim of service that few professionals in the State of New York or elsewhere have positioned themselves to share in the way we have. INITIALLY the practice of sitting with a subject for an hour and giving them a hundred percent focused attention seemed somewhat daunting to a number of friends and colleagues. So much so in fact that many declined our repeated invitations to speak with us as they left careers or retired from full employment. Despite all assurances that we were not about investigative journalism or invading privacy, they deferred. Now, twenty years after we began, some are saying they may be ready. “Better late than never” we say. However, to all among you who were willing to share not only your classroom experiences and personal stories, but precious memories from your lives along with your fondest hopes for the future, we say “Thanks”. Thanks for allowing us to continue the process by paying it forward as we share these interviews with the Brentwood community and countless professionals and researchers near and far. Through an acceptance of ROBS offer of collaboration with Archivist Dr. Geri Solomon and The Long Island Studies Institute at Hofstra University our History Project lives on in academia as well as in the collection of the Brentwood Public Library, thanks to Director, Thomas A. Tarantowicz.
Enjoy unlimited visits to www.robsny.org where you can watch and listen to segments from featured Interviews in the ROBS History Project Section on our Announcements Page each month. Return here to listen and learn again and again.
THIS MONTH'S FEATURED HISTORY PROJECT
As we sat down to listen to Jim Nanos tell the story of his life and career in Brentwood on the 28th of April 2009 he’d already been officially retired for 2 years. This latest chapter of his life began in 2007 following a career reaching back 37 years. Like other teachers before him, his life had included side jobs, night school, tutoring and home teaching. He’d had a tree trimming business that he operated from home. One of six children himself; 3 brothers and 2 sisters with 18 years between youngest and oldest, he was born of Irish lineage on his mother’s side. Jim’s Grandmother’s name was Heffernan. She was also a teacher. His father was a son of a 2nd generation Greek American. Jim’s birthday was on Dec. 22, 1947. He was named after his maternal Great Uncle Jim, who he first met in 1990 at the age of 8, while visiting the Dairy Farm in Milbank, South Dakota that his uncle shared and also ran with two brothers, Jim’s Great Uncles. When asked about the kind of cows they raised he said they were, “huge and stinky”.
His dad had seen active service in WWII in the 8th Army Air Force serving on board a ship. He passed away in 2005. Jim had visited Greece, outside Sparta, the place where his grandparents came from. At the time of our interview Jim’s mother was 85 and residing in an Assisted Living residence in Bohemia. She had been divorced from his father and had lived there for several years. The family had all lived for a time in Jamaica, Queens. He remembers the elevated train. Back then, his dad who was creative with his hands, made Lincoln Logs for Jim before a patent for them was obtained by someone else. Their family was close. They moved to North Belmore, about 1949-50 and by 1952 moved into the house his dad had built with his own hands. It turned out to be too much for the family, so they sold it and moved to one more affordable. He described a huge acre of a backyard and riding bareback to a local swimming hole, across the farm and through the orchard. His dad also made him many wooden toys and scooters. The first neighborhood schools he attended were in Belmore and North Belmore. He was eventually bussed to others, like the Jr High on Jerusalem Ave and Mephem High School in North Belmore.
Mr. Juliano was both his 6th grade teacher and a role model. Jim joined the Sea Scouts and for the first time became a teacher at the age of 12. His first paying job was that of paper boy. He loved sports, wrestling, science, and social studies. He has fond memories of the aroma of apple blossoms and flowers. He especially enjoyed competing against his old high school team, and the most fun part was competing against his brothers North Belmore team. He earned his BA from Oswego University and two Masters from Stony Brook U. and Middle School Certification in Health Education (Science) from Hofstra. Jim once considered the Coast Guard as an alternative to teaching. He spoke of Eric, his grandchild of 2 years, his brother who had taught for 25 years in Valley Stream and his other siblings who were a Dental Hygienist, teacher, stay at home dad, Social Worker and employee of the Water Authority.
He arrived at West Middle in 1970 where he remained for 8 years before moving to the Ross Building for the next 12. George Mann was helpful. The growth of the District was good for him. He could have gone to Half Hollow Hills or Oswego, but never regretted the decision to come to Brentwood. He enjoyed his career in Brentwood and coaching wrestling. In the early days in Brentwood he did some cave exploration and mountain climbing upstate followed by some cleanup trips by bike to Montauk. Jeff Dwyer recruited him at Oswego, and offered him a job. Vietnam was still going on when he came to Brentwood, which granted him a deferment. He believed in providing practical application of science for kids in their daily lives. His focus was to enjoy his time where ever he was, maintaining a high passing ratio, getting through to less able students, mentoring the Science Olympiad, teaching different classes and “Silent Spring”. He was voted Teacher of the Year 1988 and became advisor to (40) Students Against Driving Drunk (SADD). He remembers his former colleagues, among them, Sam Weissman who left industry and became a teacher later in life. Jim mc’d Sam’s retirement party and always had a sense of purpose. He was Chief Delegate and Executive Council member for years, had wonderful colleagues, many students who became teachers, learned from Bobbi Frankel, who conducted humanistic classes. He spoke of ROMEO (retired old men eating out)and of the Importance of Unions, fairness, wages, laws, having never been afraid, the loss of field trips. Why now? The time was right. College loans were paid off. He enjoyed his retirement at 8:03 every day. He misses the kids, their stories, adding up scholarship monies, split session years, the temp buildings, afternoon sessions 1pm – 6pm. “Brentwood Teachers are the best” he said, and Brentwood students are “hard working and the best in the world”.
You can also view any of these past interviews by visiting History Project Interview Archives :
Baker Bernhardt, Ruth
Baker Bazata, Eleanor
Laub, Dr. Herb
Sustrin, Letty and Sheila
Walker Lloyd, Shirley
The Town Crier" was set up a number of years ago so that the retirees of the Brentwood School District could have an email center to stay in touch. Since I began to send out all sorts of information, retirees from all over the country have sent me their email addresses. Some have asked, "Do you have any idea where so and so is?" Others have sent proud news of their accomplishments, their family news, photos,etc. and sadly, we often get bad news. Many retirees whom I have never met write me to thank me for keeping this connection going, as everyone remembers the Brentwood years with warm feelings.