May 23, 2011

Do you remember Thaddeus Kalinowski and Kathleen Lyons? They taught at Division Avenue High School for decades.

Click on pix to enlarge


This is the third installment of "Do you remember . . .? Approximately 18 Division Avenue High School faculty and staff members from the late 1950s and early 1960s were still working at the school in 1975.

Today we've included shots of Mr. Kalinowski from the 1960 yearbook and Mrs. Lyons from 1963. Larry Loewy, class of 1975 and a registered nurse, provided photos of the DAHS old timers that appeared in the 1975 yearbook.

I am really enjoying writing this series, searching my memory to recall teachers from so so long ago. The sad part is that just about all of the very early Division Avenue teachers and staff are deceased. If you dig around via Google, it is amazing what you can find. I know that, among others, Mr. Tarantelli, Mr. Cetnarowski, Mr. Pivnik, Mr. Jewell and Mr. Chenevey are still kicking.

Today the blog features Mrs. Lyons and Mr. Kalinowski, both now in the faculty room in the sky. I have no memory of Mrs. Lyons. The yearbooks show her in the math department. My Google search yielded a Newsday obituary, "Kathleen J., on January 24, 2009 age 95." Regretfully, there is no more that I can report except that a few of Mrs. Lyons' students replied to my Facebook request for information about her. All had fond memories of a professional teacher.

Kathy Stahlman Zinn' 63 wrote, "I had Mrs. Lyons for seventh grade math. She had a class of us who had been unidentified for advanced math studies. Even though I thought I hated math, and she was very strict, I loved her, and learned a lot. She was one of the first role models or me of a woman who could make a career in math and science and still have a personal life. She gave her all at DAHS, and almost always had a smile, just as in this picture."

Mr. Kalinowski, on the other hand, was a big part of my high school life. He was the chairman of the foreign language department and for three years my French teacher. Last September, for the blog, I asked readers to provide the names of their five favorite teachers. Several, including me, listed Mr. Kalinowski. We referred to him as Thad Kal, but never to his face.

I remember the first day of French I, September of 1956. He told us that this was the last day that "any" English would be spoken in this class. And that held true for the three years that he was my French teacher.

One day in French I, he called upon me to name five parts of the body. Quickly I rattled off four but hesitated at number five. And then it came to me, a word we had not yet learned. "Numero cinq, derriere" which means the fleshy part of the human body that you sit on. The class roared and Thad Kal approved.

I probably did not see him again until around 1980, which was the last time our paths would cross. That was 20 years after graduation and more than 30 years ago. Vivian and I were at a New York Mets' game at Shea Stadium and I spotted him as we headed to our seats.

Never one to pass up an opportunity to reunite with someone from my past, I went over and introduced myself. There was a glint of recognition and he asked, "Did you continue French in college?" My reply was that I had taken two semesters at Hofstra and felt that I was well prepared. To say the least, Mr. Kalinowski was thrilled.

After our all too brief meeting, an usher helped Vivian and me find our seats. We sat on our derrieres for nine innings.


Anonymous said...

Really terrific piece Frank. I had such a fondness for Mr. Kalinowski and found him to be in a class of his own. I, like you, took great pleasure in being introduced to that world and sharing a piece of it for three years. Tout alors cher Thadeus! PatMcd

Wendy Max Dunford '68 said...

I also had Mrs. Lyons for 7th grade math. I guess that would have been 1963. I remember her being quite strict. My only other real memory of her...and I'm not sure why this has stuck in my mind all these that she used to pronounce the word film as "fillum." I was pleased to read that she'd lived such a long life.

Anonymous said...

I loved my 3 years with Mr. Kal that it took to pass 2 years of French. He was a friend who I would visit in his office when I needed someone to chat with. Larry Loewy