July 13, 2011

Six teachers with looooong histories at Division Avenue High

Click on pictures to enlarge

Although it is not for everyone, I find Facebook to be a useful tool. I use it to keep in touch with friends, spread the word about my blog and to search for interesting items.

About three months ago, but who's counting, I stumbled upon photos posted by Larry Loewy, a 1975 graduate of Division Avenue High School. Despite the fact that Larry is 15 years younger than I, we share a big interest in our old hometown and school. He has done a fabulous job, I am told, of keeping his class united.

Among his many photos are scans of just about every page of the 1975 yearbook. Not expecting to find much of interest but curious anyway, I went through every photo. And voila! There are nearly 20 pictures of teachers and one school nurse who I remembered. In addition, two of my classmates, Dewain Lanfear and Jack Ellerkamp, were teachers in 1975.

Upon my request, Larry emailed copies of every picture that I found of interest. Many have been used in our blog in recent months of such familiar teachers are Mr. Peyton, Mr. Fricke, Mr. Lasker, Mr. Amen, Mr. Jewell, Mr. Kalinowski, Mr. Reggio, Mr. Aiello, Mrs. Drumm, Mrs. Lyons, Mrs. Sileo and school nurse Ettenson.

About a dozen of Loewy's 1975 photos have not been used so today we present six of them:

* Mr. Lawrence Lasker. An all-time favorite DAHS teacher. The response to our posting of his obituary on February 26 received a record outpouring of comments. For example, Jay Barabash '63 wrote, "He was truly an inspiration and a profoundly positive influence." Check the blog archives on the right of this page to find his obit and the comments of students posted below the story.

* Mr. Armand Tarantelli who is still going strong and is an avid reader of our blog. Like Mr. Lasker, Mr. T was a favorite of DAHS students for decades.

* Mr. Louis Des Roches. I have no memory of him, except his name and face.

* Mr. Mortimer Siegal. Some of my rowdy friends thought his name, Morty, was funny. At times, he was taunted from afar in a crowded hallway, with the high-pitched cry of "Morty".

* Mr. Robert Graham. A respected teacher.

* Mr. Peter Lampasona. In the late 1950s, he taught what was listed as "Special Class" in the 1960 yearbook. His students were often referred to as "retarded" or "retards", usually not out of malice. We just didn't have the sensitive terms that have evolved over the years. I wish I knew more about Mr. Lampasona to share with blog readers.


Anonymous said...

I loved Mr. Graham. I remember one time he was so impressed with my note taking, that he had me write them up as well. A gteat English teacher, he instilled the love of the English language and reading in me.
Joan Bartels Signorelli '62

Anonymous said...

John Tanner class of 1960

Mr Graham was one of my favorites at Division Ave and I later took a JC course from in Mineola which I enjoyed as well. He and Mr. Reggio remain the most firm in my memory.

Anonymous said...

Jim Ayres class of 1963 wrote...
In the Larry Lasker obit there is mention of "a celebration of Larry's life in the Summer of 2011." With your vast resources through the blog, have you heard any details on that?

He was a terrific man, a great influence on my desire to become a teacher. Anyone who could coax a 96 out of me (especially at that time of my life) on the World History Regents Exam had to be inspiring. I would love to be present at any local ceremony honoring him.

Anonymous said...

Mr. T is indeed going strong and often attends our monthly (well, almost monthly) Ancient Order of the Blue Dragons luncheons (very informal - open to all DAHS grads & faculty) at the Miller Ale House across from the Tri-County flea market (Mays). He is about to celebrate his 60th wedding anniversary -- all of those 60 years married to the charming Mrs. T ... lol. He and I were both Military Policemen in combat (he in WW2, I in Vietnam) and have swapped MP stories many times. His are better than mine. He's one of the sharpest 80-somethings you will ever meet and has great recall of early teaching days -- even recalled an incident in a driver education car (I was driving) that occurred almost 50 years ago.

A wonderful man then and now.

J.A. - '63

Ken Lasker said...

I am Ken Lasker, Larry's son. My son Josh just sent me this link and the comments really touched me. My Dad and I were extremely close and he moved up here to Western NY after he retired and we were best friends, and he helped me raise my 3 sons, who he adored. I probably met some of you while tagging along with my Dad at various functions at Division and I know how much he loved his students. He would've loved reading this and no doubt would've been misty-eyed doing so. Thanks so much for all of the kind comments. He was an amazing man. A great father and grandfather and incredible teacher. Luckily he has passed on so many of his wonderful traits to my sons to carry on his legacy of kindness and love for people. Thank you for thinking so much of him. I have a heavy heart this morning.....