September 9, 2011

Literary magazine poem from 1960 brings back timeless memories


Click on pages to enlarge

A copy of Division Avenue High School's 1960 literary magazine, The Gossamer, was mailed to me by Barbara Wittenberg Taylor. The editor was the talented Ronnie Schubert.

In reading the publication, I was looking for an entry that would be most appropriate to reproduce in the blog and my conclusion is that the attached by Pat Schoales Lange '60 certainly stands the test of time.

A few of our regular blog contributors were asked to write something about what they felt Pat's poem captured as far as that time in their life and any memories that were evoked about their senior year and graduation. Here are the replies:

Dewain Lanfear, class of 1960
Reading Pat's poem brought back just about all the memories from our years at DAHS. She manages to capture so much with just a few words and a format that matches the subject. Who thought we'd be reading this 50 years later? Thanks Pat.

Marti Traystman, class of 1960
When I see something like this poem, I do remember some stuff from high school.

Here I sit and ponder that last year in high school when we were one large extended family. Some people I can actually see, others I remember their names and cannot find the face to match. It seems strange that this situation has plagued me since I was in my early to mid 20s. I remember faces and can't find the name to go with the face. Frequently, if I hear the names first I can find the face to match, although not the other way around.

My dreams when we were planning to leave high school were, in today's terms, not too high. My plans were to be a secretary someplace, so I did not expect to attend college. In the long run, I went to college for two years and went on to a technical (actually several) job. As numbers were high on my list of things I liked working with, my last job was working with many, many numbers to measure how the government's job training programs were performing. I loved it.

While I was still on Long Island several of us kept in touch. When I left the Island in 1972 (for 34 years) most of those connections seemed to fade. Now that I have returned “home” some of the connections are being reestablished. It really is fun.

Kathy Stahlman Zinn, class of 1963
My memories of high school are literally split in two, having spent grades 7-10 at DAHS, and the last two years at Plainedge. I wasn't into football games except for playing in the band at them. So "remembering the gray and blue", first calls to mind our snazzy blue and gray uniforms.

The poem mentions friends, and friends are a major part of my happy DAHS memories. Although the poem does not mention teachers, I felt stimulated, encouraged and cared about by these and others: Mrs. Lyons, Mssrs. Danhiuex, Keating, Lasker, East, Erath, Simes, Miss Montgomery They were well-trained and taught me well.

My crucial last two high school years were spent with new kids, at Plainedge. I am sad I missed that with Levittown friends. Many of my new teachers were as wonderful as those at DAHS. Since my graduation was from Plainedge, those bonds were strongest for many years. I was eager to go on to the next part of my life - college in D.C. I realize now how nurtured and well-prepared for my adult life I have been by my family and both schools. I feel only gratitude for all of it.

Arnie Galeota, class of 1961
My senior year was an exciting time. I had made what I believed would be life long friends. Through Frank's blog that is a reality. I had convinced my parents that college was the natural progression of life for me even though I wasn't a good student in high school. The truth was that graduating high school was my step into adulthood, a way to get out from under the strict rules that my father had me live by.

Actually, my maturity level was less than my age. I didn't know that at the time. Our country was not plagued by a weak economy or by the horrors of war. It gave me a feeling that life couldn't get any better. Our country was the place to be and still is, but now it's more complicated.

1 comment:

John M Stalberg said...

An excellent poem. Brings back memories--all good. I, like Arnie, was definitely not mature in some ways-- that, plus some girls, kept my raging hormones in check. But looking back, I can now put into words that somehow I "felt" as opposed to knew, that all I had was ONE chance at high school. Why I went to dances, Prom, played 3sports, was a National merit scholar, valedictorian, got full ride scolarship to Ivy League school (Penn) etc. Somehow-Blessed I guess- I was mature in that sense. Everything ele in life you get a second shot or "do over" as ex-wives and changed careers so aptly show. But one and only one, shot at 4 years of high school.