Bumper Cars of the 50s Zion National Park
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Class Administrator: Alex Cinamon
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by Al Cinamon
Antelope Canyon is a mystical place. It is a slot canyon, which is very narrow and was formed by rushing underground water. No lighting is used in the canyon. All the light and colors come from the sun, which peeks into the canon around noon time. Without the sun, the canyon is dark. But, once the sun arrives the canyon springs to life with abundant colors and shapes.
The entrance is a narrow curved slit in the cliffs only a few feet wide. Once inside, the temperature drops as much as 20 degrees as you enter one of the most beautiful of all natural formations. The sunlight filtering down the curved sandstone walls makes magical, constantly changing patterns and shadows in many subtle shades of color. Some sections of the canyon are wide and bright, while others are narrower and more cave-like, with no light reaching the sandy floor.
Photographers from all over the world come to capture the beauty with their expensive cameras and tripods. Pictures taken here adorn camera shops and photographic manuals throughout the world, and usually there will be many people waiting with tripods and light meters trying to compose the perfect shot, and grumbling when other people walk in front of their two minute exposure.
The pictures in the video were taken with a hand held, point and shoot Canon by an amateur photographer, me!
Butchie is Always On Top
Our classmate, Bob Davidson, a/k/a Butchie, aka Bob Davis is the CEO of the Daytona Hotel and Motel Assn. He was honored by the city of Deltona, which proclaimed February 4th "Bob Davis Day." In the photo above, Bob is shown receiving the proclamation from a city dignitary. We applaud his deserved recognition.
Bob has always been a valuable member of our class. He was class president for Jan '55. He got his start in the hospitality industry as a "tummler" social director in the Catskills. He was also the tummler MC at our 55th Reunion/Luau in Florida.
He, along with his late wife, Sydelle, was one of the Fab Four that toured Israel. The other two were Hal Paul and Al Cinamon.
We were fortunate to see Bob at our 80th Birthday Bash in New York. Without doubt, every member of our class wishes Butchie long life filled with happiness and good health. Perhaps he'll emcee our 90th Birthday Bash!!
History Of TJHS
Did you know that Jeff opened in October of 1924? In the Danny Kaye biography Nobody's Fool, it was noted that the school was built on the grounds of a former gypsy encampment. The school-age population quickly exceeded its capacity of 4000, and a number of annexes were utilized, including the former P.S. 63 facing Hinsdale Avenue. The second World War reversed that trend, but Jefferson retained an excellent reputation both for its academics and its sports teams. The hard times which fell on the area after the 1960s left the school battling poor test scores and low graduation rates. Mayor Bloomberg finally closed Jefferson and now houses 4 smaller specialty schools.
There was a major celebration on October 29, 1924 to mark the opening of the school. A large parade, followed by a number of speeches including New York Mayor Hylan filled the day.
The first principal Elias Lieberman, served until 1940, when he became Associate Superintendent of Schools.
The statue of Jefferson within the lobby is the source of one great story. Allegedly the entertainer Danny Kaye was asked to leave the school after a prank involving horse manure and the statue. Entertainers Steve Lawrence and Shelly Winters also attended Jefferson, but they, too, did not graduate, but left for show biz.
There is a terrific resource for Jefferson yearbooks. Hosted by the Museum of Family History, a Jewish genealogical research site, it has a searchable database of yearbooks stretching from 1927 to the 1960s
Sidney and Edith
Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé married each other in Las Vegas in December of 1957. Lawrence, born Sidney Leibowitz in Brooklyn in 1935, had a huge solo hit in 1962 with “Go Away, Little Girl,” written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, which sold more than a million records; Gormé, born Edith Garmezano to Sephardic parents in the Bronx in 1928, was a big-band singer and had a huge hit in 1963 with “Blame It on the Bossa Nova,” written by Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, which also sold more than a million records. Gormé was fluent in Spanish and Ladino, and worked for a while as a UN translator. She met Steve Lawrence when they were both booked on The Tonight Show, hosted by Steve Allen. As a duo, they appeared regularly on the Carol Burnett Show, and as a bawdy, quarrelsome, and adorable night club act. Gormé died on August 10, 2013, just six days before her 85th birthday. To see and hear them singing a tribute to Gershwin, click below.
“Eydie has been my partner onstage and in life for more than 55 years. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her and even more the first time I heard her sing. While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the greatest pop vocalists of all time.”—Steve Lawrence
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
by Thea Alpert ('61)
It's that time again. The 91st Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019. Let's take a look back.
At the 2014 Oscars, they celebrated the 75th anniversary of the release of the "Wizard of Oz" by having Pink sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow. But what few people realized, while listening to that incredible performer singing that unforgettable song, is that the music is deeply embedded in the Jewish experience.
But perhaps the most poignant song emerging out of the mass exodus from Europe was "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". The lyrics were written by Yip Harburg. He was the youngest of four children born to Russian Jewish immigrants. His real name was Isidore Hochberg and he grew up in a Yiddish speaking, Orthodox Jewish home in New York.
The music was written by Harold Arlen, a cantor's son. His real name was Hyman Arluck and his parents were from Lithuania.
Together, Hochberg and Arluck wrote "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", which was voted the 20th century's number one song by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
In writing it, the two men reached deep into their immigrant Jewish consciousness - framed by the pogroms of the past and the Holocaust about to happen - and wrote an unforgettable melody set to near prophetic words.
Read the lyrics in their Jewish context and suddenly the words are no longer about wizards and Oz, but about Jewish survival:
Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.
Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me.
Somewhere over the rainbow
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can't I?
If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?
The Jews of Europe could not fly. They could not escape beyond the rainbow. Harburg was almost prescient when he talked about wanting to fly like a bluebird away from the "chimney tops". In the post-Auschwitz era, chimney tops have taken on a whole different meaning than the one they had at the beginning of 1939.
Pink's mom is Judith Kugel. She's Jewish of Lithuanian background. As Pink was belting the Harburg/Arlen song from the stage at the Academy Awards, I was struck by the irony that for two thousand years the land that the Jews heard of "once in a lullaby" was not America, but Israel. The remarkable thing would be that less than ten years after “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was first published, the exile was over and the State of Israel was reborn.
Perhaps the "dreams that you dare to dream really do come true".
80th Birthday Bash
Russo's On The Bay
After a year of planning and cajoling, our Birthday Bash is now in the history books. A total of 46 people attended.
Awards were given to people who have helped make our past reunions a success, namely, Bob Bruno, Myles Seitz, Bob Davidson, Ruth (Yablonsky) Becker, Eileen (Kesden) Reinish, Charlie and Rosalind Berger, and Phyllis (Hoffman)Miller. An award will be mailed to Doreen (Deutsch) Spungin who was unable to attend.
An award was also presented to Stuart Rothstein, the Director of the TJHS Alumni Association, who has always underwritten our gatherings and provided the Jeff banner to be hung high in our hearts. He was also given a donation of $200 for the Alumni Association on behalf of the Class of '55.
Another expression of thanks to a grateful and humble classmate who takes great pleasure in keeping us all together.
The letter reads as follows:
Sometimes Thanks Is Not Enough
By Dd. Spungin
Al, the amazing
Loving and loyal
No one else would have kept us together
A job, many jobs, so well done
Making this group (for so many years) shine on
Officially speaking, our deepest thanks
Never to be forgotten—our Al Cinamon
And who would have dreamed, back in 1955 that we’d be still clinging to our beloved TJHS memories. Al, you grabbed the bull by whatever was available and created this amazing cluster of Brooklynites. Without your work, your vision, your dedication, we wouldn’t be here (or be wishing we were here) today.
You are a force to reckon with, and we reckon you have no equal when it comes to dreaming a dream and making it come true. From the quiet kid we all knew as Alex from Wyona Street to the single minded dynamo we know now, you’ve etched your image in our memories, even as you have almost single-handedly preserved our precious high school memories in our hearts.
No sometimes “Thanks” is not enough. How about, “Thanks and love, dear friend!” Stay well and enjoy the rest of the ride.
In addition to the framed letter, I was given a Yankee cap and enough money to buy a pair of Yankee tickets to a game of my choosing. Wow! Did I really deserve all that? These reunions were a labor of love for me. I never expected any compensation except for the pleasure of my classmates so many of whom have gone on to accomplish so many great things for our community and world.
At this time I would like to once again sing their praises.
With us at this Birthday Bash was none other than the January class president, Bob ”Butchie”Davidson A/K/A Davis, a great "tumler" who started as a social director in the Catskills, but since he liked being president, he went on to become the President and CEO of the Daytona Hotel and Motel Association, which represents over 100 hotels in the Daytona area.
Another tumler, who started in the Catskills, is Harvey "Arvito" Averne who went on to receive the first two Grammy awards ever presented for Latin music.
Also present was Jerry “Cookie” Wolkoff, a great real estate developer who is now in the midst of building a "city." Yes, a self-contained city called Heartland, in the Brentwood section of Long Island.
Barry Elbaum was also in attendance. As Chairman of the Dental Department at Monmouth Medical Center for 30 years, Dr. Elbaum was the recipient of the Pinnacle Award, the highest honor to be bestowed on a member of the dental profession
Bob "Nemo" Nemser, a Past President and Chairman of the Education Council of the Art Directors Club of New Jersey has received over 350 industry awards for his communication achievements including 5 Gold Medals from the Art Directors Club of NJ and the prestigious "Andy" award from the Advertising Club of New York. I think he started by drawing "hopscotch" boxes on the sidewalk.
It was my distinct honor to be sitting at their table; my compensation, you see.
Phyllis Hoffman Miller was seated at another table. She started as a reporter for a NJ weekly paper and then went on to become the editor of a large daily NJ newspaper. She recently received the Presidential Lifetime Award for volunteer service. (Of course, her greatest accomplishment is writing the reviews of our reunions).
Sadly, many of our great classmates are already gone.
Alex Fefer, class president of the June class, was a member of the pioneering Seattle bone marrow transplant team that developed transplantation as a therapy for leukemia, and other blood cancers. His research spurred the development and testing of immune therapy of cancer in the ensuing decades. The bone marrow transplantation studies he led were the first to show that patients with chronic phase chronic myelogenous leukemia could be cured. He passed in 2011.
Emanuel "Manny" Axelrod served as Orange County, New York District Superintendent of Schools and Executive Officer of B.O.C.E.S. for nineteen years. During his tenure he significantly enhanced programs for children with special needs and for those in occupational education. he spearheaded the drive to build world class facilities on the B.O.C.E.S. campus in Goshen, NY Early in his superintendency, at the bidding of the commissioner of education, he served an integration order on the Newburgh City School District and courageously promoted its implementation. He passed in 2013
I believe our classmates have many more great accomplishments to achieve, so I pray that you all take care of yourselves and stay healthy. You have made me so proud to be part of the Class of '55
4/2/2018 Classmate Brezenoff Ousted
Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed Thursday to give a federal monitor sweeping power to oversee the troubled New York City Housing Authority in a deal aimed at remedying horrendous living condition
. . .
12/22/2017 How Old is Grandpa??
One evening a grandson was talking to his grandfather about current events. The grandson asked his grandfather what he thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just thin
. . .
12/14/2016 "What You Don't Know About Driving Can Get You Killed"
A expose of phony traffic laws and dangerous driving habits. Authored by Al Cinamon and available on Amazon.com It's a must read for anyone who drives or walks...especially new or learning
. . .
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