Wheatley Alumni Monthly Newsletter

Number 2: July 19, 2016

Dear Wheatley Graduate, Administrator, Faculty, Staff, Parent, etc.

Welcome to the July 2016 Wheatley School Alumni Association Monthly (more or less) Newsletter.

The Wheatley School 60th Anniversary Celebration

Planning continues apace for The Big Event. Details, registration information, and an up-to-date list of the 370 or so (and counting) graduates who have already registered (or indicated that they intend to) are easily accessible at www.wheatleyalumni.org Attendees are flocking to Old Westbury from such diverse places as Washington State, California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Canada, Italy and Saudi Arabia! Register now and you pay fifteen bucks less than the walk-in price.

Recent Passings

Unfortunately, the “Big News” this edition is the passing of several people who helped define Wheatley’s early years, and one person who died way too soon.

Physical Education Teacher Irwin August

Died June 19, 2016, at 86, in Madison, CT. Originally from Chicago, he also taught health, math, science, and history, and he coached Physical Fitness, Cross-Country, Wrestling, and various other teams. After Wheatley, at age 56, he began pre-medical education, and eventually he became a successful psychiatrist. He leaves behind wife Barbara, of Madison, CT and son Matthew. Barbara August would like to hear from anyone with memories of Dr. August. Irwin August Obituary. [Editor’s Note - I was on Doctor August’s 1967 Physical Fitness Team that came in Fifth in the nation at a meet in Virginia (Carle Place came in first) - Art]

Mathematics Teacher Erma Bogert

Died June 9, 2016, at 101, at Geneva, Illinois. Originally from St. Louis, MO, after Wheatley she was a hospital volunteer and avid gardener. Leaves behind son Dixon, daughter Elva, and grandson Evan. Predeceased by husband Virgil (married 66 years). Obituary.. [Editor’s Note - Mrs. Bogert was more patient with me than I deserved - Art]

Class of 1965 - Alison Rickie Bernstein

Died June 30, 2016, at 69, in East Hampton, NY. Was a polymath scholar and educator; trustee of Vassar College at 22; and, most famously, a vice-president of the Ford Foundation. Leaves behind partner Johanna Schoen; twin daughters Emma and Julia Brown-Bernstein; and Ms. Schoen’s son, Joshua Heineman. Obituary.[Editor’s Note - Karen Wattel Arenson, 1966, points out that Alison was the Wheatley Wildcat Editor-In-Chief and was Leonard Bernstein’s niece, which I never knew; but I knew Alison at Wheatley! If I had to describe her in one word, there’s only one word I would use: forceful. If you were at a meeting, or even just in a room, with Alison, you knew it! Art]

Class of 1969 - Martha Jane Brannin Jennings

Died July 7, 2016, in Colorado. Always known as Janie, she was a horse breeder and trainer in Longmont, CO. Leaves behind brother Stanton Brannin (Wheatley 1963) and sister Mary Alice Brannin Salisbury (1965)

Class of 1977 - Camille H. (“Cami”) Bodkin Scott

Died February 27, 2016, in California. She was a talent agent with Ford Models and other agencies. Leaves behind husband, Bill; sons Nick, Cameron and Connor; mother, Constance Bodkin; brother David Bodkin (Wheatley 1975) and sister Connie Bodkin. Obituary.

Wheatley Principals

Groucho Marx famously said, “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them, well, I have others.” But I’m talking about “principals,” particularly Wheatley’s first two. Undoubtedly very few 60-year-old schools can boast that their first two principals are still alive and active. Norman Boyan lives in California and Walter (“Wes”) Wathey, who sends his “warmest regards to all the Wheatley alums,” lives in Arizona. I believe that Principal Wathey is 92 and Principal Boyan is even older (must have been something in the water). They are both a delight to communicate with.

Alumni Spotlight

Your Webmaster and I have been working long and hard on the “Whatever Happened to.........?” feature of the Alumni Association website. The goal is to give some sense of the “life after Wheatley” of as many alums as possible. (Note to everyone - please send us your bio before someone else sends us your obit!)

One of the newest subjects is Michael Clark Lorenzo, Class of 1969, who, I think you’ll agree, has led a rather colorful existence. His story, and two photos, are accessible at http://www.wheatleyalumni.org/What Happened 1969.html. and are pasted below. Michael graciously gave us permission to “shine the spotlight” on him. Suggestions for next month’s “Spotlight” are welcome, as are submissions to the “Whatever Happened to……….?” page.

In Closing

We welcome suggestions, corrections, and items for inclusion.

The following about Michael Lorenzo Clark appears in Whaterever Happpend to Section of the WheatleyAlumni.org site

Michael Clark Lorenzo - The Wheatley School Class of 1969

I was born in New York City and grew up in East Williston, on East Williston Avenue. My father was the school doctor at North Side School until he passed away in 1961. I was a student there from kindergarten through 6th grade, and at The Wheatley School from 7th through 9th grade. My mother then sent me to Saint Paul's School in Garden City as a boarding student. I was there for one year; then at Long Island Lutheran for a year; then returned to Wheatley as a member of the Class of 1970. I doubled up on course work and managed to graduate in December, 1969.

Next, I was a Writing major at Goddard College in Plainfield, VT for one fantastic year. I lived in a dormitory that functioned as a small community of drunken-but-brilliant artists. Peter Green, the founder and lead guitarist of the original Fleetwood Mac, who had just quit the band, came to Goddard at our invitation. Peter and I became fast friends, playing music together daily for three months. Nevertheless, I dropped out to "go on the road." Hitchhiking around the USA, I gave poetry readings, played music, and worked every kind of hard labor imaginable. I lived on a commune in Maine and, later, settled in Richmond, VA for five years. The Sixties grabbed and held me tight with a magnificent vengeance, which I embraced with a mad obsession that carried through most of the Seventies.

I finally turned my life around in 1977 and began five years of work counseling teenagers that were abusing drugs and alcohol. Two years into that I added a "second shift," studying Television and Film at the New York Institute of Technology, receiving a BFA in June, 1982. Upon graduation I moved to Los Angeles and worked in the TV/Film industry for 25 years. Like most folks, I began in an "entry level" position, but I soon moved up the ranks to Assistant Editor, Post Production Supervisor, Field Director/Producer and Writer.

For the majority of my career my "bread and butter" was editing film and video. I was a member of the Director's Guild and Editor's Guild; was lead editor of an Oscar-nominated, feature-length documentary; and collaborated with the likes of Norman Lear, Graham Nash, The Jim Henson Company, and Ringo Starr. I worked on the 10-hour documentary "The History of Rock and Roll", in which B.B. King and Carlos Santana both said that the greatest British blues guitarist (just think of the competition!) was, none other than, Peter Green (who, BTW, wrote "Black Magic Woman," a huge, enduring hit for Carlos and his band). At 55 I retired from "Hollywood."

Meanwhile, after many relationships over the years, at age 40 I got married, and in 1992 my son, Anthony, was born. My wife and I divorced in 2000. In 2007 she and her new husband moved to Northern California, and I followed, to remain present in my kid's life. For a while I set my sights on Europe, specifically an artist colony in the mountains two hours north of Rome, and I spent a year teaching myself Italian (to go with my Spanish and French). However, reality intruded, and I stayed, and for the past ten years I have been living in a cabin in a remote mountain area of Northern California, near Nevada City.

Currently, I pursue my artistic passions; read obsessively; and research such topics as literature, painting, philosophy, Carl Jung, and recondite spirituality. Relentlessly dedicated to writing, I have published two novels and a poetry collection. I compose, play, and record music in my home studio. My appreciation for music covers Classical, Jazz, Blues, Soul, and Rock & Roll. I have always loved playing sports; if hard-pressed to pick two favorites, I'll go with baseball and rugby. I am passionate about hiking, fishing, motorcycles, photography, and films. Whatever my accomplishments in life, the one I cherish most is being father to a brilliant son.

I remember Wheatley fondly, especially my numerous friends and some favorite teachers and staff. In 9th grade I was the lead singer and guitarist in a rock band, "The Ravens", which performed in The Varsity Review and included my lifelong best friend, Bobby ("The Boy Wonder") Orgel (1969), who went on to play keyboards and arrange for Natalie Cole. Our band also included Jimmy Byrnes and Artie Ernst, both in the Class of 1967.

I agree with Art Engoron: "We are everywhere, but we are all connected." As William Faulkner famously said, "The past is never dead. It is not even the past." I have always related to this concept of “the eternal moment,” in which people and events transcend all bounds of time.

Posted by Michael Clark Lorenzo, July 2016