A Reunion of Memories, Part 3. “Open House - Garden Party”


(Please Note: Click on blue, underlined text to hear the songs. You can stop the music by pressing your ESC key.)


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Ellen ’60: “More ‘59ers are arriving, and their batons are twirling.”


Les Walter ’59: “It’s Patty and Irene Mazurek as well as Karen Van Velson.”




Walter Kristiansen ’59:  “These girls can put on quite a show, whether twirling on stage, or marching in a parade. The Bandstand pictures show both Patti and Karen.”  




Patty (Mazurek) Behary '59:  “Thanks Walt; we enjoyed performing on stage and we also enjoyed marching in the Columbus and Memorial Day Parades. The 1958 and the 1959 ‘Color Guard’ consisted of Diane Brennan, Gail Synder, Ann Martin, Diane Del Grosso and Carole Sullivan.


The ‘Twirlers’ were Pat Monahan, Loretta Jasina, Jane McGrath, Judy Larsen, Joyce Moccia, Jeanette Uhler, Karen Van Velson, Irene Mazurek and myself. In 1957 there were just three of us. Irene was our ‘Majorette’ and Karen and myself were the ‘Twirlers.’”


Les:  “You performed for Dick Clark’s American Bandstand in 1956 and 1958. What were some of your favorite songs and routines?”


Patty:  “There were so many wonderful marches and tunes; all of us, the performers and audience alike, had such a great time. The first one was in 1956; Karen Van Velson and I did our very first routine to ‘Crazy Little Momma.’ I loved Elvis - we were so fortunate to be a part of the 50’s Rock & Roll Era, it left such a good impact on us.”


Les:  “Do you still listen to 50’s music?”


Patty:  “Yes, I still listen to the Oldies, and recently attended a ‘DO WHOOP’ show in Las Vegas, featuring the Coasters, the Platters, and the Drifters, and they still had it!  The showroom just rocked, and I was surprised to see all the young folks in the audience.”


Les:  “It’s amazing how the 50’s music has lasted!”


Patty:  “It will never go away.  Some of my favorites were: ‘Earth Angel,’ ‘Tears on My Pillow,’ ‘The Twist,’ ‘Eddie My Love.’  I think I could go on forever, but of course everyone had their own favorites.  I remember Walter playing a mean ‘Lolly Pop, Lolly Pop,’ on his trumpet.”


John Baur ’60:  “Patty, Irene, and Karen will be attending our ‘Lunchroom Jamboree’ and our ‘Garden Party’ with Ricky Nelson and Elvis Presley.  Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and many other ‘Earth Angels’ will be there also.  There will be a lot of good music provided by Johannah (Hughes) Turner and our DJ, Rich Trasborg.  Patty, will you and the girls perform some of your twirling routines for us?”


Patty:  “John, it would be a thrill – just like a miracle – but all guests will have to bring their memories and their imagination with them.”


John:  “That will be their ticket for admission – memories and imagination!  Harry, I believe you have declared ‘Open House?’”


Harry Daniels ’59:  “The ‘59ers have declared ‘Open House.’ All are invited. In fact, some have started arriving already.”


John:  “It’s Carol (Cooke) Schwamberger ’58.  Carol, who do you have with you?”


Carol:  “This is Kathy Holden ’58; as you may remember, she played flute with me in the Tottenville High School Band.”


John:  “Kathy, welcome.  John Philip Sousa sure appreciated those flutes and piccolos.  You also complemented the clarinets and trumpets very nicely in ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ and ‘In a Persian Market.’”


Kathy Holden ’58:  “Yes John, I remember George Gaffney while we were practicing ‘Rhapsody In Blue’ and he played the piano solo parts.  So much talent.  Maybe something really good will come back, the more we think about those great years.


Another memory is going for flute lessons with Mr. Bischoff down the end of the shop corridor, and hearing him playing ‘My Funny Valentine’ on the trumpet.  It echoed all the way down the hall. That was my freshman year I think.


Mr. Bischoff was someone we could talk to about boys, dating, our problems, etc.  He played at a nightclub on Staten Island – my parents went.  He left THS and went to Stone Harbor, New Jersey, and I don’t know anything after that, except he drove a red Corvette.


After that we had the Lombardi Brothers, Joe and Vince.  June Kelly played clarinet for three years before she moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to live.”


Ellen: “Kathy, it’s great you had someone you could confide in - it seems like many of the band members had a well developed social network.  We all enjoyed those beautiful concerts.


Our Publisher, Werner Feldhaeusser,  has just arrived.  Werner, I understand you served on the Lab Squad.  What were your duties?”


Werner Feldhaeusser ’60:  “I mostly ‘held down the fort’ during fourth period, after a brief lunch.  We attended to lab equipment and showed films. Others on the squad attended to stage scenery and lighting, as well as microphones and sound effects for the various shows, concerts, and plays put on by the Band, Chorus, and Drama Club.  Mr. George Breidenbach, our physics teacher, was in charge.”


Les ’59:  “Where would we be without those ‘behind the scenes’ guys that kept things going?


Ellen ’60:  “Well said, Les.  I remember ‘Our Town’ by Thornton Wilder. I suppose it was reminiscent of many small towns, like Tottenville, across the country.  I really liked the part (Third Act) where Emily dies and pines to return to her home town.  This simple story (a real classic) teaches us to appreciate the things around us – school, friends, community and family.  Take time to smell the roses – so to speak.  Our memories and reflections are precious.  They help keep us young at heart and young in spirit.  Thank you Arlene, Florence, Johannah and the many other writers for helping us to realize this goal.”


Werner:  “Someday of course, we will all be called home, just like Emily, and Louise’s sister Judith.  It is important however, to saver the memories of life, and share many of them with family and friends, just as Florence has done in ‘Once Upon a Time’ and just ‘For The Fun of It.’”


John:  “I also enjoyed ‘The Way Some of Us Were’ by Johannah, and  ‘A Member of the Class of ’62 Encroaches on the Class of ’60!’ by Arlene.  Florence’s ‘Losing a Friend’ and ‘A Memorable Holiday’ capture the human spirit, as does ‘Mirror Image.’”


Ellen: “Rick Hummers, Roy Hansen, Don Ernst and Alex De Fazio have just arrived. I understand Arlene will be here shortly.  

John: “Rick, Werner informs me that you are one of our best proofreaders. Thanks for your help with ‘Lady Liberty.’ Will you and Lois, and Linda and Allen be at the Garden Party with Rick Nelson and Ritchie Valens?  

Rick Hummers, Editor for Class of '61: “Yes, we want to catch that ‘Twisting and Twirling Act’ by Patty, Karen, Irene and the other Twirlers.  

John: “Roy and Don, I understand you played first trombone after the Class of ’60 graduated. Alex, you played first and solo clarinet. No wonder our Band sounded so terrific!  

Ellen: “Arlene Spark and Barbara Baker have also arrived.  

John: “Arlene, Barbara, it's good to see again. Barbara, I understand you are in charge of the digital photographs for your recent reunion.  

Barbara (Baker) Maskaant '62: “Yes John, Barry Wood had disposable cameras placed on all of the tables; we should have some excellent photographs.  

John: “Arlene, I see you also have some band members with you.  


Arlene Spark, Editor, Class of ’62:  “John, this is Dan Hickey and Jerry Lund, as well as Steven Jakobowski and Dennis Nisi.  As you know, Dan and Jerry played drums along with Dan Kish and Walter Reed.  How is your brother Jim?


Ellen:  “I believe John’s brother, James Baur ’62 is arriving; here he is now.”


Jim:  “Arlene, Barbara, nice to see you again.”


Arlene: “We’re reminiscing about times past; have you some memories to share with us?”


Jim: “Yes, I remember ‘Debate Club,’ ‘Science Club,’ the Friday morning assemblies, ‘The Color Guard,’ ‘The Twirlers,’ and ‘The Band.’  I also  remember ‘The Cheerleaders.’  I remember Judy Larsen, Captain of the ’62 Cheerleaders, and I remember Alice Fox and Georgia Ruberg as well.”


Werner:  “A number of the Class of ’60 Cheerleaders were either in ‘The Twirlers’ or ‘The Color Guard’ also. Many of them marched with ‘The Band.’



(Click on these pictures to enlarge them)


John:  “Carol Odson was a Cheerleader and a member of ‘The Twirlers’ as well.”


Werner:  “Ellen Johansen and Donna Fellenstein were also in ‘The Color Guard.’”


John:  “Louise Leffert was in ‘The Color Guard’ and ‘The Twirlers’ as well as a Cheerleader.  Here she is now, why don’t I let her tell you about it.”



Louise (Leffert) Bristow ’60:  “Yes I was, but not at the same time.  As a freshman, I was in ‘The Color Guard,’  as a Sophomore I joined  ‘The Twirlers.’  Then after my sister Judith passed away, Miss Donahue took me under her wing and I became a Cheerleader in my junior and senior years.”



John:  “Louise, I understand the  Cheerleaders really enjoyed those bus trips to New Dorp High School, to McKee, Curtis and Port Richmond High, for the away basketball games every other week.”




Louise:  “Yes, we were a spirited bunch, we practiced our cheers, and sang popular songs and tunes of the day. Two songs I really liked were ‘In The Still of The Night’ by ‘The Five Satins’ and ‘Tonight’s The Night’ by ‘The Shirelles.’  


Other songs I remember were ‘One Summers Night’ and ‘The Magic Touch’ by ‘The Platters.’


Barbara Ward was our Captain and Donna Fellenstein was our Co-Captain.  Miss Donahue always accompanied us on these trips.”

Les: “I remember Kathy Donnelly was Captain of The ’59 Cheerleaders.”


Werner: “Other ’60 Cheerleaders were Carol Odson, Mary Fox, Barbara Sizemore, Claudine Jonas (Bunny), Veronica Springstead, and Cathy House.”


Ellen: “We have an arrival from the Class of ’65.”


Werner: “It’s Olwen Franzwick ’65.  Olwen was one of my Cadets in ‘The Civil Air Patrol.’ Olwen, I believe you have a story to tell us about your brother Evan when he played in the THS Band.”


Olwen (Franzwick) Furlong ’65: “Yes, Werner, my brother Evan used to get the band leader (who will remain anonymous) really ticked off.  Anyway, one day she got so mad at him, and was yelling so much, her false teeth went flying right out of her mouth.  The band members tried not to laugh, but some of them could not help it.  After that, he really did try to behave himself and managed to get a passing grade.”


John: Johannah, Lila and Dee have just arrived; I think we are going to have a ‘Lunchroom Jamboree.’  Girls, have you brought your dancing shoes with you?”


Doris (Odson) Whitman ’56:  “Of course, John;  just for the record – the Class of 1956 was the first class to have dancing in the lunchroom.  We instituted this practice in September, 1955.  As a matter of fact, we worked hard convincing the ‘powers that be’ to allow this to happen.  We circulated petitions in school and outside of school.  Finally the dean, Mr. Busing, and the others, relented and gave us a chance to prove that we would not abuse the privilege.  As a result, dancing in the lunchroom continued and we all enjoyed ourselves.  The entire story was written up in the Staten Island Advance.”


John: “Dee, may I have this dance with you?”


Dee:  “Yes John, Marty Robbins is about to sing White Sports Coat.”


John:  “Lila and Johannah, I understand you girls have been conducting a survey of popular songs and artists of the 50’s.  What can you tell us?”


Lila (Shaw) Mauzy ’60: “Overall, Frank Sinatra was quite popular, but as Charles (my husband) would say . . . ‘For the 50s, Elvis was King.’ A really nice ballad by Elvis was, ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight.’  Elvis’ birthday will be January 8th. I think John has ‘A Remberance’ planned. I also liked Jerry Lee Lewis and Bobby Daren.”


John: Chuck Berry and Chubby Checker were also popular.”


Johannah (Turner) Hughes ’60:  “Yes, I would have to agree;  however there were many other popular singers as well.  One need only take a look at Lost in the 50s Oldies Jukeboxes  or  Ron's Juke Box. One of my favorite tunes, Rockin Robin, was our lunchroom national anthem.”


Tweedle-e deedle-e-dee, Tweedle-e deedle-e-dee,

Tweedle-e deedle-e-dee, Tweedle-e deedle-e-dee,

Tweedle-e deedle-e-dee, Tweedle-e deedle-e-dee,

Tweet Tweet Tweet Tweet


He rocks in the treetops all day long

Hoppin' and a boppin' and a singin' his song.

All the little birds on jay bird's street

Love to hear the Robin go Tweet Tweet Tweet


Rockin' Robin' rockin' Robin

Go Rockin' Robin 'cause we're really gonna rock tonight


Every little swallow, every chickadee

Every little bird in the tall oak tree

The wise old owl, the big black crow

Flappin' their wings going,

"Go Bird Go"


Rockin' Robin' rockin' Robin

Go Rockin' Robin 'cause we're really gonna rock tonight


Well a wordy little raven at the bird's first dance

Taught him how to do the bop and it was grand

Started goin' steady and a Bless my soul,

He out- bopped the buzzard and the oriole.


Lee Shake Class Editor ’57:  “Ted Hunter Class of ’57 and Ed Bowes ’52 have joined our party.”


Ted Hunter ’57:  “I played drums, and I remember my leg getting pretty banged up while marching down Amboy Road in Princess Bay.  I really enjoyed the concerts we gave.  I remember ‘Die Fledermaus’ (The Bat) and ‘Saint Louis Blues’ where I got to do a lot of soloing.”


Ed Bowes ’52:  “I was in the Tottenville Band (a concert band at the time).  In my 3rd year a ‘Swing Band’ also.  I was a member of the ‘Euterpean Society’ (Glee Club) and the ‘Drama Club;’ and ran the scoreboard for the basketball games.


Our Basketball Team played their hearts out and our Cheerleaders were ‘really first rate.’  I enjoyed the entire show. My grades could have been better, but I was having a ball.


I don’t think anyone ever enjoyed Tottenville High School more than I did, and I have fond memories to this day.  I really enjoy the fact that we could play and sing popular music and show tunes.”


Ellen ’60:  “Ed, I am so glad you were able to join our party and share your experiences with us.  Now I see why Harry declared ‘Open House.’  Your memories bring us back to a time slightly before our own.  Thank you for sharing with us.”


Harry ’59:  “We also had the ‘Rock N Roll Combo Guys.’  I remember Herb linked up with Danny Megna (Tenor Sax) from New Dorp High School.  They called themselves ‘The Statenairs’.”


John ’60:  “Yes, Herb also started his own group ‘The Added Touch’ and played at my brother Jim’s (James Baur ’62) and Anne’s wedding, as well as for my Mom’s retirement party from P.S. 8.


Paul Perkert ’55 also had a group and played with Gus and William Doty at ‘The Knights of Columbus Hall.’  Paul was also Danny Kish’s instructor in ‘The Drum and Bugle Corps.’  On occasion, Jimmy Anderson also played guitar with Paul. Paul continues to play at local square dances, where he now lives, in Hertford, North Carolina.


Jim Foster ’60 now lives in San Francisco.  After playing sax with the Tottenville Band, he played flute and piccolo with the US 3rd Army Band, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.  After the Army, Jim played different jazz and blues clubs, as well as various Motown acts such as Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight.  Jim still continues to play.”


Ellen:  “John, didn’t you play in a dance combo group with Jim Hottenroth, Bob Rostetter and Danny Kish?”


John:  “Yes Ellen, we did have a group in our senior year.  Dave Colonnello (alto sax)  from New Dorp High School was our band leader.  Jim Hottenroth (who played a mean trumpet) played with us.  Bob Rostetter was on trombone, I played tenor sax and clarinet, and Danny Kish played Drums.  We played at ‘The Norway House,’ ‘The Tavern On The Green’ in New Dorp, and ‘The Masonic Lodge’ in Great Kills. Unfortunately, Jim Hottenroth died in a plane crash while serving in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam. Werner visited his memorial (The Moving Wall).”


Harry Daniels ’59: “As you know, February 3rd, 1959 was when that fatal airplane crash took place, taking the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper). This is often referred to as ‘The Day The Music Died.’


John:  “But we are not going to let them die. We will resurrect them through our remembrance of their music and their creative spirit.


Thanks to Harry, Herb, Walt, Les, Patty, and all of the other 59ers, there will be an Open House.  


First, a ‘Lunchroom Jamboree;’  remember when we used to listen to records, and every once in a while, when a guy was really sweet on one of the gals, he would ask her for a dance.  And then there were those monthly basement parties, and weather permitting, a Garden Party.  LET’S DO IT AGAIN!  


Patty, Irene, Karen and the girls are arriving. I believe they are about to Twist and Twirl. Those motion-activated flickering lights at the end of their batons and on their costumes help make for quite a show.


We are going to Rock Around The Clock and resurrect some of those Magic Memories. We will visit with Ritchie Valens, Donna and Chantilly Lace with The Big Bopper. Peggy Sue with Buddy Holly, Barbara Ann, Marty Robbins, and Roy Orbison are expected shortly.


Elvis The King will ask, Are You Lonesome Tonight.  At Twilight Time, we will look for the Little Star and The Elegants. That should get you In The Mood and surely you will enjoy those Harbor Lights. Come Softly To Me and feel The Magic Touch.  Then In The Still of The Night, Earth Angels will appear.”

Ellen:  “I believe next month there will be a special memorial for all those who gave their life in service to community and country.”


John:  “Yes Ellen. Mr. Bflat, Tom Doty, and John Philip Sousa will be attending. His band will play ‘Stars And Stripes Forever.’  Pete Seeger will proclaim ‘This Land is Your Land’ and ask ‘Where Have All The Flowers Gone?’


Taps under the direction of Fontaine Piper, will complete the closing ceremony.”