Volume 1, Number 1, August 1996
MIDNIGHT SUN ONLINE
-The Online Newsletter for Robert E. Peary High School Alumni-
Huskies and Huskiettes:
Welcome to the first issue of an attempt to keep in touch and inform Peary alumni of news about your former classmates, the school, faculty, and life since high school. This endeavor is the result of escalating events and correspondence since the Class of 1976 held its 20-year reunion at the Doubletree Inn in Rockville on July 6th – and the bulk of the credit for maintaining enthusiasm, organization, and school spirit goes to Neal Pizzano who served on the reunion committee and who has become the “keeper” of an ever-growing list of e-mail addresses.
If you have news items you wish to be posted in a future edition of this newsletter, just send them to: PearyHS[AT]iicsdc.clark.net We’re optimistic that this will become a regular activity as we collect e-mail addresses and have items to post. Aside from this newsletter, a listserv is being created that will automatically handle an “open” virtual conference for us. Individuals will be able to subscribe or unsubscribe to this list as they wish, and postings to the listserv by any subscriber will automatically be distributed to those on the list. Any subscriber will also be able to issue commands (via e-mail) to the listserv to automatically retrieve archived messages, newsletters, a a current listing of e-mail addresses on the distribution, and to subscribe or unsubscribe. Thanks to the Internet and technology (this will be operating off my public system), it ain’t gonna cost you a cent beyond your current Internet access – in other words, no dinero for this service! I plan on creating a Peary conference on the system as well, that will contain all the messages from the listserv that can be accessed by direct dial-up for those of you without an Internet Service Provider, but have a modem. Stay tuned for details on the progress of this. Currently, several programs are being tested and configured, so patiently bear with us as trial runs are conducted.
As this is the first issue of Midnight Sun Online (Diane Arena Wilson gets the credit for this title), you may want to keep a copy for forwarding to others as you come across other classmates’ e-mail addresses. If you DO obtain addresses of others, please send them to Neal Pizzano at npizzano[AT]erols.com so he can keep the list current, or please ask these folks to contact him. This isn’t exclusive for the Class of ’76 either, all Peary alumni are welcome to participate. In course of “research” lately, we’ve also run across a “Peary Alumni” Home Page being maintained by Greg Luther. Attempts to contact Greg at the address listed on the page have been unsuccessful, however. But considering the page’s location, maybe someone can try writing to him at gluther[AT]fred.net and see if we can get any information – especially as many of us have created personal home pages on the World Wide Web. This Web site’s URL is: http://www.fred.net/gluther. In addition, we’re casually keeping track of home pages, so you can send these to either me or Neal too.
So much for an introduction for the premier issue. Enjoy, contribute to it when you can (we’re ALL busy) and don’t be a stranger. I can be reached at blau[AT]iicsdc.clark.net if you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or gripes – but, again, send your NEWS ITEMS to PearyHS[AT]iicsdc.clark.net and they will be compiled and distributed periodically. The remainder of this first issue is the format that this posting will follow, with news items from those who have posted to it – and I’ll try to keep the introductory blurb to a minimum from now on .
Hope to be corresponding with you soon,
Bob Lau, Class of 1976
From: Neal Lee Pizzano (1976) npizzano[AT]erols.com Date: Sun, 21 Jul 1996 Subject: Untimely passing of Frank Santilhano
I deeply regret having to inform you that Frank Santilhano, member of our 20 year High School Reunion Committee, has passed away. As of this writing, I only know the following information. I was called at 12:40 PM today, Sunday July 21st, 1996, by Frank’s girlfriend Theresa Palumbo (class of ’78). She was in Virginia Beach when she called. He was home in Rockville.. He had not showed up for work.
Theresa informed me that he apparently had passed away on Friday of a possible heart attack, but was not found until today. I have asked that she keep me informed, and I will pass along any information I can, once I receive it.
Keep the Faith.
Neal Lee Pizzano
From: Jim Hardman (1976) root[AT]earthops.org Date: Sun, 28 Jul 1996 Subject: Hey there…
… if you remember Jay Wenger, say a prayer for him okay? He’s got Lupus and other problems as well, has been through several very scary surgeries, and he’s far exceeded doctor’s expectations for his survival. He’s living at his mom’s house over by Aspen Hill pool, due to his poor health. By the way, he seems to have become something of a lay expert on homeopathic medicine, and loves to tell people things about holistic diets and stuff like that.
From: Jim Hardman (1976) root[AT]earthops.org Date: Tue, 30 Jul 1996 Subject: Re: Hey there…
On Tue, 30 Jul 1996, Bob Lau wrote:
May I post this information about Jay Wenger in a Peary online “newsletter” distribution coming up?
Yes, please! I was talking to him the other day and he’d definitely like to see a few of the folks. He asked specifically if I’d seem Arnie Sherman and a few other folks, I told him I hadn’t seen them. (Last time I saw Arnie was at Jay’s house, in maybe 1982 or so; he had this immense beard and was skinny as a rail, evidently he was attending classes at UC Boulder on a very limited budget, and had been subsisting on rice and pasta for a year or two…)
Um, Jay’s become quite the lay expert on homeopathic medicine, diet and vitamins and all that sort of thing, to which he attributes his survival beyond the span expected of someone with such a collection of disorders. Lupus is definitely nothing to mess with; and there does seem to be something to the proposition that such an auto-immune disorder could well be triggered by additives in commercial foods, or lack of vitamin in the same. At any rate, he’s doing well enough to talk yer ear off it you’ll sit still and listen to him, though he’s not exactly in the mood or condition to go dancing or anything.
From: Neal Lee Pizzano (1976) npizzano[AT]erols.com Date: Tue, 6 Aug 1996 Subject: Peary gets new lease on life
An article reprinted from the Gazette on April 3, 1996
PEARY GETS NEW LEASE ON LIFE Hebrew Academy’s lease of vacant Aspen Hill school final
by Manju Subramanya
The private Hebrew Academy of Greater Washington has set a target date of April 15, 1998, for moving into the vacant Robert E. Peary High School in Aspen Hill. The academy’s lease agreement with the county on Peary, a county school closed since 1984, became final last week with County Executive Douglas M. Duncan signing off on it Friday. The terms of the lease agreement call for the academy to lease the school for 25 years with three five-year renewal options. The academy will pay an annual rent of $60,000 with the rent abated for the first four years and built-in escalation over the remaining years, according to academy president Jonathan Blank. Blank said Friday that “an awful lot of work” needs to be done on Peary before the academy can actually move in. The academy plans to raise a few million dollars to renovate Peary, which has deteriorated over the years, he said. “We won’t do the entire school-just enough to ensure occupancy and then we will do it in stages,” said Blank. “Everybody is very excited,” said Blank about the proposed move. “The response from parents has been quite positive.” Blank said that while some parents faced a longer commute to drop off their children, the advantages of moving to Peary far outweigh the disadvantages. The lease also allows for community use of school, said Blank. The Hebrew Academy plans to move its 627 students, nursery school through grade 12, from its current location on Linden Lane in Silver Spring to the Aspen Hill site. Peary is located on a 19.52 acre site on Arctic Avenue off Aspen Hill Road. The Hebrew Academy is a private school that combines instruction in Judaic studies with a general education curriculum. It has been recognized twice as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. The academy has been a tenant of the county since 1976, leasing the former Montgomery Junior High School building. The academy has been paying $48,801 annually for the 122,930 square-foot-facility, according to information provided in its proposal to the county for reusing Peary.
From: Bob Lau (1976) blau[AT]clark.net Date: Sat, 10 Aug 1996 Subject: Class of 1976 20-Year Reunion
A warm THANK YOU is in order to the members of the Class of 1976 Reunion Committee members: Sharon Burns Duffy, Neal Pizzano, Jerry Adcock, Maureen Difulgo Bladen, Nancy Barrett Carpenter, Mary Gilmartin Cummings, Kevin Brooks, Sue Kennison, Kathy Brown Evans, Linda Needham Ratigan, Lois Cohen Kramer, Martine Paran Palmader, Patti Colihan, Carole Stein Dibo, and Frank Santilhano. This group was responsible for working with The Reunion Company to contact members of the class, and for scheduling and organizing four days of activities that went off without a hitch. All who attended won’t forget it! Teachers present during the weekend (that I know of) included Mr. Boteler, Mr. Hill, Mr. Hassler, and Mr. Gardner (Linda Gardner’s dad – Linda is married and living in Richmond, and active with her music in a band).
A handful of folks attended the fireworks held at Richard Montgomery High School where space was reserved for Peary alumni (though the enforcement of this “reservation” is another story). Friday’s happy hour at the Silo Inn resulted in a barfull of blasts-from-the-past and featured 76-cent beers in our class’s honor. Saturday’s main event at the Doubletree Inn featured lots of catching-up, laughing at pictures on nametags, browsing memorabilia, indulging in food and drink, a special ceremony dedicated to class members who are no longer with us, and the playful presentation by Kevin Brooks “KB” and Carole Stein Dibo — which then moved onto Studebakers night club for dancing, further indulging, Electric Sliding and “Macarena-ing.” No, that wasn’t the end of it as the party moved to Kevin Brooks’ suite in the hotel that he generously opened-up to whomever was left at 2 or 3 in the morning! Needless to say, many of us wound up hitting the sack after the sun had already risen – to get a few hours of sleep and then attend Sunday’s picnic at Black Hill Regional Park where the offspring outnumbered the adults. Last-minute exchanges of addresses and phone numbers, fond farewells, and Tylenol wrapped-up the weekend activities. What a surprise to see Paul Kadin at the picnic too!
From: Bob Lau (1976) blau[AT]clark.net Date: Sat, 10 Aug 1996 Subject: Whassup?
Nothing much, really. Life since Peary has been pretty good, actually. I’ve worked four jobs since graduating from UMCP and I got my Master’s recently from UM University College. Worked at The Washington Ear, a radio reading service for the blind for three years, then NUS Training Corporation in Gaithersburg for ten years, then a multimedia company, ThunderWave, who did the multimedia applications for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and now I work in College Park for the University of Maryland University College in the Office of Instructional Development as their Distance Education Telecommunications Planning Coordinator. I like the academic environment a lot. Alas, my contractual term there expires at the end of August with no guarantee for a renewal or extension – so if you have any leads, I’ll surely follow-up on them!
I operate a public BBS focusing on interactive communication and multimedia, I’m active with a couple of professional organizations on on their Boards, and I speak occasionally at conferences. I’m single, but been attached to a wonderful girl named Kristy for over 2-1/2 years and we went to Ireland in June (her gift to me for getting my graduate degree) and we enjoy visiting plantations (Williamsburg), mansions, antiquing, dining out, travel, yard sales. We have two cats and are living in Germantown, MD. I’m also an AFTRA-SAG part-time actor and have been doing movies, industrials, commercials, and TV shows since 1986, with the most recent work in a movie called “Washington Square” with Jennifer Jason Leigh where I play a Chinese coolie. My most “horrific” experience was getting yelled at by Mary Stuart Masterson on the set of “Gardens of Stone” and my most memorable experience was working with Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington in “The Pelican Brief.” If you have to know, yes, Holly Hunter is a sweetheart, William Hurt is a jerk, Merryl Streep smells, Charlie Sheen IS a slut, Clint Eastwood is COOL, Melanie Griffith is an airhead, Arnold Schwartzenegger has a HUGE neck, Roseanne is disgusting and has painted-on eyebrows, Linda Hamilton has MUSCLES, and Courtney Love is on drugs (DUH). So much for “Entertainment Tonight” gossip.
I stay in touch “semi-regularly” with Darrell Moy, who up and quit his “career” job a few years ago to pursue a new career with Bridgestone sporting division – he is always on the road with the pro golf tours and he enjoys… well, golf. Darrell recently separated from his wife of 6 years (no kids). I also stay in touch with Al Nishi, who also serves as my CPA. Al is divorced with no kids and has his own CPA firm that covers the entire top floor of that building in the center of Rockville (Monroe Street) with the antennae all over it – on a clear day, one can see DC from his office. Others I have run into and “try” to stay in touch with are Debbie Dempsey Desibour (she’s married to Greg Desibour, class of ’75 I think) who has two children, and I used to work with a fellow from the class of 1966(?!) who married Joe Reid’s sister, Laura (class of 1975). Recently I threw a dinner/party at Rosecroft Raceway and Neal Pizzano and Ed Wheeler attended. As you may be aware, Jack Diamond (aka Diamond Phillips, aka Harvey-something) on Q107’s morning show is a graduate of Peary (class of 1972?)… he occasionally mentions Peary HS and once spoke about Miss Fox (English, Parkland Junior High for us) and what a “fox” she was on the air. She is out of the Montgomery County School system now after serving as the Principal of Seneca Valley High School in Germantown. Recent contacts with Maureen Difulgo Bladen and Diane Arena Wilson as a result of the reunion – plus many others I still need to contact and stay in touch with. Geesee, Patti, you have my head turning towards every white convertible I see now (just KIDDING)!
So it goes with this first issue of the newsletter. I hope the next one is chock-full of YOUR news, so start writing and spread the word, okay? Thanks!
From: Neal Lee Pizzano (1976) npizzano[AT]erols.com Date: Tue, 6 Aug 1996 Subject: Peary Classmates’ e-mail addresses
I’m so glad that you were able to join in on the celebration. We were very pleased that you, and a few other teachers, were able to be a part of our reunion. You, and the other faculty, helped to make us what we are today. For that, we are eternally grateful. Thank You!
Bob Lau has started a Peary High School News Letter, which he will transmit every couple of months. I will forward a new list of e-mail addresses each time I receive new ones. That way, everyone will always have a complete list (with the newest ones highlighted). Please, let any other faculty members know about this. Are you a member of “The Friends of Peary”? I understand this is a group of former Peary faculty members that have a reunion once a year. It would be great if we could tap into this source.
I maintain a listing of all (or nearly all) graduates and faculty from Peary, from 1963-1984. This list is incomplete, but currently contain over 9600 names. It only contains a couple of thousand addresses. I am slowly trying to fill in the gaps. I hope this effort will help keep the Peary High School Family closer. This is my way of helping.
I’ll send more info later
Ciao for Now!!!!!!
Midnight Sun Online
Volume 1, Number 1, August 1996