Written by Stu Kushner

Midnight Sun Online v01n05 December 1996

Volume 1, Number 5, December 1996

-The Online Newsletter for Robert E. Peary High School Alumni-


Hello Huskies:

I hope everyone is having a wonderful (and probably hectic) holiday season. Here’s the fifth issue of the Midnight Sun Online (MSO)… our distribution list continues to expand, thanks to your help in spreading the word about our on-line efforts.

Our web site is continuously updated, and there have been additions to it since the last issue of the newsletter, including an article on Jim Douglas (1975). As always, you can visit the site for past issues of the MSO, articles and news about fellow alumni, the updated e-mail list if you want to contact any of your former classmates or teachers, and links to Peary graduates’ home pages.

This issue includes submissions from Ken Thomas (1981) about the Thomas “clan”… updates from Gary Costello (1966), Gale Senseman-Privette (1966), Juliann Goldman (1978), John Douglas (1981) about brother Jim Douglas (1975), and reunion contact info for the Class of 1971 from Tim Riley (1971) and Class of 1977 from Neal Pizzano (1976).

The deadline for submissions for the next issue of the MSO newsletter is Saturday January 18, 1997 – we look forward to hearing from those of you who haven’t updated us yet on what you’re up to! Thank you for your contributions that keep this project alive, and please visit the web site for news items between MSO distributions.

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year to you, Peary High School classmates,

Bob Lau, Class of 1976

P.S. For those of you with multiple e-mail addresses, please let me know if one of them is preferred for this distribution (or all if you wish). If it’s okay the way it is, no need to write. Thanks.

From: Ken Thomas (1981) Drbutts[AT]aol.com Date: Mon, 25 Nov 1996 Subject: Thomas family info for the Midnight Sun Online

Hey! Finally a place to say, “Find a way or make one” and have people understand what you’re talking about!!! Here are some brief updates on where we are now:

Pat Thomas (class of ’65): Pat, who attended several protests in the ’60’s (some of them with Joan Baez), is a poet and teaches workshops on journaling and “finding your voice.” Unfortunately, since that doesn’t pay all the bills (yet), she’s working for Valley Mill camp as the Director of Transportation. Pat’s currently living in McLean, Virginia (near Tysons Mall). Pat often leads our family singing of Peary’s Alma Mater when we all get together.

Bill Thomas (class of ’70): Bill is a minister in the Four Square Church in Westminister, Maryland. He and his wife, Linda, have five really cool children (B.J., their oldest son, graduated from high school last year). They live in a big house in the country on the side of a hill (I’m told it’s “awesome” sledding in the winter). During high school, Bill lettered in football (I think his favorite quote from Coach Cino was “There’s only one excuse for missing practice at Peary – a death in the family… and it better be yours.”). He also lettered in wrestling (for those of you who remember, the Montgomery Journal’s high school sports reporter was a Wheaton graduate – you could always count on a non-biased comment like “Thomas pinned again” with a picture of Bill in a painful position). Bill also played Bill Sykes in the production of Oliver (yes, Vincent Gibbs directing). One more thing for those who remember Bill playing electric guitar in a basement band – his original amp gave out recently while playing for his congregation.

Alice Scott Thomas (class of ’75): Scotty is a single parent with two sons (I encourage any old boyfriends who are single to send a hello her way…). Scotty went to college at Catawba (with some help from her Volley Ball scholarship), and taught P.E. for a couple of years. She returned to school and received a degree in Accounting (and got her CPA). Now, she’s an accountant for an elementary school in North Carolina. During high school, Scotty lettered in Swimming – her paper on “Women in Athletics” was returned by her English teacher (who I won’t name, but who’s initials are V.G.) with the comment, “Women do not belong in sports.”

David Thomas (class of ’77): David is living in a condo on Capital Hill in Washington, D.C. He’s a Physical Therapist working in the Rehabilitation Medicine Department for Washington Adventist Hospital. He still spends just about every weekend of the summer at the beach (and yes, his hair still turns almost white blond from the sun). During high school, David lettered in swimming (and is currently active in the Masters League). And some things never change — he’s still hanging out with Mike Dobbs and Cyndi Robinson (anyone out there remember the large, yellow chickens singing “Way up in the nest” at Peary’s Gong Show?)

Ken Thomas (class of ’81): I’m living out in Centreville, Virginia (where I have a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains from my apartment complex). I work for UP Incorporated, a company specializing in multimedia and training in the telecommunications industry – I’ve been writing multimedia titles for the past couple of years. Back in high school, I also lettered in swimming (anyone who came to the swim meets might remember Bob Slowy and I playing the nose-bag-pipes during half time). I’m probably better remembered as the jerk who directed the Variety Shows in ’80 and ’81 (“Work with me, People!”), or as the guy who interupted your first period class with the morning announcements (I think I still owe Mr. Malley and Ms. Leslie about 6 weeks of detention). By the way, Principal Richard Dumais’ daughter was one of my students at the University of Maryland while I was working on my Masters – she was actually pretty cool… go figure.

That’s the Thomas family in a nut shell (where I’m often told we belong).

Thanks to everyone who’s responsible for getting Peary back together online!!! (And a special note to Bob Lau – I saw the work that Thunderwave did for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum – it’s very impressive. If your contract isn’t renewed, give me a call at UP.)

Buh-bye, Ken.

From: Gary Costello (1966) irishguy[AT]crosslink.net Date: Tue, 26 Nov 1996 Subject: Class of 66 student retiring to other job!


I have been honored by being chosen for a very important position at the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children in Arlington, Virginia. Some say the “godfather” has drawn me back into the business . . . But seriously, as I told the Vice President of the organization . . . this is not a business, it is a cause!

Between December 1 and December 16th, 1996, I will assume the title and duties of the Director of the Exploited Child Division, a brand new unit in the Center.

This comes suddenly and there has not been much time to plan to share the excitement with you. I was told I was selected from a group of 12 dedicated people from around the country. This is not important…what is though is that this is an organization which was founded on the protection of children…remembering John Walsh of Americas Most Wanted who was the energy behind the birth of the NCMEC.

Since this is a brand new Division, I will spend the end of the year hiring my staff, and building a physical habitat at the Center for us to live in.

It is anticipated I will officially retire from the Department on November 30, 1996…….. Not long after this, I understand there is a retirement party to be held for me, (November 17, 1996 at 7 PM at the Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad Ballroom) which is now in the pre- planning stages, as this was pretty sudden….I will let u know and hope u can make it.

Never-the-less, it will be an exciting honor to work for such an organization….the NCMEC has acummulated the cream-of-the-crop in the field and support fields, from around the country. . . .I know alot of these folks from my 12 years “in the business”, when I had the good fortune of working in a branch of the Montgomery County Police Department dedicated to protecting children………..Now I can expand this to a national basis and probably international one.

I look forward to this change and would like all of you to join me in this end-of-year and end-of-career joyful time. I am fortunate not to have to relocate, and I would like to invite you to visit and tour the Center once I settle.

I will be posting any changes or additions in EMail addresses, snail- mail addresses or, but I will always be available at my home at:

(001) 301-933-5131 in the U.S.A.

Thanks, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!!! Gary Costello Robert E Peary High School Graduate – Class of ’66 Dedicated to my favorite – Mr. Hill!!!!!


From: Gale Senseman-Privette (1966) gale7[AT]juno.com Date: Thu, 28 Nov 1996 Subject: Class of 1966

Would like to keep updated on Peary Happenings. I just ran our Peary 30 yr. reunion, Class of ’66, and we had a fantastic time. With many blessings coming out of this reunion…I would very much appreciate any info. i.e. names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses that you can come up with for the Peary classes of ’63, 64, 65, and 67 alumni. I’ve been asked to run their reunions but no one seems to have any updated addresses or phone numbers since it’s been so long since they have had any reunions. So if any of you could help me out I sure would appreciate it. I haven’t decided for sure if I’m going to take on this job but am giving it some great thought, and if not I’d see to it that the files got passed on to the right people.

One of the greatest things about the computer is the spell checker (I skipped school the day it was taught). It’s funny how things come back to you after so many years. I don’t know if Mrs. Zimmerman was still teaching typing and shorthand when you were at Peary but every time I find myself looking down at my hands I hear her voice in my head saying –Class remember to keep your eyes on what you are typing and not your hands – that is the only way you’ll get to know your keyboard!!

I’m still local – born and raised in Montgomery Co. and living in Gaithersburg. We’ve had reunions every 5 yrs. since graduation and I was handed the baton for the 20th, which Diane Nichols Brace had run for the previous three. During the first reunion that I ran, which was our 20th in 1986, three of the guys Jim Privette, Tom Watson, Mark Gross and myself wrapped Dr. Dunn’s house the night before the reunion in 3 dozen Navy blue and white balloons and navy blue and white crepe paper and left a big love note for him. Two months after the reunion Jim and I started dating – hardly knew each other in high school and one week after our first date on Christmas Eve he asked me to marry him. (I believe you have to go thru at least 4 seasons of dating someone before you really know someone), so we were married a 1-1/2 years later and last May we celebrated our 8th anniversary. All because of our 20th reunion. From this past reunion there was a couple who dated in high school, broke up, married and divorced other people, and now, due to the reunion, are back together with wedding bells in the future. Also a brother and sister were reunited after 10 years and one of our classmates were able to find their real father during our search for people and their relationship has proven to be a real loving and heart warming story. He had been searching for his child for 46 years. Oprah would have loved this reunion besides many other blessing that took place but too long to go into. Maybe at some point in time you can watch our video from the reunion. Or at least some really good skits that were done and check out our reunion book.

I was at Peary from 7th grade on (the first year it opened and the building still under construction), 1960-1966. Tho, we did move to Wheaton from Rockville and I spent the 10th grade at Northwood (didn’t like it) so I commuted back to Peary for 11th and 12th. I was the First DECA president at Peary in ’65-66 and would love to know what happened to my gavel that was in the display case with my name on it when the school closed. Anyone have a clue? Who was the principal when Peary closed? Maybe they’ll know.

We had a graduating class of 309 which nine are deceased and 186 at the reunion and with only about 20 spouses other than those that married other ’66 classmates. There were quite a few but can’t give exact total off the top of my head right now of class marriages.

We were the only class that attended 7th-12th. The first year it was open it was 7th -10th, the next year 8th-11th, and the next 9th-12th until it remained that way. So when we graduated we all received certificates stating we were plank owners. A copy of that was also put in our 25yr. reunion books. Each 5 yrs. I try to come up with something different for the books, new questions, new covers, new memorabilia, new and old pictures, etc. to keep things more interesting. So they’ll never know what to expect!!!!

In our 25 yr. reunion books, besides having everyone’s senior picture with all the updates in the back of the book, was everyone’s 7th grade picture. What a kick!!!

In the 30 yr. book I ask them to send in a current picture (only of themselves – not families) and those that did were printed beside their senior picture. We’ve got lots of surprises happening between now and the 35th reunion in the works.

I’m planning on having a dinner get-together every 6 months (probably most of the locals will be the only ones to show up). In June of ’98, the year most of us hit the big 50 (wow, is it hard to type that one), I’m working on a big weekend birthday bash to celebrate everyone’s birthday at the same time – some great ideas are in store and NO OVER THE HILL JUNK IS ALLOWED!!!!!!!!

For May or June ’99 (in three years, one of our class mates Denny Dennewitz who has a travel business and I are working on putting on a 4 day cruise and then of course in the year 2001 will be our 35th reunion. HEY.. we discovered after the last reunion we’re the Class of ’66 Peary Party Animals (that’s what we named ourselves). We do this stuff right.

I own a business called the Metamorphosis in Gaithersburg which is an electrolysis and Beauty center where we also do facials, massages, and waxings. I just celebrated my 19th Anniversary. I adopted a 14 year old boy as a single parent. He’ll be 30 in March. (Also hard to type that number) which is my (and now our) only child. Jim and I were married on my 40th birthday.

Jim is wonderful and we make a great team. We’re blessed in so many ways, and have a real Love for the Lord!! Jim works in transportation for people with disabilities and loves it. And together we also run a networking marketing business.

Back to Peary stuff-

We have a ’66 girls lunch bunch that meet once a month and trying to expand it each month with more ladies (sorry guys)!! We usually meet on a Friday — i.e. some are retired, others own their own businesses, and the others just take off when they can. HEY, THIS IS IMPORTANT STUFF!! It’s usually from 11:30 to 1:30 or 2. We meet in Frederick or Gaithersburg and if you’re a ’66 Peary female grad and would like to join us let me hear from you. We’re going to try again Friday, December 20th.

I’d like to take this time to thank all you guys and ladies for all your hard work and long hours for keeping us all in touch with each other. You’re doing a really great job. And all your great efforts have not gone unnoticed. Bless all of you from all of us. You all deserve a special gold star. Especially Neal Pizzano and Bob Lau. Many, many thanks guys.

May you all have the most blessed Holiday and greatest New Year ever filled with much love and warm fuzzy feelings,

Love, Gale Senseman-Privette Class of ’66

From: Juliann Goldman (1978) jgoldman[AT]cspinet.org Date: Mon, 02 Dec 1996 Subject: Update

I have been married for two years and have a 13-month son Malek Gidel. Living in the Twinbrook area. Working for Center for Science in the Public Interest, those people who told you that Chinese food and movie theater popcorn is high in fat. I keep in touch with David Cradlin and Tammy Pell (now Zebovitz). Does anyone know where Gerry Goldsmith is?

From: John Douglas (1981) jdouglas[AT]i21.com Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 Subject: Re: MSO Submissions

Check Wednesday’s Washington Post (Metro section?) for a story about my brother Jim “J.D.” Douglas ’75 and his 21 years selling Christmas trees for the National Capital Optimist Club. I’m out of the area and haven’t seen it yet. J.D.’s real job is Athletic Director at Walt Whitman HS.

John Douglas ’81 jdouglas[AT]i21.com

From: Timothy Riley & Barbara Dentz Riley (1971) timm[AT]erols.com Date: Sat, 14 Dec 1996 Subject: 1971 Class Reunion

Dear Members of the Robert E. Peary Class of ’71:

Your reunion committee is at it again! Thanks to over 1/3 of our classmates who responded to the survey for our upcoming class reunion! All the votes have been tallied and now we can share with you the vital information you need to start making plans for the best Class of ’71 reunion weekend yet!

DATE: Weekend of JUNE 27-29,1997 EVENTS: June 27 – Tentative Golf Tournament (men & women) morning tee-off; course TBD Welcome Back Happy Couple of Hours at Gaithersburg Hilton June 28 – “25 + 1” Reunion Dinner Dance at Gaithersburg Hilton Hors d’oeuvres, Buffet, Music Dancing, Door Prizes Approximate cost – $55-$65 per person June 29 – Family Picnic – Bring Your Own Food and Beer grills will be available; place to be announced

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: A block of rooms has been reserved for the Class of ’71 at the Gaithersburg Hilton. Rate is $64 per night for single, double, triple or quad. (The Hilton used to be the Marriott and is right off Interstate 270 at Montgomery Village Avenue.) We will be creating a new directory of class members – the questionnaire will be mailed to you early in January 1997. We are planning to ask former teachers to attend the events. We need your help in finding more of our missing class members.

That’s it for now, if you have questions or suggestions or can tell us of the whereabouts of folks on the “Missing Persons List” just call, write, fax, or e-mail to:

Call: Cliff Bannister 301-946-6882 Roz Rubin 301-762-3669 Barbara Riley 301-607-9430 Rick Seiling 301-871-5337 Jackie Hanson 301-840-2915 Anna Nicoliason 202-884-5692

FAX: Roz Rubin 410-740-5438 Rick Seiling 301-871-0892

E-Mail: Polly Seleski pseleski[AT]feddata.com Barbara Riley timm[AT]erols.pop.com

Thanks for your help and support – we’ll be writing again soon!

Class of ’71 Reunion Committee

A missing persons list will be sent in a separate E-mail.

From: Bob Lau (1976) blau[AT]clark.net Date: Sat, Dec 14 1996 Subject: Update

Just a quick update. Still “casually” seeking full-time work. I was pretty busy recently with the acting stuff (“Homicide” which aired December 6th and again in the recap the following week on NBC) delivering a summons to Detective Kellerman (Reed Diamond). I worked in the scene with Richard Belzer and Michelle Forbes (Ensign Ro from STTNG). Also worked six days in “Contact”… a Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump” and “Back to the Future”) film based on Carl Sagan’s book in a senate hearing scene with Jodie Foster, James Woods, Matthew McConaughy, and Angela Bassett which will be released June 1997. You may have already heard of it, but, yes, we were the group who sang to Jodie Foster for her 34th birthday when she came onto the set. I had the honor of being asked back specifically by Mr. Zemeckis for another day of shooting this particular scene, but I had another acting job that conflicted – leave it to Warner Brothers to make it worth it to come back and work in the movie…I did the movie instead ($) . I also worked one day in Howard Stern’s movie “Private Parts.”

I’ve placed some pictures from “Homicide” that are accessible on the web site if you missed the episode and are curious. Just go to the MSO web page… “People News” and click on my mug.

Have a great holiday and stay in touch with us here at The Midnight Sun Online – send us a blurb for the next issue, okay?

On a sad note, our sympathy to Maureen DiFulgo-Bladen (1976), whose father, Michael R. DiFulgo of Williamsburg, VA, passed away on November 5th. Many of you may know Maureen and/or her siblings Pat (Herman), Cathleen (Swisher), Brian, Regina (Harris), Tracy DiFulgo, and Karen DiFulgo. There are five grandchildren. Mr. DiFulgo was very active with the St. Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg. He is also survived by wife, Pat DiFulgo of Williamsburg.

Bob Lau, Class of ’76

From: Neal Lee Pizzano (1976) npizzano[AT]erols.com Date: Sat, 14 Dec 1996 Subject: Winning the Lottery

Bob has asked us all to tell everyone else how we are doing. He mentioned a lot of different ideas, and one of them was the lottery. Well, I have never won much, but I have had an occasion to win. Never more than $30.00, but I am definitely not complaining. After all, the money isn’t thrown away on frivolous hopes and dreams, (it’s thrown away on the state’s frivolous hopes and dreams). It goes to the state’s programs. So, with that theme in mind, I subscribed to the lottery here in Maryland. Result so far, I just won $30.00. Yes, I’m still behind, but that’s OK, because now I’m not as far behind as I was. Gotta keep a positive attitude. Hope some of you have had better luck than I have. Go ahead…BRAG about it! We want to cheer you on!

I figure that if you have won millions, you wouldn’t tell us so we’ll look at it this way. Those of you who don’t respond, CONGRATULATIONS on your millions! Those of you who do respond…GREAT GOING on your Winnings!!!

(Everyone, check out the list of those who didn’t respond in the next issue)

From: Neal Lee Pizzano (1976) npizzano[AT]erols.com Date: Sat, 14 Dec 1996 Subject: “Class of 1977”


Janet Henegan-Opar and Sandy Van Dusen-Forbes are your 20 year reunion Chairpersons. They are forming committees and plan to have their first meeting in January. In the meantime, try to send updates to me at npizzano[AT]erols.com as I am assisting your class in gathering, and updating names and addresses. You can also contact Sandy through my e-mail address, or, contact her directly via phone at 301-942-8908. Sandy, Janet and I are working hard to provide the most up-to-date information to the “Reunion Company”. This will help you by, hopefully, reaching at least 90% of the class so that you can have your greatest reunion, so far. I was able to assist in locating 87% of my class (1976), and we had a fantastic time! I need you to call your friends and verify their addresses (if you can) and then send them to me. Also, send any notes you can regarding how to contact other classmates, including brother/sister phone numbers and/or parents contacts and phone numbers. Whatever we can verify before the 1st of the year will be a tremendous help. Help make your reunion your best.

Neal Pizzano – Class of ’76 “working hard for the class of ’77”

Available on the web site: All issues of MSO
Articles about graduates and teachers in the news
Peary alumni e-mail listings to-date

Midnight Sun Online
Volume 1, Number 5, December 1996