My old friend Luke Heaton sent me some photos from the Division Avenue High School 40th Reunion.
I flashed on the faces of my old friends, four across. Luke. Dave. Peggy. Holly.
I didn’t graduate from Division, mind you. My high school is Ward Melville, further east on Long Island. I attended that Nassau County school, though, a 7th-through-12th grade biggie, for one year before moving to Suffolk County, were I had two years at Murphy Junior High before my three years in high school there.
But I had been in three years of elementary school classes with the kids in the photo above, culminating in Mr. Leo Nolan’s sixth-grade class, a gathering that made its mark on all of us, apparently forever.
Luke and I have been trading emails of late.
Here are the touching words he sent me a week ago.
By all means, please post the reunion pic!
The Leo Gang was very well represented that night. I had hoped we could get everyone together for one pic but it didn’t work out.
I saw Abby Levison, Kevin Rockitter, Cindy Walker, Rich Daskin, Dave Clark, Kathy Carr, Billy Euell. There may have been others as well. I’ve stayed in touch with Dave, Kevin and Peg pretty regularly over the years. One of the things we continue to take constant pride in is our Levittown roots.
I was texting back and forth with Peg yesterday. She mentioned that today she and Dave are going for a drive to look at the changing foliage, just for a little field trip for Peg.
I’ll tell you what I told her yesterday: I was educated in the Levittown school system for 12 years (kindergarten was spent in upstate New York). In the 40 years since I graduated from DAHS I have made a lot of friendships but none are as strong or enduring as those forged during those formative years in Levittown. I am proud of my blue-collar roots and grateful for the values and friendships I was able to take away from those years.
I guess that’s a long-winded way of saying I’d be honored to be included in any piece that draws attention to the friendships I was able to establish all those years ago.
Mark, you may not have graduated with us but I can still remember you playing “Mary had a Little Lamb” on the saxophone and I remember you catching in 8 year old little league at the VFW field on Strawberry Lane. Austin Esso or B&B Sunoco, if memory serves. Not many people have these types of memories and friendships all these years later.
At the reunion it was very sobering to see the table dedicated to members of our class who had passed away. It also made these friendships all that much more important to me.
I know you asked a simple “yes” or “no” question about using the pics but I am a bit of a wind bag!
Enjoy the Sunday and please send any links to your work, I’d love to see it.
Enjoy the rest of that Sunday I did, indeed, Luke. Thanks for including me in the class memories, my friend. I feel as if I were there, just like when we learned so much together in our Wonder Bread years.
Do you have any high school reunions in the recent past or near future? Do you remember your friends from school or is it the distant past to you? What’s your favorite school memory, and why?