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Reunion 10-25-03

Jim Reich's Reunion Speech

1. Want to take a moment, on behalf of the committee, to welcome everyone. I will keep it short because we feel that people want to spend the evening catching up with old friends, and they don't want a long program.

2. I am quite aware of the love and affection we all have for each other as I see it every time our reunion committee meets. Meetings last long after the formal meeting ends, as people just enjoy hanging around and talking. But after last night's pizza party at Joyce's and the Klondike party at Judy's, I realize that the committee's feelings toward one another is only a reflection of the whole class's feelings.

3. While we are enjoying this evening, I think it appropriate that we pause for a moment of silence for those in our class who have passed on.

4. I thought you'd like to know how this all began…

A. As you know, Sissie Berkowitz Schwartz, of blessed memory, spearheaded our past reunions. She called the meetings, got things started, and did an enormous amount of work in executing the plan. We lost Sissie four years ago…and nothing much was done until one day in about July, 2002, I was walking along Forbes avenue, minding my own business, and who do I run into but Joyce Barnett Pearl. She said we should get a reunion started. I had my doubts as we had just had on in October, 1995, but we decided to call a meeting committee members from past reunions and put to the group whether we should have a party celebrating our 65th birthday. The committee voted unanimously to have one and here we are. We determined to have as many people attend this birthday party as we could. At our last reunion, we think we had 140 attendees. Not knowing how many we could expect this time, we budgeted for 125, 150, and 175 people. You can imagine how thrilled we are to tell you that over 200 people are in this room.

B. Our first task was to locate everyone in the January and June classes that we possibly could. Unfortunately, we lost track of many of our classmates over the years. Bette Nadel Balk and Marcia Esman Raphael were assigned this task of locating as many people as we could. Both of them really got into this problem, and using the Internet and other means, they did a tremendous sleuth job. At this point, we can account for everyone in the January class but 20 out of the 120 that were in that class, and for everyone in the June class but 40 out of the total of about 335…and you can bet that Bette and Marcia won't rest until they have found more.

C. Esther Latterman Schwartz has been our secretary, web page liaison, list keeper, you name it. When we started, back in August 2002, some of us had heard of web pages and we wanted one for our class. But no one on the committee had a clue how to get one started. After contracting with two web masters, neither of whom worked out, we found Jim L. From that time on it has been smooth sailing. I hope all of you have found our web page. This committee plans to meet quite regularly in the future and we also plan to keep the web page up to date. So, refer to it every once in a while.

D. We had some problems getting our money matters under control. So, I asked Marcia Levaur to be our treasurer with the promise that there was nothing to it. But keeping track of money, paying bills, etc. does take work and I want to publicly thank Marcia for stepping in and doing a great job.

E. The committee feels a great deal of gratitude to Jim Weisman, who is still quite active in law practice. Jim "donated" his secretary, Ann Abel, a very lovely young woman, to handle our mailers, our mailing list, and all that sort of thing. I don't know what we would have done without her, and for that we thank Jim.

F. I've singled out a few members of the committee, but everybody did a tremendous job. So, now I would like the entire committee to stand for a bow.

1. Sandy Gold - Photographs
2. Biff Friedland Greenberg - Reservations
3. Annette Roscow Kranich and Barbara Weil Walkow - Entertainment
4. Roz Mann Markowitz - Name Tags
5. Rita Weinstein Seltman - Pictures
6. John Spear - Venue Arrangements
7. Natalie Wagner Klein
8. Gene LaFace
9. Judy Feldstein Smalley
10. Marshall Wnuk
11. Spike Zimmerman

G. By the way, our committee is by no means a closed society. We would welcome any of you who would like to participate to come and enjoy our get-togethers.

5. Now for some smaller points, and then I'm finished.

A. We have a photographer, Jim L., whom you've seen. By the way, he is also our web master. We will be taking a group picture of the January class at 9:30 and the June class at 10:00. This will be taken in the back of the room. At our advanced ages, we really don't separate the classes in our minds very much. But we felt that if we took both classes together, there would be too many. Also, Jim will be walking around taking candid pictures. Many of these will appear on the disc. You can purchase the class photo and disc for $25, including shipping and handling. So, if you haven't done so already and would like this package, please see Sandy Gold. Finally, if you would like to have a picture taken of a smaller group, say of those who lived on the same street growing up, or a team, or whatever, just tap Jim on the shoulder and he'll be glad to take it.

B. Tomorrow morning, we have arranged for breakfast, dutch treat, at Panera's restaurant on the Boulevard of the Allies. It's across the Boulevard from the old Isaly's. Breakfast will be from 9:30 until 11:30, and we have a private room in the back of the restaurant. So, come and go as you please.

C. The beautiful centerpiece, a creation of Carol Kochin Wolsh, is edible. So, take a few bars and a few kisses.

D. Now that we have the web page, we would like to keep it as up to date as possible. So, if you change addresses, phone numbers, or anything, keep us informed.

5. Now, I want to tell you that Chico Roth, the Oscar Hammerstein of the Class of '56, wrote an entertainment. So, while you are still eating, I will call Chico to come up and perform the entertainment he wrote called the "Know Something, Be Something, Do Something" rap..