PS duPont Class of '59

Wilmington, Delaware


What a great Reunion! What an amazing turn out! It was just a good feeling to see so many familiar faces and I enjoyed chatting with everyone, albeit brief snippets here and there. Of course, Clarence Henry’s button rang true: Hi, I don’t remember your name either. Then, there was Bob Vair’s sweatshirt that had his name printed on it.

If I did not spend enough time with you, or you with me, that is understandable and forgivable.

I could not believe the number of classmates that went on the school tour. Mr. Lincoln Hohler, the current principal, made it so enjoyable with his anecdotal stories. My favorite was about retaining the original ‘grease’ streaks on the auditorium walls from Bryl Cream days of the 50s and Afro Sheen of the 70s.

So, ‘Dynamiters’ is not PC, eh?

Ceci Shames taught Mr. Hohler a history lesson with a spontaneous Boboski.

Caught Bill Mat and Scott Woods reminiscing about cars and RayRock and Joe Cloud conjuring up ‘Killer Knob’ steering wheels.

Visited Ms. Levy’s HR, which will forever haunt me, as I was thrown out of it. Fortunately, here was a debate over whether it was HR 217 vs. HR 213, which is just as well to be forgotten since the rooms have been renumbered anyway.

What an impressive room in the current school devoted solely for historical memorabilia of P.S. duPont school.

No ropes in the gym, but caught Marlene Taub, Ellen Levy, Joan Hertzfeld and Lois Resnick, reminiscing, giggling and play acting outside about their days as the hockey girls and gymnasts.
Ellen’s husband Mario and I talked about real sports — baseball, in the Dominican Republic.

For just one memorable weekend in our current lives, we felt the return of that youthful spirit that made us young again.

Be well, everyone.

November 9, 2009 - Posted by | 50th Reunion, Boboski, Cars, Gym, Memories, Political Correctness


  1. What an extraordinary event! Bravo to the committee for an outstanding job in every respect. I don’t know how it could have been any better. Thank you so much for all of that hard work! I was happy to hear that you are going to do it again next year…. Seriously, I hope that you found satisfaction in the tremendous turnout. I am most appreciative and grateful for having attended such a great school with such remarkable, talented classmates. I really enjoyed the reunion, and the opportunity to catch up with many members of our class.

    With great appreciation, respect and admiration to all the attendees,
    Paul Simpson

    Comment by Paul Simpson | November 9, 2009 | Reply

  2. A Big Boboski, Lots of Cheers and pure unadulterated Gratitude to the amazing Reunion Committee! The Reunion was truly DYNAMITE!!! Bob, Gretchen, Naomi, Joe, Don, Fred, Keith, Marlene, John, Ron, Betty and Phylis you did an incredible job of putting together a fabulous reunion. I can’t thank you enough.
    The turnout was unbelievable — and must have set some kind of record. It was wonderful seeing so many classmates, though frustrating not to have gotten to spend more time with more of you.
    The tour of P.S. on Saturday morning led by Lincoln Hohler, the current principal, was so special. His passion for preserving and honoring the school’s past was remarkable. How wonderful to see that the old P.S. is not only very much alive and well, but in so many ways better than ever. The way the integrity of the architecture and spaces have been so lovingly maintained should be an inspiration for other renovations. I don’t think any of us every really appreciated the “good bones” that the building had, thanks to Pierre S. and his foresight (not to mention his monetary contributions!) I loved the way they found so many old skylights and were able to open them up and let the sunshine in. Just sitting in those wooden auditorium seats brought back such visceral memories! How comforting to know that “our” old school is in such capable hands.
    Speaking of “capable hands,” the DVD and the Dynamiter Station issued envelope were unbelievable. Where in the world did you ever find those stamps??? I really would love to learn more about how it was put together and by whom. Such a creative and meaningful memento.
    Fred, you did an incredible job of producing the DVD! What a labor of love. The images and music could not have been more perfect. I know just how much work you put into it and you really hit a home run. It was great getting to enjoy it together at the reunion (the spontaneous Boboski was great — now if we could just inseret it into the disk!), but getting to bring it home to enjoy again has been great. I loved the added features and can’t wait to share everything with my children and grandchildren. It is truly a treasure that we all will cherish. MANY, MANY thanks for a job well done.
    Looking forward to seeing more pictures from the weekend on the website. I couldn’t believe I forgot my camera and am so grateful to all of you who brought yours for sharing.
    Again, my sincerest thanks to the entire Reunion Committee for making our 50th Reunion so special.
    Warm regards,
    Lois Resnick Sacks

    Comment by Lois Resnick Sacks | November 9, 2009 | Reply

  3. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! You guys really pulled it off. What a great weekend. There is not much to be said that has already been stated in other e-mails. I know from experience what it takes to put on a reunion, but damn, that was one hell of a reunion. You did yourselves proud.

    It was just great seeing everyone. Betty and I had the time of our lives. Great turnout on Friday night. The tour on Saturday morning was super. The school looks great. We were very fortunate to have attended P.S. What can I say about Saturday night except I wish it would have lasted longer. So many more people that I wanted to talk with. The ceremony from the memorial through the DVD was “right on”.

    Thank you all again for a beautiful weekend of seeing “old” friends, laughing, reminiscing and maybe just a little “BSing”. Also, for your commitment, your dedication, your teamwork and your decision making.

    When you get together for the last time to finalize the reunion, you may want to discuss a “”55th year reunion”. Don’t laugh. Many classmates mentioned that to me. Something inexpensive, like picnics, casual get-togethers, etc.


    Comment by Don Goldstein | November 11, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks, Don but you also need to pat yourself on the back. You were great in tracking down missing folks. Marlene is willing to maintain the database and we talked about making a concentrated effort in working on those folks we still don’t have a lead on. So be ready to put your sleuthing skills to work again.

      I, too, had several folks ask about a 55. Something casual with a more formal one for the 60th sounds good. Reading this Bob is probably having heart palpitations!


      Comment by Gretchen Gravell Broadwater | November 11, 2009 | Reply

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you! That was a magnificent job done with so many people to manage. The food was excellent and the company even better. It was well worth the flight up from Florida. Just let me know if there is ever anything I can do to help.

    June Stringer Rietdorf

    Comment by June Stringer Reitdorf | November 12, 2009 | Reply

  5. The reunion was so wonderful that I could almost fly home without a plane.


    Comment by Marlene Taub Reinschmidt | November 12, 2009 | Reply

  6. Dear Marlene and the whole reunion committee:
    Thank you all for all the hard work and organization you put together to make our 50th superior. I just wanted to say that you succeeded fabulously. Thank you so much.
    An idea for the 55th: to identify something the school could use that we could donate as a class. I thought about it Saturday morning when the principal was leading us around. Just an idea. Pat Said Adams

    Comment by Pat Said Adams | November 12, 2009 | Reply

  7. It was a super weekend and I was so delighted to see so many former students again. Time has flown- but you all are as bright and clever as ever! A great class. Thanks for all of the efforts you put into this weekend and thank your committee too. Edeltraud, Jürgen and I really enjoyed it. They are now back home after a 3 1/2 week stay here. It was a wonderful memory for everyone.
    [The] website is terrific – great job – as always.
    Congrats on everything!

    Comment by Trudy Gilgenast | November 12, 2009 | Reply

  8. Great Job! The event that the committee produced was memorable and I could see a lot of effort and time was put into the production to make it a huge success.

    For me, the reunion was an emotional trek back through the school. The principal kept referring to class ‘39 but I am sure now with the heavy feedback he will understand that class of ‘59 was an outstanding group of graduates with exceptionally high credentials and a great past and future to share in the schools history books and the historical room of treasures.

    What made DuPont great was more than beautiful architecture and strong teachers that inspired our hidden talents, but the group students from the class ’59 that graduated together and set out to make an impression on world many years ago. This amazing class not only completed their professional careers but then personally went on to help others as well.

    I cannot thank the steering and arrangement committee enough for the outstanding job and all the hours that you all put in to make it a memorable affair.

    I had a wonderful time.


    John Gregory

    Comment by Dr. John Gregory | November 12, 2009 | Reply

  9. Thank you, and great job on the reunion!!!

    Comment by Pat Hoffman Hostetler | November 12, 2009 | Reply

  10. Just a note to thank you for all the work you did to make our reunion such a memorable experience. It’s great to have the directory of graduates in case you want to get in touch with someone. Really enjoyed the tour of PS. It truly is a beautiful school. Most of all, it was fun to see everyone. Where did all those years go?
    Take care and perhaps our paths will cross again.

    Comment by Peggy Saunders | November 12, 2009 | Reply

  11. Was great seeing [you] – and of course all the others – at the reunion

    Comment by Bob McCaffrey | November 12, 2009 | Reply

  12. What can I say that hasn’t been said! What a wonderful time I had Saturday night. I loved seeing all my classmates, it was really special. I am disappointed only in that I did not reconnect with everyone! Would love to have caught up with [you] and so many others.

    I never knew there was a website I could go to and learn about my classmates! I accessed it for the first time Sunday and enjoyed it so much. What a nice thing it is to be able to catch up like this.

    I will be checking the website often now that I am aware!

    Comment by Bonnie Ellingsworth Reeder | November 12, 2009 | Reply

  13. Many very nice comments heard about the entire reunion…congratulations to the entire committee for all their hard work and again, Bob [Rikards], thank
    you for hosting all the meetings and leading the way.

    Comment by Keith Marsh | November 13, 2009 | Reply

  14. Great job, everyone! Hope you are all rested up. I took Monday off from work.

    Comment by Gretchen Gravell Broadwater | November 13, 2009 | Reply

  15. My husband enjoyed watching the DVD with me yesterday — [you] did such a great job!

    Thanks again for all your work. I will always treasure my time at the reunion and as a bonus, have renewed some friendships.


    Comment by Pat Hoffman Hostetler | November 13, 2009 | Reply

  16. My thanks for all of the hard work that you and the committee did to pull off a wonderful affair….VERY NICE.

    Comment by Arnie Drescher | November 13, 2009 | Reply

  17. Wasn’t it a terrific reunion from Friday night’s gathering, the tour of the school, the Saturday night party and the beautiful weather? I really enjoyed talking with old friends and meeting new ones. My regret is that I did not spend quality time with everyone. I think the biggest surprise for me was seeing the ‘Dan Ballbach’ of 2009. I never could reconcile what he looks like now to how he looked in 1959.

    Comment by Betty Belden Iwan | November 13, 2009 | Reply

  18. I have written to a number of my classmates since attending the reunion. I think the committee did such an outstanding job pulling it all together. There was nothing left unattended and everyone seemed to be enjoying himself. I regret I was unable to visit with everyone, the night just flew by it seems. I was sad to learn many of our classmates had died, sorry they could not be with us to share our joy. We are so fortunate to have attended such a fine school and to be able to keep the bonds strong. What a blessing we share! I am looking forward to the next! Thanks again to the committee–you truly brought it all back! Looking forward to the next!

    Comment by Bonnie Ellingsworth Reeder | November 13, 2009 | Reply

  19. Hi

    We think that the committee did an outstanding job on the reunion.
    We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

    Fred [Handelman]

    Comment by Fred Handelman | November 13, 2009 | Reply

  20. Just have to say thank [you] so much for all of [your] hard work. [You] and the others really saw to every detail, everything was so well orchestrated, nothing left unattended. I am glad Ken and I were able to come to the reunion this year. We enjoyed it very much. Ken knows a lot of my friends from having played sports for Salesianum School, so he is never bored on these occasions.

    It was so nice to once again see so many of my classmates. I left with a bit of a heavy heart though this time, realizing so many have died. I guess we should expect this as we grow older but it is very difficult.

    Thanks again for everything [you] did to make the reunion so special and fun.

    See you next time!

    Bonnie Reeder

    Comment by Bonnie Ellingsworth Reeder | November 14, 2009 | Reply

  21. A very heartfelt congratulations to the organizing committee for the work you put into the 50th and its successful execution. It just felt so good — the whole weekend as we had such a fabulous turnout and I am sure it was all due to your efforts. THANKS.

    I hope we continue to communicate.


    Dr. Ellen Koenig
    Medical Director
    Inst. Dominicano de Estudios Virologicos
    Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

    Comment by Ellen Levy Koenig | November 14, 2009 | Reply

  22. Dear Classmates,

    After a safe return to our home city Bremen, Germany, Edeltraud and I want to thank all of you for that wonderful and overwhelming class reunion held at Doubletree Hotel and at Harry’s, and we are very grateful for the gift of that wonderful throw showing our school. We appreciate your generosity and friendship and again want to say ‘thank you all’. This throw will keep up the versatile memories I still treasure of my year with you. I still feel very lucky about having been chosen to become an exchange student.

    This year’s reunion was just great! To meet you all was just great! Some of you I was lucky to meet after 50 years – just unbelievable. But would this reunion have been as thrilling as it was? We think that the organizing committee has done a remarkable job by thoroughly planning it over the past years. I have tried to personally thank each member of this group, but I’m not quite sure whether I managed to meet all. So, let me again express Edeltraud’s and my deepest gratitude for the invitation and organization. It is also almost unimaginable that my former homeroom teacher Miss Trudy Gilgenast has become our dearest and closest friend. Actually, she always urged us to come for the reunions and hosted us in an outstanding way. We are very, very grateful and – may I say proud – to have been enabled to come for the reunions.

    Of course, we also enjoyed to see again my former host sister Pat Adams (Said) and host brother Douglas Watson and his wife Betty. This was a very personal reunion, and we would have loved to share a longer period of time with the three of them. I also include dear friends Betty Belden (Iwan) and Ellen Levy (Koenig) with her husband as well as Dr. John Gregory.

    We do hope to see all of you on our next reunion – if traveling abroad will be possible for us.

    Stay in good health and keep in touch, please. Perhaps some of you might come and see us in Bremen.

    Edeltraud and Juergen Thewes

    Comment by Edeltraud and Juergen Thewes | November 17, 2009 | Reply

  23. It is so good to hear from classmates and remember the smiles on their faces at the reunion.

    We need to do this more often!


    Comment by Marlene Taub Reinschmidt | November 17, 2009 | Reply

  24. Before too much time lifts away some of the memories, I wanted to thank all of you for the magical job you did with the P.S DuPont 50th. It was a beautifully designed and executed series of events, and it made all of us feel both welcomed and engaged. It was a special treat to be able to see the school again, after all those decades of driving by on I-95 and proudly pointing it out as “my high school” to fellow passengers. The new principal is a gem and he had all his facts and his passions well in hand to give us the best of times. Mary and I took advantage of the hours on Saturday afternoon to wander about the city, ending up on the new walkways along the Christina River in the spiffy new downtown waterfront. Again, thanks for being such great hosts and for herding us so well! The website, the book, the disc, the stamps and the memories will all be cherished.


    Comment by Bill Matuszeski | November 18, 2009 | Reply

  25. New reunion photos from Bobbi Silver Cohn lets us still savor that great weekend! See post: New Slideshow or take in slow and easy and simply view the still photos.

    Comment by Fred Kagel | January 3, 2010 | Reply

    • Hi Fred,

      Great pictures from Bobbi; thanks to her and to you for posting them. Your caption under one of the photos is: “Vent?” It is / was not a vent, it is a huge speaker loft. In one of the photos taken from the balcony you can see that there is one on each side of the stage. Behind the facing was an array of loud speakers that were an essential part of the sound system that was state of the art at the time. The organ that we had in the orchestra pit played through those speakers as well as a very large sub woofer that was located back stage in the center of the wall.

      Happy New Year to all,
      Paul Simpson

      Comment by Paul Simpson | January 3, 2010 | Reply

      • I didn’t think they were vents either, because I believe the vents were on the floor under the seats in the auditorium.

        Thanks for clarifying this.


        Comment by Fred Kagel | January 5, 2010

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