PS duPont Class of '59

Wilmington, Delaware

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

December 29, 2014 Posted by | General | , , , | Leave a comment

Jürgen Thewes Annual Thanksgiving Wishes

Dear Former Classmates,

Happy Thanksgiving!

Edeltraud and I do hope that you all are in the best of health and that you will be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with your families and friends. It is your most important holiday, we understand, and on this occasion most of you will be able to return home. Have a wonderful family reunion and happy hours.

55 years ago, when I was hosted by the Harry C. Watson family during my AFS exchange year, we had been invited by the Watsons’ relatives on a farm in Maryland where we enjoyed a fantastic Thanksgiving meal. I hadn’t experienced anything like that, and I hadn’t tasted meat of a turkey at all. The turkey was a real big one, its meat and stuffing just delicious. Even today I’m very grateful for that Thanksgiving holiday. In 1993 when we visited the United States for the second time I succeeded in finding that farm again. 34 years had gone by. However, Doug Watson’s uncle recognised me at once. He looked at me and instinctively said ‘Oh, you were the boy staying with the Watsons!’ An unforgettable moment in my life. By those relatives we learned where to find my former host brother Doug Watson and his sisters, Nancy and Gail. Already in 1992 we had searched for them, but without success. In 1993, just a day before we had to leave the United States again, Edeltraud and I met Gail and her husband Don for the first time after that long period of time. What a wonderful reunion! And that’s the reason we returned every year. Of course, we had met Trudy and my second host mother, Mrs. Anne Said, in 1992 already.

This year was an extremely busy one: A lot of friends celebrated their 70th birthday, our nephew Thomas married and had an unforgettable wedding celebration. Our niece Sabine acquired a new home pretty close to us. Our travel highlights were not only trips to Austria to live at our second home for a while, but we also experienced new forms of traveling. A combined flight and cruise led us to the Canary Islands and to Madeira. Aboard a gigantic cruise liner with 1800 passengers we started at Tenerife, were taken to Funchal on Madeira, then back to the Canary Islands. It turned out to be excursions into the world of volcanoes. After docking, buses took us into the interior of the island to watch gigantic craters or calderas. Lovely vegetation was everywhere, banana trees, all sorts of flowers and fruit. We enjoyed the cruise ship AIDAsol — nice, our cabin, and very nice hours aboard. 8 days of highly interesting sightseeing and decent weather.

Meanwhile, I’m in charge of our former teacher’s wife. That takes a lot of time and requires continuous administrative work. Fortunately, a former schoolmate and I try to manage the heritage.

At his end of May, we started for another trip to southern Italy. This time it was a combined flight and bus trip to Bari on the Adriatic Sea from where we were taken to Alberobello in Puglia (name of the province situated in the ‘heel’ of Italy). That small town is world heritage because of special kind of houses. They are built in a circle by stone plates without any mortar. Their roofs are cones (false vaults). In former times you might have considered them pretty primitive, but today they are tourist attractions. We then started for exploration of the province which is famous for its millions of olive trees. You may find walnut, cherry and almond trees as well. As to the highlights of that country, we visited wonderful cathedrals and castles. One of the outstanding monuments was Castel del Monte, an octagon which had been erected by Emperor Frederick II of Suebia in the 13th century. Having been placed on a hill, it is overlooking the landscape for about 20 miles. Not less impressive were the Romanesque cathedrals with outstanding sculptural works. I should have had much more time for photographing, but today you ask yourself ‘What for are you doing this?’

Well, during July and October we went down south to Austria again. There we enjoyed ‘Indian summer’. But the trip is quite a distance (725 miles) not to be covered in one day any longer; i. e., you have to stay some place for the night. We are always happy after our return not having been involved in long traffic jams or even accidents.

At home it’s time for clearing up our garden. That takes a lot of time, and the weather is not favourable right now. To summarize, I’ve got little time to do some writing. I do regret that I’m not able to constantly keep up contact with you.

Finally, Edeltraud and I want to send you ‘Season’s Greetings’ and all good wishes for the year to come. Perhaps we’ll make it for the 55th class reunion next year. We do hope to see you then.

With our warmest regards,

E. + J.Thewes


November 26, 2013 Posted by | 55th Reunion, General, Thanksgiving, What's Doing Now | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chuck Deaton (Charles A. Deaton, Jr.) and Thelma Lee

I received an email from Chip Deaton, son of Chuck Deaton (Charles A Deaton, Jr; deceased) and Thelma Lee, also of our class, alive, but not well. Because of the private nature of the email, I will put anyone, who inquires or wishes info, in direct contact with Chip.

December 29, 2012 Posted by | General, Memoriam | | Leave a comment

“A lot of people remember that as being the best time of their lives.”

Bob Clayton

Bob Clayton reflects on American Bandstand and the passing of Dick Clark 4/18/2012

April 19, 2012 Posted by | Bandstand, Bob Clayton, Dances, General, Memories, What's Doing Now | 4 Comments

Bob Clayton Reflects on Bandstand and Passing of Dick Clark

April 19, 2012 Posted by | Bandstand, Bob Clayton, Dances, General, Memories, What's Doing Now | Leave a comment

Dan-Dee Drive In and other memories

1957 Chevy Susan Kayhill

1957 Chevy Susan Kayhill

Fred, do you have any old pictures of the Dan-Dee Drive-In Restaurant at 30th & Governor Printz Blvd. I should correct myself and say “30th St. and Northeast Blvd” The Governor Printz starts a little further toward the north. There was a website, Old WIlmington,

but I’m not sure that I recall seeing any pictures of the Dan-Dee. There was a steak house next door called Jan’s and there was the B&G Drive-in across the street on the east side of the Northeast Blvd, if I’m correct. I hung out at the Dan-dee when I was in 11th and 12th grades at P. S. duPont High School, I got there very late, most of my peers were home in bed sleeping. I worked at the Life Insurance Company of North America running IBM machines printing out Premium notices from 3pm to 11pm and would stop by the Dan-Dee on my way home. Actually, at that time of night was an older crowd there, so I got to meet and get into trouble with them.
Fred, every third Wednesday at Attilio’s Restaurant located on the corner of South Lincoln Street at Lancaster Avenue, a group of about 25 guys who attended PS duPont in the 50’s get together at Noon for lunch to talk over old times. I stumbled across this group at Richard Tucker’s funeral, Ray Panaro (Swimming Team member) and Ellsworth Edwards ( I ran around with Ell’s younger brother Joe Edwards, who got thrown out of PS and went to Sallies and then Mt. Pleasant where he scored the winning touchdown against PS duPont HS) invited me and I’ve been going for the past few months. My cousin, Bob Hamilton ’58, also is in this group. I think I’m the only person from the class of 1959, but they tell me a lot of the older guys are passing on and they need some younger blood in this group. Just sharing this with you.
PS – Is there an effort to have a P.S. duPont High School Class Reunion – Class of 1959 in the year 2014 which is only two years away? I thoroughly enjoyed the last class reunion and I think I’ve been to every reunion we’ve ever had, but the 50th Reunion was memorable to me. I would like to volunteer to work on the 55th Reunion if there is going to be one. It was good seeing my class mates from the younger years when I attended Harlan Elementary School and Wilmington Christian School at 14th & duPont Streets where Rockford Shoppes are now opposite the Acme store. I also remember walking home on the B&O railroad tracks over the Brandywine River and having to run if a train was coming, I don’t recall there being any side guard rails then. I would jump off the tracks between the WILM radio Station by Rock Manor Golf Course and Oberly Brick yard and come across Miller Road by Ronnie Cohen’s house at the end of 32nd street and then walk across Haines Park to my grandmother’s house where my younger brother Jim Richardson (now married 50 years) and I lived during our younger years. Those houses are still standing to this day. I should have bought my grandmother’s house and rented it out for the past 40 years.
Fred, I’m attaching a picture of my 1957 Chevy in front of 1614 Marsh Road with Susan Kayhill in the picture, the white brick house on the right hand side of the picture is the house I currently live in, 1616 Marsh Road and I’ve been living here for the past 45+ years. My brother Jim has lived in over 30 houses and I’m still in the same house. Times change, people don’t. Notice on the right hand side of the picture the date Sept. 1957….that was the beginning of the 11th grade for our class.

Ray Richardson
Ray Richardson

February 8, 2012 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Libbie Sommers Soffer Art Exhibition

Dear friends,

Fiber Philadelphia 2012

Mixed Media Installation

My art installations have been chosen to be part of FIBERPHILADELPHIA 2012, a biennial showing of new fiber art forms throughout the city and suburbs.

Please join me for the following shows:

“ SEEING RED” group show

Penn State Univ, The Gallery/Great Valley/30 E. Swedesford Rd

Opening Reception, Thurs, Jan 26, 6 – 8pm ( I won’t be there)

Jan 17 – Feb 24, M – F, 9am- 6pm

“Clean Shirts and Dirty Business” solo show

The Painted Bride Art Center/ 230 Vine St, Phila, Pa, 215-925-9914

Opening Reception Friday, Feb 3, 5 -7 pm, Gallery talk 6pm

Opening Reception Friday, March 2, 5 – 7 pm, Gallery talk 6pm

Show runs through March 25

“ MENDING = ART” group show

Borowsky Gallery at the Gershman “Y” / Broad and Pine Sts, Phila, Pa

Opening Reception Sunday, March 4, 2 – 4 pm

Show runs through May 6

“ IN STITCHES ” group show

Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences

Loveladies, New Jersey, 609.494.1241

Show opens May 10, 2012

Opening Reception Sunday, May 27, 5 – 7pm

Show runs through June 18

I hope you can be there for some new art forms, smiling faces, and good refreshments….I look forward to seeing you there,

Warmest regards, Libbie Soffer

February 4, 2012 Posted by | General, What's Doing Now | 2 Comments

Juergen Thewes Annual Thanksgiving Wishes

Dear Friends and Schoolmates, Bremen, November 22nd, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! Edeltraud and I wish you a wonderful family reunion and a great happening with your dear family members. Enjoy the day in grateful remembrance of the first settlers reaching their new home in America and the history of your family and your ancestors that came to the States one day.

We do hope that you all are in the best of health and that you will be able to celebrate Thanksgiving the way you are used to. Our thoughts and good wishes will accompany you.

This year was a special one for us, because we experienced some highlights, but also fateful days. I do hope to be able to inform you later. We had a gorgeous October and enjoyed a flight to Florence, Tuscany, Italy. From Montecatini Terme we were taken on sightseeing trips to pre-renaissance towns like Luccas, Siena, Pisa, San Gimignano, and Volterra. It was a great experience.

I might be able to write more about our trips at a later date.

Again Happy Thanksgiving and the very best to all of you.


Edeltraud and Juergen

November 27, 2011 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Dear Friends and Classmates,

Happy Thanksgiving for all of you and your families. Enjoy the great festivity! Edeltraud and I send you cordial greetings. We do hope that you are in good health, and particular good wishes for those who are not well at the moment. We imagine that you’ll have great family reunions. May it be a great day with fairly decent weather.

As to us: We had a year of changing health. Edeltraud is complaining about her ankle joint fracture; even after one and a half year she still is having therapy. Walking for a long time is not possible, but she is trying to improve this.

We had to stays at Carinthia, Austria, this summer; however, both times weather changed at half-time. We had rain and cold. On August 30th snow had fallen down to 5,400 ft. The temperature sank down to 40° F.

This year’s highlight was my 70th birthday. Edeltraud gave me a surprise party with 40 of my friends. I hadn’t had any idea that that would happen, because I had mentioned before not to celebrate this date at all. My friends gave me money for a special trip of our choice. So we learned of a readers’ trip organized by our local newspaper: 4 days former Breslau ( Polish: Wroclaw ) in Silesia (which had been a German province until the end of WW II; it had been the wheat producer of the German Reich). Edeltraud was born there, so was her mother. In 1974 – in times of the Cold War – we had had a chance to visit the former capital of Lower Silesia with my parents-in-law to find out whether there were any remains of their Breslau flat. They had to realize that their former house had been destroyed during the siege of Breslau by the Red Army in the beginning of 1945. A week ago we didn’t even find the rest of German houses across the street we had noticed in 1974. The only remaining building we found was Edeltraud’s mother’s school building. The positive experience: Wroclaw has been re-erected with remarkable churches and buildings. There are 120,000 students among a population of appr. 640,000.

Our two days’ stay was topped by a wonderful performance of Verdi’s opera ‘La Traviata’. We had a Polish guide who had studied German. He gave us a lot of useful information about the developement of Silesia after WW II and led us to the most important sights. An excusion to former Schweidnitz (Swidnica) gave us an impression of the beauty of the country with its mountain chains.
Edeltraud was reminded of many fairy-tales and stories her grandmother had told her after the war. Finally, it was a trip into our past, and we are encouraged to learn more about the history of Silesia. By the way, several of my former colleagues have their origine in Silesia,too.
To summarize our experience: It was a great trip with nice people on the bus, and we might go to Silesia on our own one day. The distance was 440 miles. We made them in about 10 hours ( breaks included).

We wish you a wonderful Season anmd the very best for 2011. We’ll be thinking of all of you on Thanksgiving Day.

Cordial greetings

Edeltraud and Juergen Thewes

November 25, 2010 Posted by | General, Holiday Wishes, Thanksgiving, What's Doing Now | Leave a comment

Website reaches 10,000 visit milestone

by Bob
The 10,000th hit was recorded on class website. Amazing! What’s even more amazing is that about half of the visits were made since last October. Over 1900 pages have been read on the Blog and almost 1500 views of our Class Reunion movies were seen on YouTube. The most amazing thing of all is that we had just over 100 classmates out of now-down-to 275 from 320 attend the reunion.

Now is the time — before memories fade — to send in your own pictures and and class mementos. Contact

January 12, 2010 Posted by | 50th Reunion, General, Memories | Leave a comment