Biographical Sketch

 

Jim Rerisi Class of 1961

I married Sue Douglas (class of 1962) in 1963 and moved to Colorado . We had two children, a boy and a girl. Sue and I lost our son who was killed when he was 5 years old.

Sue and I divorced in 1966 and I retained custody of our daughter.

I joined the Nassau County Police Department 1966 and retired in 1987. I went to college while working on the police force and came away with a couple of degrees, a Bachelors Degree and a Law degree.

Married Mary Gillette (class of 1963) in 1969. Mary had a daughter 2 years younger than my daughter. We raised both girls through college and marriages. My daughter went to Brown and Harvard and teaches in Boston . My step-daughter went to Quinnipiac and works in Connecticut . Unfortunately, Mary died in 1992 of cancer

I established a law firm in Hicksville early on and continued to watch it grow.

I was, also, involved with several companies where I was a partner. A law firm that employed 25 personnel. Partnered in a travel agency with 4 agents. Also had a Real Estate office with 4 agents. Owned a restaurant in Tampa/St. Pete with 30 people. And, finally, had a construction company with 65 people

Our construction in New York was doing well until 1991 when Mayor Ed Dinkins became mayor of NYC and changed the structuring of New York contracts. My company was heavily involved with repair and replacement of NYC school roofs.  Dinkins passed a law that stated NYC would only  give contracts to 'minority' firms.   Literally, over night,  I lost $5 million dollars in work.  Within 5 months the banks repossessed my buckets, cranes, lifts, and seized my personal property.

Over a period of time, I purchased 22 Levitt houses through my real estate company.  But everything I owned was also collateral for millions in loans and credit lines for the construction company and for the restaurant.   The restaurant in Florida was big - 225 seats.   But, it was run 'absentee' as I was in NY.

Within 8 months, in 1992, I went bankrupt. Total was 12.4 M

It is about 1994 and I met Connie Ramistello (class of 1967).  If you remember Richie Ramistello,  Connie is his sister.  Connie was divorced and had two young boys, ages 7 and 10.  Connie and I married in 1995 and moved permanently to Florida . We raised the boys who are now 27 and 30 - married - and the older one just had a daughter our first granddaughter! The older boy went to college in NY at Stony Brook and got his Masters in Biology.  He now teaches HS at Sachem HS.  His wife also teaches. The younger boy went to college here in Florida at UNF and has a degree is Banking. 

Connie and I started an "Eye Wear Company".  It grew.  We went national with large accounts.  I sold the company, because I was building homes and log homes in Florida and North Carolina .  

In September of 2007,  the housing market tanked.  We have limped along for  years. We needed income so bought a piece of commercial property with a self-storage business on it that has carried us.

Well that should be enough to start a conversation between us!  I really do miss all of my HHS friends.  We had some good times and laughs. 

PS:  The one female that I wanted to get in touch with was Donna Sohaski.  Do you remember her?