Class of 1963
graduated from HHS in 1963 I attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI),
rooming freshman year with Paul Tava (also HHS ’63). We both graduated with
degrees in Electrical Engineering in 1967. Paul was in the North tower on 911,
just a couple of floors below where the plane struck. He got out, but his
health, already weakened by cancer a few years earlier, got progressively worse
from inhaling all the dust. His cancer came back, and he passed away in April of
2002. Here is a picture of the two of us from 1999.
also remain good friends with Ray Strassburger from our 1963 HHS class. Here is
a picture of us from a get-together in 2004.
graduating from RPU, while on a summer internship in NYC, I met my future wife,
Mary Ellen (aka Melon- born and raised in
and I are both car people, and here is a story to illustrate our passion as
“motor heads”. Just before we got married in 1969, we searched for a sports
car for her and found a 1962 MGA.
drove it for 5 years. It was then we put the MG in the garage and got her a
During those five years, from 1968 to 1972, the MGA was the car of choice for all our summer trips…we drove it all over the Northeast. Naturally, some roadside repairs were necessary along the way. This is a picture taken on a road trip in
original Lucas fuel pump stopped working. We drove for a while with the
battery cover off and me hitting it regularly with a wrench.
Whenever a gear change was necessary, I stepped on the clutch, called
out the gear and Melon shifted with her left hand from the passenger seat!
Ah, finally we reach a town. It was time to pull the pump and attempt a
I said to Melon, “let's coast into that nice big empty parking lot over there!”
Just as I got the pump undone, a State Trooper arrived. As Melon takes the above picture, the troopers telling me to move the car because a bomb threat was called in for the adjacent factory building! So that's why the parking lot was empty!!!!
If you look carefully at the picture on the right in the below frames, you may be able to see the "washer" I fabricated from a copper paper clip. That encounter fixed the fuel pump problem and there were no more incidents for the balance of our trip!
January of 2004, we pulled it out of the garage (yes…31 years later) and began
restoring it. Well, it was Melon's first car. We decided that it was finally
time to get it back on the road, so we unstacked all the garden tools, toys, etc
and found this underneath it all…
In February of 2004 the car was
transported to Sports Car Haven in
The body is
finished in the original Old English White - perfectly matched by the ICI paint
computer at Performance Auto Body. Robert J. Hamilton did all of the bodywork
and it came out incredibly well. He and I worked together for many nights in
2004 to complete the bumpers, headlights, grille, etc.
expected the renovation to be completed and to be on the road by the time the
"Tour deMarque" at Watkins Glen in was held in September. That was not
to be. In spite of that, we had a great time at the Glen meeting many wonderful
other MG owners that we hoped would become long-time MGA friends.
In May of 2005, with 55 miles on the engine "rebuild", we bent a valve. Upon pulling the head, we found that the rebuild, supposedly done by Sports Car Haven was only partially done! The head looked like the valve guides were inserted with a hammer, and all the exhaust valves were original, but had been turned on a wheel! The head was then rebuilt by Tyrolean Autosport in Northport, using stellite valves and seats. The rest of the engine was apparently never touched, although we paid for new pistons, etc.!! Well, Tyrolean's rework of the head, by master mechanic Rich Mooers, was excellent, and we put about 2,500 miles on it as of November of 2005.
In December of 2005 I removed the SU carburetors (again supposedly rebuilt by Sports Car Haven but poorly) and took them to Joe Curto (Mr. SU) for a rebuild. They are now back and are running fine, with trips to
April of 2006 we traveled to
drove the A to DC in a driving rainstorm and stayed overnight with friends Deb
and Al Gray. On Monday we boarded the AMTRAK Auto Train in
After staying over in
Thursday night was the big parade down
September of 2005 we participated in a rally in
we came in next to last out of 80 cars in the rally - seems that stopping twice to
clear dirt out of the float needles is not a way to win a 2-hour rally.
Especially when some of the Mercedes and BMW owners were cheating
and using their built-in GPS systems!
BUT, they had a "People's Choice Award" for the
most popular car and we tied for first place with a gorgeous '69
July of 2010 we took the car to Cape Breton Island in