October 2004
Volume 5 Number 1
From the Editors

Thank you all for the wonderful response I received to the address check note. Your kind words and encouragement are deeply appreciated. There are now 553 good email addresses on the distribution list. WOW! Four years ago we started with just a handful of addresses. As we start our 5th year, you are (once again) invited to share news of your life, memories and original writings.

Pat Koziuk Driscoll, 1956

Pat Koziuk Driscoll, 1956 Pat Koziuk Driscoll

P.S. I wonder how many newsletters will be returned this month because of all the hurricanes and storms in the East and earthquakes in the West? I will not remove any addresses this month because of these possibilities.

Editor note...this was before we evolved into our own website. Who amongst you were the original classmates who was receiving the emails? Thanks so much for your work with the newsletter. I enjoy reading it and should send something about what's happened in my life since I wasn't able to attend our reunion last year.

After high school, I went to Potsdam and finished a degree in music. I taught 2 years in Westhampton Beach, married an Air Force officer stationed at Suffolk County AFB and moved to England. We lived there 2 years. He finished his tour and we moved back to LI where I taught in Manorville and he taught at Mercy HS in Riverhead. After 3 years we moved to a small town, Manti, in central Utah where Russ taught English and I stayed home with our growing family. In 1975 we moved to Lehi, Utah and have been here ever since. We have a home on 5 acres and love it. I am currently the director of a tutorial program for at-risk HS students. I also have been a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for the past 11 years and am having an incredible experience there. Russ and I have 3 boys and 1 granddaughter with another coming in November and another coming in December.

~ Rita Paesani Felt 1962

Rita Paesani Felt 1962

Favorite Teachers

John (Jack) Clarke taught English at HHS in the early-to-mid sixties. He rode a motorcycle to school. Definitely an outlaw (or so he seemed to us) and someone who questioned conventions of all kinds. On the faculty he was friendly with Gerry Shanley, another HHS English teacher, another outlaw.

I had him in junior year English (Track 2 - the "average" kids). He had an ability to connect with a very tough audience of bored adolescents. I remember he'd sit on top of his desk and read aloud from anything and everything - poetry, short stories, novels, newspaper and magazine articles - didn't care if it was "not appropriate" (in those days, novels like The Catcher in the Rye were not considered "appropriate" for high school students.) He was funny, smart and angry - he'd often rail against hypocrisy and bull. He had our respect and tolerated no nonsense in his classroom. Of course I had a massive crush on him, though I hardly ever spoke in class. Too shy.

By junior year I was already an avid reader (it was a great escape) and, because he was passionate about good writing and the power of words, he showed me that literature could be sexy and subversive too. He inspired me - us - and that's the very best a teacher can do. We are blessed when we find inspiration at a formative stage in our lives. I was blessed, and I've never forgotten him.

Years after graduation, when I was living in Manhattan, I reconnected with him. He had left teaching (sadly) and was working for an ad agency in Connecticut. Still riding his motorcycle. We saw each other a few times, in the city and at his house in Connecticut. He and his wife came to my wedding reception in 1970. Then we lost contact. If anyone knows where he is these days, I'd love to get in touch with him again. If anyone knows, send me an email.

Nancy Portoghese, back in HHS days Nacia Miller 1965

The following was in the September 2005 newsletter.

Hi All,

Just thought I'd add a sort of interesting turn of events in my life as a 1962 graduate of HHS. On July 5th, I moved from my job at the Office of the United States Trade Representative to the White House, I am now the Director for Western Hemisphere Economics and Brazil and the Southern Cone at the National Security Council. My White House ID badge hangs from my Hicksville High Comet's lanyard. So far, I think I'm the only HHS grad working here. I owe it all to Mr. Rusch's Documents in American History class a million years ago.

Sue (Relling) Cronin 1962 Sue on Air Force One with President Bush

The following was in the March 2009 newsletter.

Ted Swedalla (1964) and Bob Casale (1961) are starting their memorable trip from Key West, Florida to Bar Harbor, Maine on April 1st.

This trip is memorable. Ted is dedicating this trip to the returning veterans from the conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan. So many of our veterans are returning to friends, family and loved ones with injuries and disabilities. We are concerned for those Heroes. Our government does many wonderful things to accommodate returning veterans. Unfortunately, they cannot fully address the emotional needs of those returning veterans. So many organizations pick up the slack after our government has fulfilled their obligation. Our hope, Ted's and mine, is to try to raise some funds to support the organizations that help our returning veterans. Anyone interested in helping, please contact Ted and Bob by sending a note to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We, Ted and Bob are starting in Key West and going up the East Coast. We are very interested in alumni who live in the alley we will travel from Key West to Bar Harbor. Let us know where you live and we will try to stop and see you on our trip. This is an alumni adventure and an alumni venture to help support our troops.

Love Yah,
Ted Swedalla and Bob Casale

P.S. what makes this unique is that Ted is riding his bicycle...a bicycle that you pedal from point to point. We are shooting for about 50 miles per day. Bob will take the motor home from point to point....a 50 mile ride for Ted will result in catching up with Bob at the next Campground.. Easy for Bob...hard for Ted...sounds like our business adventure. Hey, we love it and hope for some help from our friends...and we love you all!!!

Bob's ride is below. Ted's is at the bottom.

Ted's ride...

Unfortunately, our trip was cut short because of some family issues. We made it to Charleston, South Carolina so Ted pedaled almost 800 miles. Several years later, Ted biked from Roanoke, Virginia to Portland, Oregon over an 80+ day period and clocked over 4,000 miles.

Cross Country Trip at the Continental Divide Continental Divide

The following was in the June 2011 newsletter.

Dear Bob,

Thanks so much for the look back and reminding me how horrible I looked. LOL!! Hey, it is what it is. What was I thinking with those glasses and ugh! that puka bead necklace. But, as I recall it was fashionable at the time. It's hard to believe that it has been 35 years. Thinking back to high school, I just felt lost. We were a graduating class of, I think, 900?

I didn't participate in sports, or music, or the plays and clubs, oh and no proms either. If you were overweight at that time, no boy would ask you and you didn't go to the proms without a date. You see, I was a "tech" student. I went to BOCES for half the day.

So I didn't associate much with most of the kids in those photos. We had our own group. But, you really don't see them in yearbook photos. Somehow always feeling on the outside. But, we had a ball.

We went roller skating at the Levittown Roller Rink on Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown. And to the Hicksville Movie theatre, too. There were dances; the carnivals were a blast at St. Ignatius. It was a religious trek to the Mid Island Plaza every Saturday.

Then of course we hung out at the bars (yes, we were under age) What was the name of that place in Farmingdale on Main St. that played Beach Boy Music and had surf boards hanging from the ceiling and lifeguard stands. Can't think of it right now and its funny I have lived in Farmingdale since 1986!! Oh by the way, I went to Westbury Boces for business occupations. I worked for Avis rent a car for 11 years, right out of high school.

Then I stayed home for 10 years to raise my kids. Now, for the last 11 years I have worked for New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury.

First, in the Office of Financial Aid and now in Admissions. I wonder what has become of all those kids who felt like me. I just went on to lead a typical Long Island middle class existence. Kind of boring, really. But, it's my life and I chose it. I love my family and I thank God every day that I have a husband who still loves me despite all my faults.

We have been married for 27 years. I don't miss high school as it was NOT "the best time of my life" (as everyone kept telling me back then). The BEST time of my life were the years following high school. When I was in my mid twenties before I got married. Now, that was a blast! I was single, independent, working. Hey, it was the 80's, say no more!! Below, Josie and Joe in 1982 when they met and a more recent picture!

~ Josie Bacchi Whitezin '76

This was in the October 2015 newsletter.

Thanks to Kathy McDonald Corey class of 1961 for the following.

An Amazing Farmer - Will touch your Heart - Most inspirational story I think I've ever seen! It's good to see a story like this to maintain our perspective on life, both individually and societally as well.

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