Biographical Sketch


Robert “Bob” Bittner  Class of 1968

In Hicksville High Also Known As  (AKA): I don’t remember it’s been 47 years

Spouse/Partner… Catherine Maria Neary

Were you classmates at HHS? No

Where did you meet? How long ago? One night my younger cousin was going to PJ’s in Farmingdale. I hadn’t been there since before entering the Navy that would have been 1969 and it was now 1975.  So we met 40 years ago Cathy went to school with my cousin.

Married How Long? Date Married: 5-6-78 was the day a beautiful Saturday at St Edwards the Confessor in Syosset.  So if my math is correct 37 years.

Children/Grandchildren: 3 boys 1 daughter and 1 grandson…

Where do you currently live?: The sunniest place in NY State Cutchogue Long Island

Favorite Subject in High School: It varied year to year. But history still haunts me.

Name of my Favorite Teacher: Wow, Mr. Farrell hands down but then Mr. Kearns was great also and Mrs. Daly 10th grade English my least favorite subject. Funny all these teachers taught English. Go figure.

Favorite Place to meet Friends Outside of School: I guess the Mid Island Mall

Favorite Non-Academic School Club or Activity: did we have them???

Occupation/Trade/Profession: Navy, Postal Service retired as a Postmaster  however tinkering in Real Estate Sales part time now.

Education Beyond High School : AS Nassau Community College

Military Service: USN 1970-1974 USNR 1974-1980

Hobbies/Pastimes: Love the Mets, and now gardening in my yard and a few good shots when playing golf.

One thing that no one knows about me is: Well heck I don’t even know

Now the hard one. Tell us what we need to know…50 years in the space below:

The past 47 years have led me halfway around the world and back. After HS I tried NCC for a spell but got tired of the same old stuff so I joined the Navy to see the world. Got to the coldest place on earth January 1970 a place called Great Lakes Ill.   Promptly caught pneumonia ended up in the dispensary where a Corpsman told me hmmm 107 degree temperature, it doesn’t look good.  Water every 5 minutes and then penicillin oh and a pretty nurse Ensign and a wicked old nurse Commander pulled me through.  Back to the barracks but in another company I had lost 10 days. Another week end in the dispensary where they thought I had an ulcer just because I was coughing up blood on the grinder (marching grounds) but that proved false didn’t lose anytime back to barracks that Monday. Finally graduated boot camp and onto sunny Pensacola Florida where I learned electronic intercept technology.  First came Morse code, knowing the dits and dahs for each letter is easy the hard part is typing it down at speeds of up to 45 groups per minute.  I didn’t adapt too well to the speed so onto non Morse school by the skin of my teeth.

This proved to be my niche after about 7 months in Pensacola and graduating from A school it was onto sunny Guam and the Navy Communications Station on that island. That was a 18 month duty station I was there 19 months why I can’t remember. Met some of the best guys I have ever known some from Pensacola class also showed up. Played fast pitch softball and our division team even won the trophy.  Next onto NSA at Ft Meade Md this place was hardly known by anyone in 1972 but it’s all the rage now in the news. Here I worked for two of the best Warrant Offices and people I have ever worked for in my life. Both are now deceased Billy Truman Smith and Chad Johnson two names I hold dear.

Getting discharged at the Brooklyn Navy yard in January 1974 and then what???? I kicked around as a recession had hit the nation so I signed up for the Navy Reserves for a few dollars more.  I sold shoes and then worked at General Instrument Corp for a bit attending NCC again part time. I ended up working again for the postal service. Actually took the job just to save and then move to another state but hey wait that was 1975 and I just met my wife to be.

Graduated NCC with an AS in 1977…Took some classes for court reporter after that but didn’t like it.  I stayed with post office becoming a Postmaster in several offices. I even was an elected National VP of the Postmaster Association.  I retired at 61 after 41 years of federal service.  I stayed in New York state living in Nesconset, St James, Saugerties and Cutchogue NY .

The internet has made it possible to again reunite with sailors I served with long ago and even a classmate or two from Hicksville .  Hicksville doesn’t look quite as I remember it. I grew up on Ohio Street starting in fifth grade at Burns Avenue then onto HJHS and of course HHS.  I was a quiet kid like most of us back then. I remember the Westbury Drive In, Jabby’s, that diner on the corner of W John Street and Jerusalem where you would get a CB Delux late Saturday night or was it early Sunday morning? I remember going to the football and basketball games and the sweet shop afterward. I remember watching Doolittle throw what I still believe is the longest touchdown pass to Massiello, 99 yards.  

Finally, if you had to do it all over again, I would have gone right into the Navy after high school. It was a great place to grow, you want diversity there isn’t a better place I know. Otherwise everything has worked out as I believe it was destined to be.