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Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man

By Grier Horner
September 16, 2014

Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

Where does the time go? Does it march on, fly, wait for no man? Is it the enemy, too short, an illusion? Whatever it is, time is marked by milestones. And this group of 17 classmates from the Class of 1954 at Washington Irving High School in Tarrytown, New York, gathered last weekend  to celebrate their 60th Reunion.

They hugged, laughed, relived the past and discussed their plans for the future - all that against the backdrop of time running short and the knowledge that for one third of the members of the class time had run out already. In the process it appeared they have not lost their zest for life.

My wife Babbie was in this class and with Jeanne Nemlich, Peggy Speir and Jean Feiman was one of the organizers of the three-day get together.

Above Louise Fisher Hughes greets Nick Minotti. Below are two girls from North Tarrytown - WI's arch rival - who married WI grads. They are Alice Hales, left, and Janice McLean. North Tarrytown is no more, alas. It changed its name to Sleepy Hollow.

This picture is of Janis and Don McLean when they were kids. Don, an athlete, always looked like he was straight out of "Rebel Without a Cause."

Today Don is the man on the far right of this photo. Next to him is Julie  Wright. Her husband Jim, a star football player, is talking with Julianne Civitas. The photo was shot at the Music Hall, the movie house where Babbie and I, below, had our first date. These are the seats she thinks we were in. There were a lot of guys and their dates in the back row making out.

At some point I made a move to hold her hand.

"What are you doing?" Babbie said in a loud, startled voice.

Trying to salvage the situation, I held her wrist up, as in the re-enactment below, and said, "I just wanted to see what time it is."

Pretty lame. I heard about it from the guys at school Monday. "Oh, Grier, what are you doing?"  "What time is it, Grier?"

After the movies - Babbie can still remember the stars in the double feature - we went to Pincus's soda shop and then walked around Tarrytown for an hour or more. Babbie suggested we play follow the leader and we did. We had a great time. When I got home I woke my parents and told them I was going to marry Babbie. And seven years later we were married after we had gotten through Brown and she had completed her nursing training. Like most of the marriages in the Class of '54, it stuck.

Friday evening we ate at the Sunset Cove on the Hudson River. The restaurant lived up to its name and treated us to this spectacular sunset.

On the subject of the Hudson, here are five of us on the third-floor terrace of our high school - which now houses third through fifth graders. From the left are Peter Hall, Bob Burns,   June Burns, me and Babbie. That's the Tappan Zee Bridge. We could see it being built from the windows of WI when we were in school. Now a new bridge is being built next to it because the old one is having structural problems. Some of us have had structural problems, too, and have new knees or hips, and in one case, lungs.

Here are the cheerleaders. Four of them were at the reunion. They are Jeanne Pollak Nemlich, June Nielsen Burns and Janet Bauersfeld Fink, third through fifth from the left in the top row, and Julie Lawson Wright in the middle of the bottom row.

The reunion committee consisted of, from the left, Peggy Speir, who was the chairwoman, Babbie Horner, Jeanne Nemlich and Jean Feiman, who was unable to attend the reunion because of illness.

This is the cover of the reunion magazine that Babbie put together. I helped with setting it up on the computer for Blurb. I'm up for the 65th. See you there.




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Seth Harwood, writer

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Juliane: bimbopolitics

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