The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 

April 1, 2011


Fox Lane alums gather for a big reunion

Kathy Potter with Jackie Vidor Bombeck and Karen Walling Baumann.
 

By EVE MARX

The Fox Lane graduating classes of ’75, ’76, and ’77 are very lucky that Liz Walker Klotz (’76) and Lia Benedek Kaufman (’76) decided to co-coordinate a big reunion for three classes, which took place the evening of March 26 at the Mount Kisco Holiday Inn.

“Once it was on Facebook, information about the reunion went viral,” Ms. Klotz said. “People immediately began e-mailing.

“We have people here tonight from California, Washington State, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, New Jersey, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, just about every state,” Ms. Kaufman said. “But nobody from Maryland or Delaware.”

At 7 p.m. when the party started, the hotel bar was already hopping. For the meet and greet cocktail hour, the room quickly filled up as about 130 members of the graduating classes circulated around, many of them peering closely at name tags to identify their comrades.

Ross Burbank (’75) and Barbara Peloso (’75) were among the early birds. They stationed themselves at one end of the bar to watch as their classmates came in. “Yes, we’re townies,” Ms. Peloso laughed when asked by a reporter. “I’ve never left Pound Ridge.” Mr. Burbank is part of the large Burbank clan. “I started in Bedford Hills and now I’m Bedford,” he said. Mr. Burbank attended his 20th reunion; Ms. Peloso went to the 10th, the 20th, and “whichever one this is.”

Kathy Potter (’76) attended the 20th reunion and was excited to be part of this. Now the advertising director of The Record-Review, the Katonah resident said she was glad everyone was wearing name tags. “Even though I was looking forward to the reunion, I was afraid there might be awkward moments when I didn’t recognize someone,” she said, “Especially if they recognized me!” The only problem she said was that she had to “lean in close and squint at their chests, since I didn’t bring my reading glasses.”

Ms. Klotz and Ms. Kaufman (now of Brewster) are both from Pound Ridge, although Ms. Klotz didn’t move to the community until she was nearly a teen. “I know more people in town now than I did as I was a kid,” she said. Their early friendship was cemented because they drove together to school.

One of the challenges of organizing the reunion was finding everyone, Ms. Kaufman said. The social network tool of Facebook helped, as a “Fox Lane Reunion” group page was specially created, and after the reunion classmates continue to post. Facebook also turned out to be a way for people who could not attend the reunion to still be a part of it.

As part of the festivities, Ms. Kaufman and Ms. Klotz created a map to show where everyone had landed. They also assembled two boards of memorabilia, one of TV shows and movies popular during the mid ’70s, and another, poignant board with the names of all the regular hangouts. Some of these businesses, like The Strap Hinge, Bramson’s and The Elephant’s Trunk, continue to thrive, but many more are gone, such as The Denim Mine, The Butcher & The Baker, Smilkstein’s, For ‘n’ Aft, The White Horse, and Kit ‘n’ Kaboodle, all but a memory now.

Nancy Martin Gernert (’77) now lives in Pound Ridge. At the reunion, she was with her high school best friends, Amy Abromowitz Baxter, and Laurie Laufer Lapa. Ms. Baxter now lives in New Hampshire, and Ms. Lapa in Weston. The ladies were excited to see each other; the last time they met was in 1978. When asked if there were any old flames in the room, Ms. Gernert said her prom date was there. Asked if she had brought along her husband, Ms. Gernert said, “No, and he told me to have a good time.”

Ms. Gernert said that on a recent visit to Fox Lane High School she barely recognized the place. “It’s hard to believe, but when I went there, there was a smoking area. It was just outside the cafeteria.” She said she was in a clique in high school, but not the most popular one. “My friends were not the cheerleaders,” Ms. Gernert said. “We were into gymnastics and student government and sports.”

Sue Repanti Welch (’77) still lives close by, but said it was great to see so many faces she hadn’t seen in a long time. Ms. Welch also attended the 10th and the the 20th reunions, but said this reunion was different because it included two other classes. Dennis Walsh (’75) came from Harrisburg, Pa., to attend. As the party moved from the bar to the dining room, he chatted with Beth Vetare Civitello, also from his class. Ms. Civitello was her class president, and went on to become a Mount Kisco village trustee.

Bill Fay (’76) now lives in Colorado, and attended the 20th reunion. “This is more fun,” he said. “I know more people.” He said for him the 20th was more strained, “and something of a coming-out party because a lot of people had come out who in high school I had no idea were gay.” Mr. Fay described this reunion as “more relaxed. We’re all older and comfortable with who we are.” He was with his sister, Carol Fay Messer, ’77, now of West Hartford, Conn. Mr. Fay remarked that, “Some people look 20, and others look 80. There’s someone here that I dated.” He said the person he was “scared to death to see again didn’t show,” and that made him glad.

Lisa D’Avola Scarsella (’77) has remained in the area; her daughter (like Ms. Klotz’s) also graduated from Fox Lane. Ms. Scarsella said she had a conversation with a woman who came from a large family that Ms. Scarsella had known well as a kid. “I was friends with them all, and I was happy and impressed to hear how well everyone was doing. She glowed when she spoke about her husband, and that really made me happy.” Ms. Scarsella said, “I danced for about two seconds, I did laugh a lot, I spoke to people I knew but wasn’t ‘friends’ with in high school. It was a lot of fun — I didn’t leave until after 1!”

Also in attendance were Fox Lane graduate Jeffrey Terreson (’73), now an artist living in Pound Ridge, who escorted former art teacher Herold Witherspoon, now 83 and retired in New Rochelle. He was greeted warmly by the attendees, many of whom remembered his influence on their lives.

Two days after the reunion, Jamie Gilroy wrote on the group Facebook wall that while some classmates have died and others have endured terrible hardship, that he felt the feeling of connectedness still exists. He wrote that the reunion was for him an amazing experience and wished for his classmates love and peace.

Liz Klotz left the group a message, “My experiences and friends from Fox Lane remain a defining moment in my life. Good health to all, and let’s try to stay connected. Even a (Facebook) ‘like.’”


Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of the The Record-Review. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.

 

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