...Our Classmates (and others) Reflect...

 

24 March 2017

Remembering Marlin Klinger
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5 February 2016

EMail from Bill Moll
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3 October 2015

Terry,

Wonderful article on Ron.  I can't claim that he was a close friend, but as the article points out, he had a way of making everyone feel like he was your friend and that was certainly the case with me.  One of my freshman English class essays at Lafayette was about Ron.  I got an A on it and I still remember the opening paragraph.  It went something like, "I was a scared little seventh grader from the Township in a high school that went from grade 7 thru grade 12.  The first bell rang.  Where the heck is my first classroom I thought?  Then I heard someone say, "Follow that big kid; he knows where he's going."  And follow him we did for the next 6 years."  I've thought of Ron frequently since then and especially since my wife had a kidney transplant. 

Hail to the Warriors!

Bruce Stout

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11 June 2015

Letter to the class of '65 from Garry Earles

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31 March 2012

With Terry's email letting me know the passing of Julia Ellen Swartwood Smickle, I began to think about all the teachers at Wilson that have affected my life and help make me the person I am today. Following is a list of all the ones I would like to reflect on:

  • Gil Carney - Although, I never had Gil as a teacher, I was in his senior home room. I loved his thoughts for the day that he always had on the black board for the new day. Probably the biggest thing, I missed after graduation was his thoughts for the day and conversations that he and I had. He seemed more of a friend than a teacher.

  • Thomas Burke - As in a previous article, I had stated he was my Speech (public speaking) teacher. Over the years in my profession, I have had to on many occasions talk in front of a group. All that Mr. Burke taught me made it easy as pie. I never had to sit there an write a speech. I would just take a 3 by 5 card out and outline the points I wanted to talk about and just stand there and talk rather than reading a written speech. Thank you Mr. Burke for all your wisdom. It helped my career immensely.

  • Wayne Grube - I had Mr. Grube for American History and he was also my track coach. The funny part was I knew Mr.
    Grube before attending Wilson High. When Mr. Grube was attending college to become a teacher, he had a part time job
    at Whites's corner market. White's was 4 doors down from my parents house. My friends and I enjoyed going in the store and listen to Wayne talk about football. At Wilson, as an american history teacher, he had us dig into the american reveolution and civil war farther than I had ever been before. He raised my interest to the point that after graduation, I even read a book called the Abolishnist about a boy growing up in the North and then moving to the South as the war broke out. As a track coach, he taught me the value of work ethic. I ran the 880. Mr. Grube would have the 1/2 milers and milers run a 10 mile route as warmup to practice. Thank You Mr. Grube for all your guidance.


  • Frank Martinez - I had Mr. Martinez for 9th grade Pennsylvania Civics class. Like Mr. Grube, I knew Mr. Martinez before ever attending Wilson High. Growing up I used to attend Librty playground during the summer. Mr. Martinez was Liberty Playground's director. He use to tell some wild interesting stories. I remember him telling of a quoit champion named Johnny Nichademus. With my experiences at Liberty, I was hoping to have him as teach at Wilson. Sure enough in 9th grade. I was in his Civics class. However, all was not sweet as I got in trouble right off the bat. Mr. Martinez said anyone who does not think Pennsylvania is the greatest state in the union, please stand up. I made the mistake of standing up and Mr. Martinez sent me to the office. On that particular day, I did not think Pennsylvania was that great but I had not been any place else. Now that I have been 3/4 around the world and in the states have lived in Florida, Illinois, Iowa and Michigan, I have regreted leaving Easton. So I thank you Mr. Martinez for what you tried to do.

Regards,
William John Moll Jr.

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29 May 2011

Reading the stories about Carlton Berger. I thought I would share my  Carlton Berger memory. It happened our junior year. Our upper classmen,  the seniors had challenged the teachers to a softball game. Had they known  what was in store for them, I don't think they would have made the  challenge. First of all this was fast pitch, not slow pitch.  I knew  the seniors were in trouble because the teachers had a ringer on the mound, Tony  Terranova. The reason I say ringer, is I saw Tony pitch before. He pitch for one  of the teams in an industrial league and was quite good as the seniors found out that day. Any way the Carlton Berger memory came well in the game when he  had a 2 run homer. You would say what is so great about that unless you saw it!!!!!!! I remember it well. Picture the distance from home plate to the gym. Well Mr Berger's home run hit the roof of the gym. It had to be over a 400 maybe  even 500 foot drive. I had played softball for some 20 years - both fast pitch and slow pitch and to  this day I don't think I have yet to  see a softball hit that far. And remember it was a softball not a regular baseball. Softballs are not supposed to go as far as baseballs. However in my softball career I have seen a few batters that break that rule and Mr.  Berger was one of them. I was glad as seniors, we did not make the same  mistake was one of them. I was glad as seniors, we did not make the same  mistake and challenge the teachers. Because between Tony 'the  terrible' Terranova and Carlton Berger, I do not think we would have stood  a chance.   

Bill Moll

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26 May 2011

I’m not really in the sphere of the Class of ‘65 (how young you are), but I thought maybe hearing something from someone from a different time (Class of ‘59) might be interesting (I hope).

My family moved from Main St. in Phillipsburg to Wilson Borough when I was in 7th grade (1954). I suddenly found myself in a high school (my brother was in 10th grade, my sister in 5th). Can you imagine how intimidating that was? However, those feelings were soon soothed, as I quickly became a part of the community in general and the music scene in particular.
 
I had been singing for many years (I was a boy soprano soloist at Trinity Episcopal in Easton) and playing trombone since 4th grade. I was accepted into the high school band, I sang in an operetta and the choirs, I marched at football games. So, in addition to getting a high-quality education (french, latin, every conceivable math class, etc., etc......you all know what I mean), I was getting an artistic education that has carried me to this very day. If you have any interest in what my life has been as a result of my Wilson High education, you could go to www.sierramusic.com and check out my bio (geez, this suddenly seems like a PR piece or something). The point is, of course, not what I’ve done with my life, but what my education has allowed me to do.
 
I went on to 4 years at West Chester College (University) and Michigan State for grad work...... all in music, all sterling institutions.
 
My brother Bill was the band director at Wilson for many, many years, so I always had some news about what was going on there. I hope that the high standards of the past have somehow managed to be preserved.  And yes, Gil Carney was my teacher too.
 
Best wishes to all.
 
Bob Curnow, WHS '59

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26 May 2011

I would second and third the remarks concerning Tom Burke. I had him for several classes but speech was also my favorite. I remember one day we were doing skits and all of sudden there was no one on stage and then there is Mr. Burke doing a soft-shoe across the stage to the other side, which of course broke everybody up and totally released the tension. I also had him for English and there really wasn't much difference there. I too have carried his thoughts with me to this day. What a great teacher.

Jerry L. Herritt

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26 May 2011

Yes too bad I had to travel all over the country  to wake up and realize what we had at Wilson...sometimes we do not realize what we have until we don't have it any more. I only had Gil Carney for home room but I looked forward to his thoughts for the day. Some of them were so complex you had to stop and think about them to get the true meaning. Since I never had Gil, I would have to say my favorite teacher was Thomas Burke  for speech. Never understood why the class was called speech. It should have been called Public Speaking. The coolest thing about Mr. Burke was his gimmick was humor. So many times he would have the class rolling. I remember the first day of speech class which was in the auditorium. The bell rang, no teacher. One student, I think it was Greg Grimm professed that the 5 minute rule should go in effect. All of a sudden we heard a record from backstage. It was the old Superman theme song. Up in the sky  its a bird...no its a plane no its and at that moment Thomas Burke jumps out from behind the curtains with powered blue leotard outfit with a red circle in the middle of the chest and a big red B in the circle and he exclaims No it is Super Burtke!!!!! and then he professes that we probably know his brothers Stoney and Amos. It was funnier at the time because 2 of the top TV programs on TV was Burkes Law and Stoney Burke. His class was a hoot. He would do everything he could to ease the students giving their speeches. He always wanted us not to treat it like a speech but  just like a big conversation. He also pushed us to incorporate humor in our speeches. I remember he once said , put a good joke in the beginning of your speech and guarantee no one will ever fall asleep on you!!!!! I credit Mr. Burke for all the success I have had giving speeches since leaving Wilson, not that there was a lot of them. But the ones I have given were very successful following Mr. Burkes rules. And I have to tell you, He was right about the joke. No one has ever fallen asleep on me. 

Bill Moll  

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26 May 2011

Bill’s thoughts, and specifically his concluding remarks on Gil Carney, bring back a memory that has stuck with me since high school. Long after I have forgotten about the touchdowns, points scored and base hits (ok, so I do remember making a costly fumble in that painful Nazareth game) I have never forgotten getting an A- from Gil Carney on a creative writing piece! I was shocked and speechless as he read my little narrative to the class. It never happened before or since but Gil’s “generosity” still makes me believe that I should write something. Amazing isn’t it? The power of a teacher……and we had the best. 

Thanks Bill for your thoughts, I enjoyed them.

Scott Glaus

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25 May 2011

I had read Scott Glaus's article and decided to share a revelation of my own. In my career as a Computer Systems Programmer consultant which has spanned 5 states Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, Iowa and Michigan I have come to the conclusion that I am very fortunate and lucky to have graduated from the best educational institution of all, Wilson Borough Jr/Sr High School.

In my 20 plus years in Florida, I have seen educational issues. The first incident was when I saw a high school junior's report, one in which he received a B+.  As I began reading this report, oh my god ran through my head. This report was written at the elementary level. In fact, I had expected to see such sentences as "See Spot" "See Spot run" at any moment. I thought to myself if I had turned in a paper like this my junior year, I could very well expect a D or F.

The second issue in Florida was that high schools were graduating kids that could not read or write. It was not until 1990 that a state law was passed making it mandatory that a requirement for graduation was to be able to read and write. Although it has become a little better, I still believe Florida is still in the lower rankings educationally of states nationally.

Although Illinois, Iowa and Michigan were somewhat better, I still believe Pennsylvania is ranked higher. In Illinois, I was in Bloomington and in Iowa, Dubuque. Both these towns are considered very rural. Both are major farm areas so you see a lot of old fashioned schools. Not a lot of emphasis put on education there. Currently, consulting to Ford Motor Company Credit Corporation in Dearborn, Michigan, I am seeing a better education system but I still do not think as good as Wilson High in Easton Pa.

Like in Scott's article, although a public school, Wilson felt at times like being a private school. The classes were the right size to maintain the one on one relationship with the teacher if needed. That is the problem with large schools. Yes, they may put out the best sports teams because so many to chose from but a lot of students get lost in the shuffle. The teaching staff at Wilson was awesome. They would always go the extra mile. They taught you more than just what was in the book. They would make you think. The biggest moment came my senior year, the Monday after Thanksgiving. We had just lost the heartening nail biting Turkey Day game to arch rival Nazareth. That Monday morning when I entered Gil Carney's home room, there on the black board was the thought for the day. The will to win is in the heart not the head. That thought has stuck with me all these years. Looking back at all the memories , I can't think of a better place to have graduated from.

William Moll

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21 April 2010

I meant to write my thoughts on an earlier e-mail message from Terry on the passing of Lou Cardell but one thing led to another and time passed. With the passing of another great teacher of ours, Carlton Berger, let me share some thoughts on Wilson High School from someone I met at a party several years ago. Now that I don’t work any more, Donna and I don’t get invited to the trendy “DC beltway cocktail parties” that we used to (thank God). On one occasion, the cocktail talk proved to be memorable. Late into the evening on an otherwise boring Christmas party hosted by someone who wanted to show off how big houses could get in the Washington DC area, I circled closer to the cheese and caviar table with drink in hand when I bumped shoulders with a guy equally as bored. We exchanged pleasantries and found out that we both grew up in Easton, he graduating in ’66 from Easton High, hence, we never met. My new acquaintance that evening was Tom Curley, who at the time was president of the USA Today newspaper – today he is CEO of the Associated Press.

Perhaps all journalists are closet sociologists and Tom Curley was no exception as he waxed on about life in Easton and particularly about Wilson Borough, its high school and its teachers. What I remember most vividly was his characterization of Wilson High School being as close to a private school as you could get without being one, i.e. similar student backgrounds, both economic and ethnic (not much diversity among us) and a teaching faculty that today could only be found in the most prestigious private schools! Wow, I never thought about our school in those terms and here is a guy who studies these things and he said to me, “you should consider yourself lucky to have had the opportunity to be a part of that environment”.

When I read the obituary of Lou Cardell, among others, I realized that we were taught by the “greatest generation” as Tom Brokaw would say, many of whom were WWII heroes, well educated, disciplined and serious about educating students. Contrast that with a cross section of today’s teachers and the fact that our country lags at least a dozen other countries in student achievement. In 1965 we ranked #1 in the world in education largely due to the Cardells, Burgers and all of the rest of the faculty that made up Wilson Borough High School.

Anyway I thought I would share this with you.

Scott Glaus

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