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Play it again, Sam


Class of 1952

Jazz, that's what the 50s were about
and hamburgers at the drive in, Friday night dances, saddle shoes, and necking at the drive-in movies. Relive those days here on the Class of 1952 web page. Get in touch again with your old friends and your memories, and then find them again after 50 years right on this very same page. Pour yourself a cup of coffee, relax, and scroll down into the past and the present.

anQuestions or comments ?

Tell us about your life!!!

People have enjoyed reading the biographies, so why not share yours. It needn't cover the past 50 years, but it is fine if it does. You can also share a special event, a trip or something that was special to you or your family. We would enjoy hearing from you.

BETTY JOAN ALLAN VALZ Born on Thanksgiving Day November 29th in Hawthorne, I attended Washington School.  After graduating HHS I worked in Hawthorne then in Paterson, married in March 1954, divorced in July 1980.  In 26 years of marriage we moved 21 times, lived in 7 different states, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, returning often to New Jersey.  Lived in Germany 6 years, 2 three year tours one in the Stuttgart area and the second in Mannheim.  Traveled throughout Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, England, Scotland, Hawaii, US Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Bermuda & Alaska.
I have 3 children, Laura, in banking, born in Alabama, Victoria, a lawyer, born in Georgia & Darwin, with a Wine Distributor, born in Heidelberg, Germany.  I have one granddaughter Meredith, born in Virginia Beach, VA.
While married I was a Home Executive and did a lot of volunteer work, after the divorce while living in Staunton, VA I attended Blue Ridge Community College and had a variety of jobs: fund raising, disk jockey, advertising sales, medical staff secretary, medical transcriptist and ended up at the Museum of American Frontier Culture as fiscal officer for the state agency. (Would Mr. Motola be surprised!!!!!)
In July 1995 I retired and with my sister Margaret White bought a townhouse in VA Beach, adding move #22 to my life.  Here I have been actively involved with more volunteer work, serving as officers (secretary, treasurer and president) for both the local chapter of AARP & our Homeowners' Asso.  (Do you think serving as class treasurer had any influence on all this??)  Found my childhood Washington School classmate Marion (Thissen) Bush and her husband Dal living up the road in Williamsburg.  We get together frequently.
In April 1998 I had 3 heart attacks and on April 10th I had emergency quadruple bypass surgery.  Even though I have heart damage I lead a very active life, exercising 3 days a week at the local recreation center and continuing my work with AARP, the Homeowners' Asso. and adding Mended Hearts volunteer work (visiting heart patients in the hospital), gardening, reading books and dining out at great (some not so) restaurants.
In 2002 while communicating about the class reunion, Marion and I discovered another classmate in the area, Marilyn (Mault) Rossier.  We got together for the first time in June and have met each month since.  Marion & I will be staying at the Regency House (973-696-0900) on RT. 23, Pompton Plains both Friday & Saturday nights the 13th & 14th.  We are looking forward to seeing old friends

ELIZABETH "BETTY" DYKHUIS GIONTI Whenever I think about those fabulous years at HHS, I remember steno and typing classes with Grace Campana, Mr. Lawrence and, of course, meeting Art and double- dating with Dot & Ken Silvestri on Saturday nights!

Arthur and I were married on June 12, l954, three days after he graduated from Rutgers University. I was a legal secretary in Paterson (in the old Fabian building) until March, 1955, when I went to be with Art in Mannheim, Germany during his tour of army duty. Being employed as a secretary on the base enabled us to become close friends with my German coworkers. We travelled extensively and in particular to visit my relatives in the Netherlands. Such fond memories!

Our first daughter, Irene Theresa, was born in 1958, during Art's second year at Hahnemann Medical College and daughter, Linda Denise, arrived a few weeks after graduation in 1960. During Art's internship and residency at Jefferson and U.PA.-Graduate Hospital, I was a stay-at-home mom, thanks to the support from both sets of parents.

In 1964, we moved into our new home-office in Parsippany, N.J. where Art practiced internal medicine and I managed the office. When our girls were in high school, I began attending classes at Drew University, Madison, NJ and received a BA in religion in 1982.

All through the years, we've been members of the United Methodist Church and I've been an active U.M.Woman, having served in a volunteer capacity on all levels of the organization. From 1988 to 1996, I was an elected director of the General Board of Global Ministries/World & Women's Divisions. This joyous time of service afforded me the opportunity to travel within and outside the U.S.A. while attending meetings and sometimes
leading finance workshops for U.M.Women. At the same time, I volunteered at St.Clare's
Hospital, Denville, NJ from 1975-1995, when Art retired from there as the VP of Medical Services.

Next, we moved to South Hadley, MA. to be near our grandchildren, Kate
('85) & Silas ('87) Branson, the offspring of daughter Irene & Ed. They reside in Ashfield where Ed has a glass-blowing barn/studio. Daughter Linda is self-employed as "Gionti Stone Works" in the Burlington, VT. area.

Life is good; I'm still active in U.M.Women here in the New England Conference, work as a literacy volunteer and with our local church prison ministry.

Edith Kuehler Meyer and I are excited about this reunion - see some of you there!

WALT TATHAM   I grew up in Hawthorne attending Roosevelt grade school and, of course, Hawthorne High School.  Following HHS I attended University of Maine, graduating with a degree in Mechanical engineering in 1957.  My family had moved to California in 1953 so I went to work on the west coast in the defense industry.  I married in 1959, but that disaster blew apart in short order!  The trauma of that marriage and divorce drove me to my knees before God.  I received the Lord Jesus into my life and have never been sorry!  In 1961 God brought the widow Kitty Province and her two little kids into my life.  After almost blowing her away by casually announcing on our second date that I was going to marry her, we WERE married four months later!  We celebrated our 40th anniversary last Dec. 8th
Coming to faith in Jesus wrought radical changes in me.  The drinking, smoking, foul mouthed, immoral Walt Tatham that most of you knew was changed from within, into a man of God!  I like to say it was an inside job.  The Holy Spirit within me did the work, all I did was cooperate with Him! Religion doesn't do anything for anyone, but a living relationship with the living Lord Jesus makes big changes in a man's life.  Religious people turn me off, but a person who radiates the love of God to those who come in contact with him or her, I can live with that!
In 1967 we moved from Orange, California to Tucson, Arizona to work in the eyeglass business with my brother Chuck.  I flew an airplane all over the west servicing our optical business;  great stuff!  I bounced in and out of engineering and being a small businessman while I attended Bible School to answer the very clear call of God on my life.  I've worked in the ministry both full and part-time over the last twenty seven years while also working in engineering positions.  I'm now retired from engineering and employed by a large nondenominational church, working in visitation and counseling.  I also am a volunteer chaplain at the state prison here in Tucson as well as at the county jail and at the Bethany House ladies' shelter.  I have never felt so fulfilled!  Is life a drag being a minister of the Gospel? NO!  Do we have fun living for Jesus? YES!  Do I grab people by the lapels and ask them, "Are you saved, brother?" NO!  Is it "safe" to be around me if you're not a Christian? YES!  God is the one who draws people to Jesus, not me, so you can relax.  My job is to answer questions that inquiring people ask, not to beat the bushes for "converts".
My plan is to keep working as long as I can,  perhaps another ten years or so.  So far, Kitty and I are in decent shape, so we'll just keep plugging away for the Lord as long as He allows it!
We'll see you at Shortway's Barn on Friday eve, September 13. 

MARION THISSEN BUSH After graduating HHS I worked for NJ Bell in Paterson with classmates Carol Arnold, Doris Cronk and Arlene Vitz. I married in 1955 to John Dallas Bush and moved to Metuchen, New Jersey, his hometown. In January 1958, our son J. Dean was born. We moved to South Plainfield in 1959 and had our second child Diane. This was our home for 20 years. A small town much like Hawthorne and Metuchen – a great place where everyone knows your name. I kept very busy with volunteer work and was active in Women’s Club. At a Women’s Club cocktail party, Pat Iannaccone (Tighe) was a guest of one of our members. We would see each other until she moved to Florida. In 1977, with our children in college, I decided to do some temp work and went to Rutgers University. After being interviewed, I was told that the Director of Personnel was Burt DiCenso. I then found myself working full time in the Personnel Department. After one year there, I looked for something more challenging. I began working for Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. in the South Plainfield office as a Personal Service Representative. In 1980 we moved to Middletown, NJ and I was transferred to the Tinton Falls office. In 1985 I left this position to do volunteer work for the community.

My husband retired in 1994 and we built a home at Fords Colony in Williamsburg, VA. Betty Allen and I have enjoyed each others company for the last few years and what a pleasant surprise it was to find that Marilyn Mault also lives in Williamsburg. When we meet, our lunch lasts all afternoon.

What started as a pastime has now become a small business. I now paint porcelain and notepaper for the Women’s Exchange in Little Silver, NJ, Memphis, TN, Reading, PA, and the Depot in Midland Park, NJ. I have painted murals in homes in Fords Colony and am now painting on canvas. I’m sure it would bring a smile to Misia Bush’s face because I sign “M. Bush” on all my art work.

Our son Dean lives in Rumson, NJ with his wife and two daughters and our daughter Diane lives in Little Silver, NJ with her husband and two sons. We frequently travel to NJ to visit them.

I’ve enjoyed emailing Ralph and reading the bios from classmates. Looking forward to seeing you all at the reunion.

RON IANNACCONE After graduation from HHS the next four years were spent at Fairleigh Dickinson University obtaining a Bachelors Degree in Business with a major in accounting.

1956 - 1958 was spent in the US Army, 18 months in Germany working in the base branch of the US Post Office

In 1960, I started my 30 year accounting career with ITT Federal Electric Corporation (FEC) located in Paramus NJ, this also was the year Margaret and I were married.

Between 1962 and 1966 I received a promotion to Cost Accounting Supervisor, went back to school for main frame computers and their application to accounting, and was instrumental in implementing FEC’s conversion to a automated accounting system.

1967- My daughter Jo Ann is born.

1969- Promoted to Manager. All is fine until 1971 when FEC lost a major government contract and my future with FEC is in doubt.I liked working for FEC and the rough and tumble of government contracts so I tell the CFO that I will do what ever is necessary to stay aboard, his reply "we need you on the Safeguard Missile job in North Dakota ... go." I went.

1972 - 1991 My home is in Hawthorne and my work base is Paramus. I am now Manager of Branch Accounting, a job which requires a fair share of travel to administer the accounting function of the various offices. Some of the more interesting operations were: support of the US mission in Antarctica at the Kings Bay Submarine Base and support at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Job Corps Schools.

In 1992 FEC, because of a down turn in business, decided to relocate to Colorado Springs. Since New Jersey is where my family was, especially my grandchildren, I took the enhanced retirement package.

1992 - 1995 I wanted to keep active without working full time so I went to work for H&R Block. As an employee of H&R Block I was entailed to attend their tax school which I did for 3 years.

Currently I have my own Tax Accounting Practice for individuals (no business or corporation) which keeps me busy about 4 months out of the year, the rest of the time is spent with family, grand kids, and travel.

Questions or Comments?

Have you got the answers?


50th Class Reunion

Send pictures to Ralph. Pictures taken over the reunion weekend or some golden oldies you want to share. Indicate if you want them returned.

Jack Sneden, Tom Kreger, Elisa Orlando, Chris Russo....Betty Allan Valz toasting the Class of 1952


Interactive sharing:

Pose a question that you would like your fellow classmates opinion on.

What does Ursidae mean? Ans: (latin) Female bear.

Some important events that took place during our high school years:

Take a walk through 1948-52:

1948: On TV, The Ed Sullivan Show.
1948: CBS and NBC begin nightly 15-minute television newscasts.
1948: Evelyn Waugh's novel, The Loved One, savages the funeral industry.
1948: Norman Mailer's novel of World War II, The Naked and the Dead.
1948: Alfred Kinsey's Sexual Behavior of the Human Male delivers some shocks.
(It has been reported that HHS Class of 1952 students not SHOCKED!).
1948: The Bic ballpoint pen.
1948: Oscars: Hamlet, Laurence Olivier, Jane Wyman.
1948: Charlie Brown, Lucy, and the other Peanuts begin as Li'l Folks.
1948: Cole Porter's Shakespearan musical, Kiss Me Kate, on Broadway.
1948: From RCA, a 16-inch television tube.

1949: Nobel Prize in Literature: American novelist William Faulkner.
1949: Network TV established in U.S.
1949: Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize play, Death of a Salesman.
1949: Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific on Broadway; wins Pulitzer.
1949: The Emmy Awards for television begin, with 1948 programs.
1949: RCA offers the 45 rpm record and player.
1949: Milton Berle hosts the first telethon.
1949: George Orwell's dystopian novel of a bleak, fascist future, 1984.
1949: Nelson Algren's novel, The Man with the Golden Arm.
1949: Oscars: All the King's Men, Broderick Crawford, Olivia De Haviland.
1949: Also at the movies: Twelve O'Clock High, Battleground, Champion.

1950: Radio program My Favorite Husband moves to TV as I Love Lucy.
1950: Dennis the Menace in the comics.
1950: In U.S., residential postal deliveries cut from twice to once a day.
1950: From Earl Hilton, the credit card.
1950: Changeable typewriter typefaces in use.
1950: Oscars: All About Eve, José Ferrer, Judy Holliday.
1950: Also at the movies: Born Yesterday, Sunset Boulevard, Harvey.
1950: Xerox photocopiers roll off the assembly line.
1950: Average U.S. home has two radios.
1950: McCullers' The Member of the Wedding goes to Broadway; film will follow.
1950: Irving Berlin's Broadway musical, Call Me Madam.

1951: Color television sets go on sale.
1951: In Cleveland, disc jockey Alan Freed introduces the term rock Ôn' roll.
1951: Edward R. Murrow's See It Now debuts on television.
1951: J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye will become a symbol of adolescent angst.
1951: Todd Storz and Bill Stewart create "Top 40" radio music format.
1951: Herman Wouk's novel, The Caine Mutiny, brings us Captain Queeg.
1951: Marine biologist Rachel Carson, The Sea Around Us.
1951: Grace Hopper discovers the first computer bug, a real moth.
1951: William Buckley's God and Man at Yale argues conservative philosopy.
1951: One and a half million TV sets in U.S., a tenfold jump in one year.
1951: Cinerama will briefly dazzle with a wide, curved screen and three projectors.
1951: Still cameras get built-in flash units.
1951: First transcontinental telecast.
1951: Oscars: An American in Paris, Humphrey Bogart, Vivien Leigh.
1951: Also at the movies: A Streetcar Named Desire, Quo Vadis, The African Queen.
1951: From Japan, a classic film: Rashomon.
1951: Bing Crosby's company tests videotape recording.
1951: In New Jersey, direct distance dialing begins.
1951: CBS presents 4 hours of color TV, but only CBS execs, engineers have sets.
1951: Univac I is the first mass-produced computer.
1951: Nicholas Monsarrat's novel of the North Atlantic in WW II, The Cruel Sea.
1951: Clifford Odets' play, The Country Girl.
1952: "Checker's speech" saves Richard Nixon's career.
1952: 3-D movies offer thrills to the audience.
1952: Sony sells a miniature transistor radio.
1952: Agatha Christie's play, The Mousetrap, will run for years.
1952: Univac projects the winner of the presidential election on CBS.
1952: Telephone area codes.
1952: American Bandstand broadcasts get kids dancing.
1952: The Supreme Court gives movies First Amendment free speech protection.
1952: Claude Shannon uses electric mouse and maze to prove computers can learn.
1952: Oscars: The Greatest Show on Earth, Gary Cooper, Shirley Booth/
1952: Also at the movies: High Noon, Ivanhoe, Viva Zapata!
1952: MAD magazine starts a nonsense trend.
1952: Edna Ferber's novel of Texas, Giant; will later become popular film.
1952: Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, the lonely struggle of an old fisherman.
1952: John Steinbeck's novel East of Eden, a Biblical tale set in California.
1952: The first magazine-format TV program, The Today Show, with Dave Garroway.
1952: Jackie Gleason's The Honeymooners starts a two-decade TV run. 

Don't be shy!

Let us hear from YOU! Write anything, a few words, a thought, a poem, a biography, an event, or even pose a question.

Send snailmail or e-mail to:

Ralph Schunk Mercer 3189 Westmont Place
The Villages
Lady Lake, Florida 32162-7640


By the way, you may know a fellow classmate who doesn't have a computer. So please print and mail them a copy of this, and give them some incentive to mail info in; like promise to buy them a cappuccino. (Wow! You think that was easy to spell?)


*If the volume on the tune being played is a little loud just go to front page, upper left corner and click on "speaker" symbol. A bar appears on left, move indicator down to lower volume. What is the name of that tune? In the Mood, Glenn Miller

*MAINTENANCE: From time to time maint. will need to be done to the web site and will require the web page to be non-accessible. If you see a message;ie;"this page is out to lunch" or some equally "funny" message you will know I am uploading all the great info you want to share. Try back later!


Questions or Comments?

Y'all come!!

September 13, Friday

5:30 p.m. Informal pre-game get together at Shortway's Barn ,located just beyond the corners of Goffle and Lafayette Road (heading toward Ridgewood)

7:00 p.m. The "Bears" football game

September 14, Saturday

9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast at Hawthorne High School

11:00 a.m. Guided tour of the high school.

September 15, Sunday

Noon until 4 p.m. Banquet

Also included:

a color 8x10 group photo
a memento booklet
a ferocious Hawthorne Teddy Bear

Not included: cost of the football game.

The total price for all activities is $75.00 per person. Please submit full amount or balance owed by June 1, 2002, to:

Mr. Roger Mahieu
64 Pyramid Way
North Haledon, NJ 07508

(973) 423-0274


Ms. Pat Niewaroski Confrancisco
154 Surrey Court
Ramsey, NJ 07446

(201) 818-8582

In response to some requests, two motels are offering the following rates:

The Marriot Saddle Brook, (800) 228-9290 will give a AAA
discount rate of $110.24, tax included, no breakfast.

The Regency House, Rt.23, Pompton Plains,
(973) 696-0900 offers a rate of $94.34, tax and full breakfast


Barbara Appel

Doris Bachmann

Ronald Barone

Robert Bokor

Leo Cahenzli

Muriel De Vogel

Bertram Di Censo

Joan Dodds

James Dryer

Trustum Edmunds

Albert Fantuzzi

Robert Groendyk

Katherine Hepp

Martin Huisman, Jr.

Thomas Knapp

Peter Kolb

Joseph Korten

John Korteweg

Erling Lamont

Walter Lawrence

Virginia Maculoso

Bruce McKay

Roger Miles

Barbara Murray

John Sachse

David Schweizer

Richard Seidel

Henry Smith

Alfred Struyk

Violet Valle

Martin Vander Wende

Donald Van Putten

Joan Warry

William Washburn

Agnes Zalenski

Web Page Design: Ruth McIntyre-Williams 2002