South Shore High School
Chicago, Illinois
Class of June 1959

50th Reunion Comments

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! What can I say--terrific--outstanding--beyond
expectations--highly emotional--great fun--worth waiting for--Thanks to all
of you who worked so hard to make our reunion weekend the best ever. It is a
pleasure working with you all and I look forward to our 70th birthday
celebration, 55th reunion, and any other time we can dream up to get
together. I've always said that South Shore people are special and you guys
sure proved it again.
Love to all,
Lyle Felsenthal

Once again, I agree with Lyle who said it as well as it can be said. Kudos
to all of us who made all who came feel welcome, comfortable and wanting
Pat Henig Hartman

I too give rave reviews to every detail as designed and implemented. Everyone is to be given the credit.
   I know from my past involvement in organizations that one of the thankless jobs is that of secretary. We recruited Shelly. She provided an accurate record of most of our proceedings in our gleeful meetings. Since she was not singled out for praise Saturday night, we should make it up to her in some way. Perhaps at least give her one or two of those coupons for winning the trivia quiz or some other acknowledgment.
   The hugs, kisses, words, smiles, laughter etc from former classmates with some going back to my earliest days was beyond measure and can not be described by me in any meaningful way. As we knew at our graduation, not everyone would ever reassemble again. Likewise I don't believe all of us who attended will all be back together again. Life is a gift and we have been blessed to have reached this point in our lives together. May we all reach and share other milestones with the joy and laughter that this weekend brought to so many. Everyone involved was a star giving so much to make the events a treasured memory for all.
   Our classmate, Larry Lichtenstein, asked me to convey his love to all and hope that everyone accepts his absence. He misses us all and hopes to hear from anyone who thinks of him. His cell phone that he keeps with him at the Alden Nursing Home in Lincoln Park on Wellington is 312-735--3995. He will go home in a couple of weeks to be cared for by his wife, Nancy. The home number is 773-477-0517. If you remind Larry that you were a classmate at South Shore and tell him some experience you may recall with him, I think you will keep him connected. You will certainly be doing a good deed and you will also have my gratitude. He still remembers a lot and all of it is positive.
My love to all,
Mike Jordan

Fantastic only begins to describe the amazing weekend. I LOVED every minute of it! I think everyone else who came loved it too, Thank you all for making it so special! I look forward to getting together again soon.
Barbara Much Roseman

  It certainly was an exceptionally enjoyable time getting together with
all of you after all of these years!
  I love our committee members!!!
Your classmate, and friend,
Kay Kozlowski Kummerer

It was beyond words. I know it was the best high school reunion. Everyone did a great job! I enjoyed all the people I worked with and all the warm friendships of meeting new and old friends. Can't wait to we all get together again.
Carole Cohn Zussman

Hi, All
  It was fantastic and more fun than I imagined. You all did such a fantastic job and it was great to be a part of it.
Love to all,
Paula Schwartz Klein Zeid

Hi Everyone,
  What a wonderful week-end we just had. In the planning, everything sounded just right, AND IT WAS. But, I hadn't anticipated how grand it would be, when we were all together.
   In the biographies, we learn that through good times and bad, we have grown to be people who care about the world and the other people on it. Our actions and voices are being seen and heard loud and clear. In person, we find warm, upbeat, humorous and engaging individuals. Even if our formal education ended at South Shore High School, we continue to learn, we continue to be curious and we continue to touch people around us. I see we are all proud of the children we raised and I believe the South Shore community, that we come from, and our parents, would be very proud of US.
Shelly Blitz Berk
Proud Alumna
SSHS class of June '59

Sort of don't want that weekend to be over, but it is. Thanks again. It was splendid, and truly a significant moment in all of our histories.
Norm Leaf

Who would have thought that we could manufacture a moment in time that actually became more magical than the memories of our magical youth – which ultimately is what brought us together over this past weekend? Who would have thought that we could defy the dictum of poets who assert that one cannot go home again? Well we did. And it was like defying gravity. A single stroke of fairy dust gave both form and feeling to the vapor of memory. And, suddenly, the evanescent and the everlasting were reconciled.
Love to you all,
Stuart Patinkin

Stu, I dub thee poet laureate of the Class of '59. Never mind that I haven't the power to dub anybody anything. A small detail, I say. You captured the magic of the moment perfectly.
  And magical it was. To have all of our efforts culminate in such an extraordinary weekend was fabulous beyond belief. It was amazing to reconnect with long lost friends and to be surrounded by so many classmates doing the same.
  This reunion is a milestone, the beginning of our continuing connections with our classmates.
Much love to all of you,
Debbie Davidson Lange

To all who have written before me, I second your thoughts and words. Every detail was planned and carried forth with enthusiasm and care. The weekend reflected our excitment and our dreams. All of us should be proud of what we have accomplished.
  I am impressed with those who had the energy to write with clarity yesterday. I was dazed and working at half speed Sunday afternoon. Hugs and kisses to all my friends. Can't wait for our next meeting.
Gail Marx Salinger

Hi Everybody,
  While the messages have been flying fast and furiously, I have to add
my 2 cents. I love reading them all. We worked hard and planned the
most inclusive reunion that we could imagine and
still I couldn't imagine that it would turn out so well. It was a
wonderful weekend for me and everybody who attended. It really warmed
my heart to see how classmates that may not have seen
each other for 50 years could connect over and over again when they
saw a smiling face. I don't think I have seen a group of people so
engaged with each other and smiling so much in very long time.
   I loved reading all the bios and talking to old classmates. I could
not help but notice that so many of our class have gone into public
service, medicine, social work and education. I was happy to see how
much we have volunteered and marched and campaigned to make the world
a better place and we are still continuing to do so. I was pleasantly
surprised to see how connected out of towners still were to Chicago. I
was also struck by the modesty of our class. Many classmates have
achieved much recognition and wealth, but when we were together it
was impossible to tell who they were.
   I applaud our class and especially our reunion committee. I have loved
getting to know each and every one of you. My hope is that we will
keep up our committee and really have a 70th birthday party in some
   Thank you for being you., was great,
Big hugs to everyone,
Meme Mansfield Hopmayer

Hi South Shore Alumni
  I came from Houston not knowing what to expect. I reengaged with all my
old friends and acquaintances. It seems that the bonding we previously
had was activated and renewed. Like the saying goes "an old friend is
the best kind of friend." Wow, what an incredible experience! I can't
wait for the 70th birthday party. South Shore, in retrospect, was an
awesome experience, but the present is the most incredible. What all you
have accomplished and experienced would fill volumes. Yet, the most
outstanding accomplishment was the character, warmth and general concern
for all. The committee in Chicago did a great job. Let us not loose
touch and thanks again.
Barbara Gray Reiff

Meme, You really deserve applause for your leadership, sensitivity, creativity, openness, and calm. It was a pleasure joining you and having many moments of joy with so many listed below. You played a great role in this process.
Mike Jordan

Ba Humbug! This is getting too mushy.
  Magical??? I didn't win the lottery and I overate as usual. I didn't even receive any parking revenue and got funny looks when I tried reading the names on the girl's badges (I of course recognized the guys). I really had to look hard and long to know who I was kissing and talking with (as you know the eyes are the second thing to go). Meme made me work harder than even before I retired and Debbie didn't like my speling or punctuations. I was even reminded of my golf game.
  So all things considered, I'd have to say the weekend was the weekend that was.. But, it wasn't. To better express my thoughts, I will need to review my Annan notebook to get it right. I'll get back to youall.
Len Flax

“What a joy!” I still feel the afterglow. What a wonderful feeling it is to know that our efforts (our labor of love) brought so much joy and pure pleasure. I don’t care how mushy we get – it’s the truth! And with all of life’s ups and downs, good old fashioned mushiness doesn’t come around every day!
Love you all –
Julie Goldschmidt Schlossberg

My turn.
  Most of my thoughts are echoes of everyone else's and then some. I joined the committee, as most of you know, because most of my closest friends from South Shore are no longer with us and I didn't want to walk into the first event and not know anyone. It was one of the better decisions I have made, for all the right and obvious reasons. Now I can't walk into any place and not know everyone!!!!!!
  I believe one of the main reasons this weekend was so successful (in addition to all the planning and hard work) is that we have all grown up. Things that were so very important 50 years ago are not important at all 50 years later. The smiles and hugs (for people whom we barely knew and/or didn't like back then) are genuine now. No one cares what kind of car you drive or what your father did for a living. Those things do not define who we are. Those smiles and hugs are what define us because they are real. I was told by someone that I haven't stopped smiling since Friday night -- the truth is that I haven't stopped smiling since early May 2007! One of our goals was to make everyone feel welcome. I do believe we accomplished that. Just look at the reservations for Saturday morning and Sunday morning that were made after the events of Friday night and Saturday night. We ran out of shirts and will eventually run out of books!
  Unfortunately, I believe Mike is correct when he says that not all of us will reassemble this way again. But we have created a memory bank and, with Jimmy's help, some pictures so that we can remember what we have accomplished and enjoyed. We have set the standard and no 50th reunion will ever be better!!!!
Thank you to all my friends.
Pat Henig Hartman

We cannot improve on perfection. Everyone and I mean everyone has been spectacular. I am trying to find words that will express how I feel about the past 3 years we spent planning the reunion. I am speechless.
I love you all,
Jim Andrews

I hoped for a nice event but was unprepared for something so warm, so sweet and so perfect. I was totally enthralled. Margot (Stern Strom) also felt the specialness of this occasion. Thank you for your careful preparations, inspired plans and most of all your loving hospitality.
Terry Strom

Hi again Meme and Youall,
   As promised, I pulled out my Annan notebook for advice on responding to all this (and to help me understand Stu's comments). All it had were lines and words going every which way. Missing was emotion. While reading all your comments I couldn't help but feel the emotion of last weekend. What a truly wonderful and memorable experience. Fifty years ago we left South Shore thinking we knew everything and could change the world. Many of us actually did make a difference. But we all went our separate ways, experienced joys and sorrows, coming together fifty years later as if to continue our happy-go-lucky high school years. We were the same - no Indian Chiefs. The feeling was intense and the desire to resume relationships was incredible. We just didn't want it to end.
   So let's not let it end. Meme, you are still the boss (just as you made me Brownie Boss to my horror, and which I will now work on to the best of my ability, so help me ...). My only confusion is your statement below that we will have a 70th yet at the dinner you announced you wanted to have a 55th. I'm sure someone out there will help me understand Meme.
  Anyway, looking forward to our next organizing meeting hopefully within a hundred miles of downtown (sorry Carol).
Len Flax
  P.S. As a result of the weekend, I now realize that I'd better get my eyes fixed prior to the next reunion. I will also look for a better source of money than selling free parking spaces (I wasn't a business major either).

Kudos to you all for pulling off an absolutely wonderful reunion. Saturday's event was an unforgettable evening... Now, kick back and enjoy the warm glow of appreciation.
My best to you all, always
George Ury

Hi Meme and Team SSHS,
  The weekend was amazing. So let's channel all this positive energy toward planning the next big milestone. (while we still have our wits about us!)
  A 70th birthday Gala sounds like a hoot and would give us a nearer target than Reunion 55.
Love to all,
Paula Schwartz Klein Zeid

I want to thank all of you who worked on the reunion-it was a wonderful event that just seemed to flow effortlessly(that is a tribute to all of you). I'm sure that everyone had a weekend. Stu Patinkin would have written this more eloquently for me but you guys did a fabulous job.
Steve Margolin

I can't stop looking at the reunion book. The night was overwhelming! It will take weeks to process it all – it sure was fun.
Sharlene Garfien Garfield

Meme and Jim, you were the straws that stirred the drink. I was amazed at both the total turnout, as well as the number of people who came in from out of town. I guess it will take more than a recession to stop our class from celebrating our 50th reunion. As far as everyone else on the committee, all of you are to be congratulated on what a wonderful job you did in carrying out your responsibilities relative to the reunion. Everyone worked hard, and as a result, we had a incredible reunion. I also want to add that the bios were very informative and interesting and gave me an insight on what transpired in classmates lives. My wife, Dorothy, and I enjoyed reading the bios in the memory book.
Burton Weinberg

Dearest Friends,
  Chuck and I returned to San Antonio from Chicago late last night, yet I am still flying. After awakening this morning, I wanted to put on my poodle skirt, Bobby socks and white bucks and hustle off to South Shore High one more time.
   Thank you all for the time and effort you put in to making our 50th reunion such an unforgettable event. How pleasurable it was reacquainting with so many old friends and classmates. The surreal experience took me back in time when life was simpler than it is now and where we were recipients of principles and ideals unique to the South Side. These values were reflected by the manner in which all of you worked to make the weekend so perfect.
   Be well and take good care of yourselves so we can meet once again in five years…or sooner.
Shirley Farkas Lerner

We had a ball.
What a wonderful and talented and involved group of people.
Jane Brown (of Marv and Jane)

It was a grand Chicago weekend. You all did an outstanding job.
Phylis Sanders Salak

Oh to be forgiven for my many mistakes!!! That's why I have such a hard time expressing my sentiments. I am relishing each and every anecdote, but I still suffer from HAZEL HANSEN TYPING SYNDROME so it takes a long time to get my message out. Even tho our first meeting 2 1/2 years ago was encouraging, I never would have believe that we could have achieved a weekend (and so much more) that showed us how unique we were and at the same time how alike--how much we wanted to connect to each other and the BIG world in all our various ways that we came together and put aside any pretension just to be with each other. I know there were old classmates who reasoned that hadn't been in contact for 50 years so what would be the purpose, but they missed out on a SUBLIME experience (hopefully they can join us the next gathering). There was a spirit of genuine goodwill that has continued to make us "high"and desire to stay connected. Thank You All.
Judy Price Goldman

What a magical weekend. I keep poring over the bio book and keep looking to see if there are new postings on the website. Tell me what I can do to help you for the 55th!
Anita Distenfield Goldberg

Hi Everyone,
  I can't add anything more about this weekend because all of you wrote so eloquently. Perfect, perfect, perfect. Couldn't have been more perfect.
  This weekend is still going on for me with all the emails that have been sent. This weekend is now running on it's fifth day. Every time I try to do something on the computer another email pops up so for two days I have not been able to finish any task on my computer. Keep those emails coming and if it takes me a week to do a task so be it.
  I just want to give my thanks to all of you for a magical weekend that has become part of a lifetime of memories for me.
Shirley Ruthstein Schwartz

Dear Reunion Committee,
  How can I thank you all for the hard work, hours, anxiety, creativity and attention to detail that went into making our reunion weekend the success that it was? It was a fabulous series of events from the very beginning in Marion's wonderful party space, to the very last goodbye hug and promise to keep in touch.
  The evening at A New Leaf was absolutely magical. It was, for me, like entering a flower and peeling away each petal and leaf to expose a new and exciting reality. As I progressed through each room, I experienced its unique beauty while enjoying the surprise of discovering more, and more classmates.
  The bus trip to South Shore was an especially emotional experience for me, and I know my feelings were shared by many others. Saturday night was a Joyful Noise; the years fell away as each of us found much to talk about as we became more and more comfortable with friends, old and new. And finally, the Sunday brunch was a chance to visit, in depth, with our oldest friends, many going back as far as kindergarten. It was a rare opportunity to turn back the clock; it was all so long ago... it was all just yesterday.
  I loved the tee shirt in our school colors and enjoying again, the minute bits of our lives printed on the back. You didn't miss a single thing! Since I returned home, I have spent many hours reading the beautiful reunion book...a huge thanks to Debbie for pulling off a huge job with such grace and talent.
  So pat yourselves on the back because you deserve it. Congratulations for producing a most spectacular event...including, and especially, the brownies! Whoever said, "you can't go home again" didn't have the chance to walk in our shoes last weekend. There was not a single thing that I would have changed; you did it so beautifully.
  Thank you, thank you, thank you!
  So, here's to us, new friends and old...tall and short...fat and thin...bald and gray...wrinkled and sagging...warts and all. Hail to the Tars, see you at the 55th!
Love to you all,
Barbara Leeds Jacobs

The planning was thorough and the execution was flawless. I can’t imagine that any high school reunion, let alone a 50th, could be more successful. My thanks and congratulations to all who participated in bringing this event about. It’s to be expected that those of us who were in the class would be excited about seeing so many of our old friends and acquaintances. But when my wife, Jane, who knew only a handful of people in the class, raved about how marvelous the weekend was, I knew we were experiencing something special. My wife and I were truly amazed at the accomplishments of so many in this class. I was a small part of a remarkable group of people but it took me 50 years and this reunion to realize just how remarkable the group was.
Marv Brown

Thanks to the Reunion Committee for a fabulous job. Everything was so well planned. The bus trip back to the old neighborhood and especially the tour of South Shore was great. What a wonderful place to grow up, we were truly fortunate. The restaurant choice for dinner was perfect and the brunch a great treat. So many memories from grade school. The Reunion books are really special and I am enjoying reading of all the accomplishments of my classmates. Can't thank you all enough for all your hard work.
Marilyn Erickson Seelander

Dear reunion committee members,
  Rosie and I wish to express our heartfelt thanks to all of you for the amazing job you did in putting together the events for the reunion. The opportunity to reconnect with so many old friends was truly a blessing.
  Thank you sooooo much!!
Sherwin & Rosie Lewis

Thanks!!, committee, for doing such a great job of putting together such a large task. I was amazed at all the classmates you found after all these years. Had a wonderful time, the food was great, and so was the program that the committee put together. My wife, Marsha, was impressed with how nice and friendly all that attended were.
John Frazak

Thanks to everyone who "slaved many hours " putting this fantastic
event together. It truly was a memorable weekend.
  Thank you to everyone who attended and submitted their bios. I spent
almost the entire trip home reading them. What a wonderful moment
occurred each time I greeted someone I had not seen for so many years.
  We have not stopped talking about the special weekend to our friends
and family.
Nancy & Alan Spector

What a fabulous event our fiftieth anniversary was. It was an incomparable thrill to see all the old, and I mean long ago, faces.
  Yes of course, we changed and aged but in just a few moments after talking to each other personalities came shining through.
  I can not tell which activity or which part was the best. Each planned event offered something unique for the spirit. I really loved the sequencing, the Friday discovery night, the "Oh my God!" night with all the shrieking and recognition. Perfectly set up.
  Saturday the bus trip back to our old haunts. Sitting and gabbing and joking and talking like old, old friends with people who I did not know very well in school, I discovered treasures!
  Saturday night, floating on a cushion of mellow good feelings, more treasures discovered.
  High point, getting the BOOK! I spent that night reading it and then re-reading it, trying hard to remember who had done what, where, and when. There was so much in that little book. All our lives, packed into 120 pages, including the addendum. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
  Sunday, nostalgia setting in. I took a long walk down Michigan Avenue to get to breakfast at Judy's. I was joined by a classmate and we gabbed and gabbed as if we had known each other for all these fifty years, instead of just having come upon each other fifty years later.
  Then came the elementary school photos and the gathering at the tables by grammar school. A perfect touch for a perfect weekend.
  Going home .... nostalgic, a bit wistful and oh so glad that I did come. Thanks to those who encouraged me to come when I faltered.
Linda Nimz Ryan

Also I want to include some kudos to the t-shirt committee. I got a huge kick out of the design and my husband Don photographed it on me. Then, when I sent the photo of the backside to my brother, he was beside himself with nostalgia and pleasure at seeing all those old forgotten names.
   Who thought of it? Brilliant! As my brother David said, "71st Street was our social life."
Linda Nimz Ryan

The great memories live on. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make the 59 reunion an outstanding success. I have not been back to Chicago in 8 years but the city and the people are still the best—highlighted by everyone who made for a wonderful weekend. I especially enjoyed the trip back “to the neighborhood” on Saturday. I got a chance to see several of the places where I lived and it really opened up some memories. My best to all with wishes for happy and healthy years ahead.
John D.Hartigan

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