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Everybody’s Port: August 8, 2013

There is a method to my madness. Considering the absence of names in last week’s story about the 40th reunion of Schreiber High School’s Class of ’43, lest you think I’ve gone bonkers and forgot to identify people, the next paragraph will clear the air.

My intent was to write about this exceptional reunion so classmates who bagged the event might have an idea of what they missed and attend the next. Also, it seemed a good way to acknowledge the fresh thinking and dedication to details of the ’73 Class Reunion’s splendiffic organizing committee. But my enthusiasm made short shrift of the space allotted to Everybody’s Port and my good intentions were for naught. The remedy? Part 2 of “A Classy Class”.

For starters, this tale could not have been written without the patient assistance of Linda Ragusa DeMeo, Jim Garofalo, and Nancy Pestalozzi Cannizzaro. Their combined input magically transported me back to the Port Washington Yacht Club on Saturday, July 20.

The first thing that caught my eye was the duo from Schreiber Class of ’71 sitting at a table where they were checking in ‘73 classmates as they arrived and handing out name-badges. Aha! I got it. As insurance, Linda had enlisted her husband, Nick DeMeo and her good friend, Kathy Gallagher Doughty to do the job. (She had nothing to worry about. You know how hard husbands try to please their wives and good friends never disappoint.) To further guarantee the evening’s success, Nicole DeMeo (guess whose daughter she is) “volunteered” to set up her Photo Booth and Nicole’s boyfriend, photographer Matt Stallone donated his services and took the group photo that appeared in last week’s Port News.

Without a doubt, the “Team-photo-booth” was a big hit. It was busy. Laughing and giggling as they did when teenagers, classmates — wearing a tiara, goofy glasses or a boa from the prop table and sitting on a stool or in each other’s laps — made funny faces as they waited for the flash to fire. Once they had been shot (by the camera), their photos were printed in color or black and white, according to your choice. Cool, yes.

Two Christophers were there whose last name sounded the same, but were spelled differently. There was Christopher Bain, who is president of the Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society and Christopher Baine, who lives in Rye, and is a financial services consultant.

Patty Vunk, traveled south from her newly-moved-to digs in Vermont and Ginger Blanck Kumnick flew north from her home in Delray Beach, Florida — ostensibly for the same reason everyone else converged at the Yacht Club on the evening of July 20.

Bill Gordon summed it up this way, “I love reunions! It’s always exciting to catch up with friends and reminisce about the great times we had as kids. It puts in context how truly lucky we all were to grow up in such a diverse, family-focused community. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to remain in Port Washington. Over the years, I’ve often contemplated moving out of Port, but when you think about the friends and the community, the thought disappears.”

Memorable for Melissa Mann Holland was, “picking up the conversation where we left off 40 years ago.” But Peter McGrade remembers, “I sat there for a few moments and watched how genuinely happy people were to see each other again.”

Said Sandi Nunziata simply, “Last weekend was so uplifting I feel refreshed… and YOUNG AGAIN!” If all class reunions could guarantee similar euphoria, they’d have capacity attendance. Hey, you won’t know if you don’t go.”