P.O. Box 91, Bordentown, New Jersey 08505
"RATHER BE THAN SEEM"
Web site: www.bmicadets.org/
Tersina DiPietro, Editor
By all accounts, "Brothers Reunited – 2004" was a resounding success. A total of 150 former cadets, faculty, staff and guests turned out in force for a grand day and an evening of fun, friendship and feasting.
Our traditional parade through the city of Bordentown was simply magnificent. Imagine cadets from the '70s, '60s, '50s and – yes – from as early as 1939 marching with pride and, would you believe, in step to a cadence of 120 steps per minute! And we did it with the same sharpness and precision as though we had graduated from BMI just yesterday. It was a sight to behold, especially to the scattering of Bordentown residents that lined the parade route. We were great and we knew it!
The parade ended at the BMI memorial, the former site of "Old Main." Today, in its place stands a life-size bronze statue of a lone BMI cadet, representative of the cadets of all classes and all walks of life who had the privilege, honor and distinction of experiencing the life and the spirit of BMI.
The parade was followed by a brief but solemn service at the BMI memorial. At the conclusion of the service, the BMI party moved on, en masse, to the Bordentown Elks Lodge for a grand banquet in the true spirit and memory of BMI. It was late into the evening before the last of us reluctantly departed, hoping to hold on as long as possible to our memories of those wonderful and rewarding days at BMI. Rest assured, we will return!
Think "Brothers Reunited – 2006"! Until then,
Angelo V. Candelori
Angelo V. Candelori, '56
PS: On behalf of the entire BMI Executive Board, please accept our good wishes to you and your family for a Happy Holiday Season and for a Healthy and Prosperous 2005.
Again this year, the sun failed to shine for our reunion. But the alumni who converged on Bordentown that day didn't seem to notice. They arrived early some came in on Friday and were in a festive mood before anything actually got started. The camaraderie was evident by the time the parade was assembling in St. Mary's School's parking lot. Donning BMI baseball caps, they marched down Farnsworth Avenue to Park Street to the site of the cadet statue. Angelo V. Candelori '56, President of the BMI Alumni Association, led the ceremony at the statue. This ceremony held at each reunion serves to honor particularly those alumni who have passed on, some of whom died while serving their country heroes .all of them. Deacon Harry Putnam, BMI Faculty, offered the Invocation. The honor of placing the wreath at the foot of the statue was accorded this year to Mrs. Susan Bradman, widow of LTC John Bradman '38, former Commandant of Cadets, and mother of the late John Bradman '64 who gave his life for his country in Vietnam. Lydia Kugler, daughter of Lawrence Capitini '37, gave a stirring rendition of our National Anthem. A new sound system greatly enhanced the statue ceremony this year. Jo Ann Mancuso, wife of Lou Mancuso '65, donated the sound system in memory of her late son.
After the ceremony, some alumni wandered around town trying to remember what businesses, movies, ice cream shops, etc., were on the main street when they were cadets. Others went directly to the Elks Lodge for cocktails and conversation with fellow alumni. At registration, alumni and their guests were given new sweatshirts with an embroidered BMI logo a nice surprise. The sweatshirts were purchased for this occasion through the efforts of Mark Singer '65.
For dinner, the efficient staff of Mastoris' Restaurant in Bordentown served a delicious repast.
After dinner, alumni were put through their paces in the traditional Old Boys Drill. They performed remarkably well for "old timers."
In keeping with the Bordentown Military Institute Alumni Association Bylaws, a brief meeting was held in which alumni were informed of the status of the Treasury. Alumni present were given the opportunity to vote for the slate of officers for 2004-2006. The officers were re-elected by acclamation as follows:
President: Angelo Candelori '56 Vice President: Lou Mancuso '65
Treasurer: Robert Frisbie '61 Secretary: Tersina DiPietro (Faculty)
Directors-at-Large: Susan Bradman (Faculty)
Lawrence Capitini '37
David Harkness '58
After the meeting, there was dancing to tunes from the 1950s and 1960s. Alumni present at the reunion ranged from the Class of 1937 through the Class of 1973, with the Classes of 1961 and 1963 sharing the honor of having the most representatives in attendance. We thank all alumni and guests who came to Reunion 2004. Your presence was a source of encouragement to those of us who contribute our time and talent to assure that the Bordentown Military Institute does not fade into history.
Upon returning home, many alumni wrote to express appreciation for the work of the committee. "I got to be reacquainted with a few fellows I haven't seen for over 50 years it was most nostalgic," wrote Ray Apy '50. "What a wonderful and loving gathering that was!" said Jay Pinto '68. Bill Mamolou '69 happened to be visiting in Bordentown from Florida and decided to come to the dinner. Later he wrote, "For one brief evening, we were again in the sheltered comfort and embrace of BMI." Al Cooper '70 wrote, "We thank God that you continue keeping BMI alive." Paul Martinek '51 said, "The reunion was great – as always." Jay Berman '46 wrote, "Many thanks for an excellent reunion well-organized and a lot of fun."
The next reunion is scheduled for 2006. We hope those who were unable to attend this year will make a special effort to be present at that event. Also, we look forward to welcoming back those faithful alumni who never miss a reunion.
'39 H. AUSTIN MITSCHER wrote, "The October 16 Alumni Association arrangements were excellent and the program (at the statue site) was inspiring. The support by the City of Bordentown and the citizens along the parade route was very much appreciated by us former cadets. I personally thanked the mayor for the City's support."
'42 GEORGE BISHOP stated, "I spent a lot of years at BMI. I enrolled in 1935 in 6th grade and was there until 1942 when I graduated. I was a bugler, on the Color Guard and Company Commander. CHARLES RUPPERT '36 got me to attend BMI. Charlie went on to Hollywood and became Charles Drake. He was in several movies (one with Bette Davis). He died a few years ago."
'44 We heard from DICK ROCKWELL who was saddened to hear about the passing of fellow classmates, SCOTT TAYLOR and BILL PIZZINI. Along with Dick, they were part of the original seven who met for lunch annually and were largely responsible for the rebirth of the BMI Alumni Association. Dick said he keeps in touch with GEORGE RAY, WALTER GODWIN, and SID BENJAMIN – all from the CLASS OF 1944.
'47 BERNARD FEATHERMAN was the recipient of the 2004 Horatio Alger Award from Golden Slipper Camp. Bernard has been a member of Golden Slipper Club & Charities for nearly 50 years. Bernard has a long list of accomplishments. He has earned the Small Business Administration Entrepreneurial Award and has been named as Inc Magazine and Merrill Lynch Entrepreneur of the Year. He also served on White House Conferences for Small Business through three separate U. S. presidents. Presently he is active in Maine with the American Red Cross and is a member of the Kennebunkport Historical Society. Bernard's wife Sandra serves as President of the University of New England in Maine and Vice-President of the Fels Fund in Philadelphia. They have two sons.
'49 PAUL EDMAN was ill at the time of Reunion 2004 so he had to cancel plans to attend. However, he and his wife, Alice, came to town in November so Paul could make his biennial sentimental journey back to Bordentown. At that time, he met with Thomas McHale and his sister Mary, children of the late Mrs. Mary McHale who worked in the BMI tailor shop for many years. Paul remembered the kindness shown to him by Mrs. McHale and he was pleased to be able to meet with her children whom he knew while he was a cadet at BMI.
'50 From RAYMOND APY we learned that Marco Island (FL) escaped the wrath of the hurricanes in that area. Ray said, "Old Calusa Indian legend: storms veer away from Marco. The Calusas were here a couple of thousand years ago, so I like to believe this! The island got some gusts (60-65 mph) but no storm surge and not much rain." Ray told us that he recently "found" DICK KNIGHT who lives in Port Townsend, WA.
'51 DON CHARBONNIER came to the reunion this year – his first time back to Bordentown since 1951. Don still keeps busy with his financial consulting work. Also, every year he heads up a committee that puts together a Bluefish Bake as a fund-raiser for the Calvary Episcopal Church in Stonington, CT. Don is the Bluefish Bake Master for the event which is preceded by making regular fishing runs, sometimes twice a day, to begin stocking the freezers with bluefish filets. But, of course, that isn't hard work for Don who has enjoyed fishing since he was six years old.
PAUL MARTINEK reports that his daughter, Meg Harris, who lives in Tampa, FL, recently met GENERAL NORMAN SCHWARZKOPF '52 at an elementary school named for him. At that time, Meg worked with Lifetouch National School Studios photographing special events. She was assigned to photograph the General as he met with students, parents, etc. Unfortunately, Meg did not know at the time that General Schwarzkopf was a former BMI cadet. General Schwarzkopf resides in Lutz, FL.
'54 ERWIN APELL met HAROLD "SKIP" WELLS for lunch on June 8, 2004 – 50 years to the day they graduated from BMI. Erwin said Skip retired from the appellate division in August. Erwin continues to work in his law firm located in Browns Mills, NJ. His son Jeff has been with the firm for eleven years.
DON BIERSTOCK had hoped to attend Reunion 2004 but was unable to be present. Don wrote, "A lot of good men went through BMI and it is a shame that BMI no longer exists except in our minds and hearts."
A chance meeting between GEORGE PHILLIPS and WALTER SWAYZE in George's restaurant resulted in two former classmates playing catch-up time. George told Walt about the BMI Band of Brothers and the Alumni Association. Walt divides his time between Ocean City, NJ, and Boca Raton, FL.
'56 A loyal BMI alumnus, FRANK GIOVE attended yet another reunion. Frank states, "Those years from February 1952 to June 1956 are with me every day. It was and remains a special part of my adolescent years. God bless my parents for permitting me to go. They fell in love with the school from the beginning."
'58 "Visited the statue in June," wrote ALAN ORENBERG. "This is a job well done. Seeing the White House brought back fond memories. After working for nearly twenty years as a physician recruiter (with some software sales executives along the way), I am currently working in retail sales and enjoying the freedom from pressure. Life in Madison, WI, is good!"
We received an e-mail from HENRY DOBB (known at BMI as HENRY DOBROWITZ). Henry wrote, "After graduation, I attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, until 1961, then did odd jobs until 1963 when I joined the Army. After six months at Fort Knox, KY, for basic training, advanced clerical training and two months waiting for a permanent assignment, I was assigned to Fort Hayes in Columbus, OH, where I spent the rest of my tour of duty holding off the enemy on the banks of Ohio's Scioto River (they never did take Columbus!). In 1966, I was released from the Army. I then worked as an assistant movement director for what was then the New York Central Railroad in Toledo, OH, where I remained for twenty years before being laid off in 1986, at which time I moved to Florida and became a high-school mathematics teacher until becoming disabled in 1995. I returned to college in 1973 while working for the railroad. I graduated from the University of Toledo in 1976 with a degree in business administration. I was married in1965, had a son in 1970, was divorced in 1977, and remarried in 1992. More information is available upon request."
TONY PINGITORE spent some time visiting the BMI Web site and said, "I was reminded of a great time of my youth and the caring hands of Dean Smith and others. Thanks for the memories." Tony added, "I took early retirement as Vice President, GM of Hershey Foods Corporation after over 33 years of working for one of the finer companies in the U.S.A. I arrived in Hershey after three years of active military duty (1965-1968). Prior to that, I attended Columbia University and received a BA in 1963 and an MBA in 1965. I continue to be deeply involved in children's health through an organization called the Children's Miracle Network serving on the Central Pennsylvania Advisory Board which is affiliated with the Penn State Children's Hospital."
'59 JIM QUIRK sent an e-mail: "I just received my first issue of the newsletter on line and I thought it was outstanding. Keep up the good work."
'62 Along with payment of dues, PETER (MERC) MERCATANTI enclosed a letter. He wrote, "I read about BILL MIRANDA and TONY TONTI in the last newsletter. They were two upstanding guys of class, even when all that was not in style. I've been a new car dealer with five franchises for the past 26 years. I sold off most of the dealerships and own a few car washes in New Jersey. My residences are in Mantoloking, NJ, and Delray Beach, FL. I have three children and 2-1/2 wives. The 2-1/2 wives say I'm a 'first-class father, but a p_ _ s-poor husband.' I'm single. I have had my share of physical and emotional problems through the years. I have a personal trainer and work out daily. Life, in general, has been good to this 'Ginny' (sp?) from Trenton, NJ. I regret these days that I didn't do more for BMI because it did a world of good for me. Best wishes to all."
'63 "Let's hear from the men of '63 – especially the cfg guys. Where are you?" wrote HARRY LANDSIEDEL.
DENNY TODDINGS is still Athletic Director of Msgr. Donovan High School in Toms River, NJ. Denny could not attend Reunion 2004 because his granddaughter's birthday was celebrated that day. "Family is first," said Denny, "although BMI holds a close second. Best wishes and regards to all!"
FLOYD LITTLE wrote, "I truly enjoyed reading THE SKIRMISHER. It's so much easier to go on line to get information on BMI. Good job! I also really enjoyed reading JIM BRENDLE's recollection of the games against Lawrenceville and Peddie Prep. What a great memory…those were the days. My time spent at BMI were some of the best times of my life. I am certain that if I didn't have the experience at BMI, I would not be where I am today."
'64 We received an e-mail message from TONY SANTY stating, "After so many years, I am glad to be reunited with cadets from BMI. After playing football at BMI, I went on to play for the University of Maryland. As a defensive back at Maryland, I chased FLOYD LITTLE '63 for 77 yards. I couldn't catch him in practice at BMI and I couldn't catch him in the game either. I had a brief tryout with the New York Jets but got cut. Too bad because it was the season they won the Super Bowl (1969). I eventually joined the company I am President of now. I plan on cutting back my duties in 2005 and would love to hear from former teammates and classmates. I can be reached at email@example.com."
'66 AL IENCO communicated with that "Finder of Lost Persons," WALT GODWIN '44. After graduating from BMI, Al went to Norwich University in Vermont. After graduation from NU, he went to work for the New York State Department of Transportation as a Senior Chemist. He retired in 2001 and moved to Myrtle Beach, SC, where he now works as a manager for La Belle Amie Vineyard making wine. Al said, "In almost 40 years, I visited the old site only once. It brought back a lot of pleasant memories."
JIM KELL ran across the BMI Web site and said, "It certainly brings back good memories. My cousin, KURT STAKELBECK, since deceased, and I attended at the same time because our parents thought it might 'help.' I wrestled and played on the golf team and got into trouble a lot. But I did manage to make the Dean's List most semesters. Did not like going to study hall!" Jim said he would like to hear from or about classmates Ed Ens and John Maget (not on our current mailing list). Jim goes on to say, "I married Lynette 34 years ago – the same girl I brought to the BMI senior prom. We are blessed with two great children. Spent most of my years in the hotel and restaurant business. Now own three small businesses and am enjoying life in West Virginia." (See 'FESS UP column for more on Jim.)
'67 From JAY PINTO '68, we learned that STAN WALTERS played some 13 seasons in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals and Eagles and played in Super Bowl XV. He followed that by serving as "color analyst" on Eagles radio broadcasts for another 10 years.
'68 JAY PINTO ordered a lithograph of Old Main from our Company Store. He wrote, "It hangs in a place of honor in my little home, at the top of the stairs, properly lit by a museum sconce where everyone must pass by it."
JAY SYLVESTER uses #414 as part of his e-mail address. He wrote, "#414 was my laundry and mailbox number at BMI. It continues to be my lucky number to this day."
'69 We received an e-mail message from MAURICE (MOE) COLONTONIO, JR. Moe told us that his best friend at BMI was JEFF THURMAN. Unfortunately, Jeff died in a plane accident over 30 years ago. Moe is in weekly contact with JERRY O'BRIEN who lives near him in Voorhees, NJ. Moe said, "I was sorry to hear about the passing of WILLIAM SOONS. I remember him from Main II in my first year at BMI."
WALT GODWIN '44 found JAMES RUSSO. Jim lives in Phoenix, AZ, and Walt resides in Tucson, AZ, so he didn't have to search very far.
'70 We received a letter from ALEXANDER COOPER in which he stated, "Many thanks for keeping BMI alive. I truly appreciate your efforts and hard work. THE SKIRMISHER is always a treat to receive."
'72 THOMAS BLACKWOOD found us on our Web site. He wrote, "I played football and wrestled under the teaching of Coach "Metro" and was on the track team under the watchful eyes of Mr. Hartpence. I'm glad there is an alumni Web site." Tom would like to hear from his classmates. He can be reached via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
'73 BEN LOWE sent an update on happenings in his life since his BMI days. "I graduated from Florida Coastal School of Law in May 2004 (gosh, that only took me 25 years to get around to!) and am now in Sarasota, FL, practicing immigration law with the Anthony Olson Law Firm." Ben would like to hear from any "old boys" from his time. His telephone number is: 941-350-1360. Ben adds, "A few years ago I was teaching history in a local high school and put up a large sign in the front of my classroom: RATHER BE THAN SEEM. Wonder where I got that?"
I have many fun recollections including a chemistry teacher named Luzenski (we named him "The Mad Russian"). We used to go to the lab, located under the study hall, and make explosives including nitroglycerine, nitrocellulose, mercury fulminate and picric acid. One afternoon we tried out a model rocket car that subsequently exploded outside "Old Main," broke some windows and knocked plaster loose in a couple rooms in a nearby dorm. Also used to sell hotdogs in the evenings…usually over a 100 or more…but got busted.
Jim Kell '66
One day I had the brilliant idea of giving the Lieutenant a little surprise on his night tour of bed checks. Enjoying electrical work and being full of fun, I decided to wire the door one night while living in Landon House. The checker at night had to use his key to enter our room and because the door was old, he had to turn the metal doorknob too. With one wire on the keylock and one wire to the metal doorknob, the checker received a little shock. Called to the Dean's Office the next morning, I went and Dean Smith shook his finger at me and said, "That wouldn't have stopped me if I really wanted to open the door. Dismissed." "Yes, Sir…sorry, Sir," I replied. One final thought: NEVER RESENT GROWING OLD; MANY ARE DENIED THE PRIVILEGE.
William Luckin '35
I was having a conversation with our local librarian and mentioned that my wife Gail and I were making arrangements to attend a reunion in Bordentown, NJ. She asked where and I mentioned BMI. She got excited and wanted to know if I remembered a Mr. Dunn. I told her I did and found out Mr. Dunn is a family friend and one of her former high school teachers in Pennsylvania.
Bob Talbot '61
CLASS RING SEARCH
Bill Mamolou '68 and Michael Hurka '68 lost their BMI class rings. Bill has contacted the Balfour Company and has searched other avenues but has been unsuccessful. He wonders if any alumnus from the Class of 1968 would be willing to lend Bill his class ring so that he could have a cast made. The ring would, of course, be returned to the owner. If anyone is willing to help Bill in his quest, you can reach him via e-mail at email@example.com or at his home: 727-848-4250.
The officers and members of the Executive Board join with the entire membership of the BMI ALUMNI ASSOCIATION in extending sincerest sympathy to the families of:
John Cary '60
Leonard T. Lubin '37
Rudolf P. Mellmann '70
Edward Polanski '43
Kurt Stakelbeck '66
Jeff Thurman '69
Robert J. Tompa '40
Kenneth Terry Wade '63
Names of deceased members are sent to us from time to time. We list them in this column regardless of the date of death.
A LIFE-SHAPING EXPERIENCE
I served two tours at BMI. First, from 1946 to 1950 in the Junior School, "D" Company. I had no idea that the head of the Junior School, Paul Hartpence, would have such a lasting influence on me when I pursued a career in education from 1961 to 1991. My classroom was modeled after Mr. Hartpence's . . . from the motivation of students to room organization. I also "lived and died" BMI football while in the junior school with dreams of playing for Little Army one day. Second, in 1954, I returned to BMI as a post graduate student. I played for the maroon and gray, and I had the good fortune of playing for Coach Hoehn and Coach Verdel. They taught more than single wing offense, they taught about dealing with adversity and being a team player as well as how you play the game. I used those foundational skills and philosophies throughout my coaching career from 1961 to 2000 in the Philadelphia Suburban High School League, the Philadelphia Catholic League, and for Delaware Valley College.
My deepest gratitude to BMI. Those experiences have shaped my life and hopefully the lives of my students and players.
Grey Sweatshirt w/BMI logo - $20 New Maroon Sweatshirt w/embroidered BMI logo - $25
(Sizes Large and XX-Large only) (Sizes Large, X-Large, XX-Large)
Baseball Caps w/BMI letters - $10 Medallion w/Stand - $10
"Old Main" Lithograph - $5 BMI Decals (2) - $1
Note Paper - $8
The above prices include postage. To order, send check or money order (payable to BMI Alumni Association) to: BMI Alumni Association, P. O. Box 91, Bordentown, NJ 08505. Be sure to designate size when ordering sweatshirts.
The following is an excerpt from an article that appeared in THE TRENTONIAN, a Delaware Valley newspaper:
Five businesses have brought new life to Bordentown's Third Street with the renovation of two former Bordentown Military Institute buildings. Municipal officials are excited that the borough's consumers have a local choice to meet their financial, health care, mortgage and vocational training needs. The two buildings were once part of the Bordentown Military Institute, an independent military school located in the borough for 91 years. It was founded in 1881. In 1972, the school merged with the Lenox School in Lenox, MA. The buildings had remained empty since the school left and one building had been damaged by fire.
CONTRIBUTIONS AND FEES (DUES, REUNION COSTS, ETC.) ARE NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE.