Search This Blog

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I need help from HHS alumni to date this program. Recalling the many times Louise Baird played music from this wonderful operetta while we were nightly visitors to her next door apartment, I would guess that the date was 1959. I do remember the lovely Kay Salvatore and her beautiful singing voice; a very capable Julie Jordan, as was George Bolge who was Billy Bigelow. Carousel is still my very favorite operetta and motion picture. I still fill up with tears in that last scene where Billy comes back to visit Julie and his daughter at graduation. Heavy stuff, but ethereal in nature.

Monday, February 23, 2009

1955: Beverly Brenner Muschiatti Obit

This email received from Jack Lacy, HHS '56, via Noreen Brenner McBride:

Hi All !

Noreen "Ish" (Brenner) McBride asked me to pass this on to those on my several mail lists who knew her sister, Bev, who was also the former wife of Larry Muschiatti. Bev was in the HHS55 class.

Beverly (Brenner) Muschiatti, age 71, of Bear, DE passed away peacefully at her home on Thursday, February 19, 2009 surrounded by her family.
Born in Trenton, NJ, Ms. Muschiatti was the daughter of the late Fred and Iva (Collins) Brenner. For over 20 years, she worked for Delaware Importers, retiring in 2005. She was the first woman president of the Newark National Little League in 1977 and the Football Director of the NCC New Castle Bulldogs and Glasgow Dragons for the NCCFL. She also coached cheerleading for Capitol Trail Junior Football and taught ceramics. She enjoyed garage sales and flea markets and was a proud supporter of the Delaware Stars Cheerleaders.
Ms. Muschiatti will be dearly missed by her sons, Jeffrey of Sherwood, OR, David of Wilmington and Michael of Newark; her daughter and son-in-law, Debi and Kurt Bartell of Bear; three grandchildren, Ashley, Kelly and Makayla; her brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Doris Brenner of California; and her sisters, Joyce Berrien of Lakehurst, NJ and Noreen McBride of Trenton, NJ.
Family and friends are invited to visitation on Tuesday, February 24 between 6-7 pm at Mealey Funeral Home, Limestone and Milltown Roads, Wilmington, with a memorial service beginning at 7 pm. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, 111 W. 11th St. #3, Wilmington, DE 19801.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Wednesday, February 18, 2009


This Sunday afternoon, February 22, from 1 to 3 PM, I will be presenting my music program " When Music Was Music" at Kuser Farm Mansion, Cedar Lane and Newkirk Avenues in Hamilton. We will be singing the songs of Patti Page, Dean Martin, Barry Mannilow, Joni James, Andy Williams, and all of the "easy listening" songs from the 40's, World War II, and choice ballads and novelty songs through the 60's and 70's. This year, in recognition of the centennial of Kuser School, I will also be recalling grammar school in the years of my (and our) youth. Once again we'll be singing "Do You Know the Muffin Man," "Go In and Out the Windows," and other school playground songs, and recalling ink wells, blackboards, milk boards, girlfriends, lavatories, cloak rooms and all those fascinating vestiges of a now vintage era. I can pretty much guarantee a fun filled two hours. I hope to see you there. Call 890-3630 and leave a message to reserve a seat (or seats). I hope to see y'all there!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Sincere gratitude to Alice Schmidt Mullen, HHS '51 for diligently recording the activities and obituaries of our HHS '51 classmates. Though the years, Alice has clipped those articles and saved them for posterity. The numerous obits and achievement articles on this website would not have seen the light of day were it not for Alice. With gratitude, HHS '51 salutes you; you're the best!

1965: RONNIE LYNCH - HHS '51

Ronnie was a classmate through most of my Kuser School years, and all through HHS '51. As you can see by the graphic above, he was another of our "Academic" classmates who went on to a very successful career as a lawyer. Ronnie was known for that contagious smile.

2009: Lucia "Lucy" Spera Di Polvere - HHS '51

I only know her as "Lucy." She was a "straight "A" student all through her school years. She came over to Kuser Annex from Homedell, and after attending college became a local legend with the DiPolvere Nursery School on Cubberly Road. Lucy is very active in the local community, including a lengthy affiliation with the Contemporary Club. She and her husband Ed are also locally renowned for their dancing abilities.

2007: Ray Danberry-Goodbye old friend

Ray and I renewed old acquaintances in 2005 when he came to my office in the Hamilton Library to add material to this HHS '51 website. He and I had the "character" leads in our operetta of 1951, "Tulip Time." He was the "Burgomaster, and I was his flack, "Hans." He recalled that it was a very simple task for him to pick up my 98 pound frame and place it from point "A" to point "B." I can still hear him sing one of his lines in that production: "I am der Burgomaster of dis place, der guy vot fills der office. In politics und funny tricks, you'll find dot I'm no novice..." Ray and his lovely wife "Sandy" were an integral part of happy years at Hamilton High. He is missed by all of us who knew him. Rest in peace, Ray. We'll all meet again!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Many thanks for the encouraging email, Rick. It's folks like you who make all the hard work worthwhile. Stay tuned; there will be more HHS articles which I am sure will be of interest to you. Thanks again for taking the time to write in my guest book. I was beginning to wonder if any Hornets were actually visiting the site, other than my class of '51.



Name: Rick Stanics
Mr. Glover, I am an HHS Hornet from 1979. Ten days after graduating I joined the service and have not lived home since. I came across your site by accident the other day and have spent many hours since, pouring over the articles. It was like finding buried treasure to see articles from my graduating year. You are doing an incredible service! I can't tell you how much I appreciate this link to my past, living so far away in Chicago. Thanks for all of your efforts

Saturday, February 14, 2009


This, and the next graphic are souvenirs of the 75th anniversary celebration of the founding of Hamilton High School. Unfortunately, I had to stay in the history room wherein I had tons of HHS yearbooks and other memorabilia on display. There were 5 on-screen computer generated viewings of my multi-media program, "Hamilton High-The Golden Years." Carl Abbott, Helen Sadley and many other retired HHS personnel viewed the program and thoroughly enjoyed the 25 minute production. It will be shown again at Kuser Mansion in a future date to be announced.



Many familiar names in the list of HHS students in the above graphic. Kuser Annex, which was 9th grade for Kuser School area residents, is included in the list of honorees. I see a "Feehan" in there, and I just bet it is a relative of either Lorraine or Chet Feehan.

1940: Ca 1940 Harvey Hesser

To those HHS Hornets of the 30's through the early 60's, no identification would be required for the familiar face in the above photo. It wasn't until well after our high school graduation that my wife Judy and I got to know Harvey and his lovely wife Dorothy Hesser. The Hessers moved to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania upon Harvey's retirement in the early 60's, but kept in touch.


"LOVING GREETING" from this early 20th century trade card in my collection. I hope each and every visitor to my website has a love-filled St. Valentine's day. Have a great day, and remember to keep that
lamp of love burning brightly! As Petula Clark sang so beautifully back in the 1960,s,
"What the world needs now is love, sweet love..not just for some, but for everyone..."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


George was one of the leads in our 1951 production of "Tulip Time." He was also an excellent athlete. During the 1950's, George and classmate Bob Shinkle were very active gymnastically in a tumbling presentation that made it to the Ed Sullivan TV show. They performed some impossible feats of physical contortion and impressed all who saw their program. Look up the words "humble," "talented," and "personable," in your Funk and Wagnall's, and you could see George's photo. He moved to the Virgin Islands way back in the 50's and recently visited my office at the library with Bob Shinkle. We miss you, George and hope the next time you return to Hamilton you will make another visit to the library.

Monday, February 09, 2009


I have received a message from the webmaster at that Betsy Scott Fitzmeyer has sent a message to me on my Facebook "Wall." As you can see by the message, Betsy is a published author who rightly gives credit to her Kuser School and Hamilton teachers for instilling in her the talent and ability to write. Thanks very much for the post, Betsy, it's a privilege having you as both a visitor to this website, and counting me among your friends.

Betsy wrote on your Wall:

"Hi, Tom,

Don't know if you have had a chance to check out my website, The site profiles my new novel, SEASON of the FLAME. I've had some book signings so far. A cross-section of readers, from teenagers to seniors have apparently found worth in the book, which glorifies God, and the overall theme of which is forgiveness. In any event, Tom, as I conveyed to the current principal of Kuser, I credit a lot of my passion for the written word to my dedicated English and Latin teachers of Hamilton.

Much appreciation for your work,

Betsy Fitzmeyer"

To see your Wall or to write on Betsy's Wall, follow the link below:
Thank heavens for HHS '51 classmate Alice Schmidt Mullen! Through all these years, she has diligently kept clippings on any and all events and obits which appeared in the press, and relating to our Hamilton High Class of '51; "The Class With Class." Following are the first of the clippings Alice forwarded to me for publication on my HHS website. Alice, be assured that your efforts are really appreciated; additionally, those of our classmates who are out of the area will really be delighted to be kept up to speed. There are more HHS '51 graphics from Alice; they will be included in future posts.


Oh, the stories I could tell about Bill! He was the shining star in the choir at Hamilton High School during my years at HHS. Bill had the voice of an angel, and as you can see by the graphic, he was an accomplished professional singer who could well have been at the N.Y. Met. I first met Bill one evening in 1949 or at a Trenton Giants baseball game at Dunn field. He happened to take the seat next to me. As we got to know each other I found that he would be a classmate when I began my HHS years in 1949. Needless to say, Bill was already a major factor in Louise Baird's choir. Bill, Joe McManimon and Leon Belardino loaned their beautiful tenor voices to many of the Fred Waring choral arrangements we sang. I recall one assembly when Bill sang the beautiful and sacred, "Sanctus." It touched me so deeply, I actually had tears in my eyes and a huge outbreak of "goosebumps." Elsewhere on this website is a column I wrote as a tribute to Bill when I received the devastating news that he had gone on to be with the Lord. He is up there as one of the leading tenors in the heavenly choir. It was a true privilege for me to be able to say I sang with him in our old barbershop quartette back in the 40's and 50's. Like Judy and me, Bill also married a classmate from HHS '51, the lovely Barbara Eckert, whom I still hear from on occasion, and whom I know misses one of the area's most beautiful voices.

1990: Anthony Gies, HHS '51

Tony and I went through all 12 years in the Hamilton school system from Kuser School right up the the class of 1951 at Hamilton High. We were close friends during all those years, and I recently met Tony's sister Viola at one of my senior citizen programs. Tony was a gentleman, and is missed.


Bob was always ready with the striking smile and personality. He and classmate Robert A. Gallos usually confused us. Two guys in the same class with the same name was very unusual. As I recall the two were cousins. Bobby, we miss you.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Today (Feb. 7) from 1 to 3 PM I will be presenting a Valentines Day program at Kuser Mansion, Newkirk and Cedar Lane. THe program is called "The Love Songs We Grew Up With," with the sing-along music of Perry Como, Patti Page, Dean Martin, Neil Diamond, Elvis Pressley and others from the 40's, 50's and 60's. The Valentines Day angle will also include stories of my experiences of Valentines Day at Kuser School, and other Kuser School memorie. This is the first of a series commemorating the 100th anniversary of Kuser School. Once again we will recall blackboards, clapping erasers, those wonderful teachers we had in the 40's and 50's, Friday assembly, and all those long ago memories. Come on out. You'll love the two hour program.


Lee and I have resumed a friendship that began in my Sophomore year when I came over from Kuser Annex to join Louise Baird's vocal music class. It was a time that changed my also changed the life of Lee Belardino, HHS tenor, extraordinaire. Interestingly, both of us still carry the Louise Baird music tradition into our senior years. Lee as a talented part of a music group out in California, and I for the past 25 years, bringing my program, "The Music We Grew Up With" to those who know good music when they hear it. Keep hittin' those "Hi C's," Lee, and I'll continue to bellow out those baritone, or as we called it in Miss Baird's class, "Bass One" songs of our youth.

This memory of our golden years from Lee Belardino:

Thanks for the kind words and fond reflections. Wow, Were we ever that young. I remember Bob Beesburg. Little guy always with a smile on his face. Navy captain. Wow. hope people realize wath an esteem rank that is. . I salute you sir. Sylvia Arena,his beautiful wife together with your lovely wife Judy one of our great alto's in THEchoir. I think her dad owned a restraunt on Cedar lane and we sang there? Jesse Anderson,I wish I knew better. GOD rest his soul. I remember the octette. I think Kaufman and you were the basses,Me and Bill the tenors. Can't think of the other members but I do remember that we sang on some radio station once and the song we sang was:"Anybody know miss Nellie Gray" and Miss B. recorded it . We were flat,especially me and Miss B. gave me one her smiles that really meant"Leon,think high". 57 years ago and I still remember that particular smile. What wonderful,grand, times they were no matter how many times I say it. Wish to heaven I could have been to your Kuser performance today or any other day. I,m sure most of our generation attends. They can't even like what is playing now. Grammy awards.Are you kidding?Keep flying the high standards,Tom because its like tonic to our souls
Friend for always,



Friday, February 06, 2009


There's an old saying, "Old friends are the best friends." It's true. But when that old friend is a person you grew up with from childhood to manhood, the boy who was with you from Kuser School "Reception Grade," 1939, right up to graduation day as a classmate in the Hamilton High Class of 1951, there is a real part of your soul that sustains an enduring pain. As a proud, God loving Christian, it is my belief that as we age, we become more and more aware of our mortality. In truth, our journey in this physical life is only the beginning of another journey which all of us will make. My religion teaches me that physical death is not the end...that there is another place "which the eye has not seen, nor the ear heard..." I'll see you there, Jess.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


Of all the teachers I had during my years in Hamilton Township's wonderful education system, Louise Baird stands out as the lady who made the deepest impression on my life. Were it not for her, I would never have realized my love of music from the performing standpoint. Judy and I became very close to "Ouise" (pronounced "weeze") during our years at Hamilton High, and also as nightly visitors to her apartment at 1420 Hamilton Avenue in the 40' and early 50's. Not having any instrumental music talent, I only knew Harlan Darling as the band master at Hamilton High. As to Ms. Williams, I'm sorry to say that she entered the grammar schools after I had left Kuser to attend HHS.

Monday, February 02, 2009


It is a very unfortunate fact that my extensive collection of Hamilton High memorabilia is lacking in a number of graphics from the 1950's. I am missing 1949, 1950, 1953, 1954, 1956, 1958, and 1959. I try to post graphics which coincide with the reunion years. In this case, the class of 1949, and 1959. If any alumni from those years are visitors to this site, why not scan a few graphics and email them to me? (minimum of 150 dots per inch on your scanner; 200 dpi preferred).
This graphic from a 1990 column has been revised to include yearbook photos of two of the alumni who responded with their memories of life at Hamilton High School, along with a file photo of the front facade of the original entrance to the school. Pleasant memories from former Hornets always make for interesting reading.