Search This Blog

Monday, September 14, 2015


I received a phone call last evening via voice mail from a relative of Dick Chmielewski, our class of 1951 classmate who went on to form the DICK CHIMES polka band. His incredible group brought many wonderful hours to the Kuser Park gazebo when the township engaged professional groups to play at that great venue. Dick was known for a very warm and cordial personality and he had a killer smile for everyone. We'll miss you Dick, and your surviving classmates will re-unite with you in the Hamilton High class of eternity! Rest in peace, my friend.

Richard "Dick Chimes" Chmielewski, 82, of Hamilton, NJ, passed away on September 9, 2015 in Chandler, AZ. Richard was band leader for Dick Chimes and His Orchestra, worked in security for the State House and was is a US Navy Veteran. He is survived by: daughters, Amy Mourkas of Chandler, AZ and Audrey Healy of Murrieta, CA; grandchildren, Jake Mourkas, Alexis Mourkas, Max Mourkas of Chandler, AZ; Megan Johnson, Michael Moran, and Michael Healy of California; and brothers, Ronald Chmielewski of Saluda, NC, Bill Aring of Columbus, NJ, and John Aring of Idaho Falls, IA. Richard is preceded in death by his brother Robert Chmielewski of Trenton, NJ. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Alzheimer's Association . Services will be scheduled at a later date through Winowicz Funeral Home, Trenton, NJ.

Monday, August 31, 2015


I was one of many fortunate Hamilton High School students who studied and performed under the tutelage of Miss Louise Baird who was the vocal music teacher there from the first year of Hamilton High School until she retired in 1961. I will be forever indebted to her for instilling a love of music and philosophy.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

As anyone who has followed the hundreds of columns I have written over the years will agree, Miss Louise S. Baird, the vocal music teacher at Hamilton High School during Judy Britton Glover and Tom Glover's attraction to this incredible lady has left an indelible impression on both our lives. Those of us who were privileged to have been in her music classes as choral singers will agree that we not only learned how to sing in 8 part harmony, we also learned about the cultural and theological aspect of living. After we graduated together in 1951, my dear wife Judy and I maintained almost daily contact with Miss Baird, or as she was known to her very closest friends, "Ouise" pronounced "Weeze." At the time of our graduation in 1951 Miss Baird was caring for her aging mother and it was that summer that she passed away, leaving Ouise alone and very lonely. Judy and I loved being with her as she taught us the wisdom of the ages as seen in the 5 or 6 scrapbooks that she kept with notable quotations from the likes of Helen Steiner Rice, Kahlil Gibran and other deep thinkers. She also had a delightful piano in her Hamilton Avenue apartment and would always sit down and play our favorite musical pieces. Judy's was "Traumeri," and mine was the "Moonlight Sonata." To be honest, Ouise is largely responsible for the man I have become. She has left me with memories of some of her quotes which she said every man should live by. Three of them are alive and well in my lesson on living: "Greatness is Humble," "The true test of a man's character is what he would do if he would never be found out," "Though you travel the world over in search of the beautiful, you must carry it with you or you find it not," and this gem from Keats: "A thing of beauty is a joy forever; its loveliness increases. It will never pass into nothingness."

Monday, April 13, 2015


Above is the announcement of the 50th reunion of the combined classes of 1965 and 1966. I have always felt that the combining of classes would make for a much more interesting reunion. Having been very active in reunion activities over many years, I find if so very disappointing number of classmates who never come to reunions outnumber those who attend by a huge majority. Sad to say (and this is my opinion) many guys and gals don't like what father or mother time has done to them physically over the years. On the other hand, there are those of us who wear those wrinkles proudly and carry all those other vestiges of aging confident in the realization that "we're all in this aging thing together." I have found that personal appearance takes a back seat to being with that person or persons we loved and respected during our young years. Personalities shine, not personal appearance.

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Congratulations to my lovely granddaughter, Jessica Saiia, Rider University Class of 2016. Your accomplishment was only exceeded by your hard work to earn such a distinguished honor, Jess. Love you deeply.