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12/28/19 07:48 PM #38    

Sheila Savage (Starratt)

To you, Claire, my thoughts and prayers are with you as you begin your new battle against cancer. Stay strong and determined, my friend. You've got this, girl!! 
To you, Diane. There are no words that can ease your pain. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how precious my grandchildren are to me and I'm sure yours are to you. I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Your grandson's life and his passing made a difference in other people's lives. Perhaps someday it will be made clear to you...until then I hope all the happy memories you have shared together will help ease your pain. Thoughts and prayers are with you.




01/07/20 04:57 PM #39    


Richard Youlden


I am so sorry to hear of your recent loss of your grandson and want to convey my warmest condolences to you & your family. It takes a lot of courage to tell people about devastating bad news.

It seems health issues & family losses are inevidently catching up to us all.

Reading about the posts of some of our classmates past + present family tragedies recently is truely heartbraking. There are no words of consolement that can make life better but remembering the ‘good memories’ does help ease the pain somewhat.

Keeping a sense of humor during ‘tough times’ is surely difficult but an occasional smile can do wonders for all.

Try to Laugh, even if it hurts, at the ‘Dark Side’ and don’t give in to it.

My son’s best friend passed last year due to a bad drug episode on his 46th birthday. It seems to be happening everywhere & out of control. I wished I had an answer but I don’t.

I am however glad we have all made it to our 75th alive & vertical for the most part and I do enjoy reading all the posts that have started coming in this year.

Best Wishes to all our classmates of 1962…

Rick Youlden

02/18/20 11:17 PM #40    


William F. Magaletta

Hello, Everyone!

I just now accidentally found my password for this site while I was creating a passwords manager.  It had been missing for years.  I wouldn't trust a commercial PW manager as far as I could throw - well, myself. :-)  Maybe that's paranoid. Nah, I don't think so. Now I'll just have to find my password for the Yahoo Groups WHS page.  I'm sorry to hear of illnesses, and glad to hear of good health.  My own situation in this regard is relatively not as bad as I would have thought before I logged on.  I guess I don't want to go into it.  Well, on 2nd thought, I'll go into it this far: 

Do you know Mark Twain's story of the woman who went to the doctor?  The doctor advised her to quit drinking, smoking, and running around with men. She said, "But, doctor, I don't do any of those things!" He said, "In that case, you're doomed. You're like a sinking ship with nothing to throw overboard." I figure that if I can just lose 80 pounds, I'll be fine.  That's probably not true, but it makes me feel good.  Sort of.

All the best, Bill

02/19/20 05:39 PM #41    


Peter Meisenzahl

Hi Bill

Glad to see that you are still alive and kicking in there . Stay with it , what the hell . Am at Jack Anderson’s house as I am working in the greater Boston Area for a few days . Jack and I are moaning and groaning about our aches , pains , various ailments and the general indignities of old age .

But as long as you can still eat and drink and put one foot in front of the other the entire effort is well worth it .

Best to all 


02/20/20 08:15 AM #42    

Claire Kroll (Fusaro)

Hi Bill and Pete,  Great to hear from my Carroll Ave neighbors. You might not recognize Islington center as its undergoing a big renovation, with condos and all....Our side of the tracks has become very trendy.   And speaking of tracks in 2018 the  East St bridge was demolished and improved. It had become notorious for all the truck crashes there. (You can google those.)  Hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane. All the best, Claire 



02/20/20 11:42 AM #43    


Dorothy Silver (Perkins)

Claire you didn't mention that the bridge in Islington was raise and road widen, and a week after it was hit by another truck. Even with all the signs posted about it's height. I agreed about the center. The whole road has changed. Heard they were going to demolish the church on the corner. What a shame.

02/20/20 11:46 PM #44    


William F. Magaletta

Hi, Peter

I didn't remember Jack Anderson until I looked at his photo.  Even with the photo, my memory of him is very fuzzy. I also didn't know where Norfolk is, but I see from Google Maps that it's just beyond Walpole.  I never knew much in the first place, though. cheeky

I forget where you told me you live.  Upstate New York rings a bell, but somehow I don't think that's it.

I remember your father. I remember the time he took me to some German event - a dinner.

Hang in there!


02/21/20 05:48 AM #45    


William F. Magaletta

Hi, Claire

Thanks for the links.  I was aware of the demolition of the East St. Bridge,  (At first glance, the video looks like something from a movie about a dystopian future - Terminator or something - but only at first glance.)  As a kid, I practiced being brave by walking under it while a train was going over. cheeky  I also practiced being not brave cheekyby going up that little path to the tracks and walking home on the tracks to avoid Richard Gilman.  He found me out, though.

I'm not sure how the new bridge is supposed to prevent crashes.  Isn't it just as low as the old one?

I did not know of the renovation of Islington Center. (A long time ago, I knew that my cousins had sold or were going to sell the buildings.)   Was the renovation already complete in 2012?  I recall sort of not recognizing Islington Center then - or maybe I went there later.  Yes, I think I did. I was in Massachusetts in 2016 because my sister Mildred was dying.

Just now, I looked at many town hall documents from your Islington Center link, and I noticed something odd: They very frequently refer to people with surnames only, as if no one would care exactly who they were talking about.  "Mr. Smith attended and discussed..."  I wonder if this is some old New England custom from a time when there were so few people that they didn't need first names.  No, I guess that doesn't make sense. I mean, they still had members of the same family.  OK, let's try something else: Maybe it was against the Puritan religion to name people too specifically? cheeky

In 2012, I think, my wife and I went to see the house at 141 Carroll Avenue where I mostly grew up.  I wasn't about to knock on the door, but I stopped the car, and a man in the front yard peered at me and said, "Is your name Magaletta, by any chance?" He invited us in.  He and his wife were a British and Irish couple, or something like that.  We had a nice time with them, and I was amazed to find that there was some overlap between what I knew of the neighborhood in the 1950s and early 1960s and what they knew in 2012.  They knew some of the names and stories, and they weren't even the people my parents had sold the house to!  There had been one or more owners between us and them.

I'd like to tell a couple of those stories, but I shouldn't do it in writing, so I won't.

I'm not sure what to say here next, or whether I should say anything, but I'm hoping you have good luck with your illness.

Best wishes, Bill









02/24/20 11:41 AM #46    


Peter Meisenzahl

Hi Claire , Dorothy & Bill :

What a flood of memories came thru my mind after reading your postings !!! To begin at no particular point .

The East st bridge was the demise of many a truck and two ancient accidents come to mind from the early 1950’s. During a heavy rain storm a truck carrying  powdered soap crashed at the bridge and a large amount of soap powder spilled out onto the street . The soap went to soap suds in the heavy rain and caused a mess that took several days to remove . Not much later a truck carrying cows hit the bridge and many of the cows escaped and were wandering up and down the railroad tracks until they were captured !! Hilarious , especially if one has a distorted sense of humor . 

When I am in the area I drive down Carroll Ave past your old house Claire and past my old house at 50 Carroll Ave.The neighborhood looks in good condition , people taking care of their property as in our days . Bill , I look at Gilman’s old house as they lived across the street and I well remember poor Richard Gilman . He was mentally disturbed and lived for years in the state mental hospital in Medfield . Claire once described the Gilman family as “ troubled “. A most apt description .

Am going back to greater Boston Area this week and  will take a slower ride thru Islington Center and will view the changes . Jack Anderson told me that the Islington Community church is being demolished as the church has lost most of its parishioners . I am told that St, Dennis is in trouble also due to lack of parishioners . I guess that is the way of Christian religions at this point in history .

Bill ; I remember your side of Carroll Ave very well as I had a paper route there ( I think I delivered your paper ) and I drive thru there too for old times sake . And Bill , Jan and I live in Yarmouth Port on Cape Cod . So much for reminisces today and good luck to you all ,

03/03/20 05:35 AM #47    


William F. Magaletta

Hi, Peter

Do you know what Greek cows say?


I've wondered what happened to Richard Gilman...

A few months ago, I tried to find some sign of him, living or dead, on the Internet, but I couldn't.

This reminds me of "missing classmates." I bet some of them are not so missing.  In 2018, a girlfriend I had when I was about 22 died. I discovered this by accident. I hadn't talked to her in about 25 years. She was a graduate of Needham High.  I looked her up on Classmates or something, and found that she was a "missing classmate." But it would have been relatively easy to find her while she was alive, not a slam dunk, but reasonably easy.  I know.

We subscribed to the Globe, so probably you did deliver it, but I don't recall you doing it - or wait, maybe I do! :-) I'm not sure.


03/13/20 05:05 PM #48    


Richard Youlden

To All My Classmates...

I have some Sad News to report today. Bob Wood just called me to say that our classmate  Danny Morrison passed away this morning after a long illness and wanted everyone to know.

03/14/20 05:44 AM #49    


William F. Magaletta

I'm sorry to hear that, Richard.


03/14/20 11:13 AM #50    


Peter Meisenzahl

Rest In Peace Danny

03/14/20 06:14 PM #51    


Douglas Barbour

Some of the best memories of Westwood was my friendship with Danny when we were younger. I would cut through the woods to his house on Oak Street. It was always a very inviting  home to visit and he was great kid.

03/15/20 11:37 AM #52    

Robert Chamberlin



Rick....thanks for the sad news about Danny (or as I used to call him Dannigan).  Like Dougie, I have many memories of the early Pond Plain school days; and throughout the following years always especially enjoyed whenever we had a chance to talk.     

For everyone take care of yourselves as we go through this COVID-19 crisis.

Bob C.


03/16/20 01:53 AM #53    


Mark Valencia


News of  Danny’s passing overwhelmed me with memories. He was one of ‘us’—the neighborhood ‘gang’—and the Pond Plain school kids--we grew up together. Our common playground was the ‘resi’ (the reservoir)—where we caught tadpoles, fished in vain for pickerel—catching mostly inedible sunfish—sailed forth like Huck Finn on makeshift rafts, searched for the rumored ‘Beast of Buckmaster Pond”—a rumored giant snapping turtle-- explored the ‘forbidden’ and mysterious dilapidated turn of the century buildings and –after crawling under the fence--played tag along the narrow ledges of the filter beds. We eventually migrated to the ‘pits’ –the  swimming hole on the far side of the ‘resi’-—where we ‘came of age’ trying to get accepted by the fearsome regulars  —Billy Haldang, Skip Aleward, Jackie Concree, Bobby Mason, Chippy Butler and others. We dared each other to take risks and did so.  We learned the consequences of those risks –sometimes the very hard way-- such as with the accidental drowning death of Stevie O’Meara. Danny introduced me to his ‘gang’—Dougie Barbour, Bobby Vaughn, Jerry Seavey, Dick Simcock-- and that is where I got my nickname –“Gink”-- which Danny called me throughout life. That was fitting because-- he like very few others-- knew me as I really am –or was.

Danny and I –at least for a limited time-- were also junior members of the First Baptist Church and shared the philosophical trauma that visited upon us.  His father was a deacon –and thus rather stern. Danny and I were afraid of him. We jokingly called Danny “the bad seed”. But it was a joke –he was a lover not a fighter, always amiable, gentle and caring.

I lost contact with him after high school. I heard he went in the Navy and became a submariner –perhaps he was chosen because he could get along well with people – a necessary attribute in such close confines for extended periods.

However I did keep in close contact with Pete Beigbeder—and in later life Danny and Beg  became extremely close –like brothers. Whenever I came back to the area–about  once every few years –I saw Beg --and therefore I saw Danny.

Danny’s life was punctuated by more than his share  tragedies—some very sad—and just plain ‘unfair’—like the slow death of his wife Barbara from breast cancer—and his trouble with the law because of his attempts to supply her with weed to relieve her physical and mental suffering. This was long before it became widely recognized as useful for that purpose –and legal. Through it all, Danny kept a positive attitude and comforted her to the bitter end.

 We were brought closer again by Beg’s deteriorating health and slow demise.  Danny was with him every step of the way—being caring and supportive.

When in our youth I would get “out of hand” as I was prone to do- Danny would step in and calm me down. At one of the reunions, when I was on the verge of doing so, he recognized it —he settled me down—after all those years!

Danny was a faithful friend—always caring and upbeat——choosing to see the bright side of life –despite his personal tragedies. He was a “deacon” both in the church and  in real life.

I think of Danny, Beg and others who have gone on ahead together sharing a joint and  joking and laughing deep into the eternal night. We may be joining them soon.

03/16/20 10:45 AM #54    

Deanna Aldrich (Henry)

Gink, that was such a moving and accurate testimony to Danny, thank you for it. I go back a long way with Danny, we went to kindergarten together in somebodie’s basement, and I remember well the Pond Street school days, such a carefree life we led! Thanks again for the great testament to Danny. Dee


03/16/20 11:54 AM #55    


Douglas Barbour

Glad to see I wasn't the only one overwhelmed with memories. You have a wonderful way with words.


03/16/20 12:23 PM #56    


Peter Meisenzahl

 Gink : That was a deeply touching message you shared with us , thank you very much . What wonderful childhoods we had growing up in Westwood in the 1950’s . How lucky we were .

“ Meizey”


03/16/20 03:26 PM #57    

Bob Vaughn

Gink,  what a beautiful eulogy for a wonderful guy.  I too have very fond memories of Danny and those crazy days.  He was a great friend.  We even joined the Navy together.  Actually surprised and sorrowful that he had a difficult life.  Why does that happen to the best of us?  Sleep well Dan.  You brought happiness to a lot of people.9

03/17/20 01:49 PM #58    

Dianne Watson (Rankin)

Thanks to Rick and Claire for sharing the heartbreaking news about Danny's passing and 

to Mark for his heartwarming memories of him . I really enjoyed getting to know Danny better at our last two reunions and at a WHS graduation we both attended when Danny's nephew graduated.Danny was just beaming with pride, and  it was clear from his other family members who were there that Danny was that special uncle everyone would love to have.

At moments like these I am especially grateful to Joe and Claire for making this forum possible for us to stay connected. Tears are welling up as I write this. There is something extra special about keeping in touch with people you knew way back then. Wishing everyone well as we make our way through these unsettling times.

A friend shared a poem that resonated with me that I'm going to try and share here. My best to all,

Dianne W


What if you thought of it

as the Jews consider the Sabbath—

the most sacred of times?

Cease from travel.

Cease from buying and selling.

Give up, just for now, 

on trying to make the world

different than it is. 

Sing. Pray. Touch only those

to whom you commit your life.

Center down.


And when your body has become still,

reach out with your heart.

Know that we are connected

in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.

(You could hardly deny it now.)

Know that our lives

are in one another’s hands.

(Surely, that has come clear.)

Do not reach out your hands.

Reach out your heart.

Reach out your words.

Reach out all the tendrils

of compassion that move, invisibly,

where we cannot touch.


Promise this world your love–

for better or for worse,

in sickness and in health,

so long as we all shall live.




06/24/20 03:44 PM #59    

Claire Kroll (Fusaro)

I'm sad to report that Covid-19 has taken one of our teachers, Phil Flaherty. Here's a link to his obituary.  He had a large presence in our days at WHS and went on to become Principal 1990's. Rest in Peace, Mr. Flaherty. 

06/27/20 01:51 PM #60    

Dianne Watson (Rankin)

I am so sorry to hear this. Thanks for posting, Claire,

These things just get harder and harder. Mr. Flaherty was probably one of the major influences behind

my heading for Washington for college and "saving the world." Afraid we seem to be going in the opposite direction these days. Remain hopeful we will come out better on the other side of our multiple challenges.

   Hoping everyone is staying safe and focusing on family and what is most important to you.


Dianne W.

06/30/20 12:22 PM #61    


Peter Meisenzahl

Me Flagerty was an excellent teacher with an ability to make his students listen , study and learn . He was also a real guy . I was very glad to see and speak with Mr Flaherty at our 45th reunion . Rest In Peace .
Peter Meisenzahl

04/12/21 05:20 AM #62    


William F. Magaletta

I had a hemorrhagic stroke in February. The main thing was aphasia. I was plenty stupid for about two days, kinda stupid for a few weeks, and still just a little bit stupid. :-) They say there were no physical effects, but I'm not really confident of that.  There have been changes.

I was alone. My wife was at her late mother's home taking care of her brother, as she was doing a couple times a month.  I woke up about 2 am to pee, and I couldn't go back to sleep right away, so I sat on the edge of the bed thinking, or something.  At some moment, I realized that I couldn't think of the name of something, some common word, such as book, or hand, or shoe.  A minute or so later,  I realized that I couldn't think of the name of almost anything. :-) 

Somehow I managed to think that maybe I'd better go to the ER.  I very much hoped not. I wanted to go back to sleep. But I got up and took a shower.  Then I went downstairs and made a cup of coffee and a piece of toast, still figuring on going back to bed.  I ate the toast, and took a sip of the coffee, but then, suddenly, I decided I was being stupid, and I became alarmed.  So I called Uber (not 911) :-), and I went to the ER. Thank God I managed to figure out how. 

The driver tried to chat, but I sounded like a total idiot.

The admitting person at the ER knew I wasn't all there, and I was immediately taken for a CT scan, which found bleeding on the left side of my brain.

And so forth.



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