Content updated on 04/28/19
This page is all about you, the alumni of the Hurricane Class of 1964. Your anecdotes and stories will be featured on this page and we do hope you send in some wonderful memories of your years at school (and after) for all to enjoy. Please send the stories of your shenanigans to Mary O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org
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It appears that one of your dedicated Organizers, whose name shall not be mentioned has intimated that some stories appear to take on new life and extra details as the years go by. Not having been there, yours truly can only dutifully place a Truth Meter on these FUN pages.--Mary O.
Get ready, here they come....!
On our senior cruise we stopped in Bremen, Germany. Vinny’s mother asked him to look up a man who was a close friend of this mother's very good friend. All he had was a short note with a name and an address in Hamburg. He asked me to accompany him on the search for this person who his mother's friend had dated as a young girl growing up in Germany.
We took a taxi and the driver took us to the address. It was in the port in Hamburg. I thought who lives here? It was not a residential area.
It turned out this gentleman was the Port Captain of Hamburg. We spent a memorable day as his guest for dinner at his residence. Capt Morgenstern (do not remember if spelling is correct) was merchant officer and was captured by the British navy off the coast of Africa in 1940. He spent the war years in a POW camp in Canada in his words as a “Guest of the Queen”. While a prisoner he built a model of his cargo ship which he kept in a glass display case. It was a truly memorable experience for me.
Mug year, spring 1961. A dozen of us decided to raid Kings Point. Shortly after midnight we took a longboat and slipped away from our dock. All dressed in peacoats and black wool watchcaps. We rowed across Long Island Sound with no lights toward KP. Not very bright with ships and tugs plying the route in and out of north entrance to New York harbor. We had to cross their path to get to Kings Point.
"FORT SCHUYLER CLASS OF 1964"
Just below it I put in small letters "yb" for my initials, Yogi Barra. I said to myself they will never figure out who that was. We then all got into our boat and rowed back to our dock.
A few weeks later, KP cadets raided Fort Schuyler. The Third classmen, Class of 1963 then raided KP. Class of '63 always were envious of us and always a step behind.
The next week the Supt. of Kings Point advised our Admiral that if anyone was caught on federal property i.e., Kings Point, they would be prosecuted under Federal law. That put an end to raids.
During our 1/c cruise my fire station was on the 01 deck right outside the Officer's Ward Room. I had two (2) life preservers, A good one in case I really needed it and one with all the kapok removed.
Larry, Darryl, and...........................Dennis
(Haaah, thought I was going to type Darryl, didn'tcha?)
All the Officers were at their fire stations so no one was around. Never got caught. We loved to hear, "This is a test, all hands to your stations". Beer Tonight. Years later as the story was being relayed to Willie Sembler, he told of arguments in the Ward Room on the missing beer. Willie said "They never suspected the cadets"...........
Anecdotes from my Days at Schuyler
by Jay "Beads" Barsin
There are many “stories” and, as I write these, more come to my mind. Others can describe the pain of waiting out in the weather (Public Phones located on the fantail exposed to wind, rain, and snow during the restricted hours permitted for calling your girl, snitched from under your nose by an upper classman! Then there is the machine shop Lab story of the “WEDGE” the simplest tool known to man….or the “YORK BRODSKI”…..and so on and so forth.
Our fine Chef-Charles (de la) Rey spent most his day fashioning Hockey Pucks (Hamburgers) Collusion Mats (pancakes) and reportedly hustling food providers.
When he extended (perhaps “overextended”) la Carte into world of continental cuisine “Pasta”; the bo- weevils did him in.
A “Food Strike” was called by the upper class and the snack shop made a killing.
Never one to shy from opportunity my roommate (Joe Lemerise) and I moved into the food vacuum by starting the “SUB” sandwich business which provided snacks directly to 4th Class students berthed in the hole.
At no small cost to our careers-over the wall at 3pm, bus to supermarket, grab two cans ham and get it sliced, 4 dozen French style Bagnettes, lettuce, mustard, mayo etc and carry it all back to the ship. Then we’d make the sandwiches in our room and deliver to the hole. “Capitalism” coupled with hard work and high risk is a wonderful way to earn a buck.
Tried to make the drill team but was really challenged by the rifle toss-oh I could throw it ok but I was never really certain if it would come down near my intended receiver target (and not in my intended target). It seemed as if the person charged with throwing his at me had a similar problem (Greg Bonar).
One had to clear at least 4 team marchers flipping the piece overhand behind him and place it almost in the hands of the receiver because if he had to look for it points lost
I had decided after Day One in indoctrination that I wanted to be an engineer; unfortunately I had checked the Marine Trans option on my application. Chairman Prof Foody indicated he would review my grades after one year as a “DECKIE” and then decide my worthiness to become a snipe. That was a great year, my mug year, as I was exposed to as much of the humanities as I wanted.
World History was the only waste (Saturday morning first two periods) and that was not the fault of the material studied, it was the professor who reread ancient lectures and managed to put all to sleep every Saturday. It’s so easy to remember the good professors but A. Gares was bad enough to live on in my memory to this date.
Moving to the ship-the Class of 64 was the first to start their academic life at Schuyler on the Empire State 4 and, at same time, have to serve under a retired Coast Guard Admiral as president, all while a bridge (the Throgs Neck) was being built over our heads.
MUG night watches still included the security clock with key that was to be inserted at each inspection station. Boy! It got really cold on those nightly rounds to insure our safety. Kind of reminded me of anchor watches later in my career.
Lieutenant (jg.) Joe Sauvé would check out the security clocks’ paper insert to insure not one key had been missed. It was said that someone learned how to indent the record paper without ever leaving the ship.
Jay Barsin at head of line
On my Senior Cruise, Commander Fledging made another of those “almost career changing decisions-for him” by asking me to take responsibility for the Evaporators as “WATERKING”, thereby entrusting 400 lives to a guy who still prefers wine to water any day.
I tried for about 30 days to speed up grape fermentation using 5 pound steam as an accelerator but while we could make the “musto” ferment quickly, wine it was not. So instead of just standing watch, I had the opportunity to maintain the equipment that, when tied together, provided all the fresh water available to the ship. One day in attempting to remove an impeller from its shaft, I used the “don’t hurt yourself-use a bigger hammer” scientific approach. After about 4 major swings, I looked up to find myself looking into the eyes of Prof Dr Foody who suggests softly “that perhaps loosening the set pin might be helpful”. It was good advice …I was a little sorry he had not seen fit to loosen the set screw (one year delay) he had placed in me.
Hey wait one last anecdote to share. I opted to apply to join the Pershing Rifles and would have liked to make the trick drill squad. I guess I was acceptable in my military bearing because those tough COs, Rudi Shadrik and Jack Ringleberg , and the entire company P-8 who after putting all of us candidates, through pledge hell accepted my application.
Anyway, I tried to make the challenge but best I could ever do was to serve as a “fill in” at a competition. Several good things came out of my PR membership experience.
One for certain was being chosen as an IDO Marching Specialist.
I could give up two weeks of leave and work with the new mugs (Class of 66), another was the wearing of the blue battle ribbon on our dress uniform that looked so lonely but still it was a RIBBON that came with a great cost (rumors that it was a Chick magnet are entirely false). Now the ship store sells all kinds of ribbons for membership in various clubs.
Last (really) was being commissioned as an “Ensign” in the Pershing Rifles. All the other officers in the PRs in our operational area were ARMY so if they were Cadet Officers they were never Ensigns, or JGs, or Commanders.
We all submitted our ladies photos to the judges each year for consideration as company sponsor. Carol was selected as the 62-63 sponsor.
It was being one of a kind in so many ways. Thank you Class Mates and Maritime.
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Why thermal and fluids? I don’t know -but they were my favorites-Strength of Materials –least favorite.
One day Prof Wennagel aka “THE JAW” gave an important quarterly test- problem sheets handed to each student. Trouble was that parallel rows of desks were given DIFFERENT tests. A fact not known to takers until grades came back. Copiers were exposed and obtained an “F”. A practical man..Reminded me of the famous POWER magazine hero Marmaduc Surfaceblow or maybe even Reno King himself.
Last but not least, I could not suffer a fool who would collect many little demerits (5 shots-messy hair, shoes, etc.) but admired those that could earn the big ones (50 and up) for the mighty deeds. My first 50 was earned as a 3rd classman on cruise.
The civilian attire I had acquired in Rome (Alta moda) was coming home with me …at least until someone discovered it hidden (badly as it turns out) in the fiddly.
It took almost a year for the next 50 shot. City Island beckoned and a terrible thirst had to be quenched. So I borrowed a dinghy and sailed over. ..And back. It worked well several times until there was a midnight calm that descended upon the eastern end of the Sound and the tide was going out.
As I returned to the Fort, creeping around the seawall about 7 am, then around the Empire State 4, and then into the boat basin, who saw me? Mr. Curry, who was not only a Company commander forming up his company to leave for breakfast but was the Commodore of the Yacht Club, who knew well those entitled to take a boat out and when.
By Bob Carty
During our second class year, I would occasionally bum a ride home with a certain third classman who happened to have a car on campus. One particular Saturday we left the Fort right after inspection and stopped at the gas station on Pennyfield Avenue to fuel up. As the third class driver was pumping, he discovered that he was very short of cash.
He stopped just in time at about 75 cents (three gallons in those days) and was able to get enough money from me and another cadet passenger to cover what had been pumped. That left one problem: how do we get across Throggs Neck Bridge with no money.
“Aha", says the driver. “I heard” that a South African penny will work in the toll machines. It so happened that this cadet had a stash of such pennies. So, we pulled out of the Pennyfield Avenue entrance across 3 lanes of traffic to get to an exact change lane.
The driver tossed the penny into the machine and “k’ching” the gate opened. I was afraid that we were going to be stuck in the exact change lane, but the driver had no doubt it would work. Who was the driver you might ask? It was none other than one Gerry Rivera!