Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The class of 1940

From an article in the New York Times on members of the class of 1940 from James Madison High School in Brooklyn, New York, who now gather every two months for dinner:

They were also lucky with their teachers, said Dorothy Fisch Thomashower, the editor of the yearbook, The Log, who went on to become a biographer and book indexer. The Depression, she said, meant that scholars who might have chosen a professorial track ended up teaching in high school.

Every Thursday evening, Mrs. Touster, an English teacher (no one could remember her first name), invited students to her home in the neighborhood, now known as Midwood, for poetry readings or to listen to her collection of classical 78's. "We were 17-year-old kids and we assumed this above-it-all attitude," said Bernice Tansman Levine. "One would sprawl on the steps, another would lay prone in the living room, and she put on this magnificent music."

Because of her, said Mrs. Levine, who spent most of her working life as a state employment counselor, "I don't read Danielle Steel--I read Saul Bellow and Philip Roth."
You can read the article by clicking here.

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