John Darrow, BCHS Class of ’77, Still Alive & Kicking!!!

CLICK here for a Video Interview with John Darrow, Class of 1977.

C'mon would you have recognized John Darrow? What happened to the afro? LOL, reference video interview...

C’mon would you have recognized John Darrow? What happened to the afro? LOL, reference video interview…

I lived the first 17 years of my life in that little house hidden in the trees at 2 Florence Street. Over the years, and there have been many since then, nearly 40 now, I have never lost touch with the heartbeat of my hometown. First through my Mom and Dad and then through other family. Dad passed in 1992 and Mom lived to see the new millennium. Since then I have reunited with many BCHS classmates, none more important and inspiring to me as Mr. John Darrow.

In the video he harasses me that I did not recognize him at first glance and that is true. But c’mon remember that head of hair. And didn’t he disappear to Broadway or someplace like that for a few years? What a great guy and I am happy he is still alive and kicking.

Who better to interview first to try to illustrate the special spirit I am trying to capture with the production of a 2-hour broadcast celebrating our Greater Binghamton community; our old Binghamton Central High School (BCHS), now Binghamton High School (BHS); our class of 1977 and the soon to be graduating Class of 2017?

Nobody has embraced Binghamton history like John Darrow! Shown here as Dr. S. Andral Kilmer!

Nobody has embraced Binghamton history like John Darrow! Shown here as Dr. S. Andral Kilmer!

Why not embrace & display the full impact of community, school, faith, family & friends during our childhood?

Why not partner with BHS leadership, students & the community to give service now for the future?

Why not focus on our high school years extracting the inspiration in a positive manner to share?

Why not showcase our talents, accomplishments & unique BCHS heritage during the last 40 years while raising funds for our alma mater high school?

John has and is the community spirit and civic pride of our hometown of Binghamton! He has worked tirelessly to restore the Bundy residence into the Bundy Museum of History & Art.

He is an eminent local historian and knows the historic figures he mentions in his interview—Dr. S. Andral Kilmer, George F. Johnson, Brothers Harlow and Willard Bundy—and lots more.

The Class of 2017 does indeed have a future in Binghamton.

There's something about John's connection with the Bundy Museum and the time recording concept... maybe it is time that we all got back in touch?

There’s something about John’s connection with the Bundy Museum and the time recording concept… maybe it is time that we all got back in touch?

John’s comment about our Class of ’77 resonates deeply with me… We have simply just been out of touch… we indeed did go our separate ways.

But now is the time to enjoin again with each other to celebrate our lives and especially the lives of our fellow classmates and esteemed teachers and administrators that have passed on.

I bet if you get involved with our 40th reunion that you will find what I have found. It’s fun and nostalgic to recall the environment and interactions we had in high school amidst the studies, sports and clubs we participated in. But it is more meaningful to share and talk about things we know about now and perspectives we have now that we were not even aware of way back then when we were transformed from kids to adults during those four years at BCHS.

Please share your life experiences and your story to make this an extraordinary 40th high school reunion!

We need 'U' to make our reunion a success!

We need ‘U’ to make our reunion a success!

It was great to be back at Bundy with John. Maybe I am already starting to shrink as I remember being a bit taller than him back in high school!

It was great to be back at Bundy with John. Maybe I am already starting to shrink as I remember being a bit taller than him back in high school!

Don't miss the Bundy Museum of History & Art which is home to the Southern Tier Broadcasters Hall of Fame when you come back home...

Don’t miss the Bundy Museum of History & Art which is home to the Southern Tier Broadcasters Hall of Fame when you come back home…

 

 

 

 

BCHS 40th Reunion Program: Giving Service Now for the Future…

BCHS 40th Reunion Program: Giving Service Now for the Future…

Goals of researching, producing and sharing a unique, entertaining & meaningful Reunion Program:

  1. 8 640 BCHSEmbrace & display the full impact of community, school, faith, family & friends during our childhood.
  2. Partner with BHS leadership, students & the community to give service now for the future.
  3. Focus on our high school years extracting the inspiration in a positive manner to share.
  4. Showcase the talents, accomplishments & unique BCHS heritage during the last 40 years.
  5. Target audience is current high school students.
  6. Full video production with local television audience.
  7. Fundraiser for BHS, including ticket & advertising sales; participation on a volunteer basis only.

Organization:

  • Planning Service Force (overall project management) with creative teams (Reunion Program elements).

 Schedule:

Research & pre-produce Reunion Program features throughout the school year.

First edition of Reunion Program for students towards end of school year.

Reunion Program during BCHS 40th Reunion Weekend (Summer 2017)

Creative Guidelines:

11 class of 77Created with an all-inclusive perspective with no direct promotion of any one element.

Explicit promotional references to Politics, Sex, & Religion to be avoided.

No discrimination due to sex, sexual orientation, race, color, pregnancy, religion, national origin, age or disability.

Focus on overcoming personal childhood challenges & finding one’s own unique contributions.

Creative Elements of Reunion Program (Brainstorm List Only, no specific order):

  1. Variety Show format with host, onstage band, talk segments, participation segments and pre-produced features.
  2. Share/contrast/similarities current year 2017 class versus 1977 class.
  3. Yearbook Inscriptions- inspirational, foretelling, entertaining/funny.
  4. Individual talents.
  5. Feature stories, 5-7 minute videos, research & produce, senior curriculum projects?
  6. Talk Segments- students, teachers, community members with ties to BCHS Class of 1977
  7. Talk Segments with individual Class of 1977 members- Sports, Clubs, Marching Band
  8. Picture Show feature- Oscars-like Remembrance of faculty, classmates, etc.
  9. Top-10 throughout the show- nostalgia

9 Binghamton10. SNL Jeopardy

11. Features on students, teachers, community members with ties to BCHS Class of 1977

12. Time Warp- BHS 2017 vs. BCHS 1977

13. Special Class Friendships if both parties willing to share

14. Previous Class of 1977 Reunions- annually for a while, then 11th & 20th?

15. Yearbook- “I’ll Remember You Always” 40 years later. Do we? Pop Quiz?

16. Yearbook Pictures- interesting, unusual foretelling of changes in next 40 years- 2 girls on boys swim team, etc…

17. BHS tour, then and now.

18. Yearbook Advertisers, how many still exist, feature new ones?

19. Talent, musical performances

20. Greater Binghamton promotion, then & now & the future

21. Live telethon segment with call-in participation with every donation made.

1 Pic BHS22. Sketches, stunts, and desk talk…

23. Opening welcome by host, then a comedian looking back?

24. Announcer/Sidekick “From the BHS Stage, in the heart of Binghamton, New York, it’s The BCHS 40th Reunion Program: Giving Service Now for the Future…

25. Variety Show: stage to radio to television to BHS 2017 Stage- Giving Service Now for the Future

Next Steps:

  • Partnership with BHS is critical… GO/NO GO decision date?
  • Approach local television stations.
  • Approach local advertisers.
  • Communicate to Class of 1977 members seeking support & participation.
  • Establish ongoing Planning Service Force (overall project management).
  • Form creative teams (Reunion Program elements), begin Pre-Production..
  • Schedule First Edition & Live Reunion Program.

 

 

 

Forever Young, BCHS Class of 1977, 40th Reunion, TROML-Style

1WOW, can you believe it?

It’s almost that time in our lives to celebrate our 40th high school reunion.

I am fascinated when I think about my childhood, my hometown of Binghamton, New York, the people I met and the people who influenced me as I was educated in the ways of the world during those first nearly 18 years of life. I am even more fascinated on the impact of those first 18 years on the last 40 years. I have a lot of be thankful for and I am. There are a lot of people, places, things and situations to be celebrated and I will. Would you like to join me in creating, experiencing and being what may be the best 40th high school reunion ever in terms of giving back to the community, giving back to our high school, and celebrating the inspiration and the people we found in those early years of life in a meaningful way that might enhance the rest of our lives in ways unexpected?

I am speaking of the Forever Young, BCHS Class of 1977 (and like-minded people from other classes including the BHS Class of 2017), celebrating our 40th high school reunion, TROML-Style!

Let me explain…

2 Carl Young HSRemember Mr. Carl Young, our 11th grade Social Studies teacher? Maybe you had Iva Weiss, Elinor Diamond, Theodore Goosley, Anna Helisek, John Irving, Jess Levy, Basder Micalizzini, Harvey Scriber or James Weaver instead? By the way, who were these people? Oh yeah, everyone remembers Mr. Scriber! Anyway, Mr. Young was the teacher for me for Social Studies in 11th grade. Do you remember him? You should if you had any remaining ties with Broome County after high school as he was elected and re-elected the County Executive and served the community from 1981 to 1988. Google him and you might get Carl Jung instead, the notes Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. In a way, reflecting back, Mr. Young hypnotized me in a positive way as my 11th grade High School teacher.

3 Andy Reistettr w Carl Young HHThanks to the far-reaching and all-encompassing social talents (she must have gotten an A-Plus in Social Studies) of Ms. Ellen (Marie to me) Ruspantini and Mr. Young’s daughter Kirsten I was able to meet Carl and his lovely wife Sil (hell, we are both old now, I can call him by his first name, right?) in Hilton Head, South Carolina during the RBC Heritage tournament on the PGA TOUR. It was an amazing experience that it further inspired me to pursue this 40th high school reunion charitable production idea. We reminisced, we golfed, and we had fun!

Actually I had kept in touch with Carl’s career after politics though my Mom who was a Site Supervisor of an afternoon luncheon Senior Center in the latter years of her life. Mr. Young had a long and distinguished career as the President of the New York Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. He would drop by every so often and my Mom would share with me details of his visit.

4 Andy w Mom 640You have to know my Mom to love my Mom. Everybody she ever met did. One quick story. Living in L.A. Mom and Dad came out for a visit. Being close to Hollywood we took them to see a taping of the sitcom One Day at a Time.  You know the one starring Bonnie Franklin as a divorced mother raising two teenage daughters, played by Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli, in Indianapolis. So we go and Dwayne Schneider, the building’s quirky superintendent, played by Pat Harrington, comes out to warm up the crowd and then opens it up for questions. As my Mom’s hand goes up I slowly slide down in my chair and when he calls on her I am on the floor. Mom asks “Schneider, you look like our neighbor George back home, are you Greek or Armenian because you look like him and we are always wondering about him whether he is Greek or Armenian.” Years later I understood that hilarious incident as I transitioned from being embarrassed to being inspired in life. To my Mom it was perfectly logical to go out to Hollywood and tell a movie start that he looked like a guy back home on Florence Street in Binghamton, New York. Why? Because our little world, our family, are community was the world to my Mom. She searched for no other and lived a great life of peace, joy and freedom where she was born her whole life through.

5 Andy w Carl & SilCarl Young is just like my Mom when it comes to service, community and doing something meaningful with one’s life. Plus in one of his classes he jingled the coins in his pocket and did a little skit about the newly emerging financial instrument called personal credit cards. In a way, neither of us specifically remembers, maybe you do, if so please share, he made fun of credit card debt, shedding light on the fact that they were not giving money away for free but taking your money away from you at what was then the modest interest rate of 8 or 9 percent. I credit (sorry for the pun) what I learned in 11th grade Social Studies class for inspiring me to use credit in a reasonable way throughout my life and being totally debt free today.

What I also learned in Hilton Head about Mr. Young is that he has lived, is living (hoping to break 80 someday playing golf with Jay Haas), an incredibly satisfying life. Inspired by the community service of his parents growing up in a small town, getting a liberal degree, marrying his college sweetheart and simply giving back that which he was given his whole life through. A more articulate, intelligent and lovable man you will not find!   

6 Got TROMLWhat is TROML and what does TROML-style mean? TROML? You just read and experienced a touch of it! TROML is an acronym for “The Rest of My Life” and is a dynamic self-realization process utilizing a unique journaling process to extract inspiration from our life experiences, becoming our own True Self, nourishing the Eternal Child Within and formatting the world versus the world incessantly trying to format us! TMI? Well there is more about that on the Personal Revivalist website but remember it is okay to say you went there but not to break my anonymity.

I digressed a bit, more than a bit, but these are the type of inspiring stories I would like to see shared during my 40th high school reunion experience.

So if you are like-minded (God forbid) and inspired like me to do so please step forward and join an organizing committee with me. We need all kinds of help (as I was not in drama club) including sponsors, a producer with heart and passion to tell our story, and classmates to share stories like the one I just did.

a738f930-6ff8-4087-8cfb-6dd0736816aaJeff Lake, we would love to have you and Straight Up as our warm-up band (to the reunion show not another band, you will be the main musical attraction), warning up the audience before the show and putting us in the right mood going to and from commercial breaks.

Who has a talent to share and perform that we all saw present during our high school years?

Who has a talent to share and perform that was yet to blossom during our high school years?

Who is the most successful of our classmates, would they tell us how their BCHS years impacted their success and would they like to be a sponsor of the show?

Who is the least successful of our classmates, would they come and share how in reality they were the most successful if we looked at life from maybe a slightly different perspective.

What ever happened to Stacy Smith, Nancy Olsen and Ellen (Marie) Ruspantini? LOL, I already know but want to know more.

Ladies, insert your own three names of your male classmates and come and find out!

8 BCHSOr for that matter men and men, woman and woman and whatever your gender of preference or desire is. I wonder if Binghamton High School (BHS, the new Central and North combined, remember?) has transgender bathrooms? Seriously, all are welcomed and encouraged to participate but this high school reunion is not about politics, sex or religion, except when it is through our own personal sharing of our life experiences in a positive, meaningful and inspiration manner.

Who has passed on (classmates, faculty, administrators, community) and why and how? How can their spirit be shared and enhance our 40th reunion in an inspirational, respectful and meaningful way?

What is the funniest, most embarrassing or inspirational thing to happen to you in high school?

What did you wish didn’t happen to you in high school and why?

What did your wish happened to you in high school and why?

9 BinghamtonOther great things to hope for during our 40th reunion weekend in Binghamton, The Triple Cities, and Broome County!

How about a City of Binghamton tour, hopefully including his fascinating and historic mansion, from John Darrow?

How about a golf tournament? Ricky Mauro golf clinic? Fundraiser for our old school?

A tour of the old, now new and expanded school?

What is the best, worse, funniest, saddest, most inspirational thing anyone ever wrote in your high school yearbook back in 1977?

Why not bring your yearbook and get the signings you missed 40 years ago or amend, modify or reframe the ones you have?

10 DSGOI will be in Binghamton for the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open the second weekend in July and staying for the following week as well. Let’s meet like the lucky folks are doing over the Memorial Day weekend. Maybe even do some auditions? Hopefully get organized around this project!

A balance of nostalgia, celebration and preparation for the rest of our lives!

It will be my best ever 40th high school reunion whether or not our show is a success and gets aired and becomes a franchise for high school reunions around the world.

I will be celebrating my BCHS Class of 1977 40th high school reunion TROML-Style one way or another!

11 class of 77C’mon join, rejoin us in this thing we call life…

Your ideas?

Let’s do this thing!

Happy Memorial Day! Have fun in Binghamton this weekend!

PS- who is the oldest BCHS alumni alive? I want to interview and include her or him!

PPS- anyone know a good contact at BHS for this sort of thing?

PPPS- thinking this would be a good theme song better than “We Must Go Our Seperate Ways”.., time to come together!