Hats Off To P.S. 24 in Flushing, NY

Thanks to Facebook, I just reconnected with a friend I knew in elementary school, all but 20 years ago. He was referred to me by another friend from elementary school, this guy I knew even longer… the miracles of Facebook. When my old friend Simon suggested I might remember Johnny Hampton – that just made my day. I remember trying to argue with Johnny when I was a kid and I could never out-argue this guy, plus it didn’t help the fact that he was making me laugh the whole time anyway. I remember Howard Mak, the brilliant kid who was a great friend until his mom told him to stop hanging out with me.. apparently I was a bad influence.

I remember Warren Brehl getting me in an armlock and making me cry, only because I had regrettably called him a “Nazi”. I had no clue what it meant, except that this German boy took great offense to that, yelling at me, “do you know what that is???” I remember James Calabrese’ prodigious knowledge of baseball trivia going all the way back to Mantle and Dimaggio. For cryin’ out loud, the kid was like 9 at the time. I remember hanging out with Simon at Carlyle towers and dropping God-knows-what from the balcony on unsuspecting passers-by. I remember Michael Lee, who I loved a great deal because he looked after me like a big brother all the way back to kindergarten. He changed his Korean name “Myung kyu” to “Michael” only because he loved Knight Rider that much. I would give a million bucks to meet that guy again. Apparently he has lived in Korea much of his life and has forgotten how to speak English :( I remember Alan Moy and how he donned a bow-tie one day and gave flowers to the class hottie, Kimberly West. All the guys were in awe of how Alan summoned up the courage. I remember Kimberly Crane and her beautiful singing voice. I remember John Caruso, the perverted little Italian kid. Every girl had a crush on him. I remember Allishaw Sakoor if only because of her name. I remember Kenny something… who was ashamed of his Indian identity. Hence the “something”. I remember Karthi Bar – something and the awesome birthday party he had – I got him a transformer. I remember a kid from Romania that we all gave a hard time. I don’t know why. I remember Theresa something or another, who was one of the first platonic girl friends I had. She was a great gal. I remember Michael Morrison, changing his name to Michael Bitter because he was dealt a bad hand in life. I had a brain concussion in first grade because I was chasing him on the playground and tripped over a pipe. Michael, I never held it against you. You know what? I remember Izumi Yoshioka. Who could forget her… what ever happened to that girl? Dang… a flood of memories.

If you actually read through all of this, it’s probably because you went to PS 24 and you remember it with me… with fondness.


Thanks and a shout out to James Calabrese (second from top left) – who I just reconnected with after 2 decades – for sending me the above pic. Talk about memories. Yep I’m in there, somewhere. And if you actually find me, hey, we all have our awkward stages. For me it began just a little bit early – ahem, in kindergarten. Dang everyone’s in there… some of these kids I spent a close 6 – 7 years with in the public school system…

and some more courtesy my old friend James Calabrese (and at the risk of personally destroying my coolness factor forever):



Published by Wayne Park

Asian-American clergyman thinking about issues of faith, place, race and culture-making in the vast city of Houston, TX

144 thoughts on “Hats Off To P.S. 24 in Flushing, NY

  1. boy, that brings back alot of memories. I could help with some of the names….
    – Kenny Khan
    – Karthi Ambati
    – Teresa Martinez

    I can’t say I remember the kid from Romania. Need some help on that one.

  2. fellas I gotta post something Simon wrote on my face book.. I laughed till I cried…
    “all this reconnecting with old elementary school/jr high friends is bringing back a flood of memories. i still remember how u used to order like every single book from the Troll Book Club. i used to think u were the luckiest guy in the world.
    another flashback: do u remember when john caruso and karthi ambati got into a fight at your birthday party you had at your house? i remember john holding karthi in a headlock for 10 minutes.”

  3. haha…kim west. all the guys sweated her….

    in the 3rd grade, i remember mrs laundhart called john caruso up to her desk and he just stood there in front of her and peed in his pants.

    i went to HS with alan. he actually became a pretty hardcore gangster in HS which was unfortunate. he was always a nice kid.

    i remember somebody told me our principal Mr Waldman had a fake (glass) eye so i started telling some kids. anyways, word got back to him and he called me into his office. he told me it wasn’t nice to spread rumors. i remember crapping in my pants thinking that he was going to show me his fake eye.

    one more thing…do u remember those freaking commendation cards? i remember whenever the assistant principal (black woman – forget her name) came into the class, everybody would sit up real straight with their hands together…just to get that freaking card. i remember i got it once and i went home the happiest kid in the world.

  4. ah man. bustin’ my ass laughin.
    Mr. Waldman and his glass eye… God bless his heart, (and his eye)
    John Caruso. Whatever happened to the playa..
    speaking of which it’s starting to come back to me now. Little John had Karthi in a headlock.. I remember a flustered Karthi who was choking or something…

  5. I think our assistant principal was Mrs. Singh? Damn, I remember the birthday party but, I don’t remember the fight.

  6. another thing/person i still remember is ur neighbor frankie ho. i think he had the real die-cast metal Voltron toy. he always got the coolest things from chinatown.

  7. I remember that fight now. By the sixth grade Kim West was a cutie….All her teeth were there then…lol Mr. Waldman had the crazy glass eye and he scared me to death. The assistant principal was Mrs. Singh!

    Simon do you remember when Karthi was laughing and he spit his juice all over you?

  8. I need to call my dad and tell him to find and scan our 6th grade picture. I bet between all of us we can name everyone. I also bet we’ll each have a million stories.

    Simon, do you remember you and I were projection monitors? :-)

    Wayne, you were the first to have Nintendo. I remember leaving your house after you got it and begging my parent’s to get it.

    Johnny, I got so many stories about you but, the first thing I always recall is how loud your mom was at graduations. She’d cheer for everyone! She was so happy for all of us!

    And lastly for a Kim West story….when we’d go to the auditorium for something, do you guys remember we used to sit in size order? If there was an even amount of boys and girls in front of us, Kim West and I would sit next to each other and share an armrest. Most of the boys in the class were jealous. :-)

  9. dude, I always wondered what you guys did to get you into that projection booth. I would’ve given my right nut to be in there. Remember the movies we used to watch in assembly tho?
    Kooomansoooooo – some long b & w film that showed japanese kids butts…
    and then there was “My Side Of The Mountain” about the kid that lives in the woods unabomber style – i think he carved out a room into a tree or something with his pocket knife. That forever inspired me…
    top this: Kim West told me she liked me in 5th grade…

    in my dreams.

  10. haha…i do remember when karthi spit his juice all over me. oh man…i was mad. lol.

    being on the projection team was cool. i loved being that room. what was that movie we watched all the time with the cat from outer space? it had some sort of high-tech leash.

    do you remember the plays we did?

    the talltale tournament. i think james played davey crockett. i played the backside of babe the blue ox. karthi was the front half. he blew a fart in my face during one of the rehearsals.

    annie. wayne played daddy warbux. i played the laundryman Mr bundles.

    the king & i. wayne and warren brehl played the king.

    fiddler on the roof.

    my fair lady.

  11. I think I was in the chorus in the Talltale Tournament. In Annie, I was a guy who tried to lure Sandy from Annie. In Fiddler on the Roof, I played the priest. In 6th grade, I was the narrator for one of the scenes. My line, “Six weeks later, evening of the Embassy Ball”.

  12. I still remember the lines from those plays:
    “pecos bill, cowboys considered him the greatest”
    “Anatevka, Anatevka”
    “I’m gettin married in the mornin”

  13. Dude, you’re the BIGGEST DORK I KNOW. Before I saw these pictures, I had a picture in my mind of what you would have looked like back then and it’s picture perfect.

  14. I still love Fiddler on the Roof. I watch it whenever it is on PBS. lol. My mom remebers every last one of you. In fact when I told her I had reconnected with you Wayne, she screamed over the phone Won-Bum! You found Won-Bum! Then she asked about Simon and Ji-Won.

    My mom was always happy that I surrounded myself with good people who were also diverse. It is the dream she had for me.

  15. It’s the dream that I have for my kids too. And for this church. She sounds like a great lady… wish I remember her more but send her my love. Dude, if you’re ever in the Northwest – I’m your man – look me up.

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  17. holy shiznit! I just stumbled onto this by accident. Wow! That’s a lot of memories my photographic memory dredged up. Even the stupid thing that Simon said that for no reason was funny if someone else said it, but Simon had this slight enunciation that made me laugh each time. Unfortunately he got all my kool-aid in his face when he decided to repeat it at lunch. Man how are you guys? Simon and Alan only stuck around Bx Science for a year which is just as well I guess. I hardly saw ’em in Freshman yr. Just the way our schedules went and the different ways we all re-invented our different personas. Funny thing was Ji Won was there too. Saw her all of 3 times. She had the Asian clique I had the Hip Hop one. Joey Chia was there too, lol, but the only class we shared was gym. We made a great team during volleyball but oh well. The cute lil ‘Romanian’ chick was Eugenia. I think she was western European but not exactly sure where. She had an accent which I unfortunately couldn’t stop giggling at cuz of my immaturity at how smooth it sounded. Loves those accents though. I could just sit there and listen all day. Anywayz… How’s everyone been? Hope everyone’s doin’ well and is happy. Here’s my e-mail if anyone wants to say whussup: rickwolf_21@yahoo.com.

    Mad Love,

  18. And Simon that was either Yogi or Jay that farted on you, lol. I got transfered in during 4th grade. I was Sandy in Annie, Lazar Wolf in Fiddler (you were my understudy), and Zoltan Karpathy in Lady.

  19. Wayne, Just to mention..I told my mom that I caught uo with you and she remembered everything about you incuding your Korean name…..

    She really did love all of you guys Simon, James, KennY khan. She remembers all of you

  20. I was a grad in 1964 and Mr. Cullen was my teacher. There was a deli across the street at that time and for $1.25 you could get a ham and cheese hogie (before sub sandwhiches) and a 7-UP or Coke. The teachers and clasmates were the best. Anyone remember the under the desk air raid drills? Take care fellow classmates and ‘Happy Trails To You’!

  21. Wow – all the things everyone has said, I had dig out some old pictures and get the memories going. Has anyone kept up with some of the people from PS24 who’s not on facebook?

  22. I stumbled upon this website by accident and was completely floored! I didn’t realize so many other people had the same memories of Elementary School. I don’t know if anyone remembers me. My name was Jennifer Cruz back then, it has since changed. I was in the bottom 2 class pictures. Sad to say I was fat and had a fro going on. Thank God that the summer I turned 13 that all changed. Wish I could photoshop some things in the past!! Wayne I totally remember your concussion and I actually played Annie in one of our plays (didn’t we have 2 sets of casts or something??) Because I remember either Warren Brehl or James Boudreoux (spelling??) playing Daddy Warbucks. Johnny H. – I remember my mom confronting you in a candy store or someplace about you teasing me (sorry!) And does anybody remember that Mrs. Haunss voice would get really strange (like warbled or something!) from too many run-on sentences? Hope I’m not alone in that memory!!

  23. Jennifer Cruz: OF COURSE WE REMEMBER YOU – and they’re all good memories.

    Back in elementary, who wasn’t fat and had a fro goin. We all had our awkward stages.

    Can’t believe u remember the concussion – all the way back in 1st GRADE! almost 20 yrs ago… that was crazy and I still remember the cards that everyone sent while I was in the hospital. It really meant a lot to me then.

    Johnny, now how could u do that to Jennifer? Where u @ man… actually Jennifer you should find us all online @ facebook – go ahead and friend request me (right column) and I’ll send u the invite…

    1. Jennifer Cruz!? I remember us going to our first movie all by ourselves. I think it was Labyrinth with David Bowie!

      Oh boy what memories! Johhny Hampton just clued me in on all this! I can’t stop laughing!

      Wayne, I remember your concussion too. And I played Pecos Bill’s wife that road off on a cardboard whale! I also played the fiddler in Fiddler on the Roof – “to life to life, L’Haim!”

      Does anyone remember playing “V” during recess?

  24. Jennifer!!! Of course we remember you. I did not remember your mom saying something to me in a store until you brought it up but now I did. Don’t be sorry it toughened me up.

    Please join facebook and request us all. We are seriously thinking of a P.S. 24 reunion!!

  25. OMG Jennifer Cruz!! I’m so excited! Please join Facebook if you’re not on already. I remember hanging out at your house with you, your Mom and your sister Noelle! Your mom made us dinner and baked Nestle tollhouse!!!!!

  26. Wow! I love you guys!! I was so ready for everybody to be like Jennifer who????? In some ways I think I am more excited to hear from all of you than I am about people in Junior or High School.
    Ashera!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am SO happy you wrote!!!! It was all guys on this site and was wondering how to contact some P.S. 24 girls.
    I am so truly happy to hear from ALL of you. I’m not on Facebook right now. I was on, but wasn’t crazy about it. I felt like there were too many people coming out of nowhere, ending up on my page. But anyone who wants to can e-mail me directly at starrynight42@ca.rr.com. I would love to exchange pix and just catch up!

  27. my wife is saying it’s amazing how we all got so tight in elementary – it’s a rare concoction. Most kids don’t stay together like that for 6 yrs, usually the school mixes ’em up and stuff… I think we all have something special here…

  28. Oh my god. I’m Teresa Martinez (though the last name has changed), wearer of those awful red pants in Mrs. Hart’s 4th grade class picture; former best friend of Kim West (the class hottie : ); and (terrible) actor in such roles as the rebellious daughter in Fiddler, some no-name “dancer” in King and I; and Molly Pitcher (in the Tall tale Tournament—I can’t believe you guys remembered that play). I remember all of you… Wayne, Johnny Hampton, Simon (you totally picked on me in English class—6th grade : ) , Karthi, and James Calabrese (didn’t we used to carpool or something? Religion class?); and Ashera and Jennifer Cruz (didn’t you had a birthday party reunion in Kissena Park—a year after we graduated maybe? And remember we used to monitor the little kids at lunch—me, you and Kim West?). And even the other names: Izumi, Michael Morrison/Bitter… So how I found this? A friend was telling me about reconnecting with elementary school friends thru Facebook … I was intrigued, googled “P.S. 24 Flushing” and up pops this site. I was cracking up at the class photos (it’s been SO long since I’ve seen those) and was kinda floored at how much you guys remembered (commendation cards, “antatevka”). How about — remember Izumi’s soft-spoken best friend Matsalisa Matsathella (or some such version of that name)? Jasmine Martinez and Dawn Spelling? Chris Chapa-something who moved to Florida? Remember the 6th-grade reading teacher Mr. Spitz-something, who used to turn really red when he got mad? And Mr. Salz, who was rumored to have dated every teacher at the school, and Mrs. Gilbert in 2nd grade?? I moved right after 6th grade, and kept in touch with Kim West a few years. Last time I saw her had to have been at least 15 years ago, and we went back to the old hood, drove by the school, and somehow ended up knocking on Warren Brehl’s door to say hi. John Caruso and I reconnected about 5 or 6 years ago, but lost touch since. And that’s it. Anyway, finding this blew me away, brought back such awesome memories– and I just had to say hello.

  29. Teresa, John Caruso, Ashera, Izumi, Matseliso, Kim Crane, Simon and several others are on Facebook.

    You should join! It is wonderful to hear from you!

  30. TERESA!!!!!!!!!!!

    You know this blog has been just the tip of the iceberg – the real dirt is dishing over at facebook! And there’s a whole lot more people connecting there… it’s really fun – friend request me on facebook (on the right-hand column) and I’ll invite you to the PS 24 group to get reconnected with Johnny Hampton, Ashera Khan, Simon Kong, James Calabrese, Karthi Sanchari, Irene Tam – just to name a few.
    btw – it’s GREAT to hear from you again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Teresa! It’s so great to here from you. Please join Facebhook, it’s been such a great connection for all of us. I remember your nutella sandwiches for lunch on class trips. YUM!!

  32. I didn’t remember my nutella sandwiches. :) This is hysterical– I love it. I’ve been avoiding Facebook for fear I’ll never actually get any work done again, but I’d love to hear how everyone is doing. When I get on it, I’ll friend you guys. So great to hear from you.

  33. Hey Teresa,

    WOW! There’s only a few that we haven’t reconnected with and you were at the top of that list. I now think we’re only down to 5 or 6.

    Yes….you, me and Jo Ann used to go to CCD together. The 3 of us also went trick-or-treating together once or twice.

    – James

  34. Teresa! It’s so great to hear from you! I hope Kim finds this site one day too. Yes, I had a party in Kissena Park. And I remember you and Kim and a few others came to my house one day for a school project where we had to write a song. Do you remember? We picked a Bruce Springsteen song and changed the words! It was hysterical! Hearing you mention all the teachers brought back a lot of memories. It was Mr. Spivack who used to turn red! And I can not believe this but I actually had a crush on Mr. Salz. I’m still scratching my head on that one. Do you guys remember our trip to Philly? I was so against joining facebook and now because of this stuff I don’t know if I can fight it anymore!!! Teresa – If you want, please write to my e-mail above. I’d love to hear more from you and get some pix!

    Jen (Cruz)

  35. BTW: Does anyone know anything about Dennis Schwartz or Matthew Lustig?

    And Teresa – I just remembered you had a “reversible” sweater from Mandees that I thought was so ultra cool. I think it had Popeye or something like that on one side. LOL. Ah the 80’s………..

  36. Jennifer Cruz! Teresa Martinez! First off, congrats to both of you on your marriages (assuming this since you said your last name is diff’t). What have you both been up to? Where did you guys go to school (JHS, HS, College, etc)? Do you have any kids yet? Where you living now?

    Teresa, I picked on you in english class??? i so don’t remember that. i actually don’t remember much from grade school. i remember big things but i don’t remember the little things. How did I pick on you? My apologies if it was by doing something gross.

    BTW, some of you guys have some seriously sick memories. A&P>Mandees>Consumers>Rite Aid>Asian Grocery? LOL James. I totally forgot about the Consumers that used to be there. Speaking of Consumers, remember how cool those casio calculator watches used to be? I think the first person that got one was either Wayne or Alan Moy. I bring that up b/c i faintly remember dragging my mom to Consumers to buy me one (but never ended up getting one)

  37. Wow! I didn’t know Mandees switched that many times. But in Flushing I’m not surprised. Wonder what it is today. Simon – I remember being in the basement of our building doing laundry with my mom and seeing you always skateboard past the little window in there. I also remember a party (I think it was for Ji Won) upstairs in her apt. one year. Let me know how she is. She was the one who told me there was no Santa and I was like whatever Ji Won!! I ended up moving after P.S.24 and went to 189 and Bayside High School so I lost touch with pretty much everyone. That’s why I love that Wayne has this site!

  38. Don’t know about Dennis Schwartz but I spoke to Matthew Lustig’s mom on Friday. She said she would give him my number. I am cautiously optimistic.

  39. Let me know what happens. I’ll be curious on that one.

    How about Warren Brehl, Jasmine Martinez, or Jung Won Choe? Are any of them on Facebook?

  40. Hey- Does anyone remember Mrs. Gilbert bringing in chocolate for the class and then saying it was chocolate covered ants after we ate it??????

  41. LOL…yeah i used to be a skate rat back in the day. I actually miss those carefree days.

    Ji won is doing well. she’s married with a little adorable baby boy jonah. she’s living in jamaica now (the town in queens, not the caribbean islands…lol) although her hubby’s from jamaica (the caribbean island).

    I see Jungwon now and then as well. i last saw her 6 mos. ago at her brother’s wedding. she doesn’t have a facebook account but her bro and younger sis do. JW is an elementary school teacher in the city (upper eastside I believe).

    Johnny: how the heck did you speak to matthew’s mom? it’s amazing how you still have contact with people from way back.

    Another random memory I had yesterday while i was driving. I drove by a Carvel in NJ. reminded me of that old carvel jingle. I remember johnny singing that jingle a lot.

  42. Min posted our 6th grade photo on facebook. Wayne, you should post here also. Jen, you got the same spot in each photo. :-)

  43. The wonders of Web 2.0…This is Joey Chia.
    Sitting bored in a hotel room in Japan while on business and I came across this page (You can’t make this stuff up). Just read through every comment here and boy does it bring back memories.

    Thanks Wayne for this page and I’ll be hopping on over to Facebook now!

  44. A couple of other names are surfacing from the tofu pile between the ears after staring at our 5th grade pix (since I only show up in 5th and 6th grade class pix)

    – Irene Tam
    – Jenny Hsieh
    – Zora ???

    And here’s a random Kim West related story…apparently somebody prank called her home and left my name (before caller ID days), because I got a call from her father telling me “to not call her home and bother Kim.” To this day I still don’t have a clue who did it (it couldn’t be me since I never had her phone #)…I just remember that it was scary as heck since this was 5th grade and I had only been in the States for 2 years….

    Now I’m going to end up sleepless and trying to dredge up long-suppressed memories -)

  45. JOEY!
    yet another re-connection with an old friend – howya doin?
    Hope you are well – business in Japan? wow – wut do u do?
    Hey head over to fbook – all the guys and gals will be thrilled to see u in the online community with us!!!

  46. This is the funniest website ever…stumbled on it by googling “P.S. 24 Flushing” also! I went to P.S. 24 through 3rd grade with a lot of you (my last year was in Mrs. Laundhardt’s (sp?) class)…so many funny memories!!!! I am so excited to read this..and randomly,my married last name is the same as your 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Haunss! No relation that I know of…but I look forward to reading more of these memories!!! (I’m not on facebook either…yet…) I have so many memories of my few years there and look forward to sharing them!!!!

  47. Wassup Joey Chia…how have you been? where you living these days? are your folks still living at the carlyle towers?

    Dierdre McCloskey? whoa…i haven’t heard that name since…the 3rd grade. pretty funny that you married into the Haunss name. Are you sure you’re not remotely related to Ms. Haunss?

  48. Hi…Simon, not related as far as I know but I’ll show the class pictures to my in-laws and see if they recognize her. I know somewhere in my old bedroom I have class pictures from Mrs. Cohen’s AM kindergarten, Mrs. O’Donnell’s, Mrs. Gilbert,’s and Mrs. Laundhardt’s classes…Reading all these names is bringing up such fun memories! I love that everyone remembers the A&P…we lived on Kissena Blvd. right down the block from the store (and the “Great Bear” auto shop), and would always go to the stationary store in that shopping center to buy smurf figurines. I remember playing Barbara Fritchie, the old lady w/ the cane, in the “Tall Tale Tournament” and being a narrator in “The King and I.” Jennifer Cruz was the first friend I made at P.S. 24–we bonded on the kindergarten line on the first day of school over the fact that our birthdays were 1 day apart! Wayne, I remember you and your brother by your Korean names–your brother and my younger brother were friends in kindergarten and I have pictures of us trick-or-treating. I remember going to Teresa Martinez’s for playdates (not that we called them playdates then) and going to Warren Brehl’s birthday parties, which were always right before Christmas vacation…okay, I’m going to stop now in case everyone is scratching their heads saying “who is this random girl?” :-) but there are lots more memories where those came from…

  49. WOW….Deirdre McCloskey and Joey Chia. Great to hear from both of you. Deirdre, you’ll have to scan those old photos and share.

  50. Deirdre McClosky – now that’s a name I haven’t heard in a LONG time; funny tho I was thinking about you lately, and then you found this blog! I was remembering how Patrick and Steve used to play and our moms used to visit and chat.

    Great to hook up again!!! We def ought to have that reunion…

  51. Wayne–I forwarded this to my brother, we still talk about your family and how nice you were… when we moved to Long Island, your mom gave me a “Precious Moments” picture that was in my bedroom for years…it really is unbelievable that almost 25 years later (for me) that everyone still has these memories and are starting to reconnect. I would LOVE a P.S. 24 reunion…are most people still in this area? I have been so excited to read this blog and reminisce (I think this is why I can’t be on facebook…I get a little too sucked in :-) !)

  52. Deirdre! I might wet my pants!!!!!!!!!!!! I have tried over the years to find your name and nothing ever came up. I was so hoping you would find this site!!!! I remember Patrick. I remember sleeping over your house so many times and your mom would make us great tuna sandwiches. I remember playing Little House on the Prairie (gee – a lot different from what the guys were doing!!) ALL the time and since that was back in the day, we spent lots of time playing Atari. I have great memories of you and your family and I am so happy you found this blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  53. I’m so glad that this blog has served to connect everyone together like this. I have much fond memories and love in my heart for you all. Hope to see you soon!

  54. Happy 1 Year Anniversary to this post!! And what a great year it has been!

    I’ll never forget Johnny calling me 1 year ago today. My wife and I were packing-up our place, preparing for our move in a few weeks. He said to go and join facebook to see Wayne and Simon. Needless to say, there was no more packing the rest of the day. Too bad the internet wasn’t around 20 years ago.

    Whenever someone new finds this post, or when Johnny finds an old classmate, a huge smile comes across my face. I love all the old memories about school plays, trips, teachers and Flushing.

    You know what’s been even better? Getting together! Ashera, Bri, Mariann, Karthi and I have got together a few times this past year. Our only complaint? We wish we could do it every week. Seeing Wayne when he was in from Washington was so much fun. And let me not forget our fine private eye…..seeing Johnny when he was up from Florida last March, for the first time in 10 years, forget about being a highlight of the past year, it was one of the happiest days of my life.

    Some of us were together from kindergarten to 9th grade. Others fall somewhere in-between. Regardless of how long we were in Flushing, 24 or 237, I know its been said lots of times this past year but, it’s late and I’m all out of original thoughts, we shared something truly special.

  55. haha….also forgot to mention that I can’t believe it took almost 80 posts for someone to mention….ATARI!!!! Nice job Jen!!

    Funny Atari-PS 24 story….I forget what year it was but, we were in gym class and all of us got in trouble. We had to write 100 or 250 words about instead of writing this, what we would rather be doing. Mine went something like this:

    I’d rather be playing:
    Pitfall, Berzerk, Space Invaders, Q-bert, etc….

    I remember Ms. Riccula (I’m probably butchering the spelling) being so mad when I handed it in.

  56. James, I couldn’t agree with you more. I was talking to my husband tonight and he said he wishes his elementary school class was reuniting like this but then he remembered that it wouldn’t go down quite like ours has! Nobody liked each other that much!! This really is special.

    I am so jealous that I’m not there to see any of you in person, but if there is a time in the future that we can all arrange a face to face reunion, my butt is sooooo on a plane!!!! Wayne – I know I speak for everyone when I say we are so grateful for your dedication to starting this site.

    I did think of some other names tonight that I’m curious about. Anyone remember a blonde girl named Reshma? Not sure what grades she was with us but she lived right across the street from 24. And how about a girl named Bibi? And by the way – Joey Chia I remember you being one of the nicest guys ever! And Ashera – I know I owe you a call. I have not forgotten!!

  57. Reshma? Hmm…the only blonde girls that i can remember back then were Zuzana (forget her last name) and Deanna (pig tails and glasses)

    I remember Bibi (Mukherjee). I remember her being a giant amongst men (actually boys). It’s actually funny when you look back and see how much slower us boys developed. For example, check out the 4th grade class picture. Look at how much older/bigger/taller all (or most) of the girls look compared to the boys.

  58. YAY!!!! Jennifer Cruz!!! I am home for the snow day today and just shouted to my husband about you!!! Where are you living now?? I remember sleepovers at your house all the time w/ you and Noelle, and I remember having so much fun at your grandmother’s house too w/ your mom and your aunts :-) !! Your grandma was one of the first people to have cable, and we would sit and wait for the “Thriller” video to come on (although we were only allowed to watch it if Noelle wasn’t there, b/c she was scared of it!) I remember your 9th birthday party was the same day as Live Aid…and I slept over your grandmother’s house the night before my family moved from Flushing! I have got to go dig out some of those old photos so I can post them…I am pretty sure I have pics of everyone on this site (at least who was at P.S. 24 through 3rd grade…) I totally remember Reshma Devam, she was a little blonde girl from California whose family converted to Hinduism and moved to Flushing to be near the big Hindu temple there. We took a class trip to the temple once and the priest was giving us raisins to eat (?) I am cracking up about James’s recollection of Mrs. Raculia (sp?)…we used play parachute in gym to some “popcorn” song…Here are some other names…anyone remember the twins, Yana and Shana? Yana used to make me give her my erasers (like little smurf erasers…bought at the famous stationary store near A&P…) in first grade and I would cry (not sure why I just didn’t say no, or tell Mrs. O’Donnell for that matter…) There was a little blonde boy named Nicholas Sedita in our class for a few years (James–did you go from P.S. 24 to St. Mary’s and back to P.S. 24? I seem to remember that there were a few of you that took that path…) There was Michelle Sandy, Michelle Cruz (who I was jealous of b/c she had the same last name as Jennifer and I thought that would make them best friends…nice thought process!) and a boy named Rasheed (Rasheem?) who had a belt buckle with his name on it and taught a few of us outside of the gym one day what the “middle finger” meant…like, literally was teaching us about it, not just giving it to us :-) Does anyone else remember playing “V”, that show w/ the aliens, outside on the playground at lunchtime, usually boys vs. girls? I definitely remember Jennifer, Ashera, Teresa, the famous Kim West, and a bunch of other girls being involved in that…Wayne, this site is the BEST! Thank you so so much!!!

  59. let’s see, everytime we post a first and last name on here, they somehow find the site. Simon, Zuzana’s last name was Zentko….Zuzana Zentko.

    Deirdre, you’re right. I went from 24 (in K) to Mary’s and back to 24 for 3rd. Nicholas did also. Some others: Jay Bhattacharya, Jo Ann Aquila and Joey Pascarelli.

    And for all you non-facebookers, go join. More than half the class is on there. Tons of photos, videos and stories.

  60. You guys and your memories. I must’ve taken one too many piledrivers from my brother growing up.

    Reshma still doesn’t ring a bell but i def. remember Nicholas. He played Davy Crockett in the Talltale Tournament play we put on in the 3rd grade.

    I used to looove that parachute game for some reason. i remember it was so much fun when everybody ran underneath towards the middle of the parachute. in retrospect, that game was kinda dangerous. there could’ve been a lot of collisions. ‘Steal the Bacon’ was another one of my favorite gym activities. i remember john caruso was one of the faster boys who nobody seemed to want to go against.

    Jay B. is actually on facebook also. i’ve seen him around a few times over the years.

    lol…forgot about yana and shana. i think they were actually taller than bibi.

    oh yeah…joey…i think you’re mixing up your 24 memories and your 237 memories. Zora was at 237 but she was never at 24. she came from our rivals across town, PS 120.

  61. BTW, let me know when you guys meet up again. dinner in the city during the week probably works best for me (since i live in dirty jersey now) but i am in flushing every sunday for church so an early dinner on a sunday is also doable.

  62. Ok this is sooooo crazy! Now I could sit here ALL day writing stuff. Mrs. Raculia!!! I remember exactly how she looked. I remember her making someone actually put gum on the end of their nose once and I remember getting a traumatic ball to the face during kickball (yeah, I was one of those kids!) I LOVE when you guys recall last names that escape me. We are incredible that we remember this stuff! I can’t even remember some of the stuff I go thru day to day!!!!!!!!! Yana and Shana (Moore) were ALWAYS stealing my erasers and pencils too. They would threaten to tell Mrs’ O’donnell that I was cursing if I didn’t give it to them. I also remember Rasheed and in 6th grade there was that stupid fad when guys wore like one sock pulled all the way up to their knees and one sock down. I remember him doing that and thinking how I so didn’t get it. Nicholas Sedita was really nice and then he moved away I think. Oh my gosh!! I feel like my brain is on overload and this blog is like a weekly treat for me!!!!!!!!!!! You just don’t know how bad I wish I could meet all of you for dinner.

    Deirdre – look for my direct e-mail address in one of the above posts. You have to write me!!!!!!!!!

    Ok, since we’ve mentioned Atari and playing “V” now I’m thinking about sooooo many things for my next post……………

  63. I guess I should be happy I don’t remember the one sock up – one sock down fad. :-)

    Here’s one for you guys, anyone remember how I got a concussion in the schoolyard?

  64. Between the parachute games and playing “V” and kickball in the concrete schoolyard (I, too, took an awful face-plant during one of Mrs.Raculia’s outdoor kickball games…no wonder Jennifer and I were friends!), it’s a miracle that we didn’t ALL have at least one concussion during elementary school!!!! Times have definitely changed–I think schools are a little too overly cautious now regarding such activities! Jen, I’ll be in touch soon!!!! Keep posting….
    Here’s another one…do you remember in Mrs. Gilbert’s class, we put together a cookbook to donate $ to the Statue of Liberty’s rennovation? The Daily News came and took a picture of a bunch of kids and wrote a little article about it…that same year, we were somehow penpals with a class in Japan through Nancy Reagan and that was in the news somewhere too. Quite the little celebrities we were!

    1. Deirdre! Wow, this keeps on getting better.
      I still have that newspaper clipping of the money donation to the Statue of Liberty. Its at my folk’s place. Will have to dig it up and scan it!

  65. Man there’s so much to vibe with and reminisce…
    but here’s a quick one – I had a concussion too! In first grade with Mrs. ??? wut was her name again… sent me to the hospital on that one… and u all sent me letters which I still remember today.

  66. James, I don’t remember your concussion – fill us in!!!!! Waynes must have overshadowed yours!!

    Deirdre – your memory is amazing! I didn’t remember the cookbook til you wrote it and the pen pals are vaguely familiar. I do remember Mrs. Gilbert being my least favorite teacher! Wayne – in first grade it was Mrs. O’donnell. I remember I used to bite my lips like crazy, then I’d end up with a small cut. She would always notice it and make Michael Morrison walk me to the water fountain afterwards……..

  67. omg, I am seriously obsessed with this…I am with you on Mrs. Gilbert (do you remember that she used to send the girls home w/ people’s homework and schoolwork to mark? And that she used to leave the class for what felt like hours at a time…though probably wasn’t…and keep one of us in charge to “monitor” everyone? My mom used to go nuts about that!) David Gee was totally one of the names that popped in my head–he sat next to me for a while in 2nd grade and used to draw C3P0 all over everything.
    Mrs. O’Donnell, on the other hand, was my favorite teacher of all time….

  68. you guys remember the game Suicide? In 5th grade, we were playing during lunch, and I fell and hit my head on the ground.

  69. Was there a school nurse at 24?? I don’t remember one, but it sounds like we needed one with all these schoolyard injuries :-)

  70. Never would’ve remembered suicide until James mentioned it and then memories came flooding back………David Gee was such a perv! That’s what I remember most about him. Deirdre, Mrs. O’Donnell was my favorite too. Didn’t we go to her daughter’s wedding? Also, do you remember going to girlscouts together in the pouring rain and your loafers started to make bubbles!!!! I think Izumi Yoshioka’s mom was the troup leader……

    Ok, I can’t remember what grade, but does anyone remember being in the schoolyard at lunchtime and gawking at this older guy and girl (they were like a grade or 2 ahead) making out for like an hour every single day??!!!???

  71. Ha! I think I blocked David Gee’s pervi-ness out of my memory!! Yes, we went to Mrs. O’Donnell’s daughter’s wedding…it was right around the end of June and we had a substitute on the last day of school. I remember crying my eyes out when I found out that Mrs. O’Donnell wasn’t going to be there on the last day b/c of the wedding! I used to always see her at church and I would be so excited…such a funny girl scouts memory too! It was in the basement of St. Mary’s and yes, I think that Izumi’s mom (Wanda!) was a leader or a helper or something. I remember her bringing dried seaweed for snack and telling us to taste it (I was not a fan!) Funny story about Izumi…when I was in college, a girl in my major was like “Oh, I know someone who knows you!” and it was Izumi! I have NO idea how it came about–if this girl was just talking about people she knew from school or whatever–but apparently Izumi moved to Long Island also and went to high school there..we never reconnected then, but I thought that was so weird! I don’t remember watching the elementary school love birds, but I do remember being in one corner of the schoolyard (which, in my memory, was enormous but probably not really that big) and watching the older boys–like 5th grade–putting cardboard boxes down and breakdancing on them. Ah, the 80’s….

  72. Reshma – totally remember her. She was very California-esque I remember. Nice gal tho, always smiling – same with Nicholas – he was a nice kid too. We all were.

    That parachute game. Was like the highlight of 1st grade or something… so vivid. Remember learning to sing that CATS song, “Memory”? I think it was like 1st grade and we were singing it in the gymnasium, same place where we did the parachute thing…

  73. I remember having those shows in the gym…we would sit in a circle in the middle of the floor and sing, and all our families would sit along the sides. Some of the songs I remember doing–“Michael, Row your Boat ashore” (random!), Five Little Ducks, “The Noble Duke of York”, and, in kindergarten, some song that started “Wake me, Shake me…”?

  74. I know James! I keep checking in hoping to see new stuff and get dissapointed!!! We were on a streak, what happened??????????

  75. Yeah, it’s just traffic trending up and down.

    There might be a spike and everyone comes over, and then it dies down a bit…
    Until someone opens up a new can of worms – or topic of conversation like:

    How about Mr. Waldmann’s “glass eye” that Simon alluded to couple comments back..? I thought his story was hilarious..

  76. I’ve been thinking of everyone lately too–for one thing, keep waiting to see P.S. 24 on TV w/ all the “swine flu” closings in the area…for another, just read that they will be remaking the show “V” for the fall season and hoping another generation has as much fun with it as we did on the playground!
    I was always scared of Mr. Waldman’s eye after the “glass” rumor surfaced…
    Anyone else remember having a huge “spring festival” for the whole school right around this time of year??

  77. Yeah I was shocked to hear my junior high – IS 25 – shut down. Dang! What’s goin on over there? Flushing seems to be getting hit pretty hard. My thoughts and prayers go out.

  78. Wow, kudos to Wayne for setting up this site.

    This is Norman Ng. I was good friends with Howard Mak then and I do remember Joey Chia. Howard, Alan Moy and a few others who I can’t remember used to go over my house to celebrate some bdays with me.

    Howard was like the smartest kid I knew..I wonder what he’s up to these days.

    Jenny Hsieh lived down the block from me in grade school and I used to play handball with his younger brother. I heard she’s a lawyer now and living in the city.

    Anyone know what ever happened to Ms. Brook(e)s? She’d always give out hamsters and kiss her students on the cheek leaving lipstick marks!

    I actually went back last yr to visit and was talking to a random teacher outside. She said most of the teachers I mentioned are either retired or moved on. Mr. Saltz retired a few yrs ago.

  79. Hi!
    Zelam here. Just found this site and can’t believe all the things you can remember. It brings back so many great memories.

  80. Hi everyone! Zelam so nice to hear from you on Wayne’s great brainchild. Just want to wish everyone great Holidays!!! I can’t believe it was almost a year ago I found this site. I miss being on it as much as I was in the beginning, but it’s nice to know it’s always there. Love to everyone!!!!

  81. I just came across this by accident! My daughter wanted to see what would pop up if she googled me. I can’t believe it…I remember so many of you; J. Cruz, Warren, Won Bum Park (sp?), Theresa, and of course, Kim West! Hope all of you are doing well and Merry Christmas!

  82. Oh my goodness, this keeps getting better and better. I haven’t checked this site in a while–Hi Zelam and Nicholas!! So good to see you both on here!! Happy holidays to all!

  83. This is really incredible. Hi everyone! Thanks Johnny for cluing me in. I love reading about all these memories!!!

    1. Kim!! Oh my god, I can’t believe you found this site, but I’m so glad you did!! This is amazing. Remember the last time we saw eachother—about a hundred and fifty million years ago (give or take) when we met up in the city, went back to Flushing, went by the old school…. where are you these days? And are you parents still in the old neighborhood???

  84. Nicholas and Kim, so fun to hear from you!!! Jen–I have not forgotten I owe you a call!! Somehow the year has gotten away from me– How is it almost 2010 already????????? Maybe this will be the year for a P.S. 24 reunion :-) Happy Holidays to all!!!

  85. Dear Jennifer Cruz, Teresa Martinez, Deirdre McCloskey, Nicholas Sedita & Norman. If you can please join facebook. We have contacted by my count 26 0f 34 classmates in our garaduating 6th grade class and countless others who moved away or changed schools before then. We can really have a reunion if we chose to and on Facebook Ashera has already set up a group for it.

    Just a thought..

  86. @ Deirdre
    I’m planning on moving my family back to NY this summer… so maybe late summer / early fall might be in good order
    least we can all do is hang out and grab a beer or something – like I did w/ James and Karthi about a year ago

  87. Wayne–that sounds great! Johnny, I’m pretty sure that 2010 will be the year I get sucked in to facebook at last…Keep us posted though!

  88. hey all… sounds like there’s a reunion in the worx…
    my family and I move back to the NY area this June (according to plan)
    and y’all gimme a shout about where you’re at and if u’d be down for a get-together

  89. Hey!! Been a while since I checked this… and love that it’s still going. I’m on Facebook now, but not sure how to find you guys. I type in Wayne Park and Johnny Hampton and get way too many hits. Would love to get on the PS 24 group… I’m under Teresa Martinez Dumain.. Happy new year!!

  90. Hey everyone! Happy New Year. I’ve been a little crazy but I am so excited about the idea of joining everyone on facebook. Nicholas, just hearing you have a daughter that wanted to google you blows my mind! I know some of us have kids, but then when you read it, it just seems so nuts! Kim I thought we’d never hear from you. (did you move to Australia???) I remember your dad would take us to the city to the museum of nat. history. And do you or Theresa remember a project we had to do once where we had to make up a TV commercial for something and set it to music. We changed the words to a Bruce Springstein song. It was hilarious!!! Zelam I’m really happy you found this site. A reunion would be so awesome!!!!! Deirdre, I might need you to resend me your #………..

  91. Just wanted to let all of you know that I was trying to find a former student of mine, Reshma Devam, and I came across this website! Blond-haired, petite Reshma was a high school student of mine in Pittsburg, California. I am still trying to locate her. I have determined that her dad lives in Berkeley, CA, but I have yet to find her. When I find her, I will definitely tell her about this website. All the best, Molly

  92. I cannot believe that’s just read this whole comment thread. I was feeling nostalgic when my parents sold their house on Cherry Ave, quick search and wow there’s a three year long reunion on this blog.

    BTW, I didn’t know that Kim West was the class hottie I had other ideas. I am teaching my boys to play V and suicide, natch.

    I’m in NYC. Wife, family and the whole thing. Hit me on Facebook or Twitter. @jayastu

  93. Now I have that Annie play in my head. I was Boudreau’s understudy or something. Latex wig and everything. And I was the host of the Tall Tale Tournament! Mrs. Gilbert was the worst teacher ever. Mrs Launhardt (sp?) in 3rd grade was awesome.

  94. I went to PS 24 as well. Don’t remember when I graduated. lol…I miss my teachers Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Miner. I wonder where they are today?

  95. Just finding this blog. Some of how asked about Dennis Schwartz, who is my brother. He ended up going to Julliard on a full scholarship, then dropped out to pursue film. I also went to PS 24 (Jordan)…
    Mr Spivak was the man, Ms Febert in First Grade, Ms Anderson in 2nd.. Can’t remember the rest… Peace to my Juniper / Colden / Carlyle crew… I just remember Mr. Waldman holding up the “peace” sign during lunch, which basically meant STFU. HAHA.

    1. Just discovered your blog. I went to PS.24 in Flushing as well. Great school and teachers. Always wanted to know what happened to Mrs. Johnson and Principal Mrs. Singh.

      Mikema Reape

  96. Hello Wayne:

    Not sure if you remember me but my name is Mikema Reape. I went to PS 24 as well. Does anyone have information about Mrs. Miner or Mrs. Johnson. They were the best teachers ever!

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