Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Brooklyn Heights Greenery

Some surprise views, Knickerbocker from across the river and possibly Brooklyn based author, Paul Auster.
The music: Torme sings this great Lorenz Hart lyric:
On the first of May
it's a moving day;
spring is here, so blow your job-
throw your job away;
Now the time to trust
to your wonderlust.
In the city's dust you wait
must you wait?
Just you wait;
In a mountain greenery
where God paints the scenery
just two crazy people together.
While you love your lover, let
blues skies be your coverlet.
When it rains we laugh at the weather.
And if you're good
I'll search for wood
so you can cook
while i stand looking.
Beans could get no keener re-ception in a beanery.
Bless our Mountain Greenery home!
Simple cooking means
More than French Cuisines
I've a banquet planned which is
Sandwiches and beans
Coffee's just as grand
With a little sand
Eat and you'll grow fatter, boy
`smatter boy? Huh, huh! `Atta boy.
In a mountain greenery,
Where God paints the scenery
Just two crazy people together.
How-how-how-how-how we love sequestering
Where no pests are pestering
No dear momma holds us in tether
Mosquitoes here,
Won't bite you dear,
I'll let them sting, me on the finger!
Beans could get no keener reception in a beanery
Bless our mountain greenery,
Far from life's machinery
Bless our mountain greenery home!

Grand Theft Knickerbocker Village?

KV Prof Bob made me aware of this in an email today
..I was watching CNN this morning and they did a story on a hot new video game, Grand Theft Auto IV or something like that, and they showed a clip that took place on the Manhattan Bridge. I'm pretty sure KV is in the background. This is supposed to earn over $400 million in its first week of distribution, very hot, and Peter Levine's penthouse is on the video as is the roof we walked around. Hey Dave, maybe they used your video clip and we can sue for big bucks to pay for next years's Chinese food!

I was able to download what I thought was the video in question and look closely at these time marks, 00:00:49 and 00:01:37. It appears that Bob has a point.

LMRC At Yankee Stadium?

It's been a dreadful start for Yankee fans, but is it possible that two "KV connected" Yankee die hards manage to pull off this coup: the installation of the old LMRC team photo on the bleacher billboard at last night's Tiger game?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The University Settlement Boys: 1935

I took pictures this Saturday of the addresses that were listed of the boys who went to Washington D.C. to meet J. Edgar Hoover in 1935. Amazingly, most of them are still there, but not much longer as gentrification is moving along. I believe my father lived at 166 Allen in 1935, however the building shown was really part of a back tenement of an Orchard Street building. The original 166 Allen was torn down when the elevated railroad was taken down in the late 1930's. The music is from Once Upon A Time In America, by Ennio Morricone. While I was down on the LES I passed along my discoveries
with the folks at University Settlement.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

KV "Father's" Visit J.Edgar Hoover: 1935

A follow up to the previous post on Pepper Martin:
Later I was searching for info on Pepper Martin and I also did a search on the Times' website to see if Jay was written up for any high school athletic accomplishments. I discovered this gem instead: A 1935 article of boys from University Settlement visiting J. Edgar Hoover in Washington D.C.
The list of boys included Hy Bueller, Moe Altcheck (my childhood doctor) and Jack Sosinsky (Joel and Ron's uncle). The boy standing to the right of Louis Bohar (misspelling, it should be Behar,a sephardic name) looks like it could be Hy Bueller.

Read this doc on Scribd: hoover-university2

KV Synchronicity 5: Pepper Martin

from wikipedia:
Johnny Leonard Roosevelt “Pepper” Martin (Temple, Oklahoma, February 29, 1904 – McAlester, Oklahoma, March 5, 1965) was a Major League Baseball player. Martin, who was also known as the “Wild Horse of the Osage”, was a third baseman and outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals' “Gashouse Gang” during the 1930s. He was one of the most colorful and exciting players of his era.
Martin spent seven years in the Cardinals farm system. In 1930 he batted .363 for Rochester in the International League. In 1931 Martin took the place of center-fielder Taylor Douthit who was traded to the Cincinnati Reds. He batted .300 as the Cardinals won the National League pennant. In the World Series that year, Martin batted .500 and stole 5 bases as the Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Athletics 4 games to 3. During the series Martin was asked how he had learned to run so fast; he replied “I grew up in Oklahoma, and once you start runnin' out there there ain't nothin' to stop you”. That year Martin was selected as male athlete of the year by the Associated Press. Martin was a speedy runner who was often was near the league lead in runs scored, triples and stolen bases. In 1934 Martin helped the Cardinals to win the World Series again as he batted .355 and stole 2 more bases to beat the Detroit Tigers in seven games. Pepper has the third highest World Series career batting average ever at .418, and is tied for ninth in stolen bases with seven. Martin retired at the age of 40 in 1944 having played his whole career with the Cardinals. Over his 13 seasons he had a .298 batting average and stole 146 bases. After retiring Martin tried his hand at managing minor league baseball teams. While managing Miami of the International League he was suspended and fined for choking an umpire.

I was speaking to the KV "enforcer", Bruce, recently. He told me a story about his uncle Jay Bueller, who was a great lower east side ballplayer. (Hy, Bruce's dad, was an excellent athlete as well). Jay had a tryout with the Cardinal organization in the late 30's and became a lifelong friend of his idol, Pepper Martin. Jay even visited him in Oklahoma on several occasions.

Knickerbocker Village: NY Times 6/13/1943

A "gift" from Carol Franken's grandparents

KV Synchronicity 4

The place: A meeting with colleagues learning about blogs and wikis.
Me: Have you seen the knickerbockervillage blog?
Carol: Hey, my grandparents lived in Knickerbocker Village.
The result: The sharing of these great treasures from Carol's family archive collection, scans of her grandparent's lease from 1940. Click for enlargements.

KV Synchronicity 3

The scene: Washington Irving High School
A teacher: I like to a project on the history of the school.
Me: There's great material on that. I happen to know the son of someone of note from my childhood home, Knickerbocker Village, who once taught here.
from wikipedia:
Several famous women attended Washington Irving. Researching an article for the 1960 year book brought up the names Claudette Colbert (Movie star of the 1930s and 40s, notably It Happened One Night), Gertrude Berg (Molly Goldberg star of The Goldbergs on 1940s and 1950s radio and TV), and Bella Spewak, author and librettist with her husband Sam of Broadway plays and movies, including "Kiss Me Kate" (composed by Cole Porter). Also there has been several famous men to attend Washington Irving such as the legendary duo of Damian Rodriguez & Maximo Perez.The author of the book The Courtship of Eddie's Father (later a movie and TV series), Mark Toby taught there in the 1950s.

KV Synchronicity 2

The scene: A bar in the financial district, after the most recent uft delegate's meeting. Note*-no one discussed below is pictured
The action: A union activist and "un hombre con cajones" decries a situation where a colleague, of exceptional character and ability, is being unjustly brought up on charges by a principal seeking revenge.
The dialogue :
Him: A lot of people are afraid and don't want to lend support.
Me: I think my old KV friend might work there. His name is Lee
Him: Lee! Great guy, a real professional. He does his job, he cares about the kids

KV Synchronicity

Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events which occur in a meaningful manner, but which are causally un-related. In order to be 'synchronistic', the events must be related to one another temporally, and the chance that they would occur together by random chance must be very small.

Case 1: My PS177 classmate Susan Miller's younger sister Melanie is a recent addition to our growing crew. She lives in Marlboro, NJ. I was curious about Marlboro and looked it up on wikipedia:
famous residents:
Ronald "Monkey Man" Filocomo, Bonanno crime family associate, convicted murderer of Bonanno capo Dominick "Sonny Black" Napolitano.

Sonny Black was Lefty Ruggiero's (10 Monroe Street) associate. Sonny Black's demise, due to the infiltration of the FBI, was reenacted in the movie "Donnie Brasco."
That's Sonny below (on the right in the picture) Donnie Brasco, real name Joseph Pistone, is on the left

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Seward Park Basketball: Chilly Edelstein And Tom "Satch" Sanders

Another sports remembrance from Paul Levine:
I spent many days playing basketball at PS110. Ronnie Edelstein used to play there. His father, Chilly Edelstein, was the coach at Seward Park and apparently played in the NBA or it's equivalent. Also, I used to play with Freddie Sherman who was a couple of years older than me & the captain at Seward. Turns out his mother lived on my floor and I never put the two together. Who knows, Freddy Sherman could be related to Walter Matthau's friend Chubby Sherman?

Above to the left is Tom "Satch" Sanders a Seward Park alumnus and NBA star for the Celtics. He also starred for NYU in college. Below the statistics for the 1948 Trenton team in the American Basketball League. Chilly Edelstein averaged 9 points a game, a lot for those days.

This must be Chilly's son Stewie, who I went with to JHS 12 (Corlear's). He looks just like Stewie would after about 47 years. Maybe he can send us a photo of Chilly.

Executive director of the Universities at Shady Grove, came to the regional higher education center inn 2002. Dr. Edelstein has found his interaction with students to be the most rewarding aspect of his position. He has been impressed by many of the students' career focus and their ability to juggle work and families responsibilities while earning their degree. During his tenure at USG, the number of USM partners has increased as has the number of degree programs. Additionally, he has overseen the construction of SG Building III which will nearly triple the existing classroom space of USG. He has worked closely with Montgomery College and the Montgomery County Public School System to develop programs at USG that meet the higher education needs of the County and the region. Dr. Edelstein is an active member of several Montgomery County organizations. He is on the Board of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and serves as the vice chair of its Education subcommittee. He is also a member of the Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education, the Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board and serves as the chair of the MC/MCPS Cluster Advisory Board for Education. He serves as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. In 2006 Dr. Edelstein received a Community Service Award from The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program and the Chairman's Award for his contributions to the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce.

Walter Matthau And Seward Park High School

Paul Levine also sent me a story about Walter Matthau and a Seward basketball player
named Chubby Sherman. It's from an interview that Walter did with sportswriter Ira Berkow

The picture above comes from a 1937 nytimes' article in which Seward played Clinton (and lost) for the city-wide basketball championship. Chubby Sherman played in that game. The full article, including the box score is below:
Read this doc on Scribd: seward-1937

The World Of Our Father's: A Handball Story

The picture is Ben Shahn's. I believe the model was a court on Houston Street, between Eldridge and Forsyth.
Back in March I wrote to some of the crew on the unofficial KV listserve:
Abe Capon was one of the best athletes of my father's friends. He was considered one of the top handball players on the LES and later at Brighton Beach. He would play doubles with Hank Matthow (that's the way he spelled it in his business), Walter's brother. Hank owned an army and navy store on Division Street near the Bowery. He looked just like his brother. Both went to Seward.
Later I found an online record of AAU champion handball players. Hank went to the semifinals in 1951.
Paul Levine wrote to me recently about his step-dad Joe Riesel who was a top handball player as well.
My step father grew up on Pitt St, near Sheriff and Cannon (one of the safest streets, as the old lower east side joke went), in a railroad flat with a bathroom on each floor shared by the apartments on that floor and a bathtub sitting in the middle of the kitchen. In his handball days, poor lower east siders would wear out one sneaker: the righties would wear out the right sneaker dragging the right foot while serving and had to search for a lefty to exchange sneakers with. Similiar story about two guys entering movies for a nickel. Guys would go up and down the line with two cents, in search of guys who had three.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Richard Price At The Tenement Museum

I heard Richard Price at The Tenement Museum last night (4/15/08). Part of the audio I captured is below. Richard talks about his experiences in researching and writing the book. At 1:50 he mentions all the pulp fiction written in the 1950's by guys who experienced life on the lower east side first hand (shades of Jack Karney). At 10:13 he mentions an entry in a police log book (known as the rat book) from 1953 about the execution of the Rosenbergs. The interviewer is Steve Long, the vice president of collections and education at the museum. One disturbing aspect of the visit was the street side presence of workers at the museum protesting their frustrations in securing a union affiliation there. How ironic that a museum that portrays the struggles of immigrants to New York City could possibly be involved in denying workers' rights. I would hope this issue gets resolved.

Richard Price's Lush Life

A great book for anyone with a love of the Lower East Side. A great book period.
The first chapter from the nytimes

The amazon link

Monday, April 14, 2008

Peter Serafin

During the reunion KV tour of 4/6/08 Ron spotted Peter Serafin, Dr. Serafin's son. Peter still lives in KV. Dr. Serafin's full name was Salvatore Frank Serafin and he was a dentist to many of our families. His office was in 14 Monroe Street. A really sweet man with whom I had many interesting baseball discussions over more than twenty years. Even as an eleven year old he took my opinions seriously. A fervent Red Sox fan he sadly died last fall prior to the Red Sox winning the World Series. Peter is also a Sox fan and almost refused (kiddingly) to talk to me because I was sporting my Yankee hat. Our great security escort, Edmund, is to Peter's right.

The Avenue B Bus And Mark Glass' Father

The recently found former LMRC'er Mark Glass had the distinction of having a father that drove our local Avenue B bus. It ran from Catherine and East Broadway to Klein's on 14th Street. I remember, though, that the return trip was along Avenue A. There's more on the Mark Glass story/fable over at pseudo-intellectualism

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Knickerbocker Basement Tour

I wonder whether that door labeled Veterans' Dugout (last frame) has to do with KV veterans from WWII or other wars?

The Collected Works Of Jack Karney

After the reunion of 4/6/08 I had the good fortune of spending some extended time with my good friend Rich Karney (aka Rocky) in Virginia. I took digital pictures of most of the many books his dad, Jack, had published from the mid forties to approximately 1960. Since they all had gritty inner New York City plots I used the old television "Naked City" theme, by Nelson Riddle, as a soundtrack. The book, "Cop," was dedicated to Richard and was bought as a screenplay some years ago. Hopefully some day it might be filmed.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Jack Karney's Work Of Darkness

from 5/1/06 from pseudo-intellectualism
Jack Karney was my friend Richard's father. He wrote several pulp type detective and suspense novels. It was a big deal for me as a kid to go to the Chatham Square Library on East Broadway and see Mr.Karney's book "Cop" right there on the shelves. The dedication of the book was to Richard. I never read "Cop." The only books I was interested in reading were the John Tunis books, "The Kid From Tompkinsville," etc. I'm making up for it now by reading Karney's 1956 "Work of Darkness." It's no "Striver's Row," but it's very good. It takes place on the LES and in the scanned pages that make up this slide showhe mentions other LES movie houses, the Apollo and the Academy.

Monday, April 7, 2008

6th Grade Graduation: PS 177, June, 1963

First Row Left: 1st seat: Suzanne Pelly Spitzer, 2nd seat: Elaine Katz, 3rd: Eddie Moy, 4th: Billie Owens -played for Mariner's Temple...2nd Row: 1st seat: Tina Pappas, 2nd seat: girl with white bow maybe Jackie Lee, 3rd seat: Howie Silverstein, 4th seat: Norma Kramer, standing in the rear: I think that's Bruce...3rd Row: 1st seat: Elinor Birnbaum Hecht, 2nd seat: Eleanor Milgrim, boy to right of girl with white bow: Paul Hatchette boy to left of white bow: Sheldon Austin, boy to right of Paul Hatchette: Carlos Alejandro

The Courtship Of Eddie's Enforcer

The KV Enforcer Arrives

Willing to battle all bullies all the time

Primary Document Evidence

This was the last slide from the diary movie, but it got cut off. I think it deserves an entry of its own. I may refer some of the women I've disappointed over the years to this page.

The View Of The Bridge

photo by Allan Silverstein

The Diary

Chester (Chet) Kaplan's PS 177 autograph book
How I'd like to look
Into that little book
The one that has the locking key
And know the boy that you care for
The boy who is in your diary
When it's late at night
What is the name you write
Oh what I'd give if I could see
Am I the boy that you care for?
The boy who is in your diary
Do you recall
And make note of all
The little things I say and do
The name you underline
I'm hopping that's mine
Darling I'm so in love with you
Please don't leave me blue
Make all my dreams come true
You know how much you mean to me
Say I'm the boy that you care for
The boy who is in your diary.

The Punchball Game

Just a one inning affair called because of a tight time schedule, cold weather and excessive Final score I9 led team 2, I10 team 1. Punchball should be declared an olympic event. Amazingly, for a group of 60'ish guys, a lot of them are still in decent shape. Mark Schumer is still a crafty lefty hitter, but slugger Allan couldn't lose his tennis stroke. Best accomplishment, no injuries.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Best Looking Mom Of Knickerbocker Village

Another highlight of Reunion 2, the surprise visit of the unofficial Knickerbocker Village best looking mom of the Baby Boomers, Natalie Sosinsky.

Scavenger Hunt Answers

Up On The Roof (With Music)

When this old world starts getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space
On the roof, it's peaceful as can be
And there the world below can't bother me
Let me tell you now
When I come home feelin' tired and beat
I go up where the air is fresh and sweet (up on the roof)
I get away from the hustling crowd
And all that rat-race noise down in the street (up on the roof)
On the roof, the only place I know
Where you just have to wish to make it so
Let's go up on the roof (up on the roof)
At night the stars put on a show for free
And, darling, you can share it all with me
I keep a-tellin' you
Right smack dab in the middle of town
I've found a paradise that's trouble proof (up on the roof)
And if this world starts getting you down
There's room enough for two
Up on the roof (up on the roof)
Up on the roo-oo-oof (up on the roof)
Oh, come on, baby (up on the roof)
Oh, come on, honey (up on the roof)

Up On The Roof

The highlight of the second annual KV Reunion. Many thanks to management and especially Mr. Stephen Stanley for making our rooftop tour possible as well as to Edward, from Cambridge Security, who accompanied us.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Courtship Of Eddie's Father

The introduction for the second season. One of the big news stories of the Reunion 2
is the expected appearance of the real Eddie, who lived among us in Knickerbocker and played for LMRC.

The Fanner 50

I believe a certain KVer named Lew, circa 1950's, still straps his on.

Schaefer: The One Beer To Have When You're Having More Than One

Great commercial, lousy beer

Come Alive: You're In The Pepsi Generation

from pepsi
1963: In one of the most significant demographic events in commercial history, the post-war baby boom emerges as a social and marketplace phenomenon. Pepsi recognizes the change and positions Pepsi as the brand belonging to the new generation – The Pepsi Generation. "Come Alive! You're in the Pepsi Generation" makes advertising history. It is the first time a product is identified, not so much by its attributes, as by its consumers' lifestyles and attitudes.
1961: Pepsi further refines its target audiences, recognizing the increasing importance of the younger, post-war generation. "Now It's Pepsi, For Those Who Think Young" defines youth as a state of mind as much as a chronological age, maintaining the brand's appeal to all market segments.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Norman Studer

from the nystate library at albany
Norman Studer, educator, folklorist, author, was born in Whitehouse, Ohio on September 7, 1902. In 1917, Studer left home, enlisted in the United States Navy, and served as a quartermaster aboard the U.S.S. Edgecomb. Upon the conclusion of World War I, Studer returned home to complete his high school education, whereupon he matriculated to Oberlin College. Studer spent three years at Oberlin, leaving after his third year to become an editor of The New Student – a newspaper for "the voice of the student revolt movement" in New York City. Studer eventually returned to college completing his A.B. in History at Columbia University in 1929. He continued his studies at Columbia, earning an A.M in Political Science in 1931.
In 1931 Studer embarked upon a forty-year career in education, commencing with a teaching assignment at Erie Day School in Erie, Pennsylvania. Following two years at Erie, Studer taught at the Little Red School House, a cooperative, experimental school founded by Elisabeth Irwin, located in lower Manhattan. Studer was attracted to the experimental and progressive curriculum cultivated by Irwin and the other educators at the Little Red School House. In 1941, Studer chaired the committee founding the Elisabeth Irwin High School, and worked there as both teacher and administrator for the following ten years.
Studer's association with Elisabeth Irwin proved influential in shaping his pedagogical vision, both in the classroom and beyond. While at the Little Red School House, Studer developed and taught a unit entitled "Slavery and the Negro Problem" that led to a life long interest in ethnic studies and "intergroup relations," the equivalent of the current study of multiculturalism or multicultural studies. It was also during his tenure at the Little Red School House that Studer realized the importance of field trips as an integral component of the curricular experience. Through field trips, Studer discovered that he could inform his students, in a more immediate and kinesthetic sense, of the rich history and heritage that lay just beyond the school walls. As a teacher, Studer also participated in "June Camp" – a one- month field trip to Camp Quannacut, near Pine Bush, New York – in which students lived in a democratic community within a rural environment. Studer ran June Camp from 1936-1940.

In 1938, Studer joined the staff of Camp Hilltop - a progressive educational summer camp - initially as head counselor then as director of education. Camp Hilltop closed in 1940; however, Studer, along with Camp Hilltop's former director, Rose Sydney, and three others, Regine Dicker (Ferber), Sara Abelson (Abramson), and Hannah Studer, founded Camp Woodland in Phoenicia, New York, located in the heart of the Catskill Mountains. Camp Woodland strove to create a democratic environment where children of varying religions, socioeconomic, and ethnic backgrounds from the New York City area could steep in the rich ecology of the Catskill region for two months each summer.

The curriculum and experience of Camp Woodland were deeply rooted in the folklore and folk culture of the Catskill Mountains. Norman Cazden and Herb Haufrecht were Camp Woodland's music directors. Studer attempted to incorporate the endemic culture, history, and rituals of the Catskill region into the Camp Woodland curriculum by cultivating a symbiotic relationship with the camp and the Catskill denizens. He would often take carloads of campers to visit the local residents, then invite the residents back to camp to share their regional folklore and music, as well as teach the traditional crafts of the region. The two-month summer camp concluded each season with a folk festival that brought together the campers and Catskill residents for a weekend of music, drama, dancing, story telling, and song. The folk festivals were the high point of each season and became very popular with the campers, folk musicians, and local residents. The annual event attracted luminary musicians such as Pete Seeger, Bessie Jones, Norman Cazden, and Herb Haufrecht as well as local talent that included Grant Rogers, Harry Siemsen, George Edwards, Ernie Sagan, George Van Kleeck, and Etson Van Wagner. Studer captured the folk festivals on tape, and in many instances the recordings remain the only known extant audio recordings of these local musicians playing and singing the ballads and songs of the Catskills. These recordings were later compiled, transcribed, and edited by Cazden, Haufrecht, and Studer in a book entitled Folk Songs of the Catskills. Studer was director of Camp Woodland from its inception (1940) to dissolution (1961).
In 1951, Studer became director of the Downtown Community School located at 235 East 11th Street in lower Manhattan. The Downtown Community School was a progressive, cooperative, racially integrated school, founded in 1944 by a group of parents and educators. As director, Studer attempted to create a curriculum that was aimed at promoting a healthy concept of self and a deeper understanding of society. Studer brought many of the ideas and philosophies of the Little Red School House, Elisabeth Irwin High School, and Camp Woodland to the Downtown Community School, particularly his interest in ethnic studies, folklore, field trips, and racial integration. Throughout his career as an educator and administrator, Studer championed cultural and racial integration in the educational environment. In 1956, the annual Conference on Intergroup Education – a forum for educators, parents, and community members designed to encourage inter-racial and inter-cultural education – was founded. Studer's approach to the education of children was always direct, active, and personal. He exemplified this by continuing to sponsor and steward annual field trips for the seventh and eighth grade students throughout his tenure at the Downtown Community School. Studer remained director of the Downtown Community School until 1970. The school closed in 1971.
Studer was the author of numerous articles, two books, and one poem, nearly all of which dealt with the themes of folklore and education. Folk Songs of the Catskills, edited by Norman Cazden, Herbert Haufrecht, and Norman Studer, published by SUNY Albany Press in 1982, "is an annotated volume of traditional ballads and songs collected under the auspices of Camp Woodland." Cazden, Haufrecht and Studer assiduously compiled, recorded, transcribed, and edited the songs and music over the course of forty-two years. Both Cazden and Studer passed away prior to its publication, leaving Haufrecht to see the project through to completion. The folk culture of the Catskill region was predominately transmitted orally; therefore, Folk Songs of the Catskills has to be considered the definitive treatment of Catskill folk music, as many of the informants have passed away. Also published posthumously, A Catskill Bear Hunter: Mike Todd's Story by Purple Mountain Press in 1988, is Studer's "folk biography" of Mike Todd, a Catskill native and good friend of Studer's, who spent numerous summers at Camp Woodland; he also serves as the subject of Studer's poem "All the Homespun Days," written in his memory.
Norman Studer died October 27, 1978.

Robert DeCormier

The Robert DeCormier who was conducting campers in the Peter Horn video went on to become quite famous:
from counterpointchorus

ROBERT DE CORMIER acted as music director of the New York Choral Society for seventeen years and under his leadership the group became renowned for its high standard of excellence in choral singing and unique variety of programming. As Music Director Emeritus he guest conducted a performance of the Verdi Requiem in 1990, the Berlioz Requiem at St. Paul's Cathedral, New York City in 1992 and the premiere of a commissioned work, the Missa Iona in 1993 at St. Bartholomew's in New York City.
In 1995 he began a two year project based on the music produced in the concentration camp in Terezin, Czechoslovakia. With funds generously provided by the Vermont State Legislature and Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Council on the Humanities and the Spielberg Foundation (this was the first grant awarded by this Foundation), as well as many individual contributions, it was possible for Mr. De Cormier to mount and conduct productions of two operas from Terezin; Brundibar, a children's opera by Hans Krasa, and The Emperor of Atlantis, written by Viktor Ullmann. The operas toured throughout Vermont, Massachussetts, and New Hampshire, culminating in a performance at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City. They were the bookends of a project whose initiation was a performance of Verdi's Requiem at the Flynn theater in Burlington, Vermont, in memory of those who had performed it in Terezin.
In January, 2000 he conducted the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in performances of the Mozart C Minor Mass, Samuel Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and PDQ Bach's Bluegrass Cantata. In March of 2000 he conducted the Buffalo Philharmonic and chorus in Arthur Honegger's King David. As part of a year long celebration of his 80th birthday he led the Vt Symphony Orchestra and chorus in two performances of the Brahms Requiem in March and July of 2002; conducted the NY Choral Society and Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Verdi's Four Sacred Pieces and his own work, Under A Greenwood Tree; and on July 20 the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary came to Vermont to give a benefit concert for and with Counterpoint, DeCormier's 11 member professional vocal ensemble, as a birthday gift to their musical director of more than twenty years.
A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, Mr. De Cormier's other conducting engagements have taken him from Broadway and opera to the Berkshire Choral Institute, the Zimriya World Assembly of Choirs in Israel and numerous concert tours throughout the United States and Canada with his own professional group, the Robert De Cormier Singers. He spent many years as conductor and arranger for Harry Belafonte and has been music director for the popular folk trio, Peter, Paul and Mary for the past twenty years.
In 1993 he helped found the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus and as their director he both prepares and conducts performances with the symphony. In the fall of 2000 he established Counterpoint, an 11 voice professional vocal ensemble based in Vermont. He has written several works ranging from choral to ballet to Broadway scores (music for The Wall and The World of Sholem Aleichem). His cantata, The Jolly Beggars, based on the poetry of Robert Burns, premiered in New York to critical acclaim. His ballet score, Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder, is in the active repertoire of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. His choral works, Legacy, Four Sonnets to Orpheus, Shout For Joy and Under A Greenwood Tree were premiered at Carnegie Hall by the New York Choral Society. Spiritual Suite, commissioned by the West Village Chorale premiered in New York in 1991 Mr. De Cormier has also arranged extensively, from African-American spirituals to American and international folk songs.
Recordings include albums of Yiddish folk material for Martha Schlamme, Natanya Davrath and Jan Peerce for Vanguard Records, four Christmas albums on the Arabesque label with the De Cormier Singers, the Kodaly Missa Brevis and Vaughan Williams' Mass in G Minor on Vox Turnabout with the New York Choral Society, Songs of Liberty for Book-of-the-Month Club with the Choral Society and the De Cormier Singers, as well as Carmina Burana for Newport Classics, Paul Alan Levi's Mark Twain Suite and De Cormier's Legacy and Four Sonnets to Orpheus for Centaur and an album of Christmas music with Jessye Norman for Philips. A recording of John Dowland's music, Awake, Sweet Love with Julianne Baird and the DeCormier Singers was released by Arabesque in 1992 and Noel We Sing with the Choral Society was a Musical Heritage release in 1994. Recent Arabesque releases include Oh, You Beautiful Doll, early twentieth century popular American songs, Children, Go Where I Send Thee, international Christmas songs, two operas from the Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia; Brundibar, a children's opera by Hans Krasa and The Emperor of Atlantis, composed by Viktor Ullmann. The Jolly Beggars, De Cormier's settings of Robert Burns' poetry was released by Arabesque in May, 1998.
Counterpoint recordings include A Counterpoint Christmas released by Choral Excellence, When the Rabbi Danced and Misa Criolla on the Albany label and two new CD's, Shir La Shalom (Sing for Peace) and Counterpoint Sings Noel, due for release by Albany Records in the fall of 2005.
Mr. De Cormier's television credits include a three part series of Choral Folk Songs for the BBC and an Emmy award winning special with Harry Belafonte. More recently for Thames TV he conducted Christmastide with Jessye Norman, and for PBS A Holiday Concert, Peter, Paul & Mommy Too, and Lifelines, all with Peter, Paul and Mary. Also for PBS Mr. De Cormier was the choral director for a combined concert, television and recording starring Jessye Norman and Kathleen Battle, conducted by James Levine, as well as Christmas at Carnegie with Kathleen Battle and Frederica Von Stade, conducted by Andre Previn.
Mr. De Cormier has served on the New York State Council on the Arts and been a member of the Choral Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been honored by the Vermont Arts Council with the 2002 Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Knickerbocker Village Home Movies

From the collection of Peter Horn.
A description: