These candid shots came to me courtesy of Regina "Reggie" Kish who lived just up the street from me on McKinley Drive. Reggie went to Floyd up until the 8th grade, when she transfered to Mercy High in Riverhead. Her big brother Richie was in the first Floyd graduating class of 1960.

It was Spring of 1959 of the 1958-59 school year when these 8th graders Mary Leskowitz, Sharyn Rothman,Virginia Duffy, and Betsy Jensen, posed in the north parking lot just minutes before the morning bell was going to ring. I was in the 7th grade then and was probably across the street in the woods with my big brother and his pals where they would gather to shoot the breeze , smoke (I didn't) and watch the cars roll in to the lot. That Mopar wagon turning in I think was either Mr. Ringhouse's or Mr. Kelchner's (both were science teachers then) The VW behind the girls is most likely Mr. Weingarten's (social studies). And think that 1950 Merc , nosed and slightly lowered with skirts IS NOT ONE OF THE TEACHERS just might be Phil Van Tassel's who was a Junior then. Phil who was in the first graduating class of '60 isn't sure and he thinks it might be Pete Durante's Merc. If the pic was in color there would be no doubt as although they both were 4 doors, Phil's was Dark Blue and Pete's was Black.. also if Pete had a '49 with it's different grille opening and round parking lights, then this one would definitly be Phil's ????? ,,,,, So Reggie sent me a higher rez scan of the photo which I blew up and sent it off to Phil, who told me he didn't have chrome accessory headlight shades on his car as they were "too gaudy" (available at Jack & Jerry's in Patchogue and better automotive stores everywhere or J. C. Whitney catalog for only $2.98 ) Phil is into more subtlet touches eg. Flames or Scallops and dual carbs..... And of course we quickly ruled out Tommy Natale's Merc....... because the original Mr. Sharp Dressed Man's was a '54 two door with a "connie kit". But then again only guys care about that stuff.

So that concludes this episode of MERCURY MYSTERY THEATRE! ..... now back to....


MRS. NELSON & MARY LESKOWITZ: This photo was taken in February of 1960 and I'd love to know what Dorice said to Mary to crack her up like that. This is the way I really remember teacher Dorice Nelson, who was a favorite with most all the kids (unless you got her Redheaded Temper TO FLARE UP...then DUCK !!). I never had Mrs. Nelson, who taught English, in class _ BUT I got to see much more of her than the other kids from school as my mother was her Nanny from September 1958 - June 1960. Dorice left Floyd that summer to take a teaching job in Albany. Now retired from teaching, she writes historic romance novels. She lived just around the corner from my house in Mastic Beach in a Knapp estate converted barn (shown here) and I was often at her place. Longtime website readers will recall she was the one who told Officer Charlie Ratigan of the Brookhaven Town Police when he tried to finger me for the Knapp Mansion fire that he had the wrong guy.


It seems kind of sadly ironic that Leonore is pictured alone just outside the northernmost gate of school here in 1959. She would die in a car crash at the William Floyd exit of Sunrise Highway in 1963.