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Tribute to the Class of '73

During Northwood's recent  True North Dinner, senior master, Steve "Reno" Reed, honored the Class of '73 with the following address:


Hello and a particular welcome to Northwood’s Class of 1973.

These events are, of course, all about memories. 

Before I talk about Northwood and your senior year, I want to bring back some memories of the world we lived in during your final year:  

Gas was 39 cents a gallon. 

The Dow Jones hit 1000 for the first time ever. 

The only popular video game was Pong. 

The Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade. 

The Godfather won best picture. 

The number 1 song – “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” 

Sky Lab, the first space station, was launched. 

Mark Spitz won 7 Olympic medals in swimming, The Dolphins had the NFL’s only undefeated season ever; Secretariat won the Triple Crown; Bobby Riggs beat Wimbledon Champion, Margaret Court, in tennis; UCLA won its 7th NCAA championship. 

Led Zeppelin had the largest crowd ever for a single band concert and Elvis drew a larger TV audience than the Apollo landing. 

In November of that year, Richard Nixon won in a landslide over George McGovern, and in March, the Watergate scandal was in the news every day.  

Here at Northwood, John Friedlander was in the eighth year of his Headmastership.  

Under the direction of Linda Friedlander, The Mirror won first place for small schools in the Columbia Journalism contest. Under editor Tom Woodman, the Epitome was low budget but had some of the best write-ups of faculty I have ever seen in any yearbook. The senior pictures were also hilarious: the photo of Rex Steele, one of our brightest, slumped over a chessboard as Orville Douglas celebrated his victory is an all-time classic.  

The hockey team had four goalies -- one of whom was board member, Shawn George. (Hey, we needed the money.) The team lost its best defenseman when Teddy Guest broke his leg in a September football scrimmage in Saranac Lake. 

Digression -- Those years in football, we were always short of players. In order to have a full scrimmage, Coaches Colon, Bucken, and Reed would suit up, joined occasionally by first year teacher Greg Nevins and on one occasion by Headmaster John Friedlander, who thought it was about time our star tackle, Vinnie Cudiner, learned a little bit about playing against a pro (John had played in the CFL). First play from scrimmage, lined up against Vinnie, John drew up from his stance, and Vinnie applied helmet to ribs, busting two of them. As John was shuffling off in pain, a freshman girl asked him “Mr. Friedlander, did you ever play football before?” A way more painful moment than Vinnie’s block. 

A painful, memory for me involved the class’s 1972 Olympian, Nordic skier, Joe Lamb. After one play in his junior year, he came off the field saying, “I think hurt my wrist.”  

“Go down 20 yards and catch a couple of passes,” I said.  

 He did. “Does it hurt?” I asked.   

“A bit,“ he said. “Get back in there.” 

An X-ray that evening showed he’d broken his wrist. When the dad, Vern Lamb, came into my office Monday, I thought I was in for it. His comment “I figured you’d be worried. Don’t be. Make him tough.” Times have changed! 

Back to hockey. The coach was a recent Bowdoin All American, Ed Good, who would be our Headmaster 25 years later, and our top line was a scrawny trio from the North Country – Jerry Stacey, Babe Ceglarski, and Glenn Thomaris. The Mirror reported that Glenn had 25 points mid-season. He later became our coach here, and is present tonight along with two other Northwood coaches who had substantial success at the college level, Bruce Delventhal and Mark Morris. The team also featured Tom Songin, the first Northwood player to have a multi-year career in the NHL.   

Time can blur a lot of memories, but I can’t forget my friends on the faculty who taught you guys; they were a colorful group – Yockie, Harry Fife, John Scott, Mike Hannan, and Dave Hicks. My favorite and true Dave Hicks story: in the mid -70s, he left Northwood to teach in Florida with former assistant head, Bill Rousseau. When Dave died there, his ashes were sent back to his mother, Helen Stubblefield, whom Dave had lived with in our beach cottage. The ashes were lost in the mail, ending up eventually and appropriately where all lost mail goes, in the dead letter office. 

As Northwood moves forward academically, I would point out that even in the Adirondacks, there is not much new under the sun. You guys had some great teachers. Nowadays, we are proud of our STEM and independent study programs. There is nothing new under the sun.  You guys remember well, I am sure, the senior program; senior classes ended in April, and we filled the last few weeks with daily guest lectures and seminars and senior projects. Seniors that year completed environmental projects on Lake Champlain and the Saint Lawrence; I remember Fran Varga’s was on Ph levels in nearby Mud Pond. Bruce Conouyer did a topographical recreation of the battle of Gettysburg, Alex Bodian directed a student production of Antigone, Shawn George did a study of William Blake’s mystical poetry, and Darcy Prime did a beautiful needle point of the school seal (she later gave it to me), and I returned it to her this fall in San Francisco. During the year our students interned at the Cell Science Center and gained experience with computers at Ward Communications.   

We did pretty well on a limited budget to provide worthy educations.  I hope you take pride in what the school was and is. We take great pride in you and your accomplishments in life.