Monday, May 21, 2012

A close encounter with former SWCS teacher Harold Burgard

LAKEWOOD, New York, USA - This past weekend included a one-day, fast turnaround trip to Lakewood - and the former Green Farm on Chautauqua Avenue - for a celebration of life for my late cousin-in-law, Jerry Mattison.

His wife Barbara is my cousin. And her brother (and also my cousin, of course) is Gordon Puls - better known as Mr. Puls at SWCS back when we were in high school and he was teaching math there.

The celebration was very nice and it was quite the family reunion, too, with all my cousins there, including the entire McAvoy clan: Robert, Nancy and Kathleen (all SWCS grads). Kathleen McAvoy worked at Lakewood Beach in the mid 1960s as a lifeguard and swimming instructor.
My sister Evelyn (an SWCS grad) made it in, too, from her Lowell, Mass. environs.

Harold Burgard's grip is still like a vise
I also ran into Class of '66 amigo Bud Hooper who knew the Mattison family well.

But out of all the people there, the one I was really surprised to see was former SWCS history teacher Harold Burgard. He was (and is) good friends with the Puls family and knew the late Jerry Mattison well.

If you had Harold Burgard for a class, you are probably already reciting one of the many phrases he made us memorize so that we would remember our history - and get through the NY State Regents exam. 

I think I can smell the mimeograph fluid as I write this.

He's in good health, as sharp as ever and said he would be quite willing to attend at future Class of '66 reunions.

We should invite him. What a kick it would be, even if he quizzes us on world history.