From Lincoln Alumni in Argentina:
Y en español:
RIP WALTER LIEBLING
Since learning early on Tuesday of his passing, I have been fighting back tears and at the same time chuckling to myself thinking about Mr. Liebling. I have been putting off trying to figure out what to say at this moment of unmeasurable loss because I can’t stop to concentrate. My children, a senior and junior in high school, have after school marching band, piano lessons, acting and dance classes, musical theater rehearsals, husband needs dinner early because he has jazz band, 400 marching uniforms need fitting/altering,… The list doesn’t end. But then I think, “my life is this way because of Walter Liebling.” He taught me to love music and to be creative, and I’d like to think that I passed that love on to my children. Watching their eyes light up when they can’t wait to walk through the band hall door, I know he would be proud. Mr. Liebling taught us that music is a refuge. Creativity is fulfilling. Appreciation and applause for what you’ve created is one of life’s highs.
Years ago before I had children, when Mr. Liebling retired from Lincoln, Iris Lestani asked me to come down to Buenos Aires and attend his last concert. I was heartbroken that I couldn’t go, but I did write a speech for the occasion. I’d like to share it again because it still applies.
Sir James Barrie, Peter Pan’s creator, said, “If you cannot teach me to fly, teach me to sing.” At times, Mr. Liebling surely must have thought that teaching some of us to fly would have been easier than teaching us to sing. But, he still pursued a career in music and teaching. What a courageous calling! To teach a generation of bumbling high school kids the joy that can be found in music! We came from all over the world. Through Mr. Liebling we found that no matter what culture we grew up in or what language we spoke, music brought us together in harmony. Some of it was lofty and sophisticated, some of it was downright silly, and ALL of it was fun. We sang Dis Train is Bound for Glory, Non Nobis Domine, and The Animal Madrigal. We played 25 or 6 to 4, New York New York, and Gaudeamus Igitur. The Muppet Show, Truth of Truths, and Flower Drum Song… whatever it was, we loved it because he loved it. We took our shows on the road to people who didn’t speak very much English and they loved it. Music truly is the universal language of mankind.
My first memory of Walter Liebling dates to 1978 when I was in 8th grade and in the chorus of My Fair Lady. He was daintily strolling across the band hall floor--head tilted proudly back, pinkies extended, toes pointed, back straight—showing us how a proper lady at the Ascot races should walk. I was hooked. I took chorus and band every single semester of high school. The more I learned, the more I loved it because I was given the chance to be creative. The best part was that other people liked what I was creating. I, and I’m sure many, many more of his students, are thankful for Mr. Liebling’s nurturing. I don’t think there was anyone who did not look forward to music class every day.
Mr. Liebling, through your teaching, you sent your music and part of yourself, all over the world. Certainly, your gifts to Lincoln students will never stop. Your music will not end just because you are retiring. My wish for you is that your days beyond Lincoln will continue to be filled with originality and love, and with the gratification and knowledge that your influence has reached every corner of this earth. William Shakespeare said it best in Twelfth Night: “If music be the food of love, play on…..”
I imagine that when the gates of Heaven swung open and the choir of angels lifted their voices and the trumpets blared to welcome Mr. Liebling, he waved his hands in the air and said “Stop! Take it from the top again!”
Then, in my heart’s imagination, I see Mr. Liebling taking one last bow at one last curtain call. Please join me in a hearty, loving, and well-earned round of applause for a job well-done, a life well-lived, and a powerful legacy left to us by Walter Liebling.
Following is a link for a possible mini reunion to coincide with school board member visit.
Queridos Compañeros, I forward here more details about David Bishton from his brother Michael:
"We are hoping to celebrate David's life on September 17th. David had a very public side in creating and building the ACS Alumni Association so that he could maintain connections with his friends at regular get-togethers. David also had a very private side. In accordance with David's wishes, his celebration of life will be a private event for family.
Judy now has access to David's email address; firstname.lastname@example.org. She invites everyone who wishes to remember and speak about David to write to him at that address. Judy would very much like to read your remembrances at the funeral. She would also like you to include any particularly meaningful pictures that you might have of you and him with a note explaining what it means to you. We will show the pictures with notes after the service for the family to share and see. She doesn't have access to social media, so she has not seen what anyone may have already published. But she hopes that people will share the pictures and notes through the ACS Alumni social media.
Please include me; email@example.com in the emails as a backup addressee so that we can be sure we receive the pictures, thoughts and remembrances to share with the family. Please contact me if there are any additional questions.
With warmest regards,
Michael Bishton - ACS Alumni"
I am sad to report that the founder of the ACSAA, David Bishton, passed away last week.
David Bishton was the heart of the ACSAA. He loved our school. He recognized what a unique experience we all had there. What he started still exists. The students love each other. We love our teachers and they love us. We love Argentina. It does not matter when we attended, or how long we stayed. It is consistent through the years and generations. We students who ambled the halls of Colegio Ward, Lincoln School, ACS, have our own special Spanglish culture that others just do not have.
David Bishton found a way to keep that love alive. In 1978, he said that all he wanted to do was to find some of his 32 classmates and have an asado in a park somewhere. That idea turned into the first reunion in 1982 in Arlington, VA, with 225 people in attendance and two faculty members as guests of honor. The reunions got better through the years. At my first reunion in 1991, I was astounded to be with so many people, older and younger, who had all experienced that same Lincoln magic as I had. We are always so thankful to be together again.
The teachers feel the same. Mr. Joe Czarnik said something to David in 1987 that stuck. “You kiddies go off to college and start families and, for the most part, we don’t know what happens to you. With these reunions, we can see just how well our kiddies are doing.” On the flip side, former students are able to tell their teachers just what they did for them and how they molded them.
David was the ACSAA president until 1999. Since then, we have had regular successful reunions until the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world. Social media provides us a new way to stay in touch with one another, but perhaps distracts us from getting together in person. David started a good thing that continues to benefit us all. As he said, “It was a very special time in our lives. As we grow older the memories may fade or a new spin might be put on a memory. For most it is a memory that gives us a smile and is remembered with a warm fuzzy feeling.”
We thank you, David, for keeping the fuzzy feeling in our hearts. May your memory be eternal.
On Friday October 22nd at 6:00 pm Buenos Aires time Asociación Escuelas Lincoln will be holding an online In Memoriam to remember our dear Seño, Herminia Granitto who passed away on September 15, 2021. We will take a moment to remember our dear teacher, as well as our fellow alumnus, Commodore Charles Yatman who also passed away just a few days ago.
Both Herminia and Charles have been pillars of our community and we hope you will join us in taking a moment to remember them. We will send a Zoom link closer to the date.
Please RSVP (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSep7DxoIRBbcqE118Mnwy80hvbxc_0l_0wce-hL5W3l9Y64PA/viewform) by completing this form by October 20th, 2021
In my mind I knew this day would arrive, but I never really believed it in my heart. After all, Señora was almost 100 years old. I had some thoughts about what I might say, but it never truly sank in that there would be a world without Señora Herminia Granitto Lorenzi in it. She was extraordinary.
I am not an athlete, not by any stretch of the imagination. I never was. I was never on a sports team coached by Señora. I still hate Thursdays because “pase lo que pase, el jueves hay atletismo.” However, what Señora taught me has lasted me a lifetime, and I too carry on her legacy despite my lack of athletic prowess.
Señora taught me how to swim. When she found out I didn’t know how, she proposed to meet me at the pool during lunchtime to show me. I was terrified at the prospect of having one-on-one sessions with her. But I showed up. “Hacé así con las piernas.” I did. “Ahora hacé así con los brazos.” Again, I complied. “Hice así” for several laps a couple of days in a row. Then, the final test. “Subí a la plataforma alta y saltá.” Legs trembling, I did. “Ahora sabés nadar.”
Señora taught me to believe in myself. She was genuinely pleased and proud of my athletic accomplishments, however small. “Sí lo podés hacer,” then she would throw that volleyball out 5 feet in front of me and cheer when I got to it. Her encouragement stayed with me, and decades later I played on an intramural college volleyball team, and later on a company volleyball team. We didn’t win many matches, but we had fun.
She held us accountable; nothing got past Señora. The “indispuesta” excuse only worked once a month because she kept track her little book. Only one time did I grumble under my breath that I bet she couldn’t do a particular exercise. Big mistake. Señora heard me and got down on the floor and did twice as many reps as she asked us to do.
Señora could be fun. On another rainy Thursday as I dreaded atletismo indoors, Señora sat us in a circle and we played games, pranking one unsuspecting girl with a pitcher of water in her face through a coat sleeve…something about a boat on the ocean. Does anyone remember that? I remember Señora’s sincere laughter.
Señora showed me love. She was genuinely happy to see me and always remembered me at every reunion. She remembered and loved every student. She encouraged us to try our hardest and do our best, even if we didn’t want to. After we did, we experienced joy and accomplishment. That joy and accomplishment in a job well-done is what I carry with me and strive for today. “Buenas y malas” extend ‘way past the softball field; celebrate the “buenas” and shake off the “malas”. I think of all the little conversations we have had over the years, of how proud she was that I learned real tango, of her scooting down the Yellow Brick Road at her last Lincoln reunion in Dallas in 2015. If there was ever a worldwide force of nature, it continues to be Señora Herminia Granitto Lorenzi through all of us.
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Class of 1982
My high school coach has died. He was our mentor, our role model, our leader and a true man among men. There wasn't a sport he couldn't teach us, but he didn't coach sports...he coached boys. He coached boys on how to be men. He taught us how to treat women. He taught us integrity, honesty, sportsmanship and how to learn from our losses...how to be gracious whenever we didn't win. He is the reason that to this day I walk across the field...or across the room...to congratulate my opponent whenever he or she has beaten me. He's the reason I can watch a game and still marvel and celebrate with the opposing team's player who makes an amazing play. He always reminded us that the other teams were made up of players who were human beings giving their best just as we were, while wins and losses would eventually be forgotten. He taught us to get over being pulled from the game and getting benched, and to think of the team rather than ourselves individually, thereby teaching us sacrifice. And he was the ultimate example because he sacrificed his entire life to raise generation after generation of boys to be gentle fathers and husbands, to be kind coaches and bosses. And somehow as an afterthought aside, he taught us to be pretty decent athletes.
If any of this sounds exaggerated, just ask any boy I grew up with in Argentina. Even better, ask the girls. They were witnesses to it, just as we were witnesses to the magic and dedication of their coach, Señora Herminia Granitto, who built incredibly amazing women out of them. Rest In Peace, Donato Laurita. Rest In Peace, our beloved "Profe."
Esto es parte de lo que deseo le hagas conocer a todos aquellos que sienten su pérdida.
"Su vida la dedicó enteramente a su profesión y se convirtió en "profe". No es un apócope de profesor sino un símbolo del grado de acercamiento con sus alumnos y el reconocimiento en vida a su entrega.
Puso todo su talento y esfuerzo para guiar la vida de sus hijos políticos: "sus alumnos".
Fue un atleta y un deportista desde su incipiente juventud: salto en largo, básquet, fútbol.
Su profesión la desarrolló en las Escuelas Municipales de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires donde asistían alumnos carenciados, en el Club Italiano y en el Club Huracán de San Justo dictando natación, en el Club de fútbol Almirante Brown como preparador físico y en el Lincoln.
Fue inspirador y creador de la Federación Argentina de Softball y un jugador de ajedrez empedernido.
Pese a su trabajo sin fines de semana para su familia, tuve la oportunidad de participar con él en cuanto lugar estuviera: la natación en el Club Italiano, los campamentos en Achiras Córdoba y los de Bariloche, en los que solíamos acompañarlo hospedándonos en la casa de los Maldonado; proveedor de alimentos y movilidad del campamento y cuando tuve la edad necesaria participé también junto con muchos de ustedes en esos veranos imborrables de nuestra memoria en S,C, de Bariloche. Su dedicación en este caso se centraba primero en la seguridad y luego en fortalecer el compañerismo y la responsabilidad que era el próximo paso en camino a nuestro desarrollo como personas de bien.
Pude palpitar la alegría de sus alumnos en las competencias y en esos comienzos de años en el campamento. Más aún, las historias de vida en las que ayudó a recomponer algo de ella, con un consejo o una decisión. Fue muy valioso con ese aporte, en ese caso se convertía en un padre amplio y generoso y me los comentó todos en confianza para guiarme y que yo aprendiera. También me puse el equipo y jugué al softball para el Lincoln.
Su reconocimiento con la escuela y con el ACSAA, lo llevó a transferirlo en su relato para mi, sus nietos, la familia y todos sus conocidos.
Estuve recogiendo de su baúles y cajas toda la historia de su trabajo, es increíble todo lo que guardaba, miles de tarjetas de saludos para navidad y año nuevo de cada uno de ustedes, los libros anuales, las cartas de cariño y las buenas nuevas en el desarrollo de la familia de cada uno de ellos, las paredes de su casa está llena de esa historia.
Sepan que realmente comprendo su dolor y la expresión de apoyo que recibo de todos ustedes, hoy hablé con Iris y Herminia (Señora) compañeras de toda la vida, muy reconfortante ese momento.
Agradezco de corazón recibir sus condolencias, y se que lo llevarán en el corazón para siempre.
Un abrazo a todos"
The 1977 Southern Star yearbook was dedicated to Profe. The page honoring him read:
En el año 1948 vino un profesor nuevo al colegio. Se llamaba Donato Laurita. ¿Quién puede imaginar la escuela sin el sonido de tangos en el aire, los gritos de "Ventiladores Aurora," la tortura china? ¿Qué sería el colegio sin el Profe para cargarnos, reírse con nosotros, y escuchar nuestros problemas? ¡Profe, nos alegramos que todavía estás en Lincoln!
In 1948 a new teacher came to the school. His name was Donato Laurita. Who can imagine the school without the sounds of tangos in the air, the cries of "Ventiladores Aurora," the Chinese Torture? What would school be like without Profe to tease us, laugh with us, listen to our problems? Profe, we're glad you're still at Lincoln.
The truth is, Lincoln wouldn't even BE Lincoln without Profe. He helped shape all of us who spent even one semester there – boys and girls. His spirit will live forever in Lincoln. Those tangos still waft through the wind. Who still hears "ten pushup" when they kick a volleyball, or "no pay no towel"? And now we have traveled to the four corners of the earth with a little piece of Profe in our hearts. Profe, vas a estar siempre en nuestros corazones. Que sepas el amor que tenemos para vos, y que en paz descanses.
We received the following on April 29th, 2019 from Bob Johnson '64, immediate past president of the ACSAA:
Dear fellow schoolmates, ACSAA Board, Lincoln Staff, Class Reps present and former Faculty and friends,
It is with a heavy heart and tears that I pass on the sad news that our beloved "Profe" Donato Laurita passed away at 12:10pm today in Puerto Madryn, Argentina at 95 years of age. He was an icon at Lincoln and Ward AGHS teaching physical education and sports to generations of boys from the late 1940's to the 1990's. He now joins his wife Susana in Heaven. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and the Laurita family. May he rest in peace. I will pass on more details as they are made available.
Please pass on news to your classmates and associates who knew Profe.
I invite you to share your memories of Profe on this blog.
Jade (York) Polk '82, ACSAA President
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