Friday, November 19, 2010


I just got some very sad news a couple of days ago. Brother Edward Shields, the principal of St. Gabriel's, my old school, in East Elmhurst, recently sent out a Facebook message telling us about the death, last weekend, of Miss Geraldine Watzel. Miss Watzel was my second grade teacher. She was seventy six years old. My old friends & I have always remembered her so fondly. Although I'd never expected to see Miss Watzel again, I was lucky enough to be able to attend a few reunions several years ago at the old parish, where she showed up. Even after so many long decades she was still quite a formidable intimidating character. St. Gabriel's, now the La Salle School at St. Gabriel's Parish, was the most important part of my early days in Queens. My days in that neighborhood & parish have always been a memorable part of my life. Over the course of my educational lifetime I got very many exceptional teachers but Miss Watzel was among the very best & most memorable. I shall have to keep praying for the repose of her soul.