Keeping the faith with LHS class of '64

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Ron, the corporate lawyer, held court. He said that his career in crime began in seventh grade. Driving through North Carolina, Ron talked his parents into buying a trunk full of fireworks so he could sell them at school. No comment here on parental responsibility. Anyway, he took orders from his fellow 12-year-olds, and business was great until a bunch of cherry bombs exploded in the junior high school cafeteria, creating a modest crater, a fire and considerable smoke. Ron fled, but was caught and hauled to the principal’s office. He confessed. His mother confessed. They promised not to traffic in fireworks again.

Larry said he kept a secret trunk in his parents’ house filled with guns, booze and cigarettes. The first time he was suspended, he said, was for making book between classes. The legendary Sadie Posner busted him. The second time he was suspended was for putting out a cigar on his history teacher’s new car. “He was a jerk,” Larry recalled, actually using a much less polite word.

As sophomores, the boys really broke bad. They built a still in Bernie’s basement, and in a world without Google, figured out how to make alcohol from raisins and apple juice. Often they stole their parents’ cars, determined who was the least drunk and gave him the keys to drive around town.

They basically tortured one of our English teachers, affectionately known as GaGa, by calling him at all hours of the night. They posted his phone number at the Town Diner so others could participate.

Ron said he got an A from his English teacher by reciting an “original” poem about horse racing that he plagiarized from a racing magazine. She praised him publicly, had him read it over the loudspeaker and announced to one and all that she would have it published in the Nassau Herald. At that point Ron confessed, because he knew everyone read the Nassau Herald, and the publisher of the racing magazine lived in the Five Towns.

How did these boys know where and how to meet up? In the days before cell phones and computers, Ron figured out how to create a conference call among the friends by rewiring their house phones.
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