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05/30/17 01:52 PM #113    

Thomas D. Howard Jr.

We did enjoy the reunion...the hard work of all the planners really paid off. I will certainly support continuing the web page including helping to pay for it.

05/31/17 05:18 AM #114    


Alexander "Sandy" Halperin

Hi everybody... and thanks JANICE and all of the REUNION TEAM for taking and posting the reunion photos... it gave me +++ +++ +++ great pleasure seeing so many classmates photos = and it looks like everybody had a wonderful time together. Again, I am sorry that I was not able to be there with the medical = health issues that I have and am dealing with. 

With my Alzheimer's (dementia) --- CNN (Dr. Sanjay Gupta and CNN producers Stephanie Smith and Sandee LaMotte and the photo journalists Bryan Kane and Oliver Janney and others...) have produced a written segment in Chapter One that you may wish to read (written by Stephanie Smith) and 7 segments (produced by Sandee LaMotte --- and Stephanie Smith) that will give you an opportunity to see me (most of these segments were filmed and produced several years ago... but I would like to share them with you since I was not able to be with you at the reunion = it's in a way one of my chances to share with you and to be with you in a sense... and to let you see me on film that was taken about 2 years ago... I am sharing this, not because of CNN, etc = but to simply share a portion of my life with you in some way as I was not able to be at the reunion with y'all... 

I pasted (see below) the written Chapter One --- and then the most recent LAST SEGMENT that was filmed by CNN at my daughter Laurie's wedding that was almost two years ago this coming fall...  Click here to read and to watch it, if you wish... again, the last segment (7) = this is the one at my daughter Laurie's wedding was almost two years ago... 

Clck here to watch the CNN about 3 minute wedding segment:

Yes, I am dealing with dementia, but the other reasons that I was unable to attend the reunion go beyond the Alzheimer's health issue to other medical problems that I am dealing with...  

I have to say what an absolute thrill it was to see the pictures = sooooooooo many that brought back such fond thoughts and memories... again, thanks Janice and to everybody that was involved in the organization, etc of the reunion...

Be well --- my best regards and love to everybody,


PS = Here is the written Chapter One copied here - below:

Sandy's Story - Fighting Alzheimer's

Chapter One (Written portion...)

Editor's Note: Stephanie Smith is the author of the digital write. Sandee LaMotte is the author of the videos. CNN photographers Bryan Kane and Oliver Janney also contributed to this story.

Tallahassee, Florida (CNN) Sandy Halperin closes his eyes. His expression is pensive, his mouth slightly upturned. Memories, like glints of light, dance inside his mind -- a kind of neural film strip.

It is 1962. He is in a small neighborhood pharmacy in Springfield, Massachusetts. His father, the pharmacist, hands a customer a wooden nickel, good for a free cup of coffee while she waits. He sees his 12-year-old self standing over a towering hot fudge sundae at the soda counter. The smell of warming cashews and peanuts curls out of a corner machine.
Sandy Halperin's father, Leon, standing in his pharmacy. Leon died of Alzheimer's in 1998.
Then, as the mind is wont to do, Sandy's memory leaps to a different time. He is 8 years old, standing next to his father behind the counter. His fingertips are flecked with white as he fills empty capsules with medication, clasping them together before handing them off to his father.
Sandy slowly sighs. His eyes flutter open as the reverie ends. Whatever soundtrack his mind generated to accompany memories of his father's pharmacy dies out, replaced by the din of Florida cicadas.
"Those days with my father influenced my life forever," he says, before his voice trails off. "I remember it. I can shut my eyes and see it, yet I won't remember the movie I saw last night."
Alexander "Sandy" Halperin sits on a bench, surrounded by gnarled oak trees, at the retirement village in Tallahassee where he lives with his wife, Gail. His face is framed by a trimmed, graying beard; the rest of it is smooth -- almost too smooth for a man about to turn 66.
He has an engaging manner of speaking. He looks you in the eye intently, at times waving his hands to make a point, or lightly touching your arm. His voice rises with the passion of his persuasion. He tells a well-timed joke, and laughs joyfully with you.
"All we really are is our thoughts," Sandy Halperin says.
If you were not paying close attention, you might never know Sandy Halperin has dementia. Doctors diagnosed him with early onset Alzheimer's in 2010, but he traces his first symptoms back to 2008.
"He was always a very inventive and creative person; he always has a lot going on, always able to juggle a million things," says Lauren Halperin, 33, his younger daughter.
For years, the former dentist and assistant professor at Harvard relied on his wit and intellect, what neurologists call his considerable "cognitive reserve." But lately, that inventiveness is withering. He punctuates most thoughts with an apologetic "I forgot what I was saying," or a more frank, "I lost it..."
Sandy Halperin was a teacher and practicing prosthodontist at Harvard University in 1979.
When he tries to follow a conversation's twists and turns -- or recall the minutiae that form a productive day -- the mantras of "I forgot..where was I?" and "Where did I leave off...?" and "Remind me again..." can seem relentless.
Call them conversational hiccups. Except these hiccups aren't abating -- they will only get worse.
"I see a lot more frenzy and desperation in his communications with people now," says Karen Halperin Cyphers, 35, Sandy's older daughter. She compares it to what her daughter Madeline did as a 3-year-old when she was asked to take something to the trash.
"The whole way to the trash she says 'Bring this to the trash, bring this to the trash, bring this to the trash,'" Cyphers says. "I see that happening. I see him thinking, 'I know what I need to say; I know what I need to say; I'm gonna say it ... right now!"
At times, the memory loss is painful, Sandy says.
"All we really are is our thoughts and our brain," he says. "So this is a different kind of pain. It's not a physical pain, the pain is emotional."

Scope of the disease

Around the globe, more than 46 million people are living with Alzheimer's and other types of dementia, says the 2015 World Alzheimer's Report. That number is expected to rise to 131.5 million by 2050. More than 5 million people reside in the United States, but only half are formally diagnosed.
Alzheimer's resources

For more information on Alzheimer's, including diagnosis, stages and treatmentcaregiving support and resources, and how you can help Sandy and others with dementia by getting involved, please reach out to the national Alzheimer's Association or find a local chapter in your area.


Losing the ability to think and recall -- what could be defined as the very essence of being human -- is almost universally terrifying. So terrifying that many people dwell for years in a state of denial. In fact, according to a survey by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, an Alzheimer's diagnosis stirs more fear than any other major life-threatening disease -- even cancer or stroke.
Denial, it would seem, shrouds the mind from dementia's more appalling images: patients shuffling aimlessly around a nursing home in wheelchairs, despondent. Or the converse image of the agitated patient thrashing wildly with no concept of where -- or even who -- they are.
Sandy bristles at those images of Alzheimer's. While they may capture what the disease looks like during later stages, he says they ignore what could be many productive years during the early and middle stages.
In those years, he says, it is possible to live vitally, despite deficits. He believes he is doing just that.
As best as he can, Sandy remains active and social -- dining with other residents at his retirement village and taking twilight walks and pre-dawn swims to try and delay, at least for a while, the symptoms of his disease.
He also became a fervent activist -- giving talks about stigma, lobbying Congress -- and has a Linkedin network of Alzheimer's patients, advocates and physicians numbering nearly 10,000.
"My focus is to help break the thinking that the patient that has Alzheimer's is sitting in a nursing home," he says, the passion building in his voice.
"I'm alive. I can still be proactive."
Sandy Halperin's older brothers, Joe and Mark, playing in the snow.
In Sandy's mind, it is 1956. He is 6 years old. Snow blankets the ground outside. He is curled up on the couch, hugging his legs as his infected lungs spasm. He can hear the faint sound of his brothers gleefully screaming during a spirited snow fight with other neighborhood children.
The door flings open. His two older brothers drop a bin filled with snow on the kitchen table. Sandy can almost feel the cold grip his fingers now as he relates how -- unable to withstand the weather outside -- he often made snowballs from inside the house.
"I was coughing away and sick, so to make me feel good my brothers would bring in the snow," he says. "I would make the snowballs and put them in the freezer so that they'd be ready for their war, their snowball fight with their friends."
Memories, many from long ago, have become a type of cognitive balm, thoughts to which he clings, tightly, since his diagnosis. He finds comfort in old memories because they are still available to him, often triggered by favorite songs and old photographs.
More elusive the past few years: The movie he watched last night; the product he drove to get at the grocery store; or worse, where he put the car he needs to get to the store in the first place.
"My biggest problem is my short-term memory," he says. "It's my ability to recall what I said, what I did, what I need to do, and that's steady through a day."
Sandy Halperin's paternal grandmother Bessie, center, also had Alzheimer's disease.
Sandy realized he had progressed from garden-variety memory loss -- losing keys, forgetting a name -- to something far worse about eight years ago when he was working at the Florida Department of Health.
His job was to review dental cases for attorneys and consider the merits of patient complaints before the department. He would be handed case files, sometimes hundreds of pages long, and would issue a written or verbal report. His recollection of even the tiniest detail contained in any case he was reviewing was impeccable.
Then one day it happened: His memory of a case vanished.
"I am looking at (the case file) for an hour and a half," he recalls. "I'm reading it, it's in my brain. Then I would close the file and not remember literally anything about the case."
As it started to happen more and more frequently, Sandy struggled to cope. When an attorney would come to his office to discuss a case, he would make an excuse to meet a few minutes later. Almost as soon as the attorney left his office, he would desperately try to cram the details into his brain.
He would then run to his colleague's office to try and relate the information before it escaped him again. That desperate scramble worked -- for a time -- until it became exhausting.
"I would be dizzy and could hardly sit there and concentrate," he says of those meetings. "But I was able to get through the conversation, trying to get out of there as soon as I could."
It is the only time in his life, he says, that he hid his symptoms.
When it became too much to bear, Sandy sought help. After a series of misdiagnoses, he was finally told he had early onset Alzheimer's disease.
"It is a horrifying, gripping, devastating disease that plays havoc on the family and on the patient," says Gail Halperin, Sandy's wife. But, she adds, what has softened the blow is the way Sandy responded to it.
"He immediately came out and said, 'I don't want to cover this up. I want to share it with people and be proactive,'" she says.
But data from the CDC suggest that such a response is rare: Nearly 13% of Americans reported experiencing worsening confusion or memory loss after age 60, but most -- 81% -- had not consulted with a health care provider about their cognitive issues.
Sandy Halperin poses with his daughters Karen, left, 4, and Lauren, 2, in 1984.
"For some reason, it's embarrassing to people that they have this (disease), and it doesn't make sense," says Lauren Halperin, adding that some ignore their symptoms, waiting until the last possible moment to seek medical help.
There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, but certain medication combinations -- and lifestyle interventions -- may help with symptoms associated with dementia.
"By the time they go on medication, not to say it's too late, but they've lost some potentially valuable time," she says. "And I think (my dad) feels like, 'enough of that.'
"If this is something you have, don't be ashamed of it. Go do something so that you can have more time.'"

Living in the 'precious' present

Four years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, Sandy says the flickering lights of times past still cast a glow in his mind.
Some days, the glow is barely perceptible. Other days, it burns bright. What he is learning, he says, is to let whatever state his memory is in during a particular day -- be.
He often quotes a book, "The Precious Present," by Dr. Spencer Johnson, a contemplation of what it might mean to live in the moment.
One of the book's more poignant passages, says Sandy, describes how he is attempting to live with Alzheimer's: "It is wise for me to think about the past and to learn from it, but it is not wise for me to be in the past, for that is how I lose myself."
Sandy Halperin tickles his granddaughter, Madeline, while his granddaughter, Rebecca, looks on.
It is a towering sentiment -- one that he tries in earnest to embody. It's made even more meaningful now that Sandy is noticing not just his short-term memory flagging, but also his long-term.
The gravity of that loss breeds wonder. Will his granddaughters remember him when they get older? Has he taught them enough about what it means to be a Halperin? Will they absorb enough of the spirit of giving and joy he got from his family while growing up?
"I want them to feel what it's like to have a grandpa," he says wistfully.
Almost as soon as he says it, Sandy engages in the sort of mental tug-of-war he will likely play for the rest of his life: He stops himself from thinking about what might be, and thinks about now.
"The other day I had a joyful moment with my granddaughter Rebecca," he said. "I was tickling her and she said something to the effect of 'Grandpa, that was a great tickle.'
"That was like, 'Melt my heart, let me do it again.'"
This moment.
Right now.
Soon, it may be all Sandy Halperin has.
And that is OK.

05/31/17 12:22 PM #115    


Madeleine Ingram (DeVane)

Good morning Janice the photo gallery is absolutely wonderful thank you so much for your effort-Madeleine (Ingram) DeVane

06/01/17 05:56 AM #116    

John Gurvitch


Thanks so much for posting about your story, and info on dementia.
My dad and my mom's dad both lived with it.  So much has changed, for the better, since my Granpa Leider was ill.  And even more in the last eighteen years, since my dad passed.  I wish you the best, and applaud your brave journey, which I feel is and will help many others.
Glad you could see the pictures!  It was a grand time.  The planners, movers and shakers of getting it to fruition did a marvelous job!  Maybe we'll see you at the next one.
Warm regards,


06/01/17 09:48 AM #117    

Roberta Scougall (Nadeau)

Sandy - I watched the CNN videos and read your story; you are an amazing man, wonderful dad and fierce advocate and role model for those with dementia. Your openness in talking about how you've been dealing with the disease is so helpful to those of us trying to understand...thanks so much for sharing.  

06/03/17 09:12 AM #118    

Fred Anderson


Thanks for the info on dementia. I have been diagnosed with Parkinson's and some form of Dementia. Neither one limits me much so far.

I guess my main reason for posting this note is to inform those who have Alzheimers (or some form of dementia) and/or Parkinson's that they don't have to fight it on their own. The APDA, for example, has area support groups for those with Parkinson's established in several locations.

Go on and find one in your area. Stay as active as you can. Being active helps lessen the impact. Alzheimers site is and also lists local support groups.

06/05/17 06:42 AM #119    


Alexander "Sandy" Halperin

Thanks for your well wishes and thoughts = it means so much to me... Through my dealing with my Alzheiemer's and other health issues I do my best to live in the gift of the present moments and my hearing from you brought me joy. 

There is lots of buzz in the media, etc about a "cure" for Alzheimer's and other dementias and the appeals for the funding for a cure or cures, but what is not spoken of enough and funded appropriately is for the care and support of those living with Alzheimer's and other dementias... and care and support also for the caregivers...

On another note: If anybody else has photos of the reunion that they can post, that would be super...

Take care y'all and be well,


06/08/17 06:07 AM #120    

Marsha Ware (Montori)

Sandy, I watched the whole series the other night and was very moved by your struggles but more impactfully, by your response. Your courage and love of life are infectious. Thank you so much for sharing your story. The bear to you always. Marsha Ware Montori




06/08/17 06:08 AM #121    

Marsha Ware (Montori)

Oops. Make that "the best to you always!" M.

07/07/17 12:37 PM #122    

Ann-Susan Megas


I just read your post and watched your seven-part series regarding your struggle with early onset dementia. I am in awe of your strength, your passion to live life to the fullest, and your purpose to fight for Alzheimer's research. Thank you for sharing this most personal story, the loss you have endured and your life so filled with love and family. I love your creative "sandwiches," your backrub hugs, and your laughter and joy for each day. Best to you!  Ann-Susan

07/08/17 10:06 AM #123    

Judith Nicoll


Your story is inspiring. My wife was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers at age 60 and had a downward turn just before the reunion.  She has made a relatively good recovery.  This year, I will be the captain of the team from Wernick Adult Day Health at Jewish Geriatric Services in Longmeadow for the local walk that raises funds to fight Alzheimers. Hoping to raise a LOT of money and get some good results from all of the research that is happening. 

Best of luck to you.

Judy Nicoll

07/10/17 12:16 AM #124    

Ronald Jermakian

Sandy's life-story and resolute determination to help not just himself but also the many others who are afflicted with/affected by Alzheimer's inspires and personably resonates with me in a couple respects. His patiently accepting the challenge of teaching me to play half-decent tennis when we were young - despite my having zilch talent for it - was early evidence of generosity of spirit that will always serve him and others well. 

Alzheimer's also affects me on a personal level as I've been living with and taking care of my mother who was diagnosed with it a couple years ago. A few weeks before the 50th reunion, she fell and broke her left arm and then fell again a couple days later, fracturing a knuckle on her right hand. Although helpers come three days a week, whenever I leave the house she tends to engage in risky activities like rearranging heavy furniture; so I decided to forego the reunion (at least physically...)

Philosophically, I do take issue with one assertion made by Sandy to the effect that the our brain and thoughts are the most essential components of our personal identity. My understanding is that the brain is a complex machine created/utilized by nonmaterial consciousness, while the mind is subtle matter. Our self (atma) is a combination of body, mind and soul, with the infinitesimal spirit-soul (jiva) being the source of individual consciousness. The perfection of life is to link the finite individual soul with the infinite soul through a transcendental devotional process (i.e., bhakti yoga).

Of course concerted efforts should be made to progressively combat diseases of the body and mind, but spiritual perspective and progress are needed to ultimately transcend the evolutionary cycle of repeated birth, old age, disease and death in this world of relativity and duality. We're all getting old, and we'll all be increasingly tested for spiritual knowledge - with death being the final exam. (Ain't you glad I didn't show up to the reunion, lol...)


07/25/17 07:58 PM #125    


Madeleine Ingram (DeVane)

Honestly I do not know how l could be so lax Happy birthday Wes and to all you July babies, bless you, have a wonderful time Madeleine (lngram) DeVane

08/21/17 07:11 PM #126    


Cheryl McDowell

David and I just watched the 99.44% solar eclipse from our front porch, while listening to classical music. It was a wonderful experience! Truly amazing to watch the dragon moon "eat" the sun and then let go so we see the light again. I hope many of you got to see the eclipse as well. Take care.

09/03/17 07:15 PM #127    


Madeleine Ingram (DeVane)

Happy birthday all you Sept babies have a fun filled blessed time. Madeleine (Ingram) DeVane

08/02/18 02:44 PM #128    


Madeleine Ingram (DeVane)

Good afternoon happy birthday Cheryl and everyone born in August so many occurrences anyway have a great rest of the summer Madeleine(Ingram)DeVane

11/11/19 03:14 PM #129    


Madeleine Ingram (DeVane)

Good afternoon happy birthday 🎂 to you Sandy have a very blessed and wonderful day you are amazing take care Madeleine (lngram) DeVane

06/11/20 01:06 PM #130    


Madeleine Ingram (DeVane)

Good morning happy birthday Sandy your family beautiful your update insightful stay safe Madeleine(Ingram)DeVane

08/11/21 07:01 PM #131    

Marsha Ware (Montori)

For everyone who remembers Brian Turner, I'd like to invite you to a celebration of his life this Sunday (August 15) at 2pm at the Florence Civic and Business Center, 90 Pine Street, Florence, MA.

 Brian had fond memories of Classical and counted many of you as friends. Even now I find lists of people he wanted to touch base with, and he routinely searched out where you were and what you were doing. Brian and I remet at a Classical reiunion and began writing together. We became life partners and we're together for the past seven years.

Brian died of bladder cancer January 31, 2021 after a life of many accomplishments. His obituary can be found here:

The memorial gathering will include a video tribute to Brian and an exhibit of some of his original art. There will be light refreshments (tea sandwiches and hors d'oeuvres). Please join us and PLEASE BRING YOUR MASK!

Marsha (Ware) Montori

08/11/21 07:04 PM #132    

Marsha Ware (Montori)

For everyone who remembers Brian Turner, I'd like to invite you to a celebration of his life this Sunday (August 15) at 2pm at the Florence Civic and Business Center, 90 Pine Street, Florence, MA.

 Brian had fond memories of Classical and counted many of you as friends. Even now I find lists of people he wanted to touch base with, and he routinely searched out where you were and what you were doing. Brian and I remet at a Classical reiunion and began writing together. We became life partners and we're together for the past seven years.

Brian died of bladder cancer January 31, 2021 after a life of many accomplishments. His obituary can be found here:

The memorial gathering will include a video tribute to Brian and an exhibit of some of his original art. There will be light refreshments (tea sandwiches and hors d'oeuvres). Please join us and PLEASE BRING YOUR MASK!

Marsha (Ware) Montori

08/23/21 06:07 PM #133    

Ellen Birnbaum

Dear Marsha,
Thank you so much for posting this information.  I'm so very sorry to hear about Brian.  I greatly enjoyed our friendship in high school and it was wonderful to reconnect with him at the past couple of reunions.  I'm sorry too that I wasn't able to attend the celebration of his life last Sunday.
Several days ago I sent you a private message through your profile on this site and would appreciate if you'd please check and let me know that it's reached you.
With kindest wishes,
Ellen Birnbaum

08/29/21 12:44 AM #134    

Marsha Ware (Montori)

Hi Ellen,

I'm glad the news reached you. I know Brian very much enjoyed catching up with you in Boston. Unfortunately I dont know how to retrieve private messages on this site, although I'll give it a try. In the meantime my email address is now 


08/29/21 07:26 PM #135    


Madeleine Ingram (DeVane)

My condolences for Brian Turner ---- God bless him and his family ---- Madeleine (Ingram) DeVane

08/29/21 10:37 PM #136    

Marsha Ware (Montori)

For those of you who knew Brian Turner but were unable to attend the celebration of his life, please enjoy this video we produced featuring reminiscences by me and many other friends. We also collected self-recorded videos from friends here and abroad. Those will be published on Vimeo in the next few days.

04/30/22 09:21 AM #137    

John Piponidis


Hi everyone!!  Does anyone know where Jane Pskowski might be?  She sat behind me in homeroom our senoir year. She went to Westfield State and graduated 1971 with a BSE in education.  I've been trying to locate her but have not had any success.  Any information would be appreciated.  Thanks!



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