Wakefield High School Crest

Wakefield High School Class of 1959

Arlington, Virginia

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Tarravechia in Bermuda Shorts, June 1959

Ladies and gentlemen:

This is a belated response to your mailing of February, addressed to me as Thomas "Pollick" (which I think may have been due to a yearbook error?? I have searched for my old yearbook without success....) and to Stuart Steele's phone contact the other night. I see my status in the website is now "Confirmed" with the correct name spelling.

Sorry for not checking in sooner, but I have been searching for one of my old negatives, which I have now scanned and attached. Hopefully you might be able to reproduce it in some publication or web page, as I guarantee it will stir memories of anyone in Mr. T's class. As nearly as I can recall after (almost exactly) half a century, this was on "Bermuda Shorts Day", obviously just before the end of the school year, June? 1959. I believe this was the only photo I took at school but I could not resist the image of the celebrated Mr. Tarravechia, the legend of Senior English, getting a little more informal than was usually expected. The shot could better but is not bad, given the technology available, as this was an available light shot (no flash) and not with fast film.

I cannot be sure because the focus is not good enough, but I believe the tack-board items on the left are cartoons which three of us posted during the year as the spirit moved us, based on whatever subject material was current. As I recall Bob Armstrong started the thing, motivating myself and Jim Scancarelli to contribute also, of whom Jim was the one with the real artistic talent (he now draws the long-running Gasoline Alley comic strip). I often wonder what happened to some of my dubious art work.

I hope Mr. T. has been in a position to enjoy reunions. I assume he has long since retired, and if he ever wondered how much lasting impact he had on his students, here is at least one testimonial. I completed five years of college with a BS degree (appropriately enough) and by now I only remember a few instructors and classes with any clarity, and I am terrible with names. However, Mr. Richard Tarravechia and Senior English heads the list. I looked forward to that hour of the day (even when I was not well prepared, often enough) despite the tough and challenging assignments. (Example: write a vivid description of some person or object, without using one single adjective! It can be done!!) Mr. T., I remember, I learned, and I cherish.

I regret that I probably cannot make it to the reunion physically, as it is quite a distance from here in California. However, I will be there in spirit.

Tom Pollock Jr. Monrovia CA