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Last Updated 3/10/2009

Assembly 2000 was very similar to the days 20, 30, ,40, 50 and even 60 years ago. A very large auditorium built in the 1930s with a balcony to allow approximately 1,800 people to sit and watch. Little, if any of the original features had changed and the monolith was actually very comfortable.

The alumni from over 70 different New York high schools came together to honor one of Brooklyn’s and Erasmus Hall’s great ladies, a true woman for all seasons. Singer, actress, entertainer, mother, and grandmother, Lainie was simply described as a wholesome down-to-earth gal by her former high school boyfriend, Mark Seitman, "There were, playing stickball on East 68th Street and this gal came walking down the street. Suddenly the game stopped and all the guys were staring - and you don’t stop a stickball game for anything! She was radiant, she was gorgeous and best of all she was attending Erasmus Hall High School.
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We went out a few times but we stopped dating. I don’t think she liked me too much. But we’ve stayed friends for all these years and while I’m happily married myself, I love Lainie because she’s my pal. And you know what, Lainie still has many friends from her days in Brooklyn."

Proclaimed Queen of Brooklyn by Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden several years ago, Lainie has remained close to her roots. After all, her mother lived in her apartment on Beekman Place – but not “the” Beekman Place – until her passing several months ago.

Lainie, who was filming in Toronto, Canada and had taken a flight from Toronto at 11:00 a.m. and she arrived in L.A. just a couple of hours before the reunion. Whisked off the plane at LAX and brought directly to Fairfax H.S., Lainie was treated to a lovely evening of nostalgia and merriment and just in time for a quick bite with Tab Hunter.
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The evening began with the traditional New York overture by the "Manny Harmon orchestra" and that was followed by the most awe-inspiring rendition of America by the wonderfully gifted Robbie Britt. Red Buttons, who was committed to attending another major Beverly Hills event that same evening, showed his love for Lainie and his grace by arriving in formal attire, setting the tone onstage and then driving off to be seen later on television’s red carpet for the other “Hollywood” event. personal loan lenders.

The impresario of the Improv, our own Budd Friedman, helped to arrange part of the evening’s entertainment and Budd served as the early master of ceremonies. What followed was another of those classic and unique New York evenings.

Crafted by producers Johnny Francis and Buddy Arnold, and director Jon Alexander, Johnny Francis served as master of ceremonies weaving a wonderful evening of entertainment. Comedian-impressionist Pain Matteson and Bruce Fein continued mirth and when dear pal. Sammy Shore arrived on stage the laughter became sidesplitting and uproarious. The legendary Buddy Greco was simply amazing. His virtuoso performance singing and playing the piano and his duet with his wife, songstress Lezlie Anders, was riveting. Lezlie’s rendition of the song. I am a Woman - W.O.M.A.N was unforgettable.
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In between, Brooklynite and former Mayor of Beverly Hills Max Salter, acting behalf of Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields, formerly "adopted"’ the charming Monty Hall as an honorary New Yorker. What can you say about Monty Hall? He speaks and everyone listens. The auditorium became attentive as he recalled how close he was to actually becoming a New Yorker, a Brooklynite himself. Monty explained that when his family came over from the old world that half went to Brooklyn and the other half to Canada. When Monty visited his relatives in Brooklyn years later he and attended synagogue with them they expressed their surprised that he could "dauven "

"Hey, I’m still Jewish, whether I’m in Canada, Europe or Brooklyn"", exclaimed Monty. -’So what’s the big deal?" and they all had a good laugh. illinois installment loans

Days after the event, when Monty ran into Fran and Lou he was so proud, "Thanks for making me a New Yorker. Two days ago I insulted three people and I didn’t feel any guilt!” Of course Monty had a twinkle in his eye and we weren’t sure if we could believe him. Sweetness is one of the words that epitomize this man and together with his wife Marilyn, they added a touch of sweetness and class to the evening.

Oh yes, Fyvush Finkel, that joyous fellow and one of our recent honorees opened the second act with his infectious humor and he finished with song and dance. The audience hushed as the imposing Dr. James Shuart, President of Hofstra University, Lainie’s alma and Tank Younger, Director of the Theatrical Arts Department and fellow student with Lainie at Hosftra many years ago, presented Lainie with Hofstra’s Presidential Medal. Prestigious?
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Prior recipients include Abba Eban, Henry Kissinger, Clare Boothe Luce, Frank Sinatra, Elie Wiesel, among others.

And, how did the evening end? With a performance in which Lainie said she never sang, better. Lainie and her daughter Jennifer sang a mother /daughter duet that was truly out-of-sight! Sardi’s after party? Nah- we all had a ball at Cantors!
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