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Last Updated 5/6/2009
19th Reunion - We Honored Charles Durning

On a warm and picturesque Saturday, in a paradise known as sunny Southern California, a body of people emerged from days gone by, much like those from the famed little town in Brigadoon. Only these people hail from Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island and Manhattan along with some from Long Island - all those who have felt the warm glow of growing up being part of a tiny hamlet inside America - a hamlet known to all as "the Big Apple.” long term loans for bad credit

For about 8 hours each year, this gathering, known as the New York Reunion. rekindles the hearts and spirit and joy of those who remember and enjoy their experience growing up or simply being a part of that special place - New York City. With unabashed enthusiasm and with pride and with an occasional cockiness everyone during these hours are one-of-the-family - grandparents, parents, sons, daughters and cousins. Whatever the ethnic background, whatever the economic, social, or educational level the "family" gathers, smiles, shares and remembers. The stories of heartache, of personal challenges, successes and failure are in many ways similar for many. no credit check payday loans

Robin Schachter Gore - Howard Cohen & Ellen Schachter Cohen

Some revisit the games of their youth, some view the artwork of the old neighborhood and virtually everyone ignores their diets and health conscious fads to grab one of their old favorites - franks with kraut, chocolate eggs creams, thick potato knishes, hot pastrami sandwiches, "chinks"and other tasty morsels of days gone by. And yes, everybody talks and talks and talks.

Talking is encouraged as each person receives an old fashioned G.O. button with their name and the name of their high school. Tables are set aside for over 70 different high schools where people can sign in and schmooze. Larry Covin is the consonant “tumbla” playing music, singing and calling out names of people looking for people. Many of the entertainers drift into the crowd happily talking with their "family" and often bump into others whom they knew growing up. This year’s crowd included former honorees Jan Murray, Connie Stevens, Jerry Vale, Martin Landau, Sid Caesar and adopted New Yorkers Peter Lupus, Shecky Greene, Theo Bikel, Norm Crosby, as well as those legendary stars Red Buttons, Dom DeLuise, RoseMarie, Mitzi Gaynor, legendary fashion designer Mr. Blackwell. Motion picture directors Arthur Hiller and Paul Mazursky along with co-chair Lou Gossett, and actors Bernie Koppel, Henry Silva, Martin Kove, singers Bea Wain, Gogi Grant, Aliza Kashi, Barbara Cook, Barbara McNair, llene Graff, Barbara Minkus and along with comedians Sal Richards, Sammy Shore, impressionist Fred Travalena and the legendary dancer Fayard Nicholas celebrating is 90th birthday, were on the “scene along with 1,600+ others.

AN AMERICAN HERO. personal loan lenders.

Our honoree is a consummate actor. Most people are unaware that Charles was an American war hero. He was in the first wave to land on Omaha Beach in the Normandy invasion. He was the only soldier in his unit to survive a machine ambush and he had to rise above serious wounds and to kill 3 German gunners in a machine gun nest.

Months later in Belgium, he was stabbed 8 times by a teenage German soldier’s a bayonet. Charles eventually bludgeoned him to death with a rock. Charles was released from the hospital in time to fight in the Battle of the Bulge, where he was taken prisoner. After escaping a subsequent massacre of the other prisoners at a prisoner of war camp he was called to return to the scene to help identify the bodies. Finally, as the war drawing to a close, Charles was helping liberate the Nazi death camps and when a bullet struck him in the chest it ended his relentless tour of duty. Charles was awarded three Purple Hearts and a Silver Star for valor after being wounded in action three times.


How can you go wrong with a show featuring such comedians as BUTTONS, CAESAR, CROSBY, DELUISE and recent Hollywood Blvd. Walk of Fame inductee TRAVALENA.
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But this was just a prelude. Sammy Shore returned and capped his comedy with a most poignant song illustrating his life’s travels as a consummate veteran stand-up comic. Master of Ceremonies, Sal Richards, returning for his 4th consecutive year was never funnier. Freddy Roman, President of the New York Friars Club and star of "Catskills On Broadway," demolished the audience causing belly aches from laughter. "The beautiful Barbara McNair, in style, voice and charm." as described by Mr. Blackwell was fabulous – as always. When she and Robbie Britt sang. "Try To Remember” we all shared our own personal memories while listening to a most wonderful classic made famous by our pal Ed Ames. illinois installment loans

Not to be out done, the ageless 91 year young - Tony Martin sang four songs that put shivers up and down everyone’s spine. Cyd Charisse’s presence stage was all that was necessary for a flashback to the times of this that we all shared with two of Hollywood’s legends.

Connie Stevens had the honor of performing the adoption ceremony as we adopted both Cyd and Tony as honorary New Yorkers while Valerie Harper and Lou Gossett were accorded the honor of presenting our honoree and their friend Charles Durning with our gift.

Charles, who has been attending our reunions for many years, had the time of his life and he thanked everyone for their love and affection.
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As the crowd left, they were all eagerly looking forward to next year’s 20th am reunion. online payday loans in arizona

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