Wednesday, August 30, 1995


Arthur V. Ferrara's Retirement Party

This gala event, organized by the combined Me's and Women's Clubs on Friday, December 8, 1995, attracted more retirees than I have ever seen, over the years. It was a fun event, to celebrate Arthur V. Ferrara's retirement after 35 years with the Guardian, as President and CEO since 1990 and Chairman and CEO since 1993. Mike Schiffman showed home movies of Arthur as a kiddie, a student, a soldier and a groom, with Dolly and the three children. Looks like Arthur is in good shape, judging from the poolside and tennis pix, and can do consulting without strain. Parenthetically, it is amazing and gratifying how many GLIC employees' children have followed their parents into the Guardian family. Among the chief executives alone, Arthur's son Tom and son-in-law xx are FRS, Leo Futia's sonxx ditto.

Further nice and inspiring words were said by Leo Futia and Armand De Paolo. The closing remarks by Joe Sargent, Arthur's successor, reminded us of the debt we owed to Arthur's leadership through the recent turbulent times. Hugh Howell, who at age 70 is the oldest Guardianite still at work (he came in 1940) delivered the Service Clubs' best wishes, with a gift of Guardian T-shirts and jackets, to remind Arthur of his roots, which Arthur himself acknowledged in his concluding remarks.

Among the retirees present, Don and June Brady are coming back to NYC, after some years in Sarasota. You can catch him at 140 West End Ave, NY 10023 in a week or so. Irwin Stricker is busier than ever, taking a program at Hofstra and studying European history at Nassau Community College. he also writes a weekly column for his synagogue's bulletin. Go get them, Irv! Jerry Parker still runs
Greenwich, between Regional Town Meeting and Planning and Zoning Committee
work, and advising older folk on their health care options. Mae Kehoe, my mentor at GLIC mail department half a century ago, is as lively as ever, taking care of the old folks at Stuy Town. Gertrude Barber was there, wonderfully lucid after a severe stroke. Bob tells me that she has physical therapy at the Rusk center three times a week, and speech therapy at home. Bernie Brown looks great, as do all of the retirees. George and Julie Conklin looked great. George, who maintained a Guardian office for all these years, does his Guardian work now mostly from home. Fred Werle, a recent retiree, is still consulting in Bethlehem.

Other retiree attendees, in the order I saw them: Joanne Valley, Mary Handlowsky, Lil Swanson, Louisa Fisher, Mary Merha, who comes in several days a week; Hilda Strassheim and Ellen Dorchin of Stuy Town/Peter Cooper Village, Mary Rapp, formerly Health, Grace Ryan from Roncocomo (I can never spell that); Bob and Tanya Hersam(she's still working), Pearl Goldsmith (she's in the HO visiting regularly).

Also spoke to Mel Taub, who had signed up but did not come. He has a cold, but is otherwise ok, and working on a play, cannot resolve the conclusion. Should not be to hard, for the old crossword-puzzle master.

A rare visitor in the Home office on the day af Arthur Ferrara's retirement party, Dec. 8, was Arlene Wowles. First time in New York after her retirement in 1990, she traveled into the city with a seniors' group from her church who wanted to see the Christmas decorations and tour Big Apple. Arlene wanted to see her friends, and was happy to see many of the old faces.

She is very satisfied with her post-Guardian life. She returned to Fayetteville, New York, a town of 5,000 souls, a few of them related to her, five miles out of Syracuse. She has a nice troublefree apartment with two bedrooms and baths, and a garden porch, and participates in the church choir and senior activities. They have frequent trips. She does not come to the concerts and plays in the Syracuse Civic Center in Syracuse as much she used to, and participates in things locally.
Keep singing, Arlene!

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