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A Newsletter By, About, and For Graduates
of William Allen High School's Class of 1983

Issue 2 - June 1996

Inside This Issue...

Blizzard of 1996
Around Allentown
Since High School
Connector Update
A Bit of 1983 Trivia

Story by: Annette Blanar
Photographs by: Jed Rapoport

Allentown, like most of the Northeast, received more than their fair share of snow this past winter. While the snow began in November and finally ended in April, the bulk of the snow came one week in early January.

The forecast for Sunday, January 7, 1996, was snow. As the forecasters predicted, the snow began - and continued. Sunday evening, when the wind was more than 35 mph and visibility was less than one-quarter mile, the snowstorm was upgraded to a blizzard. Conditions were so bad that the Lehigh Valley International Airport closed at 8:00 p.m. Sunday night. Many people were stranded in Allentown including basketball star Shaquille O'Neal and his Orlando Magic teammates who were on route to a game in Philadelphia. At 10:00 p.m., a state of emergency was declared in Allentown with all non-essential traffic banned from city streets.

When the storm finally ended on Monday, January 8th, Allentown was faced with continued extreme cold, a record-setting 26 inches of snow, and high snow drifts. The airport remained closed, the state of emergency continued, and the clean-up began. With streets impassable and cars buried beneath snowbanks, the city was virtually closed on Monday. The Allentown police even had to discontinue their regular patrols because of the difficult road conditions.

Snow in Allentown - Photo 1 The morning after the Blizzard of 1996, snowdrifts were a common site. This fence is about 4-foot high which means the snowdrift around the tree is about six-foot high.
Snow in Allentown - Photo 2 The day after the big snow hit, streets were impassable and cars were not going anywhere until they were dug out. One of the few ways around town was by cross-country skiing.

The clean-up continued on Tuesday. Many residential streets were still left unplowed. Starting to feel like they were never getting out, residents banded together to dig out each other's cars and to shovel their own streets. Many neighborhoods faced battles with the plows. Just as people got their cars out, the plows came by and plowed them back in in an effort to clear the streets.

Some residents of Allentown had more than just their cars to dig out. In some areas, people were forced to crawl out their home's windows because drifting snow had blocked all of their doors. In other instances, snow had to be cleared from roofs. People on their roofs with shovels and snowblowers were common sites. Unfortunate roofs collapsed under the weight of the snow.

Snow in Allentown - Photo 3 Snow piled up not only on streets and cars but also on roofs. Snow removal was just as important there in order to prevent roof collapse.

With street snow plowed into banks up to seven feet high, Allentown sought other places to dump the tons of snow that had fallen. The wastewater treatment plant at Kline's Island and the old Mack Trucks complex on 10th street became snow storage areas.

With the state of emergency lifted on Wednesday, residents began to venture out of their homes to go to work or stores. Those who did go out found one-lane roads, detours, bumper-to-bumper traffic, and fender-benders. Store shelves emptied without being replenished because deliveries had a hard time getting into town. Lehigh Valley schools remained closed through the week.

On Friday, just when residents were starting to think things would be getting back to normal, 5.8 more inches of snow fell. Winter continued.

Snow in Allentown - Photo 4 The snow on many walkways piled up to over 30 inches. In some cases, people found it easier to tunnel through large snowdrifts than completely remove them.
Snow in Allentown - Photo 5 Three days after the storm, streets were still difficult to maneuver. Many sidestreets were reduced to one-lane roads with the mounds of snow piled on the sides.

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Because of their increase in enrollment and the discontent among Allentown residents over off-campus parties, Muhlenberg College is building an on-campus dormitory. It should be completed by the Fall semester.
Dr. Nestor Rios, a Sacred Heart Hospital pediatrician, may have carelessly exposed hundreds of his Lehigh Valley patients, including newborns, to infectious tuberculosis. Affected individuals are being identified and treated.
Lehigh County Prison has begun housing excess federal prisoners. This agreement has resulted in extra income for the county and has helped to avoid a real estate tax increase.
The Allentown School District may begin annual evaluations of teachers beginning June 1. Teachers will be evaluated on their lesson planning, teaching strategies, professionalism, and classroom management skills.
Allentown City Council passed an ordinance that makes parents responsible for their child's behavior. The ordinance allows police to fine parents and requires the parents to attend parenting classes if their child is arrested for a crime. The mayor of Allentown, William Heydt, vetoed the ordinance.

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Since High School      See e-mail addresses of classmates

Tina (Scholler) Hertel lives in Bloomington, IN with her wonderful husband Mike, precocious three-year-old daughter Michelle, delightful second child to be named in July, and dog that people think is a wolf Kyska. Tina is currently working as a research analyst in the Office of the Registrar at Indiana University-Bloomington. Her future plans include bringing another beautiful child into this world, continuous remodeling of their home, finishing her masters degree, and just enjoying life.

Sharon (Finkelstein) Patent lives in Lafayette Hill, PA with her new husband Eric. Congratulations to Sharon on her recent February marriage! Since receiving her masters degree in statistics in 1989, she has been doing marketing work in the pharmaceutical industry. She loves her current position which involves selling advanced marketing research techniques to pharmaceutical manufacturers. In this position, she gets to talk to the clients and do the analyses. Her husband Eric is a computer consultant with his own company.

Mark Wilson is single and has been working for AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, NJ for six years. Mark's technical expertise is survivable network planning and design which involves extensive travel to present papers and to attend customer meetings. While working for Bell Labs, Mark earned his Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in May 1995. Although Mark now lives in Hightstown, NJ near Princeton, he returns to Allentown very frequently to visit family and friends on the weekends. Mark can be reached via e-mail at He would love hear from Allen classmates and meet over a pint of Guinness the next time he is in Allentown.

Wayne Barz just moved into a new house in Whitehall, PA where he lives with his wife Lori and 3-year-old son Connor. Wayne and Lori are expecting their second child in December and are very excited about it. Wayne is currently working as a Real Estate and Economic Development Consultant for Urban Research and Development Corporation in Bethlehem, PA. His work involves helping communities, mostly in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware, create jobs and redevelop abandoned properties. His wife Lori works in Fogelsville at Prudential Insurance's AARP Operations. She is the technical staff person for her unit in customer service. Their son Connor likes everything, tries everything, understands most things (even the concept of opposable thumbs), and his favorite phrase is "Why?". A thousand times a day: why, why, WHY? Wayne wants to know if anyone knows the answer to this question. Rounding out their household is an overweight, but very happy, Golden Retriever named Midas. Midas is a strange animal who likes Wayne's socks and who will occasional lie very close to the corner of a room and stare into it. Nonetheless, Wayne says that Midas is a great dog. Wayne's e-mail address is

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The Connector Receives Favorable Response
Most of the individuals who received a copy of the first issue have written to tell me that they enjoyed the premiere issue. I hope that we will be able to reach more and more people with each issue. Remember to pass your copy onto others.

Internet Page for The Connector
The newsletter is now being published in several formats. In addition to the regular printed format, The Connector is available on the Internet. You can find the newsletter at This site not only includes the current issue, but also previous issues (at least until I run out of room). If you do not have access to the Internet but would like to receive an electronic version of The Connector, send a request to info@wahs1983@com. Keep in mind that this format will include text only - no graphics.

Request for E-Mail Addresses
At the request of a couple of readers, I am collecting e-mail addresses of our classmates for publication in a future issue. Each one of us probably has someone with whom we would like to regain contact. So if you are on-line, drop me a note with your address.

Request for Material
Once again, I must stress that I need material. When you receive your first issue, please immediately send me an autobiography. This way I can gauge how many people the newsletter has actually been able to reach.

In addition to autobiographies, I also need other articles. Write me a humorous anecdote. Write me a political commentary. Send me your master's thesis. Send me your business card or a photo if you don't like to write. Remember now with Internet access your business can have "free world-wide advertising". Your material does not necessarily have to be about yourself or high school. It can be about your job, a vacation, or anything you would like to share with others.

In addition, in a future issue, I would like to do a photo montage. If you would like to be a part of this story, please send a photo of yourself and/or your family to me ASAP. The deadline for submitting material for the December 1996 issue is November 15, 1996.

Enjoy this issue and the warm weather!

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If you were not motivated to pull out your yearbook and search for the answers, here are the answers to last issue's trivia questions.

1. Homecoming King was Mike Wolf. Homecoming Queen was Whitney Greenawald.
2. This was a trick question as I never specified which game. Most people tend to think varsity football. During our senior year of high school, Allen won the varsity football game with a score of 27 to 14. In fact, Allen also beat Dieruff in JV and 9th Grade Football; Varsity and JV Soccer; Girl's and Boy's Cross Country; Varsity Hockey; Rifle; Varsity, JV, and 9th Grade Boy's Basketball; JV and 9th Grade Girl's Basketball; Swimming; Girl's and Boy's Tennis; Wrestling; and Gymnastics. It was a winning year!
3. The president of Allen's TV and Stage Crew Club was Jeff Ruch.
4. School principal was Mr. Ray Erb, Jr. It was his first year as principal of Allen High.
5. Diane Krill placed first in the Voice of Democracy oratorical contest.
6. The Canary Marching Band's drum major was Jill Rabenold.
7. Stacey Beltz and Bill Harries won the honors for class clown.

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The Connector™ copyright 1996-, Annette Blanar,
graduate of  William Allen High School's Class of 1983. All rights reserved.
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