Born in January, 1928 in Brooklyn, I grew up at 90 Indiana Ave, in the West End. I attended West School, from 1933, graduating on my birthday, Jan 24, 1940. Our Principal was the late Selma Rafael (Shenbaum), whose friendship continued here in California, where she, her late husband, Maury, and their son, Richard, moved to California in 1947.
I recently enjoyed a reunion with old boyhood friends, Bob Mc Donald who lived up the street from me in Long Beach, Bill Klages, and Richard Shenbaum, all of whom have been Southern California residents now for many years.
I attended the old Long Beach JR High School, then on Magnolia Blvd and West Park Ave., as a member the 7A class under Miss Healy. Cyrus O. Levenson was our Principal. Some of my then new-found classmates in grade 7A included Lucille (Luci) Edwards, Harvey Cohen, Richard Toplitz and Bill Schwartz. I attended grade 7B, (our home room teacher was Mrs. Edna Klages) in the newly opened Long Beach Jr. Sr. High School at Lindell Blvd. and Hudson Street, beginning in Sept 1940 (now Lindell Elementary School). I continued until completion of my sophomore year, and I was a very proud member of the Long Beach Jr. Sr. High School Band under the legendary Glenn Brown (1938 to 1965), from grade 7A until leaving in 1944, attending St Leonard's Academy in Brooklyn, commuting on the LIRR, until I graduated in June 1946.
I enlisted as a Private in the Army in July 1946, retiring as a Major in June 1967. I taught and directed the Army JROTC program as a retired Army Officer, at Riverside Poly High School, Riverside, CA from Sept 1967 until I retired again in June, 1989.
In 1976, we moved from Rialto, near San Bernardino to this High Desert community of Apple Valley. I entered public office here in 1995, serving two years on the Board of the Apple Valley Recreation and Park District, followed by the Board of the Apple Valley Fire Protection District ('97 to '98). In Nov 1998 I was elected to the Town (city) Council of Apple Valley; and reelected again in Nov of 2002, where I presently serve as Mayor Protem.
The 4th of 5 children of Cosmas ("Cos") and Helen Sagona, My older brother Bill, My older sisters, Jewel and Dorothy, and my younger sister, Margie, have shared wonderful memories of our Hometown. Dot, Marge and I survive our family; Dot and Marge are retired Sisters of Mercy teaching sisters who now live together in Ridge, LI, NY. I am a great grandfather of 6, grandfather of 12 and father of 6.
My wife, Linda and I married in September of 1994, and we very much enjoy life here in beautiful Apple Valley. I have now lived here for 26 years -- two years longer than the first 24 years of my life in Long Beach.
Some of my childhood friends include Bob Small, Edwin (Eddie) O'Toole, Ted Hommel, Anne Rinklin Snow, Nick Knox now of Island Park, Connie Rohr, Stuart Schneider, the late Loring Buzzell, and the late Bill Roth. We all started school together (Billy Roth, Connie Rohr and Loring Buzzell all joined us from then Central School in the 3rd grade), with Miss Marion, our West School Kindergarten teacher.
It is my hope in the near future to visit Long Beach, and see some old friends, and, possibly attend a City Council meeting. I find the City Council agendas very interesting, and VERY different from ours. Ours can be viewed at our Town Website, www.AppleValley.org, which includes many features, including our Council meeting agendas and Council member biographies. Best wishes to the City by the Sea, which in my day, was proudly known as America's Healthiest City.
Bob (Robert G.) Sagona