CLASS of '57

Class News and Other Good Stuff.

It's kind of discouraging to only update this website by adding obituaries. So this is a plea for NEWS from and about living classmates that can appear below. Thanks in advance.


Pat and Patty Spinola singing Karioke
2017 February -- Karioke at the South Norwalk Boat Club.

Photo of Pat & Patty Spinola singing one of our oldies at recent Karioke night that Rita Ferland Festo does at SoNo Boat club! Joyce & Jim Deering, Betty Price & Al and Evie & John Theall were there.

Rita Ferland Festo 2012 July 29 -- Rita Ferland Festo and her business, Karaoke by Rita, were featured in a Norwalk Hour article by Leslie Lake today. Here's a copy of the article.

NORWALK -- When Rita Festo and her husband took a trip to Florida in the 1980s, she was intrigued by the "singing machine" they encountered in a bar. Her first experience with karaoke, which hadn't been seen nationwide at the time, coupled with her background in music and the support of her family, gave Festo the idea to bring karaoke to Norwalk and her business "Karaoke by Rita" was born.

"Karaoke started in Japan, came to United States through California and then Florida," Festo said. "At the time there was nothing like this around here. When I started doing this 27 years ago at Partner's in East Norwalk, nobody knew what it was. Before you knew it, lines were out the door for what we were calling our open-mike nights." Festo now brings her karaoke show to clubs, bars and weddings locally, and her equipment consists of a state-of-the art karaoke machine and CD Graphic discs. "Things were very different when I started doing this 27 years ago at Partner's," Festo said. "I started with eight-tracks and people read the words off little sheets of paper. With graphic CD's the lyrics are displayed on a video screen."

Festo typically warms up the audience at her shows by singing a few songs. "I start my show singing," she said. "Sometimes it happens after the first song, other times it takes a few songs before people want to get up there." Festo performs regularly at the American Legion, South Norwalk Boat Club, and the St. Ann Club. She has a loyal following with regular karaoke participants. "I get to know people," Festo said. "Sometimes if they're having problems getting on tune, I'll join them to help them out. Sometimes I just let them go and express themselves."

Betty Price Belcher in 2007 2012 March 11 -- Betty Price Belcher ... seen here in a 2007 photo ... was featured in Norwalk Hour article today. Here are some key extracts.
She didn't plan to be a teacher, but after a short time in an elementary classroom as a young adult, Betty Jane Price Belcher of the Norwalk High School Class of 1957 saw how important a career it could be. [She] was exposed to the life of a teacher from childhood, since her mother, the late Beatrice Johnson Price, devoted a career to students at Fitch School on Strawberry Hill Avenue. Her father, Thomas Price had a career with the Norwalk Fire Department and was a popular baseball coach of the Norwalk American Legion team. [Betty] actually began her college years as a foreign language major at Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia before making the dramatic switch to the New England Conservatory of Music from which she earned a bachelors degree in music therapy. She was offered a job in the Trumbull school system almost immediately, but soon left to bear and raise four children.

She resumed teaching in 1980 as a substitute in the Norwalk system and four years later became a fulltime music teacher at Naramake and Brookside schools. She later moved to the secondary level and became a related arts teaching leader with some two dozen teachers on her team. She has since earned a master's degree in teaching from the University of Bridgeport and a 6th Year Certificate in administration and supervision from Sacred Heart University. She has also been active concurrently as a church organist and choir director and has been familiar most recently in that capacity at Christ Episcopal Church. She was Connecticut chairman of the National Federation of Music Clubs Piano Festival from 1980-85. She and her husband Al, a salesman, [have] three daughters [who] are all public school teachers, while their only son is a professional tennis instructor.

2011 May -- Chuzas Memoir Available on

Bob Chuzas' recently published book, titled Growing Up Bob is now available on ... Bob tells us: "it's a memoir of my experiences while growing up in CT during the 40's, 50's and early 60's. I only used first names and the initial of the last (maiden) name to identify people. I'm sure they'll know who they are ..."     Click the picture of the book below to link to the Amazon website, in a separate window.

2011 March -- Clancey's Host "Mini-Reunion"

Lucille Rivituso Clancey and her husband Jim hosted a gathering for several classmates at their home in Naples, Florida this month. A few pictures from that party were provided by Bob Chuzas. If you have similar gatherings of classmates, please send photos for this website. Thanks.



Our salutatorian Cam Makosky Porter surprised several classmates with autographed copies of her book for their grandchildren at the 70th Birthday Dinner. The book, titled Uncle Wilby and his Wonderful Workshop, was published in 2006 by Racco Productions and is intended for elementary school-aged children. It is (or was) available at some Barnes and Noble locations and is on a "sign-up list" on Her earlier works, adult science fiction books, went unpublished because "they were too clean." Below is a photo of Cam, and the very colorful cover of her published book.


2009 September 05 -- STAN BARON AWARDED AN EMMY

Classmate Stan Baron recently learned that The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awarded him and two associates the 2007-2008 Technology and Engineering EMMY Award for their achievements in developing and documenting the Digital Television Broadcast System specifications. That now-standard system was documented by the Advanced Television Systems Committee while Stan (then an NBC employee) chaired the ATSC technical committee charged by the FCC with documenting the system. The EMMY statue resides at the ATSC Headquarters in D.C. Stan has been retired for ten years, and resides on the coast of Maine. His EMMY plaque is shown below:

2007 Oct 07 -- NORWALK HOUR article on our 50th Reunion.

Norwalk Hour 10/7/2007

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This page last updated 19 March 2017.
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