40-Year Reunion Celebrated


The year was 1973 and on January 14th of that year, Superbowl VII crowned the Miami Dolphins champions as they defeated the Washington Redskins 14-7 to complete the only perfect season, that record still stands today. Gasoline cost 39 cents per gallon and the minimum wage was $1.60 per hour. Our Troops were finally withdrawn from Vietnam and U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War ends with the signing of peace. Secretariat wins the Triple Crown, Pink Floyd released "Dark Side Of The Moon,” and President Richard Nixon tells the nation, “I am not a crook.” In the fall of ’73, our Walt Whitman seniors had graduated and as new drivers at the time, endured the first gas crisis in their lifetime. OPEC had announced they would restrict the flow of crude oil causing price of oil to increase by 200%.

Much has changed in the past 40 years (and some things never change), but for a special group of Walt Whitman alumni, this past weekend gave them an opportunity to get together and share all those changes was well as get caught up with their current lives.

Many in the 40-year reunion group stopped by Walt Whitman over the weekend and posed for a group photo. We will be updating you with who’s who in the photo, but for now, we couldn’t ask for better bookends.  On the far left is Ray Spatafora. The following is from the SHEF Golf outing this past summer as a standing room only crowd honored Ray.

Ray’s hard work, dedication, and tremendous support to the Huntington community is widely respected. He is a well-known figure at Walt Whitman High School, where he is currently serving as supervisor for security, confidant to students, and the all-round guy who always knows what’s going on. 

Ray raised his four daughters here in Huntington Station while working as supervisor for the town of Huntington HART bus system for 32 years. He joined the Huntington Manor Fire Department in 1982, is a lifetime member, and he is currently fire commissioner. His service to our community also includes serving as youth mentor for the Tri-CYA Youth Agency Teen Center, local representative for Suffolk County Legislator Lou D’Amaro, and project EXCEL mentor.

And on the far right of the group photo is world famous photographer Patrick McMullan.

Here’s what we had to say about Patrick when he was inducted into the Walt Whitman Hall of Fame in 2010: Patrick is one of New York City's premier photographers, and his work is regularly featured in Vanity Fair, New York Times Magazine, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, to name a few. He has published several books, and his newest book, Glamour Girls, boasts one of the largest collections of photographs ever published of the world's most celebrated women. Glamour Girls features over 1400 images and spans Patrick's career. You can see and read more about Patrick at: www.patrickmcmullan.com.


Congratulations Walt Whitman Class of 1973, you make Walt Whitman and the South Huntington community proud!