The Heights Reunites After 50 Years (and it Feels So Good)

This story began (some) 50 years ago in a discreet corner of the Hudson River, high up on the ridge and a step beyond the Bluff - where a generation of American Pie's and their soon-to-be children were making a lifetime of memories. Along the corridors of Washington Heights; Liberty and Renwick St. intersecting with the famed Henry Ave. there was a community at work - a certain checks and balance system taking place from kitchen windows, an invitation to meet let on by a porch light. It is remembered fondly as what was a fun, safe, loving place where growing up meant sharing meals as well as punishments and nobody was dis-invited from the party.

"I knew everybody, I could walk everywhere - I knew someone on every street. I always felt safe." - Pat Fayo

committee members take me on a nostalgic tour into Newburgh's Washington Heights

On Sunday, August 12, 2012 a highly organized 50-year-history of the Heights came together under a party tent thanks to event planner Pay Fayo and her dedicated committee.  The reconnection of nearly 300 used-to-be-neighbors was palpable. A cameo appearance by the Argonauts was among the favorite moments and My Place delivered a fantastic Summer BBQ style buffet of food that never stopped coming.

For a single afternoon, Newburgh's Chadwick Lake was alight with that nostalgic upbringing and a series of re-connections that was 30 years in the making for some and three generations wide for others.

three generations of the Black family (originally from the Heights)

The Heights Reunion pulled people from all across the USA - Las Vegas, Santa Barbara and Georgia among the farthest traveled. Friends Ron Raiser, Renee Woods and Randy Lincoln (below) came together in this photo-op agreeing that it had been 25 years since they last saw one another.

 But, it looks like it was only yesterday....

Long time heights resident Malcolm "Mack" Glenn still lives on the Bluff - going on 50 years. Health problems may have kept him from the reunion, but friends remember him as "a friend to all." Mack was the driving tractor force of upkeep that kept the beautiful views of the Bluff available to all who lived there. Since his retirement from volunteer landscaper the trees have become a bit overgrown. Anyone have a chainsaw?

Another staple of the neighborhood was 30 years of B & L Grocery. Beverly - (the first half of the business name) is joined in this photo by her two daughters Louann and Donna and granddaughter Maelisa in a moment of remembrance for their beloved Dad & Grandfather - Louie. B & L Grocery was well loved for it's tuna fish, soft tacos and 50¢ juice and a-sandwich deals.

Friends and neighbors who made the Heights their home in the '60's, 70's and 80's will hold the memory of those sidewalk strutting days close to their hearts. Reunion go'ers are already asking, "When is the next reunion?" Find out more about the Heights and track upcoming reunion news on their website.

the Heights Committee

You can check out all the reunion photos by Jon Valle Photography on Flickr

Photos by Jonathan Valle

Story by Stefanie Pearl