In Memory

Wally Rabinoff

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03/21/12 12:17 PM #1    

Sharon O'Neill


From:  Arlene Rabinoff Email: 
I would like to let you all know how much Wally loved the friends he made and kept from EMHS '62. When we discovered he had MS, it was told to us that his memory would be very poor. However after much reserach about this horrid disease, we found that the onset of Wally's condition could be determined by how far his memory could take him. It turns out that he remembered everything up to and including his days at University of Rochester. He never forgot his classmates many who continued to be his true best friends and who supported him to the end. I just wanted you all to know he NEVER FORGOT HIS DEVOTED FRIENDS. Those were his happiest days when he was in school and to those who helped make his last days happy;I THANK YOU AND BLESS YOU FOR YOUR DEVOTION TO HIM. To Sharon,thank you for your lovely email. You DO understand, I assure you. Arlene Rabinoff 

03/30/12 10:54 AM #2    

Kenneth Nebel

I visited Wally in California three times in 2000 & 2001.  Although his medical condition limited his mobility, Tim Tuman & I drove Wally to Seal Beach, one of his favorite spots.  Wally was always delighted when we visited. I remember taking Wally to a park by the Santa Anita Racetrack, close to where he lived.  Fran Scheff was kind enough to send Wally some letters he wrote to Ron Scheff during his college days at University of Rochester.  I'll never forget the laughter as I read those letters to Wally.

Wally was my best friend back in the day.  We sat next to each other in 1st-grade at Gotham Avenue School.  This was the year before Dutch Broadway was built.  One of my favorite memories was Mrs. White challenging the class by writing the word "CAT" on the blackboard and asking if anyone knew what the word was.  Of course, up shot Wally's brilliant & confident hand and he blurted out "THE'", the only three-letter word he knew.  I reminded Wally of that blunder for about 30 or 40 years.

Wally & I spent countless days making trips to the great haunts of the '50s like Ebbetts Field, Yankee Stadium, The Polo Grounds, The Brooklyn Paramount for a great stage Rock-n-Roll show, Manhattan to drool over the Fender Stratocaster guitars and try to slip into the Peppermint Lounge for an under-aged beer (it worked in those days) where the band stood high behind the bar and played while you sat at the bar with envy, dreaming of your band making it to the bigs, etc, etc, etc.

When we were in college, one of our favorite school-break pastimes was sitting in the Community Inn on Dutch Broadway.  Wally, Ron Scheff and I would spend hours visiting other EMHS friends over pizza and pitchers of beer. Once in a while, a small band like Santo & Johnny might be playing on the small stage.

Wally's sister, Arlene, arranged to have a plaque engraved and mounted on one of the memorial benches on the boardwalk in Long Beach. I've been by that bench reflecting about my good times with Wally.  Arlene, Judy & I conducted a simple & personal ceremony at that bench by floating a balloon and passing Wally's ashes over the water at Long Beach. His family in California simultaneously placed his ashes over Seal Beach.  In his last days, the beach was always his favorite setting.

I often think of Wally.  He's the best friend I ever had.


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