On February 12, 2001 I entered MVB for the first time since graduation in February of 1976. I entered during a change of
classes with some students also leaving for the day. The lobby actually had a large 3 foot photo of our ex leader Martin Van
Buren himself. It was the same photo that I use here on the website! Perhaps this is the only photo available. It is actually
a remake photo of an oil painting.
The photo was encased in glass. Along the other side of the lobby were many trophys
that the students had won in athletic competitions.
Inside the school was mass chaos during the change of classes,
no different then when we used to change classes. No one even noticed I was there. I went up and down the hallways and peered
into the classrooms. They looked small and crowded. Could not really tell the quality of the furniture from outside the classrooms.
The students were all from different mixes of race and nationalities. I asked the security in the lobby if there were any
Tee-shirts or momentos for sale and she said that the school stopped selling items years ago.
I then ventured outside
and went all around the outside of the building. As I started to take photos which are shown below, some students looked at
me as if they had never seen a camera? Some of you fellow Alumni live outside of NYC in other states where High School students
drive to school, have pagers,cell phones and laptop computers. MVB students "appear" in my opinion, to barely have
the funds to take the public buses home. But that does not stop them from getting a New York City Education. Most of us forget,
but we, also in the early seventies did not have cameras, extra money to spend on luxury items, and did not have air conditioning
at home. We used to say things like "only those Long Island kids get to drive cars and go onto the good colleges."
I wonder if the same sentiments are expressed today? I stopped and stared at these students outside of the school waiting
for the buses to go home and realized quickly why many of us are what we are today. It is actually an accomplishment for many
of us to have finished college and perhaps even taken on professional careers.
Most of the outside of MVB has not
changed. I went through the broken fence into the track field and observed how neglect has taken its toll. The bleachers that
once seated many families watching their children compete in sporting events are now just rusted metal, no seating at all,
just the frame is there. I continued the path up the side streets to Union Turnpike which many of us used to follow. There
was a police car parked with an additional undercover police police car parked several spots behind. The Police were inside
the cars and also one student was being held in the back seat. I guess things have changed? However do not let what is happening
now discourage you from being proud to have graduated from MVB in the class of '76. We had our good times, made many friends
and established a basis for our futures there. Now is the time to bring back the old memories amongst your fellow Alumni on
This corner was a meeting place for many students before their first class.
The street leading down the hill towards MVB. Hey, where is Joe Fazio's Volkswagen Bug with his eight track playing Jethro
The bus stop where those who lived off of Union Turnpike would remember. Get your passes and nickels out now, the bus is coming!
Here you were 25 years ago alone at the Union Turnpike bus stop wondering if you were early or you already missed your bus?
The "doors" at the rear of the school where many of us took many trips in and out of.
The fenced in area outside of the "doors" where we would all meet before and after classes. In our freshman and
sophomore years we had the late sessions with classes starting at 12:25 P.M. and this area was the last chance to not get
crushed before we entered the school.
As the "doors" opened we would see this if you were the first one out.