REUNION NIGHT FEVER from page 31
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"Once a Casanova, always a Casanova!" says former student Dr. Sheldon Markel
with Ronnie Topper, now of Florida. The Casanovas was a social club in the 1950s.
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The graduates reminisced at the
reunion about how things had changed
in the last half century. For example, a
long ride in the country with your date
meant driving out along what is now
Northwestern Highway, says Dr.
Sheldon Markel of Ann Arbor.
When they were students, he adds,
one could get a learner's driving license
at age 14. And for those without cars,
kids walked, took buses and streetcars
— and felt totally safe.
Tauber, both class president and cap-
tain of the football team, remembers
1953 as "the best year of his life."
In school, he recalls, students partici-
pated in clubs like the Royal Society of
Shakespearians, French Club and the
Stamp and Bond Club (where they
sold defense bonds). Outside school,
students formed social clubs and had
the chutzpah to call themselves the
Casanovas or the Amboy Dukes and
had sweaters with the club's name on
the back to prove it.
Unlike Central High School where
everyone was Jewish," says Koploy,
Mumford had a broad cross-section of
races and religions.
Tauber found that in business and
community dealings this diversity pro-
vided "a big-time gain" for him and
The school also was known for its
football team, the Mumford Mustangs.
In 1953, the team won every game
they played. Besides captain Tauber,
players included Dr. Markel, Jimmy
Weitzman and Leon Moskovitz.
'And yet we had neither a gym nor
an auditorium," Koploy says.
"We set a precedent for future classes
in terms of achievement and students
going on to college," says Sachse,
adding that a majority of students in
their class went on to college after
Joe Soltesz of Livonia, one of three
former Mumford teachers at the
reunion, says Mumford was called the
prep school for the University of
Michigan because so many students
went on to study there.
"Mumford had the creme de la creme
of the teachers of Detroit," Soltesz
adds, "and I've never seen a class that
had more parents interested in their
But these "children" were not always
interested in school, says Dr. Markel.
"We had parties and a lot of fun —
there wasn't drugs," he says, but they
did drink and smoke cigarettes. "My
friends and I were trombeniks [trouble
makers] and not serious about school,"
Markel says. "But despite that, we were
Tauber agrees. "Much came from
osmosis from the high school experi-
Sachse says, "At the reunion, we were
kids all over again. "We were lucky to
grow up in such a wonderful environ-
Tauber agrees. "The reunion was ter-
rific. I didn't want it to end." ❑