Howard Ballon

Hi gang,

Haven't lost my hair but lost my mind a few times along the way.

Never lost touch with some wonderful friendships made in grade school and high school. When I married Joan in Los Angeles in 1991, Eric Rayman, Rob Mainthow, Michael Greenburg, Jill Hausberg Marinoff, Rob Grossman (Class of '70) were there. So was Sue Carmel's mother.

Joan and I have fabulous twin boys, David and Jason, who just turned six. We just came back from our first camping experience, a fossil hunt in the Mojave Desert. David found an elephant tooth; Jason, some camel bones, all from the Miocene Epoch. Nothing better than to rediscover what you once loved to do with help from your sons.

I still feel that some of the best teachers/professors I had were at the high school. While Eric Rothchild and Vance Stokes were tops, it was a few English teachers, Carl Ladensak and others (excuse my spelling and faulty memory), who left the most lasting impressions teaching the American canon – Melville, Whitman, Twain, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner (dead white males but who knew then). They left me with a love of story-telling and a gnawing sense, which I now more fully appreciate, of the limits of self-making.

Had other great teachers along the way, one, who loved to spin analogies with the texts at hand and the Nixon White house, a Gitane chain-smoker Kafka scholar, of course. I tried to track him down years later but was told he had left teaching and become a corporate headhunter. Couldn't understand it at the time but…

After school, I settled in New York City. Though I'd never leave NYC. After I left, I suffered withdrawal from the tabloid sports' sections until the net allowed me to read the New York Post sports' pages every day. Worked in New York in book publishing and the then nascent home video industry in the late 1970's and 1980's. In New York, I ran into many of you. I probably saw Roger Sherman and Eric Rayman most frequently. Rarely got up to Scarsdale after my folks moved to the city in 1979.

I moved to Los Angeles soon after our 20th high school reunion, after getting lost trying to find my way to our reunion dinner. I thought it was time to get lost somewhere else.

I met my wife the first week in Los Angeles briefly. I didn't have the wherewithal to get her phone number but ended up being set up with her on a blind date eleven months later. We married eleven months after that – the best judgment I've shown, by far, since Rob Mainthow and I hijacked the team bus after a junior varsity basketball game against Harrison. We were going skiing the next day.

Joan is a psychotherapist in private practice, and I work in the entertainment industry and occasionally write.

I can be reached, once the damn broadband service is in block synch, at [email protected] and at [email protected]

The picture of my family was taken on January 1, 1999 in Maui where we will be again for the big celebration. Have a great one. See some of you on the slopes in March.

P.S. For any of you who are coming out to LA for the Democratic Convention, give me a call, and we can throw a few back or have tea. Hell, it's not 1968, but that's another ever-reverberating story.

Senior class book picture for Howard Ballon
Recent picture for Howard Ballon