Schenectady County

Linton High School’s Class of ’63 set for 50th reunion

Andrea Iovinella Ronca, Sandie Garofolo Sarto and Ann Mangino Facenda have fond memories of their da

When Andrea Iovinella Ronca thinks about her days at Linton High School during the 1960s, she remembers long walks and long friendships.

“I remember walking everyplace,” said Ronca, who lived on Park Place. “Our parents were working. I walked to school every day. That was quite a hike, up Nott Street and then over to Linton.”

She graduated in 1963 and remembers camaraderie in classrooms and at basketball games and social gatherings.

“We still have that today,” said Ronca, who lives in Glenville. “I still have friends I knew when I was in grade school.”

Members of the Class of ’63 will gather for their 50th anniversary class reunion Aug. 9-11 in Schenectady. Pat Riley is expected to attend the party. The former Linton basketball star — and later college star, professional player and superstar NBA coach — is currently president of the NBA’s world champion Miami Heat.

Pizza for the guys

Ronca and friends Sandie Garofolo Sarto and Ann Mangino Facenda are on the reunion committee. They can also help classmates remember cool places and cool things from their days at Linton.

Ronca said Cornell’s and the Ritz were restaurants kids piled into after basketball and football games. Kids would hang around Steinmetz Park and hang around the TV set when “American Bandstand” jangled into living rooms. Girls were fond of movies — because they were fond of stars Fabian and Troy Donahue.

Pizza has always been popular with teens. It was especially popular at the Iovinella household.

“My mother made pizza for all my guy friends,” Ronca said. “I had a lot of guy friends.”

The Mahjong gang

Facenda grew up on Oakland Avenue. Pleated skirts and Keds sneakers were among the top fashion choices.

There were plenty of kids wearing them.

“We’d get out in the hallway and it was always so crowded when you changed classes,” said Facenda, who now lives in Charlton. When kids were dancing, she said, the “twist” and “stroll” were popular steps.

Like Ronca, Facenda said friends have stayed together. She said six classmates meet on a regular basis to play Mahjong, the Chinese tile game.

“It’s once a week, usually on Tuesdays,” Facenda said.

‘Dancing Mama’

For Clifton Park resident Sarto, days inside Linton were happy days. “I loved going to school,” she said. “I only missed four days.”

She didn’t miss any dances, either.

“I went to all the school dances,” Sarto said. “Tommy Moran was the disc jockey for all the dances. He worked at WGY and he had all the 45 [rpm] records. He used to call me ‘Dancing Mama.’ ”

Any class member with any questions about the reunion can call Sarto at 371-8094.

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