Central High School of Philadelphia
Class 226


Hosted by Harvey Abrams, BS, MAT, Ph.D/abd

Text and photos submitted by Ken Bluford

Kenneth Bluford

Kenneth Bluford

# 035

Autobiographical notes

  • Undergraduate degree from NYU (1967-1971)
  • Graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania (1971-1975)
  • Married twice:
  • - married to Gail Q. Wallace from ‘70 to ‘86
    - married to Cynthia M. Johnson from ‘94 to the present
  • Fathered one extraordinary child, Ariana S. Waynes, born in ‘79.

  • My career as an English teacher and Human resource specialist overlapped as follows:

  • Retired after teaching English for 30 years:
    - two years at Penn as a graduate fellow,
    - four years at Kenyon College (Ohio) as a visiting asst. prof.,
    - four years at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard as a Communications Instructor
    for their apprentice program
    - twenty years at Philadelphia Community College as an adjunct.
    - In addition, I did some tutoring and substitute teaching, which I’d rather forget.
  • I also worked as an HR specialist for 30 years altogether,
    - roughly half at IRS and half at Navy--not at the Shipyard, though, which was shut down before I transferred to Navy.
    The 20 years at Community College fell in the middle of these years.

  • In response to a request for an interesting story:

    I’ve never met the Queen or a Nobel Prize winner, but I did have an exchange with Paul Newman at Kenyon. An alumnus, he was directing a play to inaugurate the school’s new theater. In the grocery on the campus’ dinky main drag, he mistakenly took my shopping cart. I noticed the error because his cart contained only an assortment of overripe, bruised tomatoes; as an undergraduate, I’d worked nights at White Tower and become a vine-ripened tomato maven by slicing hundreds of them. When I sheepishly pointed out he’d switched carts, the somewhat shorter-than-expected Mr. Newman flashed his blue-eyed charisma and I had what Margaret Cho calls a “homo moment”-- he really was impossibly good looking. But how is it the guy whose face is on my salad dressing didn’t know the inside skinny on tomatoes? That’s something to ponder in the next decade!

Memories of Central:

  • Discussing Julius Caesar in Mr. Berkowitz’s class.
  • Walking to Algebra on a Friday afternoon and hearing about JFK’s assassination.
  • Paul Hooper whispering behind me, “Look at Mr. Hamilton’s belt,” which was buried beneath his muffin top.
  • Exchanging views about poetry and truth with Victor Bockris, Joe Balistocky and the rest of the gang at the Mirror.
  • Walking from City Hall to Olney Avenue before school with Galen Gilbert’s Outdoorsmen’s Club.
  • Bruce Bitcover convincing himself I was an Indian (as in Gandhi, not Tonto). 50 years later a DNA test showed he was 7% right.
  • Reading The Stones of Venice for Mr. Mulloy, The Birth of Tragedy and Being and Nothingness for Mr. Phillips, Uncle Tom’s Cabin for Mr. Ruderman and everything I could find by D.H. Lawrence, Ezra Pound and Franz Kafka for Dr. Hamm.
  • With David Cohen in class concocting abusive nicknames for Messrs. Tansley and Siler.
  • Witnessing Paul Blass’ burgeoning love affair with Star Trek.
  • Embarrassing Ray Hammond with Hammond Organ jokes.
  • Ricky Berman’s mom’s borrowing a book on Indian music from the University of Pennsylvania library for me and Mr. Rotman’s showing interest in my poetry--the kindest gestures I can recall from those years.

See some of Ken's work here:


Please send any additional information to me at:
Harvey Abrams
PO Box 732
State College, PA, USA 16804
tel: (814) 321-4018 (mobile with voice mail for messages)
email: Olympicbks@aol.com

This page was created October 12, 2015
Updated October 19, 2015
Updated November 13, 14, 2015
Updated April 4, 2017
Additions made on July 2, 2020


page 1 - http://chs226.org/ (CHS226 "entry" page or "home" page)
page 2 - http://www.chs226.org/CHS226.html (Introduction/dedication page, announcements)
page 3 - http://www.chs226.org/CHS226Directory.html (Class Directory, The 226th Class in alphabetical order, all 482+ classmates)
page 3a - http://www.chs226.org/CHS226questionnaire.html 226 Class QUESTIONNAIRE. Please go here, fill out and return to Harvey.
page 3b - http://www.chs226.org/CHS226missingclassmates.html CHS226missingclassmates.html.
page 4 -- http://www.chs226.org/226_Best_List-3.pdf (Zach's 28 page master list [pdf] the entire class with contact information)
Pages 005 to 500+ -- Links to individual pages for each classmate. Go to the Class DIRECTORY (page 3) for these linked pages.

Contact us
Send 226 Class news to: Reunion Organizer & Class Rep:
Harvey Abrams
PO Box 732
State College, PA USA 16804
email: Olympicbks@aol.com
(814) 321-4018
Zachary Rubin
(215) 321-6905
email: zrubin2@verizon.net
email: zrubin2@verizon.net

Contact the Central HS Alumni Association
The Associated Alumni of the Central High School of Philadelphia
PO Box 26580
Philadelphia, PA 19141-6580
tel: (215) 927-9550 -- fax: (215) 276-5823
email: chsalumniphl@aol.com
website: http://www.centralhighalumni.com
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Copyright © 2015, 2017, 2020 Harvey Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this text may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without the expressed written permission of the author. Or the wrath of Zeus will be upon you.