Sunday, October 7, 2012

More Sketches from Rod Lent

Here are more samples of the late Rod Lent's art work.  The sketch of the school (bottom) was drawn 1994.  It was used in the NPHS Class of 1969 Reunion brochure.  While it clearly depicts our alma mater, the drawing captures the simple yet sturdy nature of any small suburban high school.  It is a school for everyman (and woman) in any time.  The school could exist in any state in the union.  The Class of 1969 sketch (top) appears to show generic members of the class of 1969 in middle age....a little heavier, a little straighter, and some with a little less hair.  And we all seem to be sagging a bit from the everyday burdens of adulthood.

Rod Lent's Art Work

Janice Hansen Lake has sent me some of the late Rod Lent's art work.  Rod will be remembered by his classmates as a skillful and talented artist.  He created the art work for some of the reunion programs (notably the 25th).  I will try to post as much as possible.  Here are some of Rod's later works.

Friday, October 5, 2012

RIP Rod Lent, NPHS Class of 1969

Rod Lent died September 28, 2012.  Classmates may remember him as a talented artist and someone who was voted "Class Clown."  You can read more about him here.  Here's part of the obit:

Rodman R. Lent, Sr. died on Friday, September 28, 2012 at JFK Hospital in Edison. He was born in Plainfield, raised in North Plainfield and had lived in Maryland for several years before moving back to North Plainfield in 1964. 

Mr. Lent was a graduate of North Plainfield High School. 

Prior to his retirement he was a buyer for McJunkin, Inc. in Garwood. 

Rodman was an artist and an avid hobbyist, which included model trains, planes and cars. He also loved music and the outdoors, including looking for turtles and other wildlife. 

He is predeceased by his parents, Roscoe and Audrey Lent. 

Mr. Lent is survived by his wife of 35 years, Mildred Lent; his sons, Rodman Roy Lent, Jr. and Daniel William Lent, both of North Plainfield; his brothers, Roger Lent and his wife, Hallie and Ronald Lent and his wife, Joyce; his sisters, Cheryl Habegger and her husband, Ron, and Beth Dame and her husband, Joe. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

R.I.P. Coach Art Rikstad

Art Rikstad died February 27, 2012 in New Jersey.  He was 72. Read his obituary here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

NPHS Alumni Attend Funeral of Steve Belle on February 6

Steve Belle was buried Monday.  Among the alumni who attended according to the reports I’ve received:  John Cregar (and his brothers Mark and Matthew), Kathy Miller Senna, Bruce Jones (and his sister), Randy Reay, Vicki Blasucci and Marie Mijares.   According to Maria’s post on Facebook, the day ended with everyone singing the Roy Rogers/Dale Evans song, “Happy Trails to You (Until We Meet Again).” 

This blog received almost record-breaking traffic in the last six days.  It's a real tribute to Steve.  It shows how much he was loved by his classmates, how he touched their lives in a positive way, and how deeply the NPHS alumni community feels about the loss of one of its members. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

NPHS's Steve Belle, 1951-2012; More Photos

More images of Steve Belle, who died February 2.
 Steve on drums with his band Foxrush in 1975.
 Steve in Manasquan in 1980.  Great mustache, shades and sideburns.
Born to run.  Steve stands next to his awesome yellow convertible.  It looks like he's somewhere in the Black Forest after a long drive on the Autobahn; he's really in the Watchung Mountains.

Thank you John Cregar for supplying these photos.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

R.I.P. Steve Belle NPHS Class of 1969

For the past several days, John Cregar, Vicki Blasucci and Maria Mijares have been contacting me about the dire medical condition of our fellow classmate Steve Belle (above).  John emailed me this morning with the sad news that he died today.   John has sent me some photos of Steve that I will be posting in the next few days.  If anyone has othe photos or memories of Steve they want to share, please contact me ( or post a comment on this blog.

From communicating with John, I learned that John, Vicki and Maria helped Steve enormously in the last difficult months of his life.  John has taken the time to write about Steve and he wanted to share his thoughts below:

Steve Belle 1951-2012
By John Cregar

Our friend, Steve Belle passed away precisely at midnight last night (February 2) after a prolonged illness.
Steve worked as a painting contractor for many years. More recently, he was employed as a customer support and service representative in the building and lumber trades. He attended Union College in Barbourville, KY.

As most of you know, Steve loved music and was a proficient drummer performing in several rock bands throughout high school and college. Included among these are The Midnight Hour and Foxrush.  Steve was an avid collector and dealer of antique toys specializing in western memorabilia and vintage cap guns. His home is a virtual paraphernalia museum. Most of his rooms are decorated with glass display cases of “Fanner Fifties” Hop-Along Cassidy outfits, and Lone Ranger Lunch Boxes. You name it! Tom Mix? Roy Rogers? Steve’s got it all. I once suggested that he consider donating the collection to the Smithsonian. It's an astonishing collection. (Don’t yet know if he did.)

I am one of several dozen North Plainfielders who have known Steve since Mrs Backer’s second grade class at Stony Brook School. We navigated many childhood shenanigans together which evolved from Mischief Night toilet paper and soap gags through the crazy 1960s. The laughter, kindness, and the positive energy that Steve brought to every occasion will be sorely missed by all of us fortunate enough to grow up with him.

Steve was predeceased by his wife, Vicki who died in 1998; and his father, Frederick. He is survived by his mother, Frances; his daughter, Julie DeRose; his sisters Virginia Fiedler and Diane Cassetta.

Visitation and services will be held from 6:00 to 8:00, Monday, February 6,  at Memorial Funeral Home, 155 South Avenue in Fanwood 07023 (908 322-4350)  Interment will be private. For additional information or to sign the guestbook, visit