January 31, 2014 at 6:55 AM
LIVINGSTON, NJ – On Sunday, January 19, a dozen or so Livingston High School alumni, who connected through Facebook, got together for what they are hoping will be the first of many reunions.
Attendees included: Bernie Grabelle, Robin Friedman, Gail Grabelle, Pat Breitkopf, Steven Robinson, Donald Lipkin ('63), Betsy Grossman Robinson ('85), and Alan Salomon ('78).
The idea was originally presented in September, when 1985 Alumna Bobbi Lipschutz posted in the Facebook group called, “You Know You’re from Livingston When,” about running into fellow graduates in Florida. According to Betsy Grossman-Robinson, another 1985 graduate, nothing happened for months, until she came into contact with Robin Friedman, a fellow alumna with whom she met at a Barnes & Noble to discuss future plans.
“It’s amazing how many people you can find through social media,” Robinson said. “You never know what may happen or who may come up.”
Neither Robinson nor Friedman knew how many people would show up, but they extended the invitation through social media to anyone from Livingston who might be in the Delray Beach area. Using Facebook as a communication tool, about 12 LHS alumni from the graduating classes of ’85, ’78, ’79 and ’62 came together for a night of dinner, drinks and nostalgia.
Friedman said that it is because of the various Livingston Facebook groups that these types of events have become possible for people in her age group.
“Facebook has come out to be really handy,” Friedman said. “By using the Facebook group anyone would’ve been able to see it, which is how we got people to come.”
She also recalled the specific moment when she discovered the advantages and capabilities of social media. Through Facebook, she was able to connect with distant family that she hadn’t realized existed, learned of the great-grandmother after whom she was named and is now a member of a closed family group through which they communicate.
Robinson shared a similar experience, where she came across a young woman that she used to babysit through a mutual Facebook friend.
Friedman said she believes these Facebook connections are something that will continue to happen throughout the New York-Metropolitan area because it gives people a chance to “hook up” with colleagues they haven’t seen in 50-60 years.
According to Robinson, the attendees are already wondering when the next event will be and are using social media to spread the word about the first meeting’s success. Presumably, the group is looking to plan a second event for some time in April, at a casino or sports bar where participants would not have to pay for more than their own food and beverage.
Dates and venues are being looked into, as well as potential LHS. giveaways for the next get together. Any alumni who are interested in partaking in these events can contact Betsy Grossman-Robinson at Betsy.Robinson04@gmail.com or connect with her through Facebook.