Former NHS teacher Richard Streb, gone but not forgotten

apple.jpgI just got around to reading my Wednesday Newsday and ran into this obit of Richard Streb, a respected teacher at Northport High, a passionate citizen of the world and the guy who as chairman of the social studies department handed me the 1978 Current Events Sweepstakes trophy.

As many of you no doubt recall, I was the captain of the team from Ms. Skidmore's unheralded, non-AP class that obliterated Mr. Goldblatt's third period AP class in the final, 770-280.

Mr. Streb was duly impressed.

Here is what he wrote in my yearbook:

"Neil: A man who is gifted and able in so many fields should make a conscious effort to seek humility and modesty. Seriously, we all expect a great and productive career and we will be watching. Keep your sense of humor and keep plugging at those things you really care for, and remember to cast a glance back at those less fortunate. Best wishes, '78."

Comments (9)

Will ESPN Classic be rebroadcasting the showdown with Mr. Goldblatts class any time soon as part of a Classic Nassau-Suffolk County Current Events Sweepstakes Marathon?

We started the season with a very narrow upset victory over Mr. Goldblatt's first period AP class.

Then I started getting into it, and by the end of the spring semester I was reading every single word of The New York Times for about three hours each day, then reading Newsday and watching Walter Cronkite for review.

(The questions for this Jeopardy-style event were clearly taken directly from the pages of the NYT, which I didn't figure out until after the tournament was over.)

I knew the name of every Jimmy Carter cabinet member and the leaders of probably 50 foreign nations.

In the final I answered all but one of the questions. Bill Chu answered the other. But he might have gotten it wrong, come to think of it. I don't remember. Nice guy and good basketball player. He never was absent in 13 years of public school - not once!

Mr. Goldblatt's third period class, which we faced in the finals, featured many of my best friends, including a fellow high school newspaper editor, a past/future girlfriend and pretty much the entire academic elite of Northport High.

Our class was a normal cross-section of the student population. And we steamrolled over them. Afterward Mr. Goldblatt said it seemed as if I had the questions in advance, as I was answering them before the moderator had finished asking them.

He came thisclose to calling me a cheater.

The moniker for my column in the college newspaper was "Spirit of Goldblatt."

Many years later . . .

I learned that an uncle of the husband of one of my wife's best friends, in fact the friend who set us up on our first (blind) date, is none other than . . . Stu Goldblatt!

Last I heard he's still alive and kicking in his 90s.

Thanks for reading. And no, Mr. Goldblatt, I didn't cheat.



You're going to have to award yourself "Comment Contest Winner" for this.

Sorry to hear about your teacher. He sounds like one of the best. I'm grateful his influence led you to Newsday and thus our friendship and now our blossoming blog relationship.

Shouldn't you be having dinner with Brett Favre or something instead of reading my blog? This is why Peter King's career has surpassed yours.

Spot on, Best, although I did go to Brett Favre's house once. Besides, Peter has had his moments ... like the time he blogged about his colonoscopy. Oy.

Judging from Mr. Streb's comments in your yearbook, it sounds as if he had loftier expectations for you, too. Like, maybe the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations or something.

Then again, you wouldn't be you. At least you kept your sense of humor and are putting it to good use.

btw, I welcome your comments on my blog. You probably don't think it's cool to do that, but you can chime in any time.

Excuse me guys, before I google "Peter King colonoscopy" can Neil tell me what happened to Bill Chu?


I'm pretty sure Peter had the colonoscopy entry taken out of cyberspace, because i can't find it any longer. Apparently several of his readers were not amused, threatening such things as never, ever reading his work again if he didn't remove it.

I must admit it was one of the most laugh-out-loud moments I've ever had reading it. Then again, give me a gross story, and chances are I'll be rolling on the floor. I'm simply not as mature as you or Best, so my threshold for humor is clearly on the low end.

I guess that's why I'm reduced to doing some of my best writing on these comment boards.


Darn, you're right Bob. King's entry is gone. Too bad - I'm a sucker for first hand accounts about invasive medical procedures.

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