The star athletes of Brooklyn’s Boys High School

Class of January 1934, that is—back then, when Boys High in Bed-Stuy was a top high school, graduations took place in January and June.

If these kids were 18 in 1934, they’d be 94 now. They got their diplomas during the Depression and were young enough to serve in World War II.

We don’t know what their lives were like. But the Boys High yearbook, where this photo comes from, reveals a bit about their personalities and plans. 

Isidore Friedenthal was voted Best All-Around Man and Best Athlete. Sidney Firestone snagged Best Speaker and Class Salutorian. 

Thomas Walsh was Most Popular and headed to Holy Cross for engineering school. Enoch Stolder got into Syracuse dental. And August Bartoli was planning on “New York University School of Commerce.” 

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16 Responses to “The star athletes of Brooklyn’s Boys High School”

  1. Bookpod Says:

    This postcard, and your look back at 1934, helps us remember that these people were real, were once young and probably experienced war.

    I did a Google search and found an Isidore Friedenthal listed on a website that lists WWII casualties.

    If the Isidore of the postcard and the Isidore of the casualty list are the same person, your card is suddenly quite poignant.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    I imagine it’s the same Isidore Friedenthal. Very poignant. I’d bet many of his classmates also were killed in the war. Thanks for looking him up and sharing the link.

  3. wildnewyork Says:

    Norman Dolid died in 2007. A peace activist:

  4. Bookpod Says:

    Enoch Lee Stolper was a dentist in the USAC. He died in January 1999:

    They all kind of look like sweet boys —

  5. wildnewyork Says:

    Chief dental surgery in the military. So he did become a dentist.

  6. Kaz Says:

    I did find a Sidney Firestone in the City College of NY class of 1938, but wasn’t able to find more than that at the moment.

    I did a look-up to see what notable personages are Boys High School alumnae. There were several names, including Isaac Asimov and Norman Mailer, but I find it more heartwarming to find out about these young men, who were not necessarily famous men but who are suddenly important to strangers.

    Thank you for reminding people that they lived, they and hundreds of thousands of other non-famous (because I hesitate to put ‘ordinary’) men and women who lived and worked and had families, or died young – but all of whom had a life story and deserve to be remembered by someone.

  7. wildnewyork Says:

    Thanks. There’s just something so intimate about a high school yearbook photo too. And at 18, pretty much anything is possible. I find myself getting lost in their photos, wondering if they made smart choices and experienced happiness.

  8. Ghost Says:

    Isidore died in a military plane crash in Belgium, 1944

  9. wildnewyork Says:

    Thanks Ghost.

  10. Heather Says:

    Just found your blog through a friend’s. Love it! I’m sentimental about the past and always think about the “what ifs” and “where are they now.” I guess that’s why I’ve always been interested in family history.

    Interesting stuff.

    Heather – Brooklyn

  11. joy21 Says:

    I love this entry and the comments.

  12. Ghost Says:

    Enoch Stolper’s sister:

  13. Ghost Says:

    Enoch Stolper obit:

    Also in the NY Times, Enoch’s father Isaac died in car accident in 1945.

  14. RED DAVE Says:

    Sidney Firestone seems to have gone into education.

  15. Bridget Says:

    How cool, my grandfather was August Bartoli. Later changed his name to just Bartol. Served in the war. Unfortunately he passed away in 2012 but lived a long happy life. IF you do have any further information on him would love to learn more.

  16. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thanks Bridget, that’s great to hear. It’s amazing how much we now know about these graduates, thanks to readers doing searches. Unfortunately this is all I have on your grandfather.

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