One of Brighton High School’s Fab Five is back in town

One of Brighton High School’s Fab Five is back in town

1981 BHS championship chess team (top row, first from left and third from left) Alan Sun and Phil Ghyzel (top row, far right) Dave Kramer (second row, second from right) Dean Tucker [from Crossroads 1981 held at and scanned courtesy Brighton Memorial Library] From Wildcats strike out our undermanned Barons

1981 BHS championship chess team (top row, first from left and third from left) Alan Sun and Phil Ghyzel (top row, far right) Dave Kramer (second row, second from right) Dean Tucker [from Crossroads 1981 held at and scanned courtesy Brighton Memorial Library]

4 Fab Fivers: Andre Marquis, Phil Ghyzel, David Kramer. Above, Eugene Kramer. Sometime in the 1980s. [Photo: Dean Tucker] See Cold and snowy Turkey Bowls at Reifsteck Field

Chess player, Strat player, street football player, and badminton player — and former Navy pilot — Phil Ghyzel, BHS ’81, is back in town for the Holidays.

Two Fab Fivers, Alan Sun, right, with Phil Ghyzel at Dean Tucker's wedding, 1991. See A ribbon cutting and the Pages of the Brighton Memorial Library

Two Fab Fivers, Alan Sun, right, with Phil Ghyzel at Dean Tucker’s wedding, 1991.

Upon his arrival the day before Christmas , Phil discovered — out of the blue — that his name appears three times in TalkeroftheTown.com.

Placing “Ghyzel” and/or “Phil” into the site search bar brought back that Proustian wave of memory. As Phil says, “Opportunities seized upon, or squandered. What was, and what might have been.”

Phil Ghhyzel's post high school bio

Phil Ghyzel’s post high school bio

chess 1980

1980 BHS chess team (top row, first and second) Phil Ghyzel and Alan Sun (third row, far right) Andre Marquis (second row, far right) Dean Tucker (first row, second from right) Dave Kramer (bottom row, left)

In Wildcats strike out our undermanned Barons, Phil read:

This year [2016] was to be Brighton’s. The 35th anniversary of that championship season when we Barons wore the Monroe County Chess League crown. The Fab Five: Andre, Alan, Phil, Dean and myself.

Yes, Phil mused. Before Michigan’s Howard, Jackson, King, Rose and Webber were Ghyzel, Kramer, Marquis, Sun and Tucker.

Reflecting on that life peak, that 1981 championship season, Phil recalled the day the engine quit in the trainer he was flying, quietly gliding to an eventual safe landing, while considering other possibilities, may be the only experience eclipsing the emotional high of that championship season. At fourth board, Phil won his Varsity Letter with distinction.

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(left) 1980/81 season. Brighton vs. Webster, From the Democrat & Chronicle. Caption; “Dave Kramer of Brighton concentrates on his next move. He lost.” From Wildcats strike out our undermanned Barons; (center) Alan Sun was the only Junior member of the Fab Five. Crossroads, 1981. From A ribbon cutting and the Pages of the Brighton Memorial Library Another Fab Fiver, right, Dean Tucker with David Kramer, Christmas, 1987. See A ribbon cutting and the Pages of the Brighton Memorial Library; (right)

Recreating 1980 match, Webster v. Brighton. "Dave Kramer of Brighton concentrates on his next move. He lost." [Photo: Rebecca Ghyzel, 12/26/18]

Recreating 1980 match, Webster v. Brighton. “Dave Kramer of Brighton concentrates on his next move. He lost.” [Photo: Rebecca Ghyzel, 12/26/18]

 In Badminton shines in Brazil. And “The Game Sublime” has a following in Rochester, including Rajesh Barnabas and New York State Assemblyman Mark Johns, Phil read:

In high school, Phil Ghyzel and I pruned back tree branches and used twine to mark off a noticeably non-regulation court. Along with my father and sometimes Dean, we wore down the lawn and vaguely learned the fundamentals of the game sublime.

(l-r) Dean Tucker with Prince racquet, Eugene Kramer British 38, David Kramer with Xonex Boron 200 [Photo: Carol Kramer] From "The Game Sublime"

(l-r) Fab Fiver Dean Tucker with Prince racquet, Eugene Kramer British 38, David Kramer with Xonex Boron 200 [Photo: Carol Kramer] From “The Game Sublime”

Recalling his racquet career since then, Phil remarked “tennis and racquetball are ok, but the game sublime thrills. My knees have cost me some range and agility, but the wrist is still good, and I’m wilier.” He remembered that Eugene was spry and also wily, playing Phil evenly despite the age disadvantage.

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David Kramer in red (serving); Phil Ghyzel returning. [Photos: Rebecca Ghyzel, 12/26/18]

In Cold and snowy Turkey Bowls at Reifsteck Field, Phil read:

In the 1980s, we played a precursor to the Turkey Bowl. At the Holidays, we gathered for street football.

Sometime in the 80s at our annual Holiday street football game. (l-r) Andre Marquis, Steve Shapiro, Phil Ghyzel, David Kramer. [Photo: Dean Tucker]

Sometime in the 80s at our annual Holiday street football game, 4 Fab Fivers (l-r) Andre Marquis, Phil Ghyzel, David Kramer. Also pictured, Stephen Shapiro [Photo: Dean Tucker] From Cold and snowy Turkey Bowls at Reifsteck Field

Phil played freshman and jv football. His glory came on special teams where he had a knack for shooting gaps and blocking kicks as seen in this recreation.

Phil Ghyzel blocks that kick [Photo: Rebecca Ghyzel, 12/16/18]

Phil Ghyzel blocks Julia Ghyzels’ kick. David Kramer holder. [Photos: Rebecca Ghyzel, 12/26/18]

Freshman football, BHS 1978

Freshman football, BHS 1978. Crossroads [Held at and scanned courtesy of the Brighton Memorial Library]

football game

Boys vs. girls. David Kramer, qb; Phil Ghyzel, wideout; Julia Ghyzel, pass rusher; Kim Ghyzel, defensive back. P. Ghyzel would break free for game winning touchdown reception. [Photo: Rebecca Ghyzel, 12/26/18] See Cold and snowy Turkey Bowls at Reifsteck Field

When Phil read Iconic America at the Brighton Little League Parade the story of the International Wiffle Ball League, he winced.

Remaining shards from the International Wiffle Ball League. (left) part of the 2nd edition of the Weekly Wiffle News; (right) The box score form Game of the IWBL World Series played at Kramer Coliseum, October 17,1976. See Iconic America at the Brighton Little League Parade

Remaining shards from the International Wiffle Ball League. (left) The box score form Game of the IWBL World Series played at Kramer Coliseum, October 17,1976; (right) part of the 2nd edition of the Weekly Wiffle News, including game desrscription (top left) of game 2. See Iconic America at the Brighton Little League Parade

A late comer to the League, Phil failed to appear in any of the two editions of The Weekly Wiffle News. Ghyzel said “with good bat speed and being an excellent contact hitter, this should have been my sport.”  He wanted to make amends, snow or no snow.

(Above) David Kramer batting,Billy Swift pitching and Shawn Monfredo fielding. Not pictured is catcher David Cohen. 1976 or 1977. FROM Filmic evidence shows I “froze” at the 1976 Brighton Little League All Star game and other Brighton memories

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Recreating game 2 of the 1976 International Wiffle Ball League world series. (left) Phil Ghyzel at bat; (right) David Kramer at bat. On defense, Julia Ghyzel [Photos: Rebecca Ghyzel, 12/26/18] the Brighton Little League Parade

In Opening Day, 1971, at Boldo’s Armory, Phil read:

In high school, I assassinated countless evening and weekend hours playing the game, mostly with friend Phil Ghyzel.  The game was a useful sublimation activity for nerdy guys who had not yet mastered the dynamics of female companionship.

The only extant shard from the Ghyzel-Kramer games. See Opening Day, 1971, at Boldo's Armory

The only extant shard from the Ghyzel-Kramer Strat-o-matic games. See Opening Day, 1971, at Boldo’s Armory

Chuckling, Phil remarked:

As an avid Strat-o-matic player I feel like a pioneer in the genre that lead to fantasy football. As far as sublimating teenage male inadequacy and insecurity into our games, maybe. To any girl who might remember me from BHS, I want to apologize. With a wife, two daughters, a daughter in law, and four female animals, I wish I knew then what I know now. I could have been somebody.

Recreating the 1981 World Series, Yankees vs. Dodgers. [Photo: Rebecca Ghyzel, 12/26/18]

Recreating the 1981 World Series, Yankees vs. Dodgers. [Photo: Rebecca Ghyzel, 12/26/18] See Opening Day, 1971, at Boldo’s Armory

David Kramer (left) and Phil Ghyzel. This spring, we plan to play real wiffle ball, real badminton and real Strat-o-matic. [Photo: Rebecca Ghyzel, 12/26/18]

David Kramer (left) and Phil Ghyzel. This spring, we plan to play real wiffle ball, real badminton and real Strat-o-matic. [Photo: Rebecca Ghyzel, 12/26/18]


SEE ALSO “An early-spring renewal of the spirit” over 10,000 fungos later 
Phil often joined Dean and me in hitting fungoes.

The 10,001st fungo! Dean Tucker in his Yale shirt. He spent thousands of fungos sending his daughter to New Haven, but did get the nice t-shirt. Xerox cap from where he earned those fungos. Reifsteck Field, Brighton, Easter, 2016. From "An early-spring renewal of the spirit" over 10,000 fungos later

(left)The 10,001st fungo! Dean Tucker in his Yale shirt. He spent thousands of fungos sending his daughter to New Haven, but did get the nice t-shirt. Xerox cap from where he earned those fungos. [Photo: David Kramer] From “An early-spring renewal of the spirit” over 10,000 fungos later (right) David Kramer intercepting Dean’s successful “fieldgoal fungo!” Using his father’s old DiMaggio glove. In this case, not Joe’s or Dom’s, but printed with the name of the third major league brother, Vince. [Photo: Dean Tucker who amazingly both hit the ball and took the picture] Easter, 2016 Reifsteck Field, Brighton

SEE ALSO

Site says Brighton is best place to live in New York

About The Author

dkramer3@naz.edu

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY and Lake Affect Magazine.  My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.

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