What's on your mind?

What's on your mind

This is a place to post comments, photos, whatever...about growing up in the Hialeah Area...or anything else that is on your mind. In the past, we've been using our individual webpages for this purpose, but now we have a dedicated forum on our website. Please note that this forum is "not secure" and that comments you make are available to anyone that visits this website.  

If you post a comment about a deceased classmate in this section, please also post one on the classmate's "In Memory" page. Your comments here get lost in the many other comments over time while whatever you post on a classmate's "In Memory" page can easily be found by our classmates and family members of the deceased. 

Vince "Vinny" Rusinak

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06/14/23 09:28 AM #662    


Nancy Lundblom (Blizzard)

Tim and I will be attending the '63 reunion in Sebastian, and I would love to see some of our "64 crowd there.  I have heard that several classes have held successful reunions there, and I really want to check it out as a possible place for us to hold our 60th!  Everyone pays for their own food and drinks, and it is right on the beach.  They have a Tiki Bar and live music every night.  We are staying at the Best Western since it is cheaper and we wanted the class of '63 to get first dibs on the rooms at Captain Harrems.  Hope to see some of you there!

07/07/23 10:39 AM #663    


Toni Canonico (Nasco)


DOB  22  Jun  1940
DOD  23  Jun  2023
NAL DOH 1965
William Vits Ott (Billy) peacefully and gently slipped away the morning of June 23, 2023 at his home in the Village of Golf.  He gracefully and valiantly endured a 17 year struggle with Parkinson Disease.
Billy was born in Milwaukee, WI on June 22, 1940 to Norman Harlow Ott and Kathryn Vits Ott.  He was the third of four children, having been born eight minutes before his twin brother, Bobby.  "The Twins", as they were referred to in Milwaukee, grew into little terrors.  Frustrated teachers required Billy to wear blue and Bobby brown in order to tell them apart.  One year they were made to attend separate schools.  Finally, Billy was sent away to Berkshire Academy where, as an underclassman, he first dipped his toe into the entrepreneurial pool by charging to polish shoes and wax the laces of the upperclassmen's shoes.  He played Taps on his trumpet each evening; and was Captain of the Midget football team. After a year in Sheffield, Mass., Billy was happy to be allowed to return home where he enjoyed tennis and became the Wisconsin State Champion in his age group.  Having added piano to his musical repertoire, Billy, his brother and a friend formed a trio to play at his parent's and friend's parties.  Successful with their combo, the twins moved to Aspen, CO where they played jazz at the Red Onion and Golden Horn. They enjoyed a lot of snow skiing, and occasionally dropped in to Aspen High School for classes. As their friends graduated and went on to college, they realized the need for a diploma and procured GEDs.  They graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Business, but not before opening a business of their own, the campus beer and burger joint which they named The Varsity Inn.  Subsequently, they opened another V.I. on Key Biscayne.  Soon they expanded, opening steak houses which they named Brothers Two; two in Miami, one each in Atlanta and Milwaukee. A friend offered Billy a flying lesson, and the hook was set.  He loved flying.  He, his brother and Don Burnside opened Burnside-Ott Aviation Training Center at the Opa Locka and Tamiami Airports.  BATC evolved into the largest civilian flight training school in the world, with students from 100 foreign countries.  BATC got the first civilian contract for the US Military initial flight training, with centers in Pensacola, FL and in Texas at Corpus Christi, Beeville and Kingsville. Ultimately, the business was sold to United Nuclear Corporation, but not before starting yet another adventure--this one in the Put and Call business in the early days of the CBOE.  Because of his love of flying, Billy decided to become an airline pilot.  He joined National Airlines where he flew 1965-68.  During that time, a co-worker, knowing of his entrepreneurial spirit, asked Billy to advise her husband in his quest to open an executive search company.  Always up for a new challenge, Billy, along with Bobby and Herb Hertner opened Ott-Hertner-Ott. When Billy and Mary married in 1973, he was a dynamo, juggling steaks and stocks, executives and airplanes.  With boundless energy and businesses open around the clock--restaurants closing at 5am and airplanes taking off at dawn--he was always on the go.  But it wasn't all work and no play. Billy enjoyed waterskiing, snow skiing and tennis.  He loved his airplanes, boats and motorcycles.  And he absolutely adored his children: Katie, born in 1974 and Bill, Jr, born in 1978. Having become a family man, and retiring at age 48, Billy turned his focus towards volunteering in the church and the community.  He also served on the Board of Directors at St. John's Military Academy in Delafield, WI while Bill, Jr was a cadet.  He particularly enjoyed visiting residents in nursing homes; giving financial support to families in need; and, taking care of tuition for students less fortunate.  Humble in his generosity, he did these things anonymously. Billy was loved and admired by many; and he deeply loved his family and many friends.  There was no shortage of friends, evidenced by the 500 in attendance at Billy and Bobby's 50th birthday party.  We have heard from so many who have expressed their remembrances of him as "a Renaissance man", "a role model", "the ultimate cool guy".  Although diminutive in stature, he left a very large footprint in the creation of many and varied businesses, in the magnitude of his selfless generosity, in the depth of his faith and in his loving compassion for others.  Billy had a zest for life; he loved to laugh; and, particularly enjoyed making others laugh.  He had a mischievous grin and there was always a twinkle in his eye.  Even as Parkinson’s slowly robbed Billy of his ability to do the things he enjoyed, he braved obstacles with his extraordinary and devoted caregiver, Sasha, by his side.
Billy is survived by an adoring family: his wife, Mary; his daughter, Katie (Jimmy); his son, Bill, Jr.; his two granddaughters, Finley and Addison; two sisters, Barbara and Shelley (Chuck); and his brother, Bobby.  There will be a celebration of his life in late October.


07/17/23 01:56 PM #664    


Toni Canonico (Nasco)

My apologies to all who commented on my Billy Ott post as I did not give credit to the author! That beautiful tribute was found on my FB Group, "Original National Airlines Crew Room", & posted by Mary Cahill Daniel. Who among us "Hialeah/Miami-ites" don't remember the Ott brothers' many endeavors!!! I'm glad you enjoyed it!


07/29/23 07:37 AM #665    


Nelson Rodriguez

My favorite was the pizza palace. From there we would go race our cars on chrome Avenue unfortunately over 100 of us were caught and spent the night in jail. Lord knows, I do it all over again. Nelly 

07/30/23 02:04 PM #666    


Lyn Curry (Craver)

Went to Pizza Palace, but never raced!!

07/30/23 05:21 PM #667    


Margaret Meister

Chrome Ave was waaaaay out there. Too many mosquitos! :-D

08/01/23 07:35 AM #668    


James Ward

Kroger Ave is a 4 lane divided highway all the way from US 27 South to Homestead 

08/01/23 07:36 AM #669    


James Ward

KROME AVE, dam auto correct 

08/01/23 04:25 PM #670    


Margaret Meister

OMG, don't even think we knew what 4 lanes meant back then? I don't even think I-95 went past Ft Pierce. :-D Thanks for the picture, James.

08/04/23 05:06 AM #671    


Nelson Rodriguez

Are there any plans for a 60th anniversary reunion ?

08/04/23 11:49 AM #672    


Vince "Vinny" Rusinak

No formal plan yet for a 60th Reunion, but a lot of thinking about it going on. 

Check out posting 660 and 662 below. The Class of 1963 is having their 60th in Sebastian, Fl the end of September. They have invited everyone who wants to attend from our Class. Nancy Lundblom Blizzard and Tim have made arrangements to attend...to see friends and to see how this venue might work out for our class if we were to hold it there next year. 

This is a good time to provide your thoughts on a 60th Reunion. What do you think would be a good place to have it. We'll need a place easy to get to (airport not far away), hotel cost is a major factor; time of year (cooler is better, but hotter is cheaper);... .  Can you help with organizing the reunion or with the things that need to be done during the reunion?



11/11/23 01:26 PM #673    


Vince "Vinny" Rusinak

Hialeah, Miami Springs, & Opa Locka

This book, published in 2008, provides the history and pictures of the places in which we grew up. You can find it in most SE Florida libraries or you can buy it for about $15 from Amazon. If you like history, and books with lots! of pictures, this book is definitely worth reading. I enjoyed all 156 pages.

From the book:

"The Seminole interpretation of Hialeah's name, 'High Prairie,' evokes a picture of the grassy plains used by the native Indians who came from the Everglades to dock their canoes and display their wares for Miami's newcomers and tourists."

"On August 23, 1926, Country Club Estates was incorporated as a town, and on August 15, 1930, the voters of that community changed it's name to Miami Springs."

"Opa Locka began life with the Indian name Opatishawockalocka as part of the 120,000 acre Crutis-Bright Ranch and Dairy Farm."


11/12/23 08:47 AM #674    


Paul Korry (HHS 1963)

Thanks Vinnie, looks like a memorable book. PK '63.

11/12/23 12:14 PM #675    


Sergio Siller


Before the weather turned too cold for us "kids" to venture out for too long, a few of us recently gathered in Destin for a "micro-Roundup" to enjoy some fun in the sun.  Our thanks to Pat Pierce who is a long time resident and for providing the great weather we had while there those few days!    Going around the table, there is Joe Spence, Pat, Gary & Carol Licko, Sergio & Anne Siller and Diane Spence. And yes, we partied late into the afternoon each day.


11/12/23 12:19 PM #676    


Sergio Siller

Thanks for advising Vince, that book may answer many questions that we've had about these cities. Will look for it.

11/12/23 03:50 PM #677    


Gary Platt

Thanks for posting about the Hialeah-Miami Springs book, Vinnie. It should bring back a lot of memories. I ordered it on Amazon. 

11/29/23 07:20 PM #678    


Nelson Rodriguez

Any update on the reunion?   You know you guys aren't getting any younger.  🤪

12/11/23 07:50 AM #679    


James Ward

To all HHS, who have retired from Florida Power and Light , we are having a Christmas breakfast at Lester's Dinner. 9 AM Wednesday 12/13,2023. Lots of fun

1393 NW 136 Ave

Sunrise , Fl. 

12/16/23 10:32 PM #680    


Bill Coffeen

Tried to show currenr picture of me ... and vote for a ... mini ... regional ... or 2024 get together for all of us ... Wellington (Bill) Coffeen

01/04/24 03:26 PM #681    


Toni Canonico (Nasco)

A HUGE THANK YOU to each of my HHS Classmates for your kind BIRTHDAY WISHES posted to this old gal!!!! Such loving memories of each of you!!! Blessings, Toni

01/05/24 09:10 AM #682    


Ian Seecof

I doubt that many, if any, of you would remember me as I was not much of a conformist nor a spoke in any wheels. I only recently discovered these HHS pages, but would like to attend a class of 1964 reunion. My wife and I are snowbirds and have a home in St. Pete where we have spent winters for about 20+ years.It seems that previous reunions have been in months of warmer temperatures when Cheryl and I are on our bicycles exploring various destinations.

I am surprised that reunion-months are not relatively winter events, since many classmates may be sun-seekers. In any event, if a proposed date is posted, I would endeavor to attend now that I know where to look. As I scroll through posts I recognize many names from a very distant past. Best wishes to all.

01/08/24 12:33 PM #683    


Vince "Vinny" Rusinak

Click on the Home Page link (top left) to see the announcement providing details of the upcoming 60th HHS Class of 1964 Reunion.

01/15/24 12:55 PM #684    


Bill Coffeen

Book your room for our 60th reunion now before the rooms in the main building are gone ... see you Sep 24th and 25th at Capt Hiram's

01/15/24 09:23 PM #685    


Bill Coffeen

02/10/24 05:36 PM #686    

Luis Fernandez (Salvat)

FYI: Albert Gamble died on April 30, 2015. He was a great friend. Al and wife Sandra lived in Eustis Fl. He was a highly decorated veteran of the U.S. Army and served a tour of duty in VietNam as a medic. Later on he became the Chief Code Enforcement Officer in the City of Hialeah. His obituary was published in the Miami Herald.

FYI: Ed Stella (actually Edgardo) died on March 13, 2012 from diabetic complications. He lived in South Miami for many years and workd for FP&L (in an engineering capacity). In his last few years of life he lived in Texas. He was also a true friend. His obituary can be found under his name, Edgardo Stella.

The 3 of us were very close friends for many years. Submitted by Luis David Salvat (formerly Fernandez)





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