Joe Epstein's Stuff
Some of it anyway. This is a long page, keep scrolling. There's more on another page.
Joe's Band Letter
below: in uniform with clarinet

Cunningham Jr HS
class of June 1952
"Not all of us went to 197, although I could see it from my bedroom window. Most of the boys went to Midwood except Arthur Klapper and moi. Most of the girls went to Madison."
In 1951 I moved from Bed/Sty to Flatbush (E. 24th St.). Back on Kosciusko (kos-kee-os-ko) Street, we would sit on da stoop, eat sappa (evening meal), samwitches, and play ball in da guttuh. I left this vocabulary behind and adopted the more dignified speech of Flatbush. However, if it makes you happy; I'll go along with youze guys and hang wit da group.

From Senior Sing Fall ’54 - to the tune of “The House I Live In”)

What is James Madison to me?
A school, my home, my destiny,
A heaven blessed with loyalty,
That is James Madison to me.
The school we go to, the friends that we behold,
The heartaches and the laughter and the cheers to Black and Gold,
The school songs and the speeches we've learned from A to Z
But especially the students, that's James Madison to me.
The school we go to, the rushing through the halls,
The classrooms and the teachers and the ivy on the walls,
The cheering and the rooting our teams to victory,
But especially the students, that's James Madison to me.
It's time for graduation; the clock is moving fast.
These moments here before you will soon be in the past.
It's time to face the future. Who knows what it will bring?
But we'll have cherished moments in our hearts we'll always sing.
Our hearts are filled with sorrow for on the morrow we part, we part.
All our friendships throughout the years we'll remember, shedding
farewell tears.
Of all our school days, we'll always dream; we'll e'er remember familiar scenes.
With joy and exultation, with inspiration derived from thee,
We shall leave thee, our Alma Mater,
Oh, oh, Madison, we must say goodbye.

Hey boy, what is all the noise about? James Madison High, with far vision
Hear the lads and lasses gaily shout. And confidence wrought
Why are all the neighbors turning out? On thee we rely
Down along the Kings Highway. For true freedom of life and of thought.
Why sir, surely if you had a son, Be thou our sure guide
Or daughter who had school begun, A firm tower of pure living light,
You would know the great James Madison, With faith and with pride,
High School on the Kings Highway. May we ever rejoice in thy sight.

Boom! Bang! That's the starter's gun, Friend faithful to friend,
Raise a cheer for my school, We will be evermore as in youth.
It's the finest high school. May later years send
Zip! Bing! Now they're on the run. Greater knowledge of beauty and truth.
Beat'em on the Kings Highway. With this as our shield,
Still courageous and hopeful we'll greet
'Til again in these halls we shall meet.
When the grads of Madison gather anywhere,
There's a place they think of, longing to be there,
It's the one and only school that makes us gush,
Situated, and celebrated, in old Flatbush.

Going back, going back, going back to Madison,
Going back, going back, to the best old place for fun
Going back, going back, from all the horizon,
We'll clear the track as we go back, going back to Madison.
(repeat the refrain)

Let's go back to Madison at Commencement time,
Sample each reunion; that's the life for mine!
Ramble round the campus, where we used to rush,
Our location for celebration is old Flatbush.
(repeat the refrain)
As moves the sun, Thy benediction
Our Father from the sea Pray we on our school,
To glorify the world another day our land, our homes, and all that we hold dear.
So may thy spirit When shadows deepen
Ever walk with me In the evening cool,
To light my footsteps stumbling on their way. Help us to feel that thou art ever near.

Now thank we all our God Hit the line for Madison,
With heart and hands and voices, For Madison wins today,
Who wondrous things hath done, We will show the sons of Erasmus
In Whom His world rejoices That the black and gold hold sway.
Who from our mother's arms,
Hath Blessed us on the way Sweep down the field again,
With countless gifts of love, Victory or die;
And still is ours today. And we'll give the grand old cheer boys,
When the Madison team goes by.
Oh Madison, James Madison, early president of fame,
Our school is highly honored with his great, illustrious name.
His wisdom helped to plan and guide
Our well-loved country's destiny
With liberty's broad vision fair
That our nation might the greatest be.

Madison, we're ever loyal to thee,
Madison, we will be true.
Our Alma Mater be ever cherished
By all her sons and daughters too.
We'll sing thy praises, we'll cheer thee onward bravely,
Glad for each victory won.
Oh school forever glorious,
All hail to thee, James Madison.

O Madison, James Madison, swept by breezes from the sea,
Thy hopes are all uplifted at the gates of Liberty.
The dawn of day reveals once more
The silver strand where men are free;
The sunrise path from thence doth run
A golden trail of light to thee.