Fifty years later, high school lessons resonate


Peter Sobol, a member of the Oceanside High School class of 1962, spent the first half of his career in manufacturing and remembers exactly where he learned his first lessons in pricing: running the concession stand at high school football games.

“What did a 10th grader know about the price of hot dogs?” he said. But he learned quickly that he could buy slightly smaller hot dogs and get more hot dogs per pound of meat. He sold the smaller hot dogs for the same amount of money as the larger ones which meant more funds raised for the team.

Sobol said he never guessed that he’d go into manufacturing but the lessons he learned in high school played into his career.

“Kids tend to think of the most obvious careers,” he said. “But you never know what you are learning now that is going to help you later.”

Sobol was one of a group of OHS alumni who, in town for the Class of 1962 Reunion, paid a visit to OHS to see their hallowed halls of learning and talk with students. They shared some Oceanside history, insights on careers and what they valued most from high school.

Neil Kominsky, now a rabbi in Boston, talked about the differences between 1962 and today. Back then, he said, people didn’t talk about difficult issues. There were no women rabbis. All work was done long-hand. Maybe you would type if you had bad handwriting but correcting typed material proved so cumbersome that it wasn’t much of a time-saver.

Among students’ questions were how he decided to become a rabbi, what his favorite class was and what his favorite part of high school was. Kominsky replied that what he had learned about writing in his high school English class got him through Harvard University, seminary school and publishing professional papers. He also enjoyed the fun and freedom of putting out the ‘Sider Press.

His advice for students: “Wherever you are in the moment, try to enjoy it. You don’t know what the future holds, therefore what you are doing now is the most important thing you can do.”