During the summer of 1972, a group men and women who spent a significant part of their childhood and adolescent years in the Riverton Houses in Harlem decided to have an old-timers basketball reunion in the Riverton Playground.
The reunion was so successful that it became a tradition with souvenirs, music and refreshments and a good old fashion “house party” with dancing until the wee hours in the evenings. Many traveled from various parts of the country, looking forward to re-connecting with one another.
In 1997, at Riverton’s 50th Anniversary Reunion, the Calvin Ramsey Scholarship Fund was announced with Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright being its first contributor. Calvin (Cal) Ramsey was a role model and mentor for many of the “Riverton Old-Timers.”
“Down By The Riverside” – a documentary about the history of Riverton – was screened at Riverton’s 60th Anniversary Reunion in 2007. The film was produced by “Riverton Old-Timers” Ken Sargeant, Keith Hunter, MD and Glenn Hunter. Those same three founded the Harlem Cultural Archives in 2008 when they realized that there was not an active historical society devoted to memorializing and promoting the study of Harlem’s rich history and numerous noteworthy contributions.
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The “RIVERTON ALUMNI RING OF GOLD” was established in 2013, with its first inductees announced during the reunion celebration. The inductees were as follows:
- Public Service – Mayor David N. Dinkins, Dudley M. Glasse, Councilman Hilton B. Clark, Secretary Robert C. Weaver and Commissioner Pelham Fritz.
- Riverton Staff – Clifford Alexander, Sr., Mildred Bell, Cleo Gates, Robert “Bobby” Hinton, William “Bill” Neal and Leroy “Bootsie” Dunn.
- Education – Jean Hutson and Constance Wright.
- Entertainment – Rosetta LeNoir, Dr. Billy Taylor, Phil Medley and Sam Lowe.
- MEDICINE – Dr. John L.S. Holloman, Jr. and Dr. R. Chester Redhead.
- Law – Judge Constance Baker Motley and Judge Bruce McMarion Wright.
- Military – Wilfred DeFour and Zeb Chaney
- Sports – William “Dolly” King, Clarence “Puggy” Bell, William “Pop” Gates and Calvin (Cal) Ramsey.
The newest inductees to the “RIVERTON ALUMNI RING OF GOLD” will be:
- Public Service –Judge Robert J. Mangum, Judge Livingston L. Wingate and Richard Toussaint.
- Education – Barbara DePasse and Batya Lewton.
- Art/Entertainment – Alma John, Sherman Edmiston and Suzanne DePasse.
- Law – Roger Wareham and Judge Fritz W. Alexander II.
- Military – Clifford Alexander, Jr.
It should be noted that the “Riverton Old-Timers” continue to stay in touch with one another on its Facebook page, “Riverton Revisited.” The page contains countless photographs and its membership has surpassed 450.
Scheduled To attend:
Mayor David N. Dinkins, Congressman Charles B. Rangel, Assemblywoman Inez E. Dickens, NYC basketball legend Calvin (Cal)Ramsey, Assemblyman Keith L. T. Wright, Governor David A. Paterson, State Senator Brian A. Benjamin, Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, Congressman Adriano Espaillat.
Saturday, July 22nd, 2017
From 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM, we will gather at The FLAGPOLE area at Riverton Square located on East 135th St. between 5th and Madison Avenue in Harlem.
At 6:00 PM, we will re-convene for an award ceremony party at Bishop Perry Hall (St. Mark Church) – 57 West 138th St. in Harlem.
Glenn A. Hunter, HarlemCulturalArchives@gmail.com, 917.817.4993, www.HarlemCultural.org
Photo via source