Eric Carr 1967 Classmates HS Reunion..... Remembering Paul Caravello....

 Growing up in the mid 60's was the most magical time of my life. It was the time of the British Invasion, and if you were lucky enough to be in Manhattan as I was`, it was not uncommon to see the Beatles or Rolling Stones being chased down the street by a mass of fans ! At the cafe Wha down in the village, you could spot Neil diamond, The Lovin Spoonful ,and Jimi hendrix just hanging out . Bob Dylan wrote songs in a coffee bar down the street . Even David lee Roth would spend his summers there with his uncle, Manny Roth. David was only 12 at the time , long before becoming famous. This was the most wonderful time to be a teenager ! I was lucky enough to be attending the High School Of Art & Design in NYC , and my friends and I were caught up in the wonderful excitement of the era. One of my best friends was a boy named Paul carravello. He was very shy and very very cute. We all had crushes on him. He had his hair styled like the Beatles and with his huge brown eyes he looked just like Paul McCartney. His favorite Beatle was Ringo. Paul loved to play the drums and hoped to grow up one day to be just like the Beatles. You could always see Paul walking down the school hall with a pair of drumsticks in his back pocket !
Paul was one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet. After graduation in 1967 we all went on our separate ways, dreaming of wonderful futures. We were the class of 1967 . We were special. You must remember that in 1967, computers were the size of apartment houses, and there was no such things as cell phones or any technology invented yet ! We had telephones and kept in touch by letter writing ! Calling out of your boro meant long distance charges ,so that was not encouraged by our parents ! Eventually caught up in colleges and careers we all drifted apart.
A few years ago thanks to modern day technology , classmates started to try and locate one another. We were spread out from one end of the continent to the other. None of that mattered now with email. Before you knew it , at least a third of our friends had been located. We decided to hold our 40th (oh my gosh it does happen) reunion . There was SO much excitement in the air ! It was going to be like seeing your long lost family again ! Yes, the class of Art&Design 1967 was that special and that close . I was on the committee for the reunion and monthly we would meet at Larry Hama's apartment in lower manhattan . Larry, was our "cool friend" who was never seen without a pair of sunglasses on in school. He grew up to be the writer of GI Joe and many other awesome cartoon characters !
About a year before the date of the reunion we started the search for our classmates. Every day we'd get an email from another alumni. It was amazing to see familiar names pop up ! One day Paul's name appeared ! All I could think of was that they had found Paul ! As I clicked on and began to read I couldn't understand why Paul's sister was writing to us . I stared at the words in amazed silence at what I was reading. After leaving A&D, Paul had eventually changed his name to Eric Carr and had become the drummer for Kiss ! Everybody knew Kiss ! How had I not known this ? How could I have known that our Paul was now Eric Carr? The Fox was our Paul ! He was always so visible and yet none of us knew !!! Reading on then broke my heart forever ! Loretta wrote that in 1991, Paul had died of cancer. My moment of happiness had suddenly turned to such pain.
On October 6, 2007 we held our class reunion at the Society of Illustrators in New York city. I wore Paul's "Rock On" pin and brought a framed picture of Paul as Eric to the party. I decorated it with his HS yearbook photo, graduation pic and photos of him with Kiss. The manager picked out a great spot for Paul's photo on the piano, and I made sure that Paul always had a Jack Daniels in front of him ! Loretta had written a letter to Paul's friends and I lovingly read it to all. After the reunion some of us took a cab and went to a lounge across the street from the Waldorf Astoria, where we had graduated 40 years before . The years had flown by fast, and here we were once more having a great time as if it were still yesterday. Paul's picture was there with us, and we made sure that he still had enough to drink ! In my heart I knew that he was there with us, enjoying being there with his friends. I know that if Paul was still living he would have been with us no matter what. By the way, we also took him to brunch the next day !
I will never forget Paul Carravello. I wish all of you could have met and known him . He was so lucky to have you there for him . I know that you helped make his dream come true. Think of him on November 24th , and say a prayer. I will. Phyllis Kuperman .