Wednesday, September 16, 2015

You can tell this prep school is The Donald's alma mater -- it's bankrupt


By The Donald's own testimony, New York Military Academy in Croton on Hudson, NY, helped make him, er, what he is today. And, oh yes, it's gone bankrupt.

"The academy was at one time seen by New Yorkers as a place that straightened out rambunctious young boys and taught them how to take orders. (Hmmm. Apparently failed in Trump’s case.)"
-- the Washington Post's Al Kamen, in "Trump’s
high school is bankrupt, up for auction

by Ken

In a September 10 NYT Book Review review of Michael D'Antonio's Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success, NYT columnist James B. Stewart wrote:
No amount of armchair psychoanalysis can fully explain Trump’s outsize personality, but D’Antonio’s account of his formative years suggests the source of at least some of these traits. His father, Fred, was demanding, withholding and a workaholic. “The father was really tough on the kid,” according to Theodore Dobias, a coach and something of a father figure to Trump. “He was very German.”

Trump was a rebellious 13-year-old when his parents sent him to the New York Military Academy in 1959. “Trump was always proud of himself,” Dobias recalls. “He believed he was the best.” He added that Trump “was a conniver even then. A real pain in the ass. He would do anything to win.”
And lately the school has been in the news thanks to its now-most-famous alum's recent claim that he had more rigorous military training there than you get in the real military. As Jackie Solo wrote the other day for International Business Report ("Donald Trump's Fellow Military Academy Alums Remember School A Little Differently Than The Presidential Candidate" (links onsite):
Military boarding schools have had a reputation among wealthy U.S. families since their inception as the ultimate castigation for misbehaved sons, with the belief that enrollment would force them to relinquish their unruly ways for impeccably shined shoes and beds made with crisp hospital corners.

There never seemed to be much debate as to whether the emphasis lied in the phrase in “military” or “school” -- that is until this week when presidential candidate Donald Trump made headlines for remarks that his military academy education involved more rigorous military training than actual service does. Apparently uttered without irony, the comments reminded fellow New York Military Academy alumni more of a one-liner from a freshman forced to run laps at dawn after missing curfew.

“My classmates and most people that I know find it to be funny because there is no comparison to the real military,” said Augusto Esclusa, a member of the class of ‘85. . . .

Veterans previously have questioned Trump's respect for the military this campaign season. His incendiary comments about Arizona Sen. John McCain drew fire from veterans when he said the decorated Vietnam verteran was not a hero because "he was captured." McCain spent more than five years as prisoner of war, while the real estate mogul deferred the Vietnam draft four times to avoid enlisting.

Trump has never served in the military, but he reminisces about his time at the New York Military Academy fondly. "One of the great choices I ever made in terms of success is the choice of going to N.Y.M.A.," he told CNN. . . .

Former students remembered the school as breeding students to be competitive in academics, sports and with other accolades. Students were waken up with pots and pans before sunrise to complete military training exercises that served to build more mental discipline than combat readiness. Tasks included push-ups, sit-ups and laps, but not infantry training.

“Some kids went there because academically it was a very strong school, but the other side of it was other kids who went there just because of disciplinary reasons,” said alum Spencer Tunick, who also graduated in 1985.

Trump’s own account of his time at the school speaks to the latter. "I wasn't the most well-behaved person in the world and my parents had no idea what to do with me, and they heard about this school that was a tough place,” Trump told CNN in a 2005 interview.
Well, the school is about to enter the realm of history. Some months back it filed for bankruptcy protection, and now the bankruptcy court has cleared the way for the sale of the 113-acre spread.
In the Loop
Trump’s high school is bankrupt, up for auction

by Al Kamen | September 16 at 1:35 PM

The venerable New York Military Academy, whose most famous graduate — Donald Trump — could be president of the United States, will soon be no more.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York has ordered the “immediate sale” of the 126-year-old school, according to an ad in the New York Times on Wednesday spotted by our colleague Walter Pincus. The “minimum bid” is $9.5 million, the ad says, but we’re thinking it’s going to fetch a lot more.

After all, the prep school, which overlooks the Hudson River 60 miles north of the New York City and is just “minutes from West Point,” has a number of buildings on 77 acres, plus about 36 acres of vacant land next to it. (Seems like a perfect site for the Trump Presidential Library.)

The academy was at one time seen by New Yorkers as a place that straightened out rambunctious young boys and taught them how to take orders. (Hmmm. Apparently failed in Trump’s case.)

Many famous alums include bandleader Les Brown; Green Mountain Coffee founder Bob Stiller; Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim; filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola (who didn’t graduate); and former organized crime figure John A. Gotti, alleged to have been the acting boss of the Gambino family from 1992 to 1999 after his father, John Gotti, went to prison. Gotti also didn’t graduate.

Al Kamen wonders whether the soon-to-be-former New York Military Academy, in Croton on Hudson, NY, may be the future site of the Trump Presidential Library.

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At 8:10 PM, Blogger CWolf said...

Huh??? ...future site of the Trump Presidential Library.
Should'nt Trump measure the WH curtains before building a library on the Hudson?

At 8:53 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

The little joke about the presidential library is Al Kamen's, CW, so this is one thing that can't be blamed on The Donald. But I have to say, I think it's a nifty little joke -- as you may guess from the fact that I repeated it in the photo caption. Good one, Al!


At 5:38 AM, Blogger RealAngst said...

Disrespectful and demeaning. Typical hit piece. I attended and graduated from this fine institution and am proud of my service. It's not a joke that a place like NYMA is closing. It's sad.


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