Voight brothers praise their Catholic education

I know this isn’t Surburbarazzi, but I have to say that Jon Voight and his brothers were kind and gracious and very funny when I chatted with them last night at the VIP Country Club in Rye.

The three brothers were inducted into the Stepinac High School Hall of Fame and were quite eager to “talk”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007704260431 about the importance of their Catholic upbringing and Catholic education.

The oldest, Barry, a prominent volcano expert at Penn State, was a hoot, wearing a Stepinac baseball hat and joking about mixing it up with his brothers when they were kids in Yonkers.

The youngest, James, is better known as Chip Taylor, the writer of “Wild Thing” and “Angel of the Morning” and still a successful singer/songwriter. (For music fans: I asked him which were his favorite versions of “Wild Thing.” He mentioned the classic original by the Troggs, the classic cover by Jimi Hendrix and a lesser-known but equally great version by punk pioneers X.)

tjndc5-5b5jshshdq8jslzwezi_layout.jpgJon Voight looked to be having a ball meeting old classmates (that’s his yearbook photo from 1956). He must have posed for 100 pictures, every inch the movie star.

Jon wasn’t too connected with the Stepinac community for many years after he made some risque films, particularly “Midnight Cowboy.” But he played Pope John Paul II in a TV mini-series in 2005, getting good reviews from Benedict XVI, and soon after reconciled with his alma mater.

People keep asking me (half-jokingly, I’m sure) whether I ask him about his daughter. No, I did not. Sorry.

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.