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Ralph and Mary  Smith Ralph and Mary Smith
Inducted: 2002 - Graduated:

If you have even a passing interest in Nanuet High

School sports, chances are you’ve seen them at a

Golden Knights’ athletic event. As the story goes, if

you were attending an away game for Nanuet and

weren’t sure if you were in the right place, just peer into the stands and look for the petite, vocal lady

with the short-cropped white hair. That would be Mary Smith, who together with husband Ralph have

been the staunchest supporters of Nanuet High School sports for close to four decades.

Since 1964, when Ralph helped found and was first president of the Nanuet Black and Gold Club

(launched in 1965), the Smiths have been fixtures on the Nanuet athletic scene. Name the sport and

they’ve been there to cheer on the Golden Knights. Why? “We like the kids,” Ralph says simply.

Mary elaborates on their unparalleled devotion: “On Saturdays we practically lived at the school. It’s

been an important time in our life.We’ve been very thankful to have met all the students, their families,

the coaches and many friends.We love Nanuet, and we thank everyone for the memories.”

Picture these mental snapshots in the album of Nanuet’s two biggest fans: Mary and Ralph getting up

bright and early to make sandwiches and slice oranges for the athletes at the Nanuet Relays, not to mention

running the concession stand; Mary baking her famous deep-dish apple pie for the football players

on game day; Ralph teaming with fellow Black and Gold Club officer John Poletto to construct the

famous sign that hung from the press box for many years: “Track Capital of Rockland County.”

Catching the weekday afternoon games was always a bit tricky for Ralph, who worked for Rockland

Refrigeration Co. in Nyack for more than 50 years. But he always found a way: “I arranged my service

calls to get done by 4 o’clock,” he says with a smile.

Ralph is a lifelong Nanuet resident who attended Highview School and Pearl River High School (in the

days before Nanuet High School was built in 1960). Mary was raised on a farm in New City and

attended Spring Valley High School. The Smiths were married in 1951 and have lived on Blauvelt Road

in the hamlet for 51 years.

Mary is in her 34th year at GeorgeW. Miller School. She was known as the “milk lady,” having worked

as a monitor in the lunchroom and playground, and now works part-time as an aide in the nurse’s office.

The Smiths have also been active with the Nanuet Little League, and for more than 30 years helped

supervise the Castle Program, which was an evening of activities for teen-age children from the Nanuet

school district held on Friday nights.

The Smiths have two children. Sue Vasquez, Nanuet Class of 1971, was the first statistician for the track

team and first “fire baton” twirler, as well as a field hockey player. She and her husband John live in

Nanuet and have two children: Nicholas, Nanuet Class of 1999, and Kaitlyn, a junior track and field

standout for the Golden Knights

Ralph Smith Jr., Nanuet Class of 1975, ran track for Nanuet. He lives in Hillcrest with his wife Kim and

two children, Ryan, 11, and Brielle, 9.