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Come Home To Cradock 2006
Those Who Attended

We had a great time at our 6th Annual Come Home to Cradock. Friday night folks from different classes gathered at Mario's and Lillian's. On Saturday estimated between 650-700 attended and they came from near and far, across the country with fond memories of their old hometown. The weather was as we had requested, 68 degrees and sunny! The Boy Scouts (Troop 233) sold over 500 lbs of BBQ. Cradock Little League and Taste & See sold hundreds of hot dogs. Nature's Child played reggae music, carnival games were played as the trackless train circled the Square. Richard Huneycutt made an excellent Grand Marshall for our parade. The day couldn't have been more perfect, except to have those who were not there in attendance! It's time to start programming the weather for next year- 68 degrees and sunny and think about how we can make it even better. We will be taking Paver orders, but they will not be installed until Come Home to Cradock 2007, October 20th (the 3rd Saturday of October every year!) Thanks to the Class of '56 for sharing their reunion with us and to all who attended. We look forward to seeing you next year. The Class of '64, yes '64 is starting to put together their 45th Reunion. If you know anyone from that class have them contact Kathy Foxworth Edmonds, e mail: Thanks to the Come Home to Cradock committee, who did an outstanding job this year. Carol Galford Edwards, Cindy Larsen Cook, Pauline Sitterson, Ginnie Kinsey, Sharon Catala, Ruth Buck and Kathy Reese.
Keep that Cradock Spirit going - until we meet again next year on Oct 20, 2007!
Bev Sell

Click here to see the Cradock Alumni and Friends who signed our Come Home To Cradock sign-in book on Saturday, October 21, 2006...
Our Come Home to Cradock celebration was a great success. The Class of '56 also had its reunion that weekend. Frank Rickard uploaded a slide show of the event, and has offered to share it with us. He did a good job. The anchor cursor is a nice added touch.
Frank also provided us a slide show of the Come Home To Cradock parade. Go Frank!

For more information, contact  Frank Rickard

Old friends gather in historic district

Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA) - October 29, 2006
Henry "Buster" Saddler hasn't lived in Cradock since 1957, when he joined the Air Force and traveled the world. But this month he came all the way from Sedalia, Mo., to see old friends at the seventh annual " Come Home to Cradock " celebration.

Sadler, 72, along with hundreds of former and current residents turned out for the homecoming at Afton Square, in the heart of the neighborhood's historic district. They reminisced about the past and pondered the future - and their attendance underscored Cradock 's reputation for inspiring civic pride and emotional attachments.

"I remember this area vividly," Saddler said of the town square. "I used to deliver groceries for Mr. Chapman, who owned the grocery store at the corner."

Saddler, who also attended the 1999 and 2004 homecomings, said he has seen modest but definite progress in revitalization efforts in the past seven years.

"They tore down the old Academy Bar and are building $300,000 houses there now," said Curtis Allison, 63, Saddler's friend and former Cradock resident who now lives in the Simonsdale neighborhood.

The Alumni and Friends of Cradock , which sponsored the Oct. 21 homecoming , was organized in 1999 in the wake of the 1992 closing of Cradock High School. The organization tries to keep school alumni connected with the Cradock community and solicit their help for revitalization efforts. Those efforts have taken off in recent years, although at a slower pace than some residents would like.

In 2005, Portsmouth approved a community conservation plan for all of Cradock and a redevelopment strategy for purchasing vacant or condemned homes for renovation or demolition and reconstruction. The goal is to convert blighted properties to owner-occupied dwellings, starting with Cushing Street.

Joanna Hall, who moved to the neighborhood in December 2005, is among the new homeowners.

"I fell in love with ( Cradock 's) concept," said Hall, an architect who works for Norfolk. "It has a great plan, and if it's revitalized, it can be the next Williamsburg, but for the 1920s, '30s, '40s - to see how life was lived then. You have a chance to have a living museum. It's time to reinvest in this neighborhood."

Hall, who bought a two-story 1931 bungalow, said she moved to Cradock because she was interested in the architecture. The neighborhood, she said, provides affordable housing in a region that has seen dramatic housing price increases the past few years.

"You can get your dream house at a great deal here," she said.

Hall has become a proponent for Cradock revitalization and a spokesperson against a proposed plan for New Jersey-based Covanta Energy Corp. 's waste- to -energy trash depot on the Elizabeth River. Under the proposal, which was defeated by a 6-0 City Council vote Oct. 24, about 2 tons of out-of-state trash would have been received daily on barges and transported by truck for incineration at the Southeastern Public Service Authority Refuse Derived Fuel plant at Elm Avenue and Victory Boulevard.

"Portsmouth has five historic districts," said Hall. "It is part of the gateway to Virginia and to Hampton Roads. Why would Portsmouth bring in trash from out of state, taking on others' problems?

"You need to take stock of what you have, and how you're going to market it, and what you need to invest in, and I just don't think trash is it."

Karim Shivji, a Navy petty officer first class , originally from Texas, bought his renovated home on Cradock 's Prospect Street six months ago for its proximity to his job at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and what he considers a good investment .

"This area right here is pretty good," said Shivji. "Before I moved here, I talked to some of the neighbors because I had heard things about Cradock , but this area is not bad. I like the neighborhood and I haven't had any problems."

Cradock 's civic spirit helps make it a focal point of many Portsmouth community activities. Events such as the annual Fourth of July flag-raising ceremony and Starving Artists Festival draw crowds from throughout Hampton Roads and keep alive the vision of neighborhood rejuvenation.

Christa Black , a 35-year Cradock resident and member of the Cradock Civic League, raised two children in the neighborhood and retains strong hope for its revitalization.

"When I moved here, I liked it because it reminded me of home ," said Black, originally from Bad Neustadt, Germany. "My hometown had a quaint small town center with a church in the corner and little shops, just like Cradock . It's a really great place and we want to preserve this nice area and make it better."

Bev Sell
President Alumni & Friends of Cradock
Class of 1969