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Gail Edwards Bakerís Newsletter
February 1, 2008
 


FIRST: my apologies for it taking so long to get out a newsletter. Lots of excuses..... not any of them very good.

SECOND: if you receive a card from Harris Publishing for Friends of Cradock, Alumni Association please call them or fill it out and return it. Strictly up to you if you wish to purchase the directory but it is a great help to those working reunions to have this information be accurate.

THIRD: more apologies...some of the information I'm going to share with you is older than dirt simply because it has been that long since I've done a newsletter. I frankly miss hearing from you guys and it seems many of you do not correspond unless it is in response to a newsletter.

Having said all that, Happy New Year. I can vaguely remember 1962 but I certainly remember never imagining it being 2000 anything. I for one am extremely grateful just to awaken on this side of the grass each morning. And of course I'd like for that grass to be a little warmer and some sun shinning on it which it definitely is not doing in D. C. today. Several of us have discussed getting together during lunch and starting on the construction of an Ark.

This gives you a glimpse of how old my news is but.....This from Ronnie Gould (60) "Ronnie (60) and Martha Gould married 45 years June 29th. Martha got a 2007 GT 500 Shelby Mustang. It is black with white stripes. I call him Peppy La Pew. Zoom zoom zoom.....see you in my rear view mirror!!

Donald Garrett (62) was finally heard from "Although I did not know everyone at Cradock, I do recognize many friends. After several moves over the years, I have somehow misplaced my 1962 Annual. However, I still have the one from 1961 and it is great to look back and recognize friends I have not seen since 1962.If I remember correctly, in the 1962 Annual, under my picture there was a caption which read something like "Silence is Golden", or something similar. I suppose that has been quite true over the years. So after some urging from my wife, EdnaReynolds (64), I thought I would touch base and let you know what has been going on with Edna and me. A few years ago we spoke on the phone after you had tracked me down in Northern Virginia. Well, we both retired on the same day, July 1, 2003. Edna had been with the Department of Motor Vehicles for 30 Years and was the manager of the Chantilly, Virginia, DMV Office. I had been with the Commonwealth of Virginia for 41 years and was Captain in the Virginia State Police,assigned to Northern Virginia. It seems like it was just a couple of days ago that we retired! We have been so busy since we retired, I don't know how we ever found time to go to work. After retirement in 2003, we spent the winter (6 months) in Daytona Beach, Florida. We came back to Gainesville, Virginia, just in time to keep the grass mowed during the spring, summer and fall. We returned to Daytona for the winter of 2004-05. After a while, if you don't actually establish aresidence there, you get the feeling "been there-done that". We missed our friends and church in NOVA. We have been back to Daytona for a month or two at a time.  We have been traveling a lot. Our most recent trip was by car out westto see a new grandson. I recently became interested in genealogy and included some stops that could help in my research. We stopped in Nashville and went to the Grand Ole 'Opry. Then to Tucson to visit my oldest son, Don, Jr., and new grandson, Dylan. I traveled to San Diego to visit my old home, prior to moving to Portsmouth. Went on to Las
Vegas and saw the "Wayne Newton Show". I was pleasantly surprised at Las Vegas, although it was very hot. We visited Bryce Canyon and went on to Salt Lake City. While there, I visited the Mormon Family Research Center to do family genealogy research. We crossed the Rockies in Wyoming and was surprised by a four hour snow storm. In June, by
George!! Went on to Branson and saw the Dick Clark American Bandstand Show. Saw Bill Medley (Righteous Brothers) and Paul Revere and the Raiders. Had a great time there. Went on to Chattanooga for more family research and then, on home. We were gone for 30 days and traveled 9,000 miles. It was great to get back home and sleep in our own bed."

Nancy Whitlock (62) shared this last summer "  Thank you for the update on our classmates!! It looks like everyone has
been thru a lot and some doing better and some having a good time. It is so nice to hear all about friends that you have not seen but has been on your mind and wonder how everyone is and thanks to you, it helps us keep in touch and helps us say hello to many we miss. It made me realize that I have not e-mailed you lately. I was so sorry to hear about Butch Blow
and sorry I was not able to attend his funeral to see all of you and especially to offer my deepest sympathy to Grace and the family. Butch was a very intellectual guy who could do most any and everything while also being fun to be around and he always had a smile and even though he was a quite fellow around some people, he always took the time to say
hello. I remember the last time I saw him.  He walked right past me and then he stopped and backed up and said, hey, I remember you, at least I thin I do. I said, I am Nancy Whitlock and with that all he said was, your hair is different I think and we were in a class or two weren't we? We then talked but only for a few minutes and he was off again. The
reason that I have not seen some of you, e-mailed or attended Butch's funeral and any other gathering so I could see you all is because I was out of town on a trip to and when I returned home, I had a stroke and realized I might have had a second one when I was on my trip. The Good LORD was with me both times because there was but a little side effects
but there was some and now I am taking physical therapy and getting better each day!! Classmates, keep me in your PRAYERS and I look forward to seeing all of you again soon when you all are in town."

When I re-read these mails before cutting and pasting I could just kick myself for not getting a newsletter out earlier....from Marsha Ehoff (59) "I love reading all the news. It certainly says one thing, if nothing else, and that is a lot of us from Cradock certainly have excellent writing skills as well as the ability to inject a lot of good humor. We all need to keep smiling and laughing; it's very healthy. I was truly sorry to hear about Butch Blow having graduated with Grace in
'59. I missed most of the e-mails as I was out of town.....read them when I returned. Glad to hear Peggy Wooten is retiring and have decided to do the same. Thirty five years in the mortgage business, with a total of 45 years in the financial industry, is propelling me in another direction. I have decided at the age of 65 I do not want to go from the desk to the grave without having another good, long shot at having some fun while I am still healthy enough to do it.  I may have missed reading about another re-union but I am certainly looking forward to the next one if one is being planned. I realize we
had one in April of 2006 but that only inspires me to want more. I am ready. Best wishes to all who are ill and those who are recuperating; may God keep you in the palm of his hand."

Dee Cassidy (60) furnished this info "Thanks for the referral to the cradock website (www.cradock.org). Was wonderful to be able to see the photos without downloading a file which is so dangerous these days. Thanks to both of you for the great jobs you all do keeping us connected. My cousin Pete Forbes(56) is scheduled for back surgery this Thursday July 5th as a result of the car accident. (Now I feel real bad about my remark that he was more concerned about his new car!) His
brother Alan(59) will be here for the surgery and to help him while he recuperates. Sad to report that my brother-in-law Raymond Smith passed away June 15 from complications of diabetes and surgery. We were so glad that the brothers (Chick, Glen, and Raymond) had such a wonderful reunion in April. Providential! God is good and we are blessed with
wonderful memories and life long friends!  "It was good to hear from Larry Hollowell (61) who never writes even
though it was a sad/fond note about Bobby Stampley's (61) passing "I grew up with Bobby in Highland Biltmore and we all played football and basketball and baseball on the corner lots and had a good time and good memories of Bobby he and I were in the same graduating class of 1961.After we graduated I lost track of him but often thought about him. I was also their morning paper boy for years.  My thoughts are with Mrs. Stampley and Andy"

From Bob Stanfield (62) " hope all is well with you and yours. For what it's worth, I retired 8/31/2007, and all is well here." How are all you guys managing to retire and I'm still here?

When I sent out the obit for Bill Orrack (60) I rec'd this from Bill Davenport (62) "A little bit of old Cradock trivia, Bill Orrock's father was named Julian or Julius Orrock, he was the manager of the A&P store in Cradock square when we were in grade school." Isn't it amazing what you remember from 50+ years ago?

Richard Bentley (62) says: "I am doing fairly well these days. I am retired now but stay as active as possible with volunteer work and I am still on the board of The Blennerhassett Historical Foundation here in Parkersburg (West Virginia)"

Had to share this note from Bonita Wood (62) which I'm still laughing about "Our son, Christian, is going to be moving to Houston, Texas after Christmas. He works for Heather (one of her daughters) and her husband, Anthony, in their Samsung television repair business. He is going to DeVry University also. So, as of December 22nd if Christian passes his
courses, he will be the 5th of our children to attend college. The twins are taking college courses in high school. So not bad for a Cradock High School graduate....having 5 kids attending or attended college. When Heather was at Florida State, she was awarded a scholarship because she had parents that hadn't gone to college. Boy, were we proud when they announced that at the award ceremony. We felt like everyone was looking at us as the king and queen of dullards.
Anyway, life is good." I can just see Bonita beaming proudly and then going "what did they just call us?"  And in November Charles Gould (60) sent this "How about some good news for a change????????  My wife Helen and I found out on Halloween that our youngest Christopher (Chris) and his wife Bille are expecting. This will be our first grandchild. In the seven years they have been married we never once asked when they were going to start their family. A few months ago we were told they were talking about it one night and so I pulled our son to the side and told him talking was not going to get it
done. (ha) Anyway she is only two months along so we have a long time to get ready and so for the first time I can remember in a while I would like time to pass a little faster right now."

And in October heard from Janice Reavis (61) "We are doing fine. I finally got out of my cast (aircast) early this month after eight months and it feels great not to be dragging it around. Now if I could just get rid of the thumb splint! Our January 2007 trip to Singapore, Bangkok, and Cambodia was wonderful except for the part where the Thai masseuse broke both bones in my left leg straight across about two inches above the ankle. Silly me, I just thought I was bruised (had happened before)
and walked on it through three international airports the next day and for another eight days at home until I gave up and went to the doctor. My orthopedist was so upset with me. Ed (Seager 60) just asked if I hadn't learned anything from my previous Thai massage. Message is if you have small bones (and old ones) don't do Thai massage which is very
rough. Disregard the fact that the price is such a bargain. I promise you that the copays will not be a bargain.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Siem Reap, Cambodia and Angkor Wat is amazing. We did an educational project through the Ponheary Ly Foundation which was very rewarding. We (Ed, me, my aunt & uncle, and a friend all traveling together) provided a beef curry lunch for the students of a five room primary school out in the country near Bantrey
Srei temple as well as school supplies, uniforms, and books for their new library corner. The village women came to help prepare the meal which was prepared in large kettles in an open shed behind the school. Ed took some great pictures. The children are beautiful and were so excited to see us. The poverty is unbelievable but the children do not
seem unhappy. It brought tears to my eyes to see how excited they got over pencils! Our daughter just had her first baby, a girl, on 9/7/07 five weeks premature. The baby was in the ICU for only 8 days before coming home and is doing well. Ed & I hotfooted it down to Alexandria and got there just before the baby made her appearance. We provided supportive services - read cooking, cleaning, laundry, and putting together baby gear - for about two weeks before heading down to Kitty Hawk for a week. Needless to say we needed the rest. Today I accompanied my five-year-old grandson on a field trip to a farm for a hayride, pumpkin-picking, and farm animal viewing along with some more exotic animals like ostriches and peacocks. The kids all had fun but it was a cold, damp, raw day and I plan an early night tonight."

Kirk Wood (62) wrote: It's been a while since I last e-mailed. On Sept. 28, Marcia fell in the backyard on to the pool concrete siding and severely broke her right upper arm. She was trying to avoid stepping on our dog Pixie and just lost her balance. She was in the hospital that night and had surgery early Saturday morning. On Sunday, she was able
to come home. She had to have a steel rod inserted into her upper right arm with screws. This is her right arm and she is right handed. Also, damage done to the radial nerve effectively making it almost useless although it is improving with physical therapy. After two long months, she is getting along better and can now shower herself, put on her bra and arm brace and drive the car. I wish I had better news. Everything else is fine. Our daughter Fran and her husband in California just returned from a trip to Paris (arriving in time for the transit strike). The fall semester at Ala. State U. is winding down with classed ending next week and then final exams. Then Marcia and I are off to Columbia, SC to see our son Doug and his wife and our only granddaughter." But then Kirk did have good news. The book he has been working on forever
has been accepted for publishing!

Betty Whitehurst (62)said "Sorry I missed your call today. We were at the cardiologist office, this time for an ultra sound of the carotid artery for Charlie. He's doing OK, but still not able to exercise as he would like (he's lost 35 pounds). They will be doing another procedure on Jan. 14 which will be another ablation, this time on the left side of the heart where the other doctor couldn't reach before. This dr. does only the left side of the heart and does only one a day as it takes four to six hours. If he's able to reach the area this should take care of his problem. Remember him in your prayers that this will go smoothly. We are truly retired now and loving every minute of it. Go online to thevillages.com and see where we live. It is paradise. Wonderful neighbors, golf carts are our transportation, entertainment on The Squares (2 of them) 365 days a year, great restaurants, shopping and so much more that I can't even think of right now. I just hope we don't out live our money and have to move back to reality. Even with the hardships of the year (tornado and heart attack) we have never questioned our decision to move here."

Bill Harris (58) sent this to Bernie Kirsch " BTW: Bill didn't realize he was lost until Bernie found him "I'm still alive! Retired from the Army in 1983 and went on to work for defense contractors here in St Louis. Finally retired for good in early 2002. Wow, that's almost 6 years now. My wife, Christa, and I travel a fair amount, usually to visit six kids/10 grandkids. Celebrated my 45th VMI reunion this past September, and it was great to see that 100+ made it back. We're off to
the Riviera Maya in Mexico in early February and then to Hawaii in August. So, if there is a 50th Cradock reunion, maybe I'll have a tan. We did travel back through Portsmouth in September prior to VMI to visit gravesites etc. Sad to see that Curt's Mother has passed on (their gravesite is right next to my parent's). Other than two shoulder surgeries in the last three years, health is pretty good. I am recovering from a stupid slip trying to shovel ice off the sidewalk last week, but I'll get over it." There is a picture of Bill and wife Christa attached.


I received oodles of notes from you guys when Mom & Dad came to live with us. They are doing well and have adjusted to their newest adventure. Every time I think about smothering Alan in his sleep I remember he is taking one of the parents to a doctor's appointment later in the week and I lift the pillow up and let him live another day! He has been an absolute saint through all this and is getting extremely friendly with the ladies at Mom's beauty shop!

Received "THE ADMIRAL" Class of 53's monthly newsletter in the mail this week and always get a smile out of it. Even though I didn't know most of them we knew lots of their brothers and sisters that were in later classes. It amazes me at the huge age gap between seniors of 1953 and seniors of 1962 and now we're just "SENIORS" getting our discounts at
Kohl's on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. What a difference 50 years bring. I got the biggest kick out of Gary Keesecker's (53) column "Words from the PREZ ...........I'm not talking about being stupid about safety, but somehow our generation seemed to grow up despite being so unprotected in our childhood activities. ...he longs for the days when we could play
dodge ball, jump off the see-saw, laughing when our playmate thumped to the ground, or ride our bikes all over the place sans helmets......This reminded me of Jeff Foxworthy's routine about the gym sets that one leg always raised about two feet off the ground when you would swing.....any of your parents cement you swing set into the ground?  I've said numerous times I'll try to get these out more frequently.....and I'll say it again.

Have a good weekend...stay dry and healthy,

Gail


Bill Harris & Christina

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Gail Edwards Bakerís Newsletter
February 8, 2008
 


I'm so going to try to keep up with you guys and your comments and get a newsletter out more often so I begin with Ronnie Seidman's (61) reply to the last newsletter: "Now, how many times are you going to "Apologize" in one document! Come on, give me a break, it is nothing but Old Age at work! If you need some help remembering that you have e-mails to share, or any other "important task" that needs your attention, simply give me a call! Like Ronnie remembers stuff.....he has to have a dog to remind him to walk!

And Dee Cassidy (60) is having the time of her life! She replied " Well, Gail, apologies accepted! You have excuses for not getting the newsletter out-working and caretaking too! I am surprised you even got one out much less being late! Glad to hear that your parents are adjusting. Will keep them and you and yours in our prayers. We are
still traveling. Did a Mid-West tour with a group of Telephone Pioneers in August and September pulling a travel trailer. Loved South Dakota and Chicago. Bought a new transmission in Omaha! We enjoyed Branson Mo too. Our first trip to Hawaii in October 07 was fabulous and we have scheduled an Alaskan cruise this May and will visit Oregon and Washington state. Working on our "Bucket List" of seeing all 50 states before we kick the bucket! If you haven't seen The Bucket List movie, don't miss it. Great entertainment. Again, great to hear from you and I
promise I will call Harris Publishing!" I bet the transmission experience was a joy.

I had wondered why I hadn't heard from Jimmy Melvin (61) who normally sends me golf jokes for Alan and he finally checked in. " Its never to late for a news letter. If you did not put one out we would never know what was going on with all the Cradock faithfuls. I wanted to E-MAIL you some time ago except I could not get upstairs to my computer. Back in the beginning of December, I had knee replacement surgery and just never thought to mention it before hand. I'm on the mend now, getting outpatient therapy three times a week and walking with a cane.  I hope to be walking without my cane in the next week or two. Its been seven weeks since my surgery and my computer is once again my contact to the outside world. I had my surgery before Christmas in hopes I would be ready to play golf in the spring. I only need to be ready by April and that should be plenty of time and the weather should be getting better. Thanks again for the news letter and keep up the good work. Say hello to Alan." I just love these guys that schedule surgery based on what they consider "golf season". Alan is still conptemplating knee surgery so these good news stories help him with his decision.

Marsha Ehoff (59) said she enjoyed the newsletter and since she retired she is really busy. She has 5 new boyfriends and sent me their names. "...as soon as I wake up, WILL POWER helps me out of bed, the I go see JOHN, then CHARLIE HORSE comes along, & when he is here, he takes a lot of my time and attention. When he leaves, ARTHUR RITIS shows up and stays the rest of the day. He doesn't like to stay in one place very long so he takes me from joint to joint. After such a busy day, I'm really tired and glad to go to bed with BEN GAY. What a life! Oh, yes, I'm also flirting with AL ZYMER."

Wayne Whitley (60) checked in with "Great to see another newsletter. Thanks for all your efforts. Can you provide Gary Keesecker's (53) email? I know I our paths have crossed somewhere in past even though I'm 7 yrs his junior. One of the fun things about the newsletter is being able to provide contact information to you guys so you can keep in touch with each other!

Diane Spence (63) is one of the few from the Class of 63 that I hear from and she replied "Gail, thanks for the newsletter, it was great. We all need to send you updates so you can disburse the info as you do we well. The weather is nasty here too, but it is on the way out and so very warm. Where is winter????? I bet we surely get one good snow when we least expect it. I loved what you said about Alan, putting a pillow over his head and then remembering something you have for him to do and you quietly pull it back, that was a classic. I too know what it means to have a mate to be so interactive and helpful. Good luck and hope all is well." Diane has been taking care of her Mom for some time now.

I love hearing from members of other classes particularly since Kat Leary (62) and I helped track them down for their reunions. Heard from Barb Tarkington with some good news..."Thanks again for the newsletter. It is nice to read, although I don't know a lot of them; but like you said- we know the families.  We are doing fine- now, but last year was different. It started off fine, we went to the Southwest, to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary; which is on Valentine's day. We went to Rockhound State park and enjoyed digging for gems. Then on up to Albuquerque and rode a hot air balloon. A wonderful ride- We had been wanting to do that for a while, and Albuquerque is the best place to do it. Then after visiting other places, we returned home, where our family had an anniversary party planned for us at the Virginia Beach Resort hotel. We were about to miss it, as our plane got stranded in Phoenix, because of weather elsewhere. We finally flew into Raleigh and rented a car so we would be home in time.  Nothing was flying into Norfolk. Then on May 26th, I was rushed to Leigh hospital, where they found I had 2 brain aneurysms, on either side of the temple. The ambulance again took me to Norfolk General, where they were expecting to do surgery. They sent the CD of the pictures of it. However, after I got there, they did another MRI and catscan- topo and could find nothing; but I have a copy of the CD to prove it was there. I also had tremendous headaches from the blood coursing down in my head. I was in the hospital for 21 days, while they did more tests- actually too many tests; as it caused me to lose my hair. There was no treatment done, only tests. After this time in the trauma and IC units, I was sent home. The home nurse came for a week, and said that I was doing so well, I didn't need her. I had shed the walker and cane and was doing well. So- somewhere between the two hospitals, I had a miracle. That has been 9 months ago, and they took another catscan about a month ago- still fine. Plus my hair grew back curlier than it was and black. In the meantime , I like to be doing things- We have been working out in the gym, equipment, exercise machines and water, so are really doing great. Three months after this took place, we took a trip to Oregon- the only state that I had not been too, and I must say- one which is way at the top of our list. Cliff had already done all 50. We had planned it before any of this happened, and were determined to still go. I do tours / cruises each year, and have traveled a lot outside of the country, as well, but we thought I should wait a bit before doing another group tour.. So, I am planning another cruise for next August 09 to Alaska. I don't have the info yet, and won't until probably July of this year; but I know it will be on the Norwegian Line- our choice of liners.  We have been there before, but it is a popular place with people, and I have those wanting to go.. So if anyone is interested, please let me know. We'd love to have you." I wouldn't want to go through what Barb went through but I could use the miracle of my hair coming back black. God is frosting mine one strand at the time and as often as I get mine cut I can't afford the time or money to keep coloring it so I'll look like a skunk eventually!

Mavis Daniels (52) writes the newsletter for their class and is so good about keeping me informed so I can pass on news to everyone. Lots of her class we didn't know but they are sisters/brothers of the later classmates (notice I didn't say younger somehow that doesn't apply anymore). Mavis and Loren were taking their RV to Florida for the winter months and now health issues has made it more efficient for them to stay in Florida year round. This from Mavis "I have just read your  latest newsletter. As always, it was such good reading !! Even though I do not know anyone - it is good to know all the Cradock high school  graduates of 1962 are doing well, enjoying life and seem to have their  health under control. Yes, 1952 seems eons away and then when you hear  from a classmate, it seems like yesterday. Only good news I have  received is from Gayle Ballance ('52). His daughter is expecting her  first child - non other than twins. He and wife gray are beside  themselves!!! This will be the first grandchild. These two little darlings are very lucky grandchildren. Ain't life great !!! Ha. Ha.  Do not smother husband right now - sounds like he is doing his share.  He might be a "keeper." i love living in Florida. Just waiting for our  home to be sold in north Carolina & then we will make arrangements for  the 3 level retirement settlement. Loren has finally agreed this is the  time to make this change

." Mavis also had a tip from her neighborhood watch that makes sense to me "Put your car keys beside your bed at
night. If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies."

Joan Spear (58) checked in to let me know she's still out there.

From "Our Miss Brooks" (anyone remember that TV show besides me?) "I agree that we Cradock grads have some good writing skills. Do you think it's because we had some good teachers there? I have such good memories of Cradock from the viewpoint as a student and as a teacher. I think those years I taught were some of the best of the 41 that I spent in education. Actually, my students taught me much more than I feel like I taught them. It isn't necessary for you to apologize. We are just grateful for the news we get when we get it, so don't worry and please don't let that stop you from writing when you do have the time. Greetings and love to my CHS friends. Sarah Liddle Bledsoe ('56 grad and faculty '60-67)" And then Sarah replied to the Cutchins' Cradock article "Thank you for sharing this article. It made me homesick again. Weren't we privileged to have the opportunities that Cradock gave us that our children and grandchildren won't have? It was safe to walk wherever we needed to be and we didn't have to feel left out that we didn't have a car the moment we hit our 16th. birthday? I wasn't at CHS but our last 2 years but I have such fond memories of our being so thrilled with being in that big, beautiful new building. I really felt blessed that my first 7 years of teaching English were at Cradock, too. "Hope all of you are well and warm and enjoying these memories that make us who we are today.

A special thanks to Bernie Kirsch (57) who finds me great articles in the Pilot and who keeps me informed about "Upper Classmen's" Comings and Goings.

Eileen Beasley (62) wrote after receiving the Cutchins' article from the Va Pilot "Yes, it was a great article. It is beyond me though why the Pilot can't learn to spell names in Cradock. The street I grew up on Aylwin Crescent was spelled Alwyn. Plus the number of times I've seen Cradock mentioned in the paper as Cradock. I've complained several times and get this blank look. I also use to roller skate all over the place. My dad use to shine his car lights on the tennis court at the Old Cradock High School so my friends and I could skate way after dark. What a great time we had." ALSO have to share this piece of wisdom from Eileen who is busy keeping fit by going to the pool for water aerobatics "I am off to the pool to my exercise class. I have learned one thing at the class, old ladies and high cut legs/ low necked bathing suits don't go together and to close your eyes in the locker room. "

And Kirk Wood (62) wrote in response to the Cutchins' article: "Thanks for sending the newspaper story about Bob and Ruth Cutchins. I was their next door neighbor on 210 Kelly Drive for many years and grew up with Richard (Dick) Cutchins, class of 1961. He has also returned to Norfolk to retire from the cold North and GM. " Then I asked Kirk how Marcia and his book was doing and he replied "Marcia's right arm is much better---with a steel rod in it. She goes to Orthopedic Surgeon on Friday. Damage to radial nerve is still an issue. Not full movement of hand. She has therapy two days a week. My book will be published, finally and thank God, in April 2008. Actually, there will be three volumes of Nullification, A Constitutional History, 1776-1833. Volume one is James Madison Not the Father of the Constitution: Other Framers, Different Intentions, and the Origins of Nullification, 1776-1787. 260 pages, $38.00 paperback, University Press of America, 2008. ISBN # 0-7618-4011-7. It's not just for me but for the people of the South. Whoever reads it will know why."

I emailed Peggy Stewart (60) to verify that I was remembering correctly and the obit for Hazel Stewart was Peggy and Barbara's (62) aunt. I hadn't heard from Peggy since her heart surgery so was happy to hear from her. " I am getting stronger everyday after my Open Heart Surgery. I will be going back to work on the 28th. Don't know if I am ready or not but, I will soon find out. It was a shock to me that I had to have this done. I always swelled in the summer time when I go to camp with the kids, I go and get some fluid pills and keep going. Well this time the doctor said we are going to find out why this happens and after a few tests they found I had a bad Aorta Valve and the Aorta was damaged. I have a new valve (metal valve) and Dr. Rich repaired the Aorta with this mesh stuff. Well as you can see it is a little late but this is the only time I can get on line I do not have an extra line for the computer and with my sister being as sick as she has been I try to keep the line open. Also our mom just had a hip replacement Friday. She is doingreally good for 86."

Bob Purgason (56) wrote from Pennsylvania "I'm a "survivor" from the Class of '56, now living in Pennsylvania. I really appreciate your emails with news and articles like the one this morning about Cradock. It's very heartwarming to read stories like this one, and remember back when we were a part of Cradock's wonderful history. It's almost like
yesterday in a way. Red's soda shop on the corner was one of the favorite hang-outs at the time, wonder what's there now? "

Charles Gould (60) wrote "Although I am only 39 years of age again and again, my wife Helen (Churchland girl) and I will be married 43 years February 20, 2008. It seems like yesterday when I returned home from the Air Force and met her in April 1964 and we were married the next year. I know we are all getting at that age when things start to happen but its sad to read all the stories about our class mates and their families. I would have to say all in all I have so much to be thankful for. Looks longer when you put it on paper than it feels just saying it. (But wasn't it great he said it!) Had dinner with Sandy Carawan (59) and Doris Riggs (62) Carawan Saturday night. They have been married 44 years now. They are doing great. She just had a knee replacement the week of Thanksgiving and is still in P/T We are comparing P/t jokes. I had rotator Cuff surgery the same week and am still in P/T. They live in theGreat Bridge area off Johnstown Rd. They have two grandchildren, a boy and a girl by their daughter Cindy and two grandsons by their son Ronnie who lives in the Denver, Co. area. Both are retired and Sandy is a Lowes expert according to Doris. We have been best friends since 1956 when I my family moved from downtown Portsmouth. (I told him their friendship has lasted longer than most marriages!) I think I told you but the four of us went to Alaska last year, their first and our second trip and we have them join us at our Lake Gaston home as often as we all can get our schedules together. Sandy is like a brother to me and we love Doris to death."

Joan Beale (56) wrote after I sent out the Cutchins Va Pilot story "A little before my time but I sure related. My mom graduated from Cradock in the early 30's and had lived on Afton Parkway for some time. When she and my dad married they built on a lot behind my grandparents on Ericson and when I was 2 we moved in (1940) and lived there until the late 60's. I have such great memories of all the stores--Chapman's, Red's the Afton Theater, Jones' cleaners, Moy's Chinese, and many more--, families--you couldn't do anything wrong because everyone knew everyone-- and the teenage center where we had regular dances. I remember the New Year's Eve dances where our parents did all the food. It was a great time and we did know everyone. Great memories!"

Martha Rea Butler (62) said "I just got to the Sunday paper today but really enjoyed the Cutchins article. All of us old timers do love ""OUR CRADOCK"". There was no place that I know of to grow up like Cradock and I don't think there ever will be again, sad to say." Martha Rea Butler (62) who with C.B. is headed for the Florida Keys in March where they'll hook up with Chet Barnette (60) and Nona Payne (62), Linda Martin (61) and Bobby Quinn (61) and Ronnie Seidman (61) and his wife will go down for a period time......WE COULD HAVE THE NEXT REUNION AT BOBBY AND LINDA'S...wrote "I always love the notes from Bonita, we just have to get her back for the next reunion, after all it will be our BIG ONE. Love to Mom and Dad and you two and I think Alan is doing a wonderful thing with your parents and I told him so at Eddie's (House 62) Mom's funeral. There aren't many guys that would do what he is doing and I
love him for it."

Pearl Zucker (62) wrote "we finally had to put my mom in a nursing home - after they almost killed her she is doing as well as can be - she still knows me so that is good - life is very busy for me - I just finished doing my own bridal show - it was a hit - I am really very excited - I have 6 grandchildren now - love being the head babysitter between doing wedding and events - definitely keeps me busy"-

An excerpt from Leroy Curtis (61 - who by the way I'm still trying to get over that he went into the ministry - God truly works in mysterious ways) monthly newsletter. As you know I don't "preach" often but this is certainly worth remembering "Also, I am grateful for your prayers that go out to our friends in Kenya. The turmoil continues there following December's disputed national election. Many of the teachers and staff members of the Kenya Ministry Training Institute are in harm's way simply because of their tribal background. It's extremely difficult to train pastors in this sort of insecure environment. As usual, the violent minions of chaos seek to undermine the possible peace and prosperity of the country for selfish and unrighteous gain. Politics are messy, even in the United States! As we pray "Thy Kingdom come," let us especially remember those who have never experienced the benefits of freedom that we in the USA can easily take so much for granted. Again, we sincerely appreciate your support...".

Thanks to Margie Pool (61) we have an update on Faye Hobbs (61) "Faye was in the office this week. She has finished her chemotherapy. Her hair has grown back( looks great). She has gained some weight back. You would never know that she has been sick. We were all thrilled to see her look so good. Her husband has been taking before and after pictures of her."
What a good news story.

Hadn't heard from Sandy Stephenson (61) for a long time and Donna Vann (61) who lives at Lake Gaston year round says Sandy is working hard at the Lake getting ready for the Summer. All are alive and well.

Informative note from Bill Davenport (62) "OK, Gail! You just have to put stuff in your letter that makes me tell on people, so here it goes : Ronnie Gould (60) had a red 1950 Oldsmobile in high school, two owners later I ended up with that car, Martha lived around the corner from my mother when she was in high school ( I still lived on Cotton Place with my grandmother). Ronnie and I became friends because of the car, I think. Martha's parents though so much of Ronnie that he wasn't even supposed to be in the car that Martha drove ( Ronnie lost his drivers license about this time so he wasn't supposed to drive anything),sooooooooooooooo, I used to loan Ronnie my car (with Martha driving) so that Martha and Ronnie could go on a date! well I guess her parents knew best and that it was only a temporary thing! 45 years later! SEEYA" I just love stories like this one.

Anne Wentz writes from Mississippi about Doug (62): "We are fine. Just trucking along for old folks. Doug will celebrate his 65th next month, and is doing great. When he stopped smoking he gained 50 pounds but I have him on watch weighters and he losing it slowly. So far 32 pounds, but back in some of his clothes. He is still holding the cat and going to Grumpy Old Men's breakfast every morning. They solve all the problems of Rankin County each day. I am still working, but since it is 1/2 mile from the house, I go home at lunch each day to fix his lunch. He has it made in the shade, what else could he wish for?" If the Grumpy Old Men's Club can solve Rankin County's problem maybe we should bring them up to D. C. for a couple of weeks.

A long overdue note from Linda Potts (62) letting me know of her mother's passing so I could share it with my Mom and Dad. They all went to the old Alexander Park Baptist together when it started in Moffett Elementary School ions ago. She also shared the boring time she and Hank plan on having over the next 8 months. "We're on an 8-mo. odyssey - here in New Orleans --did the FAT TUESDAY! To Lafayette(and GREAT Cajun food) then Houston (Hank's Mom), Rio Grande Valley for the month of March and then on to CA (Kenny and Son/Grandson), Nev. gambling, Utah Nat'l parks and working our way back to Boston (daughter and 3 babies) in Aug. Back to Fl. mid-to late Nov. If anybody happens to see a big Green/Grey "Bus" with a snow leopard mural on the back, that's us and honk your horn." Now be honest you know you are going to strain your neck muscles looking at every RV on the road to see if it is Linda and Hank.

I'm sorry to report I just learned yesterday of the passing of Carolyn Stallings (60). Carolyn died September 25, 2006 in a nursing home in Missouri.


AND ONCE AGAIN THANKS TO MARSHA EHOFF (59) REMEMBER: Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes...so have fun, think "good thoughts" only, learn to laugh at yourself, and Count your Blessings!

Gail

 

Carolyn Stallings

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Gail Edwards Bakerís Newsletter
February 27, 2008
 

 

After a weekend of listening to news where on every station some young person has participated in a drive-by shooting, robbed a convenience store etc your faith in the future generation can get a little shaky and then you get an email from Eileen Beasley (62): "The young lady singing and playing the mountain dulcimer is Sarah Elizabeth. Penny Jones Mcwhirt's (Class of 61) granddaughter. She has at least 2 maybe 3 CDs out. I received her last one as a Christmas gift and it is outstanding. She even wrote some of the songs. If you can open the link it is lovely music and is taped in Studio C - Nashville Public Radio <http://wpln.org/?cat=5> (you may need to paste it into your browser) but the really nice thing about this is the interview. Sarah Elizabeth is a senior in high school working on her senior project to teach the dulcimer to students with Autism and has an upcoming benefit at Vanderbilt University with all proceeds going to the purchase of instruments for these children. Makes the world a little brighter, doesn't it?

Another Alexander Park girl heard from, Jo Bensen (59): "Most people do not remember me (class of 59). I lived in Alexander Park also. I was always so shy and quiet. I love reading the news even though I do not remember a lot of them myself. I believe that I did let you know that I took a fall at work way back in 2000 and when I could not work any more because of the back pain, Social Security made the State of South Carolina file a claim on Worker's Comp and finally in July of 2006 I had extensive back surgery (lumbar) and I stopped breathing after 12 hours of surgery and had to get hit twice with the paddles to bring me back. I had a very hard struggle just to learn to walk again and take care of myself. I have had rheumatoid arthritis since I was 32 years old and therefore after back surgery the rheumatoid came back with a vengeance. I took infusions of Remicade for the rheumatoid and now I just found out that I have B cell follicular lymphoma. I have had the tumor removed from my right maxillary sinus through the mouth (because of scarring). Now I am taking chemo and will for at least 3-4 months, and then radiation. Life certainly is not fun but I guess we all have our share. I live in Charleston, SC and would love to hear from anyone from Cradock or otherwise. I am still single and have been for about 17 years. I am listed in the Charleston telephone directory and listed as Josephine B. Poe. If you feel so inclined please give me a ring. Would love to hear from anyone.(843)723-1641 My love to all our Cradock classmates. Mr. Niemeyer used to call me little Ms. Parsons, one of our PE teachers. I still remember both she and Ms. Brooks."

Bill Harris (58) wrote "This was first newsletter I've received, and it was great! I especially liked the note from Ken McCraney about A.B. Niemeyer. I'm one of the five who went to VMI on his urging. After that, 20 years in the Army and retired from that in 1983. Another 19 with defense contractors (marketing of course) so I finally hung it up in 2002. Not sure what LMW is (he is referring to my email account and it stands for Littoral and Mine Warfare), but my wife, Christa, was a career civil servant here in St. Louis, and her first assignment was working international logistics at TROSCOM in the Army landing craft program. She finally ended up as the Program Manager for the Israeli Apache Helicopter program with AVSCOM IL. I am one of the Williams Court crowd from 1941 -1949. My grandkids don't believe me when I say I walked all that way to James Hurst in the snow, etc. In 49, we moved to 42 Burtis Street right next to Mrs. Rose who used to cut hair in her house. I'm sure a lot guys might remember that. We have nasty weather here (just north of St. Louis) so we went to Mexico last week for our anniversary. Great 86 degree weather, but returning to 15 wasn't pleasant."

Jerry Canada (58) has asked me for Fred Zerkle's (53) email address and I emailed Fred that I has supplied it to Jerry. Fred responded "Aw yes, Jerry Canada!! He spent more time in my house when I was growing up, than I did!! I had two sisters, Mary and Virginia, and my younger brothers Harold & Johnny were his good buddies! He lived just down the street from us.... Yes, I remember him well. We've exchanged emails, and I've met his daughter. She did catering for Bruti's on Court Street....wonderful gal! I think Jerry was the founder of that restaurant...but I could be wrong...you know how us old people are! Also: You asked for stories about life in Alexander Park...Here's one that you'll find interesting. I call it the "NEWSPAPER WARS of 49". In my teens, I delivered the Virginian Pilot in the morning and the Portsmouth Star in the afternoon. My territory was very well defined, as were those of others, and we weren't supposed to deliver into each others territories. In the summer of 1949, I started losing customers and couldn't figure out why until I discovered that Buddy Cline, Cl of 53', my old friend, had a route that bordered mine. Helping him was Frank Webster, another old friend. They had started coming into my territory and "stealing customers", so, it was high time for retaliation! To get customers back, I would offer to cut their grass for half price, fix bicycle's for free and other such chores. I use to lay awake nights figuring out way to get my customers back! And... I not only got my old customers back but took away some of theirs. This went on for about a year...the number of customers that each of us had would change on a weekly basis. It sure taught us some valuable lessons about sales and marketing of a product. I suppose that the most valuable lesson was that we remained friends. When I was a VP of Sales and Marketing, I used to recall those days, when battling my competitors for business, and I'd think of Buddy (the master builder), and Frank, (the consummate football player, coach, and teacher) , and what I had to do to get my business back and keep it! I suppose you could say, they were our early lessons at winning!"

And Fred also shared with me and I asked for permission to share with all...RE: His sister Virginia Zerkle Class of 1961: "The reason I mentioned Ginny is that she was told by her doctors in December that she had only about 6 months to live. She has tumors that are located in a place behind her eyes that make them inoperable. She has suffered from mini-strokes for the last several years, and they have gotten progressively worse. Recently, her doctor sent her to the Univ. of Alabama Medical Center (in January), and they confirmed what her doctors told her in December. In spite of everything, she has maintained a healthy attitude. We talk about once a week, and her spirits are high, and... she still believes in miracles! I told her that you wanted to say something about her condition in your next newsletter and it's OK to list her address and phone number. She was delighted that she might hear from some of her "old" classmates and friends. She said to thank you for your thoughtfulness. NAME: Virginia (Ginny Zerkle) Beachboard. Address: 217 Idlewood Drive, Chicasaw, AL 36611 Phone No: 1-251-454-4219"

Fred also forwarded an email that he had shared with Mavis Tomkins (52) obviously showing that some kids never grow up. "Hi Mavis: Gary mentioned this in an email several weeks ago. I think it's a great idea! Several years ago, during the "Come Home to Cradock" events, the Class of 52' had a reunion dance/get together at the Ambassador Club in Portsmouth. We, the class of 53", found out about it and decided to "crash the party". There were about 8 of us with Gary (Keesecker '53) leading the charge. There were also members from a few other classes...One in particular was Pat O'Shields from the Class of 55, and a very dear friend of ours. Needless to say, the class of 52 was totally surprised. They shouted, "somebody go lock the door", and "who let these guys in?" We carried our Class Banner to the Stage and loudly proclaimed that "we were the best class to ever graduate from CHS". This of course, brought about lots of loud boos which quickly turned to laughter, and camaraderie. It was the highlight of our weekend, to meet Mickey Riggs (52) again and wife Margaret Ann (Duke '52). I finally got to tell her that I had a crush on her in my Junior year. She gave me a big hug and a kiss! HA...She was genuinely surprised, and was still the wonderful "girl" I remembered. I won't repeat what Mickey said! It was also the last time I saw Bob Melvin (52). (Bob died shortly after that) There were so many others we remember. Yours was a special class. What memories we all have."

When Jerry wrote he said "I just can't seem to leave Portsmouth, no matter how I try. When in the Marine Corps, taking me West, South, North my body just seems to end up in P-Town as I shake my head...We the Class of 1958 are having our 50th Reunion this year (October 17-18-19) right in the middle of "Come Home to Cradock" which is a great time for a get together." We are missing the following classmates: SUZANNE BELLAMY TITUS, JOSIE WYNOA EAMES, CAROL GATES, JULIANNE NORVELL LARKIN, MARIE ORLAWSKI BARNES, WILLIAM NORMAN PARKER, AND DELORES ELAINE YOUNG. Anyone with any information on the above please either contact Jerry at jcanada1@cox.net <mailto:jcanada1@cox.net> or me at Gail.E.Baker@navy.mil <mailto:Gail.E.Baker@navy.mil> Heard from Dickie Jones (56) "Good morning Gail, I just want to pass on how much I enjoy all of the news you are able to pass on. Anne and I divide our time between Birmingham, Atlanta, and Destin these days, and it is always good to hear about Cradock and anyone involved."

Kent McCraney (59) asked for Isaac Cannon's (59) address and brother John (62) replied and threw in " and tell him I still feel bad about ramming the front of his car with the rear bumper of the Cannon Family Studebaker. It was his fault for not parking BESIDE the Studebaker!" I have a feeling there is more to this than John's side of the story.

Don Caffee (59) has always been a bit of a wise guy. He wrote "In reference to your plight below: The weather here has been almost as bad as the traffic. Another whole month and the 421 bypass will be open from US 1 to NC 42 next to Coty Cosmetics! If I were still doing the "W" word I could be there in less than 10 minutes unless the weather was too bad  - might take 12 then. After all, it is on the opposite side of the city." Don has been ragging on me for the distance I travel to work for several years now and he has gotten worse since he retired!

Peggy Stewart's (60) family has traveled a rough road this year. She wrote last week "I had Open Heart Surgery the 15th of Nov. and I will be going back to work Feb. 18th. It was a long hard trip so all of you out there who do not think it can happen to you, guess what? It can. I had no idea there was anything wrong. I always went to camp with the children at church, this year I went to Band Camp with my grandson which we are raising and came home with swollen legs and feet as I always do after camp. I went to the doctor for the fluid pills as usual and the doctor said we are going to find out why this happens, she sent me for a test and it showed my Aorta was too small to carry the blood and oxygen to the body. I was sent to Dr. Rich and he had another test done which showed the Aorta was damaged also. I am getting stronger every day but I had to have a valve replacement and they replaced it with a metal valve and I hear it all the time and when it beats real hard it makes me tired. It beats so hard at times (which is normal and I just have to get used to it the Doctor said) that it makes my body shake with the rhythm of the heart. I feel like people can see me move but I don't think they can but they do tell me that they can hear it beat. Some of you already know of this and I have heard from a few and I do so appreciate the e-mails that I have gotten from you. (BTW: Peggy has named her new heart Matilda) My sister Barbara Joyce (Stewart) Bryant class 62, at the same time this was going on with me found out she had the worse Brain Cancer that you could have. She has gone through her treatments and did very well, she did not loose her hair. She is having trouble hearing and she is going to a Doc. for that but they do not think there is a lot that they can do for her. They say that the treatments may have had something to do with the problem with her lose of hearing but they don't really know. They give her 2 years but we are praying for longer for sure, and our God knows more than Doctors anyway. Doctors do not know it all, they can only predict with this cancer because it takes their patients so fast they say, that they can not tell us what causes this type. She needs all of your prayers and she loves to get cards. She does not get on the computer much because her sight is getting worse also.
Her address is.......... 545 McLean Ave. Portsmouth, VA 23701. Mom also in the middle of all of this had to have a hip replacement and she is now at the Maryview Home in Churchland (Suffolk side). So we have had a lot going on in our family the last few months. She is doing very good may be able to come home next week."

Andrea Horton (62) is another one of those people keeping warm I just want to shoot about now "Ahoy Gail, What an awful experience to last for  6 1/2 hours, you all must have been out of your mind!!! As I'm one of the Floridians, I can sympathize but can't imagine having to go through an ordeal like that. I did have a bad experience driving from the west coast a couple years ago. A tractor-trailer accident kept us in traffic and we crept along for 2 hours somewhere in Arkansas; what a horror that was. Well, the folks coming to the Keys will enjoy the weather as it is great; I'm in Islamorada (Lower Matacumbe Key) working and have been here since mid-January. After retirement from the federal government I found working for the Boy Scouts of America in the Keys is next to being in Guantanamo, my favorite place in the world for scuba. So, I come here often to help with the spring and summer sessions; we are a national high adventure camp for sailing and scuba diving. The rest of the year, I live in St. Augustine; but travel every time the opportunity arises...I lived in Alexander Park for years, too. First on Victory Blvd with classmates like Barbara (62)& Peggy Stewart (60), John Cannon (62), Rita Talley (61) and Bill Respass (61) in the locale. Then our family moved to Greenwood Dr. and my neighbors and buddies were Janet Caparole and Becky Ambrose. The places to go were the rec center, Phil's and the soda shop. We had some great softball games behind the court on Victory Blvd. God, has it been 50 years ago...Just a few notes to keep in touch and to wish all my classmates the best! Stop in St. Augustine and say "HI" if you are in the area."

Alan Forbes (59) writes: "Thanks for another great newsletter. I always like it when I get honorable mention in your writing. Also, I thought you lived up on Cavalier Blvd? We lived on Belmont Ave. just down the "court" a block over. Maybe my remembered ain't workin' too well....... what's my name again??? And, yes I do remember the "Millionaire" program and if you don't mind a little nit picking, it was John Beresford (not Baresford) Tipton that gave the money away anonymously through the character Michael Anthony on the show. In my spare time here in South Carolina, I have been going to a lot of "trivia" nights at some of the local eating establishments. I do well on some of the old TV programs and old movies, other than that, I'm pretty much useless. It's a lot of fun and I join a team of people that I used to work with. Some of them are good on sports questions, some on music, some on medical/scientific stuff, others on food, business, etc... , so we have a well rounded team. This past Wednesday we won first place ($50.00) but when we split it 8 ways it didn't even pay for our food. Everyone took five bucks and left ten for the waitress. It's a lot of fun and we enjoy it."

After reading the last newsletter Tommy Chilton (56) tried to check out the Cradock website www.cradock.org and couldn't get it. It is working fine now. Glen Stephens (74) the webmaster is working with me attempting to get as many of the obituaries onto the website so you can just click on the name and the obit comes up. Hopefully will help you remember your classmate.

Marsha Ehoff (59) checked in: "I was not up at 4:00 a.m. this morning, like you, but I have been out all day in the 65 degree weather enjoying the sunshine and doing whatever the heck I wanted to do so when I got home I had your NEW newsletter and have been laughing ever since. One thing that caught my eye was the Joe Barnes e-mail about Alexander Park and Buddy Overcash. I knew Buddy died in just the past few years because I talked with him at the reunion we had at The Renaissance. I need to find our from Joe Barnes, or Eddie Seager, who was close enough to Buddy Overcash to know a guy named Tommy Phillips. Tommy went to Alexander Park when we were in the 7th grade and Buddy told me Tommy was looking for me. When I called where he worked he had retired. Maybe you could give me Joe Barnes e-mail address. I know you sent those out once and I printed it but cannot find it. Heck, I can't even find the darn book with everybody's name and address from a couple of years ago. I must be having more fun that I thought. Gotta watch that at my age although I am feeling really great these days. Had surgery 12/13/07 to repair what they thought was a hernia........outpatient surgery....WRONG. More than one hernia and two days later, I was home with six incisions around the middle and sides of my stomach and eight days of sheer pain. Could not get any pain medication to agree with me long enough to keep it down so it would work. Don't want to go there again. I am such a baby because I have never had any major surgery to speak of,,, still have my tonsils and appendix and everything else I came with so I do not take well to intense pain. Then I had a problem with me left hand where they removed (snatched) the IV out creating thrombo-phlebitis which can be very dangerous; thus, a few weeks of physical therapy on the hand. I am done with all of this. I thought the "r" stood for retired but it is also the letter that follows "d" as in doctor (dr). Whew! Sympathize with you on your snow storm and freezing weather. I lived in DC and Arlington, VA for about 10 years after graduation. Loved it. But I know about the weather they have and the traffic was heavy back in the 60's so I can imagine what it is now...wow! Sooooooo, enjoy your Monday holiday, sleep late and let me know about how to reach Joe Barnes when you have a minute." Marsha has received her information for Joe.

Eileen Beasley (62) wrote: "This (picture of Eileen and husband Bob) was taken at Bob's company's 100 Anniversary Celebration. There were 527 people there and they danced to the Band of Oz until the wee hours of the morning. Pretty good for a bunch of old folks." I asked if I could post the picture and she said go ahead if you want to scare a bunch of folks. Eileen swims everyday at the Y and says other than having to avert your eyes in the locker room it is a lot of fun. Apparently undressing with a bunch of old ladies is not the most pleasant experience in the world.

Click on Picture to enlarge

Picture has been lost

Buddy Atwood (56) shared memories of Williams Court "Hi Gail, Your latest e-mail requested response from former grads who resided in Williams Court. My family moved to Williams Court at the beginning of WWII, and I lived there until graduating from Cradock High School in  1956. After graduation, I joined the Marine Corps serving 4 years active duty and 6 years active reserves. I married Carolyn Sue Bowker in Irvington, California in 1959. Sue was a freshman at Cradock in 1956, but moved to Chicago later that year when her father, who was in the Navy, was transferred. We have three children - Ronald W. Atwood, M.D., Michelle Kidd, RN, both of Chesapeake, and Mary Lynn Pinkerman, Deputy Registrar for Chesapeake. I retired January 26, 2007 from Hapag-Lloyd (America) Inc., a German container shipping company which is the fifth largest shipping company in the world. Currently, Sue and I are keeping our 2 1/2 year old grandson. We have 6 grandchildren with another due in April. They range in age from 2 1/2 to 19 years old. The oldest grandson is a sophomore at Virginia Tech. Dan Atwood (55), my older brother, passed away October 12, 2001. My other siblings, Ronnie, Wayne (58), and Mary (63) are all living in Virginia. Hope this brings all my classmates up to date on me and my family. Does anyone know where Bruce Butler (56) is? Thanks for all your efforts in keeping all the Cradock grads informed about our classmates, Gail. I don't know how you do it. We certainly look forward to your letters."

Bob Bailey (58) writes "Thanks for the newsletter. It's great to read and be able to keep up with classmates. Look forward to seeing all in October. My wife, Louise, and I will celebrate 45 years together in April. Been married all my life! Louise (Smithfield gal) is working 1 day a week and I am the retired Fire Chief from the City of Williamsburg. If any of the old Cradock alumni are in the Williamsburg area, look us up in Chickahominy Haven."

Kay Newsome (56) lived down the street from us in the Park and brother Larry (63) used to join in all our games. Kay wrote "I was in the class of 56. I do not know all the ones you are speaking of, but enjoyed the E-mail. It is like spring here (Winter Park, FL) near 80. Take care.
Have a good week"

Vernon Townsend (62) replied to the last newsletter "Gawd, 6.5 hrs. I feel for you being stuck in the parking lot on I-95~ Made the mistake myself, once or twice, while towing my Airstream trailer South, to Virginia Beach. The weather condition was much better for me. No, I haven't joined the Keys group yet~ Right now, from where I am sitting in New Hampshire, looking out the window at well over 3 feet of snow, it does sound inviting. Reading the comments about Alexander Park, brought back summer time memories as a young kid, wandering all over on my modified bicycle (player cards in the spooks). I would disappear early in the morning and, be gone riding up and down the streets all day long. Sometimes, I ended up over by the railroad tracks behind the school, waiting for a train to come by or, play in the ditch looking for frogs or that minnow which dared to live in the water.. lol Often, the guys from the neighborhood would all get together to play a game of baseball or football. How many times we played cowboys and Indian.. with real bow and arrows.. BB guns even..We were crazy~!Going back even further, I remember the first days we moved to the Park, coming in from the Naval Base at Patuxent River NAS, Maryland, in the very early 50's.(Just in time for first grade at Moffet School). We lived at 511 Dorset, in a courtyard and went to Moffet School till the 4th grade, where I met so many of the people we ended up graduating with from Cradock High. I remember the times, going to the movies with my cousins in the common..Mostly, I would go downtown to the movies as it seemed there were more selections to be had. The ferry across to Norfolk, was 5 cent at one time and, my brother and I would go over there to see the movies as well. Always on the lookout for a hotdog stand..lol Now, the years have pasted by and, I finally retired last June 6th of 2007. Worked hard all summer painting the house while the family was gone to Africa.(I asked why was the family in Africa and he replied "They work with the Namibia Gov't, thru a Christian organization, for kids and, young adults that have lost one or both of their parents because of AIDS. Nancy has been helping the school system admin to structured lessons. She has been doing this for 5 yrs now. Nate, who is finishing his Masters, will be doing his 3rd trip this year. He has been working hard, with the building of new classrooms, etc. I stay and, guard the home front from Va Beach) After all the work was done, I took off for Va Beach and, spend two months down there just enjoying the area all over again. Must have gone over to Colonial Williamsburg, at least 3 or 4 times. Ate out at every wayside BBQ place one could find. Visited the various plantations on the James River, and rode across on the ferry (for free) at least 3 times..Toured Smithfield, at least twice and numerous antique shops along the way. Made it back to New Hampshire, in November, for my youngest son's birthday and, then got stuck here because of the snow, etc. Just waiting for Spring time to break out once more. The family will be in Africa once more this summer and, I have plans for international travel as well..Will be back at the beach at some point..Just love the surfs and, walking on the beach there. Thanks for all your hard work in getting the news letter out~I can't say when we'll see any of you again..Cradock is never far from the mind"

I'm still giggling at George Williams (61) comment to the last newsletter "Where do you get all the stuff you publish? There sure is a ton of it." Now you guys know why if I let it go....there is just too much to share at one time. This is just a week's worth.

John Casteen (61) advised me to stay warm. It has to be colder in Charlottesville than in DC. I have all that political hot air warming me.

Not a jury in the world would convict me for killing Ronnie Seidman (61). I have no idea how many of this type of email I've gotten from him in the last couple of weeks: "I am e-mailing you from Linda's (Martin Quinn's 61) computer! Thought of you yesterday as we were cruising in one of Bobby's Boats. The Temp here is in the 80's and we are wearing shorts! I realize the temp in DC is a bit cold, so we wish you the best! I am mailing the cat to you!" They are on their way home today (Thursday). Welcome back to the real world. "Ain't" all that warmer in OBX. Picture of Bobby Quinn (61), Linda Martin (61) and Ronnie's wife Cindy on Bobby's new boat cruising in 80 degree weather while I'm in an ice storm is attached. Doesn't look like they are even thinking of me, does it?

Click on picture to enlarge

Picture has been lost
 

When Nat Malcolm (65) wrote with the news of his Mom's (One of Cradock's teachers) passing he also shared that he and Linda Mitchell (63) stayed in the Charleston area after being stationed there in the Navy in 1988. They now live on Kiawah Island (outside Charleston) and have a bookstore. Anyone passing through there please give them a call. They're in the book.

Why do all the smart alecks seem to come from the Classes of the early 60's? Judy Stroupe (62) wrote: "I read your newsletter while I was sitting on the beach in St. Thomas. Thought I could send a little of this warmth your way. We are here until Saturday."

Rita Hall (63) wrote for Nat Malcolm's address and I asked if she was now retired. They had moved from Northern Va to Virginia Beach and she said "Yep! That's right - a lady of leisure- and enjoying every minute of it. Actually, we stay rather busy, as we have so much family down here in Va. Beach., but life is good and retirement is good. I think the traffic down here is almost as bad as it was in Northern Va though.
Thank you Gail for sending the Malcolm's address. I do remember Linda Malcolm (Mitchell), as she lived across the street from me and we kind of grew up together. When Bill and I make a trip to SC we are going to look them up and visit them."

Don Taylor (59) is finally going to do it! "I'm retiring on 31 March, 2008. I've had enough of the 5:00 in the morning wakeups, leaving home at 6:00 to get to work at 7:00. I am on the Internet at home finally. My home E-Mail address is: taylorde1@verizon.net. I've been working since I was 14 years old. I'll be 67 on July 1st of this year. I think that's long enough. I plan to get a job as a life guard at a car wash. HA! HA!, just kidding. My granddaughter is graduating from Western Branch High School this year. She was recruited and signed to play Volleyball at Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Va. She qualified for a Presidential Academic Scholarship. We were at the Convention Center in D.C. this weekend from Friday thru Monday at a huge Volleyball Tournament. She plays for an 18U travel team, Coastal. I'm sure I'll be on the road following her to other colleges playing Volleyball. Please forward any correspondence to my new E-Mail address. Thanks and I hope you and Alan are doing well."

Richard Flythe (62)sent a note "Life continues to be good in Columbia, SC. Our computer was off-line (broke) for a couple months, could receive but not send emails, but is now back up. My sister Bettie lives in Cape Cod and she has a new email address, see below, it is the Verizon address and she wants you to add her to your mailing list." Also part of the note said he was going on a business trip to Las Vegas and wife Jane was staying home to mind animals. Just for the record I offered to go in Jane's place. Probably not a good idea. I get bursitis every time I go near slot machines.

If you have a moment go to the Cradock website www.cradock.org Glenn Stephens (74) is our webmaster is doing a fantastic job. At the moment we are attempting to attach obituaries to the names on the memorial page. In most cases the obituaries give you an insight to the fallen classmate. A special thanks to Danny Hodges (62) for supplying the eulogy for Jerry McHargue to place on this page.

I contacted Judy West (62) to see if she could help me with Clyde Sawyer's (62) maiden name and of course she could. She also shared some of the things going on in her life. "I went on several short trips last year & one trip to Missouri to visit a really good friend. Support from my family and friends has been great & along with the Lord it has really been what is keeping me going. (But one of my son's & family is getting ready to move to Italy.) Son Keith is a Civil Engineer working as a Civilian Employee for the government. I think the move is 2 reasons - a chance to experience more of the European living & traveling and as a chance to step up in the grade levels a little quicker. Also right now, Anika is young enough to hopefully adjust to the move (although I'm getting too old to adjust to not being around them). But a trip to Italy might be nice some day....We are celebrating my father's 90th Birthday this Sunday (Feb. 24). He is in good health & recently renewed his Driver's Lic. His mind is still good & he still lives by himself. I spend a lot of time with him while also working a couple days a week."

In the last newsletter I mentioned Pat Gillette (62) would be at her mother's and gave the address. Had a short note from Pat that her Mom has received a nice letter from Sarah Liddle (56) as a result. Sarah's Mom and Mrs. Gillette were friends years ago. See there are some nice things going on in this world.

Will leave you this week with wisdom and insight provided by Carol Galford (61): "A little girl asked her mother: How did the human race appear? The mother answered: God made Adam and Eve and they had children and so was all mankind made. Two days later she asks her father the same question. The father answered: Many years ago there were monkeys from which the human race was developed. The confused girl returns to her mother and says: Mom, how is it possible that you told me that the human race was created by God and Papa says they were developed from monkeys. The mother answers: Well dear, it is very simple. I told you about the origin of my side of the family while your father told you about his side.

Have a good week, 

Gail
 



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