Make your own free website on


Gail Edwards Baker's Newsletter
February 27, 2009


 Diane Spence (63) wrote after the last newsletter "Great to read your newsletter, they are so informative of classmates of course most of them are "older" than me, just kidding at this point it really doesn't matter. Just an update, I only have 3 more Chemo treatments after today, will be so glad when this is all behind us. Its been a journey but only positive thoughts and all will be OK. The doctor is very positive with the outcome, I'll have another Cat scan at the end and hope and pray that all is well with the test. My Mom is failing and how sad it is to see them go down hill so fast. Her Dementia is getting worse and its hard to talk with her in a conversation. It so sad to see your parents in this frame of mind but I guess its expected, she just turned 92 this past Sat. So we have longevity on our side, I do anyway." Now after all these tests Diane needs to head for a SPA and treat herself.

Larry Hollowell (61) shared the news of Mr. Smithey's death. In all honesty I thought he had died years ago. He was only 83. Somehow way back when at Cradock he seemed so much older than us. Isn't it amazing how the span of years becomes narrower as time passes. I sent out the notice and received this reply from Don Caffee (59) "I can still hear Mr. Booker on the PA system. "If anyone knows where Mr. Smithey left his tools, please contact the office." I guess he's found them now. RIP for a nice guy." What a shame we didn't use the opportunity to tell him how much a part of our lives he was back then.

When I heard from Letty Lucas (62) I asked her how the real estate business was in Summerville, SC and she replied "Things are pretty slow here. Camping 4 months in 08 didn't help my business, but God continues to bless us. One of our rental houses has a plumbing problem that the plumber says will cost $2,500 to fix. Not bad for 2 days work. Wonder if it's not too late to change vocations." Not sure Letty is big enough to carry around that tool belt.

Good to hear from Walter Credle (62) " Just a note to let you know that I retired on September 1st as Director of Human Services in Hampton, Virginia. I was in Hampton for 18 years and in the Virginia public human services system for a total of 38 years and 9 months. Beverly and I look forward to getting more use out of the RV this year." All you retired people are making me a tad envious.

Frankie Bradley (61) sends me lots of informative information for which I thank him and he writes "Hi,Gail just want say hello. I am doing ok health wise. I live in Chester Va now. I moved in June of 04 and like it very well. Thanks for Gene Smiths phone number. Talk to you soon."

In response to David Hall's (62) remark in the last newsletter about loving snow Peggy Neese (60) wrote "Tell David Hall he should be in Kentucky now. We have had about 4 inches of ice and about 6 inches of snow on top of that.
My husband and I were without electricity from 4:00 Wednesday, Jan. 28 thru Saturday February 1st. The low at night was around 12 degrees. Would he like that kind of snow?" According to the news Kentucky was really hit hard with this storm and 42 deaths were reported several from hypothermia.

Grace Virginia Blow (59) sent me a recipe for life and this one sentence really stuck out "Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch!!!" Isn't that what I've been telling you for several years now. It is truly amazing how a simple email or phone call from someone can brighten your entire day! Try it!

Martha Rae Butler (62) is preparing for her annual trek to the Keys "C.B. (Mottley spouse) Carole (Ellis '62) and I spent two weeks 1-3 thru 1-17 in Aruba, when I find out how to download the pictures I will send you some. What a beautiful place and in the eighties the whole time. All we did was lay in the sun, read, eat and there was a Casino next door(say no more).
C.B. gave me a new lap-top this week so I will be able to keep in touch while we are in Fla. We will leave here for the Keys 2-27 and return 4-3, we can't wait for some warm weather. " Snow expected here tomorrow. Martha Rae is rubbing salt into my wounds.

Fred Zerkle (53) the former editor of the Class of 53's newsletter wrote "Just got through reading your current newsletter, Great Job! I don't remember too many of the people in the later classes who write to you, but it's still interesting to know what they've at CHS have been up to."

John Casteen (61) sent a note to just say thanks and hi. A little chilly in the Charlottesville area too.

Jimmy Melvin (61) normally sends me golf stories but took time to write "I Read this entire E-MAIL just as I did the last one and it was really great reading about everyone. I want to thank you again for the newsletters and tell you how much it means to hear what's going on in everyone's corner of the world. We are all so far removed from our high school days but this newsletter makes it seem like only yesterday. Thanks for the memories. P.S. Just to let you know, I will be having some corrective surgery (2/12/09) on the knee I had replaced in December of 2007. I will be out of touch by E-MAIL for awhile since my computer is upstairs and I will be downstairs." I told Jimmy to take his computer downstairs before the surgery.

Donald Barns (62) refuses to retire and just keeps hanging around East Carolina University praying they will give him a job. He wrote "I bumped in to Ray Harrell (62) in our local Walmart Tuesday; pleasant surprise. He is the only CHS grad that I have seen in Greenville since I saw Pam Hall (62) at a University play in the early 70's." We won't even discuss what Pam was doing at ECU in the early 70's.

Sarah Liddle (56) wrote "Thanks for keeping all of us in the loop. It's always good to read the things that happen to those good friends from years ago. " And asked me to share Pat Gillette's email address and she was curious to see if I made it through the inauguration weekend. Four more years to go.

Heard from Charles Gould (60) after I sent out Charles Oakey's obituary "Boy I'm sure starting to think about what comes next with all of our classmates falling around us. Either I'm too mean to die or the good Lord does not have a place for me yet if that is the direction I'm going. Trying to make sure its the right direction but its hard sometimes. I have started running into a few classmates here and there and most I have not seen since I left for the Air Force in 1960. Seems strange that all of a sudden I would start seeing some of them." He also included pictures of his 8 month old granddaughter Paxton and son Christopher. I've attached two of them. One is my very favorite of her looking out the window at the two pups. What a great picture! I mentioned to Charles I'd been to the dermatologist who berates me on each visit for being a baby oil/iodine girl of the 60's and he replied "I worked at Lake Ahoy for three summers as a life guard and doused myself with baby oil and iodine so much I kept slipping out of my bed at night. I have had several skin cancers come that I had to get taken off and now I have to be careful, well at least think of being careful. If I had know I was going to live so long I would have taken better care of myself, as the saying goes." and isn't that the truth? Doubt any of us planned on hitting the old age of 50 much less 65.


Richard Huneycutt (60) sent the attached two pictures" one picture taken in 1906 in  Richmond va... the other was taken in 1996 in Portsmouth, Va....1st... Charles Henry Krouse first mounted police officer in Richmond, Va. 1906. 2nd...Richard K Huneycutt first mounted police officer in Portsmouth, Va. 1976 (picture was taken in 1995) grandson of Charles Henery and twin Charles was named for this grandfather. I heard from Richard today "Iíll be back in a week or so..... Last night we stayed in downtown Savannah and ate at Paula Deans..... Going to a horse show in Florida to see my good friend Debi Weldon Connor show her great jumpers...... Then to the beach in St. Pete.... Be back on mail in a week or so"

I can always count on Ronnie Seidman (61) to get to the heart of a situation " Saw a few more snow flakes the other day, which reminded me of all of the 'flakes" I have met during my life time, especially when I worked in Washington. As we go through one of the "Flakiest" periods of economic history, we on the Outer Banks of North Carolina have been busy over the past few months, preparing to spend some of the Seven Hundred Billion Dollars that was approved today. First on our list of "Shovel Ready" projects, we plan to have several huge Fireworks Displays on the Outer Banks on the 4th of July, so you and the rest of my Classmates can come down to watch your tax dollars go up in flames." I think this is a pretty good idea. It can serve as a reunion, vacation a chance to see tangible proof the $ is being spent on something worthwhile and who knows maybe the whole trip could be written off as a tax deduction. Surely there is a way....

Eventually they all smarter up and come home. This from Diana Rose (62) and Ed Pieroni (60)....." Hi Everyone We close on our home here in Florida on March 5th. We will be leaving right after the closing and will be staying at the Country Inn and Suites near Lowes by Chesapeake Square until we close on our home in Portsmouth. We bought a home in Greenfield Farms (off Cedar Lane). We have some work we want done before we move in, but are really excited. I'm not changing my cell phone number (its 352-638-3842) until we move in (I don't think), but if I do, I will let you know my new number." Florida just wasn't Virginia. Good to have them back!

And speaking for being back.....Bonita Wood (62) writes "Yes, I am back from Guatemala and I have another set of twins!!! They are boys named Junior and Bryan. Thankfully, I will not be raising them, just supporting them by finances. They are so cute! I know that is one reason that I went to Guatemala. The babies were abandoned by their birth mother and another young mother heard them crying. She went inside the house and found the boys. She has two children of her own and is a single mother. So she took one of the twins to the missionary to see if they would adopt him as she couldn't afford to raise two other children. The people in her Mayan tribe said that she was trying to sell the babies and if so, they would kill her. So, she ended up keeping both babies but needs food for them. She lives in a hut with no water, no electricity and no toilet. Her husband left her when she became pregnant with her second child. I am sending money to support them with food, medicine, etc. until they are healthy enough to live without help. (Probably for about 6 or 7 years). Now when my twins want me to buy them Slurpees, I'll say "No, baby got to get a new pair of shoes. " ha,ha One of the funniest things that happened to me in Guatemala was when people would ask me my name and I would answer Bonita. They thought I was saying that I was pretty and they just laughed and laughed. Well, later in my visit I wanted to learn how to say "I love you" to the kids (and any men that I could find)....well, my friend from Fl told me so when I said one answered me. They just smiled. Come to find out I was not saying I love you but you love me...So, here I am an old woman saying "I am pretty and you love me". Am I another Sally Field or not? I am changing my e-mail address to: I am sick and tired of Verizon! It has taken me three weeks to get all the applications, income tax records, financial aid forms, etc. to get Kyle & Ryan ready for college. I think you have to be a college graduate just to fill out the forms.

The year 2009 has started a tad rough. We've lost numerous parents, Mrs.
Belding, Mrs. Yaun, Mrs. Bazemore and Mrs. Brantley and two classmates:
Charles Oakey (60) and Barbara Joyce Stewart (62). All of this just reminds me how short life is.....make the most of it. Stop putting off things until tomorrow and as Al Thomas (62) says "


Except that one where you're naked in church.

Have a good weekend, Gail

Return to Top of Page
Return to Newsletter Index
Return to CHS Home Page