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Gail Edwards Baker's Newsletter
July 1, 2010


When I reported last newsletter that Patsy Kay Key, Nancy Boylan Alford, and Dee Cassidy (all Class of 60) would be bringing their spouses of 50 years (Jim, John, and Glen) and jointly celebrating their high school and golden wedding anniversaries I heard from Nancy Bailey (60) who said "You can add us to the "50 Golden Years" group in the class of 60. Chip Wilder (59) and I just celebrated our 50th on June
19th, 2010. We have 2 children and 7 fantastic grandchildren-3 of them in college already!"

Virginia (Ginger) Burke (62) wrote: "Glad to get an update on the upcoming reunions. Have passed '65 info on to my sister, etc. It seems we are always travelling somewhere in Oct, and this year may be no different. Looks like Cairo is on the horizon. Should be interesting.
Last Nov, we bought a condo in Williamsburg as a second home, and certainly never thought we would spend as much time there as we have. We are down about once or twice a month. It has been a lot of work too, furnishing and getting it in order but now we can relax and have some fun! No visits for me during tax season, however. Still at it. Clients go into a panic when I tell them we bought condo, but we just signed a 3-yr lease with two 1-yr options at the office here, so no major moves for us for a while. Just can't get out of these mountains in Roanoke. Our daughter got married in June 2007 and has been in San Antonio ever since. They would like to move back to the middle Atlantic/east coast area so if anyone knows of a vacancy in the ministry at a Presbyterian Church, her husband is looking. He graduated from seminary May 2009." Someone help (she'll always be Virginia to me) out and get her son-in-law hooked up with a church on the East Coast. Texas is too far away.

Bernie Kirsch (57) shared Katherine Powell's (57) obituary with me "Katherine Louise Powell, 71, passed away Thursday, June 17, 2010.
Katherine was an accomplished musician and served in music ministry for twenty-seven years both at Beth Messiah Synagogue and Open Door Chapel. Her faith filled her with wonder in creation, the universe, nature and science. She ever sought new knowledge in God and these things He made. She was pre-deceased by her father, Dr. Stanley H. Powell, and mother, Alice Marie Reinecke Powell." Half of you getting this newsletter were probably treated by Dr. Powell.

Johnny Bolduc (62) wrote "Everything is just fine here in sunny-hot Florida and it is never too hot for golf. I don't know if you heard but our friend Charlie Lewis (61) who lives down the road from Johnny is retiring at the end of the of the month. Come on down before the oil slick gets here."

Kenneth Potts (60) writes "I have a brand new granddaughter living with me. She was born last Tuesday (22 June) at 7:40 AM. She is the daughter of my youngest Son Jonathan who by the way is now 21 years old. Does that ever make me feel ancient. He married a girl who had a daughter that was a toddler so I gained a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter at the same time. She is a real sweetheart and they live with me and my wife due to the economic situation. I now have a total of ten grandchildren and a granddaughter who is more than old enough to make me a great grandfather. Thank goodness she is sensible and getting her career going before getting married. She graduated two years ago from Christopher Newport University, Magna Cum Laude. She is Tim's daughter. and lives in Hampton, Va. Kim is in Bremerton, WA. with her husband and two boys. Alan retired last year from the Navy after 25 years as a Chief, and currently works at the Bremerton Naval Shipyard. My other daughter is married to a man who is an assistant Hospital Administrator, (Vice President) for Yorba Linda Medical facility, and a Member of the California Bar as an Attorney with a Degree in Medical Mal-Practice. I still work as the Facility manager at our Church, and last year completed all the requirements for qualification and passed the test for my contractors license as a Locksmith in California. So in addition to my job at the church I am also the owner operator of "Potts Mobile Lock & Key". I have a one ton van set up as a mobile lock shop and work at it as a sideline hobby. Still go to school to stay in touch with my fellow locksmiths and friends. You never get too old to learn and nowhere in the bible does God promise us a retirement. So as long as health and reason persist I will stay active. When we stop is when we really stop. My best to all not sure if I will make the reunion due to some home repair that I am doing. But hope everyone enjoys. If you ever get to Southern California be sure and look me up." He also reported that sister Linda Potts (62) is still travelling the US in her RV enjoying herself.

Speaking of oil slicks Ronnie Seidman (61) had to chime in "Just wanted you to know that our oil adventure has taken a different twist.
We are now in business with BP, who is shipping the oil directly from the well to go in the small bottles, and a letter of verification stating the oil is coming from their well in the Gulf. The bottles will be available at BP Stations in the near future, and on End Caps in your local Grocery Store by the end of Summer. We also thought that we would provide free bottles of Gulf Oil to everyone attending the various Cradock class reunions, to remind them of what "Drill Baby Drill" really means to our environment. On a more serious note, Cindy and I have been really busy during the last few weeks, as the house/condo rentals have started upward. As you know, it is not cheap to visit or live here. As anyone who owns a house or condo down here can tell you, the three insurance policies on our house have gone up again, and the insurance situation is really getting ridiculous. $$$$ comes in one way and goes out the other!" Ronnie and Cindy have a business where they keep an eye on rentals while the owners aren't in residence. I told him he'd never be able to retire this young.

Andrea Horton (62) emailed me last night that Becky Ambrose's (62) brother David passed away this week. When I spoke with Becky later in the day she shared " David had been working in Washington State since February & was due to be there until Sept. He had a heart attack in his sleep & never knew anything. Please dear God let me be sooo lucky, PLEASE! I am doing ok & his wife is doing ok but please keep us in your thoughts & prayers for the weeks & months ahead. David turned 54 last month which is way too young for this to happen, he was married for 34 years to Debbie Piland Ambrose. They have 3 children & 3 grandchildren."

Carl Crowe (61) swears he sent me his new address and accused me of getting old....I'm pretty sure it is him and he just thinks he sent it to me already. He has moved to the middle of nowhere! "We are living in Pulaski, VA and Kim has a position at Radford University. I am retired/retired and keep house and clean and cook and do the yard. We moved into our home Memorial Day 2009. We had been in a rental in Christiansburg for the year before. We started moving up here in June of  08 but could not complete the move until I got Ashley (daughter) off to College in Arkansas that August. My son and I had the bright idea to rent a truck and do it ourselves. Anyway we completed moving everything the last week of August and 2 weeks later I had a major stroke. I do not have any left-overs and am feeling great. God was good to me and my body fought back every facet of the stroke. So the only thing I have to fight now is the Diabetes, and that is my inheritance from Mom and Dad! Life is good and the mountains are beautiful and there "ain't" no traffic. Very little humidity and wonderful people. We are sooooo blessed. Keep in touch." I didn't know about his stroke and am so glad to hear he had no lingering effects from it.

I mentioned to John Casteen (61) that Carl Crowe (61) had moved to Pulaski and he replied "I haven't gone down to Pulaski for years, but it is a nice place. Maybe Carl found the perfect place to live. His stroke is news that I have not heard before. I am glad to see that he came out of it ok. Ten or so years ago, I was talking with some friends down in Roanoke. The husband's face slowly sagged on the left side, and his speech became slurred. His wife very quietly took a bottle of chewable aspirin tablets from her purse, and began feeding them to him one at a time, but as rapidly as he could get them down, and she told me very calmly to go into the kitchen and call 911 for an ambulance. Before the ambulance came, his face had begun to return to normal. It turned out that he had experienced a major stroke, but he left the hospital a week or so later with no effects that you could see. He lived until last year, and died of something entirely different. So now I take the morning baby aspirin every day no matter what. What especially puzzled me after seeing how she saved his life was that no one (at that time--maybe someone has figured it out since) knew why the aspirin worked.  Enjoy your summer. The heat and humidity do seem pretty bad today, but maybe this will be a summer that starts hot, then calms down. I am working in Boston until this evening. Even New England is cooking today." This is my public announcement for today. Always carry aspirin with you!

Received an email from Judy Sims (61) and Ray Cohoon (60) asking to be put back on the distro list. They had changed carriers and I didn't have their new address. If I get returned email from you I automatically delete you until I hear from you again. I emailed Judy back telling her I'd be glad to add them on and I only questioned her sanity for staying with Ray all these years my plus my only other question was how in the world did you end up in Currituck? Unless it has changed a lot that was like in the middle of nowhere." Immediately I got a response from Ray "Ha Ha Gail, are you still working? I did 40 years, and I know you have exceeded that by now--I have been retired since 2000." He isn't trying to tell me that I'm older than dirt, is he? I skipped a lot of grades...would you buy 10 or so?

Also thanks to Ray and Judy I now have Oley Linkous' (60) email address. Of course I immediately emailed good ole Oley. Haven't seen or talked to him in 50 years. He replied "I am now living in South Jersey about 10 miles from Atlantic City. I retired from the government in 1998 and have been here ever since. I have worked part-time but I now am completely retired".

Hadn't heard from Becky Garman (60) in ages so was really nice to hear from her. "It is soooo good to get your newsletter. I have missed them so much every since you asked someone in the class of '60 to take over. I gave that some consideration but decided instead to work on genealogy. I thought news of Cradock "was no more". Yes, I do plan to attend the 50th reunion. I emailed Kay Perdue Mixon (60) for info before I received the invitation in the mail. I look forward to that in October. Hope all other classmates will be there. I retired Dec. 2005 from 20 years of corporate life and have been selling Mary Kay Cosmetics since then. I've used the products since 1968 and love them, so it is an easy sell since the products sell themselves. Last Thursday, June 17th, my son (Eric) and his wife had our 2nd grandchild, Adam Jacob Holberg. Of course, he is quite a cutie! Eric married again in Dec 2008 and inherited 3 children - so we now have 5 grandchildren in all. Mom (Maureen Garman) had her 98th birthday on May 26th. We celebrated on Memorial Day with family at my brother's in Roanoke. Mom, John & his wife, Susan, now live in that area - with John's Jan '09 promotion. On Mom's actual birthday she celebrated at Richfield Assisted Living facility (Salem,VA) by winning 3rd place in an American Idol competition singing "Froggy Went A Courtin' " I'm sure some of you were taught by Mrs. Garman in your earlier school years. You obviously managed not to do her in.

Talked with Patsy Kay (60) about 10:00 last night (30 June). Mrs. Kay passed away about 7:45. I sent a separate email with arrangements and details. 1960's reunion won't be the same this year without Mrs. Kay. Gosh how she loved coming and visiting with all of you.

Great to hear from Freddy Bowen (62) "You haven't heard from me in quite awhile----Sorry----I've been doing great since my stem cell, been in remission for over two years and hope that it continues. I ran into Janice Hughes (62) at the Portsmouth seawall recently, talked Harleys, took a ride together and plan another soon to visit Ray (62) and Diana Harrell (63) in Ahoskie. Janice has a great bike, rides very well and is fun to ride with. Its sad to say but it seems that a funeral is the only time classmates see each other anymore. I attended Donnie Rose's (63) and Jon Belding's (62) and saw Alan and many more of our classmates for the first time in a long while. It was great to see and talk to each of them. Janice indicated you had misplaced my email address, if so ( I know that things in your and Alan's life are very complicated now but remember as long as you have your health be thankful." And Freddie is so right about being grateful for your health. He sent a picture of him and his Harley.

Bill Davenport (62) sent the picture with the note "This picture is several years old, the "Red Headed Witch " ( 42 years next month )
and I over at our son's old house on Easter Sunday. This was on Greenwood Drive about half a block from where "The Park" was." Bill then suggested that I check with some of the other riders to see if they had any pictures. So I sent an email to Janice Hughes, Freddie Bowen and Eddie House (all '62) and J.R. Wilburn (61). Anyone else ride a bike (no tricycles please) that you would like to share a picture of?

Also heard from Janice Hughes (62) about the ride with Freddie and as I told Freddy in an email who would have "thunked" 50 years ago we'd still be playing with kids we went to school with. I'm totally amazed that Janice rides a Harley. I have enough trouble with tricycles.

Roy Kelley (55) wrote " Thanks for the newsletter. We (Dolores Bayersdorfer Kelley '54) just celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary."
Roy married late in life..............only 45 years!

Grace Virginia Blow (59) wrote "Thanks so much, as always it is a joy to hear about all of the "Cradock" people, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers and aunts and uncles. You have earned a special place in heaven with all your hard work to keep us together." The newsletters are my effort at buying my way into heaven. Enjoying gossip has nothing to do with it.

Doris Grant (59) sent a note "Thanks for keeping us informed through your great newsletters. How goes it with you and Alan? We are perking along out here in Manhattan Beach (CA). Glad I am here as it is cool and not in VA., where it seems you went from a crazy winter to a few days of spring and now have an endless summer."

Peggy Deal Reneau (55) wrote to share the passing of Katherine Powell (57) and shared at the same time that it was supposed to be 101 in Chesapeake on Thursday the 24th which beat our DC forecast of 100 today. I'm not going to complain since I absolutely hate cold weather.

Heard from Tracie Martin, "This is Ray Harrell (62) and Dianna Carr's (63) daughter. They still don't have a computer and never will.
So, I print off all their emails and give it to them. Keep on sending them......Thanks" I immediate replied making ugly remarks about Ray's wallet. He'll forgive me.

Got a real kick out of this thanks to Letty Lucas (62): "I don't want to brag or make anybody jealous or anything, but I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school."

Stay safe and cool and say a big prayer for the men and women that are away fighting for you to have the freedom to enjoy the 4th of July with your friends and family.



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