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Gail Edwards Baker's Newsletter
September 3, 2010


Very first thing: The Cradock website can only be accessed by going to  Give Janie Norris (60) our webmaster a day or two to post the newsletter and then go in and read it if you have a problem opening the pictures or it is too much for your computer. Janie opens them for you and posts them for easy viewing.

Second really important thing: This from Becky Garman (60): "Your newsletters for Cradock have been copied and taken or sent to my Mom to read. She STILL has a mind as sharp as a tack and remembers EVERYTHING. While in Chesapeake she cut out every article about every student, and the families, of all she could remember from my years as a student and hers as a teacher. She called me two newsletters ago and asked if I would pass along a request from her. Would you put in the newsletter for students that remember her to consider sending a card or making a phone call to her? She is very interested in what has happened to them and how they are doing now. She was 98 years old on May 26th. She has lived at Richfield Assisted Living on Rt. 460 west of downtown Salem, VA, for a year now. My brother, John Garman (Churchland '71?), lives 25 minutes from her and sees to her needs - shopping, Dr. app'ts., etc. She is very active leading and participating in social activities. She has an answer machine on her home phone. Her Verizon cell phone is new so she doesn't yet retrieve messages till John visits and helps her - but she hears better on the cell. She can be reached at: Mrs. Maureen Garman, 3939 Daugherty Road, Ivy Glen 14,Salem, VA 24153, 540-444-2222 Home 540-581-2795 Cell" Please any of you that had Mrs. Garman as a teacher please take a minute to drop her a line or give her a call.

It was great hearing from Virginia Moy (62). It had been ages. She wrote " Sorry to hear about Joe (Gilliam -62). I remember him fondly from school. I'm still working and will probably have to unless my ship comes in as I have a brand new house and a brand new mortgage to go with it. We tore down my old house and I ended up with a new smaller house and two buildable lots next door. Know anyone who wants to live near the beach in a very old and desirable neighborhood "Shadowlawn" and buy one of my 50X100 buildable lots and retire near me? I only need to sell one lot and could probably retire or at least slow down working. I go down to my daughters on the Outer Banks at least once or twice a month on the weekends to babysit leaving work on an early Friday afternoon and come back on Sunday. Kevin's restaurant (The Broadwok and if you have never eaten there you are missing real treat) in Nov. will celebrate 10 years and he is blessed with loyal and good customers, we had a great bash celebration on his 5 year so who knows what he will do for his 10. Thanks again for the answered questions, I always read everything you send but sometimes it takes a while for it all to absorb. Stay well!" Ok guys this is a great opportunity for someone to move to the beach and help a classmate out at the same time. Go buy a lot! BTW: Heard from her again today with a weather report "Just a short note to let you know that all we got in VB was a little rain and very little wind. The news made it sound like it was going to be worse than it really was. Schools were closed today for the teachers and colleges canceled classes. The ocean front is still planning on a big weekend with the rock and roll marathon, it is supposed to clear today by noon and the rest of the weekend should be sunny. Gia (her daughter) being on the outer banks of NC said just strong surf and winds to about 50 mph and all the tourist evacuated and left town. They will probably have strong water surges and sand covering the roads but that happens with just a regular rainfall. Better safe than sorry so now all the boarded up places will have work to remove all boarded up windows, everyone is safe and sound, at least here it didn't ruin business for the weekend, can't say the same for Nags Head and the Outer Banks".

Another long lost soul heard from Carlisle "Tex" Langley (62) writes from Texas "I am retired from Rexam Beverages NA after 30 years and from the USPS as a rural Mail carrier for 15 years from Hallsville Independent School System after 10 years as a school bus driver. I always wanted to be doing something is why I kept on working. A couple of years ago I got very sick with Pastuerellamultocida and went into renal failure. With the help of God I survived but my kidneys are only working at a little over half. However, I had a fistula installed in my right arm preparing me for dialysis. So far I have not had to use it. Every week I get a shot to keep my red blood count up and have a CBC to check me out. I guess I doing OK for an old man (67 years old on 8/23). Please keep up the great work with your notices. I look forward to reading each and every one of them. It would be great to get back but I doubt if it will be possible".

And Letty Lucas (62) after hearing about Joe Gilliam's (62) death wrote "Bill and I spent the day at the beach with Joe, Nancy Flowers Gilliam (63), Ray Harrell (62) and Dianna Carr Harrell (63) in Feb/March when we were there for our annual Southeastern Conference for US MAPS (Mission America Placement Service) went out to eat and had a wonderful day together. Ray was as funny as always, and Joe seemed in good health in spite of finishing up chemo. Nancy is a rock and one of the dearest women ever. It was the same beach that Nancy and Joe were to meet for a few days alone when he came home from this past trip to Ohio. His flight was due at 4pm or so, and when he didn't show up at the beach, she started calling. Joe died on my birthday and I'll never celebrate it without thinking of him. Love you and thanks for keeping all of us in touch. Life becomes so fragile."

And Jay Smith (62) wrote from Clermont, Fl "Please tell Alan that I have been working at a Golf course (Champions Gate) in Davenport , Fl. love it and get to play free golf !" Now we know why Jay is working there. Jimmy Melvin (61) does the same thing in Virginia Beach. Why if it involves a golf course does it never seem like work to them?

Jimmy Melvin (61) writes from Virginia Beach "It's always good reading your newsletter especially seeing names in print that I haven't seen in many years. It's just wonderful to know how many Cradock people are still around and keeping in touch. Thanks for being the one person that puts all this mail together and sends it out to everyone. Just got back from Tennessee ( Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge) where we thought the weather would be milder than the 100 degrees in Va Beach but I was wrong. It was 96 almost every day. So much for the cool mountains. Did enjoy the time away from home and they do have golf courses in the mountains. Tried to contact Nellie Houston (61) but to no avail. Maybe she was heading for a cooler place than the mountains. Good to see John Casteen (61) finally found time to retire to the north and south."

Sandra Neathery (62) wrote "We did have an awesome high school life and we didn't know it then. All of my friends outside of Cradock High marvel at the way our class has stayed in touch. It was a by-gone era never to be repeated. Our own children didn't experience the kind of childhood we had. We were so blessed and it didn't matter about what neighborhood we came from -- WE ARE CRADOCK HIGH!!!! What a nice memory.

Dee Cassidy (60) wrote: ".I want the recipes for the pound cake and the chocolate pie! I bought all my birthday cakes at Caffee's. At one time, I was in a women's club with Ruby Caffee (sweet woman) who worked there. Don't know what relationship she was with Don. Know it will be awhile before you do another newsletter but good news is welcome anytime. My husband Glen lost vision in one eye as a result of a stroke in April. The drs said he would not regain his sight but after two and a half months and many prayers, his vision was restored in June for which we are both so thankful!! We are still traveling "while we can". (Have thought about putting that on our license plates.) We took a two week train trip in June from Chicago to Spokane with stops at Glacier and T. Roosevelt National Parks. With visits to North Dakota, Montana, and Cour de Alene Idaho, we completed visiting all 50 states. Loved traveling by train and when we can't drive or pull the camper anymore, we can take more train trips!! We are still group camping with the Telephone Pioneers Family Campers and just got back from the mountains of VA and TN. We hosted the group at VA Beach in May and will go down to Myrtle Beach next month. Great group. I even towed the trailer some on the recent trip. I always ask for prayer for all our travels and my sister said she would really pray knowing I was going to be doing some of the towing!! Enough. Looking forward to the recipes." Finally got her the recipes today! I'm just a tad slow.

I sent out the newsletter article separately on Dot McIntosh's (60) brother Norman (66) and received this email on 17 August from Jimmy Melvin (61) " Just to let you know, there was a good piece on the news tonight about Norman and his years of service. Showed him taking his last flight with a whole helicopter full of people. They even said that he took up flying as a teenager at Cradock High School. We made the news in a good way. Congrats to Norman and his long service to our country." Janie has this article posted on the website for those that missed the original email.

Received this from Ronnie Seidman (61) before "Earl" started up the coast. " I know you must be hot up there, because it is hot here and we have an ocean breeze. Fred (my 100 lb Golden) and I go for a walk around six thirty each morning, and Fred loves to go out on my neighbors pier on Kitty Hawk Bay, and bark and chase the ducks and birds. He sees and hears everything, and can hear and see a boat out on the sound before I even know it is there. He is eight years old, which I think is equivalent to 56 years old in human years, so he is much younger than I am, "and that is all I have to say about that!" As you know, my son Philip moved from Chicago and is now living in NY. He is currently an Actor in a movie that is being currently produced, and is working in TV productions and on the stage. My Son Ron is still working as a Firefighter with the Town of Kitty Hawk, and his girlfriend is with Dare County EMS and drives a Rescue Truck. They are in the process of building a new house in Kill Devil Hills, about a mile from our house. My two daughters, Becky and Katie are still living in the Chesapeake / Virginia Beach areas, and are doing great. I would like to drive up to Cradock and see everyone in October, but for the last few years our business   has kept us on the OBX during that period of time. Stay cool, and keep the Newsletters coming!"

Shirley Hewett (62) writes: Gail, thanks for keeping us up to date with everyone. Some I know and some I don't. It seems so long ago and other times like yesterday. I don't get to Portsmouth (Cradock) very often. We have no family left there. We do try and keep in touch with our friends that live on Cabot Street. I am sorry to hear they are going to demolish Cradock High. I still remember the good times there. Not much is happening up here in Stephens City (south of Winchester). Zeke and I just had a 3 week visit from our grandson and great-grandson. It was a good visit, but will miss them. I am expecting my second great-grandson in September. My granddaughter in Florida is due around the 21st. We will head that way around the second week of October for a week or so. From there we plan to drive to CA to visit our oldest daughter and her family. It has been over a year since we have seen her. (Last summer around this time.) "

Jeanette Howe (60) says "Just a note to let you know the 1960 reunion will be on October 16th, at Elizabeth Manor Country Club."

Kent McCraney (59) who is always a day late and a dollar short said in response to our email traffic about tearing down CHS "Guess I'm late again, but have been meaning to tell you that my dad was the construction engineer on the construction of Cradock High in the early
50s. We lived in Richmond, but he spent the week in Portsmouth and came home on weekends. I then moved to Columbia, NC, where I went through 7th and 8th grades before moving to Portsmouth and entering Cradock as a freshman. Really enjoyed those 4 years! So many great friends."

Nyoka White (61) left from another of her famous trips about 2 weeks ago...Indonesia this time. You can take the girl out of the State Department but you can't keep her from traveling.

Phyllis Farrar Carruthers (54) asked for Caffee's famous pound cake and chocolate pie recipe. I sent them. She used to live next door to the Caffee's on Gillis Rd. She said she made the pound cake and it tasted just like her wedding cake did!

Talked with Brenda Hooks (62) recently and she said "I'm doing fairly well. I have issues that are being treated , but it doesn't seem to be helping a great deal. About a month ago I started losing weight for some unknown reason and started feeling nauseated. Al had to take me to the emergency room and they said my potassium was low. They gave me a bag of potassium which perked me up a little. Then I had to go see my PCP a few days later...more lab thyroid level had dropped. I still don't feel all that good, but I'll make it." Glad she is doing better and hanging in there.

I emailed Cindy Fitton (62) looking for her new "snail Mail" address and she replied : "We moved to Clermont about three and a half years ago. Our middle son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons just moved from Florence, SC to Tampa, FL. They now live one and a half hours from us and that is much better than eight and a half hours. My brother David who lives in Coral Springs, FL phoned me and told me Joe had passed away. That was such sad news and I know his loved ones will miss him but at least we know he is in heaven. My husband (Buddy Estes (60) misses the Keys, beautiful water and fishing but we do like Clermont and being so hilly here is different My parents live about ten minutes from us. I have lived out of the US for over sixteen years and my year book was destroyed in a hurricane so I don't know if I would recognize anyone if they knocked on my front door. Hope the rest of your week is great and you have a wonderful weekend. "

Received an email from Chuck Eason (58) along with a picture of either Miss Fitzgerald's or Mr. Hogan's homeroom along with his new email address. Because of the other pictures attached this time I will hold on to this and send it in the next newsletter.

This email from Betty Whitehurst (62) is a great segue into our "Southern Trip" the first of August Betty said"Any time you're down this way and can drop by, please do. We'd love to have you and show you around The Villages (Florida). You might not want to go back home. Free golf for life for Villagers. I don't play yet (can't stand the heat (weather again), but husband Charlie does and it really doesn't interest me. I'll have to start soon, though or miss out on all the fun with the neighbors. I'm more into water aerobics, and water volley ball and I love to read so I stay busy."


On August 6th my sister Deanna (63) and her husband came to Stafford to parent sit for us. Alan and I headed out about 7:00 that evening and drove to somewhere around Raleigh, NC and spent the night on the first leg of our "Southern Tour" If the Eagles and Rolling Stones and every other old group can do a reunion tour why can't the Bakers? Got up Saturday morning the 7th and headed for Inman, SC and met Wayne Waff (61) and his wife Elaine for lunch. Warned the waitress to put us somewhere that they didn't really need the seats because we'd be there for awhile. Poor Elaine was hobbling around with a wheelie walker after her 7th operation on the same knee. She is almost through with rehab and will be able to throw the walker away. Chit-chatted for a couple of hours, left them and drove down the road to Columbia, SC and met Shorti Kay (61) for dinner.

Wayne and Elaine Waff (left) Alan and Gail (right)

Same speech to the waitress. Who knew how long we'd be there? Any time you get Cradock folks together there is a long conversation and time flies. After losing Mrs. Kay in July, Shorti is doing well and is slightly crazier than she was in high school but that makes her even more fun and no she hasn't gotten any taller. Her office loves it when I call and ask to speak to "Shorti" apparently she has been trying to keep the fact she is vertically challenged a secret from them.

Shorti Kay

Left Shorti, drove for a while through a hellacious storm found a motel called the Western (Alan said not the Best Western but it was clean and we were tired). near Warner Robins, GA which was to be our next stop. Got up Sunday morning, found a Radio Shack for him to purchase a new "Tom-Tom". The man had been beating on ours all the way to GA and I was beginning to think he thought it really was a Tom-tom and that was the way it worked. Anyway a new GPS and the man was happy as a pig in slop. By now Gordon Phillips (61) and his wife Terri were home from church and met us at one of the local restaurants. We hadn't seen Gordon in 35+ years. What a treat. He made Alan and I feel really lazy (for about 2 minutes). He goes to the gym everyday of his life, loves playing racquet ball and looks great. Left Gordon and Terri and drove a few more hours before calling it a night then got up Monday morning and headed for Chuluota, FL (about 20 minutes outside of Orlando) for Charlie (61) and Joy Lewis'. Alan had been down to their home before to play golf with Charlie but I hadn't seen them since the 2006 reunion.

Gordon and Terri Phillips


Charlie and Joy Lewis

Charlie and Alan played golf on Tuesday and Joy physically held me down and made me lie in a chaise lounge by their pool until it was time to go out to dinner. Wednesday the 11th we gave Charlie and Joy a break from us and drove about an hour and a half toward Tampa to Seffner, FL to visit with Bonita Wood (62).

Bonita Wood

It had been a good 40 years since I'd seen Bonita even though we email and talk on the phone a lot. Her twin sons were home from college and we got to meet them and express our concern over having Bonita as a parent. They seem to have withstood her parenting skills well. Then Thursday Alan and Charlie played golf again and once again I tried to fight her off but Joy made me lie by the pool doing nothing. I felt so bad about that! We left them Friday about noon and hit the loooong part of the trip. We drove from Orlando to about South of the Border ( I didn't see one Chihuahua) spent the night and then on Saturday morning after breakfast headed for Beaufort, NC (not Beaufort, SC) and yes they are pronounced differently to visit with my first cousin and her family. If you have never been there take the trip it is worth it. Nice historical little town with lots of water. On Sunday we went riding in their boat getting a view of the town from the water side and docked long enough in Morehead City to have lunch. Left them about 3:00 and drove on to Stafford arriving about 8:30. I took Monday off to wash dirty underwear and then headed back to work on Tuesday and Alan back to parent sitting. We had a great time, with wonderful company and great food. We're ready to go again!

Looks like we have managed to escape "Earl". Have a wonderful and safe Labor Day!


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