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Gail Edwards Baker's Newsletter
December 24, 2008

  To start with I am the most "politically incorrect" person you know so I'll confirm that by saying Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. No sir no Happy Holidays for me!

I know it has been forever since a newsletter has hit the email trail and I won't bore you with a litany of excuses.  We're having a real cold spell in Washington, DC and it has nothing to do with the election however Christmas Day  is suppose
to bring 50 degree temperatures and we've yet to have anything other than a few snowflakes.

I hear from fewer and fewer of you and some of this news is going to be really old but I will share what I have.

Fred  (53) wrote last February "Verna Rae and I became Great-Grandparents this morning!!!Born to Erik and Marcell Hartel....a boy, 5 1/2 pounds.."  Great grandparents.  Who would have ever thought?

Kent McCraney (59) also wrote in February of last year "Reason we're in Kansas -- was stationed at Fort Leavenworth, KS, in the early '80s and our son entered Kansas Univ.  He met some girl (you know how that goes), got married and stayed here while we went back to Virginia. Years later (in 2005), we were loving the traffic in Northern Virginia, it became a question of do we move to N.C. or S.C.  The final equation -- the 2 grandchildren lived in Kansas City area (ages 11 and 3), so here we are.  And now you're asking what part of N.C. or S.C. is that.
We will not stay in Kansas next January or February.  Plan to take a 2-week trip to Hawaii for sure.  Having lived there for 3 years in the early '70s, we dearly love the place.  Fred (59) and Claudie Kennedy were there at the same time as us -- he in the Air Force and I in the Army.  We were able to get together a couple of times. Funny story about
Fred (perhaps I told you before) -- his son is in the Air Force and stationed at DARPA, and was there for a year before I left.  Really great to see how well the kids have done.  He's probably smarter than Fred and me combined.

And Dorothy Hendricks Bice (56) wrote on the death of faculty member Audrey Pannell "I talked with Alice Stegall Stewart (56) last evening.  She is the widow of Vestal Stewart (53).  When Alice retired, she declared that she was through with computers so I'll print out the current Newsletter and the notice of Mrs. Pannell's death and send them
to her.  I visited Alice in her home in North Carolina about a year ago. It was the first time I'd seen her since 1956.  We talked non-stop for many hours. I was pleased to get Kay Newsome's e-mail address.  She was my maid of honor when Pat (Archie E. (Pat) Bice, 55) and I married at the Biltmore Baptist Church so many years ago. I retired from the Medical College of Georgia as an Administrative Assistant to Vice Presidents, Mrs. Pannell taught me well!  I have many fond memories of her.  Pat still works one week a month.  He audits environmental management systems.  I travel with him to his audits.  We recently moved to Murfreesboro, TN, to be near our daughter and her family."

Suzie Shinault (62) wrote:  "I am still trying to have as much fun as I did when I was younger but it isn't working out as well as it used to...  I am just grateful wrinkles don't hurt.  I an only doing as needed surgery nursing jobs I am tapering down a little.  The economy has really hurt our Entertainer coach business.  We have recently stooped to hauling around presidential candidates.  My grandson is finally out of Iraq with only one close call that barely injured him. The basic reason I am contacting you is to let you know that Vergie Prillaman is in the hospital Chesapeake General she is 96.  She used to
teach and her daughter (Scarlett) was I think in our class.  They attended our church and my sister still keeps up on church members she e-mailed me that Mrs. Prillaman was having respiratory difficulty." Mrs. Prillaman has passed away since Suzie wrote me.

Don Caffee (59) wrote earlier this Fall " Mary continues to recover from the stroke and seizure, goes to Curves 3-4 times each week, has resumed limited driving and is back to cooking some really good stuff (Yay!).  I feel really great but have to go back to Duke on the 27th to follow up on the recurrence of tumors that showed up in the scans in July.  I have none of the symptoms of Carcinoid so that's a good sign.  Hopefully there will be little progression and they'll just have me come back again in January.  We'd like to make it through Christmas without one of us being on the sick list.  The last two years
it has been a bit challenging in December. We still spend a bit of time in Greensboro watching the grandkids play
soccer or having lunch with them at their schools.  Son-in-law Steve is enjoying his new job with the Atlantic Coast Conference office headquarters in G'boro.  He gets to attend about any ACC event he wants and still has access to getting tickets for the Basketball tournament in March.  I'll pass on the one in 2009 since it's in Atlanta but I hope to attend the next one that will be in G'boro.  Daughter Michelle is enjoying her work split between a middle school and an elementary school
in High Point - 20 minute drive from their home in G'boro. Now, about that driving.  In less time than you spend going to or from work Alan could be at any one of 45 different golf courses in the Sanford/ Pinehurst area.  Tobacco Road is 10 minutes from here and Pinehurst #2 is 35 minutes away.  Portsmouth is less than four hours away.  Cary is 30 minutes away.  Peace and quiet is just outside the door. As for your newsletter, please don't assume that interest has dropped. We're all probably guilty of taking it for granted that you will keep us informed on the latest gossip and other happenings of importance.  I know I really look forward to it even when I don't know most of the folks you talk about.  They're still part of the Cradock family and that makes them special.  I sure hope the '59 class has a 50th reunion.  That is a landmark year for all of us."

George Williams (61) writes "We will settle on our farm Oct. 22 and are very happy to be selling it.  We are looking for a place in Nokesville, Prince William County and want to continue growing flowers and selling them at the Northern VA farmers markets."...It will be a whole new world.  I tell people down here we are moving to the Bad Lands. In Mathews everyone waves every time a car passes.  Up there if you wave you get the FINGER in return."  I'm afraid George is fairly correct. Patience is not a virtue up here in Northern Va.

Class of 1963 had their 45th reunion during the Coming Home to Cradock weekend this year and Rita Hall (63) wrote:"I sooo enjoyed our 45th High School reunion held at the Renaissance Hotel on Saturday evening.  It is always fun to take a trip down memory lane for a brief moment in time."

Charles Gould (60) has been waiting the birth of a grandchild for years finally this year Payton arrived.  From Charles "I couldn't help myself.  Pictures of my granddaughter Paxton Raye Gould 5 months old already."

Gould Baby

We lost several classmates this year but none was as big a shock as losing Donna Hahn (62).  John Cannon (62) shared the attached picture with me from the Freshman Prom Dance.  There is also a picture of John and his daughter Sasha at Sasha's wedding earlier this year.  A few years passed between the two dates.

Donna Hahn & John

John Cannon & daughter

I had an inquiry this morning from Darryl Toler (59) if a 50th Reunion was planned this year for the Class of 59.  I haven't heard anything so anyone that knows please share the info.

As I mentioned we lost several classmates this year.  The Class of 1962 erects a paver in the Cradock Square by the Gazebo in memory of each one of our fallen and unfortunately the path is becoming well paved.  We lost numerous parents and faculty members.

Janie Norris (60) is now the Cradock webmaster and is a doing a wonderful job.  If you haven't had the opportunity check out the memorial link.  She has managed to attach most obits and senior pictures to the names.  All of our classmates had successful lives and some went on to do some amazing things.

Again Merry Christmas and may the New Year bring you peace and happiness. Remember our troops in your prayers.


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