Make your own free website on

Mavis DANIELS Tompkins' Newsletter

Flash From Class of 1952 May 24, 2005

Flash from Frances Finch Respess

I have received another nice note from Frances. Frances spoke with Ralph Crawson's sister-in-law - Ralph passed away on may 14, 2004. This is the reason his mailing of the reunion registration form was return - marked "no forwarding address." our thoughts and prayers go with Ralph's family. Ralph will be missed.

Frances went into the hospital may 16th. Her dearest friends, Joyce Elliott Geluz and Audrey Moore Revenell will be staying with her during her recovery. We wish francs a quick recovery. Frances is surely in good hands......
Frances also told me that Reid McManus sister, Carol Dildine from Suffolk, had passed away. Our deepest sympathy goes to Reid with this great loss.

Lets all say our prayers for the families of our deceased classmates.
My prayer and wishes are for a happy and healthy life for each of us....

Listed below are the classmates that I have had "mail returned - no forwarding address:"
Barbara Lanford Spivey
Janet White Lamm
Ralph Crawson (deceased 5/14/04)
if anyone knows Barbara and/or Janet's address, please let me or Helen Anderson smith know.

Until another time,



Return to top of page Return to the Newsletter Page


Flash From Class Of 1952 May 30, 2004
Flash # 88

I am sending an E-mail from Frank DuPriest for ALL to read.

What a PERFECT DAY for all our veterans and guests. First Bob Melvin & his church members that are veterans attending this W.W.II Memorial Day celebration and now another classmate, Frank, attending !!!! Congratulations to these Classmates. Their devotion to fellow man and country is overwhelming.......... We are ALL proud of each of you. (Little Grasshoppers, you have done well)

Flash from Frank DuPriest (5/30/04)

Hi Mavis! Just wanted to tell you about our fine day in Washington yesterday. It seems the old adage is true about having friends in "high places!. After reading about Bob Melvin's trip to visit the new War Memorial in D.C. I thought I'd share with you my visit on Saturday. Through the good graces of my Congressman Tom Bliley, I was invited to attend the Dedication Ceremony. Along with 3 friends, we motored to Washington, went immediately to the Congressman's apartment on E Street, freshened up and walked the short distance to the mall. With our "Special Guest" passes we were able to sit among many vets in a shaded area and hear and see the luminaries, including three presidents, and some other familiar faces including Bob Dole, Tom Brokaw and Tom Hanks. The day was perfect, sunny but not too warm. The music was inspiring and the throngs of proud Americans numbered around 200,000. After the dedication we viewed the new memorial, a beautiful tribute to the "Greatest Generation", then returned to the congressman's apartment for a short while before returning to Richmond. We stopped along the way and had a pleasant dinner. All in all, a fine day thanks to Representative Tom.

Frank DuPriest

Until another time,
Mavis DANIELS Tompkins

Return to top of page Return to the Newsletter Page
Flash From Class Of 1952 October 30, 2003
Flash #84

Updates on Come Home To Cradock - October 16th, 17th & 18

Frank DuPriest - update: "What a fun time it was !! I ran into Russell Boughnou at the Friday night party. Russ was visiting from Dallas. He seemed so glad to see someone from the Class of ’52." (Other classmates he ran into were: Shirley Harlow, Bob & Carol Melvin.)
"There was a parade, barbecue, lots of music, & the dedication of the Pavers - Bricks with inscriptions in memory or honoring friends & family - all located around the "gazebo" in Afton Square. Afton Square is much in need of restoration. There are signs of some homes in the area being renovated."

Kathryn McGEE Hudson - update: "This past weekend in Cradock was very nice. My brother, Harold (‘55) & his wife Gayle came up from Alabama to Knoxville & we drove to our sons home in Greenville, NC. We drove to Cradock Saturday morning. After registering we walked around Afton Square reminiscing about what businesses were in the buildings during the '40’s and '50’s. Later, we had lunch & waited for the parade. I saw Shirley Harlow. I couldn't find any other '52 grads. The parade was small but nice. The weather was sunny but a little windy. After the parade we spent some time riding around Cradock - talking about who lived where & the good times we had growing up in Cradock - such a nice place. Our home had been rebuilt. It didn't look like the house were we grew up. It was a fun afternoon. We attended the dinner Saturday evening. The food was good & everyone there seemed to be enjoying themselves. Chatted with several old friends & acquaintances. It was a great day to reminisce & of course, I have started looking through my old annuals & doing a lot more remembering."

Bob & Carol Melvin - update: "Carol & I went down to the "Come Back to Cradock" weekend & enjoyed it very much. There were not many '52 grads that we encountered. Frank DuPriest & Phillip Cannela were the only two I recall. But it was good to see other "grads" from other years - Fred Zerkle & Joe Hanbury & many others really made the day interesting."
"They unveiled the paver blocks. We were eager to see them because we placed four. One in memory of my Mother & father, one each in memory of my two brothers & one in honor of Carol. The bricks are located near the gazebo."
"Classic cars were on display & of interest."
" A parade began at the high school on Geo. Washington Hgwy. It made it way down Afton parkway - around Afton Square & back to the school. One of the cars in the parade included Mr. Jesse Overton having just celebrated his 100th birthday."
"There were lots of pictures on display reflecting many of the graduating classes as far back as 1932. There were no pictures of "52 graduates. There was a picture of Mickey Riggs & Margaret with one of their children. This was an earlier picture. The pictures were interesting, especially for those of us born & raised in Cradock & having older siblings in earlier classes."
"Oh, by the way, there was a paver brick placed "Class of 1952." (This paver (brick) was donated by Loren & me in honor of our Cradock High School - Class of 1952)
"The only unpleasant experience was to drive around Cradock & note how the property has "gone down" with mattresses, washing machines, refrigerators in some front yards. Many of the houses had "No Trespassing" signs along with notices that the particular homes had security systems installed. I regret being negative, but the conditions of some property was depressing."
"The Afton Theater was boarded up & several of the stores were likewise."
"However, some property owners obviously have taken pride in their homes & many have been restored & look very, very nice."
"The hurricane took its toll. Many trees were still on the ground, but many others had been removed with only the stumps remaining. Many of these were very large trees." "I congratulate those who are trying to restore Cradock, but the task is quite challenging."
"We drove up & down the streets & every corner brought back precious memories. Although the old Cradock High School is gone - the location still serves to remind one of the "good old days."
"We parked for a moment & the scenes from yesterday flooded through our minds. People, places, events, although years have gone by, surfaced again & again in our hearts."
"The weather was beautiful - hundreds upon hundreds of people were present - talk of "old times" prevailed - friendships from yesterday were rekindled - ghosts from the past were readily noticed."
"There are very interesting & informative plaques circling the gazebo that should be read by every visitor. They were quite intriguing to read."
"After singing the National Anthem & the Cradock High School song, we had to leave & return to Fredericksburg in time for Sunday services at our church."
"I would not have missed the occasion. It was much like our reunions - greeting & talking with dear old friends. I love old people!."
"By the way - what about giving consideration to our next '52 reunion coinciding with the "Come Back to Cradock" observance since I understand they do that every year??"
"Just some thoughts & observations - I hope others will follow."
Frank, Kathryn & Bob: Thank you so very much for these updates on this SUPER WEEKEND. I have quoted each of you - word for word - for I could never describe this event as well as each of you have. This will surely be enjoyed by ALL…………

Flash from Barbara NEWMAN Coffman & Ben Brown
Barbara E-mailed that she was glad we had arrived in Florida & glad to see I was back on the job again. She & Ben are looking forward to receiving more FLASHES. Their exciting summer has come & gone to fast & they are waiting for next summer. Good to see Barbara & Ben have had a good summer.

Flash from Mary HUFF Wright ('53)
Mary's class of 1952 had their 50th Reunion the same weekend as the Come Home To Cradock. Mary sent me an E-mail telling me how enjoyable this Reunion was for everybody. They had a good attendance. Mary remarked at how nice it was to see so many classmates & do a lot of "do you remember" and how very little the ladies & men had changed. Mary did see some of classmates from our class (1952).
At the Saturday night banquet they honored all their deceased with photographs of each one & read something about them. Mary commented on how nice this was BUT very sad. Mary said there was a lot of crying and a lot of laughter.
Thank you Mary for sending us this wonderful update. I am still on a "high" from ours last year !!!

Update from Camp Woe Be Gone
We have had some excitement since arriving Thursday (10/16/03) in our "nesting" place - Siesta Bay RV Resort, Ft. Myers. Sunday morning around 1:30 a.m., our power went off - no AIR - NOTHING !!! Do not know if you all are familiar with campground rules but the FIRST BIG ONE IS: No noise after 9:00 P.M., strictly enforced. By 2:00 p.m., Loren said he was just going to HAVE to turn on the generator. UH, OH - Loren broke the LAW !!!!!
At 8:00 sharp, Loren called the proper officials from the Park to come & check on our electricity. In an hour we had the Park officials and one Florida Power & Light Co. truck. Thirty (30) minutes later we had 2 more Florida Power & Light Co. trucks arrive. This caused much excitement & curiosity for everyone in the Park- which comes from all of us Old Folks not having anything important to do early in the mornings on Sunday & they surely wanted to be in on our EVICTION for breaking the most holy rule - NO NOISE AFTER 9:00 P.M. !!!! If the Tompkins had been evicted this would have been a good topic of conversation for days !!
By 12:00 noon, we were asked to move from Site # 395 to Site # 461 which we did. For the rest of the day numerous residents filed by our old site - walking around to look at all the little orange & red flags & when they found our RV parked right in back (on next road) they left looking satisfied. Guess they all know what these little orange & red flags mean for not one person came to our door to receive an explanation. S o o o o o, we are all "nested in" once again on a different street but in same Park. This kind of excitement I can live without!!
So far we have NOT BEEN EVICTED. We take it that no one reported this SINFUL DEED or maybe they did not hear the generator??
Please remember to pray for the people and Fire Fighters during these fires in California. Our prayers are gently needed during the terrible time.

Until another time,
Mavis DANIELS Tompkins
Class of 1952

Return to top of page Return to the Newsletter Page

Last night, I received a E-Mail from Bob Melvin informing of Billy Barns passing away sometime in the month of June. Bob had no details. Please keep Billy's family in your thoughts and prayers.
Below is the letter of sympathy that I have sent to the family.
Until another time,

Cradock High School
Class of 1952
June 29, 2004
The Family of George W. (Billy) Barns
202 Hudgins Farm Drive
Yorktown, Virginia 23692

Dear Family Members:

The Classmates of Cradock High School, Class of 1952, extend our deepest sympathy to each of you with the loss of one of our dear Classmates, Billy.
Another Classmate, Bob Melvin, informed us of this sad news.
May each of you be comforted to know that Billy’s family is in our thoughts and prayers during this time.
Our warmest thoughts of sympathy
Go out to each of you today.
Thoughts that lie within our hearts
To deep for words to say.
And may it make the loss you feel
Less difficult to bear.
Knowing you have many Classmates
Who sympathize and care.
God Bless Each of You,
The Classmates of Cradock High School
Class of 1952

Return to top of page Return to the Newsletter Page
Special Flash

NEW! E-mail fron Bob Melvin, Class of 1952:

Dear Mavis and Loren

I trust this e-mail finds you well.

Carol and I have had the privilege of viewing Mel Gibsons "The Passion of the Christ" on two different occasions. There is really no way to adequately describe the potential impact that this film will make on the individual who sees it.
I bought out the entire theater on Thursday, February 26, for three different showings. I am taking my pastoral staff to see the film on Wednesday, February 25....which is the opening day for the film.
The film covers the last twelve hours in the life of Jesus. It is a series of the most compelling scenes regarding the beating and crucifixion of Jesus.

I would hope that every member of Class "52" purchase their tickets early. If what I anticipate is correct should one walk up to the ticket window and try to purchase a ticket they will probably find that that particular showing is "SOLD OUT" So go to the theater on one day to purchase tickets for the next day.

There is some uncertainty as to how long the film will be shown in any particular theater so don't wait until the last minute.
At the conclusion of both showings that we viewed there was absolutely no movement. One could hear the sobbing and crying throughout the audience, but no one spoke a word no r did anyone leave for what seemed to be a long long time. As the theater emptied no one even spoke as the departed.

The scenes are gripping and have the potential of being life changing for those who view it with an open heart.
In all my years as a minister I have never seen or experienced anything that has had such a dramatic impact on my life as did this film. Others who have had the opportunity to experience a private viewing of the film have expressed a similar reaction and response.

I have already purchased tickets to see the film four more times within this next week.
Pray fori Mel Gibson. He is unfairly under attack. The film is by no means anti-Semitic.
I hope you can forward this note of recommendation to our Class of "52."
I will be eager to hear from our classmates their reaction to the film.

Bob R. Melvin

Return to top of page Return to the Newsletter Page


Hello Classmates!

This morning as I was reading our morning newspaper (The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, SC) I ran across the article I've included in this note. The Date on this article is January 16, 2004. I think this is really something to read in this out of the main stream of newspapers. I also feel a great deal of pride in one of our Classmates, who is such an influential person in the future of Space Exploration. It is very true a Star did Fall On Fred DeJarnette, Class of '52. I don't have all the class addresses in my computer so I will rely on all I send this to, to send this to our classmates, as I send my congratulations to Fred. Isn't America Wonderful? God Bless Fred and all of you.
Kenneth Revels

N.C. State hopes space program sees revival

The Associated Press

Raleigh, N.C. Fred DeJarnette has gotten quite a boost out of President Bush's desire to expand space exploration.
DeJarnette, an engineering professor at N.C. State University, led NASA's only university-based Mars Mission Research Center here in the 1990's.
DeJarnette thinks research done at the center could prove useful now that the president has expressed interest in America voyaging to Mars.
He also thinks Bush's plan, unveiled Wednesday, could revive space studies in Raleigh.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration at one time sent more than $1.5 million a year to fund them.
NASA has said the center's data on unmanned airplanes and gliders that could be launched on Mars could scout for information the agency would need before sending people.
Today, DeJarnette plans to travel to NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., to discuss ways to boost the local program.

Atta' Boy Fred!!!!!!!!!!!!

Return to top of page Return to the Newsletter Page



Return to top of page
Return to Newsletter Index
Return to CHS Home Page