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News and Notes March 2009

For CHS 57 classmates


Nancy Swisher Burch


Friday, the “Thirteenth” is her Lucky Day, are you kidding me?”


            For all of her seventy years, Nancy Swisher Burch knew that thirteen was her “lucky number”.  She was born on February 13th and had many tidings of good fortune come to her that she associated with the number 13.  This past birthday may have Nancy rethinking that proposition.

            Nancy and husband Charlie moved to Deltaville last year and have been busy sorting the collection of many years of possessions and arranging them in their new digs in the country.  All of us know what fun that can be.  Moving anytime is a hassle, moving when you are in your seventies is a challenge most of us do not envy.

            Nancy was using a backyard table as a ladder.  She climbed atop the table to install a bird feeder. Charlie found her crumpled on the ground near the table and calling for assistance. She had fallen and crushed the upper part of her tibia, under her kneecap, and was whisked away within minutes by the Deltaville Rescue Squad to the Gloucester Hospital and later to MCV in Richmond.  There were complications, stabilizing the leg, and Nancy in the Critical Care Unit, and she has remained in the hospital since then.  She had an operation on her leg on February 23rd and is recovering.  Her penance for substituting a table for a husband with a ladder to install a bird feeder is to remain off her feet for three months while her tibia and the muscles around it heal.

            Happy Birthday Nancy.  You are in our thoughts.  Get well soon and use Charlie or a better ladder when you get the urge to hang bird feeders again.   


1764 General Puller Highway, Deltaville, VA 23043




Robert Bickley


“Work never seems to stop”


            Bob Writes: I hope you are all having a real good new year in 2009. Everything is fine here near Lambs Creek off the Poquoson River, however, we are staying to busy. I thought when I retired I would have all kinds of free time. It seems, for me that is simply not true. I am enjoying retirement and thank God staying healthy. I hope the same is true for you.  About two weeks before the Super Bowl this year, my fourteen-year-old TV in my den failed. Well, don't you know that made for a perfect excuse to buy a 52" TV, without feeling guilty.  I even managed to sell my wife on the idea. I really enjoyed the super bowl this year.


            I want to thank all of you who keep sending your information into News and Notes. It is very sad when we lose a classmate or schoolmate and it always makes me think back to the days at Cradock High and before that in the grammar school as good days to remember.


            God Bless all of you in our CHS 57 family, Bob


4 N Westover Drive, Poquoson, VA 23662-1424 757-868-6477



Ramona Lowe Humphries


“Grandchildren are indeed Grand”


            Ramona Writes: I am sorry it has taken me so long to update fellow classmates on how things are going.  I stay busy with family, work (still fun) and church activities.


            We have two daughters, Sparkle and Carry.  They each have two children, a boy and girl and they are truly “Grand” children.   I feel grandchildren are a reward for old age.  Ours have truly been a blessing:  Martin is 22 years old, has just finished LPN nursing school, and will continue for his RN and BS degree.  Marybeth, his sister, is a senior in high school and plans to attend Chowan University this fall.  She is the athlete in the family; she plays volleyball and basketball.  Her volleyball team went to nationals and came in 5th place.  Hopefully, she will be able to play in college.  Jeffrey is 12 years old and in the 8th grade.  He hates school but is a straight A student.  His granddad asked him what kind of grades he would make if he liked school, and his reply was double A’s.  Sarah is the baby in the family.  She is in the 3rd grade and loves school, has lots of friends, and is very social.  She is an absolute joy, as are all of our grandchildren.


            Our older daughter, Sparkle has just come to work for us in the floor covering business.  She has been a stay-at-home mom so this is quite a change for her.  She is an excellent cook, and her life-long dream is to have a Bed & Breakfast some day.  Her husband Bryan is a wonderful son-in-law and has his own plumbing business, so he is quite busy, especially right now with all the frozen pipes.


            Carry, our younger daughter is a teacher and so is her husband Jeff.  Carry teaches elementary school and Jeff teaches math in high school.  God bless teachers!  I could not do what they do.  Things are so different from when we were in school.


            Fletcher, my husband, is in good health and very active.  He is an avid hunter and loves to snow ski.  In fact, he has just gotten home from a two-week ski trip in Colorado.  I, however, do not share his love of skiing. It is too cold.  I took a few lessons but never got the hang of it.


            I am still working, in excellent health, and plan to continue working as long as I can, after all I would not know what to do with all that free time.


            It is wonderful to hear what our classmates are doing from reading News and Notes from CHS 57 and where they are going.


            For a look at the owners of Interiors by H&W Plastics, Fletcher and Ramona Lowe try this link. 


1540 Tulls Creek Road, Moyock, NC 27958 252-232-2158




Nancy Boothe Higgins


“Hi Class of`1957, Life is still busy after partial retirement”


            Nancy Writes: I am taking college courses at West Chester University and going good.  I am in a seminar this semester as the final class in Chinese History. 


            I have just retired from the West Goshen Township Planning Commission.  Since 1993 I have been "Judge of Elections" and I will retire from that post after the 2009 General Election in November.  I am still singing in choir at Paoli Presbyterian Church.  We are performing Schubert's Mass in G on Palm Sunday.


            Also I arrange Programs and Field Trips for our Volunteers for the Chester County Historical Society as well as serve as a guide three afternoons a month for our Museum and Galleries at the Society.


            My grandson, Boothe is applying for the Naval Academy this year.  His father, Boothe Higgins is a Captain in the US Navy Reserves.  Thank you for all the good work you do with News and Notes for the memories of Cradock High School.  I enjoy reading about all of you.  Nancy.


1321 Mary Jane Lane, West Chester, PA 19380, 610-696-3898




Marvin Bowman


“Down under...There and back again”


            Marvin Writes: I just returned from a two-week cruise around New Zealand and Australia.  I will wager most people do not know the capitals of either country.  Most people's first guesses are wrong.  No, I am not going to tell you.  You have to look them up. J It was a great trip for food, history and entertainment.


            The 24-hour plus trip to get there is a bear even in the best of times but the people, animals etc. was a treat. Check out the pictures and captions on first three albums on my Picasa site: You can see other public pictures from our other trips, acting etc.


            I completed another Aiken Community Playhouse in January: "Inherit the Wind".  (webpage not active)


            I am still volunteering for the local museum and doing some background work for feature films but that has slowed down, as has much of the economy, as you very well know.  Your next "opportunity" to see me may be a few frames in "Nailed" if they get the money to complete the editing.


 "Dear John" should be released later in the year.  Look for me in one of the airport scenes.  I got to wear a Hawaiian shirt I got when we were in Kauai last year.


            Happy 70th birthday to many of my classmates this year. Even with the aches etc. it is better than the alternative!  Marvin


40 Lundee Court, Aiken, SC 29803-5702, 803-397-9992




John Zerkle


“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”


            Johnny Writes: I have enjoyed reading News and Notes from Cradock, from and about other classmates.  This monthly synopsis brings back many good memories. 


            I received a laptop computer for my 70th birthday, and I while I am slow at learning how to use it, as you can see by this email it is in use.  


            I have lived in Las Vegas for 46 years. I retired in 1995 from Clark County Fire Department after 26 years of service.


            I have seven children.  My oldest is 50 and my youngest is to 17.  I have been married a few times.  I enjoy life, play golf occasionally, bowl once a week, and follow my youngest son's activities in school.  I have been blessed with good health. 


            I was saddened by the passing of Sandra Willis, love of my life and best friend for many years who passed away January 11, 2008.  I miss her a lot.  I look forward to hearing from CHS 57 classmates. 


2225 Florissant Drive, Las Vegas. NV 89128, (702) 255-7179




Jay W. Walton


Once was lost but now am Jay none the worse for wear”


            In early February News and Notes posted the names of the 57 classmates who remained lost to our list on the Cradock website.  Wonder of wonders, Nancy Henderson Stokes CHS ’56, read the information and realized that Jay’s first wife was the sister of Floyd Vaughn CHS ’56.  Nancy contacted Ann Werz Kenny CHS ’56 who contacted bk who called Floyd in Tucson, AZ.  Floyd retired from the Air Force and Civil Service.  Floyd is thriving in the desert and knew that his ex-brother-in-law and good friend, Jay, was last seen in Atlanta.


            We asked Kat Leary Smith, CHS ’62 to use her sleuthing tactics that she employed so well for CHS’57 when we were preparing for our 50th reunion and within a day she had located our Jay Walton contentedly residing in sunny Georgia, outside Atlanta.


            Jay Writes: What a pleasant surprise when I received the call from Katherine Smith looking for a Jay Walton who went to Cradock High School in Portsmouth, VA!  I really do appreciate the efforts in trying to locate me after all these years.  I have not kept in touch with anyone from those days and would not have known where to start.   I cannot tell you how often I have thought of my former classmates and friends.  Those were some great memories!


            I left Cradock to join the Air Force and was fortunate enough to continue playing sports, football, baseball, track, etc., while in the service.  After being discharged, I moved to Atlanta.  I played a couple of years for the Atlanta Spartans, a semi pro football team in the Atlantic Coast Football League All of the other teams were further north, Richmond, VA and above.  Johnny Unitas played in this league before the NFL.  


            I remarried here in Atlanta to a lady named Gail and we will celebrate 30 years in October.


            Over the years I worked for Frieden, Singer, TRW and Fujitsu, mostly in the electronic equipment field.  I retired in 1996, but continued working part-time at a golf course.  The benefits are terrific!  I only work 4 to 5 hours a week and enjoy free golf.  I normally play three or four times a week, but recently had a detached retina and will have to wait a while before getting back on the course. 


            I have had good health over the years, but had a hemorrhage in my right eye two years ago.  Since then, that eye has had other problems, but I am hoping to regain some sight in that eye.


            It was good to hear from you all.  Mac, Gloria, and I had a long talk on the telephone after I was found again.  I look forward to catching up on old times. Jay



523 Villa Dr SW Lilburn, GA 30047-5314 (770) 921-1287




Gary Hayes


“Managing life at a young sixty-nine, younger than you old-timers”


            Gary Writes: When I retired from the USAF in 79, one of the companies I interviewed with was right here in Tulsa, where the wife, Leona, and I live today.  I liked what I saw and envisioned a good solid future in data processing, storage and archiving.  It was a great company and it appeared that I had a bright future but with the way data processing changing over the 15 years, I learned that I was to become one of the changes.  It was a nightmare for all to try to stay abreast of the ever expanding and changing modes of data communication.  Our management team ended up stretched beyond our capabilities until acquisitions, buy-outs, take-overs had us reeling, and eventually buckled under the strain, until there was no longer a surviving entity of what was once a thriving, prosperous company spanning several continents.


            But enough of that.  Shoot, our family has managed to make it through.  We still have a place to sit down, food to eat, bed to sleep in, "one-eyed monster" to watch, a PC or two to occupy some slack time and a car to drive.  We are lucky.  We have our home, each other, even with all the 'character lines’, and reasonable health and our family.  The rest is gravy! 


            Cynthia, our oldest daughter is single, living in Houston and works for Conoco in a very good mid-level management position. She has worked with several companies since graduating in '84, from graphic arts supply, to financial institutions, to bulk oil storage and transportation, to refined oil products and inventory, to oil production/delivery/inventory; she has had a rewarding career for her to this point.


            Mark, our son, also lives in Houston and until just recently was involved in the automobile industry in after market supply and sales, namely customization of interiors, sound, upholstery and windows.  However, just last week he was informed after he got to work, that the dealership was closing it's doors as of that day.  Now, we are not sure what is going to happen. He is a resourceful guy and quite talented, so I feel confident he will land something quick.  He really needs to since he's got four children at home in Houston, ages 3 to 11 who, needless to say, have a lot of needs to be seen to.


            Becky, our youngest, is single again and living with Leona and I along with her 14 year old daughter...Good grief, another teenager yet!   Becky is doing well and has a decent job with a manufacturing firm here in Broken Arrow, a suburb of Tulsa.  Things are beginning to settle out for her after an unhappy marital situation.  It has been a difficult couple of years for the two of them and it will take time yet for all the disappointment and hurt of a broken marriage to subside.


            Our two oldest grandchildren, Garron who is 16 and a junior in High School, and his sister, Jasmine, 19 a freshman at Oklahoma University, have their home here locally in Tulsa.  They live with their mom and are close enough that we get to visit with them periodically.  Although as teenagers and students they have been active the last several years and our visits have been spotty at best.  Now with Jasmine being off to Norman, a bit south of Oklahoma City, our visits are even further spread out.  Soon it will be time for the soccer season to start up again and Garron will be very active again this year.  He is quite the player and has as his goal to become a professional soccer player.  He is about 6'2", slender, fast and strong as all get out.  Jasmine is also tall at around 5'10"-11", blond and very attractive young lady.  


            As for Leona and me, we are doing okay. Our health, while nothing to shout about is on level ground at least for now.  It seems we are not active enough to keep our bodies from becoming more pear shaped, but we manage to keep fit enough to bowl from time to time.  Leona bowls one evening a week in a ladies bowling league, and I usually bowl two to three times a week with the senior men's club and once a week in the Senior Stars league.  The frequency of my bowling is largely determined by two factors, cost and arthritis.  My bowling is a daytime activity, which makes it easier to get around without, evening traffic and crowded bowling alleys and not being out at night.


            Keep News and Notes from Cradock coming.  We enjoy hearing about our classmates.


7968 Lariette Circle, Broken Arrow, OK 74012, 918-357-3443




Elsie Tessmer Rogers


“Giggles and the ever expanded family”


            Elsie Writes: Life is great for us here in California.  Our son retired from the Air Force after 20 years, he is now a retired Major.  He moved back to California with his lovely wife and 5 beautiful children, age 4 to 14.  The exciting part is they moved in with Gary and me!  We have made room for them while he builds their home out in the country.  Oh, and they brought a pet guinea pig better known as "Giggles". 


            Some days now I will have as many as 6 grandchildren and 1 great grand child in the house at one time.  Oh, and by the way I still work 4 days a week at the Church, it is good to get out of the house those 4 days.  Coming home at night after work is great with dinner cooking (my daughter-in-law is a great cook) and what fun to hear the children talk around the dinner table.  Gary really enjoys all of this too; especially my daughter-in-law's cooking.


731 Almond Drive, Clovis, CA 93612, 559-288-8903



Deanna Decker Hester


“Happy Birthday to all of you seventy year olds”


            Deanna Writes: I enjoy reading about everyone in our class, but rarely get around to writing about us.  Right now, I am thinking about 20 years ago when our class had a 50th birthday celebration at “The Max” in downtown Portsmouth, and we had a February blizzard.  It happened to fall on my birthday, and now I am celebrating my 70th so I know everyone else is, also!  Seventy is looking younger all the time! 


            This past year has been a difficult one for us.  Carl and I lost both of our fathers and two of my favorite relatives.  Even our old dog, Vinny died!  We also were able to enjoy some wonderful times together with our children.  Michelle, our older daughter, lives in Colorado with her husband and four children - ages 4-10.  Emily, our younger one, lives in Richmond, thank goodness, with her husband and two children, ages 4 and 20 months.  Because we lived in Germany for so many years, my feisty little mama once said, "I hope when your children grow up, they move to Japan so you'll know how it feels to be so far away from the grandchildren!"  Colorado is our Japan.  We did all get together last summer at Nags Head for a great reunion, and we always spend Thanksgiving in Monument.


            My mother lives here at an assisted-living facility about 5 minutes from us, so we are able to get together daily. I retired from teaching in 2002, and Carl retired from Randolph-Macon Woman's College three years ago.  He has had Parkinson's disease for 16 years.  His walking has become more difficult, but he keeps his wonderful sense of humor and continues working on his scholarship in German.  We have been going back to Germany each year - living off our friends - and having a great time.  Thanks to “News and Notes” for keeping us in touch.  Happy 70th Birthday, Class of 1957!  Love, Deanna


1607 Rivermont Avenue, Lynchburg, VA 24503, 434-845-6116,



Caroline Sands Smith


“Life is a beach...and a mountaintop”


            Caroline Writes:  Life is different without a beloved spouse. I am blessed to live at Fernandina Beach, Fla. in the winter and the mountains near Boone N. C. in the summer. I enjoy beach walking, hiking, reading, spending time with friends and I do some volunteer work at the hospital.  With all of that being said, there is not much else to report.  At our age, good health is a plus and so far, I am well.  Take care of yourself and keep up the good work.  Best wishes, 137 Meadow Brook Lane, Boone, NC 28607 828-295-9705




Suzie Oliver Trefny


“Laughing in the face of adversity... Suzie is a 70-pound champion”


            On March 1st Jimmy Trefny told us that Suzie is getting more tired as each day passes.  He picked her up on Friday, February 27th and headed to the Outer Banks and they laughed and joked all the way from Portsmouth to the Beach.  This is the first weekend in the past three weekends that they had made the trip to OBX.  Gloria and Mac Kincaid visit Suzie at Sentara several times a week.  The Trefny family is managing the cancer with great good humor and a wonderful resilient demeanor.  She spends each week at Sentara Nursing Center, 4201 Greenwood Drive, Portsmouth, VA 23701.  Suzie is a 70-pound fighter.  Jimmy is her manager, coach and companion.  Life is not as easy as it once was, but it continues.  Suzie is defying the odds almost a year after she got the news that her cancer was fatal.  Send a card.  Suzie Oliver Trefny; 108 Baum Bay Drive, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948 252-480-0878



Potpourri from CHS 57


Pat and Deadri Horan headed to Tunisia for 17 days on February 12; we need a report from North Africa when they return.  A lunch meeting at the Golden Corral near Chesapeake Mall included Jerry Canada ‘58, Gene White, Donnie Whitesell, Mac Kincaid, Buddy Wilkins,  Charles Shires, Dewey Nichols, and Sonny Stout.  Charles Shires was in great health and good spirits.  Charles had had surgery at the UVA hospital in December 2007 and narrowly escaped the big trip out.  Gene had played golf twice during the first week of February, and was pleased with the results.  Sonny Stout in smiling good health following surgery at Sentara Heart Hospital in January. Gloria Bass Kincaid had her wrist in a cast in February, but aside from the irritation she is recovering well.  The next Golden Corral luncheon is Thursday, May 2, 2009 at noon...Dutch treat for lunch and conversation.  All 57 classmates are welcome to join.  There is no program except to come and gossip.  We are planning semi-annual luncheons for all 57 classmates.  Our first luncheon will be in June, a date to be announced soon, and then we will meet again in October as a part of the Come Home to Cradock weekend.

            Curt Spear and Don Powell have been having a good time this past month, working together via email,  identifying athletes from the 1926 Cradock baseball team.  Curt’s dad was a player and Don’s uncle was on the team.  You can trace some of their email correspondence as well as the original photograph on the Cradock website.  Also Curt is looking for help identifying pictures from 1950 of the Cub Scouts taken in front of The Presbyterian Church on Afton Parkway.  Look in the New Messages section on   Curt’s dad was a VPI all-star football player in the early thirties.  Don and Curt’s fathers played on championship football teams at Wilson High School in the late 1920’s, while Donnie Whitesell’s dad was star performer at Newport News High School.  Both Curt and Don graduated from Virginia Tech after high school and Donnie graduated from William and Mary.  


           If you know a classmate who does not receive “News and Notes” and would like to receive it, do everyone a favor, make a copy then send it to them.  It costs your time, an envelope and $0.42.  It will make them feel good, and you l too.  Carolyn Gerald Collins received one from Ellen Tillery Trammel and Mac and Gloria Kincaid picked one up from Donnie Whitesell. Spread the news.   It is a hassle to print and mail to everyone on this list.  You can bring the class closer together by sharing a copy of this with your old friends on the list below. Please make a friend again by copying the News and Notes and mailing it to a classmate.  If you find out that someone on this list has an email send that information to


Here are a few folks who do not use email: Kenny Bass, 2108 Iowa Street, Chesapeake, VA  23323, 757-487-2145; William (Bobby) Allen; 1620 Maple Street; Smithfield, NC 27577; 919-934-3289; Duncan Buchanan, 2816 Anderson Hwy, Powhatan, VA 23139, 804-598-8005; Juanita Gift Cotton, 219 Jacquelyn Drive, Portsmouth, VA 23701, 757-488-8533; Nathan Capps, 112 Lariat Trail, Moyock, NC 27958, 252-435-1078; Carolyn Gerald Collins, 4503 Leeward Drive, Chesapeake, VA 23321; 757-465-0461; Kenny Combs,3340 Golden Oaks Lane, Chesapeake, VA 23321, 757-484-9414; Shelvy Drew Donaldson; 602 Kent Drive, Portsmouth, VA 23702, 757-487-4458; Judy Allman Eanes,5 Warren Dr. Portsmouth, VA 23701,757-488-2749; Alfred E. Fry,2511 Bugle Dr W; Chesapeake, VA 23321,757-488-8441; Ronald W. Griffin,10 S Colin Dr, Portsmouth, VA 23701; 757-465-7406; Gene Hoggard, 1512 City Park Ave, Portsmouth, VA 23701, 757- 488-8575; Leon Hemmings, 1404 Fox Trail, Edenton, NC 27932-9142, (252) 221-8926; Juanita Jefferies Killman, 4904 Gardner Lane, Suffolk, VA 23434, 757-925-0961; Mac Kincaid, 30 Early Drive, Portsmouth, VA 23701, 757-465-0349; Gloria Bass Kincaid, 30 Early Drive, Portsmouth, VA 23701, 757-465-0349; Earlene Hodges Lassiter, 413 Cynthia Lane; Vienna, VA 22180; 703-938-0953, Arlene Johnston Lindsay, 111 Elmhurst Court, Portsmouth, VA 23701, 757-465-4103, Mobile: 757-373-7621; Patsy Payne Marshall;252 Idlewood Avenue; Portsmouth, VA 23707, 757-397-6382; Kay Cross (Sam) McLean , 4724 Race Street , Portsmouth, VA 23707, 757-399-8142; Sharon Hough Meyers, 2200 Azalea Drive; Grants Pass, OR 97526; 541-474-4460; Phillip Monahan, 1513 City Park Avenue, Portsmouth, VA 23701; 757-488-6856; Curtis Lee Nelson, 6513 Portsmouth Blvd.; Portsmouth, VA  23701, 757-488-1717; Pat Malone Outten, 419 Bobby Jones Drive Portsmouth, VA 23701, 757-488-1774 Home, 757-439-0109 Cell; Barbara Gilbert Parsons, 3844 White Chapel Arch, Chesapeake, VA 23321; Bettie Jozwick Ridgeway, 11 S. Fairview Circle, Portsmouth, VA 23702, 757-393-4862; Merry Smith Schneider, 900 Old Combee Rd; Lakeland, FL 33805-9508, 863-603-0137; Lynn Root, 2849 Lambert Trail, Chesapeake, VA 23323, 757-487-4773; Richard Rush,4555 Bryce Drive, Evansville, IN  47714, 812-476-5512, Carl Vance; P. O. Box 3996 , Portsmouth, VA 23701; Jewell Rary Wall, 601 Normandy Street, Portsmouth, VA 23701, 757-487-6985; Jesse Wiggins, 38 Loxley Road, Portsmouth, VA 23702,757-487-2953.



The Cradock Website


“Nobody does it better”


            Janie Norris Evans is the webmaster of the Cradock website.  Janie, a Cradock Class of 1960-graduate is a dedicated helper, who is creating a treasure for every one of us.  She collects Cradock memorabilia, and displays it on her version of olden days Cradock reality, the wonderful website. 

            We recommend to all of you who grew up in Cradock is Janie’s first website which has many delightful bits of information about your past Janie has linked this site to the Cradock site so you can also reach it from there. Do not miss this.  It is worth the time you spend.  It will lower your pulse rate and blood pressure. It is cathartic.


“A sop to patriots”     


            Monroe Duncan, CHS 58 Sends: The American National Anthem is sung by five young ladies (ages 6-8). You have never heard it performed better than this!  An entire arena remains silent throughout the song. You could hear a pin drop.  Take a moment to listen to this. The two young ladies on the right are six years  old. The two in the middle are seven and the one on the left is eight.




And Finally... now that you have come this far in March’s edition of News and Notes, the editors have selected a treat for all of you who are the least bit sentimental.  Don’t click on the next website link unless you can stand a sweet, maybe maudlin web links to brighten your day. (bk)