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News and Notes January 2009
For CHS 57 classmates

The Cradock Website

            Janie Norris Evans is the webmaster of the Cradock website.  Janie, a Cradock Class of 60 graduate is a treasure who is creating a treasure for every one of us.  She collects Cradock stuff past and present, and displays it on her version of Cradock reality, the wonderful website.  One of the features that we recommend to all of you who grew up in Cradock is the stories that Bob and Ruth Ort Cutchins have saved for us.  The Cutchins’ tell us about Cradock when they were kids in the thirties and early forties.  Seeing that time show us how close we are to them.

Do not miss this.  It is worth the time you spend. It will lower your blood pressure.

 Jeanne Knutson Livesay 

            Jeanne says, “I am having to do double work on the winter homeless  shelter this year - seems there is not only a shortage of money...but the volunteers are also in short supply.   Seems like with so many people out of work, I should be able to find volunteers - OH WELL, not to complain.  If I can get   the week after Christmas volunteered, all will be well for several weeks after that.” 

            Maybe one of our Cradock Classmates will find time to call Jeanne and find out what volunteering to assist the Portsmouth homeless really means. 

            Other news from the Livesay household is astonishing.  Jeanne and Stan have taken on a newborn child.  She says, “We are either caring individuals or senile, I am not sure which; but this has been fun for us as well as being fulfilling.  If you are going to have a baby in the house, this is the one to have!”

            Jeanne says that the Traveling Shoebox with the CHS-57 Memorabilia is in her attic and one of these days soon, she is going to retrieve the stuff so that we can place the stuff on the Cradock website.  Jeanne Knutson Livesay, 1302 Marsh Wren Circle, Portsmouth, VA 23703, 757-483-6769 

Respect The Seniors

            We get email from classmates. We love hearing from you, and reading the stuff you send.  “Respect The Seniors” obviously came from a classmate who shall remain anonymous and who obviously can stand to laugh at us in our dotage. This is simply one version of what it is like to be seniors.

 Donald Powell

A few months ago, “The Donald” sent me an email entitled “Pun Intended”.  We know that Don is a punster “par excellance”, a witty fellow from way back.  His puns are so corny; I laughed my way through the lot of them and decided that you could not do without them.  The list of 24 follows...

1. The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference who acquired his size from too much pi.... I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian...She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still....She confiscated the rubber band pistol from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption...The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work....No matter how much you push the envelope, it will still be stationery....A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering...A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart...Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie...Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it...Atheism is a non-prophet organization...Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, 'You stay here, I will go on a head.’...I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me....A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'...A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, 'No change yet.'...A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.        ...It's not that the man did not know how to juggle, he just didn't have the balls to do it...The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large...The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran...A backward poet writes inverse...               

In democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes...When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion...Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects! 

Don writes, “Sandy and I are having about as much fun in Florida as two old folks can legally have!  I helped my older son in Orlando do some renovations of his house.  The house is older than I am.  In October, we wired some lights and outlets in the lower section of the house.  Later we built a deck style walkway in front from the sidewalk to the front stoop.  Dry walling the ceiling in the lower section was next.  I enjoyed the time with him.  We don’t always agree on “how to do what” or “what to do” but we talk it out, listen to the others views and then make an informed decision.” Don Powell, 8229 Simpkins Way, Melbourne, FL 32940. 321-242-6731 

Tom West

            Tom writes from his paradise in Lafayette, Louisiana, where winter rarely visits, to let us know that he especially appreciated (and identified with) the "virus" infection described by Ellen Tillery in the last edition of News and Notes.

            Tom says, “Dorothy and I continue to be blessed in many ways.  She has had some significant medical problems over the years but is now hale and hearty.  I have been blessed with good health with only a recent hernia surgery, which was more of an inconvenience rather than a significant medical event.  As I am sure all of us can agree, Medicare comes in pretty handy, and available supplemental insurance is a pretty good deal.”  

            “I continue in semi-retirement (usually taking a job when Dorothy gets tired of my presence 24 hours a day).  We are enjoying our fairly new home in the country and the fishing pond within 50 feet of the house.  By the way, fishing ponds require more hours of maintenance than the number of hours spent fishing.  At my age, the decision to have the pond is becoming a little questionable.  I have learned that fish (blue gill specifically) are a lot smarter than I realized.  After fishing the pond two times, the fish recognize fishing rods and their impact.  The fish can also see a person walking toward the pond within forty feet of the pond.  In order to catch the wily rascals (running about 1 1/4 pounds right now), you have to try to keep the rod out of sight of the fish -- or at least as low to the ground as possible.  That can be pretty complicated, so I may simply buy a net, give up the sport, and enjoy the meat -- but I don't think so.”

 I wish all my classmates a happy and prosperous new year.” Tom West

1320 N. Dugas Road, Lafayette, LA 70506, 

Alma Brown Hall

            Alma sent a note that she wanted to share.  “I mailed a Christmas card to Libby West and it was returned.  Of course, I immediately thought the worse, but I discovered right away that she moved into assisted living at Province Place in Churchland.  Perhaps some of our classmates might want to remember her with a phone call, a card or even a visit.  Let's not wait until we can only express condolences; let's let her know right now how much we value her role in our lives.  Most will probably remember that she attended our Friday night reunion gathering at the Sports Hall of Fame.  Many of us were privileged to be her students in American History or to have her guidance as SCA sponsor, which she did forever!  Her new address is Elizabeth West, Province Place #601, One Bon Secours Way, Portsmouth 23703.” Alma Brown Hall, 418 Rockbridge Road; Portsmouth, VA 23707, 757-393-1470

 Suzie Oliver Trefny

            This past week Jimmy Trefny told us that Suzie is managing her grave illness with incredible resilience.  Her oncologist told Suzie and Jim early last summer that her cancer was very difficult to defeat.  It was fatal and her term, while unpredictable, was short.  He hinted at a couple of months.  Suzie is defying the odds eight months later.  She spends each week in a Sentara facility on Greenwood Drive and Jimmy takes her home to the Outer Banks for the weekends when she is well enough.  They visit with friends and neighbors, and then ride to the ocean, which Suzie dearly loves.  Suzie is a fighter.  Jimmy is her defender. Life is not easy, but it continues. Suzie Oliver Trefny; 108 Baum Bay Drive, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948


Happy New Year 2009

            The following New Years greeting arrived in my email more than a few times this past month.  Perhaps someone sent it to you:  “As I reflect on 2008, I can say we had a great year:

Blacks are happy; Obama was elected; Whites are happy, OJ is in jail; Democrats are happy; George Bush is leaving office; Republicans are happy: Democrats will finally quit saying George Bush stole the election; And all of us are so happy; The election is finally over!

I think 2009 will be even better: Immediately after his inauguration, Obama will balance the budget, revive the economy, solve the real estate problem, solve the auto industry problem, solve our gas/alternative energy problem, stop the fires and mudslides in California, ban hurricanes and tornadoes, stop identity theft, reverse global warming, find Osama, solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, get rid of corruption in government and achieve world peace . Then on the 7th day, He will rest.  This came from too many classmates to attribute it to just one.

Carolyn Barnett Wright

            Carolyn, in a nostalgic mood, sends us a video that takes a musical tour of the sixties.  Those times, we now know, were, as Shakespeare said  “my salad days,/When I was green in judgment”  Our editorial comment, sit back, relax and let Carolyn’s suggested video take you back to a decade when life was simpler and you were younger.  Take Me Back To The Sixties

Carolyn also sent a few other websites during the past month, but when we compiled this edition of News and Notes, they had been removed from the web. They were decent enough, just dated.  Carolyn Barnett Wright 8300 Pasadena Boulevard, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024,


 More Nostalgia

            Another bit of nostalgia that will have all of us flashback to a simpler time when we breathed leaded fumes from our gas tanks with every refill. Open the website and when you see the first old building look it over then click on the photo for fun.

 And now for the future

            One of you sent this website.  We do not have a clue what it is supposed to mean, but this website is worth taking a few minutes of your time to reflect on the future. Technology.wvx

 Speaking of The future

            Soon, maybe not this year, but soon enough much of what we knew to age 70, will be gone from life’s landscape. These will disappear: Yellow Pages, Classified Ads, Movie Rental Stores,, Landline phones, Dial-up Internet Access Dial-up connections, Phone Landlines, Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs, VCRs, Ham Radio, The Swimming Hole, Answering Machines, Cameras That Use Film, Incandescent Light Bulbs, Stand-Alone Bowling Alleys, The Milkman, Hand-Written Letters, Wild Horses, Personal Checks, Drive-in Theaters, Mumps & Measles, Honey Bees, News Magazines and TV Evening News, Analog TV, and The Family Farm.

 Potpourri from CHS 57

               Since December 2008, we have heard from several classmates who shared good websites that have been removed or good news items about our lives as we face down age 70.  Jack Waff appears to be dwelling on how women have changed through the years. Of course, Wilma remains perfect.  Gene White is playing golf when the weather is good.  Ellen Overstreet White is on the mend and able to get around on her own.  She says that she will be dancing soon.  Nancy Swisher Burch and husband Charlie are still unpacking in Deltaville. Mac and Gloria Kincaid are well and healthy. Alma and Gloria visit Suzie. There is talk about restarting the monthly Cradock meetings that we held for four years prior to the 50th reunion. Pat Horan remains our class treasurer.  He is keeps our meager class funds that we have designated as “Memorial Funds” intact.  Deadri Horan keeps Pat on track.  Donnie and Donna Whitesell are regular baby sitters for pretty granddaughter, Gracie.  Hugh Amory masterfully eulogized his father-in-law in recent services.  Chocollage, a cozy coffee shop in downtown Norfolk features homemade pastries and Panini. This marvelous restaurant provides for twenty or so customers settled into lounge chairs or grouped around slate-tiled tables. All have mouth-watering views of the bakery case filled with oven-fresh pies, cakes and brownies. Original watercolors...all for sale...complete the artsy atmosphere of Patsy Payne Marshall and daughter, Lee Ann Horan’s homey café’.  Curt Spear is in charge of programming Christopher Newport University’s Lifelong Learning activities. 

 A Humorist Looks at 2008

            Dave Barry, a writer for the Miami Herald and a novelist answers a funny but relevant question. How weird a year was it?  Dave says...  

            O.J. actually got convicted of something. Gasoline hit $4 a gallon -- and those were the good times. On several occasions, "Saturday Night Live" was funny.  There were a few days there in October when you could not completely rule out the possibility that the next Treasury secretary would be Joe the Plumber. J

            Finally, and most weirdly, for the first time in history, the voters elected a president who -- despite the skeptics who said such a thing would never happen in the United States-- was neither a Bush nor a Clinton. J

            Of course, not all the events of 2008 were weird. Some were depressing. The only U.S. industries that had a good year were campaign consultants and foreclosure lawyers. Everybody else got financially whacked. So, we can be grateful that 2008 is over. J

            As we enter into 2009, the economy remains the dominant issue, with retailers reporting weak holiday sales as many shoppers pass up pricier gifts such as jewelry and big-screen TVs in favor of toilet paper and jerky. As the new year begins, the president's Council of Economic Advisors warns that the current recession "could spiral downward into a full-blown depression," leaving the United States with "no viable economic option but to declare war on Japan." L

            Adding to the year-end gloom is a congressionally appointed bipartisan commission on terrorism, which releases a troubling report asserting that there is an 80 percent chance that within the next two years, a major U.S. city will be struck, with devastating consequences, by "an 18,000 mile-per-hour tool bag from space." L

The point is, if you have any money left, you should spend it soon.  And Happy New Year. (bk)