02/03/05 - NNHS Newsletter - The Day the Music Died

Forty-six years ago, on February 3, 1959, Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens were killed in a plane crash in Iowa during a snow storm. 
The plane was rumored to have been named "American Pie".


Dear Friends and Schoolmates,   


1. Dianne Hunter Preston ('64) of FL - 02/02/05:

I would like to be added to the mailing list and also added to the list of names on the website.........

   Certainly, Dianne!  It's good to hear from you!  I've added you to these pages:




   If you'd like your email addy to be published, and your name added to our birthday page, just let me know.


From Tom Norris (Hampton HS - '73) of VA - 02/01/05:

For your 2/3/2005 newsletter, from the web:


Buddy's last performance was at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa February 2, 1959. Tired of riding the bus
and needing to get his laundry done, Holly chartered a Beechcraft Bonanza to fly him, J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper)
and Ritchie Valens to the next stop - Moorhead, Minnesota. On February 3, 1959 the plane took off and crashed
minutes later killing all on board.

I have a WGH top 30 sheet from the week of March 7th, 1959 (one month after the crash), and Buddy Holly was
number 4 ("It Doesn't Matter Anymore") and Ritchie Valens was number 10 ("Donna").

   WOWZERS!  Thanks, Babe!

From Hunter Todd ('57) of TX - 02/02/05:

Howdy from Houston...

Hi Carol...

Yipes, you posted the invite on the web! Double Yipes... what fun... no worries, got lots
of great emails back... next year, we will have to have a quartet from the symphony since
it is Wolfie's big 250th...!

Hi to Kathy (Pilgrim) Clark ('63 of VA) and thanks for the good words... here is the report ...

Yup, that's me - 305 La Salle... a little bubble, a true Doris Day world when we all grew
up there ... one could walk to Armstrong School, even Hampton High and not be worried
about anything, except perhaps a neighborhood dog barking at you... My sister Sally Lea
Todd Lowe
was a (gasp) Crabber... then went on to Emory & Henry College... (married
Jack Lowe
, her college sweetheart) and did her graduate work at Richmond (RPI)...she was
a hematologist, then worked for Coulter Labs ... the blood machine people...they lived
in Boston, Vienna, VA, New Jersey, then VA again and now NC. Her hubby Jack was head
of the FBI foreign intelligence division for years (he did get out just before 09/11), and they
have just recently retired to Southern Shore, NC near Nags Head ... Have KC contact me
for Sal's email... I'm sure she would be happy to hear from her... they have no children, but
two Siamese cats... (;-) ... We brought my Mum to Houston from La Salle some years ago when
she began to fail, had to sell 305 - (;-( ... she passed in 1991 at 81 years, but did get to see
Katy Lea Todd, her granchil' every day for three years... which was great...


I have attached a pix of Katy Lea, which proves there is a God. 1. She looks like her mum,
not me, 2. God is punishing me for being a single rascal for years by giving me a lovely
daughter! I show all her dates my Olympic match shooting trophies, some sample 100 meter
targets with 10 rounds in the center X ring... (;-) ... and remind them to have her home
by midnight. She celebrated her 16th birthday yesterday (02/01) at her favorite Sushi restaurant!

That's the Todd report...

All the best and Happy Groundhog Day... the Armadillo didn't see his shadow here in Texas... so
winter is over soon!




   Hi, Hunter - Thanks!  I thought by my removing all your contact information, no one would try to descend upon your party. 
OH, YOW!!! 
 I guess I was wrong!  Sorry about that!  I keep forgetting people are actually reading these newsletters......   

Although, you're reading them, so I guess that ought to tell me something.  Yesterday someone from the British Parliament
Googled the phrase "jukebox high school", and that landed them right squarely on our website:



   Your daughter is a lovely young woman, indeed!  And how wonderful it was that your mother was able to come to know her!
Beyond being an excellent way of parenting your daughter, what is the story about those Olympic match shooting trophies,
Captain Todd?  I had not heard that story before.

   My own dear mother, rest her soul, used to talk to me of her prowess with a carving knife and what she would plan to do
with my dates if she was displeased with their conduct.  She was very convincing.  I certainly believed her.

   Congratulations on your impending lovely weather!  Thanks again!  Oh - I forwarded your note to Kathy.

From Dianne Hunter Preston ('64) of FL - 02/02/05 - The Paramount Theater:

My best memory of this old theatre is when I was in 10th grade and a girlfriend and I skipped school and went to see
"Cool Hand Luke".......I loved that movie.  My mother found out I had skipped school and she called the school office
and told on me and I got into trouble!

I also remember going into the James Theater at lunch time and getting a hot dog....it was so cool in there in the

Dianne (Hunter) Preston
Class of 64
Now living in FL

   Thanks, Dianne!

   This section has at long last been moved to the ad-free newer portion of the site, and was very slightly redesigned!  YEA!




http://www.nnhs65.00freehost.com/drive-ins.html - this now has a fabulous sound clip sent by Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA
on 10/15/04 - not that I'm slow or anything.....

From Tom Norris (Hampton HS - '73) of VA - 02/02/05 - In response to 'back of the bus'

Bruce ... I remember the segregated days very well ... I remember asking my mother why I could not sit at the back
and look out the window on one of our excursions to downtown Newport News (probably 1960 or 61 .... I was probably
6 or 7) and she never actually told me, just that it wasn't done. I thought it would be neat, since the engine was back
there and it made more noise than it did in the front. Later on I learned the real truth. I also remember when they
lifted that restriction (not exactly sure of the year ... just remember the results). I was happy to ride in the back ...
they were happy to ride in the front ... in hindsight it seemed like a lot to do about nothing. And as Bruce said, not
to be offensive or to bring up scars of the past, but as a piece of history (maybe not a pleasant one for many) but if
we do not study and respect history (as a people) we are doomed to repeat it. (Someone much wiser than I actually
said that ... but a good quote to heed).

Y'all be good ...


   Thanks, Babe!

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

- George Santayana

From Jean Lankes Toth (Hampton HS - '72) of VA - 012/02/05:


Just a note about the Oasis Restaurant on Kecoughtan Rd. The present manager may be "new", but he remembers
a lot about Wythe history, and is not just some "incomer". If you go in the Oasis for a meal, it's like going back
to the 60's. Not much has changed. There is still the wood-paneled room to the right, green fireplace room to the
left, booths in the middle, and the very same glass case at the checkout counter. In the front vestibule is a bulletin
board with a few nostalgic printed pieces. Plus, the food is good if you like SOUTHERN (i.e. somewhat overcooked,
but nice and mushy). Check before you go, the restaurant seems to have weird operating hours.

I get NO reward whatsoever for this endorsement!!  :-)


   Thanks, Jean!  I'll never forget seeing the Oasis again in 2003.  After touring the Peninsula and all the old sights and finding
everything gone or mutilated beyond description, to suddenly come upon the Oasis and find it open and virtually unchanged
in appearance was almost too much.  I just burst into tears.  I never miss an opportunity to dine there now.  And you're right - no
remodeling inside - even the restroom with its clapboard paneling was as it had been fifty years ago when I used to go there
with my family.

   But it DOES have strange hours (see the first page of the 2003 menu below)!




From One of Our Famous Marines, Herb Hice of MI - 02/02/05:

I visited here today and thought that you would enjoy it too! - check this out at:


   OOOOH, that is beautiful - and very touching, too!  Thanks, Herbie!

From David Whitley ('67) of VA - 02/02/05 (who signed my Guest Book on my ridiculous Cluckmeat website):

I just want to say that I know Tom Norris (HHS '73), the Tomster, and he is NOT a babe. He's okay, but not
a babe in my eyes. My wife, now she's a babe, but the only guy I know that was a babe was that Ruth cat
from long time ago. Him & that candy bar. Yeah, that's all. Well, him, that candy bar & my wife, and that's it.
And Judy Salken ('67). That guy Ruth, the candy bar, my wife & Judy, and that's all. And maybe that girl lifeguard
at the east end city pool in the early '60's. Her, Babe the Ruth, Baby Ruth, my wife & Judy. Absolutely, that's it.
Okay, wait ... oh yeah, that movie pig. That's all. That movie babepig, Ruthbabe, candybar babe, my wife & Judy.
And the lifeguard. That's all. and not Tom. Maybe me.

   David, you are SOOOO hysterically funny!  I believe you're seeing this all from a male perspective, and therefore
it's perfectly all right if you don't happen to find that Tommee is a babe.  I'm glad, though, that you recognize the fact that
you yourself are a babe, because I just saw you last year, and we already have a consensus on that fact.

   Thanks for signing my goofy Guest Book, David.  I'll tell the Murphy's Hi for you.  Well, I'll tell some of them Hi for you. 
Being in the Air Force, Mark seems to be in "places dark and dusty" at the moment.

   Hey - we haven't started referring to anyone as a Hottie yet!  Hmmm - we should take care of that oversight.  I have
several worthy candidates in mind..... WILD GIGGLES!!!!

From Jean Poole Burton ('64) of RI - 02/02/05:

Dear Carol, 
     Up here in Yankeeland we are anxiously awaiting Super Bowl XXXIX and the third win for the New England
Patriots...tonight at choir practice I suggested that we have an all-football music program at church on Sunday. 
It got nixed but when I launched into a rendition of "Beer, Beer for Old Newport High"...everyone joined in the
song even though we grew up all over the country and went to different high schools!  Some things are just universal. 
      I am so relieved that we are done with the passenger train and the freight train...maybe I will sleep tonight. 
      By the way, Hardee's makes their milkshakes with real ice cream...my mother loves them!   And do you have
Sonic down there in Fayetteville?  Curb service on roller skates...we think it is a kick!  We even saw a Shoney's
on our trip (I think it was in New Orleans but I cannot quite remember).  We do not have Sonic here yet.
      What happened to our "downtown" has happened to downtowns all over America.  In places where a small group
of dedicated people have decided not to let "downtown" go downhill...there are still issues involving crime.  The thing
that makes me the saddest when I go "home" is turning on the TV and hearing every night about "shooting, killing,
raping, and robbery".  It just was not like that when we were children...
Love, Jean

   GIGGLES!  Thanks, Jean!  It's good to know that some things never change!

   I'm glad your math and algebra dreams have ended.  Now if you can tell me how to relieve myself of the nightmares of my
German class at Old Dominion!  Every now and then after lo, these many years, Dr. Dorothy Stanley still scares the bee-bees
out of me just by suddenly entering the rooms of my dreams and saying with a bright, beautiful smile, "Guten Tag!"

   Yes, we do have a Sonic or two around here.  There's one right down Ramsey Street, and another one on the other side of town,
I believe.  Actually, I've been to the one in Apex more often than any of them.  FUN!

   And while I realize that crime and terrorism has increased everywhere as a sign of the perilous times in which we live, I still do
not understand why certain areas - such as downtown Newport News - cannot be revitalized.  As Wayne Stokes ('65 of VA)
mentioned long go, Norfolk and Baltimore have done so with great success.  I am just baffled why they chose to make downtown
Newport News as unattractive as possible.  With the exception of a pretty little park-like spot here and there, driving down
Washington Avenue is a surreal experience in ugliness.  I think it would be so even for those who had never seen it forty years ago. 
For those who have, it is a nightmare akin to suddenly finding oneself transported to a communist regime of planned atrocity.  But
then, I've always been prone to understatement....

From Gail Kiger Bonsey (Ferguson HS - '73) and Jim Bonsey (Kailua HS - Oahu - '74) of OR - 02/03/05:


Thought you Typhoons and others would enjoy this pix we took of our local Mt. Hood last June, as we departed Portland
to go on a summer trip (via American Airlines - not my husband's Cherokee Six)  ... This winter we've had the least amount
of snow in Mt. Hood's history they say!   (which means a very dry summer for us below...it's hardly rained really and this
week continues during the day to be in 50's.)  If any of you visit this area, we can show you some pretty wine valleys or
ocean from the Cherokee within the hour - Mt. Hood or Mt. St. Helens - if it hasn't blow up yet!  Jim has flown for 30
years now as a hobby.....

June 23, 2004            

P. S. to Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - Jim gets credit for the math problem - that's my least favorite subject! I would
have also just called the darn station to see when they departed!

   OHHH, what a gorgeous sight!  Thanks, Gail!  Just after Memorial Day weekend of 2003, I had a note from my fearless
second son, Brent (who was still living in Oregon at the time), that he had spent the weekend scaling Mt. Hood.  Bless his heart,
he didn't tell his fraidy-cat mama until it was all over.  I've seen that mountain, and it is gorgeous, but it instilled in me no desire
whatsoever to climb it!

   Now, the flyover sounds like grand and glorious fun!  Thanks again, Gail!  I had planned to call you today, but I didn't realize
my favorite two-year old was coming to spend the day with me.  That MIGHT just put a crimp in my plans........

    Y'all have fun - and take care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER!

                          Love to all, Carol


NNHS CLASS OF '65 WEB SITE: http://www.nnhs65.00freehost.com
PERSONAL WEB SITE: http://www.angelfire.com/weird2/cluckmeat


American Pie

- Don McLean

A long, long time ago I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
and I knew if I had my chance that I could make those people dance and maybe they'd be happy for a while
but February made me shiver with every paper I delivered,
bad news on the door step, I couldn't take one more step,
I can't remember if I cried when I read about his widowed bride
but something touched me deep inside, the day, the music, died. So...


Bye, bye Miss American Pie drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry
and them good ol' boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
singin' this will be the day that I die, this will be the day that I die.

Did you write the book of love and do you have faith in God above,
if the Bible tells you so, and do you believe in rock n' roll,
can music save your mortal soul and can you teach me how to dance real slow?
Well I know that you're in love with him cuz I saw you dancin' in the gym
you both kicked off your shoes and I dig those rhythm and blues.
I was a lonely teenage bronkin' buck with a pink carnation and a pick up truck
but I knew I was out of luck, the day, the music, died. I started singin'...


Now for ten years we've been on our own and moss grows fat on a rollin' stone
but that's not how it used to be, when the jester sang for the king and queen
in a coat he borrowed from James Dean and a voice that came from you and me,
oh and while the king was looking down, the jester stole his thorny crown the courtroom was adjourned,
no verdict was returned, and while Lenin read a book on Marx,
the quartet practiced in the park and we sang dirges in the dark, the day, the music, died. We were singin'...


Helter Skelter in a summer swelter the birds flew off with a fallout shelter, eight miles high and fallin' fast,
its the land that falled on the grass the players tried for a forward pass with the jester
on the sidelines in a cast, now the half-time air was sweet perfume while the sergeants played a marching tune
we all got up to dance oh but we never got the chance oh as the players tried to take the field the marching band
refused to yield do you recall what was revealed, the day, the music, died. We started singin'...


Oh and there we were all in one place, a generation lost in space with no time left to start again,
so come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack Flash sat on a candle stick because fire is the devil's only friend,
oh and as I watched him on the stage, my hands were clinched in fists of rage,
no angel born in hell could break that Satan's spell and as the planes climbed high into the night to light the sacrificial right
I saw Satan laughing with delight, the day, the music, died. He was singin'...


I met a girl who sang the blues and I asked her for some happy news but she just smiled and turned away,
I went down to the sacred store where I'd heard the music years before but the man there said the music wouldn't play
and in the streets the children screamed, the lovers cried, and the poets dreamed but not a word was spoken,
the church bells all were broken and the three men I admire most, the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost,
they caught the last train for the coast, the day, the music, died, and they were singin'...


They were singin'... Bye, bye Miss American Pie drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry
and them good ol' boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye singin' this will be the day that I die.

A special thanks to Tom Norris (HHS - '73) of VA for reminding me of this anniversary.

"American Pie" midi courtesy of http://www.garyrog.50megs.com/midi1.html
at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 02/01/05
How FABULOUS!  Thanks, Dave!

"American Pie" lyrics courtesy of  http://www.rareexception.com/Garden/AmLyrics.php
also at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA
- 02/01/05
Thanks again, Dave!

But, you should also look at (this) page ... which explains all the references in the lyrics:

also from Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA
- 02/01/05
WOWZERS!!!  At last - answers to all my questions!  Thanks so much, Dave!

Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day" 45 Record Image courtesy of http://www.popsike.com/php/detaildata.php?itemnr=4024108023 - 02/02/05

45 Record Images courtesy of http://www.popsike.com/php/detaildata.php?itemnr=4022548772 - 02/02/05

Pie clip art courtesy of http://www.wtv-zone.com/nevr2l82/bars29.html - 02/01/05

 Animated Gold Musical Divider Line clip art courtesy of http://www.wtv-zone.com/nevr2l82/bars15.html - 02/03/05

Embarrassed Smilies clip art courtesy of http://www.bravenet.com - 02/02/05

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