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02/10/11 - NNHS Newsletter -
Rocky Raccoon

“I think you're going to find out that westerns will be coming back.
It's Americana, it's part of our history, the cowboy, the cattle
drive, the sheriff, the fight for law, order and justice.
Justice will always prevail as far as I'm concerned.”

Clayton Moore
(14 Sept 1914 - 28 Dec 1999)

Dear Friends and Schoolmates, 

   Today's Newsletter theme also comes to us indirectly from   Norris Perry (Warwick HS - '59) of VA who sent us that wondrous list of Beatles' songs recently:

   Thanks, Norris Sweetie!



"Rocky Raccoon" is a 1968 folk rock song by The Beatles from the double-disc album The Beatles (also known as The White Album). The song was primarily written by Paul McCartney, who was inspired while playing guitar with John Lennon and Donovan in India (where The Beatles had gone on a retreat).

The song, titled from the character's name, was originally "Rocky Sassoon", but McCartney changed it to Rocky Raccoon because he thought "it sounded more like a cowboy."[1] The Old West-style honky-tonk piano was played by producer George Martin.[2] The lyrics describe a conflict over a love triangle.

During Take 8 of the song (featured on Anthology 3), Paul McCartney flubbed the line "stinking of gin," singing "sminking" instead. This caused him to laugh, exclaim "Sminking?!?", and make up the remaining lines in the song. In this take, McCartney sings that Rocky is from "a small town in Minnesota," rather than the album version's "black mountain hills of Dakota".

In Mojo magazine in October, 2008, McCartney acknowledged that the style of the song is a pastiche, saying, "I was basically spoofing the folksinger." Lennon attributed the song to Paul, saying "Couldn't you guess? Would I have gone to all that trouble about Gideon's Bible and all that stuff?"[3]


     Happy Birthday today to   Meyera Ellenson Oberndorf ('58) of VA AND     Norm Covert ('61) of MD AND  Bobby Helmer ('61) of VA AND the late    Bernie Helmer ('61) (deceased 03/12/99) AND   Mike Miller ('65) of NC!

     Happy Birthday tomorrow to   Harmon Gordon ('63) of VA!

     Happy Birthday this week to:

13 -    Carla Fine Cripps ('65) of Australia;

14 -      Jimmy Parker ('62) of VA AND My Niece,       Renee Dick Romulus (Booker T. Washington HS - '80) of Northern VA!

   Many Happy Returns to You All! 


Friday, Feb. 10, 1865

Charleston Harbor was not a happy place to be for the Southern defenders on this day. By land, they had to face the seemingly unstoppable army of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman. If the view in that direction was not depressing enough, they had only to look out into the harbor to see James Island and Johnston’s Station, which were threatened by Union naval forces.

      From Harry Covert ('57) of MD - 02/08/11 - "The Covert Letter":

Roy Redux … and the days were fun

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 11:56 AM PST

By     Norman M. Covert  - '61 - of MD)

(Editor’s Note: We offer a “two-fer” with this article written in answer to readers’ questions about the Roy Rogers Riders Club. The original article is included herein. We welcome your further comments.) 

My commentary Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, on guns and children at included recollections of my dazzling Roy Rogers cowboy outfit and double pistol rig, plus the excitement of the Roy Rogers Riders Club. It sparked a request to recall the rules for young people to live by and printed on the back of the club membership card.

 Here they are: 

  1. Be neat and clean.
  2. Be courteous and polite.
  3. Always obey your parents.
  4. Protect the weak and help them.
  5. Be brave but never take chances.
  6. Study hard and learn all you can.
  7. Be kind to animals and take care of them.
  8. Eat all your food and never waste any.
  9. Love God and go to Sunday school regularly.
  10. Always respect our flag and our country. 

I did an on-line search and came up with a YouTube™ video of the film clip that featured Roy and Trigger welcoming us to the “meeting.”  I didn’t remember that Roy actually dismounted and had us join him in the Cowboy Prayer:

      Lord, I reckon I’m not much just by myself,
I fail to do a lot of things I ought to do.
     But Lord, when trails are steep and passes high,
Help me ride it straight the whole way through.

     And when in the falling dusk I get that final call,
I do not care how many flowers they send,
     Above all else, the happiest trail would be,
For You to say to me, “Let’s ride, My Friend.”

 Club “meetings” were held in the Warwick Theater on the corner of 34th

Roy Rogers and Trigger

Street and Washington Avenue in Newport News, Va. I was reminded by Brother Harry that John Bateman, the theater manager, was probably the on-stage rah-rah guy. He appeared stage left to preside when the Roy clip ended. Events brought kids on stage to answer questions; to react to funny skits and challenges, but take home movie passes and other prizes donated by downtown sponsors.

 Harry noted that Mr. Bateman was his P.O.N.Y League baseball coach. I enjoyed tagging along for the games. The field was opposite 72nd Street/Jefferson Avenue and adjacent to the C&O Railroad tracks.

John Bateman Sr.

Being in the theater was a treat for me because I wasn’t able to attend often. Family obligations were often an impediment on Saturday mornings. To get there, I had to link up with my neighborhood cronies Henry (Pete) Hughes, Robert (Buddy) Helterbran or David Saunders. We would hustle across the 34th Street Bridge and hope to arrive in time for the opening segment.

Being a preacher’s kid (P.K) meant there were lots of rules to follow (aside from the Riders Club admonitions) and sometimes I “made the Cut.” Dad’s Christian zeal included set-in-stone “don’t-evers” like dancing, movies and television.

Curiously, Dad apparently was convinced — perhaps through some revelation in his attic manse — that a more liberal attitude might be tempered by responsible execution of the rules of Christian piety. We wound up being the first family on 33rd Street to have a television, a 16-inch Admiral – but that’s another story.

Dad never commented on my cinematic absences, perhaps looking the other way. After all, I was always at his side for annual camp meetings in Manassas, Va., and his Sunday night services of song and sermon. These provided ample opportunity to atone for straying off the straight and narrow. Dad also remembered his days as a rambunctious pre-teen and cut me a lot of slack.

 So thank you Dad, Roy, Mr. Bateman and my childhood pals. Happy Trails.

 (Contact Norman M. Covert at )

 Guns, Children & Roy

Memories of Adolescent Senior Citizens

By Norman M. Covert 

(Editor’s Note: We offer a “two-fer” with this commentary and the followup article written in answer to readers’ questions about the Roy Rogers Riders Club. We welcome your further comments.) 

Frederick County (Md.) Sheriff Chuck Jenkins won’t be issuing concealed carry gun permits to my neighbors this year – probably never will, as a result of the decision to drop the proposal from the 2011 “courtesy”

Cowboy Norm

legislative package. It wasn’t going to gain traction in Annapolis anyway, considering the statewide implications.  

 The reality of the proposal, though, isn’t lost on those who view the need for Maryland to be a “shall issue” state. Self-defense should be an option considering the huge number of criminals who are armed without anyone’s permission. Their guns come with only the requirement of cash and carry.

 My first guns were faux engraved Colt Peace Maker, single-action revolvers, carried in a double holster rig. It adorned my Roy Rogers cowboy suit. I could get ammo – a roll of caps, at the grocery store after exchanging empty soda bottles for the two cents deposit fee. My neighborhood was filled with desperadoes foraging for bottles.

 Toy stores rarely stock toy guns and outfits in favor of today’s “super heroes,” none of whom use guns – lasers perhaps, but not GUNS. That would be a dangerous example to set for our innocent children.

 Roy Rogers, King of the Cowboys and Silver Screen, exists now as a purveyor of roast beef sandwiches and fried chicken; Dale Evans and Trigger, “Smartest Horse in the Movies,” remain as memories of adolescent senior citizens and the growing population of Western Cowboy aficionados.

 My pals and I could escape to the movie theater “over town,” where we were card-carrying members of the Roy Rogers Riders’ Club. Excited kids took part in on-stage games, entertainment and prizes. Then came a couple of gripping movie serials to get us ready for the “feature attraction” starring such Western heroes as Roy, Gene Autry, Wild Bill Elliot, Rex Allen, Bob Steele – the stable was full of stars.

 The feature unfailingly showed a posse chasing bad guys, guns firing at will with a seemingly endless supply of ammunition. Horses never tired; good guys wore white hats, the bad guys wore black. The Western Channel rates these movies usually as “mild violence.”

 Nostalgia for the innocence of youthful fire fights is offset by the heartbreaking reality that today’s children grow up far sooner than they should. They are bombarded with multi-media broadcasts of real guns, violence and blood.

 Children in low income neighborhoods are beset by thugs of all ages, brandishing weapons that often kill innocent bystanders as well as street rivals. These drug dealers and assorted small-time criminals play a deadly game. Their arsenals include assault rifles and urban machine guns, often a step ahead of police procurement.

 Frederick is just as likely to have illegal gun violence as Baltimore, Prince Georges County, Md., or Washington, D.C. Random neighborhood shooting incidents in recent days have caused property damage, thankfully no deaths or injuries. It is probably a given that the guns were illegally obtained.

 The demand for pistols and rifles, whether for recreation, hunting or self defense has not relented among the law-abiding populace. One dealer said whenever there is an inkling of more gun ownership restriction, the public increases its demand for both firearms and ammunition.

 My first experience firing a real gun was at Camp Skimino, Va., where Boy Scout instructors introduced me to shooting and safety with a .22 cal. single-shot rifle. My country cousins dubbed me “Deadeye” for my display of erring accuracy while joining them on hunting safaris in the Virginia foothills of Orange County.

My first gun was purchased in 1962 from the WOOLCO discount store in Hampton, Va.. The 1933 model military surplus 6.5 mm Italian Mannlicher-Carcano rifle was inexpensive and was dubbed the “firein-shpittin-loud-n-boomer.”

The Mannlicher-Carcano rifle was used in several iterations during World War II and later was weapon of choice for President John F. Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

Those of us who co-exist safely with firearms share our joy of shooting with other law-abiding citizens and continue to be in the majority, albeit not by much in the halls of Congress or the Maryland State House. We must encourage and support legislators who understand the Second Amendment to the Constitution and, as much as anything, the threat we face from armed criminals.

Contact Norman Covert at

(This article was published in its original form on Jan. 26, 2011 and is reprinted with permission of The Octopus™ LLC and the author.)  

   Thank you so much, Harry and Norm!

  From Judy Phillips Allen ('66) of VA - 02/09/11 - "pictures for you":

I just want to share a "good morning" picture from my back door.  This is Riverside Baptist Church on River Road.
(Yes, I am at home with a sore throat & ears, runny nose and lots of coughing and sneezing.) 

 - brand new page!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Here is a sunset from the front (deck)...Leeward Marina and the James River Bridge.  I'm going back to bed now.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

     How you were able to take these lovely images - let alone process them - when you were ill, I've no idea, but thank you so much, Dearest Judy! Do get well soon!

  From Norris Perry (Warwick HS - '59) of VA - 02/09/11 - "politics correct is killing us":

A friend sent this to me. I hope that you see the irony as he does. What do we do about it? Who will lead us out of this conundrum?

   Sigh. I just do not know... Thanks, Norris Sweetie!

      From My Husband, Paul Harty (Bardolph HS, IL - '61) of IL AND      From Jerry ('65) and    Judy Phillips ('66) Allen of VA - 02/08/11 - "SNUGGLING ON THE BEACH":

If you love animals, you will love this. - SNUGGLING ON THE BEACH

   Thanks so much, Sweetie-Pies!

    From Glenn Dye ('60) of TX - 02/09/11 - " Dog 'understood' master's death":

"The average dog is a nicer person than the average person." 
- Andy Rooney

For all who love dogs

   Thank you so much, Glenn!

  From Norris Perry (Warwick HS - '59) of VA - 02/08/11 - "A Real Woman":

A Real Woman

A real woman is a man's best friend. She will never stand him up and never let him down. She will reassure him when he feels insecure and comfort him after a bad day. She will inspire him to do things he never thought he could do; to live without fear and forget regret. She will enable him to express his deepest emotions and give in to his most intimate desires. She will make sure he always feels as though he's the most handsome man in the room and will enable him to be the most confident, sexy, seductive and invincible...

No wait... Sorry..... I'm thinking of Scotch. It's Scotch that does all that crap. Never mind.

     Thanks again, Norris Sweetie!

      From Wayne Stokes ('65) of VA - 02/09/11 - "A New Snow Plow for you guys":


  Bill Hobbs ('66 - of Northern VA) sent this my way and I couldn't help thinking of my old fraternity brother Phil (Hammond - '64 - of UT); always knee deep in snow and beginning to feel the tug of the years. Maybe this will help?


Here is a New Snow Plow for you old guys


     Thanks, Wayne Honey!




The young mother skeptically examined a new educational toy. "Isn't it rather complicated for a small boy?" she asked the salesclerk.

"It's designed to teach the child how to live in today's world, madam," the shop clerk replied. "Any way he tries to put it together is wrong."

1. Thursday, March 3, 2011 - The NNHS Class of 1955 holds Lunch Bunch gatherings on the first Thursday of every month at Steve & John's Steak House on Jefferson Avenue just above Denbigh Boulevard in Newport News at 11:00 AM. The luncheon is not limited to just the Class of '55; if you have friends in that year, go visit with them.

2 . Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - The NNHS Class of June 1942 meets at noon on the second Wednesday of every other month for a Dutch treat lunch at the James River Country Club, 1500 Country Club Road. PLEASE JOIN THEM. Give or take a few years makes no difference. Good conversation, food and atmosphere. For details, call Jennings Bryan at 803-7701 for reservations.

3. Saturday, April 30, 2011 - The NNHS Class will have a Luncheon. Team Leaders are Mickey Marcella ( - 757-249-3800), Betty Hamby Neher ( - 757-898-5099), and Dr. Harry Simpson ( - 804-694-0346). - CLASS OF 1954

4. Saturday, July 9, 2011 (6:30 PM to 11:30 PM) - The Class of 1971 will hold its 40-Year Reunion at Newport News Marriott at City Center, 740 Town Center Drive, Newport News. For details, contact Richard Rawls at - CLASS OF 1971

5. Saturday, August 20, 2011 - The Class of 1966 will hold its 45-Year Reunion at the Warwick Yacht Club, Newport News.  Further details will be available soon from Dee Hodges Bartram at - CLASS OF 1966

PRAYER ROLL : - updated 12/30/10

BLOG: - updated 10/21/10

  Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER!  We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                           Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty

   To donate, click on the Donate Button on the left, or just mail it directly to my home (address available upon request). Thanks!

Rocky Raccoon

Written primarily by Paul McCartney (b. 18 June 1942)

Recorded by The Beatles, 1968

Now somewhere in the black mining hills of Dakota
There lived a young boy named Rocky Raccoon
And one day his woman ran off with another guy
Hit young Rocky in the eye Rocky didn't like that
He said I'm gonna get that boy
So one day he walked into town
Booked himself a room in the local saloon.

Rocky Raccoon checked into his room
Only to find Gideon's Bible
Rocky had come equipped with a gun
To shoot off the legs of his rival
His rival it seems had broken his dreams
By stealing the girl of his fancy.
Her name was Magil and she called herself Lil
But everyone knew her as Nancy.
Now she and her man who called himself Dan
Were in the next room at the hoedown
Rocky burst in and grinning a grin
He said Danny boy this is a showdown
But Daniel was hot-he drew first and shot
And Rocky collapsed in the corner.

The doctor came in stinking of gin
And proceeded to lie on the table
He said Rocky you met your match
And Rocky said, Doc, it's only a scratch
And I'll be better, I'll be better, Doc, as soon as I am able.

Now Rocky Raccoon he fell back in his room
Only to find Gideon's Bible
Gideon checked out and he left it no doubt
To help with good Rocky's revival.

"Rocky Raccoon" midi courtesy of - 02/10/11

"Rocky Raccoon" lyrics courtesy
of - 02/10/11

Image of Rocky Raccoon courtesy
of - 02/10/11

Gold Rope Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 05/26/07

Animated Tiny Birthday Cake clip art courtesy of Sarah Puckett Kressaty ('65) of VA - 08/31/05
Thanks, Sarah Sugah!

Army Seal clip art courtesy of Al Farber ('64) of GA - 05/24/06 (still missing...)
Thanks, Al!
Replaced by Norm Covert ('61) of MD - 02/09/09
Thanks, Norm!

Animated Coast Guard Flag clip art courtesy of - 06/18/03

Animated Pulsing Heart courtesy of - 02/12/05 (re-saved 02/13/09)

Marine Corps Seal clip art courtesy of the late Herbert Hice of MI - one of my Famous Marines who fought in WWII
Thanks again, Herbie!

Booker T. Washington logo courtesy of - 09/25/07

Navy Seal clip art courtesy of - 05/29/06

Animated Laughing Frog courtesy of Joyce Lawrence Cahoon of VA - 05/31/08
Thanks, Joyce!

Animated Laughing Jerry courtesy of Cookie Phillips Tyndall ('64) of VA - 06/14/06
Thanks, Cookie!

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