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04/08/11 - NNHS Newsletter -
This Nearly Was Mine

“For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: 'It might have been.'”

- John Greenleaf Whittier
(17 Dec 1807 - 07 Sept 1892)

Dear Friends and Schoolmates, 

   It's time again for one of my favorite songs.  

BONUS #1 - - This Nearly Was Mine - South Pacific (1958) - acted by Rossano Brazzi; sung by Giorgio Tozzi

BONUS #2 - - This Nearly Was Mine - José Carreras

BONUS #3 - - This Nearly Was Mine - Howard Keel

BONUS #4 - - This Nearly Was Mine - Paolo Szot

BONUS #5 - - This Nearly Was Mine - Frank Sinatra, 1963 - my fave!


South Pacific is a 1949 musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Hammerstein and Joshua Logan. The story draws from James A. Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 book Tales of the South Pacific, weaving together characters and elements from several of its stories into a single plotline. The musical won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1950. The issue of racial prejudice was sensitively and candidly explored at a time when few musicals engaged in serious social commentary.

South Pacific is considered by some to be one of the greatest Broadway musicals.[1][2] Several of its songs, including "Bali Ha'i", "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair", "Some Enchanted Evening", "Happy Talk", "Younger than Springtime", and "I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy", have become worldwide standards. The Broadway production was nominated for and won ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Libretto. It is the only musical production ever to have won all four Tony Awards for acting. The show was a critical and box office hit and has since enjoyed many successful revivals and tours and spawned a 1958 film and other adaptations...


South Pacific is a 1958 film adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific, and based on James A. Michener's Tales of the South Pacific. The film was directed by Joshua Logan and starred Rossano Brazzi, Mitzi Gaynor, John Kerr and Ray Walston in the leading roles with Juanita Hall as Bloody Mary, the part that she had played in the original stage production...

Metropolitan Opera star Giorgio Tozzi provided the singing voice for the role of Emile de Becque in the film...


From Casagrande Nevio of Italy - 04/07/11 - "historic research":

Dear Sir/Madam,

My name is Casagrande Nevio and I'm an Italian historian. I'm writing a book about the soldiers who fought in Italy during the WWII and left US from Newport News. I'm looking for every information regarding embarkation activities of that period.

Do you hold this information? Otherwise can you suggest me where I can find the info I'm looking for?

Via Nove Alto, 106

   WOWZERS! Unfortunately, I personally have no such knowledge, Casagrande, but I'm sending your request along to the four men who in my opinion are most likely to be able to help you, and I will also include your request in today's Newsletter, which is sent to over 650 people.

   Best wishes in your endeavors!

       From Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 04/08/11, 9:28 AM - "RE: historic research":

I would think that your best source of information would be the two volume set titled, “The Road To Victory: A History of Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation in World War II”.

After some research, I found them available here:

   EXCELLENT! Thank you so much, Captain!


     Happy Birthday tomorrow to    Denise Roane (Hampton HS - '71) of VA!

     Happy Birthday this week to:

10 -      Dale Parsons, Sr. (June '48) of VA AND    Skip Wood ('65) of NC;

11 -     Brownie Shaffer Haracivet ('62) of VA AND   Susan Avent Hill ('66) of VA AND    Kathy Cooper ('70) of VA;

12 -   Harvey Weinstein ('57) AND  Richard Rawls ('71) of VA;

13 -   Gil Hughes ('64)!;

14 -   Linda DeShazo Hatchett (’65) of VA;

15 -      George Helliesen ('61) of MI!

   Many Happy Returns to You All!


Saturday, April 8, 1865

Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was endeavoring to get to its next goal, Lynchburg Va. This required them to pass the area of Appomattox. Close behind them were the Army of the Potomac, under Meade, with commanding Gen. Grant in accompaniment. In front of them was a large force of Union cavalry under Phil Sheridan, who were already in possession of the railroad to Lynchburg and was capturing every supply train. Lee responded to Grant’s letter today, declining to surrender but offering a truce.

From Gary Fitzgerald ('61) of VA - 04/07/11, 6:29 AM - "Reunion":


I didn't mean to leave out my phone number for persons to contact me concerning 61 reunion, so if you would include I would appreciate it.

Thanks Gary Fitzgerald @ 757-879-2847 or  Have a nice day.

   OOOPS! Thanks, Gary - I've posted it now!

    From Ray Barnes ('65) of VA - 04/07/11, 4:26 PM - "goin' to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come":

Hey Carol,

When a Man Loves A Woman. One of my all time favorite slow dance songs. Thanks.

Mucho gracias for installing me in the famous airmen with
    Marcus (Higgins - '65 - of AZ). I remember Marcus very well from our days at NNHS.

Anyhow, I didn't send you a recent photo, or a photo of me in uniform, I'm ashamed to say, because I don't know how to do that. I think Darnell knows how. Maybe she will help me.

I don't remember telling you that I was born in Kansas City, but maybe I did. I was born in Statesville, N.C. and moved to K.C., Missouri when I was about seven. We moved to Newport News after the eighth grade and I attended NNHS from grades nine through twelve.

I remember Mrs. Graves very well. I had her for Algebra one, two and three. My first class with her was memorable because I was in there with a bunch of A.P. kids. They were all brainiacs. I recall how she loathed gum chewers. I remember Mrs. Graves pushing her glasses up on her brow to read the solutions on the blackboard. I always thought that she had eyes in the back of her head and that's how she caught the gum chewers. At the time, I remember thinking that she must have been at least 85 or 90 years old. For all her quirkiness, she was a good teacher.

Does anyone else remember Mr. Lyeth? He was NNHS's one and only drafting teacher. His classes were male only then...

Okay, that's it for me, later,


    I'm glad you liked yesterday's theme song, Ray; it's a great one!

   Thanks for your memories! I posted then on the respective Teacher pages:

  From Judy Phillips Allen ('66) of VA - 04/07/11, 5:09 PM - "Mrs. Graves":

Hi, Carol and everyone!
I just got home from a day with     Monty (Phillips - '62 - of VA).  He is not doing well at all, but always answers the same..."hanging in there".  He really is hanging in there. 
I check for the NNHS Newsletters to wind down and catch a few smiles and/or laughs.  Typhoons are great, you know. I have to tell you what a neat thing     Norm Covert ('61 - of MD) did.  He passed on his T-shirt from when he was so "medically challenged" and now it is in Monty's living room near his bed where all who enter can enjoy a chuckle.  It says "4 OUT OF 5 DOCTORS PREFER ME".  He has been a model patient.  I have to agree.  He is fighting valiantly, but he is so weak.  Please keep him in your prayers as well as Jerry who spends every night with him and works full time still.  Just the drive to Norfolk daily is tiring him, but many nights, he is up several times with Monty.
I read today that     Glenn Dye ('60 - of TX) asked who was in Mrs. Graves' math class.      Jerry (Allen - 65 - of VA) and I both had Algebra II with her. That's where we were when JFK's assassination was announced.  Someone came up to our classroom window and told us about it first.  We thought it a joke at first. I remember, too, that the play JENNY KISSED ME was to be performed and, after debate and discussion, went on as scheduled to keep things as normal as possible for us.
I hope everything is going well with        Adrienne (Harty - Hillsboro HS, IL / American School, IL - of IL).
God bless you all!

   Dearest Judy, your cheerful notes are always uplifting, even when your news is not always happy! Kiss your darling brother and husband for us, give them our love, and grab some for yourself!  

   I posted your remarks on Mrs. Graves' page and on the Kennedy assassination page, and referenced the Prayer Roll as well:

   Adrienne is doing much better now, and thanks you for your caring concern - as do I!

      From Harry Covert ('57) of MD - 04/07/11 - "The Covert Letter":


Posted: 06 Apr 2011 09:15 AM PDT

Norm’s first step as a publishing entrepreneur was creating a newsletter for his church in 1955. It folded after two issues, a victim of a World War II military surplus mimeograph. It required more patience and skill than the 12-year-old possessed. He didn’t lose his love of the medium. Sixty-seven years later he can boast knowledge of “WYSIWYG,” using Apple/Macintosh or the current Gateway Windows XP driven computer.

Norman Covert

Aside from a stint in the Newport News Shipyard, Norm has been a reporter, writer, editor, and columnist his entire career. At Newport News High School (Class of ’61) he wrote “Covert’s Corner,” a sports column in “The Beacon.” His style was patterned after the staccato banter of the now defunct New York Mirror, one of Gotham’s storied tabloids. He learned, “Get it first, get it right, get it out!”

He was elevated from copy boy for the Newport News (Va.) Daily Press in 1964 to cub reporter in the Williamsburg Bureau. He was reassigned to the sports staff in the main office after several months. Following his return from active duty with the U. S. Army in 1969, he was appointed military affairs editor covering the multi-service commands in Hampton Roads. He joined U. S. Army Recruiting Command in 1971 as editor of the monthly U. S. Army Recruiting and Career Counseling Journal. He then managed the Service Schools’ Periodicals Program for Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Va. He became chief of public affairs and command historian at Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md. in October 1977, retiring in May 1999.

Norm has written extensively for professional and commercial publications and lectured on the subject of biological warfare and U. S. Military history. He chronicled the origins and growth of the U.S. Biological Warfare program for the Monterey Institute of International Affairs’ Encyclopedia of Bioterrorism Defense, published in June 2005. 

Among his books are: Cutting Edge, a history of Fort Detrick (fourth printing); Tree of Life, a 400-year family history; he contributed and helped produce The Covert Family; and several historical commemoratives.  He has been a columnist since 2001 for, a news and commentary website published in Frederick, Maryland, and joined  in January 2011.

Norm has appeared as subject matter expert in commercial and public broadcasting multi-media productions.  He is active in fraternal, civic, youth and patriotic organizations including: Rotary International, Boy Scouts of America (BSA), Society of the 40/8, The American Legion, 29th Division Association, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) and National Rifle Association (NRA).

He has completed numerous professional education courses and seminars. He attended Christopher Newport College, Newport News and in 1980 completed the professional development curriculum at the Graduate School of Journalism, University of South Carolina, Columbia.

He and his family live in The City of Frederick. 


Posted: 06 Apr 2011 08:32 AM PDT

Norman Covert

The Covert Letter will have a new look in the next few days as Harry Covert and Norman Covert switch chairs at the cyber helm, as it were. Norman is assuming the role of senior editor/publisher and you will see that reflected in the home page modifications.

Harry expects to remain faithful to his friends and readers, choosing the opportunity to be an editor at large. This will give flexibility in his input and more time for his humanitarian work.

Harry Covert

We hope you will continue to meet with us in this exciting medium and offer your advice on making it more responsive to you. We also welcome your comments and certainly will consider publishing your ruminations.

Contact Harry at , Norm at or at the new site address:

The Covert Letter, c/o 627 Grant Place, Frederick, MD 21702-4143.

   WOWZERS! Thank you, Harry and Norm - and best wishes in your new callings!

    From Joan Lauterbach Krause ('60) of VA - 04/07/11 - "What if God Had Voice Mail":

What if God Had Voice Mail

We have all learned to live with "voice mail" as a necessary part of modern life. But have you wondered what would happen if God decided to install voice mail? Imagine praying and hearing this:

Thank you for calling My Father's House. Please select one of the following options:

Press 1 for Requests
Press 2 for Thanksgiving
Press 3 for Complaints
Press 4 for All Other Inquiries.

I'm sorry, all of our angels are busy helping other sinners right now. However, your prayer is important to us and will be answered in the order it was received, so please stay on the line.

If you would like to speak to:

God, Press 1
Jesus, Press 2
The Holy Spirit, Press 3.

If you would like to hear King David sing a psalm while you are holding, please press 4.

To find out if a loved one has been assigned to Heaven, Press 5, enter his or her social security number, and then press the pound key. (If you get a negative response, try area code 666.)

For reservations at "My Father's House," please enter J-O-H-N followed by 3-1-6. For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs, the age of the earth, and where Noah's ark is, please wait until you arrive here.

Our computers show that you have already prayed once today. Please hang up and try again tomorrow. This office is closed for the weekend to observe a religious holiday. Please pray again Monday after 9:30 AM. If you need emergency assistance when this office is closed, contact your local pastor.

Thank God He doesn't have voice mail and that He listens when we pray!

   AMEN! Thanks, Joan!

    From Jerry ('65) and    Judy Phillips ('66) Allen of VA - 04/07/11 - "YouTube - Goose Named Maria.avi":

Something to make you smile.

YouTube - Goose Named Maria.avi

   OH, WOW! Thanks, Sweetie-Pies! I think I must agree with Katie - that is one strange story!

      From My Niece, Shari, of VA - 04/07/11 - "Jokes -N- Inspirations":



As a new paratrooper, I was struck by all the T-shirts on base emblazoned with the motto "Death from above!" Later I noticed a submariner with a T-shirt that declared "Death from below!"

Then, standing in line for chow one day, I was served by an Army cook. His T-shirt had a skull with a crossed fork and spoon underneath and yet another warning: "Death from within!"


"Scientists say they have located the gene that causes obesity. Yeah. His name is Gene Millman and he invented Krispy Kreme douighnuts."

- Conan O'Brien


Another man and I share a locker at work. Noticing that it needed a new combination lock, my partner said he would pick one up on his way to work the next day. It occurred to me later that I might not see him in the morning. How would I find out the combination? I needn't have worried.

When I arrived at work I found that he had used the locker before me and had left a note reading: "To find the first number subtract 142 from your high score the last time we went bowling. The second number is 16 less than that. To find the third number subtract 1.87 from the amount you owe me."


My wife-to-be and I were at the county clerk's office to get our marriage license. After recording the vital information; names, dates of birth, etc. the clerk handed me our license and deadpanned, "No refunds, no exchanges, no warranties."


"A new study found that our happiness peaks in our late 80s. Mainly because all the people who annoyed you are dead by then."

- Jimmy Fallon


Good Quote

"Make yourself necessary to somebody."

~Ralph Waldo Emerson~


A Sunbather

It was an early Spring morning. The sun was out but the chill of Winter past was still fighting against the warmth of Spring. I was driving down a quiet country lane and heading home after running some errands. As I was rounding a curve I saw a rock up ahead in the middle of the road. As I slowed to go around it, I noticed too that it had a head and was staring up at me. It was a turtle who had decided to warm up by sunbathing on the asphalt.

I pulled over to the side of the road and picked up the sunbather. I knew if I moved the turtle off to the side of the road he would just crawl back to the warmer spot as soon as I left. Not knowing what else to do then I carried him to my car and placed him on the passenger seat. As I drove home I would glance over every so often and see the distrusting eyes glaring back at me from within his shell. I tried to comfort him with a few gentle words, but they had no effect.

When I finally made it home I picked up the sunbather again and headed to the woods behind my house. After looking around a bit I saw a clear spot where the sun was shining down on a single rock. I gently placed the turtle down on it and took a few steps back. A few minutes later the head slowly emerged and started soaking up the sun once more. I smiled and headed back to my house. My simple act of kindness may not have seemed like much in the eyes of the world, but it made a difference in the life of one turtle and in the heart of one man.

Most of us go through our lives wanting to make some big difference in this world. In the eyes of Heaven, however, any kind act no matter how small makes a difference. God loves you and He only wants you to do what you can, with what you have, whenever you get a chance. We help God the most too not with some big act of courage but rather with a thousand little acts of love. Remember this then the next time you see a person or a turtle needing a helping hand.

~ Joseph J. Mazzella ~

You can get Joseph Mazzella's book, "WALKING THE PATH OF LOVE," at

[ by: Joseph J. Mazzella Copyright © 2011 ( -- {used with permission} ]


He Loved

I stared at the blank page nervously. The school assignment was to write your own obituary but how was I supposed to write a summation of my life when I hadn’t even lived it yet? I looked to my left and right and saw people pouring paragraphs out of their pens. I tried to think of what I wanted to accomplish in my life but my crazily racing thoughts crashed into each other. I glanced back at my clean sheet of paper and my writer’s block intensified. I tried to imagine the man I wanted to become but couldn’t see him clearly. Looking up at the clock on the wall I saw that there were only fifteen minutes left in class. Finally, in a panic I scribbled down a few sentences of what I hoped someday to do and turned it in. Let’s just say when I got the paper back it wasn’t the highest grade I had ever gotten.

If I had that assignment to do over today, however, I think that my obituary would be even shorter. It would probably get me an F on the assignment, but it would get me an A in life. In fact, I would sum it up in two words: He Loved. To love is what I want to do today, tomorrow, and for the rest of my life. To love is what living is all about. The rest is just details.

Everything about living well and good and right is wrapped up in the arms of love. To love is to serve, to give, to be kind, and to help others. To love is to have joy and to bring joy as well. To love is to make this world a better place just by being in it. To love is to create a little Heaven everyday while still here on Earth. To love is to be the wonderful child, caring parent, tender spouse, fantastic friend, and beautiful person that you have always wanted to be. To love is to become the bright, shining soul that God meant for you to become.

Fill your days with love then and you will have truly lived. Fill yourself with love and you will be the best possible you. Fill your life with love and your obituary will take care of itself.

~ Joseph J. Mazzella ~

You can get Joseph Mazzella's book, "WALKING THE PATH OF LOVE," at

[ by: Joseph J. Mazzella Copyright © 2011 ( -- {used with permission} ]

Thanks, Shari!  I assigned myself the task of writing my own obituary.  It's essentially finished, but fortunately I also have a shortened version: "Pore thang, she tried!"



Goony Bird:

After many years of marriage, a husband had turned into a couch potato, became completely inattentive to his wife and sat guzzling beer and watching TV all day. The wife was dismayed because no matter what she did to attract the husband's attention, he'd just shrug her off with some bored comment. This went on for many months and the wife was going crazy with boredom. Then one day at a pet store, the wife saw this big, ugly, snorting bird with a hairy chest, powerful hairy forearms, beady eyes and dribble running down the side of its mouth.

The shopkeeper, observing her fascination with the bird, told her it was a special imported "Goony bird" and it had a very peculiar trait. To demonstrate, he exclaimed, "Goony bird! The table!" Immediately, the Goony bird flew off its perch and with single-minded fury attacked the table and smashed it into a hundred little pieces with its powerful forearms and claws! To demonstrate some more, the shopkeeper said, "Goony bird! The shelf!" Again the Goony bird turned to the shelf and demolished it in seconds.

"Wow!" said the wife, "If this doesn't attract my husband's attention, nothing will!"

So she bought the bird and took it home. When she entered the house, the husband was, as usual, sprawled on the sofa guzzling beer and watching the game. "Honey!" she exclaimed, "I've got a surprise for you! A Goony bird!"

The husband, in his usual bored tone replied, "Goony Bird, my foot!"


1. 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.

2. 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

3. Thursday, May 5, 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.

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

6. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 26, 27, and 28, 2011 - The Class of 1961 will hold its 50-Year Reunion. - For details, contact Gary Fitzgerald at or 757-879-2847 - CLASS OF 1961

PRAYER ROLL : - updated 04/08/11

BLOG: - updated 03/13/11

   Y'all take 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 to my home. Thanks!


This Nearly Was Mine

Music by Richard Rodgers
(28 June 1902 - 30 Dec 1979)

Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
(12 July 1895 - 23 Aug 1960)

From South Pacific, 1949

One dream in my heart,
One love to be livin' for,
One love to be livin' for
This nearly was mine.

One girl for my dream,
One partner in paradise,
This promise of paradise
This nearly was mine.

Close to my heart she came
Only to fly away,
Only to fly as day flies from moonlight
Now, now I'm alone,
Still dreamin' of paradise,
Still sayin' that paradise
Once nearly was mine.

I'll keep rememberin' kisses
From lips I've never owned,
And all that lovely adventures
That we have never known.

One dream in my heart,
One love to be livin' for,
One love to be livin' for
This nearly was mine.

Close to my heart she came
Only to fly away,
Only to fly as day flies from moonlight.

Now, now I'm alone,
Still a-dreamin' of paradise,
Still sayin' that paradise
Once nearly was mine!

"This Nearly Was Mine" midi courtesy of - 04/07/09

"This Nearly Was Mine" lyrics courtesy of - 04/08/09

Pink Roses Bouquet clip art courtesy of - 04/04/05

Pink Rose Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 04/04/05

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

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

Hampton High School's Crab clip art courtesy of - 10/02/05 (still missing...)
Replaced courtesy of - 02/17/09

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

Air Force Seal clip art courtesy of - 07/07/06

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!

Hillsboro High School's Topper (Band Version) clip art courtesy of - 06/07/08
Thanks, Mark!

American School Logo courtesy of - 09/05/06

Animated Kissing Smiley clip art courtesy of my friend, Judy Bundy Bowermaster (Litchfield HS, IL - '59), of IL - 09/19/08
Thanks, Judy!

Back to NNHS Newsletters - 2011

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