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11/18/11 - NNHS Newsletter - William Gilbert's 175th Birthday

“In the discovery of secret things and in the investigation of hidden causes,
stronger reasons are obtained from sure experiments and demonstrated
arguments than from probable conjectures and the opinions
of philosophical speculators of the common sort.”

Sir William S. Gilbert
(18 Nov 1836 - 29 May 1911)

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,

   We haven't had a celebrity birthday issue in a long time.

BONUS #1 - - I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General - Central Park's Delacorte Theater

BONUS #2 -  I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General - Sing-Along Version



I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General (often referred to as the Major-General's Song or Modern Major-General's Song) is a patter song from Gilbert and Sullivan's 1879 comic opera The Pirates of Penzance. It is perhaps the most famous song in Gilbert and Sullivan's operas. It is sung by Major-General Stanley at his first entrance, towards the end of Act I. The song satirises the idea of the "modern" educated British Army officer of the latter 19th century. It is one of the most difficult patter songs to perform, due to the fast pace and tongue-twisting nature of the lyrics.

The song is replete with historical and cultural references, in which the Major-General describes his impressive and well-rounded education, but he says that his military knowledge has "only been brought down to the beginning of the century." The stage directions in the libretto state that at the end of each verse the Major-General is "bothered for a rhyme." Interpolated business occurs here, and in each case he finds a rhyme and finishes the verse with a flourish.[1]


Happy Birthday today to   Joe Drewry ('58) of VA AND    Jane Coltrane Leonard ('64) of VA AND   Ann Allen ('65) of NC!

   Happy Birthday this week to:

23 -   Sandra Ray ('61) of VA AND   John Howard ('66) of VA AND Peggy Cooke Wolfley ('71) of VA AND the late Fayetta Covert Stansbury (NNHS / Ferguson HS - '72) (deceased 06/03/10)!

24 -     Sharon Hilsdon Bryant ('68) of VA;

25 -   Donnie Satisky ('56) of OR AND    Michael Sisk ('63) of CA! 

   Many Happy Returns, One and All!



Monday, Nov. 18, 1861

Anyone under the impression that the Confederate States of America enjoyed the wholehearted solidarity and support of its member states and population, should contemplate the events of today. Missouri had been under two governments for months, with the secessionist (but legally elected) governor Claiborne Jackson ruling in exile in Arkansas. Kentucky, which had had a popular vote rejecting secession but declaring neutrality in any combat, was the scene of a “convention” in Russellville, Ky. today. This meeting, held by Confederate soldiers, issued a declaration of secession and formation of a Confederate state government. On the other hand, a group of North Carolinians met in Hatteras today for a similar cause, but they repudiated secession and declared loyalty to the Union. Such chaos in border states was perhaps to be expected...but North Carolina?

Tuesday, Nov. 18, 1862

Another day of maneuver, concentration of forces, and minor skirmishing, rather than full-fledged battle. The two Grand Divisions of the Army of the Potomac continued to make progress towards Falmouth, across the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg, Virginia. The only action here was a small scuffle at Franklin, Va. In the West, the Union and Confederate forces were not far apart, moving around Nashville and Tullahoma in Tennessee. This resulted in minor rucktions at Double Bridge and Rural Hill, Tenn.

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 1863

As a part of the continuing operations along the Louisiana coast, Union gunboats were frequently under fire from Confederate artillery batteries ashore. One such back-and-forth battle took place at Hog Point, along the Mississippi-Louisiana border, today. Combatants were Captain Thomas A. Faries, Confederate States Army, on land, and the officers and men of the USS Choctaw out to sea. Sailing passed the redoubt the Choctaw fired her bow (front), stern (rear) and side guns, enfilading the shore battery. The extent of damage inflicted was not known, as landing parties were not sent ashore. While all this was going on the Choctaw's sister ships, USS Franklin and Carondelet, simply stood by and observed.

Friday, Nov. 18, 1864

The normal procedure for the movement of armies in the Civil War period was to march in lines, usually four men wide. The army would be strung back for miles, with supply wagons trailing towards the end. The army William T. Sherman led out of Atlanta these days completely reversed this procedure. The two wings were strung out at times to a distance of sixty miles from the far left of the Left Wing to the far right of the Right Wing. As to the supply wagons--there weren’t any, except for those carrying ammunition and a modicum of medical supplies. The supplies were being furnished, at gunpoint if necessary, by the residents of the area being swept. The only opponent available was Gen. Howell Cobb in Macon, Ga. He received a telegram from Jefferson Davis today imploring him to use any means necessary to resist Sherman, including employing slaves to build roadblocks.

  From Peggy Sue Johnson Ritger Janke ('60) of OH - 11/17/11 - "NNHS Class of February 1939":

Hi Carol!

One of your posts today mentioned the NNHS class of Feb 1939. My mother,   Lorraine Grace Cornevin and her aunt, Katharine Beatrice Beaubian were both members of that class.

Aunt Katharine Beaubian Shupe died in Oct. 2001. She had one son, David Paul Shupe who graduated from Warwick in '64 or '65. I've lost touch with David, but I believe he lives in the Richmond area.

My mother, Lorraine Cornevin Johnson Rogers is now 91 years old. She lives at the Hidenwood in Newport News and has a boyfriend who turned 100 in July.

When I was growing up my mother was always talking about
    Ava Gardner (24 Dec 1922 - 25 Jan 1990) and going to school with her. I never took the time to verify the story...but your posting today confirms that they were in the same class.

Peggy Sue Johnson Ritger Janke........soon to be back to Peggy Sue Johnson after 49 years.

   Thank you so much, Peggy Sue! Your story was so nifty on so many levels! It's always good to learn that our mamas were right all along! She sounds like a very interesting (and beautiful!) woman!

   And because we're in the business of reconnecting people, I'm sending you your cousin David's address and phone number in Chesterfield (which I found on so you can give him a call or drop him a line.

   I also located this:

Katharine B. Shupe

RICHMOND — Mrs. Katharine B. Shupe, 83, died Sunday, Oct. 14, 2001, after a short illness.

She was a native of Richmond and was a former Peninsula resident for over 50 years.

Mrs. Shupe was formerly active in Tabernacle Baptist Church.

She was preceded in death by her husband of over 50 years, Paul Shupe.

Survivors include her son, David P. Shupe of Chesterfield; her sister, Virginia B. White of Newport News; two grandchildren, David Paul Shupe Jr. of Allentown, Pa., and Carl S. Shupe of York County; one stepgrandchild, Michael R. Crisp of Chesterfield County; and three great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held 11 a.m. today at Tabernacle Baptist Church by Dr. Fred King. Burial will follow in Peninsula Memorial Park.

Arrangements are by Peninsula Funeral Home.

Published in Daily Press on October 19, 2001.

      From My Sister, Eleanor Buckley Nowitzky ('59) of NC - 11/17/11 - "Watch the pictures in the link attached":

   Hey! That looks a LOT like your grandson, Pier Dick, Eleanor!  I suppose there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for that...

   Thanks, Lady! Go, Pier!

From John Patterson ('59) of TN - 11/17/11 - "Special Snow Plow Design":

With winter just around the corner, I've come up with a really neat invention that should become a good seller in a retirement community such as ours and would be useful for any senior citizen (not that I think you're getting old).

I can build you one of these special snow plows for just $49.99 each (some assembly required) - - please view the attached photo and let me know how many you want. I would appreciate your order by the end of this month.
Also, please let me know of any improvements you can think of and let me have your feedback on this design.

Don't wait - - I think these will go fast!


     Just what I need! No, wait a minute - I'm not going out in that snow! Me heap big chicken!


   Thanks, John! Best wishes with your great new invention for the adventurous among us!

From My Friend Emily of NC - 11/17/11 - "FRIEND":

Today someone  asked me  if I liked  you.
laughed, and  I said, "Ha!  That's funny!!
  I freakin' LOVE  that chick!!  She's funny, caring, crazy as heck, sweet, beautiful, she loves God, and her family, she’s reading this email  right now  & I love her!!"
Send  this to ten ladies you love!! &  I better  be one!!!!

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says~~
"Oh no, She's up!"
Thank you, Miss Emily! I love you, too - and we just sent this to over 650 people - a great many of whom are women!


Susannah's Fabulous Sweet Potato Casserole:

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 C cooked mashed sweet potatoes
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 C butter
1 C sugar
½ tsp salt
1 C milk
1 tsp vanilla

1/3 C butter
1/3 C flour
1 C brown sugar
1 C chopped pecans

Melt butter in microwave. In a large bowl, mix together sweet potatoes, butter, eggs, sugar, salt, milk, and
vanilla. Place in a 9 X 13 in pan. Bake at 350* F for 35 minutes.

Crumble topping ingredients together and sprinkle all over sweet potatoes. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.

                                                                                                                          ~ Susannah Butikofer

      My Daddy's (the late Robert Buckley - John Marshall HS - '25) (19 Oct 1907 - 25 Apr 1960) Spoon Bread (in His Own Handwriting!):

Martha Stewart's Cornbread, Leek, and Pecan Stuffing:

From - 11/17/11 - "Paying it Forward! Blessing Others with Your Abundance!":

Dear FlyLady,

Today my dear daughter told me about a gift exchange between her and her boyfriend that had me in tears. They are both out of school and working. One of their friends is married, attending college (will graduate in May), working part time to try to make ends meet and has a young child It has been a very difficult year financially and emotionally and the Christmas budget is slim.

My dear daughter and her boyfriend have decided not to exchange gifts with each other and will instead shop for their friend's daughter. My dear daughter said she remembers when she was little and I was sick and friends came to our rescue. Now she can do the same for someone else. Our babies are always watching and listening and learning. Thank goodness she had some wonderful examples of love and caring.

I am so proud of her.
Flying with grace

From - 11/14/11 - "4 Steps to Boost Communication":

4 Steps to Improve Communication with Your Family

By George Harris

Communication is one of the most important aspects of our lives that, ironically, many of us pay the least attention to. Regretfully, the main reason is that many of us have never been taught how to communicate in a way that benefits us and the person we are communicating with.

From the moment we wake up in the morning until we go to bed, we are communicating, first with family, then with coworkers, neighbors, friends, and so on.

We communicate either verbally, through our spoken words, or nonverbally, through eye contact, body language, and touch as well as through our thoughts, feelings, and passions. It has been estimated that only about 20 percent of our communication is verbal, and the rest is nonverbal. It is important, then, to pay attention to all the nonverbal clues we express to people as they speak more than the words we say.

For example, most people can remember when they were children and "the look" their parents gave them that expressed much more than words would.

Imagine if our communication with our spouses was clearer so that we knew how to express our feelings and ask for what we wanted--and we were heard. What if we, as parents, communicated from a place of personal power inside ourselves, expecting our children to listen and cooperate without having to yell?

Through verbal and nonverbal communication we let people know who we are, what we want, and how we feel. Therefore communication is one of the necessary building blocks for creating a solid and successful family environment.

Here are four steps that will enhance communication with your family.

1. Expressing Our Wants and Feelings
We all have wants and feelings. Once upon a time, in our youth, it was all right for us to want, and more so, it was even necessary for us to want. But many of us had parents who told us no, we could not join the big kids in the street, we could not ask for money or play with a certain thing, and that we asked too many questions. So "no, you don't want that" became the mantra of our lives.

How many times did we hear statements such as these: "don't argue with me"; "if you want to cry, I'll give you something to cry about"; and so many others that taught us to stuff our feelings and shut up. No wonder we have a hard time expressing ourselves.

This transfers into our adulthood to our spouses and children. When we do not get what we want, we tend to blame and attack others, causing upset and a belief that relationships are hard. In order to improve our ability to communicate and therefore improve our relationship with our family, we need to understand and release any emotions like anger and resentment and the belief that we are going to upset someone by stating our wants. It is when we release these that we can express our current wants and feelings, and we can then hear the wants and feelings of our spouses and children.

2. Making Others Right
Any time we make negative comments to people about something they are doing or about a feeling or thought they have, we are making them wrong for who they are. This is called projection: the tendency to unconsciously place onto others our own undesirable ideas and impulses.

How can you tell if you are projecting? The easiest way to know is if you are judging. How many times do you judge your spouse or your children for actions they take or feelings they have? No one wants to be ignored, accused, or made wrong. Think of someone right now that you have done this to. What was his or her reaction?

When we project, we think they are undeserving of our love or caring. Truly, the place to start letting go of judgments is within ourselves. The more we release our own judgments about ourselves, the less we project them onto our family members. We can then make them right and see them as important, having value, and being okay for who they are because we have seen that about ourselves.

3. Listening
What does listening have to do with communication? Why is listening so important? Listening allows us to get information, to learn about someone, and to understand another's feelings.

Research has shown that people are listening only 25 percent of the time and that they make up the rest of what they think they hear. Therefore the nonlistener does not learn what there is to know, and the relationship becomes a classic lose-lose situation.

There are many reasons why we do not hear what other people are saying. Some of them include talking too much, being too consumed with our own opinions, thinking we know a lot more about something than the person talking and planning our remarks and actions before the other person finishes.

A good listener gives his or her undivided attention, asks questions without interrupting, does not judge until comprehension is complete, sees things from all points of view, and, especially, exercises the mind.

4. Having Agreements Instead of Expectations
Since we have not learned positive ways to communicate due to holding back our feelings and not asking for what we want, we end up having expectations of others. We feel as if they can read our minds and know what we want without having to express it.

Expectation is defined as "a prospect of future benefit." Because of this desire for a future benefit, we habitually deprive or withhold something desirable from ourselves for some outward goal or the love of someone in our lives. This is referred to as Sacrifice. For example, you think, "I will do this certain thing for my spouse, and when I do, she or he will love me more for it." Another example is thinking "I will pick up my child's toys, and he or she will learn from that and then pick up his or her own toys."

We also have expectations of ourselves based on what we think others want of us, and they become shoulds; examples are "I should be a better parent" or "I should be happy around my spouse all the time."

Because of fears we carry within ourselves about relationships and asking for what we want, we hold these expectations as a desire or a hope, wanting them to come true. We then sacrifice ourselves with these expectations, depriving ourselves of our wants. We become angry and disappointed when they do not come true and then feel guilty for having expressed the anger. In reality, we are angry with ourselves for not speaking up and asking for we want and need.

To resolve this, we need to observe when we run our lives by shoulds or expectations and instead then communicate to others our desires and make agreements with each family member.

Successful family relationships depend on how well we communicate. By using these tools, you will learn how to listen and communicate with each other. You will empower yourself and your family members. And you will create more joy, love, and peace in the family household.

About the Author:

George Harris is a relationship consultant and the owner and facilitator of the Family Living System, which is a system of proven effective tools and techniques to enhance the quality of experiences in all relationships. George teaches parenting and couples' courses as well as giving motivational talks, seminars, and other training programs for families of all kinds, including those at the workplace, offering tools for everyone to learn to Be whom they need to be in creating the relationships they want in their lives. He is committed to sharing his knowledge and vast experience with others who desire more effective and fulfilling relationships. To learn more, please visit his Web site at or e-mail him at

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on "101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life", visit

From - 11/17/11 - "Pay It Forward! Get out Your Hanky!":

Dear FlyLady,

One Christmas we had four young children, and very little money. We knew we could never afford a Christmas tree that year and felt so sad.

One night the phone rang, and a child's voice said, "Do you have a Christmas tree?"

I said, "No", and they said, "Go look outside!"

I hurried to the door, and called my family to come and look. Someone had left a beautiful Christmas tree in our front yard.

A few minutes later, the phone rang again. The child's voice said, "Do you have a Christmas tree now?"

I said, "Yes! Thank you!"

They giggled and hung up.

It still brings tears to my eyes to remember this experience.....

FlyLady here: This is what this season is all about. I needed to hear something nice today. This story brought tears to my eyes.


From - 11/16/11:

For a couple years I've been blaming it on lack of sleep and too much pressure from my job, but now I found out the real reason: I'm tired because I'm overworked. The population of this country is 237 million. 104 million are retired. That leaves 133 million to do the work. There are 85 million in school, which leaves 48 million to do the work. Of this there are 29 million employed by the federal government, leaving 19 million to do the work. 2.8 million are in the Armed Forces, which leaves 16.2 million to do the work. Take from the total the 14,800,000 people who work for State and City Governments and that leaves 1.4 million to do the work. At any given time there are 188,000 people in hospitals, leaving 1,212,000 to do the work. Now, there are 1,211,998 people in prisons. That leaves just two people to do the work. You and me. And you're sitting at your computer reading jokes.


1. Thursday, December 1, 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, December 14, 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, January 7, 2012 - 11:00 AM - The NNHS Breakfast Bunch will host a Breakfast Bunch Brunch at the Warwick Restaurant, 12306 Warwick Boulevard, (across from CNU) Newport News, Virginia 23606. "Please come join them for a Dutch Treat Brunch featuring a lot of 'War Stories' and maybe a lie or two. Everyone is welcome so bring your wife, husband, boy friend, girl friend, class mate, school friend or whomever you choose." Please RSVP to Bill Roady at or call him at 757-595-0716 so they have a head count.

PRAYER ROLL: - updated 10/22/11

BLOG: - updated 03/13/11

Carol Buckley Harty
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309


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I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General

Lyrics by W. S. Gilbert (18 Nov 1836 - 29 May 1911)

Music by
Arthur Sullivan (13 May 1842 - 22 Nov 1900) for The Pirates of Penzance, 1879

I am the very model of a modern Major-General,

I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral,

I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical

From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical;a

I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical,

I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical,

About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news,

With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.

I'm very good at integral and differential calculus;

I know the scientific names of beings animalculous:

In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,

I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

I know our mythic history, King Arthur's and Sir Caradoc's;

I answer hard acrostics, I've a pretty taste for paradox,

I quote in elegiacs all the crimes of Heliogabalus,

In conics I can floor peculiarities parabolous;

I can tell undoubted Raphaels from Gerard Dows and Zoffanies,

I know the croaking chorus from The Frogs of Aristophanes!b

Then I can hum a fugue of which I've heard the music's din afore,c

And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinafore.

Then I can write a washing bill in Babylonic cuneiform,

And tell you ev'ry detail of Caractacus's uniform:d

In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,

I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

In fact, when I know what is meant by "mamelon" and "ravelin",

When I can tell at sight a Mauser rifle from a Javelin,e

When such affairs as sorties and surprises I'm more wary at,

And when I know precisely what is meant by "commissariat",

When I have learnt what progress has been made in modern gunnery,

When I know more of tactics than a novice in a nunnery

In short, when I've a smattering of elemental strategy

You'll say a better Major-General has never sat a gee.

For my military knowledge, though I'm plucky and adventury,

Has only been brought down to the beginning of the century;

But still, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,

I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

"Major General's Song" midi courtesy of - 11/19/11 (sic)

"Major General's Song" lyrics courtesy of - 11/19/11 (sic)

First Image of Sir William Gilbert courtesy
of - 11/1
9/11 (sic)

Second Image of Sir William Gilbert courtesy of - 11/19/11 (sic)

Gold Leaf Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 01/05/06

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!

Ferguson High School's Anchor clip art courtesy of Steve Silsby (FHS - '72) of NC - 12/14/05
Thanks, Steve!

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

John Marshall High School's Justice Scale clip art courtesy of Cheryl White Wilson (JMHS - '64) of VA - 10/13/05 (replaced 02/23/09)
Thanks, Cheryl!

Animated Army Flag clip art courtesy of - 06/18/03

Back to NNHS Newsletters - 2011

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