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12/27/13 - NNHS Newsletter - A 'Soalin'

“Somehow, not only for Christmas,
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others,
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing,
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart's possessing,
Returns to you glad.”

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

Dear Friends and Schoolmates, 

   Today's Newsletter theme was suggested by       my cousin, Jean Atkinson Mallory (Rappahannock HS / John Marshall HS - '65) of VA on 12/08/10.  Thanks again, Jean!

BONUS #1 - - A 'Soalin' - Peter, Paul and Mary

BONUS #2 - - A 'Soalin' - Peter, Paul and Mary, 1981 

BONUS #3 - - Sole Cake - Sting


A-Soalin' was a yuletide (Christmas) tradition and dates from long before the Elizabethan era. It has NOTHING what-so-ever to do with the tradition of Hallowe'en.

The Elizabethan 'round' reported by "Jacob B" is in fact one of the earliest written examples of the song. It was a chant / round / song sung long before those times. Oral tradition (from a mate in Britain who is really big on this stuff) has it that the tradition of going 'A-Soalin' is probably almost as old as 'Shrove-ball'.

SHROVE-BALL - the tradition of playing "street football" between the two opposing elements of a single town where everybody who was fit and able played - generally teams were called the "Uppies and the Downies" or the "Uppers and Downers", "Upp'ns and Down'ns", "Northers and Southers" and so on. Games were begun at around mid-afternoon and went until sunset and there were no rules - though around the late 1700's and onwards, weapons were somewhat frowned upon. Prior to this time it was not uncommon for a contestant to be stabbed (occasionally fatally) by an opposition player to gain possession of the ball.
The idea was to get the ball to a "goal beyond the territory of the opposition (in the case of Workington in Cumbria; that meant the "Uppies" had to strike the ball against a large capstan on the town wharf while the "Downies" attempted to strike it against the wall of the city park).
Oral traditions have 'Shroveball' being played in Workington since before the arrival of the Vikings in the 10th Century. Shroveball is played - depending on the town involved, is played on either Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day), Easter Saturday, Monday or Tuesday - NEVER, of course on Good Friday or Easter Sunday.

Soalin' was another 'one-day-a-year' tradition and generally occurring around (from recollection) Boxing Day or Christmas Eve - again it depended on the town / parish / county, etc. On this day (evening) the less fortunate of the town would go from door-to-door to ask for comfits from the larders / purses etc of the more fortunate townsfolk. It was considered VERY bad form (even to the extent of being cursed by The Lord) to turn away one who was 'A-Soalin' empty-handed.

The Peter, Paul and Mary version is a more modern rendering of the traditional 'Soalin' song - sort of like the treatment Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, Martin Carthy, etc. give to traditional English Folk songs - to "contemporise" them.


1. Barbara Woods Spiers ('61) AND 2.   Bunny Spiers ('54) of VA - 12/26/13:


Please add my name to your birthday list. I graduated in 1961. My name Barbara Woods. Now my name is Barbara Woods Spiers. Birthdate 12/3/42.
My husband's class was 1954, Bernard T. Spiers (nickname Bunny) and his birthday is 10/8/34.

Please add us to your mailing list. I enjoy reading your letters.

   Thank you, Barbara! It's good to have you back! Welcome aboard, Bunny!

  I've added your birthdays, and Bunny to the Alumni Page for his class: 




    Happy Birthday today to   Anita Morgan Becker ('66) of VA!

    Happy Birthday this week to:

29 - Roy Tate ('57) AND Ginny Goolsby James ('63) AND   Kenny Lipscomb ('63) of VA AND    Michael Artman ('66) of VA;

30 -  William Gwynn ('57) AND   Ron Miller ('59) of NC AND   Carole Althaus Tanenhaus ('65) of MD AND   Joyce Tedder Rossman ('68) of PA AND    Sarah Stewart Vance ('69) of VA;

31 - Pat Floyd Pride ('62) of VA AND     Susie Overton Jones ('63) of VA AND    David Rosenwasser ('64) of MO;

01 - Gloria Hand Burns ('57) AND   Bill Fitzgerald ('58) of VA!

03 - Carl Rossman of PA!

   Many Happy Returns to You All! 


December 27, 1939 - Winter War: Finland held off a Soviet Union attack in the Battle of Kelja.

December 27, 1942 - The German military formed the Smolensk Committee and began enlisting Soviet POWs in the battle against Russia.


Friday, December 27, 1963 - Director Gaspar Noé was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    From Bill Roady ('60) of VA - 12/26/13:

Hi Carol,

Merry Christmas to you and all of your family. I hope you and yours are all well and happy.

       George Helliesen ('61 - of MI) is absolutely correct. His you-tube clip of KEITH ORR and his team mates scoring a touchdown is terrific and will make EVERYONE’S day. If we all tried to do something each day or twice a month to make someone happy, we would be the winners.

Bill Roady

   Thank you so much, Billy - and George! That video can certainly serve as an inspiration to us all!

From - 12/23/13 - "Holly Jolly Holiday Tips":

5 Holiday Wellness Secrets: Don't Just Survive, Enjoy!

By Roberta Mittman

The month of December, like any other time of year, can come with a different vibe for each of us.
- a time to be grateful and enjoy the company of friends and family
- a celebration season full of parties, laughter, and shopping for presents
- a period of anticipation, looking hopefully forward to a fresh year and new perspective
- a solemn time of spiritual reflection, meditation, and reconnecting with heritage
- a year-end nightmare of looming deadlines, pressure, and obligations
- a marathon against store crowds, with overspending and exhaustion at the finish line

Oops. Those last two just crept in, didn't they?

Even if all the busy-ness spins your head, you do have a say in how the holidays treat you. It just takes a bit of strategizing. Here are a few easy-to-follow secrets to ensuring you'll have energy and wellbeing to enjoy the holiday season--and beyond.

Secret 1: Get Real.
Yes, you're shopping for presents for your friends and family, but is that list too extensive? Have you accepted invitations to so many holiday parties that there is no time left for you relax and enjoy what the season really means: giving, receiving, and spending time with people who are important in your life?

It's time to take stock of your wants and needs--and maybe scale down so you won't be burned out by December 31st. Make a plan. Balance every responsibility you must fulfill with an activity that nurtures you and adds to your personal happiness. And be sure to include yourself on your present-buying list!

Secret 2: Fuel Up.
An approaching deadline at work, a day of shopping, a special event with friends--no matter what the activity, be sure to pump yourself up beforehand with a balance of protein and fiber (think vegetables or healthful carbs). Eat before you leave home and bring sensible snacks, like nuts or fruit, and water. That will keep you from the starved feeling that might otherwise send you running to the food court or the dessert table. Avoid loading up on the salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats that deplete energy and pack on pounds before January 1st.

Secret 3: Find Calm after the Storm.
After the crowds, fluorescent lights, scents, noise, lines, and chaos of holiday events, head for some quiet time to rebalance and transition into a calmer state of being. Gentle exercise, getting fresh air, being in the natural sunlight, or finding a quiet activity will recharge your batteries, soothe your frazzled nerves, and keep you grounded.

Secret 4: Know Which Supplements Help Energize You.
If ever there is a time to be consistent with multivitamins, including B6, B12, D, and C, this is it. Not only can these nutrients help arm you against colds and flus that are running rampant at this time of year, but they also provide or sustain the extra energy you'll need to tackle your to-do list effectively and successfully.

Secret 5: Rest Means More Energy to Spare.
If you're tired even before head out, you're in trouble. Not only will you drag through your to-do list, but you're also likely to be more irritable, less patient, and more prone to making decisions that don't work out well. Choose a better-rested day to accomplish shopping and events--or better yet, aim for seven hours of sleep every night, no matter what's on the agenda.

Before another harried, stressful day goes by, assess how you're feeling. Take the time to make adjustments now. You can still capture the energy you need to close out your year with so many desirable gifts: enjoyment, strength, balance--and leave the holiday fatigue and dissatisfaction behind. Send off 2011 with a strong finish, and have energy to spare for a successful 2012.

About the Author:

Roberta Roberts Mittman, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., M.S., is a nutritional and lifestyle consultant, holistic mindset mentor, and nationally board-certified acupuncturist. Using natural, drug-free techniques, Roberta opens the door to complete mind-body health. Roberta's goal is not only to relieve patients' illness and discomfort, but to help them set realistic goals for physical and mental preventative care and overall wellness. Roberta believes in empowering individuals to be their own best healers.

       From George Helliesen ('61) of MI - 12/20/13 - "One Word Essays (#7 in a Series of 28)":

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Neat things in life!

May your troubles be less,
May your blessings be more;
May nothing but happiness come through your door!!

   Thanks so much, George! These are cool!


BONUS CROCHET PATTERN: - Multicolored Kindle Cover - "This Multicolored Kindle Cover is a great gift for anyone on your list with an Ereader. It's an easy crochet pattern that can be made in any size and color combination you want. This is also a great stashbuster crochet project. The retail stores sell countless cases for iPads and Kindles, but why spend a lot of money on something that you can make so easily at home? Add this to your crochet to-do list today!"




"New Year's Resolutions by Fido"

* I will not bark each time I see or hear a dog on TV.
* I will not steal underwear belonging to my mistress and then dance all over the back yard with it.
* I will not chew red crayons or pens, because my master will think that I am hemorrhaging.
* I will not roll my toys behind the fridge.
* I must shake the rainwater out of my coat BEFORE I enter the house.

1. Thursday, January 2, 2014 - 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, February 12, 2013 - 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.  

PRAYER ROLL: - updated 12/16/13

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
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309


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A 'Soalin'

Rewritten by Noel Paul Stookey, Tracy Batteast, and Elena Mezetti (but with much older origins)

Made popular by Peter, Paul and Mary, 1963

Hey ho, nobody home,
Meat nor drink nor money have I none,
Yet shall we be merry,
Hey ho, nobody home.

Soul, a soul, a soul cake,
Please, good missus, a soul cake.
An apple, a pear, a plum, a cherry,
Any good thing to make us all merry,
One for Peter, two for Paul,
Three for Him who made us all.

God bless the master of this house, and the mistress also,
And all the little children that round your table grow,
The cattle in your stable and the dog by your front door,
And all that dwell within your gates, we wish you ten times more.

Soul, a soul, a soul cake,
Please, good missus, a soul cake.
An apple, a pear, a plum, a cherry,
Any good thing to make us all merry,
One for Peter, two for Paul,
Three for Him who made us all.

Go down into the cellar and see what you can find.
If the barrels are not empty, we hope you will be kind.
We hope you will be kind with your apple and strawber’
For we'll come no more a-soulin' till this time next year.

Soul, a soul, a soul cake,
Please good missus a soul cake.
An apple, a pear, a plum, a cherry,
Any good thing to make us all merry,
One for Peter, two for Paul,
Three for Him who made us all.

The streets are very dirty, my shoes are very thin.
I have a little pocket to put a penny in.
If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do.
If you haven't got a ha'penny then God bless you.

Soul, a soul, a soul cake,
Please, good missus, a soul cake.
An apple, a pear, a plum, a cherry,
Any good thing to make us all merry,
One for Peter, two for Paul,
Three for Him who made us all

"A 'Soalin' " midi courtesy of - 12/28/10 (sic)

"A 'Soalin' " lyrics courtesy of - 12/08/10

Image of Soul Cakes courtesy of - 12/08/10

 Pie Line clip art courtesy of Gathered Gifs at - 12/03/03

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 "NEW" clip art courtesy of - 03/07/06

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!

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!!

Back to NNHS Newsletters - 2013

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