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12/30/05 - NNHS Newsletter
Fifth Day of Hanukkah

“Blessed are You, Hashem our G-d,
King of the universe,
Who has wrought miracles for our forefathers,
in those days as in this season.”

(Traditional Hanukkah blessing)

Dear Friends and Schoolmates, 

   Today is the fifth full day of Hanukkah.  I hope you're having a wonderful time!



   We have two birthdays to celebrate today!     Ron Miller ('59) of NC is turning 64 (and yes, "we still love you now that you're sixty-four")!  And     Sarah Stewart Vance ('69) of VA is also having a big day.  I hope it's a most wonderful day for you both, Ronnie and Sarah!




1.   JoAnn Houston Parrott ('61) of NC - 12/30/05 - "NNHS Mailing List":

Hi Carol,
My name is JoAnn Houston Parrott. I graduated from NNHS in 1961.
I was informed of your site by my cousin    Barbara Houston ('68 - of Northern VA) this past weekend.  Please put me on your news list.   I discovered our class has lost several members since our last reunion which of course saddens me.
Thank you for the time you put into this informative site.
JoAnn Parrott

   JoAnn!  I didn't realize that you were Barbara's cousin!  So good to hear from you!  I'll be delighted to add you, both to the hidden mailing list, and to the posted Alumni Page:

   Send me your birthday, and I'll add you there, too:

   And don't forget to check out the Band pages:

   Welcome aboard!  And Happy New Year!



  From Bill Campbell ('54) of VA - 12/2/05 - "Picture":

Bonjour, ma jeune amie. Voici my Senior picture in my 'robes' in 1954. Merci beaucoup.
Bill ('54)
      Ahhhh, merci beaucoup a vous!  C'est tres bonne!

   Why do I keep having the feeling that I knew you forty-eleven years ago??  That isn't possible, is it?!?

   Naaaah - I didn't think so......

   Thanks again, Bill - and Happy New Year!

Bill Campbell - 1954 Anchor    


 From Kathy Clark ('63) of VA - 12/29/05 - "My visit with Wally Stieffen":


Of course I will find out when the Ferris Wheel was built.  That was a given.  I just didn't specify it in what I sent yesterday.  We will all know more about the Park than we knew there was to know when we're done! 

  Also, I had a typo in my last mail; I said the card were 1940s vintage - and of course, I meant the cars.  Hopefully, other non-typists will see that D lives next to S on the middle row of keys and it was fancy fingering that caused 'cars' to read as 'card'!  

   OOOPS!  I try to catch all the typos that come my way, but I guess I was distracted and missed that one - SORRY! I fixed it now.  No one will ever know..........

Buckroe Beach and Amusement Park    

I also had a chat with 
  Bruce Sims ('56 - of VA) who had a couple of good comments on the picture.  You'll all get a full report soon. 

   WONDERFUL!!!  Thanks so much, Kathy!  Oh - and keep reading!

   Happy New Year!



  From Barbara Houston ('68) of Northern VA - 12/29/05:

Carol -

Could you add me to your birthday list?  I was born on June 20, 1950.  Microwaves were science fiction back then! 

Barbara Houston '68

   Isn't it weird to think of all those things which were developed during our lifetimes?!?  Thanks, Barbara!  I added your birthday to the page:

   Happy New Year!

   Y'all keep those birthdays coming!



  From Allen Foster ('58) of VA - 12/29/05:

I have forwarded your newsletter to an old fraternity brother, Tommy Oliver, who graduated from Great Bridge the same legendary year of '58.
He is the Athletic Director at Hickory High School and is Mickey Marcella ('54 - of VA) and Bud Porter's equal in local high school athletic history and trivia. During our Christmas Holiday lunch, which is a another good reason to revisit the 50's and 60's, I told him that NNHS lives on thru your efforts.
Happy New Year!

   Well, bless your sweet heart, Allen!  You completely floored me; thank you so much for your kind words!    Happy New Year!



From Steve Silsby (Ferguson HS - '72) of NC - 12/29/05 - "Dale Parsons / WGH":

Hi Carol,
Best Mariner greetings to all from Steve Silsby, FHS class of '72 (sort of)
Dale Parsons ('69 - of HI)  recently updated his WGH website (  On the air-checks page he relates the story of hanging out in the WGH Showmobile at Casey Chevrolet for hours at a time around 1965.  That really struck home for me.  I grew up less than a mile away from there and did much the same thing just a few years later.  Just like Dale, I started going inside to learn what I could of the DJ craft.  I'd barge in (politely) on Larry O'Brien's evening show and watch him queue-up the singles, load the jingle and commercial carts., make announcements and keep the log.  I've included a couple of photos I took at the time.  Both are of Larry O'Brien in 1968.
     OH, WOWZERS!!!  
What treasures!

I'll be adding them to our own WGH page soon!

 Thanks so much, Steve!

1968 - Larry O'Brien    

I had never heard the Hawaiian carol "Mele Kalikimaka" until December 23'rd this year.  I was sitting in a dentist chair getting a filling when it came on the office radio/intercom.  I liked the song so much I concentrated on memorizing the lyrics as I lay in the chair.  I was able to get the last two lines of each stanza, but the rest evaporated from my weak brain.  Then the next day Dale sends the full lyrics of the song for Carol to share in the newsletter!  Thanks, Dale!
What a small and interesting world this is.
Bye for now,

   "Doncha love it?!?"

   I was trying to figure out how it was possible that you'd never heard Bing Crosby singing ,"Mele Kalikimaka" before.  Then I remembered talking with my #1 daughter-in-law a few days ago, who told me she's never seen (or heard of) the 1983 classic, A Christmas Story (aka, "You'll shoot your eye out, Kid!") by Jean Shepherd.

   Thanks, Steve!  Happy New Year!

   By the way, you never collected your prize for making Page Hit #40,000.  By a curious non-coincidence, I haven't yet made it, but I was thinking of white thread with white and pale blue ribbons, perhaps?



  From One of "My" Famous Marines who served in the Pacific Theater during  WWII,
Herb Hice of MI - 12/29/05 - AND -    From Helen Flax Kierstead ('58) of Ontario -
12/30/05 - "Happy New Year":

Click on the website below and get ready to celebrate.


   Herbie, that is so adorable!  I opened it right through the strains of "Maoz Tsur", which made for an interesting effect with that cute little teddy bear whizzing around.  He must have Energizer batteries, too!

   Thanks so much, Herbie!  And thank you, Helen!  Happy New Year!



 From Jean Poole Burton ('64) of RI - 12/29/05 - "Thank you...":

for all the beautiful Christmas newsletters and music. 

   You're welcome!  I'm glad you liked them, Jean; they were a real joy to make!

We just returned this evening from NN where we had a fabulous time with family.  We arrived at my mom's on Wednesday evening, daughter Becky arrived on Friday from NY by train, son Chuck arrived by car Friday afternoon, brother Al and his wife Betty arrived by plane on Saturday a.m.

I cooked up a feast...took me three days with visiting in between...had Poole Christmas on the 24th and Burton Christmas on the 25th at John's sister's (  Betty Burton Gary - '65 - and her husband    Rocky - '64) new home in Powhatan, NW of Richmond.  There were 22 of us there.  Went to see Narnia with the kids on Monday, on Tuesday we drove out to Christiansburg, Va. to see my nephew Kevin and his wife and their three kids.  There are 14 little ones counting both sides of the family!  Three babies about one year old and others ranging up to 8.  So adorable!   

Drove all day today in rain!  Home sweet home.  Much to be thankful for. 

Love and joy, Jeanb

   What a marvelous, blessed Christmas you had!  Thanks for sharing it with us, Lady!  Happy New Year!



  From Bill Black ('66) of GA - 12/30/05 - "Life in LaFreakin'Grange":

Well, THIS made the Atlanta news, plus got a brief mention on the Weather Channel, so for those of you who signed up for the" All-Quinn's-News, All-The-Time", here goes:
I have now been through my absolute first serious hail storm. 
The day started with rain, thunder and lightning at eight o'clock ( something else I never remembered in the morning back in Richmond, except maybe one hot summer ) that stayed around 'til about noon.   Three of us were in the visitor center at H&DE, and commented,: "Well.. another day of entertaining each other, right?".  Attendance is disgustingly slow, again, especially since I'd convinced myself that the holidays would mean out-of-town guests that needed to  see the house and winter version of the gardens, and the hundred or so orchids in the greenhouse.
But three old ladies did show up, and since the tour person had left about one o'clock for a family emergency ( **sigh** another emergency?  ) I had to drive them up to the house in the open-sided tram   plus give the house tour.  Which I hardly ever do.  I can't talk intelligently about the antiques anymore, except for a few favorite paintings , so I took along my docent manual.  Outside, it had turned into a much nicer day, and was even kind of warm in the sunshine, with a little breeze.
The three women could not stay together, and since I stayed near the oldest and slowest, I was constantly saying: "Let me show you something back here in the foyer you might find interesting.  Nope.  They just bolted, and I was sure one of them would swing her shoulder bag and knock over a table of Alice Callaway's porcelains.
But, we made it through the house, and I showed them the orchids, which they couldn't keep their damned hands off of!   I can't tell you how that aggravates me.. and they even asked: "Are they real?"
When we stepped outside into the herb garden, I notice there were huge black clouds off to the north, but they seemed to be moving to the sat, and besides, all around us were white puffy clouds, and sunshine.  It started to sprinkle, slightly, and looking up, I saw a few grey clouds.  The women decided it was time to leave, so I held my manual over the oldest woman's head, and we started heading for the tram.  I'd take two steps, and she'd take eight nervous little old lady steps.  Two steps, eight steps, shuffling through the gravel pathways..  Two slow steps, eight quick little steps.  One of her friends ahead of us shouted over her shoulder: "C'mon Agnes!  Get the lead out!" as they trotted ahead of us.  The sprinkles stopped,  we drove back to the visitor center and they left. 
"Thanks for coming, please tell your friends and come back in the spring when the azaleas are blooming.."    Adios.
Then one of the caterers showed up, to pick up some tall glass vases she'd used at a reception the previous weekend.  I told her to take the service road through the trees
( it's a gravel road, covered in mulch and all the year's leaves, so it's pretty much invisible unless you know what to look for) while I went to the kitchen and unlocked the back door.  The vases were where she'd said they'd be, sop I started hauling them out onto the concrete stoop.
All of a sudden, I heard a roaring sound, and looked up to see the sun, shining through a lot of clouds, and thought: "Tell me this isn't a tornado."  I'd never actually seen one, although there was a memorable waterspout incident on "Revenge"  at the mouth of the Piankatank one summer day.  But there was that sound, and looking to the north, I suddenly saw the tops of the tall pine trees shaking, and losing so many small twigs that the air had an almost greenish tint to it.  Then the ground started turning white, so I realized it was hail ( but where'd it come from? ) and it literally marched across the meadow beside the visitor center and all of a sudden I was being pelted by small size hail.  I must've just stood there for a second or two, amazed at the sight, then realized that high pitched 'pinging sound' was hail hitting my three foot tall glass vases, and "DAMN!!" some of the hail was the size of golf balls!  "DAMMIT!!!"  I got the vases back in the kitchen quickly, then had to shut the door because so much ice was bouncing indoors! 
It was over in less than two minutes, the sun was out the whole time, but the ground and the back terrace were covered in two inches of white ice.
The caterer and I OooOooed and Awwed for a while, then she picked up her vases and left.  But not before calling her husband to come see the ice at Hills & Dales.
There was still ice everywhere, but it was starting to melt, and run down the shoulders of the driveways out front.  The air had a heavy scent of fresh pine, from all the pine needles and small branches that had broken off, and then a heavy fog developed in the trees and came drifting down to the visitor center.  Weird, but perfectly appropriate with the ice and the warm ground.   
Then I suddenly thought:  "The Greenhouse!"   For all I knew, the garden staff ( only two guys because of the holidays ) had left at four o'clock, so I hopped in the Quinnmobile and with ice marbles slipping and sliding under my wheels, took the staff driveway up to the house.  No one was there, and the roof of the greenhouse was destroyed.  Easily, half the panes were shattered and on the floor, or amid the potted orchids and other plants we rotate between the greenhouse, the main house, and the visitor center.   No stems were severed, at least on first glance, and we have a large sand and soil table bed of Callas ( that we proudly date back to the 1930's, bulbs that were grown by Ida Callaway)  that were apparently undamaged.  But broken glass everywhere. 
One of the gardeners who lives nearby came by to cry at the carnage, but she said it wasn't supposed to be cold that night, so we had tomorrow to put tarps over the roof,  pick up the broken glass, and turn up the heat.  
I arrived at 7:30 this morning, and helped cover the roof in the pre-dawn darkness.  It didn't take any time at all to do, and while one of the guys finished, the rest of us started cleaning up the driveways and parking lot at the visitor center.  It was an overcast morning, so the only picture I got was of the greenhouse, covered in plastic just before noon.  A sad sight.  The photos taken in March show the plants in better conditions.
The hail damage totals in town ( it was a very isolated storm ) will run into the millions.  Four large car dealerships were right in the path. 
And before any of you ask, no, the foundation office decided to forgo any press release / news tips / etc. etc. etc.  "It's not newsworthy.."   Dang!  I could've used that $11.40, too.  It would've bought at least one good lunch.
Your humble LaGrange Correspondent.
Sunday, March 6, 2005 Wednesday, December 28, 2005    

   Thanks for the exciting story and images, Bill, and ummm, Happy New Year!



  From Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 12/30/05 - "Buckroe Ferris Wheel":

In the 12/26 Newsletter alongside the wonderful aerial photo of Buckroe (over which there has been much debate about the date), you stated:

Does anyone recall when the Ferris wheel was constructed there?  Because unless it's hiding under a pile of leaves, I cannot see it in this image.  I'm reasonably certain it was there by 1954, but I really don't recall riding it until 1960.

At that time, I had this feeling that the Ferris Wheel would not have been visible in that photo, even if it had existed at the time of the photo ..... which I believe it DID.

I can now present the evidence of my position:

  As you can see, the Wheel was far to the right of the old hotel, and would have been out of the view in the aerial photo. Moreover, this PC was used and postmarked 1919.

Even better, this one (on the right) is dated 1911, and the Wheel can be seen:

HOWEVER,  there is some evidence that the Wheel was relocated. In the photo (below, on the left), it is at the north end of the park, nearly next to Pembroke Avenue. We can see from the image below that it has moved to a position south of the lighthouse, which survives. In THAT location, it would have been visible in the aerial, but even the lighthouse does not appear in that one.  I suspect that the lighthouse, miniature golf, fun house, Ferris Wheel and all the other smaller buildings appeared after the hotel and associated structures visible in the aerial had been removed.

  If I had a date for this PC (at right), we would know. The image was clearly taken from the top of the Wheel, and all the buildings we knew are there. Unfortunately, there is no way to date the PC, except to hope that it appears again someday on eBay.


   WOWZERONI-RINI!!!  David, you are a SUPER-GENIUS!!!

  Thanks so very much!



  From Joan Ownby Mathieson ('58) of VA - 12/30/05:

Hello Carol;
before the year is out I want to thank you for the newsletter.  I was in the class of 58 at NNHS and gone from there before any of your class arrived, but I still enjoy reading about all of you and about old familiar places and things.  Those were the years!  I started dating a Hampton boy the summer after my 10th grade year.  He was off to college that next fall, but we dated through out the college years and married and have had a good life.  We have three wonderful sons. 
Speaking of the Space husband's parents lived in Riverdale and we use to take our little boys to play at that park when we were in Hampton during the 60's since it was not far from Riverdale - just down Mercury Boulevard from there.
And back in the 50's our "parking" place was Peterson's Yacht Basin (which we called "Blueberry Hill"; our song) since I lived in the East End area and that wasn't far from my home.  We went boating and water skiing out of that basin in the summer, and I swam and played on that beach at Stuart Gardens Apartments all the time.  Lots of my friends lived in those apartments.

   The yacht basin was still a big favorite in the early and mid-sixties, though I personally was partial to the Scenic Overlook on Chesapeake Avenue, where we used to watch the submarine races.  Oh, no, wait a minute!  What am I saying?!?  I, of course, had no personal knowledge of any of those places!  Oh, no, indeed!  I was a perfect little angel,   I am sure! 

Anyhow, I didn't mean to start down memory lane!  I just wanted to say thank you for all your time and energy devoted to the "65 newsletter, and for sharing it with me. 
Joan Ownby Mathieson 

   Oh, Joan, strolling down memory lane is the very reason we've all gathered together here!  Thanks so much for sharing yours!

   Happy New Year, Pretty Lady! 



From Bob Allen ('51) of VA - 12/30/05 - "not NNHS...but a good story from a former employee...she
is approximately 64 yrs old":

To Bob Allen ('51) of VA from "V" - 12/28/05 - "forgot to tell you":

I was talking to your Doug on here the other day on the IM, and he was telling me about his reunion next summer, etc., etc., and I told him a little bit about mine, etc., and also that I had a letter from my 6th grade teacher. I do not think I told you about it.
When we were in grammar school, we had a small four- room school house - for 6 grades - so some of the grades were split up. Anyway, we had this great teacher. He was 30 then.. and single - Mr. Blickenderfer. We all loved him, girls and boys. He was a good teacher, and back then they were all into discipline. I remember that he had John Courtney (the sheriff's son) make him a big wooden paddle. It had a long handle and then a wide board on the end - with holes in it. And then guess who was the first to get whacked with it?? John, the sheriff's son! It got used - and he did it in front of the class - and it worked. Parents did NOT argue about it, either, and as we discussed before, if you got into trouble in school, you got a double whammy when you got home. So over the years we have all discussed it - and laughed..

This teacher was also very dedicated and looked out for all of us. Curt, my "x" husband, had rheumatic fever when we were in 6th grade, and this teacher, Mr. B., took Curt's homework to his house everyday - for 3 months. He helped him and gave him tests. Curt's Grandma lived with them at that time, and she too helped as a tutor.  Mr. B. went every day, and then Mrs. Diffenderfer would cook him dinner, and he ate with them EVERY evening. Curt passed the grade  and had NO problems in school ever! I do not remember that there was ever anyone who did not like this teacher....

At our 45th reunion we again discussed him. We who lived in town then were the only ones who had him for a teacher. When we all went to 7th grade and they consolidated the township, we had kids to come in our class from the country sides, and they never had him; he was just the 6th grade teacher.

A few years ago, one of the classmates of mine looked this teacher up in the white pages on the computer. He knew he was out west, and possibly in N.M. He found him, as there was only ONE David Blickenderfer - ha! I got his address and I typed him up a long letter, telling him who I was and things I remembered about him, and last week I got an answer - with a photo. He is 80 years old! He's In good health, never had children. He married a school teacher and he said they had hundreds of teachers. She still teaches piano and has 15 students. He has a cat or two that he feeds outdoors and he does some yard work as well as some housework.

He remembered that he had tried to teach one (particular) girl to play the trumpet, but was NOT successful. (He does not know that she has passed away.) He wrote a really nice letter and I plan to write back to him again and to stay in touch. I will ask him to try to come back east for our 50-year reunion! I am passing the address around and hopefully others will write. John is going to write. They were all troublemakers - ha! BUT John agrees now that it was the BEST thing to happen to all of us. We did not have repeated bullying on the playgrounds in those days. The teachers eliminated it. The lady teachers went to the men teachers for discipline help in those days, so we all stayed in line !!!

Knew you would enjoy this story; just forgot that I had not mentioned it. I got the letter last week and we were busy.....

   And we enjoy this story, too, Bob, of the way things used to be.  It's yet another reminder of the importance of finding the people who have played such an important role in our lives - particularly our teachers - and thanking them.  Thanks for sharing it with us!



  Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year!  Y'all stay happy - and take care
of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER!

                          Love to all, Carol




"I only have two kinds of days: happy and hysterically happy."



Maoz Tsur

    Maoz Tsur yesuati
lekha naeh leshabeah,
tikon bet tefilati
vesham todah nezebeah.
Leet tahkin matbeah,
mitzar hamnabeah
az egmor beshir mizmor
hanukat hamizbeah.
az egmor beshir mizmor
hanukat hamizbeah.
  Rock of Ages let our song
Praise Thy saving power;
Thou amidst the raging foes
Wast our sheltt'ring tower.
Furious they assailed us,
But Thine arm availed us,
And Thy word broke their sword
When our own strength failed us.
And Thy word broke their sword
When our own strength failed us.


“Maoz Tsur” midi courtesy of - 12/24/05

"Maoz Tsur" lyrics (and available sheet music) transcribed from - 12/29/05
(My deepest apologies if I mutilated the transcription.)

Image of Jerusalem's Temple Institute's Solid Gold Menorah courtesy of - 12/29/05

Hanukkah Image (©2006 Adam Rhine) used to form Divider Lines courtesy of - 12/29/05

Menorah clip art used to form Divider Lines courtesy of - 12/29/05

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

Tiny Angel clip art courtesy of - 08/14/05

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