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/06/06 - NNHS Newsletter - Epiphany

"It is better to follow even the shadow of the best,
than to remain content with the worst,
and those who would see wonderful things
must often be ready to travel alone."

- Henry Vandyke, The Other Wise Man
( 1852-1933)


Dear Friends and Schoolmates,

    Today is Epiphany, and we're still celebrating everything together as the big happy family that we are.  If that term is unfamiliar to you, and you'd like to hear an explanation of its meaning,    Kathy Pilgrim Clark ('63) of VA did a great job of that last year:


   Thanks again, Kathy!



    Once again, we have two birthdays to celebrate today -    Harry Covert ('57) of Northern VA and   Diane Sandler Marcus ('69) of MD.  Y'all have a great day!


  From Frances Goodson Wang ('65) of MD - 01/05/06 - "A new symbol":

I found this on one of the Sherlock Holmes sites.  It is so cleverly done I just had to share it.

Some of us remember    Freddy's (Blechman - '65 - of Northern VA)


 paw prints and the PPAA from our high school adventures. 

   I know I do!  They were such a delight in my life!

I thought this was a cute addition to those symbols of our more adventurous selves.  I laughed with delight when I saw this one.  It reminded me of  Freddy's paws.

It is fun knowing people who enjoy something innocent such as the reading of Sherlock Holmes stories.  Keeps my interest in life going when the mundane chores and vicissitudes of  life would stultify.  I am joining Watson's Tin Box here in Ellicott City to discuss  with like minded people the S. Holmes Canon. Harmless fun.


I think it's wonderful that you were able to locate such a group of people with similar interests.  What joy that brings!

It is best to keep our spirits lively as we age, is it not!  Carol, you are, as you say, always a kid at heart.  Some part of me is too!


   I'm so glad to hear that, Frances!  Growing up is Bad Business.  WILD GIGGLES!!!


  From Chandler Nelms (Hampton HS - '63) of MD - 01/06/06:

....... Been really busy catching up at work following the holidays and quite frankly haven’t had anything worth printing to contribute to the newsletter, although I read it religiously every day. I trust you had a wonderful holiday. Most of mine was spent long hours completing another custom motorcycle in time to get it titled and tagged before the new year. EPA has invoked a law that effective Jan. 1, ’06 an individual can only own one non-compliant (emissions) motorcycle in their LIFETIME! And you must own it for 5 years before you can sell it. So… getting this one in under the wire, I can build yet another one (I already own 3). Pictures attached of my most recent creation. I call it MAD MAX. You can see the entire build from start to finish at  Click on Projects, then click on Mad Max. 

Happy New Year!

Chandler Nelms

   OHHHHH, you have been busy, haven't you?!? 

Friday, December 30, 2005

    That's a very strange law, but I'm glad you were able to beat your deadline.  I really liked watching the pictures of work in progress.  MAD MAX is almost as gorgeous as you are.
   I've always found that there's something both exhilarating and bittersweet about finishing a project that large and time consuming.  The work itself has become such a part of your life, that you're left with almost an emptiness.  I'm glad you'll be able to start again - but that's going to be hard to top!
   Thanks for the tour, Chandler Darlin'! 
Thanks, but I think my red chopper that I built back in 2003 was my coup de grace.

   Well, okay, you have me there!  That red paint alone is spectacular!

   I don't think I've been on a bike since 1966 - and it was a Harley-Davidson, certainly not in the same league as your custom made choppers!

  Sunday, July 13, 2003  
   Thanks again, Gorgeous!

  From Kathy Pilgrim Clark ('63) of VA - 01/06/06 - "NNHS Mailing List":

Carol, I know I'm already on the mailing list.  But the newsletters this week aren't coming in.  I'm getting an error message that says http://nnhs65.yada-yada cannot be found or does not exist.  This isn't a case of getting caught up in a spam block filter.  I get the announcement email.  But when I click on the link, I get the error message.  So I googled 'nnhs65' to get here.  I'm going to Arizona on Tuesday for 9 days so maybe by the time I come back, it'll all be straight. 
   Another mystery - oh, goody - NOT!  I wonder what this one is all about?!?  The site has been down once or twice again lately, but usually around 6:00 AM.  I've noticed that my little puny computer will open the site itself, and the Newsletter link, but will balk if I try to coax it into opening the Newsletters themselves.  It will just say that it "has experienced a problem and needs to shut down".  I believe that might have something to do with the Newsletters being so heavily image laden.....

Also, I tried to use PayPal and it doesn't like me at all.  And that's fair because I didn't like it either.  So once I get back to receiving the newsletters, I will be able to see your addy again and I will just mail you a check.


   GIGGLES!!!  Well, who knows what's happening?!?  The New Year always seems to bring strange and unusual things our way.  Perhaps by the time you return home, all will be well.  Enjoy your trip, Kathy, and thanks!


  From Buster Vest ('63) of VA - 01/06/06 - "Happy New Year":

Click here: Bubble Bath - animated Flash ecard by Jacquie Lawson

   Thanks, Buster!  Jackie Lawson cards are always way beyond cool!


  From Kathy Pilgrim Clark ('63) of VA - 01/06/06 - "My conversation with Wally Stieffen":

Oh, Carol. 

I am just buzzing!  I've known Wally for many years and he is a handsome, charming man.  If he didn't exist, you'd have to invent him!  Well, all that charm flowed through the phone lines and I have been delightfully entertained for the last hour!  Wally said he was the luckiest person alive.  His dad bought a cottage in Buckroe the year Wally was born.  So he got to spend every summer of his life at Buckroe Beach.  And when he came back from the Army in WW2, his dad had bought the park.  He and his brothers finished up at VaTech and came home to re-build and run the park.  And Wally says he spent the next 46 years of his life at Buckroe.  Ooooh, the stories you're gonna love.  You may want to break this into parts for publication.

Wally's dad owned a confectionary store called the Delmont Cigar Store on the corner of 26th and Washington, across the street from City Hall.  It was understood that everyone who was anyone came in there.  In 1939, Roosevelt got the congress to pass a law that said all utility companies had to divest themselves of any holdings they had that were not directly related to their utility.  And the Virginia Electric Power (VEP) had to divest itself of a little amusement park.  It was bought by Coles Taylor (the mayor of NN), Charlie Minnengerode (real estate) and others.  They leased the food and beverage area to Coca Cola Brown to run.  Well, Mr,. Minnengerode and the others didn't really want to run an amusement park.  But Basil Peter Stieffen did.  So he bought it.  However, the Park came with encumbrances.  There was a will that directed all proceeds from rides (the Air Plane, the Roller Coaster [circa 1922] ) had to go to the Catholic Church.  There was a period of time yet to run on this stipulation and some criteria for the condition of the equipment at the end of the term.  So Mr. Stieffen worked it out with the Church's banker, LM Von Shilling, and the rides were retired early.  The original coaster tracks went through the middle of the park on the diagonal path seen on the photo.  So the coaster and original Ferris Wheel (which was also on the right of the coaster track (and out of the photo) were sold to Princess Anne County (Va Beach)!  The original coaster was a Jack Rabbit.
  Wally Stieffen dates our photo to 1948-49.  He got out of service in 1946 and went back to Tech to finish his education.  He remembers coming home for a weekend and going to the Park in his coat and slacks.  And he spent the rest of the weekend pouring concrete for the coaster.  The actual new coaster was built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1949.  A Mr. Yakki came to supervise the work.  He so loved Buckroe that he stayed to work at the park.  In the photo you can see a little cottage behind the track.  That was Mr. Yakki's house.  The Stieffens later built him a nicer one on 2nd Street.  He walked the tracks of the new coaster daily, inspecting for wear and tear.   
1948/9 - Buckroe Beach and Amusement Park    

The original Merry Go Round (MGR hereinafter) was built in 1910 well.  It was in an 8 sided building at the intersection of Pembroke Avenue and N. 1st Street.  The MGR was taken apart and replaced with the one we all remember.  The later one was eventually restored and is located in downtown Hampton.  The original building had been what they called the 'old Vaudeville House'.  The old MGR was also sold to Va. Beach.  The 8 sided building would be out of the photo frame.
The Wagner Hotel is at the left of the photo.  It was owned by the Ghivizanni family.  The entire first floor was a bar!  The upper floors were hotel rooms and suites.  The hotel was damaged in 1954 by Hurricane Hazel and the Ghivizanni family rebuilt a modern hotel with a pool on the site. 
The bath house is in the center of the photo.  It was one story in the photo.  It was destroyed by Hazel and rebuilt as a 3 story facility.  Wally told me that during by the mid 1950s, they had reservations for 180 church groups coming from Richmond annually to spend vacations at the park.  The Buckroe Hotel is to the right of the bath house. 
Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My?  It seems the Stieffens went to a conference in Chicago and while there, they bought these large fiberglass creatures that were painted in a life-like manner.  The bought a lion, a gorilla, an eagle, a seahorse and a bear.  The man delivering them to the park stopped somewhere this side of Richmond to eat or gas up.  And when he came back to the truck, the gorilla was gone!  But the other animals arrived at the park and were installed in various places. 
1950 saw the opening of the new Roller Coaster.  The track that went diagonally across the park was relocated so that it paralleled a part of the original track.  Kiddie Land was relocated to that area of the park.  The monkey pen was closed to make way for Kiddle Land.  I remember the monkey pen; do you?

   I do, I really do!!!  I remember seeing it in 1949 - the summer I turned two!

I asked Wally about the building where my late father in law worked for the Pull a String concession was.  Wally said it was out of the photo frame.  He said that Mr. Marashita ran the concession.  Mr. Marashita was interned during the second WW up in northern VA where he worked as a chef.  But as soon as the war was over, he returned to the beach and was the concessionaire again!

   I remember Mr. Marashita and his wife so well, I could probably pick them out of a crowd!  How I loved Pull a String!!!  The adjoining Duck Pond (or whatever it was called) worked on the same basic principle (overturn the "swimming" plastic duck of your choice, and the attendant would tell you the prize you had won), but Pull a String was always my favorite!

   The only other individual I remember at all from the entire park was the man who ran the Bumper Cars.  He was quite short, but I can't recall now whether he was born a little person, or if he suffered from brittle bone syndrome (the correct medical term for which escapes me at the moment).

   I remember that the fellow who ran the Fun House thought it was quite humorous to aim a squirt of concentrated air up the skirts of women as they crossed over that area of the walk.  And what were we doing wearing dresses to an amusement park, you might well ask?  I do not know, but I do remember doing it at least once  (And yes, Jimmy-Jimmy, I do remember which dress it was.  It was a pale pink Dacron which I borrowed from Eleanor as often as she'd allow me.).

Some of you may remember that Wally Stieffen was Hampton's delegate in Richmond for several terms.  He said he met so many people there who had worked at the Park as youths or whose families had vacationed there.  He said it was a nice thing to meet these people.  One time, in the mid 1970s, one of his Richmond friends came to visit and brought his little grand daughter.  Wally gave them some tickets for rides in the Park.  As the man and his grand daughter left the Park that evening, they ran into Wally again.  The little girl said, "Mr. Stieffen, thank you for letting me play with your toys."  Wally said that was the best thing anyone had ever said to him.
The original Ferris Wheel (yes, Carol, I did remember to ask about it and yes, I did save this for last!) was built in the early 1900s, maybe as late as 1910.  Wally called it "a slow moving thing".  The Stieffens installed the new wheel - an Eli type - in the new location where we remember it being.  The new wheel was installed in 1952 as well as Wally can remember.  They had to finish the installation of the new coaster and get the pad ready for the wheel and that probably took the construction season of 1951. 
There may be more that I will remember later but this is from the notes I took as Wally talked to me. 


   Thanks so much, Kathy!!! 
This might take me some time to add to the various Buckroe pages - including the Arcade - but I'll post it as soon as I can.  Right now, I don't want to deprive anyone of reading this while I'm working on it!

I promised Wally that I'd print off some of the things you have accumulated on the BB page.  But that'll have to wait until my computer once again finds either angelfire or the other server you use. 

   (Actually, will no longer show you anything past the main page...)


Y'all take extra good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER!

                          Love to all, Carol




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


Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning

Lyrics by Bishop Reginald Heber (1783-1826), 1811

Heber originally wrote this hymn for the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6. It was first published
in the
Christian Observer in 1811, but did not appear in hymnals until after Heber's death.

Music: "Morning Star," James Proctor Harding, 1892

1. Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid;
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

2. Cold on His cradle the dewdrops are shining;
Low lies His head with the beasts of the stall.
Angels adore Him in slumber reclining,
Maker and Monarch and Savior of all.

3. Shall we not yield Him, In costly devotion01
Odors of Edom and offerings divine,
Gems of the mountain and pearls of the ocean,
Myrrh from the forest and gold from the mine?

4. Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Vainly with gifts would His favor secure.
Richer by far is the heart's adoration;
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.

5. Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid;
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

"Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning" midi and lyrics
courtesy of - 01/06/06

"Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning" Sheet Music by Mr. H. S. Irons from Rev. Richard R. Chope,
Carols For Use In Church (London: William Clowes & Sons, 1894), Carol #137

Image of Fernando Gallego's (ca. 1440 - 1507) Painting, "Epiphany" (ca. 1480),
courtesy of - 01/06/06

Image of Panel from Jaume Huguet's ( ca. 1415 - 1492) Panel, "Epiphany"
courtesy of - 01/06/06

Animated Star Bar Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 08/27/05

Crab clip art courtesy of - 10/02/05

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