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01
/05/06 - NNHS Newsletter -
The Twelfth Day of Christmas
 

"I do hope your Christmas has had a little touch of Eternity in among
the rush and pitter patter and all. It always seems such a mixing
of this world and the next -- but that after all is the idea!"

- Evelyn Underhill
 

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,

   If you thought we were all through with Christmas, you were wrong.  Today, the eve of Epiphany, is
actually the twelfth day of Christmas.


  From Me ('65) of NC - 01/05/06:

   About five years ago, I began receiving fascinating emails concerning the supposed origins of this Christmas carol.  I was absolutely enraptured!  The story goes something like this:

Christmas Carol

There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me. What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas? Today I found out, thanks to the internet-----------

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.

It has two levels of meaning: The surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.

Each element in the carol has a code word for religious reality which the children could remember.

The partridge in the pear tree was Jesus Christ.

Two turtle doves were the Old and the New testaments.

Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament..

The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

Seven swans a-swimming represented the seven fold gifts of the Holy Spirit - Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven disciples.

The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostle's Creed.

So, there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol, so pass it on if you wish.

   Now, how cool is that?  Except - it isn't true.  Sigh.

   I stumbled across this explanation on snopes.com:

http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/12days.asp

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Claim:   The song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was created as a coded reference to important articles of the Christian faith.

Status:   False.


Origins:   Two common forms of modern folklore are claims that familiar old bits of rhyme and song (such as the nursery rhyme  "Ring Around the Rosie") encode "hidden" meanings which have been passed along for centuries, and claims that common objects of secular origin — particularly objects associated with Christmas (such as the candy cane) — were deliberately created to embody symbols of Christian faith. Here we have an article that combines both these forms and posits that a mirthful Christmas festival song about romantic gift-giving actually originated as a coded catechism used by persecuted Catholics.

Some versions of this piece do not specifically mention Catholicism or England. In these alternate versions the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is said to have been developed by Christians who could not openly practice their faith because they lived in societies where Christianity was forbidden. Locating a place in the western world where the practice of Christianity was banned during the last several centuries is difficult enough, but trying to discern the usefulness of a Christmas song as a method of preserving tenets of Christianity in a society where the practice of Christianity itself was outlawed is truly a mind bender, since in such a society all facets of Christmas celebrations would surely be banned as well. Therefore, our discussion here will concentrate on the claim that "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was the creation of Catholics living England after the Anglican Reformation.

This is a very lengthy explanation, and for those of you as fascinated
by such details as I, the rest of the article may be found here:

http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/12days.asp

I'll cut to the chase:

"The Twelve Days of Christmas" is what most people take it to be: a secular song that celebrates the Christmas season with imagery of gifts and dancing and music. Some misinterpretations have crept into the English version over the years, though. For example, the fourth day's gift is four "colly birds" (or "collie birds"), not four "calling birds." (The word "colly" literally means "black as coal," and thus "colly birds" would be blackbirds.) The "five golden rings" refers not to five pieces of jewelry, but to five ring-necked birds (such as pheasants). When these errors are corrected, the pattern of the first seven gifts' all being types of birds is re-established.

Nonetheless, plenty of writers continue to expound upon "the beauty and truly biblical and spiritual meanings locked away in this wonderful song that puts Christ into Christmas where he doesn't appear to be." Emphasizing that Christ is part of Christmas is a fine thing, but achieving that goal by inventing and spreading phony explanations about purely secular aspects of Christmas is not. And perhaps those who consider this tale (regardless of its literal truth) to be "beautiful" and "inspirational" should consider its underlying message: that one group of Jesus' followers had to hide their beliefs in order to avoid being tortured and killed by another group of Jesus' followers. Of all the aspects of Christianity to celebrate at Christmastime, should this really be one of them?

   Don't feel foolish if you've believed this fiction for some time.  I believed that story about "Ring Around the Rosie" for over twenty-five years - long before the internet was invented!  Sigh. 

   Fear not.  Just take comfort in the fact that the saga of Robin Hood and Maid Marian is an absolutely true account - as is the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet.  And Zorro.  And Sergeant Preston of the Yukon.  And the Tooth Fairy.

 


BIRTHDAYS:

   We have two birthdays to celebrate once again today!    Cammie Dick Gibson and    Carolyn McCormick Holmes, both of the Class of 1957, were born on January 5.  Happy Birthday, Ladies!:

http://www.nnhs65.00freehost.com/Happy-Birthday.html

 


NEWBIES:

1. Tim Rogers (Hampton HS - '66) of VA - 01/01/06:

   Sorry, Tim.  First you signed the Guest Book, then you were formally welcomed by two other members of our group -    Gloria Woolard Price (Hampton HS - '65) of FL and Steve Silsby (Ferguson HS - '72) of NC, then you sent us another story.  I'm afraid that even if you didn't specifically ask to be added to the Alumni List, you pretty much did it to yourself.  GIGGLES!!!  Welcome!

http://www.nnhs65.00freehost.com/alumni-list.html

 

2. Rob Stall ('69) of NC - 01/04/06:

I am a 1969 grad of NNHS. Please add me to the mailing list.

Thanks,

Rob Stall
Raleigh, NC

   Certainly, Rob!  Welcome aboard!

http://www.nnhs65.00freehost.com/alumni-list.html

 


From the website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - 01/04/05 - "Church
Expresses Sympathy in Missionary Incident
":

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church released the following statement following the tragic death of one of its missionaries and the wounding of another in Chesapeake, Virginia, on Monday, 2 January 2005:

“We are deeply saddened at the death of Elder Morgan Winslow Young. Our hearts reach out in sympathy, love and appreciation to his parents, family members and friends at this difficult time. We pray that they will find peace and comfort in the promises of the Lord concerning those who give their lives in His service."

   This statement was released after yesterday's Newsletter, which is why it wasn't included them.

 


  From Dee Hodges Bartram ('66) of VA - 01/04/06:

I found    Mike Costner!!  He is in Lake Mary, Florida.  I think    Linda Bond (Crayton - '66 - of VA) was looking for him so I will let her know.

   That's wonderful!!! How were you able to locate him?!?

Have you ever used 411.com   Kathy Johnson Sims turned me on to that since we are trying to find classmates.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  I was lucky 2 out of 3 times last night.  Since I have unlimited long distance on my home phone, I just called and asked if it was him and it was.  I also found Frances Bass the same way.  We had a lovely chat.

   Sooo cool!!!  I'll give it a whirl - the next time I have a free moment............

   Thanks, Dee! 

 


  From Helen Flax Kierstead ('58) of Ontario - 01/04/06 - "Hello Carol":

Carol:
 
With your expertise in computers, you have probably seen the below link, but just in case, I am forwarding on to you.  A friend of mine sent it to me.  Take care.  : )

http://oldbluewebdesigns.com/TakeMeBackToTheFifties.htm

   Helen, this is marvelous!  I'd read bits and snippets of this before, but never have I seen it presented so well!  Thanks so much! 

 


From Tim Rogers (Hampton HS - '66) of VA - 01/04/06 - "NEWS LETTER":

Hi, Carol

I would like to correct the date on the GREAT PIGNAPPING; it was 1961. I don't want to confuse anyone into thinking it happened twice.

 Also, to    Gloria Woolard Price (Hampton HS - '65 - of FL): I am in the yearbook as James Rogers.

I was looking over your newsletters and alumni. Boy, was I amazed at the number of people listed that I know or have known. I was thinking I may have come out of the Witness Protection Program too soon!

The story of your mother's Renault Dauphine on the "Our Old Cars" page reminded me of my first experience with a Dauphine. You may do as you wish with this story.

   I'll be posting it on Our Old Cars, of course!

THE GREAT ESCAPE

Around 1960 a friends parents left him and a Renault Dauphine (without keys) home for a couple of days. That car was the easiest car I have ever HOT WIRED in my life; it took about 5 sec.. I even remarked "that was too easy".

Well, we took off down the street and when we turned the corner the steering wheel locked; that event was neither foreseen nor planned for. What do we do now? I had not mastered the art of picking locks at that time but that soon changed! Here we were with a car with a locked steering wheel a block from his house. We did what we had to, we rounded up every kid in the neighborhood and picked the front end up and pushed that car a whole block back to his house. I don't think his parents ever found out because they never said anything.

I will write some more of these little stories as time and the law will allow, if anybody is interested.

Tim Rogers, HHS66

   
Oh, yes, Tim - we're interested!  Thanks so much!

 


  From Fred Field ('45) of CA - 01/04/06 - "Before Stuart Gardens":

Hello Carol,        Wed. Jan. 4, 2006
 
So many of the site participants seemed to have lived in Stuart Gardens.
 
Before Stuart Gardens construction began (about 1941), the area was occupied mainly by the Dodge Boat Company and the Old Dominion Golf Course.  The World War I hastily-built Camp Stuart had all but disappeared except for a few buildings which had been of brick and mortar construction.  The Camp Stuart Armory building survived and was used by the National Guard until the Guard's new Armory was built at the corner of 30th Street and Virginia Avenue (now Warwick Boulevard).
 
Also little known was that the entire area was still part of Warwick County - a virtual island inside of the City of Newport News.  All of it would be annexed into Newport News by the time Stuart Gardens was completed.
 
In Michigan, the Dodge Boat Company (a branch of the Dodge Motor Company) built racy motorboats.  Horace Dodge decided to erect a plant at Newport News to be devoted solely to his boat building.  In 1928 a huge 1,000 acre plot was purchased for about $1,000,000 and Horace Dodge's dream plant became a reality.
 
The history of the Dodge Boat Co. can be viewed online at:
 
The plant was soon in full operation and the fancy boats sold well for a while.  But then the impact of the depression slowed everything down and the plant ceased production.  Dodge held on to the facility which sat virtually unused during the late thirties.  I can remember going to an air show there in about 1937.  The event had one ancient biplane.  The acts included wing walking and a parachute jump.  Those of us who had paid admission got to see all this up close - but the spectators standing outside the vast chain link fence at the end of Wickham Avenue saw almost as much. 
 
In about 1940 I was in the Sons of the American Legion Bugle Corps.  The building in which we practiced marching (corner of 30th and Washington Avenue) was torn down.  One of the Legion members was a watchman for the closed Dodge Plant and he arranged for us to drill inside the assembly building.
 
In 1942 with World War II heating up, the Dodge Boat Company was reactivated.  They made several types of high performance boats and landing craft.
 
After the war the Dodge Plant was sold and much of the surrounding land disposed of.  It was subsequently used for many manufacturing ventures.  Since moving away I have lost track of the events.  However, on a Sunday in 1990 I did find the gate open and ventured onto the property.  Just inside the gate was a remnant of an old Camp Stuart street.  These tar and gravel streets were distinctive because stream gravel was used.  The individual gravel pieces were rounded and had a reddish orange color. 
 
When accessing the dodgeboats web site, be sure to click on Gallery.  There are a great number of interesting photos of Dodge speedboats, many of which are cherished collector items today.
 
Nostalgic best wishes,
 
Fred

   WOWZERONI-RINI!!!  I never knew anything whatsoever about any of this!  Thanks so much, Fred!  While I was looking around, I also found this:

http://www.assemblymag.com/CDA/ArticleInformation/features/BNP__Features__Item/0,6493,98686,00.html :

In 1930, Dodge opened a 210,000-square-foot assembly plant in Newport News, VA, and boasted that it was "the largest boatbuilding facility in existence." Unfortunately, the plant was forced to close in 1936 because of the Great Depression.

 


  From Frances Goodson Wang ('65) of MD - 01/05/06 - "putative - OneLook Dictionary
Search":

This is a great sight I learned about today.  Not just one word source, but many.  There is a reverse word feature, also.  Good for anagram enthusiasts???
Have fun.

http://www.onelook.com/?w=putative&ls=a

   WOWZERS!!!  This is great, Frances!  Thanks so much! 

 


UPDATES:

http://www.nnhs65.00freehost.com/faculty.html

http://www.nnhs65.00freehost.com/librarians.html - OH CRUM - I never added any music!  Sigh.....

http://www.nnhs65.00freehost.com/libra-Ball.html - Neither did I add any music here - but I did finally post
Joan Lauterbach Krause's memory from 10/13/05.


NON-UPDATES:

   Once again, I haven't posted anything anywhere, but we did successfully move the computer from one
room to another without causing mass destruction, so I've high hopes of posting things where they belong
tomorrow!


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

                          Love to all, Carol

==============================================

NNHS CLASS OF '65 WEB SITE: http://www.nnhs65.00freehost.com

PERSONAL WEB SITE: http://www.angelfire.com/weird2/cluckmeat

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

==============================================


The Twelve Days of Christmas

The first publication date for The Twelve Days of Christmas (The 12 Days of Christmas) was 1780.


On the first day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
A Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the second day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the third day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the fourth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the fifth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the sixth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the seventh day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the eighth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the ninth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the tenth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the eleventh day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Eleven Pipers Piping
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Twelve Drummers Drumming
Eleven Pipers Piping
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree


"The Twelve Days of Christmas" midi and lyrics courtesy of http://www.12days.com/library/carols/12daysofxmas.htm - 01/05/06

Partridge in a Pear Tree Image courtesy of http://www.gardeners.com/Partridge-Ornament-Tree/default/35-429.prd - 01/05/06

Gold Leaf Divider Line clip art courtesy of http://www.wtv-zone.com/nevr2l82/bars4.html - 01/05/06

Crab clip art courtesy of http://www.geocities.com/agent99bm/ - 10/02/05

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