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01/06/12 - NNHS Newsletter - Epiphany - Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning

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 Van Dyke, The Other Wise Man”, 1896
(10 Nov 1852 - 10 Apr 1933)

Dear Friends and Schoolmates, 

   This Newsletter event repeats each year, but this particular interpretation of it is being revisited from 2006.

   Today is Epiphany, the Twelfth Day of Christmas.  As we as Latter-day Saints do not personally observe this Visitation of the Magi, my children know this primarily as "The Day Mom Gets Really REALLY Sad Because She Has to Take Down All Her Christmas Decorations - Unless She Can Find a Loophole."

   This year Mom found a couple of doozy loopholes - first, we are still actually celebrating Christmas tonight on the Twelfth Day (and you can't really celebrate Christmas if you take down all the decorations, can you?!?  Why, that would be akin to watching The Roy Rogers Show on tellybision without wearing your cute little Western clothes - complete with hat, vest, toy guns and holster, boots and spurs, right?!?  But I digress...).

   Second, we keep getting sick so we keep having to take sick days.  Sick days do not count against you.  They're Freebies (I made that part up myself).

   Third, as long as all the outside decorations have been removed, it's not so bad, and mine are, so I'm covered there (I made that part up myself. too).

   Fourth, I haven't really decided whether of not I'm going to keep up a year-round holiday tree and just change out the ornaments to suit the season.  Hmmm - if I use the little white tree instead of the big green one, I won't need to replace as many decorations (having "redistributed" my enormous stash of decorations when I moved back to Illinois three years ago).  Lemme see, if I moved straight to the Valentine tree and skipped the January snow tree this year, I might be able to... No, wait a minute!  I can pull off that January snow tree!  I'll just take down the big green tree, and move the little white tree from the hearth room into the living room somewhere or other...  YEAH!  I can do that!

BONUS - - Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning - Organ Solo


   Happy Birthday today to        Harry Covert ('57) of Northern VA AND    Steve Veazey ('60) of VA AND    Diane Sandler Marcus ('69) of MD!

   Happy Birthday tomorrow to     Jimmy Shires ('57) of VA AND Brucey Smith Slama ('57) AND Paige Smith Morahan ('57)!

   Happy Birthday this week to:

08 -
   Mrs. Wilma Salmon Robinson (Warwick HS - '51) of VA
AND Dreamadon Dillon Skidmore ('57) AND Sonja Settles Allen ('57) AND    Pat Branch Coltrane ('57)

09 - Joan Burcher Green ('57) AND    Joe Dickson ('66) of VA;

10 - Peggy Taylor Hudson ('57) AND    Bob Parrish ('68) of VA;

11 - My Brother-in-Law, the late   Miles Nowitzky (Granby HS - '50) (d. 07 May 2005) AND     Frances Goodson Wang ('65) of MD AND   Ron Haney ('65) of VA AND   Ron Smith ('65) of VA  AND Barbara Dye Hensley ('69) of VA!

   Many Happy Returns to You All! 


January 05, 19__ - Nuffin again?!?  How can this be?!?


January 06, 19__ - Nothing? What, again?? How can there be two days in a row covering so many years when nothing of any significance whatsoever transpired?!?


Friday, January 05, 1962 - Actress and model Suzy Amis was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Friday, January 05, 1962 - Baseball player Danny Jackson was born in San Antonio, Texas.


Saturday, January 06, 1962 - Guitarist Michael Houser (Widespread Panic) was born in Boone, North Carolina. He died 10 Aug 2002 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 40.


  From Ruth Ann Reece Horace ('67) of FL - 01/05/12, 3:44 PM - "Going to Colorado Springs":

Dear Family and Friends,

I will be flying out on Sat. (Jan. 7) to Colorado Springs to stay with Kimmy and Chris for 3 weeks (Jan. 28).  Kylie is due on the 14th so I should be there to help out.  I may not be answering any emails, etc. during this time.  Can't wait to see our newest granddaughter.

   WONDERFUL! Thanks, Ruthie! All the best to all concerned!

   From Cheryl Mays Howard ('66) of VA - 01/05/12, 4:05 PM - "Typhoon grandbaby addition":

  --Our new little granddaughter Lola Grace Shipman, was born Dec. 27th weighing 8 lbs. 5 oz. That will be 5 for us!  What blessings! Happy New Year

Peace & Blessing,
Cheryl Mays Howard

   AWWW! How adorable she is! Thanks, Cheryl! Congratulations to everyone concerned!


   From Fred Field (June '45) of CA to        Bill Lee (Warwick HS - '54) of NC 01/05/12 - "Holiday String":

Your observation about how easily memories can be stimulated made me realize what happened because of some December  correspondence between me and Beth Maxwell of Newport News.
She started it:

12-9-11  From Beth Maxwell to Fred:

During these serious and troubled times, people of all faiths should remember these four great religious truths:


1. Muslims do not recognize Jews as God's Chosen People.

2. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

3. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian world.

4. Baptists do not recognize each other at the liquor store.


As tee-totaling Baptists, my folks would not be caught dead in an ABC (liquor) store.  But at Christmas time when the women made their fruitcakes, that was the exception to the rule!  They simply had to have some spirits for soaking the fruitcake!  When I read this, it brought back lots of memories!  Bet it did to you, too!


Merry Christmas, everyone!

Beth Maxwell


Hello Beth,        12-9-11   


Very well said!


My English/Welsh immigrant maternal grandfather, John Henry Lloyd, belonged to both Presbyterian and Baptist churches in NN.  The former because most of his friends went there - the latter because they sang louder (he was very deaf).  Welsh roots go way down deep into the music genes - as do mine.


During 1930s winters, he would discreetly show a visitor a bottle of whiskey and quietly ask, Would you care for a drop of something against the cold?


His wife (my grandmother) made the fruitcakes for Christmas.  She soaked them well with both whiskey and brandy.  Her mince pies got the same.  I got into trouble at school (5th grade) when one of the nosy girls asked why my slice of lunch pie had a funny odor.  I gave her a truthful answer which she promptly relayed on to the teacher.  My defense was: It's not real whiskey - just flavoring.  The teacher quickly accepted that.  Surely she didn't want to step into the inevitable potential.


Hello Beth,        Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011 


Your article about buying at the ABC Store shook some cobwebs off the brain.  I remember that friends and family referred to the place as a Package Store.


That undoubtedly removed the necessity of mentioning the place by the common name.  But also left me in the dark about the derivation.


Now since I am all grown up and have my own computer and Wikipedia to serve me, I decided to find out what it was all about.  The below result is fairly self-explanatory. 


From Wikipedia:

In alcoholic beverage control (ABC) states, liquor stores often sell only spirits or sometimes sell spirits and wine but not beer. ABC-run stores may be called ABC stores or State Stores.

In Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, and Massachusetts, liquor stores are also technically known as “package stores” because purchased liquor must be packaged in a sealed container or bag when it is taken from the store.[1]

United Kingdom and Ireland

In the United Kingdom and Ireland the corresponding term is "off-licence," or "offie" for short, which refers to the fact that alcohol may be bought on the premises but must be consumed off the premises. Almost all supermarkets, grocery stores, and petrol stations have an off-licence.

The price of alcohol in off-licence establishments is substantially lower than its price in on-licence establishments (bars, pubs, and restaurants).


When working in England, I noticed that some pubs had an outside window from which customers could buy bottled booze.  Above the window was a small sign which said "Off License."  Didn't think much about that at the time, but guess it is clear enough now.        


I also learned that in English food service, what we call take out is there referred to as take away


In England I got into several heated discussions over which such variations were most logical.  I soon learned not to argue with a culture that drives on the wrong side of the road and mounts on-off switches upside-down. 


Here in California the common name is Liquor Store.  However the name is slowly being transmogrified to Convenience Store.  If you asked about a package store you might get reported to the bomb squad.  Too close to the dreaded Suspicious Package


Incidentally, my father used to buy his booze (substantial quantities) at the ABC store on Jefferson Avenue.  Any friend that he might run into there would understand.


Happy New Year, Fred

Fred W. Field
Loma Linda & Fullerton, CA
   Thanks so much, Fred!

    From Norm Covert ('61) of MD - 01/04/12 - "NEW YEAR’S NOTIONS & NUMBERS":


Posted: 03 Jan 2012 07:02 PM PST


Looking back on events of 2011 is a notion that Leroy (Satchell) Paige said we should avoid. Chances are, he said, “the Devil may be gaining on you!” The late, great professional baseball pitcher knew from which he spoke. I, therefore, am forging into 2012 with optimism.

A retrospective does give pause that something good can happen with me and mine – and you and yours – these next 12 months. 

Times Square 2012, Mayor Michael Bloomberg counts down with Gadfly Entertainer Lady Gaga
on stage right. (Bloomberg Photo)

With my medical fixes and new devices, you might compare me to my 1996 Saturn. This year it received a new water pump, battery and serpentine belt, and nails were removed from two tires. Quality workmanship and parts promise fewer calls to AAA™ and Medicare.

Such optimism and renewed energy did not translate into dragging out formal clothes and reserving a table for two at a local New Year’s Eve gala. Our mission in recent years is less than exciting with our attempts to be awake when the Waterford Crystal Ball drops in Times Square. We made it this time and it was as festive an occasion as could be from the vantage point of my recliner.

I recall Mother allowing me to stay up for the arrival of the new year when I was 11 years old. That occasion saw me try writing out the numbers 1-9-5-5 as a visual perspective of the occasion when a 200 pound aluminum ball was dropped in Times Square.

A strange number 1955, I thought, but I liked the double fives. I liked the double digits, too, in 2-0-1-1. I’m wrestling with the transition to the new digits 2-0-1-2.

Nick Diaz with fellow motorcycle rider Janet Joseph in Leesburg, Va. New Year's Day.

It took me long enough to figure out the “2-0-0” part while inscribing progressions through the fog of the past decade. I have made a mental note to be careful to avoid writing “2-0-0-1-2.”

Arithmetic was never my forte; my eyes glaze over and my brain goes into neutral. I once discussed this syndrome with a colleague Nick Diaz, who is a whiz banger at math; also a tutor, coach, educator and college trustee.

Prof. D shed his motorcycle leather while on the road Sunday in order to explain on Facebook™ that 2011 is a prime number (I didn’t see it that way, nor understand its significance). He says 2-0-1-7 also will be, or is, a prime number, I suppose boding well for the prospects in the future. He expressed this phenomenon as an arith-metic (sic) expression: “2^2*503.” (Sigh!)

Differences in this Algebra text and my '57 volume could fool me, but not Prof. D.

I’m confused, as usual, but certain he will explain it. Prof. D did opine that my angst with numbers was founded in not having been taught correctly. He should have met my ninth grade math teacher Mrs. Taback, who opened the windows of Algebra I for me – alas, the revelation lasted but a moment.

I did achieve greatness as a senior in high school when Mrs. Mary Beth Stokes challenged me with a semester of general math to earn an “A” and that critical graduation credit.

Later in life, I learned adults rarely have to figure “it” out, they cheat! Only top tier mathematics students and engineers understood a slide rule, which has been replaced by equally complex calculators.  I do sense a conspiracy but I’ve never suffered as a result of the esoteric phenomenon.

My well-worn Pica Pole for figuring text flow in publications.

You may agree with me that, for example, a broad assortment of charts has been available to assist anyone with a mathematical chore at work. My own digital computer, consisting of 10 fingers, is severely limited in its capabilities. When I became a sports writer I was required to figure won/lost records, games behind, batting averages, earned run averages and such statistics. It was made elementary by charts available from the right suppliers.

Slide rule adjusted to multiply by 2. Was an essential tool for engineers and designers until the calculator and computer made them obsolete.

I first learned about the cheat sheets while using the Peterson Scoremaster™ book to record a baseball game. The charts are inside the back page.

Some basic arithmetic and geometry (A = L x W) helped me later with newspaper and magazine layout and design. The mystery of working with photographs was a snap using the proportion wheel.  Yes, I did use some pencil and paper when working off variables of the equation and derivatives: X% of Y =? (or is it Y = X? [Sigh!]).

I do not demean the need to teach arithmetic/mathematics, etc, in secondary schools and universities. I am pleased that the multiplication tables are slowly coming back into fashion in local schools. When the batteries run out on the calculator and telephone device, you can’t beat a No. 2 pencil and scratch paper.


So Prof D, what are the odds that my cubes will roll sevens and elevens in 2012? I’ll just have to roll ‘em and see.

Best new year wishes, dear reader.–©Norman M. Covert 2012

#  #  #

Another version of this commentary is available at and is used with permission of the author and The Octopus, LLC.

   Thanks so much and Happy New Year to you, too, Normie! I strongly identify with many of the thoughts and limitations you expressed! 



     From Hunter Todd ('57) of TX - 01/04/12 - "We wish you a Very Bountiful New Year!":

January 4, 2012
The 45th Annual WorldFest-
Houston Intl Film Festival
Sends you this Very Special Final Deadline Extension... and Happiest of New Year's!



Howdy from Houston!

In response to hundreds of emails and phone calls, we are delighted to announce our traditional Final "Brick Wall" Deadline for the 45th Annual WorldFest-Houston Film & Video Remi Awards Competition. Be part of the 3rd oldest International Film Festival in North America, and the oldest Indie Festival in the world. Enter the festival that gave first awards to Spielberg, Lucas, David Lynch, Ang Lee, John Lee Hancock, Randal Kleiser, Gavin Hood, Ridley Scott and The Coen Brothers!

Be Part of the 45th Annual WorldFest! April 13-22, 2012!
We have extended our final Entry Deadline to January 31, 2012. Your entry must reach us by then. We offer competition for the coveted Remi award in 12 major categories, not just 2; Features, Shorts, Docs, TV Production, Music Videos, Student, Screenplays, TV Commercials, Business Films, Experimental, Film & Video Production, & New Media.
It is quick and easy to enter WorldFest...
The Wonderful City of Houston, 4th largest city in America!
Described as "quite possibly the best organized film festival in the World" - Before there was Sundance or SXSW, before there was Toronto or Tribeca, there was WorldFest! We screen our Shorts and Features in Big AMC Theaters and are the only Film Festival in the World offering a VIP Tour of NASA and a Sailboat Regatta on Beautiful Galveston Bay at the Classic Houston Yacht Club!
To Enter, Click on FAQ, Categories, & Entry Form...

The coveted WorldFest-Houston Remi Award is the symbol of Creative Excellence and is named after Frederick Remington, the brilliant Artist that captured the spirit of Texas and The West with his paintings and sculptures.

Enter the 45th Annual WorldFest-Houston International Film & Video Festival!

Team WorldFest
WorldFest-Houston Intl Film Festival

The 45th WorldFest-Houston is very proudly sponsored by AMC Theaters, the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA), Boxer Property, Panasonic 3D/HD, Eastman Kodak, The City of Houston, The Houston Film Commission, The HQ Marriott Westchase Hotel, Space Center Houston, Texas Longhorns, Wagner Media, NASA, The Houston Yacht Club, InkTip, The Houston Film Society, OnlyInHouston, , The Wellness Center and our Sister-Festivals USAFilmFestival/Dallas , & The Seoul Drama Awards, Korea; and The Concorto Short Film Festival, Italy. To everyone that has already entered, we thank you! To other Intl Film Fests, if we can assist you in any way, please feel free to contact us!

   WOWZERS! Thank you so much, Hunter! Best wishes to you and yours as well!

      From My Husband, Paul Harty (Bardolph HS, IL - '61) of NC - 01/04/12 - "Navajo Code Talkers":

Here is a website for a proposed Navajo Code Talkers museum and they are seeking donations to help with this endeavor.  For those of you who are not familiar with them they are the group of Navajo’s that developed a code of their language in order to communicate on the battle field in the pacific on a secured lines.

It was never broken by the Japanese and they were later honored with a congressional medal specific for their accomplishment.

   OUTSTANDING! Thanks so much, Dools!

      From My Sister, Eleanor Buckley Nowitzky ('59) of NC - 01/05/12 - "100 Years in Ten Minutes":

My grandson, Jacob, showed me something you would love on It's a ten-minute video clip on the major events of the last 100 years. You know history, and I am seriously flawed and lacking in my knowledge of the subject.

    Thanks, Eleanor! This is a fascinating site. I haven't found that video yet, but that could be because I was totally overcome by hysterical laughter after reading this delicious piece of utter nonsense - of which there is far too little in the world: 

Here it is: 

OHHH! Well, now, that is a super video! As with all such compilations, there are a few things I might not have including, and a few things the compiler chose not to include, but that's inevitable. I really applaud his efforts; he must have spent a considerable amount of time, both in the selection and the actual construction. Thanks so much for telling me!

From Marvin Barnes ('65) of VA - 01/04/12 - "Inner Peace":

Inner Peace

If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can conquer tension
without medical help,
If you can relax without alcohol,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

...Then You Are Probably the Family Dog!

And you thought I was going to get all spiritual....

   Thanks, Marvin!

  From Norris Perry (Warwick HS - '59) of VA - 01/05/12 - "in 10 years!":  

I pointed to two old drunks sitting across the bar from us and told my friend, "That's us in 10 years".

He said, "That's a mirror, dumb-@#$!

      Thanks, Norris Sweetie!

    From Eva Ellis Madagan ('61) of FL - 12/20/11 - "Clever Ideas to Make Life Easier (#16 in a Series of 24)":

  Some of these ideas are really good.

Bread tags make the perfect-sized cord labels.

   EXCELLENT! Thank you so much, Eva - I do love clever tips!



From - 01/05/12:

Building Security has notified us that there have been 5 suspected terrorists working at our office. Four of the five have been apprehended. Bin Sleeping, Bin Loafing, Bin Gossiping, and Bin Surfing have been taken into custody. Security advised us that they could find no one fitting the description of the fifth cell member, Bin Working, in the office. Police are confident that anyone who looks like Bin Working will be very easy to spot. They thought they had apprehended Bin Working sitting at a desk, but it was actually Bin Surfing trying to impersonate Bin Working.


1. 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.

2. Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 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.

3. Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - 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.

4. Friday and Saturday, October 5 and 6, 2012 - Class of 1962 - 50-Year Reunion - Crowne Plaza Hotel, Hampton on the Water. More information after the Holidays. Meetings are second Tuesday of each month. CONTACT: Brenda Amos Williams at 

PRAYER ROLL: - updated 10/22/11

BLOG: - updated 03/13/11

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


1. Visit the main page (, scroll halfway down, and click on the Pay Pal Donate Button (;

2. Go to, log in, select "Send Money (Services) to; or

3. Just mail it directly to my home. Thanks!    

  Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER! We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol




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

Animated Tiny Birthday Cake clip art courtesy of Sarah Puckett Kressaty ('65) of VA - 08/31/05
Thanks, Sarah Sugah!

Navy Seal clip art courtesy of - 05/29/06

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

Coast Guard Seal clip art courtesy of - 10/03/07

Animated Wildly Laughing Dog courtesy of Eva Ellis Madagan ('61) of FL - 11/24/07
Thanks, Eva!

Animated Fat Frog courtesy of Wayne Stokes ('65) of VA - 07/16/08
Thanks, Wayne!

Back to NNHS Newsletters - 2012

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