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11/30/07 - NNHS Newsletter -
What'll I Do?

“Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea!
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony."

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, pt. 4, st. 3, 1798
21 Oct 1772 - 25 July 1834)

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,

   I had really wanted to use "Prisoner of Love" for today's Newsletter theme to offset all the recent  Frank Sinatra with a bit of Perry Como, but I was unable to find a midi file for it.  So I naturally immediately chose Irving Berlin's "What'll I Do?" instead.

   No, of course that doesn't make any sense whatsoever.  I never made any such outlandish claims.  



A Big Happy Birthday today to     Rip Collins ('65) of TN AND     Sandi Bateman Chestnut ('65) of VA!

   Many Happy Returns to you both!




Thanksgiving dishes are back in the china cabinet, and the last of the leftovers are finished. The party season is starting, and Christmas carols fill the air. While this is an exciting and joyful time for a lot of us, for many individuals the holidays can be an intensely difficult time, triggering feelings of stress, loneliness and loss.

If a person is prone to depression, these feelings can be magnified.

How can anyone feel depressed at this time of year, you ask? The reasons are many: People who are separated from their families often feel isolated because they are unable to celebrate in the traditional way. Families who have lost a loved one during the year often feel his or her absence especially at this time. Others become depressed because they imagine that everyone else is enjoying a warm, idealized family experience, while they are on the outside looking in.

Even people who enjoy the holidays can find them stressful. At this time of year people are stretched for time, energy and money - - particularly the latter. They may feel embarrassed because they can't celebrate the way they would like to, or celebrate in the style they have in years past.

Some ways to ward off the holiday blues:

Keep expectations reasonable. Do not take on more activities than you can comfortably handle -- financially or otherwise.

Don't overspend. Plan a holiday budget and live within it, regardless of the temptation.

Do not run up credit card debt, or January will be like a serious hangover.

And speaking of hangovers: Watch your alcohol intake. Remember, although alcohol appears to be a mood elevator, it is actually a depressant. If you have a problem with alcohol, get whatever support you need to make it through the holidays.

And finally, if you are feeling down and in need of an instant "upper," the surest way to accomplish it is to do something nice for someone else. Call someone who lives alone and invite that person to dinner. Better yet, say, "I'm coming to get you, and I'll see that you get safely home." (Some older people no longer drive at night, and those who do might prefer not to be behind the wheel after dark.) Give it a try! You'll be glad you did.

And another reminder: We have so much for which to be grateful -- our health, our sanity, our freedom. For those of you with a little time to spare, how about showing our gratitude to our wounded veterans by visiting a veteran's hospital and raising the spirits of those who have served our country? As I said before, the quickest way to lose those holiday blues is to extend a hand to someone who could use one. Try it and you'll see what I mean.

Love, ABBY

     From My Niece, Shari, of VA - 11/29/07 - "Happy Winter Time and No More With Me ":

Have a great weekend,
The Great I Am.                                                  

 No More With Me

"I'm sorry. Please forgive me! I don't mean to hold you up," he said as he struggled to get off the escalator.

I'll admit to it. There have been times when walking or driving behind an older person I've gotten impatient and upset. I've huffed and zoomed around them because I was in a hurry to get nowhere. Perhaps I'm more aware of it now because I see myself there one day soon. Today I saw myself in this old man's shoes and it caused me to slow down, stop and ask for his forgiveness.

He was about five or six people ahead of me. I was in a hurry and saw him as an obstacle. I've seen people get off the end of an escalator and stop dead in their tracks, gather their things and suddenly there's a pile up of angry people behind them. You can't stop an escalator full of people behind you. Like the Energizer bunny, they keep on goin'.

This man was well aware of the challenge. He tried desperately to step aside. Fumbling with his small packages, struggling to gain his footing, you could see how troubling this was for him. "I'm sorry. Please forgive me! I don't mean to hold you up," he said as he struggled to get off the escalator.

I suddenly saw this in a whole new light. It was like I was watching my future. I felt sorry for him. I felt sick to my stomach because this man was apologizing to everyone, when we should have been helping him and calming his fears.

One by one, people zipped around him. I heard a few angry comments whispered as one lady passed by him.

I saw me.

By the time I got to him he was just about steady on his feet.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know there was more," he said.

"No, sir. No more with me," I said. This really hit me hard. I realized right then how sad it was that the world was in such a hurry. That, of course, included me. more with me. Count me out.

This wonderful man paid his dues. For whatever time he had spent on this earth, he most likely walked many rough roads and too many important miles. Now he should be apologizing for moving slower?

My heart ached as I looked into his eyes. I wished that I could see what he had seen all those years. His face weathered from life itself, was creased and wrinkled. The small soft pockets under his eyes and the gentle lines that curved up and around them told me he had many happy moments, too. Those were traces left behind from laughter and a smiling, happy man.

"My friend, can I help you with those things?" I asked.

Hesitant at first, he finally said, "Well, yes, thank you!"

I placed my hand under his left arm and walked with him a safe distance away from the rush of people.

"So what are you shopping for, sir?"

"Oh, just a little something for my neighbor. She's a young mother raising kids on her own. She's always so nice to me. I thought a box of candy for Mother's Day..." he said, stopping suddenly as he searched his inside pocket of his sport coat.

"Do you need something?" I asked.

"Oh, no. Here. I think I have it right here. I always carry them with me," he said. Then pulling out a hand full of papers he shuffled through them and handed me a business card that read:

"John A. Pomicter Friend to all...enemy to no one! I said a prayer today and you were the answer. Thank you!"

"That's for you," he said. "Thanks for stopping to help an old man."

"My friend, you helped me. I discovered that I was unhappy with the world and I was part of the problem. Now I'll be part of the solution. No more with me!"

"Then this was meant to be," he said smiling.

"You know God sends me gifts every day and always at least one special person. You were my gift for today! Let's go get some chocolates, my friend."

[ Author Unknown -- from 'E-Mail Ministry' ( ]

   Thanks so much, Shari, this is a great reminder to us all!

From Eva Ellis Madagan ('61) of FL - 11/29/07 - "Blind horse":

Just up the road is a field, with two horses in it.

From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing....

Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind.  His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him. 

This alone is amazing.

If you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell.  Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. 
Attached to the horse's halter is a small bell. 

It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow. 
As you stand and watch these two friends, you'll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse, and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse is, trusting that he will not be led astray. 

When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, it stops occasionally and looks back, making sure that the blind friend isn't too far behind to hear the bell. 

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. 

He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.

Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives. 

Other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way....

Good friends are like that ... You may not always see them, but you know they are always there. 

Please listen for my bell and I'll listen for yours. 
And remember... 
Be kinder than necessary-
Everyone you meet is fighting 
Some kind of battle.

Live simply,
Love generously,
Care deeply,
Speak kindly....
Leave the rest to God

   Thank you, Eva, this is beautiful!

    From Johnnie Bateman ('67/'70) of VA - 11/29/07 - "Sandi's Birthday":


Sandi's Nephew Johnnie III was born on her birthday, I had to get permission
from her prior to his delivery!

Love Y'all!
Johnnie Jr.


   Thanks, Johnnie! Tell your son Happy Birthday from all of us here!

  From Elaine Wilkinson Bracken ('61) of VA - 11/29/07 - "Ramblings of a Retired Mind":

I was thinking about how a status symbol of today is those cell phones that everyone has clipped onto their belt or purse. 
I can't afford one. - So, I'm wearing my garage door opener.
You know, I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people didn't like me anyway.
I was thinking that women should put pictures of missing husbands on beer cans!
I was thinking about old age and decided that old age is 'when you still have something on the ball, but you are just too tired to bounce it.'
I thought about making a fitness movie, for folks my age, and call it "Pumping Rust."
I have gotten that dreaded furniture disease. That's when your chest is falling into your drawers!
I know, when people see a cat's litter box, they always say, "Oh, have you got a cat?"
Just once I want to say -  "No, it's for company!"
Employment application blanks always ask 'who is to be notified in case of an emergency.'
I think you should write - "A Good Doctor!"
Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do... write to these men?  - Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen could look for them while they deliver the mail? - Or better yet, arrest them while they are taking their pictures!
I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older - then, it dawned on me, they were cramming for their finals.
As for me - I'm just hoping God grades on the curve.

"Enjoy Your Days & Love Your Life"


"Life is a journey to be savored"

People will forget what you said:
People will forget what you did:
But, they will never forget how you made them feel !!!!

   GIGGLES! Thanks, Elaine!

     From My Niece, Shari, of VA - 11/29/07 - "Just One Rose":

I would rather have one rose and a kind word from a friend while I'm here than a whole truck load when I'm gone ..

THESE ARE FOR YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happiness keeps you Sweet,
Trials keep you Strong,
Sorrows keep you Human,
Failures keep you Humble,
Success keeps you Glowing,
But Only God Keeps You Going!

  Thank you again, Shari!


  From Sydney Dearing ('56) of TN - 11/29/07 - "Alumni Page":

Hi Carol,
I wonder if you could add my mother's name and class picture (attached) to the Alumni page. She was Lena Mae Scruggs (Dearing) 1917-1979 NNHS class of 1936. She was always proud to be an NNHS alum. This would have made her smile.
Sydney Dearing
NNHS class of 1956

   Certainly, Sydney!

  From Renee Helterbran Benton ('59) of VA - 11/29/07 - "Five ways to avoid medication mistakes":

This story was on CNN's website today and could save a life.  Please read:
When Dr. Albert Wu's wife, Diana Sugg, was pregnant with their first child, Sugg developed hepatitis and meningitis and was hospitalized. One evening while Wu was at the hospital taking care of his feverish wife, a nurse came in the room to give Sugg her antibiotics.

Wu knew immediately that something was wrong.

The nurse's antibiotics were pills. He remembered that just a short time before, another nurse had given his wife the exact same antibiotics, but intravenously. He feared his wife was about to get two doses of the same medicine.

"I told the nurse, and she said, 'Oh dear. We'll check that,' " says Wu, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. "Had I not been there to intercept the error, she would have gotten both doses."

Don't Miss

Medication errors harm at least 1.5 million people every year, according to the Institute of Medicine. In hospitals, there is at least one medication error per patient per day, according to an IOM report last year.

The newborn twins of actor Dennis Quaid were reportedly the victims of medication errors earlier this month when they were given doses of a blood thinner that was 1,000 times stronger than what was prescribed.

Outside the hospital, the situation is not as clear. But the IOM report says roughly 530,000 medication errors occur among Medicare recipients in outpatient clinics -- and that this is most likely an underestimate.

"The numbers really are staggering," says Wu, who helped write the IOM report. "Medication errors happen every day."

Wu says his experience with his wife shows patients really can prevent some -- but not all -- medication errors. Here from him and other experts are tips for avoiding medication errors.

1. Get in your doctor's face

The first step to preventing medication errors is to know exactly what your doctor is prescribing, how often you should take it, and at what dosage. Don't walk out of the doctor's office confused. "If you don't understand something, you should ask," says Wu. "This may seem like you're getting your doctor annoyed with you, but we doctors should get used to it."

Also, when your doctor writes a prescription, make sure you can read it. "If you can't read the doctor's handwriting, your pharmacist might not be able to either," according to a list of tips from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. "Ask the doctor to use block letters to print the name of the drug."

2. Get in your pharmacist's face

At the pharmacy, don't just take the prescription and walk away. Check the name, make sure it's what you were prescribed, and show the medicine to the pharmacist to double check you have the right one. For more tips on avoiding pharmacy errors, click here.

3. In the hospital, get your meds in writing

Ask for a list of all the medications you're supposed to be given, what they look like, and when you should get them. Then, when a nurse comes around to give you your medications, you know if they have it right, says Hedy Cohen, vice president of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

Your Health Tools

Cohen, a nurse, says she's seen patients get the wrong medication. "If you're supposed to get an orange pill at noon and instead you get a blue one, you can say something," Cohen says.

4. Make sure this is really YOUR medicine

Especially if your name is "Smith" or "Jones." "I personally saw a mom say to a nurse, 'Hey, the IV bag you're about to give my son has another child's name on it,' " Cohen says. She recommends showing the nurse your ID bracelet every time you're given a medicine.

Of course, it can be tough to notice mistakes when you're sick. That's why researchers who specialize in medical errors say it's very important to have someone with you in the hospital.

5. Get dramatic if you have to

Wu says when his friend's daughter was in the hospital, his friend realized a nurse was about to administer the wrong medicine. When Wu's friend told her this was not the medication the doctor had ordered, the nurse didn't believe him. "He threw himself across the bed until they realized the medication was for the next patient," Wu says.

A stern verbal request might work, too. "You could say, 'Just to be safe, could you please check with the doctor,' " Wu says. "Say, 'I don't want anything bad to happen, so please check.' "

   Thanks so much, Renee!

       From Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 11/29/07 - "Daniel School":

A recent purchase on EBAY.  It is unused, so the date cannot be known. However, the caption "New John Daniel High School" dates it after 1910 (when the school was renamed Daniel School) and prior to the construction of NNHS.

Note the shadows cast by the trees. We will assume that these were not added by the publishers. The shadows place the sun behind the camera, which means that we must be looking north. Thus, we are looking across 31st Street.

   Congratulations, David! It's a beautiful addition to your collection - and to our own archive here:

John Daniel High School

   Thank you, Captain!

  From Frances Goodson Wang ('65) of MD - 11/29/07 - "The Teaching Company Free Holiday Lectures":

You all may find this interesting.


   WOWZERONI!!! This is sooo cool! Thanks so much, Frances!  But don't y'all dawdle, or you'll miss them:

"You may access your free lectures online between now and January 31, 2008. Please feel free to send the lecture links to any friends of yours who might also enjoy them. They are free for them as well."


      From one of my Famous Marines,  Herb Hice of MI, who served in the Pacific Theater during WWII -  11/29/07 - "Dear Carol / Dimples, Sick pets, life and death choices -":

Dear Carol / Dimples
I watch the Animal Planet on TV and it's hard to understand how some people are so cruel to their pets.
This article shows how much the majority of people LOVE their pets. I understand some people cannot afford the Vet Bill, But the LOVE is still there. They will treat their pets humanely and not be cruel to them. Scroll down for the story.

Sick pets, life and death choices

By Joan Shim

(LifeWire) -- Amy Breyer spared no expense to save her cat, Bob, when he was diagnosed with cancer, traveling about 1,700 miles and spending over $10,000 to ensure he received the best treatment available.

James Symington's 14-year-old German shepherd Trakr has degenerative myelopathy.

"Bob was like a child to me, so I was absolutely heartbroken when he was diagnosed," says Breyer, who has an animal law practice in Chicago. "It was never a question that I would try to get treatment for him."

Bob had nine months in remission. After a second round of surgery and radiation therapy, he enjoyed another four months of health before the disease returned.

"When it got to the point for me where it looked like he wasn't enjoying anything anymore, we opted to put him down, which to this day I have conflicted feelings about," Breyer says.

'Sweet goodbye'

In caring for ill and aging pets, quality of life should be the priority, says Alice Villalobos, a founding member of the Veterinary Cancer Society. Well-meaning owners can put their sick pets through procedure after procedure, but if quality of life isn't restored, the result is overtreatment.

If quality of life is the goal, decisions about treatment, care and euthanasia become clearer, though no less difficult to make.

Villalobos cited surveys saying one-third of people who euthanize a pet are haunted by the decision to do so. She sees this as a failure of the veterinary community to counsel pet owners and affirm their decision.

"Medical euthanasia is a sweet goodbye," Villalobos says. "It's literally helping a pet leave before they (go) through the throes and anguish of natural dying. It's a gift that we can give to our pets, but some people feel very reluctant to make the decision."

High costs of care

Another factor that comes into play when deciding how to care for an aging or sick animal is economics. Sometimes owners make the painful decision to euthanize a pet because medical care is simply too costly.

When David Neilsen of Tarrytown, New York, found out his 17-year-old cat Betty had a thyroid condition and a large lump that was probably cancerous, finances were a factor in deciding how to care for her. The initial checkup for Betty and her sister, Veronica, cost over $800, and further tests and treatment could easily have run into the thousands.

"It was a bit of sticker shock for me to see that," Neilsen says.

Neilsen decided to put Betty to sleep. He says he would have treated her if she were younger, but it wasn't worth it for a cat her age. Betty had lived a long, happy life.

While Neilsen was certain about the decision, euthanizing Betty was still painful. "It was very emotional, very difficult," he says. "When it was over, I couldn't stop petting her."

Knowing your options

Expensive treatment and euthanasia are two ends of a spectrum, and it's important that veterinarians inform people of other options for end-of-life care treatment that still provides comfort to the pet.

"Pet caregivers need to be offered more options for palliative treatment and programs," Villalobos says.

One such option is a pet hospice program. Organizations like the Argus Institute at Colorado State University, Angel's Gate in Fort Salonga, New York, and Pawspice, founded by Villalobos for terminally ill pets in the Los Angeles area, provide hospice care to animals to ease symptoms and minimize pain.

At Pawspice, for example, custom care plans developed by vets can include medical treatments, pain management techniques, nutritional advice and hygiene routines. They also may address how to handle euthanasia to avoid a sudden, emotional decision when the time comes. Depending on an animal's condition and treatment options, costs can run into the hundreds of dollars, although some programs take into account how much treatment an owner can afford.

Animal hospice in action

Trakr, a 14-year-old German shepherd, has been a Pawspice patient for about a year. The retired police search-and-rescue dog -- one of the first on the scene of the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center -- has a condition called degenerative myelopathy and has lost the function of his hind legs.

"Pawspice provides the support I need to properly care for Trakr at home while preserving his dignity and quality of life," says retired K-9 officer James Symington of West Hollywood, California, Trakr's owner.

"His spirit remains strong and we enjoy every minute that we have together," Symington says. Trakr still enjoys walks and playing catch on the beach thanks to a doggie wheel cart, which helps compensate for his diminished mobility.

"It's been extremely difficult for me to even contemplate the last days of Trakr's life." Symington says. "But I also have faith that I will know just when it's time and (have) the courage to do what is right."

LifeWire provides original and syndicated lifestyle content to Web publishers. Joan Shim is a freelance writer and former editor at Pet Product News.

   Thanks, Herbie Darlin'!

  From Renee Helterbran Benton ('59) of VA - 11/29/07:

This is so gross, but well worth passing along to anyone who travels:  


   All I've seen lately in my recent travels have been the wrapped disposable cups, but I'd strongly advise when you travel bringing your own bottled water - as well as some germicidal wipes and sprays!

   Thanks, Renee!


The NNHS Class of 1958 Holiday Gathering will be held Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 6:00 PM
(Dinner at 7:00 PM) at Mike's Place, An Irish Pub, (757-599-5500) 458 Warwick Village Shopping Center, (
Hilton Village,
across from the Cedar Lane entrance to the
Mariners' Museum
), Newport News, VA 23601-3240.

The NNHS Class of 1957 Holiday Party will be held Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 6:00 PM
Angelo's (Route 17), Newport News, VA.



1. Thursday, December 6, 2007, 11:00 AM - Class of 1955 Lunch Bunch - Angelo's Steak and Pancake Restaurant on J. Clyde Morris Boulevard - OPEN TO ALL WITH FRIENDS IN CLASS OF 1955

2. Tuesday, December 11, 2007, 6:00 PM - Class of 1958 Holiday Party - Mike O'Neal's (Warwick Village Shopping Center, Hilton Village, across from the Cedar Lane entrance to the Mariners' Museum) - NNHS CLASS OF 1958 

3. Wednesday, December 12, 2007, 6:00 PM - Class of 1957 Holiday Party - Angelo's (Route 17) - NNHS CLASS OF 1957 

4. Friday and Saturday, May 16 - 17, 2008 - NNHS CLASS OF 1958


      From My #1 Daughter-in-Law, Mary Bennett Harty (Litchfield HS, IL) of IL - 11/27/07 - "Tweety - this is sweet" (#2 in a series of 5):

Words from Tweety

This is one of the cutest, nicest e-mails .... Enjoy!

   My Tweety Bird!!! Thanks, Miss Mary!



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

                          Love to all, Carol 





Carol Buckley Harty
219 Four Ply Lane
Fayetteville, NC 29311-9305

What'll I Do?

Words and Music by Irving Berlin, 1923
(May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989)

Gone is the romance that was so divine.
'tis broken and cannot be mended.
You must go your way,
And I must go mine.
But now that our love dreams have ended...

What'll I do
When you are far away
And I am blue
What'll I do?

What'll I do?
When I am wond'ring who
Is kissing you
What'll I do?

What'll I do with just a photograph
To tell my troubles to?

When I'm alone
With only dreams of you
That wont come true
What'll I do?

What'll I do with just a photograph
To tell my troubles to?

When I'm alone
With only dreams of you
That wont come true
What'll I do?

"What'll I Do?" midi (sequenced by Redsal / Sal Grippaldi) courtesy of - 11/29/07

"What'll I Do?" lyrics courtesy of - 11/29/07

Image of Lonely Man courtesy of - 11/30/07

Black Lace Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 02/01/05

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

Marine Corps Seal clip art courtesy of Herbert Hice of MI - one of my Famous Marines who served in the South Pacific during WWII.
Thanks, Herbie!!

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

Animated Ringing Christmas Bell clip art (designed by Art Holden) courtesy of - 12/08/05

Purple Panther Paw Print courtesy of - 06/23/07

Back to NNHS Newsletters - 2006

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