12/06/04 - NNHS Newsletter - Happy St. Nicholas Day!
Dear Friends and Schoolmates,
I know that we don't all celebrate St. Nicholas Day. Technically, I don't
even celebrate St. Nicholas Day myself, except
wonderful time to sing more happy songs and put up more fun decorations, but it's such a great opportunity to use some awesome
clip art and songs and such!
But we might as well cover the history of it for educational purposes anyway, n'est pas?
speaking, the tradition of St. Nicholas is not synonymous with the role of Santa
Claus in the U.S.. As practiced in many European countries, the celebration of
St. Nicholas is separate from the Christmas holidays, and occurs during the 2
weeks prior to December 6th,
which is St. Nicholas's day. Sometimes St. Nicholas Day is the main holiday for gift giving, and not Christmas."
HOW TO CELEBRATE:
Okay, I gave up before I found the
information I was trying to impart, so I suppose I'll just have to tell you
myself. In Colonial
Virginia, it was traditional to put up your Christmas decorations on December 6, St, Nicholas Day, and leave them up until
January 6, Epiphany, at which time they must be removed. To leave them up after this day was to invoke ill fortune. This period
of time was considered highly favored, and any activities begun during this time were especially blessed, so much entertaining
and many marriages took place during this month.
I came upon this
little nugget years ago during my days of isolation in the Midwest. In
trying to hearken back to my roots, I
incorporated it into my own family. Now that I'm back in the South, this year I began a new version of this system, which worked
so well it will become my new tradition. Henceforth I shall BEGIN to decorate on Thanksgiving night and FINISH decorating
by December 6. This is much easier and far less stressful than trying to do it all in one day - especially considering the fact
of how much holiday decorating I always plan to do....
There ya go - more than you ever wanted to know.
Not that I'm stressed out or anything, but I forgot to mention four - count them, FOUR - birthdays:
02 - Ann
Lillaston Wilson ('57)
02 - George Konstant ('65) of VA
04 - Howard Williamson (HHS - '63) of VA - 1944
05 - Melody Clendenin DeBerry (WHS - '66) of VA - 1947
I am SOOOO sorry! I invent
myself a foolproof system for remembering birthdays, and then forget to take
advantage of it.
I suppose that means ashes and switches and lumps of coal for me this year. Well, Ann, George, Howard, and Melody - I hope
y'all HAD a wonderful birthday!
From Ron Smith ('65) of VA - 12/02/04 (but just discovered today):
Mr. Ralph Oxner, father of Dr.
Thomas (Tom) Oxner ('65 of AR), died Thursday, December 2nd. Tom and his
are on their way to NN from their home in Ark (I think) and will be here on Saturday to make arrangements.
Ralph Odell Oxner
- Ralph Odell Oxner, 86, passed from this world on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2004. He
was born in Jackson County, N.C.,
on Dec. 6, 1918. A veteran of the First Infantry Division, he fought in Germany during World War II. He retired as a welder from the
Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. He was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Oma Oxner. Survivors include
his daughter, Carolyn Oxner of Newport News; his son, Thomas Oxner and his wife, Karen, of Conway, Ark.; and two grandchildren,
Luke Oxner and Madeline Oxner, also of Conway, Ark. Mr. Oxner was a loving husband and father who was very generous of his time
in helping others. An accomplished handyman, he enjoyed repairing and restoring antique furniture, sometimes creating missing
pieces through whittling. But the real joy in antiques sprung from the fellowship of the many friends he made attending auctions and
assisting others in their repairs. Having been raised on a farm, Mr. Oxner was an avid year-round gardener. His vegetable gardens
were always prolific producers, and he enjoyed sharing his bounty with friends and neighbors. Visitation will be from 7 to 8 p.m.
on Monday, Dec. 6, at Peninsula Funeral Home. A graveside service will be held at Peninsula Memorial Park at 11 a.m. on Tuesday,
Dec. 7, by the Rev. Lawrence J. Biermann and the Rev. Russell Beck. Memorials may be made to the Parkview Baptist Church, 604
Hilton Blvd., Newport News, VA 23605.
Published in the Daily Press on 12/6/2004.
Oh, I'm so sorry to learn of this! Our deepest sympathies are extended to Tom and his family - and thanks for the alert, Ron.
And while we're still in this context, a full obituary for Sally Madagan Sullivan's husband, John, follows:
John Fielding Sullivan
John Fielding Sullivan, 69, died Monday, Nov. 29, 2004. Born in Alexandria, he
had been a Northern Virginia
resident until moving to Hampton in 2001. While in Northern Virginia, John retired as life insurance agent in 1998 after 42 years.
He first worked for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, then retried from American General Life Insurance Company. His love
for the water and working with kids led him to the Alexandria Boat Club in Alexandria where he was a Crew Coach for 15 years.
With his many friendships and a knack for negotiation, he was responsible for developing Crew Teams for several different
high schools across the state, including the Woodbridge Program. He was also a Scout Master for many years. After moving
to Hampton, John and his wife, Sally, joined Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church where they both were very active
with the Church Community. His love for boating led him to The Mariners' Museum were he was a Docent. He is survived by his
wife, Sally; his children, John F. Sullivan Jr. and his wife, Stephanie, of Atlanta, Ga., Erin Elizabeth Byers of Tye River, Va.,
Heather Marie Taylor and husband, Mike, of Paeonian Springs, Va.; stepsons, William Wilroy Sammons III of Gloucester, Va.,
and Christopher G. Sammons and his wife, Robin, of Medford, N.J.; seven grandchildren; sisters, Nancy Cole and her husband,
Alec, of Winchester, Va., and Judith Clarke of Kinasale, Va.; brother, Dennis Kerr Sullivan of Springfield, Va.; and niece, Karen
Nelson and her husband, Dick, of Arlington, Va. The family will receive friends from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday at Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Roman Catholic Church. Immediately following, a Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 7 p.m. Friends and family are
invited to gather 10 a.m. Saturday for a graveside service in Peninsula Memorial Park. The family wishes in lieu of flowers, any
expressions of sympathy take the form of contributions to the OLMC Church Building Fund, 100 Harpersville Road, Newport News,
VA 23601. Arrangements are being provided by R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home in Hampton.
Published in the Daily Press from 12/1/2004 - 12/2/2004.
I'll add both of these to "Other Recent Deaths" very soon.
From Wayne Stokes ('65) of VA - 12/05/04:
My, my, my.
I knew something of these machinations earlier. Thanks for this fuller
account, Wayne Honey! Why do I keep
hearing Gomer Pyle saying, "Shame, shame, shame!"?
From Fred Eubank ('64) of TX - 12/05/04:
Many accolades to you for your continued great work on the Class of 65 web page and newsletters. One recent article from the
12/03/04 - NNHS Newsletter - Sleigh Ride
From Eric Huffstutler (BHS - '75) - 12/01/04:
The Nick of Sammy & Nick's has been deceased longer than 18-months!
Actually Nicholas "Nick" Theodor died
February 19, 2001 at the age of 55. He came to America in 1969 and his first venture was The Steak Den Restaurant.
He is buried at Peninsula Memorial Park.
Sam "Sammy" C. Canavos is still alive. The partner he had many
years ago when my mother worked for them in the 1950s
and 1960s was Steve (I think his real name was Vasiliki) Siokis who also passed several years ago in 1990. I'll double-check
Some people got Nick Matthews ofNick's Seafood in Yorktown mixed up with Nick Theodor but obviously two different
Iím wondering if the Sam "Sammy" C. Canavos Ericrefers to is the same Sam who (I believe) owned and operated Samís U.S.
A little personal history--My father and mother would
get me up around 5:00 am and take me downtown with them on school
days (no baby sitter or day care back then). We always ate breakfast at the U.S. Restaurant, and then I would go with my parents
to the laundry where they worked. I remember Sam as a very nice person who knew my father and mother, and always treated us
with respect. Around 8:30 my father would drive me to Briarfield ES, located on Marshall Avenue, and within walking distance
of where we lived on Decatur St. When the school day ended around 3:00 pm, one of them would pick me up and drive me back
to the Laundry where I stayed until they got off from work, usually around 5:00 pm, but sometimes as late as 9 or 10 at night.
For my first three years of school, I spent almost as much time downtown, playing around the Warwick Hotel, Laundry, and the
waterfront, as I did at home. I have great memories of the Warwick Hotel, the Soda Shop, and playing with Louis Graham, son
of the Hotel manager back then. Mr. and Mrs. Graham lived in a suite at the hotel, and I played with their son and daughter, often
roaming all over the hotel grounds. In the 4th grade, my grandparents moved to NN from North Carolina, and I didnít have to get
up so early any more, or get home so late. I ate breakfast at grandmaís house (also on Decatur St.), and then walked to school
with Ken Taylor, Clarence Point or Wesley Staude. Ken Taylor was in your Class of 1965. Of course when I started the 8th
grade at NNHS in 1959, I rode the school bus downtown.
By the way, what high school was BHS?
Thanks for your dedication and tireless efforts in keeping the memory of NNHS alive.
San Antonio, TX
WOW - what a great set of memories there! Thanks, Fred - and thanks for your kind words!
BHS stands for Bethel High School.
From Jean Poole Burton ('64) of RI - 12/06/04:
I am happy to report that we have
seen our first snowflakes today, which changed to freezing rain so there was no
accumulation. I am supposed to take a trip to Boston's North End tomorrow for a walking, eating, shopping trip
so I hope we can get there in the morning! The Old North Church is there, where the lanterns ("one if by land and
two if by sea...") of Longfellow's poem are on display. Went to hear Handel's Messiah Sunday afternoon at Trinity
Church (old colonial church in Newport). We have something called "Christmas in Newport" where the organizations
have events: concerts, dance performances, etc., each night of December, sometimes two or three events in one day.
It is neat. Many are free, some ask for a donation. The Marriott in Newport has a huge gingerbread house on display
all month. Y'all come!
How neat! Such fun for you - thanks, Jean!
From Janice McCain Rose ('65) of VA and Sarah Puckett Kressaty ('65) of VA - 12/06/04:
One picture says it all !
GOD BLESS AMERICA
WOWZERS! I can't top that - thanks, Janice and Sarah!
Y'all take care of each other!
Love to all, Carol
NNHS CLASS OF '65 WEB SITE:
PERSONAL WEB SITE: http://www.angelfire.com/weird2/cluckmeat
"I only have two kinds of days: happy and hysterically happy."
Jolly Old Saint Nicholas Jolly old Saint Nicholas, Lean your ear this way! Don't you tell a single soul What I'm going to say; Christmas Eve is coming soon; Now, you dear old man, Whisper what you'll bring to me; Tell me if you can.
When the clock is striking twelve, When I'm fast asleep, Down the chimney broad and black, With your pack you'll creep; All the stockings you will find Hanging in a row; Mine will be the shortest one, You'll be sure to know. Johnny wants a pair of skates; Suzy wants a dolly; Nellie wants a story book; She thinks dolls are folly; As for me, my little brain Isn't very bright; Choose for me, old Santa Claus, What you think is right.
"Jolly Old Saint Nicholas" midi and Santa Claus image courtesy of http://www.links2love.com/jolly_old_st_nicholas.htm - 12/03/04
(A large framed
and matted copy of this picture hangs in our dining room for this season,
a gift several years ago from our # 5 son, Nathaniel Harty of IL.)
"Jolly Old Saint Nicholas" lyrics courtesy of http://www.night.net/christmas/jolly-old.html - 12/06/03
Holly Bar Divider Line clip art courtesy of http://www.bravenet.com - 08/12/04
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