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12/06/07 - NNHS Newsletter -
Happy St. Nicholas Day!

“Nobody shoots at Santa Claus.”

- Samuel Butler
(4 Dec 1835 - 18 June 1902)

Dear Friends and Schoolmates, 

   We now return to our regularly scheduled December Seasonal Newsletters already in progress.

   This Holiday Edition repeats each year:

   Y'all realize, doncha, if we become so politically correct that Santa Claus is forced to say "HA-HA-HA" instead of "HO-HO-HO", that the words to this song will need to be changed to: "Ha, Ha, Ha! Who wouldn't ga? Ha, Ha, Ha! Who wouldn't ga? "



   Happy Belated Birthday to Jimmy McDonald ('57) on the second, William D. Dangler ('57) on the fourth, and Eugene Peters ('57) AND Gene Peters ('57) (I thought that was the same fella!) yesterday!

  Happy Birthday today to Frances Scheinman Berkman ('57)!
Tomorrow we'll have another Happy Birthday Three-Fer!    Jay Styles ('68) of VA AND Janice Pratt McGrew (Hampton HS - '67) of VA AND   Tim Parsons ('73) of VA will all be celebrating on Pearl Harbor Day (plus 66 years)!

   Many Happy Returns to you all!


    From Glenn Dye ('60) of TX - 12/05/07 - "PRAYER REQUEST":

Please keep me in your prayers. I went to the heart doctor this past Tuesday. He said I needed a pacemaker. I'm waiting on them to get me scheduled to have it done. Everyone says there's nothing to it, but I guess I worry if it will work. He said my heart is beating too slow now. Thank you.

Glenn Dye

   Oh, Glenn, I'm so sorry to hear this news! "Nothing to it" is one of those sentiments which directly bears on how close the situation is to us and ours. If it pertains to something to "them", there's nothing to it. On the other hand, if it touches "us", well, then the perspective changes radically.

   But you are one of "us" - and we will certainly keep you in our hearts and prayers!

    From Pat Beck Letzinger ('57) of VA - 12/04/07 and 12/05/07 - "Class of '57 Birthdays for December":

Hi Carol,

The following are the Birthdays for the Class of '57 for December:   

Dec.  2    Ann Lillaston Wilson                     Dec. 15    Jewell Hamner Crowe    

Dec.  2    Jimmy McDonald                          Dec. 18    James Strickland

Dec.  4    William D. Dangler                         Dec. 19    Durwood Adams

Dec.  5    Eugene Peters                                Dec. 22    Kitty Norman Haskins

Dec.  5    Gene Peters                                    Dec. 24    James Gay

Dec.  6    Frances Scheinman Berkman       Dec. 24    Ann W. Hutcheson 

Dec.  9    Shirley Smith Langston                 Dec. 25    Patsy Bloxom Meider              

Dec. 13   Kay Davis Smith                            Dec. 29    Roy Tate

Dec. 14   Elizabeth Mitchell Hedgepeth       Dec. 30    William Gwynn

I'm also attaching a more recent photo of me.

Pat Letzinger

   Thanks, Pat!  

   I added your image to your Alumni Page:


   And I added your classmates birthdays to our Birthday Page, too:

    From My Niece, Shari, of VA - 12/04/07 - "Breakfast---Don't Skip It":

From Nutrition Facts:

Is it really true that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day"?

Breakfast is indeed a very important meal. A good breakfast fuels you up and gets you ready for the day.

In general, kids who eat breakfast have more energy, do better in school, and eat healthier throughout the day. Without breakfast, kids can get irritable, restless, and tired. So make time for breakfast — for you and your child!

Adults who skip breakfast are twice as likely to become overweight. They suffer from mood swings and perform poorly at tasks.

   Thanks, Shari! That's a good reminder, especially for hectic days when we may otherwise tend to forget!

    From Buster Vest ('63) of VA - 12/05/07 - "Me @ 63":


I'm updating my personal file photo from age 18 to 63.

Buster Vest

   What a great image, Buster - Thanks! (And, of course, I LOVE your elegant decorations!!!)

   I added your image to your Alumni Page:

Buster Vest

   From Jerry Blanchard ('62) of VA - 12/05/07 - "E-Mail address":


Please change my e-mail address again, and let everyone have it. It now is:

Keep up the the great work girl, we ALL need you.

Jerry Blanchard (Class of 62) of Va.

  Thanks, Sweetie - I've changed it everywhere (I hope...)

    From Buster Vest ('63) of VA - 12/05/07 - "You will love this":



   You're absolutely right, Buster - I DO love this! Thanks so very much!

From Domi O'Brien ('64) of NH - 12/05/07 - "Re: 12/05/07 - NNHS seasonal trees":

It was originally a Jul or Yule tree, the evergreen displayed and decorated with candles by Norse Pagans at Winter Solstice festival. Roman Pagans at Saturnalia decorated their homes with greenery. Celts, interacting frequently with the Norse, took up the custom in some areas, adopting it for winter solstice (Welsh Alban Arthan; Irish Mean Gheimhreidh; we already had mistletoe). Early Christians considered it a Pagan symbol,  and it was forbidden as anti-Biblical idol-worship based on Jeremiah 10:2-4. 
  2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
  3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
  4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

Yule logs, decorated evergreens, decorations of holly and ivy, etc. were all considered anti-Christian. Oliver Cromwell, in England, specifically forbade Pagan symbols and revelry at Christmas . Early English settlers in the Colonies pre-Revolution did not take Christmas Day off from work, display trees, or exchange presents; all these things became both legal and customary much later. The display of  trees during the Christmas season did not become common for Christians outside of Norse territory (Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, northern Germany) until the mid to late 1800's, when an influx of Scandinavian and German immigrants to the US brought the custom with them, and in England it was introduced by German royalty into English palace celebrations, and was rapidly adopted by commoners. I've always had a Yule tree, though like many Druids I prefer a live one in a pot that can be planted outside later.

I noticed when I went and bought this year's tree (a dwarf Alberta spruce) that my local Lowes had a sign that  said "plants"  pointing to the display of live trees, rosemary plants, heathers, amaryllis, paperwhites, etc.  The clerk said "Merry Christmas" to me as she rang it up and I said "Shona  Mean Gheimhreidh!" back at her in Irish, causing her to look confused. The sign on the cut trees, wreaths, mistletoe and kissing balls simply said "greenery". The decorations section said "ornaments".  Viking House gift shop, in downtown Concord, NH, has signs which say "Glad Jul"; they have the best Frisian gingerbread and marvelous cookies and even herring and salmon and Danish butter and lingonberries in the refrigerated case, along with dinnerwear and linens and jewelry from Scandinavia and huldenfolk items ! Most of the tree stands say "fresh-cut Christmas trees".  

I have a Yule tree; you may have a Christmas tree; my former foster-son Yaakov has a Menorah and rolls his eyes at the idea of a "Chanukah bush". Isn't it nice to live in the modern US, where we can all use what symbols we wish, call them what we want to, and worship and celebrate as our own conscience dictates? Most of the world's peoples are not so lucky.

Colleen Ann Domitilla O'Brien, NNHS '64

   Thanks so much for weighing in with this, Domi, and even more so for the history, which most of us tend to forget from time to time.

     From Me ('65) of NC - Sometime in 2001:


By far and away my favorite holiday is, was, and always shall be Christmas. I love everything about Christmas.
To one degree or another, I even love the things about Christmas that seem to disturb most people.

I love Christmas decorations, carols, and lights, Santa Claus and snowmen.
I love Christmas trees, cookies and snow.
I love Christmas caroling and concerts, cantatas and church services.
I love the whole family near and elegant feasts and dressing up and parties.
I love pretty displays and opening presents.
I love the Hallelujah Chorus and Perry Como singing Ave Maria.
I love all the holiday specials and cartoons and old Christmas movies on TV.
Sometimes I even love shopping for presents, though I'd usually prefer to make them myself.
Most of all I love the warmth and love, and the reading of the Second Chapter of Luke
by the magical lights of the tree when the feasting and the gift exchange is done.

I prefer to put up my decorations on St. Nicholas Day (December 6), and take them down on Epiphany (January 6),
as was the custom in Colonial Virginia.


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 Glenn Dye ('60) of TX - 11/28/07 - "Feel good - AAAHHH!" (#3 in a series of 10):

Have a great week!

Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.

Leave the rest to God!

Do whatever you want whenever you want...

 "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

   Thanks so much, Glenn! I love these images - and the advice is great!

   To my great consternation, I was experiencing severe problems with shifting fonts all day yesterday (and as you see from the last three segments which are TOO SMALL, I have resolved NOTHING - ARGHHH!!!), so I removed a great many entries to reserve for tomorrow's Special Edition - include an entire discussion of the     (Joe - '57 - of FL) Madagan Song Mystery.  Obviously, then, there's much more to come - tomorrow!  Meanwhile, Happy Hanukkah, Good Yule - and Merry Christmas!

   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

Up On the Housetop

Up on the housetop, reindeer pause
Out jumps good ol' Santa Claus
Down through the chimney with lots of toys
All for the little ones, Christmas joys
Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
Up on the housetop, click, click, click
Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick

First comes the stocking of little Nell
Oh, dear Santa, fill it well
Give her a dolly that laughs and cries
One that will open and shut her eyes
Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
Up on the housetop, click, click, click
Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick

Next comes the stocking of little Will
Oh, just see what a glorious fill
Here is a hammer and lots of tacks
Also a ball and a whip that cracks
Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
Up on the housetop, click, click, click
Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick

 "Up On the Housetop" midi courtesy of - 12/03/05

"Up On the Housetop" lyrics courtesy of - 12/03/05

Image of Santa Claus courtesy of - 12/05/07

Animated Santa Claus Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 12/03/05

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

Army Seal clip art courtesy of Al Farber ('64) of GA - 05/24/06
Thanks, Al!

Crab clip art courtesy of - 10/02/05

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

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