Thomas Jefferson School
600 Block of 30th Street 
Newport News, VA 23607

Thomas Jefferson
(13 Apr 1743 - 04 July 1826)
    Image by Joe Madagan ('57)
of FL - 04/25/05
Thanks, Joe!
Image by Joe Madagan ('57)
of FL - 04/25/05
Thanks, Joe!
    08/31/05 08/31/05
    NOTE: These images were received shortly before my computer broke.  The accompanying text was unfortunately lost.

Hi, Carol:

Glad your PC did not loose the photos of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School when it "crashed" in the spring.
When I took the photos of this school building there was no doubt that it was no longer in use and was boarded up
and fenced. It replaced a much older red brick building that sat on the lot next to
Tabernacle Baptist Church
in the 600 Block of 30th Street in the
East End section of Newport News. I attended 1st Grade, and 2nd Grade
at this school, and after two weeks in the 3rd Grade, I was promoted to the 4th Grade and transferred
Walter Reed School. Skipping a grade was not a good thing as far as participation in sports in high school.
I found my niche as a Manager with the
TYPHOON Basketball program during a very exciting time,
so it was not all loss. It sure affected my social life, for I was far too timid and shy to attend dances in high school.
I hope we can locate a photo of the old red brick building that was also the
Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.

TYPHOON Regards,

Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 08/31/05
Thanks, Joe - so do we!


I remember participating in a
May Day Celebration at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School when I was in first grade.
My teacher, Ms. Shawell (not sure of spelling) had an old victrola that she wheeled outside and she would crank it
and play records. The boys wore hats made out of oatmeal tops that were painted red and the girls were hats made
out of paper plates and tissue flowers. The boys wore dark pants and white shirts and the girls wore pastel dresses.
The flag pole was decorated and all classes took turns “dancing” around the May Pole.

Do any other Thomas Jefferson students remember anything about May Day?

- Anita Morgan Becker (‘66) of VA - 05/09/06
Thanks, Anita! Let's find out.

I remember May Days at Thomas Jefferson. My teachers there were Mrs. Morris for a few days of first grade,
Mrs. Starling for second grade, and then for third grade my teacher was the wonderful Miss Suttle, who really had
a great impact on many of us.  I remember the Maypole and the ribbons, but nothing specific beyond that,
though I think everyone had a good time...I'm guessing for the boys it was just another opportunity to be outside
chasing each other and the girls! It's amazing that you remember what people wore...hope all are well,

- Jimmy Hines ('64) of Northern VA - 05/18/06
Thanks, Jimmy!

I am writing because of the recent spurt of remembrances of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, brought on by the questions about May Day celebrations in school.  I have always been a little disappointed that more hasn't be written about it in the past.  I attended the first and second grades there.  Even though I actually lived within walking distance of Magruder School, my mother, who taught second grade at T. J. at the time, decided to send me there so I could ride back and forth with her.  I have been trying for some time to remember my first and second grade teachers' names, and was glad to see them mentioned today in your newsletter.  My first grade teacher was Mrs. Brockley (I knew it sounded like "brocolli").  My second grade teacher was the other second grade teacher besides my mother.  Let's see, would that be Mrs. Stallings, or Mrs. Starling?

The principal, Ethel Taylor, was sort of related to me by marriage.  My Uncle Lloyd's wife was the former Eunice Taylor, who was Ethel's sister.  Ms. Taylor was an imposing and frightening figure, as I recall, and the only reason I knew we were (kind of) related was that Aunt Eunice would visit her when she came on visits from Lansdowne, PA.

My sister (Mary Sue Nelson - '52 - of VA) has in her possession, because she considers herself the keeper of the family flame, my first grade class picture.  In that picture is Nancy Mitchell (Wynne - '64 - of MD) and  Jimmy DeBerry ('64 - of VA), among others from high school.   I remember Nancy much more clearly from the first grade than I do from high school.  The reverse is true with Jimmy.  I was surprised to see his clearly recognizable face in the picture the last time I looked at it years ago.

As someone suggested in the newsletter today, memories are funny, fragmentary things that can play tricks on you.  But, I do vaguely remember a May Day celebration on the playground at T. J.  In my memory fragment I am not participating, but watching from a distance the girls dance or run around the Maypole interweaving paper colored ribbons around the pole.  I also have memory glimpses of standing in line in the cafeteria holding one of those yellow punch cards.  The smell of that cafeteria at lunch time is something that comes clearly in my mind at the funniest times.  I also remember little, whole loaves of Betty Lewis bread, that I loved.

- Doug Nelson ('64) of VA - 05/13/06
Thanks so much, Doug!

I was just reading more accounts of Thomas Jefferson and realizing just how much I loved school--especially the first years.
I guess that is why I stayed in school so long---January of 2006. Ha-ha! I still go back a few days a week to help out.

Does anyone remember the cafeteria manager? She was a large lady and we called her Miss "Mosquita". I have no idea
what her real name was. Maybe that was her name. Anyway, she would walk around the tables and make us eat our lunch.
"Eat those vegetables...". She even took her knuckles and rubbed the boys on top of their heads if they didn't eat or if they
acted up. Some of us hid our spinach in our milk cartons. What a time! :) Compared to now, our meals at school were fantastic!
I used to love the chocolate cake and coconut pie, parsley potatoes, green beans, .... Oh, stop, Judy!

- Judy Phillips Allen ('66) of VA - 05/19/06
GIGGLES!!!  Thanks, Judy!

Ummmm.........that would be Mrs. Skeeter, the cafeteria lady, as I recall...I remember being sent back to finish my spinach too,
and must have learned from someone else (yeah, right!) about the
'spinach in the milk carton disappearing act' fit so nicely. 
I too enjoyed school  lunches... we ate very well back then and all the way through high school, I think...and there were
 no snack or soda machines in the schools at that time...How did we survive that?

 - Jimmy Hines ('64) of Northern VA - 05/19/06
Thanks, Jimmy!  You're a hoot!

Judy Phillips Allen ('66 - of VA) had a question about the cafeteria manager at Jefferson Elementary. I believe her name
was Mrs. Skeeter and she was quite an imposing figure. We first graders were all terrified of her. She had the desserts
on a rolling cart and if you didn’t “clean your plate” she would not give you dessert. I remember hiding spinach
in my milk carton in order to qualify for dessert.

I teach sixth grade at Hines Middle School in Newport News and the food today cannot compare to the cafeteria food
we used to eat.

- Anita Morgan Becker ('66) of VA - 05/22/06
Thanks, Anita!  That seems to be the consensus!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHA! At least 3 who will admit to carefully storing their assigned spinach in the milk carton
for its trip to where all uneaten and carefully hidden spinach goes...can you just picture that now? I'm in stitches!!!
It must have been a conspiracy to allow spinach to live! Or maybe it was something in the water, which is usually
the culprit of choice. It couldn't have been because it tasted...well...ummm...questionable, at best! At that time
it was a taste one must acquire, I guess, but who would have...acquired it on purpose? I wonder how many have
the courage to give it up and admit committing this unusually selfless act of humanity? Could this have been
a covert operation of Opus Dei? Only time will your children and the neighbors know? I'd hope not...

 - Jimmy Hines ('64) of Northern VA - 05/22/06
Thanks, Jimmy!  You are a hoot!

"Me and Ethel"

Just the perfect Spring day, walking home for lunch, quickly, as usual, I anticipated the lunch my mother had fixed for me. When I got home (Marshall Courts) I found the front door closed and locked. Went to the back door, same thing.  Checked the parking car!...NO CAR!!! Where could she BE?  She never went anywhere at lunch with out telling me and packing that delicious PB&J sandwich, never!  I checked next door, no one home there either. I needed somebody's bathroom quick!  I ran across the parking lot to Wayne Columbia's mom. She was understanding and let me in to use her bathroom.  She didn't know where Mom was either.  She had LOTS of kids, all ages and her belly was swollen again with another one on the way.  I said "Thanks" and flew out the door and half ran, half walked back to school. I wasn't even hungry any more, just worried. I ran up the cement steps at old T.J. and was going up the wooden steps to the first floor, on my way to the second floor and to Miss Suttle's room, maybe she could help.  As I reached the last step I looked up and there, looming over me was Miss Taylor! 


"Yes, Ma'am?" 

"I need to see you in my office, dear." 

Dear? My little heart was leaping, was I going to die in her office? And for what? I followed her into her dusty smelling, warm office and stood there. 

"You may sit down, dear." 

I sat. 

"I'm afraid I have done an awful thing," she said. I gulped. "I forgot to tell you that your mother called my office around ten to tell me that your neighbor's child fell down the step on the back porch and split his chin.  Your mother, sweet soul, took her and the child, along with your little sister of course, to the Emergency Room at Buxton Hospital.  I was supposed to tell you before lunch, to go to Mrs. Godwin's House to have lunch, and I got busy and I forgot...I'm so sorry!"

Miss Taylor? Apologizing to me? 

"However," she continued," I have done the best I could to remedy my forgetfulness as best I can." 

I sat dumbfounded and relieved at the same time, trying to control my breathing. 

"I know you must be very hungry and if you will be patient, I'll have something here for you in a few minutes." 

Was this the real Miss Taylor?  Sure enough, in about three or four minuets I heard adult footsteps slowly coming up the old wooden steps.  I looked out the door and saw the Janitor coming directly to the office, and in his hand, a gigantic cup with a top. In the other hand a paper straw.  He went to Miss Taylor's desk and sat the cup near the edge close to the center.

"Ezra, would you please pull a chair over beside my desk for Miss Ozora?" 

"Yes'um, Miz Taylor." 

He picked the wooden chair up as if it were as light as a broom and positioned it right behind the 'mystery cup'. 

"Thank you for your help, Ezra, Miss Ozora  is very hungry and I appreciate your running the errand."  

"Yes'sum, I'se happy to help a hongry chile." 

He turned and left to take care of other business. Miss Taylor patted the chair and asked me to come and sit there. I hesitated...

"Come on, I know you are hungry, I hope you like it; it was the best I could do in this location." 

She took the the top off the cup, and there, right in front of me was a huge, ice cold strawberry milkshake!  Why, it must have cost thirty-five cents, and it was MINE! She put the straw in and carefully handed me the frosty cup.  I couldn't drink fast enough, it was cold and thick...the best milkshake ever. My little cheeks were aching from pulling the thick concoction through the straw.  Miss Taylor was talking to me in a soft voice, but I wasn't paying attention until a crashing pain in my head (ice cream brain freeze) made me stop abruptly and I heard the last of her sentence ".....and since your father is a fireman, I wondered if he would be willing to come to Jefferson School for a talk about Fire Prevention?" 

"Um...I can ask him." I said eagerly, then I saw her in a different light.  She didn't look so stern, and I could see gold strands mixed in with the silver, the hair she forever wore pulled back in a severe bun attached with tortoise colored hairpins to the back of her head.  Her face was soft and her eyes were green! Like mine!  She was a person, a real person!!!  She kept talking and I kept tugging on the straw, fascinated by the fact that she was talking to ME !  I don't think she expected me to answer her but just to listen...she had a faraway look in her eyes, and then, "Slurrrrrppppp,"  My straw had reached the bottom and made that awful sound it makes when you try to get the last drop  out of the bottom of the cup! 

"Oh no!" I clapped my hand over my mouth.  "That's o.k., Dear, you were hungry." 

"Excuse me, Miss Taylor, I didn't mean to be rude!"

"That's all right, you excused yourself. I like a child with good manners!" 

"Thank you for the milkshake, it was my very favorite flavor. How did you know?" 

"Well, when I was a little girl that was my favorite flavor, still is to this day!" 

Whoa!!! Miss Taylor used to be a little girl!  My world got a little bigger.

"I suppose it's...Oh my!'re late for class, I'll walk you up and explain to Miss Suttle." 

She took my hand and we left the office and headed for the steps to my third grade class.  Her hand was soft and warm and she held mine firmly, all the way to inside the classroom.  There she let go, and I went to my desk, while she explained to Miss Suttle.  She left the room and then popped her head back in and said "You will mention that to your father like I asked, won't you?"  

"Yes Ma'am...I will." 

Everyone was looking at me, big question marks in their eyes. 

Miss Suttle rapped the desk with her pencil and said, " All right, boys and girls, turn to page 12, we'll give Ozora a minute to catch up...I heard her voice start to read, "On the shores of Gitchegoome, by the still and ....."  Boy, would I have a HUGE story to tell Mom and Daddy at the supper table!!!!  

Next time Daddy, THEN May Day.  A story a lot of you have forgotten you remember!  Stay connected.   Y'all have a sweet day and be good to yourself !!!! 

"Dimples" aka Sepi

   - Sepi Dinwiddie Prichard ('58) of NC - 08/22/07
What a perfectly delightful story, Sepi! Thank you so much for taking time to share that with us!

When I walked home the day Miss Taylor bought the milkshake, I could not wait to tell my folks about Miss Taylor's delicious 'mistake.'  The late Spring afternoon had gotten a lot warmer, and I couldn't wait to put on some shorts and sit under my tree in the back yard.  We didn't have air conditioning in Marshall Courts, so the shade of the tree was welcome after the walk home.  Becky Marshall stopped by and joined me in the shade.  Of course, practically the entire school was buzzing about Miss Taylor holding my hand on the way to Miss Suttle's classroom, and Becky wanted details. When I told her, Becky said she thought that was one of the nicest things she had ever heard about a school teacher or Principal, I had to agree.  

"Oh, yeah, she wants to talk to my dad about something."

"I'll bet she wants her money back." Becky said. 

I told her it was about his being a fireman. We just looked at each other and shrugged.  Mom came to the back door to let me know that supper was almost ready.  Becky helped me fold the blanket, said she would see me tomorrow, and went home to tell her parents about what a nice lady Miss Taylor really was.

Daddy was home for supper that night, and I couldn't wait for Mom to get the food on the table so we could start eating.  Then I would tell them what happened after our meal.  I don't remember what we ate that night,  but I do know I couldn't wait to stop eating and  start talking.  Mom got up to get Daddy some more ice tea, and while she was refilling Daddy's glass she glanced at me and asked why I didn't eat lunch with Mrs. Godwin. 

"Um-Miss Taylor forgot to tell me." 

Mom spilled the tea and said, "What?  She forgot to TELL you?" 

Which prompted Daddy to ask about little Byron next door and his trip to the emergency room. 

"One stitch," Mom told Daddy, and then looked at me.  "I'm going to that school tomorrow and tell her a thing or two." 

Mom was ready for a classic Southern 'hissy fit' ! 

"It's okay, she bought me a milkshake when I got back to school and I drank it right in her office. It was strawberry, my favorite, anyway she wants to talk to Daddy." 

"About what?" Daddy asked. 

"I donno', something about the firehouse, she said. I don't remember exactly; she did a lot of talking while I drank my milkshake." 

"She probably wants the first graders to tour the firehouse and see the fire trucks. I'll stop by and see her next time I have a day off. It's awfully late in the year, so it will probably have to be in the fall." 

In the fall I would be at Walter Reed. Oh, well at least it wasn't about me.  Fall seemed a long time away, with the end of school near, and summer stretching as far as forever like it used to when we were young, and the days were deliciously long.

Labor Day arrived and with it the new school year.  This year I would walk in a different direction. Up Wickham Avenue, towards Stuart Gardens way. I was excited, this school had a cafeteria and more than one bathroom.  An auditorium, and to my delight a huge library.  The first day I was was assigned to Mrs. Graham's 4th grade class, and as I looked around I discovered kids I had never seen before. Daddy had said there would be new kids for me to meet...he was right.  I liked Mrs. Graham. She seemed sweet and soft spoken, and the fourth grade began.  September faded into October and the weather was cooler. And guess what????  WE had a MAN for a Principal, Mr. Shreeves. I didn't know a man could be Principal !!  And we had ASSEMBLIES !

About the third week in October we were told we were going to have an assembly at 10a.m.!  We were all excited just to get out of class (for anything) - fire drill, lunch, playground, it didn't matter. 

At 9:55 Mrs. Graham had us line up for our trip to the auditorium and like good little soldiers we marched to our seats in the huge room, sat down, and looked around. Gosh, everyone was here !  When we had settled, Mr. Shreeves walked onto the stage and announced that we had a guest that would teach us about Fire Prevention, because it was Fire Prevention Week.  I was whispering to the girl next to me during the introduction, and when I looked at the stage I saw my very own father walking to the podium.  MY Dad !  He hadn't even told me. Later I would sit on his lap and cry because he didn't, and because he was so entertaining and I was so proud, and ashamed that I was embarrassed.  He did the same thing year after year until he retired.  And when my family got the dog, a Boxer, he included her in the speech. I'll bet you remember, some of you younger ones. She was the dog that talked on command and produced squeals of delight from thousands of elementary school children, her name was Tina, remember now?  Daddy's fame grew and soon he spoke at Riverside Nursing School, and many other schools in the area.  It was Daddy's cup of tea and he drained the last drop every time he spoke. 

After he retired he, (are you ready?) was the Santa Claus whose lap you sat on at Newmarket and told your dreams and wishes to.  He loved it and he loved every kid that sat on his lap ~~~ even the ones that peed on him.

That was MY Dad, and he was the BEST !!  Thanks for getting it started to: Miss Ethel Taylor

- Sepi Dinwiddie Prichard ('58) of NC - 08/25/07
WOWZERONI-RINI-ROONI!!! Thanks so much for this wonderful sketch, Sepi!


- Norris Perry (Warwick HS - '61) of VA - 06/04/08
Thanks, Norris!

... As for Miss (Rebecca) Suttle, she was the sister of Mr. Suttle that owned Suttle Motor Corporation. The Aunt of Marie Suttle that taught many of us in elementary school, Marie's late sister Rebecca was named for the Miss Suttle that taught at NNHS.

I visited Marie in April, she is now 85, and bedridden, but she is still the same sweet lady that we cried after on the last day of school...even you guys ! She is still in her home on the James and is attended by a full time R.N. and a wonderful Housekeeper. She is still as sharp as a tack and remembers almost all of the students she taught.....still an amazing lady !

-  Sepi Dinwiddie Prichard ('58) of NC - 06/05/08
Thanks, Sepi!

I noticed the recent references to our two Miss Suttles and had a flash back to my 3rd grade teacher Marie Suttle
at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.

She was a beautiful and very caring teacher who made me the the "official record player operator" as I was on crutches and
couldn't dance (which she loved to do.) She also introduced Jimmy Hines ('64 - of Northern VA) and me to the Peninsula Civic Opera
when we were attending NNHS. I wrote her often until I left VA in the mid 70s.

She lived at 707 Riverside Drive, NN, VA. Attached is a copy of our our school newspaper in which I referred to her:

Paw Prints
March 2008

A little while ago we started school. I mean I started school fifty six years ago. So much has happened in that brief time. So many blessings and so many neglected thank you cards hang over my head.  Mrs. Shelton attempted to teach a short big eared youngster to read while Mrs. Nelson tried to keep him from talking all the time. Miss Suttle kept his ego inflated by making her crippled boy the sole operator of the record player. Mrs. Graham instilled confidence to do long division while Mrs. Walker tried to improve my handwriting.

Upon entry into high school J.P. Wilson picked up the challenge and made me practice the cornet and become a moderately successful musician. Somewhere in the hormonal times of my teen years a lot of educators prepared me to attend college where Mr. Usery saved me from failure by teaching me how to study and pass the History of Western Civilization 101-102.  

Of course I would never have attended college if Susan Stalnaker ('64) had not finessed me into completing an application. A simple inquiry into my plans and an offer to pick up an application on a warm spring day did the trick. No male worth his salt could tell Susan “I don’t plan to go.” I wonder if the admissions office staff noticed that the required picture was cut from my high school yearbook since I owned no other portrait photos.

Thommy (Rowell Snead - '64 - of NC) sure noticed I always seemed to need encouragement to stay the course. She even made the “ultimate“sacrifice and married me. It certainly is amazing how having a wife and kids gets your attention and inspires dedication. It also helped me understand what is really important in this life. I guess you’ve figured out the “rest of the story” by now without reading a summary of my forty years serving children.

If I were to enumerate the army of friends and teachers who made my life worth living this article would never end. I face retirement with an IOU list longer than Santa’s bill of lading. You, my family, friends, coworkers, and students have made it all worth while. When I gaze upon our Hendersonville Elementary School I see a safe and nurturing environment that reflects my vision of a thank you card life. I owe so much to so many who have helped me along the way.

Know that your actions today will be memories tomorrow. Put your mark on our creation for our children’s sake.

Remember to work hard, play hard, and keep your eyes on the ball. If you land on your feet at the end of the day thank a teacher, your family, and your friends. I do.

Thank you all for oh so very much.  


I'm retiring at the end of this month and now I often find myself "remembering when."

- Charlie Snead ('64) of NC - 06/05/08
Thanks so much, Charlie!

Hi Carol,

I enjoyed reading Charlie's remembrances in your last newsletter:


particularly his memories of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.

As I have written in the past,  I attended the first and second grade there.  I do not remember Miss (Marie) Suttle there, but I do remember Charlie.  One of my memory fragments from that time is of Charlie racing across the playground on his crutches.  I remember being amazed that he could move faster on those than just about any boy could run.  Charles and I were not in the same classes at T. J.  I only saw him on the playground at recess and lunch.  But as I recall we were friends.

- Doug Nelson ('64) of VA - 06/07/08
Thank you, Doug! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with memory fragments!

Marie Suttle was at Thomas Jefferson School and is now (bedridden, but still in her home)
I was in her 3rd grade class. She would be glad to receive cards, I'm sure. 

- Johnny Holland ('61) of VA - 06/09/08
What a great idea - thanks so much, Johnny!

I checked with Dimples, and she said that while Marie is not up to receiving either guests or phone calls,
cards would very much be appreciated. Her address is:

Miss Marie Suttle, 707 Riverside Drive, Newport News, VA 23606.

Just read with interest Joe Madagan's ('57 - of FL) comments about Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. I lived at 735 29th Street
and attended Thomas Jefferson on 30 or 31st street back in the forties. I believe when I attended the school it was all on one floor and
sort of a dull yellow brick in color. Was there an older school somewhere in east end named Thomas Jefferson? There may have been
an old brick building sitting right beside it but I really don't remember. Maybe Joe can help out.

George Helliesen ('61) of MI - 09/22/08
Thanks, George! Let's find out!


Providing an answer to the "Thomas Jefferson" school question:  It was for grades 1-3, the old school was indeed a brick building beside
it.  The old school was at least two stories high. The teachers I had were Miss Schall and Miss Taylor, I think.  When the new school was finished, Miss Suttle was my third grade teacher.

My father went to Thomas Jefferson as well, the old school.  When the bell rang in the morning all students would march in, in an orderly
fashion with military music, i.e.,  Stars and Stripes Forever, etc.  If children were goofing off, they were pulled out of line and sent to the
principal's office and chastised.

- Norris Perry (Warwick HS - '59) of VA - 09/24/08
WOW! Thanks, Norris!

Hi, Carol:

George Helliesen ('61) of MI requested more information about Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.

He describes the newer building, which has been demolished only recently, which he attended in his youth.

The school building previously named Thomas Jefferson Elementary School was adjacent to the new building, and was a two story
red brick structure, that may have been considered a three story building considering the size of the basement. It sat to the EAST
of the new school building, and was just to the west of
Tabernacle Baptist Church. It was located between 30th Street and 31st Street
almost in the middle of the plat. It was identical to the design of the
George Washington School in the 800-Block of 29th Street.

Hope this helps.

- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 09/24/08
WOWZERS!!! Thanks, Joe!

... A couple of years ago I wrote you that my sister (Mary Sue Nelson - '52 - of VA) had a photo album that contained my first grade class picture from Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.

When I went to visit my sister at Thanksgiving I remembered to scan that picture, using her computer, and uploaded it to Google Photos so that I could access it when I got home.  I now have it so that it should be accessible to anyone who would like to see it (at least I hope so).  I think it is also downloadable if anyone would like to do that.

The link to the photo is:
           First Grade Picture
The picture is in pretty good shape.  There is a limited enlargement capability.  To view the picture:
1) Click on the above link.  Your browser should display a web page with a small image of the photo.
2) Click on that small photo.  The larger picture will appear.
3) To enlarge that picture, do the following:
     a) In the upper right of the web page, there is a small tab with a double arrow in it [>>].  Click on that.
     b) Also in the upper right there is a small icon of a magnifying glass.  Click that.  The picture will enlarge
          to the extent that it will no longer fit completely within the web page.
     c)  The picture then can be moved, or dragged around by putting the mouse cursor over the picture,
           holding the left mouse button down, and moving the mouse.
I hope these instructions make sense.
My comments and memories of the picture.  I have learned from experience that sometimes even vivid memories can be false.  Nevertheless, these are what I think I remember:

There should be at least two people in the picture that anyone who went to NNHS in the first half of the Sixties should recognize:
    Nancy Mitchell (Wynne - '64 - of MD) and      Jimmy DeBerry ('64 - of VA) are sitting next to each other at the center-left of the picture.  They look like small versions of their high-school selves.  I remember Nancy better from the first grade than I do from high school.  I am not sure our paths ever crossed in high school.  Oddly enough, I don't remember Jimmy being in the first grade with me.
Mrs. Brockley's First Grade

The woman on the left in the back of the classroom is Ethel Taylor, the principal.  She also happened to be the sister of my Aunt Eunice.  The woman on the right was the teacher, Mrs. Brockley (I think it was Mrs.)  I am that small boy just to her left.

There are two others in the picture that I remember pretty well:

The small girl just to Miss Taylor's right is Elsie-Louise Carter.  Her family attended Chestnut Avenue Methodist Church on 25th Street, where my Grandmother went to church.  On those occasions that I went to church with my Grandmother I would look for Elsie-Louise in the congregation.  When I saw her I would wave in the middle of the service and she would wave back.  The last time I saw her I was either in late high school, or early college.  I ran into her in Leggett's where she was working.   She did not attend NNHS.

The other is the girl with her arms folded, sitting behind the potted plant near the window.  Her name was Lolly Adelman.  The last time I saw her was in Mrs. (Thelma) Hudgins' third grade class at Magruder.  We both transferred to Magruder after the second grade.

I have some memory of a couple others.  The large red-headed boy all the way to the right of the picture was named William Vick, I believe. The first name of the boy in front of him was Kenneth, if my memory serves me.  I think, but am not absolutely sure, he did attend NNHS.
The boy in the center of the picture in the cowboy shirt with his arms folded -- he was called "Jimmy P".  (His name is on one of the cabinet doors under the window.)  Last week I looked through the senior pictures of my 1964 Anchor and there was Jimmy Pearce.  There can't be much doubt that they are the same.
I could say more about the picture, but this is getting kind of long.

- Doug Nelson ('64) of VA - 02/09/09
WOWZERONI!!! Thanks, Doug!

NOTE: The image I've posted here has been resized and compressed, so for those who wish to print a copy of the picture, I recommend following Doug's instructions.


This is May 1951 in the auditorium of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. Pictured is Miss Ann Powell’s second grade class
(In 1958 we moved next door to Ann's parents on 52nd Street).
We had performed a May Day/Spring program in the auditorium.
Music was provided on piano by my mother, Betsy (Goodson) Covert (June ’37, MA), shown in the back row.

I apologize to all the kids whose names I can almost remember. Here are the ones I know:

Front Row: The late Eugene Turner, the late Shirley Markoff, Shirley McMahone, ?, ?, Bradley Ewell, ?, ?.

2nd Row: Tommy Reese?, 2,3,4,5,6, the late Beryl Barkley, ?, Norm Covert.


I know someone tuning in can help me out with the identities. I’m glad to be able to remember Gene, Shirley and Beryl.
Gone but not forgotten.


- Norm Covert ('61) of MD - 09/03/09

AWWW! How adorable! Bradley Ewell is unmistakable, but I would not have recognized anyone else, Norm - not even you!
Thanks so much!

May 1951
Miss Ann Powell’s Second Grade

He Plays the Violin

- From the Broadway Show, 1776
and from the Movie, 1776 (1972)

He plays the violin
He tucks it right under his chin
And he bows, oh he bows
For he knows, yes he knows
That it's hi-hi-hi-diddle diddle
It's my heart, Tom and his fiddle
My strings are unstrung
I am undone

I hear his violin
And I get that feeling within
And I sigh, oh I sigh
He draws near, very near
And it's hi-hi-hi-diddle diddle
Goodbye to the fiddle
My strings are unstrung
I'm always undone

When heaven calls to me
Sing me no sad eulogy
Say I die, loving bride
Loving wife, loving life

For it was hi-hi-hi-hi-diddle diddle
'Twixt my heart, Tom, and his fiddle
And ever 'twill be
Through eternity

He plays the violin.

"He Plays the Violin" midi courtesy of
at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 08/31/05
Thanks, Dave!

"He Plays the Violin" lyrics courtesy of
also at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 08/31/05
Thanks again, Dave!

Portrait of Thomas Jefferson courtesy of - 08/31/05

Image of Monticello courtesy of - 08/31/05

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