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E-Notice 2001-05

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THIS IS E-NOTICE 2001-5 OF MAY 19, 2001

Hello Hornets!

Here are some items that might be of interest.

1. ANNUAL MOTORCYCLE (AND CAR) RIDE. Theres only just over a month to go to the annual All Classes Motorcycle (and Car) Ride. Well leave the School promptly at 10 a.m. on Sunday June 24, headed for Colonial Beach, VA. As with last year, so we can give the police escort a rough idea of how many folks will be involved, Id appreciate it if you would send me an email at if you plan to participate. (In the event of inclement weather, call 410-321-9350 after 7 a.m. on the 24th to see if the ride is on or postponed.) Last years ride was great fun, and I hope to see many of you next month.

2. GOLF OUTING PLANS. The incredibly diligent Golf Outing Committee is hard at work finding a replacement date for the re-scheduled (by popular demand) Fall golf outing. Please watch these e-Notices for more information, and please consider supporting this very important fund raising event for the Foundation.

3. 2001 FOUNDATION AWARDS AND SCHOLARSHIPS. On May 17, the Foundation participated in the Schools annual awards ceremony. The Foundation presented a Career Achievement Award to GERALD PICKERAL, the Schools head custodian since 1963!! (That is not a typo!) Literally thousands of us know Gerald and were the beneficiaries of his kindness and hard work, both while we were at Surratts and with respect to alumni gatherings like the Y2K events, so it was a special pleasure to present the Foundations Award in recognition of Geralds 38 years of tireless and cheerful service to the Surrattsville community.

The Foundation also presented an extraordinarily well-deserved Alumni Achievement Award to CHARLIE COOPER (52). Charlies envisioned and endowed the Principals/Faculty/Staff Memory Fund, the special Foundation fund used to provide assistance to students at Surratts who cant reach their full measure of success without a financial hand. This Memory Fund is a real hallmark of the Foundation, and would not exist had it not been for Charlie. Charlie credits his Surratts principal, John Pryde, with grabbing him by the figurative lapels and directing him along the road to success. Were all very grateful to Charlie for his vision, generosity and inspiration.

The Foundation also presented the $500 Charles Waddell Memorial Scholarship to an outstanding member of the Class of 2001, TRICIALAND HILLIARD. Tricialand, who will attend Johnson C. Smith College in the fall, was one of Surratts most outstanding music students in recent memory, and had a superlative overall academic and service record, as well.

Finally, the Foundation presented a $500 General Fund Scholarship to each of CHRISTINA MORSE, the Class of 2001 salutatorian, and LA TOYA HARRIS, another outstanding member of the Class of 2001. Christina, who will attend Towson University, and La Toya, who will attend North Carolina State, each had exemplary academic and service records at Surratts.

Congratulations to these five outstanding individuals, and many thanks to all of you who have supported the Foundation and have made it possible for us to present these Achievement Awards and Scholarships.

4. CHARLIE WADDELL STORIES. Speaking of the late Charlie Waddell, Kevin Emmons (78 shared this neat story with me: I was interested in the e-Notice stories about Charlie Waddell and Marcia Gay Harden. I am in the film business now, too. I believe Marcia was in the play "Fiddler on the Roof" in the fall of 75. I was in that play, too, and it was directed by Charlie Waddell. Charlie also directed me in two more musicals in 77 and 78. Charlie really got my interest in the arts going. I eventually became a motion picture cameraman. I have worked on dozens of movies, T.V. shows and have filmed over 1200 commercials, including working with tons of celebrities. I have been a member of the Union now for 17 years. (Check out my web site at I owe all this to Charlie. I was glad to get the info on the Waddell Memorial Scholarship fund. He was influential to many kids who chose a wide variety of careers.

John Lloyd Gibbons (71) shared these memories about Charlie: Although Charlie Waddell was not a teacher of mine at Surratts, I did attend a "summer enrichment" program between 5th and 6th grades where Charlie taught the drama class, and I have many fond memories of him. He was a gem of a teacher and an even better human being. I remember that I had a terrible time remembering his last name. Naturally, I was raised to call my elders (teachers, especially), Mr. So and So. Charlie said that if I couldn't remember his name, I should simply call him Charlie. Oddly, that provided an instant cure. I never again forgot his last name. Years later, when he came to Surrattsville and I was working (still am) at Census, he let me borrow a piece of choral music for a few days. It was a piece that we had done during our senior year Christmas concert. I wanted to teach it to a group I was directing at the time. Charlie had no problems with my borrowing the music. To me, Charlie was the embodiment of the term teacher.

5. LOOKING FOR A LOST CLASSMATE. Jeanne (Anderson) Scherer (n/k/a McNamee) (81), who attended Surratts Junior before moving to New Jersey, is looking for her friend, Donna Swanson (79). If anyone has information that might help Jeanne, please send her an email at

6. ORIOLES CONGRATULATIONS! Becky Mann (72) gave me the heads-up that John Bale, Jr., son of John Bale (70), is pitching, very successfully, for the Baltimore Orioles this season. John, Jr. was the subject of the lead story in the Baltimore Sun Sports section on 4/24/01. The story included the following sentence: Bales father almost died four weeks ago when his appendix burst. Hes okay now, Bale said. I guess he waited too long and it ruptured. Happily, John, Sr. is on the mend and proudly enjoying his sons success on the mound.

(ohn, Jr. was drafted 3 times, in 94 (12th round) by the St. Louis Cardinals, 95 (6th round) Orioles and in 96 (5th round) by the Toronto Blue Jays. He turned down the Cardinals and Orioles to continue playing college ball and finish three years of college at the University of Southern Mississippi. In 1995 he was one of 66 college players selected to the Olympic trials team!)

John, Sr. and I were reminiscing about Surratts legendary baseball (and wrestling) coach, Lew Jenkins. John mentioned that his sister Sharon's (75) son Kenny plays baseball for coach Jenkins at St. Marys College. Sharon reports that Coach Jenkins looks exactly the same as he did 30 years ago.

Some of you may remember that John, Sr. was quite a ball player himself, playing on those great American Legion and Babe Ruth teams with the likes of Matt Gilcrest, Bobby Gallahan, Tom Eusibio, and Phil Houser.

Congratulations to both Johns on John, Jr.s athletic achievement!

7. HARDEN WATCH. Im sure some of you noticed the smiling face of Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden (76) on the cover of the People magazine of 4/9/01. If shed only been wearing a Surrattsville Alumni T-shirt instead of that lovely designer gown! Marcia was also very prominently featured as the Oscar-winning Marcia Gay Harden in the NBC promos for its recent airing of Disneys Flubber also starring the Oscar-winning Robin Williams.

8. SMALL SCREEN STARDOM. Neal Dawson (73) passed along this neat note he received from Mark Opsasnick, the author of Capitol Rock, the bible of the golden era of Prince Georges County live music (which, incidentally, features quite a few Surratts items, including an item about Neals fantastic early 70s Surratts band, Butlers Orchard): Mark says: One famous Surrattsville alumnus is Laura Sisk Wright (88), who grew up all over Clinton and is now one of the biggest soap stars in the world. She is currently Cassie Layne on "The Guiding Light" and previously had long roles on "Loving" and "The City." I frequently see her picture plastered on the cover of soap magazines.

9. IN MEMORIAM. I am very sorry to have to report the most untimely death of April Young (2000), who died in a car accident on Floral Park Road, along with her boyfriend. Sadly, neither April (who was a member of a large, multi-generation Surratts family) or her boyfriend were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident. PLEASE take this as a tragic reminder of the need to buckle up each time you drive.

10. D.C.STAR REUNION. Mark Opsasnick (see above), was nice enough to send me an email telling me that one of the most successful Surratts bands of all time, D.C. Star, is playing a reunion concert at Jaxx on June 23. (See for more info.) Im sure many of our ears are still ringing from the highly professional (but loud!) sounds created by Dave Simmons, Warren Early, Jeff Avery, and the other Hornets who made up D.C. Star!

11. ITS NEVER TOO LATE! Heartfelt congratulations to Erin Luckeydoo McMahon (88), who went back to college and just graduated (on the Deans List) with her A.A. degree from Seminole Community College in Sanford, FL. Erins also a full-time mom, wife, T-ball coach, soccer coach, etc., etc.! Way to go, Erin!

12. DISCOUNTS FOR HORNETS. If youre looking to get out of town for a nice vacation this summer, dont forget that Laurie Nichols Rhatican (74) and her husband Mike offer Hornets a discount at their establishment, the Henson Cove Place Bed & Breakfast and Cabin in Hiawassee, GA (located in the northeast Georgia mountains, 2 hours from Greenville, SC, Ashville, NC, and Chattanooga, TN).

Please keep those e-cards and e-letters coming. Best wishes to you and yours! Henry Smith (71),




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