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E-Notice 2002-08

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Hello Hornets!

Here are some items that might be of interest.

1. WATCH FOUND. A watch was found in the parking lot at Surrattstock. Please let me know if you lost one.

2. WEB SITE PHOTOS. Many thanks to the many of you who have sent in those fantastic photos from the events of the June 29 weekend. They've been posted to the web site at, so you might want to check them out. (We're still seeking photos, audio and video of the events, if you'd be willing to send them to me.)

3. CLASS OF 61 PICNIC PHOTOS. Joyce Harrison Shaw (61) sent in this link to photos from the recent Class of 61 picnic: 29120723 dyyx album/42593969qaiMvV. Thanks, Joyce!

4. REMEMBERING ROBIN DANIELSON (72). As you may recall, in the last e-Notice we reported that a very nice lady named Linda from Florida had found a Surratts ring and had gone to the trouble to locate Surrattsville and to track me down to report the discovery of the ring.

Although the ring's inscription read "Robin H. Daniels," it turns out that the ring belonged to the late Robin H. Danielson (72), and the last two letters of the inscription had simply been worn-off by years in the sand. Robin, who died suddenly and tragically almost four years ago from toxic shock syndrome, was the sister of Dave Danielson (73) (one of the performers at the recent Surrattstock fund raiser which also was attended by Dave and Robin's parents). Dave, and Robin's good friend Denise Hope (72), suspected that the ring might have been Robin's, and both of them contacted Linda and slowly put the story together. Linda has now sent the ring to Dave and his family, who really appreciated Linda's efforts and reported that this very unusual occurrence brought back many sweet memories of Robin.

The Robin Danielson Act Dave and Denise informed me that a bill was introduced in Congress, called "The Robin Danielson Act", to bring awareness to the dangers of toxic shock syndrome. (Here's a link to a web site with information about The Robin Danielson Act: Dave provided this information: "The Robin Danielson Act was introduced by Carolyn Maloney (D NY), but has wallowed in sub-committee for over three years (maybe four) and it can't even get out to be debated. All the bill calls for is two things: 1) to make it mandatory to report TSS deaths and cases; and 2) for a paltry amount of funding for the CDC to actually study why this is caused (most in the know believe it has to do with the synthetic fibers that are put into tampons to make it "extra absorbency" but in some women and certain conditions, a chemical reaction takes place and a blood toxin is created and it begins to attack all the organs of your body. Unfortunately, this feels like the flu and what woman wouldn't just "tough it out" when they felt the flu coming on. But for Robin, the time from feeling sick to the point of no return was about 36 hours. That was all the warning she had. Even Robin's doctor said he might have mis diagnosed this. But when Robin was in the hospital hanging by a thread, I was trying to get info and the only answer the CDC had was "we don't have good information on that issue". Notably, the only info/studies that are being referred to are the ones that are done by the big tampon manufacturers Playtex, etc. After a while, it started to seem like cigarette companies all over again only on an admittedly smaller scale. I'm planning to write in some magazines on her 4th anniversary in November. If they get published, I'll let you know."

Here's hoping that the efforts of Dave, Denise and Congresswoman Maloney bring public awareness to this important issue and lead to a better understanding of how to combat TSS. Perhaps some of you might want to send a line to your representatives in Congress to encourage some progress on this very important issue.

The Saga of the Ring And, here's Dave's report on the saga of Robin's ring: "As for Robin's ring I can now report to you that I have it with me and it is in fact her Surrattsville ring. Here's the story as best I know it. 1) Robin was dating a guy in the Marines during the late 70s. 2) She gave her ring to him before he went away for 6 months + of duty. 3) They kept in touch for a while but eventually fell apart with time and distance. 4) Apparently the ring was lost by this guy. 5) Another Marine (Linda's husband, Rick) found the ring either in NC or Pensacola, FL (he can't remember). 6) He put it away to eventually try to find the owner but apparently forgot about it. 7) Now Linda who lives in Cape Canaveral, FL. found the ring in the house and decided to "solve the mystery". 8) She identified that it was Surrattsville Class of 1972 and also discovered the engraved name inside (remember when they could engrave a facsimile signature inside?). 9) You know the rest.... So, now that I have it and can confirm that it is Robin's, I'll send it on to my parents for safe keeping. All told the ring was lost for at least 24 25 years and it also seems that it was found in either NC or Florida. I think we'll refer to it as "the prodigal ring". So, there's the story... Take care, Dave"

A Note From Linda And, here's a lovely note I received from Linda, now an honorary Hornet for life, after she was able to return the ring to Dave and his family: "Hi Henry: This class ring reunion has been such an enlightening experience for me, one that I will never forget. I met such nice people and have shared this story with my friends. I had a computer glitch take place so I lost some of their addresses, but here is the note I wanted to ask you to publish in the next e-Notice. Nothing fancy. Thanks again. Maybe someday we'll meet. You know, nothing is impossible...: ) Most Sincerely, Linda

Good Memories can come true: I can hardly describe the feelings I have inside concerning the events that have brought people closer together over a lost class ring. I never envisioned that one day when I was about to put the ring on my finger, I was starting to unfold a history that has now touched my heart in a very special way. When Rick and I got married 12 years ago, both of us brought into the marriage different experiences and memories of our past. I saw this ring, and didnt think too much of it. Rick made the comment that he had found it, and I didnt give it a second thought. I wore the ring several times on my middle finger. Being a nurse, I didnt wear extra jewelry because of my job, but once in a while I did. This one particular day, I thought I would put this ring on. I liked the blue topaz stone. For some reason this time, I looked at it more carefully using a magnifying glass and noticed something written on the inside. Why I never examined the ring more carefully before, I do not have an answer. That is when I saw the name Robin H. Daniels. This ring became personal to me and now had an owner. Somewhere out in this world, there was a girl that lost her class ring and Im sure wanted it back. Thanks to computer technology, I was able to track down Surrattsville High, and came in contact with Henry Smith. You pretty well know the rest of the story. Henry and I communicated back and forth. It was about a month later when I started receiving letters, from David Danielson and Denise Hope, Donna (Vanderhoof) Davis, and Linda Vanderhoof. Thank you for your kind and informational letters. I feel as though I am a part of the Surrattsville High! David was very kind and he and I chatted back and forth on the computer every time we found out some new piece of the puzzle. We knew it is Robins ring and the last two letters of her name had rubbed off on the ring. As far as whom she gave it to, we dont know. My husband said that it must have been one of the Marine Corps guys in his platoon that had it. He had found it on the beach when he was in Pensacola. He said that he never looked to see if there was a name on the inside. We have had this ring since the late 70s, but even though that Robin isnt personally around to receive it back, her family is and I am so thankful for that. This puts together another piece of the puzzle of her life for her remaining family. Although her time came well before it was due, part of her life is living on and is doing well by others, especially concerning the Robin H. Danielson Act. The ring holds a priceless memory, which cannot be replaced or taken away. Out of this tragedy came sadness, hope, encouragement, strength, bonding and blessing. Each of us in our own way will walk away with what we need and have received from being a part of this memory."

Linda's efforts on behalf of a stranger were certainly very, very special, especially in this fast-paced day and time. And perhaps the attention brought to the TSS issue because of this very unusual series of events will lead to the passage of the Robin Danielson Act so that Robin's death will not have been in vain. I know that all of our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Danielson family, along with our wishes that all of their memories of Robin will be wonderful ones.

5. AND SPEAKING OF CLASS RINGS ... I recently received this email from Colleen Large Hall (84), "Hi, Henry! hope you had a nice 4th of July. I think it as as hot up there as it is here in Florida but we don't get to have the great Maryland blue crabs.:( Along the lines of looking for class rings... could you maybe put in a note in the next e Notice to see if mine can be found? It was stolen from my car at 12th and K Streets NW in D.C. years ago, probably around 1988 or so. I doubt it'll ever turn up and almost ordered a new one from Herff Jones (although why, I'm not sure!) but just in case some other unusual class ring coincidence happens maybe it will be mine this time. It had my name engraved inside so that will help. Thanks, Colleen"

6. BLESSED EVENT; PARENTS OF BI-POLAR CHILDREN SUPPORT GROUP. I recently received this email from Erin McMahan Luckeydoo (88), "Dear Henry, News to Note. . First and foremost, my brother Richie McMahan (91) and his wife, Melanie Gregg (93 or 94), had a beautiful baby boy on Monday, June 17, 2002. Cameron Gregg McMahan, happy and healthy at 8 lbs 2 oz, is the 5th grandchild for our parents (Eddie 66 & the late Paula (67). Second, I am searching for parents of bipolar children. My 8 year old son is bipolar. Most parents don't discuss these types of issues about their children because the public and the government view mental disorders differently then diseases and such. For a long time, my husband and I thought we were the only people out there dealing with this. This has affected our family in ways unimaginable including suicide attempts by our young son. Through hospitalizations, medications, and lots of treatment, we have come to a relatively "stable" point with our son. If you would, Henry, please include this with the next e-Notice as I'm sure there are Surratts grads who may know of someone who is dealing with this. Thanks, Erin"

7. CAPITOL ROCK. The revised edition of "Capitol Rock," the comprehensive encyclopedia of the history of rock music in the D.C. area by Mark Opsasnick, has just been published. (The book also provides an absolutely fascinating general social history of Southeast D.C./Prince George's County from the New Deal through the present.) I'm proud to report that Surrattsville's central role in the development of rock music in D.C. is highlighted repeatedly in this great book. (The book is available over the net at

The Surrattsville references start early, as Surrattstock visionary and key performer Neal Dawson (73) is acknowledged by Mark in the introduction to the book. Greg Laxton (the Official Reunion Contact for the Class of 81) is mentioned very favorably in connection with his work as the web master of the great Link Wray web site, which can be found at (Greg also masters Basso profundo John Previti (72) is featured extensively for his work with the late Danny Gatton. Jeff Avery (73), Wade Richards (73), Warren Early (73) and especially Dave Simmons (73) are featured extensively in the entire chapter devoted to DC Star. Surrattstock performer Bill Smith (73), along with Bill Baker (73), John Thomas (73) and Bart Windsor (69), are featured in the discussion of Spring Fever, and Surratts favorites like The Tuesday Boots, Butler's Orchard, Mystic Blue, Sassafras Tea, United Orange, and Blue Horizon get mentioned, as well. There are numerous references to Surrattsville High School and to the junior high, and loads of cool references to Clinton landmarks, like Sam's Crab House, the Clinton Barbershop, Ray's Used Car Lot, the Clinton Firehouse, the American Legion, and St. John's Church, that were the location of one or more important events in the development of rock and roll music in the D.C. area.

Congratulations to all the great Surrattsville musicians who get duly recognized in this important work (and thanks to Mark for his favorable treatment of the role played by our alma mater)!

8. AND SPEAKING OF SURRATTS MUSICIANS. I've just learned that Surrattsville produced another accomplished bassist (along with John Previti (72) and Fred Ferris (66)). Eric Scott (81),, is the long-time bassist for the great Deanna Bogart band.<A HREF=""></A>. The band

plays a full area schedule, but also tours nationally and internationally. Eric has played all over the globe with many artists ranging from Ray Charles, B.B. King, and James Brown to Little Feat, The Neville Brothers, and Robert Cray.

Eric also does a solo project, and has just released his second CD "Let's Hear It For The Fools." The CD is available on his website at "". Eric informs me: "I received much of my musical training as a tuba player in Mr. Richard Mortimer's music class at Surrattsville, and I am proud to carry on the Hornet musical tradition!" Wouldn't it be interesting to see how many professional musicians are the product of the tutelage of Mr. Mortimer (a 57 Surratts grad himself!).

I hope this e-Notice finds you well and ready to enjoy the waning days of summer.

All the best, Henry Smith (71),


DAVID C. LONG, SR., lost his battle with brain cancer on June 3. David was very involved with Surratts, and was the father of David Long Jr.(68), Dale C. Long (70) Bobby Long(72), and Debbie Long Kilby (75). Debbie reports that David "was a very special father that was very involved with his kids and his grandchildren (10 of them) he was loved very much and will be missed a lot."

DWIGHT REED (81), died on July 6 after a long battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife of 15 years, Michelle McCoy Reed, and his two children Jessica and Matthew. Dwight was raised in Clinton, excelled in athletics in the Clinton Boys and Girls Club, and was an outstanding linebacker and halfback on the Surrattsville football team. He graduated from Shepherd College with a degree in accounting and, at the time of his death, was a senior systems integrator in Corporate Finance at Lockheed Martin Corp. He had relocated to Grand Rapids, MI, but remained an avid, lifelong Washington Redskins fan. He was laid to rest in Middletown, MD. Those who wish may contribute to an Educational Fund for Jessica and Matthew (c/o Grand Bank, 126 Ottawa NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49523) or to the Van Andel Research Institute's (Hope on the Hill Foundation) for Cancer Research Efforts (333 Bostwick NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503).




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