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E-Notice 2005-09

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THIS IS SURRATTS FOUNDATION E-NOTICE 2005-9 OF SEPTEMBER 1, 2005

Hello Hornets:

Here are some items that might be of interest:

1.  2K5 EVENT PHOTOS WANTED.  We're starting to compile an archive of photos from the various events in June.  If you have any digital or hard copy photos you'd like to contribute, please email them to me at hsmith@smithdowney.com, or snail mail them to me at 815 Stoneleigh Road, Baltimore, MD 21212.  Please give captions with names and graduation years if you can.

2.  ANNUAL CAMPAIGN BEGINS.  The Foundation's informal annual campaign has just kicked-off.  As in the past, we expect to use the funds raised during the annual campaign to replenish the Foundation's scholarship funds and to be used for other Foundation projects.  Please consider making a contribution to this most worthy of causes.  Remember: no contribution is too small (or too large) to be of assistance, and since the Foundation has no overhead, every dollar contributed directly supports a Foundation activity.  (A donor form is reprinted below and is available on the web site at www.surrattsville.org.)

3.  THE RE-NAME SURRATTSVILLE CONTROVERSY.  As reported to me by a number of e-Notice readers (including several who live out West!), in recent months a minor controversy involving Surrattsville occurred in the D.C. press.  The controversy started with an article that appeared in the Star Community News on March 3, 2005.  The article was titled "Resident Wants Historical Name Changed for One High School" and reported that a Charles Robinson, a history buff who had moved to Clinton in 1989, wanted Surrattsville High School to be renamed "Clinton High School".  The reporter noted that Mr. Robinson felt that, although the School was named after the traditional town of Surrattsville, it "also glorified the name of Maria Surratt, who was the first woman to be executed by the United States government after being found guilty of conspiring with John Wilkes Booth in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln."  Robinson was quoted as saying that changing the name of the School "is not just an idea for me anymore.  It has become a passion for me.  I hope I am doing the right thing."

That article was followed by this April 21, 2005 letter to the editor of the Prince George's Gazette: "Dear Editor:  I am writing this in the hope that you will open your eyes and mind to understand what I'm proposing. This letter is about the renaming of Surrattsville High School ["Resident wants historical name changed for one high school," March 3].  First, a little history about who the school is named after. >From what I have gathered, back in the 1850s, this area of Prince George's County was associated with a well-known middle-class plantation called the Surratt House. In its day, the Surratt House served as the county tavern, hostelry, post office and polling place, before the Civil War. It was also used as a safe house for the Confederate underground, which flourished in this area of Southern Maryland. This was also the country home of Mary Surratt. Mary Surratt was the first woman to be executed by the U.S. government, after being found guilty of conspiring with John Wilkes Booth in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. A majority of schools in Prince George's County are named after their communities -- for example, Friendly Senior High School and Oxon Hill Senior High School. The name of Surrattsville High School still carries the feeling of those individuals who supported the ideology of the Confederate government and segregation. It's time for a re-identification. I request that the school be renamed to a suitable name the whole community can be proud of -- for example, Clinton Senior High School.  Eddie T. Robinson III, Clinton"

That article and letter to the editor prompted responses like the following:

"Dear Editor:  The letter by Eddie T. Robinson III about changing the name of the Surrattsville High School ["Reasons for renaming Surrattsville High School," April 21] is not a good idea.  Clinton is in the Surrattsville election district. For historical reasons, Clinton should be renamed back to Surrattsville.  Maryland and the District were a southern state and district. Readers can learn a lot about Maryland by reading the book "Maryland: The South's First Casualty" by Bart Rhett Talbert, a former student of Surrattsville High School. Let's keep the Civil War out of current day politics. We all have the right to be proud of our history and ancestors. There are many students of all races who graduated from Surrattsville High School and are proud to be called Hornets. My seven children are graduates of the school. Rah rah, Surrattsville! Jim Dawson, Clinton"

I imagine I'm not the only Hornet to have been fascinated by hearing the stories behind Surrattsville's name while sitting in Dutch Anderson's U.S. history class and looking out the window at the Surratt House!  Just another thing that made Surrattsville such an interesting place to go to school.

(When I checked with Principal Bill Barnes, he hadn't heard anything official about this concept.  I'd be very interested to hear if any of you have heard anything further on this issue.)

4.  CLASS OF 85 REUNION.  I received this email from 85 ORCs Mary Beth Klick and Cyndi Baker Fraley: "Dear Class of 85:  Our 20th Year Reunion has been officially rescheduled for Friday, November 11, 2005, 8:00 pm - midnight, Holiday Inn of Waldorf (Damon's).  Invitations were mailed this week - look for the green envelope.  A few things: an 85 Missing Alumni List is available.  If you can help us search or already know where to find any of these people, please send us their addresses.  Web Development Assistance - we are looking for someone with web development experience to help create our exclusive Class of 1985 web page.  Holler if you can help.  Mail $ Sooner Rather Than Later - members of the reunion committee have already put out some of their personal money to pay for some reunion expenses.  Your early payment will help us do the rest.  Bring Surrattsville Memorabilia - there will be two tables set up at the reunion ballroom for photo albums, pictures, trophies, and other items we all may still have from the high school years.  The 10th Reunion Panaramic photo is being mounted for display purposes. (Put your name on your stuff.)  We are looking forward to having a great time.  Mary Beth Klick, mbklick@aol.com and Cyndi Baker Fraley, imcyclone@aol.com"

5.  MORE REPORTS FROM THE JUNE EVENTS.  I received these nice notes about the 2K5 events:

- Lee Ringley (65) reported: "Hi Henry:  I was a member of the Class of 65.  Until this year I had not attended any reunions or even been back to the School.  Thanks to the e-Notices, I was aware of the events and was able to contact my Class coordinators.  Even though I did not know anyone and had not seen a single person from my Class since 1965, I went to the reunion and Class-specific events.  I met a lot of nice people for the first time and enjoyed the events.  The only regret I have is that it took me 40 years to meet some very nice people. (I attended Surrattsville only one year, was an introvert and really did not know anyone except for a couple of people, just well enough to say Hello).  A very special person is Judy Gordon, our Class ORC, who is the glue that keeps us together and coming back each year.  I hope everyone knows and appreciates just how much effort she puts into these events.  I met her for the first time and she made me feel like an old friend instead of a complete stranger.  The one person I did know and had looked forward to saying Hello to again after 40 years did not attend the reunion.  If possible, in a future e-Notice, could you say Hello to Cathie Downs for me?  Perhaps she or someone who knows how to contact her is a reader.  Thanks, R. (Lee) , RingleyLRING46@aol.com.   p.s.  I had to laugh at the comments on D.C. and the Beltway traffic.  I've lived in this area since 1960, seen all the changes and, sadly, all too many of the comments are all too true.  As for the High Speed Traffic Chases, the only way to differentiate between a police chase and normal traffic is that some of the cars have flashing lights on top!"  (Does anyone have any information of Cathie or a member of her family they could share with Lee?)
   
- Len Owens (62) reported: "I'm still in the glow of the reunion.  Several of us had a very nice lunch on Sunday after the reunion events."
 
6.  SEEKING 86 GRADS FOR REUNION.    Laurie Peters Ziegler Williams is trying to contact her Class of 86 classmates to tell them about plans for the upcoming 20 year reunion.  Please contact Laurie at Laur0919@msn.com if you are an 86 grad of if you have any information on an 86 grad.

7.  PHOTO PARTICIPANTS IDENTIFIED.  Thanks to Tim Smith (77), we've been able to identify many of the students in that third grade photo with the caption "Future Members of 77 in 68" on the web site at the 2000 All Class Reunion page.  Can anyone identify any of the as-yet unidentified students in that great photo?


Here's hoping your September is off to a great start!

All the best, Henry Smith (71), hsmith@smithdowney.com


IN MEMORIAM

MARCIA M. McDOWELL died in August.  Marcia was a regular substitute teacher at the Junior High in the early 70s, the mother of Tami McDowell Ayres (77), Dawn McDowell Walker (78), and Jeff McDowell (82), and the "unofficial Mom" beloved by many of her children's friends.

DAVID MARONEY (74) died suddenly on August 14 of a heart attack.  David was a successful business owner in Spring, Texas.  David's sister, Sandy Moroney Wade (72) reports that Dave appeared healthy, with normal cholesterol and blood pressure, but it turned out that he had acute coronary disease.  Sandy asks that those in the Surratts community not assume that they have good heart health just because those tests appear to be normal, especially if there is a history of heart disease in their family.


MANY THANKS TO THESE EARLY 2005 ANNUAL CAMPAIGN DONORS!

Steve Profilet (71)
Bill Harris (71)
Donna Rae Sturtevant Smith (70)
Henry Smith (71)
Teri Pepper Dimsey (77)
Pat Becker Oles (71)
Charles Perrygo (71), In Memory of Steve Kurtz (71)
Sandy Evans Lyon (66), For the Oral History Project
Norm Carmichael (65)
Linda Dorsey Blum (66)
Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. (60)


 

 

 

 



 

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