THIS IS SURRATTS FOUNDATION E-NOTICE 2007-2 OF FEBRUARY 1, 2007
Here are some items that may be of interest:
CLASS OF 87 PLANS REUNION.
The Class of 87 is planning its 20 year
Please contact ORC Chrissy Weberling (whose
contact info is on the Foundation's web site), or ORC Mike Cassidy, if
you are an 87 grad or have contact info for an 87 grad or a family
member of an 87 grad.
Mike's contact info is: Michael Cassidy,
9429 Delancey Drive, Vienna VA, 301‑641‑1231, firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. CLASS OF 97 REUNION UPDATE. The Class of 97 is continuing its planning for its 10 year reunion. Here's a report from ORC Monica Crown: "Hi Henry: We had our first 1997 10 Year Reunion Committee Meeting. We have decided on an early August 2007, two-day event. We have formed several committees to get this event planned and executed by this deadline. We hope to locate 80% of the 216 class members. We will be sending out a communication letter over the next few weeks to several class members who we have been unable to locate. If you know of any recent addresses for classmates, please forward them to Surratts97Reunion@gmail.com. If you would like to participate or help in any way with the event please let me know ASAP at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be meeting once a month until the big reunion event in August. Our next meeting is 2/17/07. If anyone is interested in joining a committee, please let me know by 2/17/07; we will be Aclosing the doors@ to the committee meetings at that time. Thanks, Monica"
3. FOUNDATION'S 2006 CAMPAIGN A HUGE SUCCESS. The Foundation's 2006 informal annual campaign was its most successful to date. Many thanks to all of those donors below who helped us achieve this fund-raising record! Your generous support enables the Foundation to continue its annual scholarship and other programs.
4. MORE CLINTON MEMORIES FROM THOSE HALCYON DAYS. The Foundation's unofficial memoirist, John Curry (60), recently sent these latest of his always-interesting stories about his formative years in Clinton: "Hi Henry: Reading over the December e-Notice I reflected over the way our small community in rural Maryland has changed and has added to the everyday events of this great country. Then my thoughts went back to a simpler time as I experienced life in Clinton, attended school and saw events unfold that seem so far away to me today. I have included another story from the dusty bookshelf of my youthful adventures. Happy New Year! John
Grandma Revis and the Chickens: During the early 1950s we had a dozen or so Rhode Island Red chickens and a very cantankerous rooster named Wally. Their care and feeding fell to me which included collecting the eggs before going to school. We used the eggs for our family and also to barter with other families for produce and milk. I was a small boy during this period and the rooster appeared about my height or so I felt at the time. Each morning I had to confront Wally the rooster and it felt like the shoot‑out at the O.K. Corral every day. He would ruffle his feathers and lunge at me as I wildly swung the buckets of food and water trying to fend him off. Sometimes I would hit him in the head and off he would go staggering around the pen while I made my escape. He always attacked and I often wondered if I had not knocked something loose in his head so that he did not remember the last bashing. I don=t recall how long we had the chickens but at some point it was decided that they had to go. I suppose that the neighborhood was growing and there was little place for a chicken yard. A fine old neighbor lady that I only remember as Grandma Revis volunteered to do the deed, as we did not have any takers for them. We captured the critters and hung them feet first from the backyard clothes line. We all left Grandma Revis to her task of cutting their throats and providing us with fresh chickens for several meals. Presently she came into the house looking rather disturbed. With downcast eyes she admitted to having let one of the chickens live. She explained that as she was going about her work one of the hens turned and looked at her with those big brown eyes and pleaded to be spared by making a long, low guttural sound. AI just couldn=t do it and I hope that you understand that I had to let her go@ Grandma explained. I do not know where that chicken went nor did I care! At last Wally the rooster would have a place of honor at our dinner table and Grandma Revis helped put him there.
Hi Henry! I've included another adventure from my childhood while living in Clinton, MD during the 1950s. It now seems funny to me but most of my recollections concern animals in some manner. Be good. John
Abby the Mare
We lived on a rather large piece of property and had two horses. One was a tall, gentle, chestnut colored Tennessee Walker gelding and the other was a pure coal-black Morgan mare named Abigail. Her name was deceiving because she harbored an evil spirit. She was advertised for sale as gentle and good with children, which was true unless you wanted to saddle her and go riding. Actually going for a ride was probably an accurate description because she did provide an exciting view of objects as they flew by while she attempted to unseat the rider. More than once I had her chin pulled up to her neck with the reins while she was at a full gallop only to run under low hanging branches or next to a tree or fence post trying to get me off her back. This constant give-and-take between beast and boy always made our outings interesting and eventful. One day my Father was watching us trying to put a saddle on Abby and commented that you must AShow the animal who=s boss!@ He took the reins, climbed aboard Abby and proceeded to head for the pasture at a full gallop. This lasted several minutes until Abby tired of the demonstration and applied the brakes. She planted all four legs and came to an abrupt stop. My father was completely unprepared for this and promptly sailed over her head to land in a heap on his head, neck and shoulder. We ran out to the pasture to get a better view of the wreck. My father got up, held his head at a slight angle and quietly walked back to the house. I lead Abby away assuming that our animal control lesson had concluded for the day."
5. POSSIBLE TAX CREDIT AVAILABLE. Ruth Stout Maitland (72) sent this interesting email: "He Henry: Here is something that might be of interest to you and the readers of the Surratts e-Notices. It was passed on to me from a friend of mine. Ruth
"Thought I might share this with everyone in case any of you have not heard. This is a one-time, this year only, tax credit that everyone with a home phone is eligible for so don=t miss out. A SPECIAL ONE TIME TAX CREDIT ON YOUR 2006 TAX RETURN: When it comes time to prepare and file your 2006 tax return, make sure you don't overlook the "federal excise tax refund credit". You claim the credit on line 71 of your form 1040. A similar line will be available if you file the short form 1040A. If you have family or friends who no longer file a tax return and they have their own land phone in their home and have been paying a phone bill for years, make sure they know about this form 1040EZ‑T.
What is this all about? Well, the federal excise tax has been charged to you on your phone bill for years. It is an old tax that was assessed on your toll calls based on how far the call was being made and how much time you talked on that call. When phone companies began to offer flat fee phone service, challenges to the excise tax ended up in federal courts in several districts of the country. The challenges pointed out that flat fee/rate phone service had nothing to do with the distance and the length of the phone call. Therefore, the excise tax should/could not be assessed. The IRS has now conceded this argument. Phone companies have been given notice to stop assessing the federal excise tax as of August 30, 2006. You will most likely see the tax on your September cutoff statement, but it should not be on your October bill. But the challengers of the old law also demanded restitution. So the IRS has announced that a one time credit will be available when you and I file our 2006 tax return as I explained above. However, the IRS also established limits on how big a credit you can get. Here's how it works. If you file your return as a single person with just you as a dependent you get to claim a $30 credit on line 71 of your 1040. If you file with a child or a parent as your dependent, you claim $40. If you file your return as a married couple with no children you claim $40. If you file as married with children you claim $50 if one child, $60 if two children. In all cases, the most you get to claim is $60. Unless: If you have all your phone bills starting after Feb 28, 2003 through July 31, 2006 (do not use any bills starting Aug 1, 2006), then you can add up the actual tax as it appears on your bills and claim that for a credit. Now if you have your actual phone bills and come up with an actual tax amount, you cannot use line 71 on your tax return. You have to complete a special form number 8913 and attach it to your tax return. Individuals using the special from 1040EZ‑T will have to attach this form 8913 also.
One final point: this credit is a refundable credit. That means you get this money no matter how your tax return works out. If you would end up owing the IRS a balance, the refund will reduce that balance you owe. If you end up getting a refund, the credit will be added and you get a bigger refund by that $30 to $60 depending on how many dependents are on your return.
This is true. Not a hoax. I checked it out myself on snopes.com.http://www.snopes.com/business/taxes/excise.asp."
6. HORNET'S FIRST NOVEL IS PUBLISHED. Len Owens (62) passed along the news that the first novel of Marjorie Casswell (62) was recently published. Information about the novel is available at http://www.dailyinsider.info/2005/11_13_06.html. Len also reports that the novel was a semifinalist for both the William Faulkner/Wisdom Competition, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition Award, and that Marj is generally known as a non‑fiction writer and recently retired from a career working with non‑profit organizations. The novel has a setting that will be familiar to Hornets: it deals with a woman returning to her ancestral Virginia tobacco farm and discovers her childhood diary, which discloses the causes of her present‑day regrets. Linda Holderness, another Class of 62 member, reports: "The writing in Marj's novel is wonderful, as is the art on the cover, which Marjorie also did."
Congratulations to Marj on this literary achievement!
A LOOK BACK 100 YEARS.
This interesting email was passed along by
Katherine Mierke (57): "A hundred years ago:
The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years old.
Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
A three‑minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.
There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S, and only 144 miles of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California.
With a mere 1.4 million people, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union .
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
The average wage in the U.S. was 22 Cents per hour.
The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year .
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist made $2,500 per year,
a veterinarian between $1,500 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.
Ninety percent of all U.S. doctors had no college education! Instead, they attended so‑called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard."
Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month , and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
Five leading causes of death in the U.S. were: 1. Pneumonia and influenza; 2. Tuberculosis; 3. Diarrhea; 4. Heart disease; and 5. Stroke.
The American flag had 45 stars.
Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.
The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30.
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn't been invented yet.
There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
Two out of every 10 U.S. adults couldn't read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."
There were about 230 reported murders in the entire US.
Just try to imagine.... what it may be like in
another 100 years!
It staggers the mind!"
8. HORNET RAISES FUNDS FOR GOOD CAUSE. I recently learned that Renee Mills DeLuca (82) is raising money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as a participant in its Team In Training program. Each donation helps accelerate cures for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma and brings hope to the patients and families who are on the front lines of the battle against these diseases. This link can be used to donate to Renee's efforts online, and to read Renee's personal story: http://www.active.com/donate/tntnoh/tntnohRDeLuca. Donors receive a confirmation by email of their donations. Good luck to Renee with her fund-raising efforts!
9. SURRATTS PTSA STAYS VERY ACTIVE. The Surratts PTSA B perhaps one of the most activist in history B continues its activities in support of the great kids at Surratts. Recently, the PTSA sent a busload to Annapolis for a "Save Our Children" march organized by Surratts' own, Catherine Ross. The march urged legislators to support funding, high quality education, accountability, and the like. (This was a "three-generation" event, involving current students, current parents, and interested citizens who were parents of former grads, like Marge and Bill Allen, parents of Pete Allen (71)!) Congratulations to the PTSA on its continuing efforts on behalf of Surrattsville!
10. AND ANOTHER LOOK BACK ... . I received this provocative email from Rick "Smitty" Smith (71): "Hi Henry: Thought you might like this one:
My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.
My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter and I used to eat it raw sometimes, too. Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers, but I can't remember getting ecoli.
Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring); no beach closures then.
The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.
We all took gym, not PE... and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross‑training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can't recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.
Flunking gym was not an option.! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.
Speaking of school, we all sang the national anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention.
We must have had horribly damaged psyches. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a white cap and everything.
I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.
I just can't recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X‑box or 270 digital TV cable stations.
Oh yeah; and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!
We played king of the hill on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites, and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48‑cent bottle of Mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn't sting like iodine did) and then we got our butt spanked.
Now it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10‑day dose of a $49 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.
We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either because if we did, we got our butt spanked there and then we got butt spanked again when we got home.
I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop, just before he fell off. Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house. Instead, she picked him up and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck.
To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known that?
We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes. We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac! How did we ever survive?
Love to all of us who shared this era, and to all who didn't, sorry for what you missed. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Rick"
11. GOATMAN LEGEND LIVES ON. I continue to hear stories about, or related to, Clinton's Goatman legend. Here's one from equally mysterious Surratts alum "WT": "Hi Henry: Late last Saturday night I decided to ride my motorcycle in order to check out my expensive new Honda jumpsuit and helmet. I brought my old overlarge expensive extra helmet along just in case my new helmet proved claustrophobic for me. After a 22 mile ride through dark country roads and arriving home, I noticed that my old helmet was missing. So I decided to go reverse‑round‑robin, whatever that means... . In other words, I back‑tracked. At around midnight, on a "two‑lane" stretch through a heavily wooded area, I noticed a large pickup truck with an equally large animal containment unit attached, plus a smaller cage, with the owner flashing a light through the forest. I rode around him. After about a hundred yards, at 30 miles an hour, (past a small bridge, no less) I could hear something like a big dog panting near and behind my head. This kept up for about 50 more yards. When I looked into my side‑mirrors, I saw nothing but pitch‑black night, and only about a couple of feet of that. I don't have a Goatman panic switch, but I do remember a motorcyclist tale told to me by a fellow Clintonite pertaining to our resident half man‑half goat myth. Seems that a navy fellow was on Piscataway Road manymoons ago, and noticed a man running behind him on two legs, which is fairly normal. Then the runner bent over forward, and ran full blast on four.... On the internet, you can search "Goatman", and read dark tales of Prince George's County. The only other weird night experiences I've had were when a very huge bird not resembling an owl in any fashion passed over route 70 near Hagerstown, and when driving backroads late at night on a very narrow and wooded place near Potomac, a very large white creature, which I'm guessing was a bird, "flew" straight out of the dense woods, and into my white pickup truck.
When I looked back, a few cars had stopped, but the animal was gone! WT".
12. (ANOTHER) CLASS OF 71 RING FOUND. In what is becoming a fascinating pattern, we once again have been contacted about the discovery B by a Hornet alumna's Mom B of a class ring from 1971. This ring is a men's ring, with initials inside that look like "MTF". If this might be your ring, please send me an email at email@example.com. (You may recall that the last Surratts Class of 71 ring that was found was found by an elementary school teacher on a playground in Germany! And the one before that in the sand on a beach in South Florida! And we still have an unclaimed woman's ring from 71 that was found ten years ago.)
I hope your 2007 is off to a great start!
All the best, Henry Smith (71), firstname.lastname@example.org
MANY THANKS TO THESE RECORD-SETTING 2006 CAMPAIGN DONORS!
Nancy Miller (67)