THIS IS SURRATTS FOUNDATION
E-NOTICE 2009-12 OF DECEMBER 1, 2009
Here are some items that might be of
1. FOUNDATION STARTS SECOND COMPUTER
EQUIPMENT DRIVE. As many of our readers will recall, when
the Foundation was first established, our first big project was to
arrange for the donation to the School of over $250,000 worth of
computer equipment. Ten years have passed, and that equipment is
now obsolete or at the end of its useful life. So, we are
commencing a second drive to acquire computers (and related
peripherals) for the School. If you have contacts at any employer
or other organization that donates "gently used" (or new) computers
to non-profits, please contact me at
2. SEEKING LOST HORNET. Steve Sisk (69) is
trying to locate James (Jim) Turner, aka William (Bill) Turner
(69). Please send Steve and email at
email@example.com if you have
any information that might be helpful.
SURRATTS HISTORY. Here's the latest in our continuing
series of items about Surrattsville's very interesting history.
This article appeared in the Surratt Society "Surratt Newsletter" of
June 1979, and was written by Laurie Verge, the curator of the
"Why Clinton? Many inquiries have been made
to our docents as to why and when the post office changed the name
from Surrattsville to Clinton. An early practice was to name the
post office after the postmaster. Accordingly, Surrattsville was
born in 1854 when John H. Surratt became the postmaster. After his
death in August of 1862, his youngest son, John H., Jr., became the
postmaster on Monday September 1, 1862. He held the position until
November 17, 1863 when he was removed by the federal department --
probably because his reputation as an enemy courier began to catch
up with him.
Surratt was followed by Andrew V. Robey who
maintained the mails at the tavern until May 3, 1865 when the
location was moved down Piscataway Road and re-named Robeystown. It
remained such until October 18, 1878 when the name was changed to
Clinton. The origin of that name is unknown; but one "educated
guess" has been that a relative of DeWitt Clinton, governor of New
York, was Postmaster General at that time and decided to "honor"
In 1906, the second high school in the county was
built and named Surrattsville, a name which still stands. It is
interesting to speculate on why the Board of Education preferred the
original name. An elementary school and junior high also bear the
name Surrattsville as do many businesses in the area. History is
hard to change."
4. SURRATT SOCIETY INFO. We
received this interesting bit of information in response to our
recent items about the upcoming Robert Redford film "The
Conspirator:" "Henry: Regarding the Surratt House and how they need
funds, www.surratt.org is the
website for the Surratt Society, which runs the Surratt House
Museum. Interested persons can be members, give donations, etc.
The site has plenty of information on the tours and seminars they
offer. (I am a lifetime member.) Pat Becker Oles (71).
MORE MEMORIES OF SOUTHERN MARYLAND. Here's another
interesting article from the series in the St. Mary's County Times
written by Foundation Historian and Archivist, Shelby Lee Oppermann
“The Winter Hater,” by Shelby Oppermann. Thank you
to everyone who has responded to the articles so far, and for one
writer who tells me that one of the names for the funny shaped
building on the corner of Golden Beach Rd. and Rt. 5 was “The Golden
Eagle”. Also, she tells me that Golden Beach is really in
Mechanicsville, not Charlotte Hall. Sorry about that. I was
confused because the Charlotte Hall post office is nearer to Golden
Beach than Mechanicsville’s post office. I’m sure there must be
some good reason for this. Anyway….
I love Fall. The
smell of wood smoke, leaves making their last desperate cling to the
branches, squirrels in their restless scurry for nuts. But then,
Fall’s brilliance begins to fade in preparation for the colder,
paler season of Winter. A lusterless, interminably long season of no
growth and grayness. “Please Spring come early this year.” That is
the way I used to view Winter for my first 17 years of life.
Until one trip I took to Pennsylvania while in school. I was in the
Surrattsville High School Hiking Club and we were on our way there
for a ski trip. About ten of us were loaded into one of those huge
activity vans, and at first we were laughing, singing, and looking
Our club sponsor Ms. Harris, was also an
English Teacher, who had a way with words and would engage us in
various discussions. After driving through an hour or two of
rain/snow mix with the dirty snow piled up along the roadside, my
mood and a few of the other kids’ moods started to dampen. Ms.
Harris must have sensed this and asked what the problem was.
I told her I thought it looked so depressing outside.
Winter was just gray and dark with nothing good to look at. (Teenage
angst most likely). A few of the others nodded agreement. Ms.
Harris had us really look at the trees as we drove by them. The
varying shades of gray: the contrast of black silhouetted limbs
against the spots of bright blue sky between the clouds. Birch trees
with neon white and black like a Dalmatian. Ancient gnarled trees
with bare branches like grasping arms.
She described the
photos of Ansel Adams and how shades of black, and gray, and white
can both sharpen and soften objects. When we would pick out any
patches of green, Ms. Harris would bring to mind images of Van Gogh
paintings, by having us notice the many different tones within a
pine or holly tree, how some are vivid where others muted. What a
wonderful gift she gave us that day. Then we got to the camping
site with two feet of snow, 10 degrees below zero and froze all
I took this gift with me and tried to pass it on to my
children, and any kids that happened to be on Winter field trips
with them. Hopefully, this was successful. Where my success ended
is yes, with my husband. He is not a Winter person. He is
descendant from bears. If he had his way the inside of our bedroom
would be a dirt tunnel with roots sticking out of the walls. Dark,
warm, and prepared to sustain him from November until the end of
March. Are there groups for people like this? I know all about SAD
(seasonal affective disorder) that’s a given. He probably does need
one of those special lights; what are they called “grow lights” or
something. Oh, that’s for plants, he’s a bear.
Fall, I try to start earlier and earlier by showing him the beauty
of the changing leaves, and the vibrant colors of the winter wheat
in the farm fields and so on. When we take weekend drives through
the local countryside, I always make sure we try to pass one of the
fields that have the bright green cover crops growing, and point and
say “Look, honey, at all that green, Spring is right around the
corner.” It’s usually somewhere around Thanksgiving at this point,
and all I get in return is “Grumble, grumble, something,
something.” I’ve tried the tree analogies, everything.
Progress has been made over the last eight years though; he does
seem happier each Winter that goes by. When he awakes this morning,
I will again try to coax the bear out of his lair to see the morning
light filtering through those beautiful gold and red leaves and to
smell the cleansed morning air. Tunnel air gets a little musty after
awhile. To each new day’s adventure, Shelby,
[Ed Note: Margaret Harris
generously donates her time to serve as a Foundation Board member.]
6. BOOMERANGS AVAILABLE. The Foundation has a
limited supply of yearbooks from 1991, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004 and
2006. We've also just acquired a gently used 1975 yearbook. If
you'd like one of these yearbooks (which are available for $15
including shipping and handling), please send me an email to
7. FOUNDATION'S OFFICIAL 2009 ANNUAL CAMPAIGN OFF TO
GREAT START. The Foundation's 2009 Annual Campaign is off
to a great start. Remember: no gift is too small (or large) to help
the Foundation, and because the Foundation has no overhead 100% of
every donation goes toward the work of the Foundation. A donor form
is reprinted below, and is available for download on the
Foundation's web site. (This year's very generous early donors are
And as previously reported, the Foundation now
has a "button" on the home page of the Foundation's web site (www.surrattsville.org)
that makes it easier for our very generous donors to contribute to
the Foundation using a credit card or paypal. (Of course, the
Foundation is still happy to accept donations in the form of mailed
paper checks!) A special request to our on-line donors: please
include your graduation year/faculty years/etc. in your on-line
8. 2010 ALL CLASSES/FACULTY/STAFF
EVENTS. Please don't forget to mark you calendars for the
Foundation's third "All Classes/Faculty/Staff" events to be held
over the long weekend of Friday June 25 - Sunday June 27, 2010. The
schedule of events, which is similar to the schedule of the events
for the great 2000 and 2005 events, is as follows:
June 25, 2010 - Golf Outing.
-Friday June 25, 2010, 7 P.M. - 11
P.M. - Surrattstock III.
-Saturday June 26, 2010, 10 A.M - 4 P.M.
- All Classes/Faculty/Staff Picnic and School Open House.
-Saturday June 26, Evening - Saturday evening will be set aside for
-Sunday June 27 - Sunday will be set
aside for Class-specific picnics and other informal gatherings.
9. JUNE 26 AND 27, 2010 CLASS-SPECIFIC EVENTS.
Please note that many Classes are planning Class-specific events for
the evening of Saturday June 26, 2010, and some for Sunday June 27,
2010. Please check in with your Class's "Official Reunion Contact"
to make sure he or she has your current contact information and to
get an update on any plans your Class has for the big reunion
weekend. (ORC contact information, which recently has been updated,
can be found on the "Classes" page on the web site at
10. POSSIBLE 80/81 REUNION. The Classes of 80
and 81 are planning a possible reunion for June 2010. They need a
contact person for the Class of 80. Please contact Teresa Blandford
Pepper at firstname.lastname@example.org
to provide contact info.
11. SURRATTS COOKBOOK.
As previously reported, Leslie St. Clair (70) and Diane "Cookie"
Boyd (71) are putting together a Cookbook of Hornets' Favorite
Recipes. They're hoping that a number of you will submit recipes,
and they'll break them down by category and have them bound and
offer them for sale at the 2010 All Classes/Faculty/Staff events.
All proceeds will go to the Foundation. If you have a recipe you'd
like to share, please send it to Leslie and Cookie at
12. COMBINED 60-65
EVENT. We received this update from Class of 62 ORCs Len
Owens and Jerry Spence: "The Classes of 60-65 are working on a
Combined Classes 60-65 Reunion with events on Saturday evening
(dinner) June 26, 2010 and Sunday afternoon (picnic) June 27, 2010.
Locations still to be determined. Please contact your Official
Reunion Contact (contact info is on the "Classes" page of the web
site at www.surrattsville.org)
for more information. Best Wishes, Len and Jerry"
ALUMNI OFFSPRING HAS BRUSH WITH CHIEF EXECUTIVE. We
received this interesting report from proud Dad, Mike Rumley (71):
"FYI, my son Matt works at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. When
President Obama was there recently, he wanted to meet vets that
worked there when he did his meet and greet. Matt, who works there
in security and who is an Air Force veteran, got to open the door
and let the President in. Obama was held up at the door by Secret
Service and he asked Matt where he was from. When he told him
Arizona they talked for a few about University of Az college
football. Matt said the President shook his hand when he came in
the building and shook his hand again when he moved on. Matt was
very impressed with the President's down-to-earth conversation.
Proud Dad, Mike"
14. WEB SITE FOR THOSE 50'S ALUMS.
Our unofficial internet expert, Wayne Tatum (74), sent along this
url that might provide some amusement to our readers who attended
Surrattsville in the 1950s:
http://www.fiftiesweb.com/fifties.htm. Wayne reports that the
"50's Slang" button alone is worth the trip to the site, and adds:
"Even better - the Burma Shave rhymes are also on the site, but you
have to skip the ads to see them. I never read the complete series
I hope this e-Notice finds you well and having
enjoying a great start to your holiday season!
All the best,
Henry Smith (71)
REED (72) died suddenly on October 24, 2009 in Salisbury, Maryland.
A memorial to Alan was held in Salisbury on November 14.
NANCY MADDOX KING-KATZBERG (74) died on November 25 at Georgetown
Hospital from cancer and complications from diabetes. A viewing
will be held Tuesday, December 1 from 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. with services
December 2 at noon, both at Lee Funeral Home on Route 4 in Owings,
MD. Nancy will be laid to rest at the Resurrection Cemetery in
Clinton. Nancy's sisters Mary Ellen Maddox Brown and Anne Maddox,
her brother Tom Maddox, and her late brother Patrick Maddox also
attended Surrattsville. Nancy's obituary can be found at the
somd.com and leefuneralhomes.com websites.
THANKS TO THESE DONORS TO THE 2009 CAMPAIGN!
Bob Marr (71)
Debbie Cox Marr (72)
Pepper Dimsey (77), In veneration of my classmates turning 50 this
T. Summers Gwynn III (64), In memory of BillGwynn (64)
Ann Weaver Pelle (71)
Donna Rae Sturtevant Smith (70)
Jeanine Carroll Maclary (73), In Memory of Her
Brother, James R. Carroll, Jr.
Vicky Simontacchi Young (57)
Linda Dorsey Blum (66)
Arvid Andresen (65)
Judy Gordon Mentlik
(65), In Memory of Greg White (65), David Shriver (65) and Laura
Chovan (former faculty)
Ellen Talbert-Miller (61, former Faculty
and Administration), In memory of Lillian Holland
Dan Bayne (71)
Tom Travis (72)
Sally Travis (72)
Rick Tazelaar (73)
Paul Monaghan (59)
Coach Lew Jenkins (former
Faculty, 1967 - 1993)
Helen Bovbjerg Niedung (54)
J. Paul Rickett (69)
Gloria Blandford Rickett (71)
Janet Goddard Sullivan (54), In Memory of Mildred Wheatley (34)
Melissa Gilcrest (69)
Jeanine Carroll Maclary (73), In Memory of
James R. Carroll, Jr.
Patricia Becker Oles (71)
Allard (73), In Memory of Cathy Lally Freitas (73)
Statler Thrift (69)
Dennis Thrift (71)
Mike Gifford (84)
Joan Penn Revis (61)
Homer Revis (56)