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Hello Hornets:

Here are some items that might be of interest:

1.  ALL CLASSES/FACULTY/STAFF EVENTS A SMASHING SUCCESS!  Thanks to the work of our legion of volunteers, and the participation of hundreds of alumni, faculty and staff, last weekend's All Classes/Faculty/Staff events were a total success.  Although the weather was extremely hot, the sun shone and not a drop of rain fell, and the air conditioned cafeteria at the School provided a welcome oasis. 

Attendees came from as far away as Napa, California and Seattle, Washington, and from as nearby as Gwynndale Drive, and ranged from the Class of 37 to the present.  Hundreds of old connections were revived, and the spirit that infused the events was one of good vibrations and lots of love.  Visiting with former faculty and staffers was particularly special.

We extend our thanks to everyone who volunteered time at the events, and we owe a particular debt of gratitude to these volunteer coordinators who took on the primary responsibilities for each function:


Melissa Gilcrest (69) - Picnic/Open House Overall Coordinator

Stacey Fowler (87) - Surrattstock Overall Coordinator

Tom Shultz (71) - Name Tags and Directory Cover

Leslie St. Clair (70) - Cookbook and Surrattstock Refreshments (as well as handling the breathtakingly beautiful 69-74 Ft. Belvoir event)

Shelby Lee Oppermann (79) - School History Display (perhaps one of the two biggest hits of the Picnic/Open House event)

Pat Becker Oles (71) - Directory compilation and sales; bumper sticker design and sales

Laurie Martin Roberts (74) - Old School Tours and Shuttle Bus (the second big hit of the Picnic/Open House event) and vendor liaison

Roger Owens (73) - Surrattstock Sound

Lauren Foley (74) - Golf Outing Co-Coordinator

Alan Johnson (72) - Golf Outing Co-Coordinator

Carrie Jesse Loftus – Class year signs

And by all reports, each of the Class-specific functions was similarly successful.  Thanks again to all of you who helped to make the June 25-27 weekend so extraordinary.

[Ed Note:  We'd love to hear your stories from the All Classes/Faculty/Staff events, and from the Class-specific events, and to receive any event photos you feel might be good additions to the Foundation's web site.  Please feel free to send them to  Also, because the 2010 All Classes/Faculty/Staff events are the last ones planned by the Foundation, please be sure to stay in contact with your Class's Official Reunion Contact – as listed on the web site at – to stay informed about future Class-specific, or "Class cluster" events.]

p.s.  Two pair of sunglasses, and a sunglass case, were turned in to lost and found at the events.  Please feel free to send an email to if you'd like to claim them.

2.  REMEMBERING A MUSICAL CLASSMATE.   We received this lovely email from Mary Jo Johnson Sputo (76):  "Dear Hornets:  Cindy Thompson Vutsinas (76) lost her courageous 11 month battle with brain cancer and passed away on May 31, 2010.  Married to her SHS sweetheart Evan for nearly 30 years, she was a devoted wife, mother of two sons, and a friend to many. Those of us who remember Cindy back in high school know how musically talented and dedicated she was to the music department under the direction of Charles Waddell.  Mr. Waddell came to admire and appreciate the time and commitment Cindy gave to the music program. She was especially gifted as an accompanist at choir, chorus, the Surratts Singers, and musical events from 1974 to 1976 which impacted SHS students from the Classes of 74 - 78.  More specifically, during the three-year span of her high school years, we remember Cindy’s time and devotion as the accompanist for the musicals Anchors Aweigh 74 (assisted), Oklahoma 75 and Fiddler on the Roof 76.

Since Cindy’s passing, I have been inquiring about the feasibility of starting a memorial fund through the Foundation to honor her memory as a talented artist in music. The Foundation has noted that it would be honored to administer donations made to remember Cindy in the existing Charles Waddell Memorial Fund. With the mutual respect that Cindy and Mr. Waddell had for one another, what better way to honor Cindy’s memory than through the Waddell Memorial Scholarship Fund. This fund grants scholarships to seniors who have been active in the music and/or drama disciplines and who plan to pursue college studies in music and/or drama.

I took on this task because a few of my classmates wanted to do more to show their love for Cindy and to honor her memory. With her passion and love for music this seemed to be the logical path to honor a fallen friend and classmate. May I suggest, for those of us who have been trying to find a way to honor the memory of Cindy, that you go to the Surrattsville Foundation web page at and make a donation online. On the home page click contributions and then fill out the donor form. You can then indicate your intentions as a memory gift for Cindy for the Waddell Fund.  Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,  Mary Jo Johnson Sputo 76"

3.  REPORT FROM ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RECIPIENT.  We received this report of his latest adventures from 2010 Achievement Award recipient Rix Mills (62):  "Henry:  I am so pleased with the Achievement Award and am honored to be a recipient.  I wanted to give you a little update on my latest Afghanistan adventure.  I got back to Kabul on May 21st and have been traveling around closing down the different sites that we had operating throughout the country to stop poppy cultivation, distribution and trafficking.  Last week I went from the extreme southwest corner of the country to the far northeast.  In coming back from the southwest border with Iran on Monday, I was advised that our base in Kandahar, where I lived for over a year, was hit by suicide bombers and told to bring our people out of there.  So, I did that and returned to Kabul the next day.  There was significant damage to that facility but our people were all safe.  I will attach a photo so that you can see the impressive damage that three or four people can do in the matter of just a few minutes.  [Ed note:  The photo is on the web site at]  All of the insurgents either blew themselves up or were shot while trying to get through the hole in the wall that a vehicle bomb created for them.  Unfortunately, we lost an American police advisor/mentor and a Ghurka guard.  The site that I came from in the far southwest was also hit a couple of days after I left there so the heat is on as they say.  This week I will return to the south and close down sites there and then it will be smooth sailing for the remainder of my time as I will spend most of my time in the north except for the finale in Kandahar at the end!  I hope to be back in Puerto Montt, Chile by the 4th of July and celebrate our independence.  Go USA!  Rix"

[Ed Note:  We were honored to have the other 2010 Achievement Award recipients, Ann Weaver Pelle (71) and Coach Lew Jenkins, join us at last weekend's events.  And we know Rix was there in spirit!]

4.  2007 ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RECIPIENT FEATURED ON BRAVO CHANNEL.  Internationally acclaimed chef Tim Dean (88), a 2007 Foundation Achievement Award recipient, who now owns Prime Steakhouse in Baltimore, started competing on the Bravo channel's "Top Chef" program in June.  Tim also was recently praised by one of his peers for his work at charity fundraisers with student chefs at Carver Vocational-Technical High School in Baltimore, and Baltimore Sun restaurant reviewer Richard Gorelick recently noted that "the steaks at Prime Steakhouse are about the best I've ever had in a restaurant."  Best of luck to Tim in the reality TV world!

[Ed Note:  Photos and bios of all of this year's and past years' Achievement Award recipients are on the Foundation's web site at]

5.  SURRATTS COOKBOOK UPDATE Here's an update we received from Surratts Cookbook Coordinator Leslie St. Clair (70):   "Hi All:  In regards to the Cookbook project, many of you saw the example cookbooks at one of the reunion events that the publisher provided to me and you know where I am going with this.   If you would like to purchase a cookbook, please send me an email to  It looks like the cookbook will cost about $30 (postage included).  We now plan to take orders – and additional recipe submissions -- through September, and to get the cookbooks out in time for holiday gift giving.  Your recipes so far have been great – this will not be your usual cookbook!  It will be a cookbook with recipes that are diverse and varied, and you will not be disappointed!  Thanks, Leslie"

6.  ALL CLASSES/FACULTY/STAFF DIRECTORIES AVAILABLEThanks to the herculean work of Pat Becker Oles (71), the Foundation's 2000 Alumni/Faculty/Staff Directory has been updated for 2010, and now includes fascinating "what I'm up to" paragraphs from those who submitted directory information.  If you would like a copy of the Directory, send a $20 check payable to the Foundation to:  Henry Smith, One W. Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 950, Towson, MD 21204.

7.  UPDATE ON "SURRATTSVILLE ALUMNI" WINDOW STICKERS.  Pat Becker Oles (71) also kindly handles the Foundation's "Surrattsville Alumni" window stickers project.  Pat notes that the stickers are not the "static cling type," that stick to the inside of a window.  Instead, they are the "stick to the outside type," that can stick on a window or bumper, and use "repositional adhesive" (meaning no sticky residue).  Information about purchasing the stickers can be found on the web site at

8.  THE GREAT ACCOKEEK BANK HEIST (con't).  In response to an item in the last e-Notice, we received these details from Chuck Perrygo (71), proving, beyond doubt, that Accokeek always has been a truly lively and exciting town:  "Thursday, January 18, 1962:  My memory of the event is limited to remembering that I had gone home with Lee Clagett after school (third grade) that day to play.  Lee’s always nice mother told us that the bank had been robbed and that my dad had helped catch the bank robbers.  She was obviously kidding me, I thought, and refused to believe a word of her story until she had me listen to the news on the radio.
The scene of the wild-west armed-citizen-posse event was the thriving commercial center of Accokeek:  Esso and Sinclair gas stations, Pat’s Carryout (now B&J’s -- similar but with far fewer cockroaches), Perrygo’s Hardware (the buildings still exist but the business is long gone, but once upon a time was the place to go for hardware, lumber, feed, seed, fencing, chain saws, house wares, fishing and hunting gear, new and used hand guns and long guns. My father’s motto, “If you ain't got it, you can't sell it.”), the Accokeek branch of the Waldorf Bank, and the local C&P telephone Butler exchange (BU3-xxxx) substation.  The single stoplight came later.
Going west from the Indian Head Highway were the Sinclair station, hardware store, bank and phone company buildings on the south side of Livingston Road.  Behind the hardware store was a warehouse and lumber yard and between all of these buildings were roadways or alleys that one could drive through.  Enter “38.6703, -77.0130” into Goggle maps for a bird’s-eye view.
About 40 minutes before the bank’s 2 p.m. closing time, two telephone company men, Messrs. McClanahan and Knowles, were in the bank cashing their paychecks. A little odd, they both thought, how quiet the normally friendly and chatty staff were. As they left the bank, Mr. McClanahan looked back and noticed that one of two other men in the bank was pointing a gun at the teller.  Once outside the bank, Mr. McClanahan went next door to Perrygo’s Hardware to call the police.  Mr. Knowles went to move their telephone repair truck to the roadway between the hardware store and Sinclair gas station, thinking that the bank robbers might try to escape that way.  This was one of five possible escape paths from the bank.
My father met Mr. McClanahan at the front of the store and showed him the phone at the checkout counter.  From the day the bank had been built, the standing joke had been that it was a sitting duck due to the relative isolation of Accokeek and the large number of back roads.  My father had been an ardent hunter since childhood, a WWII gunnery instructor, a firearms safety instructor at the local hunting club, and a collector of fine firearms.  Now, he wasn't sure what to do, but thinking there was little chance for the police to arrive in time to do much good, he headed towards the gun counter to get the one tool he knew well and thought best for this situation.
As he finished loading up a double-barrel shotgun, Mr. Knowles came into the store.  Responding in the affirmative to my father’s question if he knew how to handle a gun (it turns out that Mr. Knowles was also an avid hunter), my father passed the shotgun to him and Mr. Knowles headed towards the back door of the hardware store, he and my father agreeing that was the place to be to cut off the getaway.
In the bank, the robbers emptied the money from the two teller stations and more cash from the vault into a pillow case for a total of $10,516. They then took the bank manager's keys to his two-week old Pontiac Bonneville and started their getaway. Around and behind the bank they drove and between hardware store and warehouse they headed.
Just as my father finished loading a second shotgun, two big booms thundered from the back of the store. Mr. Knowles had exited the rear of the store just as the robbers drove past and he didn't hesitate to act. The getaway vehicle, now with every window shattered and the driver slightly wounded with a couple of pellets, continued a short distance farther and crashed into the parked telephone truck.
My father, armed with a shotgun and pistol (possible motto, “If you ain't got it, you can't shoot it.”) exited the back of the store and started pursuit as the robbers abandoned the car and headed around the back of the Sinclair gas station. He found the first robber hiding in a narrow space between the gas station building and a house trailer parked behind it. Deciding that his pistol was no match for the double-barrel shotgun and no doubt a little shaken by the events that had just transpired in the car, the first robber quickly surrendered. My father told him he also wanted his buddy, so start running.
The pair rounded the front corner of the gas station in time to see the second robber sliding underneath a parked car. At first, the second robber refused to crawl out from underneath the car and threatened to shoot someone with his pistol if they didn't go away.  By now, the gas station owner Mr. Gibson had extracted himself from the vehicle he had been servicing when the commotion started, gotten his gun and joined the citizen posse. Once again, my father’s shotgun, which probably looked more like a cannon to the prone and trapped robber when viewed six inches from his face, provided all the persuasion needed for the second robber to surrender.
About ten minutes later, the first police car arrived on the scene. More than twenty state, Prince George's County and Charles County police cars would soon follow.  Plus the news media.  Mr. McClanahan had stayed on the phone the whole time reporting what he was hearing and seeing from the front of the hardware store and that information had then been relayed over police radio.
As the two robbers were being placed into police cruisers, it was realized that the bank’s money was still missing. At first, the two robbers refused to admit to robbing the bank and therefore didn't know anything about any stolen money. The location of the money was revealed with the hard shove of, you guessed it, a double-barrel shotgun into the ribs of one of the robbers. The money-filled pillow case had been dropped into a metal barrel located behind the gas station. That barrel was used to burn oil-soaked rags every Friday afternoon.
Interesting fact: per the newspaper articles, Mr. Richard Knowles lived on Woodyard Road in Clinton.  Perhaps he is a Surratts alumnus.  If so, he would have graduated around 1954.  It would be very interesting to get his version of this story.
Fictitious story waiting to be added to some website somewhere on the internet: there are those that say the robbers weren't after cash at all.  Their real target was the Holy Grail, still in Accokeek since being left with the Moyaone Indians for safe keeping by a priest aboard Captain John Smith's ship in 1607.  The Grail was supposedly hidden in a secret compartment in the bank vault, a compartment only discernable by proper interpretation of the symbols on a $2 bill. Apparently, if you spell “Accokeek Branch of the Waldorf Bank” backwards and then apply the proper letter-shift cipher, the phonetic result in the language of the Moyaone Indians is, “Here lies the Holy Grail.”  But, there is considerable debate about the proper pronunciation of the Moyaone Indian language with others claiming it says, “John Smith, you and your English buddies stink. Go back to England.”

9.  RING LOST AT BLUE CRABS GAMEDiane Evans Salyers lost her Virginia Tech class ring at the Blue Crabs event last weekend.  (It has a blue stone.)  Please contact Diane at if you have any information.

10.  CLASS OF 2001 PLANS REUNION.  The Class of 2001 is beginning work on planning for its ten year reunion.  Please contact Jacquelyn Towns at or Courtney Graham at if you have any contact info on members of the Class of 2001 or if you would like further information.  The Class also has a Facebook page called “The Official c/o 2001 Reunion Page,” which contains photos and information to date.

11.  CLASS OF 60 TO HOLD FIFTIETH REUNION.  The class of 1960 will be holding their 50th Class Reunion at the Holiday Inn in Solomons, MD on Saturday, October 9, 2010 from 6 pm to 10 pm.   Contacts are:  Dick Wildes, 301‑373‑5858,; Becky Moyle Hintze and Benson Perrie, 301‑475‑0132; and Diane Kirchmer Black, 301‑392‑0992.

12.  COMPUTERS NEEDED FOR SCHOOL.  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.  Therefore, we have started 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" computers to non-profits, please contact me at

Note to federal government employees:  many federal government agencies have little-known programs for the donation of "gently used" computers to 501(c)(3) entities like the Foundation.  If you are a federal government employee, please consider asking around at work to see if your agency could make a contribution toward this very important Foundation initiative.

13.  BOOMERANGS AVAILABLE.   The Foundation has a limited supply of yearbooks from 1991, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006.  If you'd like one of these yearbooks (which are available for $15 including shipping and handling), please send me an email to

14.  POSSIBLE 80/81 REUNION.  The Classes of 80 and 81 are planning a possible reunion for June 2011.  They need a contact person for the Class of 80.  Please contact Teresa Blandford Pepper at to provide contact info.

15.  SURRATTS FACEBOOK PRESENCE UPDATE.  The "Surrattsville Alumni" Group on Facebook continues to grow, as do the various Class-specific Facebook Groups, and lots of photos from last weekend's events are posted there.  Please consider joining these free on-line communities as a way to keep in touch and to stay informed.

16.  ACHIEVEMENT AWARD SPURS MEMORIESThe selection of Coach Lew Jenkins as a 2010 Achievement Award recipient prompted these memories by Charlie Rodgers (70):  "Henry:  You may remember that Lew Jenkins was our phys ed teacher at Tanglewood during my  2nd and 3rd grades.  Cocah Jenkins also was a referee during the first-ever year of Clinton Boys Club basketball. There were only two Clinton teams that first year.  The 12 year old team was coached by Tom O'Connell and Charles Rodgers (my Dad).  The 14 year old team was coached by Mr. Rienecke who was the Surrattsville Junior High School coach for many years.  Charlie"


I hope this finds you enjoying the first days of Summer!

All the best,  Henry Smith (71)


In Memoriam

WILLIAM G. (BILL) SCHWAGER (71) died March 16, 2007.  Bill graduated from Stetson University in DeLand, FL in 1975 with a business degree.  He was a successful businessman and was living on the Isle of Palms, SC.  He leaves behind a wife, Debbie, parents, brother Larry (67), sisters Mary (73), Nancy and Ann. 



Bob Marr (71)
Debbie Cox Marr (72)
Steve Profilet (71)
James Coffren (68)
Margaret Edmondson Loveless (39, and former School Nurse), In memory of Truman S. Klein
Dan Bayne (71)
Linda Dorsey Blum (66)
Vicki Forsht Williams (65, and former faculty), In memory of Eugene Colgan and Mildred Biedenkapp)
Susan Curtis Sturgill (65), In memory of Greg White (65)
Vince Antonioli (69)
Terry Zinneman Antonioli (70)
Helen Bovbjerg Niedung (54), In honor of Band Director John Mathena
Victor Negron (71)
Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. (60)
Janet Goddard Sullivan (54)
J. Paul Rickett (69)
Gloria Blandford Rickett (71)
Jean Hurley Wilhelm (39), In memory of members of the Class of 39
Carol Fite Mothershead (65)
Larry Mothershead (65)
Edward Webster (65)
Sharon Till Webster (66)
Jaquie Goss Leach (65), In memory of Fred Goss, brother, and Class of 70 valedictorian
Jeanine Carroll Maclary (73)
Coach Lew Jenkins (Former faculty for 25 years)
Mike Gifford (84)
Mary Watson Crowley (37), In memory of Ruth Affron Sellner (36)
Ruth Kessler (Former Faculty)
Mary Whittington (46)
Deborah McAllister Brown (72)
Richard Brown (72)
Mary Jo Sputo (76), In memory of Cindy Thompson Vutsinas (76)