THIS IS SURRATTS FOUNDATION E-NOTICE 2011-9 OF SEPTEMBER 1, 2011
Here are some items that might be of interest:
1. 2011 ANNUAL CAMPAIGN OFF TO A RECORD START! As we previously reported, in the hope of having the Foundation's most successful annual campaign to date, the Foundation Board decided to commence this year's campaign in June, rather than the traditional September.
We're hoping that many of you who might have been inspired to contribute in the past, but have not done so, might consider making a contribution to this year's campaign.
As previously noted, we would have an absolutely off-the-charts campaign if each of our e-Notice readers would go to the web site at www.surrattsville.org and make a credit card or PayPal donation of just $5! (Just look for the "Donate" button at the bottom right of the home page.) And of course contributions are welcome by mail, and a donor form is pasted below.
Remember: the Foundation has no overhead, so every contribution dollar goes directly to supporting the great kids at Surratts. And no contribution is too small (or too large) to make a difference.
(Of course, the Foundation does not share any information about its donors -- or its e-Notice subscribers -- with anyone for any purpose, nor does the Foundation do any solicitations of any kind other than these e-Notice announcements about these annual campaigns.)
Many thanks to the remarkably long list of generous early donors listed below, and thanks to all of our readers for considering participating in this year's very special annual campaign!
2. LARGEST COMPUTER DONATION TO SCHOOL SINCE FOUNDATION'S EARLY DAYS. Thanks to the efforts of Sally Saker Weingarten (77), and to the generosity of Steve Austerer and his colleagues at 2nd Solutions, the Foundation recently delivered to the School the largest donation of computers (30) and monitors (45) since the earliest days of the Foundation. Because of the extraordinary generosity of these and other donors of computer equipment, Surrattsville has gone from a school with very limited computer capacity when the Foundation was established in 2000 to a school that now proudly reports computers throughout the building and a number of fully equipped computer labs. Many thanks to Sally, Steve and the all of the other generous donors of computer equipment throughout the Foundation's history!
3. SEARCHING FOR WORDS AND MUSIC TO SURRATTSVILLE ALMA MATER. The Foundation is assisting the School in its search for the now lost words and music to the Surrattsville alma mater. Please send me an email at email@example.com if you happen to have the words and/or music to the alma mater, or any information about its composer, lyricist, vintage, etc.
4. A TOWN WITH NO HORSE NAME. We received this email from Ruth Maitland (72): "I'm replying in regard to Sheila Carlson's item about the derivation of the Clinton name. I, too, remember being told by some source that the name Clinton came from the name of a horse. Ruth"
And we received this email from Neal Dawson (73): " I saw somewhere on Wikipedia, or perhaps it was in one of those articles you referenced during the buzz on The Conspirator, that after Robeystown (named after the new Postmaster, like Surrattsville had originally been), the final Clinton name derived from a NY Senator who got it named after his adult son (or something similar) by pulling political strings. Perhaps they thought it would be significant because of its proximity to the nation's capital. The horse story has no merit that I can see. Neal"
And we received this email from Bob Wilson (78): "In the late 1800s many towns in the US were named for DeWitt Clinton, builder of "The Big Ditch," aka the Erie Canal. No horsing around. Bob"
Finally, we received this very informative, and authoritative, email from Laurie Verge, the Director of the Surratt House Museum and an internationally recognized expert on the Surratt story: "A friend recently sent me the latest e-newsletter that you produce for Surrattsville. I just had to write and say that, as director of Surratt House Museum for 28 years and a worker there for eight years before that, I would like to have a long discussion with that social studies teacher of yore who started the story that the town’s name was changed to Clinton because that was the name of Booth’s horse! We have had to correct it so many times.
The horse that Booth rode out of Washington on was a mare – so Clinton would be a pretty dumb name for a female horse. Somewhere between the Navy Yard Bridge and Surrattsville, Booth’s horse tripped and fell. His accomplice, David Herold, speaks of this in his statement to the authorities, and some historians think that this is when Booth broke his leg – not in jumping from the presidential box at Ford’s Theatre.
In any case, when Booth remounted, he switched horses with Herold because Herold’s horse was what they called a single-foot pacer, which meant a gentler ride. We know the name of that horse – Charley – because it was rented from a stable. And don’t laugh at the obvious pun of “Charley Horse!”
The best guess as to where “Clinton” came from has been this: The name was changed to Robeystown in 1865, and then to Clinton in 1878. The postmaster general of the U.S. at that time was a descendant of the famous New York politician, DeWitt Clinton. Some feel that he named new post offices after his famous ancestor. The last time that I checked, there were close to thirty states with at least one post office named Clinton or a derivative of that (Clinton Grove, etc.). When I finally retire, I hope to research as to when each of those post offices were created. If they all fall in the last quarter of the 19th century, we might be on to something. Laurie"
5. FOUNDATION FACEBOOK PRESENCE CONTINUES TO GROW. The Foundation's Facebook Group – called "Surrattsville Alumni" – continues to grow, and now has over 1250 members. This is a great, and free, way for folks to stay in touch. Similarly, the Class-specific Facebook Groups – that have names like "Surrattsville 1969," "Surrattsville 1971," "Surrattsville 1973" and the like continue to grow. Please consider joining the Surrattsville Alumni Group, and your own Class-specific Group, to get the latest news on alumni events.
6. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. ALL CLASSES/FACULTY/STAFF DIRECTORIES AVAILABLE. Thanks 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.
8. "SURRATTSVILLE ALUMNI" WINDOW STICKERS AVAILABLE. 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 surrattsville.org.
9. CLASS OF 97 PLANS REUNION. The Class of 97 is busy planning its 15 year reunion for mid-summer 2012. The Class has a web page at http://shs1997reunion.blogspot.com/2011/05/shs-class-of-1997-2012-15yr-reunion.html. Please contact Monica Crown at email@example.com if you would like information on the event or if you have any contact info for members of the Class of 97 or their families.
10. A GREAT DAY OF GOLF FOR A GREAT CAUSE ALMOST HERE. The Christmas in April Prince George’s County Chapter, whose Executive Director is Mary Kucharski (76), is holding its 22nd Annual Christmas in April Prince George’s County – Susan Denison Mona Golf Tournament on Monday, September 26, 2011 at the Andrews Air Force Base golf course (as made famous by the recent Obama-Boehner golf summit!). Great player, and sponsor, opportunities are still available. Contact Christmas in April at 301-868-0937, firstname.lastname@example.org, or christmasinaprilpg.org for more information.
11. NEW ALUMNI ASSOCIATION'S EVENT FEATURED IN GAZETTE STORY. We received from Elencia Wiley Cole (90) a link to this nice August 24 Gazette article about the Surrattsville Alumni Association recently formed by Elencia and other grads:
"Surrattsville Alumni Honor Late Coach --Inaugural Alumni Association Event at Clinton School Pays Tribute to Jim Butler, by Terron Hampton, Staff Writer
Four weeks ago, the Surrattsville High School Alumni Association didn’t officially exist. Saturday morning, the organization had its kickoff gala at the school’s gym while also remembering a past member of the Clinton school’s family, the late boys’ basketball coach Jim Butler. The event featured a live DJ, music, an alumni basketball game and free Zumba lessons.
Elencia Cole, a 1990 Surrattsville graduate said the idea came to her a short time ago and rapidly gathered steam. “This is the first event under the Surrattsville Alumni Association banner,” she said. “Everybody is giving back and that’s what this is about. We’re giving back to our high school because this is where we came from.”
Hundreds of Surrattsville graduates turned out for the festivities, including one especially distinguished alumnus. Maryland State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Dist. 27) of Chesapeake Beach, a member of the first graduating class at Surrattsville High in 1960, was on hand and showed his pride for his alma mater. [Ed Note: The author likely meant "… a member of the last class – 1960 -- to graduate from the old school building at Brandywine and Surratts Roads …"]
“This is one of the oldest schools in Prince George’s County, and although it’s had its ups and downs, it is a great school,” he said. “I’m very proud to have graduated from here in 1960. I’m very proud of the students, especially the ones that have come back to reinvigorate the school. “I spoke with [Prince George’s County Public Schools] Superintendent William Hite last week, and we’re getting a new weight room and band room. Re-energized, we have nowhere to go but up.”
Cole said the alumni association will embark on an aggressive push, which will include a mentoring program, kickball league, skate parties and other activities, with proceeds benefitting Surrattsville High.
A major component of Saturday’s activities was honoring Butler, who coached boys’ basketball at Surrattsville from 1980 through 2004 and led the program to its last state championship in 1997. Butler, who also coached at Bladensburg from 2005 through 2010, died in December. Several of Butler’s former Surrattsville players prepared video tributes to their former coach, which were displayed during halftime of the basketball game.
Butler’s widow, Margaret, was on hand and was moved. “James was really dedicated to sports and he loved basketball, that was his heart,” Margaret Butler said. “His life was for basketball. He loved the boys. He was always proud of their accomplishments. And this shows that they love him. They appreciate what he did for them and to know that they won’t forget him means a lot to me and my family. I think it’s a great thing.”
Cole said she has begun talks with the Board of Education about dedicating the school’s gym in Butler’s name. “Coach Butler was a leader, and that’s what he instilled in us,” said Paul “Shake” Rogers, a 1997 Surrattsville graduate and a member of the 1997 state championship team. “He encouraged us to not only be better athletes, but to be better people. Every time we came away from our home, he made it feel like we were coming into his, whether it was the classroom or gym.”
Here's hoping you all were treated kindly by the earthquake and by Irene! Henry Smith (71)
Glenn G. Evans (54)
passed away on August 8, 2011. He is survived by Donald Evans
(64) and Sandra Evans Lyon (66).
In memory of Richard Gordon (65)