THIS IS SURRATTS FOUNDATION
E-NOTICE 2011-10 OF OCTOBER 1, 2011
Here are some items that might be of
1. FOUNDATION FUNDS NEW
"LEGACY HALL" AT THE SCHOOL. Some of our less junior
readers might recall the days when the main hallway at the "New
School" was called "Alumni Hall" and featured class group photos and
other Surrattsville memorabilia. We're delighted to report
that the School recently asked the Foundation to help create a new
"Legacy Hall" in the main hallway. For this effort, the
Foundation provided professional signage and framed 8 x 10 photos of
the Foundation's Achievement Award recipients to date and
Scholarship recipients to date. (Digital versions of the
photos of these outstanding members of the Surrattsville community,
and their bios, can be viewed on the Foundation's web site at
The Foundation plans to continue to work
with the School to further enhance this visual expression of this
our impressive Surrattsville legacy!
If you find yourself in the neighborhood
of the School, please consider dropping by to view the exciting new
(And we've already started to receive some
early nominations for the 2012 Achievement Awards. Please send
me a email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to submit a
2. BAND REUNION ON OCTOBER
15! Band Director Valerie Dent is putting together an
alumni band to perform at Homecoming on October 15. Interested
former band members are encouraged to get additional information on
the "Surrattsville High School (SHS) Marching Hornets" Facebook
Group page, or at
many band alumni will be able to help fill-out the musical ranks for
this great event!
(Related notes: Surrattsville's Band
Boosters meet the second Tuesday of every month. All are
welcome. And future band performances are posted at
ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RECIPIENT FEATURED ON NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL.
We received this email from Sheila Carlson (71): "We were
watching a 9/11 show on the National Geographic channel last night.
Bob Marr (71) was interviewed on the show. He looks just like
he did in high school. He was talking about his role on 9/11
and the fighter jets. I was extremely impressed and proud of
him for his role on that horrific day. Sheila"
Bob received the Foundation's Achievement Award in 2003 for his
extraordinary achievements during his career at an Air Force F-15
Master Pilot/Command Pilot, including his role as Commander of the
Northeast Air Defense Sector on 9/11/01.]
2011 ANNUAL CAMPAIGN CONTINUES ON RECORD PACE! Perhaps
thanks to the ease of contributing on-line at www.surrattsville.org,
our 2011 Annual Campaign is on a record-shattering pace!
If you'd like to make an on-line donation,
just look for the "Donate" button at the bottom right of the home
page of the web site. (And of course contributions are welcome
by mail, and a donor form is pasted below.)
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!
(The simple, $5, on-line donations being made by a number of donors
are really adding up to a nice total for this year's campaign.)
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!
(Wouldn't it be an extraordinary boost to
the Foundation if every reader who enjoys these e-Notices would
contribute $5 on-line?)
5. ALMA MATER LYRICS
UNCOVERED! Thanks to a number of our readers, we have
uncovered the lyrics to the School's alma mater. Here they
are, if you'd like to hum along:
"Here's to Surrattsville, our Alma Mater,
Here's to the school we all so well love,
Here's to the school that leads us and
Worthy of thee, may we all prove.
Here our blessings will unfold,
Always hereafter, treasured and told,
Surrattsville, we pledge our service to
faithful, true to thee.
Here's to Surrattsville, our Alma Mater,
Here's to the school we all love."
Although we have
not been able to find a copy of the music behind those lyrics,
thanks to the combined singing, humming and transcription efforts of
Joan Penn Revis (61), Homer Revis (56), Norm Carmichael (65) and
Kenneth Martin (65), we are re-creating for the School the sheet
music for this lost treasure.
And here are some interesting emails we
received on the topic of our School song:
"Here is what I
know. The creator (words and music as far as I know) is Rosie
Ferris. She was about class of 48 or 49 and I do not know her
status. Surratts at one time or another had two music and/or band
teachers, Ronald Mortimer and his younger brother Richard. Both of
them were also graduates of Surratts, Richard about 57 and Ronald
was a contemporary of Rosie Ferris, perhaps a year or two younger.
Besides the obvious likelihoods, there is the coincidence that the
Mortimer and the Ferris families were neighbors. I cannot recall
ever seeing a musical score on paper and I am not sure I ever saw
the words on paper. I have no idea how many verses, stanzas,
choruses, or whatever, there may have been. The first four
lines as I recall them are as follows: "Here's to Surrattsville our
alma mater, Here's to the school we all so well love, Here's to the
school that leads us and guides us, Worthy of thee may we all
prove." While I remember the tune I cannot in any way convey
it to you. In the 7th grade a music teacher, Mrs. Johnson,
threatened me with terrible consequences because I refused to stand
and sing something or other. Should it become necessary I will find
you someone willing to perform the vocals for you. [Ed note:
A follow-up email now begins …) I found the complete lyrics on
page 5 of the 1951 Boomerang. I am relieved that you got good
response and I hope that maybe you got further confirmation on Rosie
Ferris as the creator! While I am sure in my own mind beyond a
doubt, it would be nice from your point of view to have further
confirmation. We are nearly 60 years back into my memory but I'll
tell you why I have great confidence nonetheless. When I found those
printed lyrics to the alma mater and found that the first four lines
were exactly as I had remembered them I was only slightly surprised.
At 75 years old I cannot remember who the last person kicked out of
Big Brother a week ago was. But the 50 and 60 year old
memories seem to be locked in tight somehow. If I can help, let me
know. Duke Coleman (53)"
"I've pasted the words to the Alma Mater
below. I can sing the music (well, if you call it singing),
but cannot write it down. Hope this helps. Norman
"After reading the
e-Notice yesterday about the Alma Mater, I looked through my
Boomerang--sure that it was in there (was not). Then through
Homer's (he just knew that it was there--was not). We each sat
down and wrote out what we remembered, then compared. I think
we pretty well got it! It is attached. Have you gotten the
music for it? I am not musical, but I wrote it out, made
musical lines above it and put basic notes on the lines as I "heard"
it in my head--whether they went up or down, and tried to divide the
words into what would have been sung for each note. I'll mail
that to you. Homer thinks it would not be too hard for someone
musical to figure it out on a piano. (Do schools still have
alma maters?) You will definitely see that I am not musical
when you get the "music" in the mail. Homer is away or I would
try to have him help me more. If he comes up with something,
I'll send it to you. I realized that some of the notes are
slower than others, so I wrote in "SLOWER" over those words or
syllables, not knowing how else to designate. Anyone who knows
me will get a real kick out of me trying to write down "music".
Oh well--maybe it will help somehow. My daughter did not know
what an alma mater was, but my 12 year old granddaughter did!
I love it that they want to bring it back to Surrattsville. A
friend suggested that I Google the Alma Mater. I put in "Music
Surrattsville High School Alma Mater." I got to a Prince
George's County Public Schools site that showed
"Surrattsville High School". In the
information that said it was from the "SHS Foundation" it said that
the Alma Mater was written by Rosa Ferris in 1951. Homer
thought it was written in the 50s by the music teacher Jean
Moorehead. Just thought I would pass this along.
Joan Penn Revis (61)"
"The words to the
Alma Mater I've pasted below are printed on the second page of the
62 Boomerang, but I don't have a copy of the music, or know the
composer. I was surprised to learn that my daughter (SHS 89)
had never heard of the song. Jeanette Johnson (62)"
"Attached is a
scan of a page from the 1965 commencement program with the words to
the Alma Mater. I guess it’s not a part of the graduating
program anymore? Sad if it isn’t. Carmen Gines
"The words to the Alma Mater are in the
front of my yearbook (62). If you need me to send them to you
just let me know. As to the tune, I can hum it for you.
Carol McNamara Bingham (62)"
"My husband and I graduated from
Surrattsville in 1952. We remember that a member of the class
of 1951, Rosie Ferris, wrote the lyrics to the song, and it became
our alma mater. Whether she wrote the music or not, we can't
be sure. Ann Theunissen"
"Whatever happened to the music room
after Charles Wadelll passed? He was an educator who remembered
what it was like to be young. That's really all kids need. Then
the rest comes easy. There was a comfort level; all were welcome.
He laughed at our stupid jokes. He never did anything to squash
the creativity. Even when we did something wrong, say come to class
late, you got the look in a private way, so you know he was
disappointed. Wow; that really was it. You didn't come late
again. All you wanted to do was to show him that you got it. That
was all he wanted. He took some serious pride in seeing the light
bulb come on over our heads. And when it all came together, wow,
that was it for him. Shoot -- even my mom had a crush on him.
He was just that special. Everyone loved "Charlie." I have worked
22 years in early childhood development. I took his lessons with
me. His approach works! One of my first tasks as his teacher's
aide was to organize the vocal music the School had collected over
the years and there was some old stuff there. Even old
albums recorded by the choruses of years' way before me (78). If no
Alma Mater sheet music can be found, the song should be recorded on
one of those albums. Surely teachers since saved it or possibly
have it stored elsewhere in the School. Even in 78 we used darn
little of what had been saved. Not to mention how much that music
is worth today if sold to the right collector. It could earn the
music department some funds to do more today. I would buy a copy of
Handel's Messiah. Keep us posted on the outcome to the hunt.
(Speaking of reunions – it would be cool to have a 75 to 79 reunion
of the chorus. We had some real talented people, two of which were
Achievement Award recipients Gordon Hawkins (76) and Marcia Gay
Harden (76) (as you know), among others. We even had a prayer
after each show. The author was unknown. It started like
this: "Grant us a common faith that man will know the gift of
being one. The death of prejudice and the new birth of love."
Wow; does anyone remember the rest? Thanks, Patti De
Lauder Dean (78)"
[Ed note: Each May, the Foundation
awards its Charles Waddell Memorial Scholarship to a graduating
senior planning to pursue studies in drama, music or the arts.]
6. INQUIRY ABOUT ALMA MATER
SPURS MEMORIES OF FIGHT SONG. Our inquiry about the
no longer lost Alma Mater spurred several readers' memories of the
Surrattsville fight song. It seems to be much more easily
brought to mind than the Alma Mater, perhaps because of its regular
use at athletic events and its general snappiness! Many of our
readers may remember these inspiring words:
"You take an H
that stands for Honor
You take an O that stands for One for All
You take an R that stands for Really Fight
You take an N that stands for Never Gonna
take an E that stands for Ever Win
You take a T that stands for Turn 'em In
You take an S that's Surrattsville, we're
gonna win, we really will
(Sung to the
melody of The Washington & Lee Swing:
has provided the School with the lyrics above, and with the the
sheet music to the backing tune, so perhaps that great tune will
soon become a part of athletic and other events at the School!
… AND SPEAKING OF MUSIC. Our readers who spent the
1960s listening to rock radio might enjoy this internet tip we
received from Fred Altiere (71): "There's more fun "Big Bang"
entertainment out there, other than the current popular television
series celebrating geeks!
Every Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
(CT), St. Louis Community Radio, KDHX 88.1FM, streams worldwide via
internet (www.kdhx.org) a 1960s-era broadcast style radio show
called the "Big Bang Show" hosted by "Dr. Jeff" -- an
actual physician. Catch the feed sometime if you're on line --
You'll feel like you're cruising again with the old car radio
blasting, "back in the day!" Pax/Love, Fred "
PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY HANG-OUTS. We received this
email from Susan Melton Loweth (63): "May I suggest this
Youtube video that features lots of local hangouts:
PG County Md Version 2.
We're guessing that some of the "historic"
sites on the video will bring back lots of memories for some of our
9. … AND SPEAKING OF
PRINCE'S GEORGES COUNTY. We received this email from
Jackie Kaiser-MacBryde (71): "I received this on my Facebook
account this morning -- rather interesting from the folks who run
the Hillcrest Heights-Marlow Heights web site. "2011 Back to
School Dance. When: October 29, 2011 6 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Invited Classes: 68-80 from Potomac, Suitland, Crossland, Oxon Hill,
Friendly, Surrattsville, Central, Douglass, Sasser, Gwynn Park,
Lorraine and McNamara. The American Legion, 3330 Chesapeake Beach
Road, Chesapeake Beach, MD. Call Adele, 301-367-7114, for tickets.
Or go to: marlowheights60sand70s to order secure on line. Call Chuck
Fraley at 301-825-8824 for details. $25 price includes
your choice of a Mighty Mo or Barn Buster, onion rings or French
fries and more, a DJ for music, and door prizes."
MORE SURRATT HISTORY-RELATED. We received this
historical tip from Judy Miller (70): "For the alumni renewing
their interest in the Lincoln assassination and Booth's flight
through Clinton, I strongly recommend that they start with reading
American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the
Lincoln Conspiracies by
Michael W. Kauffman.
This book is on Amazon now for $4. This is the book that everyone
else (all the new assassination "experts") takes from. It is
also a very good read. Everything is well documented rather than
just being an author's opinion. Judy"
And some of our
readers may have seen the review of "The Conspirator" that appeared
in Rolling Stone magazine. The three-star review noted that
"[Director Robert Redford] eases with hypnotic skill into this
largely untold tale of American justice [and] deftly weaves a
tapestry of the forces at play in a torn country." The review
notes that the movie "provides no definitive answer [to the question
of Mary's guilt or innocence]; neither did Mary, who went to the
gallows pleading her innocence."
Finally, the entire back cover of this
month's AARP magazine is an ad for the just-released "The
Conspirator" DVD box set, which contains "five hours of bonus
features that will take you inside the story." It will be
interesting to see how Surrattsville figures in the bonus features
accompanying the DVD of the movie. (And the Mary Surratt story
would seem to prove this statement from the ad: "The American
Film Company – Founded on the belief that real life is often more
compelling than fiction.")
11. CORRECTION TO REFERENCE
ON "OLD SCHOOL" AND "NEW SCHOOL" BUILDINGS. We
received these helpful corrections to an observation made in the
last e-Notice: "I just read the September Surratts News and as
usual it was very informative. I do have a comment about item
11. I graduated in 1961, and our Class moved to the present
school building during our junior year. That would make the
class of 1960 the first graduating class at the New School.
Thanks for sending the Surratts News each month; I look forward to
reading about where I spent some of the best years of my life.
Betty Jane Hill Osler (61)"
"Senator Mike Miller and the rest of
the Class of 60 did graduate from the new Surrattsville High School.
We began our senior year in the Old School but transferred to the
New School upon its completion from whence we graduated. Rebecca
Moyle Hintze (60)"
12. FOUNDATION FACEBOOK
PRESENCE CONTINUES TO GROW. The Foundation's Facebook
Group – called "Surrattsville Alumni" – continues to grow, and is
now approaching 1300 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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
15. "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.
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
Please contact Monica Crown at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
your Fall season is off to a fantastic start! Henry Smith (71)
MANY THANKS TO THESE DONORS TO THE 2011
Patricia Becker Oles (71)
Steve Profilet (71)
Bob Marr (71)
Debbie Cox Marr (72)
Thomas V. Mike Miller (60)
Vicky Simontacchi Young (57)
Valerie Parker Allard (73)
Bob Freitas (70)
Linda Dorsey Blum (66)
Coach Lew Jenkins
Helen Bovbjerg Niedung (54)
Melissa Gilcrest (69)
Henry Smith (71)
Donna Rae Sturtevant Smith (70)
Susan Loweth Melton (63)
Judy Gordon Mentlik (65), In memory of
Gloria Grady (65), Linda Soper (65) and my 65 "brother," Richard
Patti Williams Makielski (74), In memory of Kathy Williams Sheppard
Crawley Gibson (71), In memory of Debbie Bastek (71), "a tough
cookie who is gone too soon"
Duke Coleman (53)
Carmen Gines Frotton (65), In memory of
Richard Gordon (65)
Paul Rickett (69)
Gloria Blandford Rickett (71)
Tom and Sally Travis (72)
Lawrence Romjue (57), In memory of Lois
Marie Osgood (57), "26 miles – Santa Catalina"
Richard Grace (81), In memory of Rhonda
Mike Blair (71)
Suzan Martz Holmquist (62)
Patrick McMenamin (71)
Vicky Simontacchi Young (57)
Lee Hessberg (68)
Lois Barrett Hessberg (70)
Carol Fite Mothershead (65)
Larry Mothershead (65)
Mike Boyle (69)
Scott Sonntag (71)
John Shultz (80)
Kelly Shultz (83)
Paul Monaghan (59)
Vicki Forsht Williams (65, and former
faculty), In memory of Eugene Colgan and Marie Grouby
Marie O'Clair, In
memory of Marie Grouby
Jean White Monroe (71)
Anne Noyes (former faculty)
Pamela Buckingham (70)
Leslie St. Clair (70)
Judy Miller (70)
Donna Mitroff (57), In memory of
Nancy Drevenak Dickinson (60)
David Kraus (65)
Nancy Lapin LoBianco (65), In memory of
Sarah (Sally Lang) Knight (66)
Richard Duke (47), In memory of James Paul
Duke, Jr. (40)