THIS IS SURRATTS FOUNDATION E-NOTICE 2013-9 OF SEPTEMBER 1, 2013
Here are some items that might be of interest:
1. FOUNDATION HOPING TO SET A RECORD. Our regular readers may have noted that the 2012-2013 school year was the Foundation's most active year since its founding in 2000. Here are some examples:
And the above were all in addition to the Foundation's regular non-monetary assistance to the School (in the form of things like attendance at the Careers Day assembly, participation in the Career Day workshop, assistance with tracking down the words and music to the Alma Mater, and the like).
It's really great news that the Foundation was able to have such a significant positive impact on the school lives of the great kids at Surratts last year. (The flip side, of course, is that the Foundation's expenditures were higher in 2012-2013 than in any prior year.)
It looks like 2013-2014 may turn out to be an even busier year for the Foundation. Therefore, we're humbly issuing a request that each of our readers consider making a contribution toward this year's annual campaign, which starts this month. Our hope is to have this be the most successful campaign in the Foundation's history, both in terms of the total raised and in the number of donors.
No contribution is too small to make an impact, and contributing is very easy – either by mail using the form at the end of this e-Notice (and available on www.surrattsville.org), or by contributing on-line at www.surrattsville.org.
We never contact donors and we never share donor information with anyone for any purpose, and because the Foundation has no overhead 100% of every dollar contributed goes to support Surrattsville's students.
Thanks in advance for considering participating in this year's annual campaign.
2. RESPONSE TO PRONUNCIATION REQUEST. In the last e-Notice we asked if any of our readers had any information on why the popular media (at least Robert Redford's "The Conspirator" and the recent "Killing Lincoln" documentary) utilize the unfamiliar pronunciation "Sir – Ott" when speaking of the Surratt family. In response we received this very helpful email form Wayne Coryell: "This info comes from Laurie Verge who is the Museum Director of the Surratt House in Clinton. She knows a lot of the Surratt history. Wayne"
"The "Sur Ott" pronunciation is the way it would have been said in France, the country of origin for the Surratt line. However, our Surratt people have been in Maryland since the late-1600s, and the name had been Americanized to "Sir Rat" many years before Lincoln's assassination. Laurie"
[Ed. Note: And in another "Mary Surratt is everywhere" development, I noted this week that the Wikipedia entry for F. Scott Fitzgerald contains this curious (and completely out-of-context) closing sentence: "Fitzgerald was the first cousin once removed of Mary Surratt, hanged in 1865 for conspiring to assassinate Abraham Lincoln." I checked with Laurie Verge and -- proving you can't believe everything you read on the internet -- she reports that, in fact, F. Scott Fitzgerald was related to the wife of John Surratt, Jr., and was not Mary Surratt's first cousin once removed. The modern world just seems obsessed with cramming in as many Mary Surratt references as possible!]
3. DIGITIZATION OF FOUNDATION ARCHIVES. As many of our readers know – and as all recent visitors to the Foundation's "Surrattsville Alumni" Facebook Group have seen – the Foundation's Historian and Archivist, Shelby Lee Oppermann (79), has largely single-handedly saved from destruction, collected and made presentable a virtual treasure trove of Surrattsville-related historical items. Shelby now hopes to digitize those priceless artifacts to ensure their survival into perpetuity. Here's a message from Shelby:
"We're hoping to find someone with the capabilities to professionally digitize all our Foundation memorabilia. I will get as much up on Facebook as the material will allow, but a professional job would be really nice. I also want to see if anyone in our Surrattsville community would be able to take the Foundation's oral history interviews off of the digital tape recorder and the cassette recorder, enhance them, and take out background noises (though the live episode of "Hornetman" recorded in the background of some interviews from the Y2K reunion was pretty funny!). I did have the digital tape recorder downloaded onto a CD last year. I am having fun uploading and describing the pictures, and reading all the comments. In addition to the Surrattsville Alumni Facebook Group, I have been uploading onto various Facebook groups like "If you grew up in Clinton you remember," "Clinton Volunteer Fire Department," and the various elementary school pages. Shelby"
If you might be able to assist in this important conservation effort, please send me an email at email@example.com.
4. CLASSES OF 83/84/85 REUNION. We received this notice from the Classes of 83, 84 and 85: "Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 11, 2014 for our Classes of 83/84/85 Reunion. Please email Debbie O’Clair MacKenzie at Debbiemackenzie45@yahoo.com to be placed on the mailing list (if you have not already received the “save the date” email). If you have questions about the event, contact your Class representative:
1983—Becky delVillar Levin: firstname.lastname@example.org
1984—Gary Stallings: email@example.com
1985—MaryBeth Klick: firstname.lastname@example.org"
5. REQUEST FOR NAMING ASSISTANCE ON FALLEN HEROES PLAQUE FOR LEGACY HALL. As reported previously, thanks to the efforts of Bob Jeter (64), the Foundation is preparing a Fallen Heroes plaque to hang in the Legacy Hall that will contain the names and Class years of Hornets who died while serving in the military or as first responders (or later from service-related injuries). Please contact Bob at email@example.com if you know of any Hornets who should be honored in this way. In addition, Bob is asking for your thoughts on an appropriate title for this plaque, so please send him an email if you have any ideas.
[Ed note: Photos of the Legacy Wall can be found on the Foundation's web site at www.surrattsville.org.]
6. FOUNDATION YOUTUBE CHANNEL FEATURES MULTIPLE "PROGRAMS." The Foundation's new youtube channel, which has quite a bit of lively content, is always looking for additional content to add. (There's a rumor that there might be some digital copies of drama productions at Surrattsville that might be suitable to include.) Please become a subscriber to the channel, take a moment to view the "shows" on the channel at
http://www.youtube.com/user/SurrattsvilleFDN, and let us know if you have access to any content that could be added.
7. STILL SEEKING WEB SITE DESIGN ASSISTANCE. The Foundation continues to seek members of the Surrattsville community with web site design skills to volunteer to assist with some changes being contemplated for our web site at surrattsville.org. Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd consider donating your skills to this effort.
8. CLASS OF 64 50 YEAR REUNION. We received this announcement about the Class of 64's upcoming golden event: "The Class of 1964 is planning a 50th reunion in Ocean City for late September 2014. It might seem a long way off, but we all know how fast time goes by. We need to firm up a place, reserve a block of rooms to set aside, and determine how much space we will need. Please email Ginger Trapanotto, email@example.com or Phil Foster, firstname.lastname@example.org if you (alone or with a guest) are interested in attending. Also, if you know the whereabouts of any former classmate, please ask him/her to email one of us or you can forward the information to us. We appreciate any help you can provide and the "committee" is looking forward to re-visiting the 60s with everyone."
9. FOUNDATION FACEBOOK PRESENCE CONTINUES TO GROW. The Foundation's Facebook Group – called "Surrattsville Alumni" – continues to grow, and now exceeds 1550 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" and the like -- continue to grow. These Facebook Groups are becoming an increasingly active way for folks to share memories and news updates of interest to the Surrattsville community. Please consider joining the Surrattsville Alumni Group, and your own Class-specific Group.
10. ANNUAL CHRISTMAS IN APRIL GOLF FUND RAISER. The Prince George's County Christmas in April chapter, whose Executive Director is Achievement Award recipient Mary Kucharski (76), will hold its annual golf outing fund raiser on September 23 at the Andrews AFB course. Information on this great event for a great cause is available at christmasinaprilpg.org or by calling 301-868-0937.
11. KILROY WAS HERE. Our readers of a certain age might enjoy this historical tidbit we received from Fred Altiere (71): "He is engraved in stone in the National War Memorial in Washington, D.C., back in a small alcove where very few people have seen it. For the WWII generation, this will bring back memories. For you younger folks, it's a bit of trivia that is a part of our American history. Anyone born in 1913 to about 1950 is familiar with Kilroy. No one knew why he was so well known- but everybody seemed to get into it. So who was Kilroy?
In 1946 the American Transit Association, through its radio program, "Speak to America," sponsored a nationwide contest to find the real Kilroy, offering a prize of a real trolley car to the person who could prove himself to be the genuine article. Almost 40 men stepped forward to make that claim, but only James Kilroy from Halifax, Massachusetts, had evidence of his identity.
'Kilroy' was a 46-year old shipyard worker during the war who worked as a checker at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy. His job was to go around and check on the number of rivets completed. Riveters were on piecework and got paid by the rivet. He would count a block of rivets and put a check mark in semi-waxed lumber chalk, so the rivets wouldn't be counted twice. When Kilroy went off duty, the riveters would erase the mark.
Later on, an off-shift inspector would come through and count the rivets a second time, resulting in double pay for the riveters. One day Kilroy's boss called him into his office. The foreman was upset about all the wages being paid to riveters, and asked him to investigate. It was then he realized what had been going on. The tight spaces he had to crawl in to check the rivets didn't lend themselves to lugging around a paint can and brush, so Kilroy decided to stick with the waxy chalk. He continued to put his check mark on each job he inspected, but added 'KILROY WAS HERE' in king-sized letters next to the check, and eventually added the sketch of the chap with the long nose peering over the fence and that became part of the Kilroy message.
Once he did that, the riveters stopped trying to wipe away his marks. Ordinarily the rivets and chalk marks would have been covered up with paint. With the war on, however, ships were leaving the Quincy Yard so fast that there wasn't time to paint them. As a result, Kilroy's inspection "trademark" was seen by thousands of servicemen who boarded the troopships the yard produced.
His message apparently rang a bell with the servicemen, because they picked it up and spread it all over Europe and the South Pacific. Before war's end, "Kilroy" had been here, there, and everywhere on the long hauls to Berlin and Tokyo. To the troops outbound in those ships, however, he was a complete mystery; all they knew for sure was that someone named Kilroy had "been there first." As a joke, U.S. servicemen began placing the graffiti wherever they landed, claiming it was already there when they arrived.
Kilroy became the U.S. super-GI who had always "already been" wherever GIs went. It became a challenge to place the logo in the most unlikely places imaginable (it is said to be atop Mt. Everest, the Statue of Liberty, the underside of the Arc de Triomphe, and even scrawled in the dust on the moon.
As the war went on, the legend grew. Underwater demolition teams routinely sneaked ashore on Japanese-held islands in the Pacific to map the terrain for coming invasions by U.S. troops (and thus, presumably, were the first GI's there). On one occasion, however, they reported seeing enemy troops painting over the Kilroy logo!
In 1945, an outhouse was built for the exclusive use of Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill at the Potsdam conference. Its' first occupant was Stalin, who emerged and asked his aide (in Russian), "Who is Kilroy?"
To help prove his authenticity in 1946, James Kilroy brought along officials from the shipyard and some of the riveters. He won the trolley car, which he gave to his nine children as a Christmas gift and set it up as a playhouse in the Kilroy yard in Halifax, Massachusetts.
And The Tradition Continues... even outside Osama Bin Laden's house!"
Here's hoping you're having many fond memories at this back-to-school time of year!
All the best, Henry Smith (71)