THIS IS SURRATTS FOUNDATION E-NOTICE 2013-12 OF DECEMBER 1, 2013
Here are some items that might be of interest:
1. ANNUAL CAMPAIGN CONTINUES. As previously reported, the Foundation is in the midst of what we hope will be a record-setting annual fund raising campaign. Because the Foundation has been so busy this academic year and last, we're hopeful that many of our readers will consider contributing to this year's campaign to refresh the Foundation's coffers. No contribution is too small to make a difference, and donating is easy – either by donating on-line at www.surrattsville.org or by donating by mail using the form below (and available on the web site).
Many thanks to the many generous donors listed below, and to all of you for considering participating in this year's campaign!
2. SURRATTSVILLE COMMUNITY LOSES LAST SURVIVING MEMBER OF CLASS OF 1937. We learned that Billie Barr Gwynn Winstead (37) died on November 9. Billie was the last surviving member of the Class of 1937, a lovely person, and a great supporter of the Foundation. Here's how Billie was fondly remembered in the Washington Post:
"Wilhelmina 'Billie' Barr Gwynn Winstead, of Saint Leonard, MD … was born on April 7, 1920 in Suitland, Maryland, to Dorothy von Osterman and James Barr and raised by her grandparents, Wilhelmina Fritz and George von Osterman. She graduated from Surrattsville High School (she was the last surviving member of the Class of 1937) and Strayer College where she was a member of Sigma Eta Sigma Honor Society. During World War II she served her country by working at the War Department. She later was bookkeeper for Clinton Motor Co., a family automotive business, and then founded her own corporation, Clinton Business Services.
Billie was very active in the community as a 4-H leader for 11 years, President of Surrattsville PTA, Voice of Prince George's Toastmasters Club, and Surratt Stage Door Theater group. She also volunteered at the Surratt House. She spent most of her life in Clinton, MD, raising her family and her summers in Calvert County at her beloved Island Creek home. She was known as "Billie" by her friends and "Big Momma" by her family. Later in her life, she spent winters in Ormond Beach, FL. Billie had many dear friends and spent many a day playing bridge, fishing and socializing. Each and every summer, however, she returned home to Maryland to open the Riverhouse for her family and friends, creating a lifetime of memories for all concerned.
Billie was predeceased by husbands William R. "Jack" Gwynn and Luther V. Winstead, her son Bill Gwynn and her companion of 28 years Arthur Owisanny. She is survived by beloved daughters Jackie Ball, husband Jess, Bette Gilbert and Gay Gwynn and beloved step-daughters Eleanor Ellison and Mary Avis McLaughlin. Her two grandchildren Jay Ball and Jamie Bohne-Richardson and her husband Gex Richardson, gave her four great-grandchildren, Edward "TJ" Bohne, Connor Richardson, Alexandra "Ali" Bohne and Colton Richardson."
3. E-NOTICE ITEM PROMPTS LINK WRAY MEMORIES. We received this very interesting email from Steve Cool (71) in response to the item mentioning Link Wray in the last e-Notice: "Reading the information about Link Wray takes one back to what seems like a long time ago. If you really want to catch up on the history of Link Wray you need to get ahold of Roger Atchinson. I had the pleasure of talking to him this past summer at an outdoor party. I remembered he played drums with Link back in the day, so I wanted to go over things that the both of us knew and things that I had no idea about. I went to elementary school with Vernon Wray, Link's nephew. Vernon passed at a very young age, but from what I remember he was a very good sax player. Ray Hume and I tell crowds of people we play for now a little history as we start to play Link's signature tune, "Rumble." There is a story behind that song as well. The both of us bought the first Super Beatle amp from Bobby Howard and the Sweet at Link's studio in Accokeek. We like to think that since we knew Vernon pretty well back then if he were still around maybe, just maybe, we would be playing together; you never know. Thanks! Steve"
"Good afternoon. My name is Donna Peterson and I am a docent at the Dr. Samuel Mudd Museum in Waldorf and I was forwarded the recent Surratt News. I would love to invite your readers to our museum. We are having our "Victorian Christmas" the weekend of December 7-8. It is our yearly end of the season "extravaganza" and it would be a wonderful opportunity to see the many different sites that we have. We have multiple exhibits right on the farm that I am sure your readers who are history buffs love. Please don't hesitate to contact me for any further info. Best, Donna"
"In reference to Lincoln field trips there is one site you missed. It is the Lincoln cottage located on the grounds of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home. During the Civil War Lincoln spent a lot of time there getting away from the White House. If you do some research you will find that Booth thought of trying to ether kidnap or kill Lincoln on his way to the cottage but failed. Dale Robertson"
5. BAND RAISES FUNDS WITH HOLIDAY FRUIT SALE. We received this email from instrumental music director Valerie Dent: "The Band and Orchestra are having a Fresh Fruit Fundraiser. E-Notice readers can order fresh fruit for the holidays directly from our website at http://freshfruitorder.org/marchinghornets . Thanks again for your support. Valerie"
6. NEED FOR GENTLY USED STRING INSTRUMENTS. Speaking of the band, as reported in the last e-Notice, the School is in need of "gently used" string instruments for the recently-revived student orchestra. The Foundation thanks Steve Profilet (71) for the first donation to this cause -- a virtually new violin that was recently received with much gratitude by instrumental music department chair Valerie Dent. Please send me an email at email@example.com if you have a violin, viola, cello or double bass collecting dust in a closet that you'd like to donate to this very worthy musical cause.
[This new initiative is featured, along with three other Foundation initiatives, in a new youtube program at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yq7IGI69kOo&feature=c4-overview&list=UUJBiUH49oYAmsczyuPCTI3Q]
7. OFFICIAL FOUNDATION OVERVIEW. We noted that there was an error in the list of Achievement Award recipients in last month's e-Notice. Here's a corrected list of these absolutely extraordinary members of the Surrattsville community. (Their photos and bios can be found at www.surrattsville.org.)
8. VARSITY JACKETS ON SALE AT SCHOOL. The School has informed us that it once again is selling Varsity Jackets to students and alumni. The jackets are of the traditional wool and leather variety, green with white sleeves and green and white trim on the collar, cuff and hem, with Hornet logo, Class year and an embroidered name. The jackets cost $250 for S, M, L and XL, and $255 for 2XL, 3XL and 4XL. (Tall sizes are available at an additional fee.) Please contact LaKeshia Myers @ 301-599-2453 or LaKeshia.Myers@pgcps.org with any questions, to see a photo, or to place an order.
9. NEW PHOTOS CONTINUE TO BE ADDED TO FOUNDATION'S FACEBOOK GROUP. Thanks to the on-going work of a number of members of the Surrattsville communiy, the large collection of wonderful historical photos with Surrattsville themes on the Foundation's Facebook Group, "Surrattsville Alumni," continues to grow. These include wonderful photos from Surrattsville's various theatrical events over the years, photos of the gone-but-obviously-not-forgotten El Rancho and Ranch Drive-In, photos of beloved teachers, a tribute to Accokeek's own Link Wray (recently nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; our own Greg Laxton (80) is one of the special custodians of the Link Wray legend), a photo of Link at Surrattsville, and the like.
(Naturally, the Foundation would love to have any Surrattsville- or Clinton-themed historical photos or videos you might wish to share.)
10. FOUNDATION'S YOUTUBE CHANNEL CONTINUES TO ADD CONTENT. The Foundation's rapidly expanding youtube channel 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. Naturally, we'd love to have those treasures!)
Please become a subscriber to the channel, take a moment to view the programs 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.
11. 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 that we shared in the last e-Notice:
"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 firstname.lastname@example.org. )
12. 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: email@example.com
1984—Gary Stallings: firstname.lastname@example.org
1985—MaryBeth Klick: email@example.com"
13. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.]
13. 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 email@example.com if you'd consider donating your skills to this effort.
14. 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, firstname.lastname@example.org or Phil Foster, email@example.com 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."
15. FOUNDATION FACEBOOK PRESENCE CONTINUES TO GROW. The Foundation's Facebook Group – called "Surrattsville Alumni" – continues to grow, and now is approaching 1700 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.
Here's hoping this finds you well and not having been negatively affected by the Thanksgiving weather!
All the best, Henry Smith (71)
MANY THANKS TO THESE GENEROUS DONORS TO THE 2013 CAMPAIGN!