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ARTICLES ON THIS PAGE:
1. Announcements 2. Article: 50th Reunion Feedback: Classes of 1970, 1971, and 1972. 3. Article: Three August 2022 Wedding Anniversaries, by Miss Marple. TBD - updating website 4. Revised Article: Lightning Bugs. 5. Humor: "The Unicorn in the Garden," by James Thurber. 6. Cartoons: Pills for Our Ills.
EVENTS and REUNIONS
Announcements by A. Jane Chambers
1. OCTOBER 29 LUNCHEON at CNU: Watch your E-Mail and this website for your FORMAL INVITATION and more details. The Planning to Attend List (names below) suggests an attendance of at least 50.
Currently planning to attend: Charles Cook* ('71), Former CNC French Prof. Dr. Donald Gilman, Deborah Butler* ('73), Louis Tapia ('66), Dave Spriggs ('66), Lois Wright ('62), Jay (Kit) Warren ('65), Calvin Hanrahan ('64), Charlie Snead ('66), Joe Hutchko* ('66), Cecelia Short*('71 & '72), Sonny Short ('64), Pamela Vaughan* ('71 & '72), William Mann*('68 & '71), Patricia (Pat) Morrell* ('65), James West*('72), Prof. Emeritus Dr. Harold Cones*, Candy Hixson Whitley* ('71 & '75), MaryEllen Wilkinson ('65), Donna Lass Carter* ('68), Prof. Emeritus Barry Wood*, Tommy Powell*('72), Dalton & Norman Blankenship ('66 & '71), Jan Giguere Clarke*('68), webmaster Ron Lowder*, Prof. Emerita Dr. Jane Chambers, Wade Williams ('68), Senior Director of Alumni Engagement Baxter Vendrick, now retired Associate Director of Alumni Engagement Katie Monteith, and no doubt a few more of Baxter's staff. There's ROOM FOR MORE attendees! To be added to (or deleted from) this list, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To register officially, follow CNU's INVITATION directions.
2. WEBMASTER CHANGE: Ron Lowder, Sr. (photo right), who has voluntarily served this website since its beginning (2011), has retired as our webmaster. Still active as a professional musician with several Peninsula area bands and as co-owner, with one of his sons, of a music business with two studios (Peninsula and Virginia Beach), Ron simply has too much on his plate now. He will remain an active CNC First Decader, however. He and his wife, Maureen, plan to attend our October 29 party.
Fortunately, CNU's Office of Alumni Engagement (formerly the Office of Alumni Relations) has added an Alumni Marketing Associate, a young woman named Chatia Chalmers, a computer expert whose job will include being our webmaster (webmistress?). I have met with her, Baxter, and his staff, and I anticipate working closely with Chatia on the website, making various changes to improve it. Stay tuned for more details!
3. CHAMBERS AWARD ENDOWED: The A. Jane Chambers Volunteer Service Award, established by the CNU Alumni Society in 2014, is given each year to a non-graduate of CNC or CNU who has provided outstanding volunteer service to the Christopher Newport community. The first award was given to me. Since then, the award has been given to two First Decade leaders--our webmaster, Ron Lowder , whose federal government service interrupted his degree progress at CNC in 1973, and the chairman of our FD group, David Spriggs, who left CNC in 1964 when called to join the freshman class at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. Another recipient of the award was CNU's Dr. Sean Heuvel (photo left, with his wife, Katey), of the Department of Leadership and American Studies, whose name has now become synonymous with CNU history.
Having now celebrated my 85th year on this planet, I have decided that the Volunteer Service Award should be more than a framed piece of paper with a 1964 Trident photo of me on it. Therefore, I have endowed this award. Recipients for the next 10 years, beginning in 2023, will be given $1000 as well as the framed document. After I leave this planet, perhaps others will open their checkbooks to keep the award alive.
50th Reunion Feedback:
Classes of 70, 71, and 72:
Edited by A. Jane Chambers
with CNU photos from May 12, 2022
except where otherwise stated
FROM William N. ("Mac") McGlaun(AA, '70 & BS, Biology, '72):
Jane, thank you for all you've done for us and especially for the work that you did on this golden reunion. I had a lovely time and it was wonderful to get a mini tour of the University. It is truly amazing to me how much the university has grown and expanded. It looks like a wonderful place to experience education at its finest. I'd like to say I wish I could attend the University now in all its Glory; but, I'd probably be telling an untruth because I look back on my experience when it was a smaller college and am truly grateful for my experiences at Christopher Newport College, where I met great fellow students and stellar professors. In my time there I had some of the most outstanding professors one could have in a college setting.
While the reunion was fun and the food was exceedingly good, I was a little disappointed that more of the graduates from those three or four years did not attend. It would have been nice to see more of the old classmates. But I know that you and Baxter and everyone else associated with this reunion put in a lot of hard work to rally the troops in order to get them to attend. But more importantly, I also know none of this would have occurred without you and the hard and continual work you've done over the years to keep us all somewhat connected. Thank you, Dr. Chambers, thank you very much.
FROMLeft to Right. ROW 1: Jerry Dodson, George Anas (seated), Dyan Vinson, & Linda Marushi. ROW 2: Martha Gustin Dodson, Phyllis McCarron (behind George) Bill Crute (behind Dyan), Wayne Barry & Cecelia Short. ROW 3: Judith Aldridge (blue pattern top), Kay Johnson Hogan (black top), and (far right), Robert ("Bob")Schlagal. ROW 4:James West, Charles Cook, Thomas Powell, Pamela Vaughan, William ("Mac") McGlaun, Robert ("Bob")Hines, & William Mann.
FROM Lois Wright (AA, '62; FIRST & ONLY graduate of the first year)
Dear Jane and Baxter, Thursday night was a fabulous success in every way! The best yet, in my opinion! Yay to all you guys who made it possible! (Are three consecutive exclamatory sentences excessive? Probably. But I am reminded of Dali's statement, "There are some days when I think I am going to die from an overdose of satisfaction.")I had the chance to talk to so many wonderful people. Among them was Ann, Scotty Cunningham's daughter. I told her about my Teddy bear Scotty that was named after her father.
Alumnus Robert (Bob) Schlagal (BA, English, '71) took the photo left of Barry and Ann Wood. English professor emeritus Wood was Bob’s mentor and favorite professor at CNC. A CNU staff member took the photo of alumna Cecelia Short (AA, ’71 & BA, history, ’72) catching up with (L) professor emeritus of history Dr. Mario Mazzarella and (R) 1970s CNC French professor Dr. Donald Gilman.
Alumna Pam Vaughan (BA, English, '72) sent the photo (L) of herself with her cousin, CNC's first men's basketball coach, Bev Vaughan. The CNU staff photo of Baxter Vendrick (R), Senior Director of Alumni Engagement, talking with William ("Mac") McGlaun (AA,'70 & BS, biology, '72) was made at Klich Alumni House, where many alumni picked up name tags and then took the golf shuttle campus tour before the dinner party.
This triple 50th reunion was the first one held in the spacious lobby of the David and Mary Peebles Theatre, much of which is shown in this CNU picture. The attendees were looking toward the podium (not visible here) where Baxter Vendrick was speaking to them while their meals were being served.
FROM Robert ("Bob") Schlagal (BA, '71, English):
Dear Jane, Thanks for contacting me about the '70, '71, '72 reunion. It was quite a memorable event, and though I hadn't met him before, I believe that Baxter really outdid himself. You and Barry should be proud of yourselves for creating the quality of early CNC such that it could become what it is today. A remarkable evolution
FROM Dr. Donald Gilman (First Decade French Instructor):
I continue to remember with great pleasure the reunion that you and others had organized last spring; I enjoyed the occasion immensely, especially the opportunity to meet some of my former students who have succeeded remarkably in their professions, as well as others in the Christopher Newport community who reflect and actualize the mission of the University.
FROM George Anas (BA, '71, Psychology):
Jane, Thank you for everything that you did for this great reunion
In the first photo above, Dr. Lois Wright (AA, '62), CNC's sole graduate its opening year (1961-'62),) is listening with interest to CNU's Director of Parent & Athletic Giving, Mary-Margaret Wells (R). The next photo, sent by alumna Pam Vaughan ( BA, English, '72) shows Pam (R) with classmate Kay Johnson Hogan (BA, sociology, '72). CNU was able to find Kay and husband, Ben, a retired principal of Gildersleeve Middle School in Newport News, when I could not. They had moved to nearby Williamsburg.
FROM Wayne M. Barry (AA, '69 & BS, Psychology, '71):
Jane, I can never thank you enough for calling and leaving the voicemail that you did for me. YOU were the reason that I was at that simple, extravagant, elegant evening at which we celebrated COVID-deferred 50th alumni graduations. The setting was marvelous, the food was exquisite, the socializing beyond all expectation.
I was able to reacquaint myself with two particular classmates - George Anas and Mac McGlaun What fascinating stories they are main characters in, and I was able to meet a classmate and her friend (Merle Guy) from Gloucester I had not known back in ‘71 (we sat at table together). I also had delightful interactions with Barry Wood, Donald Gilman, and Charles Cook. And I was most pleased with myself for introducing myself to and engaging in deep conversation with CNC’s VERY FIRST graduate of anything, Dr. Lois Wright. I find it very entertaining that she comprises a graduating class of one, truly a person in a class of her own…I LOVE IT!!
And I owe my joy in this to you, Jane--for noticing that I had not replied to the invitation (how uncouth and unCaptain-like of me), for personally calling me and leaving your message on my voicemail, and for so gently encouraging me to share the love. Thank you for your dedication and leadership, Jane. I’ll try very hard to make a visit with you soon to uncover and share additional treasures from our past life together. God, whoever and however you know her to be, bless you now and always, friend!!
Remember those early summer evenings in your childhood when the lightning bugs began their twinkling fairy dances at dusk and you raced into the house to get a big jar to put them in? You jabbed some holes in thejar's lid so your captives could breathe, added a few blades of grass forthem to perch on, and then raced back outside to catch as many of them asyou could. I remember the damp grass cooling my bare feet as I ran hereand there chasing those blinking lights.
Many L. bugs in grass
What did you call these magical creatures with the glowing tails? In my hometown, Charlotte, North Carolina, we called them lightning bugs. Asmy knowledge of the world outside Charlotte grew, I learned that peopleliving in the more western states called them fireflies, and still later Ilearned that these insects are neither bugs nor flies, but beetles.
Now in my octogenarian years, I watch the lightning bugs through the windows of my air conditioned house. I watch the males darting aboutabove my deck and back yard, their lights wooing the females,who are
judging them below from grass perches and blinking back their own light signals of "yes"... or "no."
Lightning bugs teased us children with games of "Catch me if you can!" And catch them we did, snatching them in flight with our bare hands, but cupping them gently, not wanting to hurt them. Even our most squeamish playmates, who would scream at the mere sight of most insects, were not afraid of touching these dancing fairies.
Our games of "Catch me" lasted until it got so dark that our parents called out "Come inside now." When "In a minute" and "Okay" no longer gave us another chance to catch just one last lightning bug, we would end our pursuits, proudly compare our catches, and then, when pleas to bring our prisoners inside were denied, humanely release them.
Many of us never outgrow our fascination with lightning bugs. In June of 2018, following the initial publication of this article, my spouse, Kay (now deceased) wrote the following high school memory piece for our Feedback: In 1955 I went to the Carter Barron Amphitheater in Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC to see my favorite entertainer, Danny Kaye. During the show, he told the audience: "I want you to let me show you something special. I'm going to turn off all the lights just for a few seconds to give you a treat--don't get scared." One, two, three--off went the lights, and surrounding us in the darkness of the park were hundreds of lightening bugs around the trees, lots of lights just flickering. It was breathtaking! The audience gasped in delighted surprise. I held my breath--it was so magical! The audience applauded, the lights came back on, and Danny said, "I told you it was worth it!" I still remember it over 60 years later.
The lightning bug's life cycle is not to be envied. Although, in all stages of its development, the horrible taste of its body protects it from all predators, it spends only a few weeks above ground, flying about and happily flashing its light. After the male mates, he dies. After the female lays her fertilized eggs, she dies too. But on the other hand (see below), that magical light never dies, from egg stage through adulthood.
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Published first June 22, 2018
Revised and Republished, September 29, 2022
The Unicorn in the Garden
from Fables For Our Time
by James Thurber
with brief biography by A. Jane Chambers
--Story's illustration. Thurber's illustration for this story
Once upon a sunny morning a man who sat in a breakfast nook looked up from his scrambled eggs to see a white unicorn with a golden horn quietly cropping the roses in the garden. The man went up to the bedroom where his wife was still asleep and woke her. "There's a unicornin the garden," he said. "Eating roses." She opened one unfriendly eye and looked at him.
"The unicorn is a mythical beast," she said, and turned her back onhim. The man walked slowly downstairs and out into the garden. The unicorn was still there; now he was browsing among the tulips. "Here, unicorn," said the man, and he pulled up a lily and gave it to him. The unicorn ate it gravely. With a high heart, because there was a unicorn in hisgarden, the man went upstairs and roused his wife again. "The unicorn," hesaid, "ate a lily." His wife sat up in bed and looked at him coldly. "You are abooby," she said, "and I am going to have you put in the booby-hatch."
The man, who had never liked the words "booby" and "booby- hatch," and who liked them even less on a shining morning when there wasa unicorn in the garden, thought for a moment. "We'll see about that" hesaid. He walked over to the door. "He has a golden horn in the middle of hisforehead," he told her. Then he went back to the garden to watch theunicorn; but the unicorn had gone away. The man sat down among theroses and went to sleep.
As soon as the husband had gone out of the house, the wife got up and dressed as fast as she could. She was very excited and there was a gloat in her eye. She telephoned the police and she telephoned a psychiatrist; she told them to hurry to her house and bring a strait-jacket.When the police and the psychiatrist arrived they sat down in chairs andlooked at her, with great interest.
"My husband," she said, "saw a unicorn this morning." The police looked at the psychiatrist and the psychiatrist looked at the police. "He toldme it ate a lily," she said. The psychiatrist looked at the police and thepolice looked at the psychiatrist. "He told me it had a golden horn in themiddle of its forehead," she said. At a solemn signal from the psychiatrist,the police leaped from their chairs and seized the wife. They had a hardtime subduing her, for she put up a terrific struggle, but they finallysubdued her. Just as they got her into the strait-jacket, the husband cameback into the house.
"Did you tell your wife you saw a unicorn?" asked the police. "Of course not," said the husband. "The unicorn is a mythical beast." "That'sall I wanted to know," said the psychiatrist. "Take her away. I'm sorry, sir, but your wife is as crazy as a jaybird."
So they took her away, cursing and screaming, and shut her up in an institution. The husband lived happily ever after.
James Grover Thurber (1894 – 1961) was a celebrated American humorist and cartoonist best known for his many humorous short storiesand cartoons, most published in The New Yorker magazine, where he wasemployed from 1925 until his death at age 66. In 1940, he published over70 of his short pieces as a book entitled Fables for Our Time and FamousPoems Illustrated. In addition to over two dozen books (some publishedposthumously), Thurber also wrote two Broadway comedies, one of which,The Male Animal (1940, co-authored with Elliott Nugent), was later adaptedinto a movie starring Henry Fonda and Olivia de Havilland.
Thurber "celebrated the comic frustrations and eccentricities of ordinary people" (Wikipedia). As in "The Unicorn" tale, his central themewas often the battle of the sexes. One of Thurber's best-loved stories, "TheSecret Life of Walter Mitty" was made into a popular movie in 1947,starring Danny Kaye, and then remade in 2013 with Ben Stiller in the titlerole of the hen-pecked husband.
At age seven, James Thurber accidentally lost his left eye during a game of "William Tell" His older brother's arrow, though blunt, went directly into his eye, completely destroying it. Afterwards, the sight in hisright eye became increasingly poor and could not be corrected. He was sovision impaired in college that he was unable to finish his degree becausehe couldn't take a required ROTC course. Drawing cartoons for The NewYorker became so difficult for him that by the 1930s, he had to wear specialmagnifying glasses and work on large sheets of paper, as this lastphotograph shows, and had to orally dictate his stories to a typist.
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Several days later, he received an email from his mother which read:
Dear Loving Son, I'm not saying that you "do" sleep with Stephanie, and I'm not saying that you "do not" sleep with her. But the fact remains that if she's sleeping in her own bed, she would have found the gravy boat by now--under her pillow.
Your dear loving Mama.
Pills For Our Ills
Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it.
American Actress and Comedian
(1946 - 1989)
Dr. Jane Chambers, Editor and Head Writer
Ron Lowder Sr., Webmaster
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