Novemberis from the Latin novem (English, "nine") plus the Latin suffix -ber (English, "-th"). Mensis is Latin for "month." Mensis November means "the ninth month"--a misnomer, however, since November has been our eleventh month for over 2000 years.
All of our calendar's bermonths (September - December) are misnamed. Why? Because, when the ancient ten-month calendar was replaced by the twelve-month Julian calendar (refined later as the Gregorian calendar), nobody thought to rename months 7 - 10 as months 9 - 12. September should be named November and October should be named December--and so forth. But nobody seems inclined to correct these misnomers.
ARTICLES ON THIS PAGE:
(Today through November 14th)
1. NEW article: Addendum: Walker House Photos and Information, by A. J. Jelonek.
2. UPDATED article from 2013:Marine Sergeant James C. Windsorin the Korean War.
3.CNC's First Graduate Responds to theDr.Lois Wright Cup.
4. Why Witches Eat Children and Other Witchy Beliefs.
5. NEW Feedback.
6. NEW cartoons: Ironic Allergies.
To excel is to reach your highest dream. But you must also help others, where and when you can, to reach theirs. Personal gain is empty if you do not feel you have positively touched another's life.
Why did the Engineering grad become a pilot?
Answer shown at the bottom of this page
Photos and Information
photos and comments by A. J. Jelonek
additional details and editing by A. Jane Chambers
After reading my website article Racism and CNC's Shoe Lane Site: The History behind the Walker's Green Marker, CNU alumnus A. J. Jelonek ('15) sent me three photographs he took of the Walker home and site while a student at CNU and some comments about them.
The above 2012 photo taken by A. J. Jelonek of the front of William Walker Jr.'s house shows the addition of a CNU mailbox in the front, and nearer the house, a CNU sign reading "University Mail Room and Residential Housing Support." A. J. wrote, "During my freshman year (2010-2011), CNU used Walker's former home for the University's Counseling Services. The next year, Counseling moved into its current home in the Freeman Center. The house was then used by the University Mail Room staff and by Residential Housing Support staff."
This second photo, also taken in 2012, shows the back of the Walker house, with a white mail truck parked behind it. To take this picture, alumnus Jelonek had to go to the third floor of nearby McMurran Hall. The cars are in Parking Lot M. The not-yet-built Alumni House would face the larger part of Lot M.
This third photo, A. J. wrote, "was taken June 2015, after the demolition of the Walker house, but before construction started on the Alumni House." The paved driveway once going to the attached garage of the Walker house became the entrance for the construction workers and their heavy equipment. The large graveled area, where the house had stood, became the space for construction offices, storage of tools and materials, and workers' parking. The large group of trees beyond the driveway and gravel became the site of the Alumni House.
Thank you, A. J., for this contribution to CNC/CNU history!
READERS: We welcome YOUR historically interesting pictures of the Christopher Newport campus (and/or its people) also.
ANDREW ADRIAN (A.J.) JELONEK is the Venue Coordinator at the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. A native of Leesburg, VA, he received his B.A. in Theater from CNU on May 9, 2015, with a minor in dance. He appeared onstage in various CNU theater productions, was a brother of Alpha Psi Omega, the national theater honors society, and served as the president of Initiative Student Theatre and the secretary of the Film Club of CNU. Maybe one day he will also be performing at the Kennedy Center.
"In the Corps, he had had the extremely dangerous assignment of living moment by moment in the face of “this fell Sergeant, Death,” by walking in front of everybody into minefields to find mines, to use his steady hands to defuse these mines, and finally to walk on. This was to be done over and over again, day by day, month by month."
It was not until I read these words by Barry Wood, in 2007, that I knew about Jim Windsor’s heroic service in the Korean War. I was editing Barry’s essay “James C. Windsor: President, 1970 – 1979” for the book Memories of Christopher Newport College: The First Decade, which Barry, Rita Hubbard, and I were preparing for publication in 2008. I had known both Jim and Barry since I joined the CNC English faculty in the fall of 1963, but I had never heard Jim talk about his military service. Recalling a photo of him in Marine uniform, I found two photos in the 1966 Trident's dedication to "James Clayton Windsor--Teacher, Administrator, Counselor and Friend" (pp. 12 & 13)--the one right showing the Jim I knew, and the one left below showing Jim the young Marine.
Jim Windsor talking with student Norman Blankenship. 1966 Trident, p. 13.
About a dozen years ago, one of Jim’s grandsons, Jay Windsor, constructed a website to share some of his grandfather’s ideas “with a larger audience.” The various items there included essays, speeches, lectures and so forth on such topics as education, psychology, and religion. Following the “Welcome” page was a short “Biography,” followed by an “Oral History,” in dialogue form. In the "Oral History" excerpts quoted below, Jim talked to his grandson Jay about his experiences as a Marine. The brief topic headings are mine.
JOINING THE MARINES
Jim Windsor as a young Marine. 1966 Trident, p. 12.
“When I graduated from high school three friends and I decided to join the marines. I believe we were patriotic, and also wanted to see the world and save money for college. It was in June, 1950, about five years after the end of World War II, so it was a time of peace and we did not anticipate that we would be involved in a war. However, just three weeks after we enlisted North Korea attacked South Korea and the Korean War began. The war lasted three years, from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953. I was in Korea for almost one year, beginning in September, 1951, so my involvement was a matter of timing. I was on active duty when the war began.”
BASIC TRAINING AT PARRIS ISLAND
“I went to Parris Island, South Carolina and was there for three months. The training was very challenging and some did not make it through. The physical training was very intense with much running and hiking with heavy backpacks. We learned to shoot several types of weapons, and battle tactics. The emphasis was always on self-discipline, obedience to orders, working as a team, honesty, integrity, faithfulness. The Marine Corps motto is Semper Fidelis - ‘Always Faithful.’ I was at Parris Island in the summer months so it was very hot, frequently 90 - 100 degrees. The island was covered with sand fleas which were called ‘no see ums’ because they were so small, but they had a hurtful bite which left a red bump which itched. When standing at attention you were not allowed to swat the bugs, so you had to endure the bites without moving. This actually turned out to be good preparation for the swarms of large black mosquitoes which populated Korea. By the end of the training we were confident and proud to be Marines.”
COMBAT YEAR IN KOREA
Basic physical training at Parris Island.
Marine high rope training at Parris Island.
Marines marching in snowy Korean mountains.
“During the winter months my platoon lived in bunkers which were fortified holes in the ground. It was extremely cold, sometimes well below zero. We had small warm-up tents on the reverse slope which would accommodate two persons for a short time. Any fire or smoke on the forward slope would draw fire. I was a member of an Anti-Tank Platoon. Our weapons were heavy machine guns, rockets, flame throwers and explosives, so we were involved when there were difficult obstacles hindering progress, such as gun emplacements and bunkers."
Marines carrying a wounded comrade in Korea.
"We also set and disarmed mines. It was dangerous work and we frequently suffered casualties. The most difficult experience is to lose a friend.When you are in combat, and getting shot at, your world shrinks down to the small portion of the earth you occupy, and to the few comrades on whom you depend. There is a strong bonding and you look after each other. You fear letting your buddies down more than you fear the enemy or death. We suffered a lot of casualties (dead and wounded) and were fully aware that we were living in harm's way. I was wounded, but not seriously, and survived the experience. I have felt since then that every day is a gift. Many of my comrades did not have the chance to grow up, and I have felt blessed all of my life.”
Marine tanks in Korea of the type Jim saved.
Notable in the above paragraph are Jim's very brief coverage of his extremely dangerous task with mines, described more fully by Barry Wood at the beginning of this article, and Jim's failure to mention not only his Purple Heart but also his Commendation Ribbon for Valor in saving a tank and its crew during a fierce battle, described in the letter below.
“When I became involved in the war in Korea I felt it was a worthy cause and that once again [as in World War 2] the U.S. had expressed its support for freedom and justice. Communism was held at bay, and South Korea is a free country and has prospered. It was the right thing to do. I have thus far lived to be 74 years old. When I was in the mountains of Korea I never thought I would survive this long. I have already lived twenty years longer than my father, who was killed in a coal mine accident when he was fifty-four years old. The values which continue to guide me may be summarized in these principles: Do not be too concerned with what you have, or what you do, but rather focus on what you are becoming as a person. Seek truth, live love, do good.”
After the original publication of this article (August 9, 2013), Dr. Windsor wrote to me "Thank you for composing and printing the article on some of my experiences in Korea. It was very thoughtful and well done. I have not talked much about my service in the Marines, but at age 81, I suppose it is now worth mentioning as a part of my history. Thank you for remembering."
Born August 11, 1932 in West Virginia, James Clayton Windsor died April 3, 2016 in Williamsburg, Virginia, at age 83.
If you attend the Homecoming game at CNU Saturday afternoon, October 26, don't miss the halftime event announcing the winner of the Dr. Lois Wright Cup. Dr. Wright will be on the field, along with CNU President Paul Trible and a representative from the winning class.
Above is an Alumni Relations Office picture of the cup, which is currently on display in Klich Alumni House. Engraved on the cup is "The Lois Wright Cup." Engraved below it are these words: "Dr. Lois Wright, '62" and below that "Christopher Newport's First Graduate." The smaller print reads "This cup is presented each year to the young alumni class with the highest annual giving percentage." The award is not for the amount of money the class gives, but for the percentage of class members who donated to the class's gift.
Thirteen students entered CNC its opening year (1961-62) as sophomores, bringing with them a variety of credit hours. At the end of that first year, only one sophomore, Lois Wright, had all the required credit hours needed to qualify for the A.A. degree. Thus she was the first and the only recipient of the degree of Associate in Arts on June 8, 1962. To her surprise, she was literally the Class of 1962. She received her degree from then Director H.W. (Scottie) Cunningham in a private ceremony attended only by her parents.
Afterwards, Lois earned an A.B. in English at William and Mary, an M.S. in Social Work at VCU, and an Ed.Din Counseling at W&M. After a long and rewarding career at the University of South Carolina--Columbia, she retired in 2002 with the rarely bestowed title Distinguished ProfessorEmerita, having served USC as Professor, Assistant Dean, and then Director of The Center for Child and Family Studies.
RESPONSE TO HONORS
Wright Cup display in Klich Alumni House, including recent photo of Dr. Wright (Alumni Relations photo).
I asked Lois to share with our readers her response to this latest honor, as well as her earlier CNU honors. "I am delighted and humbled to have the Dr. Lois Wright Cup named after me," she began. She learned about the cup during a January 28th lunch with Baxter Vendrick, Director of Alumni Relations, who had emailed earlier that he wanted to meet with her about an idea involving her and her name. At the lunch he told her about the idea to create a Dr. Lois Wright Cup as a way to recognize and encourage young alumni class giving.
"Of course, I enthusiastically supported the idea!" Lois wrote, adding "The Cup is only the most recent in a succession of unexpected and unearned honors I have received from CNU. With each one, I have experienced awe and joy!" Her first honor was in 1986. "The occasion," she wrote, "was the 1986 commencement, honoring CNU’s 25th anniversary; I was asked to make some remarks." Her second honor, 26 years later, was being "invited back to be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree during the Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 12, 2012."
"My involvement with CNU grew," she continued, "when emphasis on the University’s early years was given a boost in the spring of 2011 through Dr. Jane Chambers’s work to recognize the First Decaders with a first ever reunion. Related to this effort, CNU built a display cabinet (photo right) and placed it in Trible Library to exhibit various objects related to my graduation—including my diploma, a picture of then Director Scotty Cunningham awarding me the A.A. degree, and my class pin. The display now resides in the Klich Alumni House. This third honor was followed by interviews and requests for articles related to my CNU experiences."
Lois at the 1969 Class Reunion Dinner, May 10, 2019 (Alumni Relations photo).
Lois feels honored also by attending the September gatherings and 50th reunions of the first decade classes. "Baxter and Jane have always given me special recognition," she wrote. "At these reunion dinners, my honor and responsibility has been to bless the food. This seemed easy enough—just a few words of thankfulness. However, finding the right words has been challenging. Each year I have struggled with what to say that was brief, inclusive, and meaningful and that reflected CNU’s values. But the reward for doing this task has been continually revisiting and rethinking what CNU and our association with it means to us all."
"And now this—not only having the Cup inscribed with my name but also being invited to help present it at the Homecoming game October 26th. I feel so blessed that CNU has repeatedly chosen to recognize and honor me for my small role in its history. I will never become blasé about these honors; I continue to be surprised, thrilled, and humbled. With each honor I used to ask if I deserved the recognition or how fate had brought it to me through no effort on my part. But now I just follow the advice of a wise friend: 'Don’t analyze it. Just say thank you!' Thank you, Christopher Newport, for all you have done for me and for other alumni. May we return your gifts through our generosity and service."
An essay by Lois Wright about her sophomore year at CNC
is on pages 182-185 of Memories of Christopher Newport College:
The First Decade, 1961-1971, by A. Jane Chambers, Rita C. Hubbard,
and Lawrence Barron Wood Jr. (Hallmark Publishing, 2008). ______________________________________________________________
We welcome your FEEDBACK. Send to
Published October 18, 2019
Why Witches Eat Children
and Other Witchy Beliefs
by A. Jane Chambers
English book illustrator Arthur Rackham's 1909 depiction of Hansel and Gretel meeting the witch.
In the well-known German fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, published in 1812 in the Grimm brothers' collection of folk stories, the siblings Hansel and Gretel meet an elderly woman who lives in a forest in a house made from gingerbread and other edible sweets. After being warmly received and well fed, they discover she is a cannibalistic witch who plans to eat them. The children outwit her, push her into the fiery oven intended for them, and escape.
Witches Eating Children
Sometimes, while affectionately talking to and touching or holding a beloved infant, a mother or other friend or relative says to that baby, "I could just eat you up!" The adult doesn't mean that literally, of course, but why do we humans even say it? A strange compulsion to express love by biting the flesh of the beloved seems built into us, doesn't it? Fortunately, though, rarely do any of us eat our children, or someone else's.
Cannibalism among humans is a historical fact, however--still happening, though rarely. In earlier centuries, in some European countries, especially reflected in folklore, it was believed that witches were cannibals who ate infants and young children--sometimes as sacrifices to Satan, but sometimes as a means of renewing themselves physically. By devouring the young and healthy, such witches believed they could overcame disease, aging, and even death.
Evil Witches and Good Witches
Above are two Halloween greeting cards made in America in the early 1900s. They feature witches who are strikingly different: one ugly and old, the other beautiful and young—reflecting the ancient belief in both good and bad witches. The old one, obviously the evil one, is looking longingly at the children inside--no doubt wishing to capture one for dinner. She is accompanied by dark and nocturnal creatures, a black cat and a hovering bat, both traditional symbols of wickedness.
The good witch, on the other card, is accompanied by an owl, which can represent, depending on the context, either good or evil. Primarily, however, the owl has for ages symbolized wisdom. It was the favorite bird of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom. The owl is also a reminder that witches originally were prophets — seers like blind man Tiresias and the woman Cassandra in Greek mythology; astrologers like the wizard Merlin, in Arthurian legends; and people with magic powers who studied the heavens and could foresee the future. They could cast spells for good or ill, and were both revered and feared. The large smiling moon and shooting star, a traditional good luck sign, add to the positive tone of the Good Witch card.
WITCHES and WATER
In the card showing the evil witch, the children bobbing for apples are safe from her because of the tub of water. One very old belief about witches and other evil beings is that water can literally kill them. Remember how the Wicked Witch of the West died in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz? She melted away when Dorothy threw some water on her. (I played that witch role in high school and well remember the scene in which I "melted.") Oz also had a Good Witch, named Glinda, who helped Dorothy return home. The 1939 movie popularized the idea that wicked witches were green and dressed totally in black.
Another belief about witches and water, common from Medieval times into the 18th century, was that throwing or ducking someone accused of witchcraft into a body of water was a definite way of determining guilt or innocence, because water, used for baptism and spiritual purification, rejects evil beings. If guilty, the person floated; if innocent, the person sank (and usually drowned).
Such an actual test by water occurred in 1706 in what was later Virginia Beach. Grace White Sherwood (born ca. 1660), a widow of about 47, was bound hands to feet and thrown ("ducked") from a boat into the Lynnhaven River. Fortunately, she was able to stay afloat and was pulled back into the boat. She was jailed for eight years for witchcraft. It was the only time in Virginia that a trial by ducking occurred. The full account is in my essay What's in a Name?Witchduck Road and the "Witch of Pungo," located on this website in the tab Archives, subtab This-N-That. The marker belowand a statue are now on the "Witch Duck" site.
Witches and "Devil Marks"
One way to know a woman was probably a witch was to examine her naked body for "Devil Marks"-- unusual moles, birthmarks and so forth. Before and again after the ducking of Grace Sherwood, a Jury of "Ansient and Knowing women" undressed and searched Grace "For all teats spotts and marks...not usuall on Others" and swore they found "two things like titts on her private parts of Black Coller." These were seen as "The Devil's marks," evidence of her being a witch.
WITCHES and BROOMS
Why do witches fly on brooms? I'll discuss this topic next October. Meanwhile, if you have a theory to share, send it to us (with your source).
SOURCE: Personal knowledge resulting from research I did while (1) creating and teaching a 400-level topics course at CNC called “The Gothic Tradition in English and American Literature,” (2) while writing my doctoral dissertation (Coleridge’s “Christabel” in Context) for my Ph.D. degree at UNC-Chapel Hill, and (3) while writing my website essays Ancient Beliefs and Traditions Reflected in Old Halloween Cards and What's in a Name?Witchduck Road and the "Witch of Pungo"--both located on this website in the tab Archives, subtab This-N-That.
FROMA. J. Jelonek (CNU, '15): Lovely article on the new Walker's Green Marker! Thank you for all that you do to keep CNU history alive.
Editor: Thank you, A. J., for your kind note and especially for sending the material now posted on our website's HOME as Addendum: Walker House Photos and Information--a significant historical contribution!
FROMHelen Phillips Pitts: Thank you for caring enough to educate those who have no idea about this important location.
Editor: Thank you for your "thank you," Helen. I think you'll also enjoy the Addendum to this article.
Re: Why Witches Eat Children and Other Witchy Beliefs.
FROM Ellen Babb Melvin (CNC, '66): Hansel and Gretel used to scare me when I was little.
Editor: You would have been scared even more, Ellen, if you had read the original version, in which the children's parents deliberately deserted them in the woods and were not happy when they returned home! The original Grimm tales were even grimmer!
FROMTracy Heath:I checked it out and learned some really cool stuff. I loved this article. Thanks.
Editor: Glad you enjoyed the article, Tracy. Thank you for your comments.
Re: CNC Cheerleaders articles
FROM Susan Riley Iannello (sister of Janie Riley): I stumbled across a tribute to Christopher Newport Cheerleaders on the internet. There is a picture of my sister, Janie Riley, who was on the 1970 and 1971 squad. Janie was a co-caption in 1971. I am Jane's sister Susan and I was looking for information about one of her dear friends, Kay Johnson Hogan. Instead, I saw the picture of my sister in her cheerleading uniform. She looked so happy in the photo. Jane Riley lost her battle with breast cancer on May 7, 2000. I miss her every single day.
Editor: Susan, I've enjoyed our email correspondence and have emailed it to the 1970 & 1971 Cheerleaders and also (since Janie was in PKS) the Pi Kappa Sigma ladies with whom I'm in touch. Some might contact you. I have no contact information for Kay Johnson Hogan, unfortunately.
Donations to our Treasury are gratefully accepted. Make out checks to CNC First Decaders. Mail them to Sonny Short, FD Treasurer, 12738 Daybreak Circle, Newport News, VA 23602.
Your DECADER committee ALWAYS enjoys feedback on items that appear on this website. The feedback can be positive or negative...doesn't matter. It is just super for us to know that you are actually visiting YOUR website and have something to share.
Please don't hesitate to send us an email with a comment...we LOVE to hear from you!