If you know how many arms an octopus has, you can guess what the word October means. Octo is Latin for "eight" and the suffix -ber is like the English suffix "-th." Mensis October means "the eighth month"—a misnomer, however, since October has been the tenth month for over 2000 years.
Under the direction of Julius Caesar, in 46 BC astronomers replaced the ancient lunar Roman calendar of 10 months with the solar calendar of 12 months, based on Earth's revolutions around the sun. Caesar's Julian calendar was the major western world calendar for 15 centuries. It was refined and replaced in 1582 by the 12-month Gregorian calendar, under the direction of Pope Gregory XII.
Will anyone ever correct the names of the last four months on our 12--month calendar? After over 2000 years, probably not.
ARTICLES ON THIS PAGE:
(Today through October 17th)
1. NEW article: Racism and CNC's Shoe Lane Site: The History behind the Walker's Green Marker
2. NEW article: 2019 First Decaders Luncheon at CNU: Part 1 (9 photos with people identified).
3. How the CNC Community Helped Harold Cones Await the Birth of His First Daughter (a Memories book Bit).
4. CNC's First Class Ring: The Associate in Arts Degree Ring (updated from 2012).
5. NEW cartoons: Getting Old.
A wise man once said nothing.
Who's bigger, Mr. Bigger or Mr. Bigger's baby?
Answer shown at the bottom of this page
Racism and CNC's Shoe Lane Site:
The History behind the Walker's Green Marker
by A. Jane Chambers
"To me, it's an open-and-shut case ... why the city
wanted [the Shoe Lane site] .... it was clearly an effort by
the City of Newport News to prohibit Walker from developing
a middle-class, suburban neighborhood for African-Americans."
--Phillip Hamilton to Daily Press reporter Matt Jones
The above is from "A Fervent Ally," by reporter Matt Jones, a lengthy and well-researched Daily Press article of September 1, 2019 which begins on the front page and continues on page 9, which it fills completely. The speaker interviewed, CNU history professor Phillip Hamilton, is the author of Serving the Old Dominion: A History of Christopher Newport University, 1958-2011. The topic is "The Shoe Lane Controversy, 1961-63" (pages 34-46), an historic event in which Newport News native William Walker Jr. (1911-2004), a well-educated African-American leader, played a major role.
At my request, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Katie Monteith took the above close-up picture of the "Walker's Green" historical marker. It is located close to the street on the 72 Shoe Lane site now occupied by CNU's Klich Alumni House. The grassy area between the street and the Alumni House has been named "Walker's Green" to honor the memory of William Walker Jr. The marker was unveiled and dedicated on the afternoon of September 20, 2019. It accurately describes the major facts of Mr. Walker's life and achievements.
As his wife looked on, Ambassador Howard Walker (L) and CNU President Paul Trible (R) unveiled the marker. Watching at right was CNU history professor Brian Puaca, who led the movement to honor William Walker Jr. CNU photo,
In his September 21 Daily Press story "CNU unveils marker for former board member who fought purchase of campus," Matt Jones wrote that the ceremony was attended by members of CNU's Board of Visitors, the Newport News City Council and School Board, and others. Speakers included Sheriff Gabe Morgan (on CNU's Board), President Paul Trible, and the son of William Walker Jr.--Howard Walker, a former United States Ambassador, who said his father "reconciled with the university" because of "a broadening of his interests and a realization of the value that the college posed for his community"(Jones article).
The photo above, showing Howard Walker and President Trible shaking hands after the unveiling, as Mrs. Walker watched, is also courtesy of CNU photographers. The one below is a January 2015 Site Map provided by CNU's Executive Vice President and alumnus William (Bill) Brauer ('77)-- sent to me in April of 2015 for my use in website articles about the not-yet constructed alumni house.
This map of the corner of Shoe Lane and Moore's Lane shows the proposed location (bright blue) of the alumni house. The number 72 identifies the long narrow lot that held the home (under that number) of William Walker Jr. and his family. As the map shows, it was still there in 2015. Built in 1959, it was a single family home of 2,429 square feet on a 33,106 square foot lot. It had 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms and was a one-story brick rancher with attached garage (www.redfin.com).
Having lived only two years in this comfortable middle-class new home, Walker, like many black home owners in that area, feared losing his property to the city. Although Newport News had two choices of roughly 60-acre properties available--the second, on Warwick Blvd., where Todd Stadium now is--the City Council seemed determined to purchase the Shoe Lane property, even though it would cost twice as much as the other one. Shoe Lane residents felt racism was the chief motive, especially since the city knew that William Walker Jr., at age 48 highly successful in real estate, wanted to build middle class homes for black families on those acres.
In 1961-63 the City of Newport News and the African-American home owners on Shoe Lane fought over the 34 separately owned parcels that became the core campus of CNC. College administrators reassured the residents already on Shoe Lane that their homes would not be taken, a promise that lasted until the twenty-first century.
This aerial view of CNC shows that the homes which were on Shoe Lane in 1961-63 were still there when this undatedDaily Press photo was made (1968 or '69). Look at the top left. Between the divided driveway into the College and Moore's Lane (at the very top), you can see five homes. The fourth one up from CNC's entrance was 72 Shoe Lane, still occupied by the Walker family. I joined CNC's faculty in the fall of 1963 and stayed three decades. I well remember all the houses on the right side of Shoe Lane, from Warwick Blvd. to Moore's Lane. Most people driving to and from Christopher Newport had no idea who lived in those houses, nor what color they were.
SOURCES: Personal knowledge, except where otherwise mentioned.
The second fall luncheon of Christopher Newport's First Decaders took place on September 22, 2019 in the Board Room at CNU, located on the second floor of David Student Union. At least 40 people attended and a good time was had by all. The above picture was taken in the area outside the Board Room, at the conclusion of the event, by CNU's Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, Katie Monteith (CNU '11). Some people had already left before the photo was taken. Perhaps future group photos should be taken before the food is served?
Both pictures above were taken by Katie Monteith, inside the Board Room. The left photo shows (L-R) Julian Padowicz, Wade Williams (behind him), Donna Lass Carter (married to Julian), Charles Cook (standing), and Lenore and Sam McIntyre. The right photo shows (L-R) Richard and Donna Skipper Pultz, and Candy Hixson Whitley and husband David Whitley.
These two pictures are courtesy of Ellen Babb Melvin (CNC '66, W&M '68). The first one shows (L-R) CNU's Director of Alumni Relations, Baxter Vendrick, Ellen Babb Melvin, and Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, Katie Monteith. The second photo is of (L-R) Wayne Rammell, Joe Hutchko, and Woody Compton.
Taken by Katie Monteith, the above picture shows (L-R): Ellen Wirt, Ray Pepe (standing), Ellen Babb Melvin, Charlie Snead, David Spriggs (standing behind him), Thommy Snead, and Mary Ellen Wilkinson.
On the left is one of several individual close-up photos taken by Ellen Babb Melvin. Pictured is the chairperson of the CNC First Decaders, David Spriggs, aka "Cap'n Dave," who retired from the U.S. Navy at that rank. On the right, also courtesy of Ellen, is a photo of (L-R) Ellen Babb Melvin, me (A. Jane Chambers, founder of the First Decaders), and Ellen Wirt.
The people in this last photo are (L-R) Joe Hutchko, Wayne and Wanda Rammell, Sue and Woody Compton, and sisters Marsha Hunter Gray and Susan Hunter Engler. Marsha and Susan, Special Guests at the event, are the daughters of recently deceased biology instructor Georgia Hunter, the first and only female on the original CNC faculty when the college opened (September 18, 1961). Their father, Bob Hunter, volunteer coach of flag football at CNC in the mid-sixties, was unable to attend our luncheon. Perhaps he can attend the 2020 September event.
Part 2of this article, featuring more photographs, will be posted on October 18. Others who took pictures at this luncheon are invited to send them to email@example.com later than October 11 (Friday). Identify all people in them please.
If one word could be used to define the CNC of those days, that word would be community. Because of our small size, all faculty, staff, and students knew each other no matter what department. We worked, studied, played, and built an institution together. An example of how close-knit we were was demonstrated at the birth of my first daughter. At Riverside Hospital, anyone in the fathers' waiting room was only allowed one guest, and that guest had to sign in.
Cones as biology instructor his second year at CNC. 1970 Trident, p. 28
As I sat alone in the waiting room, [biology professor] Ruth Simmons waltzed in, officially dressed in her lab coat. She brought a hot dog. Shortly thereafter, [biology secretary] Ann Tiller arrived in a lab coat with a hot dog. As the day progressed, the waiting room gradually filled with lab coat-dressed students and faculty, all armed with hot dogs sent by Mr. Takis. When the doctor came to announce the birth of my daughter, near midnight, he invited me to come to the nursery to take a look. When he asked, "Who is here with Mr. Cones?" the entire waiting room, then numbering about fifteen people dressed in lab coats, stood up. The doctor smiled, as I smile now as I write this. And the nurse in charge of the nursery was a student who let me hold my daughter ahead of the normal allowed time.
*“Biology Department: The Ties That Bind,” by Harold N. Cones, in Memories of Christopher Newport College: The First Decade, by A. Jane Chambers, Rita C. Hubbard, & Lawrence B. Wood, Jr. (Hallmark, 2008). TO ORDER BOOK: Send check for $20 made out to Jane Chambers to: Dr. Jane Chambers, 15267 Candy Island Lane,Carrollton, VA 23314. The money (minus mailing cost) is donated to the CNC First Decaders' Treasury.
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Published September 20, 2019
FIRST DECADE HISTORY
CNC's First Class Ring:
The Associate in Arts Degree Ring
by A. Jane Chambers
The photo on the right, from page 30 of the 1966 Trident, shows CNC’s class rings for students who were candidates for the two-year (Associate in Arts) degree. This picture was first posted on this website in 2012 in our website's Memorabilia Gallery, along with this question--“Who has one of these?” and this statement: “We need some more information about these earliest rings, plus close-up photos.” Much to my delight, Ted McFalls (66 FD) contacted me in mid-December of 2012 with this good news: not only did he have one of these first AA degree rings, but also he posed for this yearbookphoto of it.
Ted McFalls and reference librarian Mrs. Anne Palmer. 1966 TRIDENT, p. 21.
Here’s the photo’s history: At the time, Ted was working part time as a student assistant in the Captain John Smith Library. As usual, he had on his CNC ring. He was spotted by a Trident yearbook photographer who was scouting the library in search of students wearing their class rings. Ted agreed to lend the photographer a hand— his hand--for this yearbook picture. He cannot remember who the young woman was that also agreed to lend hers. If you know who she is, please contact me at (757) 238-9629 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have found no information about the history of CNC's AA degree ring. Apparently the first ring was that for the 1964 class--identical to Ted's 1965 ring except for the year on it. I discovered a 1964 ring existed when an alumnus of the 1964 class showed me his during the class's 50th Reunion (May, 2014). The photos here of Ted's 1965 ring are mine. The lettering on the top of the ring (photo right) is typical--the school's name: Christopher Newport College. Although the ring's designer remains a mystery, the ring clearly reflects young CNC's status as a two-year branch of The College of William and Mary, as shown in the pictures below.
The design on one side (left above) features William and Mary's famous Wren Building. Above that is a monarch's crown with, on the left, the number 16 and on the right, the number 93—forming 1693, the year W&M was founded, while Virginia was still a British colony. The dominant design on the other side (above right) is that of CNC’s first seal—the shield with the outline of the Commonwealth of Virginia within it and, on the front of that, the lamp of knowledge. Above the seal, on the left, is the number 19 and on the right, the number 65, forming 1965. Below the seal is 1960, the date CNC was formally established, although classes did not begin until September 18, 1961.
A large photo of that first seal and details about its history are in our website article The Story of CNC’s First four-Year Class Ring and the Seal That Preceded It, located in our Archives tab, sub tab First Decade History.
Ted has graciously donated his ring to our First Decade Memorabilia Collection—which means, we hope, that the ring will soon be permanently housed at CNU in a rotating display at Klich Alumni House.
EDWIN J. (TED) McFALLS Jr. was a member of CNC’s First Men’s Track Team and the All-Star Flag Football Team of 1965-66, both of which are immortalized in Memories of Christopher Newport College: The First Decade. Ted served in the U.S. Air Force before attending CNC. After 1966 he transferred to Old Dominion College, where he earned a BS degree in Psychology in 1969. Following a successful business career during which he owned and operated four restaurants and an air conditioning and refrigeration business, Ted retired at age 57. He is single and resides in Upper Darby, PA.
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.
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