1.NEW article: Dr. Michael S. Engs on Being CNC's First Black Student [A MemoriesBook Bit].
2. CNC Alumna Ellen Babb Melvin Plays Teacher in Smithfield Little Theatre's Production of GREASE.
3. Addendum to article about President Scotty Cunningham's Naval Service in WW2: Scotty and JFK.
4.Early Men's Tennis at CNC, 1966-1968: Part 2.
5. NEW Humor: Dave Barry's Colonoscopy.
6.NEW Cartoons: Cow Chuckles.
Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.
Humorist & showman
(1879 - 1935)
It cannot be seen, it weighs nothing, but when put into a barrel, it makes it lighter. What is it?
Answer shown at the bottom of this page
MEMORIES BOOK BIT
A Memories Book Bit:
Dr. Michael S. Engs on Being CNC's
First Black Student
Excerpts from pages 197-199*
EDITOR'S NOTE: Having always attended integrated schools on the U.S. Army bases in Europe where his father, an Army officer, was stationed, Michael Engs did not know what racially segregated schools were until age 14, when his father was sent to Fort Eustis and the Engs family moved to Newport News. After Michael's freshman year at then all-black George Washington Carver High School, his parents sent him to Walsingham Academy in Williamsburg, a private Catholic school, to better prepare him for college. His older brother was a national merit scholar attending Princeton; his mother, a teacher; and his father then a retired Army Captain. He was expected to follow their footsteps.
My parents had let me know that no money would be forthcoming for my college education in any substantial amount, so I needed to go somewhere close and inexpensive. Christopher Newport College was in town. So I applied. As an African American, many times I am asked why I didn't attend Hampton University or Norfolk State, traditionally black colleges that were not much further from my home. My answer is always the same. The choice was clear.
In an age of segregated schools, I would integrate every school I attended from tenth grade on. This was my means of protest. I could never let it be said that no black person had attended or would ever attend this school or that school. It was as if I had been raised for this task. Being brought up in the military by two college-educated parents, I had almost always attended integrated schools, and I had no fear of being the "only" one.
Michael Engs as a CNC freshman. 1966 Trident, p. 64.
What struck me about Christopher Newport College in 1965 was the ease with which it accepted people of color. It seemed that anyone who applied was being accepted, even as late as May of his or her senior year in high school. There were no "special programs" or assumptions that deficiencies in a student's educational background might exist. No suggestion that race was the basis for your being accepted. What Christopher Newport offered was a level playing field, a place where I could succeed or fail on my own merits.
I went on to become one of the first African Americans to graduate from the College of William and Mary (Class of 1969)....Christopher Newport paved my way to a thirty-three-year career as an administrator and faculty member in the Pima County Community College District in Tucson, Arizona... the tenth largest community college system in the country with more than fifty thousand for-credit students at seven locations.
POSTSCRIPT: After W&M, where he was in ROTC, then three years in the Army, Michael began his career and earned an M.A. in Counseling and Guidance at the University of Arizona and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University. Retired since 2007, he and his wife, Sidney, live in Tucson, where they are involved in Arizona's black history research. Their daughter, Stephanie, a University of Arizona alumna, works for National Public Radio in Tucson. Michael's sister, Barbara, is also a CNU alumna (Class of 1999).
* “Christopher Newport College 1965: A Sanctuary from the Draft,” inMemories of Christopher Newport College: The First Decade,1961-1971, pp. 194-199, 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 May 12, 2017
CNC Alumna Ellen Babb Melvin Plays Teacher
in Smithfield Little Theatre's Production of GREASE
Current CNU Sophomore Camille Castleberry
Has Female Lead
by A. Jane Chambers
Retired Hampton middle school English teacher Ellen Babb Melvin is "thrilled to be playing" high school English teacher Miss Lynch in Smithfield Little Theatre's current production of the popular musical GREASE. In the photo below, taken back stage during a dress rehearsal, Ellen is the lady in the middle, posing with some of the young women who play Miss Lynch's high school students. The "student" in the polka-dotted dress is CNU sophomore Camille Castleberry, who has the leading female role of Sandy Dumbrowski. Cami's goal after CNU is to attend law school at William and Mary.
Ellen has a long career in local theatre, including CNC productions. In 1966, she was in the first 3-act drama staged at our college, Archibald MacLeish's Pulitzer Prize winning J.B. Further education (William & Mary degree in 1968), marriage, motherhood and teaching kept her away from acting until 1977, when she and her first daughter, Elizabeth (then age five) had roles in BABES IN TOYLAND at the original CNC's Gaines Theatre. Altogether, she has been in at least a dozen Peninsula-area productions since then.
Ellen calls her part in GREASE "a minor role," but "Miss Lynch" is the first character on stage in Act 1, and appears also elsewhere in the play, and in any well-produced drama, none of the characters are really "minor." She neither sings nor dances in this musical ("for which the audience will be grateful," she says). But knowing her bubbly personality (she was my English student at CNC), I'm sure she will more than do justice to her role.
Ellen says this production of GREASE "is going to be fantastic. The kids in it are all so talented, enthusiastic, energetic, and downright nice kids and I am so enjoying working with them and getting to know them. I love the music and 5 nights a week, I thoroughly enjoy hearing these kids singing them during rehearsal. It is going to be a great show and one not to be missed!" Below are two photos taken during one of the dress rehearsals.
The musical is set in the 1950s, which some of you will remember.
I plan to see a Sunday production of GREASE. It is playing in Smithfield for 4 weeks on Thursday - Sunday evenings at 8:00 and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 from April 27 - May 21. Ellen urges those wanting to get tickets to call the Box Office (757-357-7338), NOT try to get them online. Online will show the play as sold out, "but the theatre holds a lot of seats until the week before the show" and then "opens these seats up a week before each weekend's performances. So you should be able to get seats for any performance including Sunday," but tickets have been selling fast.
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FIRST DECADE HISTORY
President Scotty Cunningham's Naval Service
in WW2 and Korea: Family Photos
CNU's Dr. Sean Heuvel recently learned from H. Westcott Cunningham's daughter, Ann Cunningham Stachura, that her father knew John Fitzgerald Kennedy when both men were young PT boat skippers serving in the same area of the southwest Pacific in WW2. Ann said also that her father served in the Honor Guard at President Kennedy's Inaugural Parade in January of 1961.
NOTE: Complete article can be found under the First Decade History sub-tab of the Website Archives tab found to the left of this page near the top.
Published April 28, 2017
FIRST DECADE HISTORY
Early Men’s Tennis at CNC, 1966-1968:
An Interview with John W. Morris
Reported by A. Jane Chambers
JANE: So you saluted the major and then beat him! Good thing you weren’t still enlisted. Any other good stories?
JOHN: I remember this doubles match with Mark Hughes. He was my doubles partner and had also been a great high school wrestler. Before playing one of our matches, we heard that our opponents were very good, so Mark mentioned maybe we should take them on in a wrestling match instead. We stayed with the tennis.
JANE: Did you win, or lose?
JOHN: We won.
JANE: You have an amazing memory! Any other good stories?
JOHN: I’ll never forget Chowan had concrete tennis courts —at least some of them were concrete. I had never seen a concrete tennis court, so I was amazed such a court existed. I remember playing my match on one and hoping, after playing the match, I would never have to do that again. My knees never felt the same again.
JANE: Mark told me the courts at Ferguson and Warwick, where you played your home games, were hard courts covered with Grasstex, a kind of surfacing that gave them a softer, rubbery feel as opposed to the plain concrete or asphalt surfaces you had to play on at many of the away matches.
JOHN: He remembers right.
JANE: That 1968 Tennis Schedule you sent, which we recently posted, had a handwritten list of numbered names on it. Did you write that?
JOHN: Yes. It’s the rankings list for some week that season.
John Wayne Morris as a sophomore. 1969 TRIDENT, p. 40.
This Spring 1968 Men's Tennis Schedule probably came from the office of James C. Windsor, then Dean of Students. This item and other tennis memorabilia from John W. Morris is now in our MEMORABILIA GALLERY (5th tab, left margin, in Memorabilia Gallery No. 11.)
Back of the 1968 Tennis Schedule, with John Morris's writing.
JANE: Phil Hopkins explained the rankings system to me. He said it’s how a lower-ranked player on a team gets to move up the ranks by challenging the team player just above him to a match and beating him. So if number 4 beats number 3 in a match, they exchange places on the list, so in this way it was possible to move up the rankings if you improved, right?
JANE: Phil said that Coach Vaughan used this method to decide which players played in which positions in matches rather than just arbitrarily appointing a player to play in a certain match at a certain position.
JOHN: You got it.
JANE: From this rankings list, plus those newspaper clippings you sent us, John, we now know who the players were on CNC’s 1966 and 1968 men’s tennis teams, and we even have photos of some of them. But all we know so far about the 1967 team is that you and Mark were also on that one. Let’s hope our readers help us find the players from all 3 years that we’ve not yet located—1966, 67, & 68. Meanwhile, here are some of the 1968 tennis team members, from the 1968 Trident.
Karl Hargraves as a freshman. 1968 TRIDENT, p. 92.
Mark Hughes in a boxing pose. Detail from the 1968 TRIDENT, p. 62.
Phil Hopkins as a freshman. 1968 TRIDENT, p. 92.
Wayne Schell as a sophomore. 1968 TRIDENT, p. 101.
David Scoggins as a sophomore. 1968 TRIDENT, p. 101.
Mike Witty as a sophomore. 1968 TRIDENT, p. 105.
JANE: Any closing thoughts, John, about playing at CNC those first years of men’s tennis?
JOHN: CNC Tennis allowed me to meet other students with similar interests and I felt good representing CNC. The College also gave me a good foundation to continue with what I was most interested in. When I transferred to VirginiaCommonwealthUniversity, in Richmond, I played my last two years of eligibility on the VCU Tennis Team. While at VCU, I received an undergraduate assistantship in Intramurals and graduated with a B.S. degree in Health and Physical Education. I eventually ended up at the University of Virginia for my Masters Degree and became the Head Coach of UVA’s Women’s tennis team and the Assistant Coach of UVA’s Men’s team.
JANE: Thank you for your time, John, and your enthusiasm. Your memories, along with your photos and memorabilia, have provided us with
a chapter of CNC’s sports history we otherwise might never have had. Will we see you at the September Reunion Picnic?
JOHN: I’m planning to be there, yes!
Published July 26, 2013
Re-published April 28, 2017
Humorist Dave Barry's Colonoscopy
Note: Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist for the Miami Herald. Below are excerpts from his column published on February 22, 2008, with cartoons added by your website's editor. At age 60, Dave finally had a colonoscopy, after learning that one of his brothers had been diagnosed with early stage colon cancer.
Photo of Barry by Gregg Lewis.
I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy. A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis.
Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner. I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, "HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!"
I left Andy's office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called "MoviPrep," which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven.... I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous. Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor.
Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons). Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes - and here I am being kind - like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.
The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, "a loose, watery bowel movement may result." This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.
MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but, have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet. After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep.
The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurtage. I was thinking, "What if I spurt on Andy?" How do you apologize to a friend for something like that? Flowers would not be enough.
At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms said. Then they led me to a room ... where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked.
Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down. Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep. At first I was ticked off that I hadn't thought of this, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode. You would have no choice but to burn your house.
When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point. Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand.
There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was "Dancing Queen" by ABBA. I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, "Dancing Queen" had to be the least appropriate. "You want me to turn it up?" said Andy, from somewhere behind me...."Ha ha," I said. And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade. If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.
I have no idea. Really. I slept through it. One moment, ABBA was yelling "Dancing Queen, feel the beat of the tambourine," and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood.
Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that It was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ.
We welcome your FEEDBACK. Send to
Published May 12, 2017
Published May 12, 2017
SILLY DILLY ANSWER
ANSWER: A hole.
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