1. NEW article: Native American and British Place Names in Hampton Roads: Part 1.
2. NEW article: Catching Up at Pigeon Forge: Coach Raoul Weinstein and Jumper Joe English.
3. CNC's First Dramatic Club and The Historic Scrapbook about It [Dramatic Workshop Series, No. 1].
4. NEW humor: Computer Virus Warning.
5. NEW cartoons: Birds of a Feather.
"The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary."
1928 - 2012
Native American and British
Place Names in Hampton Roads
by A. Jane Chambers
I've lived in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia since 1963--first in Newport News, while in the English Department at Christopher Newport; then after retirement, in Isle of Wight County, with an expansive view of lower Hampton Roads from my modest home. In my decades here, I have learned much more about the history of this area than I knew when I first arrived. As a student of the English language, I have found especially interesting the mixture here of native American and British place names tied to Virginia's earliest colonial history.
Why does the name of a body of water include the word roads?Because roads is a shortened form of roadstead, a Middle English word combining road (any "open way for traveling between two places" and Old English stede ("place"). The Online Etymology dictionary (OE) uses Hampton Roads as an example of the nautical meaning, since the 14th century, of roadstead (or roads) as a "narrow stretch of sheltered water" where ships may ride safely at anchor near, but not at, a shore. On the map below, the water named Hampton Roads is the part of the Chesapeake Bay largely located between the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (I-64) and the Monitor-Merrimac Bridge-Tunnel (I-664). It is where Norfolk's Elizabeth River, Suffolk's Nansemond River and Virginia's longest river, the James, converge, forming a safe channel for the largest of ships, commercial and military. The name now includes the lands touching the lower Chesapeake Bay, as shown on the map below.
The city of Hampton,Hampton Roads, and Hampton River were all named to honor Henry Wriothesley, third Earl of Southampton, a major leader of the Virginia Company of London, which financed the 1607 Jamestown expedition. Southampton County might have been named for the Earl, or for the city of Southampton in England (Wikipedia). The word Hampton comes from the Old Englishhāmtūn--from hām (homestead, home, settlement) plus tūn ("town, yard, enclosure")--i.e., hometown. The word became an English and Scottish place name, and eventually also a surname. Cities, communities, and families in Britain, Canada, Australia and of course America have that name.
CAPE HENRY and CAPE CHARLES
Cape Henry was the first British place name in Hampton Roads. After their very long (144 days) voyage from England, on April 26, 1607, the Englishmen in the three ships sent by the Virginia Company reached a cape at the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay. They anchored and named the place Cape Henry in honor of the heir-apparent to the English throne, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, then only 13 (he died at 18). They sent some men ashore in a small boat to explore the area for several days. On April 29th, the men raised a wooden cross near the shore and a minister delivered a prayer of gratitude for their safe arrival in the new land. In 1935 a granite cross was placed in this area (photo right), in First Landing State Park, next to Fort Story, location of the old (1792) and new (1881) Cape Henry Lighthouses (photo below).
POINT COMFORT (now Old Point Comfort)
On April 28, 1607, Christopher Newport sailed the Susan Constant from Cape Henry into the Chesapeake Bay to explore it further. Anchoring her near what would become Fort Monroe, Newport sent crew members out to find the water's depths. They located a channel which "put them in good comfort" and named the land next to it Cape Comfort, which the Virginia Company in 1609 described in its Second Charter as "the pointe of lande called Cape or Pointe Comfort." Exploring the site for a few days, the group found it an ideal defensive location.The lighthouse located there since 1803 (photo left), owned and maintained by the U. S. Coast Guard, is the second oldest lighthouse in the Bay and oldest still in use (Wikipedia).
This painting, titled Trading with the Indians, was created by artist Stanley King for the National Park Service.
While still in the lower Chesapeake Bay that spring of 1607, the English colonists met some friendly Algonquian-speaking natives living near Point Comfort in their Kecoughtan village. The natives kindly welcomed the travelers, and the relationship remained primarily friendly between the peoples of the two radically different cultures for the first two years of the Jamestown settlement, as reflected in the above painting. Captain John Smith's account of an unplanned visit he and about 40 men spent with the Kecoughtan tribe during the Christmas season of 1608-09 is well known. Trying to get to Chief Powhatan's village to get food for their colony during a starving time that winter, the group encountered violent weather in the Bay--"extreame wind, raine, frost, and snowe"--that forced them for " 6 or 7 daies ... to keepe Christmas amongst the Salvages, where wee were never more merrie, nor fedde on more plentie of good oysters, fish, flesh, wild foule, and good bread, nor never had better fires in England then in the drie warme smokie houses of Kecoughtan."
In the summer of 1609 everything changed for the worse when the English settlers began raiding various native villages, stealing food, burning dwellings, killing even women and children, and building forts in Hampton Roads. A series of wars called the Anglo-Powhatan Wars began in 1610 and the surviving Kecoughtans fled to merge with other Powhatan groups (Wikipedia).
The Algonquian tribal name Kecoughtan survives, however, in today's city of Hampton. PART 2 of this article will focus more on other native American names in Hampton Roads.
Recently located CNC First Decader Joe English (left above) and his CNC track coach in the 1960s, Raoul Weinstein (right), were reconnected by email and phone this past summer. In August, Raoul and his wife, Nancy, who live in Greenville, SC, decided to spend four days in early September in Pigeon Forge, TN, the small mountain town where singer Dolly Parton's Dollywood is the main attraction. Knowing that Joe and his wife, Natalie, live in Knoxville, TN, close to Pigeon Forge, Raoul told Joe about this planned trip, and they made plans to get together in Pigeon Forge in September.
The lunch reunion was on Saturday, September 12th at one of the restaurants in Pigeon Forge connected with Dollywood. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the restaurant followed social distancing and mask wearing rules, of course, as did the patrons. The two couples were seated outside, in the fresh air, and removed their masks only to dine--and to pose for these photos. Above left are Joe and Natalie, and on their right, Raoul and Nancy. Below is a picture of the restaurant, The Pottery House Cafe and Grill, next to the Old Mill.
Writing to me, Raoul described the reunion as "a great meeting where we got to catch up on what each of us had been doing over the past 53 years since we saw each other last. Joe is still active in a commodities business, while I have been retired for a number of years. We really had a great time." He added that their wives also" hit it off nicely and in fact, I heard them talking on the phone yesterday." Joe wrote that they spent "quality time catching up on everything. We last saw each other in 1967. After 1967 he went to St. Thomas Island and I went to William and Mary. So there were 53 years to catch up on and we thoroughly enjoyed doing just that."
The 53-year-old newspaper clipping above shows Coach Weinstein (middle) and high jumper Joe English (right)--plus another top trackman, Keith Kahle (left). The photo and article are from a scrapbook Raoul made when he was coaching CNC's first intercollegiate sport, men's track. It is kept in the Library room of CNU'S Alumni House, where visitors are welcome to look through it. Joe, wrote Raoul, "was one of my favorite athletes. He was awarded the trophy for being the MVP of the track team in the spring of 1967 and set the school's high jump record. He was one of the members of the team that I learned a lot from, having never high jumped myself."
Like virtually every organization and activity at Christopher Newport College, theater at CNC began with the students--actually one student--in the academic year 1964-65. It was the fourth year of the new school's existence and the first year on the "Shoe Lane Campus," which had only one building completed, Newport Hall, and a second under construction, Gosnold Hall.
The Dramatic Workshop (1964-66)
A Captain's Log article titled "CNC Instructor's Wife Heads Dramatics Club," published March 10, 1965, gives the origin of the Dramatic Workshop: The original idea...was conceived last October  when Scottie Fitzgerald spoke of her desire for some type of dramatic organization at CNC to Mr. Kitchin. Mr. Kitchin then told his wife of the idea whereupon she called a meeting the next week, to begin dramatic work at CNC (Vol. 2, Issue 3, p. 4). Having a theater club at CNC was readily approved by then Director (later, President) H. Westcott Cunningham.
The photo left, from page 37 of the 1965 Trident, is that of Kathie Scott (Scottie) Fitzgerald, a young married sophomore whose talk with Bill Kitchin (photo right) led to formation of the Dramatic Workshop. A very active student leader, Kathie was the Student Government Association President in 1964-65. Unfortunately, we have not been able to locate her. William Willis (Bill) Kitchin had just joined the faculty that year as an instructor of English and speech. He left CNC sometime before 1970 to accept another position elsewhere. His photo is from page 23 of the 1966 Trident.
Bill's wife, Frances Kitchin, described in the Captain's Log article cited above as “director, producer, and author of some of the plays that will be presented,” had a background in playwriting, acting, and teaching drama. Thus she was an ideal person to lead CNC's fledgling drama program. The photo of her on the right is from page 51 of the 1966 Trident. I do not know whether Frances worked voluntarily with the students or received a small stipend from the college. She was not a member of the faculty. She left CNC with Bill and died not long after that.
Student officers of the Dramatic Workshop the first year (1964-65) were President: Gwendolyn Fay (Gwen) Seidler Stevens (who died from Parkinson's disease in 2015, shortly after she joyfully attended her 50th Reunion at CNC with one of her sons); VP: Judith H. (Judye) Fuller Schneider (now living in Colorado); Sec: Ronald H. (Ron) Hunt ( who lives in Richmond and has an article on our website about living with Mr. Usry);Treas: Julia Ann (Judy) Osborne (not yet located) and Librarian: Carolyn (Carol) Riley (not yet located).
Dalton Blankenship's Historic Scrapbook
Two of the most dedicated members of the Dramatic Workshop were sweethearts since high school Dalton Kelley and Norman Blankenship, who married in 1967. They have been dedicated CNC First Decaders since our group's first grand weekend reunion at CNU on September 16 & 17, 2011. When Dalton told me she still had a Dramatic Workshop scrapbook she had created, I asked to see it (cover photo left). I was impressed by her collection of photos, playbills, newspaper clippings and other items that preserved much of the history of CNC's first dramatic club.
On one of their annual trips to Newport News, the Blankenships met me for lunch at the Crab Shack Restaurant on the James River (photo right) and turned the scrapbook over to me so that its contents could be copied and preserved on a compact disc (CD). Having the necessary professional quality equipment and technical skills for that task, our CNC First Decaders webmaster, Ron Lowder, carefully dismantled the scrapbook, photographed each fragile page, created the CD, and reassembled the scrapbook. He then returned the scrapbook to me, along with the CD, and I eventually got the scrapbook back to the Blankenships at another reunion. This article begins a series based largely on that material.
The above photos are of rehearsals for two one-act prize winning plays written by Frances Kitchen that were the first plays performed by the Dramatic Workshop students, in February of 1965. The first picture (left) is from page 32 of the 1965 Trident, which did not identify the students or the play being rehearsed. Dalton's scrapbook includes this same picture, but also identifies the actors as (L-R) Gwen Seidler, Pat Henry, Scottie Fitzgerald, Carol Riley, & Ronnie Hunt and the play as "Spring--1622," set in the Jamestown Colony. Pat (Patsy) Henry Buckingham is deceased. Scottie and Carol have not yet been located.
The photo on the right is one of several glossy 8 x 10 pictures in the scrapbook that I have seen nowhere else. It shows a dress rehearsal of "Cold Harbor--1864," set in Civil War Virginia. The actors are (L-R) Julie Osborne, Gwen Seidler, Rob Hampton, & (on the floor) Norman Blankenship, playing a wounded Union soldier. Julie and Rob have not yet been located. These two photos demonstrate the historical value of the scrapbook.
When I first learned about her scrapbook, Dalton Blankenship told me that she was “the unofficial historian” of CNC’s Dramatic Workshop. I think she actually deserves the title of official historian of those first two years of student drama, for nowhere at Christopher Newport University, to my knowledge—nor in any of the 3 books thus far published about the history of CNC/CNU—have I seen the amount of historical information about CNC’s Dramatic Workshop that she has documented in this scrapbook.
Everyone who uses computers needs to know about this NEW computer VIRUS! Even the most advanced programs from Norton or McAfee cannot take care of this one. It appears to affect primarily those who were born prior to 1950. This virus is so rampant that even the most advanced anti-virus programs cannot take care of it. It appears to attack based on information gathered from your computer system...primarily your birth date. If you were born before 1950, BE ON THE ALERT!
1. Causes you to send the same e-mail twice.
2. Tricks you into sending a blank email.
3. Causes you to send an email to the wrong person.
4. Makes you send an email back to the person who sent it to you.
5. Makes you forget to attach the attachment.
6. Causes you to hit "SEND" before you've finished writing.
7. Forces you to hit "DELETE" instead of "SEND."
8. Tricks you into hitting "SEND" when you should hit "ATTACH."
SCROLL down a bit between # 8 and this LAST LINE.
IT IS CALLED THE "C-NILE VIRUS."
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Published September 18, 2020
A CUCKOLD(n.) is a married man whose wife has been unfaithful to him, an adulteress. Shakespeare's comedy Love's Labours Lost includes a song about spring which alludes to the origin of this word: "The cuckoo then, on every tree,/ Mocks married men; for thus sings he,/ Cuckoo; cuckoo, cuckoo: Oh word of fear,/ Unpleasing to a married ear!" "Cuckoo" is the oft-repeated mating call of European male cuckoos. Most species of cuckoos are polygamous, and the females of many species habitually lay their eggs in the nests of other kinds of birds. The word Cuckold is from Middle English cokolde (c. 1300; spellings vary), derived from Old French cucuault.
BLAST FROM THE PAST
Published September 7, 2020
Dr. Jane Chambers, Editor and Head Writer
Ron Lowder Sr., Webmaster
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