Nearly 100 percent attend reunion

Published 8:06 am Friday, October 8, 2010

All but one of the nine surviving members from the Newsoms High School Class of 1951 attended the recent 59th class reunion at Grey Fox Restaurant in Franklin.

The ninth classmate — Mattie Cutchins Bradshaw from Nags Head, N.C. — fell ill the day of the event, but had planned to attend.

It was only the third reunion for the class, which had 15 graduates, said classmate Marion Drake Poole of Franklin. The first reunion was for the 25th anniversary, and a second followed five years ago.

When asked why they chose the 59th year for their reunion, Poole said “because we could get everyone together.”

It took about six months to plan the event.

Classmates G.T. “Tommy” Morriss came from Bloomington, Minn., while G.T. “Billy” King came from Lewisburg, N.C. Others attending were Shirley Simmons Sneed, Jackie Ellis Vann, Sylvia Bradshaw Funkhouser, Mary Catherine Vick Andrews and Mildred Baugham Arrington.

Class members who are deceased include Betty F. Joyner Brock, Joyce Gray Harrell, Barbara Ferguson Thorpe, Mamie Vick Nelson, Charles Vaughan and Herbert Vick Jr.

Poole said she isn’t sure if the class will meet for its 60th reunion.

• Got an e-mail from Franklin Middle School teacher Ricky Wright after publishing a photo in my column last week of a dead poisonous cottonmouth moccasin. Vera Barnes submitted the photo after finding the snake at the end of her driveway.

Wright apologized for the uproar the snake created.

While scouting for deer, he came across two of the snakes in a swamp not far from Vera’s home and decided he didn’t wanted to run into them again come hunting season.

After disposing of the snakes, — one was 52 inches and the other 57 inches — Wright placed them in the back of his truck. He didn’t know the one had fallen out until seeing Vera’s photo in The Tidewater News.

“I knew it was the snake,” Ricky said about seeing the photo in the newspaper. “I clearly had seen the bullet hole.”

Vera assumed the snake had been run over and submitted the photo to warn residents.

According to the website Wikipedia, cottonmouth moccasins are found in the southeastern United States. Adults are large and capable of delivering a painful and potentially fatal bite.

They are usually found in or near water, particularly in slow-moving and shallow lakes, streams and marshes.

GWEN ALBERS is managing editor of The Tidewater News. Her e-mail address is