Warrior Spotlight

Throughout the year, we hear from Warriors who have some interesting news to share. As we receive that news, we'll post it here to share it. These are listed with the news we've received most recently at the top, not by graduating year. Send your news to webmaster@wakefieldalumni.org and we'll post it.

John Abbott '65 has just had the 2-volume Second Edition of his Old Time Radio book "The Who is Johnny Dollar Matter" published by BearManor Media. His book is a detailed record of one of Radio's most popular series, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar.
The book is available from Bear Manor Media and from Amazon as either a soft-cover or hard cover book. It is also available from Amazon in Kindle Format at:
Volume I
Volume II
Details of the books can be found here.

Alan Steele WHS '70 has brought to our attention that Wakefield educator, administrator and wrestling coach, Vic Blue, is being inducted into the Virginia Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in April. The Virginia Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Banquet will take place on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at Virginia Crossings Resort and Conference Center (100 Virginia Center Parkway, Glen Allen, VA 23059) tickets can be purchased at va-nwhof.ticketleap.com/banquet2018.

We've heard from Louis Mayo WHS '73 that he will be inducted into the Bowie State University Sports Hall of Fame in June 2017. While at Wakefield, Louis was on the football and track teams. In 1973 he broke Wakefield's track and field record in the field of shot put and won The Northern Virginia district championship under the coaching of Mr. Nathaniel Avery. Congratulations to Louis. (posted 3/13/17)

Dear Warrior Nation
Sharing great news: It is with great honor to announce that Marcia Richardson, girls varsity basketball coach, will be inducted into the University of Maryland's Hall of Fame on Friday, October 21 at 6:30 pm. The induction ceremonies will be held at Riggs Alumni Center at College Park (UMD). Marcia was a standout women's basketball player at Maryland from 1981 to 1984 under coach Chris Weller. She scored 1,630 points back in the day when the ladies played with the men's ball and there wasn't a 3-point arc. With that kind of scoring, Marcia shot 50% from the floor and over 70% from the free throw line. She still remains one of the program's all-time leading scorers. Her impressive accolades include:

  • US Olympic Sports Festival - Syracuse, NY 1981 (Played for the East Team)
  • Member of USA Dial Jr. National Team in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1981
  • Starter on the Final Four Team in 1982
  • First Team All-ACC Tournament Team 1982
  • ACC Tournament Co-MVP in 1982
  • Member of the USA Jones Cup Team in Taipei, Taiwan in 1982 (Silver medalist)
  • Three-time ACC Championships - 198, 1982, 1983
  • Ranked #4 All-Time in scoring for UMD
  • Named to the ACC Legends Team in 2005
  • Named to the ACC 50th Anniversary Team
  • WNBA - Invitation from Houston Comets to try-out in 1996

What an awesome honor for Marcia. Congratulations to Marcia and some of the Wakefield family will be in attendance to help her celebrate her achievement.
Go Warriors & Go Terps!

Sharing Great News: It is a great honor to announce that Drew Powell, Wakefield Grad ('12) and former quarterback, recently signed a pro-football contract to play in Sydney, Australia! Drew will be playing for the Sydney Express. Their season begins October 9th. Drew will once again be in the quarterback position. Drew played for Livingstone College in Salisbury, NC as a standout in the same position. A link is provide below to an earlier article written in the Sun Gazette. Wishing Drew a very successful and health pro career! Go Sydney Express & Go Warriors!

Class of '88 alum Allison Umminger has recently published a novel, American Girls. An interesting article about Alison's book can be found at:

An online description of the book says:
"She was looking for a place to land.
Anna is a fifteen-year-old girl slouching toward adulthood, and she's had it with her life at home. So Anna "borrows" her stepmom's credit card an runs away to Los Angeles, where her half-sister takes her in. But LA isn't quite the glamorous escape Anna had imagined.
As Anna spends her days on TV and movie sets, she engrosses herself in a project researching the murderous Manson girls - and although the violence in her own life isn't the kind that leaves physical scars, she begins to notice the parallels between herself and the lost girls of LA, and of America, past and present.
In Anna's singular voice, we glimpse not only a picture of life on the B-list in LA, but also a clear-eyed reflection on being young, vulnerable, lost, and female in America - in short, on the B-list of life. Alison Umminger writes about girls, sex, violence, and which people society deems worthy of caring about, which ones it doesn't, in a way not often seen in YA fiction."

1963 - Thanks to the generosity of a group of '63 alum, Wakefield's Interact Club was able to brighten the Christmas of students who might otherwise have had no Christmas. The "Lunch Bunch" (a group of '63 grads who get together regularly) and members of Theta Service Club from '63 donated $500. This along with some other money raised was used to provide gifts to students at Wakefield who might otherwise have not gotten any holiday gifts. The Interact Club was able to help all the students on the list their sponsor had been given. Almost every item on the students' wish lists, from necessities to some fun things, was provided. The Interact Club members had a great day wrapping all the gifts and appreciating the support they got from Warrior alumni.

Writer Kat Spears is proud of her time at Wakefield. Even though she didn't graduate from Wakefield, she thinks of herself as a Warrior. Wakefield is the name of the High School in her first book. In preparation for a visit to meet with students at school, she wrote:
"I dropped out of Wakefield at the start of my 10th grade year and did one semester at HB Carver before dropping out again and enrolling in NOVA and working a job at the library. I ended up leaving NOVA for full time work when I was 18 and then waited almost ten years before returning to school at UMD to get a B.A. and then an M.A. at American University. I got my GED when I was 28 when I was a few months shy of getting my B.A.. I like to talk with students about why that was my personal path and that it was ten times harder to get where I am because I didn't do well in school and push myself when I was younger. I needed the struggle to make it work for me. I talk about how important my education is to me and also that it is okay to have a path that is different from everyone else, as long as there is a destination in mind and real, hard work involved in getting there."

1957 - This year Jim Wiberg, celebrated 50 years of ordained ministry at Augustana Lutheran Church D.C., New Hampshire Avenue and V Streets, NW. in Washington D.C. Jim's family has roots in the congregation that go back almost 100 years. As a young member, he served with other members on the "Operation One-Mile" outreach effort to begin the task of serving the community. Jim's last call before retiring to Colorado was to an international congregation in Vienna, Austria, serving English speaking people from every major continent of the world. Before going to Austria as an Associate Missionary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Jim served congregations in Vacation and Tourist Communities in Wisconsin and in Upper Michigan. His outreach programs to tourists and vacationers included the launching of a Floating Chapel on the Eagle River, WI Chain of Lakes; outdoor campground and resort worship services, an Arts and Lecture Series, and a Ski Resort Chaplaincy in Upper Michigan. He was the recipient of the 1995 Gustavus Adolphus College Congregational Service Award for his work with victims of Domestic Violence. He received his B.A. degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN and his M.Div. and D.Min degrees from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He and his wife Luray, have four children and 7 grandchildren.

1963 - The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) announced the selection of Edward J. Mello for the NVFC Lifetime Achievement Award. Ed joined the Ballston Volunteer Fire Department in Arlington in 1963 and rose through the ranks to become Chief in 1980. He soon became the Chairman of the Fire Chief's Committee of the Arlington County Firemen's Association, Volunteer Coordinator for the Arlington County Fire Department, and an Adjunct Instructor with the Virginia Department of Fire Programs. Ed was one of the many volunteers who responded to the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. After relocating to Canada, he joined the Grimshaw (Alberta) Volunteer Fire Department in 2007 as a Training Officer and remains active as a firefighter, instructor, Safety Officer, and Fire Prevention Officer. He was also appointed to the volunteer position of Deputy Director of Emergency Management by the Town of Grimshaw. In addition, he is the Operations Officer in the Emergency Operations Center during major emergencies, teaches Home Emergency Preparedness at the local adult learning center, and is a Board Director and newsletter editor for the Fire Investigation Association of Alberta. His many accolades include Arlington County Outstanding Volunteer (1984), Outstanding Achievement in Fire Service Training (1989), and Training and Leadership Award (1995) from the Arlington County Firemen's Association, Fire Chief's Award of Excellence (2007) and Fire Fighter of the Year (2008, 2013) from the Grimshaw VFD, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).

1956 and 1957 - Peter Arntson '56 and Paul Hammack '57 were recognized at the Annual Meeting this past June for being members of the Virginia State Bar for 50 years.

1958 - Tom Evans wrote "My world has gone Boom!" Tom was the photographer capturing the historic climb up El Capitain in Yosemite National Park this year. Tom wrote: "The climb that I am shooting in Yosemite has captured the imagination of the world and I have been sitting in my hotel room in Yosemite answering emails requesting information about the climb from every media outlet in the fregging world! The NY Times did an article about the climb yesterday, where I was quoted several times, on the front page of the sport section. Since then the Times of London, Good Morning America, NBC CBS NPR and every paper with circulation of more than 10 people has me in their sites. It is crazy! ABC did a 4 minute clip on the climb this morning. Here is a link to the NY Times article. Seems like I have become the front man for this event to the world! It is well covered on my own website the elcapreport.com but the world wants more and more and more."

1961 - Esther Greenfield writes that her book Tough Men in Hard Places has been published. It is a collection of 151 vintage photos showing how men braved avalanches, snowstorms and rugged mountain terrain to bring electric power to Colorado. It can be found on Amazon.

1959 - Andy Barker has created a photography book of Kamakura, Japan. John Wertime ('59) wrote to us about his classmate's book. John says it contains sixty pages of aesthetic delights and cultural insights that few publications can match. Andy has been a longtime resident of Japan and is a well-known photographer. According to John. This book is not only a visual treat, but an astute introduction to the Japanese love of nature, ritual, and color, as well as their refinements in living, dressing, and building. A Google search will produce reviews of the book and an App on ITunes.

1970 - Linda Ciccolella Marchman has written a book, Gone Astray, about a cat that is shuttled around as a kitten, winds up in an animal shelter, runs away and faces rejection and abandonment, encounters some of her former friends, and experiences unbridled joy and contentment in her travels. You can also visit www.socialbtrflies.com to find out about Linda's butterfly business.

1966 - Laura Coulter Thomas reports that in September 2013, her 3rd generation homebred Arabian yearling gelding, Khorsani LA, culminated a short but winning show year by capturing the 2013 U.S. Arabian Sport Horse National Championship Purebred Arabian Yearling Colt/Gelding class. Laura and her husband viewed the September National Championship title as a 43rd wedding anniversary gift from their horses since the win took place two days after their anniversary. If you want to keep up with the many accomplishments of Laura's Arabians, you can view their web site, ladamasarabians.com.

1963 - Bill DeCosta ('63) is not idly sitting around in his retirement. He has written a booklet titled "Hoboes and Tramps in the 1890's: Washington , D.C." In 1895, there were 4,137 vagrants committed to the Work House in the District. Some said that conditions there were worse than the city jail. In January 1899, for instance, there were 314 inmates for 216 beds. Bill talks about the different areas where these people had camps in the area, resources that were established to help them and how they were dealt with in the legal system. As part of his research, Bill identified 3,000 individual homeless people from this period and turned that information over to libraries. His pamphlet lists some of the more colorful. John Kelly of The Washington Post wrote about Bill's book and research in his August 11, 2014 column. According to Kelly, Bill became enchanted with this lifestyle when he was a boy and his mother brought home a book for him from the library called The Jungle. His mother thought it was about animals or Tarzan. Little did she know that it was about "jungles", which is the name for the makeshift camps where these people lived. The Wakefield Alumni Association has a copy of Bill's pamphlet in their archives.

1962 - John Solomon writes that after retiring a little over four years ago, he and his wife sold their house and cars and purchased a sailboat. They lived on the boat for over three years, spending winters in the Bahamas, sailing between the islands. In the spring, they would sail back to the east coast of the USA and spend the summer and fall going up and down the coast spending most of their time in the Chesapeake Bay. They have now sold the boat and are in the process of moving to Richmond.

Staff - Jim Vandelly wrote to say "When you are really bored, you can go to YouTube and type in Jim Vandelly, or Jim Vandelly Award, and see what I've been up to lately. (hint: Music!)".