P A R T I E S !!
bottom & links
Let's face it.  Guys have to wear pants all the time, but gals can wear anything they want.  And do anything they want.
What's normal for girls wouldn't fly if a guy tried it.  And Harvey Shelton proves the point --
to the amusement of the assembled multitudes, right Betsy?

Left: Emily Blessing Sayers   center: Betsy Leahy, Harvey Shelton.  This and the others are from the
Aprés Homecoming Game Party, October 1959

at Maggie and Amanda Ross's house.

Emily Blessing and Joe Sayers have lived on both coasts and in between.  Emily has been a “certified house nut” all her life.  She graduated with a degree in interior design and designed and built their own home in Southern California, among others.  She and Joe supervised the restoration of their biggest project ever, and everyone is invited to come for a getaway weekend. Joe and Emily Blessing Sayers '60

1959MHS-SpringvaleParty-JohnBudlong-OctHomecoming-250.jpg     1959MHS-SpringvaleParty-TheoVeenkampPiano-OctHomecoming    
left: John Budlong.  Right: Theo Veenkamp (click on any photo to enlarge) 

The Budlongs were Theo's adopted family during his year at McLean High School.  Theo was our American Friends Service Committee (AFS; a Quaker group) Exchange Student from the Netherlands, a place where, unlike New Orleans, the dikes hold. 

Theo Veenkamp (& Eli)

Theo writes,"When I applied for the AFS scholarship which brought me to McLean High I intended to study nuclear physics after returning to the Netherlands. When I actually went back I registered for political science at the Free University of Amsterdam. That change of direction had a lot to do with my  year at the US. Not only your society but  also the classes in government, history and sociology which I took at McLean High opened my eyes to a new world in all its positive and negative aspects. I became utterly fascinated by the challenge of governing an ever changing and complex society and I decided to become a public servant in the widest sense of the word. That is basically what I have been doing ever since.  .... The things we did together, the fun we had together, the long and endless conversations, the friendship and love; they all belong to one of the most uplifting experiences in my life, and in the end they have been the most decisive in shaping my year at McLean High into the year of my awakening.   So I returned to the Netherlands as another person. Of course at that time I did not realize this fully.  .....  . From 91 to 93 I was director in Brussels of the TEMPUS program of the European Union, set up to support higher education in Central and Eastern Europe in the transition from communism to capitalism after the fall of the Berlin wall. From 93 to 98 I was general director of the Netherlands Authority for the Reception of Asylum Seekers, the most turbulent job of all. Since 99 I am director of the strategic think tank of the Ministry of Justice."

Theo has retired (2005) and might be sympathetic to invitations to visit!!
theo.veenkamp at planet  dot nl, short for nederland

John Budlong

John had summer jobs ("interned", we would say today) at a local electronics manufacturer (MelPar, where Bernie Spector '60 had a career; now part of Raytheon).  John built his own oscilloscope from parts.   An oscilloscope is a TV-like display that draws any unknown electrical signal on the screen--the voltage going up and down, spread out (left-to-right) across time--so that you can see its waveform or shape, and measure its frequency, etc.  Some of us had cars that cost less than one of those.  John's dad wasn't very supportive of his love of technology, so John built his own oscilloscope from scratch.  Many people  were awed at what John knew and built in electronics, but apparently his father was not one of them.  

John's home-brew oscilloscope was fast enough to use in his Science Fair project to measure the speed of light.  The time it would take a flash of light to go from his setup behind a building on Chain Bridge Road to a reflector on the Haycock Road FAA towers and back again was not much, but John's home-brew oscilloscope would be able to separate the pulses and measure the delay.  If you work in military radar, you can appreciate the problem.  Somehow (with the help of legendary teacher General Rumbough)  Budlong scrounged a corner-cube retroreflector for Haycock of the kind the astronauts later placed on the moon.   Because of trespassing, theft, and sabotage by another student, this project was never completed and John measured the speed of sound instead, but that's a story for another time, another Web page, another collection of photos from the archives.  

In true garage entrepreneur style, John founded his own company and put out his first product.   John built an  accelerometer connected to the same kind of calculation circuitry as the accelerometers in an ICBMs (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile) guidance systems.  Missile nose cone guidance systems are also called inertial navigation systems.  But, instead of figuring out where the missile was, John designed his inertial navigation system to be bolted to piles being driven into the ground for major civil engineering construction projects (think skyscraper foundation).  Using the data, civil engineers could know exactly when to stop pounding on the pile because it was stable enough to support the coming building.  In fact, the data were so good you could resolve the soil and sediment layers the pile was going through on its way down.  The main output gave the depth of the pile and told the operator when to stop driving.  After all,  if you count up (integrate) the time you have been accelerating, you know what speed you've gotten to.  If you know how fast you're going, counting up the time tells you how far you've gone. 

1959MHS-SpringvaleParty-MaggieRoss+LanceRStewart-guitar-OctHomecoming     1959MHS-SpringvalePartyAfterHomecomingGame-AmandaRoss-OctHomecoming    
left: Maggie Ross '60 and Duke dePlanque '60.  right:  Amanda Ross, '61.
Thanks, Hunter L and Danny H for name fix.

"It was great seeing the photos. Remarkable that we had color back then.
Also hair."             james.o.howard at  gmail dotcom

For me, the cat's meow was always an invitation to the little house on Springvale Avenue.
A sophisticated mother and two beautiful daughters -- what more is there? 
I listened to Ferlin Husky, Thomas Wayne, Jody Reynolds  -- they listened to Frank Sinatra.
The party began right at the front door, in a room with an upright piano & a checkered floor perfect for dancing.
Wrap-around window seats to sit and talk were in a room at one end, and a kitchen for snacks at the other.
It was originally a mail-order house from Sears and Roebuck, maybe even a little run-down.  We helped Mrs. Ross paint it.
Today, median household incomes have been over $100,000 in the area for over ten years, and there are solid acres of houses over three million dollars each.
I couldn't care less. 
A house is worth the life it holds.

(OK, here's what you were looking for:
Ferlin Husky sang "(Since you're) Gone", 1957
Thomas Wayne and the DeLons sang "Tragedy", 1959
Jody Reynolds hit was "Endless Sleep", 1958.)      
(Use the browser's BACK button if you go out to a music player and never come back.  Sorry about that.)                    


100 Springvale Avenue, then and now (Oct 59, June 05). 
home page for McLean60 Web pages

rev 10/05  Mar2011    28Nov2016