ALL49 3 JUN 18
As 11:00 am approached 69 years ago 789 young men were in Dahlgren Hall in service dress white uniforms awaiting the invocation opening the graduation exercises for the Class of 1949. Their thoughts were undoubtedly varied, because this was a unique group of men. Fifty-five were to be commissioned in the fledgling U. S. Air Force, 55 in the Marine Corps, 16 as CEC officers, 214 as Supply Corps officers, and the remainder as General Line officers. One would not be commissioned. He would be discharged as a midshipman to return to Peru for commissioning in their navy. One of the CEC officers was to be the first black to graduate from the U. S. Naval Academy in its’ history.
The raised platform was occupied by CDR Bishop, Chaplain, Superintendent RADM James L. Holloway, Jr., Secretary of the Navy Francis P. Mathews, and Chief of Naval Operations Louis E. Denfeld. Each ready to man the podium for their part of graduation exercises.
Being in Company 19, I was in the second row of the Second Regiment of graduates - - a long way away from Graduates with Distinction - - but close to the podium. My thoughts were whether John Hemann or Bernie Gewirz would be Anchor Man, and how long would the new SECNAV talk as keynote speaker. I’m sure others were thinking about their OAOs and soon to be brides pinning their shoulder boards or other insignia on. Those without family attendees probably were scanning the audience to determine which direction to throw their hats.
Being in Annapolis April 30th, I was tempted to spend the night and attend ADM Stansfield Turner’s service and burial. Stan was a first classman in my company plebe year (CO-1). Being a guard on the football team and a striper most of the year, he was rarely around us plebes and usually “spooned” us when learning our names. Stan was the first USNA graduate I know to receive a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford. (He passed where Clinton failed.) His naval service was superb as was his time as Director, CIA.
My missing Stans’ services were due to preparations for a transatlantic cruise to England via Bermuda, the Azores, Brest, Cherbourg, and Dover. No, Harry didn’t invite me to his wedding, although I was in Heathrow near Windsor during the nuptials. I’m considering expelling him from “the redheaded league.”
Being in Bermuda May 8, I can only say things have changed since the 90s. The reliance on public transportation has almost disappeared with the restriction on personal automobile ownership abolished. In Hamilton I had to go to the post office or library to get on WiFi. And I did something incorrectly because AT&T blocked my service because of “unusual activity.” I couldn’t get online again until at home May 20th.
In Horta in the Azores (Portugal), it was a sunny but crisp, windy day. Being a Sunday, everything was closed except a few coffee shops. We had an outside table and good conversation with other cruisers, although the coffee cooled long before the conversation.
Brest was a German submarine base during WWII. The city was almost destroyed by Allied bombing as were Norwegian submarine pens. Early in the war, Brest based U-boats plied the Atlantic southward to Gibraltar and northward to the English Channel and beyond.
Cherbourg is the gateway to the D-Day beaches. There isn’t much to see on the beaches unless it is an event during a 5-year reunion. The cemeteries of the different Allied Nations during D-Day receive visitors most often. There is a German one few Americans are aware of. They buried their dead close to where fallen.
In Heathrow, awaiting my flight back to the US, the TVs in boarding areas were broadcasting the Royal Wedding. (The bride wore white.) I was afraid “newcomers” to our boarding area were going to start a riot as they blocked the view of others by standing in front of the TV there.
Back home in Lynchburg I got back online with AT&T, never finding out what caused them to block my network access. I’ve apologized to Ruth Schriefer for missing Walt’s memorial service May 11 in Virginia Beach and assured her I will be at his burial services in Arlington when scheduled.
Ruth Lide, wife of Ted Lide, Jr., passed away May 22nd in Greensboro NC. I attended her services May 29th along with Al Thomson and his daughter, Linda. Few people know that Al’s wife, Elinor who died in January, was a friend of Ruth’s in New Jersey during our USNA days. She asked Ruth to accompany her on a weekend she was visiting Al. Al got company-mate, Ted, to be a blind date for her. Many dates later Ruth agreed to marry Ted - - June 4, 1949. Kudos to Al for his matchmaking!
CAPT Edward J. O’Connell, USMC died October 29, 2007. No other information is available currently.
Dorothy O’Connell, widow of CAPT Edward J. O’Connell, USMC, died March 10, 2012.
Ruth Zapp Lide, wife of Theodore E. Lide, Jr., died May 22, 2018 in Greensboro, NC.
Nothing could be finer . . .
ALL49 2 JUL 18
June is traditionally the beginning of Hurricane Season and the Summer Solstice. They both arrived. ALBERTO was early, hitting Florida and the East Coast in late May. The Summer Solstice, being determined by “Old Sol” position, sticks to a tighter schedule. June 21 was this years’ date of arrival. Sunrise hit its earliest time for the year and summer was officially here.
That last statement is key to my message of caution to everyone concerning the dangers of heat and strenuous activities without taking precautions, such as drinking plenty of water, wearing light clothing, avoiding the sun, and programming your outside activities for the cooler hours of the day.
We are all nonagenarians now as our youngest surviving members, Sumner Parker, Bill Wentworth, Bill Bryan, and Joe Ekelund, join we more “experienced” members of the class. The oldest surviving member couldn’t be determined on my “short list” search today, but he is 94 years old. If you guys in that group let me know your date of birth, it will save me a lot of time searching. I’ll find you one way or another.
June Shipmate and ALL49 3 JUN 18
My thanks to those of you for your e-messages and telephone calls regarding my From the President item in Shipmate and June Marriages report via email and my remembrance of sitting in Dahlgren Hall 3 June 1949. Yes, it took some effort to program everything three months in advance June Shipmate mailing and have ALL49 and June Marriages messages ready to go. I wanted everyone to read of the pre-graduation marriages before June 3rd. My copy of Shipmate arrived on June 3rd and I sent my ALL49 not knowing a lot of you didn’t receive Shipmate until days later.
Your help in identifying others marrying in June is appreciated. Errata #3 goes to Gerald Dyer and Lena for adding Orlando A. Wall (D) and Shirley June 3rd in DC to the listing.
Viki Meyrick, widow of Charlie, sent me an email about the June marriages saying her marriage had to be delayed because Charlie was on the Crew Squad and at Poughkeepsie, NY for the IRA Regatta, delaying their marriage until July 2nd. She asked if she qualified for any type prize. She also included information on their adopted “Godson,” Jesse Wong, who is a master chef and has the Asian Bistro in Columbia, MD. To her grandchildren he is “Uncle Jesse.”
I called Viki today telling her that her prize was a Happy Anniversary call from me. We had a long chat learning Jesse and wife Nicole were coming to visit her in Sarasota, FL. During the time Viki will discuss possibilities of him catering a ’70th Reunion dinner in Annapolis or hosting one at his place.
From the description of his cooking, I feel sure I will get to his place when the opportunity arises and enjoy myself. Anyone want to join me?
After the below trip, I stopped in Herndon, VA to see Pete Swanson. He is on a stroller now and stays in his complex as much as possible. We had a nice lunch and a lot of reminiscing to do.
At our ’65th Reunion, Pete Williams gave the game ball (his half) of the 1948 Army-Navy game for ’49 House. He later asked it to be moved to the Football Hall of Fame in Ricketts Hall. Renovation of Ricketts prevented that at that time. Last year I talked with Chet Gladchuk, USNA Athletic Director, and he gladly accepted a film reel of the 1946 Army-Navy game, which had wintered over in Antarctica with Bob Titus during the Geo-Physical year 1960-61.
Last month I decided that “gifting” of the 1948 Army-Navy game ball to the USNA Football Hall of Fame should be as early as possible. Neither Pete nor I is getting any younger. Accordingly, I scheduled a trip to Annapolis to accomplish the move. Mission accomplished.
A strange happening occurred on the road toward Annapolis on Thursday. During the two to two-thirty timeframe police vehicles came racing from behind, sirens going, red lights flashing. They were off both right and left sides of the road. It wasn’t until I turned on the news that I learned of the murders at the Annapolis Gazette office on Bathgate Rd. When I passed the office on Friday the only thing visible was a police yellow tape.
When in Annapolis I normally stay at Crown Plaza Hotel; however, the minimum rate of about $120 had gone up to $276. I thought the annual boat show must have switched from early to late June. No, the Class of 2022 had arrived. The hotels were “soaking” the parents as they kissed their “midshippersons” goodbye. I booked my room in Bowie, MD - - 30 minutes to USNA - - for $140 with breakfast.
Friday, most of the parents had left town, but some were still around the Yard when I was by Ricketts Hall. The parking garage, which was being built next to the Officers and Faulty Club, fell in last year. It has now been corrected and is in use. They would have more parking if they would require students to park their cars at the football stadium or North Severn Facility.
Need I say that I don’t care for the “university” the USNA has become. It is loaded with people whom I doubt really aspire for a naval career. They don’t emphasis maritime sciences and naval weaponry and systems.
Muriel B. Sheppe, widow of Richard W. Sheppe, died 30 May 2018 in Hanover, NH.
Nothing could be finer . . .
Summary of EC meeting 16 JUL 18
The meeting convened at 10:00 am with a quorum present. Absentees were Bill Bennett and Don Lister.
Items II and III on ’70 Reunion Scheduling and Reunion Event Scheduling remain tabled; however, several potential events for Item III were reported. Current plans are to mail out another survey in January to classmates, wives, and widows to determine how many of them will attend the ‘70 Reunion, including family, friends, and caretakers. The survey will also determine hotel room requirements for what nights. What events they and “theirs” wish to attend will also be asked.
Item IV Reported the financial status of The Association for the following accounts:
Alumni Assoc. 1949 House Maintenance Acct has a balance of - $174,772
With Gifts of $7,220 ($2,500 of which was from my IRA Account Custodian), a Management Fee of (-$1,996), and Investment Earnings of $15,451.
Alumni Assoc. Class of 1949 Checking Acct Balance of $20,180
With $288.49 Interest and Dividends earned this FY 2018 to date.
NFCU Checking as of 8 Jul 18 has – $6,997.13
$3.000 of which was from my IRA Account Custodian to cover my expenditures.
NFCU Recreation Savings as of 8 JUL 18 – $32,714.04
With $9,994.04 Regular Savings and $22,720 Donated Contingency Savings.
Item V was a review of the evolution of The Association of the Class of 1949, USNA, Inc. to become a veterans’ organization for management of class business. The objective was to have wives and widows become associate members with rights to serve in EC committee membership positions except president and vice president, with that exception not being applicable if they themselves were veterans.
Recently, I reported to the IRS that The Association was an organization with no revenue or income, all executive officers serving part-time as unpaid volunteers, and with donations of its membership supporting purposes in its constitution. Now we are only required to submit IRS Form 990N(e-postcard) yearly, which basically lets them know The Association is still “in business.” I have access to their website as the “principal officer’ of The Association located at my home address.
Item VI was a problem of our members not keeping their addresses and communication links up to date. My plea to everyone is send Rick Claytor, firstname.lastname@example.org , and me, email@example.com , your present location and correct communication links. We would like to update our Class Directory and correct the Alumni Assoc. database, which is loaded with incorrect information and many “undeliverable” notations rather than addresses.
No additional agenda items were received from our membership.
The EC meeting adjourned at 12:40 pm 16 July 2018.
ALL49 1 Aug 18
August, named for Caesar Augustus, has arrived. Without the capital, “august” is a synonym to noble, prominent, eminent, great, distinguished, et alia. Caesar Augustus was the grand-nephew of Julius Caesar, who had named him as his heir long before that that fatal day in BC43 at the Forum. His name was Octavius and was better known as Octavian as he struggled against Antony, Brutus, and Cassius, all of whom coveted being emperor, to win the backing of the people and Roman legions. Winning their support, he defeated Brutus and Cassius at Philippi, with the losers committing suicide. Twelve years later he defeated Antony and Cleopatra at Actium, with them also committing suicide. That made him the undisputed ruler of Rome. One should not fault him for choosing Augustus for his name as leader of the empire with all the grand meanings of the word “august.” He expanded the empire defeating foes from what is now Spain to the Mideast and Germany to Egypt. Noteworthy, is his reign as emperor lasted until his death August 19, 14AD.
The flipside of the August coin has the “Dog Days of Summer.” The steaming weather is the far west and thundering and flooding storms in the east are just a background for the tragedy and crime occurring throughout the country. As I understand the “dog days” it is signaled by the rising of Sirius headed for the Belt of Orion. I’d check the skies tonight except it’s overcast with storms expected.
Our efforts to correct the Alumni Assoc. database is slowly progressing. There are 454 names in the Class of 1949 listing. There are several “undeliverable” addresses and many that are incorrect, with those people also unreachable. The “undeliverable” means they don’t receive SHIPMATE or Alumni Association mailings. Lack of an email address means you won’t receive what the class puts out. This ALL49 will only reach 215 people. We used to have over 400 receiving our messages. Many of the “losses” are the result of people changing internet services to different companies. Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. are free. I imagine many of our internet losses were to those companies. Two of our class family have been kind enough to provide locational and communication means of friends in their address books. Can you do the same? Too much information is better than none.
The desired information for the AA database that needs confirmation is home address, home telephone, and email address. Smart phone and cell numbers are desired for updating our 2015 Class Directory, but are not listed in the AA database unless it is used as a home telephone. Your receiving SHIPMATE confirms your address, but nothing else.
Custodian IRA Donation
In my report of the Executive Committee Meeting donations to The Association of the Class of 1949, Inc. and to the ’49 House Maintenance account at the USNA Foundation were mentioned. I have received two requests for information on how and why it was done. The “why” question is the easiest to answer – to reduce taxes.
The first objective is to have your Adjusted Gross Income (line 37 on FORM 1041) as low as possible. Your income is comprised of many sources, some of which you have some control over. As an example, interest and dividends are taxed at your tax bracket while capital gains are at a lower rate and can be offset by sale of assets with losses.
If you plan to make charitable donations and have an IRA taxable retirement plan, having the custodian of your IRA send the donation directly to the charity avoids that amount being an addition to your Adjusted Gross Income. It also affects the taxable amount of your social security benefits. I have double the normal amount deducted from my social security for Medicare, which is based on the previous year’s taxable income.
The flip side of FORM 1040 starts with personal exemptions for you and your wife. Being born before 1953 isn’t bad. However, this is where you and your tax consultant should preplan whether it is better to be a contributor, or to keep more money in your pocket. Taking standard deductions may put you in a higher tax bracket, but the increase can be offset by not contributing to charities. Meeting your personal objective must be determined with your consultant. My personal choice has always been to be a contributor.
The “how” question is as easy as contacting your IRA custodian and informing him to contribute the RMD for 2018 to the following EIN charities in specified amounts. Your account statement identifies the RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) for the year and how much has been distributed in that year and previous years. To keep things simple, I round the RMD to the next $100 level. An EIN (Employee Identification Number) is assigned by the IRS to each qualified charity. A master listing of charitable organizations is maintained in an IRS publication. My gift to the Class of 1949 House Maintenance was sent by my IRA custodian to USNA Foundation, which is a 170(b)(1)(A) qualified organization under Internal Revenue Code. That means gifts to them from individuals directly are 50 percent deductible. Mine is not from me personally but reduces my Adjusted Gross Income and included item calculations.
My gift to The Association of the Class of 1949, USNA, Inc., using EIN 52-1688871, was sent by my IRA custodian to Bill Bennett, our Executive Treasurer, who acknowledged its receipt without any benefits, goods, or services provided to me.
This procedure was established by Protecting Americans for Tax Hike Act of 2015. Your IRA custodian and tax consultant can confirm if it is best for you to use.
Judge Richard G. Greenwood died in Green Bay, WI July 1, 2018 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. His obituary is on the class website.
I received my MOAA magazine which listed a John Oesterreicher as dying in CA. With the delay in printing, the death could have been two or more months ago. My last address for him and Betsy is PO Box 425, Diablo, CA 94528-0425. The telephone is out of service and no one has responded to my email. Let’s hope for the best.
Nothing could be finer . . . .