ALL49 1 APR 18
HAPPY EASTER! March winds are, hopefully, over and we now face April showers.
It is an odd happenstance this year with the dates of different observance of religious events. Lent, Ash Wednesday, and Mardi Gras led the way and Maundy Thursday, Tenebrae and commencement of Passover on Good Friday evening have gotten us to Easter morning. This year is on April 1st, which unfortunately always is identified as April Fool’s Day. That won’t occur again for a few years.
I have been in communication with Bud Ince’s daughter Ann about his services in St Andrews Chapel at the Naval Academy 10 am Friday April 6th. Committal of his cremains will be at the USNA Columbarium with honors following his services. Ann has arranged parking for ‘49ers, wives, and widows in front of the chapel until 2:30 pm. To reserve a space, contact Ann at 1-202-270-1803. Later that afternoon will be the first Spring Brigade of Midshipmen Parade on Worden Field.
Bill McFarlane’s memorial service will be 10 am April 14th at St. Mark Presbyterian Church, 10701 Old Georgetown Road, North Bethesda, MD with internment with Military Honors after his service at 11:30 am at Parklawn Cemetery and Memorial Gardens, 1800 Veirs Mill Road Rockville, MD. The family will receive ‘49ers, wives and widow attendees at luncheon and dinner following internment. Please advise Catherine McFarlane if you plan to attend at email@example.com or call 973-223-9231.
Bill Sawtelle’s obituary is on the class website. His services were held March 24th, but disposition of his cremains has not been decided. Talking to his wife Karen, she said they had a beach home in North Carolina and was thinking of spreading his remain in the water offshore. I told her about two unsuccessful attempts for that by classmate’s families during onshore winds. I recommended she contact Commander Fifth Naval District (or 1-866-787-0081) and request a ship sailing offshore to perform the burial.
Funerial services for Elinor Thomson and Bill Dotson, whose obituaries are on the class website, in Arlington National Cemetery are not yet scheduled.
I plan to convene an Executive Committee meeting April 16th to discuss:
> 70th Reunion Scheduling
> Reunion Event Planning
> Class Financial Status
> Class President Nominating Committee
> Item on Ship Collisions
> Other Agenda Items Submitted
You are invited to submit agenda items. Please cite objectives of your submission and supporting rationale, if needed.
A Council of Class Presidents meeting is scheduled April 30th. I plan to attend and sit on the “dinosaur” table as usual. If you are concerned about anything within the Alumni Assoc., advise me and I will try to contact the responsible member.
The number one problem is the failure of the Alumni Assoc. to enter changes to communication links of our members. This includes home addresses and telephone numbers, smart phone numbers, and email addresses. In my case, everything in our class directory is correct except email addresses. I have three: firstname.lastname@example.org is my primary address. When travelling email@example.com is my Apple laptop. My backup to my primary is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Problems with others’ links are: moving without changing their address (even from one apartment in a CCRC to another apartment) or failing to have USPS hold their mail while on extended travel. When your SHIPMATE is returned, you are listed as “Address unknown” and are deleted from the SHIPMATE mailing list.
Nothing could be finer ….
ALL49 1 MAY 18
April hit the extremes during the month with continuing blasts of Canadian Blue Northers coming down from the Midwest and adding more snow to records already set in the Northeast. However, temperatures reach the 80s toward month’s end. In between the Northers were tornado laden fronts out of Texas and the Gulf of Mexico that reached up into Virginia. The schools in Lynchburg were closed for three days because of road blockages by fallen trees leading to schools and along school bus routes. Of course, the April showers bring the flowers in May and the daffodils and azaleas are now blooming here.
Events in April
I attended Bud Ince’s funeral April 6 in Annapolis. During a Memorial Service December 23 in Madison, VA I had told attendees (mostly civilian and church members) that when a dignitary or flag officer departed a ship there was a bosun piping him ashore, while side-boys and those near the gangway saluted. I asked two men in uniform to stand to the side of Bud’s cremains and others in the church to stand and serve as additional side-boys. I gave the “. . . fair winds and following seas . . .” with a “hand salute.” Everyone saluted ending on “two.” At the Service in St. Albans Chapel at USNA and cemetery for burial people attending the Madison service remarked about Bud’s service. I regret not actually having a bosun to pipe him over the side.
April 14, I was in Rockville for Bill McFarlane’s services. There were four generations of family there, his landlords for the last 30 years from West Palm Beach, and me. The service was a celebration of life, with his son Bill III at the rostrum with a guitar. His wife and daughter joined him singing appropriate hymns, followed by providing memories of his dad. His brother Robert, and sister followed, then nieces and nephews. I was asked to provide my memories. My first thought was when we were in primary flight training and in a in a cocktail lounge near the air station listening to a pianist play, I mentioned how pretty she was, Bill said wait until we get to Corpus, that’s where the pretty girls are. He was right. That’s where I found my blue-eyed Texas beauty.
I told one of Bill’s grandsons that Bill had been a dancer in the Masqueraders at USNA in the late ‘40s BW (Before women). That was no surprise. However, when I told him guys wore wigs, dresses, and high-heel shoes and danced with other guys, he was shocked and got others to listen to my memories.
April 16, I held an Executive Committee meeting via email basically to refresh members of the status of agenda items previously tabled.
Agenda Item I – The meeting was convened at 1000 with a quorum present.
Agenda Item II – ’70 Reunion Status. Scheduling remains in a tabled status with the June date and a fall date with Navy playing an away game. Navy plays Notre Dame at South Bend November 16, 2019, which could be a cold time and to close to Thanksgiving. The schedule for American Athletic Conference will not be available until January 2019.
Agenda Item III – Reunion Event Scheduling. A planning schedule in in draft form. Another survey will be conducted next January to determine number of classmates, wives, widows, family, significant others, and caretakers will attend and what days and number of rooms are required. An informal welcoming get-together is planned in hotel hospitality room. A tour of the Naval Academy with be the next morning of changes with stops at the Museum for an hour, then stops at the Mid Store and others TBD. Back to the hotel for rest or luncheon venue (TBD). Late afternoon there will be transport to Alumni Hall for dedication of our Class Crest (to be procured) and mounted those of other classes. This will be followed by a cocktail party in Alumni Hall. The Reunion dinner, a memorial service, and farewell luncheon depend upon selection of reunion date.
Agenda Item IV – Class Financial Status. The Alumni Assoc. Class of 1949 had a balance of $20, 722 when audited 20 Sep 2017. This pays for mailings, reunion activities. They also have a ’49 House maintenance account of $166,578.
The Class has two accounts at Navy Federal Credit Union. The checking account balance as of 20 Mar 2018 was $3,596.66. This account is used for class operations; e.g. Executive Secretary incidental costs in producing our SHIPMATE column, The Presidents costs of operating the website, office supplies, travel to meetings in Annapolis and funeral services. His 2017 costs of $3,363.20 also included travel and postage costs related to nominating our DGA candidates.
The NFCU savings account balance was $32,686.72 as of 20 Mar2018. This account has two sub-accounts, $9,966.72 in regular savings and $22,720 in the Contingency Fund donated last year by 36 generous classmates and widows.
Agenda Item V – Class President Nominating Committee Assignment. I established a nominating committee of Carl (Zeke) Sebenius and Dick Wolford with Mort Neely as chairman. Rick Claytor proposed the committee be dissolved and to elect me President for Life by plebiscite. The EC members concurred with his proposal. I agreed if the plebiscite included a provision to submit alternate candidates. You are aware of the results. I appreciate your confidence in the things I have been doing. The nominating committee was dissolved.
Agenda Item VI – Ship Collisions. (This was an informational item.) With the consul of Ed Briggs, I wrote a From the President item for our SHIPMATE column concerning the collisions of McCain and Fitzgerald with commercial ships. My concern is if maritime and naval warfare training at the academy is now insufficient to train junior officers for the Navy’s surface warships.
Agenda Item VII – Other Agenda Items Submitted. Paul Laric reported that he isn’t getting enough input from classmates and widows for our SHIPMATE column. I proposed we challenge everyone to write articles on when and how they made the decision to marry. I will do my part.
Agenda Item VIII – Adjournment. With no other business to discuss, a motion to adjourn was approved 1345 16 Apr 2018.
29 April 2018, I traveled to Annapolis meeting with Bill Bennett and Ursula Vosseler regarding ’70 Reunion planning. With the wait until January 2019 to set the date, decisions on many activities planned must be delayed until then.
30 April 2018, I attended Council of Class Presidents’ meeting. With classes in the 50s joining those of us in the 40s, the ‘dinosaur table’ is filling up. I learned that: there are 25 majors students choose from; 7 minors; and 4 specials (such as Chinese). International studies are available via exchange programs, as well as the other military academies and universities in the US. The Athletic Association has several prep schools in that good athletes, mainly football players, attend to improve their chance to play at Navy. Jim Webb withdrew from being a DGA selectee rather than disrupt the induction ceremony. The drop in ’49 House maintenance fund was due to a major leak in the roof into Bill Dawson’s office.
Boo Thiele died in Irondale, Al April 3, 2018. I talked to Malc passing the condolences of the class. His daughter is handling things, has my contact information, and website LINKS to agencies.
Walt Schriefer died in Virginia Beach, VA Friday 27 April 2018. His son called me. Ruth is all right but not taking phone calls yet. I gave him contact information also.
We are now at 173 living graduates with status of four unknown.
Nothing can be finer . . .
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 . . .