ALL49 4 JULY 2017
Happy Fourth of July to all!
The day of celebration for this great nation has arrived and many of you will be sharing it with your families. Grills will be busy at some homes and some will not. Nevertheless, what started in Philadelphia in 1776 has been observed ever since. The change that has occurred is our generation has turned over the responsibilities of planning and accomplishment of the celebration to mostly our grandchildren and taken a comfortable seat on the sidelines. Watching those “little people” - - our great-grandkids - -romp around is a wonderful pastime. The day will probably end with a variety of fireworks displays which most of our generation will be watching on the National Mall on television from our favorite easy chair. Wherever you are and whatever you do, I wish you a happy day.
Last month I wrote of my early June attendance with Liz Dixon at her Randolph Macon Women’s College (now Randolph College) reunion. She sent me pictures of the dinner I’ll put on the website.
I was in Annapolis during the middle of June attending Catherine Train’s and Bob Brady’s services. Catherine’s service, as with other services I’ve attended, the number of ‘49ers was sparse. Besides Harry, his roommate, John Donlon, and I were the only ones there. However, there was a sizable number of attendees attending with many having worked for Harry and his daughter, Elizabeth RADM (Ret). It was interesting talking with those that had worked in the intelligence field with Elizabeth. They were quite awed by my answers given regarding how things were 50 years ago.
Bob Brady’s service was a Celebration of Life at Ginger Cove followed by a private committal at the USNA Columbarium. Bob was one of our stalwarts in Annapolis, especially in luncheons at Carrols Creek over the years.
My big accomplishment in June was winning a battle with the IRS regarding 2015 taxes. I use TurboTax and when filing I got the message it couldn’t be e-filed. It was sent by mail. A letter from the IRS reported a problem in one of a listing of possibilities. A year of silence followed. Filing my 2016 taxes TurboTax couldn’t e-file because of a form I used. Concomitantly, the IRS rejected the form because of a 65-day deadline for its receipt – according to the Code. Never having read the Code, my submission was two days late. I wrote the Cincinnati office, who referred me to a number that was in the Ogden office. The agent agreed with my position and that was the same problem that wasn’t identified by the IRS for 2015 taxes - - their office! A check arrived June 30th. I have now written another letter to the Ogden IRS to resolve the 2016 situation in the same manner.
Those of you receiving Shipmate should also be reading the June – July issue. There are a few things I would like to bring to your attention. Mickey Gussow has been a frequent provider of items for the website and Shipmate. Paul Laric normally decides whether it is short enough to publish in our column or whether I put it on the website. The one in this issue about Arleigh Burke is lengthy but quite historic. I thank the editors for their consideration.
I also thank them for the reprint of the picture of the Blue Goose with captions. Unfortunately, a double whammy has occurred. The tale of the Blue Goose was relayed by Bill Trueblood, Don’s younger brother. Bill died before the item was published. The captions on the reprint of the Blue Goose have Jerry Thomas as one of the principle participants. Jerry died June 7th.
Erling Barsness died in Bay City, TX May 23, 2013
Bob Brady died in Annapolis, MD June 1, 2017.
Kelly Davis died in Nashville, TN October 13, 2004.
Jim Matheney died in Austin, TX April 13, 2017.
Calvin Norman died in Largo, FL February 2016.
Jerry Thomas died in Sacramento, CA June 7, 2017.
Catherine Train died in Norfolk, VA June 3, 2017
Nothing could be finer . . . .
ALL49 1 SEP 2017
August was not a good month weather-wise, but spectacular with the solar eclipse August 21st crossing the country from Oregon to South Carolina. Over 200 million people viewed either the total eclipse from under its path or partial eclipse hundreds of miles to either side of its path. Being 300 miles north of its CPA (closest point of approach - to those of you who didn’t do well with maneuvering board problems), my attempts to photograph the event were futile. However, I’ve learned how to get usable photos in April 2024, if I last that long.
HARVEY was the worst hurricane/tropical storm to hit Texas since 1961. I haven’t heard from our Class of 1949 family members in that area yet. The Buckinghams (Tyler); Bill Coldwell, Mary Smith, Bill Norris, Nancy Machell, George Walmsey, and Belle Pantle (Houston and surrounds); Shizuko Young and Susie Smith (Georgetown); and Jim Scott (Corpus Christi) are in the hard-hit areas. Those living westward should still be communicating.
Bob Titus, living in Reno, has started to unpack boxes that were packed when he left Las Vegas many years ago. From one box, he pulled out a 16-inch movie reel he has hauled around since 1961 when he was the leader of a group of scientists that wintered over in Antarctica during Deep Freeze 1961 as part of the International Geophysical year. (I’ll give you a report of that in an input to Shipmate or the class website later.) The film was of the thrilling 1946 Army-Navy game with the one-win Navy team against an Army team unbeaten for 3 years with Navy 4 yards and 1-minute from scoring. Rather than toss it in the trash, he asked if we would accept it as a donation to ’49 House. I advised him to mail it to me, but recommended it go to the Football Hall of Fame in Ricketts Hall where more people would see it. Besides it being a historic football game it was historic for wintering over in Antarctica 56 years ago.
I contacted Chet Gladchuk and he gladly accepted the offer. Maybe he thinks it gives a view showing Pete Williams scoring on that last run. I presented the reel to him and asked Bob Titus to provide a little history of the film in Antarctica to accompany it on display.
For years I have been looking at names on our class listing of widows of ‘49ers who remarried. I had identified the ‘49ers they had been married to for all except one. This month I learned that Jean Lacouture had been the wife of Homer Leroy Smith. I attended her services in St. Andrews Chapel August 16th and had the pleasure of meeting members of her and Homer’s family. (Her obituary is on the class website.) I had known Homer at USNA and crossed paths with him during our early flying days. He was shot down in Vietnam in 1967 and was seen being captured, but it was never reported. During the Paris Peace Talks it was learned he died in the “Hanoi Hilton” the day after capture - - an ominous occurrence. His remains were returned and buried in the USNA cemetery in 1974. Jean later married John Lacouture ’40, who died in 2010. As she always wished, she was buried next to Homer August 16th.
House cleaning is also underway in Chesterfield, MO. Clyde Winkler, a company-mate at USNA before he resigned, called me with a batch of memorabilia of his USNA days. Never knowing which end of the rainbow has the “pot of gold,” I accepted his offer. Of course, there was lengthy time on the telephone reporting the status of all guys in Company 1, 13, and the breakup to 19 and 20 our first class year. The list of living was short, but the list of deceased generated a lot “how and when” questions. I mailed him a Class Directory 2015, which is sadly out of date, and a listing of surviving graduates which is now down to a single page.
I attended the memorial service for Mickey McDonald in Annapolis August 25th. It was more a Celebration of Life with son Brad manning the podium, followed by sisters Devon and Sheila, then their children and spouses, and climaxing with the introduction of Ewing Raiford III. Joining with the McDonald clan were more members of our Class of 1949 family than I’ve seen in two years. “Dobby” Dobson’s widow Jennifer, “Voss” Vosseller’s widow Ursula, “Pooley” Woods widow Peggy, and widowers Bill Bennett, Rick Claytor, and me. During the reception Bob Brady’s son Mike and Jim Watkins son Courtney reported in to me. A “standing room only” crowd of friends, neighbors, and former shipmates also were paying their respects. The last two years I normally see Peggy at services in Arlington and see Ursula at services in Annapolis. And my thanks go out to classmates who attend services of our class family in other parts of the country representing the class. It means a lot to relatives of the deceased that a member of our class is there representing those who can’t be there.
I’m still having trouble with my email services in my Wi-Fi house. My most reliable addresses to use are email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org .
There are many things that have been postponed this year that need to be accomplished. I am using this as a call for an EC Meeting and invite your input of items to be addressed.
My report to the EC of the status of information relevant to choosing the date of our ‘70th Reunion. As of now, only the Jun 2- 5 period and Oct 24-27 a non-football weekend (Navy is playing at Notre Dame at 3pm) is known. Other weekends won’t be known until next year.
Rick Claytor, Exec VP, will report on status of Reunion Committee establishment. Your participation and/or inputs to events to be scheduled are invited.
Al Frost, EC MAL, tabulated results of your responses to our query on expected attendance last year. You are requested to keep him informed of any changes.
I will report the status of meeting my Contingency Fund goal, and balances of our AA Class Account, ’49 House Maintenance Account, and NFCU Accounts.
Paul Laric, Exec Secretary, will report on Shipmate column production and status of our Solace Giving initiative.
Jean Smith Lacouture in Alexandria, VA August 8, 2017.
CAPT Ewing Raiford McDonald, Jr. in Annapolis, MD August 16, 2017.
LCDR Harry Fredrick Sweitzer in Wayland, MA August 3, 2017.
We now stand at 193 living graduates including five of whom are “status unknown.”
Nothing could be finer . . . .