From: JackCampbell "email@example.com"
Subject: usma55bus: SitRep for Class on Recent Activities
Date sent: Mon, 08 Feb 2010 00:28:33 -0600
A SITREP From The Class President
*Flash Weather Report: - almost like "Gloom Period" in the Hudson Highlands circa 1955*
- Having served three tours in the Pentagon in earlier years between 1964 and 1979, and then retiring in Alexandria, VA, in 1987, with almost 23 years under our belts in the region, we thought that we had seen the "Mother of all Snowstorms" a few times, even as early as Veterans Day, 1987, one of the earliest seasonal snows over the years. But, the two day storm that just passed last night was near tops, wherein it snowed steady for about 30 hours, without letup, leaving 34" at Dulles Airport and 17.8" at National Airport (Weather station at National is considering moving their measuring point since many have challenged the discrepancy). Needless to say, there are no flights going in or out, nor have there been for two days, with flights across the county totally disrupted.
- Over 200,000 homes were without power (including our own), store shelves looked as if they had been gutted and local roads remain almost impassable in neighborhoods. For Belvoir Commissary, the largest volume Commissary in the system, did not have a loaf of bread or package of hot dog buns remaining on Thursday evening after two days of rush buying, nor a pound of ground beef, or a single banana, not to mention, other produce and frozen foods that were exhausted. I saw one gentleman with an entire cart with nothing but bottles of 7-up and gingerale - probably Super Bowl purchases.
- In our complex, the storm cleared last night and the sun rose brightly this morning to thousands of pieces of equipment on the roads trying to clear the traffic arteries before the Monday crush, since most government offices were closed on Friday - and all major school systems will remain closed on Monday, with many outlying systems closed until Wednesday (five days in a row). So, for those of you in warmer climes, give thanks for your sunshine and shirt sleeves. All of this will be a memory for us, come Summer, but we will not soon forget as we pay the bills for the snow removal. The first December storm just cost our small community over $16,000 for one day of plowing and shoveling - expect the two day effort underway now will cost over $20K, divided among 92 residents - but it beats a heart attack at our ages.
*Final Salute to Ray Karam - Arlington National Cemetery - Friday, February 5, 2010*:
- The Karam family and friends gathered at Arlington on Friday afternoon, to render our final salute to our memorable and loyal classmate, Ray Karam. Snow had already been falling for a few hours Friday morning (Arlington funerals go on schedule, rain, snow or shine - with over 30 scheduled each duty day of the year - over 6000 per year) and the roads were icy and slippery, almost like freezing rain, thus the caisson, horses and Air Force band and Honor Guard could not perform for the full honors funeral in the inclement weather. This necessitated the services be abbreviated.
Father Thomas Murphy, Ray's Pastor at St John Neumann Catholic Church, officiated, as he had done for Ray's funeral Mass on December 5. Emily, their children and grandchildren and other family members were all present as light snow and sleet fell across the Cemetery. Classmates attending were, Ted Gay, Rich Miller, Carl McNair and Tom West, who flew up from his Florida Winter retreat to brave the chill day.
Emily's parting comment to us was, had it not been for the weather, we might have gone to JR's Steakhouse afterwards, which was the favorite of the '55 Bunch for Lunch Group that meets monthly here in the National Capitol Region. Ray was a mainstay of that "band of brothers" for years along with Tom West and Chuck Roades. Thus we have now laid to rest another of our renowned and respected classmates. May he rest in eternal
*Schedule for Funeral of Dempsie Davis: *
* - *Peggy Hillebrand, daughter of Dempsie Davis, advised us last week that funeral services for Dempsie are now scheduled for 10:30AM, Thursday, Jul 1, 2010, at the US Air Force Academy Cemetery in Colorado Springs. He will be laid to rest with full honors beside two other distinguished West Point alumni who served in the USAF, BG Robin Olds, former Commandant , USAFA, and LT GEN Dale Sweat, both Class of Jun '43.
- Dempsie chose to be interred at the Air Force Academy since Peggy was a graduate there in the first class of women graduates. Her husband is also a USAFA grad, both retired Colonels, USAF and are now retired in the Colorado Springs area. The Davis family delayed the funeral from December until early summer for good weather, so that Sally, Dempsie's widow, could make the trip which would have been too difficult for winter travel from their home in Spartanburg. Todd Graham is assisting the family with the planning and details in Colorado Springs and will be in touch with our many classmates in that area who are able to attend.
*Visit to Fort Bragg and Fayetteville, NC:*
* - *I had occasion to attend a wedding in North Carolina last month and stopped in Fayetteville to visit the new Airborne - Special Operations Museum. Had lunch with Joyce Reid and Jack and Judy McCloskey to catch up on our classmates in the area - of others, one was down with the flu and one was in his Winter place in Florida - and we can understand why. Had not seen Joyce Reid and the McCloskey's in three years since Don's funeral here at Arlington in February, 2007, another "biting cold" ten degree day at Arlington, braved by Dan Moses, Jack McCloskey and me, with our Ranger tabs to keep us warm.
- Don Reid and other '55 classmates in Fayetteville assisted in building the new Airborne - Special Operations Museum, where Don was also a docent, so it was a treat to visit the museum with Joyce and the McCloskey's and to see the paver Stone's our classmates had installed in the Museum Courtyard in honor of Don and also our first classmate lost in Vietnam, Tom McCarthy. The Museum is well worth the stop if you pass near Fayetteville in your north - south travels on Interstate 95 and Jack McCloskey is an excellent guide.
*Countdown to 55th Reunion* - *95 days to May 15, 2010*
*- **Major reminder actions for the 55th: *
- Class elections for 2005-2010 officers are just around the corner at our Class Meeting on Monday, May 17. You should have received your information from Ed Trobaugh, Chairman of the Nominating Committee, which included the proposed slate of officers. If you did not receive the info either by e mail or USPS, the information is posted on the Class website and we invite your attention and participation in the election process.
- Reunion information was mailed to all in late January and should be in everyone's hands by this time. Again, all information is posted on the Class website, with a current listing of the 61 classmates and family members who in the first week, have already registered to attend. Of these, 16 of our 24 cadet companies are represented, 10 companies and 45 participants from the lst Regt and 6 companies, 16 participants from the 2d Regt , Two companies already have seven signed up and six companies have 4-5 each, so this promises to be another great gathering of '55. Do get your registrations in by the Feb 20, suspense date, so that the committee can begin to lock in our buses, meals and hotel occupancy.
- Check out the Ride Sharing and Room Sharing Registries on the web site. There are already excellent opportunities to rideshare from airports to the Park Ridge or surrounding communities. The Committee looked at a charter bus arrangement from DC, but in surveying potential riders, we did not find enough takers to accommodate the 50 pax bus at the $100 each. Most classmates and families preferred to move independently to visit friends on the way and on into New England for a leisurely week. But car pooling may still be an option for some.
- Everyone should be pleased with the schedule and you will note that the planning committee has left adequate time for catch up for the past five years while also connecting us with all major Academy events. Our memorabilia and special reunion favors will once again be keepsake items. Some special new items will stand out for '55. Rod Vitty and his team have gone the extra mile with distinctive items which we have not been available to us before and are truly unique to '55. I assure you folks in the stands will be able to identify the Class of 1955 at the Alumni Review - we will be distinctive.
*- Contact your friends and company mates: *
* -* Many of you have asked what you can do to help on the Reunion and I would say simply - *You all come!!!!!!.*
- The success of the reunion will be with your attendance, so -* * *
* * REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE!!!!!!!!! *
- In your company, in your city, in your circle of friends and join us at West Point for the 55th for '55.
-* Finally, how about that Super Bowl game tonight?*
* - *Jo Ann and I watched every minute and every commercial as we enjoyed popcorn and bar-b-que. Hope you enjoyed it also.
- I had an ice cream bet with our young granddaughter, but she could not be with us in person due to the snow and road conditions, so she called after each touchdown to remind me that I was losing a Baskin and Robbins cone to her - which I did. But the Colts have won before and the Saints had not. After all, the game was played on Sunday, so perhaps it was fitting that the Saints would win - great game though.
Carl H. McNair, Jr.
President, Class of 1955