Seemed like a good day to begin, as this was the day we began as 2LTs back in 1958. Ed Weckel helped be get started by requesting checks for the Class Endowment Fund in memory of deceased classmates. On the list was my plebe roommate, Bob Stinson, first contribution of 58 to the Ghostly Assemblage. Bob died of Hodkins cancer on 14 May 58.
VN Memorial Service. Our 12th annual memorial service for 13 classmates killed in SEA was held on 20 May. This year we focused on Floyd Spencer, Jr (KIA 31 Jan 68). Floyd III & his wife Danita joined us for the service and brunch at ANCC. Three B-2 files Don Johnson, Jerry Prochaska and Dick Schonberger provided great stories about Floyd. When Floyds body was recovered, his class ring and Bible were missing. These were later recovered when US forces overran a VC base camp. Floyds ring was donated to USMA Library display of class rings to represent 58.
Advanced Planning 19 May 2002. Next year we will focus on Ralph Wensinger 59 (ours until a victim of Solids in Jan 57). We are inviting 59 to join us for the service and brunch as we celebrate the life and service of Ralph.
A-1 Micro 17-20 May. Excerpts of Roger Waddells report follow: Our first company reunion was hosted by Barrie & Mickie Williams of Williamsburg. Having volunteers to take charge is probably the most influential factor in choosing a location (Scribe says AMEN). I believe we are the only company with all of our 24 graduates still alive. In fact, we are the only A-1 class from 55 through 61 with all grads still living. Part of that longevity can be attributed to the stress free environment of Company A-1. Part can be attributed to our good eating habits and rigorous exercise programs that have kept us all looking just as we did when we left West Point (if you believe this, Scribe has a bridge for sale).
(We stayed at) the Williamsburg Hospitality House. A black, gold, and gray sign pointed the way to the well-provisioned Redoubt. Barrie & Mickie had scanned and enlarged our Howitzer graduation photographs. The photos were mounted four to a frame and placed around the walls. At the end of the room there was an American flag and the A-1 guidon Barrie had borrowed from the current A-1 Tac. There was also a poster-sized enlargement of our First Class Howitzer company photo. And another of us in fatigues and helmet liners taken on an excursion to Constitution Island while we were Plebes.
We were pleased that two of our Tacs could join us. COL Trevor W Swett, Jr, USA-Ret 49. He was Tac for Cow Year. LTC Daniel W. Hickey III, USA-Ret 46, our Plebe and Yearling Tac attended with his wife Pat. LTG Evan W. Rosencrans, USAF-Ret 48 was unable to attend. However, at our 40th reunion we linked up with him (his 50th) for pictures on the steps of the first division.
Others joining us for the Friday night cocktail party were Ron & Barbara Bellows (K-1), Tony & Billie Nadal (F-1), Dick & Jan Price (B-1), Bill & Bobbie Williamson 61 (A-1) and Williams sons, Tom and Steve with their wives Leah and Tammy.
We had 17 of our 24 graduates, 16 wives and 37 total attendees. I think our previous high for a 1958 five-year reunion was 12. Present were Bill & Phyllis Brown, Jim & Fran Davis, Don & Sandy DeJardin, Don & Marge Garrett, John & Judy George, Jack & Henriette Gordon, Ray & Pat Hanson, George & Ginny Klotzbach, Fred & Patty Mayer, Lee & Betty Miller, Herb & Betty Puscheck, Jim Ryan, Jim & Marilyn Sigler, Jim & Miyuki Wade, Roger & Laurelei Waddell, Barrie & Mickie Williams, and George & Barbara Yurick. Jim Ryan was accompanied by his sisters, Sally Reardon and Jane DAlterio. Their son, Roger, Jr. and daughter, Becky, accompanied Roger & Laurelei Waddell. Jim & Miyuki Wade came from Germany, beating out Don & Sandy DeJardin from California, for distance
Those in A-1 unable to attend were Bill Brower, Don Edwards, Bill Foulkes, Bill Melnik, Kelly Robinson, and John Stone. We had 15 go Army and 9 go Air Force. (Scribes question: is there another company with 9 or more AF files?)
I had brow-beaten the guys into writing 1-2 page bios to be delivered to the reunion describing their last 43 years. We ended up with 19 of those bios.
I brought a 750 ml bottle of Courvoisier Napoleon cognac to be dedicated at the reunion and maintained by company-mates until being consumed by the last surviving member of the company. I later thought that leaving that large bottle for the last surviving old soldier might have disastrous results. Therefore, I also bought a 50 ml bottle of Courvoisier VS Cognac. At the Saturday night dinner it was nearly unanimous to drink the good rather than wait for the last survivor to drink to the Ghostly Assemblage. We retreated to the Redoubt and drank it as we sang a few verses of Benny Havens, Oh, The Corps, The Ballad of Rodger Young, Blood Upon the Risers and other songs.
At our Saturday night dinner, George Yurick handed out framed Civil War prints to several former room-mates in appreciation of their friendship and to our company commander, Jim Davis. He also had a framed USMA crest for the first keeper of the Memorial Cognac, Roger Waddell. Jim Ryan provided a show and tell with a cadet cap, complete with hatbox, that he had purchased. The cap belonged to David S Babcock, 23. The cap emblem was from the era before the eagle was changed to face the current direction. Babcock was a survivor of the Bataan Death March and was among those who died in a POW ship 9 Jan 1945 after being attacked by friendly aircraft. Great group, great weekend, great report. Thanks, Roger!
H-2 Micro in San Antonio 3-6 May. Ours was hosted by John & Suzy Soper. Attending were Clyde & Ethel Brown, Rich Clements, Jim & Betsy Hall, Joe & Peggy Luman, Bill & Mary Jane Parks, Phil & Lynn Pryor, Joe McElroy, Mike & Delores Riordan, Garry Roosma, Will & Sandy Roosma, Denny & Shirley Sharon, George Sibert and the Sopers (13 classmates). Sadly, six of our grads plus one former cadet have joined the Ghostly Assemblage: Bob Stinson (14 May 58), George Walker (31 Jan 59), Will Marshall (24 Apr 60), George Hussey (KIA 4 May 70), Strube Jackson (30 Sep 83), Bob Baker (6 Feb 92) and Jack Madigan (9 Jan 99). Those AWOL from Reunion Formation: Joe DeChant, Bob Dey, Jack Downing (medically excused for successful aortic surgery on 27 Apr), Lou Prime, and former cadets Bill Harrison, Ed Linkiewicz and Fred Ruffner (also medically excused with angioplasty and stints in early May). Riley Moore 59, one former cadet not located, Dick Walker (found in English at the end of Plebe year) and one special case account for the 30 who joined H-2 in Sep 54. Out of space see photos.
|1. B-2 standing tall at the Wall
2. L-R: Lee Miller, Herb Puscheck, Jim
Ryan, Jim Sigler, Rube Waddell, Jim Wade, Barrie Williams and George Yurick
3. L-R: Jim Davis, Don DeJardin, Don
Garrett, John George, Jack Gordon, Ray Hanson, George Klotzbach, Fred Mayer
|4. L-R: Fran Davis, Sandy DeJardin, Henriette Gordon, Marge Garrett, Judy George, Ginny Klotzbach, Patty Mayer|
|5. L-R: Betty Miller, Betty Puscheck, Marilyn Sigler, Laurelei Waddell, Miyuki Wade, Mickie Williams, Barbara Yurick, Pat Hanson, Sally Reardon (Jim Ryans sister)|
|6. Betsy & Jim Hall on River Walk|
|7. Bill Parks & Denny Sharon on River Walk|
8. H-2 Golf Team & Coach L-R: Art
Mace, Garry Roosma, Denny Sharon, John Soper, Phil Pryor, Joe Luman, Bill Parks, Will
Roosma (3 USMA Golf Lettermen: Mace, Soper & Parks)