Pictures at end of column
139th Column. 29 Dec, 5th Day of Christmas and you will read this in Mar-Apr Assembly during Lent. Talk about warping time.
Sad news first. Those on the class email net know we lost another June Lady on 9 Nov when Cynthia Claflin joined husband Alan in the Ghostly Assemblage. In addition to her June Lady distinction, Cynthia was an Army brat born at Ft Sill, OK. Her father was BG Essman ’33. Her son is Bob ’85. Third-generation grad Bob is now a LTC stationed in G8, PA&E, Pentagon. He reported his mother’s death and the sad news spread by email. Cynthia was buried at West Point on 17 Nov. Cynthia and Alan long lived in MD (DC area) where he worked for AEC which morphed into DOE labs, from which he retired in 1999. The DC class contingent misses them both. An excerpt from their entry in 30th Reunion Book: “Cynthia and I were married immediately (1-1/2 hours) after graduation. Not long after I do remember driving down a one-way street in NYC the wrong way.” Quick start and then overcame a risky beginning driving in NYC! Our sympathies are with Bob and his sister Catherine.
Richard E Manning, a victim of Spanish at the end of Plebe Year, died on 26 Nov. Again, the email-connected group learned this sad news from Dick’s son, Matt. Matt has been helpful with additional information. His brother Bill was USAFA ’82 until a football-damaged knee caused his discharge. Bill lives in NC. Matt himself was a CPL E4 in the Marines and now lives in Suwannee, GA. Another Marine veteran is sister Lisa who was a SSGT E6. Their other sister Melanie lives in Colorado as does Lisa. Dick’s wife Barbara lives in Lilburn, GA where she and Dick moved after his retiring from the GM Lakewood Plant in Oct 1989 (30 years with GM after Georgia Tech). As many will remember, Dick was one of our Prepsters and was appointed from the AF. An excerpt from GM Lakewood Retirement Club message about Dick’s death: “Richard ‘Dick’ Manning never met a stranger and knew most employees at the Lakewood Plant by their first name. Never at a loss for words, Dick would always give a smile and a hand shake. He would go out of his way to help or be of assistance to any of us at General Motors. He would always listen when anyone had a problem, personal or business, and wanted to talk. Over the years his advice helped many. Dick will be greatly missed.” To which we can add familiar words, “Well done; Be thou at peace.”
Not this dire, but sad nonetheless is the news that Tex Lenart had a heart attack in Nov and that his mother died two days after Thanksgiving. He is also having memory-loss problems. Fortunately for him, Gary & Mary Kosmider are helping Tex with such necessary arrangements as updating his will, living will, medical power-of-attorney, etc. And fortunately for us, Gary has kept the class informed via email. Thanks to Gary, Tex has been inundated with cards and letters. He appreciates very much the concern and best wishes of classmates. It is great to know that classmates are helping Tex just as others helped Red Warner. This is one way to measure the value the membership in ’58. Thanks from all the rest of us!
Writing during the 12 days of Christmas permits using the following from the pen of Tom Taylor:
'Tis the time before Xmas, and across the internet,
Santa's mounting his sleigh, drawn by old vets.
"Up Leo and Brinson, the might from the right.
Let your vitality haul on throughout the long night.
On Toby, Tancredi -- Serchak with your mirth;
Salisbury and others wishing peace on this earth."
Peace we've all warred for during decades gone by,
Like the sleigh we imagine, unreal in the sky.
Eileen & Norm Monson reported on the fires in San Bernardino to Jerry Lewis:
“Thanks for asking about us. We sat here and watched northern San Bernardino burn up, watched the Fontana fire spread westward, watched the northeastward movement of the fire that eventually made it to Crestline and Lake Arrowhead, and, with the exception of one bad day, never had a smoke-filled atmosphere at our place. Nevertheless, there was a lot of concern here due to the uncertain wind shifts that, if conditions changed, could have brought the fire to us. As it was, we remained pretty well south of the danger, with the closest fire coming about 5-10 miles from us. You know it was pretty bad when both the airports at LAX and Lax Vegas had their operations affected by the smoke. My son just came back from visiting a friend tonight who lives in North San Berdoo. He saw first-hand the random destruction that burned some houses and left neighboring houses untouched. All in all, it's been a rough week, but we're in the ‘count your blessings’ category.” Thanks for some good news from classmates.
Jerry, the Monsons, Ceda & Palmer McGrew and Tony Bauer attended the Leaders Conference at West Point in Aug. Palmer’s report via email is posted on the class web page (I think). Photo and following story via Jerry: “My only problem was taking pictures in a forbidden area, the barracks, and the area by Grant Hall. The MPs about tore me apart. I was walking with some other grads and legally exiting the South/Central area, when an MP yelled at me for taking a picture of the Cadet Beauty Salon sign which I did not succeed at. I was detained for 15 min. My camera and film were not confiscated. It's funny, but when we entered the barracks area at the North end, the MP only checked our drivers' licenses. My camera bag was very obvious. This guy looked like he could make the Army football team, but still he wasn't sure if photos were forbidden.” The one provided of ’58 files attending must have been legit – fortunately, there is no Beauty Salon sign in it.
Book report. I have mentioned classmate authors in earlier columns. Here is another one for you, Herb Puscheck. His book is “Virgin Voyage, Lessons Learned Circling the Globe at 15 Knots.” He mentioned the book to me at Alan & Florence Salisbury’s Army-Navy party. I asked for a copy to send to the AOG Pubs collection. From Herb’s Forward: “Spending four months crowded together with more than four hundred unfamiliar Americans on a Canadian tour aboard a Romanian ship with a Greek crew and a Russian support staff on a cruise none of us had taken before may not strike you as a great bargain, regardless of price, but my wife and I and another couple jumped at the chance—and we’d do it again, but we’d do it a little differently. Let me tell you why and describe what we experienced.” I had to read it before sending it off to AOG Pubs. Fascinating story. I recommend you read it to experience Herb’s sense of humor and keen insights as he & Betty visited seven continents in four months at the near-glacial speed of 15 knots (Nov 99 – Mar 00).
That’s it for this edition. I bought a disc of photos from the 45th. Now to figure out how to use them – tough for digitally-challenged Scribe. Sent two others earlier for good luck.
Photos & captions:
1. '58 at Leaders Conference -- Jerry Lewis front & center, Tony Bauer, Ceda & Palmer McGrew, Eileen & Norm Monson
2. Gonzo Compadres at C-1 All-Class Reunion Oct 03, taken by Patty Densford
3. OIC Benny Havens Room
4. A-2 at 45th
Note: photos number 3 through 7 taken by Academy Photo
USMA Box 102
West Point, NY 10996
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