Nancy Hurst, Joe’s beloved wife, died of pancreatic cancer in
Our much-anticipated 45th
Reunion: Cutting the ribbon to open
Friday began with a business meeting covering the usual subjects, but concentrating on the theme of our 45th, our Class gift; and introducing the theme of our coming 50th: our Class history and affiliation activities with respect to the Class of 2009. Jerry Jervell has agreed to be editor-in-chief of the 50 Year History Book, and he has great credentials, having edited Bazooka, the chronicle of our cow trip. Jim Satterwhite encouraged us to sign up for the marchback from the plebe hike with the Class of 2009 next August, and hoped we could put it over the top with 59 (for ’59) participants. Sandy Beach spoke eloquently of the Band of Brothers’ care for families of deceased classmates, and Sue Breen encouraged contact with and participation by the distaff side, both active and widows. We gave Distinguished Graduate awards to Bob Riordan for keeping us so well informed on military medical concerns that he is probably the nation’s preeminent expert on the subject; to Jim Walsh for his outstanding work as our Class Secretary and webmaster; and, later in the day, to Fred Malek for his service to our Class and to his community and our country. Then it was onto buses for the West Point Club and lunch.
Next it was off to the
Gurr at dedication of Rocky’s memorial in the
Saturday morning found a busload of us leaving an hour early for dedication ceremonies in the Jewish Chapel, which most of us had not seen. New windows were dedicated to Bud Steinberg and Bill Lehrfeld (and two of Bill’s relatives who had gone before him), and moving remarks were made by Bill’s sister, by Bud’s three daughters, and by Hank Larsen and Bill Schwartz. There were refreshments afterward in the beautiful chapel, and then we were back on the bus for The Plain.
It was a Regimental Review, with skydivers, a cadet crack drill team, and then the splendid corps and the USMA band. The Class of 1964 was also in the reviewing line, gave a demonstration of squad drill, and almost equaled our “uniforms” of khaki trou, blue blazers, WP tie and broad-brimmed straw hats. We were a sight and got lots of applause from the stands (probably our wives, girlfriends and families). We wound up with a photo shoot, and then it was off to Washington Hall (in the cheap seats) for lunch.
45th Reunion: L-2 on the steps of
the 47th division: Back
Hurley, Duggan, Dawkins, Tennant; Front
row: Riordan, Salter, Passarella,
We sat in the nosebleed section of Michie Stadium, directly above the corps and the rally band, and had a great time. There were the skydivers again, landing standing on the 50 yard line, and the most fantastic girl acrobatic cheerleaders doing serial somersaults with good cheer and lots of fireworks and canon booms. Halftime was a moving remembrance of the tragic 9/11 three years before, and a dry eye was hard to find. We talked about it on the buses back to the hotel.
It was back to casual dress that night for the farewell dinner and hop with 50s music. We sat with different classmates that night, as we had at other meals and on the buses. There was much agreement with Pete Dawkins, who opined from the podium that it had been our best reunion ever.
Marchback 2004: Leo, Russell, Turpin, Larsen, Satterwhite, Coen and Eberhard.
I had to agree. Spending time with old friends was remarkable. I rode with Jerry & Sandy Fogel on one bus trip; Will Weber (who had bicycled to the reunion from Oakland, CA, with Larry Palmer); and with Sean Cummings, with whom I had spoken at Bill Guild’s funeral in 1984 but not so much as the hour’s bus ride afforded this time.
We owe, and have offered, a great deal of gratitude to the Reunion Committee, chaired by Bill Fitzgerald, for the most memorable of our reunions.
Howard Stiles reminds us that
the mini reunions are equally as memorable as the big ones and he recommends the
ski mini this spring. Lenny Katsarsky said that there would be an
At this reunion, we renewed our prayers for our children and grandchildren who are in combat and in this world’s peril.