MAY 2005

            The Citadel will have to forego pushups for every touchdown by its president, our Johnny Grinalds, because he and Norwood are retiring come August.  They plan to take some time off to enjoy themselves until the end of the year, and then John will begin to concentrate on taking over as head of school for Porter-Gaud School in Charleston next June 1.  It’s a K-12 school of 940 students and promises the Grinalds’s an interesting last hurrah, says John, before they finally retire some years hence.  Maybe, come to think of it, the pushups will continue.  They are very busy at this writing bringing the academic year to a close and planning a move into a house they’ve bought in Charleston.

John Grinalds, president of The Citadel.

            John enjoys flying his Piper Cub and he was planning to fly to a grand Cub reunion in June at Lockhaven, PA, where the Cub was originally manufactured.  He planned also to go to Oshkosh in late July for the big fly-in held there each year.

            In February, says John, he had the great honor and pleasure to be treated to a magnificent dinner hosted by Bill O’Meara in Naples, FL, for him, the Klebs, the Eberhards, and the Hilmeses.    He says they had a wonderful time, and that he is so proud to be a member of our Class.  The feeling is mutual, John.  He and Norwood hope that classmates will stop to see them in Charleston or, in the summer, in Cashiers, NC.  He will take us flying or golfing, whichever we think less dangerous.

February Class Committee meeting:  Walsh, Breen, McNerney, Day.

Bill & Bobbie Fitzgerald are in Fairfax Station, VA, where Bill says he is enjoying a retired life.  His “retired life” includes some substitute teaching at one of the local high schools, sailing up in Maine, running in some marathons, and getting serious about golf.  (I hope my retirement is less strenuous.) He sees Washington and Northern Virginia classmates quite often, and is looking forward to the march back in August.  (Joe Hurst writes that he is also marching back, and encourages the rest of us to make it 59 from ’59.)  Bill has also seen Dick & Bucky Maglin and their daughter Paige, son Mike and his wife Mercedes for dinner in Tampa over the Christmas holidays.  Mike is in upper management of the Melting Pot restaurant chain; and that’s where they, and the Fitzgeralds’ daughter, Jane, and their two teenage grandchildren, all dined.  Num.

February Class Committee meeting:  Dawkins, presiding, with Faber, Schow, Robinson, Hutton, Riordan, and Jervell.

            Mike & Elizabeth Gabel, who have now been married for 45 years (Polly & I, too), are in Decatur, GA, where Mike still runs his law firm, teaches at St. Leo University, and works with the Atlanta chapter of MOAA, as past president and current VP and JA.  His passions are “winning cases in court and insuring that folks like Barbara Boxer and Michael Moore have minimal impact on this great country of ours.”  He sees Don & Mary Ellen Reinhard often, and he wants us to know that his grandson, Matthew Berry became an Eagle Scout on January 29.

            George & Kathleen Friedel have downsized and moved into a 55 plus community in Allentown, NJ, where George has joined a barbershop chorus.  (Ah, to be 55 again.)  He is working part time and slipping into retirement from Parsons Brinckerhoff., he says, but escalating his private consulting practice running sales programs for large law firms.  He enjoys fishing with friends off the New Jersey coast, and building WWII era model airplanes.

George Friedel indulging his passion for fishing, with a friend.

            Vic & Sherry Fernandez are in Colorado Springs, where Vic says he is enjoying a new life.  His activities are golf, prison ministry, fishing, playing guitar, riding his bicycle, and racquetball.  Whew.  He is our regional rep for Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming; and is past president of the Pikes Peak chapter of MOAA.  He is the Deputy Grand Knight of the local council of the Knights of Columbus, and has a great interest in supporting Catholic religion, ethics, and morals.  He has supper regularly with Bill & Ann Pollock, plays golf regularly with Don Smart and Jim Taylor, is a member of the Pikes Peak Roundtable with Freeman Howard, and has occasional contact with Hugh Servis, Marty Plassmeyer, and Lou Schroeder.

Camp Smith, NY, National Guard NCO Academy training detail, 1958.

Larger Picture

            Alex & Linda Grant have moved to a retirement community in Lincoln, CA, a town about halfway between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe.  The community is full of diversions, says Alex, with all sorts of sports, bridge and card clubs, traveling and wine clubs, and everything else to make them feel like they are on a permanent vacation at a resort.  He enjoys staying in the best physical condition he can, either playing golf, going to the gym, or walking 2.5 to 4 miles a day.  He and Linda are in a wine group where they have monthly wine tasting and dinners, and they love to check out new wineries in the gold country (not so touristy as the Napa Valley).  And there are plenty of musical and theatrical productions for them to enjoy in the area.  Last August they visited Greg & Judy Kadlec in Twin Falls, Idaho, for several days; and they had a great time wining, dining, and golfing.  Greg was president at the time of the beautiful Blue Lakes Country Club in the Snake River Gorge near Twin Falls.

Alex & Linda Grant, Greg & Judy Kadlec.

            Don & Jennie Gruschow are in Cary, NC, where Don enjoys being what he calls a “ward of the state,” having retired from Tyco last July in order to see if Social Security is really much of a help.  He only misses the paydays, he says.  He keeps busy playing golf, and he and Jennie walk four to six miles on a good day.  Being newly retired, they are also busy blowing their kids’ inheritance by traveling the world on cruises.  They did the Panama Canal in January, are doing the Baltic in July, and 26 days to the Amazon in November.  They were planning to squeeze a week in Cancun in April and visit Jen’s family in England in June.  Throw in a few (and growing number of) funerals for contemporaries, regular trips to Atlanta to see the grandkids, and life is anything but boring!  Don says that recently he and Bob DeMont have pretended to play golf together, and Julie & Bob have joined them for dinner out from time to time.  He still attends lunch about once each quarter with the flourishing Knights of the White Tablecloth, who convene at the behest of Lou Hightower.  Other of the knights are Johnny Carroll, Charlie Johnson, John Moellering, Tex DeAtkine, Hugh O’Connor, Bob DeMont and Jim Abrahamson.  Lately, Tex has kept them up on what is really going on in Iraq.  Johnny Wilson has also visited them and was due for another appearance when spring would appear in NC.  In addition to lunch, the stalwart among them play at golf.

Don Gruschow

            Fred Franks was named 9th chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission this last January.  He has been working with Jack Nicholson ’56, who is the secretary (CEO).

            There is more poop, but no more space.  As ever, our thoughts and prayers are with those of our children and grandchildren in harm’s way in the world.