Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were our horror in September, and Bill Breen was on the scene in Louisiana helping with the human disaster. He was a FEMA Disaster Assistance Officer and was on site as of August 30. Susan said he was due home for R&R on September 28, and would then be redeployed on October 10. Bill said he was establishing and supporting field morgues. FEMA has a list of experts in the field who do what Bill calls the “technical work,” and he serves as a sort of headquarters commandant. As Rita approached on September 22, Bill was hoping they wouldn’t have to evacuate with the hundreds of remains in their possession. None of the Army schools prepared him for this, he says. And, I’m told, Tom & Ann Russell spent a couple of weeks helping out in Mississippi.
Bill Breen with FEMA in Louisiana.
Charlie & Nancy Hayes are in Bethesda, MD, where Charlie, perhaps our Class’s earliest computer expert, has a solo government affairs practice representing six clients before the federal government with respect to the high performance computing business. He still is an auto maven (he gave me my first ride in a Porsche shortly after graduation or maybe before), and he now also does woodworking. His life is very busy, he says; he enjoyed seeing everyone at the A-1 picnic last spring; and he loves his work so much that he will never retire so long as his health holds out.
Bill & Carol Luther were among the classmates welcoming home our troops from Iraq for their two weeks R&R last June. The Luthers were selected to serve at the USO and WP Society of Atlanta event at the Atlanta airport on June 24, and they were stationed in a booth near the entrance where the troops entered. Even the families were required to keep their distance behind a rope. They gave each returnee an AT&T 100 minutes phone card and then directed the troops to baggage claim, car rentals to drive home, or to the desks for connecting flights. What a nice thing to volunteer for.
Luthers and Charles Stewart ’63 welcoming home troops.
Mike Gillette sends the picture of John McNerney, the Gurrs and the Gillettes, and says that it commemorates the XXII (Mike’s notation) anniversary of the Great Falls (Virginia) Hash House Harriers, a branch of the global movement picked up by Gurr when he was a Great Falls resident. Mike says they were honored to have their founder, who has now moved to more retirement like climes, present at this anniversary.
McNerney, the Gurrs and the Gillettes at their Great Falls reunion.
Jerry & Geri Hilmes live in Sarasota and are very much involved with the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), of which Jerry is the Sarasota chapter president and on the national board of directors, and Geri is on the “Support Our Troops” committee. Jerry has given up golf (not enough fun for all the time spent), but both of them are still passionate about the military, with three sons following in Jerry’s footsteps for incentives. Travel is frequent, with their kids and grandchildren taking them to parts of the world new to them. They see John & Elaine Guthrie, who moved to Sarasota from Lake Tahoe with the Hilmes’s encouragement about a year ago. And they frequently see the Naples contingent – Bill & Joyce O’Meara, Roger & Rinny Ware, John & Pat Eberhardt, Bob & Maryann Ranalli, Bill & Carol Benagh, and Randy & Maryann Bell. George & Beth Kleb are frequent visitors, and Greek & Kit Johnson visited recently from North Carolina. Jerry says diet and exercise (do we have the same doctor?), yard and garden work keep them fairly trim. They’re regulars at their club’s fitness center and are still trying to ease into retirement.
John & Kathy Harkins, whom Polly & I are always happy to see at the A-1 and Friends Picnic each year, spend their time between their home in Harrisburg, PA (May through December) and their snowbird winter home in Vero Beach, FL. When they are in Harrisburg, they spend at least one week a month at their summer home outside of Harrisburg. And they try to take one trip a year, either by ocean cruise or land cruise, to somewhere they haven’t been before. John likes to grow tomatoes in the summer, and he and Kathy play a lot of duplicate bridge wherever they are. John still plays tennis and has taken up golf, but Bill Breen, who has a golf get together in York, PA, says John can’t hit the golf ball with his tennis racket.
Ray & Mandy Fisher are other A-1 Picnic attendees we like to see, and they live in Mechanicsburg, PA. Ray says he is a model railroad nut, and enjoys participating with other enthusiasts in operating model railroads, usually one provided by one of a group of six to 25 guys who get together and do this from time to time. They have passenger and freight trains, long distance through freights, local running with road crews yardmaster and a dispatcher. Ray uses his computer efficiency and his color laser printer to help a lot of the guys set up their synchronized paper work and timing schemes to make their sessions work smoothly. Ray sees Bill Breen frequently as Bill joins them for some of their railroading sessions, and Skip Schow when he comes up for a nearby model airplane flight competition. And, of course, the Rowes and the Hilliards are only 15 miles away.
John Grinalds sent the photo of him and Roger Donlon taken at the Citadel on February 25. The occasion was a parade in honor of the Society for Military History, which Roger was to address the next day, and he was one of the people honored at the parade. John and Roger were both in C-1, and they had not seen each other since 1957.
Johnny Grinalds and Roger Donlon at the Citadel.
We had a gala class weekend in the DC area on October 22. There was a class committee meeting at the Institute for Defense Analyses in the afternoon, hosted as usual by Frank Campbell, who still works there; and all of us got into the well-guarded place successfully, eventually. Pete Dawkins was in London, so Nick Krawciw chaired the meeting in his usual efficient manner. There was a report by the flag and flag box committee (Tom Roberts), and a briefing on the 50th Reunion planning given by the czar himself, Jerry Fogel. The general format is still in the option stage, from cruise to hotels and from Graduation Week to April 25 (Retirees Weekend). Expect some survey material in the mail.
Jerry Fogel briefing the Class Committee on the 50th.
That evening we had a wonderful time with Fred & Marlene Malek at their beautiful home on the Potomac, and the turnout was around 100 happy souls. Fred spoke and gave us a warm welcome in his usual gracious manner, and Krawciw and Walsh presided over a brief recap of the class committee business, standing on a balcony draped with a class banner brought by Roberts. Jerry & Sandy Fogel, who stayed with Polly & me for the weekend, were centers of attention as czar and czarina of the reunion, and Jerry repeated a part of his afternoon briefing for the assemblage. Frank Campbell was given a Class plaque citing his year’s long exemplary service to the class as its first treasurer and as its lifelong computer guru. They gave me one also as the longtime Class scribe. Frank and I were touched and humbled and, truth to tell, had another drink.
Fogels and the Coreths.