MARCH 2007

Bill Luther, always the faithful correspondent, sends news that the Hawaii mini last October 22 – 29 was a truly wonderful experience, thanks to the efforts of Lenny Katsarsky and Jack Bohman, ably assisted by Honey Jean and Arlene.  Before the mini started the early bird arrivals helped prepare welcome packets for the class.  Bill Benagh, Norm Rosner, and Roger & Sandy Gaines helped put the packets together, and later the Gaines hosted all the early birds to a fabulous dinner at the Sea Breeze Restaurant at the Hickam AFB Officers’ Club.  There were many reunion highlights.  Except for the Class picnic at Bellows AFB, class activities were in the evening.  During the day, most took tours, played golf, and enjoyed the great shopping in downtown Honolulu and the Flea Market.  Norm & Elva Rosner and Bill & Carol Luther climbed Diamond Head and visited the Punch Bowl, our national military cemetery of the Pacific. Others visited sites of note such as the Battleship Arizona at Pearl Harbor. They enjoyed revisiting the Crouching Lion Inn, remembered by many who took their Vietnam R&R visits.  A big whoopee, as shown in the photos from Jim Walsh was the luau at the Hale Koa Hotel, where most of our revelers stayed.  This was the second of our Hawaii minis, and all attendees are hoping for a third. Jerry Jervell sends the photo that includes Pamela Bearce, Reb’s widow, at the first class function she has attended.  Jay & Camille Warren were able to track her down and issue the invite.

Bill Luther addressing the group at the Hawaii mini.

One of the most memorable events of the mini was the October 25 induction of Rocky Versace into the “Gallery of Heroes” in the Army Museum on Battery Randolph at Fort De Russey.  The many moving remembrances about Rocky were highlighted by Phil Huntingdon’s remarks about his old K-2 roommate.  Rocky’s brother, Steve, was in attendance  and also shared remembrances of Rocky.  Rocky is now memorialized forever in his Hawaiian birthplace.

Hash House Harriers and Friends: front row: Dick & Margaret Welsh, Ann Turpin, Elaine & Bob Weekley, Elaine Besson, Felicity Gillette, Joanne Hutton; back row: John & Marge McNerney, Frank Besson, Mike Gillette, and Powell Hutton.  Bill Turpin was the cameraman.

Bill Turpin sends word of the Hash House Harriers and Friends who met for the Army-Navy party and it was a fun gathering at the Gillettes in Great Falls, VA, and they all send regrets about the results.  Next year’s festivities will be hosted by Powell & Joanne Hutton.

Hash House Harriers and Friends:  Felicity & Mike Gillette pass the apron to next year’s hosts Powell & Joanne Hutton.

            Bill & Susan Breen sent a newsy Christmas letter that told that their first grandchild, Mark, entered college.  Despite their disbelief that so much time has passed, they are enjoying visiting him and sharing his experiences as a Rutgers freshman.  Daughter Kerry has informed them that they will be grandparents for the seventh time.  A baby girl was expected in February, and big-brother-to-be, Eric, is interested in having a new playmate, but hasn’t yet grasped the prospect of time sharing mom.

Hawaii mini: Jerry Jervell. Camille Warren, Pamela Bearce, Jay Warren.

            The Breens attended the Hawaii mini and were fortunate to stay at the home of Bill’s original roommate from plebe year, John Seely.  The boys proved they could still share space amicably, especially in a golf cart.  During the mini, the Breens reached another milestone, their lifetime quota for luaus.

            They are returning to government housing, having taken advantage of a program that makes excess housing available to retirees.  They have rented a three-bedroom ranch home on the former Fort Ord (Monterey, CA) and will live there about half the time.  Their primary residence is still in York, PA, where they will be near Kelly’s family, with children ranging from 19 to newborn.  In California they will be near Leigh and Madison  and Michael and his family are already in San Diego, so the bulk of the family will be nearby during the months that Bill & Susan are there.  Sounds ideal!

Luau at Hawaii mini:  the Benaghs, the Walshes, and the Stileses.

            Joe & Pat Hurst are in S. Pasadena, FL, and were married last October 25 while in attendance at the Hawaii mini with 58 other classmates.  They met at their 50th high school reunion in July 2005, and are looking forward to more travel.  They’ve been in 29 states already, have taken a cruise around the Hawaiian Islands, and were planning a Panama Canal passage this March and a Pacific Rim Cruise in September and October.

Two Samoans capture the Walshes at the Hawaii mini.

            The Hursts went to Johnny Cox’s retirement ceremony in St. Petersburg at the end of October, and they were visited by Pedro Baroidan earlier in that month.  Pedro has one daughter, Mylene, in Colorado Springs, and is looking at moving back to the U.S. and joining us at the 50th.  Come on, Pedro!

            Ron & Jeri Baldwin are in Lexington, VA, where Ron is very involved with VMI as the Officer’s Christian Fellowship Rep for Lexington, and Jeri is very involved with young ladies from VMI, Washington and Lee, Mary Baldwin and Sweetbriar Colleges.  Their granddaughter, Miriam McSpadden, won up through the ranks to compete in Mobile, Al, for the national Junior Miss Scholarship program.  She didn’t win but got a best physical fitness award.  We remember that the Baldwin’s middle daughter, Karen, won our class scholarship back in the 80s, and she is now an expert and consultant on the Sarbanes Oxley Act and is in England supporting a firm for six months (which by this reading may be over).  The McSpaddens are also of interest in that Bill’s dad, Garland, graduated in the West Point class of 1948.

The Ron Baldwin family: Tim McSpadden; Katie and William Ours; Bekah, Bethany, Mark and Miriam McSpadden; Ron & Jeri Baldwin; and Janis  and Robert Ours.

            The Baldwins like to travel and have just returned from Prague, where Bekah, a senior at Sweetbriar College is in overseas study; and they also visited friends in Budapest.

As ever, our thoughts and prayers are with our children and grandchildren in harm’s way; and at this writing with our classmates who are ill: Paul Elias, Andy Kuschner, and Dick Rothblum.