At this writing, which you will be reading about the time we are reuning in our 40th year, there is a strong effort being made to have a school in Alexandria, VA, named in memory of Rocky Versace, who was one of the bravest among us. The Viet Cong tortured him mercilessly for two years and, failing to break him, executed him in September 1965. We will be remembering Rocky at the reunion, as we will be remembering the other 14 of us who didn’t survive the war. They will always hold a special place in our hearts and memories, as will the rest of our classmates who have preceded us to a place “beneath a soldier’s blow.”
After 20 years in the Army and 19 years in private law practice, Dave Gray has retired and started an evangelistic ministry. He preaches in churches and recently served a 5-month interim pastorate at a southern Baptist church. He and Lois are in Vine Grove, KY, where Lois has been extremely active as superintendent of Hardin County schools, which is the third largest district in the state. They have two sons, both married. Tom is pastor of The Church at West Cobb in Marietta, GA; and Paul is northern KY rep of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Florence, KY. No grandchildren yet.
Bill & Brita Barry are in Athens, GA, where Bill’s dermatology practice is still heavily weighted toward skin cancer surgery. He is still flying his little acrobatic Bonanza; a long way from the F-4s he flew in Vietnam but, he says, without the pucker factor. Son Kevin (WP’89) was in armored cav in Desert Storm. He has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and designed the burner assembly for the Olympic torch. Along with a PhD in coastal and oceanographic engineering, he has 4 and 7-year-old boys. Daughter Shannon (14) is the Athens Country Club junior golf champ, and she and Dad ran a 10k together last year. She got a trophy, and Bill got a T-shirt. He says he gets an occasional first in the over 60 category, but he feels it’s a letdown from running the Boston marathon during his days at Harvard.
Bruce & Domenica Williams are in Brussels, where Domenica is with the U.S. mission at NATO, and Bruce represents ReliaStar Insurance in the area. They left the embassy in Athens last July after a tour of several years and will be in Brussels until Sep 2000. They plan to continue visiting the WWII battlefields and look forward to a long vacation in Italy.
Bill O’Meara writes that the ’59 group in Southwest Florida keeps growing. In addition to Bill & Joyce, there are the Ranallis, the Eberhards, the Bells and the Franks, all in Naples. Tom Munz is just up the road 30 miles. Everyone in Naples is now fully retired with the exception of Randy Bell, who is still working half time. The group tries to get together regularly, and several of them have played golf together at Randy's club.
Bill & Joyce took their yacht ReJoyce up the east coast to Bar Harbor last summer, stopped at WP and spent the night at Quarters 100. Later the Supe stayed with them on a trip to Naples and then invited Bill along with Pete Dawkins onto the field when two minutes remained to play at the Navy game. Other events on the yacht trip included having the Ranallis aboard from Newport to Martha’s Vineyard. On the return trip the O’Mearas debarked at Boston and flew to Tahoe. When the Guthries’ daughter was married shortly thereafter, they lent their yacht to the newlyweds for 5 days. Their captain said the couple had a terrific time. Bill says they’re trying to get the Guthries to spend their winters in Naples.
As reported, Emmett McCracken retired as chairman of the Beaufort (SC) County Council on 31 Dec, but Art Bair sends a clipping showing that the McCracken political career still has at least two years to go. Earlier in December Em defeated the incumbent to become the mayor of the town of Bluffton. The vote was 130 to 102, and Em declared that watching the returns reminded him of his first parachute jump. Once more, he said, his chute opened. And, to further the class political juggernaut, John Patterson was re-elected to the state senate in Rhode Island. It was a squeaker, he writes, but a win is a win!
Roy Greene writes from San Antonio that he has re-retired after 15 years with TRW and has embarked upon two mini-adventures, neither of which will make him wealthy (but check the accompanying photos to make your own judgment). First, he’s qualified as a facilitator for groups seeking team building on challenge/ropes courses (yawn). Second (!), he’s signed with a talent and modeling agency (it appeals to his vanity and his friends have encouraged it), has had one job so far, and solicits help from any classmates who may have connections. He has 500 photos to help. Go, Roy!
Gail, whom Roy calls his spouse of limitless patience and endurance, is a bookseller/book scout who can help anyone get a hard-to-find book. She calls her business Tome Sweet Tome, and Roy volunteers to translate for anyone who wasn’t in first section English.
The Greene children, in birth order, fare as follows: Stacey is general manager of the Soup Plantation restaurant – known as Sweet Tomatoes in the East – in San Bernardino, CA. She has a daughter, Kara (10). Son Scott, a USAF major, is at Randolph AFB in San Antonio with wife, Ann, and rugrats Bryce (7), Zachary (5), and Remington (2). Daughter Jennifer and her son, Garrett (4), live in Kalispell, MT. And daughter Wendy is director of public relations for Hughes Communications in Long Beach, CA. Roy says he marvels at what one can parlay from a business sociology degree, because she earns more than he ever did. But with these modeling photos, Roy, that may change. As you can see, Roy still has all his teeth, most of his hair remains, his bodily functions (he says) are regular, and his joints hurt only when he breathes.
Thayer Hotel Investors, co-founded by Fred Malek, recently bought the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. When Fred & Marlene were among the thousands of Washington area residents who lost power during the mid-January ice storm, they packed their bags and took a suite in their new hotel. The Washington Post noted that sometimes timing really is everything.