Class Poop

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Class Notes May 2012

Change of Command Follow Up

Ralph Locurcio was kind enough to respond to my story on the Change of Command ceremony at Ft Bragg with a photo of Mike Berdy shown here on the right getting ready for a parade at Camp Buckner. Those white uniforms bring back some great memories.

In this photo we see Mike’s roommate Frank Prokop checking out the room full of crushed newspapers being prepared by Ralph and others as a surprise for Mike’s return from a long weekend leave. The papers, which went all the way to the ceiling, were found the next morning in front ofRalph’s door. Ah the fun we had!

Ralph also provided a huge collection of photos taken over our four years at our Rockbound Highland Home. Should you be interested, I’m sure he would be happy to share them with you.

On another issue, both Clair Gill and Bob Radcliffe recently visited with Harry Dermody and I’m pleased to say they both gave a positive report on his condition. Bob put it well when he said:

He seemed to appreciate the visit and is cautiously optimistic that he is somewhat stable. He minimizes activity however as he gets "winded" with exertion. His attitude is good and he seems at peace with whatever the near or far term outcome is.

Our Prolific Classmates 5/24/2012

Way back in January Steve Aron stepped up and volunteered to categorize the publications of our Classmates. He has done a fantastic job and the result is attached. I imagine there are some who did not respond to our original call for input. If you have had something published and you do not appear onSteve’s list, please send the information to either Steve or to me for inclusion.

Click this link to read the publications of our Classmates

Thanks Steve for doing this for all of us.

The Story of Taps

Chuck Moseley was kind enough to point out that the 150th Anniversary of “Taps” was recently celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery. Below is an excerpt from an article by Master Sergeant Jari A Villanueva, USAF. Following that is a link to a brief YouTube piece, also by Master Sergeant Villanueva which explains, in greater depth, the origin of this haunting and very moving bugle call.

"Of all the military bugle calls, none is so easily recognized or more apt to render emotion than Taps. Up to the Civil War, the traditional call at day’s end was a tune, borrowed from the French, called Lights Out. In July of 1862, in the aftermath of the bloody Seven Days battles, hard on the loss of 600 men and wounded himself, Union General Daniel Adams Butterfield called the brigade bugler to his tent. He thought “Lights Out” was too formal and he wished to honor his men. Oliver Wilcox Norton, the bugler, tells the story, “…showing me some notes on a staff written in pencil on the back of an envelope, (he) asked me to sound them on my bugle. I did this several times, playing the music as written. He changed it somewhat, lengthening some notes and shortening others, but retaining the melody as he first gave it to me. After getting it to his satisfaction, he directed me to sound that call for Taps thereafter in place of the regulation call. The music was beautiful on that still summer night and was heard far beyond the limits of our Brigade. The next day I was visited by several buglers from neighboring Brigades, asking for copies of the music which I gladly furnished. The call was gradually taken up through the Army of the Potomac.” This more emotive and powerful Taps was soon adopted throughout the military. In 1874 It was officially recognized by the U.S. Army. It became standard at military funeral ceremonies in 1891. There is something singularly beautiful and appropriate in the music of this wonderful call. Its strains are melancholy, yet full of rest and peace. Its echoes linger in the heart long after its tones have ceased to vibrate in the air.

Gen. Butterfield, in composing this call and directing that it be used for “Taps” in his brigade, could not have foreseen its popularity and the use for another purpose into which it would grow. Today, whenever a man is buried with military honors anywhere in the United States, the ceremony is concluded by firing three volleys of musketry over the grave, and sounding with the trumpet or bugle “Put out the lights. Go to sleep”…There is something singularly beautiful and appropriate in the music of this wonderful call. Its strains are melancholy, yet full of rest and peace. Its echoes linger in the heart long after its tones have ceased to vibrate in the air.

- From an article by Master Sergeant Jari A Villanueva, USAF.

As we think about this story and listen to the music, let us remember our fallen Classmates.

Grip Hands.

A Change of Command at Ft. Bragg

Bob Frank who is currently traveling in Dubrovnik, Croatia of all places (this job sure gets me connected with folks from far and near), sent me the story of this Change of Command which recently took place at Ft. Bragg, NC. It seems that Erik Berdy, who is the nephew of our own Mike (Igor) Berdy, just took command of the 2-325 ABN in the 82nd Airborne.Mike’s brother Andy was kind enough to help me with many pictures and descriptions of what took place.

The Great Charleston Golf Outing 5/23/2012

April 23

I’m proceeding here on the assumption that it difficult, if not impossible, to get too much of a good thing.Dave Hurley and Harley Moore have stepped up to share some great photos of a terrific time of golf and camaraderie at the recently completed Charleston Golf Outing. Dave’s pictures (most of which will be arriving soon by snail mail as they were too big to attach) will be shared sometime next week. In the meantime, Harley was able to share his photos by sending me four separate e-mails with attachments. Here then are some selected shots from Harley’s collection which show that everyone seemed to have a great time. All shots were taken at the beautiful home of Sonny and Sherry Ray.

photos - Chuck McCloskey, Sonny Ray, Barrie Zais, Steve Darrah  - Larry Neal and Swick Tomaswick 679 - Many people, but check out Gordy Larson and his service (hearing) dog  - Many people obviously having a great time in this magnificent patio area

Clair, Harry, and Kay on the Eastern Shore of MD

May 3

Following a terrific business meeting, great golf, and a fantastic Gathering of Classmates and wives in Arizona, Clair Gill, our Class President, returning to his home on the East Coast, stopped by to visit with our ailing Veep, Harry Dermody. Here are two great pictures taken during their visit and Clair’scomments:

Upon returning from our Class Meeting in Arizona this past weekend, Sherry and I stopped by the Eastern Shore of MD to check up on the "Old Man," Harry Dermody and his saintly bride, Kay. Harry is seriously ill with his progressing lung disease, but as you may discern from the photos, he is home from the hospital, still charging and keeping as active as his health will permit. Missing from the photo is his attachment to apparatus that is essential to his being able to breathe, and he cannot withstand too much exertion caused by standing or moving. Harry is able to respond to phone calls (that he prefers to a backlog of emails), and welcomes them. (M) 410-310-4515 preferred, and (H) 410-758-4816. A goodly number of Classmates have stopped by to have a "goodtime" visit, as well as most of his family members.


This serves as a great reminder of just how fortunate we are to have two such dedicated classmates, both of whom have devoted countless hours and applied their very amazing talents to the betterment of all of. Gentlemen, thank you for what you do for all of us.

John Morgan's Road to Recovery

April 30

Wow, what a weekend! The big Leadership Meeting/AZ Gathering is now in the history books as a huge success. I’m going to start my report with this update story and use it as a segue into the group activities of the weekend. I’ve chosen to do this because John and Dyanne played such a big role in making it the success it was.

Early last week I had the opportunity to stop by the hospital to visit John who was undergoing one more of the many procedures doctors have attempted to get him back to a healthy condition. Shown in the attached photo is John with a feeding tube which makes it look as if he is trying real hard to do a Cyrano de Bergerac impression, and his true angel, Dyanne. Since John and Dyanne had offered some time earlier to host the Leadership Meeting in their beautiful home, I immediately suggested that I would make other arrangements. Dyanne would hear nothing of that suggestion and insisted that we continue our plans as they existed. As it turned out, they hosted, not only the Leadership Group, but numerous guests who were kind enough to join us to see how their Class business is conducted (I hope they agree that we try real hard to get it right). What a terrific meeting it was, and John was able to join us for all of it andDyanne provided a magnificent lunch for everyone. What a couple!

Given my limitations in memory and spelling ability, I pushed very hard to get John and Dyanne to help me explain what they have been going through with regard to bhealth. Here is their combined effort to explain where they are and the steps to come (he will be back in the hospital on Wednesday for more tests).

Although my treatment for liver cancer began in September using a traditional approach, we have recently faced some non-routine challenges to say the least. For the first six months I had a six hour infusion of chemotherapy every other week which produced some very positive early results; however, we were disappointed in a six-month PET scan which showed resurgence in the cancer activity. The good news was that there the two original lesions had not spread to any other locations.

After our consultation with a liver surgeon in mid-March we were referred to another specialist for an alternative cancer treatment, chemoembolization. This procedure involves an arterial catheterization into the liver which permits a direct injection of chemo beads into the lesion. The first of two procedures occurred April 5th and the plan was to monitor liver function until it returned to normal and then proceed with the treatment on the other lesion.

Unfortunately, we’ve had a few issues which demanded priority treatment that delayed resumption of the chemo treatment. I had some irregular lab results which required corrective infusions and delayed my hospital discharge. After release from the hospital on Easter, I experienced some severe digestive symptoms which put us right back in the hospital with a stomach obstruction. That required five days of intensive treatment and was finally resolved by the endoscopic emplacement of a duodenal stent allowing my hospital discharge April 13th. Since then a malfunction of my bile duct, which the surgeon unsuccessfully tried to correct on April 25th led to the scheduling of a more intrusive technique for May 2nd. The surgeon will externally enter the liver to place the stent in the bile duct. Hopefully, this will stabilize all functions and allow the chemo to continue.

Dyanne and I remain “Army Strong” and optimistic and deeply grateful for all the support and prayers from friends, family and my very special West Point Class of 65 Band of Brothers. Please let John and Dyanne hear from you.

I have decided that I want to be adopted by the Mogan’s because they have taken such good care of me. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, they welcomed me into their home and fed me (of course it helped that I showed up at lunch time).

Thanks guys for all you do.

A Very Special Dog

I recently shared some of the pictures from the Great Charleston Golf Outing. One of the pictures included Gordy Larson with his new Service Dog, Major. When I saw that, I realized how little I knew about service dogs (other than seeing eye dogs for the blind) so I asked Gordy to share with us the story of his great dog. He came through with this terrific story and two great photos, enjoy:

Most people are familiar with service dogs for the blind, with Leader Dogs for the Blind (Rochester, MI) and Seeing Eye (Morristown, NJ) being the two most commonly known providers. Like Kleenex, the word Seeing Eye Dog is often synonymous with dogs trained to assist blind people. What's less known is that service dogs can provide any number of different services for people with disabilities, including hearing assistance, PTSD, mobility assistance, seizures, etc. The common denominator is that they are all identified as Service Dogs and accompany the disabled person wherever they go 24/7. Federal law requires that they be allowed entrance to any public facility as long as they are well mannered and under control of the handler.

My service dog is named Major, and I've had him for a little over a month now. I received him from an organization called Canine Angels which trains service dogs for veterans. Major recently celebrated his first birthday, which is quite young for a service dog, and he is still mastering his trade; so to speak. He is trained well enough to accompany me to places such as Walmart and Lowes as well as out on the golf course where he runs alongside the cart for the entire 18 holes. He is just beginning his training for hearing assistance, and does not perform any hearing assistance tasks for me yet. Eventually, he will be trained to alert me to sounds that I can no longer hear, such as my alarm clock, smoke detectors, and the buzzer on my washer and dryer. While I do not require his services at all times, having a service dog is a 24/7 responsibility.

Leader Dogs for the Blind and Seeing Eye Dogs are bred for the task and raised in volunteer foster homes until they are about 18 months old, at which time they begin training. They are purebreds, usually shepherds or labs and the foster parents provide the same basic obedience training that most dogs receive. Canine Angels uses rescue dogs and they can be almost any age, but usually don't begin training until they are at least a year old. Major was an exception in that he was rescued at the age of 6 months and started training much earlier. The trainer first thought that he had the special senses required to become a seizure dog, but that turned out not to be true and he was turned over to me to complete his training as my hearing assistance dog.

Major has become quite popular with our classmates and perhaps even more so with many of the wives. It's been hard to keep them from spoiling Major at our class events.

Gordy Larson

Thank you Gordy and good luck with Major’s training.

Be Thou at Peace

Unfortunately we lost another of our dear friends.Robert (Bob) Huffhines passed away in Port Orchard, Washington on March 20, 2012. On Thursday, April 26, 2012 he was laid to rest at West Point following a service in the Old Cadet Chapel.

The  photo and write up is the way we rememberedBob at graduation.

     Huff came to West Point just to give it a try. He made his mark in many fields, especially in academics.  If he was not over at the gym or joking around with his friends, he was ready to discuss politics or any other subject. His ardent integrity and individualism will represent him well in or out of the Army. We will all miss his friendly and easy-going manner.

Debate Council and Forum 2, 1; Rocket Club 2, 1; Spanish Language Club 3,2,1; BUGLE NOTES 4,3,2,1; HOWITZER 4,3; POINTER 2, 1; Sky Diving 2; Jewish Chapel Choir 2, 1; Cadet Band 4, 3; Stars 2.

Mats for the Homeless

My good friends, Larry and Jacki Clewley responded to my request for a little clarification and the sharing of a story when I heard that they were making mats for the homeless. They have become involved in a very interesting project which combines their concern and desire to help the homeless with their concerns for the environment. What a great way to address both issues in one swell foop. Here Larry explains what you see in the attached photo

It is 2 projects in one, recycling plastic shopping bags and making sleeping mats for the homeless. From the pictures you can see the process to prepare the shopping bags for use in the mat. We cut the bags into strips to make balls of plarn (plastic yarn). The plarn is then used to crochet a mat 30 inches by 6 feet. When finished we take the mats to Lifeprint, an organization with Secure Horizon supplemental insurance. They take the mats to Phoenix Rescue Mission to give them to homeless persons. I also demonstrate this process at the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix. Jacki and I have completed 21 mats to date.

Thank you Larry and Jacki for what you are doing for all of us.

Leadership Meeting/AZ Gathering Part 5

Wow, did I goof. I was so busy going through the photos of the Leadership Meeting, the golf, and the big Arizona Gathering that I let slip the very nice luncheon hosted by Diane Hawker in Scottsdale for the non-golfing ladies. Here, obviously having a great time is a Gathering of Gorgeous Gals who clearly chose to have their picture taken before the food arrived lest we Scrutinize their Succulent Selections.

Thank you Diane for doing a great job when asked to step up and put this great outing together.

Leadership Meeting/AZ Gathering Part 4

May 4

Finally, this will wrap up the Leadership Meeting/AZ Gathering. As folks started taking off in their many directions, there were seven of us who came out one more time to enjoy the magnificent golf courses thatFred made available to us. We were joined by a few non-golfers to make up the eleven (10+me) who you see in the photo. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and each other’s company one more time before hitting the road.

What a great time we all had over the three days of the event. Thank you Fred and Maralee for doing such a terrific job of hosting. Also, thank you to John and Dyanne Mogan for hosting the Leadership Team on Saturday and feeding them and all who showed up to see the Team at work. Also, thank you to all who traveled from far and near to join us and make the event the huge success it was.

Leadership Meeting/AZ Gathering Part 3

As you probably know, the big event in Arizona covered three days. I shared the first day with shots at the golf course, then I shared shots at the home of John and Dyanne Mogan where the business meeting was held. Now we move onto the heart of the event which was the big Arizona Gathering at the home of Fred and Maralee Laughlin. Because there were so many in attendance, some photos do not have each person identified. Here then is a list of all attendees in no particular order:

Skip and Marilyn O’Donnell, Jim Holmes, Bob Radcliffe and Faye Hayes, David and Linda Bangert, Bob and Mary Frank, Ron and Janice Walter, Jim and Julie McEliece, Preston and Sandy Motes, John and Dyanne Mogan, Joe and Lynne DeFrancisco, Dave and Donna Mastran, Terry and Nancy Ryan, Clair and Sherry Gill, Fred and Maralee Laughlin, Bob and Cyndee Hill, Bruce and Sue Clarke, Rick and Donna Bunn, Dennis and Diane Hawker, Larry and Jacki Clewley. I hope I didn’t miss anyone.

I heard nothing but positive comments so it seems everyone had a great time.

Leadership Meeting/AZ Gathering Part 2

One more installment from the great Leadership Meeting/Arizona Gathering this past weekend. This time we are in the beautiful home of John and Dyanne Mogan who not only provided a great place to hold our meeting, made room for about a dozen guests, but then proceeded to feed us all. As if that wasn’t enough, John and Dyanne did all this even though he was not feeling well enough to join us for the Friday and Sunday gatherings following the golf. I was extremely pleased that he and Dyanne were able to join us for a few hours during the big Arizona Gathering at Fred Laughlin’s home following the Business Meeting to share wonderful camaraderie with his friends. You’ll see them in the next batch of pictures.

Suffice it to say that a good time was had by all and we got a lot of work done at the same time.

Leadership Meeting/AZ Gathering Part 1

April 30

As mentioned before, the Leadership Meeting/Arizona Gathering was a huge success. Our first day was spent on the golf course (Ironwood – one of the two beautiful courses in Anthem where Fred and Maralee Laughlin and John and Dyanne Mogan live). We had 13 golfers and Fred had three of his local friends join us to round things off to 4 foursomes. I have to apologize that I was only able to catch three of them for group pictures. Following the golf, many non-golfers joined us for a great time at the clubhouse for a light buffet and drinks. The final picture does not include names as there are too many bunched together for me to be sure I’m getting them all right. I will soon have an accurate list of all attendees for all three days of activities which I will share with the next installment.

Suffice it to say that we all had a wonderful time and the planned game was pretty much scrapped in favor of all just having a great time playing the game in the scramble format.

More On the MacArthur Speech

May 16

Leland "Lee" Hewitt shared this very interesting article regarding the MacArthur speech. Enjoy –

The Corps, and Core Values
By David Shribman

Where to start with Douglas MacArthur? To say that he was general of the Army? To note that he was superintendent of West Point? To recall his famous exit from the Philippines and his even more famous return? To cite his role in the occupation of Japan? To refer to his time commanding U.N. troops in the Korean War? To reflect on his firing by Harry Truman? To quote his remarkable "just fade away" speech, interrupted numerous times by applause, on Capitol Hill?

We may not know where to start, but we surely know where to end -- where MacArthur effectively ended his public career, 50 years ago this coming Saturday, when he appeared among the ghosts and memories of West Point and spoke to the sparkling young men who could have known only vaguely on that day in May 1962 how Vietnam would shape and, in some tragic cases end, their lives.

On the surface, he was there to accept the Sylvanus Thayer Award, a coveted honor named for the father of the military academy. But in truth he was there to take his leave, to share the perspective of a man who was forged in the fire of battle, who thrived on military, moral and political conflict, who had grown weary of war and impatient with the conventions of diplomacy that led nations into armed confrontations that seemed ever more senseless and remorseless.

MacArthur was there to say goodbye to the world stage and to the millions whose lives he touched and commanded and whose spirits he lifted -- or repulsed. He did so with his customary flourish and flair and in the florid language that was as much a hallmark of his personality as his corncob pipe, always jutting from his teeth at a crisp 90-degree angle:

Duty ... Honor ... Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.

These are the three words most commonly associated with MacArthur, but they trace their provenance back to Sylvanus Thayer himself, and thus when MacArthur chose to make these words the leitmotif of his acceptance speech, he was identifying himself firmly with the grandest traditions of West Point.

Let civilian voices argue the merits or demerits of our processes of government; whether our strength is being sapped by deficit financing, indulged in too long by federal paternalism grown too mighty, by power groups grown too arrogant, by politics grown too corrupt, by crime grown too rampant, by morals grown too low, by taxes grown too high, by extremists grown too violent; whether our personal liberties are as thorough and complete as they should be. These great national problems are not for your professional participation or military solution. This is, in many ways, the most remarkable element of this remarkable speech, for MacArthur is the best-known violator of the most sacred element of the relationship between the military and civilian lives of our nation -- the notion that policy is made by civilians and prosecuted by soldiers. It was MacArthur's criticism of Truman, in a letter read on the floor of the House, that led to his dismissal and here, in the late autumn of a life that would end two years later, he presented an unmistakable critique of his greatest failure as a general. The shadows are lengthening for me. The twilight is here. My days of old have vanished tone and tint; they have gone glimmering through the dreams of things that were. Their memory is one of wondrous beauty, watered by tears, and coaxed and caressed by the smiles of yesterday. I listen vainly for the witching melody of faint bugles blowing reveille, of far drums beating the long roll. In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield.

He spoke this passage without notes, leaning and bobbing in his customary fashion, deliberately creating the impression that he was no longer speaking from his head, but instead from his deepest sentiments. This was MacArthur showmanship at its greatest, for he had worked for days to memorize these words.

"No one could improvise such rhetoric," wrote biographer William Manchester. "The awed cadets thought that he was coining the phrases as he trod the platform before them, but what they had actually witnessed was the last performance of a consummate actor."

Today marks my final roll call with you, but I want you to know that when I cross the river my last conscious thoughts will be of the Corps, and the Corps, and the Corps.

These are the final words of the speech, set up by his remark that in his dreams, "I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield." To our ears this sort of rhetoric is antiquarian, more suited to the days of Rudyard Kipling than to the era of Norman Mailer.

But there remains something intoxicating about the final passage: "the Corps, and the Corps, and the Corps." It possesses a martial rhythm, echoing like shots in the very night that occasioned MacArthur's dreams of guns crashing and musketry rattling.

Glenn Edward Schembechler was 33 years old and still an assistant football coach at Ohio State when MacArthur delivered this West Point valedictory. In 1969, five years after MacArthur's death, he would ascend to the top coaching job at Michigan, where he would coach for 21 seasons.

It cannot be a coincidence that the remarks for which Schembechler is most famous -- indeed some of the most enduring words ever uttered by a football coach -- carry eerie echoes of MacArthur. Some 21 years after the West Point speech, Schembechler spoke of "the Team, the Team, the Team."

MacArthur now is a figure of history, his life remembered by few, his achievements studied by fewer. But this speech, given 50 years ago this week, deserves to be remembered as one of the greatest delivered on these shores, and revered beyond West Point and by more than the Corps, the Corps, the Corps.

We Were There When History Was Made

May 14

I just received an e-mail from Dave Hopkins reminding me and us that it was 50 years ago last Saturday that General Douglas MacArthur delivered his famous speech in acceptance of the Sylvanus Thayer Award. The following link will take you to his very memorable words. The link will also show you the picture “Duty – Honor – Country” by Paul Steucke, copy 1686/4004 of which is hanging on my wall above my desk as I type this. An interesting note is the fact that I briefly dated a girl from Brigham Young University who told me that within a few months of his delivering the speech to us, it was being studied as classic example of extemporaneous speech in that and many other schools across the country and around the world. It was great to be in the room as history was being made.

Thanks you Dave for this great reminder.

A Sojourn in SoCal

May 12

Well, I finally ran out of submissions to share, so you’re stuck with one of my own. A short visit to Newport Beach, CA resulted in an opportunity to spend time with a few friends. I already shared the brief visit with Bud Fish as I passed through Riverside. That was followed by an afternoon with my good buddy Jay Leno (alright I was in the audience – he was on stage, but we were close). Later in the week, a brief lunch with my old roommate Mike Connor joined by John Seymour, and Dave Kuhn, and finally a chance for Bruce Clarke to teach me how to play golf again.

It was a nice, short visit away from the heat of Arizona. Sorry to give you one more of my mug shots, but the best way to get around that is to send me stories and photos of your own.

A Connection in Gold

There was a recent article in a special edition of First Call which I will share here for context so you can better understand the suggestions being made:

Every Ring Has a Story : At the 12th Annual West Point Memorial Class Ring Melt, held on March 5, 42 rings, each with its own story exemplifying the motto: Duty, Honor, Country, were melted ceremoniously for inclusion in ’13’s Class rings. Class President, Cadet Timothy Berry, thanked the donors by saying, “That you all gave something to our Class with so much institutional value and history is humbling. To me, this Ring Melt ceremony shows that the ideals of ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ don’t take hold by accident. They are taught, passed on from generation to generation.” In late August, during Ring Weekend, the Class of ’13 will receive their Class rings, which will contain gold from 258 rings donated since 2000.

Bob Frank read that and the link underlined and made this observation:

I noticed that among the rings donated and melted was one from the Class of 1915. It occurred to me that it might have been more fitting if that ring had been (if possible) saved for two years. What a wonderful connection the Class of 2015 could have had with the Class of 1915! I wonder if there is any way we might contact the POC in AOG to request that any ring(s) from 1915 donated between now and the Ring Melt for 2015 be held. Of course, the same would be applicable to any rings from one of our Classmates. My view is that symbolism would be quite powerful.

Well, a quick phone call to the AOG representative responsible for the Ring Melt Program (Nadia King'91 - - 845.446.1563), got a commitment to hold any future 1915 rings for our Affiliation Class. Additionally, we discussed possible programs which are being considered for the use of donated ladies miniatures.

Clair Gill followed up with the thought that many of our Classmates might choose to donate their rings to future Ring Melts when they update their wills and final instructions. Of Course these would hopefully be way too late for the Class of 2015 but would still tend to solidify the connection to our Alma Mater.

Bob and I also spoke on the subject and reflected on the possibility that there may be some widows out there who would like to donate the rings from some of our passed Classmates to the melt for the Class of 2015 or possibly future Classes.

Should anyone reading this be interested in participating in some aspect of this program, please feel free to contact Nadia directly. She would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Another Fish Story

May 6

For some time now, our favorite Fish has been swimming upstream against a very strong current. I’m pleased to report that when my wife, Donna, and I enjoyed a brief visit with him and his lovely wife,Judy, I learned that the defibrillator that was causing substantial problems has been successfully removed and the doctors have been able to find and deal with almost all of the other infections that had been identified. They are optimistic that he will be transferred to a rehab facility soon where they will get busy bringing him back to his previous feisty self.

Bud was quick to ask me to share a special thank you to all of you who have been kind enough to reach out to him and his family with well wishes and prayers for a speedy recovery. Clearly, the spirit of Strength and Drive continues to be alive and well for all of us.

David and Linda Bangert as Seen by Mellow

At the recent Leadership Meeting/Arizona Gathering, I had the pleasure of meeting David Bangert and his wife Linda. They recently made a temporary move to the Phoenix area to take advantage of some medical facilities here that could best deal with the very serious issues Linda has been facing. As we sat down to dinner following the golf on Friday, I noticed that David had a service dog with him. Having recently shared the story of Gordy Larson’s service dog, Major, I felt compelled to ask David to let me share the story of his dog, Mellow. David did me one better and prevailed on Mellow to tell the story for him. It’s a little long (some dogs can get a bit wordy) but it well worth the read.  Click the link to read more.

Thank you David for taking the time to drag this story out of your precious dog.

Just Passing Through

Dick Williams and his beautiful wife Joan were kind enough to stop by Goodyear, AZ in the middle of their 7000 mile trip around the country. We only had time for a short visit, because they were on their way to Lodi, CA for another of Dick’s sky diving events. However, we were able to enjoy a nice breakfast together and remember some of the good old days. In the first picture, in front of me is my lovely wife Donna with Dick and Joan across from us. In the second picture Dick and Joan had just shown us their beautiful new motor home which, interestingly, they call Ranger. It sure looks a lot nicer way to go than I remember from anything associated with that name.

Safe travels, my friends.

photo left: Bunns & Williams photo right: Joan & Dick Williams

The Class of 2015 Presents Its New Crest

Dan Donaghy submitted this terrific report on our latest Affiliation event, the unveiling of the Class of 2015 Crest:

The ceremony for the unveiling of the 2015 crest design was a very interesting and rewarding experience. John Howell and I represented the Class of 1965. With so much recent interaction with the Class of 2015, our class is becoming almost a fixture among that class.

We were seated in a location of honor, where the First Captain and his staff would normally sit. In my mind we were sitting on the outside top step of our old mess hall.

The event began with the customary introductions of Class Officers and invited guests. John and I, being the last introduced were told to remain standing to avoid a “down and up” prior to the invocation. Unfortunately the cadet giving the invocation was not told about this so she waited for us to sit. So, all those at the Crest Unveiling dinner will remember us as the two old guys who wouldn’t sit down. We eventually sat, stood up, prayed, and had a wonderful turkey dinner (my wife’s favorite) with a New York cheese cake dessert. The Post Chamber Group provided dinner music.

The crest unveiling was quite dramatic with enthusiastic approval by all. Our escorts, CDT Joseph Koning and CDT Austin Welch, Ring and Crest co-chairs, did a first class job of facilitating our visit and making us feel at home. We had our photograph taken with CDT Sara Brown, the crest designer (copy attached), as well as the other members of the Ring and Crest Committee and the Class Officers. All in all we had a very enjoyable evening and advanced our connection with the Class of 2015.

Thank you Dan for a great report. This and so many of the previous Affiliation Event reports makes me really wish I lived closer to our Alma Mater so I could attend a few. For those who do live within a reasonable drive, please participate whenever you can so we can get the largest possible group of Classmates involved.

photo left: John Howell & Dan Donaghy with Cadets Sara Brown and Jose Koning

photo right: '15 Crest with Cadet Austin Welch

One More Source of Pride for S&D

Bob Wolff, who is the Executive Director of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), sent me this great report regarding Ralph Locurcio receiving the Golden Eagle Award for Contributions to the Engineering Profession. Details in the news release are attached along with a photo of Ralph receiving his award from Bob with Paul Parker, who is the Chairman of the Academy of Fellows for SAME. Also attached is a photo of Ralph with his wife Ingrid standing with General Petraeus and his wife Holly. Here is Bob’s report:

Ralph Locurcio received the Golden Eagle Award for Contributions to the Engineering Profession on March 28, together with General David Petraeus, who received a similar award for Contributions to National Security. It was a great evening attended by 450 SAME members and guests. Bob Wolffintroduced Ralph. Bob remarked that Ralph was one of three engineers from the Class of ’65 that commanded the Savannah District of the Corps of Engineers, following Dan Christman and Stan Genega. Ralph became one of the top Army engineers from ’65 (I would add Claire Gill to this group).Ralph had the audience in stitches throughout most of his 15 minute speech and was the hit of the evening, despite the presence of General Petraeus, who also did a great job in talking about the importance of engineers in Iraq, Afghanistan and future operations. Ingrid and Ralph’s two sons, Michael and Daniel, were at the dinner. His daughter, Susan, was unable to attend.

Thank you Bob – great report.

photo left: Petraeus and Locurcio
photo right: Ralph receiving his award

Join the Fun in the PNW This Summer

Bill Sherrell has been hard at work putting together what sounds like a terrific Golf Outing in the Pacific Northwest for this summer. He has made arrangements for a special rate of only $79 (plus tax) per night at the Emerald Queen Hotel & Casino (5700 Pacific Hwy E-mail, Fife, WA 98424) which is just 13 miles south of Sea Tac Airport. This rate will be offered three days before and three days after the plannedJuly 29 – August 1 dates of the gathering so you can take in any number of very special activities available in the Washington State or you may just choose to play some more golf. For reservations call before the July 8 cutoff date to 1-888-820-3555 and ask for the “Sherrell Golf Group” rate. 15 rooms have been set aside for our group. To check out the facility, go to on the internet. Room sharing is possible and Bill will assist if needed.

Non golfers are also encouraged to join in the fun at the after golf activities as well as visiting the attractions of Washington State. No need to send any money to Bill as your arrangements with the Casino are on your own and the golf will be pay as you go. Bill’s proposed itinerary is:

Sunday, 29 July – Arrive and check in at the Emerald Queen – 1700 Hrs Drinks and Dinner at the Sherrell’s (26027 13th Ave. Ct. E, Spanaway, WA 98387)
Monday, 30 July – Golf – Course and time TBA
Tuesday, 31 July – Golf – Course and time TBA – Tentative Drinks and Dinner at Jim Wood’s
Wednesday, 1 August - Check out or stay for activities on your own

Bill needs a little feedback. Even if you indicated your preferences before, please confirm by responding to these statements:

You will definitely attend ____
You will share a room and with whom ____
You are single and want to share a room (He’ll help link up singles) ____
You will play golf with group on Monday and Tuesday ____
You will arrive before Sunday and or stay after Wednesday and are interested in playing more golf on those days. Specify days ____
You will visit Seattle for a day ____
You will visit Mt. Rainier ____
You will take a ferry trip to:                    Victoria, BC ____            Tillicum Village (Indian Salmon feast) ____

Please respond directly to Bill Sherrell at (H) 253-846-3745 or (C) 253-677-7909 or e-mail at:

Not Cool Enough for You?



Wow, Paul and Neva Renschen really know how to help a guy out when he asks for assistance. Not only did they send the picture I shared in the last Class Notes, but they followed it up with some terrific photos of a recent visit from a really cool looking moose. As if that wasn’t enough, Paulthen sent me another set of photos taken when he and friends went out to explore the Tanana River Flats South of Fairbanks on their sizable snow machines.

With way too much to share with a simple e-mail (it took Paul 5 e-mails to get them to me), I have chosen to share two shots of the moose and two of the adventure on the Tanana Flats to give you all a taste of what goes on in the far north. Paul has agreed to share additional shots with anyone who may choose to follow up with him. So, if you are particularly fond of moose (or is it meese?) or if you would like to enjoy the rest of the story regarding the trek to the flats, send Paul an e-mail and he will be happy to share: Paul and Neva Renschen

Thank you Paul and Neva for sharing your special part of the world.

Class Gift Fundraising

Harry Dermody and Bob Harter along with their team of Regional Chairmen have been working tirelessly on our behalf to make sure we reach our goal of a significant gift to our alma mater for our 50th Reunion. Here is a message from Harry to share our goals and progress in this regard:


A couple of months ago you received a letter and e-mail about the 50th Reunion fundraising effort. The goals, organization, ways to give and pledge card were included. Attached is the information we sent just in case you misplaced the data.

The six Regional Chairmen, along with Bob and myself are in the process of making calls to ask for your support, and, after two months we're encouraged with the response. This is our last fundraising project as a Class, one that Fred Laughlin and his committee worked extremely hard to ensure all had input and the gifts were what we wanted - ones that would make an impact.

Having made calls throughout the Class, we are approaching 65% of the calls completed but we need your help. If you have received a call or e-mail but have not had a chance to respond, please return the call or e-mail. Contacting Classmates to ask for donations is difficult and any help you can give in responding would be greatly appreciated. When called, we are asking a minimum gift of $6,500 over the next four years, and, while we know that this might be high for some we ask that you consider this and give what you can. The goal is to have 100% participation. One last point, leadership gifts are the gifts that that really help, if you can and have the capability please consider this type of gift when we talk to you.

Lastly, we are committed to $2,000,000 for the Center of Oral History and $600,000 for the Long Gray Line Endowment. Again the attachments give the specifics, but if you have questions call and we'll get you an answer. Over the years our Class has provided support to the Academy in all areas - time and treasure. We thank you and ask one more time for your help.

Read more by clicking the links '65 Fundraising Letter and '65 Fundraising Info.

Thank you Harry, Bob, et al for your efforts for all of us.

Founder's Day in Charlottesville

Larry Neal shared this report regarding the Founder’s Day Dinner in Charlottesville, VA.

Attached is a photo (from the left) of Jim and Karen Ferguson, Larry and Ruth Neal and Nancy andTerry Ryan at the Founder’s Day Dinner in Charlottesville, VA on March 24th. Larry (for the West Point Society of Monticello) and Terry (for the Alumni Glee Club) colluded to bring the glee club to the event. Terry arranged for twenty glee club alumni from (primarily) the northern Virginia area, including classmate Jim Ferguson to attend. Classmate Peter Linn also participates in the Alumni Glee Club but could not attend this event. The performance included a unique and stirring retrospective of the Civil War year 1862 to mark the 150th anniversary. The performance added greatly to the Founder’s Day celebration and received rave reviews from the Society.

Thanks Larry, great report and photo.

Ric and Dan Continue to Make Us Proud

I always feel incredibly fortunate and proud to be a member of the Class of ‘65. Reports like this clearly justify that pride. Harley Moore shared these comments regarding the Founders Day Dinner in Southern Florida.

Just back from the Founders Day dinner of the West Point Society of Southern Florida.  Sat with two grads from the Class of 2004.  They revere Dan thinking he was the best Supe ever.  His dedication, spirit, etc, etc, etc awe them to this day. 

The speaker was MG (Ret) Bruce Scott (’72), whose family and his wife’s have over 100 years of affiliation with USMA.  He made a point of seeking me out and telling me how much he likes and respects Dan. I also got many accolades about Ric – he too is held in incredibly high regard by the old and young grads here. So, we are fortunate indeed to have these two Classmates who are so beloved and honored among fellow grads.

S&D, Dan and Ric.  Hoohah!  (and Beat Navy)

Thanks, Harley.

An Early History of "Hogwarts on the Hudson"

Bill Reisner shared this great read which is an early history of our Rock Bound Highland Home told from the perspective of a historian in 1867. Click on this link 1867 Guide to West Point to view.

The Passing of a Special Lady - Doris Kennedy

Leo Kennedy shares this sad, personal message with all of us:

It is with great sadness that I report that my wife and the love of my life, Doris, passed away at 11:45 in the morning on St Patrick’s Day. Death came to her in a very gentle way. She was not in pain, did not struggle, and simply stopped breathing. She was at home, surrounded by those who love her.

Her passing leaves a great void in my life. She was a role model as a wife, mother, and grandmother and one of the classist, kindest, and most thoughtful people one could ever meet. Doris was a practicing dental hygienist for almost 40 years and the loyalty of her patients was legendary. In fact countless visits to her Caring Bridge site were made by her patients living in here Northern Virginia and those she had in Colorado Springs many years ago.

Our 45th reunion was a wonderful memory and she was eagerly awaiting our 50. Doris loved West Point and was in awe of the accomplishments of so many in our Class. In turn the Class was very good to her. Many Classmates and their wives, including those Doris did not really know all that well, kept her spirits up with email and cards and letters. Doris was so appreciative of these notes. As she got worse she and could no longer write she called many of you to thank you. You made a difference.

Looking back over her life it can truly be said, “Well done; Be thou at peace.”

Thank you everyone,

A Constant Source of Pride

Roger Frydrychowski shared this great clip pointing out that, “When the Army Football team visited Ft. Benning, GA for the spring football scrimmage, the cadets had an opportunity to meet Medal of Honor recipiet Paul W. Bucha (Class of 1965) and visit the National Infantry Museum. Watch the clip to hear what the former graduate had to say about Army Leadership.&rdquo

The clip is only a little more than 2 minutes long and well worth your time to hear it.

Looking Good After a Long Battle

Bob Radcliffe shared this great picture (he andSonny Ray standing behind Ed Knauf from the 2012 founder’s Day activities in Charleston, SC. Ed had just received an excellent report from his Doctors at the Medical University of South Carolina Medical Center (MUSC) in Charleston, after many years of fighting Multiple Myeloma. You couldn’t ask for a greater smile than he is sharing. He is home now in North Myrtle Beach and still plans to attend the ’65 Golf Outing in Charleston in April. Sonny had also done battle with Multiple Myeloma and obviously came out the winner as Ed seems to be doing now. It’s pretty tough to get the best of S&Ders. Hang in there guys, you are an inspiration to us all.

Scribe Foreword

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

As we approach the deadline for submission of the next Class Notes, I was reminded by the nice folks at AOG that deadlines are a thing of the past. When we made the transition to all electronic Class Notes late last year, I mentioned that we were entering a learning curve and that I would attempt to keep up with changes as we moved forward. I stuck with the old paradigm for two cycles and made my submissions as a batch of old items I had already shared with the Class, combined with a few new items which I had saved to make the submission fresh. This process is time consuming and results in what becomes mostly a rehash of old information.

The suggested alternative is to submit items to the Class Notes at the same time I share them with the Class. This means that these notes will be more comprehensive and up to date. However, they may also become much larger than you have been used to. My plan is to share all stories and most other postings (excluding repetitive reminders of upcoming events and administrative comments such as the recent “Listserv Guidelines”). This will be done by simply adding a Cc. line to the appropriate messages (so you will also know which messages will be sent to the Class Notes).

Finally, the AOG will keep the messages in the Class Notes available for up to three months before moving them to the Archives where they will still be available but a little harder to get to.

Since this is all done for you, your comments, complaints, and/or suggestions are requested. Please let me know what you think and what you want by just sending a quick note to me at:

Scribe Foreword

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

 Wow, I guess I learned my lesson. Be careful what you ask for. Back in February I asked for a little help with stories and submissions as I was approaching the deadline for this submission of our Class Notes. Well the response was almost overwhelming. I now have so much to deal with that some won’t fit within the guidelines for submission. Thank you to all who stepped up to help me out. Also, if you don’t see your story here know that I will hold it for an opportunity down the road.

 By the way, now that I have the pleasure of dealing with a plethora (I’ve long hoped for a place where I could stick in a word like that and hope it sounded cool) of material to work with, doesn’t mean that I don’t want you all to think in terms of sharing stories (especially with photos) whenever you get together with Classmates.

Finally, I want to use this opportunity to say thank you to all of you who have taken the time to say a few kind words regarding my efforts here. It is greatly appreciated and really helps as I try to decide the direction all of you want me to go with our communications.

Big Bill Took on USNA for All of Us

This great story comes from Jack Lowe. Bill Zadeland Jack were assigned as Captains in 1968 in Danang. Jack was assigned as an Army Officer to the III Marine Amphibious Force and Bill was assigned to 3d Marine Division. Bill was getting a lot of grief from a Marine Major who graduated from Annapolis.  What it essentially boiled down to was that USNA turned out tougher officers in the Marine Corps than USMA turned out for the Army.  This went on and on and Bill basically just put up with it as a Marine Captain graduated from West Point. 

Then the Marines in Danang thought that morale needed some improvement so they announced that there would be a big Smoker (open amateur boxing tournament).  Well that really lit things up and all the tough guys in the Marines were signing up for the Smoker. Without saying anything to the Major, Bill signed them both up to fight each other in the Smoker. Well, interest in the Smoker went through the roof when it was learned that a Major and a Captain were going to fight.  Then when it was learned that a USNA grad was going to fight a USMA grad to see which Academy turned out the toughest grads, anticipation was beyond measurement.

Now, as you know, no one in his right mind would want to climb in the ring with Bill Zadel for three, two minute rounds. The Major immediately thought the same thing.  He started trying every way possible to get out of the fight without saying he did not want to face Zadel in the ring. While the point can’t be proven, it appeared as if many marine officers serving there who were not USNA grads were conspiring to thwart every effort of the Major to get out of the fight.  Finally, as the Major ran out of options he just chickened out and said he would not fight Bill. It was the last they heard about USNA graduating tougher officers than USMA. (Photo: There were no photos available with the story so I used this one that I took on the boat ride during our 45th reunion – Here is Bill with Bob Selkis)

A Long Belated Graduation Party

Last fall, October 21st to be precise, Mike Lapollafinally had his West Point graduation party. Bob andKay Cato graciously hosted this wonderful event at their home in Arlington, VA.

The story behind this event is unique. Ruthand Larry Neal got married graduation day. Neither of them had parents who could plan for or finance a wedding reception, and with them being too young, na├»ve, poor, and otherwise incapable of pulling it off, Mike’s mom and dad (Ray and Kathryn Lapolla) stepped up and organized the reception at Mike's home in Peekskill.  What a great party it was, with maybe a hundred guests (seemed like).  Even John J. "shake the hand that shook the hand that shook the world" Sciviletto of Peekskill's Union Hotel attended, and a kid named George Pataki (later to become Gov. of New York), and several I-1 mates.  

However, Mike’s graduation party, originally planned for that date, was collateral damage. It was toast, scratched, no makeup day possible. Ruth and Larry carried guilt feelings for 46 years. They had a great time finally celebrating Mike's graduation and reminiscing.  Joining them were the spirits of Spotswood Dewitt and Frank O'Brien. Also present in Peekskill were Randy Guenther, Roger Griffin and Bob Cato all of whom had been saber bearers at the wedding (as was Mike). The damage was repaired and all was forgiven on Oct 21st. (Photo: Seated for what looks like a great meal are: Bob Cato, Ruth Neal, Carol Lapolla, Mike Lapolla, Roger Griffin, Randy Guenther, Trish Griffin, and Larry Neal)

Hallenbeck and Pickler Dine in Saddam’s Old Hangout

John Malpass shared this story and photo. Sandy Hallenbeck and John Pickler are seen here vacationing in Iraq, circa 2003-2004. Tired of sitting in front of their computer screens in Northern VA, Sandy and John were desperate for some field time where they could get shot at again. As soon as Saddam was pushed from power, John got his chance as the director of security in Iraq for Bechtel. And, three days after the US Army took Baghdad, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) sent Sandy off to manage the Iraqi Media Network and, later, the New Iraqi Army project. In addition to travelling around mundane places like Baghdad, Mosul, and Basrah, John and Sandy both got to visit such hot spots as Falujah and Al Ramadi. And, over the course of the year, both made a lot of Iraqi friends. 

Happily, Sandy was away from Baghdad when the bad guys sent an RPG into his hotel room, making a mess of his liquor cabinet. When John and Sandy were both in Baghdad at the same time, however, they often shared a meal together in the Palace dining facility (pictured) or in Bechtel’s dining facility.  John and Sandy reported that it was a great year: “The most fun I’ve had since I became a civilian”, said Sandy. (Photo: Sandy Hallenbeck and John Pickler in Saddam’s Palace)

Old Pictures Are Always Fun

Johnny Wells was kind enough to help me out when I put out my plea last month. He found four “Academy Vellum” letter boxes stored deep in one of his closets. The tape holding one of them closed was old and split so out dropped this picture of Jim Talbot who was Johnny’s roommate and Ranger buddy. The guess is that it was taken at Ft Benning in either Airborne or Ranger School. Does this look familiar to anyone? It looks pretty crumby to me, so Ft Benning seems right and he seems to be dealing with sore feet, so Ft Benning definitely seems right. Comments? (Photo: Jim Talbot dealing with sore feet?)

Retired at Last

My good buddy, Ron (Chops) Walter also stepped up when I called for help and shared a great story and many photos which show he and his beautiful bride Janice as they made the transition from hard working business owners to very busy retirees with a wanderlust and a desire to be closer to a big city and new and old friends. I must admit to nudging the boy just a little as I have been retired a few more years than he and was anxious for him to join our ranks as well as have him move a little closer.

Ron and Janice had been living for many years in the small town of Sierra Vista in the South East corner of Arizona and were planning to move to Scottsdale when they finally accepted the reality of retirement. In 2009 they finally sold the business and made the move. Then they were off to Assisi, Italy and later on to Turkey and a cruise of the Aegean Islands. Then in 2010 they took in the Oberammergau Passion Play in Germany and took a cruise of the (not so Blue) Danube, then on to Salzburg, Austria and Budapest, Hungary, with a stop in Bratislava, Slovakia. Enough travel (my fingers are getting sore from all the unfamiliar letter arrangements). (Photo: Ron and Janice Walter on a parapet overlooking the Greccio Valley in Italy where Ron had hoped to consult the Oracle concerning something to do with his height)

Retired at last – 2

Between trips to Europe they find time to be with family both in Arizona and North Carolina. Here they are in North Carolina for granddaughter Maegen’s baptism with daughter Jeanine, son-in-law Blaise Williams and granddaughter Sadie. After all this gallivanting around, they took the time to purchase a beautiful cabin in Durango, Colorado just so they could get away from the summer heat in Scottsdale. (Photo: At their granddaughter’s baptism are: Janice, Ron, Jeanine with Maegen, and son-in-law Blaise Williams with Sadie)

Another Way to Travel in Retirement

Dick Williams recently retired from a second career Directing Public Safety in Pinellas County, Florida. He is now working harder than ever with a remodeling project, a long list of honeydos, and getting a brand new RV ready for a 6 week, 7,000 mile trip from Florida to California and back in one great big loop. Now that’s my idea of fun if you can get past the pain at the pump when it comes to filling that puppy up.

I have already asked Bill and Joan to stop when they go through Goodyear, Arizona so we can share a lunch or dinner and talk about retiring on the road. He’s hoping to find time for a stop, but he’s on a tight schedule to get to a 2 week skydiving clinic and competition in Lodi, California. Yes, that was Dick you saw in the last Class Notes making a dead center landing also at a meet in Lodi. Not inclined to limit themselves to RV travel, Dick and Joan will be on a cruise from Istanbul to Athens in July, but then they will be back on the road to follow the turning of the tree leaves from Maine to Florida in the fall then next year it will be the Great Northwest to include Yosemite and Mt. Rushmore. Maybe they will be able to join Bill Sherrell for his Pacific Northwest golf outing in late July. (Photo: Bill and Joan Williams in front of their new RV – with them is their RV factory representative)

Things To Do When Not Traveling in Retirement

Jerry & Peggy Merges report that The Villages, Florida’s Friendliest Hometown, has two other permanent residents making up the ’65 team, Dave& Marcella Gnau and Dan & Diana Steinwald.They were all recently visited by snowbirds Don &Carol Appler who came down from Kentucky to enjoy some of the warmth of Florida during the winter. The men and their spouses enjoyed a night out dining. Later the Gnau’s along with Don and Jerry got together for an afternoon of pickleball. Jerry explains, for those who don’t know what he’s talking about, that pickleball is a paddle game played on a 1/2 size tennis court, with a tennis net, hard whiffle ball, and graphite or wood paddles. It is like table tennis on steroids and you, the player, are on the court. A very fast paced game, excellent for those who like a great workout and not running as far as tennis players do. I can attest to this description as I played many years of this game while in the Seattle area where it was invented by a doctor who didn’t have room in his yard for a full size tennis court. He also had a dog named Pickles, hence the name he gave the game. Now you know all you need to know to go out and give it a try.

Dave, Dan, and Jerry also spearheaded the 2nd Founders Day celebration in The Villages, with '69's Fred Dibella as the guest speaker. For those who branched armor, Fred was the Chief of the Armor branch, had a very distinguished career, and a successful post service career as well.

All S&D'ers are invited to visit anytime. They have over 500 holes of golf, both championship and executive and Dave & Marcella will gladly give you lessons.

At the last minute (just prior to submission of these Notes) I received this great photo from Jerry Merges at the very recent Founders Day Event in The Villages. It looks like a delightfully casual event. (Photo: Founder’s Day at The Villages. In the back row are: Dan Steinwald, Bob de Laar, Frank Arnall, and Jerry Merges, front row are Pauline de Laar, Marcella Gnau, Dave Gnau, and Peggy Merges)

Living the Good Life Just Outside Fairbanks, Alaska

Paul & Neva Renschen sent me some great pictures of a Boreal Owl which was the first owl they had seen visiting their beautiful home way up north. Having spent about 21/2 years in Alaska, I can relate to the appeal, however, when it hit - 48 degrees on my last visit to Fairbanks, I discovered that I had not lost anything up there that I’d be coming back for. Their usual guests are moose and other local critters. If you have a particular interest in the owl pictures or Paul’s home, let me know, but with the limited space I now have, thanks to the great response from my plea for help, I chose to limit this story to one picture of the happy couple. (Photo: Paul and Neva Renschen enjoying some wine in a restaurant outside Denali National Park, Alaska)

Army/Navy Weekend Revisited

Emery Chase submitted this great picture of his clan gathering for the Army/Navy game late last year. It sure looks like a dedicated Army family. Emery points out that our Affiliation with the Class of 2015 obviously holds a special meaning for him. (Photo: Emery, his eldest son Emery III (Class of 1989), his grandson Gavin (Class of 2015), and his son Kenneth (Class of 1991 – Gavin’s dad))

More Affiliation activities – This Time from the Heartland

The event was the 25th Annual United States Service Academies and Military Colleges Ball which was held on 30 December, 2011 in Kansas City with an attendance of over 300. The Ball is usually just for cadets, midshipmen and their families but Steve Kempf was a special invitee because of our Affiliation with the Class of 2015. Steve sent two pictures. The first showed him cutting the 25thAnniversary cake while surrounded by upperclassmen and this one which includes seven of the attendees who are members of the Class of 2015. (Photo: Retired COL Steve Kempf with seven members of the Class of 2015)

And Affiliation in Texas

Jim Webb sent this picture taken when he visited Tyler Glasz (a member of our Affiliation Class of 2015) and his parents at their home. Tyler was home on a 4 day pass (I remember when a pass of any kind seemed like such a far off dream). Jim points out that he is a fine young man, a member of G-2, who plans to major in civil engineering (wouldn’t majoring have been fun?). (Photo: Jim Webb with Tyler Glasz – Class of 2015)

More with our Affiliation Class – Plebe Parents Breakfast

Russ Campbell reported: “Nine hundred plebe parents, family and friends signed up for the AOG sponsored Plebe Parents Breakfast at Herbert Hall on Friday, March 9, 2012.  AOG estimated that 1,000 showed up. It was unbelievable weather for the dead of winter and “gloom period” at West Point – a perfect sunny, dry, and about 45 degree day.  We were met and graciously escorted during the event by Elena Meskill ’99 from AOG.”

Russ and his wife Maryann represented ’65 with the assigned mission to meet, mingle and engage the parents.  As the only reps they did their best but they were limited to just how many participants they could meet.  On the other hand, the AOG rolled out their entire staff and they did a great job meeting and greeting parents and guests.

Bob McClure ‘76, AOG President and CEO, gave a brief warm and welcoming speech to all five groups.   In his remarks he singled out the affiliation class and acknowledged the presence and support of ’65.

The parents were not only appreciative of the event but expressed genuine respect and pride in the experience.   A common theme when asked how their son or daughter was doing they all reported that they were doing fine---no real problems except challenged by lack of sleep and challenges with time management.  So they are doing well and the place has not gone completely soft.  That’s good. 

As you can see, we could have used many more from our Class at this function. Please join in when the opportunities come up. Thank you Russ and Maryann for representing us so well. (Photo:  Maryann and Russ Campbell with a proud 2015 parent.)

A Mini Gathering in Virginia

Since about 2008 the Berry’s from Fredericksburg, the Helberg’s from Midlothian, the Hopkins’ from Mechanicsville, and the Harvey’s from Chesapeake have been taking turns hosting dinner/get-togethers two or three times a year, congregating in an area in Virginia about 120 miles long. Dave Hopkins shared this story and picture which, this time came on 4 February when they met at The Tobacco Company (I wonder if they have a smoking section?) restaurant in the Shockoe Bottom area of Richmond. (I had some fun with my Google map trying to get a feel for these places) they  spent their time sharing the latest about kids and grandkids, solving world problems, reviewing Army’s football progress (another world problem), and generally having a good time with dear friends. An interesting coincidence – these are four Classmates with the first name Jim (Dave is actually James David). (Photo: Couples, left to right are Jim and Margie Berry, Jim and Lynne Helberg, Dave and Darlene Hopkins, and Jim and June Harvey)

Military Community Youth Ministries (MCYM) Banquet

Terry Ryan sent me this great report regardingJohn Pickler’s long service to the Military Community Youth Ministries (MCYM). He wrote: “At the invitation of John, several Strength and Drivers and their ladies joined John and Karen Pickler to attend an event that honored the completion of John’s service as Chairman of the Board of Military Community Youth Ministries at their National Banquet at Fort Meyer.  Clair Gill (sans Sherry who was grand mothering), Bob & Mary Harter, Jack &Annette Lowe, Tom & June Fergusson, Frank &Gisela Koleszar, and of course my OAO Nancywere in attendance.” 

John Pickler also shared, “It’s a great organization with a critical mission of ecumenical Christian ministry to military teenagers worldwide, and I have been privileged to have served for over 12 years on the board of directors, most recently as the chairman for the past three years, of MCYM/Club Beyond.  As you know, the past eleven years have been particularly turbulent in the lives of our military families and particularly our teenagers, many of whose parents have been on multiple deployments, whose families have been frequently moved, and some of whose parents have been wounded or killed. Others have suffered the family strains and dissolution from an extended period of war and deployments, and MCYM/Club Beyond trained religious staff members and community teams have joined installation chaplains and staff to counsel and minister to these teens and their families.” (Photo: In this photo we see John Pickler, Linda Bradshaw, Sam Bradshaw (MCYM Board Member), and Bonnie Burrell (banquet guest)

A Great Day on the Golf Course

Is there any other kind of day on a golf course? Bob Radcliffe sent me this great picture of a small band of S&D’ers who went out to beat up on some small white balls. Their “Great Southern Migration” took them to Cape Fear National Golf Course in Leland, North Carolina (just outside Wilmington). Bob Selkis, Barry Zais, and Steve Darrah were joined by Pat Kenny, Gordy Larson (full time southern residents), and Bob Radcliffe. Later, they were joined by Ed Knauf for poker night (as if the golf course doesn’t provide enough of a gamble). (Photo: Bob Selkis, Pat Kenny (I guess he doesn’t even need a club), Steve Darrah, Bob Radcliffe, Gordy Larson, and Barry Zais)

A Good Time at Founders Day

Terry Ryan sent me this photo of our Classmates at the Gainesville, Virginia Founders Day. It looks like a good time was had by all. In attendance from our Class were: Terry & Nancy Ryan, Larry & Jean Bennett, Jim & Karen Ferguson, Bernie & Ellen Ziegler, George & Sue Gehringer, Bill & Jane Lehman, Curt & Ann Adams, and John & Linda Concannon.  As Terry put it “it was perfectly organized by Concannon, Adams, Bennett, and Ziegler. (Photo: From left to right, couples are Terry & Nancy Ryan, Larry & Jean Bennett, Jim & Karen Ferguson, Bernie & Ellen Ziegler, George & Sue Gehringer, Bill & Jane Lehman, Curt & Ann Adams, and John & Linda Concannon)

Be Thou at Peace

I am thrilled that I have nothing to report here.