Courtesy of Bob Frank, we have an affecting account of a farewell to a most exceptional lady, wife of our Classmate Terry Tutchings:
"Classmates and wives gathered at the Falls Church Episcopal Church on Saturday, 25 August, to celebrate the life of Sharon Ann Tutchings. The day was beautiful and the church is historic, with the parish dating back to 1732 (George Washington's birth year). It was a great venue in which to experience the joy of Sharon and Terry's life together even though there was plenty of sadness that accompanied the tribute to Sharon. Amy Tutchings Windish paid tribute to her mother with a reading from the Book of Isaiah. Sharon's good friend Cheryl McVay reflected on the life and attributes of one who was clearly a woman of many talents and much energy. Cheryl's remarks were heartfelt and provided a deep appreciation of the beneficent impact that Sharon had on Terry, her family and friends, and the many organizations she touched. Terry's loss was made all the more manifest by Cheryl's reflections."
Photo Right: Class of '65 Attendees: L-R, Ann & Hank Sterbenz, Lynne & Joe DeFrancisco, Chuck Nichols, Ric & Patty Shinseki, Pete Linn (to their rear), Terry Tutchings, Leo Kennedy, Mary Frank, Cheryl & Mike Viani, Bob Frank, Jim Murphy
Photo Left: Sharon & Terry, Firstie Year – My God, were any of us ever that young?
Many thanks, Bob, for that account. I am sure that the presence of so many of our distinguished Classmates was of great comfort to Terry and his family at a time of acute loss. I have attended that church (as did Washington himself, or so the Verger used to claim), and it is indeed a fitting site for commemorating the life and achievements of a singular woman.
Art & Terri Mark recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, with a little help from the Bishop of Rome!
Photo Right: Art & Terri Mark with certificate of Apostolic Blessing on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary
And what were they up to during those many years? See below:
Photo Left: Rumors that there are Ten Little Marks have proved to be true! Grandchildren evidently proved too numerous for the apse floor to support!
Congratulations and best wishes, Terri and Art! Not many people can say they produced both a girls' and a boys' basketball team.
Classmate Marshall Schwartz writes to share impressions from a recent tour of World War II sites in which he and his wife Judy participated.
"I want to share a wonderful and deeply moving experience my wife and I recently had, as I think others in our class may be interested in doing something similar. I'm referring to Procom's 11-day Beyond Band of Brothers Tour, which further elevated the knowledge and feelings I'd acquired over the years from books, classes, and movies about WWII. The tour began in Normandy with visits to the five D-Day beaches and concluded at Hitler's Eagles Nest retreat in the Alps of Berchtesgaden. Along the way, we visited Bastogne, the American military cemeteries at Normandy and Luxembourg, the Dachau Concentration Camp, and other historically significant Second World War sites. Stops at several exceptional museums were included in the itinerary. Each day was an adventure.
Photo: Marshall & Judy Schwartz at what looks to be Omaha Beach
"As inspiring as it is to read about or see Hollywood depictions of valiant American troops coming ashore at Omaha Beach, actually standing on the wet coastal sands and viewing the beach wall and dunes added a new dimension. The same can be said for the inland fields and villages where paratroopers landed and the steep cliffs the Rangers scaled at Pointe du Hoc, as well as the forests around Bastogne where the courageous American troops persisted in sub-zero temperatures six months later.
"And the locals remember. The American flag was on full display in each Normandy, Belgian, and Luxembourg town along our bus route, as a symbol of the residents' unwavering appreciation for what the American troops did to liberate them from Nazi rule.
"I returned home from the trip with an even greater appreciation for the sacrifices and achievements of America's victorious WWII combatants – and the key roles played by West Point graduates, some of whom were kin of our classmates. Though a generation removed, I also carried back an enhanced degree of pride in the heritage imbedded in the Ranger patch and jump wings I'd once worn on my uniforms. Moreover, while the terrains, circumstances, and intensities of the two conflicts were markedly dissimilar, parallels were present between my Vietnam experience and what I saw, heard, and felt as the tour progressed. The experience was personal and impactful. I am so pleased we participated, and enthusiastically recommend it to classmates and others seeking a meaningful and enjoyable venture.
information about the tour we took, as well as other battlefield tours
Procom offers, is available at
Thanks, Marshall. Knowing our adventuresome crew, I suspect that several Classmates will take your recommendation to heart.
It was last year at around this time that I was first made aware of that clandestine cabal, Four Colonels of Infantry. To most scholars of the Deep State, this conspiracy is the stuff of legend, but it is with considerable journalistic pride that I am able to reveal (for the second time on these pages, in fact) that it really exists and that its aims remain the same: to infiltrate Canada and purloin its most outstanding ichthyological specimens. Below are revealed the group's machinations against our Peaceful Neighbor to the North in the words of laconic conspirator Barrie Zais.
Photo Left: The Four Colonels in question -- L-R, Bill Sherrill, Jim Wood, Barrie Zais, Bob Radcliffe -- at their secret base
"For a number of years four colonels of infantry have trekked to Canada in search of the elusive smallmouth bass. They have just returned from another successful adventure."
Photo Right: The secret base in what is rumored to be the butter capital of Canada, though the body of water might be more euphoniously named.
What is all the more amazing about this story is that its government seems to be totally oblivious to this threat to Canadian sovereignty and territorial integrity. Here's hoping they remain so until a new NAFTA is finally negotiated and signed!
And so another dip into the sorrows and joys of the Class of 1965 comes to an end. My profound thanks to my contributors. And remember, faithful readers, stay in school, just say "no" to drugs, and Beat Navy!
Strength & Drive, Step
Bob Frank provides primary-source detail on that recent event.
"The 2018 Leaders Conference put on by the staff of WPAOG ended on Friday evening, 17 August. It was followed on Saturday morning by the A-Day (Acceptance Day) parade, wherein the Class of 2022 joined the Corps of Cadets, officially changing status from New Cadets to Plebes. The Academic Year began Monday, 20 August!
There are a number of items coming out of the conference that ought to be of interest to our Class, and, as the Class representative, I am passing them along. I hope you take the time to read through my report.
Photo Left: The Lunchables: L-R, Bob Frank, Joe DeFrancisco, Russ Campbell, Tom Barron
DeFrancisco started the conference off with
a brief overview of WPAOG highlights, reminding all that the
association began as a fraternal organization
in 1869 to heal the rifts resulting from the Civil War.
The first gift by graduates was not made until 1883, when a statue of Sylvanus Thayer was presented by the AOG. In so doing, WPAOG became a philanthropic organization as well as a fraternal one. As the West Point Association of Graduates approaches its 150th year, there is a plan to celebrate this signal achievement.
Included in that plan will be the installment of a statute of President U. S. Grant, to be on the north end of The Plain, between Trophy Point and Thayer's statue. Grant will face The Plain and the cadet barracks to the south. It is also worthy of note that Grant's statue will take its place 150 years after Grant's inauguration as the nation's 18th President.
Other activities as part of the sesquicentennial commemoration will be announced soon. The commemoration officially kicks off 1 January 2019.
Browne, WPAOG president and CEO, reported on a number of items. There
are now 80 Classes with living graduates. The WPAOG staff in Herbert
Hall supported 15 reunions last year. The Memorialization Team (a new
service) provides support for 130 funerals per year. In addition, WPAOG
manages an endowment of $380 million. The Herbert Hall team has placed
more emphasis on engaging cadets and parents than previously.
Funds that support the Margin of Excellence (that is, enhancements to the cadet experience) now provide a wide range of experiences. WPAOG and the Academy both make certain that cadets understand what donor dollars make possible: trip sections, club activities, Advanced Individual Academic Development opportunities, and a variety of other endeavors. Cadets (and faculty) are quick to thank donors at the end of every presentation they make as they report back on their experiences and accomplishments. In these ways, Herbert Hall lives up to the Association's mission "to serve West Point and the Long Gray Line.
While WPAOG has supported five key projects in recent years, more are planned for the future. The five projects completed are (1) Foley, Enners, Nathe Lacrosse Center, (2) the Malek Visitors Center at South Post (formerly, Ladycliffe), (3) installation of artificial turf on Goldstein Field, (4) installation of artificial turf on Daly Field and, (5) the Malek Soccer Stadium. Planned projects are (1) a Humanities Center just north of and below Trophy Point, (2) Anderson Athletic Center (for use by Sprint Football and Volleyball), (3) Grant statue and (4) Morgan Farms Riding Stable. All these projects are supported solely by donations.
The Commandant reported on the results of Summer Training, as well as a number of other items of note. One hundred twenty cadets graduated from Airborne School. 700 became Air Assault qualified. Yearling summer training at Buckner included 58 ROTC cadets and 7 Midshipmen. The Commandant pointed out that USMA is
working with HQDA to obtain funds for the improvement of Camp Buckner, which was built during WWII as a POW camp - by POW labor. Buckner has not seen a significant upgrade since.
The Army is changing its physical fitness program. The new program will be the Army Combat Fitness Test. The Class of 2019 will be a test case for this new approach. In addition, the Army intends to adopt an over-40 program, and the USMA staff and faculty are going to be among the first organizations to undertake the program. By jumping on these two opportunities, the USMA leadership intends to familiarize the cadets and the staff and faculty with the new programs. By so doing, 2019 will enter their units with full knowledge of the new standards. And, staff and faculty will be in the forefront of physical fitness in the over-40 category.
While many other topics were covered, I only wish to bring to your attention one more: Talent-Based Branching. The Academy has modified the procedures pertaining to branch selection by a graduating Class. As before, Army Needs and OML (order of merit list) are two key elements of branch selection. The addition of ‘cadet talents' is a key ingredient. Cadets are evaluated throughout their 47 month experience regarding their talents. This assessment is then compared with a list of qualities and characteristics that each branch has developed as key to the type of officer that branch is seeking. All these factors (including cadet preferences) are reviewed by a branching-board (headed by the Commandant), which arrives at a determination of branch assignment. In my view, it is a process that makes sense, although I have not seen how it actually works.
Of course, there is a social element to these conferences. Below are two photos that document the Class of '65 participation.
The wrap up dinner was preceded by a social hour.
Photo Right: L-R, Joe DeFrancisco, Russ Campbell, Cadet Brady Miller '19, Bob Frank, Erik Oines ‘15
A bit of explanation is in order. Cadet Miller is from the same town as Russ Campbell, who made contact with Miller three plus years ago when Brady was a candidate. Russ has stayed in contact with Brady, and provided a wonderful introduction for Joe and Bob. Erik Oines graduated with our Affiliation Class. Because of physical limitations, he was not commissioned. Erik now works in the development office of WPAOG. He is a very engaging young man, and was a joy to spend time with.
While there are other tidbits that were gleaned during the conference, there is just one more that I bring to your attention. LTG Bob Caslen stood up a planning staff charged with creating and coordinating a master plan for the Academy. There are numerous elements to the 2035 Master Plan. One of the goals of the plan is to rationalize the Cadet Area so that only those activities related to cadets are in the immediate vicinity of the barracks. An example may help to visualize the approach being taken. Currently, Admissions is in Lee Hall (just as it was in our day). What with security concerns, parking limitations and the like, Lee Hall is not a suitable place for Admissions activities. So, the goal is to move Admissions to Lincoln Hall where the Social Science and English Departments are currently located. (Lincoln Hall is to the left of Cullum Hall as you look from Doubleday Field.) [Formerly, the Old BOQ – S.T.] Prospective candidates and parents would not need to enter the Cadet Area when visiting Admissions. There are numerous other changes under consideration, but most will require funding and Army approval. Suffice it to say that even our Affiliation Class will find a physically much-changed USMA if the master plan reaches fruition.
Russ and I got to converse with the new Supe, LTG Darryl A. Williams '83, at the Tailgate on Thursday evening. Our WPAOG Board Chairman, Joe DeFrancisco, had an hour and a half talk with LTG Williams, discussing WPAOG and how OUR Association supports USMA. There were other highlights over the two days which I have not captured here. However, should you have questions, please direct them to Russ (email@example.com ) or me (firstname.lastname@example.org ). We might have to touch base with the folks in Herbert Hall to make certain that we are providing accurate information, but we will get an answer for you. In addition, you might also check with your WP Society about those things which pertain to their functioning.
Thanks, Bob – a most thorough overview of the conference. The latest edition of "First Call," distributed to everyone a few days ago, also has details about the event, though not so interestingly recounted.
year's field march back to West Point to end New Cadet Barracks
featured two Classmates, each participating in a family way -- and I do
not mean pregnant, but rather with family members enjoying a West Point
connection as well.
-- We'll start with Denny Coll's story
"The picture shows my daughter Shannon Coll Home ('95) and her daughter Kirby Lynn Home (Class of '22) with me. In case anyone is wondering, 12 miles over hill and dale is still a helluva long way, especially at the pace that 1,300 very fit 18- year olds maintain!"
Photo Left: L-R, Two Chips and a Block – Shannon, Kirby, and Denny
For an excellent article about the march-back, complete with quotes from Denny, go to
-- Jim McEliece and two successive generations also participated
"This past Monday, 13 Aug, I had the privilege of completing a milestone in the life of my grandson, Jake Pettit. Jake entered USMA with the class of 2019 and completed Beast in the summer of 2015. Jake's dad, Tom Pettit (Class of '91) and I thought it would be cool to join him on the march where we would represent three generations of West Pointers. As fate would have it, Jake's firstie detail year was as a company commander for Beast II with the Class of 2022. Since that includes the march back, we thought it would be special to book-end Jake's USMA experience by walking with him again."
Photo Right: Aug 2019 – L-R, Tom ('91) and Jake ('19) Pettit, gramps Jim McEliece ('65), foot of ski slope
"What a difference three years makes. I can say with complete confidence that the Corps HAS – has gotten significantly better at producing quality leaders than even during the early ‘60's. The IAD (Individual Advanced Development) program has added a richness we never experienced. Jake's IAD assignments have included:
"These young men and women are certainly entering the Army better prepared to lead than I was.
"I am deeply grateful for the physical ability to complete this challenge at age 75 (Fitbit said 18 miles and 33,500 steps for Monday). I'm also thankful that I can envision no challenge remaining in my life that will require getting into any shape exceeding that required for the frequent beer can curl."
Thanks, guys, for representing Strength and Drive with such élan! Two groups of three West Point generations
– hearty congratulations to all, especially the more … er, seasoned participants!
Rumors that he'd recently shot his age (74) in golf led me to contact Pat Kenny, who quickly corrected Denny Coll's misapprehension, regarding both the age/score and the number of grandchildren Pat has.
Ted Kleinmaier sent a link to an excellent YouTube video that shows how simple and without controversy pre-game ceremonies used to be. No pop diva "scooping" from Bb to F#, no linebackers burning their jock straps or falling prostrate to the turf, just an excellent rendering of our most beautiful national anthem, complete with service academy representation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ETrr-XHBjE
I must say that those who fracture and otherwise abuse English have certainly not stayed their efforts recently. If anything, the news media (and I must include the bot-botched news feed to my iPhone) have increased their efforts to flaunt their contempt for even the most basic rules … and no, these aren't merely typos brought about by hectic production schedules:
-- "… both X as well as Y .…" This should almost certainly be rendered "… both X and Y …" "Both" indicates two objects, conjoined by "and." the word "both," "as well as" would be correct. -- So-and-so, speaking of his wife: "It's her who handles our finances." Does her really?
-- "… no information on the amount of dead following the quake." Probably several tons, I imagine.
-- "… the El Rey Theater." Spanish is the most common language spoken in the US after English, so this example is not all that esoteric. "El" and "La" are definite articles, corresponding to "the" in English. Consequently, one really ought to eliminate one of the articles in the previous quotation. The most egregious example of this error can be found in LA. La Brea is Spanish for "the tarpit," so the street signs pointing to "The La Brea Tarpits" are saying "the the tarpit tarpits." Redundant, ya think? Phrases like "They met at Drive-In, or "They met at Drive-In" seem perfectly unobjectionable in English and eliminate what to 85% of the population is an ludicrous redundancy.
A most inelegant way to speak of past conditional relationships is
showing its hideous visage in a range of venues of late. "I wish he would
have told me he was going to blow up the bus
station!" Using the term "would have" in this situation is the
rhetorical equivalent of playing backgammon while wearing boxing gloves. have
implies desire or determination, in the first place. It is far
preferable to say/write "I wish he had told
me …," thereby avoiding both an ambiguity and a really ugly turn of
And so another edition of Despatches goes to bed. My thanks, as always, to my contributors, without whose contributions this screed would be one long harangue on linguistics, punctuated by photos of my dog.
As always, all things bright and beautiful herein are attributable to my correspondents; all things vile and base are strictly my own responsibility.
well my Brothers and Sisters! Strength and Drive,
Dear Classmates – Herewith, more thrills, chills, and adventures!
Art Hester, our Lion of the Links, reports on this pinnacle of the athletic calendar:
I see Art in the photo, clutching the trophy firmly, but he modestly avoids detailing his contribution to this singular victory. Still, can Kim Jong Un really sleep at night knowing the depth of talent on which our nation can call in times of crisis?
his three siblings hold family reunions frequently (well, more
frequently than the Tyners, which is never), complete with ante
bellum "big house" in the background and shirt
colors coordinated by sibling cohort.
Because his report was in a format that resisted being embedded in this document, I have merely extracted a few photos for your edification
Johnny & Rose Ann, their kids, kids-in-law, and grandkids
Johnny & Rose Ann with the grandkids. Is that Johnny or Ted Danson?
I can just picture Johnny, attempting to arrest a toddler's imminent mischief, yelling "Bobby … uh, Billy … uh, Basil … YOU MAN, HALT!" Nobody our age can keep 15 grandkids' names straight under stress. I myself have but a daughter, two grandkids, and a dog, yet generally must indicate whom I am addressing with my swagger stick.
Johnny, I regret that I couldn't fold your report into this column intact, but thanks for keeping us in the loop.
Like the Wells family above, the progeny of Chuck Moseley is legion. In what is apparently an annual tribal ritual, they have again gathered at some uncontested shore to break bread and air grievances.
A pride of Moseleys (Grandson Chase, on AOT at Ft Gordon, Photo Shopped)
adds that Chase appears for real in a photo in the latest issue of West
magazine, lest anyone suspect that he is actually a figment of Chuck's imagination.
I suggest that one of these days the Moseleys meet with the Wells in a paintball contest. We could combine it with a mini-reunion and a Class meeting and ….
Emery & Eleanora Chase spent several days in July in our Rockbound Highland Home. The Chases have given to the Academy freely of the fruit of their loins, as is explained by Emery below:
"For us, it was a full weekend. We drove up on Thursday so we could be there Friday for graduation from Air Assault Course of Grandson Sam a new Yearling, class of 2021, and his departure to Buckner on Saturday. Son Ken, class of 1991, and his wife Ann flew in from Korea so we had a mini-family reunion. Monday, R-Day, was hot and humid, sent grandson Tucker off to meet the man in the red sash! Including my own, this was my 6th R-Day!. Son Emery III is class of 1989. Son Ken is class of 1991. Grandson Gavin, son of Ken, is class of 2015 (our affiliation class). Grandson Sam is a Yearling and class of 2021. Tucker rounds it out as a new cadet, class of 2022. To top off the weekend, Tuesday the 3rd of July was Eleanora's and my 53rd wedding anniversary. Where has the time gone!"
Eleanora, Hunter ('22), and Emery Chase, R-Day, 2018
Eleanora, grandson Sam('21), and Emery Chase, Air Assault Course graduation
By the way, Emery, when we're done with it, the time goes to Cleveland, where it is sorted and packaged for shipment to China to be recycled.
Tommy Thompson sent the photo below, showing that he still has and presumably still uses a Cadet hanger and hair brush. Waste not, want not, Tommy!
Not to go all Barry Fitzgerald on you, but Denny Coll recently found himself in Northern Ireland, and thus naturally ended up being kidnapped and forced to sample whiskeys at a noted distillery therein – it's a long story, but had something to do with extorting a product endorsement from Denny. His account is uncharacteristically brief, but I presume his captors prevented him from expatiating.
"Visited Bushmill's in Northern Ireland today. Couldn't pass up having one (actually four, if you count the tasting room) for The Old Man! Brought back lots of memories laughing with Irish in our hands at Dermody's house overlooking the Chesapeake."
Photo Left: Catherine and Denny toasting their designated driver
Thanks, Denny. I take indecent liberties with your copy from time to time, but am always glad to get it. And I am sure that many of us join you in missing The Old Man; though unable to lift a Bushmill's to him in Ulster, I often raise a Boost to his memory here in Sacramento.
Photo Right: Establishing shot: Denny and distillery sign – ninja kidnappers presumably just out of frame
As I suspect do most of us, I have some very pleasant memories of the Hotel Thayer, ranging from just-in-time rescues from starvation during Plebe year to Class reunions not so very long ago. Gene Manghi explains what I'm on about, as well as quite a bit about the USMA Visitors' Center (which seems to be the central theme of his narrative, now that I think of it).
Photo: Gene & Berni, Sabine & Paul, garden of Hotel Thayer
wife Berni and
I met Sabine
& Paul Schultz at the Visitors' Center.
We went to the Visitor Control Center downstairs to renew our annual
West Point access cards, often referred to as the get-out-of-jail-free
card. The process did not take very long and we then went upstairs to
the main floor with a mandatory stop in the gift shop and then
proceeded to the main part of the Center. We were all impressed as the
layout was very comprehensive and we found references to Ric [Shinseki] and Buddy [Bucha] and Joe
Anderson and there may be others that
we missed. It was then on to the Thayer where we enjoyed a good meal.
It is not as fancy as The Culinary Institute that we have visited
before but it is a lot closer.
The Culinary Institute of America, also known as the other CIA, is indeed one of the many perks that come with life in the Hudson Valley but the Thayer was within walking distance of Central Area and the food was more wholesome that that available at the Boodler's or Lee Hall, so it gets my nostalgia vote early and often.
Chuck Moseley sends this report on the recent celebration of the life of Eleanor Vann, late and much admired wife of our Classmate John.
"I returned home a few hours ago from a wonderful Celebration of Life in Pinehurst NC for John Vann's lovely and unbelievably accomplished wife Eleanor. The service was well attended and had wonderful remembrance messages from the clergy, musicians, John, and his three daughters. The service was followed by a very nice reception at Pinehurst Country Club.
L-R: Dede Malpass.John Malpass, Jack Thomasson, Stash Vann (widow of
Dave Vann), Ann Thomasson, Bob Radcliffe, Chuck Moseley, Faye Hayes,
Cathy Moseley, Jim Dyer, Janet Dyer, Bill Bradburn, Mary Frank, Sue
Timmerman, Bob Frank, John Vann, Ann Harmon, Steve Harmon, Fred
Laughlin, Tim Timmerman, Chuck McCloskey, Rosemary McCloskey
"Ten classmates (mostly those of us in the class golfing group that meets semiannually) and their wives were able to attend and support John in this difficult time, with many of us knowing that she is in a better place, blessing all with her infectious smile and never complaining attitude. Despite many health problems over recent years, she never complained or wavered in her courage, and was always thinking of others.
"Because the majority of the obligatory (but cherished) photos were taken with my wife's phone, ex-roommate and ex-class Pres Fred Laughlin (who came all the way from Phoenix) volunteered me to be the conveyor of evidence to you for distribution to the class. It truly was a truly memorable celebration of life, but a gathering of a sort that is sadly becoming increasingly frequent as we acknowledge our ever-dwindling numbers.
Many thanks, Chuck, for a sensitive and thorough report on the honoring of a life well and nobly lived.
And so another edition of Despatches staggers to a close. I tender many thanks for your submissions, many thanks for reading this, and many thanks for the wonderfulness that is all y'all.
Strength and Drive, Step
Time once again for a shot of '65 News, wherein you will find nothing but convivial and congenial courtesy – a stark but welcome contrast to what's leading in what are putatively more prestigious journals. Our adventures are uplifting because our hearts are pure, our arms strong, and our mien fierce but restrained.
great lady has gone, and her husband, Dan
Steinwald, his family, and a number of Classmates and spouses
met at West Point recently to mark her passing and share their memories
of a remarkable woman. Ray
Paske was among them and filed this report:
"The memorial service at West Point for Diana Steinwald on June 25 was attended by Dan's family, his siblings, children and grandchildren and a contingent of classmates and spouses.
L-R, Trish & Steve Davis, Gene Manghi, Dan Steinwald, Mary and Bob Frank, Ray Paske
"The service was held next to the Old Cadet Chapel in the Cemetery. Dan gave a very heartfelt eulogy in relating Diana's wonderful spirit, the joy she brought to his life and everyone she knew, her strength, and the depth of her spirituality and interests.
"A truly high tea menu was served at the Herbert Hall reception afterward. And yes, that meant cucumber sandwiches and other tasties. Mary Frank came wearing her lovely "fascinator" as requested.
I recall spending some quality time with Dan and Diana a few reunions ago. She was indeed a remarkable woman, and I sensed that Dan relished every moment they spent together. The gathering depicted appears to have been fully in keeping with her character and personality. [I am still puzzled about the "fascinator," however, though I have abandoned the notion that it is some kind of NASA power socket wrench.]
The Emerald Isle recently hosted the West Point Alumni Glee Club, and the locals have yet to recover. John O'Swensson (who is actually a Swedish baritone) was one of several Classmates involved, and blessed us with a few words about that excursion:
Photo Left: When the Daimler broke down, local transport was commandeered
"The West Point Alumni Glee Club (WPAGC) just finished a one week concert tour in Ireland, honoring Irish Vets who served in the American military. From the class, Chuck Nichols, Terry & Nancy Ryan, and John & Susan Swensson participated, along with 23 Grads from other Classes. We did three concerts (and a flashmob in Kinsale) with SGT David Martin of the Irish Defense Force, a professional who toured the US last year with the Five Tenors. We visited the Medal of Honor museum in Kinsale before a church concert to a sold-out crowd. We also served as the advance party for Chuck McCloskey's Class of 65 tour in September, which has 38 folks. We spent a wonderful week in a five star hotel, The Dunloe, in Killarney. Prince Charles and Camilla were also in town at the time.
"While we were in Ireland, a stay-behind section led by Jim Ferguson sang at the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial
"The West Point Alumni Glee Club was founded by Terry Ryan (and Nancy), Jim Ferguson (and Karen), and Mo Faber '66, and also includes ‘65ers Pete & Marie Cahill. Tom & June Fergusson, Pete & Susan Linn, and Terry & Sharon Tutchings in addition to those mentioned above. Our Artistic Director is Nancy Riley. WPAGC does approximately 40 concerts per year, including an SRO concert last year at Carnegie Hall. Other appearances have included meeting Honor Flights of WWII Vets when they arrive in DC, performing at funerals in Arlington National Cemetery, and singing concerts for military retirees and veterans' organizations.
"The concert schedule is on the website (www.wpalumnigleeclub.org) and includes a 15 September appearance in Williamsburg. Terry is the de facto chief cat herder of the group, joined by Jim Ferguson, and Chuck Nichols, who provides master sound and other technical support. It all worked great in Ireland!! Thank you Terry and Chuck and Mike Healey, '69, who runs the in-country tours of Ireland at (Mike@IrelandRnR.com). The class will have a great time in Ireland with Chuck McCloskey!!! And catch the WPAGC when it is in your neighborhood."
Photo Right: Chuck Nichols at the console - Terry & Nancy Ryan - Susan & john Swensson
Thanks for an excellent report, John. For the benefit of those who are taking the September tour with Chuck McCloskey, by no means accept a ride in a cart driven by the individual pictured several photos above – Swensson stiffed him on the tip. But by all means catch the WPAGC wherever and whenever you can. I have it on good authority that they make Swensson lip-sync; they hired him for his looks, not his voice!
There were more than a few hours' flight experience in the cockpit when Mert Munson and Duncan Brown terrorized the skies of our Pacific Northwest recently, as Mert explains below:
Photo Left: L-R, Duncan Brown and Mert Munson, just before stealing the Stearman in background
"I spent four full days and five nights with Duncan at his beautiful house in Silverdale, WA, which is west of Seattle and separated from it by Puget Sound. While I was there we visited Kitsap submarine base and the US Navy Undersea Museum. We flew to small airfields west of Puget Sound in Duncan's Cessna Skyhawk, including to a grass airstrip where an antique airplane fly-in was in progress. We also experienced ground level skydiving in a vertical wind tunnel."
Photo Right: Duncan Brown with his Cessna Skyhawk
Sounds like a splendid outing, Mert, and I know you didn't mean to buzz that group of nuns playing beach volleyball! But I have to say that ground-level skydiving sounds just a tad … I don't know … genteel? Kind of like Ranger School by correspondence. But I defer to your experience, having only static-line jumps in my log book.
Stan Genega sends along a couple of photos that will tug at your heart strings (or test your gag reflex, depending on how much you enjoyed your time as a Cadet): "Cleaning out some old boxes and found these items. Probably indicates I should have cleaned long ago!"
The first object is, of course, the "free when you take out an auto policy" strongbox most of us got from USAA in the Spring of Firstie year. Evidently, at some point Stan forgot his combination, if the deformed lip above the combination wheels is any indication. My own box is long lost – if you find one somewhere, try 3-2-2 as the combination and use it in good health!
The objects in the second photo may not be familiar to some in Second Regiment (or Easy-One, for that matter). The larger object is a collar stay, intended to keep the points of the Class Shirt and the long-sleeved khaki shirt from becoming airborne. It could also be the basis for a "reveille tie." The smaller object is a T-pin, normally used to secure one's underwear when folded around cardboard for wall-locker display. In D-1, it was also a powerful tool for humiliating Plebes, particularly those with athletic reputation and a BJ attitude.
Manual," like Swimming to Newburgh and Sitting on Infinity, was not a
sanctioned activity as far as the TD was concerned, but unfolded in
-- Subject holds his rifle out in front of him with arms extended, parallel to the ground;
-- When he can no longer hold the rifle up, a window pole of broomstick is substituted;
-- When that is too heavy, a rifle rod or slide rule takes its place;
-- The last item is a T-pin, and when the hapless Plebe can no longer hold that out in front of him, he has learnt something of humility. I think Bill Zadel set a record at half an hour.
I close with a WP term, now surely obsolete, guaranteed to raise the hackles of more than one of us – Borders' Ward.
Strength and Drive,