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#50 -- February 2002

I suppose you are all wonderig, how come we haven’t gotten a newsletter since the reunion last September. It is because some shipmates aren't paying their dues and the treasury can’t afford it. NO! NO! The real reason is that I am Lazy and a great procrastinator, but it was a good way of hinting about those that haven't paid their dues to do so. Also if anyone else would like to take over the Chairmanship and write the newsletter they are welcome to do so anytime.

The reunion was one of the greatest again last September. Everyone showed up that had signed up in spite of being held the week after the assault on the World Trade Center. It did not frighten our fellow shipmates about traveling. The reunion took place at the same time as the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City. It happened when we were there in 1998 too. Along the boardwalk there were a lot of pretty faces and bodies. We had three or four beautiful days during our stay.

There were 27 in attendance that had a wonderful time as follows: Carl & Dottie Colbath looked younger, they don’t seem to age a bit. While there, they puchased a dog on the boardwalk to take home. I forgot what they named it.

Jim & Chickie Griffin, the poor souls got lost getting there. Can you imagine taking 12 hours from Boston?

Lou & Gee Hogue looked great. It was nice to learn that Geneva had stopped smoking.

Bill & Evaline Kearton traveled there by train for the first time. They liked it so much it is the only way they intend to travel from now on.

Doug & Doris Parker came with all kinds of strained glass ornaments that Doug had made. They donated a most beautiful one of a Cardinal (bird) to be raffled off. Joyce Mooney won it.

Bill & Freda Simmermon love their new home in Marysville, Ohio. Their new second home in Florida is a great way to spend the winters where they are close to the Mooneys.

Paul & Peg Skinner are looking very good. You could tell they are enjoying life to the fullest.

Ed Unkle brought his friend George with him. George was very outgoing and friendly, a joy to meet. His daughter Laura and her intended. Lloyd Barry came also. Laura and Lloyd make a lovely couple together.

John & Joyce Mooney brought their daughter Pat and her husband Tom Marsh. Pat was very lovely. Her husband Tom showed me a neat trick to make money. So far I have lost money using it.

Carmen & Rose Cerrato After more than 50 years we just found Carmen a week before the reunion. Carmen was so thrilled he came up from Florida in a weeks notice. He and Rose had one heck of a time meeting all his shipmates from long ago.

Al Lee whom we haven’t seen for a long time at these reunions introduces us to his new bride Dorothy. She certainly was a sweetheart. Unfortunately they had to leave before the end of the reunion as Al was being decorated in Pennsylvania.

All the above had a wonderful time and were so sorry you other shipmates couldn’t be there to enjoy it with them. Most couldn’t because they were sick or can’t travel any longer. Before the reunion I contacted as many as I could to find out the reasons why.

Here are a few reasons why for your information. Harold Hahn’s wife Madeline just had some of her kidneys removed. She was feeling pretty good, however Harold chose to stay with her. While writing this newsletter I heard that Madeline is having some back problems now. John & Alma Kieff do not travel any long distances now since John has had leg troubles. John ( Red) Hedderman would like to be with us but he can t travel since he had 5 heart attacks and 21 operations on his back. He is constantly under doctor’s care. Wayne & June Davis had previous plans on the same dates. They were going to their 58th High School Reunion. Paul & Marilyn Rosseler had already made reservations for a steamship cruise on the Delta Queen on the same dates. Bill & Dora Young hadn’t been feeling too well. Bill I believe was a little depressed and Dora was kind of weak. Now they both feel better and are in Florida vacationing. They have no excuse for the next one now. John & Annette Bauenschmidt, John had a hip replacement a while ago, but still couldn't get any feeling down to his foot. A year ago he had a serious case of johndis and gall bladder illness. Ben Bryon never answered the couple of messages I left him. There is a possibility he is sick somewhere. Floyd & Doris Condrey couldn’t make the reunion as they don’t travel any longer. Ivan Gennis doesn’t travel any longer because of health reasons. Robert & Doris Coulter do not travel any longer. Doris slipped on the ice a while back and is facing surgery for her injury. Emerson & Harriet Evans evidently had lost their current newsletter and forgot about it. Bill & Evaline Kearton were not coming because of transportation problems, but solved their problem by taking the Amtrak train. They just love traveling that way now. Paul & Ruth Messer would like to come, but Paul recently almost died a couple of times on the way to the hospital. Truman & Florence Michel does not travel any longer because of health reasons. John & Dottie Moncada only travel short distances when they go out now. Wayne & Ruth Strong did not answer their phone. I left messages twice. I assume they were in Alaska with their Son still cutting down trees. Frank & Doris Vlk are unable to travel now. Russell Abbott’s phone was not in service so we lost him again.

Ernie & Libby Kray don’t travel any more. Ernie has M.S. and it has gotten worst. They have the best grapefruit trees in Florida. Phil & Irene Cioffi were coming to the last reunion, but at the last minute something very important came up and they had to cancel. Art & Argyle Baukol wanted to come, but couldn’t get a good flight out of Billings Montana. Lawrence & Marylue Dougherty had made reservations at East Sandwich on Cape Cod at the same time as the reunion.

I believe everyone at the reunion will agree that this reunion was one of the best. The price of $228.00 for 4 days and 3 nights was excellent in comparison to any other place that I know of. With the room it included so much more. The welcome reception in our hospitality room consisted of a hot buffet. None of us had to go out for dinner the first night. W’e had plenty to eat in the hospitality room. The following night we had dinner at the Beachfront Buffet, located on the Boardwalk level. We received a voucher that entitled us to $30.00 in coin bonus per person, which we cashed in at the Tropicanna Casino Resort. We watched a stage show called "Stars and Stripes" at the Tropicanna Resort. The next day we had our lavish sit-down Banquet Dinner at our hotel, which was excellent. The Farewell Breakfast Buffet served us the next morning before we left was the greatest. We certainly didn’t have to pay for many meals on our own. Where else could you get such a bargain? I feel so bad that you folks could not enjoy it with us. The fun we had in the hospitality room was super. We were all given a one-time camera to use for remembrance sake.

Our web site has been a great help in finding shipmates. We have found about 7 or 8 shipmates just by them surfing the Internet or people telling them about it and contacting me. Both Carmen Cerrato and John Focht were found this way just recently. I wish to thank all those that sent me cards during the Christmas season and best wishes for a Happy New Year. I was not up to sending any cards this year because of Ruth’s death. I trust that everyone had a Merry and blessed Christmas and will have a Healthy New Year.

I believe in my last newsletter I told you that the past reunion was our 9th and last reunion. I had such a good time I have changed my mind. I am going into the hospital on March 6th for a replacement of my right knee. If all goes well we will have a reunion this year too. Then my shipmates will be able to enjoy the fun we had this time. I am seriously thinking about another visit to Atlantic City in September if the price is good enough. It seems to be an ideal place for most of us to get to. There is enough to do there without making up tours. The most important thing is getting together each year and renewing our friendships with each other in our hospitality room.

Before closing I must tell you about a very disappointing thing that happened at the reunion. I had written to Rosie O’Donnell and invited her to the reunion. I asked her if she could bring some left over gifts that she gives to the audiences at her television show. On the same floor at the hotel with us were three other Navy ships having their reunion also. Rosie never showed up, but on the following day after our banquet some of the shipmates from one of the other ships told us that Rosie O’Donnell showed up at their hospitality room and gave them each a digital camera. She had gone to the wrong hospitality room. It was not our lucky day. OH Well! We had a good time anyway. Try to save some Sept. days. I’ll try not to be so lazy and get back to you sooner next time. May you all have a healthy. happy and blessed Easter? Remember GOD loves you and so do all your shipmates.

Copyright 1998 - 2004 Dick Mac Donald