SEC’Y: CAPT Dave Carruth, USN (Ret.)
CLASS OF 1948 SHIPMATE COLUMN
Let’s start this column with the Escondido fire. Jane and Harvey Humphrey lost their home to this blaze. As the fire was being telecast several of the San Diego folks recognized the Humphrey home and I began receiving emails about it. A composite from these mails—the bedroom caught fire first but there was a fire crew on site and they doused it. On the next ignition there was no fire crew and the Humphreys evacuated with only the clothes on their backs. Harvey left his wallet and money clip in a drawer next to his bed so he had no money and no ID, but he did have a check book. If there is a brighter side it is that a neighbor down the street who was leaving on a trip has offered the use of his home until he returns in December. We extend our deepest sympathy to Harvey and Jane.
Fire has been the scourge this year but don’t forget hurricanes which have driven classmates like the Lansdens to evacuate their home in New Orleans for an extended period. The Baughmans had hurricane damage to their home in New Bern, NC. In the Midwest they face “twisters”, every parsonage my grandfather lived in in OK had a storm cellar. Earthquakes aren’t limited to the West Coast, many of the old homes in Charleston, SC are held together by steel rods put there after a long ago ‘quake. The lesson for all of us is, review your emergency plan. Mother Nature can pay an unwanted visit no matter where you live. Betty and I have done that and have included a family gathering place in case of national disaster. In this latter case remember your cell phone will probably not work because the system will be shut down for security purposes.
Last month I reported the passing of Bob Buechler. His family had a service in the St Andrew’s Chapel at the Academy followed by inurnment at the columbarium and a reception at the Officer’s and Faculty Club. Bob loved music from classical to Barber Shop. A group from the Alexandria Harmonizers came to the service, Warren Graham estimates about 40 men, sang the Navy Hymn at the Chapel then at the reception they dedicated two more songs to Bob. Warren says he has never heard the Navy Hymn sound so beautiful.
I have had several requests to provide company numbers when classmates are mentioned so from here on I will do so.
The Washing/Annapolis area luncheon was held on 11/9/07 at the Army/Navy Club. Warren always plans on 40 and this time we had 39 present- Harold Andrus (16 th); Bill Arnold (2 nd); George and Carolyn Ball (21 st); Jim Beggs (10 th); Don and Marion Buhrer (5 th); Dave and Betty Carruth (9 th); Hank and Jean Corley (21 st); Cab and Libby Davis (17 th); John and Glenys Dyer (19 th);John and Toni Fry (21 st); Bob Ghormley (11 th); Pete Goldman (8 th); Warren Graham (2 nd); Charlie and Marguerite Heid (17 th); Rosemary Hogg (Gordon was in the 9 th ); Charlie and Jean Mertz (13 th); Cliff Morgan (18 th); Dick and Joanne Munly (3 rd); Tom and Alice O’Connor (19 th); Craig Olson (15 th); John and Dolly Rasmussen (14 th); Bill and Elizabeth Reed (18 th); Bing Sisson (15 th); Bob and Helga Smith (18 th). Warren suggested that maybe we should have fewer luncheons, say every four months or twice a year but the vote was continue as before. Our speaker was Mike Brady, Strategic Communications Director and Deputy Director of Public Affairs at the Academy. He spoke of the difficulties faced in keeping abreast of “leaks”, providing material to the media and trying to keep everything in context. The pictures I took are posted at www. USNA.com/classes/1948. One additional piece of business, the group voted to register our crest with the Alumni Association. What this means is that if an organization wants to use our crest on napkins, glasses etc. etc. they must reimburse the Alumni Assoc. and the class gets a 10% royalty.
Harry Belflower sent me a picture he took at a luncheon in the Cape St. Clare section of Arnold, MD. From left to right Bob Flood (8th), Bob Smith (18 th) Kevin Hanlon (2 nd) and Harry Belflower (2 nd) Send me more please.
This from Harvey Johnson—The 18 th Company (“A” portion) held their final reunion in Tucson, AZ in October. These reunions started after our thirtieth class reunion in Annapolis when Joe Shoemaker suggested that we have our own company get-togethers. His rational was that the five year Annapolis reunions are great for seeing and visiting with old friends but we really don’t get to spend as much time as we would like with our old company mates. There have been seventeen of these company reunions over the past 27 years, from four to seven days in length, each organized by an individual usually in a city in which he lived. Nearly all of the survivors have attended at least one. Tom Dawson and Dick Dempsey are the only two who have attended all seventeen. Tucson attendees were Tom and Joelly Dawson, Dick and Barbara Dempsey, Harvery and Vickie Johnson, Bill and Elizabeth Reed and widows Lovey Meriwether, Mary Newman, and Catherine Perkins with her son Ken.
IMG #0743 (above) [image not available - editor]
Nice feature of email—Chuck Gorder’s children bought him a “seat” in the football stadium at Annapolis for his 80 th birthday. Chuck’s daughter, Janet, wanted a picture of the seat and the plaque so Rhona asked me if someone could get a picture for her. I sent that to all the local area folks and Phil Rogers immediately took camera in hand, drove to the stadium, took pictures, went home and sent them to Janet. How’s that for service!!! Thanks Phil.
Jud Shook (15 th) wrote to say that with the passing of Sumner and Reed Grady all of his really close contacts at the Academy are gone and he will pass on future reunions. He reminded me that his original roommate was Don Shake so they put a sign on their door “Shook & Shake”, clever. Fundamentally he is in good shape but with some back problems which still permit him to go to the gym 6 days a week (how many of you make it to the gym 6 days a week back problem or not?). He also sent me some family history I found interesting:
My uncle visited the Academy during a Boy Scout Jamboree in 1937. This was the year that I became 12 years old-and became a Boy Scout. During the next 4.5 years he lived, he made it clear as to his expectations of me: become an Eagle Scout and a graduate of the Academy–and he was adamant about it. I did both. In 1999 his aunt gave Jud some of his uncle’s things among which was an undeveloped roll of 16mm fill taken at the jamboree. He found that roll again in 2003 and “just in case” had it developed. It produced a picture of his uncle leaning on the doors of Dahlgren Hall in 1937 where he, Jud, received his diploma in June of 1948.
I regret to report we have lost the following classmates and wives since the last column: J.A. Chapman II (8 th) 9 Apr. ’26--23 Nov. ‘07
R.D. Darragh (6 th) 20 Apr. ’26—19 Nov. ‘07
L.A. Jay (9 th) 28 June ’07—27 Oct. ‘07
W.W. Lee (23 rd) 6 May ’25—27 Oct. ‘07
W.B. McGinty, Jr. (21 st) 8 Nov ’25—7 Nov. ‘07
M.K. Morris (5 th) 23 Oct. ’24—4 Nov. ‘07
Ann Flynn 3 Nov. ‘07
Keep the email, letters, pictures et al coming.
BEAT ARMY - day after tomorrow as of this writing