SEC’Y: CAPT Dave Carruth, USN (Ret.)
CLASS OF 1948 SHIPMATE COLUMN
JUNE - JULY 2008
Let’s start this column with a closure. You will recall I asked if anyone knew who reached the top of the Herndon Monument in 1945. Well, Doug Lawler 14 th Co. says he is the one. He also reports that it wasn’t greased and there was no cap on top. And finally “The picture in the Lucky Bag was the best I have had in years.” Check that out in both Lucky bags, the pictures are very similar, and you will understand his comment. Well done Doug-“no mo’ plebes”
Many of us have contributed to Class funds, i.e. the $2M endowment Fund: the Flower /24 th Co. Fund; the operating Fund in Annapolis where funds end up for homecoming and reunions; and the Gate Fund. What follows is an attempt to answer any money questions you may have. I plan to give you an annual update each year in the June/July issue.
The $2M+ endowment, presented at our 55 th reunion, is dedicated to the support of the Midshipmen at the Academy. The fund is held by the Alumni Association but only the Academic Dean can call on it. Charlie Heid 17 th Co. monitors it for the Class and reports that the current balance is $1,975,383.98 which says they are essentially working from the interest. Expenditures cover 1) Guest speaker honorariums, 2)Field Trips for IT and related majors, 3) Materials purchased for midshipmen research projects, 4) Visiting IT lecturers, 5) Short term appointments for distinguished IT professors and 6) Funding IT training for faculty. Note: you received a letter from Warren Graham 2 nd Co. about 6 months ago which addressed this subject in greater detail. One thing we have changed from our original contract is our award to the top IT graduate by increasing that award from $300 to $1000. We noted that all other cash awards were in the $1000 range plus we asked ourselves, “what can a brand new ensign/2 nd LT buy with $300 in today’s economy?”
The next fund is the Flower/24 th Company Fund managed for us by Bob Ghormley 11 th Co. We should probably change “Flower” to “Memorial” because if the family of the deceased requests a contribution in lieu of flowers it comes from this fund in the amount of $100. Additional expenditures from this fund cover lunch for guest speakers and the 24 th Company Midshipmen when they visit. As a 2008 expenditure we have dedicated two stadium chairs, one to Sumner Moore, the plaque reads “By his Classmates, In Memory of S.K. Moore, Class Scribe for 42 years”; the second to Ray Lochner, the plaque reads “Ray Lochner for 37 years of service to the Class of 1948”. These chairs cost $1000 each. For the 24 th company wardroom we have funded several items including a refrigerator and a TV. The balance as of 12/31/07 was $19, 293.24.
The Operating Funds in Annapolis are overseen by Phil Rogers 9 th Co. He defines them as covering football game tailgate tents, stadium rental fees of tailgate location, support for the Flower/24 th Company Fund when requested. It is currently the 60 th reunion account. The balance as of 4/4/2008 was $36,293. The Gate fund has been in existence since the first gate was undertaken. In addition to the first gate effort it has also paid for the huge bronze ’48 crest that is hanging in Alumni Hall along with class crests that go back to early 1900. The current balance in this account is $60,962 virtually all of which is committed to the reincarnated gate. Dudley Holstein also established a Credit Union account which is only used now for miscellaneous expenses, stamps, etc. That current balance is $396.73.
Now, let’s get on to some good reading. Charlton Heston’s recent passing surfaced another good story from Tyler Dedman 13 th Co.. In his words—
Bettye and I got to meet Charlton Heston when he came to Pensacola in 1975 during the filming of MIDWAY much of which was done in Pensacola on board USS LEXINGTON which served as a stand-in for both USS ENTERPRISE and the Japanese Navy flagship carrier. Before Universal departed the area, Heston came by the office to say goodby and extended an invitation to visit Universal Studios in Hollywood, should we ever be in the area. As it turned out, I was scheduled to visit Hughes Santa Monica the following month, and Bettye was coming along, so we said we’d try to work in the visit to Universal. We called the night before the visit date, and were asked to be there at 9 AM, and please be on time. When we arrived, we found that our tour guide was Charlton Heston, the main reason being that his daughter had a college friend in town, and was scheduled to visit at the same time.
It was a great tour, and included visits to several sets that were filming at the time. When we got to the “ Red Sea”, instead of Moses raising his staff and parting the waters, Charlton Heston got out of his golf cart and pushed a button that achieved the same effect, whereupon we proceeded to cross to the other side in our golf carts.
After lunch, we went to the MIDWAY set, where they were scheduled to film the final blow up of the Japanese carrier mock up. There were many delays, and the final scene, scheduled for 2:30, was finally shot at about 7:30 and it was spectacular. After I returned to Pensacola, I got three copies of the large painting in the Naval Aviation Museum entitled “The destruction of the Japanese Carrier Force at Midway”, and sent one to Heston, one to the director, Jack Smythe and one to Walter Mirsch, chairman of Universal. I enclosed a note with all three that said “I just thought that you all would like to see that what took Universal five hours to do, the US. Navy completed in just five minutes.”
Heston was a class act, and his equal is unlikely to be seen again in Hollywood or elsewhere. Ty
Bob Pyle 9 th Co. and his wife Pat live in Greensprings Village, a retirement home here in Springfield, VA. Ginger McKechnie widow of Russ McKechnie2nd Co.; Don Giles 4 th Co. and his wife Kathy also live there. Bob is the Commodore of the Yacht Club there which is appropriate from his sailing background at the Academy and later; however the Yacht Club is comprised of people who build model, radio controlled sail boats and compete at local lakes. Bob says they also sail against a similar club at a retirement home in PA. He says when he is trying to recruit new members the usual response is “where is the yacht berthed?” He also says they have a lot of fun.
Still on the subject of sailing the following is excerpted from an article in the sports section of Washington Post of April 6, 2008. Shifting winds Affect the Mids’ Sailing Program. VADM Fowler is committed to continuing the school’s strong NCAA dinghy racing presence but is cutting back on noncompetitive offshore and inshore training operations. His predecessor VADM Rempt was a strong supporter of basic sailing and offshore training for all mids. During his tour 24 new 44-footers were ordered to replace the academy’s aging fleet. Three have been delivered, with 21 still in the pipeline. The Commandant, Capt. Margaret Klein, confirmes that sail training has been deemphasized in an effort to give mids more exposure to the fleet via summer postings on aviation, submarine and seagoing missions. Instead of sailing to Newport, she said, most rising third-class will be assigned to postings within the active fleet. CDR Jay Cavalieri who now runs the school’s sailing program complimented the academy for its continued commitment to the dinghy racing program but says he is looking for gift funds or anything just to keep the offshore program alive.
Evelyn and Paul Riley 13 th Co. report that they just returned to Houston in mid-April after a strenuous but interesting church sponsored tour following many of the steps of the Apostle Paul. The object was to maximize sites in minimum time, both achieved at some cost in sleep and bodily confusion. Having been to Athens (twice) and Corfu, and flown once Izmir, I used to lie to people that I had visited Greece and Turkey. I am now proved wrong. I believe that this tour was the standard tourist job involving Athens, Corinth, Mykanos, Rhodes, Ephesus ( Turkey), Philippi, Thesalonica, and Delphi ancient ruins, plus a Byzantive monastery on top of a 1,000 foot straight up rock, and a medieval fortress built on the side of a mountain. The weather was excellent which was fortunate because of all the climbing and walking required. My twice a week tennis routine stood me in good stead. I had to keep up with the guides just so I could get my good ear close enough to hear the spiel. We were water borne for three days, but mostly just to sllep, eat, and get ready for the next port. The flight by 747 “cattle car” via Frankfort and then A300 to Athens covered eight time zones and about 20 hours door to door. Reveille on the last day was at 0215! We wound up with bad upper respiratory infections, which fortunately struck only after just getting home. Try this at your own risk, but start out in good shape or else find a slower paced tour. We are certainly looking forward to the June reunion. Paul.
Since the last issue we have said good bye to the following classmates, wives and children:
Al van Metre 1/224/26-3/2/08 non-graduate
Jay Vermilya 9 th Co. 11/13/25-3/22/08
Earl Barondes 12 th Co. 7/1/26-3/31/08
Jim Welsh 23 rd Co. 9/1/25-4/9/08
Colleen Pierson 3/20/08 (Bill Pierson’s first wife)
Doris White 3/25/08
Penny Shoemaker 4/7/08
I also sadly report, John & Peg Holland’s son Dennis died suddenly in his home in Glen Burnie, MD on March 26.
Our condolences to all of the families.
At the luncheon on 3/28/08 we had 41 classmates and wives and were joined by 3 first class midshipmen and their enlisted advisor. The underclass were otherwise committed. Our visitors, as always, strengthened my faith in the system. There are pictures on the home page.
Finally, Rhona and Chuck Gorder 12 th Co. had a gathering at their home Sunday April 13 when Fran and George Goodwin were in town. Those who gathered were Lee Marsolais, Fran and George Goodwin, Jane and Harvey Humphrey, Dorothy and Dick Hoffman 10 th Co., Quinn and Oz Osborne 8 th Co., Chris Christoph 12 th Co., Lloyd Jones 23 rd Co, Rhona and Chuck. Rhona sent me three pictures which follow.
|gord-000 Back row L to R: George Goodwin, Dick Hoffman, Chuck Gorder
Seated L to R: Oz Osborne, Chris Christoph, Harvey Humphrey
|gord-001 Lee Marsolais, George & Fran Goodwin
|gord-002 Lloyd Jones