Things have been a bit hectic around here so I’m beginning to assemble this column on Sept. 25th with submission due on the 28th.
Let’s start with some kudos. The following is excerpted from The Roland Park Place Residents’ Review. The article was written by Roberta Rigger.
Just about everybody at Roland Park Place knows Bob Bonnell (11th Co.)-or knows about him. He has been important to the life and future of RPP, he is the devoted volunteer who delivers the mail to the residents in the Health Care Center; he’s the avid golfer who makes it to the golf course most days of the season’ the elegantly turned out gentleman who comes from his cottage to dinner every night. But who knew about the project, which was a consuming passion in Bob’s life for 25 years and for which this February he received a special citation from the Maryland State Legislature? The Legislature recognized Bob’s efforts to help disadvantaged Baltimore youngsters stay in school and aspire to college scholarships.
Caring is Bob’s watchword. To him it is the difference between a ninth-grade dropout and a high school graduate headed to college on a scholarship. “We had to find a way to make them want to work at school,” he said. “Caring is the most important thing…But they have to know you care. You have to show it, so that they believe you.” Bob knows these difficult youngsters need a lot of love.
Bob was newly retired when he was invited to a meeting of retirees whom the Mayor of Baltimore wanted to enlist to help the city in some way. The possibility of doing something about education intrigued him. But what? He had read about a New York philanthropist who had offered a scholarship to every student in a Harlem high school who graduated. Bob called the New Yorker to learn more. A multimillionaire’s scale of philanthropy wasn’t possible here, but Bob twisted many arms and with the help of a foundation grant raised $300,000. With the ability to guarantee $5,000 scholarships to 54 students, the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) was launched.
It paid off. In a school where the graduation rate of ninth-graders was 25%, 93 % of the EOP participants graduated. The college acceptance rate for the school was 10%; in the EOP group it was 90%.
That was a quarter of a century ago. Before Bob relinquished the reins the Educational Opportunity Program had been expanded to include nine high schools and involved hundreds of students. Its success helped attract public money and foundation grants, though it still needs vigorous advocacy and fund-raising.
This is why the Legislature presented Bob with a Resolution of Appreciation from the Maryland State Senate on February 2, 2010.
Very well done, Bob. Check out Bob’s autobiography in the 50th Year Book.
In snail mail dated July 7th Bob Curl 5th Co. sent me an acknowledgement from National Museum of the Pacific War saying a namepaver engraved with “Ross Bramwell, LTJG USN KIA ’51, Class of 1948. Bob made the donation in the name of USNA Class of 1948. Bob’s letter goes on to say, Ross was a good friend of mine and we used to keep some of our dates at the same house, right outside the main gate and his roommates were, as you know, Warren Ortland 5th Co. and Charlie Ogilvie (Deceased) 5th Co.. Ross was shot down while flying with Tom Hayward 21st Co. in 1951. Swede Swenson 6th Co. was another one of our class killed at Inchon and was another good friend.
If you’ve never been to the NIMITZ MUSEUM I would certainly urge you to go, as it is one of the finest in the country, and one of the few dedicated solely to the War in the Pacific, in which we all had a small part.
Scribe’s note-thank you Bob for making the contribution on behalf of the Class. Ross was a good friend of mine also. Bob has an excellent autobiography in the 50 Year Book.
Bob also made comment that he and Glenna celebrated their 60th the first week in July.
In a recent exchange of emails, bewailing the problems of making up and remembering pin numbers, several correspondents commented that they used some version of their laundry number over and over. (Scribe- I do the same). That prompted the following email from J.B. Ferris 6th Co.—My laundry number popped back into my life during a visit to Bancroft Hall with Eileen, in the late 1950s. I took her down the passageway to see the “Sample Midshipman’s Room” where, inside the locker, neatly folded of course, was a white works jumper that had once belonged to me, with my name and number properly in view.
I continue to be astonished at the interest generated in our discussion of “oldest and youngest”. Bob Slater 12th Co. came in with the following exchange starting in Mid August. According to my Register of Alumni (old-1992, but the birthdates should be valid). W.A. Feltovic (deceased) 24th Co. (born 7/19/22} is the oldest. Three were born in 1922; Feltovic, W. McKinley (deceased) 5th Co. (8/17/22) and J.B. Kovacs 24th Co. (9/2/22). Note that this is graduates-only. Not much info on non-grads.
Scribe’s response-Thanks Bob, but what in the name of heaven prompted you to comb through the register for the oldest? This is good dope but I really thought we had put it to bed along with the youngest.
Bob came back with-I had recently (very recently) looked through ’48 for just that purpose. Why? Because of your mention of H.F. Smith (deceased) 21st Co., with DOB listed as 4/9/23. My thought was that he must be about the oldest in the class. (Incidentally, turns out he was the seventh oldest.) My thought was, of course, based on my own experience I was in the 12th company which, I now realize, was not a typical company (at least, the “A” portion). We were very high in class standing (checking just now, #5, 10,16, 24,33, and 37, for starters, were 12th company). Also I learned that we were a “young” company. I would have guessed that Jim Ballard (deceased) 12th Co. (turn back from ’47) and John Fahey 12th Co. were the oldest. I did not check all the 12th company “A” birthdates, but both Ballard and Fahey were born in 1924. From that, I thought that there must be only a few in ’48 born in 1923. Wrong! When I looked up all the birthdates, I found that there were 89 (almost 10% of the total), born in 1923 or earlier. And, as you probably guessed, no 12th company (no “A”s anyway) were born that early. I had thought that the median was probably the first quarter of ’25, with diminishing numbers going both ways from that. I didn’t count the people born in 1924, but there were quite a few.
And finally, again from Bob. The question that has not been asked is- since the oldest in the Class (Feltovic) was in “A”, and the youngest in the Class (Albanese) was in “B”, who actually was the oldest when he graduated, and who, similarly, was the youngest? It is evident that the oldest would be the oldest in “B”, and the youngest in “A”. When someone asks, here is the answer: oldest: M.R. Grady (deceased) 15th /Co. 25 years, 4 months, 20 days at graduation 6/4/48 and youngest: A.W. Weems 12th Co. 20 years, 2 months, 23 days at graduation 6/6/47.
Scribe’s note- Bob, I truly believe that this should answer all questions, but I’m not going to be so foolish as to believe the discussion is over. Are there any more frustrated statisticians (that’s part of the Scribe’s job description) out there who want to get into this and slice it up some more?
Since last I wrote we have said goodbye to five Classmates and friends:
Ambrogi, R..T.F 15th Co. on 8/16/10
Kelly, J.E. non-graduate on 8/10/10
Osborn, N. III 8th Co. on 8/16/10
Smith, H.F., Jr. (Scorchy) 21st Co. on 8/3/10
Yeager, E.E. non-graduate on 9/5/10
Our condolences to all of their families. Our ranks continue to thin.
For those of you who still have the 50 Year Book, Osborn and Smith have autobiographies therein.
Finally, a while back I asked Carol Manganaro to drop me an email occasionally as to what’s happening at Ginger Cove. She has done so and among other items said that Ginger Cove “Athletic Association” recently beat the Naval Academy in a serious game of croquet. There’s also the ginger Cove Yacht Club featuring 40-inch radio controlled sailboats in the lap pool with wind provided by large fans—actually we speak of the GC Yacht Club as a drinking club with a sailing problem—just the opposite of the Annapolis Yacht Club down town. Carol says it’s good to be living in Annapolis where it all began.
As to the GC Yacht Club, I’ll have to call this to Bob Pyle’s 9th Co. attention for he is the Commodore of Green Springs Yacht Club; however, they sail outside on a pond on the grounds and they also travel to other areas for competition.