I am constantly surprised, and usually pleased, at how the USNA Class of ’48 can show up in the newspaper if you have the time and inclination to really read it. Hal Deeley 9th Co. was recently so motivated and provides this example of what I’m talking about. He found this in the Washington Post Anniversaries section:
Schmidt 10th Anniversary
April 17, 2001
COL Austin Bradford Cordell Schmidt and Mrs. Kim Elizabeth Harrison Schmidt, Ph.D. are pleased to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. The bride is the daughter of retired CDR James Leo Harrison 11th Co., USNA ‘48A (Deceased 2007) and Mrs. Franciszka (Galuski) Harrison, of E. Falmouth, Massachusetts. The groom is the son of retired CDR Wesley H. Schmidt, USNA ’46 (deceased 2009) and Mrs. Elisabeth (Whitman) Schmidt, of Alexandria, Virginia.
The couple met at the US NAVAL ACADEMY, ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND IN 1973; Kim was attending her eldest brother James Harrison’s graduation (Austin’s elder brother Wesley H. Schmidt, jr. graduated USNA in 1972). Twenty-five years later, Austin wrote to Kim’s parents looking for her. Austin proposed at his 25th USMA ’73 reunion at West Point, New York (where Kim’s dad, on an exchange program from the USNA had proposed to her mom in 1946.
Scribe’s note, you almost have to conclude that these two were destined to be together. With all those USNA folks in their families receiving Shipmate I feel certain they will find this small note. The USNA Class of ’48 sends its best. May you celebrate many more.
I think that was a good way to start this column. Now let’s see what else is of interest.
We had an excellent turnout for our Washington/Annapolis class luncheon on May 6th. We had 50 people in attendance with good representation of the Class widows and some out of towners, Eleanor and John Perkins 23rd Co. from New York, Ken Wilson 9th Co. from PA and Bob Slater 12th Co. from SC. Our speaker was the Supe. and he gave an interesting talk. In response to a question from Warren Graham 2nd Co. concerning an Academy Equestrian Team (see the April Wave Tops on line or the article in “The Chronicle of the Horse magazine of April 4th, 2011) the Supe. grinned and said, “you asked the wrong question. You should have asked if the Academy has horses. The answer is “no”. Horses are expensive and I can hardly afford goats. The horses belong to the equestrian club members and we are boarding them at the old dairy barn.”
You have noted that our column shows pictures only occasionally. That is because black and white reproductions leave a lot to be desired. Color pictures of Class events are posted on our IT Wardroom at HTTP://1948.usnaclassses.com for those of you who have embraced today’s technology. Visit the site and compare the last Cruise pictures in color with the picture which was in the Stewardship edition of Shipmate. Since space is not yet limited in the IT Wardroom the event write-ups are also more complete. Small computers are “cheap” and your children or grandchildren can get you set up, teach you the fundamentals and have you on line in jig time. I will also be most gratified to add you to the email Class information list.
SWORDS - after some help from the Class and Google Barbara Anderson, widow of Roy Anderson 21st Co., chose to call Randy Stegner in Quantico, VA and after talking to him feels sure that his organization can help her with refurbishing the sword given to Roy on their wedding day by ADM Roscoe Fletcher Good ’20. She will tell us how things go and I will pass along the info. We have at least one widow, Celesta True, waiting for it. Celesta is the wife of Howard True 10th Co. who was my co-author of the 50yr Book. As I said in the Acknowledgements of that book, “Howard has worked with me on this book for the last two years. He had to train me, long distance, to upgrade my computer system, to install a scanner and how to use it. Both of us have had to upgrade periodically to do our best to produce the best product we could, given the technology. To really understand Howard’s dedication to this task read his biography. I’m not certain I would have had the guts and determination to stay at it were I in his position. He did, and we must all thank him.
More swords, Randy Patterson 13th Co. checked in on this subject also. “Just a bit of history. When I graduated, I was given a sword (by an aunt) that had been in the family since the war in 1812. It was shorter and had a slight curve but, otherwise, was the same as those sold to graduates. I used it during all of my active time after having Bailey, Banks and Biddle refurbish the case. Then, when Peg and I decided to leave early (at 20) and I came home to live and work, the same aunt ordered me to give it back! She thought I would go on until the end and maybe be a big shot along the way. The sword is, I believe, still in the family somewhere! “ Randy
Some, hopefully small, portion of every column must be devoted to saying goodbye to Classmates and wives. Reading through columns of Class prior to ours we are doing fairly well in keeping a small portion. This month is a bit longer than usual and to each family we send our condolences and prayers.
George Ball 21st Co. 4/11/11. I’ve heard nothing from the family but I believe George has been inurned in Spartanburg, SC. He served for many years as the Washington/Annapolis Class vice president and legal counsel.
Pat Billingsley 16th Co. 5/2/11
Henry Finck NG 3/31/11
Bill Fisher 10th Co. 5/4/11
Bob Litke 15th Co. 2/6/11
Roy Nunnally 2nd 4/24/11
Mrs. Madge Rodin 1/12/11 Madge was the wife of Julian Gewin 5th Co. who passed away in July of ’86 and Madge remarried.
Back before Christmas I asked the general question “what are you doing to keep busy. “ I’ve told you before that I don’t throw anything away which might be good column stuff so I still have this response from Jim Cox 10th Co. . I hope it still applies. Jim writes, “an excellent question. I am pretty much a loner and avoid big groups. My hearing is terrible mostly because I refused to plug my ears when we fired from a couple of destroyers I was on 60 years ago. There is often a payback for stupidity and I have had a long time to live with the result. I am fairly inactive physically also. I can walk 5 or 6 miles when I need to but I have vertigo so need to be careful particularly during Maine winters. I am in much better shape than friends I have of the same age so no complaints—just grateful for the past and loving the present.” Jim, from observation most of us wearing hearing aids (or systems as my most recent pair are called) because of guns, flight deck noise, recip and jet engine, and so on for the environment people in our business faced for up to 30 years. Even if we were diligent about protecting our ears we still suffered loss of acuity.
Let’s visit songs again since our sea stories tell a tale of words made up to fit an existing song and an occasion. Charles Bloom 5th Co. says, “ In 1940-51 I was exec of USS REDHEAD (AMS-34), in MinRon 3, which was home ported in Yokosuka. Prior to June 1950 the squadron engaged in routine sweeping in Japanese waters, mostly the inland Sea. Thereafter we were actively engage in sweeping Korean waters. During the halcyon pre-Korea days, we were very fond of a song to the tune of “Manana”. Our lyrics went like this:
“The barometer is falling and the rain is coming down,
The ship she is a-rolling and the captain he is frown.
The Commodore is looking, so we cannot turn around,
Manana, we sweep the inland sea. “
Scribe’s note: When my squadron (P3s) was relieved at Sangley Pt. in the Philippines the base threw a farewell party for us so we made up some words to “So Long It’s been good to know you.” We rehearsed and sang it that night in the club. The Commodore had heard us practicing so as soon as we finished the staff jumped up on the stage and sang to us words which they had made up to the same tune but they had the advantage of being able to address what we had sung. It made for a really good farewell party, which the base personnel thoroughly enjoyed. All hands had a great time and the booze flowed like water.
I see by this morning’s Washington Post that the last flight of the shuttle program has now been scheduled for July 8th so presuming it gets off on time the final mission will have been completed by the time you read this. Jim Beggs 10th Co. was overseer of the program from the first through the 26th flight and asked Burt Edelson 20th Co. (deceased) to join him at NASA. Jim left NASA in ’85 and Burt stayed on until ’88. Jim and Burt both left large imprints on the shuttle program but Jim in particular. We are now faced with buying passage to the space station from the Russians. If someone were to ask me I would say that the price will soon have our politicians asking if we gain anything for the money.
Tom Woods 9th Co. signs in on May 13th, “My Battle with Cancer is apparently under control. As the Doctor informed us, we should NOT assume that it has been eliminated. We are trying to remember that Boy Scout law “Always Be Prepared.” From time to time, Barb will try to catch me off guard to check if I have followed his directions as far as my medication schedule is concerned. I DO NOT consider this as “nagging”. JUST PREVENTIVE MAITENANCE.
I am in my 14th year as a Docent, on the USS HORNET conducting orientations for visitors. I no longer take visitors on tours due to my hearing problem. Many of the visitors are Veterans with family members. We enjoy exchanging sea stories. Many of the Veterans ask if I volunteered for Submarines and then ask “WHY?” or “Did your wife approve? My standard reply has been “I was single at the time.” I have had a lot of fun with young children. I tell them to MAKE CERTAIN THAT THEIR MOTHERS AND THEIR FATHERS DO NOT RUN on board the HORNET. Almost 100% will report back to me, that their parents had been good, and followed the instructions, “NO RUNNING”
Let’s visit grandchildren and great grandchildren again. This is from Bob Bonnell, Jr. 11th Co. via snail mail on 3 March with miner editing. “It is great to read about our Classmates. Frank Boushee 8th Co. is a great guy and clearly an accomplished engineer. Gene Mulligan 1st Co. and I were roommates not only at USNA but also at Russian Language School. As a matter of fact he helped me get through the course.
As for ADM Robert McClinton 11th Co. he and I share the privilege of nine great grandchildren, seven boys and two ladies. The youngest was 11 months old and took her first step at my 85th birthday party. We just found out our 10th “great” is on the way!! We are not helping the world’s population problem, but they’re great kids. Bob.
By the time you read this Betty and I will have returned from a two week family reunion on Isle of Palms, SC. Said reunion will cover our granddaughter’s high school graduation on June 1st and our 64th anniversary on June 7th. Sounds like great fun and we are looking forward to it.
Hope your summer has been wonderful.