Let’s start this column with a promotion. On December 21, 2011 under the “Unconditional Surrender” statue on the Sarasota bayfront, Jeff Buck, grandson of Guy Buck 18th Co., was promoted to LT by his father, RADM Sean Buck ’83 Commander Fleet Air Forward, Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Force Fifth Fleet and Seventh Fleet. Several dozen friends and family members were present. LT Buck is assigned to VP-8 in Jacksonville.
The local paper reported as follows, “The three generations of Buck family men who were at the promotion ceremony are all members of the same naval aviation community, Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance, Jeff Buck and his father are qualified flight officers aboard the P3-C Orion. Jeff Buck’s grandfather, a naval aviator, flew P2-V Neptunes, the Orion’s predecessor. Jeff’s great-grandfather enlisted in the navy in 1915, later earned an officer’s commission and served with distinction. BRAVO ZULU to the Bucks.
We have another new author in the Class. Laurens Dorsey ‘23rd Co. has just published his book “My Mystery in Spain”. It is available at www.tbmbooks.com
A new report from Bob McClinton 11th Co. on his fund raising sailing races. The final results are in. The Sequim Bay YC raised $22,835.10 for Hospice. The INTREPID team raised $6,885 of that. We were fortunate in winning all three races and the cup once again this year. My crew list consists of 23 men and women; six join me to race INTREPID. 7 Jan. will kick off our 2012 season.
Fair winds and following sea Bob.
On Jan. 11th I received a short note from Bob Chadima 22nd Co., which reminded me of a previous note I had received from Mac Matthew 7th Co. forwarding another email from Bob. Since I never discard anything, which might help with a column I dug it out. This is the part I like.
“2011 has been a splendid year for me. I’m sure that this year is the happiest I have enjoyed in at least twenty years. Good health, active days, dramatic progress in recovering from our flood disaster, and a loving family have sustained me. But most importantly I have found a new companion, Joan Arthurs, and we will be married later this winter. She’s a youngster (8 years younger) and love of my life! How can I be so lucky?”
The second email reported “Joan Arthurs and I will be married this coming April. We are both hale and hearty and look forward to many years of happiness together.”
Wonderful Bob. We wish for you and Joan the many superb years you are looking forward to.
The upcoming reunion has precipitated some interesting letters/emails. This one is a good one.
Fred Jackson 18th Co. writes August of 2011.
“I did not marry until after I retired and my wife has had little contact with academy (We were married there.) The only other wife she knows is Helga Smith as Bob was my roommate and we saw him now and again when we finally settled in the Washington area. At one time, being photo manager of the Lucky Bag, I knew all by name but not anymore. About the only one I now know is Bob. So many of the others have gone on.
During my time in the Navy I did not have contact with many classmates. My only “real” sea duty was 3 ½ years on a cruiser in the 6th Fleet. Other sea duty was on auxiliaries and then it was graduate school and into engineering. I ended up building the VLF radio station in Australia, which put me in contact with BuDocks folks and when they started having trouble with the VLF towers around the world after I retired they took me into their fold as a civilian where I stayed for around 15 years. When we got the VLF towers pretty well fixed I took on the ELF project in Michigan for NAVFAC. When that was finished, I retired and went into church management. Left that when Fran was appointed a Grand Officer in the Eastern Star in Maryland and we had to travel the State. When she finished up with that job, we moved to Montana. Other than marrying Fran, that was the best decision we have made in life. As of right now I think I will make it until 2013. I have a heart valve problem and diabetes but all seem to be under control I am moving slower but am keeping myself busy----“
Fred, we look forward to seeing you in 2013.
Bill Bass 20th Co. offers the following as a lesson to all of us. Stay on top of your health. This happened to him last September.
“I was at home in the apartment alone about 7:30PM when it seemed I was short of breath—I do suffer from emphysema, but not like this, I also felt a need to go to the head—I didn’t make it. I fell and could not get up. Using the emergency call system here at Ginger Cove, I had a registered nurse with me in minutes and an ambulance on the way. So with lights and siren blaring we went to the hospital. There they said I had lost two-thirds of the blood in my body. My pulse was 165, my blood pressure was 40 over 20, and my blood oxygen concentration was 60 where anything below 90 requires attention. They used an endoscope to find and cauterize the ulcer in my stomach, gave me several units of blood, kept me for two nights, then sent me home. So here I am alive and well with no repercussions. Sometimes low oxygen to the brain will make you goofy, and that heart rate can induce a heart attack. I was lucky. Neither happened to me. I’m taking Nexium instead of Prilosec. Before I was taking Aleve and an 81mg aspirin, which is a combination, I am now told, that guarantees a stomach ulcer. There had been no previous indication of a bleeding ulcer—until this time. If I had been alone in a house out in town, no one would have found me or helped me soon enough to save my life—and for that I am eternally grateful to Ginger Cove.”
At our age I guess we should always try to have someone close at hand at all times. As a safe guard keep your cell phone in your pocket at all times. Perhaps you can use it to call for help. Several years ago Betty fell in the kitchen, broke her hip and couldn’t get up to the telephone. I was out of the house running an errand so she had to lie there until I returned. Had she had a cell phone she could have called me home sooner. She now has three screws in her hip but no lasting problems.
When I published the passing of Ralph Smith I received this email John Ferris 6th Co.
“Ralph Smith and I were good friends at the Academy. He came from Bettendorf, Iowa. He often mentioned that he would like to attend the summer program at the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico (in Mexico city). When he resigned at the end of 2/c year, he did just that. We kept in touch, and he gave me rave reviews of the summer program, which was attended by students from all of the Americas. And so it was that, when I left the USN for the first time, in 1950, I got in touch with Ralph. He told me how to apply for the summer program and even referred me to the Senora from whom he rented a room in Mexico City. Everything clicked and I enjoyed a very enjoyable, and educational summer in Mexico, and made several friends with whom I kept up for many years. My facility with Spanish was further improved. Prof Cabrillo Vasquez back at the Academy would have been proud of me. His claim to fame was that he had coached Henry Wallace in Spanish prior to the VP’s good will trip to Latin America in the early 1940s. You should have heard me negotiating, last week with the young Mexicano who has now cut down a couple of bad trees and generally cleaned up the forest behind our house. Most of his compadres here are really hard workers and they are making good progress. I wish that someone would come up with a sensible, non-emotional, solution to the immigration problem. The African Americans are, as of now, the real losers in our economy.
As always I must report those whom we have said goodbye to since the last column:
24th Co. Garner, S.B. Week of 21 Nov. ‘11
4th Co. McCurdy, F.M., Jr. 12/3/11
12th Co. Conway, W.E. 12/29/11
1st Co. Hodder, A.J., Jr. 1/5/12
5th Co. Martenson, P.V. 1/10/12
16th Co. Andrus, H.R. 1/15/12
Wessel, E.J. 9/29/11
Smith, R.G.,Jr. 11/30/11
Garner, Lydia 5/6/10 wife of Stan Garner (deceased) 24th Co.
Crumpton, Eve 12/10/11 wife of John Crumpton 2nd Co.
Right after Paul Martenson’s passing his wife Carol called Warren Graham 2nd Co.to ask for an address to donate money to the Class of ’48 endowment as Paul had requested. Should anyone else wish to do so send your donation to the Naval Academy Foundation for the Class of 1948 endowment. Be certain to stipulate the endowment or your donation will go into the general fund.
John Crumpton 2nd Co. sent me a note after he lost Eve. His note is a loving tribute.
So many people to notify I almost forgot you and SHIPMATE. Perhaps there is enough for a short note in the Class column. Eve had dementia. I thought Alzheimer’s but in ’05 our doctor said he couldn’t tell.
She managed fairly well until she had Shingles in April ‘07 and the dementia was knocked into a tailspin. I was able to keep her at home until Jan. ’10 when she was admitted to a nursing home. Even then I went in twice daily and fed her lunch and supper. She’d lost hand to mouth coordination.
I was blessed; she was a good Navy wife and she knew me ‘til the end – not the Navy or anything we ever did- probably not as her husband but instead-John, someone who helped.
Well written John.
I frequently plead for inputs from Class luncheons in the hinterlands. The Hampton Roads group is occasionally represented by Erline Holt and she came through this time. Hampton Roads USNA 1948 Class luncheon (bi-monthly) met at the Lynnhaven Fish House on Wednesday January 18, 2012 for lunch. Host was Mike Childress 2nd Co. In attendance were Mike Childress, Dan Deibler 24th Co., Erline and Ted Holt 18th Co., John Klinefelter 5th Co. and Elaine Cousins, Andy McIntyre 22nd Co., Jeanne and George Parish 22nd Co., Carolyn Rardin, Jean Resch, Don Ross 15th Co., Jan and Bill Small 1st Co.. We enjoyed a delicious lunch surrounded with good company, beautiful view, wonderful service and a very windy entrance into the restaurant. Erline, I am told that SHIPMATE will, sometime this year, shift all pictures in Class news to color. With that in mind would you try next time to have someone take a few pictures and send them along.