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 NOVEMBER-DECEMBER - 2012       

This column, which you will probably receive in late Nov. is due on 1 Oct., so let’s see what we can review of Classmates activities in recent past.

Reading through the previous column, as I always do, in an attempt to preclude repetition, I believe my comments on the Class laptop may need some clarifying so here is a short history.  The Class bought the machine for Sumner in June 2003 for $1336.50.  Sumner passed away in 2007 and his son Peter brought the laptop to me at a Class luncheon in 2009.  I took it to the Geek Squad where it was cleaned and the operation checked in Oct. 2009 for $199.99, which the Class paid.  I later installed the necessary software it permit me to use it on my home LAN and on travel.  The Class did not spend $1000 to check and upgrade the machine.  By the way, for a ten-year-old computer it serves the Class needs very well.

A snail mail card from Ernie Castle 3rd Co. on the 15th of Sept. reads as follows

I regret that I am not competent to the modern means of communication.  I must be among the last of the ‘writ by hand’ letter senders.

Jean and I celebrated our first anniversary with a stay at the SHADES of GREEN, the Army’s resort hotel near Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  We spent a day each at Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios, and Animal Kingdom, all new to Jean.
At the dispensary in Animal Kingdom they were doing a root canal job on gorilla, heavily anaesthetized.  We didn’t wait to see the beast wake up.  I suspect a gorilla with a sore jaw is very poor company.
I was saddened by last month’s report of the death of Pat Billingsley.  We went through high school together.  Even then he was a brilliant mathematician.  At the Academy I recall Prof. “How About it” Hoyt finishing a blackboard demonstration of a problem and asking. ‘Is there a quicker way to do that Mr. Billingsley?’
Jean and I have signed up for the big reunion.  ’48 is Great!   Ernie Castle

I have had the following since last April but couldn’t use it because I did not know the author.  I finally found him.  From Bob McGihon 23rd Co.

It was a warm Sunday in the Mediterranean in 1952.  When I came to the bridge of the USS CORAL SEA to relieve the OOD watch, just before noon, I found that the Navigator had the con, practicing man-overboard with 3 or 4 aviators, all the ships in our task force were on independent exercises and the flagship was about a mile away doing basically nothing.  The only thing left for me was to carry out holiday routine.  Boring.  The Captain came out from his sea cabin dressed in a bathing suit and slippers  “I’m going up to the 07 level to get some sun.”     “Aye,aye, sir.”
In a little while, the Bos’n came to me with the request, “The ship’s Gunner asks permission to test the Saluting Battery.”

Test the Saluting Battery. What does that mean?  I thought of our practice of putting a small cartridge in a five inch shell casing, loading it into the 5 inch gun and closing the firing circuit.  If the firing circuit was complete, there would be a slightly audible “Poof” from the cartridge and the test was successful.

I very cleverly protected myself.  “It’s alright with me if it’s alright with the Gunnery Officer.”

Immediately, there was a series of sounds of firing.  “Bang, bang, bang, bang” came out of the Hangar deck, where the Saluting Battery was located.  I was frantic.  I found a phone button that was labeled “Saluting Battery”.  I pressed it repeatedly and, thankfully, the firing stopped.  At the same time, it seemed, the Captain was yelling into my face, “What’s going on here?”  I managed one or two words of explanation when he interrupted.  “Call your relief and go to your room.”
“Aye, aye, sir.”

About six that evening, the Senior Watch Office told me I was free to leave my room.  The story was that days before, the ship’s Gunner and the Gunnery Officer had had a conversation.  The Gunner said he wanted an opportunity to fire some of the saluting ammunition, because it was getting old, and send the casings back to be refilled with fresh powder.  The Gunnery Officer had said, “Fine.  Let me know when you want to do it and I’ll check with the Captain.”
Things happened somewhat differently than planned by these fellows.

Scribe’s note:  Bob as all of us know there are many ways to find yourself in hack but you had help getting there this time.
Dick Scott 16th Co. obit brought the following:

Dave, I believe that Dick Scott and I were the last of class that stayed around for the summer and fall of 1948 to indoctrinate plebes and to fill in for a shortage of profs in various courses.  Sumner Moore 20th Co., Chuck Hathaway 19th Co. and I rented a place together and had a great time getting our feet on the ground and checking out the young ladies in Annapolis prior to reporting to our eventual duty stations. 
Still living in Grand Junction, Colorado and taking care of my wife Mary K.  who suffered a stroke 9 years ago when we were hiking in the Outback in Northern Australia.  She is doing quite well but we’ve had to cut back on our travel.  Still hoping to get back for our 65th.  Say hello to Nan Baughman when you see her.  Jack McCord

We have lost six of our friends since the last column:
                   16th Co.  Byrd, W.J.                    9/14/12
                    9th Co.  DeGeode, John            9/11/12
                   23rd Co.  Matia, T.E.                  8/18/12
                   16th Co.  Scott, R.U.                    8/20/12
                   18th Co.  Shoemaker, W.J.       8/13/12
                   16th Co.  Thomas, L.R.              8/20/12
          Our condolences to their families. 

The 16th Co. took a substantial hit this time; however, let’s face it, our ranks are thinning.  Take this into account as you consider whether or not to make the effort for the 65th.  By the time you read this we will be within 7 months of that reunion.

One more sad note; on 9/27/12 Nan Baughman lost her grandson Robby to brain cancer.  He was 17.  Our condolences to the Baughman family.

I commented recently on the very close demise of a husband and wife.  This prompted George Sullivan to send me a clipping from a medical journal or newsletter:

Heartache and heart attacks.  The death of a loved one in the past 24 hours was associated with a 21-fold increase in heart-attack incidence, compared with having lost someone six months earlier.  That’s according to a study of 1,985 heart-attack survivors published in January 2012 in Circulation.  Intense grief could cause temporary physiologic changes that raise heart-attack risk, the researchers wrote.

Scribe’s note:  thanks George.  The researchers have confirmed something we have all known for most of our lives, i.e. grief, while it doesn’t always present as heart attack, can kill you.  My grandmother commented once about friends of theirs “when he lost his wife he lost interest in living”.  From observation this isn’t limited to Homo sapiens for I have seen it in both canine and feline species.  I know of no general advice on handling grief since each of us must find our own way.

A note from Bob McClinton 11th Co. dated 9/4/12:

The McClinton Family has enjoyed some wonderful activities in the past three weeks.  The centerpiece was a joyous family reunion at Joyce and Eric’s home in Eagle, Idaho, which included all ten of our great grandchildren, four from Virginia.  Immediately before that Gunvor and I hosted her niece from Torshalla, Sweden, with her husband and two daughters, one 12 years and on 11 months (and walking a lot).  After the reunion Kim and John (Berryville, VA) spent last week with us in Sequim along with their younger daughter and her two tigers, a daughter of 3 and a son who just turned 1 (and walking a lot); their dad did not travel due to work.  A purely glorious August for Gunvor and me!  Kim and John will be here for the Holidays.  Plenty of gardening continuing for Gunvor and me until early November when we wrap it up until March.  My wonderful crew and I remain active in racing our J/35 INTREPID year ‘round on Sequim bay and outside near Dungeness and in Canada.  We enjoyed a heckuva race last Thursday wherein we finished in 49 minutes which was over nine minutes ahead of the next finisher.

Finally, a note and a picture from Andy McIntyre 22nd Co. in Virginia Beach.  The picture was taken at their Sept. luncheon. 
Folks in the picture from left to right:
Mauline Ross, Don Ross 15th Co., Jean Resch, Betty Edwards, Andy McIntyre, Mike Childress  2nd Co., Jan Small, Bill Small 1st Co.

I’ve frequently asked for pictures from your local luncheons but have essentially received nothing.  If your area doesn’t have a ’48 luncheon and you attend a local chapter meeting I’m sure most, if not all of you, carry a cell phone and most of them have cameras.  How about some pictures!!!!
I hope all of you voted!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, New Year and other special days of the season are here.  Betty and I pray that for each of you these special occasions are wonderful.