SEC’Y: CAPT Dave Carruth, USN (Ret.)
                                                  7206 Danford Lane; Springfield, VA 22152
                                                   P: 703-569-1354        E: slipstk@aol.com
                                       WEBMASTER: John Tsiknas
                                                    15644 Caldas De Reyes, San Diego, CA 92128
                                                    E: johntsiknas@att.net 
                                        WEB SITE: 1948.usnaclasses.com

CLASS OF 1948 SHIPMATE COLUMN
MAY-JUNE - 2013

Let’s start this column with a picture.

Warren 2nd Co. and Nancy Graham are doing what many of us need to do and are putting it off, namely go through all our “junk” and get rid of what we never use so that our children won’t have the trauma of having to do it after we are gone.  Those of you who have made the move to retirement communities have made that effort but people like Betty and me who are hoping to die at home keep avoiding it.  Everyone tells me that one of the problems they have is that our children no longer entertain as we did using sterling silver, crystal, “good” china, etc. and they have no need for formal silver/crystal/china.  Of course most of them have their own homes, fully furnished and not needing much, if anything, in the way of furniture.  The bottom line question is “what do I do with the materials collected over 67 years of married life?

From that beginning you probably expect me to give you an answer.  Sorry, if I had an answer Betty and I would be hard at work reducing the clutter and we aren’t.  We can’t even agree on what to do with pots and pans we seldom use (we might need that). Warren and Nancy needed help so they have had people cleaning out their garage and attic, which brings me back to the picture above.  Warren had completely forgotten the picture he is holding.  It came out of the attic and I believe you will be able to read the presentation plaque on it.  That is Warren at the far left pulling the “honey bucket”.  Of course this memento is one, which Warren will hold onto for a while yet.

Let me skip from that to another recurring theme-obits.  I’m getting questions from families, which make me believe that I should once again remind you, and I quote, “ If you haven’t yet written your own obit for Last Call and for the local media do it NOW!

If you can’t get it done, at least make known to family the location of the Lucky Bag (s), the 30 year book, and the 50 year book.  In one phone conversation with a daughter I read the entries about her dad from all three books because she did not know if he had them or if so where they were.  You might also consider putting any cruise books you have together with the previous books.  If you can’t write it at least make it easier for the one who does.”  I wrote that in 2008. Now I’m going to make you an offer.  I will start an obituary file here and if you wish you can send me a copy of what you write or have already written.  I will do absolutely nothing to it but will make it available to your family and/or to the obit column at Shipmate.  Where ever you put the finished product be absolutely certain your family knows that it exists and its location.

While we are talking about “crossing the bar” let me say a few words of appreciation for Sharon Moffatt.  Sharon’s title is Memorial Affairs Coordinator and Cemetery Administrator a job to which she is very dedicated and, from my observation, handles in an outstanding manner.    Along with a lot of other things she “coordinates” all things regarding the columbarium.  To contact her use her email address Moffatt@USNA.edu.  Include your phone number so she can, if necessary; call you back at her convenience.  She is unbelievably busy, but believe me she is a blessing to anyone planning to be placed in the columbarium and to his or her families.

On to other things--

In response to my frequent pleas for news Rhona Gorder sends things along as you have seen in past columns.  She and Chuck  12th Co. belong to the San Diego USNA Alumni chapter and she sent me their roster of 48ers.  There are 34 Class of ’48 related folks, Classmates, widows and non-grads.  I am not counting wives i.e. I only counted Chuck Gorder not Rhona.  I have no idea how active the ‘48ers are but I know that both Chuck and Rhona give their support.  My thanks to both of the Gorders not only for their contributions to my efforts but also for the cruises and reunions they have worked so hard on.  We look forward to seeing them at the 65th.

In the write up I did for the Class luncheon on the 12th I mentioned what some of our Classmates do to keep fit.  Among others I recognized that Bob McClinton 11th Co. sails year round.  He responded with—Turns out that we are racing J/35 INTREPID through 52 races/year:  26 Saturdays, 24 Thursday Duck Dodges (Apr-early Sept).  The Swiftsure (from Victoria, BC) Memorial Day Weekend and the Port Townsend Regatta in Jun.  INTREPID is a flat-out JOY to race.  Her PHRF-NW RATING IS 72.  I don’t speak the last item but am certain you other sailboat owners/racers like Tony Duncan will understand.  Anyway Bob I envy you the joy of the competition and the fact that it gets you out of the house and exerting yourself doing something you love.  You will probably outlive us all.  Well, it might be a fight between you and Phil Shutler as he keeps fit skiing.

The passing of W.E. Shorr 4th Co. last December prompted Tom Murphree 24th Co. to send me the following—

Willie’s home was in Hendersonville, NC.   I was introduced to Willie, Plebe Summer in Chief Metzger’s seamanship and rowing class.  Willie was about 17 yeas old and hardly big enough to pull an oar.  As I recall he was from NY, appointed from Philadelphia.  Willie was smart as a whip and could play a slipstick faster than O’Leary’s fiddle.  I was 20 years old, out of the Marines, 6’2” and had never seen a slide rule nor a tee square.  Willie showed me how to use both.  We became fast friends!

After plebe year, Willie and I went to different Battalions.  Except for an occasional path crossing in Mother Bancroft’s halls, I saw him infrequently during the next 2 years.

After graduation, I only recall seeing Willie twice.  Once, in 1950, when I was in flight training at Corpus Christi, several carloads of us grads drove up to Houston to the Navy/Rice game.  I saw Willie at the game, he was with some Exxon execs.  Shortly after that, Willie went out on his own, having learned the skill of buying and selling oil

Evidently, that venture was rewarding.  The next time I saw Willie, 20 years later, he had retired and was in Beaufort, SC.  Gregarious Willie had finally married, fortunately to a very nice young Norwegian lady.  (We visited Beaufort every year and saw him at almost every social function we attended).  He had become a conservative leader in a conservative town championing minimum contact with the federals.  He was in the right place!  However, when the City Council accepted a government hand-out for a waterfront development, it was a signal for a parting of the ways.  Willie discussed his disenchantment with me.  He and his lovely bride moved on.

Never heard another word from Willie for another 20 or so years, when, having retired and built our retirement home near Morehead City, NC, lo and behold, the hone rang, it was Willie.  After an animated exchange of greetings (our old bond always surfaced), Willie declared that he was living in a tent in the North Carolina Mountains. (That was code for a sumptuous abode near Hendersonville).  Then after a brief and warm conversation, Willie revealed the real reason for his call, he was dying of cancer.  Expected to live a year, maybe slightly more.  (I guess Willie had searched around trying to think of who would care and he called his old buddy, Murph).

He never called again, but, with concern, I have called him every 3 or so months.  The last two times I called, I got no answer.  Not a good sign.  Then with a heavy heart I just read your announcement.  Thanks.  Now I am trying to remember his wife’s name, but, so far, ever-weakening mind has not responded.  Should you earn her name, please share it!

God bless Willie Shorr.

Scribe’s note-Murph you should feell no embarrassment at your loss of a name.  At our age we are pleased to remember our own names.  As I have already communicated to you Mrs. Shorr’s name is Rose and according to my records she is still with us.  Thank you for your memorial to Willie.

Since our last column we have lost five more friends:
          23rd Co.  Maurer, R.C.                        3/30/13
          16th Co.  Metzger, R.P.                       2/22/13
          23rd Co.  McGihon, R.S.*                    3/23/13
          20th Co.  Jefferson, H.P.*                    3/18/13
          1st Co.    Zimmerman, J.P.                   4/15/13

*See Biography in the 50 Year Book

Our condolences to each of the families.  We too shall miss them.

Each of you reading this has spent time in the Washington Greater Metropolitan Area and should remember what our traffic is like.  If you are no longer in this area let me assure you it is worse and getting more so every day.  Yesterday, the 18th, I had an appointment with my audiologist at Bethesda (now Walter Reed/Bethesda) at 1000.  The run to Bethesda usually takes 40 minutes at the most but knowing we would be in rush hour we backed out of our driveway here in Springfield at 0840 and headed off.  It immediately started to pour down rain.  By the time we got to the beltway it was a deluge and the cars were bumper-to-bumper, hubcap-to-hubcap.  Visibility was marginal but at least the drivers were behaving themselves.  At 1000 we pulled into the hospital grounds and started looking for a parking place in the new America garage.  I called audiology and told them I would be late and was told if I was more than 15 minutes late the doctor might not see me.  We got parked and 25 minutes later managed to find the office in the new building.  My doctor said she would do what she could in the time she had before her next appointment.  In the middle of our meeting the PA system came on and told us to evacuate the building because they had a bomb threat.  We walked down from the 5th floor, were out of the bldg about 30 minutes, came back up on the freight elevator with my doctor, she finished my appointment and we came home.  Total elapsed time just over 5 hours.  Beltway average speed coming home was 75mph.

Until next time. Dave