SEC’Y: CAPT Dave Carruth, USN (Ret.)
CLASS OF 1948 SHIPMATE COLUMN
Well, our 65th reunion has now come and gone. 108 people participated. Looking back at Annapolis reunions there were about 400 of us at the 40th, 332 at the 50th, 335 at the 55th, and 197 at the 60th. The trend is pretty much on track if you check classes prior to ours. We are also following that track in that we had 11 of our children at this reunion and if we manage a 70th I know that number will increase as our offspring try to help us get together.
It was a very good reunion and all to whom I have spoken, and incoming emails all say that a very good time was had by all.
These were our hosts from left to right: Bob Flood, 18th Co. and his wife Judy, Phil Rogers, 9th Co., Tony Duncan, 4th Co., chairman Roger Carlquist, 19th Co., Bill Bass, 20th Co., Warren Graham, 2nd Co., and Charlie Mertz, 13th Co. Missing are John Fry, 21st Co. and Hank Clay, 12th Co.The sign in, run by Warren Graham, Charlie Mertz, Bob Smith, 18th Co. and Bob Flood went well. At sign in we received the extended schedule plus a small version of same for purse or pocket, Annapolis PR magazines and other items of interest including an up to date Class roster. Scribe’s Note: Rather than do a blanket mailing of that roster I’m asking you to let me know via email or snail mail if you wish to receive a copy. Snail mail to D.C. Carruth, 7206 Danford Ln., Springfield, VA 22152.
There was some visiting in the lobby but most people went off to their rooms to get settled in.
Wed. was our heavy day with a memorial service at the chapel, then a Class meeting where the Supe gave us his view of how things are going, he is very pleased with the whole show. US News and World Report currently ranks USNA 4th in undergraduate engineering and 14th in liberal arts. We then had a briefing about the new and growing curriculum for cyber security. All plebes take a foundational course in Cyber Security and the midshipmen can now major in Cyber Operations beginning with the Class of 2016. USNA is the first Service Academy and first University to do that. Our speaker gave a fairly detailed coverage of the required Computer Science course where, as he commented “these young folks know all about how to use a computer but have no idea what’s inside it, so we make them take one apart, identify all the parts and what they do, then reassemble it.” Scribe’s note: I would love to take that course.
The picnic this time was inside, out of the heat, in the Lawrence Room in the stadium. The menu was fried chicken and crab cakes, both excellent but I could only eat one crab cake they were so large. Betty and I did not try to go to dinner in town after that big feed.
On Thurs, for the fourth reunion in a row, Jim Cheevers, Senior Curator at the Academy Museum, spoke to us about the new exhibit in Mahan Hall on the Navy’s part in the War of 1812. Jim has been at the Museum for 46 years. He is a superb speaker and this presentation was no exception. If he is still in the area I will push to ask him to speak to us again at our 70th. At the “tea” Judy Flood had arranged for actress Mary Ann Jung to do her one-woman show of Rosie the Riveter. She was very good. Many of the men attended and everyone enjoyed it.
The banquet Thurs night lived up to our expectations. We had been asked to choose either fillet or fish but when the meal was served we received both. Good too, but once again more than most of us could eat and I still have a very good appetite.
I took a number of pictures at the reunion, which will be posted by John on our home page as soon as I send them to him; however, here is one (picture) of the Classmates and widows. I’m not naming anyone but with a glass you may be able to identify people.
Fri. morning the committee had moved the farewell breakfast from 8:30-10:30 AM to 7:30-9:30 AM to permit those who could manage it to attend Guy Buck, 18th Co. memorial service and inurnment. Ty Dedman, 13th Co. and Bettye made it, as did Cliff Morgan, 18th Co. Guy and Cliff were roommates 1st Class year. He saw Bob Flood there also. Both Ty and Cliff talked with Bebe and the family and Ty says RADM Sean (Guy’s son) told him that he had been called by the CNO the previous night and told to be in Washington the following Monday to take on a new job. In spite of having been in his current job for only a couple of months he was being reassigned as the Navy’s senior officer to handle the sexual assault problem. Ty suggested Sean might want to call Tom Hayward and discuss Tom’s approach to the drug problem that he inherited when he became CNO. We all remember Tom’s approach to this, which began with his slogan “NOT IN MY NAVY!” Scribe’s note: we should all keep Sean in our thoughts for he has been given a monumental task.
Ty and Bettye came to the reunion via the auto train. They drove home but stopped in route to pick up a granddaughter who, Ty says, is an excellent driver.
C.A.K McDonald, 7th Co. tells us in an email—My daughter Sally and I left Annapolis in my rent-a-car Friday morning bound for New London, CT. I am so glad she drove since it rained the entire way. I was in the co-pilot seat and interpreted the GPS equipment. There we saw the house that we lived in during construction of USS ULYSSES S. GRANT in 1963-4. The next morning I put Sally on a train bound for New York. After arrival there she met her two daughters and they had a weekend in the Big Apple with shows and museums. I toured the Submarine NAUTILUS and the associated museum. I was appalled when in reviewing the REGULUS display there was no mention of my former command the USS BARBERO. Later on I traveled to Maine where I placed flowers on Mavis’ gravesite in the fox plot in Kezar Falls. Then I visited with family and friends and indulged in some delicious seafood. The way back to Seattle was uneventful until I reached the Baltimore airport. During the layover period time a stentorian PA voice announced that a tornado warning was in effect. Everyone was advised to seek shelter in the basement. Did you ever try to find the basement in any airport? Anyway the announcer went on to say stay away from windows and suggested that a bathroom was a good choice. The warning was cancelled about 15 minutes later.
A clever email from Bob Slater, 12th Co. on 6/5/13 reported-“I wanted to give you my new email address, and inform you that I was married recently to Kathleen McCauley (now Kathleen Slater, of course), a neighbor who was widowed about 12 years ago. My bride and I are 175 years old, between us, but we are coping pretty well with that, I think. We were unable to get parental consent, so we ran off to Georgia to get married.
Congratulation Bob and Kathleen.
Once again I must report loss of friends since the last column. We have lost four Classmates and one wife.
We shall miss each of them.
I frequently ask that wives send along material and Ruby Buck sent along the following memories from Monterey
I hope you had a memorable 4th. I am frequently asked if Betty and I plan to attend “A Capital Fourth” down on the Mall, fireworks plus a long performance by the National Symphony orchestra, clebrities, etc. I believe the show, including the fireworks, is broadcast nationwide. My answer now is always “no”. Even if I drove after dark, which I don’t do, there is no place to put the car and trying to ride the metro is very difficult for these events. Maybe our attitude is influenced by our age? If you have such an event in your area I hope you enjoyed it on site or on the TV.
Until next column. I like Garrison Keillor’s closing-“Be well, do good works and keep in touch.” Dave