Scribe’s note: The LEXINGTON cap is a souvenir of Paul’s last carrier landings which he made on the LEX while he was attached to BuWeps.
Next, a good note from Carol Manganaro.
For a number of years I have talked about writing to you but have procrastinated for 63 years. Reading the July-August 2013 ’48 column contained some family misinformation, and this told me it was time to write to you. The beginning—in 1944 my brother, Robert W (Bob) Slater, entered USNA, ’48. Visiting USNA to see Bob, I met a number of Midshipmen, but by spring of ’47 I was traveling to see Frank Manganaro instead of brother Bob. Frank and I married in 1948 and had 58 years together before he died in December 2006. Even though our sons had other opportunities, both chose USNA. Bill graduated Class of 1973 and John graduated Class of 1982. Our three daughters married graduates Class of 1971, 1981, 1986. So all five of our children are closely associated with USNA. Now I have two Midshipmen, Carolyn Adkins, Class of 2014, and Katherine Rodrock, Class of 2016. Carolyn’s two grandfathers Class of 1948, my Frank and James Adkins, Class of 1958. Father James N. Adkins, Class of 1986. Midshipman Katherine Rodrock, Class of 2016, father James G. Rodrock Class of 1981, grandfather Frank Manganaro 1948. Katherine has uncles from Class of 1973, 1962, 1986. Carolyn has uncles from Class of 1973, 1981, 1982. It has been a trip down memory lane trying to put these events in order. And for what it is worth to your information bank, I now have Bill Bass ’48, as a companion and best friend. Bill, Courtenay, Frank, and I were close friends through the years, and Bill and Courtenay were with me after Frank died. Courtenay died in 2010. Now, the basic reason for writing at this time; your current article presents my grandchildren at USNA as graduates—not yet, but a sure thing!
Thank you Carol, if the pin you wear made of Class Crests of all your family Academy graduates gets much larger you are going to list to port. Good show and thanks for the letter.
In response to my request for wives to give us some input as to their experiences being married to us, Ruby Buck has sent me two “essays” which she wrote years ago about her marriage to Beau. The following is part of the first and I will probably use part of the second in the next column. I believe you will enjoy both of them.
THE ICEMEN COMETH
Beau and I went to Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio for three days in mid-October, 1998 where Beau was inducted as an “Honorary Member” of the American Polar Society, an awesome experience for both of us. The first recipient was Admiral Robert E. Byrd in 1936. Sixty-two years later, there are now thirty-two members.
A two-day seminar on the Arctic and Antarctic was programmed 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. We received a sack lunch at noon and you could eat anywhere you could find a seat in the Byrd Polar Research Center. The center was a fascinating building on the campus with offices, extensive archive, a wonderful library and all manner of North Pole and South Pole material. Byrd’s fur sleeping bag was on display---molting and pretty seedy. It was so historically important, but not long for this world, I’m afraid. Also displayed were maps, painting, drawings, sleds, ice axes and tools used at both poles.
The lectures given by world-renowned scientists were extremely exciting. I understood a surprising amount since by pure osmosis, I had already picked up a lot of terminology and a smattering of technical information about what Beau was up to during the twenty-eight years he trekked to the Arctic. His work centered on underwater environmental acoustics research. This work supported classified submarine detection systems and techniques in the Arctic Ocean and Bering Straits.
I was thrilled the night of the awards dinner to be seated between two distinguished honorees: Captain William Anderson, skipper of the NAUTILUS, the first submarine to go under the ice in 1958, and Vice-Admiral James Calvert, skipper of the SKATE, the first submarine to surface at the North Pole in 1949. Conversation was lively and fun, as well as a learning experience for me.
The honorees were brought to the stage one at a time and a brief account of what they had done to earn the prestigious award. Then medals attached with a colorful blue and white ribbon were placed around their necks. I was invited to walk up and stand on the stage with Beau and his sponsor, retired Rear Admiral Firebaugh, which I was delighted to do. A photographer took a picture. In it, I looked like the proverbial cat that swallowed the canary in addition to a couple of mice.
Scribe’s note: Thank you Ruby. A good story.
Let’s acknowledge now our losses since the last column.
11th Co. Falevsky, H.H. 7/4/12
4th Co. McManus, E.A. 7/1/13 *
3rd Co. Munly, R.E. 8/12/13
11th Co. Ransom, C.E. 8/20/13
Schwoeffermann, Gloria 8/27/13
*see autobio in 50 year book
Our condolences to all of the families.
Scribe’s note: As I noted in a previous column, I will give short obits for wives. This is from her daughter, Susan Lynch
Gloria died peacefully in her sleep on August 27th, ’13. She had lived in Fairfield, CA with her second husband, Phil Knebel, for over 10 years. He died on Aug. 6th, 21 days prior to my mom. They had just celebrated 18 years of marriage. We think my mom died of a broken heart once she learned of Phil’s death. My mom was married to my dad, Robert Schwoeffermann, for 41 years before he died on July 18, 1989. She will be interred with my dad in Fort Rosecrans Military Cemetery sometime in Sept. We are having a Memorial Mass for her in Fairfield on Sept. 13th at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic church.
In an exchange of letters between Phil Rogers and Bill O’Connor, Executive Vice President of the Foundation, Bill noted that the Class of 1948’s lifetime giving to the Academy is $8,691,674. I consider this to be a reasonable bequest from our Class and of course it will continue to grow.
Finally, anytime I have a question concerning services at the chapel or at the columbarium I turn to Sharon Moffatt. The Academy and the alumni are blessed to have Sharon. In a recent exchange she gave me the following information:
A USNA instruction states that since the Naval Academy Chapel is not a parish church (unless you are a midshipman or on active duty stationed here at the time of death), and as such we do not conduct Funeral Masses here. This instruction has been in place for about 30 years at least, but only recently have we begun to fall back on it as the threat of not getting a second Catholic priest when our current senior priest leaves is getting real (just not enough priests coming into the military). The Chaplains’ primary responsibilities are to the Midshipmen. Currently we have 2 priests (one to transfer next spring), 4 Protestant chaplains, and one Rabbi. If we lose one priest, that leaves one priest to do all the work, the daily Mass, 3 Masses on Sundays, interment services, weddings almost every Saturday, etc.
Scribe’s note: thank you Sharon, as always. For us this should make it clear that for any services you wish to have at the Chapel and/or the columbarium for a loved one, contact Sharon early on to determine what can be arranged and when. By the way, you must be up front at Arlington also. Sibyl Geiger was told that it would be 5-6 months before they could arrange a service for Bob.
I hope you got your flu shots.
Chanukah, Christmas, New Year and other special days of the season have come again. Betty and I pray that for each of you these special occasions are wonderful.