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It is Memorial Day.  Betty and I have lived in our home since 1969 and at that time the houses in our section of the development were still being built but on Memorial Day every occupied home displayed a flag.  Today we have just come home from the grocery store and started counting flags.  Believe me they are not on every home.  Our nation is changing.

This is also the time for commencement addresses and the one given by ADM McRaven at the University of Texas has been on my screen repeatedly since he gave it.  It was also picked up by the WSJ and printed almost verbatim in last weekend’s edition.  It should be read by everyone but especially by this year’s graduates.

Since the ADM used the SEAL training as the center of his talk and I knew the Tony Duncan 4th Co. had been in UDT from which the SEALS developed I called him.  Tony says that hell week et al was part of BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALS) which must be taken by SEALS and UDT personnel.  Tony says his memory tells him the ADM got it right. Tony also says “hell week was not easy”, a masterpiece of understatement I believe.   I asked Tony who else in the Class had been in UDT and he could only think of Norm Duncan (deceased 1/18/02)9th Co. and Bill Ikard (deceased 2/13/13) 17th Co.  Can any of you identify others?

I always enjoy “ring stories” and here is another.  This one is from Turbo Sturtevant  6th Co.:

On a chilly winter day in 2007 my class ring slipped off my finger and fell onto a tile floor.  The aquamarine struck the tile surface so that it was completely shattered.  I took it to UPS for shipment to Herff Jones with instruction for repair.  After waiting some time without hearing any word, I called HJ in Rhode Island and learned that they had not received the ring.  Then I call UPS and was told it had arrived at the UPS office in Rhode Island, but there was an exception, i.e. the package was lost.  I insisted that they search for until they found it- even called the CEO of UPS in Atlanta – all to no avail.  UPS paid me off, and I gave up hope that I’d ever see that ring again.  Several weeks ago I had a message on my phone from a lady named Elsie from UPS, who said she’d found a shipment from me sent seven years ago.  I called her and identified the ring.  She said some people at UPS had recently retired, and the package turned up.  I could hardly believe it was found after all that time!  Since her office is not far from HJ, she offered to deliver it in person.  When I spoke with the lady in the HJ repair department, she confirmed that she had the ring.  Also she said Elsie insisted on paying for the repair!  I was absolutely dumbfounded by all the kindness show by Elsie.  Of course I immediately wrote her but could not come close to thanking her enough.  There is no way I could ever repay her.  Now I have my old ring back with the aquamarine, just like the first time I received it except for some wear.

An email from John Fry 21st Co. concerning the October homecoming dinner-- 

Greetings everyone.  Our USNA Homecoming Dinner at Ginger Cove will be held Friday, October 24.  It’s still too early for class dinner invitations, but some folks appreciate a “Save the date” announcement in Shipmate so they can note it on their calendars.   The 1943 and 1945 Class testimonials in Shipmate, as well as the 1948 coverage with pictures on the Class Home Page about the dinner last year should help in regard to our wanting this to be the most popular Friday night Homecoming party in town.  As you know this is a once-a-year celebration at Ginger Cove for good drinks, good food, good friends, some nostalgia, and cheerful conversation with Academy graduates, wives, and widows of classes 1943 through 1961.  Valet parking and printed name-tags for everyone at the entrance 5:00-5:30, an open bar with champagne, wine, cocktails and appetizers in the Annapolis Room commencing at 5:30, dinner in Friendship Hall at 7:00, with a choice of filet mignon or broiled salmon, with wine, salad, vegetables, desert, and five senior first class Midshipmen as our guests.  All this for $45.00 per person.

As most of you have recognized by now my very dependable West Coast correspondent is Rhona Gorder.  I really appreciate Rhona communiqués.  In a recent exchange she alerted me to the fact that she and Chuck had recently attended a graveside ceremony at the new Miramar National Cemetery and noted that Rosecrans is now full.  At that service during the eulogy Chuck was singled out as a member of the US Naval Academy with a comment on how much the association with the Academy and with Chuck had meant to the deceased.  Chuck also was a “star” guest at Harvey Humphrey’s memorial just a week earlier and many people wanted to shake his hand.  It just made me proud that Chuck has always been a staunch ambassador of the Naval Academy, but now is elevated by age and reputation to super ambassador and a link to those wonderful years you all shared together.   Rhona also expressed their sorrow about the passing of Bill Kanzler and shared an email from him from Jan. 2014.  This is an excerpt from that email:

Now for my news as to why I would like to make my donation for 2014s Bruce Gorder Walk for Melanoma Awareness early this year.  My family got together for a reunion at my #2 son’s lake cottage in New Hampshire over the Labor Day weekend this September.  About a week later I received a phone call from my son’s “partner” saying that he did not “like the looks” of a mole on my frontal scalp and that he felt I should see a dermatologist for an evaluation.  My son and his partner are both dermatologists practicing in the “Bay Area” of San Francisco.  At this point you have already correctly guessed that my “evaluation” proved to be melanoma, and consequently I have made three round trip flights having these two dermatologists remove two lesions from my scalp.  Follow-up biopsies and “pet” scans have proved that the cancer has spread to my lungs, and my son has made arrangements for me to be under the care of a specialist here in Michigan.  So right now I have about four doctors (dermatologists, oncologists, and primary care physician) “taking care” of me.  Every one of these guys (including my son) assures me that, within the recent past, the advances that have been made in the treatment of such cases is no less than fantastic.  We shall see.

Our weather here in western Michigan has been abominably wintry so far this year, and all of my doctors agree that I should continue with my plans to take my family to Hawaii for a two week “break” starting January 28.  As in the Navy, I am going to “follow orders”.

We have lost 3 Classmates and 5 wives since the last column.
                   15th Co.  Garlinghouse, B.B.            4/15/14
                   11th Co.    Kanzler, W.H.                 5/15/14
                   8th Co.      Wegner,W. *                   4/19/14
                             * See autobio in 50 Year Book

Carlon, Eleanor 4/17/14 wife of F.B. Carlon 15th Co.

Knock, Carol 4/11/14  wife of Frank 13th Co.

 Moore, Betty 5/6/14  wife of Ben (deceased 1/4/08) 10th Co. Betty and Ben were both runners.  She ran the JFK 50 mile and competed in many of the Marine Corps marathons.  She was a volunteer  as support staff for local training activities, races and as a timer at USNA track meets.  She and Ben had two sons.

Morgan, Shirley 4/17/14 wife of Cliff 18th Co.

Scott, Elizabeth 5/11/14 wife of Dick (Deceased 8/20/12) 16th Co.

Our condolences to each family.

I believe all of you are aware that the Class recognizes the leading student in IT with a cash award.  John Fry made the presentation this year and reports as follows:At the Naval Academy’s prizes and Awards ceremony this year the day before graduation, the class of 1948 Information Technology Award was presented to Midshipman Ganesh M. Harihara.  The citation for the award reads: “A check for $1,000 will be presented to that midshipman of the graduating class majoring in Information Technology, who has achieved the highest average in his/her major courses, including the second discipline courses.  This award is given by the Class of 1948 and funded y the Class of 1948 Information Technology Fund.”

Among over one hundred midshipmen receiving prizes and awards that day, none seemed more appreciative than Midshipman Harihara.  He asked proudly that his sincere thanks for his award be extended to every member of the Class of 1948.

Midshipman Harihara grew up in San Jose, CA at the heart of Silicone Valley, we know as IT country.  His father is a software designer, his mother a schoolteacher.  He has been coding computers since he was eight.  He named Professor Chambers of the Computer Science Department as a resourceful mentor in his studies.  Submarines was his service selection, so nuclear training will initially lead his naval career.  As we spoke after the ceremony I asked about the sword he carried.  It turned out it was a gift from a friend who had received three swords as prizes that day.  It pays to have high-achieving friends.

In talking to the Computer Science Department faculty John asked about the future of IT and Cyber-warfare.  The feeling is that IT will be folded into Cyber.  The “new” course will occupy the new building when completed.

After Shirley Morgan passed away I asked Cliff how he was coping.  He responded:

I’m doing pretty good.  My granddaughter, Lori and her two children, ages 14 & 5, are living here now and that keeps the atmosphere active.  Lori works for General Dynamics, C4 Division in Crystal City and is finishing school—she graduates next month with her MBA.  The one thing I’m not looking forward to is a concentrated effort to downsize and get the boys and grandchildren to take what they want now so there will be less of a problem later.  Three things in particular have me somewhat stumped—Shirley’s large collections of dolls and cookbooks and my collection of woodworking tools.  I am also still bowling.  The old Navy Dept. Men’s Bowling League which I joined in 1970 became smaller over the years and several years ago we merged with a National Guard mixed league and became the Navy Guardian league which also got smaller as the years went by such that this past year we were down to six four-man teams.  We now, beginning this fall, have agreed to merge again with a larger mixed league at Bowl America, Falls Church and they have agreed to adopt our name so we can still be the longest continuously active league in the Washington area.  I now have the longest tenure, as well as being the oldest, in the league.

Scribe’s note: very good show Cliff.  You share a downsizing problem with many of your Classmates.

On May 10th Rhona commented on Harvey Humphrey’s 18th Co. service that was memorable and very well attended.  After the ceremonies we went back to Harvey and Jane’s home in Escondido for a fabulous Cinco de Mayo Mexican Buffet and home made margaritas.  Jane said that one of the last things in life that Harvey was able to accomplish  was to sell their Escondido home for top dollar.  As you know, the original was burned to the ground in one of San Diego’s terrible wild fires.  The new one built in its place is gorgeous.  Harvey designed most of it.   Jane is moving to her new home in Rancho Bernardo, nearby.  She will keep in touch and send her new address soon.