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By the time you read this the Washington-Annapolis group will have had their Sept. luncheon.  In the past it has always been on the second Fri. of the month, which in this case would be the 12th.  We are searching for answers to questions such as, how often should we now have luncheons since attendance is becoming very skimpy; where should we have them since those attending are not happy with the Army-Navy Club and a new question, who is going to take Warren Graham’s place as our illustrious leader.     Warren 2nd Co. has been reelected year after year and has done a magnificent job of setting up the luncheon place, the menu and the program; however, he and Nancy will be moving next month to Ashby Pond in Ashburn which will make it very difficult for him to continue to lead particularly since, like many of us, he is cutting way back on his driving.  Since we usually meet at Army-Navy it is essential that a Club member be involved in arranging things but obviously if we move our meeting place that requirement will go away.  Since the Annapolis Classmates are becoming less and less enthused with driving an hour or more, one way in heavy traffic, to have lunch maybe it is time to split the luncheons with Annapolis having it’s own.  Anyway, that will give you an idea of what we are going to talk about on 9/12/14.  I’ll fill you in in my next column which is due in late Sept.

With Warren dropping back, not out, of the leadership role this is a landmark point for the Washington-Annapolis group.  Warren has done us the honor, year after year, of guiding us not only through our luncheons but also through our $2 million Class donation, volunteering to help with our reunions and numerous other functions.  He has been aided by some memorable people, George Ball as vice-president and legal adviser, Bob Ghormley as treasurer, and Sumner Moore as secretary, all now gone.  The positions have been accepted by others so we continue to function but we do so because we still have Warren.  BZ my friend and we feel blessed that we still have you as an adviser.

                                     Nancy & Warren Graham 

Very few of you have corresponded with me via USPS, email or phone so I’m scrounging through my files for matters of interest.  This column may be short.

One thing you may enjoy, the Class has 49 birthdays in Sept.-Oct.  Eighteen of us will turn 90, eight of us will move on to 91 and one will reach 92.  The years continue to march on.  Take it a day at a time guys.

We were at Dick Robertson’s interment with Tom and Alice O’Connor and later in that week Tom sent me the following email, which I think you will find interesting .

Dick and I were 19th Company roommates (with John Kern) for three years.  Our sea duty and shore assignments were not always in close proximity, but we always kept in touch with Dick and Tut over the years.  To further update our conversation concerning our family and let you know how some children have continued the O’Connor Navy traditions, Alice and I have nine children (5 boys, 4 girls) and now 23 grandchildren.  Tom, Jr. was USNA class of ’75 and 26 years of submarine duties including CO of USS SCRANTON.  Son Larry was Class of ’93 graduate and was an NFO flying EA6Bs and squadron duty aboard  USS RANGER.  Another son Pat graduated from Coast Guard Academy in 1976.  We now have two first class Midshipmen at USNA (Class of 2015) as third generation O’Connors serving our country, and now aspiring to be future Navy SEALs or Marine Corps officers.  Grandson Peyton Walsh happens to be captain of Navy’s wrestling team this coming season.  Perhaps someday in the future they will find themselves building illustrious Naval careers like the one my roommate Dick Robertson so ably did.  Time really marches on, and now Alice and I continue to take each day one at a time, but are fortunate to be able to get around in daylight hours.  Final footnote:  We have been season ticket holders for Navy football games at Annapolis for some 30 years now, and look forward to another good year for Navy.  And then we look forward for our grandsons’ graduation in May 2015.  Another generation takes over.  Tom & Alice

Scribe’s note:  Carol Manganaro and Charlie and Marguerite Heid also have families strongly representative from and at the Academy.  Perhaps some of the rest of you do too.  If so please fill me in.

Back in June Lovey McCarthy, Chris Christoph’s daughter, sent me an update on Chris.  She says she has not reviewed his email account in about two months…She simpley can’t keep up with it.  Chris had a rough year last year, spending most of the year in rehab facilities.  In October they brought him home as he was not making progress and in December they called hospice in.  They really didn’t think he would make it to Christmas, and here it is nearing the end of June and he is still fighting on.  Most days he is clear headed, although fatigued, and sleeps quite a bit.  He is currently thoroughly enjoying the world Cup Soccer, and on the nights the Padres play he is on top of it.  Sometimes he gets a bit confused, but it rarely lasts more than a day.  He is for the most part bedridden, and I best describe him as a quadriplegic who is not medical.  We have help while I am at work.  He is a joy to care for…his humor has not left him!  Mom continues to be at his side, though she is afflicted with vascular dementia…she has her good days and bad.  Please keep them in your prayers.

Scribe’s note:  Chris is one of my favorite people and I’m glad to hear he is still with us.  Thank you Lovey.

Since our last column I have been apprised of our loss of two more good friends and Classmates.
                   5th Co.      Curl, J.H.         7/5/14
                   18th Co.    Reed, W.F.       7/10/14
          Both have biographies in the 50 year book.
Our condolences to the families.

An email from Dave Hurt a while back-

Thanks for passing along the news regarding Frank Tiernan.  What a tragedy!  I couldn’t help thinking of much happier days, long since gone (1948 to 1950), when we had 7 members of “48” aboard MANCHESTER CL 83.  There were Al Wood, Bernie Williams and John Sharp out of “A”.  Then from “B”, it was Charley Ransom, Tom Kilduff, Frank Tiernan and me. None of the group were married at that time, so, the fact that not once did we drop the “hook” in our original homeport, Newport, RI, was great with us.  Instead, it was off to “Refresher Training” at Gitmo, followed by Med hopping with the 6th Fleet.  This was cut short and we found ourselves headed back to CONUS for emergency repair of some storm damage.  This was done at Philly’s Shipyard in a couple of weeks and we were underway again.  This time our destination was the Panama Canal and on to Long Beach to join up with SAINT PAUL.  Two weeks later, both cruisers headed for WESTPAC to become members of the 7th Fleet.

Needless to say, our nearly continuous underway time made for very close friendships.  Unfortunately we didn’t do such a good job of maintaining contact thereafter.  We went our separate ways and our paths just didn’t cross.  Now, most are no longer on this side of the sod.

From your scribe:  As with most of you I suspect Betty and I are very slowly trimming down the huge amount of “stuff” we have accumulated over 67 years of married life.  Our latest target is our family room from which we have now removed large quantities of DVDs, VHS tapes, and would you believe a goodly number of Beta tapes.  My office is next for vinyl 33&1/3, CDs and other recorded music.  On Fri. July 26th I made a run on our library to donate 71 books, both hard back and paper.  We have to do that fairly frequently because we are both inveterate readers.  After finishing the paperwork with the librarian I asked, with tongue in cheek, “can you use any National Geographics?  I have a lot but many other people do too.”  She smiled and said they could probably take a few, but then she said, “wait a minute, we have recently had a call from another government agency asking for Geographics.  Let me call and see if they want some.  She called the Juvenile Justice system and they said they would send a deputy out to pick them up.  They are aware that I’m offering almost complete coverage since 1955 (I have 53 and 54 also but our children want those).  Anyway, if you find yourself needing to trim down your Geographic collection you might try the Juvenile Justice system.  One other point, check Amazon because they offer used and new Geographics for ridiculous prices.  Betty and I decided it wasn’t worth our effort to put them on eBay, pack, mail and collect but I may have to go that way if JJ drops out.

One other small item of interest.  Quite- a- few years ago, when we became thoroughly disgusted with the offerings on TV, we became interested in The Great Courses.  We’ve taken a lot of them and are at the moment working our way through “Biology-The Science of Life”.  The professors are excellent and we thoroughly enjoy the courses, no final exams and you can always get the prof. to go back and cover it again.  Take a look.  You may find something you like.