SEC’Y: CAPT Dave Carruth, USN (Ret.)
CLASS OF 1948 SHIPMATE COLUMN
Let’s begin with some statistics, but keep in mind that I am writing this on 17 Nov. 2014.
My data shows that there are still 271 of us on this side of the grass. I have 207 email addresses, Classmates and widows.
There will be 47 birthdays for Classmates in Jan. and Feb. Seven will reach 88, nineteen reach 89, ten reach 90, one reaches 91 and John Pesavento, 2nd. Co. leads the pack at 92.
A few emails with material of interest. From JoAnne Hanlon on Oct.13th:
From Gene Portner 13th Co:
Since the last column I have been told of the following losses:
Apple, Nancy 10/21/14- wife of Don Apple (dec) . 14th Co.
McCord, Mary Kaye 10/30/14-wife of Jack McCord (dec) 7th Co.
As I have mentioned before, in scratching around for material for this column I must often fall back on the photo albums I keep which contain not only family material but also cover Class activities, homecoming, reunion etc. Among other things I was the recording secretary for the gate committees and for the 50th through 65th reunion committees. I picked up, in the albums, with Phil Rogers 9th Co. At our 30th reunion in 1978 Phil presented us with a hard back 30 Year Book with autobiographies/biographies of 369 Classmates. Phil did his best to get more but was frustrated by lack of response to his many mailings and Shipmate requests. If you still have this book I guarantee it will provide interesting reading and fond memories for as long as you wish to sit and read. After the 30th Reunion Phil says he was looking around for something the Class could do to leave it’s mark on the Academy and, to quote the Annapolis Capitol, he said “the main gate to the Naval Academy looked like the back entrance to a dog pound”, the gates were in disrepair and a shabby brick building greeted guests who ventured inside the campus. He got Class approval for the project and pulled together a committee of 35 Classmates (only 9 of us are still around, but remember this was 28 years ago). With Roger Carlquist 19th Co acting as Finance Chairman the Class contributed $165,000 to clean up the area and rebuild the Gate. Bill Wagner 18th Co. and Tom Dawson 18th Co. did the design and contributed the Academy Crests, which now grace the Gate. It took the committee quite some time to agree upon the wording of a memorial plaque which the Superintendent, RADM Marryott commented was true when we were mid’n and is true today, i.e.
WE COME FROM ALL PARTS OF THIS NATION
Three hundred and twenty one of us gathered on Sept. 26,27 and 28, 1986 to dedicate the new gate. We had a formal dinner dance and from my pictures we were a good-looking group. Young too, we were in our early 60s.
Phil then chaired the 50th, 55th and 60th reunions. We had 22 people on the 50th committee and the majority of that committee comprised the committees for the 55th and 60th but the size of each group shrank so by the 60th there were only 8 of us. Fourteen had crossed the bar. Roger Carlquist chaired the 65th Reunion. Phil and Patsy decided that being chair three times was enough so he provided advice when Roger asked.
Our Gate served well until, for security reasons, the whole entrance had to be redesigned and rebuilt. Our benches and plaque were moved by Public Works but from an aesthetical and practical point of view the end result left much to be desired. Phil stepped up again with a redesign, which was approved, and he oversaw the installation of what now constitutes the pedestrian entrance of Gate One incorporating thirteen of our original fourteen benches, our plaque et al. Two hundred of us dedicated the “new” Gate in 2008 at our 60th reunion.
Phil, you have devoted, and still devote, a lot of time and effort in service to the Naval Academy and the Class of 1948. From close observation I know that you enjoy every minute of it and take great satisfaction in the end result particularly the Gate but also three fine reunions. For the Class I say thank you and BRAVO ZULU.
I have, in previous columns and emails, devoted space to the Washington/Annapolis group luncheons. At this writing our next luncheon will probably be at Pirate’s Cove the second Friday in April of 2015. The choice of April is to permit some of the Mid’n of the 24th Company to join us and reassure us that all is still well at the Academy. Since you will read this in late Jan. you will have time to put the luncheon on your travel agenda should you happen to be coming through this area. Some of us do still travel as witness Rhona and Chuck Gorder 12th Co. and Amante and Roger Carlquist 19th Co. Long road trips are becoming difficult and fighting your way through an airport today is a real disincentive; however, if you can join us we would love to see you.
As they say on TV “This just in”, literally because it is an email from Ty Dedman 13th Co. received this morning-11/22/14:
Scribe’s note, we hope you and the family celebrated your 88th in good style Ty.
One of the hazards of writing so far ahead of when your audience will read is that timely seasonal comments are often overlooked. I note in reading back through the last column that I made no mention of the many holidays upcoming and now passed. I hope you and your families celebrated appropriately and thoroughly enjoyed the time together.