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I will pick up the tracking of birthdays again in the next (May-June) issue.

Grace Harkins sent me a concert program, which I believe you will find of considerable interest. Grace says Gene Mulligan 1st Co. was Bill’s wife first class year.  I won’t try to reproduce the whole program but will give you a feel for it.  It is the WINTER CONCERT of the Mulligan Family Chamber Ensemble for Sunday, December 28, 2014 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington.  All of the musicians are Gene Mulligan’s family, children and grandchildren.  Each performer has a good history laid out in the program but I’ll just give you Gene’s complete and tiny excerpts from the others:

Gene Mulligan began piano lessons at age 8 and continued through high school.  As a midshipman at the Naval Academy, he was student director of the Academy Glee Club and played string bass for a jazz ensemble.  As his four children learned violin, viola, and cello in Alexandria schools, he enjoyed accompanying them in performances and competitions.  After retiring in 1995, he resumed piano lessons, first with John Ward and in recent years with Christine Hagan.  For the past four years he has participated in weeklong summer piano workshops at the Peabody Conservatory.  Gene led off the concert on the piano playing Johannes Brahms Intermezzo in B-flat op. 117 no.2.

Greg Mulligan (son) has played violin with the Baltimore Symphony since 1980 except for five years when he was concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony.

Laura Mulligan Thomas (daughter) plays cello and has directed the Charlottesville High School Orchestra since 1982.

Mark Mulligan (son) teaches architecture at Harvard. He plays violin and viola and performs with the Boston Symphony.

Cathy Young  (daughter) plays viola.  She lives on the Big Island of Hawaii where she currently teaches violin, viola, cello, and piano. She plays violin and viola with Kamuela Philharmonic.

Six grandchildren also performed on piano, violin, viola, cello, bass and vocal.

What a talented family!!  I stand in awe of Gene and Dorothy and the whole Mulligan family.

As they say in the media, for complete disclosure I must admit that for the last two years I have been trying to teach myself to play the piano.  Can’t say that I’m making much progress but I’m still working at it.

While we are talking about our children let’s now move to Libby and Cab Davis 17th Co. son Cabell.  Libby sent me an article from the OCEANUS magazine which covered work by Cabell at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the development of the Video Plankton Recorder (VPR).  “Plankton is a catchall term that includes bacteria and other microbes, single-celled plants, tiny animals, jelly-like animals, and larvae.  The vast majority of marine animal species are plankton for part or all of their lives.  Individually small, plankton are collectively mighty.  Single-celled algae produce half the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere.  Abundant plant and animal plankton are the heart of the food webs that sustain fish, seabirds, marine mammals, and eventually people who depend on seafood.  A key question is how will plankton and ocean ecosystems be affected by ocean conditions that are rapidly changing today.  Excess carbon in the atmosphere from fossil fuel burning is being absorbed by the ocean and lowering its pH.  Ocean temperatures are also warming, and circulation patterns may shift.”  The Video Plankton Reorder was developed by Cabell and Fred Thwaites and it has been towed across the Atlantic twice, yielding excellent data.  Prior to the VPR plankton data was collected by towed nets but it left a lot to be desired.  The data from the Atlantic VPR towing demonstrated its capability so in February and March of this year it will be towed across the Pacific while Cabell collaborates from his lab ashore.

Scribe’s note:  For those of you without computers I have excerpted the article.  To read the whole story Google Oceanus magazine, “A Telescope to Peer into the Vast Ocean”.

The Navy Crew Newsletter of January has an excellent article about Classmate Paul Quinn 6th Co.  On Feb. 28th Navy Crew will celebrate Paul’s 90th birthday with a boat dedication at Hubbard Hall.

There will be another boat dedication on May 9th in honor of Classmate Don Apple 14th Co.  The boat, an Empacher racing shell, is being donated by Don Jefferson ’73 who is Don Apple’s son.  He was born seven months after Apple was killed in an aircraft accident 4/11/51.  Apple rowed crew for all three years at the Academy and his son also rowed crew for his time there. Like his father he also went into aviation, but in the Marine Corps.

To a different kind of boat, Bob McClinton 11th Co. reports that the Sequim Bay Yacht Club has raised $22,210 for Hospice. Bob’s crew raised $8,805 of that.  Very good show.  I’ve been reading a lot about hospice nation wide, most of it discussions of “not for profit” hospice as compared to “for profit” versions which are proliferating rapidly.  Much of what I have read about the “for profit” hospice has not been laudatory.  I asked Bob about the hospice to which they are contributing money and his reply was “ours is a volunteer hospice with minimal overhead.  Minimal salaries only for three RNs.  Everyone else volunteers.”

Frank Boushee 8th Co. copied me on an email to Bud Lally 8th Co. and part of it is of interest. 

“Betty has fallen three times this year.  She takes ‘rehab’ sessions locally, and is due to be back to normal by April.  One of our nieces came over and showed me how to work the washer and dryer.  So now I am the chief cook and bottle washer. He also made a comment about plebe cruise on the SAVANNAH, Jack Bowers 8th Co. and I appropriated large cans of peaches from a working party we were on in NOB.  I had two weeks in the laundry and two weeks cleaning heads in officer’s country.  NCIS is still looking for Bowers."

Scribe’s note:  I hope the peaches were worth it.  Also, for the NCIS, the Bowers tell me they will be moving to Falls Church this year.

An email for Bob Jortberg 7th Co. is interesting.

One of my collateral duties while serving as a RADM as OP 44 was to support the Vice President in his occupancy of the VP quarters at the Naval Observatory.  The quarters had earlier been the CNO’s quarters.  Shortly after the Carter-Mondale election on a Sunday afternoon I was requested to meet the VP and staff at the quarters.  In blue uniform I drove my two seat 1972 Fiat 850 Spyder convertible to the observatory from our home in Great Falls.  Near the end of the BW Parkway the little car filled up with steam.  The heater under the dashboard had sprung a leak.  I rolled down the windows and thought thru my limited options.  I decided to try to make it to the Observatory.  As I drove into the gate steam was pouring out of both windows.  The guards and the Secret Service agents surrounded the car with weapons drawn.  I quickly got out of the car and identified myself.  After the discussion about the quarters the staff of the Observatory loaned me a pair of overalls and some tools.  This had happened to me before so I had a four inch piece of copper tubing in the glove compartment to bypass the heater.  I was home for dinner.

For those of you without email, we have asked for donations to our memorial/flower fund which is getting a bit low.  If you choose to donate make the check out to Washington Chapter of the USNA class of ’48.  Whatever you donate is tax deductible.  Mail to Charles Mertz, 1733 Kirby Rd.  Apt 1303, McLean, VA 22101.

I’m only aware of two losses since the last column.

Frank C. Knock of the 13th Co.   1/24/15.  He has a very short bio. in the 30 year book.
Bill H. Layman of the 20th Co.  1/16/15

Let’s wrap it us with a ghost story from Harry Belflower 2nd Co.  In 1969 Harry and Betty came back from Hawaii and moved into a house in Bowie MD.

“Not long after moving in, we began noticing strange happenings and noises.  We tried to ignore them but their persistence negated any and all attempts to pretend that they did not exist.  We seemed to be constantly misplacing things but they would later show up exactly where they were last seen.  I would and still do hear noises in the middle of the night but Betty has never heard them.  There is a spot in the living room where it is always noticeably colder than anywhere else in the house.  We have and occasionally still see ghosts or spirits, if you will.  There is the lady in white that drifts through the semi-darkened rooms and only allows us a glimpse of her.  However, she seems quite harmless but we wonder just who she is.  She has given no indication over the years and we sometimes think that she may have lived in a farm home that may have stood where our house is now located.  The appearances almost always occur in the living and dining room area in the early evening hours."

I suppose that the most startling thing that has happened was about twenty years ago when I was preparing to go to work one morning and was unable to locate my car keys.  I was in the habit of emptying my pockets when getting ready for bed and putting my wallet, watch and keys on my dresser so they would be available when I dressed the next morning.  Well, that morning the keys simply were not there.  Betty and I did a search in every likely place but could not find them.  Of necessity, I borrowed Betty’s keys and left for work.  That night, and for the next ten days or so, both of us continued to look for the keys.  One evening, after we had finished dinner and had cleaned up the kitchen and retired to the den to watch TV and read before bedtime, I remember that I was reading the paper and was holding it over my lap with both hands.  Betty was seated a few feet to my left in her chair when suddenly, without any warning, my keys feel down and landed in my lap.  Betty heard them hit the paper and we both exclaimed and said where did they come from?  To this day, I have never been able to understand how those keys dropped from the overhead and landed in my lap.  There is no explanation.  Go figure.  We still have mild occurrences of misplaced objects being found exactly where they were always kept and the ghost still visits on occasion.  We are used to those things and would feel lonesome without them but the mystery of the keys does bother us.

The July-Aug column is due on 26 May so you may have time to give me an input, photo, email or snail mail.  It would be appreciated by me and your Classmates.  Since the May-June column is due on 16 April I don’t believe you will read this in time to get something to me but try for July-Aug.