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I’m putting this column together starting on Jan. 12th.

The Classmates have 40 birthdays in Mar./Apr.  Augie  Albanese 3rd Co.(our youngest Classmate) will be 89 in Mar. and E.F. Duncan 14th Co.  will be 93 in Apr.  Happy Birthday to both of you.

I keepapri track of birthdays and other personal data with the 1999 Register of Alumni.  That is the last Register which includes dates of birth and death.  This made Sumner so mad he wrote a letter and the response said including that information was a violation of personal privacy.  In checking the Net I don’t honestly believe we have any privacy anymore.  If you question that statement try Googling yourself.  You might be surprised.

You should note that I haven’t included any information on wives birthdays; that is because I have no access to that information unless you have given it to me.  That is one thing I don’t know how to get off the Net although I suspect it is there somewhere.  I know some of the local wives birthdays, for example Nancy Graham’s birthday was early in Jan. and she commented to me that having your birthday in early Jan. didn’t seem fair because the New Year is just starting and you are already a year older.  As the saying goes, Nancy, birthdays are wonderful, the more you have the longer you live.

In a similar health vein I’m hearing from Classmates who have come down with the flu and had to be hospitalized for a few days.  At our age we should not forget to go for our flu shots.  Betty and I get our shots in Oct. and always get the quadrivalent version.  You should also have had a pneumococcal vaccine.  When that shot was first offered it was supposed to be one time thing; however, our doctor much later said a booster was suggested, which we got, then in Dec. at our regular visit our doctor said there was now an improved version and recommended it so we’ve now had that one too.

Beyond health matters, I’m impressed by what some Classmates are still contributing to society.  Phil Rogers 9th Co. and Patsy volunteered at the hospital for a very long time and Phil is still doing so.

Every year Chick Rauch 6th Co. makes and donates something for the Maine Discovery Museum auction.  This year it was a bell tower marble machine with all actions involving features of the state of Maine.  Chick says he was pleased with the money it made for the museum and with the enthusiasm of the buyer.  Scribe’s note:  I talked with Chick and I believe he told me the bell tower went for over a thousand dollars.  Others have told me about their volunteer work but I didn’t make notes so I can’t honor them.   I feel certain that many of you are performing volunteer work and would very much like to hear about it.  This time I’ll make notes.

Several columns back I told you about Tom Hayward’s 21st Co. support of Peace Trees Vietnam (PTV) and he has brought me up to date on that group’s 20th anniversary.  Over those 20 years they have cleared 859+ acres of land, removed 89,000 unexploded ordnance items, built 100 family homes, 12 libraries, 10 kindergartens, 2 community centers and a Landmine Education Center, provided min. Risk Education for more than 86,830 Vietnamese, planted more than 43,850 indigenous trees and provided assistance to more than 957 landmine survivors and their families.

Scribe’s note:  BZ Tom to you and PTV.

Other Classmates raise money annually for good purposes:  Chuck Gorder 12th Co. sponsors a melanoma walk in memory of his son; Bob McClinton 11th Co. raises money for Hospice by racing his boats (Intrepid and Weigh to Go) in the Reach for Hospice.  The amount is impressive so I asked him about it.  His response was, “it is rather straight forward,  Gunvor and I mail about 235 letters each year during the first week of August for the mid-September Reach for Hospice.  Friends, family and neighbors respond positively because it’s Hospice.”  The bottom line over 14 years/14 races comes to a tad over $90K.  Scribe’s note:  a nice piece of change Bob and I’m certain that Hospice has put it to good use.

Debbie Harvey, wife of Don Harvey 5th Co., via email says:

We’ve been in Sarasota for a long time!  My family moved to Florida in the early 40’s and we have always made sure that we have had a foot in the and.  When final retirement came for Don, we made a bee line for Siesta Key and have been here ever since.  We miss travelling back to the Washington area to see friends and family and attending homecomings and reunions in Annapolis, but love our spot in the sun.  Two of our four children live here…and this Christmas found almost everyone from our family of nineteen opening presents and enjoying good company and great food!

Every time I think we are slowing down on our travels I receive something like Chick Rauch’s Christmas letter.  He and Esther did a lot of travelling last year and I was impressed particularly because a great deal was by train.  They were visiting friends and family.  I will just outline the train section.  They took a train to New York where they boarded the Amtrak train, CRESCENT, for an overnight trip in a roomette to New Orleans.  They drove a rental car to Mobile to visit friends then drove back to New Orleans and took the CRESCENT back to Washington, D.C.  In Sept./Oct. they took Amtrak’s CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR for a 3-day/2-night ride to San Francisco where they stayed at a hotel on Fisherman’s Wharf.   As a complete surprise the Navy Blue Angels put on air shows two afternoons while Chick and Esther easily watched from their hotel room.  They also enjoyed Dungeness crab, sour dough bread and white wine on Fisherman’s wharf.  Scribe’s note:  Makes my mouth water because my family loved to eat at the Warf.  Chick and Esther then took the train to LA to visit a goddaughter then back to Chicago via Amtrak’s SOUTHWEST CHIEF.

Chick closed his letter with a paragraph, which I believe all of you will appreciate:

Through the years, I have planned numerous vacations in various parts of North America, but I was more apprehensive over this West Coast trip than any previous one, primarily because we would be completely dependent on friends with extremely busy schedules as well as on complete strangers for all of our transportation from arrival in to departure from Chicago.  And this would be especially true since we decided this time to completely rely on taxis in San Francisco and not rent a car as we have always done in the past.  As it turned out, we received absolutely first class assistance way beyond the expected from friends in Chicago and Los Angeles; from family in Columbus and from every taxi driver and hotel and restaurant employee in San Francisco, and bystanders---maybe angels—on a few occasions who sensed our confusion and carried our baggage while leading us to exactly where we needed to go.  Thus, in this time in our world when we constantly read of people filled with hate and violence toward others, one of the highlights of our year was witnessing this fabulous amount of friendly and loving assistance from numerous folks both known and unknown.

Scribe’s note:  A wonderful story Chick and it left me with a warm/fuzzy,  something that’s hard to come by these days.

As always we come to that part of the column where I must report that since the last column we have lost classmates and four wives. 
          8th Co.  Bowers, J.C.                                 11/24/15
          18th Co. Jones, R.S.                                   11/26/15  *
          21st Co. Sallada, W.F.                                12/17/15 # *
          15th Co. Sisson, J.A.                                  11/25/15 #
          NonGrad Gerety, R.P.                                12/8/15
  *Bio. in 30 year book
            # Bio. in 50 year book

Beggs, Mary, 11/27/15 wife of Jim Beggs 10th Co.   Mary graduated valedictorian from Glen Ridge High School and received a full scholarship to Connecticut College where she graduated with Honors in English in 1952.  She married Jim in 1953 and they raised five children, 3 girls and 2 boys.  Mary loved the theater and one of her favorites was Wolf Trap. She served on the Wolf Trap Foundation’s Board of Directors from 1972-1979 and again from 1984-1993.  She was honored to serve as its Chairman in 1992 and 1993.  She was also very active in politics.  Always reading, studying, and thinking, she took great joy in life.

Borlaug, Billy 10/14/15 wife of Paul Borlaug 17th Co. (deceased).  Billie was working as a model and a secretary when she met and married Paul.  They raised two children, one boy, one girl.  After Paul retired Billie worked at the Agency for International Development until the early 1980s.

Carrington, Kay, 11/7/15 wife of Jim Carrington 13th Co.  (deceased).  Kay graduated from Notre Dame College in Baltimore soon after the WW II.  Shortly thereafter she married Jim and they raised five children, three girls and two boys.  As irony would have it, in the precise moment of Kay’s sudden passing, all her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were gathered together in California for the marriage of her grandson Michael.  The thought would have pleased her to no end.

Dupree, Bettye, 7/2/15 wife of J.W. Dupree 1st Co. (deceased) .  Bettye earned a BA degree from Florida State University where she was a member of the Chi Omega sorority.  She and Bill were married in 1951.  They raised two children, a boy and a girl.  She had a number of successful careers utilizing her many talents.  She was an art teacher in Duval County schools, a real estate broker, and owner of Trousseau Treasures, a successful boutique in Avondale.

Needless to say I’m glad that our football coach decided his heart was at USNA.  He and the team have certainly given us four great years.  The folks in Annapolis have taken advantage of it as shown here.