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As I said in the last column we are now nose to nose with Christmas and the holiday season.  Betty and I pray that all are blessed.  At our age we have experienced some wonderful Christmases and would like to add this one to our memory bank.  My family had to delay the celebration quite-a-few times because I was deployed but the late ones were just as memorable, maybe more so.

The last column was submitted two months ago and these have been climatically busy months for the US and its territories.  After Henry and Irma tore things up I asked, via email, for folks in TX and FL to check in so we knew they were OK.  Most just came back and said all is all right.  Art Stringfellow 1st Co. from Gainesville, FL answered twice.  The first time saying:

As you know I live alone in Gainesville and Irma passed me by only a few miles away.  I slept through it soundly and awakened to find a large oak tree down in my yard, it missed the house by less than four feet!  God is taking good care of what’s left of me.”  His second note said: “My post hurricane from Gainesville, FL. Is as follows:  no land line service for three days and a large oak tree fell in my back yard that missed crushing my house by about four feet.  Incidentally, all this occurred while my home is under major repair from incompetent work done earlier by a contractor hired by USAA to repair a roof leak from ANOTHER prior tree that fell on my roof.  That repair is costing USAA over $60K to fix everything, and USAA is paying for it all!  God bless them; they have been a joy to work with!.

Boyd Sibert 9th Co. from Naples wroteDave,

We’re too old and slow to run, so we rode it out, our building was constructed to withstand category four storms,  we wanted to see if the architect was right.  We came through beautifully with only a power and telephone outage.  Importantly our generator kept one outlet and the refrigerator going.”

Hattie Jansen came back saying Pensacola wasn’t in the hurricane cone so she was fine.  I asked her if the trainers had all been evacuated?  As a student I flew an evacuation from a predicted storm, don’t recall the storm or where we went but I do remember when we came back a number of instructors were either still bombed or so hung over they had problems getting in the plane.  Mike Ames 23rd Co.picked up on that and said he thought he was on the same hurricane flyaway-

It was on the 28th of August 1949 and we flew to Memphis- the instructors weren’t the only ones totally bombed on the way back- I didn’t even get into bed before we had to get up and fly back.  Good training for new Naval Aviators I guess—Mike

Scribe’s note: storms weren’t named in ’49.

Bettye and Tyler Dedman 13th Co. were on a trip and spent a lot of time dodging all the storms but said their children reported their house was undamaged but with a lot of trees down.  Ty says he’ll get back to me after they get home.

Patricia Conklin (Augie Albanese’s 3rd Co. significant other) wrote on Sept 13th—

We had not yet left our NY home so we were fortunate enough not to have to cower from Irma.  Our home in Port St Lucie survived its sixth hurricane so we are leaving next week and hope to find enough gas and empty hotel rooms from NY to FL.  We plan on four easy days as this is Augie’s first outing after his health concerns this summer with neurological issues which have been diagnosed as Parkinson’s.  He exhibits the Naval attitude that an Academy grad cannot be told he can’t do something!  He has dealt with his blindness, open-heart surgeries, hemorrhages and falls, memory loss and delusions with aplomb and good humor!  He is still considering the reunion next year even in a wheelchair.  As the youngest in 1948 Class he thinks he will outlast everyone.

From Bob Milholland 23rd Co: 

You piqued my curiosity with this one.  Were you in flight training in 1949?  I vaguely recall a bridge game during hurricane season in Pensacola in 1949.  Louise and I played bridge with Tom and Peg Hayward at their house, as was our custom because they had their first-born to care for and in those days we had no money for baby sitters having lost our sea pay when we entered flight training.  When it came time to go home Louise and I were invited to spend the night because the wind was kicking up and we lived on the other side of town.  The 4 of us piled into their queen sized bed.  Sometime during the night I had to answer a call of nature but when I got back the others were sprawled out still asleep on all the available space.  I elected the davenport instead.
          Of course the punch line centers around the fact that Tom woke up in the morning in bed with 2 attractive women.

Scribe’s note: is of interest to comment that Betty reminded me that she and the children were left behind in Key West and Pensacola when I had to take a plane and fly it to safety.  Nancy Graham also commented that the men always went to sea leaving the families behind to face the storm if it hit.  In Betty’s case we were lucky and the first serious storm we faced together was here in Washington.

 Paul Riley 13th Co. in Houston right after the storm passed that he and his extended family were fine but he was surrounded by water.

Bebe Buck from Atlantic Beach , FL says she is OK.

Still on the subject of storms, Harry Belflower 2nd Co. tells me that Bob Smith 18th Co.relates his experience as a child when a tornado destroyed his home while he was in it.  Maybe Bob can tell us about that.

Since the last column I have learned of the passing of three Classmates and three widows.
          11th Co.  Crump, F.L., Jr.                    6/25/17
          NG          Ourisman, M.J.                     5/5/17
          23rd Co. Ivey, J.M.                              5/11/07

Sawyer, Sheila 8/8/17, wife of Pete  Sawyer (deceased)  1st Co.  In 1952, while attending Connecticut       College with a triple major in music, math and political science, she met Pete at the New London Naval Base.  They were married and moved to Miami where they lived for 60 raising three boys and a girl while she taught high school math.  After she retired they spent their time between Coral Gables and her family home at Carey Point on Highland Lake in Connecticut.

Lastova, Janet  10/23/16, wife of Jack Lastova 9th Co.  Janet and Jack raised four boys while she taught preschoolers for 22 years.

Crump, Beverly 12/30/14, wife of Frank Crump Deceased) 11th Co.  She and Frank raised three sons.  They loved to travel and ride their bikes around the US.  They also travel to England where they picked up a calling to become Hospice volunteers.
Ivey, Chispah 8/3/17, wife of Jim Ivey (deceased) 23rd. Co.   She was a graduate in 1948 of Duke University Nursing Program.  Chip and Jim raised 4 girls and a boy.  They lived in Oakville, Ontario for 20 years then lived over 40 years on a farm in Pendleton, SC where she mastered gardening, weaving, sewing, needlework and cooking.  She also encouraged a deep appreciation of cultural art and a reverence for nature.

A note from John Crumpton 2nd Co. in Oxford, ME;

I am holding on here, alone since Dec. 2011, in a big old house (1861) with attached barn, blessed with good health, still driving and sailing in fair weather a 30 ft. Friendship Sloop glass replica.  It is a workboat design (lobster) similar to the Chesapeake Skipjack except it is gaff rigged.  It has grown bigger every year for 39 yrs. And the gaff gets heavier.  Help is always welcome and there’s plenty of room.