February 2009

CAPT W.E. Smith

19 Coachman Pike

Ledyard, CT 06339

Ph: 860.464.8425; Fax: 860.464.8425

E-mail: jdsbridge@aol.com

Web site: www.cga53.org


            As I write these notes on New Year’s Day, it’s a good time to look back on some of the good and not-so-good events for our class and classmates in 2008, and also to look ahead at our plans for 2009.

The following were among the positive events and milestones for our class in 2008: we sponsored the CAPT Ernie Rowland Cadet Art Contest and Fred Long ‘52 was the 2008 ‘53 Fellow; we provided $98,000 from our ‘53 endowment fund for the press box for the Academy’s soccer field and track; we presented the Nels Nitchman graduation award for the outstanding intramural athlete; continued sponsorship of the Hall of Graduates plaques in Hamilton Hall and the Presidential Passageway in Chase Hall; 36 (41%) of our living classmates attended our 55th reunion at Homecoming; the number of octogerians in our class increased to five (Dick Kott, Frank Frauenfelder, Bud Mathieu, Gene Trainor, and Drury Williford); eleven of our married classmates, (Ken and Eve Barrett, Dan and Helene Colussy, Rick and Beth Cueroni, Hank and Gloria Fisher, Frank and Jan Frauenfelder, Dave and Nancy Howland, Walt and Elma Matherly, Harry and Barbara Oldford, Bill and Mickey Reilly, Bob and Mimi Schmidt, and Dave and Millie Zurzuski), celebrated their 55th wedding anniversaries; Wade Smith married Sally DeWitt 57 years after he first proposed to her; Hal Olson and Wee Smith joined classmates Bob Benson, Mike Boggs, Rick Cueroni, Bill Reilly, Bill Russell, and Nat Spadafora as members of the Academy’s Athletic Hall of Fame; and our classmates made 5-year pledges of more than $225,000 for our ‘53 endowment fund to support the acquisition of Leadership 44s for the Academy’s Coastal Sail Training Program.

On the negative side of our 2008 ledger: sadly we lost our 50th classmate, John McKenna, (our fifteenth classmate to die from cancer); a number of classmates were hospitalized during the year for hip

or knee replacements, back surgeries, broken bones, body part repairs, or cancer treatments, and unfortunately several of our classmates are now nursing home residents.

Looking ahead to 2009, our classmates from the Great Northwest, (Kirk Greiner, Dick Donnelly, Ed Cope, Ed Nelson, George Everett, Bud Mathieu, and Dimpy Spadafora), have planned a great mini-reunion to be held in Seattle, WA September 21-25. Details for this, our eleventh ‘53 mini-reunion, will be sent via “snail mail”. In the meantime, save the dates!