December 2007

 

CAPT W.E. Smith

19 Coachman Pike, Ledyard, CT 06339

Ph: 860.464.8425; Fax: 860.464.8425

E-mail: jdsbridge@aol.com

Website: www.cga53.org

 

First, here are answers to the various inquiries I have received about the 1953 photos of Louise Smith, Dudley  Holdridge, and the “unidentified couple” on page 68 of the October 2007 issue of The Bulletin: On August 4th, Louise Smith, (the widow of former Dean of Academics, Captain Stanley L. Smith), celebrated her 90th birthday at the family home at 59 Pearl St. on the Mystic River. To help her celebrate were four of her five children, almost all of her 10 grandchildren and her 10 great grandchildren (including Dudley Holdridge), and a number of other relatives and  friends. A “Louise Smith-family party” is never “routine” and this was no exception. In addition to singing Happy Birthday to Louise, the celebration included some special verses sung to the tune of “Red River Valley,” (the Smith family’s favorite song which they sing at all special occasions); a “musical” parade in Louise’s honor by her  grandchildren and great grandchildren; a number of “hip-hip-hoorays”; and, the traditional firing of the Smith’s family

cannon. Louise now resides at Windham Falls Estates, 425 Drozdyk Dr., Apt. 106, Groton, CT 06340. Wendell & Yvonne Driggers are the “unidentified couple” pictured on Svalbard Island, on their trip north of the Arctic Circle in July.

Our class major gifts committee, (Chairman Jim Irwin, Bob Benson, Dan Colussy, Rick Cueroni, Bill King, Gerry Lipsett, Ed Nelson, and Wee Smith), approved using $98,000 from our class endowment fund with the Alumni Association to provide a press box for the Academy’s new lighted state-of-the-art running track and soccer field complex located on the north end of Nitchman field. The complex, which was completed last year, has bleacher seating for 600 spectators. This fall, 22 men’s and women’s soccer games were played on it and in the spring there will  be five weekends of home track meets and the New England Division III Colleges Track and Field Championships will be held on it in April 2008. The press box will accommodate the announcers, timers, scorers, selected press personnel, and film crews from competing teams and it will keep them dry and warm in wet and cold weather.

 

Misc. Bits and Pieces about our classmates:

 

Roger & Shirley Bascom have moved “all of one-quarter mile” to their new home at 4371 Lenox Blvd., Venice, FL 34293. Their telephone number (941.496.4818) and e-mail address (rcbascom@comcast.com) stay the same. They spent Thanksgiving in Wisconsin and planned to be back in Venice by December 5th, “hopefully, before the first Wisconsin blizzard.”

In November, Mike & Kaye Boggs took their family on a 7-day Caribbean cruise.

Dan and Sue Briganti have moved to a new “over 55” community (Stonecrest) in Arnold, MD. Their new address is 1216 Whetstone Dr., Arnold, MD 21012 and Tel. 410.757.7223. Their e-mail address remains the same (dantibrig@toadmail.com).

On October 29th, Ed Cope completed an 8-week coast-to-coast round-trip driving trip. Periodically he sent some beautifully descriptive, fun-to-read “sitreps.” Here’s a “sample:” “October 24 - Odometer: 9056. Early start out of Lander, WY … back on the trek northwest to Yellowstone. There was a high thin overcast but still a bright day. The road took me up the valley east of the Wind River Mountain Range, whose peaks scribed the Continental Divide. All mountain tops were dusted from Sunday’s snow. Abundance of mule deer along the way and, at one point, about 5 proghorn antelope paced the car at the side of the road. The climb was steady. After Dubois, WY (75 miles north of Lander), the Absaroka Mountain Range came into view to the east. It appeared I was surrounded. At Togwotee Pass, 9,658', I crossed the Continental Divide and started my descent into the Teton/Yellowstone basin. The skies were clear west of the Divide and the Tetons soon popped into view, bright in the morning sun, Grand Teton at 13,256' presiding.

Hard to describe, even ‘spectacular’ doesn’t seem adequate.”

In his “Trail’s End report he said, “Reestablishing myself in my cottage, here on Whidbey Island, was a bit more challenging than I had anticipated. It’s surprising how things start to “dangle” when you’re gone that long. But, not one regret. It was everything I had hoped for and the right choice for the obvious things that were cluttering my mind. “The big plus was seeing so many people who, over the years, have become very important to me. To all of you who were involuntarily placed on my trip report e-mail list, I thank you for your indulgence. It did add substance for me. The final count: 9,562 miles and 32 States. (Not included were all the southern rim states (CA thru SC) plus NV, UT, OK, AR, RI, WV, IN and KS).” His concluding observations:

• The “Heartland” of America is an amazing place. Its ability to produce the lion’s share of what our people need to survive is awesome. They are significantly friendlier and openly more loyal to the founding principles of our nation than the rest of us. This probably comes from their “settler, self sustaining beginnings.” We coastal folks may be  wrapped in a cloak of intellectualism but we are wimps compared to these people. And more Loyalty: you see Buicks, Chevys, Fords and Dodges, -and relatively few of those “foreign contraptions” on their roads.

• I saw thousands of horses (some mules too, Joan) on ranches, pastures and corrals, and in

every state. I never saw one mounted or saddled! I’d sure like that explained to me. I suspect they are evolving toward pet status from that of beasts of burden. Would explain our howls over even considering them as a food source. Yet folks are willing to set them free in the Western “wild” (NV, UT, ID, WY etc) when they are not wanted or too old; a common practice, yet we insist on calling them wild horses.

            • Mother Nature was especially kind to me by conveniently arranging progressively gorgeous fall color panoramas as I headed from ME thru VT, on to CO, MT, and finally, WA. The colors were spectacular from East to West.

            • It became obvious that this Pennsylvania boy had developed a special place in his heart for the wide open West. As I climbed northwest out of Fort Collins, CO, and leveled off in WY at 8,000+ feet, it all exploded before me, as far as I could see in any direction. It is exhilarating, a special feeling that you develop when living there. Sounds strange from a “sailor” who is happy to be living by the ocean. But, that is now part of me.

• Visiting in the Middle Atlantic and New England States was wonderful. It brought me back to my roots, the first 25 years of my life, which I loved. Change: many more people, the attendant challenges, along with the conflict of my western exposure. It is still a beautiful place. • Almost every area I visited, the wild animals are taking the brunt of our increasing presence. They are struggling and we are doing a very poor job of our stewardship. We ring our hands in concern as we try to pave/develop/inhabit what’s left of the planet. We insist on building horizontally rather than vertically to preserve space, often insisting on 2 or more homes (?). And this speaks to the part of the population that has the means and power to address this issue. The rest of the population (majority) wallows in the economic cellars, unable to be concerned, scavenging for gasoline. Our creator must be discouraged.

• I think I have pontificated sufficiently long. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Christmas and great 2008. Remember, Spring is not that far off, a new beginning. Make the most of it.”

For Beth Cueroni’s 75th birthday (September 22nd), her children had customized chocolate candy bar wrappers made with her & Rick’s picture on the wrapper citing this recipe:

Blend in one caring, dedicated,sincere, loving Red Hat Mama. Mix in a perfect gin gimlet. Sprinkle in generosity and a pinch of humor. Add special time for family and friends. Toss in strong faith, love and patience. Yield: One wonderful woman we all love!

How true! It could not have been better said! From October 29th to November 13th, Rick & Beth spent two weeks on a riverboat cruise from Vienna to Amsterdam. Just before leaving Beth had a full day of tests, blood work, CT scan, and mammogram at the Mayo Clinic and her oncologist told her “everything is fine, you don’t have to come back for six months.” Happy Day!

Ed Daniels’ Academy career-record for kicking extra points (70) had stood up for 54 years until this year when it was broken by David Lieberman, ’08. This prompted Ed to send Cadet Lieberman a gracious congratulatory

letter. Before Ed’s record disappears, it should be noted that he achieved his record in only 28 games while Lieberman needed 36 games to break it. Having had the pleasure of watching both Ed and David kick extra points, both of  them were outstanding!

June Flanagan (242 Highland Ave., Winchester, MA 01890) continues to have her great sense of humor in spite of being more home-bound than she would prefer. In October, Jane & I had a wonderful four-day visit with Frank & Jan Frauenfelder in Colorado which included attending their granddaughter Molly’s wedding. While we were there, Ed Cope, coincidentally was in Fort Collins and drove down to Arvada to have lunch with Frank, Jan, Jane and me. In November, Jan and a widow friend of hers went on an Elderhostel trip to Prague and Budapest.

On November 5th, (the day I had to submit these notes), Bud Grader (11 Highland Terrace, Marblehead, MA 01945) was in Mass. General Hospital recovering from surgery that removed a tumor on his brain. He was in good spirits, said the surgery had gone well, and added his problem was “just part of the process of getting older.”

Bernie Hoyland’s new e-mail address is: berniehoyland@embarqmail.com.

In September, Jim & LaVerne Irwin completed their move from Preston, CT to Arizona. Their new address is: 890 N. Granada Dr., Chandler, AZ 85226; 480.656.2343, jcilmg@cox.net.

Gerry Lipsett said his hand is recovering nicely from his nail-gun accident and he’s now planning to take some “refresher” horseback riding lessons.

Last year, to celebrate their 50th anniversary, Roger & Juanita Madson had planned to take a cruise.  unfortunately they had to cancel it when Juanita had a stroke. So, in December, they will be celebrating their 51st anniversary by taking a 14-day cruise from Fort Lauderdale, FL through the Panama Canal to Los Angeles.

In October, Barbara Mann completed her move from Stratham, NH, to Maryland. Her new address information is: #305, 35 East All Saints St., Frederick, MD 21701; 301.694.2320; piperhouse1@verizon.net. Before she left Stratham, NH, the Stratham Historical Society had a nice, well-attended farewell luncheon for her. Both Barbara & Graeme were past presidents of the society.

Nina Rowland is back in Arizona for the winter (303 S. Recker Rd. - Space #266, Mesa, AZ 85206; 480.654.3251; ninjrow7@msn.com.) She spent the summer in Cowichan Bay, BC, and then in the fall visited her

daughter in PA, her two sisters in MD, and to IL to visit her eldest sister who is suffering from COPD.

Tom & Gerrie Sing’s new winter home will be 664 Remington Green Drive SE, Palm Bay, FL 32909; 321.722.5791. They will still spend some time in their Long Island, NY home (48 Avery Court, Neconset, NY 11767;

631.366.1391).

Since he hadn’t seen some of his family since our 50th reunion, Wade Smith & Sally made a two-week, 3,000-mile driving trip from Bluffton, SC, to New England with stops in PA, CT, NH, and RI to visit with Sally’s aunt and daughter and his step-mother, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter and brother.

On August 29th, in an impressive and moving ceremony the crew of CGC Mellon buried Nat Spadafora’s ashes in the Gulf of Alaska and furnished Dimpy, with a DVD of the service. Ironically, Nat’s burial occurred at about the same time that Dimpy was not too far away in Anchorage, AK, teaching her dental hygiene course.

Al Stirling reports that his mother who is 96 (!) is “a very active dancer and bridge player.” He just moved her from Florida to Texas and added, “the good thing about her move is that she left her car in Florida. :-)”.

Ted Wojnar said he messed up his shoulder and on his doctor’s orders, he hasn’t been able to play golf for a few months.

Glenn Young reported that he’s back in Hobart, Australia, after a 3 week trip to China which he described as “a very congenial well organized small group tour of mostly Australians (2 New Zealanders, 2 UK). China, like Morocco, is one of those places you want the assistance of local guides. It was a good trip, although the weather was generally rainy and highlighted by a near miss from a nasty Force 4 typhoon headed straight toward the city while we were in Shanghai. Torrential rains, street flooding, etc, but no real wind to speak of. It veered North at the last minute. A good thing, too, because like everyplace we visited, the city is a forest of construction cranes and scaffolding of new hi-rise buildings and it could have been a disaster if a force 4 wind came along. The precautions the government took in anticipation of the storm were impressive and extensive. FEMA could learn something, but of course the US could never simply order every company, public and private, that operated busses, taxis, trucks, etc , to send 10% of their fleet, with 2 drivers for each vehicle, to standby at designated points for emergency service, or to simply evacuate, no dissent permitted, over 2 million people from along the coasts. “My impressions were 1. Awful air pollution everywhere 2. Way too many Chinese everywhere (There are over 100 cities with populations over 1 million). Beijing is 17 million. Shanghai, the largest, is over 30 million! 3. People are universally friendly and curious but English is spoken practically nowhere even though for the last 30+ years it has been required in elementary school. 4. The rich are rich, the poor very poor, but the country is booming and even the very poor feel better off. I was disappointed by the 3 gorges. Although the dam is still under construction, they started flooding the lake behind it 4 years ago and the gorges are just steep hillsides sloping up from a fairly broad river. It is still interesting to see the scenery and the several all-new cities that were built to accommodate the 1.3 million that were relocated. I was extremely impressed by the Great Wall, the Terra Cotta army and the still intact wall (14KM long) around the city of Xian, the size and scope of Tianamen Square and the Forbidden City. Those ancient emperors knew how to live, I’ll tell you. Go someday, if you have the opportunity”.

And finally, on a personal note, please excuse Jane & me for bragging, but, on October 1st, our son, Bill was promoted to be the General Manager of the Minnesota Twins!