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President Letter  21 July 2004    


Class Leadership. CS Financial Status. FS   Class Activities. CA
Class Reunion CR Midway. BM  Alumni Association AA
Obits OB


  Finale FF

CS  Class Leadership. As many of you know, Jim Small passed away m the spring as a result of a fast moving cancer. That left a void in our leadership. Qualifications for a new president: (1) be alive, (2) be a resident of the Washington/Annapolis area, and (3) be reasonably competent with computers and electronic communications. With our depleting membership, we did not have many choices. Those who met the qualifications were already pretty busy. In the end, I agreed to try my hand. The Executive Committee ruled that I was the Class President, as of 1 June 2004. We no longer "elect" officers; we "finger" them. In many ways it is fitting that I serve as President. The Class, the Naval Academy, the Navy and the Alumni Association have been very good to me. I owe - and I will do my best to serve.


Jim Small did much for the Class in ways you normally would not detect. He straightened out our By Laws. He did the negotiating with the Alumni Association to provide for a smooth turn over of our funds when the time comes. He made arrangements for the transfer of responsibilities to the Class of 1992 for upkeep of our Garden at Alumni Hall and the Midway Memorial near Dahlgren Hall as well as the support of the Eighth Company Wardroom. And he worked hard on the nominations for our Distinguished Graduates. We owe him a great deal.

  If I have any particular agenda or objective, it is to help the Class adjust to our changing demographics by improving our communications and enlarging our Class to a Class/Family. Many children, grand children, nieces, nephews, relatives are gaining an interest in the Class as we grow older and they become more inquisitive and involved in supporting Class members. The Marines point out that they are no longer recruit "individuals." They are recruiting "families." And we can hold together much longer as a Class/Family than we can as just a Class. So get your kids and other relatives involved. They are becoming part of USNA'42 in a big way. In that regard, we will have to improve our ability to communicate with each other. A program to bring that about will be addressed in a separate letter, to be mailed soon.

 We have added to the staff conducting Class business. Here is a line up as of the moment:

Class President - Jerry Miller Vice President - Art Rawson Treasurer - Rufe Porter

Robert Day

Web Master - Frank Andrews, supported by Ken Simmons and Bill Morrow Directory Publisher - Ed Herndon. Annapolis Coordinator - Max Duncan Washington D.C. Coordinator  - Bill Montgomery
West Coast Coordinator - Charley Bishop    July  21     2004 Class Reunion  - Jake Glick


FS Financial Status. Rufe Porter continues to closely supervise and manage our funds. We are in good shape. Details as follows:

+ Almost $ 9000 in Navy Federal Credit Union savings.
+ About $4000 in our unrestricted Future Projects account at the Alumni Association.
+ Another $3000 in the old 8th Company Wardroom account, which the Alumni Association will be transferring to the Future Projects account.

  The Class should know that: (1) we depend on the contributions of Classmates to pay for our day-to-day operating expenses, which are minimal but not insignificant; (2) we have a policy of making a memorial contribution of $50.00 to the Alumni Association in the name of each Classmate who dies. In each case the Association advises the Next Of Kin of the gift and thanks the Class; and (3) all accounts were audited recently by Jack Mitchell. Thumbs up.

  In summary, we no longer have any ongoing or projected big‑ticket commitments, and are in sound financial health by virtue of the continued generosity of many Classmates. Please call Rufe Porter at 703‑356‑3468 if you need any further details.



 CA Class Activities. Luncheons are high on the list. In the Washington, D.C. area,  Bill Montgomery and a team of "callers" get us together tire second Wednesday of each month, usually at the Army Navy Country Club near the Pentagon. The next luncheon is scheduled for Wednesday 8 September. It is expected that VADM Bill Rea, US Coast Guard Class of 1942 will be a guest and give us a few words about the status of the Coast Guard now that it is in the Department of Homeland Security.  Come join if you are in town. There is another luncheon scheduled for Wednesday 13 October.  Then we have Homecoming in Annapolis on Saturday 30 October. There will be an early dinner after the football game in order to accommodate night driving problems. Max Duncan will send out a special flyer for this one. If you are not part of the Washington/Annapolis Chapter and are interested, give Max a call at 410 - 757 - 2338. On Tuesday 23 November there will be joint luncheon at the Fort Myer Officer's Club with West Point '42 as host. If you are not in the Washington D.C./Annapolis area but are interested, call Bill Montgomery at 571 - 434 - 8494. On Wednesday December 8, we will be having our annual Christmas luncheon in Annapolis with ladies invited. A special flyer goes out for this one, but if you are not in the Wash/Annapolis area and are interested, again call Max. This is one of the best events of the year, particularly with the women now outnumbering the men in attendance. Charlie Bishop coordinates luncheons in the San Diego area. Phone: 619 - 223 - 0492.


In the Annapolis area, fall brings football games. We will continue to have our Tailgate Area in the Stadium parking lot. There are some new rules going into effect this year about parking, which had some problems last year. (1) Parking passes for the Stadium lot will be sold in advance of game day. No cash transactions will take place on game day. This will speed up entry to the lot. (2) Season ticket holders received the first opportunity to purchase season parking passes. Any remaining parking spaces will be sold on a single‑game basis, beginning 2 August, by calling 800 - US4 - NAVY. All persons purchasing advanced parking will be guaranteed a space in the Stadium parking lot. Germantown Elementary School, adjacent to the stadium, will be utilized as an auxiliary parking lot on game day. Max Duncan is on top of special problems for some who may need parking for a single game and do not have season tickets. Call him at 410 - 757 - 2338 if you have any question.


CR  Class Reunion. If you could see Jake Glick's Reunion Committee in action, you would realize that our Class is far from over the hill. Talk about energy and enthusiasm.

  The 65th Reunion is planned for Monday through Thursday morning, 2‑5 October 2006. A Reunion letter will be sent to all Classmates and Widows in late September or early October 2004 giving general information and a tentative schedule of events‑ The letter will contain a questionnaire asking if you plan to attend the Reunion. We need to start getting an estimate of numbers. Emphasis is being placed on activities that consider our octogenarian status i.e., good times with a minimum expenditure of energy. And we are encouraging families to get involved. Several Classmates need assistance to make events of this kind and children/grandchildren or other relatives - whatever - are encouraged to get involved in this Reunion. It is to be a Class/Family affair. Save your energy for 2006.

 One interesting activity from the old school, resurrected sometime ago by Dale and Barbara Reed, is a "book review" luncheon.  Dale and Barbara select the books to be reviewed. Dale then convinces someone to do the review. The luncheon is preceded by a three‑hole golf tournament in his yard. Following lunch, the reviewers give their reports. The Reed event has turned some of us on to author and historian Victor Davis Hanson. Hanson's specialty is ancient history, Carnage and Culture being one of his latest books. Hanson taught at the Naval Academy for one year and is now a professor in California. He writes great pieces about the current Iraq experience. His background of ancient history gives him a perspective that produces some logical and encouraging thoughts. Incidentally some of the best book reports at the Reed affairs come from wives of classmates.


  BM     The Battle of Midway. I doubt that any report on USNA '42 activities can be complete without reference to the Battle Of Midway. As Bill Houser points out, USNA'42 had 79 members at Midway, more than any other Naval Academy Class. Bill, with outstanding support from Jack Crawford and Whitey Feightner (honorary member of the Class), continues to push for more recognition by our Nation of the significance of that Battle. As Bill emphasizes, victory at Midway was achieved by U.S. naval power and had an impact on most of the World. Bill has been assisted by very supportive comments from former Secretary of Defense, James Schlesinger. At the June 2004 Midway Dinner in Washington, Bill had hoped that the Secretary of the Navy (the speaker at the dinner) would commit to leading an effort for a Midway Memorial in Washington  - an idea supported strongly by Schlesinger. During his speech, the Navy Secretary acknowledged the significance of the Battle, but also indicated that as far as he is concerned, the reference to Midway at the new World War II Memorial on the Mall in Washington, the Class of '42 Memorial at the Naval Academy and the positioning of the USS Midway in San Diego will constitute the Navy's Midway Memorial program. It appears that San Diego is going to be a Midway focal point.


In reference to the USS Midway as a Museum in San Diego, Dick Sewall, Gene Farrell, Charlie Bishop and others are working on a project to highlight the role of our Class in that Battle. We will have more on their ideas at a later date, but it is obvious that '42 and Midway are becoming more closely associated.


One additional action has Bill Houser and Jack Crawford pushing to have the Battle described in a more complete and better fashion than many existing historical accounts. Jack is soliciting inputs from Norm Tate, Mo Slater and Bob Brown to come up with an account of their activities during the Battle. There is much about Midway that is not yet published. Houser and Crawford aim to fix that deficiency.



AA  The Alumni Association and the Naval Academy. I recently spent about three hours with some of the leadership of the Alumni Association, getting informed about how to be a President of a Class. I was impressed. They were most helpful. It is apparent that the Alumni Association is expanding in numbers, wealth, and involvement with the Academy itself. For example, the Association is taking over the Class Ring project. Beginning with the Class of 2006, the procurement of Class rings will be administered by the Association. You may wonder about this idea but experience with recent Classes indicates a need for change. Also the Association is now establishing a Parents Web or Net. Such nets already exist, run by parents. For example one web site has been in existence for about eight years and has about 3000 members - parents of midshipmen asking for advice, counsel, or just expressing pride in their mids. Questions are answered about liberty hours, rules, regulations, etc. And there is even a special net for parents of plebes where the questions are the most numerous (and humorous ‑ even poignant). It is a long way from our time when the Superintendent essentially told our parents to bug off. "These are MINE now, no longer yours." The Alumni Association, with its direct access to Academy sources, should be most helpful to concerned parents.


Also, as you can see if you read Shipmate magazine, the Association continues to emphasis fund raising, with ever increasing goals and worthy projects for the expenditure of Alumni funds. The desire of the Association is to have funds donated without restrictions. As many of you will remember, our Class has usually earmarked donations for special projects such as the Midway Memorial. This should not be of much concern to us in the future.

  Finally, the Association is pushing hard to increase the use of Internet communications.  They are reducing the amount of space for Class News in Shipmate Magazine, but providing unlimited space for Class news on the Alumni electronic website. Our actions to increase our Internet involvement will fit with their plans and objectives.  We will be sending you a special letter about improving Class/Family communications, utilizing the capabilities presently available from the Alumni Association.



OB      Obituaries. This is not an easy subject to address but we must be realistic. We are going to spend a lot of time in the future attending funerals and writing obits. Here are some of the rules that exist for the publication of obits in Alumni communications.

 First, obits of Classmates are published in the "Last Call" section of Shipmate magazine. They are limited to 400 words. All such obits must be approved by the Class Secretary for publication  - an Alumni rule, not ours. This is to ensure that the family has approved the obit for publication in Shipmate and that it conforms generally to all such obits.  An opportunity is given to the family to provide a photo if they desire.  If the individual who generated the wording for an obit that is published in a local newspaper or whatever can be contacted and agrees that the obit can be reproduced in an Alumni publication, that is fine.  It should be understood that editors have the right to make minor changes in the text.

  All this means that Bob Day must get involved in every obit for a Classmate. And if he has to prepare the obit, much time and effort is required on his part to get the necessary family authorization. He will mention a passing in his news column, but there is not much room for a detailed obit. The "Last Call" section is the place for that.

  Second, the Association will not publish obits of wives in Shipmate magazine - graduates only. However, they will and do publish such obits without word limit, in the Alumni Website. For example, Bill Richardson's children following their mother's recent demise prepared an excellent obit. The full obituary was published on the Alumni Web. If you have access to the Web, log on to USNA.Com. When the home page appears, click on News and Publications. When that page appears, click on News. You will then be presented a calendar. Click on 13 July 2004 and you will have the entire obit in front of you, ready to read, print or whatever. This is another example of how the Internet is coming into play in a big way.

 We are suggesting that you prepare your own obit now and send it to Bob Day, the Class Secretary. Address: 2426 Chestnut Street , Falls Church , VA 22043 . He can have a file of such documents and when the time comes (and it will), he will have the information he needs and the words will be those that you and your family want.  A bit weird but not novel. As an example, my mother wrote her obit when she was 72.  She included a plan for her funeral service, complete with the music, readings from the Bible, the Church, and the Minister. Only problem, she outlived three ministers before we conducted the service.  Think about your obit and getting it to Bob Day for filing. At this time, he has only two on file.

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Finale. We want to bring the Class/Family closer together. It is a time for reflecting and recounting. And that means an improvement in our ability to communicate. More about that soon. In the meantime, if you have any ideas or questions, do not hesitate to contact any of the Class leadership. I am particularly interested in your reaction to this newsletter. Give me some feedback please. Contact by regular mail, phone, or Email - as shown on the letterhead.

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