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  October, 2005

USS RICH (DE-695)
315 Kinsey Street
Raleigh NC 27603
12 October 2005

Fall Greetings to Shipmates & Friends,

Thanks to everyone who returned their post card. We had a great response. It is surprising how many names had spelling errors, and several folks actually changed their street address. Appreciate that. Getting mail with a “slightly incorrect” address is a miracle, but you did. Also appreciate the notes added to many of the returns:

Paul & Marty Fraizer have a new address: 109 N Keene St, Apt 105, Columbia MO.

Jean Schmocker noted: “My present husband manages a rental golf cart business in Myrtle Beach. His busy time is June, July, & August. So, we will not be able to attend future Reunions. Please cancel my letters & mailings. Wishing you all the best!! It does bring back memories, as Dan was so active in the Reunions. Love to All. Jean” (Editors note: Enjoy the memories, Jean. You will always be on the mailing.)

Joe & Alta Podorski: “Hi and hope you’re fine. Joe still has a few problems with his neck & shoulders, but is doing better. So sorry to miss the fun. Take care. Alta

Charles & Cecelia Thifault noted: that “We are so sorry about Ed & Dot. They really helped your ship (DE 695) “RICH” in our memory.”

Sally Svoboda: “Please remove me from the mailing. I am being sent overseas. The best to all of you!! Champagne Sally

Victor Buck: “Send my mailing instead to the USS SLATER in Albany NY 12203"

Again, thanks for responding. Should your address change in the future, or you have information for the folks... please write to the above address or give me a call (919) 833-0747.



That George Fryberger is an amazing fellow. He and Roy Hudson (Jr)... (along with the friends & family of the USS Rich Survivors) really pulled off a good one on us. They organized, begged for money, and put together a very nice Bronze Plaque for display at the D-Day Memorial in Bedford VA... honoring the participation of the USS RICH (DE-695) at Normandy... all without our knowing about it. They really know how to keep a secret! It warms my heart to see these young people taking so much interest in something so personal. Yes, I am sentimental.

Many thanks to Matthew White, H B Sims’ grandson (Cindy’s son) for his excellent recording of our war experiences (last year at the Lynchburg VA meeting). Wished that each of us could have recorded for an hour or two. That would make a humdinger of a video. Something like that challenges our memory... good for it. It just keeps coming back to me how good this younger generation is to us old fogies. I hope they know how much WE appreciate all they do for us. I can’t say it enough... thank you, thank you.

Bennie Hicks & I talked on the phone recently. Bea is in a rest home. She had a bad fall a few months ago and broke her hip. Soon after recovery, she fell a second time breaking her back in three or four different places. Bennie goes to see her at the home everyday. Bennie says he isn’t an accomplished cook, and he eats at fast food places most of the time, which has resulted in a minor weight gain. To make matters worse, Bennie fell and broke his ankle. He is receiving therapy for the ankle and is hoping the broken ankle doesn’t interfere with his deer hunting. Now, there is a man who has his priorities right!

Unfortunately, I must report that RobertBobDarrah has sailed on past us. Darrah wasn’t feeling well at the Lynchburg meeting last year, and he left early. “Bob” hosted the Frankenmuth meeting back in the ‘97; remember that? How about that quaint little Bavarian village with the Bavarian Festival Parade... and bratwurst sandwiches. We had gone to Michigan hoping to see where the RICH was built. Like... tour of the plant. But, alas, the Defoe Shipbuilding Company of Bay City, Michigan, has long since... gone out of business. They built the USS RICH (DE-695) “upside down”! Little trivia there for you. Had to flip it over to launch it, of course. Defoe also built the USS BUNCH (DE-694), about a month before they built the RICH. Coincidentally, Frankenmuth was the first Reunion for Chief Holler. His son, O. J. brought him that year.

It is now official: Doris Holler will be hosting the USS RICH (DE-695) Survivors
reunion next year (June 6-8, 2006) in Oklahoma. (We will send traveling information in later Newsletters.) Doris has already checked-out the motel for us and scheduling places to visit while we are there. She says it is the least she can do for her “Sailor”. Chief was so much looking forward to having “his shipmates” visit him in Oklahoma. The Lord had other plans for Chief, but we can keep our part of the bargain.

While visiting with Chief this past July, George, Frances & Guy enjoyed a trip to the Woolaroc Museum, an Indian Museum established by Frank Phillips of Phillips Petroleum. It’s a museum “and” a wild life refuge. Buffalo and various wild animals roam range free on the grounds.

Doris says biggest problem for the visit is deciding what to eliminate from the schedule. There is too much to see: the Phillips Indian Museum, Prairie Song (reproduction of a small town set in 1800's, build by one man...), and maybe a trip to see Rogers & Hammerstein’s musical, OKLAHOMA... if everyone is up to it. More than anything, we want to visit with Doris and let her know how much we appreciate Chief... and what he meant to every one on the RICH. I will be there, and bring as many North Carolinians as I can. Doris, you have been warned!

In North Carolina we are still holding two meetings a year for the North Carolina/South Caroling Chapter of DESA. The get-together is much like the USS RICH Survivors Reunion. This year (as usual) the meeting is being held at Myrtle Beach, SC, December 1-3 2005. The rates are much better in the off season. See the inserted brochure(s) for information. (If you did not get a brochure, call Bob Scott 704-537-2931 for information.)

Surprisingly, long-forgotten memories of shipmates keep bubbling up in my mind. I was thinking about Dan Schmocker the other day. Most days... while I am working on the Newsletter, I think about Dan. I now appreciate what he went through with this Newsletter! Anyway... there was Dan... on the starboard side of the Flying Bridge (at Normandy), with his helmet and field glasses...looking around. Then, I remember him in Washington DC at the dedication of the Navy Memorial... after all these years? Dan grows in stature each time I work with ‘his newsletter’! The personal character it took to produce a good newsletter (as he did), year after year, is humbling. Yes, my hat’s off to you Dan... my friend.

Again, We can’t thank the young folks enough for all they are doing to carry us along. They do so many things. The biggest surprise was how George kept his “Plaque Project” so well hidden! As one happy sailor, I say “thanks again”... from all of us.

Wishing you fair winds and following seas, I am


M. H. Green, S 2/c
(919) 833-0747

Memorial to “The Chief”:
“The world is less bright. Kindness has suffered a hit”, so said George Fryberger. Yes, a giant among us has sailed on across the horizon. He is missed already, but more so... we will miss his calming influence, his moral leadership, his strength of character, and his unselfish willingness to help others. Chief Holler was a man of God. He lived his religion, it touched everything he did, and he was excited to share it with everyone. We will miss you “Chief”, but we will soldier on... make that “sailor on”. As Admiral Farragut said, “Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead”! And so, we shall move on with “full steam ahead”!

A Picture Page Memorial to “Chief Holler’s Museum” is added for your appreciation. Chief would, no doubt, have been able to relate the occasion upon which he was given (or purchased) each item. This would have enriched us all. MHG

 


 
M. H. Green
Guy Rich - Frances Livesay

            
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