Merry Christmas to Shipmates & Friends,
Where shall I start? Why not tell you about
the NC/SC DESA meeting in Myrtle Beach two weeks ago? The DESA Christmas
Party was at the Sand Dunes the first of December (11/31-12/2). Three
day affair, as usual. Maybe that is what has me revved-up with Christmas
Spirit. Whatever it is, have another sip (of wine). Wine is good for
what ails you... Bob Scott (USS FAIR, DE-35) is the
mover-and-shaker for NC/SC DESA. He plans the DESA meetings and keeps us
informed on the general status of us Tin Can Sailors. The meetings have
dwindled to twice a year instead of the usual one per quarter. The
Spring meeting had about a hundred attendees; the meeting earlier this
month had about fifty. Yep, we are fewer in number, but those there were
full of ‘spit and vinegar’. ‘Spit & Vinegar’ Roland and Bertie
Freeman drove over from Durham to be with us. Funny thing happened
(unless you were Roland & Bert). They lost their car!
Could not remember where they parked. So... we loaded their belongings
into the trunk of my car at check-out time. In short order the car was
found and the belongings were transferred to their’s. Somehow,
Roland’s shaving kit stayed in my trunk. When you see Roland
with a full beard, you will know why. Roland, bet you can’t find
your shaving kit! You’ll get it back next time we meet, OK?
Little update on our collective health is in order. I am doing fine. My
breathing problems have cleared up, and I can walk little “Bubba”
anywhere he wants to go. That rascal is always ready to go somewhere. If
I could teach him to shut-up barking, he would be perfect. Phone
conversations with Berman Scott have not been good. He is still
under the weather. Does not get out anymore. In fact, you can give him a
call at (434) 372-4603. He would love to talk to you. Norm
Jensen is still fighting shingles; has been for over three years...
not good. “They are persistent and unrelenting,” says Norm. Here,
Norm, let me fill-up your glass. You will feel better. As you
know, Bea Hicks has been in the rest home since breaking
her hip two years ago. Lately... Benny (Hicks) has been
struggling with the flu. His daughter has been taking care of him. Get
well Benny. Roy Hudson says he is back on chemo, but still
feels good. The chemo is a choice to avoid an operation, I believe.
Roy and Jane have written a letter to send along with this
Christmas message. I’ll add it as an enclosure.
Word is that Ed (Black) tires easily these days. The solution has been to lay down to for a rest, which seems to work. According to Ed, his third book on the USS RICH - a compilation of the first two books, plus some new material - has been published. Should you want a copy: Ed Black, 8005 Twin Harbor Dr, Mt Gilead NC 27306, Ph (910) 439-6194.
Let me tell you about Thibaut (aka “Thunderbolt”). He called the other day. We talked for over an hour. His deployment to the Indian Ocean is over. He is now assigned to a French Destroyer, which means that he now navigates for one of their helicopters. Says he will be home for the New Year to enjoy his 45 days of leave. I gave him a hard time because the US Navy sailors only get 30 days post deployments. He took it in good spirits. He did caution me to get both sides of news stories, not just what the American TV news media put out. “Not much difference from the French news media,”... I prodded him. “That’s why you should get both sides,” says Thibaut. I’ll have to agree with him on that.
John Slade, nephew of William T Slade, has been generous in sharing information about his uncle. John is most sincere about remembering the life of Uncle “William”. I do recall “Bill” during boot camp, but we were assigned to different departments aboard ship, and my memory is less dependable there. The Raleigh National Cemetery is Seaman Slade’s final resting place. Oh, how young we were in those days. Just looking at that picture.
A word is in order about the recent meeting of the USS BATES, USS BULL & UDT (Underwater Demolition Team). They had a four day meeting in the New London, CT, area and had a fine time visiting the seaport town of Mystic, the USS NAUTILUS Museum, the US Coast Guard Academy, and a historic steamboat ride down the Thames River. They were back at the motel each day by 2:30 PM to shoot-the-bull or rest, whichever was most appealing. Planning the tours was the responsibility of Hart Tours, which released all the shipmates to enjoy themselves. Pricy, but enjoyed by all. As you know, Stan McMillan has been angling to get the USS RICH to join the BATES & BULL for their Reunion. It is all in the numbers... as well as the camaraderie among us Tin Can Sailors. Sounds like they had a meaningful and educational reunion this year.
Here is some skinny for next year: (If interested, let Stan know. He will add you to the mailing.)
William S. "Stan"
McMillan (518) 673-3589
Before I say “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night”, a word about future USS RICH Reunions. Yes, the dwindling numbers mean we no longer get the better motel rate. So we just pay regular. Visiting for a weekend in a central location is good enough for me. No special trips or entertainment necessary. How about it, Sims? Just something to think about.
It has been my special Christmas treat talking to each of you. With fond memories of the past and a gladdening heart for the coming year, I say... “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
M. H. Green
|USS Rich DE695 Survivors Association
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Last update: Sunday, May 16, 2010