We were going to speak about the "cliff-hanger" presidential election which we thought would be behind us, but as we go to press it is still "hanging". Instead, let us speak of the chill winter wind that blows across our land announcing the early coming of Jack Frost (what happened to global warming). We can now turn our thoughts to planning a trip to the 7th Reunion to join your shipmates in San Diego. This will get you away from the tribulations of icy roads and snowblowers.
Soon we should be able to resume our "forward mode", for better or worse – hopefully for the better in such matters as the Middle East, the environment, and the U.S. Navy in light of the attack on the USS Cole, and the recent one-day "stand-down" of all Navy ships to review procedures for improving safety following collisions and groundings.
Enclosed, you’ll find the latest Report to be sent out by the Reunion Committee of McNamara, McKechnie and Kelly prior to our meeting in San Diego. It’s going to be a fabulous get-together; so, sign up if you haven’t already!
I’m very happy to report that a large number of new members has joined the Association since the last newsletter, in large part thanks to announcements of our reunion appearing in various publications – in particular, Shift Colors.
Thanks to submittals from a number of shipmates, you’ll also find more Good (and Humorous) Thoughts in this issue. In fact, I’ve got enough to fill a whole! But don’t stop – keep sending them in.
And, finally, shipmate George Grove, has provided some interesting reading about a potential Future Reunion site.
New Members –
Key to the ongoing health, growth and success of the JPJ Association is its Membership. Like the NYSE, for the past year or so, membership has, basically, been "holding" – at around 275 members. Since July, however, new membership has soared, breaking the "300 barrier", currently 305 Members!
Join me and all JPJ Shipmates in piping aboard the following with full honors:
Charles Pike ‘42-’43
Dick Bailey, Jr. ‘61-’65
Tom Barnes ‘64-’65
Bob Berkey Not avail
Floyd Dean Not avail.
Roger Marin Not avail.
brother of Pete ‘56-’59
Gerry Pollard Not avail.
Charlie Roop ‘61-’63
Dave Sherman ‘56-’59
Ed Thompson ‘56-’58
Chuck Zeisser ‘62-’65
Alex Baez ‘80-’83
Bill Cantrell ‘67-’69
Larry Center Not avail
Will Cowan Not avail
Lou Clark ‘74-’75
Joe Davis Not avail
Clint Goodwin ’78-’81
Wayne Kenow Not avail
Jerry Mitcham Not avail
Dusty Moore ‘67-’72
Dave Nash ‘66-’67
Lord Oliva Not avail.
Larry Peterson ‘67-’71
Reggie Peterson ‘69-’72
Paul Pingrin ‘66-’69.
Don Pollard Not avail.
Andy Read ‘74-’77
Bob Riley ‘70-’71
Doug Robertson ‘71-’73
Charles Shuler ‘73-’77
Alan Thiese ‘76-’77
Luis Wright Not avail.
WELCOME, WELCOME, WELCOME!
Unknown Addresses –
In the last Newsletter, names of a number of Shipmates were listed for whom a current/correct address was not available or couldn’t be found.
Shipmate Jim Peters (DD-932) has provided some very useful information for locating such "lost" shipmates, which he obtained from the Naval Reserve Personnel Center. Because the Privacy Act of 1974 prevents the military services from arbitrarily releasing names and addresses of retirees, each service operates a "Locator Service", which functions as follows:
write your message/letter to the shipmate you’d like to locate
put it in a stamped envelope with the name and grade of your shipmate in the address block, and your return address in the upper left corner
place the envelope with message in another stamped envelope, addressed to the Locator Service, with your return address in the upper left corner
include as much information as you can about the shipmate and his service background (full name, places and dates of duty stations, schools, Social Security Number, etc., where known)
Naval Reserve Personnel Center, Code 41
New Orleans, LA 70149-7800
"We commit thee to the sea …." –
Mildred Metcalf wrote in August that her husband, shipmate Roland Metcalf (DD-932 ‘60-’61) died very suddenly from a massive heart attack on 12-8-99. We extend our sincere sympathy and condolences to Mildred and her family.
Sick Bay –
L and W Shipmate Al Olsen’s daughter, Fran, who has worked many years at the Maritime Administration in Wash, DC, and until recently was known as the "Queen of Scrap", informs us that the USS John Paul Jones (DD-932, DDG-32) was towed in mid-July from California to Bremerton, Wash., to be prepared for a SINKEX.
The ship is still berthed there, awaiting a "tow of opportunity" to take her to her final rendezvous.
Good (and humorous) Thoughts
When you lose, don’t lose the lesson
remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck
the journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan-belt or a leaky tire
if you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments
taxation with representation isn’t so hot, either!
Humor in the Military –
Shipmate Mike Richardson contributes the following Navy story:
"The Chief and the Pope in Heaven"
The Pope dies unexpectedly and finds himself at the Gates of Heaven at 0300, celestial time. He knocks on the gate and a very sleepy-eyed midwatch opens the gate and asks: ‘Whaddya want?’
‘I’m the recently deceased Pope and have done 63 years of Godly works on Earth, and thought I should check in here.’ The Heaven’s Gate Duty Guardian Angel checks his clipboard and says: ‘I ain’t got any orders for ‘ya here – just bring your gear in and we’ll sort this out in the morning.
So, off they go to an old W.W.II barracks, third deck, open bay. All the bottom racks are taken, and all the empty lockers have no doors. So, the Pope stows his gear under a rack and heaves himself with some difficulty into an upper bunk.
The next morning, he awakens to sounds of cheering and clapping outside. He goes to the window and sees a shiny, pink Cadillac convertible coming down from a big, beautiful, golden mansion on the hill. The sidewalks are lined with cheering Angels, throwing confetti at the car’s sole passenger.
In the back seat of the convertible is a Navy Chief, a big cigar in his mouth, a can of beer in one hand, and his other arm around a beautiful blonde Angel.
This upsets the Pope greatly. Huffing and puffing, he runs down the stairs out the door to Heaven’s Gate, where he asks the Duty Guardian Angel: ‘Hey, explain this to me! Here I am, the recently deceased Pope; I’ve spent my whole life doing Godly deeds on earth; I come up here and find myself assigned to an open-bay barracks in an upper bunk in a crummy W.W.II barracks; and, now, I see this Chief Petty Officer, who I know has committed every sin known to man, living in the mansion on the hill, getting a hero’s welcome! How can this be?!
The Duty Guardian Angel calmly looks up and says: ‘We get a Pope up here every 20 or 30 years, but this is the very first Chief we’ve ever had!
Possible, Future Reunion Site
This past August, shipmate George Grove attended a reunion of another ship he served on, which was held in the Bremerton/Seattle area.
While there, George had the opportunity of going aboard a sister-ship of the JPJ, the USS Turner Joy (DD-951), acquired in 1991 by the Bremerton Historic Ships Association, which has since become a Naval Memorial.
Staff of the Historic Ships Association and local area volunteers restored the ship to practically like-new condition, and the ship has become a well-known and frequently-visited maritime attraction in the area.
George writes: "The ship is in excellent condition and well maintained, and would be a great spot for a JPJ reunion. Besides having the opportunity of visiting the ship (self-guided tour to approximately 95% of the spaces), we held a memorial service aboard, staffed by the local Veterans’ Assoc., who not only provided flags, podium and microphones/loudspeakers, but also a separate firing-squad of 6-8 riflemen who fired a salute at the appropriate moment – very well and professionally handled. From the fantail of the Joy, we cast a memorial wreath on the water, honoring those of our shipmates who had passed away during the previous year."
Using the information George obtained from the Historic Ships Assoc., shipmate Pete Maytham spoke last week with the Assoc. Director about obtaining more of the Information Kits sent to George Grove, which would be made available at the San Diego reunion next March.
The Director, when he learned that we’re holding a JPJ reunion, explained that he saw the JPJ in Bremerton for many years, nested with the Decatur and the Turner Joy, before the JPJ was taken to Pt. Hueneme for use as a target ship. Now that the JPJ has returned to Bremerton, the Director is more than happy to provide as many information kits as we might like.
Sooooo…., because of the presence and availability of a sister-ship of the John Paul Jones, Bremerton/Seattle could very well be an excellent venue for a future reunion – say, 2003 or later – which should be an inspiration for many members to attend, especially those shipmates living west of the Mississippi, or right there on the west coast.
We’ll bring this possibility up for discussion at the Business Meeting during the San Diego reunion, along with any other recommendations and suggestions shipmates may have thought of between now and then.
Association Dues –
Our Treasurer, John McKechnie, would most heartily welcome receiving Dues from any and all shipmates who haven’t yet paid them. Check this mailings’ label. Dues are $20.00, valid from reunion-to-reunion – i.e., from now until the San Diego reunion next March.
Please send them to John at:
USS John Paul Jones Assoc.
P.O. Box 180572
Coronado, CA 92178-0572
That’s all the scuttlebutt for now. Keep sending in your thoughts, email addresses, suggestions; and, of course, your sea stories and humor.
Until the next newsletter, wishing you all fair winds and following seas. And have a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING and HOLIDAY SEASON with family and friends!