WELCOME to the first edition of the John Paul Jones Association newsletter in the new millennium! In keeping with new technology and the "paperless society" (ha! ha!), it’s also being sent by email.
This is your newsletter; so, please send in whatever news, information, humor – whatever – that you would like to see in print and published for the benefit and pleasure of all Shipmates.
As your Corresponding Secretary, I hope to be able to achieve the same level of involvement and devotion as Jesse Laseter has done for so many years, keeping Shipmates informed. Jesse’s not only a plankowner of DD-932, and the only sailor that COMSIXTHFLT, "Cat" Brown, permitted to wear a (beautiful, red) beard, but he’s also the one individual personally responsible for getting the JPJ Reunions started, back in 1992, in Biloxi, Miss., and for keeping us Shipmates informed through his wonderful Newsletters (mostly written on the golf-course, he says!). "Bravo Zulu" from all of us to you, Jesse, for all you’ve done for the Association!!!
NOW TO THE LATEST SKINNY!!
Reunion, New London, 5-8 Nov.’99 –
As Ed Ettinger wrote in his "wrap-up" report:
"The most important news of the reunion is that we broke even! 60 Shipmates were in attendance – more than 100 people in all, including wives and friends, renewing friendships and swapping the same old sea-stories. Grady Pearson (DD-230) was "most senior-in-service".
The reunion committee of Ed and Gail Ettinger, George Grove (and his dog, Holly), Marilou and Andy Longo, want to thank Dick Wagar for overseeing the honor-guard flags and banners; Nick Colletta for decorating the hospitality suite with his ship paintings; Joe Burns for his slide presentation on the "Mediterranean Human Anatomy"; Walt Szczypinski for his more appropriate seagoing slides, and his help on the ‘phone-tree; Mel Yoselevsky for the decorative photo-collage (another lesson in human anatomy – but, then again, he’s a doctor!). And special thanks to Charlie Wyler, wife Agatha and daughter April, for maintaining the Shipmates Roster and providing superb technical support, without which we wouldn’t have been able to have the turnout we did.
A lot is also owed to John McKechnie keeping our finances under control, and to the Grove & Ettinger(s) team, who are to be commended and are now qualified to run Ship’s Store. Great job of money-managing!
Jesse Clear and Paul Lanza were the most successful recruiters for the reunion, assembling nearly the entire DD-932 plankowner "Radio Gang" on short notice, via the internet, including their illustrious "leader" and first Comms. Officer, Rev. Dick Moore, accompanied by his lovely wife, Toshii.
The "Snipes" had the largest representation – five former Chief Engineers: plankowner Art Neild, Max Ervin, Steve Lombardo, Andy Longo and Jerry Murphy – truly amazing that they all survived that 1200-pound steam plant"!
The highlight of the Business Meeting on the last day of the reunion was the presentation of a beautiful sea chest, by Paul Lanza, made by his company, Cottage Furniture of Avon, CT, to DD-932 plank-owner and first CO, Bob Hayler, upon retirement as first president of the JPJ Association, in special appreciation and thanks for his loyal, devoted and generous service during the past 7 years! Bob sent me an email, expressing his personal thanks, quoted below:
"I would like to express my great appreciation to all our Shipmates in the group, especially to the plank-owners of the DD-932 with whom I served, for the handsome sea chest which was presented to me on the occasion of my being relieved by Al Olsen. It is properly installed in our home now and is being very useful as well as decorative. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with our fine group ever since the beginning, and will certainly continue to do so, and look forward to attending our future reunions. Sincerely, Bob Hayler"
It is we who thank You, CAPT Hayler!!!
Other Business Meeting Items:
Next reunion – San Diego, Apr.-May 2001 (see Report below)
Al Olsen (mailto:email@example.com) unanimously elected Association President, succeeding Bob Hayler.
John McKechnie (firstname.lastname@example.org) re-elected Treasurer
Pete Maytham (mailto:email@example.com) appointed Corresponding Secretary, succeeding Jesse Laseter
Andy Longo to be liaison with the JPJ Foundation in Portsmouth, NH
Dave Grinnell volunteered as JPJ "Webmaster" (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) (see JPJ Website item below)
Charlie Wyler (mailto:email@example.com) agreed to continue to be our "DataMaster".
Now that DDG-53 has been commissioned long enough for its crew to have good memories of time aboard, all agreed to add the latest JPJ to our "fleet" – now four ships!
Ship’s Store voted out of existence because orders are too small for even a special run, altho’ there are still plenty of DDG-32 caps available, but only a few four-stacker hats left (contact Ed Ettinger)
Ray Komorowski made the most proposals, but only his wife, Mary Ellen, understood what they were! Ray informs me he’ll be putting his words into writing after sending them to Readers Digest for condensation!
JPJ Association now on the "Information Superhighway" –
Many thanks to Dave Grinnell for establishing the Association’s own website. To see what’s on it, just click on http://home/att.net/~John-Paul-Jones/index.htm.
"We commit thee to the sea…." –
We’re sorry to report the passing of several of our Shipmates since last Nov.’s reunion, and offer our sincere condolences to their loved ones:
Don Riggs - 11/09/99
Joel "Buzz" Connally – 12/03/99
John W. ("Cadillac Jack") Turner – 12/18/99
Ray Komorowski - recovering from a recent mild stroke and expected to fully recover – (Ray - We look forward to having you once again as Tour Guide and Bus Commentator in San Diego! Mary Ellen, we’ll put you on another bus so you won’t have to listen!!!).
Barbara McKechnie – fell and broke her hip at the end of the first Planning Mtg. for the 2001 Reunion, held at their home! John, please explain!
Association Dues –
If you haven’t already, don’t delay in sending your Membership Dues ($20) to:
John Paul Jones Association
P.O. Box 180572
Coronado CA 92178-0572
In so doing, our Treasurer, John McKechnie, thanks you on behalf of the last reunion committee (Ed Ettinger, George Grove) and the next reunion committee (Tom McNamara, John Kelly).
Note: Dues are now good for the period between reunions.
Seabag Items –
Welcome Aboard –
We’re very pleased to add the following Shipmates to the Association roster:
Pete Bongiorni – (DD-932)
Frank Haight – (DD-932)
Larry Kelliher - (DD-932)
Bath Iron Works –
Bob Hayler met DD-932 Shipmate Gary Owens on the BIW booth at the recent Navy Symposium in Washington. Gary is Sr. Fleet Service Engineer at Bath, where DD-932 and DDG-53 were "born". He said that, after the next two ship launchings, there will be no more stern-first launchings! So, if you can, get up to Bath before the passing of an era!
Good Thoughts –
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.
REUNION 2001 NEWS –
Your San Diego Shipmates, Kelly, McKechnie and McNamara are working on final plans and hotel arrangements for the 2001 San Diego USS John Paul Jones Reunion. At this time, it appears that our hotel will be in the redeveloped downtown San Diego area called the Gas Lamp District within easy walking distance of all kinds of activities: the waterfront, 60+ restaurants, shopping, from Nordstrom to antique shops. There will be ample other things to do in addition to enjoying the friendship of old and new shipmates in our hospitality suite.
Liaison with the Commanding Officer of DDG-53 (CDR Thomas F. Carney, Jr., USN) indicates that, if the operating schedule permits, the ship will be a participant!
The event is scheduled for the weekend of 20-23 April 2001. Reunion details will be mailed to you shortly with cost and reservation information.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS TO ATTEND!
Future Newsletters –
Our Op-Plan is to publish the JPJ Newsletter quarterly (spring, summer, autumn and winter issues). Additional Newsletters will be published, as needed, to keep you informed in conjunction with Reunions. So, send me any items of interest, humorous anecdotes, or any kind of JPJ-related sea-story or special Navy experience. My details (also in the Roster):
105 Joshua Road
Smithfield, VA 23430
Tel./Fax: (757) 357-0846