Col. William B. DeGraf
When you get this, Spring will be in the air, but now I sit watching the great snow of ‘03 fall outside my window. At times like this Robin and I are very glad to be living in the condo.
Some of the smart ones missed all the fun. The ‘50 "snowbirds" were in FL, where a bunch gathered near Ft. Myers in Jan. to eat and tell tall tales: Jack & Sara Hurst, Herb Liechty, Ken & Marilyn Moll, Wendy & Joy Phillips, Ros & Mary Round, and Tom & Winifred Strider.
During this storm Lou & Rose Genuario also escaped to FL, first seeing Disney World with daughter Donna and her husband Donn Hart, then on to stay with Lou’s sister Maria. Their timing was great.
Before they left the Genuarios celebrated the installation of Louis, Jr. as the 2003 President of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Assoc., an organization of about 1000 builder/developer companies and related firms. Lou, Sr., who did much to get the association started, still stays very busy. Fairfax County appointed him to the Fairfax Area Disability Services Board, which acts as an advocate for the disabled. In addition he is helping plan a retirement facility for Catholic priests.
Lots happening out there. A number of you sent me word on the great article about Dave Hughes and his pioneering work on the internet, having started twenty five years ago. Those who want to chase it down can look for the Denver Post of 19 Jan. As I have mentioned recently, Dave is still hard at work on wireless systems, primarily to improve education in remote areas.
We were all saddened by the loss of the Columbia astronauts. In the San Diego area Chuck Friedlander three times was on local TV, giving his insights into the disaster. Al Fern reported that he did an excellent job, carefully avoiding speculation and stressing the key role of the investigation boards. Some of us remember that Chuck was chief of the Support Office at the Cape in the 60s and heavily involved in the Apollo 1 fire.
While no longer president, Eddie Ramos is still very involved in the economic development of The Philippines and other areas, heading up the Ramos Peace and Development Foundation. He also chairs the board of the Boao Forum for Asia, the first Asia-focused international forum and an intellectual resource center for the area.
Another busy man is Dick Steuart, who is preparing for yet another tour in the Sudan, where he is working hard to improve education and agriculture in that country. Carol helps keep things humming at St. John’s, their church in FL.
A great bit of news came from Lish Lee. On 4 Jan. she married Edgar Beaver with all their children and grandchildren present. She met him at church and has been in a whirlwind ever since. The Beavers are now neighbors of Jim & Patti Kelly in Charlotte, NC.
Last Dec. John & Eileen Jones’ children held a surprise 50thanniversary party for them at the Mt. Vernon Inn in VA. John & Eileen did not even know all the family were in town, along with a number of old friends and neighbors.
Another such celebration took place in Feb. in Center Point, TX for Sandy & Beth Oliver. Marge Ritter Hopkins and her husband Bud flew down to join them for dinner.
Fran Pick Dillard called to announce that Charles & Christina Pick had a boy, Charles Cary Pick, Jr. He was born on 3 Dec., in time to be a great Christmas present for Fran.
In Jan. John & Ann Streit took their three children, two spouses, and all five grandkids, ranging from 2 to 21, on a five day Carnival Cruise from New Orleans to Cozumel and back. Lots of fun and great family togetherness.
Out in Del Rio, TX Herschel(Hawk) & Evelyn Chapman’s grandson Tim started pilot training. He is Bob’s son and graduated from USAFA in ‘01.
Also down in TX Chuck Graham tells me things are going well. He & Alice joined Bennie & Pat Davis, Deck & Maxine Weight, Ray & Marge Barry, and Jack & Nancy Roehm for a wine and cheese party in Dec.; It was a good time to exchange "old war stories." The Veterans Memorial Plaza in Georgetown, TX due to be dedicated this summer.
Now on to the Christmas cards and letters that are stacked on my desk.
Pat & Elaine Wilson - Granddaughter Genna Briggs graduated from Yale in May with an MA in flute and piccolo. She then auditioned for the US Army Band and was selected to join them. She will be at Ft. Myer, VA after basic at Ft. Jackson, SC.
Jack & Gen Hendry - In Mar. vacationed in HI, where they visited 3rd Sqn/4th Cav, a unit Jack had commanded 65-66. In July it was a family get together at Karen’s in Occidental, CA. During 02 they had visits with Dunc & Patty Joy, Walt & Shirley Adams, and Chuck & Diane Friedlander.
Ed & Lee Pierce - Expecting their 8th grandchild in June when Kathy and Paul have their second child. Joined part of their family in Maui and another part in Steamboat Springs, CO. Ed finished the visits by helping Ed, Jr. with his new house in VA.
Bob & Gwyn Groseclose - In July flew to AK to visit daughter Nancy and Bob Morrison, where he is still with the FBI. Then in Oct. it was a 3000 mile trip that included a stop with Jim & Bobbie Wallace in Alex., VA and a Class lunch in New Brunswick, NJ with Joe & Rose Buccolo, Bob & Sheila Ehrlich, and Ken & Loris Ebner.
John & Ann Howard - Babysit for Lynda & Joe frequently, since they are nearby. Judy visited in June and Ginger in July. Darby & Suzanne and their two J.D. and Will made it in August to enjoy the surfing. Most made it home for Christmas, but David & Martha stayed in Seattle for the celebration.
Andy & Doris Byers - A year of cruises started with the "Norway" in the eastern Caribbean, followed by two Carnival Caribbean cruises. In June it was "Dream" to Scandinavia, Sept. the Class mini in HI, ending the year back aboard the "Dream" for a tour around South America.
Carm & Barb Milia - Celebrated their 50th in July with all six children, five daughters-in-law, ten "absolutely beautiful" grandchildren, Carm’s three brothers and numerous friends and neighbors. They went through the food in a hurry.
Ed & Joan Quinn - What a busy family with all those children and grandchildren. Added one more when Reed Quinn married a Taiwanese woman called Charity. Meanwhile many are busy with church work including Ann in Mongolia and Brad Guynn in Japan. Lots of others are into sports and school. Matt Christensen was awarded the coaches’ trophy as most exemplifying Duke basketball standards. Plenty doing lacrosse and marathons, but no swimmers.
Fred & Joan Nickerson - Still moving between AZ and the mountains of CA. In July joined the celebration for son John’s wife Lucia, when she became an American citizen after six years. It was then on to San Diego to babysit while Nancy and Bill took a cruise. They still lots of bridge, both social and tournament.
Tom & Bonnie Sharp - Busy life with dinner-bridge, gourmet, ladies bridge, golf, and lots of church and charity work. The Dana Sharp Memorial Music Fund won, for the fifth time, the Disneyland Community Cultural award. Bonnie also is very active in the Assistance League of Tustin, particularly in the Pro-Am Golf Tournament. Saw New Years in on a special train in St.Louis.
Bob & Sheila Ehrlich - Have fun with opera, Broadway and off-Broadway shows and some in NJ, seeing several each week. Sheila still keeps up her tennis, but the two of them managed a trip to Russia in May, finding it progressing very well.
Lou & Elaine Dixon - Still playing bridge but have given up on golf. In July for their anniversary they were on the Pride for a cruise to Belize and Mexico. After that it was the Zuiderdam in Dec for another cruise in the Caribbean.
Warde & Dode Wheaton - Celebrated their 50th in March (and had a great picture of their wedding in the Christmas letter.) Apl. and May they were in Spain, then back to the WI cabin and their annual family gathering in August. Oct. it was the Delta Queen with friends before going home for Thanksgiving. Children and grandchildren are busy, spread half way around the world.
Joy Viskochil - Still enjoying a lot of golf, bridge, bike riding, and "bird walking." Had an unusual Elderhostel in July, a small boat up Lake Michigan. Best, of course, was being with Lani when she delivered Abigail Joy on 13 Oct and again for Christmas.
Phil & Jean Harper - Their children hosted a 50th anniversary party for them including all the children, all seven grandchildren, one great-grandson and lots of family and friends. In the fall they added a new granddaughter-in-law in VT when Joel and Lindsey were married.
Laurie & Dorothy Eek - Had a grand family reunion in MT in July with people coming from all over. Sept. after the Class mini they stayed on to see much more of HI, where Dorothy’s mother taught about 1916. Tried to make New England, but both cars broke down en route, so gave that up in Oct. and had the family in for Thanksgiving in Dorothy’s new kitchen.
One bit of sad news is the death from cancer of Pat McGill’s wife Ray on 5 Jan. In addition to Pat, she is survived by two daughters - Janet and Barbara - and one grandson - Conley. Pat’s address is 519 Coleman Dr. West, Winter Haven, FL 33884-2560. Our sympathies go to Pat and his family.
Now we are praying for the safety of all our service personnel.