October 2007 Class Column

Col. William B. DeGraf 
October 2007

Finally a rainy day here in VA! A good day to visit with all of you out there.

The Class of '50 here at The Fairfax continues to grow. Joan Scandling Pimentel and her husband Frank '52 will be joining the Singers, Jackleys, and DeGrafs here in 2008. With the housing market poor, many are passing up chances to get large units here until their homes sell.

This is also a nice place for visitors. Drew & Kay Rutherford in from CA joined us all for dinner in our dining room and a chance to catch up on each other. The Rutherfords recently returned from England and France. Their daughter Andrea and her husband have a home in Cognac as well as one in Kowloon, near Hong Kong.

When Pat Zabel was in No.VA in Sept., Larry Lodewick joined Pat, Jake Jacobson and me at lunch at Chilis. Pat and I were roommates(along with 1078 others) in the ASTRP at the Univ. of Utah in '43 and again were in the 397th Inf. at Ft. Bragg in the summer of '44. He is still consulting on body armor for the troops from his home in TX.

Earlier Jake & Ann Jacobson attended the memorial service for Mel Johnsrud, who died in August. They got a nice picture with Mel's older brother Bernie and his son Tom.

Also got word that Dick Slay and Pete Todsen were at the memorial service for Bill Tuttle, who also died in August. Dick said it was a service that would have been to Bill's liking.

Jake Allen caught me up on some of the San Antonio, TX gang. Blackie & Mary Bolduc gave a party for the 50ers in the area. Troy Chambers, Bob's widow, recalled how Bill Mastoris would call on Bob each Friday. Now Jake and Bill still visit Troy on Fridays. She is moving into a retirement community nearby.

Jake flew to PA for a high school reunion and a chance to see the newly reopened Bedford Springs Hotel, where he celebrated his birthday with family.

Another I-1 file, Lou Prentiss, tells me he has a granddaughter at the Point who is a Firstie and the Brigade Operations Officer, which is a senior position up there. Lou asked something about the "Fried Egg" referring to the emblem on the dress helmet. Neither she nor her beau had any idea of what that was. How the Corps has changed!

Can't leave I-1 yet. Tillie Smithers, Sam's widow, in August had the thrill of pinning jump wings on their grandson Joshua at Ft. Benning. He is a junior at Wheaton College and in the ROTC program there. Tillie said that Sam would have been very proud of him.

The end of Sept. Tillie was in Cary, NC to see their daughter Robin, who is working on the Veterans Freedom Park there. She and Robin took a quick side trip to Raleigh to see Lloyd & Margaret Mielenz. Lloyd is helping Robin to collect interviews from Korean War veterans for the Freedom Park.

From Eiko Fishbein came this picture of Seymour with his brother Hal, united after sixty four years of separation, including his time in a German POW camp. Eiko and Seymour took her daughter and granddaughter Emma to Japan in October to visit their ancestral home. It was Emma's first visit to Japan. Eiko's brother just retired, while her sister is the chief "lady-in-waiting" for the Royal Princess and lives in the Imperial Palace.

Over in Annapolis, of all places, our class has an active group of sailors, who support the Cadet Sailing Club at West Point through the West Point Sailing Foundation. Bob Shade retired recently after many years as the secretary/treasurer of the group. You may recall that George Lear was very instrumental in getting the Foundation going and a leader in it until his death. His widow Mary Ellen Shepherd still is active with the group. The picture of the board came from Frank King, another sailor and member of the group. The picture shows Tim Daly '66, Bill Taylor '70, Bob, Mary Ellen, and Ed Aye.

Out in Oceanside, CA the Southern CA gang got together in Sept. just for a fun visit (this before the big fires in that area). On the left are Jack & Gen Hendry from Rancho Bernardo, Duncan & Patty Joy from La Jolla, John & Ann Streit down from Leisure World, and Mike Dowe from La Jolla. Chuck wrote to me when he and Diane returned after being evacuated that a home a block from his was gone, but that he had only minimal damage. All the rest in the area seem to have survived with no damage, but several others, including the Hendrys had to be evacuated.

Anyone interested in a nice moose dinner should visit Philo & Mitch Hutcheson in Isleboro, ME. Philo got a moose permit this year and took a 638 pounder with a 35 _ inch spread.

In addition to his hunting Philo wrote that he and Mitch went to Portland, ME to be part of the 80th birthday party for Reg Lombard in August and then to Lake Sebago, ME in Sept to see Nels & Margaret Thompson. Besides all that Philo is still "dabbling" in local and state politics.

Unfortunately we continue to lose classmates. Bill Brandes died 8 Oct. of cancer. There was a memorial service for him in Nashville, TN but he will be buried at Arlington about 13 Dec. He is survived by his wife Sarah and four sons from previous marriages: William, Jr.(Rick), John, George, and Avery. Sarah's address is 2315 Golf Club Ln, Nashville, TN 37215.

On 15 Oct Frank Gaillard, whom we remember well for all his music al talent as a cadet, died in Auburn, CA. He is survived by his wife Joanie and two daughters: Christy and Erin. Joanie lives at 11706 Lakeshore South, Auburn, CA 95602-8254.

Don Sampson died 18 October in Melbourne, FL after a long illness. He is survived by his wife Anne Marie, four daughters: Kathy, Elizabeth, Julia, and Patsy; and one son Mike. Anne Marie lives at 1486 Cypress Trace Dr., Melbourne, FL 32940.

Our sympathies go out to all three families.

Hope all of you enjoy the upcoming holidays and have a great 2008.