Col. William B. DeGraf
The rush of Christmas is over. Now it is time to digest all those letters for the first column of ‘04. With such a stack I will have to push some of them and some pictures over into the second column.
The Class continues to get honored. Thanks to Fran Pick Dillard and her husband Bill the new Veterans Memorial in Auburn, AL has pavers honoring the Class of 1950, Andy Pick, and his two sons.
Down in SC Joe Griffin is still a very active veteran. He was selected to place the memorial wreath at the Veterans' Day ceremony and he also was asked to write a column about his experiences in the Korean War to be published in The Dillon Herald.
Another very busy man is Phil Bolte. He remains (probably for life?) president of the US Cavalry Assn., secretary/treasurer of the local MOAA chapter, part time teacher at Anderson College, and occasional lecturer on history. With his cavalry hat he recently was given an 1890 picture of the 7 th Cav. Wink Mallett and his brother David ‘48 drove down to deliver it.
Dave Hughes is back from the slopes of Everest, having lost 36 pounds. (Seems to me to be the hard way to diet.) He trekked for two days up to 12,000 feet to install a Wireless Internetwork for the Sherpa village of Namche, Bazar. He said that “The vistas up the Khumbu Glacier valley take your breath away - in more ways than one.” I got a nice picture of the mountain, but Dave was just a small figure, wearing a cowboy hat.
A note from Bess Banister said she would be joined by sons John and Mike for Christmas. She enclosed a newspaper interview with Frank Borman marking the 35 th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 8. Frank commanded that mission to the moon and we all remember the thrill of hearing him read the Christmas story from there.
An interesting picture came from Herschel “Hawk” Chapman. Recently he was a guest at the Monfore family reunion. As you all know Pete Monfore was killed in Korea. Hawk is a long time hunter. I can remember eating wild duck at his place when we were at Benning in the \early fifties. Hawk is the fourth from the left. The dog is his. How many of the birds he got I do not know, but they must have had quite a feast.
The Monterey Peninsula gang got together in Oct. for lunch and a chance to “settle the affairs of the world” and again for the Army/Navy game as part of the local society, avoiding Naval PGS. The men on the left are Drew Rutherford, Al Scholl, and Andy McFarland.The ladies from the right are Bunty McFarland, Kay Rutherford, June Elliott, and Nari Scholl.
The VA/MD area has a monthly lunch. In October it was joint with the wives so that Hank & Muriel Strickland's daughters Mary and Beth could tell us about the securities markets. Both are very successful money managers. The picture has Beth on the left and Mary on the right.
Mary Ellen Shepherd, George Lear's widow, is to be congratulated on getting her degree from U/Maryland, cum laude yet. She still loves boating has a “new” and lovely sailboat.
In Richmond, IN Cloyce & Joan Mangas har sons Ron, Lee, and David for the holidays. Son Tom and his family are in Istanbul, a bit far to travel, but the family keeps in contact by email.
Last fall, as I mentioned in the last column,John DiGrazia took Dick Rein up to Lake Tahoe. Dick sent along this picture, he is on your left, and the tale of the two of them shopping at a small market, where the checkout girl was so impressed with their long friendship and their military service that she gave each a big hug and an hearty “thanks for all you've done for our country.”
Also in the last column, I mentioned that Gail & Ardath's daughter Scottie joined 18,000 others for the Marine Marathon. I asked that she send along a picture to show her following in her father's racing footsteps.
In Oct. Lish Lee Beaver and her new husband Ed had a mini reunion of sorts when Jim & Ann Tormey, Dave & Carolyn Cameron, and Fran Pick Dillard and Bill joined Jim & Patti Kelly and the Beavers in Charlotte, NC. Earlier in March Lish's daughter Katie married Capt. Galen Huss, just before he deployed to Iraq.
Many of you will remember Al Fern's daughter “Charlie” from our 50 th . She is a speech writer for Laura Bush in the East Wing. Al's card sent along an announcement of her engagement to Brian Moore.
The picture of Joe & Mary Pharr Love shows them with the newest grandson, Robert Matthew Woodard. The parents, Lee & Bob Woodard, are both DVMs.
Now for those Christmas letters until I run out of space.
Norris & Jane Harrell - No travel this year. Saving up to go East for daughter Becky's retirement from USAF. Currently she is a colonel in OSD. Daughter Barbara's husband Cliff was recalled and sent to Iraq for several months.
DS & Jane Wilson - In June went to Tacoma, WA for son Walter's wedding. In Oct. it was CO for family visits.
Skip & Sally Scott - Enjoyed the snow at Steamboat Springs, CO. Looking forward to seeing a grandson graduate in 2004 from USAFA.
Harry & Jo-Jo Coyle - Lots of travel. In March it was a trip to S. America, including a flight over Antarctica. June the family gathered in Galveston, TX. Sept. was the Canadian Maritimes and a visit with Debbie and her family in Boston. Thanksgiving was with Jenifer and her family in Branson, TX.
Shirley Thomas - After much planning took a dream trip by car to TX, where son Wesley and family live, then NM, AZ, CA, up to Salt Lake City and on to Yellowstone and northern WI. Finally back home. Thanksgiving with daughter Temple and her family.
I have indeed run out of room, so I wish you all a joyful and rewarding New Year.