CLASS OF 1963
Pres: CAPT W. Spencer Johnson IV, USN (Ret.)
Sec'y: Michael H. Shelley
27 Cambridge DR, Brevard, NC 28712
h: 828-506-2201 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: http://www.usna63.org.
William D. Davidson died on 25 April. Doug's widow, Charlsie, may be contacted at 4012 Spring Island, Okatie, SC 21403.
Ronald J. Klemick passed away on 14 May. Ron's widow, Sandy, may be contacted at 321 Lady Marion Court, Cary, NC 27518.
We also learned that Shelley and Cole Lindell's son, Will, passed away on 19 May. Shelley can be contacted at 121 Troon Way, Aiken, SC 28903.
|The Naval Academy Columbarium on Hospital Point|
This spring, the 23rd Company resumed their annual fishing trip/reunions, after two Covid cancellations in 2021, with a gathering at Grosse Savanne Lodge in southwest Louisiana. It was our 12th reunion, and the fourth held at Grosse Savanne, which has turned out to be the perfect setting for great fishing, awesome dining, and tall tales retold. The 18 attendees originally slated to attend whittled to 13, nonetheless a fine turnout from all over the country.  Bob sent a copy of the completed "Ode." It is too long to include here, but I'll share the first and last verses as a sample for you. The first verse: "We came from places far and wide/And met one steamy hot July/We formed the lasting legacy/The class of Nineteen Sixty-Three" The last verse: " Now our numbers less than then/We still gather once again/Because the men of Twenty-Three/Won’t let the old man in you see" The other verses range from the laundry smokestack to service in Vietnam and elsewhere over the years. Well done, gentlemen!
The 12th reunion of 23rd Company classmates
Here are two group pictures from our reunion. The first shows us in our matching reunion attire. Left to right in the front row are Flack Logan, Steve Hoy, Bill Bradford, and Zimm Zimmerman. Standing are Bob Maier, Mike Krause, Steve Leisge, Harry Hirsch, Bill Palafox, Keith Reynolds, Mike Rubel, Dick Ortwein, and Mike Bonsignore.
This picture shows the entire group as we were about to enjoy a fine dinner together. Left to right are Messrs. Bradford, Leisge, Palafox, Rubel, Krause, Zimmerman, Bonsignore, Logan, Ortwein, Hirsch, Hoy, Maier, and Reynolds
We arrived in late March shortly before a large weather front swept across the country, and most fishing on the first day was performed in blustery conditions in the marshes, but many boats reeled in their limits and released many more. The second day began under a tornado watch, but the sailors brave in battle fair wanted some Bass, so with only low berms and grasses for protection, the group again caught and released very nice numbers before ducking for cover in the lodge as the front passed.
Prior to the reunion, the theme was set as "Don’t let the Old Man In," referring to a Toby Keith song in a Clint Eastwood movie, and folks were asked to submit prose reflecting the theme. The submissions were run through an editing machine that rejected the more ribald text and combined the rest to produce an “Ode to Twenty-Three” that was read during the final evening’s festivities.
Our company reunions have become a strong tradition and much anticipated event in the 23rd. Planning for Number 13 is already underway.
My class ring arrived back from Herff Jones on May 5th, and I am very pleased with the result and the services they provided.
When I started this process, I had the choice of going with a local jeweler or handing the job over to a known Naval Academy ring manufacturer. I checked with a few local jewelers, but I was not comfortable with using any of them, so I reached out to you. I knew from my own research that our ring manufacturer, Dieges and Clust, was sold to Herff Jones in 1980. Your source at the USNA Alumni Association provided the name of Robert Vaz, an Account Manager at Herff Jones. Bob got back to me within a day of my contacting him and provided all the information and forms I needed. One of the items he sent to me, demonstrating the fact that Herff Jones had received all the documentation (and most likely all the manufacturing hardware) from Dieges and Clust, was my original class ring order form dated February 7, 1961. I had forgotten that we ordered our rings way back in Youngster Year.
Once I had made the decision to mail my ring to Herff Jones, I needed to get it insured through USAA. To do that, I needed to obtain an accurate and up to date appraisal. I took my ring to a well-known jeweler in Los Altos, CA, who came back with a total retail replacement value of $4,637.81 -- not bad for my $185 investment back in 1961.
I mailed my ring to Herff Jones and paid them $134 to resize it. It took them about a month to get it into their schedule. I don't know how they do the work, but it fits well and looks great. The original detail remains, and there is no evidence that my ring has been resized.
Jerry's ring with its white star sapphire
|Marines at the Ring Dance|