Shipmate Column
October 2002

Pres:  Stephen M. Duncan
Sec'y: Michael H. Shelley
25 Sweetwater Lane, Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
h: 828-862-4245  e:
Web site:

Remember that you can click on any underlined Classmate's name to view his Current Biography.

        The Class of 1963's web site is hosted by Bill Kennedy at his home in central Texas. Bill's in the computer security business and has several network servers and other equipment in his large computer room there. We are indebted to Bill for his generosity in providing the equipment and network services for our site, and especially for the application of his amazing technical abilities. Even Bill's best efforts could not prevent the effects of this summer's incredibly heavy rains. His home and business spaces were badly damaged and, as of this writing in early August, our web site has been down for several weeks. I expect that it will be restored to full service by the time you read this. When you next visit the site, think of Bill's dedicated service in providing his facilities and expertise.

        Our faithful southern California correspondent Phil Marsden has provided some images from a gathering of classmates on Bastille Day. (No apparent connection with the French, however.)
    Here are some pictures from a Class of 1963 picnic in Coronado on 14 July. Jay Roberts has figured out how to operate his digital camera and took these excellent shots. Nancy and Charlie Helsper were our hosts as we gathered for a band concert in Spreckels Park in the center of Coronado. The weather was perfect, the music entertaining, and the fellowship warm and pleasurable as always. We enjoyed seeing some new faces: Dee and John Dolby are moving into the area from northern California; Jim Laswell is beginning his third or fourth career as a principal officer of a local 8A firm; Charlie Helsper's mother, Hazel, was visiting from Texas. The attendees are shown in the group photo from left to right: Grant Telfer, Ginnie Dolby, John Dolby, Chuck Stone, June Stone, Donna Kaup, Kathy Sridhar, Jim Laswell, Nancy Helsper, Charlie Helsper, Kay Krohne, Ron Wills, Dee Wills, Ted Krohne, Mrs Helsper, Jay Roberts, and Phil Marsden.
Think 40th!
Celebrating summer in Coronado

Stones, Helspers, Helsper cousin and wife

Donna Kaup, Marsden, Dolbys

Krohnes, Marsden, Telfer

        Not to be outdone by the Californians, Miller Detrick sent this report from sunny Tampa - St. Petersburg, FL:
Visiting the tall ships in Florida

Reconnecting with the T-28

    These photos are from the June local Alumni outing to visit the Tall Ships in St. Petersburg. All we could recall from our sailing days was that it is "one hand for you and one for the ship". We concurred that there was no way we wanted to climb the mast! Standing next to the bow of the Coast Guard EAGLE are Elise and Vern Browne, yours truly with spouse Connie, and Sandy and Ollie Donelan. Next to the pier is the edge of the downtown airport and right next to the fence was a perfectly restored T-28. From VT-2, no less! Vern said, "I have 1,000 hours in that machine." Ollie also claimed some time, so it was over the fence for the picture. We had a great time. Ollie and Sandy live in St. Pete. He is holding down two jobs at MacDill AFB. His boss won't let him retire. The rest of us live across the Bay in Tampa. Vern is retired. After the market crash, I am scheduled to retire in about 2015! We are always having fun. Come on down!

        I reported last month that Roland "Curley" Fontaine had died this July. Soon after I filed that news I received this note from Jeff McLaury, who had encountered Curley in Saigon.
    I did my plebe year in the 11th Company and Curley was in the 13th. As you may recall, both were considered "horse...." companies. I lived in Saigon from 1996 to 1998 then moved to Thailand. However, as I have a fiance in Saigon, I do visit frequently. I first ran into Curley in December of last year -- we had mutual friends in Saigon who got us together. We had a great time comparing war stories and trying to create a few more. I returned to Saigon again in April of this year, when this photo was taken. Left to right are me, my fiance Van, and Curley.
Saigon, April 2002

Curley seemed to be feeling OK, but I sensed that he at least suspected he did not have much time left. As befit Curley, he was determined to raise hell until the last tick of the clock. I'm sure he did. I feel lucky that I was able to reunite with Curley and spend some happy times together.

        Another photo connected to news in the previous issue of Shipmate came from Lanny Cox, who supplied this picture of himself and his daughter Emily. It was taken at USNA this summer as Emily completed her participation in the Summer Seminar, part of her pursuit of dream of attending the Academy.
Lanny Cox and daughter visit the goat

        Jack Hood has finally retired. For the second time. Here's the story of what he's been doing since his first retirement, from the Navy:
    I retired in 1987 and returned to our home in Pensacola. Two months of puttering got old so I used my GI bill and went to the University of West Florida to get a teaching certificate in high school math and physics. After a year of substituting, I landed a job at the high school four blocks away teaching physics plus 9th grade earth science. I started with two physics classes with 42 students and built that into six classes and 190 students after ten years. Besides teaching, I coordinated textbooks for ten years and was the science department head for my last two years. I was fortunate that full retirement benefits were available after 13 years and a bonus was offered if I retired at age 62. Both arrived at the same time so I retired for the second, and last, time in June. I will wait until January to apply for social security and then sit back and collect three checks each month.

Ginger and I just passed 39 years together so are considering making it permanent. She is into volunteering in various good areas, lunching out, and swimming. So far, we have managed to not get in the way of each other so she is going to let me remain retired, I think.

Most of us considered it nice if a child followed us into our profession. I have been doubly fortunate. Number one son went through NFO flight training, received his wings, did two cruises, followed me into the AED community and is homesteading in the D.C. area with his wife and our two grand daughters. He is coming up for commander which really makes me feel old. Number two son settled in Alaska and is in his fourth year of teaching high school social studies in Anchorage. He is still enjoying the bachelor life but his time appears limited and a trip to Alaska is probably in the plans for us next summer to host a rehearsal dinner.

I discovered last week that I was ready for retirement when the teachers went back to work and I did not miss it in the slightest. I have plenty of yard to do, exercise and swim every day to keep my knee, which was replaced last summer, moving and bending, and have a new computer to keep other times occupied. Basically now, we just get up in the morning and see what we feel like doing, which is as it should be!

        Let's get literary for a moment. Below are mentions of a magazine article featuring one of our classmates and books written by two of our classmates. Thanks to Jack McDonald for alerting us to this bit of weapons system history:
    Sometime ago Ralph Kimberlin and I were telling war stories about our time in Vietnam, over a couple of drinks. I related how my small Navy base in II Corps was frequently found to be of interest to the VC/NVA. We almost always called for Army artillery assistance. On at least two occasions we were lucky to get Puff, The Magic Dragon (AC-47 w/mini-guns, today's AC-130 gunship). Ralph related how he was part of that development. As I remember, Ralph and I concluded that there was a good possibility that he saved my life, which was more than enough reason to have a couple more drinks. Ralph is extremely modest about his exploits. Fortunately for us, we can read about them in the July issue of the Smithsonian magazine, AIR&SPACE.

       I went to our public library and enjoyed reading the article, which is titled "The Birth of Spooky." Visit your local library for this and other pleasures! (That's a shameless plug from a guy who made a career in federal library management.)

Perry Miles e-mailed me to say that his wife Anne had seen Harlan Ullman on C-Span and was mightily impressed with how much sense he was making about the world situation. Harlan has written a new book, "Unfinished Business: Afghanistan, the Middle East and Beyond" with a foreword by Senator John McCain.

Dave Moore alerts us to Pete Deutermann's latest novel. It's titled "Hunting Season" and is available at your local book store and online book sellers everywhere.

       The Class of 1963 Foundation trustees and officers held a business meeting at Cynthia and Jim DeFrancia's home in Aspen, CO, in June. Jim Koehn has provided these two photos taken after the working sessions. At the dinner table are Cynthia at the left and (proceeding clockwise) Judy and Jim Koehn, David Robinson, Dave Puckett, Jim DeFrancia, Judy Puckett, Ken Metviner, Ron Klemick, and Steve Duncan. Sonny Glassner and Will Settle were seated off-camera. The picture taken in the glorious Colorado outdoors shows Glassner, Duncan, Metviner, the DeFrancias, Puckett, Ron and Sandy Klemick, and Settle.
Enjoying the Colorado Rockies

Dining in Aspen

        Lots of news, lots of pictures! Thanks to all our contributors. Let's hear from YOU soon!

  QUALITY - '63

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   October 2002 
posted on:
 14 August 2002
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