One word describes our San Diego reunion WOW! We had a record attendance of 109 members and a total of 226 people.
A special welcome and thanks to family's of deceased members who attended, Patsy Evans and daughters (Charles Evans Rm2 1957). Janet Romero and family - daughter of Jake Romero (TMSN 49-52). Loretta Anderson and family, (Lyle Anderson EN2 52-53). Joan Odom and daughter (Andy Odom RM1 66-70).
We had excellent entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.
Our raffle on Sunday night was another huge success, we had 141 items donated for the raffle and with the new procedure the ladies have developed it was completed in 45 minutes.
We want to thank everyone who donated items for the raffle, as you know this is our only fund raiser and we did well enough this year that we can again have many free extras at our reunion next year.
A special thanks to members who could not attend but sent cash or items for the raffle.
Jim Lape $200.00, Capt. Erner $100.00, Capt. O'Neill, $100, Bobby Golden $50.00, Norm and Nancy Fendrick, Afghan. Our total cash prizes for the raffle was $1500.00.
We also want to give a special thanks to people who donated items, time and help to make our reunion so enjoyable and successful - Ron and Pat Cornelius, Chocolate Covered Pretzels; Sharon Bingham, table decorations; Clyde and Helen William, FB Parks Plastic Check in Bags; Bob Bahler for storing reunion items at his house, running errands before, during and after the reunion.
Dave and Jeanne Whitehead who paid for our cake and coffee on Friday night. It was their 50th Wedding Anniversary.
Rose Kong who made a number of leis for our luau from flowers from her garden. I don't remember the name of their flowers but they smelled god and were beautiful. Bruce and Mary Bargschatz for getting people to the photographer in an orderly manner with no delays and no standing or waiting and many others too numerous to mention for helping with the bar, table decorations, raffle and all things that made our reunion run smoothly.
With a group like this, it's no wonder our reunions are so successful. Our sincere thanks to you all.
One other person we want to recognize is Charlotte Woodring, she put together a huge photo album of pictures from each reunion and presented it to Robby in appreciation of his 15 years of putting together reunions. Thank you Charlotte, I'm sure your gesture is shared by all Parks members.
Please send any pictures you took at the reunion to Tony Allou for possible inclusion in our reunion memory book, his address is 2609 Wensley Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210.
An election of new officers was held at the business meeting on Saturday morning. Results are as follows. President, Larry White. Vice-President, Melvin Wright. Secretary/Treasurer, Bill Birdsong, Keith Knoblock, Historian and Sergeant of Arms Clyde Williams. Harry Branley has been our new Chaplain since last year.
Tom and Robby were awarded plaques in appreciation for their 15 years of service to the F.B. Parks Association.
Association dues are due on 1 Jan each year. Dues are $15.00 annually. Make checks payable to F.B. Parks Assoc. As of this date please send all dues and any correspondence to Bill Birdsong at 17139 Owl Tree Road, Riverside, CA 92504.
Our 2008 reunion will be in Portland, Maine on September 15-22. Details will be in the next newsletter. Sue and I will be going to Portland, Maine in early 2008 to set up trips and finalize everything.
The following was written by our Chaplain Harry Brantley, we had Harry read it at our gathering on Friday Night, it's very moving so we would like to share it with you.
So many memories, so much in common for those of us who walked those "hallowed" decks. I remember the long days ... and nights at sea ... away from home, no mail for days, but hope and faith that in the next mail call will be letters from those we hold dear. Then to learn that a helicopter carrying mail is inbound but since we are doing NGFS, and would be for another few days, no helo pilot in his right mind would come near us as we fired our 5" 38s in support of Marines who were getting their butts kicked! But mail would be left on the oiler and we could get it in another few days or a couple of weeks for sure.
Then when I went back to sea to teach the navy's Program for an Afloat College Education (PACE) and to see sailors with email capabilities ... and unlimited at that. Makes one realize times change, we move on and the "young lions" come behind us to carry the flag. Makes one proud for having served with the finest ship and crew that ever came together.
We are in the process of making a DVD of our activities on Friday and Saturday nights. They'll be available soon. For information and price call 951-789-5309 or email Bill Birdsong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From The Chaplain's Comer-.....
What a great PARKS reunion we had in San Diego. All seemed to enjoy the more laid-back tempo this year. The Trolley tour of the city with time for lunch and shopping in Old Town was real nice.
Particularly meaningful to Lois and me was our return to USS MIDWAY after 56 years. I was servin& onboard when we were married in 1951. To sign in once again was a joyous occasion.
We had 114 in church on Sunday morning and hope to have an even bigger crowd in Portland Maine. Jesus said, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger; he who believes in me shall never thirst".
The fires are still burning in Southern California. Shipmates and friends live there and it's important that we check on them and keep them in our prayers.
TAPS - We have lost three more PARKS family members:
Bill Bartello, a Plankowner; LT Ronald Jordan, and Bertha O'Neill.
Keep the faith and stay in touch. Happy Thanksgiving!
For God and Country!
Harry W. Brantley, MS, MA
Master Chief Yeoman
U.S. Navy (Retired)