Hi to all shipmates & Families:
REMEMBER THE SURPRISE.....don't forget that Oct. lst is "Robbys" 80th birthday .... lets all get behind this project to make it very special for him.....whether you personally know Robby or not, please take part in this. Robby started and worked this assn. for many, many years and without him we would not have a Parks assn., or website, reunion, ships store, etc. Lets all let him know how much we appreciate him. If you are going to the reunion, please bring a card for him to the Friday night "Fiesta" and we will all give them to him when a cake is given to him. If you are NOT going to the reunion you can send a birthday card for Robby to this address ...James Robbins c/o Bill Birdsong 17139 Owl Tree Rd. Riverside, CA. 92504. We will see that he gets all of them. And lets all keep it a secret.
We want to welcome new active shipmates. As you know we have been working and re-working this inactive list this year and we have located many shipmates. We have almost 40 who have come back to active in the assn. and several of them are coming to the San Antonio reunion. We sure want to welcome them and all who are now receiving their newsletters once again and hope to see them all at a reunion in the future. This newsletter is also going to newly located shipmates and we want to also welcome them.....and several of them will be in San Antonio also ...... to all, WELCOME ABOARD!! If any of you know where we can locate new shipmates please get in touch with the Birdsongs. Or if you know where a shipmate was originally from, that would be a help also. Rosters and lists are available to everyone.
We are still having a problem with phone area codes. If your area code changes, please let us know about it. There have been several times lately when we try to make contact with a shipmates and their area code has changed. We would really appreciate your help. Also email addresses change pretty often so if you change yours, that new info would also help us.
REUNION SAN ANTONIO ...is now right around the corner. We understand the heat in Sept. can be a bit brutal so bring some cool clothes. For our bus trip to Fredericksburg on Sat. Sept. 19`h we will have an outdoor ceremony as soon as we get there in the Nimitz Museum Memorial Garden. It won't last long as the heat will probably dictate that we get in to a cool place but it will be especially for all shipmates. It is a special ceremony dedicated to all who served aboard the Floyd B. Parks and think you will find it moving and memorable. Bring your cameras as this is a really great museum and a terrific little town. BE SURE TO WEAR YOUR NAME BADGES FOR THIS DAY as that will be your admittance into the Nimitz Museum.
For the Friday night "Fiesta"... if you have a western shirt please wear it.....or a serape, or your cowboy boots, or your belt with the big buckle, or your Stetson or sombrero.....or all of the above. This just adds to the flavor of the night. Playing for us during dinner will be "Mariachi Los Galleros de San Antonio"... they are a 7 member mariachi group and they have to be great as they played for Jenna Bush' wedding. So now you need to practice saying "si" AND "y'all".
Info for first time attendees .... the Parks assn. does NOT have a dress code. We wear jeans and shorts to everything EXCEPT to the banquet dinner on Sunday night. Even then we have no dress code but most everyone dresses up a bit for this dinner. We will have a photographer there who will start taking couples pictures at 4:30 p.m. to be included in the memory book. The ladies usually wear a dressy pant suit or a dress and the guys usually wear slacks and a jacket or a suit. But it's still your call and we want you to be comfortable and enjoy the evening. This will be our final evening together until 2010 and also the evening when we will draw for those great raffle prizes. Remember to buy lots of raffle tickets as that is the largest source of income for the Parks assn. and makes it possible for all the extras we can do for you. Bring your address labels from home to put on the back of your raffle tickets as that saves all that writing. At the banquet dinner we will have 3 of our Commanding Officers .... Captain Jack O'Neill (Parks '60-'62), Captain Jim Donovan (Parks '68-'71), and Captain Gene Erner (Parks '72-'73). These 3 attend regularly and we really look forward to having them every year.We love having our Commanding Officers attend the reunions and hope that in the future we can get more of them to attend. We will keep contacting them and trying to get them to show up. That tells us the Parks was "special" to them. We have great hopes that RADM Ray Smith and his sweet wife Kathy will be with us once again this year. It is always great to have them with us. Ray does a great deal of speaking appearances but we hope his schedule will make time for this reunion.
If you are flying to San Antonio.....when you get down to the baggage claim there will be courtesy phones to call the hotel and request a shuttle to come pick you up. Just find the phones and call Holiday Inn Airport International ...... make sure you DON'T call the Holiday Inn Express .... that is 2 doors away from our hotel. The phone should go directly to the hotel and you won't need a number. Anyone needing help can call the Birdsongs cell phones .... Bill 951-323-8225 or Sue 951-858-4577. For first time attendees ...after you get your room at the hotel, come to our hospitality room (the hotel can direct you to it)...there we will have a check in packet for you with your name badges, banquet dinner tickets, activity brochure, and a special gift for all the Parks ladies. Once in the hospitality room your shipmates will make you welcome and comfortable and the fun begins.
GOLF GAME .... Tom Wyatt is waiting for anyone who wants to play golf on Thursday to call him....if there are enough people interested in a game he will set it up but to date he has not had any calls. So if you want to play please call Tom at home at 352-465-1866 or his cell at 352-603-9353. Come on you
golfers ...lets get this game going.
ACTIVITIES FORMS AND CHECKS .... THIS IS IMPORTANT .... these are due no later than Aug. 15th. Forms came out in the May newsletter and if you need one, let us know. Bill has to give accurate counts to bus companies, restaurant, chefs etc...... please get these in right away. Keep in mind that should you have to cancel (we sure hope you don't) your activities money can be refunded to you. That's not a problem-and-all you have to do is notify Bill Birdsong. And-remember to circle what you want to eat for Sat. and Sun. nights and be sure to write in the names of those you are paying for and write them exactly as you would like to have the name badges printed. Thanks so much for this help. Time is important here.
NEW SHIPS STORE ITEMS ...... at the reunion we will have a couple of new items for sale from our Ships Store. The first is the cookbook that so many of our shipmates and their families have submitted recipes for. These will sell for $8 each and we just know you will really enjoy these. We owe a great deal to Karen Terry (Arlis Morgans daughter) for taking on this project for us. She did a terrific job. And secondly we are having a Floyd B. Parks 2010 calendar printed and it will be ready to sell. There is a great story about the cover of this calendar.....we used something sent to us by "Linc" Lincicum (Parks'S1-'S4). It is a Christmas card that he bought on the ship from the ships store in 1953. He spent Christmas of that year in Sasebo, Japan and sent the card to his wife and newborn son he had not yet met. It shows a ships wheel with a drawing of the Parks in the center. Makes our first ever Parks calendar very special. The calendars will be $15 and anyone who won't be able to be at the reunion can order either of these items after the reunion.
REPORT ON OUR ILL SHIPMATES.....after a really long time we are happy to report that Bob Crosby, our Plankowners president, is home from the hospital and rehab. Bob has been through a lot in the last couple of years, ever since just after the San Diego reunion. He had surgery for lung cancer and that went absolutely great. But he has battled with pneumonia and breathing problems ever since then. He is resting at home but not able to do too much. Still having severe breathing problems and on oxygen. The really sad part is that Bob will NOT be able to be in San Antonio for this upcoming reunion. Bob just DOESN'T miss a reunion so we know he is just absolutely not able. Taking over for Bob will be Ed Breidenbach and we are sure he will do a great job for the Plankowners. At the time of this writing another of our shipmates is having some difficulties. Jim Highton is in the hospital with heart problems .... seems Maggie took him to LA for a heart treatment but it was unsuccessful. Back in MS the drs. put in a pacemaker and also discovered he has a lung infection that is being treated with antibiotics. We are hoping for a great outcome for Jim. And also we can tell you that Bob Canfield, who has been battling cancer for the last few years, is still fighting the good fight. What a trooper Bob is and what a great caregiver Jeri is. They are signed up for San Antonio but we will wait to see that they are able to make it. Jeri tells us that they are in Gods hands and knowing that the best will happen for them.
Bill Quant has just had a heart valve replacement and is progressing well. Let's all keep these shipmates in our thoughts and prayers and remember to keep them close in your hearts. They need all the help we can give them and one day it might be our turn to need help. We want to say a special thank you to the Parks ladies that are taking such great care of our shipmates. Maggie Highton, Jane Crosby, Jeri Canfield, Joan Quant also remember to take good care of yourselves.
So for now.... pack your bags for San Antonio. This is going to be a great reunion. If you are not reserved at the hotel or sent in your activities, it's not too late. Get in touch real soon. Everyone stay cool through this terrible heat. Bye y'all!!
Bob passed away on Wednesday July 22, 2009 and we will miss him greatly. Please keep his wife Jeri and their family in your thoughts and prayers. It's a sad time but Bob battled cancer for several years and is now at rest. Here is info for those who would like to send a card, call or email....
Jeri Canfield & Family 1925 Otay Lakes RD. #185 Chula Vista, CA 91913....(619) 397-7006 -
email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Chaplain's Corner
Many times we find ourselves in the role of "care giver". One of the mistakes we make is to think that when others are in great need we shouldn't think of ourselves at all. Nothing is further from the truth. When we do this, we tend to lose touch with reality and neglect our physical and mental health. This can be detrimental to all concerned.
In Mark 6 the Apostles had been so busy they didn't even take time to eat. They were told to go away to a deserted place all by themselves and "rest for a while".
When Lois' step father passed away in Missouri in 2000, her mother moved to Virginia where she spent the last eight years of her life with her youngest daughter. Lois contributed financial and emotional support. Mom passed from this life on April 27th. Lois' recent visit with her sister was different. Mom was gone. Reality has set in.
The memorial service and burial were in West Virginia on a rainy May 1st. As we drove from the funeral home to the cemetery in Enterprise, the rain stopped. As we laid her to rest on that green hillside the sun was shining, birds were chirping and a gentle breeze stirred the pink and white Dogwoods. Soon after it began to rain once again.
TAPS: Since our last newsletter we've lost ELEVEN more PARKS crewmembers: Wesley C. Gustafson, Dan R. Hogsett, James Mc Gowan, Ted Sorensen, Harold Welch, John O. Bachert, James E. Cobis, Sr., Larry J. Truesdale, C. Cooper Stanford, Charles H. Walton and Bob Canfield. May God rest their souls!
Soon we will fly to San Antonio where Lois can "rest for a while". We just received a flight schedule change so check your reservations. Play it safe!
For God and Country!