Dear shipmates and families....
For those of you who haven't already paid your dues for 2009 please do so..... your Parks assn. dues are due on Jan. Ist of each year.....many of you have already sent them in but there are still quite a few of you to take care of this. It would be a great help to us if you could send them in soon. Dues are $15 per year and that is one of the lowest dues of any ships assn. Please make checks to FLOYD B. PARKS ASSN. and send to Bill Birdsong 17139 Owl Tree Rd. Riverside, CA. 92504. To those of you who have already paid your '09 dues we thank you so much. And to those of you who could financially add a little extra as a donation to the assn., we really want to thank you. All these funds help us with printing and mailing costs of your newsletters, packets for new found shipmates, maintenance of our website, gifts for our Parks ladies at the reunions, the San Diego mini reunion etc. To those of you who are way behind in dues (3-4 years), you will find a sticker on this newsletter telling you the years that you owe for. If we don't hear from you soon this will be your last newsletter as we will be forced to move you to the "inactive" list. We so hate to do this but we can't keep paying to send newsletters to those who seem to have no interest. Please let us hear from you and if finances are a problem, then contact us and we can work with you.
Sue puts out an assn. "newsy note" via email a couple of times a month (more if needed) and sends to many shipmates.....the note is simply to update assn. members between newsletters and keep everyone informed.....if you are not on this email list and would like to be, please contact Sue at email@example.com and she will add your name and address....if you ARE on the list and would prefer to NOT get these updates please also contact Sue.
AND THE WINNER IS......... our little trivia game in the Nov. newsletter was actually won by Kevin & Nancy Reidy.....the answer was to be called in at 9 a.m. on Dec. 6th...... they were the call that came at exactly that time.....Bill Hudson called in as soon as he got his newsletter (with the correct answer) and our past Chaplain, Herman Carter called in at 8:50 a.m. also with the correct answer. Because of the small amount of calls we sent a small Parks gift to each of them. The answer for the "Red Sky at Night" saying was.....this answer was referenced in the Bible, Matthew 16, Chapters 2 & 3. Thanks to each of you who called ...it was really nice talking with you. As for our oldest shipmate.....we assume Captain Jack O'Neill will continue to hold that title as we haven't heard of another shipmate who can beat 90 years young.....Bill Short has written that he is 89 years young and plans on being in San Antonio for this years reunion.
FLOYD B. PARKS RECIPE BOOK ...as many of you will remember ...we had a Parks recipe book once before ...... well, we are going to do it once again ...all new and all fresh recipes.....the assn. has grown with new members and new ideas for this book. Arlis and Margaret Morgans daughter, Karen Terry, has agreed to put this book together for us. WE LOVE VOLUNTEERS!!!. Karen lives in San Antonio and is a big help to us putting together this upcoming reunion. We would like each of you to send Karen any and all recipes that you can.... the more recipes ...the better the book ...... here are the guidelines that Karen would like us to follow .... recipes can be typed or handwritten (must be legible) ...on 8!/2x 11 sheets of paper .... one recipe per page....if recipe is more than one page please don't write on the back but use another sheet of paper ...please send as many recipes as you like and as you can.... all recipes will help us make a great book. Send all recipes to:
11302 ANCIENT COACH
SAN ANTONIO, TX. 78213
We must have all recipes sent to Karen by March 10 so we can get this to the publishers. Also if you have email, that would be the very best way to send your recipes. We would really like to have some recipes from everyone. Please help us with this book so all can enjoy the finished product. Thanks everyone!
By now everyone should have their memory books from the Portland, Maine reunion. Our new Parks Historian, Keith Knoblock, did a wonderful job on this book in all areas .... the book is awesome with many pictures of shipmates having a great time at the reunion. And we got our memory book as a Christmas present for each of us. It was put together and done in record time and Keith said he enjoyed doing it. Great job Keith!!!
We have asked for cell phone numbers from all of you that wouldn't mind us having it. This is for our use ONLY and would be a way of getting in touch with you if we aren't able to reach you at home. To date some of you have sent your number but if there are others of you who could send us your cell number we will add it to our list.
SAN ANTONIO SEPT. 14-SEPT. 21.....this reunion is in full swing with a great many shipmates and families planning to attend. Let's start making our reservations keeping in mind their great cancellation policy which says you can cancel up to 24 hours ahead of time with no penalty. This is the number to
call .... 210-524-5927 and ask for "RAFFY". The hotel is the HOLIDAY INN SELECT at 77 N.E. Loop 410 San Antonio, TX. 78216. BE ABSOLUTELY SURE TO TELL THEM YOU ARE WITH THE U.S.S. FLOYD B. PARKS ASSN ...... to get our $85 a night room rate. There is going to be a ton to do and see in San Antonio and we can only show you so much. So please plan to come early to see everything you are interested in. VERY IMPORTANT ...any shipmate who is a World War 2 vet and planning on going to the reunion we need your name ...so please contact Bill or Sue Birdsong. Also the hotel only has 8 smoking rooms so any of you who smoke should reserve your room right away.
We have just returned from finalizing the details in San Antonio and here is the GENERAL rundown ...... we are once again going with the format from the past 2 years .... activities will start on Friday with a shuttle to take you downtown and drop you at the Alamo...from there you can ride the River Tour, go to the Texas Rangers Museum, Ripleys Believe It Or Not, the Alamo etc.... everything is right there.-have your lunch and spend the day and catch the shuttle back to the hotel ...get ready for the "FIESTA"(pack your best western shirt).....doors will open at 6 p.m. and dinner starts at 6:30.....during dinner you will be entertained by the same Mariachis who played for Jenna Bush' wedding and backed up Placido Domingo. Sat. a.m. we will board busses for Fredericksburg and our first stop will be the Nimitz Museum where our first order of business will be a ceremony by the Memorial Wall. Then you can tour the museum or go shopping and lunch at all the little shops along Main St. About 3 p.m. we will re-board the busses and head back, stopping at a neat restaurant for dinner. On Sunday at 9 a.m. will be the men's assn. meeting and at 10 a.m. will be our Sunday morning worship service by our Chaplain Harry Brantley. This will be opened by a local den of cub scouts who will perform their flag ceremony and lead the Pledge of Allegiance. The banquet dinner will be Sunday evening starting at 5 p.m. Then on Monday a.m. everyone leaves to go home until next year when we will all come together once again.
SAN DIEGO MINI REUNION ...will be held at the Imperial Beach Fleet Reserve Assn. (FRA) on Sat. April 4th at 12 noon. Lunch will be served for $10 per person collected at the door. We will give you all the latest details about the San Antonio reunion at that time. There will be door prizes, ships memorabilia and you are welcome to bring anything you would like to share, the Ships Store items will be on display for sale, and our "candy count". YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST R.S.V.P. for this as we need to let the cooks know how many to prepare for. Call or email Bill & Sue Birdsong 951-789-5309 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, Bob Bahler 858-565-6218 or email@example.com . This is always a great day for shipmates to get together and we have members from many different states attend. Call or email soon. Thank you.
The May newsletter will contain a lot more info about the reunion but for now we are still working with times and costs. There will be an activity sign up form for you to fill out and return to us with your payment for activities and we will need these to know numbers for dinners, busses etc.
To all: We hope you and your families are healthy and happy and life is good....take care....
Bill Birdsong Sec/Treas Larry White Pres. "Robby" Robbins Advisor
951-789-5309 616-364-8959 530-283-2165
From the Chaplain's Corner
Today is the tomorrow we dreamed of yesterday! Yesterday our dreams were being formulated; today our plans are being finalized for our upcoming PARKS reunion in San Antonio. Bill and Sue have just returned from Texas where plans were finalized. The word is "be prepared". Being prepared means this:
We were midway through another Vietnam deployment and operating just offshore. It was shortly after 0400. The watch had just been relieved. Suddenly the general alarm sounded. Although the bridge had NOT sounded the alarm, no one questioned it. The word was passed: "General Quarters, General Quarters, all hands man your battle stations". Some swore as they dressed hurriedly in the dark. The sound of running feet and the closing of watertight doors was heard as all hands manned our battle stations. The possibilities were many. Had we come under fire? Did sonar have a contact, or radar a "bogey"? Was a torpedo boat closing? Oh God.....not those torpedo boats again!
The sound powered phone on the bridge was answered by an anxious Boatswain's Mate of the Watch. Seaman "Half Hitch" excitedly reported that he was "mule-hauling" one of those huge canvas laundry bags from his berthing space to the ship's laundry when he inadvertently snagged the general alarm in the midships passageway. As soon as all stations were manned and ready we secured from General Quarters. Although "miffed" at the reason for the excitement, we took comfort in knowing we were prepared!
As our 17th annual reunion approaches, we feel safe in the knowledge that we'll be prepared...... thanks to the efforts of those who make it happen. We'll see you there!
TAPS: Since our last newsletter we've lost three more PARKS crewmembers: Marvin Reagen 1965-66; John Diechsel 1945-46, and Walter R. Siems, Jr., Plankowner.
"What shall be our legacy, now that our days are through? America, America, I gave my best for you." From American Anthem by Gene Scheer.
For God and Country!
Harry W. Brantley, MS, MA
Master Chief Yeoman
U.S. Navy (Retired)