WELLCOME TO FALL!!
Dear Shipmates and families.....
The weather is turning cooler and it's only a few days until Xmas .... time really flies. We hope this finds all of you healthy and very happy and that life is treating you good. Lets start with a recap of our just past reunion....WHAT A GREAT TIME! If you couldn't be there we really missed you and hope that you will be with us next year. Portland, Maine was an awesome place for a reunion and let many of us who had never seen the Northeast have a chance to visit. The hotel and the staff were wonderful to us and everything seemed to go along really smooth. It was just a super time. We want to thank everyone who donated a raffle item. The raffle is our greatest source of money for the assn. and this year really helped a lot. Each of you did a great job of donating prizes and then buying tickets. This year we raffled off more than $1800 cash. If you won a prize, we might suggest it would be a nice idea to send a thank you note to the person who donated your gift. Thanks to everyone. Check out the pictures of the reunion on our website www.ussfloydbparks.org and make sure to take a good look at the 4 big bellies wearing navy blue t-shirts that say "Pick On Sue"....aren't they cute???????
And now on to reunion 2009....we will go to San Antonio, Texas for this one ...the dates are Sept. 14 - Sept. 21. Don't let those dates scare you or keep you away because you feel you can't be there for all those days. We set aside rooms for those dates and you are welcome to come at any time during those dates. Our activities start on Friday and most shipmates check into the hotel on Wed. or Thurs. We don't want anyone to think that they HAVE to be there for all those days but if you would like to and can, we would love to have everyone come early. We can't possibly arrange to show you everything there is to see and do, so coming in early allows you to take in what we haven't included. Being in the middle of the country, we are hoping many will drive so you have your own transportation to get around as there is tons to see and do in San Antonio. Activities for San Antonio are not decided yet but will be put out early next year. The hotel is the Holiday Inn Select and we will send the info for the hotel then also. So now you have the dates and please put them on your '09 calendars and let's make this a huge reunion. We are going to have the largest banquet room we have ever had so let's try to fill it with fun and happiness.
Everyone start saving your pennies as once again it's almost time to start sending in your dues. The 2009 dues are due on Jan. 1st and please let's ALL make an attempt to get them in then. We were still collecting dues in August of last year. That's ok and we will accept dues any time we can get them but it would sure make our job easier to get this taken care of early in the year. Dues are $15 per year ...make checks payable to FLOYD B. PARKS ASSN. and send them to Bill Birdsong 17139 Owl Tree Rd. Riverside, CA. 92504. If you can avoid it please try to NOT give us dues at the mini reunion or the Sept. reunion.....we already have a huge amount to do then. Thanks everyone.
We would like very much to start a cell phone number list. During this past year we have had trouble making contact with some of you and if we had a second number to try it might be of help to us. This would NOT be passed out as the shipmate email list is but solely for our purposes. So if you wouldn't mind us having your cell number please call, email or send your cell number to Bill & Sue Birdsong.... 951-789-5309 or firstname.lastname@example.org or the address above. We appreciate your help here.
We are now home from our months vacation at the beach and we had a great time. During this time we closed the Ships Store as we didn't take anything to ship. The store is now open once again (thank you Sam) and ready for business. Please check out the Ships Store and keep it in mind for your Xmas shopping. We have some really neat things for your shipmate including new colors of our Parks polo shirts. They now come in navy blue, white, red, gray, and forrest green. They were a great hit at the Portland reunion and we hope you will wear these wherever you go to advertise the ship and assn. and maybe help us locate new members. Also for Xmas we are going to sell the remaining lap blankets that we gave to the ladies in San Diego. They are awesome ...navy blue with gold lettering..... 50" X 60".....nice size.
We will sell them for $10 each plus $2 shipping.....that is basically what we paid for them. We also brought in white ball caps and sold half of them at the reunion so have some of those left if you would like to buy one of those. One of the greatest Xmas gifts would be our Floyd B. Parks tapestries. They are 4' X 6' and beautiful. They sell for $45 plus $8 shipping. And also our Floyd B. Parks license plate frame .... these look super on your car and advertise for us greatly. These are $20 which includes shipping. All items can be ordered through Bill & Sue Birdsong and checks made out and sent the same as dues.
If you have a computer please check our website often. Most especially the "Ships Log". And PLEASE sign the log book .... we can't tell you how many times shipmates have found buddies through this log book. If they find your name and writing in there they will contact you and that will also help us find new shipmates. If you had a good time in Portland, Maine then go on the site and write a little something in the log book .... one of YOUR buddies might read it and join us next year. Right now there is a new entry in there from a "Bill Stagg" who was aboard '66-'69 and was an OC/RM3. We will contact him but if you knew Bill or even if you didn't but served aboard when he did then how about writing him and making contact. Another way to help us. Thanks!
We are planning the San Diego mini reunion for Sat. April 4ih. Remember these are held at the Imperial Beach FRA (fleet reserve) and are about a 4 hour get together. They will provide us lunch for $10 each (collected at the door) and we will have the Ships Store with us for your needs and you are welcome to bring any Parks memorabilia you would like. We always have a great time and these minis grow every year. So now you have several months notice to put this on your calendar and join us. Just another venue for shipmates to tell their "sea stories" and enjoy. See you there!!!
Our assn. membership looks like this.....466 active ...596 inactive .... 259 deceased and 37 honorary. The active members have dropped dramatically in the last few years. We really need to turn this around. At the mens meeting in Portland Bill offered up a challenge to all shipmates. We are passing that challenge to ALL shipmates now.....during this coming year would each one of you try to find a new member OR bring back someone who has gone inactive. We can send inactive lists to anyone who wants them ...if you have a computer we can "attach" it to an email (saves postage) or we can send a hard copy. There are still loads of shipmates out there that haven't been located and you can help if you will. Let's build this together.
On Oct. 24th our super Captain Jack O'Neill turned 90 years young. Many thanks to all who helped make his day wonderful for him.... we talked with him and he had gotten many calls, cards, emails and even one shipmate (Franklin Rogers) who stopped by to deliver a birthday card. Franklin is a CA. Highway Patrol officer, parked his black and white in Jacks driveway and Captain O'Neill explained for days to his neighbors about the car. We love it!!!!
We are going to start a little trivia here .... we believe Captain Jack O'Neill is our oldest living Parks shipmate..... does anyone know of a shipmate who could beat that record? Let us know. Now, we have a nautical saying for you that we would like for you to fill in the blanks .....the origin of this saying is unknown but a form of it appears WHERE? Its located somewhere familiar to all of us. If you think you know the answers we have a small assn. gift for the first person to call us with the correct answer. So that everyone has a chance to get their newsletter we will start taking phone calls on Sat. Dec. 6th at 9 a.m. PST (our time). Here is the saying....
"Red sky at night,______________ "....."Red sky in morning ___________ ". So now fill in these blanks and tell us the reference you believe we have found this in.
That's it for now..... everyone take care and stay safe. Happy Holidays!!!!
Bill Birdsong..Sec/Treas.............. 951-789-5309,
"Robby" Robbins...Assn. Advisor.530-283-2165
Fax: 530-743-8222 ATTN: Tina for Robby's PARKS newsletter.
From The Chaplain's Corner .......
I trust you have recovered from the Portland reunion. There sure were a lot of "Maniacs" up there. Portland was well north of Jacksonville and we had a couple of cool mornings. Special thanks to Bill and Sue Birdsong and to all of you who worked so hard to make our PARKS reunion a success.
Our reunion gets bigger and better each year. That is as it should be. I have challenged each of those from my "year group" to recruit two others to attend the reunion in San Antonio next September. That's how we grow - by word of mouth. And I challenge each of you to recruit two others. If you enjoyed the reunion, tell someone; if you didn't enjoy it tell the committee.
Our committee is kept small for a reason. Had Moses and his brother Aaron been a group instead of a committee of two, the Children of Israel may still be in bondage. Hats off to our site selection committee!
We'll be in Texas next year. Texas has more rivers and less water, more land and fewer cattle, you can look further and see less than anywhere else in these United States. Seriously, Texas is a GREAT state and there is much for us to see and do in and around San Antonio. Remember the Alamo!
TAPS: There have been no losses since our last reunion. Praise the Lord!
"We who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure!" Hebrews 6:18b- 19
For God and Country!