USS Floyd B. Parks DD-884
"The Fightin' Floyd B"

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To our Parks friends and “family”,                                                                        November 2012 Newsletter

Warm holiday wishes to all of you.  We wish for you a great holiday season with all your family close by.  We have many things to be thankful for over the Thanksgiving holiday and one of them is this Floyd B. Parks assn. and the many great people who belong.  We have all made so many dear and lasting friendships that give us terrific pleasure.  And for Christmas, we hope that Santa will be good to all of you this year.  Everyone stay warm through this winter season. 

We hope that all of you on the east coast have made it through superstorm “Sandy” without any damage or loss.  That was a really tough storm and did bad things to a lot of people and we are hoping that our shipmates and their families made it through just fine.  Let us hear from you. 

The Chicago reunion was just absolutely the best!  At the height of the reunion we had 239 people attending.   That is a super turnout and sooooo many other military associations would give anything for a turnout like that.  You are to be given a huge pat on the back for a job very well done.  Thank you so much for all of your participation.  We had 12 first time attendees this year and it seemed that they all had a good time and it’s our greatest hope that they will all be back next year.  The boot camp graduation at Great Lakes was just the best and sure brought back memories to many of us.  The bus tour of the base showed how much the base has changed over the years and that was especially great for all those who graduated from boot camp there.  Lunch at Port O Call was delicious and the view overlooking Lake Michigan added to the atmosphere.  Friday night we paid tribute to our Parks widows and their families who so graciously continue to support the Parks assn. by attending and taking part in everything.  They are all special to us.  Saturday’s luncheon cruise was just so relaxing and great views of the Chicago skyline.  Our Sunday night banquet dinner and raffle were once again just super.  Thank you to all who donated raffle prizes.  Monday morning is a sad time when everyone leaves for home where we wait to come together again in 2013 on the west coast.    

With the 2012 reunion over, we now move on to the closing of this year and the start of another.  With this comes collecting dues for 2013.  Your assn. dues are $15 a year dues each Jan. 1st.  The dues that you pay each year are to help your assn. meet all the financial needs to keep us up and running.  Printing, mailing, shipping, website, and more, are all things that cost.  When you pay your dues you are entitled to all the lists and rosters that we have……active, inactive, deceased and shipmate email lists.  And you will get all newsletters that we mail out in Feb., May, Aug., and Nov.  But we will NOT ask you to do anything else.  We will take care of all the work and have great volunteers who help pull us through.  You won’t be asked to do anything.  We do not rotate reunion “hosts” like many military reunions do.  You won’t be asked to scout a location, contact hotels, sign a contract or anything along those lines.  It dawns on us that most of you were on other ships and a lot of those assns. pass these duties on to their membership.  Not the case here and we don’t want anyone to not pay their dues because they are concerned about having to do a lot of work.  We would really love to have a banner year in 2013 and get every one of our active shipmates, 500 of you, to pay their dues.  That would just be the best ever and help us a lot.  Thank you everyone for your help here.  Make check payable to Floyd B. Parks Assn. and send to Bill Birdsong 17139 Owl Tree Rd. Riverside, CA. 92504.

We are planning the San Diego mini reunion for the spring and will all get together for this on Saturday, April 6th.  And again the FRA in Imperial Beach has agreed to have us there and fix lunch for us.  They do an amazing job each year and make it so enjoyable for us to meet there.  The mini is a really neat time and gives us some time together between Sept. reunions.  Its an easy time where we just enjoy lunch, share memorabilia, shop at the Ships Store, draw for door prizes and bring good friends together for a short while.  It’s usually about a 3-4 hour time period and we have shipmates and their families come from many states.  So make your plans now to join us on April 6th in the San Diego area.  Come see home port once again.  There was talk in Chicago about starting up these mini reunions in other parts of the country.  What a terrific idea.  San Diego started small but has built up over the years so it can surely be done in other locations.  Just get your active and inactive lists and start contacting those in your area.  Find a restaurant or (like San Diego) an FRA, Elks, American Legion or whatever to have everyone together for lunch.  It’s a way of staying in touch and spending time with shipmates and friends between reunions.   We will give you more info about the San Diego mini in the Feb. newsletter. 

The Ships Store is open for business so get your orders in soon.  Remember the newer items that we have and all at sale prices……Parks travel cosmetic bags $5, Parks planners $5, Parks duffel bags and water bottles $12, and we still have some of those wonderful cookbooks that we made a couple of years ago.  These have great recipes in them that were sent in by our shipmates and their families.  They make excellent gifts for neighbors, church, and all your friends.  To all of these items you will need to add shipping charges.  Please wear your Parks shirts, hats, and jackets everywhere that you go.  You would be amazed at how many times we locate shipmates because someone has worn their clothes with our Parks logo on it and someone sees it.  We can use all the advertising we can get.  And our Parks license plate frames do the same thing.  They are red white and blue and stand out so that they are constantly noticed.  It’s getting colder now so why not order one of our navy blue Parks jackets with our patch on the front of it.  For those with computers, go to our website, and check out the Ships Store. 

Also for those of you who have computers…..check out all the military sites that have crew rosters.  You may find a shipmate there that you have been trying to find for some time.  Here are just a few of them:
There are more but this will give you an idea of the crew rosters.  And if you keep checking these, there are usually new sign ups and maybe we can locate new shipmates this way.  Also read and sign the Log Book on our website.  Many times that’s the first place that shipmates who we have never located will look to find their buddies.  Because we are losing shipmates regularly due to death, moving, etc., we sure need to find others to bring into the assn.   Also we need to see if we can’t get these guys on the inactive list to come back active.  Any help you can be here would be greatly appreciated. 

For those of you who were at the Chicago reunion… will remember that on Friday night we passed out a really awesome copy of the verse written by Chuck Bussell.  It is a tradition in the Navy that the first deck log of the new year is written in verse and it is the responsibility of the Officer of the Deck to write this.  Captain Erner had this writing and had it made as an overlay over a picture that hangs in his home.  He then had copies made and we passed them out to everyone that we could at the reunion.  There were some people who either didn’t get a copy or lost theirs and Captain Erner now tells us he has about 25 of these to give away.  So if you would like one of these (and they are terrific), please contact Captain Gene Erner at 831-624-3157 or at .  Thank you Captain Erner for doing this for all of us….such a very nice gift.  Thank you Chuck Bussell for a terrific writing from long ago. 

Everyone please be sure to notify Bill & Sue Birdsong if you have a change in any of your personal information.  For instance, your home address, phone number, zip or area code, email address or anything that would help us to keep current records for you.  We are losing a number of people due to their moving and not giving us a new home address and then we also can’t get their newsletters to them. 

By the time you get this newsletter, Thanksgiving will be over but we hope that you all enjoyed it very much.  We usually send out the newsletters the first of the month but held this one so that we had time to scout a west coast location for our 2013 reunion and could add that info into this newsletter.  Well, we have done that and want all of you to know that it’s official, we will enjoy our next reunion in SACRAMENTO, CA.  We will all be staying in a Crowne Plaza Hotel on Date St. in Sacramento.  This hotel does NOT have a shuttle of any kind so you will need to get the Super Shuttle or a taxi at the airport to get to the hotel.        BUT they have rented a van to shuttle us to shopping, dinner or anywhere close that you might want to go Wed. through Sat. of the reunion week.    AND your room rate will be only $84 a night and that will include up to 2 free breakfast buffets per room per day.  We will try to swing a group rate with Super Shuttle but don’t know if we can do that or not.  To be determined.  We hope all of you will add this to your 2013 calendar and be there for a great time on the west coast.  We will include tons of information about this reunion in the Feb. newsletter but for now just know that we will all come together once again Sept. 9 – Sept. 16, 2013 for a great Parks “family” reunion.  We will be planning activities, dinners and entertainment to keep you busy and happy.  So stay tuned. 

We will close this with all our best wishes for the holidays from your Parks assn.  Everyone take good care and we hope that you are truly blessed this holiday season with good health, family and love.  We miss all of you.
Your Parks Assn.

BILL BIRDSONG                                            LARRY WHITE                                 “ROBBY” ROBBINS
SECRETARY/TREASURER                           PRESIDENT                                        ASSN. ADVISOR
17139 OWL TREE RD.                                    616-364-8959                                       530-283-2165



It’s all over now! The loud commercials, the truths, the half-truths, the promises that were made to be broken……and the outright lies that were a part of the process!

The people have spoken. That’s the way the system works in a Democracy. You have the right to say it…….but it’s a good idea to be aware of the consequences of anything we may say….or do. Popular vote is one thing…the voice of the people…the Electoral vote is quite another, enabling the prediction of the winner to be made long before all of the votes are counted. Hopefully both parties will come together for the good of our country.

Another Veterans’ Day is history. The poem “In Flanders Field” was written at the end of World War I……the war to end all wars. The words are as relevant today as they were back then. The immortal words “I could not love thee dear so much, loved I not honor more” still ring true for many of us.

The Memorial Service on Saturday, 3 November was for a retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant who had enlisted in the Army Air Corps back in November of 1940. He was a Veteran of World War II and the Korean War. He had participated in the Berlin Air lift during 1948 and 1949 when the Allies flew millions of tons of food and fuel to the starving people in Berlin who had been completely cut off from the rest of the world by the Russians who controlled the Soviet Sector. Roads and railroads where closed and the only way in ….or out was a very narrow, strictly enforced air corridor. This was one of the greatest humanitarian efforts ever undertaken. This “old warrior” retired from the Air Force fifty years ago in 1962. I had the honor……and privilege of doing the service for him. “The Angel of Death was waiting near, Listen now and you will hear, The snap of the flag, the volleys fall, and the haunting sound of the bugle call”. May he rest in peace.

Since the Chicago reunion we’ve lost three more shipmates: Ernie Franco, Winters Hames, & John Krogulski.  May God rest their souls.

For God and Country!

                                                                                 Harry W. Brantley, MS, MA                                                                                                        
                                                                                 YNCM, U.S. Navy (Retired)
                                                                                 PARKS Association Chaplain