Dear Members of the 419th,
Since our last MuzzleBlast, we found a change had to be made in
the dates of the reunion. Frank and Virginia
Gruden will host the event on Thursday, October 9, 2003 through the
dinner on Saturday, October 11, 2003 at the Radisson Inn, 12635 Cleveland
Avenue, Fort Myers, Florida. The rate of the rooms is $59 per
night or $69 per night including a hot breakfast for two each morning.
Make reservations as soon as possible, the numbers are 1-941-936-4300
or 1-800-333-3333, be sure to state you are with the 419th. The
meeting and dinner are to be held on Saturday.
We would like to thank Frank and Virginia for their willingness
to host our 2003 reunion. They state that limousine service from Southwest
Florida International Airport is available. Enclosed in some of these
envelopes will be a card on the Radisson Inn; if you do not get one
and desire to come, please advise your editors.
Since writing you last, donations have been received from James
Boston, Frank Gruden, Ernest Word, William Whaley, Elizabeth Dawkins
and Violet Passes.
Edith Grubb thinks of us often and in addition to our Christmas
card preceded it by a cute Halloween greeting and afterwards an extra
Frank and Virginia Gruden sent a Christmas greeting and enclosed
a video tape of past reunions with a Valentine card. Thanks for all
the fun! If you need to speak with Frank, his telephone number
Other greeting at Christmas came from Jim and Patty Boston, Harold
and Lola Carmichael, Wanda Cluck, Elizabeth Dawkins, Pete and Millie
Falko, Jane and Stan Ober, Ken Manning, Charles and Ethel Mohn, Violet
Passes, Bonnie Porter, Francis and Helen Roush, Gerard and Laura St.
Amand and Ernest Word. Thanks for all the cards; it made our quiet
We are saddened to report the death of several comrades: Richard
Glover died December 11, 2001, Joseph Nowicki died March
10, 2002, Paul Maze died October 22, 2002 and Emory Dawkins
died November 23, 2002. I would like to thank each of their wives
who advised us of these deaths. We send our sincere sympathy to the
Glover, Nowicki, Maze and Dawkins families.
The last known address of Mrs. Ralph Craig was on Drew Road,
Clarksville MI and if anyone knows a new address, please advise. The
MB was returned in October. We, who went to the reunion they hosted
in 1997, will remember that beautiful farm and wonderful dinner.
A new address was sent by William R. and Mary A. Whaley: 3534
Stardust Drive, Martinez GA 30907. In her letter Mary stated that
Bill can get around better in this smaller home on a level lot. Bill
is legally blind (macular degeneration) and has been battling colorectal
cancer for two years and is doing better now.
A letter with our Christmas greeting from Pete and Millie Falko
indicates that they are a busy couple. They had a good year with a
few glitches but no serious illnesses. On the 21st of December they
were enjoying a "70ish Sunday afternoon". If the Falkos were speaking
of temperature, the Waldreps should have headed for Weslaco TX. They
stated they had had lots of enjoyable company. Millie says that she
has no computer but the library is close and they do E-mail there.
They also have a little E-mail machine which allows her to write letters
when the library is not open. Millie, send us an E-mail.
We are grateful always to our wonderful reunion hosts; Jane and
Stan Ober hosted the 2002 reunion in Lancaster PA last summer.
Stan has been in our prayers since we found out that he has prostate
cancer. He was on hormonal blockade therapy and his PSA was down to
0.5 according to Jane's Christmas letter. Join us in prayers that
he will continue to improve.
Through an E-mail sent to Joanna by Doria Grimes (daughter
of Laura and Gerard St. Amand) Gerry was in a serious
accident in February and is now at home recovering from cracked ribs
and a pelvic fracture. He is now on a walker and is improving daily.
Gerry, Doria and husband Vincent plan to be at the reunion. Thank
you, Joanna, for sending a copy of Doria's E-mail to me.
Bonnie Porter calls often to keep us informed; her father,
Harold Laity, has not been feeling well but is some better
now. Bonnie is still working and how she got out in all the snow is
beyond belief. Pennsylvania was definitely white this winter.
Check on the 419th website and "follow
the footsteps" of Howard Liddic (Jr.), the 10th Armored
Historian who'd shared his WWII collection with the group at the past
reunion, as he follows his dad's (Howard Liddic, Sr.) ETO trail
this past summer. Thank you, Joanna, for getting this on the website.
Dorthy Halstead wrote that she doesn't know many of the names
in the MB, but "if I could get there, I'd go to a reunion". Let's
challenge Dorthy to get out of Iowa for a trip to Fort Myers in October
We receive E-mails from Rose Lemberg often and greatly appreciate
news from her and Larry. Larry has had dental work and hearing
tests in the last few months. Rose and her daughter were going to
son's (Lars) wedding in Virginia in November. I am sure it
was an enjoyable affair. She also appreciated the tape from Frank
Gruden with segments from past reunions. She said "They were so much
fun to watch in the beginning but it was amazing how we changed as
the tapes went on !!!"
Lois Hall sent E-mails about Larry Gronefeld's children's
yard sale and also stated in one that one of the children hoped to
buy Larry and Norma's home.
An E-mail from Irene Myers gave her new address: Mrs. Harold
J. Myers, 35455 Sunny Shores Drive, Pequot Lakes MN 56472.
I was alarmed when Estelle Jacobs' MB was returned; an E-mail
was sent to daughter Monta Lynn Brown; Estelle has not moved
but 911 came to Perkins OK and gave her the following address: 3651
W. 122nd Street, Perkins OK 74059.
Wanda Cluck sends E-mails often - some funny and some serious.
She also inquires as to how Jack is doing; I appreciate everyone's
The reason the MB is late is due to the fact that our reunion is
three months later and I thought another one in late summer would
be best to urge you to attend a fun time in 3 Fort Myers. As of now,
twenty rooms are reserved; let's fill those twenty rooms and ask for
more. Frank urges each of us to make our reservations now so
we will be able to get some more rooms if necessary.
The Waldreps had a busy December; my brother Lee in
Jacksonville FL died December 1 and we went to the service in Jacksonville
Dec. 3. On December 8 my 44 year old niece died of MS and we buried
her on the 10th in Johnston SC. We then went to Arlington VA for Lee's
interment at Arlington National Cemetery. He was full time Navy and
received the Navy Cross for the battle of Santa Cruz Island. Fortunately
two of our three sons and our daughter joined us for a beautiful service.
Jack stood all the trips fine. My knee did not fair as well. Jack
is much improved; we go back to the oncologist, who sees no lymphoma
on x-ray, in June. He also got a better report from his internist.
I go back to the orthopedic surgeon in late April and I hope with
injections of SynVisc to be better. I take one day, twenty-four hours
at a time and I may get down to a minute at a time if necessary.
I am sure all who read this newsletter now have eyes glued on TV
for the war in Iraq. We see technology in each war and what we see
each day is beyond belief. Pray for our men who are fighting this
battle and for their families also.
We will leave you for now with a quote from Broadway actor Glenn
Turner; "Worrying is like a rocking chair; it gives you something
to do but gets you nowhere."
Jack and Juanita Waldrep
201 Greenview Road, S.W.
Rome, Georgia 30165-4307