The MuzzleBlast

Spring 2003

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 special Valentine.

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 is 1-239-542-1082.

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 Christmas happy.

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 concern.

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."

Your Editors,

Jack and Juanita Waldrep

201 Greenview Road, S.W. Rome, Georgia 30165-4307
Tel. 1-706-291-1393

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