Dear Members of the 419th,
At our age we sometimes need to repeat information we've already
sent. Maybe some of you may now be able to attend our 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. Room rates are $59
per night or $69 per night including a hot breakfast for two each
morning. If you have not yet made reservations, the numbers are 1-239-936-4300
(note change in area code from last MB) or toll free 1-800-333-3333
and be sure to state that you are with the 419th.
The Grudens have asked that each person attending bring a
wrapped gift (value $7 - $10) to be given at a special "fun gift exchange".
Since the last MB, we have learned of two deaths. We are sorry to
learn of the death of Laura St. Amand on May 2 and appreciated
a call from her daughter Doria Grimes telling us about her
death. An E-mail from Jason Huvaere told of the death of his
grandfather, Jerry Huvaere, on August 16. Our sincere
sympathies go to the St. Amand and Huvaere families in their
MBs were returned from Joe Seber and Mrs Dorothy M. Wyers.
If anyone has an address for them, please advise.
An Easter card, along with a note, was received in April from Charles
and Ethel Mohn. This week a note including a donation stated they
hoped to get to the reunion. We hope to see you there.
We also had a note with a donation from Robert Tellalian in
April thanking us for the MB; he stated "I can still see in my mind's
eye, almost as if it were yesterday buddies such as Frank Gruden,
Jim Boston, Larry Lemberg, Harold Carmichael and others". These notes
are priceless to us.
A note from Jean Nowicki asked that we discontinue her MB
since "her husband Joseph was no longer around to read it".
Ken Manning, who keeps up with so many on the 419th list,
sent a note including a donation in June. Ken also calls us often
to "keep in touch" and we are grateful.
Marion Dietrich wrote a letter and included a donation. He
thanked us for sending the news and also stated he had visited Fort
Knox and saw a great collections of tanks. He thought Fort Knox might
be a good reunion site. Any hosts available that would like to pursue
It is wonderful to hear from so many of you by E-mail; I print them
and keep in my 419th file. Stan and Jane Ober have both had
some illnesses but we trust our prayers for their recovery are helping.
Of course, what would we do without Jane's daughter, Joanna Gebhardt?
She helps keep me on my toes and sends me the pictures of her beautiful
Boston apartment and news from all the people in 419th she gets on
E-mail from Wanda Cluck states her birthday is October 11
and her children always plan something and so she can't get to the
Bill and Virginia Rapp E-mailed that they could not get to
the reunion as they will be leaving on Nov. 1 for a 26 day cruise
to Hawaii, South Pacific and New Zealand.
Pete and Millie Falko are great E-mailers and we enjoy the
many items they send us. Pete is a cancer survivor (since July 1995)
having had his larynx removed and Millie has had some heart problems.
They both seem to be cheerful in spite of their ailments. One of her
E-mails stated "The secret of life isn't in what happens to you,
but what you do with what happens to you". Thanks for that, Millie.
Bonnie Porter calls us often to report on conditions in Pennsylvania;
Bonnie has had several bouts of illnesses and so has her dad,
Harold Laity. Bonnie said that he has been placed in a nursing
home and is quite feeble with arthritis. We hope conditions will improve,
Bonnie, and you will be reunion bound!
Lois Hall, who attended several reunions with Larry Gronefeld,
sends E-mails often and she was pleased to hear from Ken Manning
who asked if she was going to Ft. Myers. She has children in Spain
and will visit them at our reunion time.
Unless something unforeseen happens, we will be at the reunion. My
brother, Marvin English and his wife, Nancy, will be coming
with us. They are residents of Edgefield, S.C. near Augusta, GA and
we will be going to their home, get them and from there another 640
miles to Ft. Myers. We pray for our safety as well as all those planning
to go to the reunion.
We have found several food items by Geraldine - cheese straws, lemon
straws and are delighted to find Geraldine's Lessons on Life
from packages of her "bodacious foods". One hit my eye the other day
and maybe you need a chuckle, too. "Why would anybody describe
the past as "the good old days?" Just look around - these days you
can get a remote control for everything: What could be better?! Why,
our new ceiling fan even has one! But where do they all hide?"
And now until next time we shall bid a goodbye!
Jack and Juanita Waldrep
201 Greenview Road, S.W.
Rome, Georgia 30165-4307