Dear Members of the 419th,
Another year and century has dawned and with it a blast of winter cold in the South in January; the weather was all the TV channels could talk about for the Super Bowl in Atlanta. Of course, that did not occur and with yesterday's 70 degrees in Rome and the bluebirds already eyeing their nesting place, we may be ready for an early spring. March is yet to be; in 1960 on March 1 we had our worst ice storm and on March 13, 1993 a blizzard of 17 inches descended on us and we were without power for a week.
The icing on the cake for doing this job were the many wonderful Christmas cards with warm greetings. We had best wishes from Wanda Cluck, Phil Constance, Elmer and Doris Emmerson, Henrietta Fox, Larry Groenfeld, Frank and Virginia Gruden, Lois Hall, Noel and Estelle Jacobs, Pierce and Catheree Johns, Ken Manning, Charles and Ethel Mohn, Ruth Morrison, J.C. and Eleanor Orange, A1 and Bonnie Porter, Eddie and Mary Jane Pratt, Francis and Helen Roush, Gerald and Laura St. Amend, Ben White and Ernest Word. Thank all of you for thinking of us.
Earlier we received a card and letter from Charles and Ethel Mohn and Charles had the flu. We were glad he got over that but discovered later that a CAT scan had revealed 2 nodules on his lung. We hope by now all is going well. They sent a donation to MB.
Rhode Motta sent a donation to MB and her new address: 43 Cranberry Rd., Buzzard Bay, MA.
A note from Gaston Patterson included greetings and a MB donation.
Bill and Mary Whaley, fellow Georgians, sent a donation with a note which stated that Bill is legally blind and they spend a lot of their time at Thurmond Lake.
Bob Shea wrote that he had received a card from Vernon Floerke in September and was shocked to learn of his death. Bob stated that his wife had died two years ago. A donation to MB was included
A change of address card came from Marie G. Boyle, 4764 Norstar Blvd. Liverpool NY 13088.
A donation to MB was included in the Christmas greeting from Phil Constance.
Fred Ball wrote a letter sating that his mother was doing well since Col. Ball's death in March 1999. Alberta's new address is 3113 Charles B. Root Wynd. Apt. 240, Raleigh NC 27612 and her telephone number is the same 919-781-2888. He stated that "Mom would like to hear from those who remember her".
Pierce and Catheree Johns wrote that Pierce is still having lots of pain with arthritis in his back and legs. Catheree had received a good report from her doctor. She had had 3 Thanksgiving dinners and was possibly going to have that many Christmas dinners. One of these days we may slip over to Alabama for one of these big dinners!
Wanda Cluck stated in her letter of Dec., 12 that "This has been the worst year I have ever gone through but I am hanging on". She does go to the Jacobs occasionally and if you knew Wanda how many times your name comes up in the Waldrep household with the happy times, maybe you will feel better.
Ruth Morrison wrote that like so many others she has had health problems but is still able to be up and around enjoying life. A donation was included
A letter from Ruth Halstead stated that Wayne died on August 21, 1999 of an aortic aneurysm. Ruth also has been ill and was in the hospital when Wayne died. Ruth is writing a book about Wayne and the 419th AFA's journey through Europe during World War II. She stated she planned to work on it this winter and also stated that she and Wayne were married at Chapel #7 on the post at Camp Gordon June 25, 1944. She was grateful for 55 wonderful years. A donation to MB was included. Sincere sympathy goes to Ruth and her family.
Jim and Patti Boston sent a donation with their letter. They were sorry not to be able to attend the reunion last year. We'll see you in Wilkes-Barre!
A donation was sent by Jim Bierce who requested a mailing list of the 419th. The 1991 is obsolete and I am trying to get one ready for the 50th reunion.
Lois Hall, who has attended reunions with Larry Groenfeld, sent a donation. Thank you for your faithfulness to the 419th.
Saro Messina sent a donation and he and Eleanor are still visiting friends and relatives in area nursing homes. He wished all happy holidays and a wonderful New Year.
Robert Tellalian wrote that the names in the MB flood his thoughts with fond memories "some of happy fun-filled events and others sad and tough times". He is still practicing law in Bridgeport CT at age 78, still active in choral groups and conducted the National Anthem with an orchestra of 80 musicians! Thank you for being proud of your association with the 419th. A donation to MB was enclosed.
J.C. and Eleanor Orange sent a donation to MB in their greeting.
Ernest Word also included a donation in his card.
Elmer and Doris Emmerson sent a MB donation in their greeting.
A letter from Marion Dietrich thanked us for the MB and sent a donation. Quoting from his letter "I can recall a cold but bright Christmas Eve some 55 years ago". Marion stated that when he returned to Trier, Germany he could only find one spot that he could remember. I quote from his letter:. "It was from here I left the 419th -- my place being filled by Glenn Callaway, who also lived in Columbus, Indiana. Unfortunately, he just died."
Our sympathy goes to the Callaway family in their loss. Thank you Marion for letting us know.
Joanna Gebhardt sent Season's Greetings and also a card this month. In case you have not gotten on the website for the 419th, it is wonderful. Joanna, you did a great job! Go to www.419th.com and enjoy.
Mary Ann Homan, daughter of Donald Snider, called to say he died on Oct. 11 after a small heart attack. He had been on dialysis for a year and a half. Our sympathy goes out to the family of Donald Snider.
Kenneth Manning called to say that Homer Holmes' son called to say that Homer had died on Nov. 15. Our sympathy to the family.
Woody Briner called to chat on Oct. 26 and thought his MB had gotten lost! They were mailed at 3 P.M. Oct. 26.
We do talk with Noel Jacobs by phone a number of times each year; he checks to see if we've been flooded or iced in as Georgia has all kinds of weather. In case you don't know, I'll let you in on a secret. Noel is a sleuth; he has found two of our missing and one is in my backyard (so to speak). John Gravitte, 4156 North Marble Road, Chickamauga GA 30707 and Paul Carpenter, 12 Birnam Road Box 268 Rt.l North, MA 03160 are no longer missing
Three MuzzleBlasts were returned. Mrs. Irene Hatala's new address is 19571 Cornell Drive, Macomb MI 48044-1265 according to P.O. label. I remailed it and it has not come back but we now have a record. J.H. Pollan, 626 N. Todd St. Bastrop LA 71220 mailed October 26 was received back here on Jan. 29, 2000 stating "Moved left no address". The third one stated William P. Sanders was deceased. If anyone knows his family please advise so we can seed a card.
Once again, if you are moving or your zip code is changing, please advise. The price of postage will only go up and we do need to know where you are.
This will be lengthy but again you will know why this MB is late. Now for the Waldrep household: We had our Christmas dinner with the boys' families before we left for North Carolina to see my sister and spend Christmas in Morganton with daughter Helen, her husband Brent and children Martha 7 and Anna 2. Sister Helen, who lives in High Point, was to go with us but due to a terrible cold decided it was best to stay home.
Arriving in Morganton around 10:30 A.M. Christmas Eve, we were looking forward to good weather and a wonderful visit. At 2:15 Brent was cutting a huge limb (his neighbor's tree) which would have fallen on power entrance to Brent's home. Seeing the limb falling toward his head, he jumped from the fourth rung breaking his tibia in 3 places and his fibula in 3 places and crushing his ankle. The orthopedic surgeon in Morganton sent him to Bowman-Gray School of Medicine (Baptist Hospital) in WinstonSalem 2 hours away. After surgery to put pins in the leg, Jack and Helen returned at 11:30P.M. while I was busy with Santa Claus. We brought the children home with us on Dec. 28th and they were joined by 5 of their Georgia cousins to celebrate 2000. A sixteen year old grandson had to work. We had seven ranging from 20 down to 2 for 2 nights and 3 days and had had the 2 little ones longer. I took the girls back and stayed two weeks; Brent had a second surgery to put a plate in the ankle while I was there.
Their church friends have been grand to them and I will have Anna here for two weeks starting tomorrow. Helen's friend, her maid of honor, is bring her to Atlanta tomorrow and we will go get her.
The doctors state that Brent cannot put weight on the leg for 3 months and there may be more surgery (bone graft) if it is not healing next week. A period of 8 months recovery for a 40 year old man is difficult and we do request your prayers.
Now, the big news! Bonnie Porter, hostess for her father, Harold Laity, has big plans for the 50th reunion of the 419th. She has kept me posted and if you miss going to Wilkes-Barre PA on July 27-30, 2000 you are going to be sorry.
The Best Western Genetti Hotel, 77 East Market Street has been chosen as headquarters. The banquet will be Saturday night July 29 but many things are planned. Call 800-833-6152 for reservations.
This will be a wonderful time for all and if you've never been before, come on! You won't be sorry. They will hold reservations, for this group until June 27, 2000 but an early reservation will insure your room. This is the big one -- 50 years of reunions!
We are now on the internet, you can E-mail us at:firstname.lastname@example.org.
The politicians are out trying to get votes to be placed on the Democratic or Republican ticket. Here is a quote from the book Reader's Digest Treasury of American Humor: "Most politicians have four speeches: what they have written down, what they actually say, what they wish they had said, and what they are quoted as saying".
Jack and Juanita Waldrep
201 Greenview Road, S.W.
Rome, Georgia 30165-4307