The MuzzleBlast

February 2004

Dear Members of the 419th,

Months have gone by since you last heard from us, so here goes!

Frank and Virginia Gruden hosted a happy time in Fort Myers, Florida for our reunion in October. We could not have wanted for better weather and delightful people who came. Those attending in addition to Frank and Virginia were:

  • Ken Manning
  • Francis and Helen Roush and Daughter Lydia and husband Jerald Kiefer
  • Gerald St. Amand and Daughter Doria and husband Vincent Grimes
  • Jim Bierce and Friend Aggie Griffin Jim's daughter Frannie and husband Tim Ryan Jim's granddaughters Jennie and Pattie Ryan
  • Joanna Gebhardt
  • Jack and Juanita Waldrep and Juanita's Brother Marvin and wife Nancy English
  • Francis Vigneau

Donations to the Muzzleblast fund at the reunion increased our bank account by $135.00.


The meeting was called to order by Frank Gruden. The pledge of allegiance was said in unison followed by a prayer for our veterans who could not attend or were recently deceased.

The financial report, which was accepted by the group, was given by Juanita Waldrep as follows:


Year Balance Lancaster PA Reunion 2002
Host check to Jane Ober
- 25.00
Mail in Donations
Interest Deposit
2002 Fall Muzzleblast Expense
- 171.22
2003 April Muzzleblast Expense
- 162.52
2003 September Muzzleblast Expense
- 168.70
Total Balance October 2003

Frank announced that the pictures would be $15.00 each and dinner $26.00 each including gratuities.

The host for 2004 reunion will be Ken Manning with daughter Letitia Manning assisting.

A motion was made by Gerald St. Amand , seconded by Francis Roush, to give the host a check for $100.00 from the treasury to help defray the expense of the banquet. Motion carried.

A motion was made by Gerald St. Amand, seconded by Francis Roush to keep Juanita Waldrep as Muzzleblast Editor. The meeting was then adjourned.

Juanita Waldrep, Secretary

Frank and Virginia planned wonderful spots to eat, a tour of Fort Myers, and included Thomas Edison's home. It was good to be in Florida in October before winter set in at home and to get some needed rest.

Helen and Francis Roush almost did not make the reunion. Helen's white blood count was low; she was hospitalized until Tuesday and then picked up in Oklahoma by family and they flew to Florida from Dallas. We hope she is still doing as well as she looked when we left her on Sunday.

Christmas cards were received from Joseph and Jewell Johns (yes, Joseph has remarried to a lovely lady Jewell and sent us a happy picture), Charlie and Ethel Mohn, Gerald St. Amand, Mary Jayne Pratt (tell all the 419th hello was her request), Wanda Cluck, Jim Bierce, Jewell B. Pray (who was a retired school supt.), Ken Manning (to all the Tigers), Frank and Virginia Gruden (who were all ready for Christmas December 10), Henrietta Fox (who would have liked to be at the reunion), Ernest Word and Edith Grubb (who writes just about every season).

Malcolm Cohen wrote a thank you note and sent a donation.

Ernest Word sent a donation in his Christmas card.

Henrietta Fox sent a donation along with her Christmas card and note.

Ernest Willoughby wrote a note with a donation and would have liked to have been at the reunion but is on oxygen and both he and Betty are "slowing down".

Elvin Stiles' MB was returned unable to forward; if anyone knows his address, please advise.

We received a note from Frank Shandor's daughter stating that both of her parents were deceased. Our sympathy to the Shandor family.

A telephone call came from Jack and Marjorie Lunden (B Battery) stating both are in ill health. A donation was received shortly after the call.

Sarah Boone, daughter of Mabry Huggins, wrote that her father was killed in an automobile accident April 12, 2002 and her mother was severely injured and is an invalid. Our sincere sympathy goes to the family.

In October James and Eleanor Orange wrote a note thanking us for the MB. They stated they were sorry not to be able to go to the reunion. They stated "The way you can tell you are getting old - when you bend down to tie your shoes - you figure out if there is anything else you can do while you are down there." A donation was included.

The "Autumn Time" card created by Virginia Rapp had a note that she and Bill would 3 be celebrating their sixth anniversary on November 8th while they were "at sea on our way to Bora Bora". They included pictures and a donation to MB.

Lola Carmichael called in September and had back surgery in the summer and two weeks before had knee surgery. Harold was taking good care of her; hopefully they are enjoying the warmth of Florida now.

We have had a number of E-mails and I will mention some of them; sometimes I fail to print all of them. Harold Laity, Jr. wrote and thanked us for the MB and stated that he also was a veteran. He thanked the group for all the thoughts and prayers on his father's behalf.

We also hear from Bonnie Porter who has been having some rough days, but we hope by now all is better.

Joanna Gebhardt keeps me up to date and she is quite busy on the 419th website. I also hear from her mother Jane Ober. Thanks for all the cheerful words from all my E-mail friends of the 419th.

Doria Grimes, daughter of Gerry St. Amand and husband Vincent, will be attending with Gerry the WWII Memorial Dedication in the Mall in Washington D C. Lois Hall will also be attending with a group of veterans and family from Kentucky. If any of you are going, you might let Doria know by E-mail -

Rose Lemberg wrote in October that Larry had his gallbladder removed and a few days later had a TIA (mini stroke). He was doing fine at the time she sent the E-mail.

Herman and Leila Dalke sent an E-mail in September after the MB, stating they would not make the reunion.

Marianne Healy E-mailed us in late September that Edward P. Healy, Jr. passed away in 1989. I am sure the Healy family still misses their loved one and our belated sympathy goes to them.

In late December, Jewell Mapes, daughter of Basil Scharff wrote that her father passed away on December 15, 2003. We appreciated hearing from her and our sympathy goes to all the Basil Scharff family.

Get your bags ready; we are going to have a reunion. Ken Manning has sent me the news for Norman, Oklahoma. Ken states the dates are Wednesday June 16th, June 17th, June 18th, June 19th amd leave on Sunday June 20th, 2004. We will be at The Guest Inn, double rooms $42.00 plus tax, King Singles $38.00 plus tax. Ken says that they are nice rooms, each have 4 a small refrigerator, microwave and coffee pot. Smoking rooms are available. Guest Inn & Suites of Norman is located 2543 West Main, I-35 and W. Main Exit 109, Norman, OK 73072. Telephone number is 405-360-1234.

There is not a banquet room; Denny's is attached to the Inn and both Waffle House and Golden Corral are within walking distance. He is working on a location for the banquet.

He sent brochures and if you don't get one, (I can leave one out occasionally Ha! Ha!) let me know. Make plans to attend the 2004 reunion in Norman, Oklahoma June 16th - 20th.

This little poem appeared at the end of an E-mail:

PRAISE: Now a bit of praise isn't much to give - But it's dear to the hearts of all that live, And there's never a person on this good earth That doesn't like to be told when they've been of worth. And a kindly word, when the work is fair, Is welcomed and wanted everywhere.

Thanks to all of you for your concern for each other.

Your Editors,

Jack and Juanita Waldrep

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

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