Dear Members of the 419th,
You had your chance in Colorado Springs to vote on a new "voice" for this newsletter. Needless to say, your choice was to still keep the Waldreps at the job and if I had to put this in an audible voice, this week is not the week. With vocal ability of a frog I will try to be glib with the pen.
The reunion in Colorado Springs, Colorado, hosted by J.C. and Eleanor Orange was a wonderful
time of friendship and fun. We would like to thank them for all the efforts put forth on their part.
Attending the reunion were:
- Henrietta R. Fox
- Wallace and Bertha Frank
- Frank and Virginia Gruden
- Noel and Estelle Jacobs
and daughter and son-in-law
Bill and Rea Dawn Poling
- Harold Laity and daughter
Al and Bonnie Porter
- Ken Manning
- J.C. and Eleanor Orange
- Bill and Virginia Rapp
- Charles and Juanita Ray
- Francis and Helen Roush
- Gerald and Laura St. Amand
- Jack and Juanita Waldrep
On Friday night J.C. and Eleanor invited us to their home for a cook-out (chicken and hamburgers) and all the trimmmings. She must have been wokring for days and each of us, I am sure, did not go away hungry. Bill and Rea Dawn helped keep things going. Thank you, J.C. and Eleanor, for having a true welcome to your area!
Minutes of Business Meeting July 24, 1999
The meeting held at Satellite Motel, Colorado Springs, Colorado, opened with J.C. Orange presiding after which the pledge of allegiance was said.
A moment of silence was held for those who have died.
Literature was available for for all present for the World War II Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. It was urged that all 419th get information as soon as possible.
The financial report, which was approved by the group, was given by Juanita Waldrep as follows:
Year Balance from Stillwater, OK reunion July 1998 $1,046.22
Deposit from reunion 255.00
Donation by mail 510.00
Total interest deposits 14.14
Total MuzzleBlast Acct. 1,825.36
Reunion Expense Jacobs -25.00
Fall MuzzleBlast Expense -154.08
Winter MuzzleBlast Expense -160.46
June MuzzleBlast Expense & copies of WWII Memorial -130.75
Balance July 1999 $1,355.07
Letters were read from members not able to attend.
A motion was made to change the time of the meeting to the fall season was discussed and did not pass.
Host for the 2000 reunion (the 50th year celebration) will be Harold Laity and hostess will be Bonnie Porter. This will be held in Wilke Barre, PA, July 27, 28, 29, 30, 2000.
MuzzleBlast will be continued by Jack and Juanite Waldrep.
After announcing pictures would be made at 5 P.M. for $7.00 each and the meal would be $15.00 each, the meeting of the 419th was adjourned.
Juanita Waldrep, Secretary
Donations to the MuzzleBlast fund at the reunion increased our account by $312.00.
Our friends continue to write and I did share some of the early letters with the group in Colorado but will mention all we have received since publishing the last MuzzleBlast.
Saro and Eleanor Messina wrote that they were able to visit their son and his wife and three grandchildren and two great grandsons in Phoenix in May, this letter came in June and they stated they are the "proud for the bonus days they have had and thank the Lord for them."
Sewell Corkran wrote that he and his "wife Virginia are fine old folks". They still fish, play tennis and spend time on community affairs. Heartfelt thanks for putting out the MuzzleBlast and a donation was enclosed.
We heard from J.B. Pray and have his new address - 3100 River Ridge Road, Summit MS 39666-9758. He included a donation to the MuzzleBlast.
Ed Pratt wrote that Mary Jane's 94 year old mother had to be moved to an assisted living facility and they had been getting her property ready for sale and could not make the reunion in Colorado. They enclosed a donation to MB.
A letter came from Pat Gammons which he did on his computer (Pat, some of my attempts are worse than yours!). Jane had cataract surgery in June and her sight has improved. He stated that he works with AARP and the IRS in a volunteer program to assist the elderly with income tax filing from Feb. 1-Apri 15 and keeps in touch with another of our members Clara Johnson. It is good to hear that Clara is in good health. A donation to MB was included.
Forrest Broome sent a donation to MB in his letter of July 10. Geri has had problems walking any distance and Forrest was recovering frm the second phase of radiation fighting prostate cancer. They had hoped to go to Colorado, but we certainly understand and pray that all will go well for both of you.
An interesting letter from Woodrow Brimer and I will quote: "Its been 56 years when these boys or men came to the 419th. I gave most of them all their shots. Broome put it on their records and and Norman Engebretson helped me." These letters of reminiscence mean olot tomost of us; some of you other men should tell us what you did. Thank you Woody, for a newsy letter.
Joanna Gebhardt has added a link on the website to the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. Don't forget the internet call letters www.419th.com.
Edith Grubb wrote prior to the reunion that she had been thinking of us and J.C. and Eleanor in this "terribly hot, dry weather." She wished us a good reunion. Thank you Edith for your note.
A letter from Kathy Huvuare stated she had seen the Carmichaels twice in the winter. She states that Sara's son was a year old in May and pictures are all over. Jerry was away for a month's vacation but both of them are doing well.
James Bierce sent a new address card in August: 7404 San Moritz Drive, Port Richey, FL 34688-5036. Thank you Jim.
Mrs. Jim Stripling called this summer to state that Jim Stripling had died on June 14. Her address is now 288 Sunset Road, Vernon, Alabama 35592.
Vernon Floerke's son Robert Floerke called and wrote of Vernon's death on Sep. 6, 1999. He stated that his dad saved just about every issue of MuzzleBlast. He sent a check to MB in his dad's name so his mother Jackie would continue to receive it. Her address is Mrs. Jackie Floerke, 1321 Lydia Court, Windsor, CA 95492.
Our sympathy goes out to the families of Jim Stripling and Vernon R. Floerke.
One thing Robert Floerke would like to know is this paragraph from his letter: "In looking over dad's discharge papers there is reference to three "Bronze Sv Stars". Can you enlighten me on what they are? One is for Ardennes, one for Central Europe, one for the Rhineland. I do have dad's Purple Heart and Good Conduct Medals, but do not have the Bronze Stars. Were they for the unit as a whole or dod the men get them individually? Any insight to this mystery will be greatly appreciated."
You can contact Robert Floerke at RobFloerke@aol.com
Now, Jack knows nothing of the Bronze Service Stars; you men out there, let me know so I can help with this mystery. I will bring this information to the next reunion but if you enlighten me, I will write Rob a letter.
John and Louise Gardner had planned to go to the reunion but Louise called on July 15 stating that she had a pin placed on her hip July 8 after a fall earlier produced the fracture. Unfortunately, she fell over her suitcase which she was packing for the reunion.
Larry Groenfeld has called several times; it is delightful that Lois Hall is also on the line. Larry's physician did not want him to go to Colorado because of his respiratory problems.
Wanda Cluck also called to say "hello" to all in Colorado and she was not yet ready to attend a reunion. We hope that you'll consider Wilkes-Barre in 2000.
Noel Jacobs called to say Estelle has had a light stroke. I was so distressed to hear this but after talking to Estelle, who states that there are not residual effects, I felt better. Also, she planned to work in her shop the next day. Our hopes are that Estelle continues to do well.
Larry Lemberg sent a donation to MB and Rose wrote a nice letter -- Talk about efficiency on a computer! She says she is threatening to go to the reunion, but if you start packing, Rose, Larry would pack too! She stated that Larry is also going to have cataract surgery. Larry, when the vision improves, the trip to Wilkes-Barre will be more vivid. See you next year.
A letter came from Virginia and Frank Gruden who said they travelled three months, visiting twenty two states. They had a wonderful time at the reunion and are looking forward to the 50th in Wilkes-Barre.
We are looking forward to Halloween (at Jekyll Island), Thanksgiving (possibly in Florida), Hanukkah, Christmas, Y2K and whatever else we can celebrate. How about you?
Be sure to send us news for the next "newsy" MuzzleBlast; without your news there would be no news!
"One thing is impossible - to hold a torch to light another's path without brightening your own."
Jack and Juanita Waldrep
201 Greenview Road, S.W.
Rome, Georgia 30165-4307