Events, News & More

Key West 2019 Final Plan of the Week

Posted: 1/4/2019

Key West 2019 Plan of the Week_final

Update to Key West Newbie Gouge

Newbie Gouge_2019_190104

Key West Registration and Plan of the Week

Posted: 11/17/2018

Here are .pdf and .doc versions of the registration form for the Key West 2019 Come Around.

No later than January 3, 2019 please download, complete, and submit.

Email completed form to:

or send USPS mail to:

4329 Olley Lane
Fairfax, VA 22032


Registration_Key West 2019 (opens in new page)

Key West 2019 Plan of the Week_tentative (down-loads docx file)

Key West 2019 Gouge #1

Posted: 9/1/2018

Key West_2019 All Hands Gouge # 1

Dates:  4 – 11 Feb 2019

Location:  Truman Annex, NAS Key West

Theme:  Fun, Fellowship, Memories

Firsties:  Tom and Rose Wolfe ‘70
phone:  703-503-1384 (home)
703-424-0739 (mobile – Tom)
703-424-0740 (mobile – Rose)

⇒⇒⇒ New for 2019

The following information is provided to assist chapter members who plan to attend the 2019 gathering in preparing for their journey.

Newbie gouge

⇒⇒⇒ Extended stay privileges at our campsite on Truman Annex

  • Extended stay privileges, as described below and subject to certain conditions (also listed) have been authorized for those wishing to arrive early or remain at our campsite after the come-around concludes.
    • All Chapter members attending the come-around are eligible.
    • Arrival at the Truman campsite is permitted as early as Sat, 2 Feb 2019.
    • Remaining at the Truman campsite is permitted until Wed, 13 Feb 2019; campsite must be completely vacated no later than Wed, 13 Feb 2019.
    • Members who participate in the extended stay are required to pay the normal nightly campsite fee for each night of their extended stay.
  • Extended stay privileges will not impact the official dates of our event as stated above.
  • The Chapter is deeply grateful to the CO NAS Key West and the MWR support staff for making these extended stay privileges possible.

⇒⇒⇒ Vertical exhaust stack for on-board generators (often referred to as Gen-turis) – good news, bad news story here:

  • Good news – preliminary indications suggesting very large turnout for 2019!  😊
  • Bad news – considering anticipated level of participation, we may have to pack ourselves a bit closer than in the past, especially if we should encounter wet field conditions.
  • In the interest of both common sense and consideration for fellow campers, let’s all ensure that we have the ability to direct the exhaust from our on-board generators away from our next-door neighbors’ entry door and/or immediate surroundings.

⇒⇒⇒ Super Bowl party (Sun, 3 Feb 2019) – ad hoc activity for those arriving prior to 4 Feb.

  • Snacks, munchies, etc. – BYO
  • Location – at the tent
  • Weather risk alert: It’s Feb in Key West, less than paradise-like weather conditions, i.e. cold and/or rainy, are possible.
    • Due to date/time of this event, there is risk that we may have to view the game dressed in foul weather gear.
    • We understand it happened several years ago. ☹

Camping at Sigsbee or Trumbo

  • Reservations are required for stay at either campground if arriving prior to our event.
  • Reservations can be made online at or by calling 877-NAVY-BED.
  • When guests transfer to Truman, the site will not be “lost” or “given” to someone else if they are planning to return to the campground from Truman.
  • Additional information at Navy Getaways Campground.

Note – if someone wishes to assume role of event coordinator for the ad hoc Super Bowl party, firsties will not refuse your desire to assist.   😉



Event News

Posted: 7/31/2018

Key West Registration and Plan of the Week

South Carolina Low Country

When: May 6-11 2019 (tentative). Event dates are contingent upon MCRD PI (Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island) having a graduation parade scheduled on May 10, 2019. The 2019 graduation schedule is not yet set, publication expected during Oct 2018. If no graduation parade is scheduled for May 10, the come-around dates will be adjusted accordingly in order to include a graduation parade.

Where: Beaufort, SC and vicinity. Campground info, etc. to be published once event dates are firm. Dates can not be confirmed until MCRD PI 2019 graduation schedule is published.

Firsties: Tom (’70) and Rose Wolfe, ably assisted by co-firsties Andy (’72) and Eva Wehrle

Planned activities at this time (Firsties to coordinate one or more activities with the USNA Alumni Association Low Country, SC chapter):

• Traditional firstie dinner
o Morning colors and graduation parade (activities only available on Friday)
o Tour of MCRD PI (separate day from morning colors/graduation; tour activities,             TBD)
• Golf outing – looking for volunteer to coordinate
• Bike ride on the Spanish Moss Trail – looking for volunteer to coordinate
• Lunch or dinner at O’club
• Beaufort, SC historical tour
• Varied evening entertainment

Mount Dora ComeAround After Action Report

Posted: 5/10/2018

Mt Dora is a quaint town in North Central Florida which provided a great place for a comearound.  We had 32 attendees at the Southern Palms RV Resort in Eustis Fl.  At this event were many new faces.  Attending their first was Randy and Laurie Harris ’73, Pete and Cindy Miller’76, Jim and Catherine Heffernan’81, and Marc Farris’70.  I was happy to see how well every new member integrated themselves into the group.  Also attending were Angela Brady ’83 and Dan Brady ’82 who while not RV owners, live in the local area.

At Southern Palms we were also fortunate to have an indoor room for our use.  That building had a full kitchen, lots of room with tables and chairs, air conditioning, and even WIFI.    With 16 rigs and our large RV Chapter banner in prominence, we made a stirring sight.

The week was full of activities for all.  This comearound represented to me a bit of a “changing of the guard.”  Here the classes in the 70’s and 80’s represented the majority instead of the classes in the 50’s and 60’s.   The class of “70 had the largest attendance with four classmates present.

Monday was arrival day which included the dinner by firsties and a meet and greet happy hour.

Tuesday began with a Trolley Tour of Mt Dora.  This acquainted everyone with the town.

After that nights happy hour we had our first of two potluck dinners.  This was followed by something new, three trip reports comprising pictures and commentary.  Tom Shields presented on some of their hiking in the Glacier Nat Park area, Dale Gange presented on their Alaska trip, and Tom Wolfe presented on a Vanuatu trip.   These did run a bit longer than I had hoped, but I think the audience was still very attentive.

Wednesday  We visited a local German bakery for lots of sweets.  Later we had a group dinner at a nice restaurant, Pisces Rising.  Sunset was right as we departed, and produced quite a few pretty pictures.

Thursday we started with a Casual Bike ride to a nearby park (about 8.5 miles total) I of course did not tell anyone about the hills we would have to climb and cruise down.  Everyone did fantastic and it was a pleasure hosting the ride.  Comments all week said we should do more bike rides.  Several people requested a second ride to go on, and they reported having a good morning ride along the lake

We then went into Orlando to visit a plastic manufacturing facility.  Everyone was amazed at the process which included film extrusion, printing, and conversion into products like bread bags.  This was followed by heavy appetizers which were arranged to be provided by past attendees for new attendees.

Friday  We started with the beef breakfast which Jim Roberts has organized on previous comearounds. It is always well received and was great again.  This time the men did the cleanup.  Following were the board meeting and the general meeting.  At the board meeting we transferred the wheel to our new chapter president Jack Parry ’67.  Of note Jay Williams ’67 has done a great job for the past seven years.

At the White Elephant sale Jim did his usual great job and helped us collect about $430 for the chapter.

Saturday  We departed for the farmers market and then the Horner Morse Museum.  The Tiffany glass collection there is amazing.  After dinner we met in Mt Dora for a unique “walking wine tour” We visited seven shops which each had four wines to sample – wow lots of wine.  We did all make it back to our cars and then the RV park without anyone tripping on a curb or anything major.

Sunday   This was a sot of rest day for some, but was supposed to be a road bike ride day for a few.  Unfortunately the rain came in that morning and resulted in a shortened ride. I can say spirits were not dampened though.   Sunday evening was Margarita night. This time we had a margarita taste off.  Jim’s classic margarita won and there was plenty to go around.  This was followed by our second potluck dinner. Wow, lots of food again.

Monday   Departure day started with the firsties providing a very healthy breakfast of donuts and muffins (OK – it was not healthy, but it got everyone going)

It was sad to see the RV park pretty empty was we departed.

Special Notes   (As anyone who read the POD knows there were lots of notes)

We had lots of assistance from everyone there, but appreciated Jay and Patti Williams for their pre-event advice.  Tom and Ellen Shields provided help for setup and teardown.  (they also provide the dice and domino’s for the many unscheduled game nights – I think there were five at least)  Angela Brady also provided lots of bottle of wine from their extensive collection all week, and at the auction.

Conclusion   If you missed the Mt Dora first every comearound, you missed a great event.  Make sure you attend the RV chapters coming events.

Thanks, Dale and Su Gange

Key West 2018 After-Action Report

The chapter’s annual come-around in Key West was held 5 – 12 Feb 2018 at the Truman Annex to Naval Air Station, Key West.  The theme for this year’s gathering was “Fun, Fellowship and Memories”, firsties were Rose and Tom Wolfe ’70.  They were able to negotiate permission for participants to arrive at the Truman Annex facility one day early to view the Super Bowl and, for those who wished to extend their stay, to remain at the campsite until 14 Feb 2018.  Mike Currie ’67 supported the event by providing several fishing opportunities aboard his boat “Tailhooker”.

We had 42 persons attending, 16 couples with RVs and 5 couples who do not own an RV.  Enjoying the Key West fun with firsties Rose and Tom Wolfe ’70 were:  Gail Kelly & John Schultz ’59, Kathy & Merrick Bayer ’65, Elizabeth & Mike Currie ’67, Patti & Jay Williams ’67, ‘Nita & Jack Parry ’67, Netta & Don Wigington ’67, Pat & Jim McNeece ’67, Stevie & Hank Giffin ’67, Kitty & Mike Bolier ’67, Kathy & Dick Meade ’67, Vicki & Mike Tkach ’68, Val & Gary Polansky ’69, Gail & Jim Swoope ’70, Eva & Andy Wehrle ’72, Lynne & Jim Connors ’74, Wendy & Kirk Daniels ’75, Kathy & Fred Weber ’75, Ellen & Steve Howse ’75, Pam ‘80 & Scott Rogers ’78, Tim & Joan Platz ‘81.

Sunday, 4 Feb

Pam ‘80 & Scott Rogers ’78 hosted an “ad hoc” Super Bowl viewing party under the stars outside their rig for those who had arrived earlier in the day.

Monday, 5 Feb

The event officially began with the remainder of the participants arriving.  Firsties, Rose and Tom Wolfe ’70 provided a welcome dinner for the gathering, including a special desert of made-from-scratch mini cannonballs prepared by Rose and baked in Elizabeth Currie’s (Mike ’67) oven.  In keeping with the “memories” component of the event theme, the cannonballs were made according to the USNA recipe but size was adjusted to accommodate age-appropriate dietary considerations.

The Director (RAdm Christopher Tomney, USCG) and Deputy Director (RAdm Stephanie Keck, USN) of the Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATFS) joined us for Happy Hour.  RAdm Tomney, who graduated from U.S. Coast Guard Academy, class of 1986 and was an exchange student at USNA during his 2/c year, briefed the group of the JIATFS mission, recent successes and continuing challenges.  Both flag officers participated in an informative Q & A session following RAdm Tomney’s remarks.

Monday’s activities also included the following awards and recognition:


Award Criteria Recipient
Key West “The Goat is Old and Gnarly” Award Recognizes the oldest class present John Schultz (’59) and Gail Kelly
Key West “Billy the Kid” Award Recognizes the youngest class present Joan (’81) and Tim Platz
Key West “Rust Bucket” Award Oldest RV Jim (’74) and Lynne Connors
Key West “Bright and Shiny” Award Newest RV Mike (’67) and Kitty Bolier
Key West “Size Matters” Award (two categories) Longest unit (including towed vehicle) Mike (’68) and Vicki Tkach
Shortest unit Jim (’74) and Lynne Connors
Key West “Road Warriors” Award (two categories) Travelled greatest distance to attend come-around Don (’67) and Netta Wigington
Longest time on the road to attend come-around Don (’67) and Netta Wigington
Key West “Old Salts” Award Attended most Key West come-arounds Jay (’67) and Patti Williams
Key West “Plebes” Attending Key West come-around for the first time Dick (’67) and Kathy Meade

Jim (’70) and Gail Swoope

Kirk (’75) and Wendy Daniels

Fred (’75) and Kathy Weber

Steve (’75) and Ellen Howse

Tuesday, 6 Feb

Town liberty was granted all day.  Mike Bolier ’67 organized a golf outing for interested participants.  Happy Hour featured a blind wine tasting event with 20 entries.  The winner, entered by Lynne and Jim Connors ‘74, was American Muscadine from Stonehaus Winery, Crossville, TN.  The runner up, The Velvet Devil Merlot (2014) from Washington state was entered by John Schultz ’59.  John had purchased the bottle of wine at the Watts Bar_2017 white elephant auction.

Wednesday, 7 Feb

During the Chapter Board meeting the Board voted to donate $500 to the Naval Air Station Key West MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) department to support ongoing recovery efforts from Hurricane Irma. The Board also directed the donation to be made via Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society in Jacksonville, FL with stipulation that the funds are to go to Naval Air Station Key West MWR to support recovery efforts from Hurricane Irma.  Jay Williams ‘67, Chapter President, took the lead to effect the donation.

A general chapter meeting, led by Chapter president Jay Williams ‘67, immediately followed the chapter Board meeting:

  • Jay informed members present that the upcoming come-around scheduled for MT Dora, FL is designated as the chapter’s national come-around.
  • Jay also informed the group that terms of several chapter officers and board members will be expiring and that new officers and board members will be seated at the Mt. Dora event. In that regard, Jay solicited response from any chapter members interested in running for any of the chapter officer positions and/or seats on the Board due to expire to advise him accordingly after the meeting.
  • Gary Polansky ‘69 commented about a tentative caravan he and Val are planning for October 2018. Included in the activity are tentative come-arounds in Colorado Springs, CO 5-7 Oct in conjunction with Navy-Air Force football game on 6 Oct, Albuquerque, NM 11-14 Oct in conjunction with the Balloon Fiesta and San Diego, CA 26-28 Oct for the Navy-Notre Dame football game.  Gary requested that, due to the substantial logistical planning requirements for this type of activity, members who are interested in participating in any or all of the stops in this journey to advise at earliest opportunity.
  • Jim Connors ’74 informed the group that dates for Watts Bar_2018 are 23-28 Oct.

Following the general chapter meeting Jack Parry ‘67 conducted a very successful white elephant auction.  Total proceeds from the auction were $837.  Thanks to all members who donated items to the auction and special thanks to all who participated in the bidding. Wednesday’s scheduled activities concluded with a sunset cruise aboard Sebago Watersports’ “Marquesa” with 17 couples participating.

Thursday, 8 Feb

On Thursday morning we enjoyed a tour of the NOAA Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Eco-Discovery Center where participants learned about the general impact of major storms on the marine environment.  The presentation also included multiple slides pertaining to the recent Hurricane Irma’s specific impact on the Florida Keys marine environment.  After the tour we carpooled to Stock island for a group lunch at Chico’s Cantina – always a favorite.

Friday, 9 Feb

Friday morning featured a group tour of the NOAA National Weather Service facility in Key West.  The tour was conducted by the Meteorologist in Charge of the facility.  Topics included history of weather forecasting, latest technologies to support weather forecasting, communications protocols followed during major weather events, meteorological history of Hurricane Irma and the storm’s impact to the Florida Keys.  The tour concluded with a visit to the facility’s weather balloon launch facility.

Friday evening’s activities included a fish fry under the stars preceded by “Margarita Night” during Happy Hour.  Co-firstie Tom Wolfe ’70 assumed the role of supernumerary for piloting the margarita machine since the Chapter’s margarita OIC, Jim Roberts ’59 was not able to attend this come-around.  The fish fry featured the catch of the week by event participants who had gone fishing with Skipper Mike Currie ’67 aboard “Tailhooker” earlier in the week.  Those fisherfolks prepared their catch according to their favorite recipes, resulting in varied and delightful selection of delicious fish cuisine. Both activities were well received by all.

Saturday, 10 Feb

Saturday’s activities included a pet parade and pageant and a pot luck dinner Saturday evening followed by USNA Jeopardy.  Six owners entered 11 pets in the pet parade/pageant.  Riley, owned by Hank (’67) and Stevie Giffin earned Best of Show honors.  Event participants brought their favorite tailgate dish to the pot luck dinner.  As always, the dinner featured lots of exquisitely prepared food.  After dinner entertainment was a Jeopardy-like contest, but with a USNA theme with all questions and answers taken from Reef Points. There were two teams – Team ’67 which was comprised of members of the class of ’67 and Team “other” which was comprised of members of all other classes.  Due to spontaneous protests and counter-protests attributable to the intensity of the competition and compounded by somewhat lenient judging at times, it is uncertain which team really won.  However, the activity was well received by all.  Everyone had a good time as the activity provided the opportunity for “remembering” many memorable moments.

Sunday, 11 Feb

Sunday featured the Chapter’s traditional Sunday morning pot luck/farewell brunch.  Once again, the Chapter’s chefs prepared an abundance of delicious fare.

Monday, 12 Feb

Key West_2018 concluded.  The firsties provided light morning refreshments as participants set their respective special sea and anchor details in preparation for getting underway.

Nominations sought for RV Chapter

Posted: 2/28/2018

In accordance with the RV Chapter Bylaws, it is time for annual elections for the Board of Directors.  This year, the positions of President, Treasurer and two of the four Board Members are to be considered.

The current Board of Directors:

President – Jay Williams ‘67

Secretary – Gary Polansky ‘69

Treasurer – Glenn Shindler ‘64

Board Member –  Charlie Norton ‘62

Board Member – Jack Parry ‘67

Board Member – Jim Connors ‘74

Board Member – Dale Gange ‘70

Charlie Norton, who was Secretary for seven years and has been a Board Member for twelve years, is not running for reelection.  I was a Board Member for three years and have been President for six years.  I am also not running for reelection.

I will serve as the nominating committee for this year’s election.

I already have the following nominations:

For President – Jack Parry ‘67.

For Treasurer – Glenn Shindler ‘64.

For Board Member – Andy Wehrle ’72

For Board Member – Scott Rodgers ’78.

All have indicated they are willing to serve.

If you are interested in serving in one of these positions, please reply to me .   Please have additional nominations to me by 8 March.

New officers and board members will be seated at the National Come Around in Mount Dora, FL, 30 April – 5 May 2018.

MT DORA UPDATE     November 2017

Posted: 11/23/2017
Several people have asked for campground registration information for Mt Dora, so here it is.
We will all be in a group in the PINES section.
Please mention the USNA RV Chapter Rally for a special rally Rate of $28 per night.
This is a HUGE discount over their normal $46 per night.
If you are coming early or later, see if they will give the rally rate.
They also have a GOOD SAM discount,  and a military discount of 20% for retired military
They do not give these discounts on top of the rally rate,
All sites are full hookups, but some are 30 amp and some 50 amp.
They will probably want a deposit of one night when you make your reservation.
If you have any registration issues ask for Connie.
Campground — Southern Palms RV Resort
Address              1 Avocado Lane, Eustis FL 32726
Phone                 (352) 357-8882
Dates                arrival Monday April 30th 
                         depart Monday May 7th
Location            Pines Rally Section 
Rate                  $28 per night — full hookups.
See you there — Dale Gange “70

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