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2019 20th Anniversary Come Around After Action Report Posted 20190525

Posted: 5/25/2019

20th Anniversary Celebration

April 24-29, 2019

Monte Sano State Park

Firsties: Gary and Val Polansky ‘67

 We convened at Monte Santo State Park in Huntsville, AL on April 24th to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Chapter’s first Come Around at the same location. Attending were: Don & Susan Baldwin ’74, Walt & Chris Baskin ’59, John & Bea Christensen ’57, Royal & Melinda Connell ’70, Marian Conery (Frank ’58), Jim Connors ’74, Bart & Jann DallaMura ’54, Dale & Su Gange ’70, Adrian & Debra Gordon ’67, Randy & Laurie Harris ’73, Jim & Catherine Heffernan ’81, John & Eileen Madaio ’77, Bob & Maryjane Metcalfe ’61, Norman & Liz Mims ’60, Jack & Nita Parry ’67, Gary & Val Polansky ’69, Jim & Marie Roberts ’59, Scott & Pam Rodgers ‘78/’80, Glenn Shindler ’64, Keith & Karen Waldrop ’64, Andy & Eva Wehrle ’72, Jay & Patti Williams ’67, Tom & Rose Wolfe ‘70, Jerry & Marie McIlwain (LSU ’65) & Dale Elliott (Marie’s father, Signalman USN 1943-1945, Pacific Theater), and Dick & Judy Klima (Navy ROTC, Vanderbilt ’69, guests of the Polanskys).

The first night (Wednesday) started with Happy Hour and the Firstie Dinner, which was a traditional southern dinner catered by G’s Country Kitchen. Following dinner we had a program highlighting the history of the Chapter and the members who have contributed to its success. A summary of the founding and early history of the Chapter was distributed, and the Plank Owners were recognized. Those in attendance were Marion Conery (Frank ’58), Jim Connors ’74, Jim & Marie Roberts ’59, Royal & Melinda Connell ’70, and Bart & Jann DallaMura ’54, easily identifiable by the blue and gold ribbons attached to their name tags. Past and present Officers and Directors were recognized, as well as Webmasters, Shipmate Editors, Historians, Auctioneers, Margarita Makers, Cookbook Editors, and all the wives who have provided delicious and plentiful food for all the Come Arounds. Lists of all the Firsities and locations of all the Come Arounds were provided, and a map with pins in all the Come Around locations was on display. Some of the Chapter’s notables were highlighted and the following awards presented:

  • Senior-most active member: Bart DallaMura ‘54
  • Members present at the first Come Around: Marion Conery (Frank ’58), Jim Connors ’74, Jim Roberts ’59, Royal Connell ’70, Bart DallaMura ’54
  • Earliest Firstie present: Jim Roberts ‘59
  • Member who has been Firstie the most times: Jim Connors ‘74 (15 times)
  • Member who has been Firstie the most times at different locations: Walt Baskin ‘59 (7 locations)
  • Member who has been Key West Firstie the most times: Bob Metcalf ’61 (6 times)
  • Member who has attended the most Come Arounds: Jim Roberts ‘59
  • Longest-serving President: Jim Roberts ‘59 (10 years)
  • Other Presidents present: Jay Williams ‘67, Jack Parry ‘67
  • Longest-serving Officer: Glenn Shindler ’64 (Treasurer 16 years)
  • Longest-serving Board Member: Frank Conery (13 years)
  • Current Shipmate Editor: Nita Parry
  • Member who traveled furthest for this Come Around: Glenn Shindler ‘64 (2005 mi)
    • Honorable Mention: DallaMuras ‘54 (1622 mi), Marion Conery (1170 mi)
  • First female member: Pam Rodgers ‘80
  • Firstie for the Come Around with the most members in attendance:
    • Bardstown, KY May 2001 (26 members, Firstie Mike Stevens ’59)
    • Key West 2019 (26 members, Firstie Tom Wolfe ’70)
    • Huntsville 2019 (26 members, Firstie Gary Polansky ’69)
  • Firstie for the most geographically-longest Come Around—Gary Polansky ’69 (2018 Western Caravan—Colorado Springs, Albuquerque, San Diego)
    • Honorable Mention: Civil War Caravan 2007, Firsties Frank Conery ’58 & Charlie Norton ‘62

The program ended with members remembering their favorite Come Arounds and recounting funny things that happened at them.

On Thursday we enjoyed a guided tour of the U.S. Rocket and Space museum and a bus tour of Red Stone Arsenal. After our long day, we relaxed in the pavilion at the campground, made our own subs, and celebrated with anniversary cake.

Friday started with the chapter business meeting where we thanked Secretary Gary Polansky ’69 for his two-terms of service and Jim Connors ‘74 and Dale Gange ‘70 for their service on the Board. The Chapter’s new Secretary as of June 1, 2019 is Scott Rodgers ’78, and Tom Wolfe ’70 and John Madaio ’77 are joining the Board. The remainder of the day was free for sightseeing and/or socializing. We reconvened at the pavilion for Happy Hour and Grill Night, followed by a private program at the Wernher von Braun Planetarium, which was within walking distance of the RV Park. It was the clearest night in two weeks, so conditions were perfect for us to look through the telescopes set up for us.

Saturday was free for sightseeing and/or socializing until Happy Hour, when we enjoyed Tom Wolfe’s Margaritas, followed by an outstanding Mexican/New Mexican buffet featuring enchiladas, tamales, pork carnitas, white chicken chili, and all the traditional fixings and sides. Jim Connors ’74 provided his famous nuclear s’mores for dessert. (Jim also made fires for us each night.) After dinner we played Travel Trivia. The first round was won by Jim Connors ’74 and his partner Jerry McIlwain (LSU ’65). Pam and Scott Rodgers won the second round.

Sunday began with a BLT and Bloody Mary Brunch, followed by Traveling with Technology, where some members shared their favorite programs and apps. The afternoon was open for sightseeing and/or socializing. We had left-overs for dinner, after which some of us went to the Chinese Lantern Display at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. It was a remarkable and beautiful display of about 800 life-size animals from each continent (“lanterns” because they are lit from within).

Monday morning those of us still there met for breakfast bars and biscotti, to disassemble the pavilion, and divide up the left-overs.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Monte Sano State Park and the friendliness of the staff, who welcomed us with a USNA Alumni Association banner hung outside the office.  (When we left, they gave us the banner.) They also provided us with free fire wood for the pavilion. Many of us are hoping we will return in less than 20 years this time!


2019 South Carolina Low Country / Semper Fi Come-Around After Action Report Posted 20190525

30 April – 5 May 2019

We enjoyed near-perfect weather for our gathering in the South Carolina low country near the Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot and vicinity.  This event followed on the heels of the 20th Anniversary of the founding of the Chapter that was held the previous week at Monte Sano State Park, Huntsville, AL. We had 27 chapter members and guests attending with 14 rigs.  Camp Lake Jasper, near Hardeeville, SC served as our base camp. The firsties provided a welcome dinner featuring a selection of Low Country Bar-B-Q fare prepared by Jim ‘N Nick’s of Bluffton, SC.

Firsties were Tom (’70) and Rose Wolfe. They were ably assisted by co-firsties Andy (’72) and Eva Wehrle.  Chapter members attending the event were:  Jim (’81) and Catherine Heffernan, Glenn Shindler ’64, John (’77) and Eileen Madaio, Don (’74) and Susan Baldwin, Walt (’59) and Chris Baskin, Jim Swoope ’70, Charles (’70) and Susanne Lewis, Bob (’61) and Maryjane Metcalf, Scott (’78) and Pam (’80) Rodgers, Scott Goodson ’78, Jim (’59) and Marie Roberts, Kathy Shanebrook ’80 and Jerry Cribb and Keith (’64) and Karen Waldrop.  Joining us as guests were Tom and JoAnn Nichols from Pooler, GA.  Tom was Tom Wolfe’s Plebe year roommate who left USNA at the end of Plebe year to attend seminary. He subsequently returned to the Navy and served 24 years as a Navy chaplain.

The highlight of the come-around was a comprehensive tour of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, SC (MCRDPI).  Staff Sergeant Lucas Padilla, a USMC DI (drill instructor) from Lafayette, LA accompanied us throughout our visit and provided extraordinary insight into all phases of Marine Recruit training. This outstanding tour occurred over a two-day period and included the following points of interest:

  • The legendary yellow footprints where Marine recruits experience their initial encounter with U.S. Marine Corps recruit training.
  • Several monuments significant to the history of both the S. Marine Corps and MCRDPI.
  • Observation of recruits learning and practicing proper rifle firing technique in a dry firing environment before they go to the rifle range for Qualification week.
  • Tour of the obstacle and confidence courses at Leatherneck Square.
  • Tour of typical Recruit training living areas.
  • Lunch in a mess hall – during lunch the Commanding General (CG), MCRDPI, BGen James Glynn, USNA ’89 visited with us, offered pertinent commentary pertaining to current recruit training philosophy, recruiting, etc., followed by an informal Q & A session.
  • USMC Recruit graduation parade – of particular note for this event is the fact that Scott Goodson’s nephew was a member of those newly minted Marines who had successfully completed Marine Recruit training and who marched in this parade.
  • Morning colors ceremony on graduation day – attending chapter members were seated in the VIP section and recognized by the CG, MCRDPI during the ceremony.
  • Visit to the Parris Island museum.
  • Visit to the Santa Elena ruins near the Parris Island golf course – the site is a National Historic Landmark, important for its association with the 16th century conflict between Spain and France for control of the New World. The site is also considered archeologically significant.
  • Lecture by Dr Stephen Wise, Director of the Parris Island Museum and Cultural Resource Manager for MCRDPI; topic – South Carolina Low Country history (early settlement by French and Spanish through establishment of MCRDPI)

Individual activities during the come-around included a golf outing organized by Jerry Cribb (husband of Kathy Shanebrook ’80) and visits to beautiful Beaufort, SC.  Also, during Happy Hour on Saturday, Bob Metcalf shared the following WWII memorabilia with the group, along with brief comments pertaining to how he became in possession of each:

  • Replica of the Japanese surrender agreement executed aboard the USS Missouri (BB-63).
  • Ship’s plaque from the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee.

Saturday evening’s program featured a typically superb shared pot luck dinner preceded by “frozen concoction night” where the firsties provided ice and a frozen concoction machine and invited participants to prepare and share their favorite frozen concoction with their shipmates.  Mother Nature also contributed by providing a beautiful rainbow that “framed” the Chapter banner immediately prior to the evening’s activities.  We concluded a delightful evening of splendid fellowship by singing Navy Blue and Gold as Mother Nature once again announced her intent to rejoin the party with a few rumbles of distant thunder.

The come-around concluded Sunday morning with the firsties providing light morning refreshments prior to participants setting their respective special sea and anchor details in preparation for getting underway.  As usual, our campers did not allow the few and infrequent moments of what Marines fondly refer to as “liquid sunshine” that occurred throughout this event to dampen their enthusiasm for gathering “where to or three shall meet…”.

2019 Navy Memphis Football Come Around

Posted: 3/15/2019

Heads Up!  Immediately following the Watts Barr TN come around, we’ll head a little further west and reconvene in Memphis for the Navy Memphis Football game.  Details to follow!

2019 Watts Barr TN Come Around

Heads Up!  Watts Barr TN will be a month earlier this year – 17-22 Sept.  Same place. Hornsby Hollow Campground. Details to follow.

2019 South Carolina Low Country Come-Around Gouge

Posted: 3/7/2019

What: South Carolina Low Country/Semper Fi come-around
When: Apr 30 – May 5, 2019
Where: Beaufort, SC and vicinity.
Campground: Camp Lake Jasper campground, Hardeeville, SC. The campground has reserved 27 full-hookup sites for us as follows:
Date of arrival: Tuesday, 30 April 2019
Date of departure: Sunday, 5 May 2019

• Discounted nightly fee for these sites for our group is $51.75, tax included.

• If you should wish to remain beyond the departure date cited above, you should inform the campground office of your planned extended stay when you make your reservations for the event. The group rate cited above is applicable to your entire stay.

• There are also a limited number of lakeside sites available for our use at our group rate of $63.25/night, tax included.

• Each member will make his/her own reservation. Call the campground at 843-784-5200 and identify yourself as a member of the Naval Academy Alumni Association Rally. The first night fee is required as a deposit, with balance to be collected when you check in. The sites are being held for us until March 29, 2019.

• CAMPGROUND OFFICE RECOMMENDS CALLING MON – FRI as staff on weekends may not be familiar with the special reservation protocol for our group.

• DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MAKE RESERVATIONS ONLINE. The sites reserved for our event are blocked in the campground’s online reservation system through March 29, 2019.

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 arrival dinner
o Morning colors and graduation parade (Friday, 3 May 2019)
o Tour of MCRD PI (Thursday, 2 May 2019)
• Golf outing – joint activity with Low Country chapter
• Bike ride on the Spanish Moss Trail – looking for volunteer to coordinate
• Lunch or dinner at O’club
• Beaufort, SC historical tour
• Parris Island Museum
• Low country boil – joint activity with Low Country chapter

2019 South Carolina Low Country / Semper Fi Come Around Plan Of The Week

South Carolina Low Country / Semper Fi Come Around

Dates: 30 Arp – 5 May 2019 (tentative)
Location: Beaufort, SC and vicinity
Campground: Camp Lake Jasper, Hardeeville, SC

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

Co-firsties: Andy and Eva Wehrle ‘72
email: (Andy) (Eva)
phone: 540-659-0715 (home)
540-226-4092 (mobile – Andy)
540-226-4094 (mobile – Eva))

• Participation in activities is strictly voluntary
• Participate in as many or as few as you desire

Plan Of The Week

Tue 30 Apr

Arrival – commence come-around
1630 Welcome/ Plan of the Week/Admin and Logistics/Introductions
1700 Welcome dinner (provided by firsties)

Wed 1 May Carry on

• Liberty call – all day
• Activities
o Golf outing (joint activity with Low Country chapter of USNA Alumni Assn)
Venue – MCRD PI course
Tee times – TBD
Low Country chapter – Doug Ogden ’67
RV chapter – Jerry Cribb (Kathy Shanebrook ’80)
o Other individual/small group activities – see open time activities list on pages 3 and 4
Dinner on your own

Thur 2 May

Carpool to MCRD PI
TBD Group tour MCRD PI
TBD Group photo
TBD Group lunch (MCRD PI) – ?
Dinner on your own

Fri 3 May

Carpool to MCRD
0800 Morning colors
0900 Graduation parade
Lunch on your own
Open time – see activities list on pages 3 and 4
Dinner on your own

Sat 4 May

Carpool to MCRD
0900 General Chapter meeting (Parris Island Museum theater)
• President/Chapter Officer remarks
• Upcoming events
• Open forum
0930 Lecture – Low Country history and tour of Parris Island Museum
1400 Low Country boil (joint activity with Low Country chapter of USNA Alumni Assn)
• Venue – Gazebo at Dataw Island
• OICs
o Low Country chapter – Doug (’67) and Denise Ogden
o RV chapter – Eva Wehrle (Andy ’72)
1800 Happy Hour at the campsite (Camp Lake Jasper)
• Frozen concoction night – share your favorite frozen concoction with your shipmates
o BYO ingredients
o Firsties to provide frozen concoction machine and ice
• Desert bar – share your favorite desert with your shipmates

Sun 5 May

0800 Light morning refreshments (provided by firsties).
• Conclude come-around.
• Prepare units to get underway.
• Set special sea and anchor detail.
• Anchors aweigh.

Open time activities list

• Bicycle ride on the Spanish Moss Trail
o Looking for volunteer to coordinate
o The Spanish Moss Trail was constructed where the railroad once ran between Port Royal and the town of Yemassee. During both World Wars, Marine recruits arrived in Yemassee and traveled by train to Port Royal, then by boat over, or surface transport around, Port Royal Sound to MCRD Parris Island.
• Historical tour of beautiful Beaufort, SC
• Relax at MCAS, Beaufort O’club. The Santini Bar is reserved for officers, civilian equivalents and their guests every Friday for great drinks, hors d’ouevres, pool, and other recreational activities.
• Santa Elena National Historical landmark – located just down the road from the golf course pro shop
o Commerates the very first place in all of north America settled by the French
o The small settlement lasted less than 20 years, since the Spanish came north from St Augustine to run them off. But some of the streets in Beaufort still have their French name.
• Lots of local history, including the Battle of Port Royal Sound during the Civil War when Adm DuPont brought a large fleet of Union Navy combat ships and support ships down to defeat the Confederates in the two forts defending the entrance to the Sound. The Union was able to control Beaufort, Port Royal and environs for the rest of the War. The Confederate rail supply chain from Port Royal to Charleston was severed.
• Penn Center at Frogmore
o Established by Pennsylvania Quakers on St Helena Island as a school complex to educate freed slaves and train them in trades/occupations where they could become self sufficient.
o Most all of St Helena Island was divided up to provide “40 acres and a horse” to freed slaves.
o Penn Center was used by MLK and other leaders during the Civil Rights Movement. A home was built there for MLK and his family, but they never had a chance to use it before his assassination. Very interesting place to visit.

20th Anniversary Come Around – Monte Sano State Park

Posted: 3/5/2019

20th Anniversary Come Around
Monte Sano State Park
501 Nolen Ave.
Huntsville, AL 35801

Firsties: Gary (’69) and Val Polansky
Home: 727-595-4857
Gary: 727-641-1079,
Val: 727-641-9825,

Preliminary Plan of the Week
As of 3/3/19

Wednesday, April 24

Check-in 8 AM-5 PM. Please come to the registration table in the Pavilion to sign in and pick up your packet of information.

1700 Happy Hour at the Pavilion

1800 Firstie Dinner at the Pavilion (Please bring your own place settings.)

1900 Recognitions and Reminiscences (Please come prepared to reminisce about a favorite come around or something funny that happened at one.)


0815 Carpool to U.S. Space and Rocket Center, One Tranquility Base, Hunstville, AL 35805,
1-800-637-7223. Check-in at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration.

0900-1000 One-hour guided tour

1000-1230 Time on your own to explore the museum. Grab some lunch at the Mars Grill.

1230 Bus leaves for tour of Red Stone Arsenal. Must be U.S. citizen and have I.D. 2-3 hours.

1730 Happy Hour at the Pavilion. B-G, please bring munchies.

1830 Submarines and Sea Stories (Be thinking about a sea story to share. This is a no-cook night provided by the Firsties because of the busy day. Please bring your own place settings.)

Friday, April 26

0930-1000 Board Meeting

1000-1030 Chapter Business Meeting

1030-1600 Sightseeing or Socializing & Lunch on Your Own. Puzzles in the Pavilion & Horseshoes.

1600 Happy Hour at the Pavilion. M-R, please bring munchies.

1700 Grill Night (Bring your meat to grill & a side to share. Please bring your own place settings.)

1930-2030 Planetarium Show

Saturday, April 27

Sightseeing or Socializing & Lunch on Your Own. Puzzles in the Pavilion & Horseshoes.

1630 Happy Hour: Tom’s Margaritas (plastic glasses provided). S-W, please bring munchies.

1730 Mexican/New Mexican Night (See Food Sign up Sheet. Eva will need 4 volunteers to help assemble the enchiladas. Please bring your own place settings.)

1900-2000 Travel Trivia with Gary and Val. (Prizes!)

Sunday, April 28

0930-1100 BLTs and Bloody Mary Brunch. (Bring your favorite garnish for the Bloody Mary Bar, chips, or something sweet. We will need 7 volunteers to cook bacon. Bacon will be provided. Please bring your own place settings.)

1100-1200 Traveling with Technology (for those interested). Short overviews of the app or program your fellow RVers can’t travel without, ex: Allstays Camp & RV, My Radar, My Pilot, My Maps, Find Penguins, RV Trip Wizard, etc.(Sign up with Firsites in advance if you would like to present.)

1200-1700 Sightseeing or Socializing on Your Own. Puzzles in the Pavilion & Horseshoes.

1700 Happy Hour with Hearty Hors d’oeuvres. (This will be dinner, so bring your favorite substantial appetizer to share. Please bring your own place settings.)

1830 Trips and Tips (Please share your favorite RV trip or a tip about RVs or RVing that will help your fellow RVers.)

Monday, April 29

0800 Breakfast Bites. BYOC (Bring your own coffee.)

Departure by 11AM


2019 Key West Come Around After Action Report

Posted: 2/20/2019

The chapter’s annual come-around in Key West was held 4 – 11 Feb 2019 at the Truman Annex to Naval Air Station, Key West.  The theme for this year’s gathering was “Fun, Fellowship and Memories”, firsties were Tom (’70) and Rose Wolfe.  They were able to negotiate permission for participants to begin arriving at the Truman Annex campsite as early as 2 Feb 2019 and, for those who wished to extend their stay, to remain at the campsite until 13 Feb 2019.  Once again, Mike Currie ’67 supported the event by providing several fishing opportunities aboard his boat “Tailhooker”.

We had 55 members and guests attending with 23 RVs.  Members enjoying the Key West fun with firsties Tom (’70) and Rose Wolfe were:  Bob (’61) and Maryjane Metcalf, Gary (’69) and Valerie Polansky, Mike (’67) and Elizabeth Currie, Jay (’67) and Patti Williams, Jack (’67) and ‘Nita Parry, Dale (’70) and Su Gange, Tim (’72) and Vanessa Hallihan, John (’77) and Eileen Madaio, Hank (’67) and Stevie Giffin, Kirk (’75) and Wendy Daniels, Kathy Shanebrook (’80) and Jerry Cribb, John Schultz (’59) and Gail Kelly, Scott (’78) and Pam (’80) Rodgers, Pete (’76) and Cindy Miller, Dave (’67) and Debbie Scheu, Jim (’81) and Catherine Heffernan, Royal (’70) and Melinda Connell, Tom (’70) and Ellen Shields, Mike (’67) and Kitty Bolier, Marc Farris (’70), Dick (’67) and Jean Farver, Hal (’64) and Sandy Anderson, Tom Keane (’87) (new member, joined during the come-around) and Karen Drake (’01) (new member, joined during the come-around).

Guests included the following:

  • Guests of Marc Farris
    • Alan Hails (’70), USNA company mate of Marc
    • Jim Neale (’70), USNA company mate of Marc
    • Jack Moody (’70), USNA company mate of Marc, Jack also joined the Chapter during the come-around
    • Peter Moody, brother of Jack, retired Navy dentist
    • Myles McGrane (’70), USNA company mate of Marc
  • Guests of Jack and “Nita Parry
    • Dave and Helen Rees of Cooperstown, NY. Dave was former VF-33 squadron mate of Jack’s.
    • Karen Wass and friend Phil, Karen is ‘Nita’s friend from the Chapel Altar Guild and USNA Garden Club,
  • Guest of Kathy Shanebrook and Jerry Cribb on Sunset Cruise – Chuck Weigand, USNA ‘72
  • Chapter guests – Capt. Bobby J Baker, USN, Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station, Key West and his wife, Shantelle.

Come-around participants who went fishing with Mike Currie ’67 throughout the week were Hank Giffin ’67, Jay Williams ’67, Dick Farver ’67, Bob Metcalf ‘61, Myles McGrane ’70, Tom Shields ’70, Tim (‘72) and Vanessa Hallihan, Pete Miller ’76, Gary (‘69) and Valerie Polansky, Dale Gange ’70 and Jim Heffernan ’81.

Sunday, 3 Feb

Scott (’78) and Pam (’80) Rodgers hosted the Super Bowl viewing party at the tent for those who had chosen to arrive either Saturday or Sunday preceding official start of the come-around.

Monday, 4 Feb

The event officially began with the remainder of the participants arriving.  Co-firstie Rose Wolfe (Tom ’70) assisted by Valerie Polansky (Gary ’69), Kitty Bolier (Mike ’67) and Debbie Scheu (Dave ’67), prepared a delightful taco bar for the firstie dinner including Margaritas by co-firstie Tom.

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 Tom Keane (’87)
Key West “Rust Bucket” Award Oldest RV Dale (’70) and Su Gange
Key West “Bright and Shiny” Award Newest RV Tim (’72) and Vanessa Hallihan
Key West “Size Matters” Award (two categories) Longest unit (including towed vehicle) Kathy Shanebrook (’80) and Jerry Cribb
Shortest unit Dick (’67) and Jean Farver
Key West “Road Warriors” Award (two categories) Traveled greatest distance to attend come-around John Schultz (’59) and Gail Kelly
Longest time on the road to attend come-around Scott (’78) and Pam (’80) Rodgers
Key West “Old Salts” Award Attended most Key West come-arounds Bob (’61) and Maryjane Metcalf
Key West “Plebes” Attending Key West come-around for the first time Tim (’72) and Vanessa Hallihan

Pete (’76) and Cindy Miller

Jim (’81) and Catherine Heffernan

Royal (’70) and Melinda Connell

Marc Farris (’70)

Dick (’67) and Jean Farver

Hal (’64) and Sandy Anderson

Tom Keane (’87)

Special Recognition Recently married John Schultz (’59) and Gail Kelly

 Tuesday, 5 Feb

Town liberty was granted all day.  Mike Bolier (’67) organized a golf outing and Dale Gange (’70) organized a recreational bicycle ride for interested participants.  Opening rounds of the corn hole tournament, organized by Jack Parry (’67), began. The pot luck dinner featured participant’s favorite tailgate dish and a mystery dessert of cannonballs made from scratch following the USNA recipe prepared by a team led by co-firstie Rose Wolfe (Tom ’70) who was ably assisted by Valerie Polansky (Gary ’69), Elizabeth Currie (Mike ’67), Kitty Bolier (Mike ’67), Stevie Giffin (Hank ’67) and Patti Williams (Jay ’67).  The team accepted an invitation from the wife of the CO NAS Key West to prepare and bake the cannonballs at her residence. After dinner Jack (’67) and ‘Nita Parry gave a presentation of their travels during the past year to the Gaspé Peninsula in Canada, Iceland and the Cincinnati-Navy football game.

Wednesday, 6 Feb

Dave (’67) and Debbie Scheu organized a tour of the Harry S. Truman Little White House.  This activity was an ad hoc substitute for a previously scheduled tour of the U.S. Coast Guard facility that had been organized by Jay Williams (’67) but which the Coast Guard was forced to cancel immediately prior to the come-around.  Wednesday evening’s activity featured another memorable Sunset Cruise with 42 members and 2 guests.  This year’s cruise was organized by first time Key West come-around participants Tim (’72) and Vanessa Hallihan.

Thursday, 7 Feb

On Thursday morning we enjoyed a tour, organized by Jay Williams (’67), of JIATF South (Joint Interagency Task Force, South).   Tour participants learned about the combined effort of multiple U.S. government agencies in cooperation with multiple Latin and South American countries and several European and Asia-Pacific nations to interdict the flow of illicit drugs globally.  After the tour we carpooled to Stock island for a group lunch, organized by John (’77) and Eileen Madaio, at Chico’s Cantina – always a favorite.

Friday, 8 Feb

Friday morning featured a Chapter Officer and Board meeting followed immediately by a general chapter membership meeting led by Chapter president Jack Parry (’67).  The general meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance and concluded with all singing verses 1 and 3 of our Alma Mater.  Jack announced that he and “Nita would be the firsties for Key West_2020 and that Jim (’81) and Catherine Heffernan had volunteered to serve as the firsties for Key West_2021.  He reminded the forum of what constitutes a come-around according to Chapter policy and encouraged members to organize future gatherings during football season that coincide with Navy away football games.  Jack also reminded the forum of upcoming come-arounds for 2019 and asked the firsties for each to offer comments pertaining to their respective event.

Lunch for Friday featured “light” pot luck fare.  This activity was new for 2019 and provided a relaxing break between the general chapter meeting and the annual Key West White Elephant auction.  Jack Parry (’67) conducted a very successful auction and Kathy Shanebrook (’80) served as the clerk.  Total proceeds from the auction were $845, topping last year’s record event by $7. Thanks to all members who donated items to the auction and special thanks to all who participated in the lively bidding.

Happy Hour featured a blind wine tasting event with 20 entries.  The winning entry, Menage a Trois, California Red Wine was provided by Jay (’67) and Patti Williams.  Jay and Patti had also entered this wine in a contest they had organized several years ago and it had also won that event.  Prior to beginning the blind wine tasting event, Bob Metcalf (’61) gave a brief but informative history of the Key West come-around.

Saturday, 9 Feb

Saturday’s activities began with a golf cart rodeo, in which the blindfolded “pilot” of the golf cart had to navigate an obstacle course that included backing into “garages” and navigating around orange safety cones.  In navigating the course, the “pilot” was assisted by a “navigator” who could only offer verbal commands.  This activity was a hit with all who participated.  Jay (’67) and Patti Williams won the event with Patti as the “pilot” and Jay as the “navigator”.

Saturday evening’s activities included a fish fry under the stars preceded by “Margarita Night” during Happy Hour with co-firstie Tom Wolfe (’70) piloting the margarita machine and ably assisted by Vanessa Hallihan (Tim ’72) and others.  The fish fry, organized by Hank (’67) and Stevie Giffin, featured the catch of the week by event participants who had gone fishing with Skipper Mike Currie (’67) aboard “Tailhooker” throughout the week.  Stevie provided a “special recipe” black sauce and assisting Hank in the grilling function with their grills were Gary Polansky (’69), Dave Scheu (’67), Tim Hallihan (’72), Scott Rodgers (’78) and Tim Kaine (’87).  Mike Bolier (’67) also assisted by providing a “non-fish” grill for those who do not eat fish.  Once again, the fish fry was well received by all.

The Chapter was honored to have as its guests for the evening activities the Commanding Officer of NAS Key West, Captain Bobby J. Baker, USN and his wife Shantelle.  Capt. Baker also presented an informative overview brief of NAS Key West and later in the evening served as both the judge and emcee for the USNA jeopardy contest. Once again, the jeopardy contest was a hit with all who participated.  Capt. Baker’s participation made it especially memorable since he is a graduate of West Point (’93) who completed Army Aviation Officer training and was designated an Army Aviator before executing an inter-service transfer to become a Naval Aviator.  Gary (’69) and Valerie Polansky began the evening’s entertainment agenda with a presentation of the western caravan (Navy-Air Force football game in Colorado Springs, CO, Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM and Navy-Notre Dame football game in San Diego, CA) that they had organized and led during Oct 2018.

Sunday, 10 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.

Happy Hour on Sunday featured both the semi-finals and finals of the corn hole tournament.  The tables and chairs were rearranged in the tent to form an “arena” in which the contests were held.  Tom Shields (’70) won the singles tournament with Jack Parry (’67) runner-up.  Hank (’67) and Stevie Giffin bested Tom (’70) and Ellen Shields to win the doubles tournament.

Monday, 11 Feb

Key West_2019 formally concluded.  The firsties provided light morning refreshments as participants set their respective special sea and anchor details in preparation for getting underway.

Tuesday, 12 Feb – Wednesday, 13 Feb

No scheduled activities for those who wished to extend their stay at the Truman campsite.  Bob (’61) and Maryjane Metcalf, Jack (’67) and ‘Nita Parry and firsties Tom (’70) and Rose Wolfe all departed on Wednesday morning.

2018 Watts Bar Come Around After Action Reprort

Tuesday afternoon, October 23 found our crew of about 40 people gathered around the pavilion for the start of the traditional Watts Bar Fall come-around with a fish fry, potato salad, coleslaw, and ice cream dinner provided by firsties Jim and Lynne Connors, 74. Also attending were (add from attendee list). After dinner, the group moved to a roaring campfire for a sing-along, then a very moving flag retirement ceremony in which 15 worn out flags were burned over the campfire with solemn reverence and patriot music. There were not a lot of dry eyes in the crowd for that ceremony.

The next morning our intrepid campers were greeting with a hearty breakfast supplied by Jim and Marie Roberts and volunteers. After that we had a chapter business meeting with the big picture provided by the USNAAA Regional Trustee, Rich Cataldi. Then we moved into the always popular White Elephant auction. This year our junk yielded a total of $520 for the chapter treasury. After a quick break for lunch, about half the group debarked for 2 different hikes while the remainder enjoyed the local amusements. That night we were treated to a wonderful and tasty pot luck dinner, again proving that our group isn’t handicapped by the use of RV kitchens. That night we again gathered around the campfire for s’mores, jokes, and sea stories.

Thursday, we enjoyed a tour of the Tsali Notch Vineyards and a wine tasting, followed by margaritas from Tom Wolfe’s Margaritaville machine. Dinner was again provided by the firsties with a special delivery of 14 large pizzas and more ice cream. We rejoined the campfire but were cut off early by rains. These same rains continued into Friday causing the planned boat rides and classic car show to be canceled. But instead the firstie moved the Sat night cookout to Friday night, and we were treated to chili cheese dogs and brats with nuclear stew and more ice cream. The rains stopped in time for another campfire with lots of requests for s’mores since we’d missed them on Thursday night.

Saturday was a day to see the local sites, and folks visited Mayfield Diary, Sweetwater Cheese Factory, flea markets, and other local shops and restaurants. But before dark, everyone carpooled to the home of Jim and Lynne for the grand finale, a 90 minute fireworks show. The “ooohs” and “aahhs” were non stop as we lit up the sky to the delight of our shipmates and spouses.

Sunday, most of the campers left for homeport, with a few joining Jim and Lynne around the campfire one last time. Once again, it seemed like the major theme running thru this come-around was food…. lots of it and as often as possible. No one went hungry, and hopefully no one had to do a lot of cooking other than the firsties. Stay tuned for more information on Watts Bar 2020. We are working with the site managers to try to find a week in late September that would still allow us to be in one area and give us use of the pavilion.

2019 Key West Video

Posted: 2/15/2019

Pete Miller ’76 put together this video record of the 2019 Key West ComeAround. Nice job Pete!

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