Vol. VIII, No. 3                                                                                            Dec. 2005


The following schedule for the Denver reunion has been established.

Schedule for 33rd ABAA Reunion
Denver, CO
June 15-20, 2006

Thurs., June 15  Reunion participants begin checking into Adam's Mark Hotel
Fri., June 16 Reunion participants continue to check into hotel.
In morning, participants enjoy the 16th Street Mall
1 to 4 p.m. Hospitality Room - Registration
2 to 4 p.m. Sharing stories, photo albums, slides in Hospitality Room
 4 to 5:30 p.m.  Swimming...exercising...napping...
6 p.m.  Dinner at a local restaurant - separate checks
8 p.m. For those interested, attending theatrical production at Denver Performing Arts Center or going to a local jazz club
Sat., June 17 Breakfast on your own
10:00 a.m. Attending Denver museum(s) in the downtown area
12:30 p.m. Lunch together at Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant near Adam's Mark - separate checks
2:00 p.m. Rehearsal for evening "concert"
6 p.m. Gather in banquet location for official reunion photo
6:30 p.m. Banquet followed by concert
10:00 p.m. Socializing in the area of the hotel bar
 Sun,. June 18  
 9:00  Reunion breakfast and business meeting
 Noon  Check-out for those departing for home
 1 to 3 p.m.  Roger Dickerson and band friends perform in Adam's Mark lobby
 Evening  On the town
 Mon., June 19  Post-reunion activity:  A train trip to Winter Park, CO
 7:30 a.m.  Arrive at Union Station in Denver and prepare to depart for Fraser-Winter Park
 8:05 a.m.  California Zephyr departs from station
 10:07 a.m.  Zephyr arrives in Fraser-Winter Park
Until return to Denver, enjoy various activities in Winter Park
4:10 p.m. California Zephyr departs from Fraser-Winter Park
6:58 p.m. Zephyr arrives in Denver
Tues., June 20 Check-out for most of those participating in post-reunion activity


Important Notice to Those Planning to Ride the Zephyr

  In order to insure that we have group rate tickets for the Monday, June 19 round trip from Denver to Fraser-Winter Park on the California Zephyr, the 33rd ABAA CEO used his personal credit card to reserve 45 tickets.  The round trip group rate tickets for those 62 and over are $40.80 each.  Adult tickets are $48.00.  If you are planning to ride the Zephyr, please send your checks, money orders or cashier's checks, made out to Frank Schlatter, for the number of tickets you wish to reserve.  They will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.  If there are not enough group rate tickets for those who wish to take the train, those who do not get their tickets from Frank will need to purchase individual tickets from Amtrak.  Depending on when they are purchased, the price range for such tickets may be anywhere from $38 to $74, with 15% taken off if the individual is 62 or over.  When you send Frank your money for the tickets, please identify the age brackets and the names of those for whom the tickets are purchased.  All group tickets need to be purchased by April 15

Room Rates and Arrival-Departure Times

  As noted in the previous newsletter, the rates for our rooms at the Adam’s Mark are $90 for a single, $95 for a double. To make reservations, you will want to phone the hotel at 1-800-444-2326. Hotel reservations must be made at least 30 days prior to your arrival date. THE SOONER YOU MAKE YOUR RESERVATION WITH THE HOTEL, THE BETTER.

   When contacting the hotel, identify yourself as part of the 33rd ABAA Reunion and provide the hotel with your name, requested type of room, requested bed type (i.e., king, double/double queen, twin or suites), check-in and check-out dates.  Our special room rates will be honored for us “three (3) days before Group arrival and three (3) days after Group departure based on availability.”  Our contract with the hotel indicates that if you make reservations less than thirty days prior to your arrival date, they will be accepted “on a space available basis, at the higher of the contract rate or rate available at that time.”

   Because the hotel needed a projected listing of arrival and departure dates for our reunion, Frank Schlatter attempted to learn from many of you what your projected arrival and departure dates at the Adam’s Mark hotel would be.  The space that immediately follows indicates what Frank provided to the hotel for you individually.  Please note that if the space in the box is blank, Frank did not supply the hotel with a projected arrival and departure date for you.  Therefore, if you are planning to attend the reunion and will require room reservations and this space is blank, please inform Frank immediately so that he can give the hotel the information you provide to him. And if your projected dates are incorrect, Frank would also like to hear from you so as to have the correct information for the reunion committee and the hotel. (Note: The information referred to above for individuals does not appear in this website version of "Passing in Review")



   A link to a reunion registration form is provided at the end of this newsletter. The form can be printed, filled out and mailed to Frank Schlatter. 

   It is important that all attending the reunion plan to forward their registration fee(s) for the reunion to Frank Schlatter so that he has them prior to May 15—preferably by the end of April.  The basic registration fee for each participant will cover the costs of the Saturday evening banquet, the Sunday morning breakfast meeting at the hotel, food and drink costs in the hospitality room, and other costs associated with arranging the reunion.

   As noted on the form, the registration fee for each individual attending the reunion is $75.


Annual Dues Payments for 2006

   For most members of the 33rd ABAA annual dues payments for the coming year are called for in either December or January.  Unless your newsletter has a sticker on the first page at the top right hand side, indicating that your payment is to be made at a different time, the payment of $15 should be made either this month or next to the 33rd ABAA and sent to Frank Schlatter, 3111 Futura, Roswell, NM 88201



About the 33rd Army Band Alumni Association

    The 33rd Army Band Alumni Association is a not-for-profit organization that has been developed to provide a means for former members of the USAREUR Band to be in contact with one another via the quarterly newsletter Passing In Review and through periodic reunions.

     33rd ABAA CEO:  Frank Schlatter, 3111 Futura, Roswell, NM 88201.  E-mail: obfusa@rt66.com  Telephone number: 505-622-6898.  Fax: 505-622-1611.

    Webmaster for the 33rd ABAA internet site: Dee Tonning, 2265 Tawny Woods Pl., Boise, ID 83706.  E-mail: dtonning@aol.com.

     Local Coordinator for 2006 reunion in Denver the third weekend in June: Greg Miller, 5252 Golf Course Dr., Morrison, CO 80465-2104. E-mail: greg-miller@comcast.net.

   The organization's web site:     http://www.rt66.com/~obfusa/33rd.  

Persons who are not former members of the 33rd Army Band but who are interested in participating in the activities of the alumni association are welcome as associate members.  Annual dues for all members: $15, payable to the 33rd ABAA and sent to the CEO.  The normal dues cycle is from January to January. but dues can be paid at any time.



Clair (Bucky) Buckwalter, percussion (63)

David Nicholson, trombone (71-72) passed away in May of 2004


Roger Dickerson‘s Plus and Minus Experiences Provided by Hurricane Katrina

    Before Hurricane Katrina hit the southern U.S. coastline, New Orleans resident Roger Dickerson (58-59)  had decided that he would sit out the storm at home.  “After all,” he was to say later, “I’ve gone through hurricanes before, and I saw no reason to pack up and leave.”  So he had his provisions for the storm, and when it hit he waited it out.  It was, he notes, a storm that wrecked great havoc in New Orleans, and on his street the major damage of Katrina itself stemmed from the hurricane’s high winds.  Particularly hard hit were the trees, one of which was a large pecan tree in Roger’s front yard that was toppled over by the storm, smashing a friend’s car beneath it.  

  When Roger tells his story, he indicates that the storm had passed, and, except for the wind damage, he thought he had come through it relatively unscathed.  Indeed, it wasn’t until he was sitting in his backyard reading the New York Times that he got the first inkling that he was not free and clear of any problems related to Katrina.  He found that his yard was beginning to be flooded with water.  (It was water, he says, that was not directly attributable to Katrina. Instead, it was the result of another parish’s unauthorized  pumping of water into a canal and causing the levee to break.)

   He subsequently found that the water was starting to rise within his house, inching up along the baseboard on the ground floor.  He was concerned, of course, but not unduly so, expecting that the pumps of the city would begin to do the job of lowering the water.  However, the water continued to rise, and the next day when Roger came downstairs from the bedroom on the second floor where he had spent the night, he found that the water had risen above the stove on which he had cooked his previous evening’s meal.  In the living room, the water was above the keyboard of his grand piano.

   “I knew then,” he says, “that I had to leave.”  Because helicopters were constantly passing overhead, Roger planned to climb onto the roof to flag one of them to rescue him.  But before he could leave the house, he heard some men in a flat boat who were seeking individuals that needed to be rescued.  Roger turned over his briefcase and a small bag to the men, who, by this time, were on the roof overhead; he then swam out of his backyard and over his six-foot fence to reach the flat boat.

   After a cruise around the neighborhood looking for others who needed to be rescued, Roger was eventually transported to higher ground, where he witnessed some looting of a nearby store, and then, after some time, he went to the Superdome where he spent two days and a night.

   He has some strong recollections of that time (not that he suffered greatly but because so many others were in situations that were far more catastrophic than his own—family members separated from one another; mothers with little or nothing available to them to take care of several children; older people who grew faint standing in long lines: the line to get into the Superdome, the lines to get water or food, and eventually the lines waiting to board  buses to distant destinations.)

   Roger tells of helping an elderly man who was legally blind and who surely would have had major difficulties escaping from the Superdome to get on a bus headed for San Antonio if Roger or someone else had not provided assistance. But together they made that trip.

   Conditions at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, where they were taken, were far, far better than those they had left behind in New Orleans.  Round-the-clock food and water were available, along with medical facilities and a bank of free-to-use telephones.  It was via telephone that Roger was able to get into contact with Gabe Villani (56-58), who invited Roger to his Florida home but also informed him that Frank Schlatter (56-58) had been in touch with him and was also inviting Roger to stay with him and his wife Carole in Roswell, New Mexico.  When Roger contacted Frank, the invitation was repeated, and because of the proximity of New Mexico to Texas, Roger opted to stay with the Schlatters.

   Within a day after the telephone exchange, Roger flew to Lubbock, Texas, where Frank and Carole met him. After Roger did some shopping for much-needed clothes at a Men’s Wearhouse (and Carole did some of her own shopping at her favorite store among stores: Chico’s), they drove to Roswell.  The first couple of days provided a chance for Roger to get some much-needed R & R, and he thoroughly appreciated having the opportunity in the late afternoon of the second day in Roswell to kick back in a lawn chair to listen to a Pops concert of the Roswell Symphony Orchestra at a local park.  He commented on how fortunate he was to be where he was when so many others were stranded in locations that were so undesirable.

   On his fourth day in Roswell (Sept. 8th), the local newspaper carried a front page article about Roger that was headed “Victim joins local friends after chaos in the dome”.  The article identified Roger as a composer and retired music professor who had been in the 33rd Army Band with Frank.  It then told how Roger had stayed in his home until the water on the first floor reached the level of his chest.  It recounted how he had left his home via the flat boat and then quoted Roger as saying, “The flooding started after the storm stopped.”  The article cites Roger as stating that Jefferson Parish officials were responsible for dumping water into the 17th Avenue canal to clear water from up-scale communities, thus causing the break in the canal levee and allowing “water from other places to flood the city.”  Of the chaos in the Superdome, Roger said, “No one made announcements about what was going on.  No one knew when the buses were coming.”  And then, when the buses did come, it took about the same amount of time to get on them as--a couple of days earlier--it took to get processed into the Superdome: four to six hours.  




In the days after his arrival in Roswell, communication with family and friends and checking in with his insurance company and with Human Services, the Red Cross, and other relief agencies became major priorities, and many of those days found Roger glued to telephones.  Because so many of the towers for his New Orleans cell phone were down and because he found it impossible to get into contact with others via that phone, he purchased a new cell phone with a Roswell area code. (To this day, Roger says that telephone and e-mail communications in and out of New Orleans are still bad.)

   In the course of his five-week stay with Carole and Frank, Roger participated in many of the same activities as they experienced.  So when Carole’s real estate firm had a party at the home of her bosses, Paula and John Grieves, Roger was also in attendance.  It was there that Roger played some jazz on the piano and wowed his listeners with his manifest talent.  The result of this performance was an invitation from the pastor of  Paula and John’s church to perform at a Sunday service both before and after the sermon. It was therefore the pleasure of the congregation to hear Roger play some New Orleans jazz—and they gave him a standing ovation to indicate that they would like to hear more.  On another occasion, Roger played at a local museum, again wowing his audience.

   When it was deemed possible for Roger to check on the condition of his house in New Orleans, he made his flight arrangements, flying out of Lubbock on October 12.  Prior to his departure, though, it was decided that he would return to Roswell to perform in a concert that a number of people were interested in arranging for him.  Within a couple of weeks the plans for the concert were developed, and Roger returned to Roswell on November 14 so as to work out the musical selections that would be played and to practice with local musicians whom he wanted to join with him in the concert.  The concert was set for November 20th.

   The announcement of the event was provided via the local media and in beautiful multi-colored 11 x 17 posters (shown below). The concert itself was unique.  The first half was performed at the First Presbyterian Church; the second half was performed at the Roswell Museum and Art Center. 

The front page lead story in the Roswell Daily Record of November 21 had a four-column-wide color photo of Roger shown playing at the museum and art center.  The picture was under a headline that read: “Sacred, and jazzy, like New Orleans.”  The article itself had the head-line “Composer plays for museum benefit.”  The story stated that Roger was joined by local singer Tom Blake and some friends (a drummer, bass player, and guitar player), and it added that “a spectrum of jazz, pop and spiritual music” was performed. Additionally, the article revealed that the proceeds for the event were to go to the Louisiana Children’s Museum, which would disperse the money to children in New Orleans.  The director of the museum was cited as saying: “It’s the kids who are suffering the most.  They are the ones that will be affected the most in the long term.”

The article provided some details related to Roger’s experience with Hurricane Katrina and indicated that “his  home will  need to be gutted and rebuilt inside because of the mold.”  It ended with a quote from Roger, who, despite everything he’s been through, could still say, “we have much to give thanks for.”  Roger returned to New Orleans the following day so that he could be together with his family in Baton Rouge for Thanksgiving.

   As an aside to the foregoing account—

   During the preparations for Roger’s concert with Tom Blake and friends, Frank Schlatter contacted Cindy Saylor, sales manager for the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Denver, and suggested the possibility of Roger  performing in the hotel lobby on the final day of our June 2006 reunion. Cindy was immediately taken with the idea and, after receiving some additional information that Frank faxed to her, she met with the top brass of the hotel to get their go-ahead.  Apparently, they also are enthusiastic about such a projected program.

   To learn first-hand about Roger’s talent, Cindy drove to Roswell the day prior to the concert, met Roger, and then had the great satisfaction of personally experiencing the concert.

   Thus it is that our reunion schedule calls for a jazz gig with Roger and some former 33rders to be performed in the lobby of the Adam's Mark on Sunday, June 18, 2006.

   In a telephone conversation with Roger and Frank following the November 20th concert, Dick Prestage, who had been in the 33rd at the same time as they, suggested that Frank might have a new job in his future, that of Roger's agent.

   A REQUEST FROM THE EDITOR: Without doubt, other members of the 33rd ABAA have stories of their own to tell, not necessarily concerning their survival of assaults by Mother Nature or some other force.  The editor encourages everyone in the association to share their stories with us because we are very interested in knowing what you are doing.  Suggestion: If at this time of year you send out a family newsletter, send a copy to the editor. In all likelihood, some of the information that you share with family and friends will be of interest to readers of Passing In Review. –F.D.S.

   SGM Marcella D. Larson, (currently the Sergeant Major/Enlisted Bandleader with the USAREUR Band and Chorus) provided her telephone numbers and e-mail address: DSN:379-7613/7834, +49 (0) 6202-807613/7834. Cell: +49 (0)160-964-16183.  E-mail: Marcella.Larson@us.army.mil.

   Tom Kerkman (57-58) has a new e-mail address: tk14740@cox.net

   Richard McFerron (75-78) informed us that he and his wife Teri spent some time in Ireland during the month of June, experiencing a night in Tralee.  Rick noted that “The band played for the Rose of Tralee Festival in 1977 and 1978.  There won't be a huge number of 33rders who will remember the Grand Hotel--it was much nicer than I remembered.  Fewer will recognize the pub pictured (Barrett's) but we raised a pint or two there.” Rick said that Barrett's pub was a few blocks from the center of town and it's where a small group of 33rders hung out when off duty.”  He and Teri are looking forward to seeing other members of the 33rd ABAA in June.  (Ed. Note: Let’s hope that Rick and Teri bring their pix of Ireland with them to the reunion!)       

   Doug Youra (57-58) wrote, with justification, to brag about the accomplishment of his daughter, Green Bay native Carmen, upon the receipt of the Hervey Hauser Award for Educational Excellence presented by the Sturgeon Bay School Board.   Carmen, who has attended the recent reunions of the 33rd ABAA, is an elementary school music specialist in Sturgeon Bay, where she has taught for the past 20 years. The award is the most prestigious one given by her local school board.

   Bob Holmes (72-73) wrote to indicate that he has copies of a lot of the music the band played in beer tents, passing in reviews, etc. during his time with the band.  He will be retiring the first week in June after having taught band for 30+ years.  He said that he still has access to tunes like “Berliner Luft,” “Bayerish Defelier March,” “Hoch die Tassen,” “Alte Kameraden,” and all the Marsch and Review books:  Fredericus Rex, Prussens Gloria, etc., The Fasching Book:  “Allis Zur Stimmung,” “In Munchen Steht ein Hofbrauhaus,” and more. 

   He also has “lots of marches Mr. Field did with us:  ‘Standard of St. George,’  ‘Chicago Tribune,’ ‘Salutation,’ ‘Invercargill,’  ‘St. Julian,’ ‘National Emblem,’ etc. etc.” 

  Bob noted that the 18 piece polka band (the Chico Bavarian Band), of which he is a member, “goes to Bavaria in 2007 for the third time.” He said they are sponsored by Spaten Brewery and march in parades and do sets at the Spaten tent at the fairgrounds.  The group’s library is enormous, according to Bob, and they play all but a few of the arrangements the 33rd had in the library at Patton Barracks.

   (Ed. Note: The reunion arrangers are hoping that Bob will compare notes with Dick Hays about which arrangement he should bring with him to the June reunion.)  

    When Gabe Villani (56-58) heard that Carole and Frank Schlatter claimed that it took some doing on their part to arrange for a hurricane to get Roger Dickerson to visit them in Roswell, he wrote that he “would like to borrow your ‘personal God’ to put a ‘hit’ on some people—let me know how…”

    When Don Craig (75-80’s) learned that Roger Dickerson was with the Schlatters following Hurricane Katrina, he wrote to say how glad he was to learn that Roger was safe.  In an added note to Roger, he said:   “Roger, you may not remember me, but I used to teach at Xavier and I played your clarinet sonata on my 1st or 2nd recital there.  I had no idea that you had been in Heidelberg and at the time I never expected to be in the Army or ever even have the chance to visit Heidelberg. Interesting how things sometimes turn out.  I haven't been able to attend any of the reunions, but I hope that I will be able to go to the next one and I hope that you will be there as well so we can talk some about old times in the city.”

   Scott Peterson wrote to provide his new snail mail address: 1175 Farmington Ave. #4-105, Bristol, CT 06010.
   Frank Gomes (55-56) wrote to apologize to those folks with whom he and his wife had planned to get together.  Frank cited three factors that changed their activities:  “The first was the weather. We had a lot of rain into the month of August, so it became difficult to plan ahead in having company. The second was that I volunteered and took on a couple of tasks at Pilgrim Pines. The main task given to me was to mow the Camp Squanto ball field and the beach field. Each field is about the size of a football field. In Natick I hated mowing, but at the Pines I did the mowing on a riding mower. It was fun. I have volunteered to do it again next summer. The third factor, one that has affected all of us, was the escalating price of gas. Trips that we had hoped to make had to be canceled.”

   Howard Prielipp (early 70’s) wrote, saying: “ I retired from the Army at Fort Hood, 1 Feb 2003, and have been traveling and living with family, literally around the world, until settling into a Department of Defense Dependent Schools gig here in Naples, Italy.  I am now one of the elementary school music teachers here at the US Navy  Naples Support Activity.”   He said that he “had planned on trying to locate a former college classmate of mine who also happened to be a 33rd AB alumnus.  Dave and I finished our BAs at Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan, May 1976.  I had been trying for the better part of a year to reach Dave and finally found an email address for him in the ANG Band in Michigan.  Several attempts were kicked back and I finally reached his unit telephonically last summer while waiting for word on the teaching job here in DoDDS.  As happens so much during the passage of time, we lost touch with each other.  It turns out that SSG David Nicholson ('71-'72) passed away as a result of prostate cancer in May of 2004.  Dave was an excellent trombonist and a fun classmate to do projects with during school.”

  Howard indicated that David was buried at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Battle Creek, Michigan, saying that he had located his site in the same section of the grounds as that of his uncle.
He closed, saying: “I enjoy the website and look forward over the coming months to finding more of the folks I spent time with in Heidelberg, especially now that I am back in Europe with a bit more time available for travel.”

    Binky Buckwalter, daughter of Bucky Buckwalter (63) wrote to say that she thinks our website is great, noting that the first thing she did on locating the site was to look for her father’s name.  She informed us that Bucky passed away on Sept 29th 1982 of lung cancer,

    Binky said that she had followed in her dad’s footsteps and had taken up drums, which she has been playing since she was 12.  She is now hearing 50.  She says that drumming is how she pays the bills.

   Daniel Rickard (72-76 & 82-85) wrote that he would be bringing his sax to the reunion in Denver.  He noted that he saw from the list of tentative attendees printed in the last newsletter that a lot of people from his times in the band will apparently be there.  He said he was already excited about attending.

   In a postscript about New Orleans, he said: “Looking at the photos from last year's reunion I realize the city will never look like that again!”

   Rick Stanley (91-2000) wrote to say that he was not lost, but is, instead, “here in the ‘Land of Oz’”—that is, he’s been in the Fort Riley, Kansas, area since Uncle Sam “in his infinite wisdom decided to send me here from the nice confines of Schwetzingen.”  Rick retired  in 2003 and his e-mail said “it was the smartest thing I've ever done.  I'm going to school now compliments of Uncle Sam and working on getting my entertainment business off the ground.  I also volunteer my time and talents to the Veterans Hospitals in Topeka and Kansas City.”

    Dana O’Riley (Chorus Member 91-93) took the two pix just below of unit members during a field training exercise near Kilbourne Kasern in1991 or 1992.  She said she recognized Ron Blomberg, Marcy Larson, and Barry Fletcher in the pictures, but she did not identify which individuals they were.  Perhaps someone receiving this newsletter can tell us who is who?  The pictures Dana e-mailed us are color photos and will probably appear in color on our website.  In hard copy they have been changed to black-and-white.

Roger Dickerson & friends concert at Roswell (NM) Museum & Art Center, November 20, 2005



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