D.C.: A 33rd Reunion Bonanza
Reunion-goers Delighted with Two Tours and Much More
Crowne Plaza Washington National Airport, a Wonderful Venue
--The Capitol and the White House--
We had tours of both of them
Through the efforts of unidentified White House personnel and the strong support of Virginia White, our contact at Senator Jeff Bingman's office, who worked with federal officials to get us tours of both the White House and the Capitol, we were successful in having access to both locations. The White House confirmation was received by CEO Frank just two days prior to the reunion, and, amazingly enough the time of that tour (7:30 a.m. on Friday, September 10) fit into our schedule so that no other changes needed to be made. It did make for a busy Friday!
The Crowne Plaza Washington National Airport: Our Home Away From Home
The Crowne Plaza was as perfect for our 2010 reunion as anyone could expect from a hotel in the Washington, D.C. area: the room rates for us were half as much as rooms would normally cost, the hotel is located within 10 to 15 minutes of the Ronald Reagan airport, and is only a couple of blocks from the Crystal City Mall and the Metro system. Furthermore, the amenities of the hotel are first-rate, and the staff is what you'd want if you have any needs that require attention. The hotel definitely served the purposes of our reunion
The Final Schedule of Activities:
All in attendance found much to do
and enjoy during the reunion.
Perhaps the greatest surprise for those attending the reunion was finding out that a White House tour had been established for our reunion. (CEO Frank received the message on Tuesday, September 7.) The event was set for 7:30 a.m. on Friday, and that fit in perfectly with the previously-planned activities.
The reunion's activities began on Wednesday evening when fifteen or sixteen of us went to the King Street Blues restaurant in the nearby mall, where a number of us pigged out on ribs. The other evening meals were also most satisfying. Teri and Rick McFerron did a great job locating the Old Glory Restaurant in Georgetown for our tasty Thursday evening outing, and the Old Europe Restaurant in Georgetown on Friday night, where they had made arrangements for a German buffet dinner, was a culinary delight for those of us who were ready for Wurstplatte, with Bratwurst, Bauerwurst and Weisswurst on sauerkraut and potato dumplings; and Schweinenackenbraten--roasted pork in dark beer gravy with mashed potatoes and red cabbage; and Schwarzwalder Hahnchen, breast of chicken sautéed with spatzle and seasonal vegetables; and a pork schnitzel, all finally accompanied by a dessert of Bavarian Cream with wild berry compote and apple strudel with vanilla sauce. (Just receiving such a menu is enough to make one want to return for more.)
The final evening meal, of course, was the banquet at the Crowne Plaza, done up and served in exemplary fashion by the hotel staff.
The daily activities provided opportunities for us to share stories from our various tours of duty, beginning in our hospitality room on Thursday afternoon. (The morning, for those who had arrived early, was a time for exploring the Mall and taking in some of Washington's many sites of interest.) Friday turned out to be a very full day, starting with the White House tour, which was followed by a visit to the National Museum of the Marine Corps (where we had lunch in the museum's mess hall). That was then followed by a visit to the Air and Space Museum not too far from Dulles airport.
On Saturday we had a tour of the Capitol Visitor's Center (a tour that is highly recommended for all Washington D.C. visitors to take). After that, attendees were on their own, and numbers of them went to the American Art Museum to see the Rockwell art work. Others spent time investigating the various memorials. Some went to the Holocaust Museum. Still others went to the different art museums. And some spent the time shopping. In many respects, the day was a pleasant contrast to the "busy-ness" of Friday.
Naturally the day was topped off by our banquet. And this year the after-dinner entertainment proved to be a wonderful program that featured Roger Dickerson and Bill Robinson on the keyboard (at different times), joined by Don Craig on clarinet and Steve Barnhart on drums. Also Charles Lisby, who was with a predecessor band for the 33rd, beautifully sang a couple of religious songs accapella. (What a wonderful voice!)
Sunday morning was the time for breakfast together and our business meeting. Prior to the latter, Frank presented flags with the USAREUR logo on them to Rick McFerron and Roger Dickerson. (Others to whom flags were subsequently mailed included George Masche for his providing mugs to a number of the reunions, and to Scott and Carole Phoenix and Lorelei Giddings for their previous hosting of reunions in their respective cities.)
Absent from the reunion were a number of association members who had attended past reunions. George Masche came to the reunion, bringing with him a bass and mugs for the occasion, but he had to leave early because of the death of the sister of his wife. Sadly, Doug Youra's wife died shortly before the reunion and he was forced to cancel. Still others had activities or health problems which simply kept them from attending the reunion. In any case, you who did not make it to the reunion were missed, and it is undoubtedly true that you also missed the wonderful time provided by the 2010 reunion.
Business Meeting Notes
At the business meeting we discussed the results of the survey taken with regard to future reunions of the 33rd ABAA. The majority of respondents to the survey rejected the idea that we should have annual reunions, and the vote from those who responded to the survey on a Heidelberg reunion was split down the middle.
In the deliberations regarding a reunion in 2012, there appeared to be a complete accord of those in attendance that Chicago should be the choice for that event. The editor of Passing in Review would appreciate getting their views on a 2012 reunion in Chicago and whether they would plan to attend.
As to a Heidelberg event, the question was raised about whether there would be enough members of the association who would be interested in going to Heidelberg in an "off" year--specifically in 2013. Feedback from all members on this possibility are also solicited by the newsletter editor.
Paul Van Doorne, son of Henry J. Van Doorne (53-55) wrote to say he was a "bit late", but he felt obligated to let all of the 33rd Army Band Alumni know of his father's passing on Feb 6th, 2008. He said that his father was proud of his career and spoke often and fondly of his time serving in the 33rd Army Band. In the pictures on the reunion site, the photos show his dad leading the band while marching. He was also the 1st Clarinetist.
Stewart, Steve (1996-1999), French Horn player, wrote to say that we left him off our list and, in addition, that he was the one who organized the building of the library and databases for the band.
Greg Miller (57-59) said that from now on, his email address will be firstname.lastname@example.org. He requested that we replace his past email with this new address.
Roxana Mattice Taylor, daughter of Howard Mattice (56-57) said that she was trying to find any kind of information on her father. She noted that she had seen his name on our website, but all the Howard Mattices she had found so far were not her father. She acknowledged that he was in the army and that he played in bands, having served in Heidelberg sometime between 1955 and 1957, After that she thinks he was stationed at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.
She said she knew he was deceased, but didn't have a date when that happened or any other information on him. She requested whatever help we could give her. Do any former 33rders have any data related to Howard?
Alex A. Santino, grandson of Ralph C. Church, (C.O. from 55-57) wrote to introduce himself, saying he had found our website through a Google search while trying to find information on the 33rd. He said the reason for the search was that he lives in the house his grandfather purchased when he retired from the military, and he was constantly coming across his many memories while he served his 33 years in the Army. One of the memories he had only recently "dug up": a silver loving cup which says (in German) thanks for the memorable concert in Heckenheim on 5 May 1957, 33rd Army Band. Hence the Google search for the 33rd Army Band and our site.
He thanked us for keeping the memory alive of all the members of the band, especially some fond memories of his grandfather. He went on to say, "While he was "stern" at times, they were always lessons well learned and with love. I especially like the picture of him in collage 3, holding that stein of beer. That's the way I will always remember him. Alex's email address is email@example.com.
William R. Aikman (66-68) wrote to provide a correction to a recent newsletter. He said it wasn't Lloyd Meyer who wrote to the edition. He was the one who gave us Lloyd's and Bob Kuester's addresses. He also noted that they were unable to attend this year's reunion because they had a grandchild who would be arriving at about the same time. He ended by saying "We have been planning on and saving for the Heidelberg reunion!!!! (We were married in Heidelberg...Valentines Day - 1968)."
Patrick Huggins, son of Ted Huggins (64-66?) said he just happened to find our website and decided to write to us. He says he was born during his father's tour in Heidelberg in 1964 and that his father appears in the band photo from 1964. He said he would speak to his father about our organization. He noted that his father had played trombone in the band and is currently living in Washington State. He thanked us for the photos and history. He then went on to say that his family was reassigned to Heidelberg when he was 11, and he graduated from Heidelberg High. He said the photos of "home" are much appreciated.
A woman named Susanne (Sussie) wrote to say she was looking for a man who played with the 33rd Army Band back in 1986 or 87. His name, she said, is Dale Drenner, and he was a drummer. Drenner, she said, was stationed in Heidelberg when she met him, first in 1986 at an Army Tattoo in her old hometown Strangnas and, she added, then they "came apart".
In 1988 she contacted him when the band went back to play in Sweden. She confessed that they fell deeply in love, "but sadly things came to an end at that time too."
Drenner and his friend Mark White (also in the 33rd Army Band) apparently spent lots of time with her and a friend in Sweden. She said that she had been thinking about him all these years and wondered what he is doing nowadays. So she requested whatever information we could supply. (Alas, none).
Dan Brittain (73-76) wrote to say he would be retiring from teaching in June and that he probably needed to start using his home email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Scott (75) and Carol Phoenix provided details related to Carol's breast cancer called ductual carcinoma in-situ (DCIS). At the time they first wrote, Carol was scheduled to have a lumpectomy on July 29, followed by a fairly new type of accelerated partial breast irradiation using a SAVI device. Carol indicated that she would be the fourth patient to have this done in Portland which would be a course of radiation twice a day for five days.
In their first letter dealing with the matter, Carol wrote: "I certainly was as surprised as anyone with the diagnosis of cancer as I'm in great health and run 3 miles a day at least 5 days a week and do all the healthful things that are supposed to reduce ones probability of getting cancer. That's the rub - healthful behaviors reduce the probability but don't eliminate it."
Henry J. Van Doorne (53-55)
Presentation of Flag to Rick McFerron Presentation of Flag to Roger Dickerson
In the National Museum for the U.S. Marine Corps
Lincoln Memorial on the Mall The Enola Gay, one of 100's of
Planes in the Air & Space Museum
At the Old Europe Restaurant
A Great Time in D.C.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO PURCHASE A USAREUR BAND FLAG?
When Frank Schlatter thought there was the possibility of our reunion having a meeting with President Obama, he decided it might be a good idea to present him with a flag bearing the logo of the USAREUR Band. He therefore contacted a flag maker, found out it would cost about $30 for a 2' x 3' flag, and then decided that he should purchase a number of the flags for use at the reunion and as thank-you presentations to individuals who had made worthy contributions to our association.
A few of those flags are now available to 33ABAA members if they would like to purchase one. The cost will be $33 to cover the cost of the flag and shipping. If there are more people wanting flags than are now available, additional ones will be developed.
Pictures in this issue were taken by Gene Garza, Carole Schlatter, and David Schlatter or by somebody called upon to take a picture using one of their cameras.
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