It has been a most interesting year for your secretary he has missed his first reunion, with the exception of 9-11. That reunion found him at the Pittsburgh Airport eventually heading home and not to San Antonio as planned. This reunion found him at home after what was to be a maximum five-day stay at the hospital ended being 55 days and a five-hour operation ended up totaling 11 hours. So with titanium screws, rods, washers and cadaver bones he is standing straighter but walks like he is back on the GYATT in a rolling sea.
Anyway, it has come to my attention that, the reunion turned out well and those attending had an enjoyable time. Everything went smoothly. At the business meeting; the reunion for 2011 was discussed in detail, by your host, Tom Fuller, who is also the association president and the chaplain. It was noted during this meeting, by Willard Froseth that there are 33 charter members in the GYATT Association and that C. F. & June Turk are the only ones that have made all the reunions and that two other couples: specifically, Roland & Rose Castillo and Tom & Jaci Fuller have each only missed one reunion. A special thanks to Keith & Dottie Kellum for hosting this reunion and also to Willard Froseth in assisting. While we are giving thanks – again one to J.C. & Shirley Johnson for starting us done the road to renewing old friendships and adding new ones and for the handling of finances and other gatherings for 12 consecutive years; to Martin Autio for the most informative newsletter while handling the secretary’s duties; to Don & Donna Cain for the first Memorial Program; to those that have shared their photographs and slides, allowing one of the more comprehensive collections of people and places covering the life of a U.S. Destroyer; to Jim Mesnar for the Challenge Coin presented as a gift to the attendees for reunion 14; to those that hosted the reunions in the past and specifically J.C. & Shirley Johnson, Don & Margaret Cain and Bill & Mary Ann Myers, who have hosted more than one; and finally - thanks to those officers past and present and those who have handled the duty stations required to maintain continuity in an association such as ours.
Not much is known about our shipmates. However, in talking with Margaret Cain I found that Don is doing fine after his back surgery last year. Lyle Clark is also recuperating from back surgery. Art Poisman called and I understand he will have another knee replacement on January 12 th 2011 and that he was mugged outside of his residence when he returned from the reunion. Your treasurer, Chuck Thomason, had knee replacement within the last month. Fred Geredien had a quadruple bypass within the last month that precluded spinal surgery, which is now indefinitely delayed. Shirley Johnson, who along with her spouse were the forerunners of this group having the first, sixth and infamous Katrina reunion number 10 will have eye surgery on the 8 th of December, which is also J.C.’s 83 rd birthday. This reminds me that Tom Fuller will end his seventh decade on the 8 th of January 2011 when he celebrates his 80 th birthday. Who is the oldest amongst us – is it Bob Bedwell, W.D. Taylor, or DD-712 Plank Owners - C.F. Turk, Tom Ballew, Jack Bateman, Frank Berger, Willard, Froseth, Maris Hall, Chuck Heaton, Paul Hudson, Howard Hughett, Norm Landis, Tony Russo, Bill Shortz, Emmett Tidd, Vince Zampell or someone other than a DD-712 Plank Owner. If you have news of a shipmate we would appreciate sharing it with others in our group.
Before I forget, to remain on the mailing list (shipmate or spouse) just advise that is what you desire. There is no money involved – yes we appreciate donations (some call it dues) for it costs to print and mail our information sheets and rosters. However, as long as we have money in our account and you want mail from us – you got it.
Back to what’s coming up. Tom and Jaci Fuller have made arrangements for us to see northern Minnesota, while we operate out of Duluth, Minnesota. While in Duluth we will get on a bus to tour a producing iron ore mine from the range that had made the United States the steel capital of the world (by the way - that was when we were in our youth). We will also head out to Lake Superior the largest fresh water lake in the world as well as the second largest lake in the world at 31,698 square miles (it is also 1332 feet in depth at its deepest point). Each of the Great Lakes is large enough to be one of the 12 largest lakes in size (Lake Erie the smallest of the Great Lakes has 9,910 square miles of surface). Lake Superior has a great deal of history and a countless number of ships have been sunk within its waters, books and pamphlets abound that cover both subjects.
The last time I was in this part of the world was 1982 to observe and evaluate, for use in a surface coal mine, what was the largest overburden haul truck in the world (at that time). At that time the truck had a capacity of 170 tons; today overburden trucks have capacities of 400 tons.
It appears that a cruise of the Caribbean, hosted by Bill & Mary Ann Myers is still on for 2012; and a trip tentatively to Colorado Springs, Colorado, hosted by Willard & Shirley Froseth, Chuck & Cathy Thomason and Tom & Judy Wright, is on the table for the 2013 year.
In regards to the trip to the Duluth, Minnesota area the following information has been prepared, for your use, by your hosts, Tom & Jaci Fuller. It can be considered final except for costs; however, for your information and planning, an estimate of the costs per individual is noted.
SUNDAY: 18 September 2010.
Check in at the Duluth Radisson Harborview Hotel. Registration is between 1:00 PM – 10:00 PM. Hospitality Room opens at 1:00 PM & closes at 10:00 PM. (Hospitality room is the Mesabi Room and it is on the main floor off the lobby entrance).
MONDAY: 19 September 2010.
Breakfast is on your own.
Load the bus at 8:00 AM. The bus will leave at 8:15 sharp for the drive up the North Shore with a short stop at Gooseberry State Park Visitor Center between 8:45 AM and 9:45 AM. Bus loaded at 9:45 AM for a trip to Split Rock Light House 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM. A movie related to the lighthouse and its history will be shown and followed by a guided tour of lighthouse, buildings and grounds. The bus will be loaded again at 11:30 AM for lunch at the Two Harbors, MN Moose Lodge at noon.
After lunch and until 2:00 you are on your own tour to tour the town, iron ore loading docks and the waterfront. You can walk out on breakwater (100+ yards) and view iron ore loading docks from breakwater side. Hopefully there will be iron ore boats loading and maybe we will be lucky and see one arriving and/or departing from the loading docks located approximately 200 feet from breakwater. At exactly 2:00 PM we load the bus and return to hotel.
At exactly 4:30 PM we load the bus for Canal Park to board a Vista Fleet harbor cruise boat at 5:00 PM for a dinner cruise of the Duluth/Superior harbor and then out via the canal and under the famous Aerial Bridge for the Lake Superior sightseeing/dinner cruise. The dinner and the tour is approximately 2.5 hours. (We will have our own chartered deck on the boat). At approximately 8:00 PM upon completion of the dinner cruise we board bus back to hotel.
The Hospitality Room remains open until 10:00 PM.
TUESDAY: 20 September 2010.
Breakfast is on your own.
Load the bus at 8:00 a.m. for a 1.5 hour trip to Hibbing, MN and Chisholm. MN. Iron Ore range and a tour of the Hibtec iron mine, after a short movie of the mine and its operation. Our bus will be driven through the mine with the Senior Section Manager as our guide. The mine tour will take almost two (2) hours. At the end of the mine tour (11:30 AM) we board the bus for a trip to Chisholm, MN and lunch at the Minnesota Discovery Center Museum. The Museum has 33,000 square feet for the housing of exhibits and mining history. After lunch we will see a short movie of the Iron Range followed by a tour of the Museum Complex on a trolley bus. Our bus will be loaded at 4:00 PM for return to the hotel.
Supper is on your own. The Hospitality Room will be open from 5:30 PM until 10:00 p.m.
WEDNESDAY: 21 September 2010.
Breakfast is on your own.
Load the bus at 8:30 AM for a trip to Canal Park where our Memorial Service will be held at the Lake Superior Maritime Museum movie theatre between 9:00 AM and 10:00 a.m. (The Museum does not open until 10:00 AM; however, the Director of the Lake Superior Maritime Museum is “allowing our group” to use the theatre between 9:00 AM and10:00 AM for our Memorial Service). The hours between 10:00 AM and 1:30 PM is free time to tour the Museum, and the Canal grounds and hopefully see ore carriers passing through the canal and witnessing the Aerial Bridge in action. This period also allows for lunch, which is on your own. At 1:30 PM we again load the bus for return to the hotel.
Our annual Business Meeting is in the Mesabi Room between the hours of 2:00 PM and 3:30 PM.
Our Banquet will be in the Great American Ballroom Number 1, located on the lower level of our hotel. Social hour (cash bar) is between the hours of 5:45 PM and 6:30 PM with seating for the buffet dinner at 6:30 PM.
THURSDAY: 22 September 2010
Breakfast is on your own. Farewell to shipmates with thanks for time spent together and hopes of seeing each other next year.
REUNION COSTS - Estimated. (Information Only):
The costs are not finalized. However, it is not anticipated that the cost per individual will exceed one hundred eighty ($180) dollars; which includes the Monday noon meal at Two Harbors, the Monday evening dinner cruise and meal, the Tuesday lunch while on the Iron Range tour and our Wednesday evening Banquet; it also includes the registration fee which covers hospitality room costs, bus driver tips and dues.
ROOM ACCOMMODATIONS :
Are at the Radisson Hotel Duluth Harborview. Room rates are eighty-nine dollars ($89.00) per night plus the appropriate taxes. For an additional twenty ($20.00) dollars per night plus the appropriate taxes a lake view room or suite can be obtained.
HANDICAPPED Rooms : The hotel has only three (3) handicapped rooms. The first three persons requesting a handicapped room will get one.
EARLY REGISTRATION LOTTERY :
Anyone sending their registration and money to Chuck Thomason and having made their confirmed hotel room registration by “August 20th” will have their name thrown in a box for a chance to have their hotel room “Paid in Full” for the reunion! Our neighbors Grandchild will draw the name for the lucky winner and the winner will be notified the same day. GOOD LUCK!!!!!
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION :
“The Radisson offers excellent food served in its well known “Revolving Restaurant” on the top floor of the hotel. The prices are comparable to eating at any good restaurant and the helpings are more than generous. We tried their breakfast too, and I (Tom) could not finish my order of pancakes. Just too much!! The scenery is spectacular as the restaurant makes its’ revolution every 72 minutes. You’ll love the views of the harbors and the homes on the hills.”
GIFT EXCHANGE :
“There “will not” be an exchange gifts this year.”
So for now – you know what I know. So the association officers; president – Tom Fuller, vice president – Joe Viafora, treasurer – Chuck Thomason and your secretary wish all of you a Merry Christmas and in the coming years - God’s Blessings and good health.
Fred Barata (1950-1954)
PS: I forgot the business meeting had the annual nomination and election and the officers & duty station personnel for 2011 are as follows:
President: Tom Fuller
Vice President: Joseph Viafora
Secretary: Fred Barata
Treasurer: Charles Thomason
Chaplain: Tom Fuller
Historian: Fred Barata
Keeper of Photographs: Fred Barata
Keeper of Memorabilia: A.J. Metdepenningen
Keeper of the Roster: Fred Barata
Keeper of the Website: Fred Barata
One final bit of information: Over the years we have located 1290 shipmates. Of this 543 ship-mates including spouses of departed shipmates have elected to remain on the mailing list; 302 have been lost by moving or electing not to receive mail and as of this writing 454 are no longer with us. If you have received a roster you will find that it does not jive with the figures presented since they have been recently updated with the addition of two shipmates via the website and approximately 11 departures. The added names to our departures list are a result of our checking with names on the Social Security Death Index (SSDI).