John G. Esposito, Editor FALL NOVEMBER EDITION: 2004
A MESSAGE FROM THE LEFT HAND SEAT:
The '05 reunion will be held on Monday through Wednesday, 23-25 May. We'll be located at the Holiday Inn By the Bay in Portland, Maine. Their phone numbers for reservations are 1-800-345-5050 or 1-207-775-2311. Their website is www.innbythebay.com
. This is an excellent hotel in a great location, and at $75.00 per night they've given us a fantastic price (there was no lower price, and the nearest higher price, at a greatly inferior hotel, was $139.00). The hotel is extremely popular and we were very lucky to have been able to book our reunion there (they are already receiving reservations for reunions, conventions, etc. into 2009). We were able to lock in 125 rooms, so I suggest you get your reservations in as soon as possible. The deadline for reserving rooms at the reduced rate is 21 April. If you're flying into the Portland airport, or arriving by Amtrak, the hotel will provide you with shuttle service. In the event that you are driving, the hotel is located at 88 Spring Street. Free parking is provided. A limited number of RV spots are available (no utilities). Although the hotel will attempt to provide the same rate for extended stays (after 25 May), due to the popularity of the hotel and expected booking for other events, this may not be possible.
We've scheduled some great events. The first is a luncheon cruise on Casco Bay on Monday, 23 May. The $35.00 charge covers the bus to the ship (departing the hotel at 0945), the 3-hour cruise (1100 to 1400), lunch, and the bus back to the hotel by 1445. There will be a cash bar for those few of us who may wish to partake in an adult beverage or two.
On Tuesday, 24 May, we'll leave the hotel at 0900 heading for NASB. Due to the security measures now in effect at the Station, bussing will be required and the cost will be $12.00 per person. While at the Air Station, we'll receive a briefing from the Wing and from a squadron, hold a memorial service at the Chapel, get a tour of the new state of the art hangar (designed to accommodate the new MMA), a tour of a squadron, and a bus tour of the station. You'll notice that I didn't mention lunch. Due to cutbacks, the station no longer has the resources to feed us. The old Neptune Hall is now a workout area, the old CPO Club is now the Station's only dining facility (not counting Taco Bell and Subway), and there are no clubs left on the base. By the way, as of today (10/25/04), only three of the old cinder block barracks remain, and they're in the process of being torn down. This task will, in all probability, be completed long before our visit. You may have trouble recognizing NASB without the old barracks, O' Club, Power Plant, Fuel Farm, Hangar 2, and the Administration Building. But the new enlisted housing units (single and married) are certain to amaze you. We'll return to Portland at 1400, so you'll have plenty of time for a late lunch in the wonderful "Old Port" area of Portland.
On the morning of Wednesday, 25 May, while we are holding our business meeting, our spouses will have the opportunity to travel to Freeport, Maine's premier discount shopping area. This too, will require a charge of $12.00 for the five-hour trip. In the evening, we'll enjoy the services of the hotel for our reunion banquet. Cocktails will be at 1800 with dinner being served at 1900. Meal choices include Prime Rib or Crabmeat Stuffed Haddock. The cost for either is $35.00. Our speaker for the event will be Mr. Gary Crocker. Those of you who attended our 1999 reunion will fondly remember Gary who kept us laughing for over an hour and a half with his own unique brand of Maine humor. Pictures for the reunion booklet will be taken from about 1700 to 1900.
Your reunion committee has left open plenty of time for you to meet with friends for dinner, or in our Ready Room, or to explore the wonderful city of Portland with its shops, museums, and restaurants. The Ready Room will be open during scheduled operating hours (0900 - 2200) except during the scheduled events, so that each of us will have the opportunity to participate.
For the past 20 years, the registration fee has been $25.00. This year we've had to increase it to $30.00. A couple of years ago I was asked the purpose of these fees. Here are a few examples: printing, envelopes, postage, mailing labels, name tags, meal and event tickets, tickets for drawings for complimentary rooms, wine and beer for the ready room, banquet speaker fee, meals for guests, reunion mementos, reunion photos and booklets.
The hotel will provide us with complimentary rooms based on the number staying there for the reunion. The reunion committee has decided to raffle off tickets for these complimentary rooms. There will be one grand prize covering the entire stay (four night maximum), and other single day prizes depending on the number of complimentary rooms we earn. When the winners check out, their room charges will be decreased accordingly.
That's about all the information I have. Your committee has set up what looks to be an outstanding time. In addition to being a "homecoming" for those of us who served in Maine, the reunion will again give us the opportunity to join together with friends of our youth for a period of recreation, camaraderie, and just plain good times (not to mention the telling of sea stories that become more believable with each passing year).
I'm looking forward to seeing you in Maine in 2005.
Download speed Improvement:
The VPB-111/ VP-21 Veterans Association website Rosters Pages has been reorganized so that the download time has been reduced. I know searching for all those old buddies was a problem for all of our members with a dial-up modem. Give it a try now at www.vp-21.org/rosters.htm
Squadron Email Addresses
We are still supplying unique VP-21 or VPB-111 email addresses to members who make a donation of $25 or more per year. Just tell us what address you desire when you make your donation. Here are some examples: Bob @VP-21.org
...etc. You do not need to make any changes to your computer!
This can be just a FORWARDING address only. When someone sends you an email at your new squadron address, it is automatically routed to you at your present
email address. Donations are made through Dick Webb
, Treasurer. His mailing address is at the end of this newsletter. If you have any questions, please contact me.
As always, I'm looking for biographies of our members to publish on our website. Take a look at the recent tribute done by Jerry Punches for our departed shipmate Brad Hall, VP-21, 58-60, or the bio of Jack Frost, VP-21 58-61 by his wife Yolanda Frost. Please take a moment and send me your
bio. And thanks to all of you who have already sent me your bios. They are all wonderful life's stories, which help to characterize VPB-11 and VP-21 to our shipmates, family, and friends. Go to www.vp-21.org/biographies/index.htm
The following people have graciously made donations to our association since the last edition of the Newsletter:
Paul C. Madden
Bill R. Beneigh
Carl E. Akins
Wallace E. Amling
Rolland W. Autote
Reno J. Bacallao
Keith S. Brekke
Phillip T. Byrd
William G. Eaton
Robert L. Field
Robert S. Gelles
William J. Locke
J. S. Neal
Ben J. Peterson
Gordon L. Peterson
W. P. Peterson
Lee R. Royal
Richard S. Webb
William S. Weber
David E. Webster
Once again, I encourage as many of you as possible to obtain your copy of the `Vagabond'
Newsletter by accessing same directly from our website. This would result in a tremendous savings by defraying both the printing and postage expenses, as well as assuring that you receive both prompt and damage free delivery. The subject website address is www.VP-21.org
If you opt to do this, be sure to advise Ron Lenhoff so that he may delete your name from the active mailing list.
It is with great regret that I make mention of the following passings:
Richard Klause. Passed away in his sleep on Thursday evening, September 2, 2004. Services were held on Thursday, September 4,at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Pensacola, FL. Dick served in VP 21 from '56 to '59. He was an ADC.
Any persons desiring further correspondence with his wife, Fran, should be made by regular mail to 10855 Lillian Hwy, Pensacola, FL 32506.
LCDR Charles S. Lewis, Ret., 87 years old. Served in VPB-111in '42 -'43. Passed away on 22 Sept, in Tucson, AZ.
Bill Kelly, AD3. Served in VP 21 from '58 to '60. Passed away in September '04.
D.M. Saunders, Capt. Power Plants Officer, '52 - '54. Passed away in June '04 at his home in Annapolis.
May they rest in peace.
An updated copy of the Email roster was recently sent to all members who had previously signed up to be included in the Email roster. If you did NOT receive a copy of this roster via Email the week of 10 October, it is possible that you may have changed your Email address without notifying Dan Dwyer, the online coordinator of your new address, as he has received numerous `kick backs' from the original mailing addresses that were not current/accurate. If you have a new Email address, or would like to sign-up to receive a copy of the Email roster via Email, please contact Dan at:
Last Name, Fist Name, City, State, Years in squadron, and current Email address. In order to help the organization save postage, also indicate in your request whether you would be willing to receive electronic notification that future copies of the newsletter has been posted on the WEB site for reviewing in lieu of receiving a hard copy via mail.
The next Newsletter is targeted for publication in January '05.
That's it for now. Stay warm, and enjoy the holidays.
VPB-111/VP-21 VETERANS ASSOCIATION
A non-profit, fraternal, and historical association devoted to the reestablishment of contact with shipmates of the past, to strengthen the camaraderie among its members, to record and preserve the memories and incidents of the Association, to preserve the memory of departed shipmates, and to promote the comfort and welfare of its members and survivors. No dues are assessed!
Wallace L. Lightfoot, Chairman Emeritus, 349 McIntosh Ave., Orange Park, FL 32073
William Locke, Chairman, 255 Mere Point Rd., Brunswick, ME 04011
Ron Lenhoff, Director/Secretary, 972 Wedgewood Dr., Independence, KY 41051
Richard S. Webb, Dir/Treasurer, 219 Montoya Dr., Lady Lake, FL 32159-8642
John G. Esposito, Editor/Director, 862 Central Ave., Southampton, PA 18966
Edward LaFontaine, Museum Director, 161 Jackson Dr., Frankfort, KY 40601
Fred Schuster, Dir/Historian, 2713 Cabin Creek Rd., Edwardsville, IL 62025
Dan Dwyer, Online Coordinator, Director, #6 Sarah Liberty Lane, Scarborough, ME 04074
Robert Nelson, Director, 49 Woodland Drive, Tequesta FL 33469
Harry Dunlap, 2003 Reunion Coordinator, 5803 Eastshore Dr., Pensacola FL 32505
Gary Gross, Director/Storekeeper, 4595 S. Robert Blake Ave., Inverness, FL 34452-7820.
Frank Balogh, Web-site/Director, 1749 Burroughs Dr, Dayton, OH 45406
The `Vagabond News' is the official publication of the Association, and is circulated quarterly in the Winter (January/March), Spring (April/June), Summer (July/September), and Fall (October/December), as a third class bulk-rate mail from Southampton, PA, Post Office (Permit #61). All costs of the publication are supported by voluntary contribution only. To ensure that materials of interest are promptly published, members should submit same prior to the publishing quarter to John G. Esposito, 862 Central Ave., Southampton, PA 18966. All inputs will be published in a timely manner.