GARY DAVIDSON CELEBRATES #80
LARRY LANE - 2 Messages
JOE RASFELD @ 80
KEN & EMILY CRANDALL
TED & KRIS MORRISON
MSG # 2 - July 2019
(From Larry's brother, a former Navy dentist)
It wouldn't surprise me if in the not-too-distant future there is a movement to get rid of the Stars and Stripes and replace it with a flag that is not objectionable to certain people.
This is just amazing. Not only is it huge, the proportions are correct. It took someone a lot of time to map it out and even more to plant it. Thank you for what you have done. It is great to see the American Spirit is still alive.
THE ONLY FLAG THAT DOESN'T FLY
Between the fields where the flag is planted, there are 9+ miles of flower fields that go all the way to the ocean. The flowers are grown by seed companies. It's a beautiful place, close to Vandenberg AFB, California.
Check out the dimensions of the flag. The Floral Flag is 740 ft long and 390 ft wide and maintains the proper Flag dimensions, as described in Executive Order #10834.
This Flag is 6.65 acres and is the first Floral Flag to be planted with 5 pointed Stars. Comprised of White Larkspur, each Star is 24 ft in diameter, each Stripe is 30 ft wide.
This Flag is estimated to contain more than 400,000 Larkspur plants with 4-5 flower stems each, for a total of more than 2 million flowers.
For our soldiers...Please don't break this email chain!
When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our service men and women.
MSG # 1 - Fall, 2018
Larry III decided to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project for his birthday. His goal was $200. If you could put this out to the squadron I suspect that we can beat that number.
(974) 5509 4196
On the left is Ellen Dete Shank, Leo's sister who, no surprise, sez BBO, "Is just as nice as Leo." Of course, that's Sally to Ellen's left, Anna to far right and, as usual, Billy Bob "Chick Magnet" Overend in the midst of all the ladies.
How does he keep getting these gigs, anyway?
Joe Rasfeld (AKA "Joe Shit the Ragman") celebrates his 80th at a Longhorn Steakhouse, presumably in Sarasota, Florida, where our old chum resides.
Sentiment about Jack and Barbara Schrager from Sam Rettig
To no one's surprise, we heard from many of our fellow P-17 Alumni members after they read Jack Schrager's encouraging news regarding Barbara's remarkable early progress toward recovery.
Perhaps foremost among them was a particularly poignant sentiment from everyone's great friend "Sam" Retttig. Once again Sam showed us how to say a lot in just a few thoughtfully chosen words. With these, she speaks for all of us:
" Hooray for Barbara! And Jack, we ARE family, and if not able to be there in person to reach out our hands, we are ALWAYS with you with our hands in prayer for both of you. Much love, Sam."
Beautifully said, Sam. Thank you.
Barbara was transferred from the hospital to an intensive rehab facility on Monday. She has been undergoing assessments by doctors, speech, occupational and physical therapists for 2 days and I am a very grateful “old” boy that I worked her as hard as I did. I just got back from the facility where Barb and I had a conference with all those people who told us that they feel they can get her ready to come home in 1 week. That being the case she will be home by next Thursday night. How is that for a Christmas present? Especially when you consider that we are Jewish.
I truly believe that all that Barb and I did was magnified by the overwhelming outpouring of support, prayers and good wishes from our VP-17 family. We don’t have the necessary vocabulary to adequately express our undying gratitude to all of you. We have spent many emotional hours reading the cards and emails sent to us during this difficult period. We came to the conclusion that all that we worked to accomplish became a reality because so many people were in our corner. Once again the power of prayer has proven be as important as the “Practice of Medicine”.
We have heard many times the phrase “I owe you a drink” but in this case I really believe that I owe each of you an unending supply of love and libation. It will be our pleasure and privilege to begin paying that debt at our next gathering of the White Lightning Alumni Association.
Until then we remain forever indebted for the comfort and care that you have shown us.
Jack & Barbara Schrager
‘She walked today’
With the aid of a walker she walked into the bathroom, brushed her teeth, washed her face and combed her hair. Then she continued down the passageway for about 20 yards. It was amazing just watching her make that huge step. The renal functions are coming back and the numbers are down significantly. I truly believe that we have turned the corner and are on our way a full recovery.
It’s amazing how two words that mean so much can seem so little. If I could show you how your contact during this crisis in my life means to me, the simple phrase ‘Thank You’ would pale and diminish in the sheer enormity of the gratitude I owe.
Thank you for doing what you did. You have been kind beyond my understanding. Your help and caring calmed me down and gave me great relief.
THANKSGIVING UPDATE ON BARB FROM JACK
Jack provided the following details on Wednesday evening, 17 October:
Here is the full rundown.
Took Barb to ER on 9/27 for severe pain that was impossible for her to bear any longer. They admitted her and did spinal decompression and fusion of the L3 to L5 vertebrae on 10/1. Released her to a local rehab facility on 10/3.
Was doing great until morning of 10/7 when I noticed that she was very sluggish and weak. After a trip to the bathroom she complained of burning during urination. I noticed some red marks on the tissue that she used and reported to the front desk nurse that she apparently was coming sown with a UTI. I was told that they would check it on Monday when their lab opened. I spoke to their Medical Director via phone and expressed my dissatisfaction. He told them to take her blood pressure which was 82/61.
He said maybe we should send her back to the ER. I asked that her vital signs be taken again and found that her BP had dropped to 74/48 and her temp was rising quickly so I called 911 and had her taken back to the ER.
They found a massive UTI, that she was anemic and that her hemoglobin was down to 6.2. Readmitted and placed on large doses of antibiotics, blood transfusions and corticosteroids. She was released to OUR HOME on 10/11 where she is now. She is still weak but getting better every day.
That is the long story shortened a lot.
And this subsequent letter of appreciation from Jack followed by some incoming email correspondence:
This is my feeble attempt to thank everyone for their wishes and prayers for Barbara during her difficult time of recovery. Your concern and thoughts were very much appreciated and, I am sure, made a difference. It is at times like these when it becomes obvious that friendship is as important as medication.
While I am indebted to everyone there are a couple of people that I must make special mention of. Without their wise counsel and advice, I truly believe that the end result could have been very different.
Let me start with our own Billy Bob Overend. His constant contact and information of his own recovery provided me with the information necessary to make decisions that proved invaluable. Because of his special way of keeping the brutal truth in the forefront I was able to stay alert for the things that were problematic and avert the possibility of serious and long lasting complications. It is very obvious to me that he not only provides us all with humor and memories but he does so with real concern for his shipmates.
I must also specifically thank Doc Bakken and his son, Hans. Doc put me in touch with Hans who volunteered medical data that gave me an understanding of both the problem and the solution. He read the MRI that I sent him, documented the areas that were in crisis, gave a direction in which to proceed and when things got critical pointed out the course of action that I needed to ensure the local doctors followed.
I can fix airplanes but am very limited when it comes to fixing people, especially when those people are as important as the one involved in this situation. I know that I would never have been able to properly do the “Quality Assurance Inspections” that were required without Hans' inside knowledge and skills.
I remain forever thankful to everyone and look forward to telling you in person the next time that we meet.
P.S. I am still unsure if I will buy Barb a single or double-headed axe for Thanksgiving. After all someone needs to chop the firewood.
...And then this from Billy Bob:
Great letter, Jack. You sure as hell stayed on top of Barbara's healthcare just like you stay on top of everything else. We're all slowing down a little bit except for maybe you!
...Followed by this from Skipper Ketchum:
Barbara, it was great to hear your voice, you sounded like you were ready to run out for a party or a VP-17 gathering. I know that wasn’t the case but my guess is that it will be sooner not later. Jack, I thought, had always been a pretty cautious person and made measured decisions, when I realized he was going to wake you so you could talk to a couple of ole guys it makes me wonder. I wonder what you had to say to him after the phone was back in its rack.
Keep doing what you have been doing it seems to be working just right. We all love you, you should know that!
And, finally tonight (Thurs Oct 18), this from Bill O'Brien:
Jack, you’ve showed us all how to be a relentless advocate for a loved one.....Don’t take “yes” for an answer and keep pursuing the urgent truth.
Well Done !
You’ve made us all proud to be your shipmate !!
Rob and I are Wishing Barb a quick and full recovery and you, some well deserved peace of mind !
Philip Raymond Hansen
( April 02, 1947 - November 03, 2019 )
Philip Raymond Hansen, age 72, of Chaska, MN, and Florida, died peacefully on Sunday, November 3, 2019 at N.C. Little Hospice in Edina, MN.
A Private Graveside Service will be held at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN, and also a Celebration of Life service will be held at a later date.
Philip was born on April 2, 1947 in Minneapolis, MN, the oldest of two children to Raymond and Mildred (Welander) Hansen. He graduated from Minneapolis Washburn High School in 1965 and then graduated from the University of Minnesota in Business Administration. On December 19, 1970 Philip married Ann Hathaway in Arlington Heights, IL. They had two sons. He served his country in the United States Navy as Commander and Pilot. He then went on to have a 30 career as a commercial pilot from 1977 – 2007 for North Central and Republic which eventually become Northwest Airlines. He loved Gopher sports, especially hockey and football, and was an avid MN Vikings fan. He especially loved attending his grandchildren’s sporting events and also enjoyed golfing in his younger years. He was very knowledgeable in finance and liked following the investment process.
Survivors include his loving wife, Ann; sons, Geoff (Jennifer) of Chaska, Greg (Maisie) of Simsbury, CT; 5 grandsons, Nolan, Bryce, Derek, Marty and Will; sister, Carolyn Sato of Scottsdale, AZ; other relatives and many friends.
Dec 31, 1937 – Aug 18, 2018
Robert (Bobby) Charles Rohr passed away on 18 August 2018 at Florida Hospital Flagler with his beloved wife Nita by his side.
Bobby was born in Brooklyn, NY, to Anne and Charles “Rip” Rohr (Class of 1930) on December 31, 1937 in the middle of a raging snowstorm. His dad was happy that he was born in time to be a tax deduction, but he couldn’t find their car for 3 days!
Bobby loved the Naval Academy so much he did 5 years instead of 4 and graduated with the Super Class of 1960. As a Naval Aviator, his career took him from coast to coast with a 6-year layover in Hawaii split between VP squadrons and the Pacific Command 3rd Fleet. Along the way, he also earned 2 master’s degrees and began work on a Ph. D.
Retiring his wings after 5,100+ flight hours, he went on to work for beltway bandit contractors for the Department of Defense. His second love (after his wife) was shopping which turned into a rewarding Real Estate career in Palm Coast Florida. He was known as one of the hardest working realtors in the area and “honest to a fault” often putting in his own time and money to ensure fellow vets found the home of their dreams. Although in the last few years he had health issues, he was grateful for every day. When asked how he was, his reply was always “I’m vertical!”
He is survived by his loving wife, Nita; sister, Marilyn Bierylo; daughter, Corkey; grandchildren, Jennifer and Michael; numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Cindy.
In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to the Flagler Humane Society (https://flaglerhumanesociety.org/donate/, 1 Shelter Drive, Palm Coast, FL 32137) or to the Old Goats and Kids Who Care, a group supported by Bob and his classmates which help transitioning wounded warriors and Navy SEAL families working through the CHKIV Foundation. These donations will go towards an "Old Goats and Kids Who Care Barn" on the new C4 Ranch in which Bob and other Old Goats will be remembered. To donate online go to https://c4foundation.org/ or mail to CHKIV Foundation PO BOX 181679 Coronado, California 92118. Please be sure to note "For Old Goats and Kids Who Care in memory of Bobby Rohr".
CONDOLENCE NOTE FROM MARY SIKES
Memories of Bob and Nita go all the way back to USNA days when he was a young officer at the Academy and busted Joe and me one day. Joe was throwing tickets out his window to me for a Dionne Warwick concert...Bob was an imposing figure and scared us both. No demerits, but a scolding.
A few years later we meet him again, LCDR at our 1st VP 17 party. Oh sh__ we thought. He is going to remember that day!?! Career over on day one!
He did remember, but he laughed and gave us a hug and a warm welcome. He and Nita became dear friends and mentors to both of us in those early years when we all needed that kind of support.
RIP Bob and condolences to Nita.
NOTE: CLICK THE BLUE BUTTON BELOW TO SEE THE MESSAGE WE RECEIVED FROM BOB ONLY A FEW MONTHS BEFORE HIS DEATH ON THE SUBJECT OF AGENT ORANGE AND OUR EXPOSURE TO IT IN THAILAND. HIS MESSAGE IS POSTED IN THE "HOT LINKS" SECTION OF THIS WEB SITE.
Sadly, Emily lost her long battle with cancer on May 18th, 2018.
Below are photos of Ken and Em -- one from back in the day, the other more recent -- and a great letter from Ken expressing his appreciation for all the moral support he's received from our VP-17 family.
R.I.P., sweet Emily.
To my shipmates and their spouses:
I would like to thank you all for the prayers, cards, and kind words during this difficult time. Especially, the fond memories, and stories of happier days that always brought a smile and yes, a few tears. I am slowly putting the pieces back together, but the pain still comes and goes. I just hope that I can get my act together before the reunion in September.
Special thanks to those who went above and beyond: to Bill O’Brien for his surprise visit the night before the visitation and to Robin for letting him come. He stayed with me until after funeral and acted as my “personal aide.” He was able to take my mind off things for a while and share a few laughs.
And to Billy Bob and the Skipper, who showed up in Houston, MS for Emily’s hometown service. I like to think they were there to support me, but I did mention there’d be a free lunch.
I am so fortunate to have so many loyal and supportive friends. Thanks again to all of you, and see you in September.
Ken “Crash” Crandall
April 23rd, 2018
Thanks, Ger, for keeping me in the loop, I don't deserve it. I love to see all the news of the VP family. It fills me with joy and a bit of sorrow, too.
I am so sorry that I haven't been able to join y'all at the festivities due to my ongoing work schedule (yeah, even an old lady like me must work). No, certainly not anything glamorous as many of the other "dudettes" take on. Somehow being involved in swimming up to my neck for Red Cross and schools (WSIT Red Cross), coaching and being a pool director for very large summer camp -- 1200 kids -- it seems to never end as one runs into another and one goes 12-months a year.
Still living in Miami, still have a surfboard standing at attention in family room. Only change seems to be in my height, hair color and number of weddings of grandchildren. Pretty boring stuff unless you're living it, I think, and it is a bit boring to me. Sooo, please continue to keep me updated on all the adventurous and not at all boring "stuff" the VP-ers are up to.
Great news! After being hospitalized in Seattle for the better part of a year fighting a pancreatic infection, Ted has been released from the hospital, finished rehab and is now completing his recovery at home.
The second bit of great news is that he and Kris were married on May 5th. Congratulations, Ted and welcome aboard, Kris!
Now we're just waiting for any updates and photos Ted wishes to send us. If/when we receive them we'll post them on Ted's Page.
MARY SIKES/CORONADO, Calif. (KGTV) - Two political opponents running against each other for the Coronado City Council have formed a special bond which they refuse to let be ruined by the campaign.
"She's my opponent, but I love my opponent. She's like a mother to me," says candidate Derik Mundt about fellow candidate Mary Sikes.
The two have been friendly since Mundt was a teenager volunteering for the Coronado Film Festival, which Sikes ran until her retirement this year. However, they did not realize when they decided to run that they would be doing so against the other.
"She's a saint," Mundt said. "When you're sick, she brings you soup. That's what she does. She's like the mom of Coronado."
Mundt recently found out how true those sentiments were. Last week he began feeling sick, with a fever topping 102. It turned out to be a case of the flu so bad, he was taken to the emergency room. Mundt ended up hospitalized for five days. One of his first calls was to Sikes.
"My first thought was just to get there and just be there," Sikes said.
Sikes visited Mundt in the hospital each day and stayed in touch with his mother to update her on his status. When it became clear he would not be released in time for the final candidate forum in the race, Sikes made a surprising offer.
"You've come this far and it's so close," she told Mundt. "I'll give your speech tomorrow because I know it by heart."
When Mundt was finally released from the hospital Monday afternoon, it was Sikes who came to pick him up and drive him home.
"Dirty politics don't belong in politics," Mundt says. "This is how it's supposed to be."
There are six total candidates running for two open seats on the Coronado City Council, meaning it's possible Mundt and Sikes could both win or lose.
"What we've been saying to each other all along is if at least one of us gets on, we know that this town will be in good hands," Sikes said.
WAY TO GO, MARY!!!
PERSONAL NOTE FROM GER: This is the Mary Sikes I came to know and love -- and bond with in a special way -- in Newport, R.I., after Ev & I, Joe & Mary and Dick & Karen Blake reunited there in 1978 to attend the Navy Command & Staff course at NWC. One day Ev suffered a burst appendix, for which an emergency appendectomy was required. Because of her recently completed cancer treatments and surgeries at Bethesda, her docs at Newport gave her blood thinners as a precaution prior to this surgery. Despite precautionary measures, Ev nearly died after the surgery. While the docs worked feverishly to resuscitate her and I waited outside the ER trying to figure out how to tell our boys, Scott and Brian, that their mom wouldn't be coming home, Mary showed up to hold my hand and wait with me. In a situation like that, you just couldn't ask for a better friend than Mary. And the good news is that Ev fully recovered from this emergency and never had a recurrence of her Hodgkins Disease. Thanks, Mary, for being there when it truly mattered.