The 23rd reunion was held in Pittsburgh, PA
at the Holiday Inn at Green Tree on October 9-12, 2008. This was definitely a
hair pulling experience for me, my wife Toni and John and Ruth Monsted, who
were able to make very important contacts for us. After all was said and done
it turned out to be a successful reunion and those attending seemed to enjoy
the affair. Up until this year the reunion planning had gone very smoothly
and I guess I wasn’t quite prepared for the types of problems we were
hit with, anyway, to all the attendees, thanks for being there.
The tour company provided us with different venues in the area. On Friday
we traveled to a town where the Queecreek Mine suffered a devastating
collapse, trapping many coal miners. We were shown how all were rescued and
the heroic tactics that were employed by so many agencies and individuals in
such short record time, really a fantastic story. After a great lunch at “Our
Coal Miners Café” we were transported to the “Flight 93
National Historic Memorial Site”. Flight 93 was the plane that the
passengers prevented from completing the terrorists effort to crash into the
Capitol or White House on 9/11/2001. We then visited a small non-denominational
memorial Chapel dedicated to the United Airlines Flight 93. It was a truly
moving experience. On returning to the hotel, the “Hospitality Room”
and “Welcome Aboard Dinner” completed our busy day.
Saturday we toured downtown Pittsburgh.
Then we had a terrific lunch at the “Spaghetti Warehouse”,
needless to say if you like Italian food, this was your place. Upon our
return to the hotel the “Hospitality Room” was busy and people
prepared for picture taking for the “Memory Book” and the “Annual
Banquet”. Dick and Donna Enright set up the photograph unit and did
their usual superb job. Elaine Brothers ran another very successful raffle
and the Eagan
kids did an excellent job of awarding the prizes.
Sunday we had our “Buffet Breakfast” and said our goodbyes. We
had a total of 72 attendees including; 34 former shipmates, 3 children and 4
grandchildren, for the first time we had no plankowners, but we did have 2 first
timers … Ken Chromo, RDSN 52-53 and Captain Robert Glover, Retired, who
served aboard the Fred T. Berry as an Ensign 61-62.