Contributed by Steve Riddle firstname.lastname@example.org
Newsletter #35 - March 2005
From the President
Fellow "Pelicans", the feeling I came away from Jacksonville with was, "this was way too SHORT". That is probably the way it should be so that we are left with the thought, "I absolutely will not miss the next Reunion". What a great time we had. I want to thank Leo and his team, and especially Charlie Fields, for all the planning and preparation that made the '04 Reunion such a success.
First of all, as your new president, I want to say "thank you" to Steve Riddle for accepting the position as Secretary/Editor, AGAIN. He is doing a fabulous job and the Association owes him a "whole lot more than the salary we are paying him, which is zero". I would also like to welcome and thank Jim Means and P J Imhof for accepting the positions as Vice President and Treasurer. I have known Jim since my days with the "pelicans" and met PJ at the Reunion. They are great people. All four of us are humbled by the trust you placed in us and we pledge that when this period is over we will leave the Association stronger than when we accepted our positions, maybe a better word would be "coerced into" accepting the positions!
With that thought in mind, I challenge each of you to get in touch with four people who were in VP-45 when you were there, get THREE of them to join the association and TWO of them to attend the 2006 Reunion. What we found out while planning for the last Reunion was that we DID NOT give the people who we contacted enough warning so that they could plan to attend. Schedules were already set and they could not change them. We are now about 99% sure that the 2006 Reunion will be held in San Antonio. By the time of the next newsletter we will have settled on a date, leaving no excuse for not planning ahead.
In an attempt to help spread the word, Steve Riddle has done a yeoman's effort in setting up a Patron Four Five Association web site. Go to http://www.vp45association.org to get the latest information on everything concerning VP-45; how to join, dues, the next Reunion, links to other sites, etc. I am very excited about the possibilities this capability holds. For those of you who are active on the internet, we would be happy to send you an email copy of the Newsletter and let the Association save on Printing and Mailing costs which are our BIGGEST expense between Reunions. For those of you who would be willing, please let Steve know at email@example.com to remove you from the SNAIL MAIL list. We will continue to snail mail the roster until we figure out a way to protect everyone's personal information.
It is with great sadness that I report to you that I have just returned from attending a memorial service for Joe Notargiacomo who died unexpectedly on January 9, 2005 (this letter was written in mid January). He was one of the "Skippers" who I served under during my time in the squadron. In addition to being my CO, he was my friend. He was in attendance at the Reunion in JAX and enjoyed himself immensely. As with all close friends, he will be missed.
In closing let me say, "My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The only way to success for this Association is with YOUR HELP. I did not promise to do this alone; so stay in touch, give me your ideas, and help where you can. I am in the process of setting up a membership committee to help in the recruitment of new members. PLEASE HELP THEM!
Gene Grapham (or for those who were in the squadron with me "genie K")
Table of Contents
From The President
Reunion 2004 In Review
CDR Fite's Speech
Messages and Notes
Coco Solo News, Messages and Notes
Colon and the Free Zone
Coco SOlo (Then and Now)
A Tribute to Mary Izzo (Victor Izzo's Widow)
Pelicans Soar Through 2004
Navy decides 'mess' is out and 'culinary' in
Bienvenidos a San Antonio
Business Meeting Minutes
From the Treasurer