Contributed by LARSON, LCDR John Retired firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello Fellow Lions,
I wanted to let you know what happened at the VP-90 Reunion in Memphis on March 22-24th. By the accounts I have heard from those attending it was a great time.
First on Friday night 75 members and guest attended a catfish fry at the VFW in Millington, TN., which is right next to the former NAS Memphis. Skinny Brown and Ron Leis were able to "borrow a Ford van" to transport members from the Navy Inn on base to the VFW, Ron Leis was the chauffer. The evening started out with Skinny singing Lee Greenwood's song "God Bless the USA". Skinny later did a song and dance routine. Others did some Karoke singing also. Then there was the announcement of Ron Hilson's marriage to Barb Ness in January. The sea stories stopped around 1 AM. The "Ready Room" for the weekend was the Navy Inn, which is a remodeled former barracks. The accommodations were nice according to the attendees.
Sat morning started out with 25 members/guests going to the area Casinos. Skinny lead a car caravan to the Elvis Graceland mansion, 22 members/guest went on that tour.
The Sat night dinner was held in the Tennessee Room at the Club on base. There were 85 members and guests at this dinner. After the meal was finished, the group started with the pledge of allegiance. There were 10 new members who had not been to a VP-90 reunion before. Six members came over 1000 miles to attend the reunion. Jack Doherty traveled the farthest from the state of Washington. Dennis Barfuss gave a presentation on the upgrades that have taken place on the P-3's in the fleet. He also discussed the missions the crews are flying over in Southwest Asia, the Afghanistan Ops Area. If you get a chance read the March 4th issue of Aviation Week and Space Technology at your local library. There are 4 interesting articles on the P-3 flights over there. Next "Minnie Doc's" (Melinda Mills) husband, John talked about taking the first group of prisoners from Afghanistan to Cuba. John is a loadmaster on C-141's. Reserve crews flew approx 75% of these missions. Most of the security people on the planes were reserves also. Here are some updates on former Lions: Pat Williams is the CMC of NAS Willow Grove, SCPO Stan Mills retires this May, LCDR Carolyn Pasternak drills in Mechburgs PA (was an AT & AK in the squadron), CDR Pete Perez is the CO of the NAVCEN in Lemoore, CA. If we missed anyone sorry for not mentioning you.
We also had to mention the members that passed since the last reunion. 1.SCPO Kenneth Hobin, passed away Aug 31, 2001 2.CPO Patrick Stubbs, was killed in a motorcycle accident Sept 2000, 3.First Class PO Charles (Skip) Hanson passed away after complication in surgery on Feb 9.2001 4.First Class PO Robert Taylor Jan 14, 2002. I understand that was buried in his flight boots, flight suit, flight jacket and VP-90 baseball cap. We failed to mention before that Glen Horn has passed away previously. We were happy that MCPO Jim Rohlfing's wife Linda could make this reunion.
Then the auction started. We raised about $149.00; we also sold $163.00 for buttons. Don Grobl does a nice job making up these reunion buttons every time we have a reunion. Butch Michaelson sold anniversary reunion t-shirts from our 30th anniversary reunion at Great Lakes in 2000. He also took orders for this reunion. It will be the same style with Memphis 2002 on the front. The t-shirt is black with a P-3 on the front and all the different style squadron patches on the back. We also got $140.00 in donations. THANKS!! There was a table set up with VP-90 pictures and other memorable items. Also there was info on NAS Glenview current situation, I had the honor of doing a "Low Pass over Hanger One" at 8 AM on Sat morning landing on 22R at ORD (airline flight). I told the tower that "LX is checking on over NAS Glenview".
The rest of the evenings meeting was spent deciding the next reunion site. By a majority vote the next reunion will be held in New Orleans. The tentative date will probably be in March of 2004. We will have more information on that at a later date. The planners for the next reunion are Stan Chambers, Gerold Woodhead and Sharon, and Eric Shives. The money collection will change for the next reunion. Since I could not make this reunion. It was hard to coordinate if I am not there (who paid me, who had to pay at the reunion). So the plan now is to collect the money from members at the reunion, instead of sending money to me. If we need to pay up front monies we can use the money collected over the years from the previous reunions. We have over $1000.00 now in the bank. The tentative plan is to have a "free beer and crawdad feast" on Friday night. Members would only have to pay for Sat and Sun's meals. So for the next reunion, I will only send out the info and not collect the money. The cost for the weekend was around $3000.00. We took in almost $3000.00 so we only had to take a little out of the kitty to cover costs for this reunion. I will be using some of the money to prepay for the baseball cap order. I have heard from almost 30 people via email. I will contact the members who ordered caps when I order them. I will let the others who don't have email know about getting the caps. I should place the order in a month, at this time I plan on ordering 50 of them.
Sunday morning's brunch was held at the Old Timer's Restaurant. They have a miniature Iwo Jima Flag statue at this rest. It is a Navy institution in the area. There 54 members/guests attending. Small thank you gifts were handed out. Ron Leis and Ray Firnstahl spent 3 hours driving around looking for a dairy queen, but had to settle for baskin robins.
Those in attendance for the weekend were: Denny Barfuss, Skinny Brown, Ron Leis, Pat Lentes, Ray Firnstahl, Gene Koelker, Sharon McCarthy, Richard Scaffidi, Gerald Woodhead, Thomas Barr, Stan Chambers, Dave Childers, Mike Cieslik, Bernie Cottone, Gaylor Garretson, Curtis Hanson, Paul Kelly, Bob Korman, Marty Kotecki, Don Mitchell, John O'mera, Mike Pabich, James Phacker, Gary Pope, Linda Rohlfing, Dan Westmoreland, Lloyd Custer, Mel Henschel, Rocky Thacker, Jim Burbage, Ron Hilson, Jack Doherty, Steve Latterner, Jim Humbeutel, Ken George, Jim Edfors, Eric Shives, Don Henry, Tom Watry, Rich Schreiner, Melinda Mills, and Jesse Vineyard. If I forgot someone, sorry. I am going by info I got and those you sent me info for the reunion.
For those of you that have not heard. Admiral Sam Kupresin will be retiring later on this year(at the earliest). I am sure alot of you would want to attend and be there with other VP-90 shipmates for this event. We don't have any information at this time when it will take place, but the plan is to do it at a combined drill weekend at Great Lakes. CDR Sullivan is the Admirals Aide on this and helping to set up the event. As some people have said this could be the SECOND REUNION of VP-90 this year. I am sure we would like to have a special gathering of just the VP-90 members with Sam.
This was probably the best reunion that the VP-90 Lions have had and it is all do the great efforts of the planner for this reunion. We wish to thank Ron Leis, Skinny Brown, Butch and Virginia Michaelson, and Curt Hanson. Also to Don Grobl for doing the buttons. BRAVO ZULU for a wonderful reunion!
John Larson email@example.com
"VP-90 Association Newsletter Summary Page"