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Updated : 24 FEBRUARY 2014
Look for the RED highlights for FEBRUARY 2014 information.
2014 and 2013 REUNIONS
24 FEB. 2014
Stephen Amburgery has provided information on the upcoming
RCA OLD-TIMERS REUNION
scheduled for 08 March. 2014
Anyone interested in receiving the flyer by email can contact Stephen and he will send the flyer back in pdf form.
his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
The RCA Old-Timers Reunion will be Saturday 08 March 2014
at the Shrine Azan Temple Melbourne FL,
its $20.00 per person for PRE-PAYMENT before 01 March 2014
or $25.00 at the door, per person
Make Check Payable to: "E.M. Fetner-MTP"
Stephen's mailing address and phone number:
2785 Summer Brook Street
Melbourne, FL 32940
his phone # is 321-254-4125
20 AUG. 2013
Leon Lacy has provided information on the upcoming
MARSHALL "JIM" IRBY'S 9TH ANNUAL RANGE RAT REUNION
scheduled for 18 & 19 Oct. 2013
ALL FORMER RANGE RATS!
this reunion is for all companies that worked down range.
WHERE: Marshall "Jim" Irby's home in Hawthorne Florida
(S E of Gainesville, Florida).
1224 SE 163rd Street, Hawthorne FL 32640
There will be a Fish and Shrimp Fry, etc on Friday the 18th of Oct.
- Cost: $10.00 per person.
& on Saturday the 19th Oct., – BBQ Chicken & Ribs, etc
- Cost: $10.00 per person.
BYOB for soft drinks, beer, booze.
Please bring your own chairs.
so come early and bring your pictures & stories.
Accommodations have been set up at two hotels with discounts for those attending. Complete details will be provided by contacting either Jim Irby or Leon Lacy, see below.
===>Space for Motor Homes is available<===
===>at "Jim" Irby's place!<===
Please reply to one of the following individuals no later than 17 October 2013 as to the number in your party, and for further details of this Reunion:
Leon Lacy, 321-427-3409
You can also reach Lacy at his email address by clicking: HERE
Contacting "Jim" Irby at 352-481-4094
20 AUG. 2013
USS OBSERVATION ISLAND EAG-154
REUNION: 14 JAN. & 15 JAN. 2014.
Received this email in July from Dave Campbell:
For those who have Face Book, there is a page for the OI, its called "USS Observation Island EAG-154". Its an open group with 70 members. There is some good posts and photos.
THE 2013 RCA'S OLD -TIMER'S 2012 REUNION IS NOW HISTORY!
13 MARCH 2013
Received an email on 10 March from Fred Perkins, saying he attended the RCA'S OLD -TIMER'S 2013 REUNION with his wife Sheila, and Fred provided this info.:
Freds camera was on the fritz, so if anyone took any pictures and pasted them on their Facebook page, let me know and I can mention it here.
- The RCA Oldtimer's Reunion at Melbourne was well attended this year - Arbe "Mac" McDowell told me there were about 220 attendees and 20 walk-ins. Mac and his crew did their usual fine job in putting things together.
- The people I recognized and/or spoke to were down a bit since last year - they were:
Don Ackerberg, Al Bishop, Chris Bulleman, Dave Burch, Gordon Clarke, Chauncey and Carol Dunn, Jim Edwards, Dev Hunsley, Jim Irby, Curt and Deidre Jarvis, Jim Judson, Benny Juhl, Bill Kenney, Leon Lacy, Arbe Mcdowell, Fred and Sheila Perkins, Larry Smith, Bill Stewart, Wally Tubell, Billy Volner and Dennis Woods.
THE 3nd ANNIVERSARY OF THE
SINKING OF THE USNS VANDENBERG/ARIS REUNION IS NOW HISTORY!
It was held June 7 - 8, 2012, in Key West Florida.
(Information was provided by "Mac" Monroe)
If you attended this reunion, send me some info/notes and I will publish it here.
THE RCA'S OLD -TIMER'S 2012 REUNION IS NOW HISTORY!
22 MAR. 2012, FIRSTHAND REPORT ON THE RCA OLD -TIMER'S 2012 REUNION:
- Fred Perkins, was the first to send in a report, he stated: "I as well as my wife Sheila enjoyed our visit to the RCA Old-timer's Reunion yesterday, 10 March 2012. Mac Mcdowell mentioned that they had record attendance, I believe he said 258. I certainly recognized and spoke to more folks than usual.
- Those spotted included: Tom Alman, Andy Anderson, Merle Anderson, Al Bishop, Ron Blackburn, Dave Burch, Denton Clarke, Gordon Clarke, Dick and Dorissia Covert, Bob Donovan, Chauncey and Carol Dunn, Jim Edwards, Gene Fetner, Jim Heath, Jim Irby, Curt and Deidre Jarvis, Bill Kenny, Leon Lacy, Emmie O'Dell, Frank and Rhonda O'Leary, Mac Macdowell, Ted and Tanya Pace, Dave Simonson, Al Skinner, Larry Smith, Kerl Starzinger, Maury Sweetin, Hank Taylor, Norm Tucker, Carolyn Wadill, Bruce and Ann Watson, Karl Wenz, Dennis Wood.
Three or four of these folks I didn't see myself, but others mentioned they had been seen there.
- Didn't get as many pictures as I had hoped, but I did see Leon Lacy taking pictures.
Jim Irby's 7th Annual Range Rat Reunion at Hawthorne FL. was|
held on 21 & 22 Oct 2011.
27 JAN. 2012
- 15 NOV 2011, JIM EDWARDS sent in his report of the reunion at Irby's farm: "Russ Reed and I rode up with Larry Mirowski in his venerable
Cadillac. Noted attendees John and Una Walker, John and Lorna Riley, Jim Pollard, Ray and Patty Scarpa, C.T. White, Mac and Bonnie Mcdowell, Lee Everett and Norm Archambault. Many more that I don't immediately remember. Joe Travis couldn't get
there because he just had his knee operated on . It was a real good turnout."
- Thanx Jim for your report, sorry it took your editor so long to add it to this page.
12 NOV. 2011
- 23 OCT. 2011: FRED PERKINS (RCA Range Rat) sent in his report
Just got back from the Jim Irby's Range rat Reunion. Sheila and I attended only the Saturday Oct. 22 session.
- RCA folks seen there - Deirdre and Kurt Jarvis, Wayne and Olga Witham,
Dick and Dorissia Covert, Anne Wietgriffe, Fred and Sheila Perkins, Ben
Juhl, Walt Wisnicki, Chauncey Dunn, Leon Lacy.
- Attendees at this get together are usually primarily Pan Am folks, but I don't know most of them as they were folks who came to the range after I left in 1972.
- I did see Russ Reid, Ivan and Pilar Kistler, Jim Edwards and Bob Sellars, as well as the host Jim Irby.
- Had a nice chat with Art DaSilva. Art was BOM at GTK when I was there as IM in 1968.
- Leon Lacy appeared to be the chief photographer, seemed to be everywhere snapping pictures, so you should get some good coverage from him.
12 NOV. 2011
- 28 OCT. 2011: LEON LACY sent in this report on photos:
- I didn't get a chance to get the panoramic picture at Jim Irby's Range rat Reunion, as I had provided for past reunions. They kept me so busy that I didn't even get to socialize with the folks. There were folks there that I wanted to talk to but just didn't have the chance to do so.
- I took pictures and they are on my FACEBOOK page. Look on the Photo page for "Range Rat Reunion 2011, 135 photos". I didn't title any of the pictures. There are a lot of people that I can't put a name to their faces.
- If you are a facebook member but not friends with "Leon Lacy", you can search for his name and probably find it. I dont know if this
link to his FB page will work or not, but you can try it.
THE 2nd ANNIVERSARY OF THE
SINKING OF THE USNS VANDENBERG/ARIS REUNION IS NOW HISTORY.
It was on June 9 - 11, 2011, in Key West Florida
(Information was provided by "Mac" Monroe)
RCA's Old-Timer's 2011 Reunion at Melbourne FL. was
held on 09 April 2011 and is now history.
- Leon Lacy attended and he photos from this reunion on his facebook page. If you on are facebook, seach for his name in the search box and hopefully you will see the photos (if not, maybe you will have to become "friends" with him), Lacy added them on 10 April in 2 seperate posts, one of 25 photos and one of 7 photos. If you are NOT on facebook you can try this link, Lacy's FB page.
If this link does NOT work, would appreciate it if you would email me back, as I cannot check it myself, since Facebooks works differently for those who have joined.
- Lacy also sent me the individual photos to my email address, and I could identify these people by their name tag (unfortunately the name tags are not very readable on Facebook): Alberta Flowers, Roxie Perkins, Andy Anderson, Lee Northrop, Don Badger, Benny Juhl, Dennis Wood, Don Robinson, Nick Mousseau, Doris Sjostrom, Fred Perkins, Gary Chadwick, Gene Fetner, Les Perdue, Glenn Brown, John Wilson, Bill O'Brien, Karl Wenz, Chris Bulleman, Louie Roguevert, Mac McClelland, Mac Monroe, and the NIPPER!
Jim Irby's 6th Annual Range Rat Reunion at Hawthorne FL. was|
held on 17 & 18 Sept. 2010 and is now history.
The FIRST Anniversary of the
Sinking of the USNS Vandengerg Reunion
was held on 27 May 2010, in Key West Florida and is now history
The Pan American Airways Reunion
Cruise to Bermuda r/t New York, May 9 - May 16, 2010
on the MS Veendam is now history.
RCA'S OLD -TIMER'S 2010 REUNION IS NOW HISTORY!
Thanks to Arbe "Mac" McDowell, who in March 2010 provided the information on the
21th RCA OLD-TIMER'S GET-TOGETHER of 17 April 2010:
(It was a great success! from what I hear), "Mac" said that there were 295 people show up the 2010 event!.
"Mac's" timely email provided more news and scans about this RCA "reunion": The RCA Oldtimer's Get-Together for 2010 at the Shrine AZAN Auditorium in Melbourne, Fla. (same place as last year) Flyers were mailed out in March.
17 APRIL 2010, HANK TAYLOR HAD THIS TO REPORT ABOUT THE 2010 RCA OLD-TIMER'S GET-TOGETHER:
"Hi Joe, I'm so sorry that you couldn't make it to the RCA Oldtimers Reunion. I and others would like to have seen you.
I just got back from the reunion a few hours ago. They had a pretty nice dinner catered by Dustins BBQ. I ate with Don Halter and his wife Ann. Saw quite a few of the old Range Rats, not too many from our old days at Grand Turk; but the ones that I can think of, that I haven't forgotten already, aside from Don Halter was Fred Perkins and Billy Volner, who is still working on the range. Also Dick Mouseau but I don't remember if he was at Turk or San Salvador.
All for now, Hank."
07 JUNE 2010, PHOTOS ADDED OF THE 2010 RCA OLD-TIMER'S GET-TOGETHER:
PICTURES THAT HANK TAYLOR, TOOK AT THE 2010 RCA OLD-TIMER'S GET-TOGETHER.
#01. Three RR's ? standing by the photo display.
#04. RR's Don Halter (left) and Billy Volner (right)
#16. RR's Arbe "Mac" McDowell (left), Fred Perkins (middle), unknown (right)
#06. Looking at the photo display, with the RCA dog standing guard.
#15. The crowd at the RCA Old Timers Get-Together.
#20. Another view of the crowd at the RCA Old Timers Get-Together.
Anyone who wants to see larger views of these photos,
send me an email.
18 APRIL 2010 FRED PERKINS SENT IN HIS REPORT OF THIS 2010 RCA OLD-TIMER'S GET-TOGETHER:
Sheila and I attended the 21st RCA Old-timer's Reunion in Melbourne yesterday.
Believe they had record attendance, although I didn't get an exact figure.
I didn't take my camera, so no pictures this year.
First time attendees I had an opportunity to talk to included Fred Bird, Don Halter, Ted and Tanya Pace, Hank Taylor and Bill Volner. I hadn't seen Bill since 1957 on St. Lucia, Don and Hank since the late '50s on Grand Turk.
Other folks seen or talked to: Merrill Anderson, Dave Bierle, Dave Burch, Ron Blackburn, Gordon and Olga Clarke, Vic Craft, Chauncey and Carol Dunn, Jim Edwards, Maurice Jones, Benny Juhl, Leon Lacy, Fran Mason, Mac McDowell, Frank and Rhonda O'Leary, Paul Gafford, Les Purdue, Hoot Ringo, John Rose, Dave Simonson, Larry Smith, Norm Tucker, Les Waddill, Bruce Watson and Dennis Wood.
Sheila helped "Mac" with the door prizes, and by the time we wrapped up chatting it was nearly 5 PM. A good time was had by all!
20 APRIL 2010
The below panoramic photo was take at the 21st RCA Old-timer's Reunion and sent in by Leon Lacy
Click on above image for an enlarged view
and then click it again for a much larger view.
07 MAY 2010: CATHY GORETSKY ATTENDED THE GET-TOGETHER TOO AND WROTE THIS:
"The RCA Old Timers get together today (17 April) was great and a bigger crowd than last year. It was wonderful to wander around and talk to so many friends. What a great afternoon. Thank you Arbe McDowell and Vic Craft and both of your wives for all your hard work so that we could all enjoy a great afternoon."
(Editors note: This was originally in the Range Rat Sign-in Book and I've moved it over here).
07 JUNE 2010, TOM MOWELL IS THE LATEST TO REPORT ON THIS RCA GET-TOGETHER, HE WROTE:
Joe, I went to the RCA Ole Timers reunion in April 2010 and the first person I ran into was Hoot Ringo who I hadn't seen since Dec. 1958. We had a great time talking and catching up for most of the afternoon. Hoot and his wife live in Rockledge, FL right on the Indian River and I am planning on going over and
seeing him soon. He had a run of some bad health but seemed to have come through it in good shape. Hoot is the same Hoot we knew on the range and is as sharp as a tack.
Also at that same gathering I ran into Don Akerberg who I knew on Antigua and believe it or not I recognized him. He must have found the fountain of youth or something because he looks great. He and I talked a good deal and then talked again on a long phone call he made to me. He lives in Port St. Lucie in the
winter and in mid May heads to Illinois where he has grandchildren.
18 JUNE 2010, DOES ANYONE KNOW IF LARRY CUSTER ATTENDED THE RCA GET-TOGETHER?
In Jan 2010 I received an email from Larry Custer (GBI TLM during the 1960's) saying that Evelyn and he had been searching for informatiom about the 2010 RCA Get-Together. First time I heard from him since the late 1960's when we worked together at Grand Bahama Telemetry. His email was from Cripple Creek CO, using his step-son's email address. I supplied him with the info. you see on this page but have not heard from him since. Also suggested he sign the Range Rat Sign-In Book but so far nothing. If anyone saw him at the RCA Get-Together, please send me an email.
Thanks Hank, Fred, Cathy, Tom and Leon for your input and the photos, which gives us who could not attend some news about what went on and a view of who attended.
Jim Irby's 5th Annual Range Rat Reunion at Hawthorne FL. was|
held on 23 & 24 Oct 2009.
11 NOV. 2009: FRED PERKINS (RCA RANGE RAT) SENT IN THIS REPORT:
I did go to Jim Irby's get-together in October. Attendance was down a lot from past reunions. Most of the Pan Am folks who attend these reunions are people that came on the range after we left, so you and I know very few of them. These functions run for two days, Friday and Saturday, but my wife Sheila and I only attended the Saturday part of it.
Pan Am people I did know who we saw were Bruce and Ann Watson, George Smith, Russ Reed, Jerry Lindsey, Bobby Prince.
The RCA folks were Kurt and Deirdre Jarvis, Les Waddell, Ken and Eula Jourdan, Ann Wietgriefe, Mike and Carol Grant, Leon Lacy. There were a couple other RCA people there, but I can't remember their names. I guess what I need to do is examine the sign in book the next time we go, so I can give a reasonable list of names to you.
Great set of pictures on your site from this function, thanks to Leon Lacy.
07 FEB. 2010 :
The below panoramic photo was take at the Irby 2009 reunion and sent in by Leon Lacy
Click on above image for an enlarged view
and then click it again for a much larger view.
RCA'S OLD -TIMER'S 2009 REUNION IS NOW HISTORY!
Thanks to Jack Tolman, who in early March 2009 provided the information on the 4 April 2009, 20th RCA OLD-TIMER'S GET-TOGETHER (It was a great success!)
Jack's timely email provided more news and scans about this RCA "reunion"
The RCA Oldtimer's Get-Together for 2009 was at the Shrine AZAN Auditorium in Melbourne, Fla. (same place as last year) Flyers were mailed out in early March.
06 Apr. 2009 FRED PERKINS SENT IN HIS REPORT OF THIS 2009 RCA OLD-TIMER'S GET-TOGETHER:
Attendance seemed up from last year. Most of the people were up-rangers, as usual, but there were still a hardcore group of downrangers. My wife, Sheila, helped Mac with the doorprizes by drawing the winning numbers out of a container.
We enjoyed the usual re-telling of rangerat stories from long ago. I missed seeing John Thomas, who always attended these events and worked as a volunteer in the cold drinks area. John passed on since the last event. Several people asked about the url for your site, so I wrote it on the back of some old business cards and passed it out.
Here are the rangerats that we recognized: John Abo, Tom Alman, Dave Bierle,
Doris Campbell, Gordon Clarke, Jim Edwards, Ray and Tina Fenimore, Curt and Deidre Jarvis. Maurice Jones, Benny Juhl, Bill Kenney, Leon Lacy, Alison Leth-Steensen,
Mac Mcdowall, Fran Mason, Max Miller, Les Purdue, Hoot Ringo, Larry Smith,
Norm Tucker, Les and Carol Waddill.
25 May 2009 BILL BAILEY HAD THIS TO REPORT ABOUT THE 2009 RCA OLD-TIMER'S GET-TOGETHER:
"I brought Dick Langley an old friend of mine to the old timers reunion, and I wonder how many people recognised him sitting at the end of the bar. He was the PAN AM clipper mentioned on your range history piece, as the 1$ a year man. Dick is retired now but still cuts some of his friends hair at his home in Indialantic.
The highlight of the party for me was seeing Alison Leth-Steensen, the widow of Fred Leth-Steensen, they were on GBI 1971-1972. Alison was with her friend Joyce, the wife of the late Don Gray, (many RRs have spelled his name GREY, but GRAY is the correct spelling), Don was a range rat who passed away at AUTEC sometime in 1977. He was also the IM at Antigua when I was there in 1963/64. Alison said she spent the day after the reunion with Joyce and saw Don's son Todd, now 48."
Thanks Fred and Bill, for this info. which gives us who could not attend some news about what went on and who attended.
Jim Irby's 4rd Annual Range Rat Reunion at Hawthorne FL. was|
held on 3 & 4 Oct 2008.
12 Dec. 2008 At last someone was kind enough to send me some info. about this reunion: Fred Perkins wrote: "My wife Sheila and I did go to the Jim Irby reunion on 3/4 October. It was not so well attended this year as in years that I have gone earlier, at least as regards to RCA folks. Saw Gordon and Olga Clarke, Nancy Rowe, Curt and Deidre Jarvis, Les Waddill, Mike and Carol Grant, Jay and Julie Marshall, Leon Lacy, Ken and Eula....got a mental block, can't think of Ken's last name, Dick Cover's wife Dorissia and her sister Doris (Tom Campbell's widow). There were a lot of Pan AM folks that I didn't know."
15 Jan. 2009 Jerry Lindsey of Franklin IN wrote me recently: "I was at the reunion at Jim Irby's along with my wife Venus. This year there were several former Pan Am Weathermen in attendance, Larry & Kaye Alemi, Stanley & Sandra Hobbs, Gerry & Barbara Mulligan, Bill & Margaret Throgmorton, Normand Archambault, Jim Edwards, Ron Theiss, Dick Lynch and his wife. Roger Shelley, former Pan Am ATC, and his wife Dylis were there. Dottie (Tamirof) Crowe and Nick's son were there. Jim Irby is to be commended for hosting the reunion. We always enjoy visiting with all the people there. Fred Perkins who couldn't recall the last name of Ken and Eula, it is Jourdan."
KWAJ REUNION, 01 - 04 AUG 2008
01 JUNE 2008, Roger Priest of Merritt Island FL has sent in information announcing a Kwaj Reunion and a link for Range Rats who may have worked on Kwajalein or Roi Namur, or visited there on a tracking ship.
The reunion was held in Colorado Springs, CO on August 1 - 4, 2008. Click on this link to see who attended and look at photos taken at the reunion: Kwaj Reunion 2008. You might find more old ETR Range Rat friends who worked on the Kwaj Range.
(Thanks Roger, and I am including your notice of this reunion because I have become increasingly aware that many ETR Range/Ship Rats have also worked on the Kwaj Range).
19 FEB 2008: Fred Perkins emailed me with info about the:
2008 RCA Oldtimer's Reunion
it was held on Saturday 05 April at the AZAN Shrine Temple in Melbourne FL
16 APRIL 2008, JIM EDWARDS: wrote There was indeed a very large crowd. It is actually a problem to get around and talk to all of the old acquaintences. For a lot of them you just get a chance to wave or shake hands and then move on. In addition to those mentioned by Fred Perkins (below), I noted Eliot Phillips, John Walker, Gary Janousek, and Bill Degraw. Mac and Fran Stinson were there for the first time, I believe. Most notable was Fred Kenney. He had not attended previous gatherings as he was engaged in setting an all-time record for time on Ascension. That record isn't likely to ever be broken - at least not in this century.
13 APRIL 2008, FRED PERKINS: wrote that he and his wife Sheila attended the reunion. He goes on to say: "Organizer Arbe (Mac) Mcdowall told me they had (I believe the figure was) 260 folks signed up.
As you may know, attendees are mainly uprange folks, many of whom us downrangers probably never met. I did take notice of at least 24 down range folks as well as other notables known to a lot of us. The list is below.
I heard there that Art Wren had passed away. Art held a number of engineering and management positions at MTP, and although he was not a "downranger" himself, was well known to a lot of downrangers. His son Robert worked with me at AUTEC many years after I had left ETR.
Another sad note, got an e-mail recently from Gordon Clarke that he saw the notice of Dave Donaldson's passing in the paper. Dave passed away on April 4. I relieved Dave as IM at Pretoria in 1968. I believe he held IM positions at a number of other stations over the years.
Here are some of the folks I met / saw at the meeting. Tom Alman, Andy Anderson (not Gordon), Myrl Anderson, Dave Beirle, Al Bishop, Chris Bullis, Tom Campbell's widow Doris, Gordon Clarke, Chauncey and Carol Dunn, Jim Edwards (PAA), Mike Grant, Curt and Deidre Jarvis, Benny Juhl, Bill Kenny, Fred Kenny, Mac McDowall, Dominic Mancini, Max and Essie Miller, Dave Simonson, Larry Smith, Bob Stupp, John Thomas, Les Waddill and Dennis Woods."
Thanks Fred and Ed for these fine reports.
Jim Irby's 3rd Annual Range Rat Reunion at Hawthorne FL. was
held on 19 & 20 Oct 2007.
The below panoramic photo was take at the reunion and sent in by Leon Lacy
Click on above image for an enlarged view
and then click it again for a much larger view.
15 FEB. 2007: Jack Tolman emailed me a copy of the informational flyer announcing the
18th ANNUAL RCA OLDTIMER'S and
SPACEPORT PHOTOGRAPHERS GET-TOGETHER (REUNION)
It was held on Saturday 10 March 2007 at the Shrine Azan Temple in Melbourne FL.
17 Mar. 2007: FRED PERKINS & HIS WIFE SHEILA attended the RCA Get-Together and Fred sent a list of some of the folks he recognized there: Tom Alman, Ron Blackburn, Tom Brozoskie, Gordon and Olga Clarke, Chauncey and Carol Dunn, Everett James, Jim Judson, Benny Juhl, Bill Kenney, Dominic Mancini, Fran Mason, Max and Essie Miller, Ethel Porter, Les Purdue, Hoot Ringo, John Rose, Larry Smith, John Thomas, Jack VanCleve, Les Waddill, Willie Williamson, and Dennis Wood.
Fred also took some pictures which can be viewed by clicking HERE
25 Mar. 2007: JACK TOLMAN forwarded an email from Howard L. Northrop who said: " I was at the 'RCA get together' (L.L. didn't mention seeing me in his e-mail to you). I don't know if you know them, but I saw Andy Anderson, Frank Mason, Ray Scarpa, Bill Redman, and several others that I can't think of their names right now. (Old Age?)".
17 Mar. 2007: JACK TOLMAN forwarded an email from Larry L. Smith who attended this RCA function and had this to say about the gathering: "Yep, I was there and enjoyed seeing many of the ol' gang from RCA and PAA. Vic Craft said he had 225 signed up and the no-shows pretty well matched the walk-ons so I would reckon 250 in attendance. I asked why they had jumped the count by a month from the normal April date and Vic said it was due to a scheduling mixup, so it will probably be in April in '08. The air conditioned Melbourne Shrine Auditorium is a great set up for this gathering and takes weather (which was scrumptious) out of the equation. Arbe McDowell and John Thomas are members there so they arranged our affair with Mac playing affable host and John laboring in the kitchen. The bar was open and that makes it nice for those of us who like to enjoy an adult beverage while we chew the fat. Downrange from my epoch was fairly well represented. Saw Ray Edester, Bud Emard, Scott Fetterman, Dave Burch, Jerry Wolfe, Dennis Wood, Les Perdue, Ron Blackburn, Maurice Jones, Elliot Phillips, Jim Edwards and so on. G. Denton Clark, who was Project Manager when I hired on in '66 was there and looked like a million dollars. Other PMs Karl Wenz, Tom Alman. Managers Jack Simpson, Gene Fetner, several engineers - Jack Galpin, Max Miller, Frank Cockerham, etc. Enjoyed chatting with Glenn Brown and we agreed it wasn't the same without ol' Maj Carter. John Mayo, still laboring away at the ROCC was probably the youngest there with his dad (Timing) who was one of the oldest.
It was a nice gathering and Vic Craft, Gene Fetner, Pam Day, Ann Sheimer, Arbe & Mrs., John Thomas and team did a marvelous job as usual. Vic indicated he is planning to press on for next year. Let's make sure we are all well and well represented!"
Jim Irby's 2nd Annual Range Rat Reunion at Hawthorne FL. was on 27 & 28 Oct 2006.
10 NOV 2006: Fred Perkins sent an email saying he and his wife did not attend Jim Irby's Reunion but did recognize some of the faces in the pictures taken by Leon Lacy. Fred said he recognized only a few ex RCA folks: Les and Carol Waddill, Curt and Deidre Jarvis, Doris Campbell, (her first husband Tom died many years ago, don't know her current name) and Leon Lacy, who took most of the pictures.
On APRIL 8, 2006 the 17th ANNUAL RCA OLDTIMERS & SPACEPORT PHOTOGRAPHERS GET TOGETHER, was held at the Azan Shrine auditorium in Melbourne Florida. And again no one reported what went on. So thats the story from here!
On April 9th, 2005 the 16th ANNUAL RCA OLDTIMERS GET-TOGETHER
was held at the Shrine Azan Temple in Melbourne FL.
Glenn Brown who attended writes: "One of the interesting things at the reunion is that someone had a copy of the first contract proposal that got RCA the bid, I think in 1952 (?). It was for 13 million, and included 2,300 employees. As for the old oldtimers, maybe someone else can inform you on them better than I can.... Jack Van Cleve is the only one I can think of right now.... you might remember Dick Tangen and Lee Northrop."
Elliot Phillips who attended writes: I attended the reunion with Carl Winkenhofer. Talked
to Ray Edester, Marvin "Hoot" Ringo, Frank Thompson, Dennis Woods, Larry Smith, John & Mary Thomas and a few others I can't remember.
Fred Perkins sent me this message in early May:
I went to the RCA oldtimers picnic a few weeks ago. Heard there that
Joe Clarke had passed away. Joe was my site chief when I was a transmitter tech on SLU in 1958-1960. He eventually wound up in Ops Planning at the Cape, and retired from there many years ago.
Met Dominic Mancini at the RCA picnic. First time I had seen him since
Antigua 1971 or thereabouts. It seems like every year I meet someone who I haven't seen since range days, which ended for me in 1972.
Had a long chat with Arbie (Mac) Mcdowall at the picnic. He is one of the organizers. Worked with Mac at SLU. He worked out of Patrick for many years in the Crypto Administration area. Best remembered by many D/R folks as the guy who played piano at the club. At 73 Mac is still going strong and playing gigs a couple of times a week.
Other folks we ran across there included Les Waddill, Bill Kolter,
Gordon Clarke, Larry Smith, Wayne Witham and Howie Phillips. Sheila and I try to attend every year, and each time seem to see at least a few folks we haven't seen since Range days.
Jim Irby notified me in July 2005 that he was having a Pioneer Range Rat Reunion in his home, in Hawthorne Florida, but unfortunately I was not able to publish this information as I was having major trouble with the web server and could do no updating for over two months.
Robert Sellars sent me this report Jan 02, 2006 on the Jim Irby mini-reunion: Irby lives in Hawthorne, which is S E of Gainesville, Florida.
Mac McDowell and wife were up from the rock; it must be 20 years that they have been together down there. And speaking of the rock, Dave Avsec, ABOM during my time there, was also present. But for me, the biggest thrill was seeing a bunch of Seychellois Tracking Station alumni! Jim Pollard, now working at JDMTA, was there, but without wife. Richard Archer, who relieved me as Commissary Supvr. was there with his wife. Also, Bernie Bernard and wife, Bert Shirley, who was Admin. Rep. and his wife, Marguerite were there. Chauncy Dunn and his wife Carol were there; these are good friends of ours, we spent New Years at their home, and Frank O'leary showed up there. He said he had been to Irby's, but on a different day then Ann and I. Russ Reed was there, as was Bob Staats' widow. Wow, I could go on, but I just had a real inspiration.
(added 24 MAY 06) Ivan R. Kistler had this to say in the range rat sign in book entry of 26 Mar 06: Had a great time last year at Jim Irby's 2005 Range Rat Reunion. It
was great to see some guys I had not seen in many years. What a
treat to BS and talk about the great times we had down range.
Due to this website I contacted Bill Hughes who is back on Antigua
as a DGO. He later called me from Antigua and filled me in on
his return to what is left of the range.
I am still in contact with Jim Irby, John Bujnosek, Lou Holtkamp, Gerald Lindsey, Andy Harper, Arthur (Robbie) Robinson and as I mentioned Bill Hughes.
ADDED 13 FEB 2008,|
1986 and 1988 REUNIONS
Dave Stark and his wife organized two Range Rat Reunions in 1986 and 1988 which he said were very successful. They got over 200 people at each one. Rangerats came from as far as Saudi Arabia and islands on the Western Test Range (Kwajelin).
09 FEB 2008, Received word from Dave Stark's granddaugher that on 07 FEB 2008 he had passed away and that Dave's wife had died SEPT 2007.