USS SOLEY (DD707) REUNION ASSOCIATION
USS SOLEY (DD707) 2006 REUNION, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
The 13th USS SOLEY (DD707) Reunion was held in San Antonio, Texas, September 13 through September 17, 2006 at the Doubletree Hotel, Airport. Several shipmates and Reunion Committee members arrived on September 10th and 11th to make ready for the reunion and to visit sites of interest in the area.
Our first event was a poolside Welcome Reception at the hotel from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Wednesday, September 13. Hot and cold hors d'oeuvres were provided by the host hotel and a cash bar was available.
On Thursday, September 14 we departed the hotel at 9:00 AM and traveled to the National Museum of the Pacific War and the Admiral Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas, where we conducted our Memorial Service in their outdoor memorial garden to remember all shipmates that have been reported deceased and are on our Deceased Roster. We were welcomed by Retired RADM C.D. Grojean, after which the names of all known deceased were read by members of the Reunion Committee. After reading the names, we played a Veteran's Song entitled "THEY GAVE THEIR LIVES" with words and music by Plank Owner Sam Scardigno, SF3, 44-46 and Taps was played by a Museum Bugler. After the Memorial Service, a USS SOLEY (DD707) Plaque that had been designed by the Museum and donated by the Association was unveiled and dedicated on the memorial stone wall which surrounds the memorial garden. This will be a lasting memorial of the USS SOLEY at the Museum. After the Memorial Service we were free to tour the Museum, the quaint town of Fredericksburg, and enjoy some lunch. Fredericksburg was initially settled by German immigrants so many enjoyed German cuisine. On the return trip to the hotel the bus took us through the town of Luckenbach, Texas. Luckenbach has a population of about 4 people and is just a "wide spot" on the road; but at least we can now all say, "We have visited Luckenbach, Texas"; a town made famous by Waylon and Willie and the Boys, (Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and others).
Thursday evening we departed the hotel starting at 5:00 PM and traveled to downtown San Antonio and the Riverwalk. Many took a River Cruiser tour of the Riverwalk area after which we shopped and/or enjoyed dinner at one of the many Riverwalk restaurants. We were shuttled back to the hotel with the last bus leaving at 10:00 PM.
Friday the 15th we departed the hotel at 5:30 PM for a Rodeo, Texas Bar-B-Q dinner and dancing at the North Wind Ranch. The Rodeo was exciting with women's horseback barrel racing, steer roping, bronco riding, and bull riding. After dinner there was a live band playing and many took advantage of line dancing instruction that was offered. A great time was had by all and we discovered that several can still kick up their heels. We were back at the hotel about 10:30 PM.
Saturday morning we traveled downtown to San Antonio and the IMAX Theater to see the "Price of Freedom" movie depicting the battle of the Alamo. After the movie we visited the Alamo and then the El Mercado Mexican Market where we shopped and had lunch at one of the many restaurants in and around the market area. We returned to the hotel at 2:00 PM.
At 3:00 PM Saturday a Business Meeting was held in the Hospitality Room. Reports were given by Committee Members. Gene Blum, Secretary/Registrar, reported that we have 56 shipmates in attendance with a total attendance of 111; we have added 21 to our Active Roster and 22 to our Deceased Roster since the last reunion in Philadelphia in April 2005. We have 3 Plank owners present; 3 that are attending their first SOLEY Reunion; 5 that have attended 11 of our 13 Reunions; and we have 265 subscribers to THE SOLEY SCOOP. Frank Hawkins, Treasurer, had to leave on Friday due to a family emergency so Gene Blum reported that we "still have money in the bank" and a Treasurer's Report will be published in a future SCOOP. Ed Bryan, Editor of the SCOOP was not present but Tom Cooke, Assistant Editor, reported that Ed is looking for input from our members. Stories and Articles can be about any of your experiences while serving the SOLEY, shipboard or on the beach. Personal articles are of interest; Ed would appreciate your input so he doesn't have to find material for the SCOOP on the Internet.
Election of Committee Members for the next reunion was held with the following Members elected:
|Reunion Coordinator||Mike Pollack, QM3, 63-64|
|Assistant Reunion Coord.||Don Guevin, BT1, 64-67|
|Treasurer||Frank Hawkins, LT, 67-70|
|Assistant Treasurer||Ron DuBois, RD2, 61-63|
|Secretary/Registrar||Gene Blum, YN2, 52-53|
|Assistant Sec'y/Registrar||Bill Prince, LTJG, 58-61|
|Storekeeper||Mike Kranack, EN3, 55-59|
|Assistant Storekeeper||Mel Gilmore, EN3, 56-58|
|Historian||Jim Hawker, RM3, 61-63|
|Assistant Historian||Bob Sefton, RD2, 61-64|
|SCOOP Editor||Ed Bryan, SN, 60-62|
|Assistant SCOOP Editor||Tom Cooke, RM3, 66-69|
The next order of business was selection of site(s) for the next Reunion to be held in approximately 18 months, or in the Spring of 2008. Several sites were nominated with the following 3 sites selected for review and evaluation by the Committee. The evaluation will consider prices, venues available, etc.: Boston, MA Area Great Lakes, Chicago/Milwaukee Area Branson, MO
Other business that was discussed was what to do for Reunions in the future when our numbers decrease. Looking to combining with other ships from DESRON 2 or joining Tin Can Sailors reunions was considered an option when that time comes. That will be a decision by shipmates when that time comes. Another item to be considered (with no decision made) was to think about what to do with all of our Historical Documents and other memorabilia when the Association no longer has members. Donations to Tin Can Sailors and/or The Navy Archives are possible places to dispose of any articles or money when that time comes.
It was moved, seconded and passed to donate $1,000.00 to Tin Can Sailors.
There being no further business, it was moved, seconded and passed to adjourn.
Sunday was a free day to visit and schmooze until the Banquet Sunday evening. We had a cash bar beginning at 5:00 PM and a great meal served at 6:00 PM. During the cocktail hour we were entertained by a very good Mariachi band. After dinner we recognized our Newly Weds, John and Judy Chaffee; our outgoing and incoming Committee Members; the Plank Owners present; First Time Reunion Attendees; All Volunteers; the Group of Volunteers (Dorothy Vigna, Sue Kelley, Clara White, Howard and Nancy Hoadley, Tony Vigna, Cheryl Pearlman, Shirley Hunter and Bob Piatak) that assisted so capably with receiving donations, presenting door prizes and raffle items, and selling tickets for the 50/50 drawing and the Raffle. A SPECIAL THANK YOU to everyone that brought a gifts for Door Prizes and Raffle Prizes. We had a Door Prize for every shipmate present and had a great selection or Raffle Prizes. We took a special offering for the grandson of one of our shipmates. This grandson is 5 years old and has cancer. Thanks to your generosity we collected $670.00. It was moved, seconded and passed that the Association add $37.00 so the total would be $707.00, a number of great significance to us all. The 50/50 drawing netted $335.00 for the Association with 3 shipmates sharing amounts of 20%, 30% and 50%. Sale of Raffle Tickets came to $842.00 and $60.00 was donated for the Plaque placed at the Museum in Fredericksburg. We also had Grand Prizes for 1, 2, and 3 nights lodging at the hotel, and the final prize was the award of the Rotating SOLEY Painting. The winner of this Painting has the privilege of displaying it until the next Reunion when it must be returned for presentation to another shipmate.
IN SUMMARY, A GREAT TIME WAS HAD BY EVERYONE. WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AND MANY OTHERS AT OUR NEXT REUNION IN THE SPRING OF 2008!!!