2019 USS SOLEY Mini-Reunion
Where: Cambria Riverview Hotel
When: October 1-4, 2019
The first Soley Mini-Reunion was held at the new (grand opening June 11, 2019) Cambria
Riverview Hotel and was a success. Our “crew” numbered 12 shipmates and family for a total
of 26. You could say this was a shakedown cruise for both our crew and the hotel. The size of
the hotel and convenience of the restaurant, bar and hospitality room added to the intimacy of
the event. Great for a group this size. At the last reunion in Washington it was decided there
would be no formal tours or banquet. On Wednesday, Al Stiles and Susan, with the help of
Graham & Margaret Heller hosted a backyard BBQ at Al's house. Being only 5 miles from the
hotel made for a nice turnout. Thank you Al. The weather was great the entire time.
On Thursday we held an informal meeting in the hospitality room. There was very positive
feedback. Shirley Brown gave a treasurer's report. We are in good shape for now. As we no
longer have income from the ship's store, the registration fee of $10.00 helped defray the cost
of the hospitality room. Chuck Bruce will include this summary in the next edition of the Soley
Scoop. Frank Chesla will also add the summary to the web site. His report on the future of the
web site follows: The annual cost of the web site will continue to be funded through the treasury.
The USS Soley website will undergo some major changes between now and the end of the
year. The current website is cumbersome to keep updated especially with changes to the
Active, Bad addresses, Missing and Deceased shipmate listings. As our membership continues
to decrease, those files will be removed and no longer appear on the website. We will try to
keep the website essentially a historical site with the ship's history, current volunteers that
make up our bridge and a rolling list of approximately the last 20 or 25 shipmates we receive
or find obituary notifications for on the fantail.
We will still try to maintain links to military related websites that will be of help to both
veterans and retired members of the USS Soley.
We will also use the website and our facebook page as the primary notification tools regarding
events that might be forthcoming. Please check the website often, and if you are not a member
of the closed USS Soley facebook page, please register on the page to join.
A master roster will be maintained, but will not appear on either the website or facebook,
since it does contain personal information. If you have a particular need for information on
a former shipmate, you can contact a member of the Bridge team, as each of them will have
a copy of the most recent master roster.
The website will be maintained as long as we have the funds to continue to pay for the
hosting and the website URL.
Our crew overwhelmingly approved the idea of having another mini-reunion next October.
The weather in this region is still mild at this time of the year. Possible locations suggested
were North Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Savannah, GA. And Branson, MO. The target date
is October 20, 21 & 22, 2020. I would add that October 22 has a special meaning to many
of us who served on the Soley on that date in 1962. That was the day we got underway for
Cuba during what was to become the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was the same day President
Kennedy informed the country of the situation. We would not return to Norfolk until
December 17. I am sure there will be many interesting sea stories to go around.
This summary would not be complete without my personal special thanks to all those great
people who were able to attend. Some had to travel great distances to be there. I hope they
along with the rest who make up our Soley Family can be at the next one. To Mike Pollack,
while having to handle his own health issues, was never the less instrumental in the entire
planning process. I appreciated his input and expertise all along the way. God speed to Mike
and Linda for a full recovery.
I will continue to gather information for the next reunion site. Please check the Soley web site
and the facebook page for further updates.
Assistant reunion Coordinator