I had a couple special visitors come by tonight. and boy did they cleaned house on all the goodies.
We said our goodbyes last night it was hard but also great to have been able to see these guys again. We all said that we would try to go again in two years. We called the couple that we had met while on our Alaska cruse. They live in Arkansas, They said that they would meet us in North Little Rock as we go through there on the way back to Texas. They live about an hour or so from there. We left around 07:00 Sunday morning heading West. It was a 5 hour drive to North Little Rock and it rained all the way. We got there around 12:15 and we were meeting them at 1:00 so we went to the Old Mill which is a very beautiful place to see. After eating and visiting we headed out. It stopped raining just before the Ark and Oklahoma border. We spent the night about 30 miles West of Oklahoma city. We made it home around 2:00 pm Monday.
We were free Saturday to do any thing we wanted until the Banquet that evening. We had to be down stairs at 17:00 pm which is 5:00pm. We needed to be there so we could have pictures made, we had a professional photographer to come in and take them.
We had a great banquet that night and I would like to give Thanks to Bob and his wife Maria Behm for all the hard work they have done to get this set up. We had a group of Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp. They were a high school naval group come and carry the Colors for our opening ceremony. One of the cadet and his dad was invited to stay and eat with us. Some of our men were in uniform and they invited the young cadet to have a picture made with them. Also one of our men had his son join us and he is a Captain in the US Air Force.
To night is hot date night, the beautiful bride of mine or going to The Grand Ole Opry. As part of our cost to come to the reunion included tickets to the opry. We got dressed up in our Sunday go to meeting close and headed down to catch the bus. There were enough of us that the bus had to make two trips to get us all there. I could not believe that I was going to finely get my classical music wife to listen to some country music.
We both enjoyed it very much and we were able to see and hear Loretta Lynn. All the music was great, and of course The Grand Ole Opry is a live radio show so they would have commercial about every ten minutes or so. During the broadcast they recognize the veterans that were aboard the USS Monticello. It was so heart warming the audience all stood and turned where we were setting clapping and yelling, I don’t guess I have ever had that many people tell me welcome home in my life.
During the day Friday we all went around sight seeing. I drove Charlotte down town. She loves going to see state capitals so I parked the car next to it and let her go. Steep hills and lots of steps so I stayed in the car for I just can not stay up with her. My knees and back wont take that kind of pounding. After that we went to the Parthenon. Then to Logan’s Road House for a steak.
After we went in and registered and settled in our room. I went back down to see who all would show up. Three of the men I served with in A division, boat shop, / Air conditioning refrigeration. Ron, Bill and Tommy, I was able to see Ron when he came through Amarillo a few months back, but as for Bill and Tommy I haven’t seen them since I got off the ship back in 1970. It was great to catch up with all these years. All to gather we had nine men from that time period. We had men from when the ship was commissioned in 1957 to when it was put out of commission in 1985.
It seemed like it was taking forever since the last one held in Deerfield IL. Finley time had come for us to leave out to Nashville Tenn. We left out around 8:00 Wednesday and drove about 8.5 hours and spent the night in North Little Rock ARK. We drove another 5 hours to Nashville, I was getting excited about this reunion for there was going to be some the guys that was on board and in the same division that I was in. The hotel was a large one and there was another reunion group there, This group was dog trainers from the Vietnam war, they had this trailer with a statue of a solder and his dog.
As you know I had asked for prayer for my cousin Rocky and his need for a liver transplant. Here is the report that we received from Patsy. He went into surgery at 05:30 this am.
Rocky is out of surgery and the Dr said he did really good. He will stay the night in ICU . Thank each of you for the prayers!!! Please keep them coming as the next few days will be when certain problems can come up. You guys are so precious, THANK YOU !!!!
I would also like to thank each of you for your prayers, and would ask for your continued prayers that his body will take the new liver without any rejection.
My wife was going through some of her pictures. She found this one that has her grandma Graham, mother Vi, brother Andy, and his son Jeff. The sad part is Jeff is the only one living. Charlotte lost her grandma in 1989, her mother in 2005, and her younger brother to Cancer in 2003. The young boy is the one we just visited in Washington State last August.
I am writing this for my cousin Rocky and his sweet wife Patsy. Rocky is in need of a liver transplant. They were called last Saturday to come to Dallas Texas for they had a liver. They arrived and had him prepped for surgery. As it turned out that the liver was bad so they checked on a second liver and it was bad also. So would you please lift him and Patsy up, and also that a good liver shows up. Patsy told me that Rocky was in good spirits and was feeling good today.
Thank you in advance.