News From Fort Schuyler

November 28, 2000 - Volume 4, No. 36

SALUTATIONS - Responding to BOB ALLEN's query about saluting on the SS UNITED STATES, maritime author JIM WHALEN, Class of 1962, writes: "...I devoted a chapter in my 'Last of the Boom Ships' to the SS UNITED STATES. During my interview of her last master, Commodore LEROY ALEXANDERSON [Class of 1930] he did not mention the saluting ritual. He did tell me that United States Lines had a strong commitment to their officers serving in the U.S. Naval Reserve. The saluting practice may have its origin here. Also, the first master of the SS UNITED STATES, Commodore HARRY MANNING, also a graduate of the NY Nautical School [Class of 1914] was known for enforcing strict discipline on the bridge." Another contributor, JOHN INGRAM, Class of 1964, adds: "I sailed as a third in the summer of 1968 aboard the Big U with classmate VINNY COX. Commodore Alexanderson was skipper, BOB BROOKS [Class of 1946] First Officer, and GERRY GORDON [Class of 1961] was 2nd Mate. I can assure you there was no saluting on board the Big U while I sailed aboard her. They used to hold Naval Reserve meetings aboard the ship and most probably the Naval Reservists saluted at the beginning of drills/meetings."

CRITIC WEIGHS WITCHES - Not since the demise of the student newspaper, Porthole, has there been a review of a Library Lecture Program. But now NFFS adds a new feature beginning with this review by Professor JOHN ROCCO, Humanities Department: "Occult journalist David Stern was on campus Tuesday night (11/14) to deliver a talk on the 'Supernatural in Everyday Life.' Stern spoke to a packed lecture hall about common superstitions and the impact of the occult on popular culture and the mass media. Stern is the author of "The Blair Witch Project: A Dossier" and he made connections between that hit film and workaday superstitions, particularly those associated with popular conceptions of witchcraft. In addition to his engaging talk, Stern also showed some interesting film clips including a short piece used to raise money for the original Blair Witch film. Audience members had many questions for the author after his talk about modern conceptions of the occult. Stern's presence on campus coincides with the release of the second film in the Blair Witch series."

BEAUTIFUL FORT SCHUYLER - Take a long look at the campus grounds before the snows come. According to the current Plan of the Week: "We are doing many things to try to make the campus more attractive to those of us who work, study and live here, and more inviting to prospective new cadets and their families who come to visit. We got the Reserve Center to remove the razor wire on top of their fence, and we created new grassy areas, planted trees and shrubs to help enhance the natural beauty of the campus. Last week we finished removing the last of our own unsightly fences on the campus."

PLANNING FOR #55 - The Classes of 1946 (January and October) are preparing an e-mail address directory of classmates. According to LEONARD WEISS, the work is being compiled by PHILIPP DILLOWAY. Classmates should contact either Phil ( ) or Leonard ( ASAP.

RELIVING THE 60's - News of a mini-reunion from JOHN ZERBO, Class of 1960: "I just returned from a week in California with five of my classmates and their wives. We get together twice a year to relive our years at Fort Schuyler. This time for our 40th anniversary, TED PULLEN arranged for us (AL SAMUELSEN, FRED LONGO, JACK ANGEL, RON D'ARCY and me) to tour Yosemite National Park and the surrounding area. Old friends come and go, but Fort Schuyler friends have a special relationship which is fantastic and everlasting. In addition, we made our wives honorary Fort Schuyler graduates, since they listen to the same stories over and over and laugh with us. We may not be Ivy League, but we have something that other big name colleges can't duplicate."

SAILOR HO - The SC correspondent for NFFS, JACK HAYES, Class of 1947, writes that a CAD/CAM teacher from Beaufort High School is seeking "..a berth as crew on a vessel crossing the Atlantic this Spring/Summer. He is an experienced sailor, having sailed off-shore in his own boat for years. He will meet the vessel anywhere on the East Coast." Anyone with leads should contact

ANYTHING SUITABLE ? Operating on the principle that we shouldn't "... pay for anything we don't have to pay for," Jack is also looking for "a suit of sails and beaucoup new lines" in preparation for a Sea Scout troop sail from Beaufort to Myrtle Beach next spring. He adds, "There's an idea afoot to teach marlinspike seamanship to the scouts while they 'manufacture' mooring line sets for sale to the myriad boat owners and marinas in this area." E-mail Jack ( ) for a list of line sizes needed for mooring and running rigging. (He will probably try to sell you a mooring line set or two, too.)

MOMENT OF SILENCE FOR GRACE - Word has come that on November 8th GRACE CONNELLY, who served as Alumni Association Secretary for many years until her retirement in the 1980's, has passed over the last long gangway from whose borne no shipmate returns. A funeral mass for Grace was conducted at St. Frances de Chantal Church in Throgs Neck on November 11.