News From Fort Schuyler

February 9, 2003 - Volume 7, No. 4

FRANK DID IT - The delay in the distribution of this issue of NFFS is due to maritime publicist/organizer/historian/artist/curator FRANK BRAYNARD. Frank, a peppy 86, is probably best known as the creator of OP SAIL, but he has done much, much more in a long, distinguished career.. He was honored on 6 February by the Ocean Liner Council with the presentation of its Silver Riband Award. The ceremony was held at the South Street Seaport Museum. One of those lauding Frank from the lectern was CAPT JIM McNAMARA, Class of 1964, Chairman of the Maritime Industry Museum at Fort Schuyler and President of the National Cargo Bureau. [BTW - It is rumored that Frank's next book is slated to be published by our very own Fort Schuyler Press.]

SEMI-ANNUAL REPORT - The Maritime Watch section of the college website contains the "President's Update." ADM RYAN breaks his report into academic, professional, regimental, enrollments and infrastructure sections. In the enrollment section, he writes, in part: "I truly appreciate those alumni who are literally helping us find the special young men and women who will comprise the class of 2007 at Maritime College." Turning a seeming challenge into a gift, Admiral Ryan continues: "System Administration is allowing us to increase total enrollment by 25% next year, by far the biggest increase of any campus." The entire report, as well as Admiral Ryan's 2003 Winter Commencement Address, is at:

WORKING VACATIONS - Not only is Mass Maritime using the EMPIRE STATE for their annual winter training cruise, but they also have several Fort Schuyler graduates sailing as officers. Maritime parent, CHARLES BRADY, reports that: "...BEN G. BROWN-SHAKLEE, Class of 2002, is sailing on the Mass Maritime Cruise as some form of engineer. Ben works for Polar Tankers on the Alaska to West Coast runs, and is using his time off to add some warm weather to his winter." Engineering Department professor, CONRAD YOUNGREN, Class of 1967, adds: "Besides Ben, JOE MEGEED also '02 and also working for Polar Tankers-Joe and Ben were on the same ship at one point - are engineering watch officers aboard the TSES (in its M.A.M.A. costume.) I talked to Ben before the TSES departed F.Sch and he said if the timing of his next stint with Polar post-M.A.M.A. cruise works out, he would take a second busman's holiday this summer with us. Ben & Joe are exactly the type we love to have. If they can't make it this year, I'll work on them for next."

TENTATIVE CRUISE ITINERARY - Summer Sea Term 2003 will commence on 17 May and return to Fort Schuyler on 17 July. According to the Admiral's report cited above, tentative ports include Gaeta (Italy), Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Tallin (Estonia) and Hamilton (Bermuda). Other sources reported that if there is a war in the Middle East, the cruise ports would become Norfolk, Gibraltar, Tallin, Kiel (Germany) and Hamilton.

A VIAL DEED THIS - Graduates who are within a dip's reach of one of the seven seas are invited by the Alumni Association to send a vial of "Water from the Seven Seas to be used in the ceremonial dipping and blessing of the Maritime Ring the evening of the Ring Dance. The cadets are well on their way to reviving the Ring Dance tradition on an annual basis...." The dance will be held on 27 February.

"Alumni aboard ships across the world are being asked to send a small sample of water from the Seven Seas ..... Please use a fuel sample bottle or some other similarly sized plastic bottle to mail your sample water. Put you name and class, as well as the body of water, latitude and longitude (if possible) on the bottle ..."

"The table displaying the assortment of water sent last year turned out to be a central gathering place of the evening where cadets read the good wish notes inscribed on or sent along with each bottle." For further information go to the alumni website

EXHIBIT MARKS 3 SCORE AND 9 -The 1934 fire and stranding of the MORRO CASTLE, in which over 130 people lost their lives, is the subject of a new exhibit at the Luce Library. According to exhibit's curator, JANE B. FITZPATRICK, Associate Librarian: "Many questions still surround the MORRO CASTLE incident. Disaffected crew, labor unrest, rumors of smuggling guns and drugs, bad food even for the first class passengers, are all part of the story ... The Coast Guard investigation underlined the need for better crew training and working conditions, and a U.S. Senate inquiry eventually led to new regulations for American shipbuilding."

The display includes artifacts and pictures loaned by the Maritime Industry Museum at Fort Schuyler, as well as photographs, crew documents, and selections from the papers of Richard Crocco, the ship keeper appointed by the Ward Line to oversee the beached vessel. These latter materials were deposited in the library's Marifiles Collection by JEFFREY MONROE, founding director of the Maritime Industry Museum and the son of a MORRO CASTLE crew member.

The Luce Library, located in Fort Schuyler, is open daily. Check the college website for hours or call 718-409-7231.

THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A ... Believe it or not, the newest Alumni Association electronic forum is called DameNet. Touted as being: "For and about women's issues in the workplace!" the Alumni Association announcement explains: "This email discussion list will be similar to DomeNet and will focus on networking and mentoring for women. The new service will begin March 1, 2003. It is hoped that all women graduates will join in fruitful discussion with one another in addition to fielding questions and offering advice to female cadets." More details at the Alumni Association website.

CRUISE CREDIT FOLLOWUP -Good news from BILL SANCHEZ, Class of 1958. He thanks those who gave him a heads up "to the possibility of getting retirement point credit for our summer cruises at NYSMC. I received the last piece of paperwork today [06 Feb.] I have received the points, increased pay and back pay for 6 years. My 8 month effort is now complete." Nice news, it took a long time, and as Bill recommends: "ALWAYS use Certified Mail, Return Receipt Required for all communications related to this entire process!"