News From Fort Schuyler

February 21, 2003 - Volume 7, No. 6

FAST RESPONDERS - Last week's 'Answer Me This' query about shooting a film about the MORRO CASTLE at Fort Schuyler was answered 17 minutes after NFFS was distributed. ROBERT BLOCHLINGER, Class of 1986, referred the editor to , the 9/13/99 issue of NFFS.

Additional input came soon thereafter from JOHN W. O'SULLIVAN, Jr., Class of 1984: "I have it on video tape. John Goodman of later 'Roseanne' fame played the radio operator. I do remember seeing TOM MUNSTER [Class of 1983], TOM MACKIE [Class of 1983] and ALLISON ROSS [Class of 1984] in it. PETE AMOROSO [Class of 1985] had a speaking role (as a steward discovering the fire, he picked up a phone and said 'Bridge.'" (John also noted that Julio Iglesias filmed the video for 'Moonlight Lady' on the TSES V.)

"Darrel is correct on both counts," writes ED RUDNICKI, Class of 1982," TSES V, or rather portions of her interior, were used as 'authentic' sets for the filming of a TV movie about the MORRO CASTLE. Also, cadets were used as non-speaking extras. This was circa 1980-82. Shame on Darrell!! IT was only a short 20 years ago."

"I also recall the filming of another TV movie, 'The Gentleman Bandit.' during my sentence, in which the Fort was transformed into an asylum, and the gym into a Pennsylvania State Police barracks. I still have a photo of the latter sign."

LETTER TO THE EDITOR - "Appreciate your Fort Schuyler News,'" writes Maritime College president JOHN RYAN, "but don't appreciate your comment that something is missing from my briefing regarding academics." [See NFFS 2/14/03] "As President, I am very impressed by the talent and professionalism of most of our faculty and say so every time I speak publicly! I talked a good bit about the efforts of the Interim Provost, and DICK BURKE's [Class of 1972, Chairman of the Engineering Department] initiatives, plus significant comment on potential Grants that key faculty were working. Additionally, thanked faculty for their fine efforts in advising our cadets. You had to be there!" [Nice comments about Fort Schuyler's multi-faceted and hard-working faculty.]

ACHIEVERS, SCHUYLER STYLE - This update on the activities of some Maritime graduates, engine and deck, comes from BOB ANDERSON, Class of 1962, who writes about:

"Dr. FRANK WICKS, Class of 1961, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Union College in Schenectady, NY was written up in [the 19 February edition of the Albany Times-Union.] He is promoting a combination furnace/electrical generator invention of his that seems to be superior to the hydrogen fuel cells currently being promoted by the government. It won't run your auto - but it will heat your house and also light your rooms, etc. It seems to make more sense thermodynamically than the fuel cell, and with the current concern about energy efficiency maybe its turn will come." [The Times-Union article says that "Wicks described his invention as both a furnace and an electric power plant. The idea, he said, is to produce electricity as a co-product so that it is of equal value to heat."] "Frank as the inventor is looking for backers to commercialize his invention. He had already had several grants from the upstate utility, Niagara Mohawk. Frank also periodically writes well-researched articles on famous inventors for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers monthly magazine, [Mechanical Engineering.]"

For further Wicksiana check these websites: and

"Another alumnus, TOM FEXAS, Class of 1962, writes a monthly column for 'Power and Motoryacht' magazine. Tom has been called the outstanding power yacht designer in the U.S. Tom's most recent design includes a new line of Grand Banks trawlers - of particular interest is the 62 ft. model which had been written up in several magazines, including 'Passage Maker.' Tom is most noted for his Midnight Lace design, an updated combination design of a 1920's commuter yacht and a PT boat. It is the most distinctive boat of its type around. If you ever see a Midnight Lace up close you won't forget it. Tom has just designed and supervised the building of a new 52 ft version of this design which he hopes will be a best seller. There is a good write up in the March 2003 'Soundings' magazine."

Check the nice profile of Tom at the PMY website (he's a contributing editor) which notes that, "Though he keeps readers chuckling with his humorous columns in Power and Motoryacht, yacht designer and technical expert Tom Fexas is actually quite serious about boats. He heads Tom Fexas Yacht Design, originally formed in 1966 as Mystic Yacht Design, Inc. in Connecticut. The company moved to Stuart, Florida in 1977, where it grew from a one-man shop to an eight-man operation." Some of the most relevant links are and

Bob ended this alumni update with a tip of his hat to a deck graduate of the school: "Also enjoyed seeing GARY JOBSON, Class of 1973, serving as commentator for America's Cup competition in New Zealand. Gary's factual play-by-play is a welcome relief from his co-anchor who is clueless about sailing and doesn't know the difference between the port side of a boat and port wine!"

You can read all about Gary's many activities at and go to the races at

STIMULATING SIMULATOR - A head's up from SEAN McCARTHY, Class of 1999, about a 18 February article in MaritimeToday titled, 'SUNY Maritime's Other Training Ship.' The subject is the college's Center for Simulation and Marine Operations, "..a place where experienced professionals fine tune their navigational skills and neophyte mariners are groomed and prepared for the challenges at sea." This is a long, comprehensive article. It is well-worth going through the free registration process to subscribe to this online maritime journal. Go to

CRUISE CREDIT - So far six Fort Schuyler naval reservists are following up on the possibility of receiving credit for summer sea term days toward their retirement points. Contact NFFS editor to receive a copy of Bill Sanchez's how-to-do-it document at