News From Fort Schuyler
May 19, 2008 - Volume 8, No. 18ANOTHER TRAINING CRUISE - As it has annually for most of the past 134 years, our schoolship, this time the EMPIRE STATE VI, has departed on a training cruise. On 12 May, a wet and windy day, a complement of 575 cadets sailed for the ports of Nassau, Bahamas - Palma, Mallorca - Toulon, France - and Liverpool, England. Ship's Master is RICHARD SMITH, Class of 1981.To watch a sailing-day news story go to this local cable television channel link at NY1 News Video Clip
DON'T FORGET THE BIG U -The college website is currently featuring an invitation to attend the May 29th New York premiere of the new documentary film, "SS UNITED STATES: Lady in Waiting," which is slated for national showing on public television. The screening is at the Columbia University Club at 15 West 43rd St. There is full information about the event and the film at www.sunymaritime.edu. BTW - One of the most impressive outdoor exhibits which the Maritime Industry Museum has installed on the grounds of the Fort is that giant 5-bladed propeller from the UNITED STATES. Also, all the permanent Masters of the SS UNITED STATES were Maritime College graduates: HARRY MANNING, Class of 1914, JOHN ANDERSON, Class of 1915, and LEROY J. ALEXANDERSON, Class of 1930.
GIVE MY REGARDS TO BROADWAY - Here's something to do next time you are in Lower Manhattan. EARL BAIM, Class of 1980, writes, via Constantia Constantinou: "A few years ago the City of New York undertook a project to install an historical marker on the sidewalk of lower Broadway for the honoree of each of the ticker-tape parades which have been held. These markers, in stone with bronze letters, are spaced at about 15 foot intervals and include the name of the honoree, date of the parade, and the reason why the person was honored. The markers include the names of generals, kings, athletes, aviators and many others - all of the notable people of the past 100+ years. I've noticed that there are two markers for our fellow alumnus, HARRY MANNING, and he may be the only person, including people like Charles Lindbergh, Douglas MacArthur, and John Glenn to have had two ticker-tape parades. The fact of a ticker-tape parade is a remarkable achievement: the fact of two such parades for one person may be a singular achievement."
So take a walk up Broadway, because these plaques are best viewed when facing north (unless you like to read upside down.) "January 28, 1929 - Capt. George Fried, Chief Officer Harry Manning, and the crew of the steamship AMERICA for rescuing the crew of the Italian freighter FLORIDA" [In front of Cunard Building, across the street from 26 Broadway.] "July 14, 1952 - Commodore Harry Manning, Chief Engineer William Kaiser, and crew of the S.S. UNITED STATES setting a new transatlantic speed record" [100 Broadway in front of Borders Books.] Another alumnus, PAUL GRENING, Class 1897, was honored with a ticker tape parade on "October 21, 1925 - Capt. Paul C. Grening and the crew of the SS PRESIDENT HARDING for heroic sea rescue."
ON THE BALLOT - Voters in the Patchogue-Medford School District vote for new school board members on Tuesday, 20 May. According to an article in Newsday, one of the candidates for a 3-year term is BRETT HOUDEK, Class of 1982, an outage manager engineer for National Grid, who has been serving on the school board for the past year in place of a member who stepped down. Brett's three children have attended district schools and he is running on a slate to reinstate programs such as business and reading skills.
EBB TIDE - PIERRE VALLETT, Class of September 1944, a long-time resident of Scarsdale, died on 24 April at the age of 85 in Palm City, Fl. A lifelong insurance executive, he is survived by two daughters and two grandchildren.
ROBERT CANAVELLO, Class of January 1946, a descendent of the Delmonico family that ran a famous New York restaurant, died on 30 March in Easton, MD. Born in Brooklyn, he grew up in Queens and attended Bayside HS. After graduation from the New York Merchant Marine Academy he shipped out on the Victory Ship S.S. ATTLEBORO. According to an online mass card, "...he was Sales Manager for NY Silicate Book Slate Co, President of Arcana Products. and a yacht broker for Flagship Yachts..." and Willis Marine on Long Island. He was an enthusiastic sailor and longtime competitive yachtsman in frostbite regattas, dinghy races, and participated in several Newport to Bermuda races.
MARVIN KUHN, Class of 1952, "...an illustrator and newspaperman who for 40 years contributed the weekly editorial page cartoon to the East Hampton Star and was later its art director, died on Sunday [April 6] ...in Southampton." His obituary in the Star noted that he "...enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17. As a signalman during World War II, he participated in the 1945 assault and occupation of Okinawa.." His classmate, JOHN INGRAHAM, posted a tribute on the Alumni Association website. It reads in part: "He was one of the older members of the class and served as Battalion Aide for the two years that the class served as first class. Marv worked in New York for a few years but then forswore fame and fortune and moved to the Far End of Long island to follow his passions for classic wooden boats and boatyards. He was a land surveyor and also an artist... He also had a passion for birds and did bird illustrations for several books. Marv marched to a different drummer than most graduates and, unfortunately, his final years were stolen by Alzheimer's disease."
ALIVE AND KICKING - The annual gathering of the Old Friends and Retirees Talking Society met for a City Island luncheon on 15 May. Eleven O.F.A.R.T.S. members, convened by Emeritus Professor AARON KRAMER, Class of 1954, saluted DR. FRED HESS and CHIEF ED PFLEGING with a moment of silence and a toast to their memory. These retired, semi-retired, and active members of the faculty and staff then caught up on news of the college and their colleagues. Attending were: JOEL BELSON (Humanities) - RICHARD CORSON, JOHN LEE, FIL MAGAVERO (Library) - DAVE EPSTEIN, JOE LONGOBARDI (Science) AARON KRAMER, JOHN MATHIESON, Class of 1959, WALTER NELSON, Class of 1961, ED RONE, and TONY WEIS (Engineering).
WHO KNOWS ? Professor Emeritus JOE LONGOBARDI would like the name of the Ship's Radio Operator during Admiral Durgin's time (ca. 1951-1959.) NFFS wants to know who used to say: "All right youse guys. Line up alphabetically by height!" Who was he and what did he do? [Hint - it is NOT Yogi Berra.]
COMMENTS - "Loved the yacht story. Unbelievable, but things like that really do happen. Can be embarrassing as well at a powerplant when a rotor for a $20-million turbine drops on the deck." (ROBERT SCHWIEGER, Class of 1964.) - "I got a particular laugh out of the yacht delivery, which reminded me of one of my exchanges with a bunch of cadets. 'Why,' they were demanding of each other, 'did they need to learn how to use a sextant when they had GPS?' 'Suppose,' I asked, 'the GPS system breaks?' Blank stares..." (JENNARA WENK, Ship's Librarian.)
Richard Corson - Forest Hills, NY
Latitude 40.716N Longitude 73.85W