|*** Click Any Photo to Enlarge ***|
Bob Osmon Reports - "It is with much pleasure that I provide a wrap up of our participation in the Class of 2010 Ring Dance held last Saturday evening in Dahlgren Hall. In short it was absolutely a superb evening. The mids were obviously celebrating with unbridled joy, and yet the dignity of the occasion was maintained throughout the program. It was indeed a blessing for us all to be there.
Those in attendance were Hank Chiles, Pete and Jan Chabot, John and Selena Swanson, Jack and Linda Paepcke, Harry and Carol Butler, Don and Ginny Delude, Curt and Diane Goldtrap, Ted McClanahan, Bill and Linda Lewis, Herb and Sue Mossman, Jim and Jane Eilertsen, Ben and Janet Cote, Doug and Janean Johnston, Al and Yvonne Whitaker, Bill Davidson, and yours truly with my “Drag” Linda Cushman. Of these classmates, Jack Paepcke, John Swanson, Herb Mossman, and Al Whitaker were with their Ring Dance 1959 sweethearts. And of these, Jack and Linda, Herb and Sue, and Al and Yvonne were engaged at the Ring Dance 50 years ago this month, so they had an extra special reason to celebrate. And finally, Jim Eilertsen gave Jane a miniature that evening which was totally unexpected by her. Thus it was a true celebration for all of us present just to share in all this joy.
Bill Davidson, afraid he may appear out of uniform, spent hours searching all the upscale men’s stores in DC for a gold cummerbund to no avail. But being the resourceful person he is, as we were all trained to be, he came to the main office that evening and borrowed a gold cummerbund from the MOOW. Now how is that for dedication and clever thinking?
Dahlgren Hall was decorated with more flair than I have ever seen. White mesh curtains were hung extensively covering the old wood we all knew with big gold stars hanging from the ceiling. An extensive buffet was set up at the landward end and an open bar served wine and beer. (Before you ask, only mids over 21 were allowed to imbibe). Special tables were reserved for us and individual bags with champagne glasses, business card holders, and an insulated cup, all with the Class of 2010 crest were provided as a gift to us.
We kicked off the evening by arriving fairly early (A wise move in consideration of the long lines that pervaded an hour or so later). We immediately went to the tent where photo ops were provided alongside one of the four ring replicas and binnacles that were used to bless rings. The water from our binnacle used the May 1959 Ring Dance that Joe Peek so presciently obtained and kept for safekeeping all these years had been mixed into the waters from the Class of 2010 Seven Seas. (Since that was a big debate with us, here is what the Class of 2010, undoubtedly with Academy approval, says are the Seven Seas: Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, Antarctic, Indian, Caribbean, and the Mediterranean.) We each took our turn having our rings dipped into the waters to be christened and blessed once again. Wish we all could do it again in 2059, but it appears we’ll have to pass on the legacy to the Class of 2010.
A DJ played great music and most of us danced as much as we could until later in the evening when the music started really picking up. Near the middle of the dance toasts were given to the various services. I was asked to toast the US Navy and did so, with an addition, “And to the Great Class of 2010.” Got a great roar of approval. Then the four classmates who donated rings (Hank Chiles, Herb and Sue Mossman, Bill and Linda Lewis, and Curt and Diane Goldtrap) whose gold was melded into the gold for the Class of 2010 rings were honored and asked to start the next dance. “A Summer Place” by Percy Faith which I’m sure you all remember from 1958 was played with due respect. After a few minutes the rest of the class present came on the dance floor and joined the initial group. Next the DJ played “Green Door”, the song to which we all learned to dance with our roomies in Mem Hall. It was truly a poignant moment for us all.
Throughout the evening everyone present told me that many mids came up to them and thanked them profusely for all the support and enthusiasm we have added to their time at the academy through the “Another Link in the Chain” program. Frankly, it really did warm our hearts to know that we were being appreciated to that extent. My impression of the Class of 2010 is that they are as enthusiastic and dedicated to the service of our country as we were 50 years ago. If you could ever have the time to sit and talk with these fine young men and women, you would come away with an intense feeling of confidence and praise for the future graduates of our revered Academy.
Hopefully this has given you a feel of what a few of us were privileged to experience last Saturday. We all hope we represented the class well.