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Shipmate: September/October 2013 3 August 2013

Posted by USNA Class of 1976 in Shipmate.
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by Mark Hubbard

August is upon us, which means in a few weeks we’ll be gathering together again under the Class of ’76 Tent outside of Navy-Marines Corps Stadium to participate in tremendous tailgaters and watch exciting football games with our Classmates, families, and friends.    I can hear a familiar voice in my head, “That’s another Navy FIRST DOWN!!!”  I hope Mark Moore has been staying in shape in the offseason, keeping those vocal chords warmed up.   Well, let’s see what’s in the mailbag!

Leroy Sparr reminisces:

I was looking at some old photos and scanning them into iPhoto and thought some of our classmates might like to see as well.  I have climbed Mt Washington 3 times in my life.  The first was during sub school when I was 24, the 2nd was when I was 42, and the 3rd was when I was 58.  The first time was with Payne Kilbourn and Marty Malley, the second was by myself and the third (final?) was with three of my kids.  The first time I do not remember it being hard at all. We probably ran up it.  The second time I do not remember it being hard either.  The third time was a bear. I made it in 5.5 hours, 2 hours behind my kids.  This getting old stuff is just plain no good.

Payne Kilbourn and Leroy Sparr somewhere below the tree line

Payne Kilbourn and Leroy Sparr somewhere below the tree line

35 years later, Leroy Sparr at the Mt. Washington Summit

35 years later, Leroy Sparr at the Mt. Washington Summit

Leroy Sparr, Mark Clements, Scott Jenkins and Ray Putt in Hawaii between nuke school and prototype. Notice the beer and pineapples at their feet.

Leroy Sparr, Mark Clements, Scott Jenkins and Ray Putt in Hawaii between nuke school and prototype. Notice the beer and pineapples at their feet.

Mark Clements, Leroy Sparr and Scott Jenkins on the Banzai Pipeline beach.  They did a lot of bodysurfing in some very large (>10’) waves.   Those were the days!

Mark Clements, Leroy Sparr and Scott Jenkins on the Banzai Pipeline beach. They did a lot of bodysurfing in some very large (>10’) waves. Those were the days!

I might give one more shot at Mt. Washington when I am 68 and retired, if I make it that far. Anyone that wants to go with me is more than welcome.  Until then I continue to work at Goddard Space Flight Center for NASA, trying to have fun and make things happen.b 

I offered to fly on the U-2 with an instrument I am working on this past spring, but they turned me down – something about age & weight restrictions and qualifications.  I told them I was an ex-nuke and should be able to pick anything up in a couple of days. They did not buy it. Imagine that! Rejection can be tough.

Leroy Sparr trying to hitch a ride on a U-2 for NASA

Leroy Sparr trying to hitch a ride on a U-2 for NASA

And finally, I have started sailing again the past year.  Above is yours truly on a 52-foot sailboat in the British Virgin Islands last December.  I think we ought to have a reunion down there sometime; 300 or 400 ‘76ers could take over the place and create stories that would last two lifetimes.

Leroy getting regaining his sea legs on a sailboat

Leroy regaining his sea legs on a sailboat

Jim Stavridis is off to a quick start in his new career: 

Official retirement was 1 July, and started immediately afterward as Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston.  We’ve bought a home in historic Bedford between Lexington and Concord along the Minuteman Trail.  I am also serving as the Chair of the Board of the US Naval Institute in Annapolis and have an office in the yard overlooking Hospital Point, so get back to the DC area fairly frequently.  Commissioning Ensign Julia Stavridis, USN, Nurse Corps a few weeks ago after she graduated from Georgetown and she started at Bethesda this week.  Will be set up fully in Boston by early August and looking forward to Classmate visitors! 

I wrote a piece in The Atlantic about the 37-year voyage:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/07/37-years-in-the-navy/277424/

John Kruse made it into the Hill’s top 50 most beautiful people list (labeled as the “Man about the town”)!  Check out the link: http://thehill.com/50-most-beautiful-2013/?n=20 

Below is a picture of Denise and John Kruse with Teal and Dr. Dan Mitchell with in the USNA ’76 sponsored room at the Officers Christian Fellowship conference center in White Sulphur Springs, PA.  A number of Classmates contributed to decorate the room.

Denise & John Kruse pose with Teal & Dan Mitchell in Pennsylvania

Denise & John Kruse pose with Teal & Dan Mitchell in Pennsylvania

I’ve come to the end of the mailbag so it looks like I have a little room for a Hubbard Family news update.  Barb and I spent a memorable vacation in Cocoa Beach, FL, in early July.  We were joined for the week by Becca and Billy Hubbard ‘01, and their three beautiful children, Bella, Hampton, and Will.  It was a lot of fun in the Florida sun and even got a full day in at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando.

The Hubbard Family descends on Disney World

The Hubbard Family descends on Disney World

That’s it for now – I look forward to seeing you at the tailgaters!  Go Navy!!!

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