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Shipmate: May/June 2014 18 April 2014

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

Well, the snow season might be done by now but with the crazy weather we’ve experienced this winter, you never know what to expect!

Stu Funk offers another way to experience the Army-Navy game in his “Bahama Breezin’” accounting:

As I pin this quick note, I am looking outside at 6 inches of new fallen snow on St. Patrick’s Day (AARGH!). Think I need an extra Guinness! Although 3 months have passed since “The Game’ and we are approaching the halfway point to the next season (don’t forget to renew your seats!), it doesn’t appear that the weather between here and Philly has changed much since 14 December. Which brings me to the point of this update…if you want to see some different weather; you sometimes have to consider a different location.

While several hardy souls braved the elements and attended the game at ‘The Linc’, and countless others observed the latest series victory from the warmer confines of their home or favorite drinking establishment, a few of us traveled a different road to observe the game. Cheryl and I, along with Linda and John Strand, packed up our bags and Navy shirts and joined Susan and Marty Sloane at their home in the Bahamas to celebrate the game. Invaded may be a better verb than joined, because soon after Marty and Susan bought a ‘beach house’ there in the fall of 2012, I (for one) started immediately pestering about them hosting for A-N. Couldn’t get it done for 2012, but the call went out for 2013 and there was no looking back. Marty and Susan’s place is a little piece of paradise on Man of War Cay, one of the eastern most barrier islands in the chain. As you can see from the picture, they have a decent view off the front porch!

A view of the ocean from the Sloane’s beach house on Man-O-War Cay

A view of the ocean from the Sloane’s beach house on Man-O-War Cay

For those of you nautically inclined I have included coordinates and the nearest land (to the east).

Lat/Long

Lat/Long

The Funks and Strands arrived a few days before the game to begin soaking up the warmth of the geography and the camaraderie. Over the next few days, we explored the island (only several hundred inhabitants) from tip to tip and from sea and shore. It was sunny and around 80 each day and we spent at least some time on the water each of the days. On one of the days, we were even successful at catching our dinner…spearing may be more accurate as that is how we nailed enough lobsters to feed our adventurous crew. We gathered each evening for dinner and enjoyed good food, good wine and good friends. We relived some old school and Navy memories from a slide show that Marty’s daughter created. Some of those pictures may actually be classified ‘antiques’ at this point!

Then came the appointed game day. As we watched the advance of the purple and blue weather patterns advancing across the CONUS, we settled in for yet another 80-degree day in anticipation of the big game…

The rest of that day’s story, you all know well…another Navy victory! In proper USNA tradition we stood and sang Blue and Gold and hoisted out cheer to BEAT ARMY…again.

“Now colleges from sea to sea, May sing of colors true!”

“Now colleges from sea to sea, May sing of colors true!”

So as we closed out our visit and started to all head back to more mundane and cooler environment, we departed with some wonderful memories of a beautiful stay and an ‘awesome’ game with some terrific friends!

In March Debbie and Dave Winters attended a reception for the British Special Forces Club. It was held in the Tower of London and allowed an opportunity for them to meet and briefly chat with the Club patron, Her Royal Highness, Princess Ann and her husband, Admiral Sir Tim Lawrence. After these formalities were accomplished, Dave barge-poled over to a table to rest his gimpy legs. An unfamiliar gent wandered over to sit down and join them and introduced himself as “Freddy.” After some light-hearted banter and jokes, Dave’s mind slowly processed the information derived from the conversation. He then realized that “Freddy” was Frederick Forsyth, the brilliantly famous author (known for thrillers such as The Kill List, The Odessa File, The Day of the Jackal, etc.). Photo proof of this unlikely sea story is attached.

Debbie and Dave Winters with English author Frederick Forsyth

Debbie and Dave Winters with English author Frederick Forsyth

Speaking of authors, Barb and I had the opportunity to attend a book signing at the Bethesda (MD) Barnes & Noble on 12 April. Fox & Friends cohost, Brian Kilmeade, was there to promote his best selling book George Washington’s Secret Six.

Brian Kilmeade posing with Barb and Mark Hubbard in Bethesda

Brian Kilmeade posing with Barb and Mark Hubbard in Bethesda

My daughter, Meghan, drove down from Brooklyn, NY, recently to spend a few days visiting. Her husband, Jared Marinos USMA ’05, recently hung up his uniform and has embarked on a civilian career with the Bank Of America in NYC where he is undergoing a management-training program. In between snowstorms, Meghan and I got a chance to see the Cherry Blossoms in their entire splendor at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C.

Mark Hubbard and his daughter, Meghan Marinos, at the Tidal Basin

Mark Hubbard and his daughter, Meghan Marinos, at the Tidal Basin

David Markham (28th Co.) started a new job in November 2013. He now works for Intelsat General Corporation (IGC), which is headquartered in Bethesda, MD, as IGC’s Program Manager for the Navy’s Commercial Broadband Satellite Program (CBSP). In his new position, Dave is responsible for managing a $540M Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) contract and providing commercial satellite communications services to Navy customers worldwide. On a personal note, Dave and his wife, Sandy, have lived in East Tennessee for the past eight years and have a small farm in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Their two children, Sarah and David Jr., are on their own now; Sarah lives in the Fredericksburg, VA area and David Jr., along with his wife, Sara, live in Charlotte, NC. Dave and Sandy recently found out that they would become grandparents for the first time this fall. Needless to say, they are thrilled with the news!

Many Classmates, along with some spouses and offspring, were present at the Halfway Dinner at Joe Theismann’s Restaurant in Alexandria in early April. There was a table from 18th company; Sharron and Fred Johnson, Georgia and John Locks, Carol and Bruce Petit, and Lisa and Chuck Gorum. Fred mentioned that “Sharron and I have gotten together with Bruce and Carol several times over the years, but I hadn’t seen John Locks since graduation day, and it’s been something like fifteen years since I last saw Chuck. But nevertheless the camaraderie ran high and it was just like old times, very fun to catch up and reminisce.”

18th Company mates pose with their spouses at the Halfway Dinner

18th Company mates pose with their spouses at the Halfway Dinner

Linda and Doug Schaus at Theismann’s

Linda and Doug Schaus at Theismann’s

Halfway Dinner

Halfway Dinner

Kevin and Barb Stone in Alexandria, VA

Kevin and Barb Stone in Alexandria, VA

 

That’s it for the news. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I will be undergoing my second total knee joint replacement surgery on my left knee this time. Keep the news and pictures coming and always remember to BEAT ARMY!

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