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Shipmate: March/April 2015 27 January 2015

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

I am writing this from Maryland in between business trips. I’ve spent every week in January traveling for NASA racking up the air miles. Starting the first week in January I started my travels in Albuquerque, New Mexico, then to Berkley, California, then San Antonio, Texas and finally, next week at Vandenberg AFB in California for the launch of SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive). I was a member of the Goddard Team that built the Radiometer for SMAP. Scheduled to launch on Thursday, 29 JAN, the goal of the SMAP mission is to establish a satellite observatory in a near-polar, sun-synchronous Earth orbit in order to produce global maps of soil moisture, which will help improve our understanding of Earth’s water and carbon cycles and our ability to manage water resources. Okay, enough of today’s science lesson – let’s get on to the news.

While returning from our trip to California in December, Barb & I had the honor to fly home to Baltimore with the last surviving member of the Tuskegee Airmen, Lt. Col. Bob Friend. He was very gracious and eager to have his picture taken with me.

Lt. Col. Bob Friend poses with Mark Hubbard at BWI Airport

Lt. Col. Bob Friend poses with Mark Hubbard at BWI Airport

My wife, Barb, and I made a personal trip in December to be present in San Diego for the exciting Poinsettia Bowl, which Navy held on to win 17-16 over San Diego State University. There were several Classmates present at the game and the tailgater including: Tim Traaen; Emory Chenoweth and his sons, Matt and Kevin; Sharon & Phil Poirer; Jan & Pat Nevitt; Bev & Stu Hinrichs and their daughter, Jamie; A.B. & Dennis Dilucente, Mark Schweer and his friend, Ken; Dan O’Brien; Cindy & Mark Costello and Mark’s Mom. Tommy Gardner was late to the game and missed the tailgater. Randy Large helped to arrange the Tailgater as well, but was unable to attend the game because his Mom passed away that week. (Randy – you have our deepest sympathies; we are so sorry for your loss.). Many thanks go out to A.B. & Dennis Dilucente, Tim Traaen and Randy Large for coordinating and setting up the tremendous tailgater! Also, thank you Kevin Stone for helping coordinate the tailgate from a far as well as re-acquainting our Class with the USS Higgins (DDG-76). As Dennis Dilucente so poignantly stated, “We took a step, albeit a small step, towards once again sponsoring Leadership Awards for DDG-76 and welcomed the opportunity to party with the wardrooms JOs.” The Class donated roughly 100 tickets to the USS Higgins so a large contingent of crew members could attend the game. BRAVO ZULU!

Class of ’76 at the Poinsettia Bowl Tailgate Party

Class of ’76 at the Poinsettia Bowl Tailgate Party

Class of ’76 pose with their wives in San Diego

Class of ’76 pose with their wives in San Diego

The day following the game, Barb & I drove to Hermosa Beach, CA, to spend Christmas with Barb’s daughter, Jane Marie. While there I had an opportunity to stop by for a short visit with MaryLou & Phil Kumpis. They look great and are doing well.

Barb & Mark Hubbard with Jane Marie at Brewco in Manhattan Beach

Barb & Mark Hubbard with Jane Marie at Brewco in Manhattan Beach

There was a great turnout at the Army-Navy tailgater in Baltimore prior to the 13th victory in a row over Army. Many of the Class rendezvoused at the Raven’s Roost parking lot a couple of blocks from the stadium. There was more delicious food and drink than could possibly be consumed, but we all fun trying! Nothing like getting primed for battle against our arch rivals.

Class of ’76 pose at the Army-Navy tailgater

Class of ’76 pose at the Army-Navy tailgater

Dave Rossetti is the Burger-Meister!

Dave Rossetti is the Burger-Meister!

Mark & Barb Hubbard tailgating with Meghan & Jared Marinos and Chris Hubbard

Mark & Barb Hubbard tailgating with Meghan & Jared Marinos and Chris Hubbard

Classmates enjoying the food

Classmates enjoying the food

Randy Goff

Randy Goff

Tim Farrell won a bet because of the outcome of the game:

I work for Mo Gillen USMA ’86, at the Veterans Multi-Service Center in Coatesville, PA. Our bet on the Army-Navy game was the loser would wear the winner’s spirit gear at work all day Monday following the game, winner to provide clean spirit gear. I brought something for Mo to wear but when I arrived at work I saw she was already wearing a Navy shirt she’d gotten when she served with John Holden ’79.

Bill Kneller has some distressing news about Steve Topscher:

We have Steve Topscher, a 14th Co. classmate who is at the Perryville, MD, VA Medical Center with advanced stages of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). We had a 14th Co. get together for the GA Southern game and split up groups so half of us could visit on Saturday and the rest on Sunday.

On a final note, I received the sad news that Steve Rohrssen (30th Company) passed away unexpectedly on December 22nd. A close friend and co worker of Steve’s, Jim Noonan ’74 provided a fitting tribute to Steve stating that, “He was a good man, a dedicated family man, a spirited supporter of the Navy and Naval Academy, a highly skilled manager and leader at IBM, and a great friend to many. He will be deeply missed.” Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to Steve’s wife, Jo Ann, and his children, Michael and Erika, as well as the rest of Steve’s extended family.

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Comments»

1. mark Cosello - 4 February 2015

Correction to the Tailgate photo. It’s Mark Costello’s Mother Eileen that was with Cindy and Mark. You can see where Mark gets his height from.


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