Greetings John C. Calhoun Veteran Shipmates, Honorary Members and Friends!
I hope that you settled in nicely after our fantastic reunion in beautiful Las Vegas and I also hope that you and your loved ones had great Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s holidays.
We expect to have all the reunion photos posted in the coming week. Please take a few minutes and take a look. They brought back a flood of good memories when we reviewed them.
Here are the highlights from our 2022 Las Vegas Reunion
First the Personnel Changes and Continuations:
- George Shaw was transferred from Chairman of the Board to Regular member. We owe George a debt of gratitude for having served us well for the past 6 years and we look forward to having him guide us in the coming years as well as continuing to be our Auctioneer Extraordinaire!
- Rob Hughes was promoted from President to Chairman of the Board and will continue in that capacity for the next 2 years. We’re sorry that Rob was not able to be with us due to medical issues and we look forward to having him with us at the next reunion in 2024!
- Bucky Huber was promoted from Vice President to President of the Calhoun Veterans Association and will be in that capacity for the next 2 years. And we also owe Bucky a Bravo Zulu for a reunion well done in Las Vegas.
- Tom Holcombe was elected in as Vice President and started whining from the get-go. There was stiff competition since Patrick Peck also volunteered for VP but as is typical in politics the worst candidate won!
- Dean Hunt continued acting as Treasurer, I say acting because we all know that Dean’s wife, Lynn is the one doing all the Treasuring.
- Christopher Burns continues to be our secretary and seems to have an endless supply of excuses for not capturing all the points that we covered and requested follow-ups for.
- Jim Bettison continues to be our Chaplin and we are very lucky to have him!
- Jeff Kollhoff continues to be our storekeeper and did his best to take our money through all sorts of supposed good deals and other ponzi scheme shenanigans.
- Mark Akesson continues to be our webmaster and Hey, Hey has anyone noticed the speed of the website since the upgrade was done? Thanks for that Mark!
- Pete Swiderski was given a rest from 20 years of being our ships historian. As in typical fashion Pete did a fantastic job of providing photo albums and scrap books of significant events and memorabilia for the reunion. Thanks so much for a job well done Pete!
- And last but not least our own Rob Hughes has assumed the duties of ship historian from Pete. Let us know what you need from us to support you, Rob!
Second, we announced details about the next reunion and recognized a special attendee:
- Mark Akesson has graciously volunteered to host the next reunion in 2024 and the location will be New London, CT. Thanks for that Mark!
- We acknowledged the attendance of USS John C Calhoun Veteran Association Honorary Member, Rosalie Calhoun. Thanks for being with us, Rosalie. We missed you at the 2021 reunion.
Third, we discussed the newest project to obtain a ships bell:
- Jeff Kollhoff found what appeared to be a satisfactory candidate for the ships bell and purchased it. He brought it to the reunion, and we made a few decisions about next steps.
- The first decision was to appoint a designated driver to transport the bell from Las Vegas to a safe place and await orders for next steps. Ken Wethington volunteered since he had an auto, and he took the bell back to Colorado.
- Charlie Mineau volunteered to take custody of the bell from Ken and to research what it would take to polish and engrave the bell and to connect a bell rope to the clapper.
- Patrick Peck volunteered to do the woodwork for the bell. The woodwork is to build a shipping/transport box and to build a yoke to support it.
And the last significant item that I have is from the banquet on Saturday night:
- We presented Pete Swiderski with the Admiral Dean L. Axene Award for 20 years of Excellence as Calhoun Ship Historian. Thanks for being so diligent Pete!
We will be providing more updates regarding the journey of the ships bell, but we’ve been sworn to secrecy until significant progress has been made in the next steps.