14th REDFIN Reunion
Norfolk, Virginia
September 29 to October 2, 2011


The 14th REDFIN Reunion was held at the Holiday Inn Norfolk Airport in Norfolk, VA. Redfin shipmates and guests in attendance were Walt andBarbara Sealy, Art and Vi Maki, Danny Scoville, Tom and Fran Hess, Frank and Bernie Sklodowski, Larry and Maxine Rash, Bob Day, Ted Breisch (a WWII Vet) and daughter Joellyn Lazarek, Keith and Susan Weborg, Cecil and Rosemary Stiles, Erich Cramer, Ken and Ev Small, Louis LeBlanc, Cliff Delahanty, Joe and Valerie Jefferson, Baldy and Pauline Baldwin, Ray and Betty Engle, Bill Oliveri, Mike Taccardi and Nancy Fanelli, Woody Gunderson, John Yaksich, Dave Twigg, Jim and Marianne Gradeless, George and Ruth Williams, Ozzie and May Aossey, Roger and Marie Wiedl, Steve and Nancy Chordas, Joanne March, Linda Martin and myself. We had The Landings room for the Hospitality Room and Concourse B room for our Buffet Dinners.  We had the usual Thursday evening dinner, pizza, prepared for us by the Hotel.  Everyone seemed to get plenty to eat. We had two pizzas left over which were enjoyed by the hotel staff. The hotel provided buffet dinners for us on Friday evening and Saturday evening. The hotel staff provided exceptional service for the dinners and the hospitality room.

Friday evening, after dinner, we had a slide program presented to us by Edward (Ted) Crossland, Lt. Comm., USN (Ret.) Ted experienced a 24+ year U.S. Navy Submarine mustang career up to 1984. He spent 20 more years as a Program Manager at Newport News Shipbuilding and is, presently, affiliated with the National Maritime-Mariners’ museum. Ted’s program was about Vice Admiral Charles Lockwood’s Navy and submarine career.

Fred Poorman visited with us on Friday and then he, Kathy and a niece joined us for dinner Saturday evening. Romeo Villania visited the reunion on Saturday having just returned from China on Friday. Bob Day had his great-granddaughter and her husband join us for dinner Saturday evening as well. 

The Breakfast Buffet was very nice and the excellent service extended to us by Lauren in the breakfast buffet area equaled the service provided to us by the entire hotel staff.

On Saturday, most of the shipmates and several guests went to the Navy Base to tour the USS Helena (SSN-725), a Los Angeles-class submarine. The tour was set up by Erich Cramer. We had a great tour and were able to purchase hats, etc. on board. This was the only tour set up for the reunion. Everyone was on their own schedule to do as they pleased. This seemed to work out well as there was more visiting in the hospitality room.
After much arm twisting and begging, we had a pretty good turnout at the reunion with twenty eight shipmates and guests for a total of about fifty people. We had a short meeting after the Saturday evening dinner. I reviewed the financials and we had a discussion about future reunions. My first-hand experience with what Jack March had experienced the last several years in his efforts to get enough people signed up for the reunions was enlightening. In my numerous phone calls and email communications, I realized that many of you will not attend a reunion every year. Due to this realization and with the discussion at the recent reunion, no reunion will be planned for 2012. I will, however, solicit offers from various hotel locations to host a 2013 Redfin reunion. The general consensus at the 2011 reunion is that we will now have a reunion every other year. I, also, realize that no matter what site I chose for the next reunion, some of you will not be pleased. You can offer suggestions to me and I will listen, however, I can’t let the tail wag the dog! I appreciate all the kudos extended to me before and during the recent reunion but if you really want to show me your appreciation of how I handle the reunions and the Redfin website, plan to attend the next reunion in 2013!

The Chinese Auction went very well with everyone (especially me) having a good time. Of course, some of you won entirely too many gifts and I’ve made a mental note of that fact, Evelyn - ;>) !!  As usual, the ladies did a superb job selling the tickets.  

More reunion information will be forthcoming in the next newsletter during 2012. I hope you can make your preliminary plans for a 2013 reunion. If you have any questions, you can call me at 570-943-2670 or email me at redfin@ussredfin.com or smartij@msn.com.  If I’m not home, leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Jim Martin
Redfin Reunion Planner & Website Mana