To the Crew:
Well another year has begun. Hopefully everyone had a safe and joyous holiday season. We have been having some internet and computer issues that has been preventing us from updating the website. Thank you for your patience while we have been working through them.
What a great time was had by all in New Orleans. This was one of our biggest turnouts and it was good to see the new faces and also get some new sea stories. The Maison St. Charles was a great hotel with a unique set up with the courtyard in the middle of the many buildings. A great location right on the trolley line, 5 minutes one way to Bourbon Street or 5 minutes the other way to more great restaurants as if there wasn’t enough within walking distance. Touring Mardi Gras World and seeing how the many floats are made and getting some history about Mardi Gras was a great start. Then on to a lunch cruise on the Natchez made for a great start Monday. Some stopped at the casino to make their donations and some walked around the French Quarter to finish out the day. The street performers and artists around Jackson Square, the architecture of the area, and the food were all reasons to visit the area. I think everyone went for a walk on Bourbon Street sometime through the week to say they have been there. Tuesday was a free day and some took an airboat ride through the Bayou. Another one of the things that I can cross off my bucket list. Having never rode on an airboat, that was great for me to see how they are built and handled. We had a great guide who had grew up in the area and was very knowledgeable about the Bayou and alligators. Got to see quite a few of them and even had a small one to pass around for everyone to hold or touch. The vegetation of the Bayou is also something to see. On Wednesday everyone made their way to the WWII Museum where we started out with a memorial service for shipmates that have passed. We had time to start touring the museum before our lunch and show of music of the times of WWII by 3 talented men. The rest of the day was spent touring the museum and some of us went back Thursday afternoon to go through it a little more. It is a great museum that is set up to take you through the 2 fronts of WWII. Many great displays and videos to chronicle the war. Thursday morning was the annual meeting. San Diego was voted in for the 2018 reunion, but there is a possibility of having a mini reunion in Hawaii in 2018 also. More info on that as we get it. The Thursday night banquet and auction was enjoyed by all as Pat Taylor keeps the jokes coming. I believe everyone enjoyed this reunion and hope if you haven’t attended one, you will try to in the future.
Speaking of future reunions, 2017 will be in Savanah, Ga. It is tentatively scheduled for the first of October. We are waiting on confirmation from the planners and will get definite date and hotel information out as soon as we get it.
Bill Biller, HT2 77-80