Saturday, January 25, 2014

Binnacle List: Ervin Schmidt

On Thursday January 23, World War II veteran Ervin Schmidt suffered a mild stroke. He is currently recovering the hospital, and is eating and speaking (but only in German). For the time being, Ervin’s family is requesting no visitors.

Ervin Schmidt at the 2013 Holiday Luncheon
We will pass along any other information as soon as we know more. Please keep Ervin and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Binnacle List Update: Robbie Robertson

Robbie Robertson is recovering from pneumonia and a mild heart attack. He is currently at Anderson House undergoing physical therapy with the hope that he will be able to go home, with care, during the day.
Robbie has therapy sessions twice a day and his family has requested there be no visitors until they can work out a good schedule for the therapy sessions. However, he would love some phone calls. If you would like to give him a call, send me a message and I will give you his phone number. It will take him a little while to answer the phone, so let it ring.

We will let you know when he will be able to have visitors.

January 2014 Meeting Notes

We started the January meeting with Tolling the Boats lost in January, followed by birthday wishes for our members, introductions, and officer reports.

Old and New Business:
We had a quick Binnacle List update on the conditions of Robbie Robertson, Bob Haslan, and Admiral Horton Smith.

Replacement Banner - Jim Harper made a motion saying that the base should replace our current USSVI banner with one that says USSVI Seattle Base. Jim made this motion after noting that all the other area bases have the base name listed on their respective banners, while Seattle Base’s banner only says USSVI. There was some discussion about modifying the current banner instead of buying a new banner. The motion was tabled until the cost of replacing or modifying the banner can be determined. If you have some thoughts on this issue, be sure to come to the next meeting or contact one of the Base officers.

Base Bylaw Changes and Elections - We discussed the proposed changes to the Seattle Base bylaws and asked for nominations for Base officers. We then voted on the bylaw changes and slate of officers, approving all the changes and officers. One of the changes to the bylaws changes the officer terms (and voting) to a two year cycle, so the next election will be in 2016.
2014 - 2015 Seattle Base Officers (L to R) Jim Harper, Art Thompson, Bill Giese, Dick Gonzales, and Pat Householder
Base Officers for the next two years are:
  • Base Commander – Dick Gonzales 
  • Sr. Vice Commander – Art Thompson 
  • Jr. Vice Commander – Pat Householder 
  • Treasurer – Jim Harper 
  • Secretary – Bill Giese 

After the election, incoming Base Commander, Dick Gonzales, gave a few remarks about becoming Base Commander. He really wanted to encourage everyone to step up to help move the base forward. You can see the full text of his remarks at the end of this post.

Outgoing Base Commander, Doug Abramson, had some parting thoughts, including the origins behind several commonly used phrases.

The new base officers were then sworn in by John Mansfield.

Storekeeper Replacement - We are still looking for someone to take over the duties of the Base Storekeeper. If you think you might be interested in this position, please speak with Bill Giese.

Membership Dues - If you are on the annual membership plan, it is time to look at paying your dues. Please contact Jim Harper to pay your dues or if you have questions.

Meeting Time Changes - Our meeting attendance often drops during the winter months. An idea was brought up to think about shifting the weekday and times for winter meetings to a weekend afternoon. No decision has been made, but it is something for the base members to think about. If you would like to see a change in the meeting days or time, please contact a Base officer or one of the past Base Commanders.

Dick Gonzales Remarks
Before I begin, let me say that Doug and his predecessors have set the standard and the bar is high. Doug, we thank you for a job well done!

I joined this base in 2008 and during this period I enjoyed the many activities, ceremonies, and special events. I immediately noticed dedication, teamwork, and comradely, it is why I want to belong and to contribute.

One especially notable and impressive characteristic I observed was those that had previously served continue to do so today, I can’t name everyone but the list is long. But, let me mention a few such as Steve Shelton former Commander and his lovely wife Linda who support every event doing the hard stuff. Steve works behind the scenes to help make this work. Andrea, Lois, and Sam and his awesome Cadillac are very important to our base. Jim Harper is not only Base Treasurer but played a major roll in the reconstruction our float, Jim maintains, stores it at home, and tows it all of our main functions. Jim, also like Steve is a factor, we appreciate your service. Dutch, Keith, Bob Opple, Dave Schueler, Bill, John, and all of the officers up here tonight go above and beyond. We are also privileged to have an excellent resource and leader; Pat Householder who most would agree is the “Backbone of our Base.” And finally, our esteemed and honored WWII vets including an admiral who set an example us; They are truly a source of pride for this base. They help us to recognize and value our heritage as former US Submarine sailors.

At this point, I want to share some private thoughts I had when it was when it was suggested I assume the duties and leadership of this base. The first thing to go through my mind was, “Gee Whiz” I am to busy, I belong to a few other organizations that demand some of my time and the Museum of Flight. I am occupied with family and my kayaking friends, how can I do this?

I thought perhaps I might not measure up and finally, my head said baloney when I remembered the people I just mentioned and not only that they have stepped up, but they continue to do so!

Therefore tonight I accept the nomination and only ask you to continue to serve this base in whatever capacity you can and to make sure I don’t slip and fall in exercising my duties. I hope to make a difference.

As you know Tim Floersch our Base Vice Commander is stepping down. We need to fill his position I may take the opportunity to invite some of you mates to reconsider. I know you also want this base to succeed and to grow.

Thank you and lets get underway.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Eternal Patrol: John Long

Seattle Base member John Ward Long departed on eternal patrol on December 31, 2013.

John was born July 14, 1946 and joined the Navy in 1963. He qualified on USS Redfin (SS-272) in 1965 and went on to serve as a sonar technician on USS Triton (SSN-586) and USS Haddock (SSN-621). John left the Navy in 1973.

John was disabled and retired from painting contracting business with COPD, high blood pressure, and chronic bronchitis. He was confined to wheelchair on oxygen most of the time.

Please remember John’s family in your thought and prayers.
Sailor, Rest Your Oar.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Binnacle List: Bob Haslan and Robbie Robertson

There are a couple more binnacle list updates.
Bob and Dani Haslan at the 2013 Holiday Luncheon
Bob Haslan recently had cancer surgery and, while his doctor is sure he got all of the cancer, Bob was only home for two days before having to go back to the hospital. His kidney is blocked and he is in a lot of pain and will have surgery to try to correct the problem.

Dani, Bob’s wife, has requested that you keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Robbie and Terri Robertson at the 2013 Holiday Luncheon
Lois Mezek let us know that Robbie Robertson is in the hospital and has asked that we use her as the contact person for Robbie and Terri until the situation is a little more stable. Lois will update USSVI and VFW as soon as she knows more. It currently doesn't sound like there will be anything new before Thursday.

Robbie Robertson is in Virginia Mason Hospital at this time. Robbie started having problems around January 2nd. He has congestive heart failure and water was gathering around the heart which brought on a slight case of pneumonia. Robbie’s daughters reported that he is alert and mentally stable and that Terri is holding up pretty well. The family is meeting with the doctor soon and should know on Wednesday or Thursday what the next steps will be.

Please keep Robbie and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Meeting Reminder and Binnacle List: Chris Opple


Our shipmate Bob Opple let us know that Chris, his wife, is seriously ill.
Bob and Chris Opple at the 2013 Tolling Ceremony
We ask that you keep Chris and Bob in your thoughts and prayers.

Also, we want to remind you that the next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, January 15.

We will meet at VFW Post #2995 (4330 148th Ave N.E., Redmond WA 98052). Social hour starts at 6 PM with business meeting at 7PM. Don't forget to review the previous meeting minutes, you can find them here on the blog or on the Seattle Base website, just click the Minutes button on the left.

As we start off the year, we are faced with the election of officers to lead us through the next two years and vote on come changes to the Seattle Base Bylaws. The list of changes and updates to the Seattle Base Bylaws was presented at the November meeting and you can read them here. Most of the changes are to put us into alignment with the National Bylaws, but we are also looking to change Base Officer elections to even years and extend the terms to 2 years (which is how long most people serve) and officially make the Base dues $10 (the current Bylaws say $15).

Please join us at the meeting and bring the enthusiasm you had when you first started your quals. Bring a get well card, or bring words of encouragement for our brother Bob Opple and his wife Chris. We will make sure they are delivered.

See you there,
Doug Abramson

Thursday, January 2, 2014

January - February Dolphin Brotherhood Posted

I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas and New Years Day.
USS Missouri (SSN-780) arrives at the New London sub base with Santa

The January - February issue of the Dolphin Brotherhood has been posted to the Seattle Base website.

This issue has pictures from the Auburn Veterans Day Parade and the joint SubVets WWII and USSVI Holiday Luncheon, along with the usual base news, other upcoming events, and other submarine related articles.

As a reminder, you can see more pictures from the luncheon in the previous blog post.

Hardcopies of the newsletter are going out later this week. I hope you all enjoy it.

 As always, don't forget to check the blog for base updates and other articles of interest. You can find old issues of the newsletter at: Dolphin Brotherhood Archives, which is also a link on the right side of the blog.