U.S. Symbol

Communicators AND Others Enjoying Retirement
Issue 1December 1995Volume 1 - Number 1

Welcome to the first issue of the CANDOER NEWS.


You may or may not be aware, Babe and I started the monthly CANDOER Luncheons so retirees of the Department of State, Office of Communications and/or Information Management could get together, at an informal luncheon, and get news of how and what everyone was doing in their after-retirement life.

Since our first luncheon, in July 1994, attended by Babe and I, at Chi Chi's in Springfield, the attendance has grown each month. As an example, the October luncheon was attended by 21 retirees and two wives.

A letter Babe and I sent to the State Magazine has added additional members to the group.


In November we had five new retirees attend the luncheon. In addition to our regular attendees: Doc Sloan, Babe Martin, Will Naeher, Bob Berger, Don Stewart, Bob Liebau, Don Denault, Paul Del Giudice, Ronnie Steenhoek, and me, we had five new attendees: Tom Paolozzi, Bob Scheller, Barry Leonard, Bob Chechelle, and Ralph Crain.

I e-mail a blow-by-blow account of the luncheons to four other retirees:

Joe Lea (who visited the DC area from his home in Leesburg, Fla., and attend the October Luncheon), Bill Callihan (who now lives in Lakeland, Fla.), Jim Prosser (who lives in Green Bay, WI), and Walt Abbott (who lives in New Hope, VA).

We now have a list of approximately 80 retirees and/or former employees of OC and/or IM. What we do not have are addresses for most of these retirees. You will find a form attached to this issue that may be used to furnish your telephone number, snail mail address and, if you have one, your e-mail address. Because this is an informal group, you are not required to fill out this form and/or furnish any personal information. You will note a line on the form that asks if you wish to have any, or all, of the information kept Confidential. I will mark my computer data base to insure that if you express information be kept Confidential it will NOT be released to anyone.

A suggestion was made at the November Luncheon to formalize the luncheons. I leave this up to the CANDOERs. If you wish to discuss this at a future luncheon, lets do so. NARFE offers a booklet on how to do this. If it is your decision to formalize the CANDOER Luncheons, I will be more than glad to get the ball rolling, and advise the group at a future luncheon what would be required.

If you decide to leave it as is, I will go along with that also. The decision is yours.

A picnic is planned for July at Fort Washington, Maryland. The exact date, cost and other information will be announced at the February luncheon. This past year the picnic has a joint effort of DOCC ( formerly OC/T ) and the CANDOERs. It is again planned to combine these two groups in the picnic plans for the 1996 picnic, unless you would like to have a separate picnic. Again the call is yours.

EDITORS COMMENTS: This is the first, and maybe the last issue of the CANDOER NEWS. Again this is up to you. It is my intention, if you wish to see additional issues, to publish it quarterly. I welcome any input any of you all have. I will publish articles written by any member that are not intended as "flamers", unedited. I intend to publish e-mail and snail-mail addresses of those who will give permission for this information to be published. In addition, I will show a list of those who attend each luncheon. If I receive news of retirees I will publish that, also.

ENJOY the holidays. Best wishes from the Catlin family to your and yours.

Letters to the Editor

The following letter was received from Jim Prosser:

Christmas 1995

Seasons Greetings:

The year 1995 began on a sad note for us as we lost Mary's very talented sister, Yolanda Jordan, on January 21st. She was so generous with her time in consideration of others. This followed the untimely passing of her younger sister, Elizabeth, two months previously.

The two of us remain in top condition as you might gather from reading onward. God has blessed us with continued good health, plus many friends to visit the world over and the ability to do so.

We still have the bacillus africanus in our veins from living in Africa several years and visiting there two years ago. So we went back again in March, this time sailing by freighter from Tilbury, England to South Africa. We have been to South Africa numerous times before, but not since 1983. We wanted to see how the country turned out after the 1994 elections and dissolution of the apartheid laws.

Sailing by freighter, one must always be ready to make abrupt changes in personal plans. We had intended to spend quite some time in England with several friends. However, the shipping company made a rather drastic change in their sailing schedule which required us to board several days sooner than anticipated. But there is a rainbow at the end of every dark cloud. Four additional port calls were added to the voyage (Hamburg, Bremer- haven, Rotterdam and Le Harve); plus, the time at sea was extend- ed from 16 to 23 days at no extra cost.

The accommodations were spacious; the food, crew, and voyage delightful. Even the sea was glassy almost all the time. The only other passenger was a wonderful English gentleman who, like us, loves the sea and freighter travel. He turned out to be a most enjoyable travelling companion, both at sea and later on land in South Africa.

The ship, the SA Waterberg, was to call at Cape Town and discharge all passengers and cargo, but, through a combination of fortuitous circumstances, there was no berth available for docking, so the captain was instructed to proceed another day's voyage beyond to Port Elizabeth and drop us there (which is what we wanted in the first place but were told it wasn't possible!).

In all our visits to South Africa, we had never driven "The Garden Route" which follows along the Indian Ocean between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. With our English passenger, we hired a Toyota Aventura van and took five days to cover the 800 kms. We stopped numerous times along the way viewing the marvelous sights and filling our memories. We stayed in several lovely bed and breakfast homes. One, called the "Hoogkraal" near George, was special because of its prominent location on a high hill near the ocean and the fact it is the second oldest farm in South Africa. The accommodations were refurbished 17th century with superb hospitality.

Arriving in Cape Town, we stayed at our usual lovely, old hotel on the Atlantic Ocean. For our English traveller, it was his first visit there in 55 years. Then he was a young British soldier off to war in the China-Burma-India theater. It made our visit that much more enjoyable to hear about how it was in 1940 and compare to today.

We did all the usual things in Cape Town; i.e. visit the Cape of Good Hope, vineyards of Stellenbosch, Kirstenbosch Gardens on the Indian Ocean side of Cape Town, watch spectacular sunsets on the Atlantic from our hotel. In the past ten years the changes in the waterfront area have been most impressive.

Has there been change in South Africa? Definitely, and all for the better. Everyone is so thankful the political transition went relatively smoothly, for far worse had been anticipated. Still, there is much to be done, but the destiny of the country is headed in the right direction and is now in their own hands.

We flew from Cape Town to Nairobi arriving there just before Easter. As we did two years ago, we remained for three months mainly to house-sit for our friends who would be away on business and vacation for an extended period. While there we did a lot of travelling around the country again, and hosted a number of visits of friends and relatives from Europe and the U.S. who came for stays of a few weeks duration to take safaris with us into the bush. We made our third balloon safari over the Masai Mara and Serengeti Plains.

During the years we spent in Kenya, we had never ridden "The Lunatic Express", the train which travels a tortuous route from sea level at Mombasa on the Indian Ocean, to Nairobi at 6,000 feet, then over the 8,000 and 10,000 foot escarpments across the Great Rift Valley, ending at Kampala, Uganda on Lake Victoria. So we did it this time, thoroughly enjoying the scenic full moon trip and the people we met enroute. The unusual name was given the train 100 years ago when the route was being engineered. British bankers backing the scheme called it crazy.

We flew from Kenya back to the U.S., regrettably with only a brief overnight stop in London enroute. Time was our enemy and we had just four days to get home, change clothes and fly off to South Carolina to attend the reenactment of Stephen and Jodi's wedding vows on July 15, which was their first anniversary. This was done in deference to the many family members who could not attend the wedding in Frankfurt last year. The Prosser and McDade families all gathered for a splendid weekend of festivi- ties at the most perfect time of the year there, peach harvest.

Stephen and Jodi have moved from Frankfurt back to the Washington, DC area and are awaiting their first child in late January. Jim keeps saying it will arrive February 2nd, his father's 90th birthday.

Jim has visited all 50 states, but Mary lacked Alaska to make her 50. So in September, we flew over to Vancouver, British Columbia. There we boarded the Holland America Lines ship "Noordam" (highly recommended) and for seven days sailed the gorgeous, scenic inside passage with stops at Ketchikan, Juneau, Glacier Bay and Sitka. The weather was fantastic, for nary a cloud was seen except for the last day out when we had rain on the return to Vancouver.

We stayed two days in a charming bed and breakfast home in Vancouver before and two days again after the voyage, wearing ourselves out sightseeing in this most exciting city. In many ways it reminded us of Cape Town, Sydney, and San Francisco.

As soon as we can lick the stamps and mail this, we'll be off to spend the Christmas holidays on the east coast with Mary's family, Stephen and Jodi.

We wish you a most happy and joyous holiday season and look forward to hearing from you soon. Remember, our door is always open in Green Bay (when we're home!).

Issue Index    Issue 2