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Communicators AND Others Enjoying Retirement
Issue 4April 1996Volume 1 - Number 4

Welcome to Issue 4 of the CANDOER NEWS. I welcome suggestions as to what you would like to see in the News. I will publish, unedited, letters to the editor, articles consisting of general information, feature articles, G-rated jokes, or poems, written/submitted by retirees or OC/IM employees past or present. Any contribution may be submitted on a 3.5" floppy disk (it will be returned), using WordPerfect 6.1 or earlier (if it contains graphics) or on a plain sheet of white paper (if it has no graphics). Deadline for submitting material is the first day of each month. Articles/submissions given to me at a luncheon will be published in the next issue of the News. Please restrict articles/submissions to no more than two (2) single spaced, typed pages. No hand written submissions, please.

My mailing address for contributions or letters to the editor is:

Robert J. Catlin, Sr.
2670 Dakota Street
Bryans Road, MD 20616-3062


You will note that a date and place has been chosen for the picnic; Saturday, July 13 at Fort Washington Park in Fort Washington, Maryland. We are combining our picnic with the DO/CC picnic. The picnics were combined last year and a good time was had by all.

I have had my name added to the DO/CC picnic committee to assist them in the planning. If anyone else would like to help, please give me your name and number and I will give it to the Picnic Committee Chair, Ms. Shera Powell of DO/CC.

The picnic is a family event. You may bring members of your immediate family.

At present no details, other than the date and place, have been set. Time, cost, directions (including a map), and other particulars will be furnished as soon as they are known.


The following information is an exact copy of an article published in RETIREMENT LIFE and is hereby furnished courtesy of your friendly neighborhood Editor. Please, don't take this information personally, I am not trying to get anyone to move out of the area, w e l l, maybe only one or two of you who shall remain nameless.



Alaska, New Hampshire, Texas, Florida, South Dakota, Washington, Nevada, Tennessee, Wyoming


Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Kansas, Pennsylvania

(does not include city or county add-ons)
D.C...........5.75% Missouri....4.225%
Montana.......0% N. Dakota...5% Texas..........6.25%
Nebraska......5% Ohio............5% Utah...........5.785%
Nevada........ 2% Oklahoma 4.5% Vermont.....5%
N. H.............0% Oregon........0% Virginia......4.5%
New Jersey...6% Penna..........6% Washington.6.5%
New Mexico.5% R. I.............7% W. V...........6%
New York.....4% S.C.............5% Wisconsin...5%
N.C...............6% S.D.............4% Wyoming....4%

Arizona--$2,500 public pension exclusion, in addition, all residents 65+ receive a $2,100 personal exemption.

Arkansas--$6,000 civil service annuity exclusion. In addition, all residents 65+ receive a $20 exemption.

California--$65 exemption for all residents 65+.

Colorado--$20,000 exemption for all residents 55+.

Delaware--$2,000 pension exclusion ($3,000 for those 60+). In addition all residents 60+ or totally disabled get a $2,000 exemption if earned income is less than $2,500 and adjusted gross income is under $10,000 (figures double if married).

D.C.--2 provisions (1) $3,000 pension exclusion if 62+; (2) an additional exemption of $1,370 for all residents (not just pension recipients) 65+.

Georgia--$11,000 retirement income exclusion if 62+ or totally disabled.

Idaho--Exclusions (minus Social Security received) for those 65+ or 62+ and disabled: $13,764 (single); $20,640 (joint).

Indiana--$2,000 pension exclusion if 62+ (minus Social Security and Railroad Retirement). In addition, all residents 65+ receive a $1,000 exemption.

Iowa--All residents 65+ receive a $20 personal exemption.

Maryland--Pension exclusion up to $13,600 for those 65+ or totally disabled, reduced by Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits. In addition, all residents 65+ receive a personal exemption of $1,000.

Missouri--$6,000 exemption on income of up to $25,000 ($32,000 joint); no exemption if income exceeds $25,000 ($32,000 joint).

Montana--$3,600 pension exclusion for those with adjusted gross income below $30,000, reduced $2 for every $1 over $30,000. All residents 65+ receive a personal exemption of $1,400.

New Jersey--$7,500 exclusion ($10,000 joint) for annuitants 62+ or disabled according to Social Security guidelines. An additional $3,000 ($6,000 joint) can be deducted if ineligible for Social Security or Railroad Retirement. All residents 65+ receive a $1,000 personal exemption.

New Mexico--Exemptions for all residents 65+: $8,000 for those with taxable income less than $18,000; exemption reduces as income increases---no exemptions above $51,000.

North Carolina--$4,000 pension exclusion provided; all residents 65+ receive a $750 ($1,200 joint) personal exemption.

North Dakota--$5,000 pension exclusion available on the state's long form; no exclusion offered on the short form.

Ohio--Graduated retirement income credit ranging from $0, for annuities less than $500, to $200 for annuities exceeding $8,000. $50 tax credit for all residents 65+.

Oklahoma--$5,500 exclusion on civil service annuities.

Oregon--$1,200 ($2,000 joint) exemption for all residents 65+. Retirement income credit given to residents 60+ who earn less than $22,500 ($45,000 joint).

South Carolina--Retirees may elect to receive either a $3,000 annuity exclusion before age 65 and maintain that amount for the duration of their residency, OR no exclusion until age 65 when they will receive a $10,000 exclusion from that point on.

Utah--$7,500 pension exclusion if 65+ ($4,800 if under 65).

Virginia--$6,472 exclusion (less Social Security and Railroad Retirement received) for residents 62-64; $12,944 for residents 65+; additional $800 personal exemption if 65+.

West Virginia--$2,000 pension exclusion. Residents 65+ may exclude a total of $8,000, including the $2,000 pension exclusion.

Wisconsin--Full annuity exemption for retirees employed before 12/31/63 or their beneficiary; $25 credit for all residents 65+.


Presently states do not have the authority to tax former residents on the amount of their pensions earned while a resident. Several states are appealing this new law.


Some of you will find the below poem meaningless, others will look off into the distance and think, "I remember those days." If you were raised on a farm, or in a small town during the early and middle 1900s, you will probably understand what this poem is all about.

In the '40s and '50s, when I was growing up on a farm in northwestern Pennsylvania, you could go to a feed mill/store and have grain ground or buy feed for your farm animals. It came in 75-100 pound sacks made out of material that could be used to make dresses, curtains, and other things. In addition, you could go to a country or general store and buy 25-100 pound sacks of flour, used for baking, made of this same material. In both cases, you had a choice of patterns and/or colors.

This was my mother's favorite poem about that period of time. She spent many hours using the material from these sacks to make my sister's dresses, dish towels, and other clothing articles for the six of us.

Ode to Flour-Sack Underwear

When I was just a Maiden fair,
Mama made our underwear.
With many kids and Dad's poor pay,
We had no fancy lingerie.
Monograms and fancy stitches
Did not adorn our Sunday britches;
Pantywaists that stood the test
Had "Swans Down" upon the breast.
No lace or ruffles to enhance,
Just "Jockey Oats" upon my pants.
One pair of panties beat 'em all,
Bearing a scene I still recall:
Chickens were a-peckin' wheat
Right across my little seat.
Rougher than a grizzly bear
Was my flour-sack underwear;
Plain, not fancy, two feet wide
And tougher than a hippo's hide.
Through the depression Jill and Jack
Wore the sturdy garb of sack;
Waste not want not. We soon learned
That a penny saved is a penny earned.
There were curtains and tea towels too,
And that is just to name a few.
But the best beyond compare
Was my flour-sack underwear.
-- Anonymous


March's CANDOER luncheon at Phineas had the second most attendees of any luncheon to date. A total of 20 people attended this luncheon. In addition to regulars, Bob Berger, Bob Campopiano, Jim Carter, Ralph Crain, Bob Catlin, Don Denault, Charlie Ditmeyer, Jim Gansel, Harry Laury, Bob Liebau, Mel Maples. Lionel Martin, Nate Reynolds, Bob Scheller, Doc Sloan, Don Stewart, and Val Taylor, we had 3 newbies attend, Sonny Bicknell, Warren Spurr, and Tom Warren.

A big CANDOER WELCOME to Sonny, Warren, and Tom. Please, make the CANDOER luncheons a part of your regular schedule.


Jim Gansel, at the March CANDOER Luncheon furnished his new address and telephone number.

Jim is very much alive, well, and living in his new house in Jefferson, MD

I have had requests for information about the following OC/IMer's:

Alvin Bradshaw
Cal Calisti
Jim Hale
Raymond (Ray) Wolf


In a telephone conversation with Jim Casey, he gave me the e-mail address of Marvin Konopik and the telephone number for John Kennedy. Using those two bits of information, the addresses and telephone numbers were obtained for Marvin, Wayne Henderson, Edward Newnham, Marty and John Jomeruck, and John and Loretta Kennedy and an e-mail address for Gary Richardson.

In an e-mail message I received from Marvin, he asked the following information be passed to everyone:

Please release my name and address to all who want it and I'd appreciate a copy of the e-mail listings of the others. I am not a Realtor, nor do I get paid, but I provide housing information on Las Vegas to anybody who asks. It is a fun town. There isn't anything like it in the world. So, if anyone asks, give them my address.

We arrived here at the end of June and spent until the end of October waiting for our house to rise from the desert floor. So, with Christmas and all that, we never rarely had a day off until a few weeks ago. Actually it got awfully cold a couple weeks ago, we just stayed warm.

Gary Richardson has also retired and now lives in Loveland, CO. Regards.
Marvin Konopik

Editors Note: In an e-mail message I received from Gary Richardson he asked that his e-mail address be released and indicated he would like to hear from other retirees doing it "on-line."

I wrote a letter to John and Loretta Kennedy and also sent them the latest issue of the CANDOER News. I received a nice letter in reply from John the day after our March Luncheon. John and Loretta are enjoying their life in Charleston, S.C. John stated that "Charleston life is good--just like being on home leave without having to live with relatives."

Loretta works for the Department of State at their site in Charleston. John is a library volunteer and does office work for the Republican party. He said he has turned down several full-time jobs. Recently he was an extra (detective) in a NBC movie-of-the-week for April, "The Romeo and Juliet Murders." John said he made more as a "stand-in" (when they set up/check the lighting before the talking actors arrive) then he did for the background scenes. He said he walked around in one scene with his jacket off and a gun visible. He stated, "If they don't cut all those scenes, we might recognize his back."

John reported he will not be able to make it to any of the CANDOER luncheons. When he bought his new Volvo he had them program the computer so it would automatically shut the car off at the North Carolina state line. Yet, if he wants to go north on the beach road to play a North Carolina golf course, It would not shut off.

John also belongs to a Tuesday and Thursday group of golfers with retirees from all over the East Coast.

On Wednesday, March 13, I had a long telephone conversation with Bob Caffrey. He is doing well and says Albuquerque is a great city. He asked that I include his address and telephone number in the next issue of the News. He also stated he would like to hear from other CANDOER's.


The March Florida Foreign Service Retiree's Association Luncheon was held on March 15, 1996, at the McDill AFB Officer's Club in Tampa.

Clytuce and I drove to Lakeland and rode the rest of the way with Bill and Pat Callihan. Stu Branch did not attend again this month. He and his wife are traveling in Australia and New Zealand for six weeks. I talked to Earl Newton earlier in the week. He said Thelma and he would not be attending as they had sold their house in St. James City and were packing. They close on March 25 and will be taking the auto-train back to their condo in Alexandria. Earl also said they will be looking into assisted living places in the Washington-Baltimore area.


The Day The President Died

by Willis E. Naeher (DASC, Retired)

At about 2:00 p.m. on 22 November 1963, I was in the Department of State cafeteria eating my lunch. Grace Bagley, my extremely efficient Administrative Assistant spotted me sitting at the other end of the cafeteria with others. She came to me and said, "Jesus Christ boss, someone just shot the President !!!!"

It did not take a brain surgeon to realize the impact this could have on the Department's very fragile communications network and the communications center.

I immediately returned to the comcenter and assembled the staff and asked for a status report, i.e., traffic volumes in each section, position strength, equipment condition, etc. I also ask that arrangements be made for the day shift to stay over, the evening shift to come in early, and the midnight shift to report a few hours early. I asked that the comcenter be purged of all traffic as quickly as possible, that each operating position be manned, and that the maintenance personnel remain over to make sure all equipment was working properly.

At that time we had a great deal of telex and commercial file circuits. We had several leases connecting us to London and Paris as well as some military allocated circuits. We also had circuits to the Pentagon and the CIA, who acted as relay centers to some of our embassies. Locally, the only communications we had with the foreign embassies was messenger and delivery via Western Union. Interagency communications were spurious, except to those who had circuits with the military relays in Washington. However, these were somewhat improved since the "Bay-of-Pigs" debacle and interoperability in format and ciphers were imposed on all Executive Agencies.

One of the staff asked me if I had seen the break room lately? I crossed the hall and it was full of people who had heard the news of the President's death and reported to work without waiting to be called. They were waiting for instructions. What a feeling of support and dedication!!! They were quickly assigned to positions and soon all telegrams were processed and on their way.

At 3:26 p.m., "Limitel General" was imposed on the network.

Secretary Rusk's aircraft, en route to Tokyo was returned to Washington and all Cabinet Officers and National Command Authority successors were placed under strict security guard. It was assumed for a while that the assassination may be the precursor to an attempt to take over the government, al la "7 days in May." Almost immediate messages address to "All Posts" began to flow. We immediately set up close liaison with Ben Reed who was head of the Operations Center and the Secretary of the Department. This proved to be a life saver. However, before it could be put into effect messages began to arrive directing us to "Send this message to the same addressees as the previous message." A quick call to Ben straightened this out.

At this time, we were using a rather archaic store and forward switching system, manufactured by Phillips Communications Company. The system used mechanical relays. Our maintenance personnel, under the supervision of Rick Hartman, used tooth picks to tune the relays. Several years later, when the Phillips system was replaced and powered down, thousands of tooth picks fell on the floor.

Almost immediately after the posts were advised of the assassination, the Ambassadors began to send in their resignations. When I told Ben about this, a "Flash Message" was sent to all posts directing them not to send in their resignations until specifically requested.

Telegrams began to arrive from the Foreign Embassies announcing their plans to attend the funeral. After some convincing, Mrs. Kennedy finally accepted their offers to attend and many telegrams were sent to the Foreign Embassies and to our Embassies telling them of times and places. Several telegrams were addressed to the "Governors of all States and Territories." This took about 54 addressees and had to be sent via Western Union. We sent a tape to them with all the addressees so that they would not have to cut one. Likewise, the addressees of the Foreign Embassies took about 64 addressees.

Physical security for the principals was a problem as was transportation. Limousines became very scarce and were quickly imported from Philadelphia, Richmond, and Baltimore. Security forces in Washington were augmented by the National Guard and other military units in the Washington area. All known members of possible terrorist organizations were immediately placed under surveillance.

I just wanted to bring some memories of the "good old days"to your attention. It was very hectic but we survived and in retrospect, considering the facilities and circumstances, the Department's communications personnel performed their duties in an outstanding an exemplary manner. I always said if you have good equipment and poor people, you will have bad commo, but if you have good people and bad equipment they will somehow get the job done!!! In my memories this has always been the case with the Department of State, Office of Communications!!!


See you next month.
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