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Communicators AND Others Enjoying Retirement
Issue 6June 1996Volume 1 - Number 6

Welcome to Issue 6 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


A picnic has been scheduled for the CANDOER Luncheon Group and DO/CC (formerly OC/T). It will take place on Saturday, July 13, 1996. You and your immediate family are invited to attend. It will be held at Fort Washington Park in Fort Washington, Maryland. The start time is noon. The park closes at dark. There will be a $10 charge, regardless of how many members of your immediate family attend with you. It is also asked that you bring a dish of some kind, e.g., potato salad, a cake, coleslaw, etc. (Put your name on the dish if you want it returned.) All non-alcohol drinks, (we have an alcohol permit, but you must furnish your own) hot dogs, hamburgers, etc., will be furnished as part of your $10 donation. You may want to bring your own plastic eating utensils and plates. In addition to the picnic fee, there will be a $4 charge per car to enter the park, payable to the Park Service at the gate


If you are coming from Virginia, take the beltway (95/495) to Maryland Exit 2 (The exit immediately after the Woodrow Wilson Bridge) toward Indian Head (Route 210 South/Indian Head Highway)

If you are coming from the Maryland side on the Beltway (95/495), take Exit 3A toward Indian Head (Route 210 South/Indian Head Highway)

Go approximately 4.6 miles to Fort Washington Road. There is an EXXON Station on the right. Turn right, onto Fort Washington Road, and go approximately 3.5 miles to the park entrance. Fort Washington Road ends at the park. After paying the entrance fee ($4), take a left, immediately after the guard booth, and follow the road, as it bends around to the right, about six hundred yards to Picnic area "A" (on your right). It is the first right just after you pass the Battery Meigs (which will be on your left), and is well marked. A map of the park is attached to this issue of the News



The following information, obtained from the OPM BBS, may be of interest to many retirees

An Act "to limit State taxation of certain pension income."

This is to advise you of the enactment of Public Law 104-95, an Act which prohibits the taxation of Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) annuity benefits by State governments under "source tax" laws

A number of States have laws levying income tax on the annuities of retired individuals who live in other States, but whose annuities are based on prior employment in the taxing State. Public Law 104-95 prospectively prohibits this practice, providing that "No State may impose an income tax on any retirement income of an individual who is not a resident or domiciliary of such State (as determined under the laws of such State)." The law applies only to retirement income received by an individual after December 31, 1995

Public Law 104-95 includes CSRS and FERS annuities in the definition of "retirement income" within the coverage of the law. Therefore, the new law may be of interest to employees planning to retire from a State that has a "source tax" law

However, the new law has no effect on either the right to receive, or the amount of, a CSRS or FERS annuity. As you know, OPM withholds State income taxes from annuity payments only if an annuitant voluntarily participates in a State tax withholding program, which OPM provides as a service for the several States that have a memorandum of understanding for this purpose with OPM. OPM has never had any role in enforcing "source tax" laws, and the new law requires no notification or other action by OPM.

We understand, on the basis of the House of Representatives Report on Public Law 104-95, that the following States have some form of "source tax" legislation: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin

/s/ John E. Landers, Chief
Retirement Policy Division


A History
- 1635-1890

The area where our picnic is being held has a lot of history you may not be aware of. The following article was written from information I obtained from the Park Service, an old history book of my daughter's, and reference books from the Charles County Library

Fort Washington sits on 1573 acres originally owned by Dr. Luke Barber (or "Barbier del Barbier" as the doctor named himself in 1664). He received the land, originally thought to be 1200 acres, from the King of England for bringing settlers from London to the colonies. Dr. Barber sold the property to Luke Gardiner who named the tract Warburton Manor. When Charles Digges bought the property in 1717, surveyors found it contained 1573 acres instead of 1200 as supposed. Because of its excellent location this site was obviously a prime tract on which to build a fort. The Piscataway Indians (The original spelling " Piscattawaye" means, "high passable bank around a bend in the river.") were the first to have an armed garrison on the location. Lord Baltimore also ordered the construction of a fort in 1635, which was abandoned after only one year

The Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolution and created the United States, did not settle all problems between the former colony and Great Britain. Slowly tensions mounted, as they did, belief in the inevitability of war grew. To protect the nations capital, the United States began work on Fort Warburton (now known as Fort Washington) in 1808. By December 1, 1809, it was finished. Located on the Maryland shore of the Potomac River across and up river from Mount Vernon, as suggested in the 1790s by George Washington, the installation commanded the Potomac. Perpendicular earthen walls stood 14 feet from the bottom of the ditch that surrounded the river side of the fort. A tower facing the river contained six cannon and 13 other guns were located in the fort proper. . Fort Warburton stood for only five years. On August 19, 1814, British forces landed at Benedict, Maryland (in Charles County), on the Patuxent River and marched overland to Washington, D.C., routing American forces at Bladensburg and entering the defenseless city, burning the Capitol, the White House, and other public buildings. The next day British warships sailed up the Potomac headed for Alexandria. In the face of certain destruction of the fort, Captain Samuel Dyson chose to evacuate his men. Captain Dyson then used the powder stored in the fort to blow it up so that it would not fall into British hands

Within less than a month of its demolition, Fort Warburton began to rise from its own ashes. The project was directed by acting Secretary of War James Monroe, who hired Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the French engineer who had drawn up the plans for Washington, D.C. As work was progressing, however, the threat was diminishing. Concern about the defenses of Washington had lessened considerably by the time news reached Washington that a peace treaty had been signed in Ghent, Belgium, on December 24, 1814, and that American troops had handily defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815.

Even before the Treaty of Ghent, Monroe had begun to rein in L'Enfant. In November 1814 he questioned L'Enfant's removal of some of the old fort and asked for greater economy. L'Enfant was told to submit reports on the work in progress and to prepare detailed plans for the new fort for the War Department. He believed he had been insulted and refused to comply. On July 18, 1815, work was halted and two months later, on September 15, L'Enfant was dismissed. Lt. Col. Walker Armistead of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, took over the work. Within a few weeks the first detailed plans of the proposed work were presented. During the years that followed, construction of the new fort progressed steadily under the direction of his assistant, Captain T.W. Maurice. On October 2, 1824, the fort was declared finished, though as yet unarmed. Upon completion it was renamed Fort Washington. The fort was built of stone from Occoquan and trimmed with Aquia Creek sandstone. It cost $426,000.

About 20 years later, an extensive project to repair and strengthen Fort Washington got under way. Work crews constructed 88 permanent gun platforms, rebuilt the drawbridge, strengthened the powder magazines, raised the height of the east wall, and added a caponniere to guard the approaches from Piscataway Creek

Thus did Fort Washington approach mid-century as sectional differences grew greater, bringing the country ever nearer the horror of civil war and placing Fort Washington in a precarious position; near the nations capital and across the river from the most populous slave state

Growing shortages in the number of personnel after the Mexican War stretched the resources of the U.S. Army. At Fort Washington, as at many other posts, the garrison was withdrawn leaving only a skeleton maintenance staff. In December 1860, however, the fort assumed a new importance as the secession crisis developed. The possibility loomed that Virginia would follow the other southern states and secede, making the fort's geographic position critical. Other observers saw a threat from the southern sympathizers residing in Prince Georges County, Maryland, where the fort is located

On January 1, 1861, Secretary of the Navy Isaac Toucey issued an order for the defense of the capital city. Forty Marines under command of Captain A.S. Taylor were assigned to Fort Washington, at that time the only fortification near the city. The task of putting the defenses in order fell to an Army engineer officer, Lt. George Washington Custis Lee, son of Colonel Robert E. Lee. By the end of April 1861 both Lees had resigned their commissions in the U.S. Army and offered their services to their home state, Virginia

Taylor feared that the 40 Marines were not enough and asked for reinforcements. On January 26, 1861, a company of U.S. Army recruits relieved the Marines. On April 15, the day after Fort Sumter surrendered in Charleston harbor, the War Department sent the 1st U.S. Artillery to Fort Washington. It was commanded by Captain Joseph A. Haskin, who had arrived in Washington from Baton Rouge, LA., where he had been forced to surrender the federal arsenal and barracks to local secessionists earlier in the year. For a time, Fort Washington was the only defense for the nations capital. The fort was vitally important, for it controlled movement on the Potomac River. Quickly, however, a circle of earthen forts and batteries was thrown up around the city to protect all approaches

At the end of the Civil War, federal officials took a long careful look at the coastal defense system. They found the U.S. coastal waters were vulnerable to ships carrying 12-inch guns and of less than 24-foot draft. The U.S. coastline, they felt, was vulnerable to the world's major naval powers -- Great Britain, France, Russia, Germany, Denmark, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Austria-Hungary

In 1872 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began to prepare new defenses. Between 1873 and 1875, four 15-inch Rodman guns and a magazine were partially constructed. Work ceased in 1875 when money was no longer available

In the mid-1880s the U.S. Army's Endicott Board designed a new coastal defense system that called for concrete structures and rifled guns that could penetrate the armor plate of enemy ships. Fort Washington was strengthened with mortars that could penetrate the thinner decks of ships. Plans were also prepared for laying mine-fields in the Potomac

(next month - 1890 - present)


The below letter was received from Paul Del Giudice on May 6, 1996, and is quoted here, unedited.

May 3, 1996


I just finished reading the back issues of the CANDOER News you gave me at lunch the other day

Bob, you and Babe are doing a very impressive job in making it all happen. This type of social activity is something that has been kicked around by many of us for years. You two decided to stop kicking and start "can-doing". Not only is the time and effort you both put into the activity evident, but the ingredient that makes it a success is most obvious - you two enjoy what you are doing

From all of us who enjoy the fruits of your efforts - thanks.

/s/Paul Del Giudice

P.S. Please print this OER in the NEWS

Paul, on behalf of both Babe and I, thank you for the kind words. We both find the result worth the effort


Our May luncheon was held at Phineas in Rockville. The following CANDOERs attended: Bob Berger, Bob Campopanio, Bob Catlin, Don Denault, Charlie Ditmeyer, Harry Laury, Bob Liebau, Mel Maples, Babe Martin, Will Naeher, Paul Del Giudice, Doc Sloan, and Ron Steenhoek


I need information on the following retirees:

Cal Calisti
Jim Hale
Tom McCay

Please, if you have any information on any of these retirees, furnish it to me. A telephone number, a point of contact, any little bit of information I can use to obtain further information will be appreciated


I had a long telephone conversation with Walt Johnson on the sixth of May. Walt is doing well. His son got married last month in Tampa, Florida. He had a full military ceremony. Walt said he is "dabbling" in a few things, to make some spare change, but has not gone back to work since his retirement. He and his wife have been doing a lot of traveling


It is with deep regret I wish to inform you of the death of Kirk Bivens. Kirk died at approximately 3:30 a.m., on May 11, 1996. Kirk is survived by his son, Eddie and his daughter, Lisa, who both live in Calvert Country, Maryland

A memorial service was held on Wednesday, May 15 at 3:00 p.m., at the Huntingtown Fire Department, Huntingtown, Maryland

Several CANDOERs made the trip out to Southern Maryland for the service. In attendance were Barry Aiken, Bob Berger, Mel Bladen, Bob and Nancy Catlin, Walter Johnson, and Doc Sloan.

FYI: I talked to Kirk on Tuesday, May 7 for about 10 minutes and again on Friday, May 10. Kirk had some serious health problems and had been confined to a wheel chair for several months. He had sugar diabetes, heart problems, and leukemia. Due to the sugar and heart problem he was very limited in his activities. He was confined to a wheel chair due to poor circulation in his legs. END FYI


Growing up in Nebraska

by Joe Lea

The Story - Chapter II

I have very little recollection of the farm where I was born. I do have a few snapshots, one of my sisters and myself with a two-wheeled home-made cart and a goat hitched up to it

When I was four we moved to a small farm on the South Loup River. I have many good memories of this river. It would sometimes get low during dry periods, but it has never run dry to the best of my knowledge. The bottom was pure sand and many a load was shoveled off of sandbars for use in making concrete

My maternal grandmother taught me how to fish when I was about 5 years old; she was born during the civil war, so she must have been about 70 at this time. With its sand bottom, the river was clean, and the channel catfish taken from it were absolutely delicious. These fish were an important part of our summer and autumn diet. With no refrigeration it was not possible to keep fresh meat in warm weather. That left chicken and fish--and I do not care much for chicken to this day

Having been taught by my grandmother, it was easy to catch a lot of fish, much more than we could use right away. But in the corral we had a large (10 to 12 feet in diameter) watering tank, and this is where I put the excess fish, alive of course, for later use. The cattle ignored the fish, and having the fish in the tank was very convenient if my mother suddenly directed me to get some for supper

The river, while generally quite shallow, offered a few deep holes for swimming and this is where I learned to swim. Furthermore, it often served as a bathtub after a day of working the fields in dry, dusty weather

Our pasture was bisected by the river, the cattle were free to graze either side. At an early age, my job was to get the milk cows in from the pasture to the milking barn at milking time. If the cows were across the river, my shoes and most of my clothes came off and I waded across to drive the cows home. In winter the milk cows were penned up with no access to the river


A letter from an Appalachian mother to her daughter

Dear Louanne Ellie Mae

I'm writing this letter slow because I know you can't read fast. We don't live where we did when you left home. Your dad read in the paper that most accidents happen within 20 miles of your home, so we moved. I won't be able to send you the address because the last family that lived here took the house numbers when they moved so they wouldn't have to change their address

The place is nice. It even has a washing machine. I'm not sure it works so well though; last week I put a load in and pulled the chain and haven't seen the clothes since. The weather isn't bad here. It only rained twice last week; the first time for three days and the second time for four days. About that coat you wanted me to send you, your Uncle John Bob Roy said it would be too heavy to send in the mail with the buttons on, so we cut them off and put them in the pockets

Uncle John Bob Roy locked his keys in the car yesterday. We were really worried because it took him over two hours to get me and your father out

Your sister had a baby this morning, but I haven't found out if it is a boy or a girl so I don't know if you are an aunt or an uncle. Your sister says the baby looks just like your brother

Uncle Ted Joe Jim fell in a whiskey vat last week. Some men tried to pull him out, but he fought them off and drowned. We had him cremated and he burned for three days

Three of your friends went off the High River bridge in a pick-up truck. Ralph John was driving. He rolled down the window and swam to safety. Your other two friends were in the back of the truck. They drowned because they couldn't get the tailgate open

There isn't much more news at this time. Nothing much has happened



P.S. I was going to send you some money, but the envelop was already sealed


See you next month.
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