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Communicators AND Others Enjoying Retirement
Issue 8August 1996Volume 1 - Number 8

Welcome to Issue 8 of the CANDOER News. Suggestions as to what you would like to see in the CANDOER are welcome. 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, will be published, unedited. Material may be submitted on a 3.5" floppy disk (disk will be returned) using WordPerfect Version 6.1 or earlier (if it contains graphics), on a plain sheet of paper (if it has no graphics) or via e-mail. The deadline for submitting material is no later than the 25th of each month. Material received after that date will be published in the next issue of the CANDOER, space allowing. Please, restrict articles/submissions to two single spaced, typed pages. No hand written submissions, please

The snail-mail address for submissions or letters to the editor is:

Robert J. Catlin, Sr.
Publisher/Editor CANDOER News
2670 Dakota Street
Bryans Road, MD 20616-3062

The e-mail address for submissions or letters to the editor is:


The following letter was received from Doris and Will Naeher:

Dear Bob:

No words can adequately express our appreciation for the reaction, support and sympathy which we received from our colleagues from DOS on the sudden death of our son, Bill, largely through the services of the CANDOER. Your support and expressions of sympathy has helped to sustain us. We are obviously devastated by his untimely death, and it will take some time for us to heal from this hurt, but your prayers and support help

Please thank the CANDOER's and others for this and we also thank you very much for your contributions to the Heart Fund and the Homeless Committee of our Church, to which Bill devoted much of his time


/s/ Doris and Will

In addition to the letter from Doris and Will, I have received cards from Christie, Katie, and Evan Naeher; The Heart Association; and The Homeless Committee, all thanking us for our contribution in Bill's name. The above letter and cards are available for all to see


Babe and I would like to start planning now for next years family activity. We have already made a decision that it will be a retirees activity only. It will not be combined with DO/CC

PLEASE, I need suggestions from you, the members, as to where, when , etc. Although we had a good time at this years picnic, we had a small attendance. Babe and I want very much for this to be a CANDOER Retirement Group family activity. We discussed this after the picnic and both agreed we would like to make this an event that everyone would be willing to come to, and bring their families. All of you, tell us what you want in the way of a family activity and we will endeavor to reach that goal. If it is a picnic; a different location, a different time of year, or what? If not a picnic; a river cruise on the Potomac; an evening gathering with a D.J. and dancing; or some other type of activity? You tell us what you want and we will do our best, within reason, to accomodate your suggestions

Okay, I am now off my soap box, again. I seem to feel I have to get up on this box once in a while. I guess I still haven't learn to relax after 30 months of retirement

Below you will find several of my favorite limericks and poems. To some of you limericks may mean something similar to the one that starts out, "There once was a man from St. Claire," which I will admit is a limerick, but that type will have to be exchanged in private as I try to keep everything published in the News at a P.G or G rating. These, in my opinion, are just funny.

The Limerick

The limerick packs laughs anatomical
Into space that is quite economical,
But the good ones I've seen
So seldom are clean
And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

Author: Unknown

The Rhinoceros

The rhino is a homely beast,
For human eyes he's not a feast.
Farewell, farewell, you old rhinoceros,
I'll stare at something less prepoceros.

Author: Ogden Nash

The Chameleon

The true Chameleon is small,
A lizard sort of thing;
He hasn't any ears at all,
And not a single wing.
If there is nothing in the tree,
Tis the Chameleon you see.

Author: Carolyn Wells

The Bird

I love to hear the little bird
Into song by morning stirred,
Provided that he doesn't sing
Before my own awakening.
A bird that wakes a fellow up,
Should have been a buttercup.

Author: Samuel Hoffenstein

The Lama

The one-l lama
He's a priest.
The two-l llama
He's a beast.
And I will bet
a silk pajama
There isn't any
Three-l lllama.

Ogden Nash

The Rain It Raineth

The rain it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella;
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust steals the just's umbrella.

Author: Lord Bowen


Here's to the man who invented stairs
And taught our feet to soar!
He was the first who ever burst
Into a second floor.

The world would be downstairs today
Had he not found the key;
So let his name go down to fame,
Whatever it may be.

Author: Oliver Herford

The Cow

The cow is of the bovine ilk
One end is moo, the other milk.

Author: Ogden Nash


In the mail during my annual summer trip to Erie, PA, for my wife's family reunion on the Fourth of July, my oldest brother, Ernie, received the latest publication from the Health Care Financing Administration entitled, "Your Medicare Handbook 1996." The information furnished below was taken from that Handbook and is a continuation of the article I wrote in Issue #5 of the CANDOER News, May 1996, Volume 1 - Number 5, "What is Medicare?"

Medigap Insurance

Are you one of those who may not have carried your health insurance into retirement, for one reason or another, and are worried about how you're going to pay your share of the bill for health care services covered by Medicare?

You may want to buy a Medicare supplement insurance "Medigap" policy. Medigap is a private insurance policy that is designed to help pay your Medicare cost-sharing amounts. There are 10 standard Medigap policies and each offers a different combination of benefits

The best time to buy a policy is during your Medigap open enrollment period. For a period of six months from the date you are first enrolled in Medicare Part B and are age 65 or older, you have a right to buy the Medigap policy of your choice

You cannot be turned down or charged higher premiums because of poor health if you buy a policy during this period. Once your Medigap open enrollment period ends, you may not be able to buy the policy of your choice. You may have to accept whatever Medigap policy an insurance company is willing to sell you. If you have Medicare Part B but are not yet 65, your six-month Medigap open enrollment period begins when you turn 65. In addition, a few states require a limited Medigap open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries under 65

Your state insurance counseling office can answer questions about Medicare and other health insurance. The services are free. You can get help in deciding whether you need more insurance and, if so, what kind and how much to buy. A state-by-state listing of counseling office telephone numbers is furnished below. Free copies of the Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare are also available from the counseling office

Suspected violations of the laws governing the marketing and sales of Medigap and other types of insurance policies should generally be reported to your state insurance department. If you believe you have been a victim of Medigap fraud, you may also call the federal toll-free number for registering such complaints. The number is 1-800-638-6833


The July luncheon was held at Phineas in Rockville. As could be expected during the summer months, we had a light turnout. In attendance were: Bob Berger, Jim Carter, Bob Catlin, Ralph Crain, Don Denault, Jim Gansel, Babe Martin (and grandson Matt), Will Naeher, Doc Sloan, and Norris Watts. In addition, we had a new CANDOER who came to his first luncheon, Boyd Koffman. A big CANDOER WELCOME to Boyd. We all hope you attend many, many more

The second annual DO/CC-CANDOER picnic was held at Fort Washington Park. In attendance at the picnic were the following CANDOERs: Walt Abbott, Mel and Darlene Bladen, Bob and Lynn Campopiano, Bob and Nancy Catlin, Babe Martin with his girl friend Sonja and his grandson Matt, Will and Doris Naeher, and Val and Janet Taylor, A good time was had by all. Walt Abbott, Mel and Darlene Bladen attended their first CANDOER event. I would like to express my thanks to Walt, Mel, and Darlene for attending and hope you will attend many, many more.


I have had several requests on the welfare and whereabouts of two retirees: Tom McCay and Carl Stout. Anyone having information on Tom or Carl, I would appreciate it if you would furnish it to me


While on vacation in Pennsylvania I received word from Babe that Bob Liebau was sick. Bob developed a blood clot in his left leg, after spraining his ankle, and had to have an artery by-pass on Wednesday, June 26 (using an artery from his right leg). While running the various test needed to do the surgery, doctors discovered Bob had two other problems. They found he had an aneurism in his stomach and sugar diabetes. They immediately began treatment for the sugar and on Tuesday, July 2, he was operated on for the aneurism in his stomach. I talked to his wife, Janine, on Tuesday evening to see how the surgery went and then visited him in Fairfax Hospital on Sunday, July 7 as well as Tuesday, July 9. Bob is now recuperating at home and is doing well

In the mail, while in PA, I received a completed CANDOER Personal Data Form and a short note from Stu Branch. In the note, Stu asked me to inform all CANDOERs of the Senior Living Foundation. He stated that some of the F.S. retired folks may not know of its existence but may be in need of the services offered. Those of you who may wish to know more about the organization can call John Shumate (202) 673-3881 or Thom Tracy (202) 861-3412 and let them know Stu suggested you call

Editors Note: The Senior Living Foundation of the American Foreign Service is an organization designed to help former Foreign Service colleagues, surviving and former spouses, who are in precarious financial situation, are deteriorating physically or mentally, and have few options available to them. To help these needy individuals the American Foreign Service Protective Association founded and sponsors the Senior Living Foundation of the American Foreign Service (SLF), a tax deductible 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The SLF Resource Center provides elderly Foreign Service individuals with information about and access to resources that may be available through existing public or private programs (i.e., visiting nurses, transportation, meals, fuel assistance, etc.). Without this assistance it is often difficult for a senior citizen to navigate through the bureaucratic maze of local, state, federal, and private organizations that offer assistance. The Resource Center is staffed by a licensed clinical social worker with extensive Foreign Service experience and dedicated volunteers familiar with the Foreign Service. The resource Center's services are available throughout the United States. The Senior Living Foundation of the American Foreign Service mailing address and telephone number are:

1716 N Street, N.W.
Washington, DC. 20036-2902
Tel.: (202) 887-8170

Thanks to Stu for bringing what sounds like a badly needed service for some of our colleagues to our attention. Those of you who are interested in either donating to the Foundation or in need of their services, please contact John Shumate, Thom Tracy, or the Foundation itself. End of Editors Comment

On Monday, July 8, I received a call from Jim Casey. Jim gave me the name and telephone numbers of four retirees in the Washington area he thought might be interested in attending our luncheons. They are Ken French, Jim Wiley, Al Varrier and Russ Ornburn

I then spent about 15 minutes on the phone with Ken French. He is indeed interested in attending our luncheons. Ken was unable to attend the July luncheon, or picnic, due to prior commitments, but hopes to make the August luncheon at TGIFriday's. Ken is well and said he is working part time just to keep busy. Ken furnished his e-mail address and asked that it be published: In an e-mail note I received from Ken the following day, he indicated that Ken Ferguson lived in his area and he would try to get him to attend one of the luncheons with him. (This is FYI for those of you who were asking about Ken Ferguson at the July luncheon.)

I called Russ Ornburn's number and talked to his daughter. She informed me that Russ has taken employment with a company that is doing business in Viet Nam. He will be there until early August. She said she would pass the information about our luncheon group and my telephone number to him at that time

I called Jim Wiley and left a message on his answering machine. Jim called me back on the 16th of July. He had been in Illinois building a house. He said he was interested in attending the luncheons and would try to make the August luncheon at TGIFriday's

I called Al Varrier and left a message on his answering machine. He has not returned my call as of the publication of this months issue of the News. When and if I hear from Al I will let you all know


Growing up in Nebraska

by Joe Lea

Chapter IV

WORK (note that this is a four-letter word) was just about the sum and substance of life on the farm back in the 1930's. No one took a vacation, no one had any money to be able to afford a vacation. Moreover, livestock required daily and often twice-daily attention. We always had six to eight milk cows and they absolutely had to be milked twice daily. This was done by hand, no milking machines back then

Livestock required less attention in summer, but then there was all the work to be done planting, cultivating, and harvesting the crops. But winter, though requiring little or no field work, made up for it in other work, and the worse the weather the more work. Pumps had to have special care to prevent freeze up and ice had to be chopped from the watering tanks twice a day so the livestock could drink

But it wasn't all work. In the warm months we often got together on Sunday afternoon to play baseball. We played in a pasture, often with the cows in the outfield, to say nothing of cow by-products (as in "watch out, don't step in that"). Later on, our small town built a lighted softball field, with a few interesting twists which I'll cover later. Summertime saw the free outdoor movie every Wednesday night, sponsored and paid for by the merchants in our little town. A large screen was erected on a vacant lot, people brought chairs, or just stood. The movie was usually an ancient western. It drew farm families to town in mid-week in addition to the time-honored Saturday night trip to town

The 4th of July was a day that almost everyone honored. If you said to a Nebraskan "the fourth," it absolutely meant the fourth of July, not January 4th, not October 4th. Usually on this patriotic holiday we had a baseball game, a picnic in a grove by the river, and all the children had some of their own personal fireworks for evening. Home-made ice cream was a MUST at the picnic

The lighted softball field mentioned above was built in an area which had the railroad tracks on the left side and one of the town's streets on the right. The area was not quite large enough but it was better than nothing. The railroad tracks entered left field about 100 feet past 3rd base and strayed off toward center field. In right field there was a row of trees parallel to the street. Anything over the tracks in left or into the trees in right was a ground rule double.


Ever wonder how a Nebraska farm boy came to be working in the State Communications Center? During WW II, I had a good buddy in the Army Air Corps who was from D.C. We met in crypto school, went overseas together, served together part of the time, and always kept in touch

This friend was home on emergency leave when the war ended and of course was quickly discharged. I finally returned and was discharged on Dec. 28, 1945 at Fort Logan, Colorado. I arrived home in sub-zero weather, wondering how I would survive the cold after 30 months in the tropics. Waiting for me at home was a packet of mail which had been sent out to Manila, P.I., and then forwarded back to me in Nebraska. In this packet was a letter from my friend describing his new job. A letter to him, a phone call or two and it was Washington here I come. I even stayed with my friend and his parents before getting settled in an apartment

I am sure that most of you knew, or knew of, my friend, Bob Nichols. He was a nice person, a great friend; I was surely saddened when he passed away



by James F. Prosser

During a session of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) in Helsinki in 1971, one Saturday afternoon Ambassador Gerald Smith had an extremely sensitive message to send to President Nixon, one he did not want anyone to even know the existence of

He came to the communications center where only Bill Ronayne was on duty and instructed him to encrypt it off-line before transmission. He closely observed Bill prepare the plain text tape, encrypt the message, break it back to assure correctness, and transmit it

When finished sending the message, nervously Bill gave the Ambassador the plain text tape and paper copy. The Ambassador then asked Bill for the cipher tape and the transmission tape

Bill later related, "Jim, I thought the next thing he was going to do was shoot me to make sure no one knew what was sent!"


See you next month.
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