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Communicators AND Others Enjoying Retirement
Issue 12December 1996Volume 2 - Number 1

Welcome to 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


As I stated in the November 1996 issue of the News, this is an abbreviated version of the News. Included with this issue is a complete and hopefully, accurate list of CANDOERs. If you have a correction, addition, or deletion you wish made, please notify me by one of the methods listed on page 1 of all issues of the News.

Nancy and I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all of you, and your families, a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY, HEALTHY, AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.


The following CANDOERs attended the November luncheon at Phineas in Rockville:

Bob Berger, Bob Campopiano, Jim Carter, Bob Catlin, Paul Del Giudice, Charlie Ditmeyer, Boyd Koffman, Harry Laury, Bob Liebau, Mel Maples, Will Naeher, Bob Scheller, Doc Sloan, Val Taylor, and Tom Warren.

In addition, we would like to extend a big CANDOER WELCOME to the following first time CANDOER attendees:

Cal Calisti, Rey Grammo, Charlie Hoffman, Don Lachman, Grant Shaw, and Carl Stout. We all hope this is not your last luncheon. Please, come back and join us again.

I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to all of the CANDOERs for the beautiful plaque that was presented to me by Bob Liebau at the November luncheon, on behalf of the CANDOER Luncheon Group.

The plaque reads as follows:

Presented to

Robert J. Catlin, Sr.

In Recognition and Appreciation for all the Time, Effort and Devotion in Developing the CANDOER Organization (Communicators AND Others Enjoying Retirement) From a Small, Humble, Intimate Lunch of Four People To What It Has Become Today. Well Over 20-30 Local CANDOER Retirees Attend Luncheons on a Monthly Basis. Additional CANDOERS Residing Outside the Metro Area Received the CANDOER Newsletter Published by Bob.


Ray Watson, although still in a rehabilitation hospital, is doing better. He continues to receive therapy and is progressing slowly. Anyone wishing to visit Ray, he is allowed visitors, may do so at the Allegis Health and Rehabilitation Center, 901 Arcola Avenue, Silver Springs, Maryland. Go out New Hampshire Avenue to University Boulevard. Take University to Arcola. You can see the Allegis from University Boulevard.

Don Stewart visited Ray and said that Ray is in good spirits and enjoyed talking old times with him.

On Monday, November 4, I received a call from Lynn Swierczek. She and the family are doing well and asked that I thank all the CANDOERs for their cards and calls. She said, "Knowing that our father and mother were loved by so many people helped me and my brothers get through losing both parents in the same year." She asked that if we were going to make a donation in Walt and Pat's name that it be made to the American Diabetes Association. A money order in the amount of $45 has been sent, from the CANDOER Luncheon Group, in Walt and Pat's name.

In addition to the new attendees at the November luncheon, Jackie Clark sent a donation with Tom Warren to the CANDOER News fund.

I received a note and a contribution to the News fund on November 14 from Ken French. Ken just returned from North Carolina where he and "a group of our former colleagues" played golf. In early December he and Maureen are planing a trip to several places in the U.S. and plan on returning just before Christmas.

On the evening of November 14, I received a call from Stu Branch. Stu called to inform me of the death of a son of one of our colleagues, Jerry John. Although Jerry did not work for OC/IM, he worked with us for many years. He worked in the Office of Procurement during the period we were developing many of the systems that brought the Department of State, Office of Communications, out of the dark ages into a state-of-the-art communications entity.

Jerry's son, Eric died on November 8, 1996, of a freak accident while using exercise equipment. Eric leaves a wife, Terri, and two young daughters, Alexandra and Ashleigh, 7 and 4, respectively.

I sent Jerry, his family and his son's family a card of condolences on behalf of the CANDOERs.

On Thursday, November 21, I received a letter from Jerry.

Dear Bob,

Thank you and the CANDOERs so much for so quickly coming to Katie and me in this time of oh, so much pain and trial. As Stu may have told you, Eric was a special kind of person. I guess the Lord must have needed him more than me to do his work. Now I need to find the strength to let God have him, but I want to hold on so much.

Bob, you, Stu, Will and all of the communicators were so much a part of my life at State. Wally Francis' and his group also touched me but not like the Communicators. If your group is open, please include me in your plans for your next luncheon. I see so many friends names on the list.

Thanks so much

Regards and God's Blessings,
/s/ Jerry

I have extended an invitation, on behalf of the CANDOER Luncheon Group, to Jerry to attend any or all future luncheons.

In addition, Jerry said that a living education trust fund has been established for Eric's daughters. For those who so wish, please make contributions payable to the Putnam Funds, for the benefit of:

The Alexandra and Ashleigh John Living Education Trust Fund at:

Wintergreen Financial Services, Inc.,
12110 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 100
Tom Dellinger, Acct. Manager
Reston, VA 20190

On Saturday, November 16, I received a call from Swain Britt. Swain is in town visiting Robby Robinson. He said he is doing well and enjoying retirement in sunny Florida. In October Swain was married in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

I also talked to Robby for a few minutes. He hopes to make the December luncheon at TGIFridays.

I received an e-mail note from John Kennedy. John and Loretta are doing well. John furnished the name and address of another retiree, John Grainger.

On November 20, I talked with Leo Duncan. Leo recently returned from Moscow and is now assigned within IM at Main State. Since we last saw Leo he has gotten married. Leo married Linda Watt, who also works for State. Leo indicated he was going to try to make the December luncheon.

On November 21, I received a call from Ed Wilson. Ed and Joan have been stateside for several years now. Ed called me to let me know he had just seen a copy of the CANDOER News and would be attending the December luncheon, schedule allowing.

In the mail on November 21, I received a note of appreciation from the American Diabetes Association for the $45 we donated in the name of Walter and Patricia Swierczek.

On November 23, I received an e-mail from Sid Reeves. Sid is the Director of the RIMC in Frankfurt.

IN MEMORY OF - Walt Swierczek

The following was received from Jim Prosser upon learning of the death of Walt.

One of my favorite memories of Walt occurred in Brussels in 1965. He had come over from London to fix our communications problems.

At the time, Belgian drivers were noted throughout Europe as being devils on wheels, for they struck fear into the hearts of foreigners attempting to drive there.

One day when Walt was walking to the Embassy from his hotel, as he was crossing the street, in a crosswalk, a taxi driver came zipping around the corner and brushed him slightly, but knocked him down. The driver realizing what he had done, stopped, looked back, put the taxi in reverse, backed up and ran over Walt's left foot just as he was pulling it out of the way! The driver got out, apologized profusely in French, checked to see if Walt was okay (by this time Walt determined nothing was broke), got back in his taxi and drove off! Walt was furious! He came into the Embassy and had his scrapes and bruises attended to by the Embassy nurse.

Subsequently, whenever Belgium ever came up in a conversation, Walt would always say "Look out for those crazy Belgian drivers!


I received the following fax from Will Naeher:


The following biblical interpretations were actual answers from students compiled by Richard Lederer. They appeared in the 12-31-95 edition of the "National Review" magazine.

In the first book of the Bible, Guinness, God got tired of creating the world so he took the Sabbath off. Adam and Eve were created from an Apple tree. Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark. Noah built an Ark, which the animals came into pears. Lot's wife was a pillar of salt by day but a ball of fire by night.

The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with the unsympathetic Genitals. Samson was a strongman who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah. Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the apostles.

Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea where they made unleavened bread which is bread made without any ingredients. The Egyptians were all drowned in the desert. Afterwards, Moses went up to Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Commandments. The First Commandment was to humor they father and they Mother. The Seventh is thou shalt not admit adultery.

Moses died before they ever reached Canada. Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol. The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.

David was a Hebrew King skilled in playing the liar. He fought with the Finklesteins a race of people who lived in Biblical Times. Solomon, one of David's sons had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.

When Mary heard she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta. When the three wise guys from the east side arrived, they found Jesus in the manager. Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption. Sr. John the Blacksmith dumped water on his head.

Jesus enunciated the Golden rule which say do one to others before they do one to you. He also explained, "Man does not live by sweat alone." It was a miracle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance.

The people that followed the Lord were called the 12 decibels. The epistles were the wives of the Apostles. One of the opossums was St. Matthew who was by profession a taximan.

St. Paul cavorted to Christianity. He preached holy acrimony which is another name for marriage. A Christian should have one wife. This is called monotony.


Growing up in Nebraska

by Joe Lea

Chapter 8

In the 1930's farm hands were paid $1.00 per day plus board and room for general farm work, planting, cultivating, fixing fence, milking cows, etc. The wage went up to $2.00 per day during threshing and silo filling---these were long days of hot, dirty, hard work. I hired out any time that I wasn't needed at home, and perhaps at times when I should have been working at home. Money was so scarce that it was difficult to pass up an opportunity to earn a few dollars.

The "big" money was in shucking corn. (We did not husk it, we shucked it). Pay was by the bushel, estimated of course, 4 cents per bushel. A full wagon was considered to be 35 bushels, therefore if one could get nearly 3 loads a day, he could earn $4. Believe me, you earned it. The corn was shucked in late fall, after a good freeze, and on into the winter, often with snow on the ground. The day light was short, so naturally work began and ended in total darkness. It was up by 5:00 am, locate the horses, put them in the barn and feed them, harness them, then go eat breakfast. To the field at 1st light, fill the wagon, come in, unload, back to the field, same thing and back for the 3rd load.

At some point, most likely while traveling to or from the field, you ate a bag lunch which the farmer's wife fixed for you. It was in at dark with the last load, unload it, take care of the horses, and eat supper. By this time, sleep was the only thing on your mind.



by Jim Prosser

Back in the 1950's the Foreign Service Regulations were very explicit that pouches were to be used for official mail only, never for trash bags, or any other purpose.

One day, Eric Baxter, the communications supervisor, received a scathing memorandum from the Department of State reprimanding the Saigon pouch room. It seems an air pouch arrived in Washington and when opened in their pouch room, out came a lot of dust, dirt, pieces of broken pottery, and wrappings of an apparent personal parcel. The reprimand cited chapter and verse of a number of regulations prohibiting such use of pouches; i.e. using a pouch bag for trash, sending personal merchandise (a piece of pottery), and a parcel (always prohibited then in pouches).

Eric asked Larry Fenderson, the pouch clerk, what he knew about the unauthorized parcel being sent. Larry had no idea how it could have happened.

Just when Eric and Larry were finishing their discussion, the Consular Officer came to the pouch room. He had been receiving some strongly worded telegrams from an Ohio Congressman through the Department demanding to know where the ashes were of one of his constituents.

It seems that about a month previously an American seaman from Ohio fell overboard from the freighter he was working on and drown in the Saigon River. His next-of-kin advised the remains were to be cremated and sent to an address in Ohio. The Consular Office complied with the family's wishes, but did not have anything in which to ship the ashes. So the Consular Officer went out into the local market and purchased a piece of oriental pottery about the size of a volleyball, sealed the ashes in it, wrapped and addressed the parcel, and delivered it to the pouch room for transmission by air pouch.

Eric turned and handed the Consular Officer the reprimanding memorandum, saying "I think this is your problem. Please refer to this in your explanation to the Department and the Congressman, and have the reprimand rescinded."


See you next month.

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