U.S. Symbol
Communicators AND Others Enjoying Retirement
Issue 46October 1999Volume 4 - Number 11

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

Cat's Corner

So far the Web site (www. has been a big success. As of the date of publication of this issue, there has been over 700 visitors. In addition, 16 members have elected to get their issue of the Newsletter off the site, instead of via snail-mail or e-mail.

You may note, I have added information to the Treasury Report about the Web site. I have had several members donate directly to the WWW fund. Thank you. It is appreciated.

Last month's (September) snail-mail issue had an error in it. Page 7 was printed twice and there was no page 16 (the e-mail listings). The original page 7 had a typing error in it and I reprinted the master and did not pull the bad page. I messed up when I took it to the printer by leaving the bad page 7 in the masters and did not catch the mistake until I collated and stapled several of the copies.

If anyone knows the whereabouts of Ray Russell, please let me know. All of a sudden, e-mail messages sent to his e-mail addresses are being rejected by AOL as "no such subscriber."

The CANDOER web site, as it now appears uses 1.5 million bytes of the five million I am allowed to use. I would like to make the remaining bytes available to members of the CANDOERs. If you would like to have a page on the Web site, let me know. Type up the content and send it to me via e-mail, with a description of how you would like it to appear and no more than one graphic, in any format, and I will design and place it on the web site.

Each members web page will be limited to 20,000 bytes of text and 15,000 bytes of graphics. To give you an idea of what 20,000 bytes are, it would be equal to about five typed pages of text.

To make your page available to non CANDOERs, you will have your own URL. For instance, to access Babe and Pattie's Page, you may do so by using the URL:

Letters to the Editor

The following was received from Fran Masterman.


Just thought I'd send you a note and let you know how much I have enjoyed the articles written by Will Naeher. They bring back many good memories.

My first Washington assignment was in the mid 1970's (75-77) when I was assigned as Stu Branch's secretary when he was Chief of OC/T. Will was DASC at the time and would come to Stu's office on many occasions during the time OC was negotiating for the first ARCS. I enjoyed reading about many of the things that had gone on before I joined the office.

This was a fun time in OC/T and I don't think I had an unhappy day the entire two years. Stu and Will were both wonderful to work for and Will's articles bring back a time when just about everyone in Communications knew everyone else.

Of course lots of things have changed since that time and I feel lucky to have been part of so many changes. I retired in 1988 and then spent another 10 years as a WAE Rover covering many, many places I had not seen during my career and learning how to operate many new systems.

Thanks again for your wonderful newsletter and a way to not only keep up with old friends, but to remember times gone by.


/s/Fran Masterman

The following was received from Babe Martin.

Hi Bob,

It appears the newsletter (Editors note: See first article in this issue and Babe/Patti's Page on the Web site) may have made it. I have to go to an AD meeting in a little bit but will be back this afternoon. Had a good weekend. My son Joe is coming next weekend and a bunch of us are supposed to go camping to Bryce Canyon. My daughter Kathy may meet us there also. They will be on their way back home from Colorado. A bit hectic here. I finally got the Volleyball team going. Found two coaches who have already done some scheduling and hope to get the flag-football going this week. I had a PE meeting with the 4-8 grade teachers and will start that tomorrow. Hope to get most of my basketball schedule done today at the meeting. Only problem is travel. You have to go quite far for games. Other than Window Rock, the other schools are 30 minutes to an hour and a half away. I'll try and schedule mostly HOME games. It will be an experience. I had good news for the cross-country team which I help with, also. We found a donor for uniforms so the kids should have new uniforms this year. Its really quite sad how little they have in terms of equipment. You ought to see the bus they travel in. I think I might use my car and hope they get there. We do have a van but its not big enough for four basketball teams. I figure on about 25 kids for all the teams. The Navajo kids really play good together. The big ones watch over the little ones and help each other grow. Competition is a very low priority and they really do play teamwork and helping each other out. Will tell you more about it as we get going. Well take care Bob. Say Hi to all and will talk to you later.

/s/ Babe

St. Michael Indian School
by Babe Martin

In March of this year, my wife Patti and I had just returned home from church and were reading the church bulletin. We came across an article which requested volunteers for an organization called MERCY CORPS. It sounded very interesti/ng and we called for more information. After reading through the literature we decided that this was what we wanted to pursue.

MERCY CORPS is a lay volunteer ministry program for men and women and is sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy. The organization is based in Gwynedd Valley, PA. The organization was founded in 1978 and began with two full time volunteers. Since then more than 460 women and men have volunteered to serve in this organization. Today's volunteers range in age from 21 to 70, reflecting a variety of backgrounds, and occupations. MERCY CORPS invites applicants from all denominations although they recommend that applicants be comfortable with the Catholic tradition. MERCY CORPS services over 15 communities throughout the USA and they hope to begin serving in other countries in the near future. Volunteers work as social workers, teachers, teachers aides, nurses, physical therapists, coaches, lay ministers, counselors, and a variety of other professions. Volunteers work with the poor, handicapped, AIDS victims and their relatives, abused women and children, in Native American communities, and other areas needing help. Once accepted, a volunteer commits his or her services for one year. During this year of commitment, the volunteer receives free lodging and a small monthly stipend.

After filling out the paperwork, we were accepted by MERCY CORPS in June and were asked to select three sites where we would like to be assigned. Our first choice was St. Michaels in Arizona and we were accepted by them in early July. We let go of our apartment, put our belongings in storage and began serving at St. Michaels Elementary School in August.

Prior to starting our assignment, we attended an orientation at MERCY CORPS in Gwynedd Valley for a week. There were 41 volunteers in this year's group. What amazed us was the amount of young people volunteering. There were seven people our age, one other married couple and 34 young people under 26 years old, most just out of college. The orientation was most enlightening and we really came together as a community. We will all meet again in June of 2000 to attend a retreat in Phoenix.

We arrived at St. Michaels on August 10 and began a week long orientation. The mornings were spent discussing school regulations, Navajo culture and other pertinent matters which we would be confronted with. The teachers and teachers aides spent the afternoon preparing their respective classes. I spent the afternoons doing repair work on various items. The maintenance people were involved on a project, so this helped them out quite a bit. School started the following week. Patti will be assisting the first grade teacher, a 23 year old man who is teaching for the first time. She is also helping out in the after-school care program. I will be the elementary school athletic director, PE teacher for fourth through eight grades, and will be helping the girls volleyball and flag-football coaches. This winter I will be coaching both girls and boys elementary school basketball teams and the girls softball team in the spring. I have already been approached with offers to help from various people so that should be fun.

St. Michaels is on approximately 100 acres of Navajo Reservation land, located in the northeast section of Arizona very near the New Mexico border. The nearest city for big shopping is Gallup, NM, which is 30 minutes from St. Michaels. There is a Mission (St. Michaels) complex which has a small but distinguished church, a housing complex which houses Franciscan priests and brothers. There is a community building which also serves as a gym. A mile away is our complex which has several buildings - elementary school, high school, office building which also has classrooms in the upper level, a building which houses the convent, classrooms, cafeteria, faculty and miscellaneous rooms, and a dormitory type apartment on the third floor. We live in a 6 apartment complex adjacent to the main building. There are also some small buildings such as trailers providing residences, maintenance shops, a special education room, and a computer lab.

We have a total of 10 volunteers at St. Michaels, four at the elementary school, two at the high school and four at the special education school located a few miles from our campus. There are also several paid staff members who service as teachers, after school care workers, office workers and miscellaneous type duties. There are also 21 Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament who serve as teachers and other miscellaneous duties. St. Michaels provides schooling from Kindergarten through 12th grade. The student enrollment is approximately 425 including 270 at the elementary school. The school also offers an after school care program which is quite extensive. Three permanent members, assisted by volunteers operate this program. Most of the kids are picked up by 4:30 p.m., however some stay till after 6:00 p.m. St. Michaels is the only Catholic school on the Navajo Reservation and there is one high school and one elementary school in nearby Window Rock, the tribal seat of the Navajo Reservation which is four miles away.

I am very impressed by the amount of young people who serve here. In addition to four of our Mercy Corps volunteers, there are 11 non-volunteers under the age of 30 and most in their early 20s. The staff members are paid a very small wage but they are provided free housing. We hear so much about the negative side of our youths in today's world which I believe depicts only a small portion of today's youth. The press should investigate and report on the youth of America who serve in communities such as this one. Our Mercy Corps volunteers this year have been assigned to various cities throughout the States, performing a variety of duties including teaching, working with the homeless, helping AIDS victims and their family members, working with handicapped children, working with Native Americans and a multitude of other duties. I met one volunteer at orientation, a young woman who will be teaching the children of migration workers in Ohio and Florida. What dedication she has. The story she told us was very tragic and sad. But she said she was determined to help out and she has been doing this since graduating from college two years ago.

St. Michaels relies strongly on volunteers, without them, I am told, this school could not function. Help is very hard to get due in part to location and wages. Volunteers as well as staff members, in addition to performing their own assigned duties, perform many other jobs as needed. Since coming here I have noticed a lot of dedication among the people assigned here. There is also support from the local community who assist with sports, fund raising, etc. Some Native Americans who attended school here are now teaching or working at St. Michaels.

St. Michaels is quite an operation. It was founded by Mother Katharine Drexel in 1902. Her story is a very touching and extraordinary one. They have an extremely limited budget. They do charge tuition which covers only 1/3rd of their expenses. The remaining is provided through grants and donations. They do get some support from the Mother House of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. Their operating equipment is used to its fullest and most of it is quite old and obsolete. The sisters and staff make do with what they have efficiently and without complaint. My first job as Athletic Director was to check out their sports equipment used for their various sports teams, PE, recess, and after school activities. I found that most of the equipment was very old and was told that purchases of new equipment was done sparingly and as needed. I spent most of that week checking out equipment, throwing bad equipment away and repairing some. As an example, the softball equipment was passed down to them by a Catholic school in Santa Fe which closed two years ago. About the only usable equipment were the bats and helmets. I found a catchers mitt which I believe may have been used by Yogi Berra. So if we are to have a softball team this year, new equipment and uniforms will have to be purchased or donated. I look at what some of our public schools spend on new equipment yearly and it makes me a little envious. I have seen equipment being thrown away that this school would cherish and probably use for a few more years.

Help is needed from all sources and nothing is too minimal. I realize that most of you are inundated with donation requests, however you all can help in ways that are very simple and does not require a lot of time. As an example, a year or so ago, Patti & I received a flyer from St Joseph's Indian School in South Dakota. After reading their newsletters we got involved first by donating money to them then sending various needed materials mentioned in their newsletter. They have an excellent mailing list and am sure as a result of this they get a lot of donations and materials, however, St Michaels does not have nor can they afford to take on a similar type avenue, therefore they rely on word of mouth, fund raisers, community bulletins etc. They do have a WEB page but as a rule, extensive advertising is at a minimum.

St. Michaels gets its enrollment from the Navajo Reservation which is very spread out. Window Rock which is four miles away, is the Tribal Seat of the Navajo Nation, however the community is very small. The poverty level of the people whose children attend this school is about 50 percent poor. There are very few businesses in the area, therefore people have to drive distances for work. Some do get a small government stipend or welfare. A lot of the people that do work make little more than minimum wage. Those that live in a double wide trailer are considered to have an exclusive house. There are some families living in rural areas who still don't have electricity. Here at St Michaels, no child is admitted free. The Navajos in general, do not like to receive handouts, therefore all are charged a tuition. Some are at a much reduced rate but are nevertheless charged some tuition. This gives them a sense of participation and makes them more involved with the school. The short time that Patti and I have been here has been an education to say the least and we find out more and more as each day goes by. Help is needed at St Michaels in many forms. I have done a similar newsletter to our parish in Bangor, Maine, who have offered to assist in any way they can and I am hoping that this letter will create some avenue for resources through your help and generosity. The needs at St. Michaels include:"

1. Sponsoring, in part, the tuition of needy students. (Sister Kathleen Kajer, the principal, told me that she has received a number of applications for assistance in tuition.) Those contributing to this cause will be sent a picture of the child that they are sponsoring along with progress reports. As stated above, parents are asked to pay a portion of their child's tuition.

2. Children books are needed for the elementary school library as well as classrooms. Books should be in good condition. Reading material can also be used at the high school library. They currently have a very good selection but can always use more books.

3. Video movies can also be used, especially at the primary level. Videos are used in the After School Program. The HS library also has a small selection and could definitely use more.

4. Games and puzzles of any kind can be used for the elementary level either in the classroom or library.

5. Sports equipment such as balls, bats, gloves etc can always be used. Especially needed will be equipment for the girls softball team next spring.

6. Money, of course, is the best donation. We can use the money to buy all of the above. Any amount will be appreciated and will be used to its utmost needs. I am told that if Sister Kathleen were in Washington, the government budget would be balanced within a very short period. I am amazed at how well this school operates in comparison with the funding it receives. You cannot imagine it unless you see it for yourself. There is a lot involved in the operation of this school and a lot of its progress is due to the dedication of the staff and volunteers associated with the school.

One thing that the school does not need is clothes. Sister tells me that the Mission (separate from the school) receives a lot of clothing donations and has a huge drive once a year where people either buy or receive the clothing needed.

Contributions may be sent to:"

Sister Kathleen Kajer (Principal)
St. Michaels Indian School
P.O. Box (Lupton Road)
St. Michaels AZ 86511-0650

Eligible people should look into the volunteer program at Mercy Corps. Volunteers are needed all over the country and Mercy Corps is only one organization of many that provides volunteers to serve communities. Had we not been accepted in Mercy Corps, there were at least three other avenues that we would have pursued. Mercy Corps is a great experience for young people, especially for those just coming out of college. Retirees are more than welcome into the program as well and it would be an awesome experience for them. Patti and I are certainly getting a lot out of this already.

Patti and I are doing great, working very hard but finding some time over the weekends to relax. We went to Canyon de Chelle, about two hours from here, that was awesome. We did some hiking with our LL Bean hiking boots and came out of it very tired. We need to get in better shape before doing any more hiking. This area is just beautiful. The scenery is different everyplace you go. The sunsets are amazing. Our big shopping is done in Gallup, NM, where they have a Wal-Mart, K-mart, and numerous other stores and restaurants. Window Rock has two grocery stores which really aren't too bad. People were saying the prices were too high but we didn't find it too bad compared to the gas used to go to Gallup. They also have two video stores, a combination hardware/general store, one really good restaurant, and four fast food restaurants. What else does one need?

In closing, I ask mainly for your prayers that we as a group can continue to serve this school well with energy and patience. And I hope to hear from you. I receive the CANDOER newsletter each month and enjoy reading the articles. I hope to contribute more to it in the future on our experiences here at St. Michaels.


The following was received from Jim Prosser.

A Story To Live By

I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time at work. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I'm not "saving" anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom. I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out 28.49 for one small bag of groceries. I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.

"Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary.

If it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.

I'm not sure what my cousins would've done had they known that they wouldn't be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner, or for whatever their favorite food was. I'm guessing; I'll never know.

It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days.

Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them. I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.

If you are reading this it is because someone cares for you. If you're too busy to take the few minutes that it takes right now to forward this, would it be the first time you didn't do the little thing that would make a difference in your relationships? I can tell you it certainly won't be the last. Take a few minutes to send this to a few people you care about, just to let them know that you're thinking of them. People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don't need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there.

Luncheon Log

In attendance at this months luncheon at Phineas on Rockville Pike were the following two people: Bob Catlin and Paul Del Giudice.

It has become very apparent that the Phineas Restaurant is not an ideal location for our luncheons. This is the second time in the past three luncheons that I have driven 53 miles to Phineas and Paul has driven 35 miles to end up having lunch with each other. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy having lunch with Paul. But we could have saved ourselves a lot of time by having lunch a lot closer to home.

I am open to suggestions as to a new location for our luncheons, but for now, all luncheons at Phineas have been canceled.

Change your luncheon schedule to show TGIFs in Alexandria for ALL future luncheons, until such time as a new location has been selected.

Retiree's Report

On August 26, an e-mail message was received from Floyd and Patti Hagopian furnishing their new e-mail address. The new address may be found in the Pen and Ink section of this issue and on the Web site.

On August 30, I received an e-mail from Bob Kegley. By the time you read this, Bob and Adelet will be living in Florida. Their e-mail address remains the same. You may find the new snail-mail address listed in the Pen and Ink section and on the Web site.

On September 1, I received an e-mail from Brad Rosendahl furnishing his new snail-mail address and telephone number. This new information may be found in the Pen and Ink section of this issue and on the Web site.

On September 2, Nancy and I had lunch at TGIF's with Carol Steeves and her dependant, Jim. Carol is presently in town on consultation. Carol has been transferred from Embassy Bonn to San Diego and is taking her dependant with her.

On September 3, Don Lachman notified me that he and Sally have moved. Their new address and telephone number may be found in the Pen and Ink section as well as on the Web site.

On September 3, I received an application for Membership via the Web site from Charlie Christian. Charlie's bio data may be found in the Pen and Ink section as well as on the Web site.

Also on September 3, I received an application for membership via the Web site from Lewis Musolf. Lewis' bio data may be found in the Pen and Ink section as well as on the Web site.

On September 12, an e-mail message was received from Bob Rouleau. He is no longer using a JUNO e-mail address. He furnished a new e-mail address with DoubleD. This new e-mail address may be found in the Pen and Ink section, on the last page of this and every issue, and on the Web site.

On September 13, an e-mail message was received from Jim Norton indicating that two retirees he worked with while they were on a VIP visit expressed an interest in becoming CANDOERs. They were Lou Betts, Jr. and Bryon Hallman. I have sent both Lou and Byron my introductory package. There snail-mail addresses may be found in the Pen and Ink section of this issue. They will be included in the Web page when their full bio has been received. Neither have an e-mail capability.

On September 13, an e-mail message was received from Lloyd Stevenson. He is in the process of transferring from Islamabad to Rabat. His new snail-mail address and e-mail address may be found in the Pen and Ink section as well as on the Web site.

On September 14, an e-mail message was received from Patricia Stout. She and Carl now have separate e-mail addresses, Carl's new address may be found in the Pen and Ink section, on the Web site and on the last page of this and every issue.

On September 15, an e-mail message was received from Peter Gregorio. Pete is now a member of the CANDOERs. Pete's bio may be found in the Pen and Ink section, on the Web site and his e-mail address on the last page of this and every issue.

On September 16, an e-mail message was received from Ollie Shaw changing his e-mail address. This information may be found in the Pen and Ink section, on the last page of this issue and every issue, and on the Web site.

On September 16, a letter was received from John Turner. John is now on-line. His e-mail address may be found in the Pen and Ink section, on the last page of this and every issue, and on the Web site.

On September 17, an e-mail message was received from Dick Kalla. Dick has retired and is now living in Washington state. His new e-mail and temporary snail-mail addresses may be found in the Pen and Ink section and on the Web Site.

In September 19, Rob Robinson, in an e-mail message, notified me that he has a new e-mail address. He is also going to keep his JUNO address. His new e-mail address may be found on the last page of this and every issue, as well as on the Web site.

on September 20, an e-mail message was received from Denis Combs joining the CANDOERs. His bio may be found in the Pen and Ink section, his e-mail address on this last page of this and every issue, and both of the above on the Web site.

White Knuckle Flying
by Jim Steeves

Since my first flight at the age of about twenty-one (from McGuire AFB in New Jersey to Gander in Newfoundland) in the winter of 58/59, I loved flying. Back in those days long range passenger planes were four engine prop types but even now when I think about it, the thrust of those engines when the plane started down the runway felt exhilarating.

In the next few years, I was to experience the pleasure of flying on the world's first jet passenger airplanes, the British built Comet which had it's engines built right into the wings rather than suspended below them. The French had their Caravels which looked somewhat less sophisticated but the room inside either aircraft was just about the same as that in a DC-6 - one aisle up the middle and pretty crammed seats on each side.

As planes got bigger and marginally more comfortable, the pleasure of flying - especially internationally - I considered a very special extra perk to being in the Foreign Service. It was distinctly less interesting to fly trans-Atlantic to or from the U.S. and I'm not sure why. Perhaps it was the requirement to fly "U.S. airlines" and the difficulty I experienced digesting rubber chicken.

During many of those years, I spent a lot of time in Europe and a fair amount in Africa but never knew anyone who had gone down in a plane. I did know a courier who had been sitting on the can somewhere in the air over East Africa when the aircraft entered an air pocket. The plane dropped several thousand feet. The courier was flung to the ceiling then back toward the floor. Unfortunately, inside the toilet of even a jumbo, the john takes up about 50% of the floor space. It was, all in all, a pretty crappy mess. The courier suffered injuries though I don't know how severe. They still don't put seat belts on the john.

Another friend, whose name I won't mention but whose initials are R. Grimes, was what we generally referred to as a "white knuckle flyer." Dick ... I mean my friend, as a Foreign Service sort of person, was required, from time to time, to take to the friendly skies. He would go but he wouldn't go without a drink or two. I never learned how he could maintain a death grip on the arm rests and manage fifteen beers, too - on a one-hour flight!

Well, it was amusing to most of us, though to him it was no joking matter. I still flew for business and fun and only occasionally grumbled about the need to get to the airport two hours before flight time for security reasons.

There were a few occasions when I did give a thought to the subject of flight safety. The most remarkable such occasion was the approach to the airport in Oslo in foggy weather. As the aircraft got closer to the ocean, and I saw huge rocks jutting up out of the water to heights, it seemed, of twenty and thirty feet, I recall hoping that visibility from the flight deck was a lot better than it was from my window seat. I think we touched down just feet over dry land.

My love of flying came to a halt one day in 1976 aboard an Iberia Airlines flight from Malaga in southern Spain to Dublin. The plane left Malaga about four hours late - a part needed to be flown in from somewhere, Yokohama perhaps. It was supposed to be a two and a half hour flight. We finally left Malaga but food wasn't served until we had been airborne for about an hour -which infuriated everyone on board because of the hours' long delay back at Malaga. We were hungry!

Eventually the crew began serving food, working their way aft from the front. Before they got to my wife and me, sitting at about the mid-point, there was an announcement which the passengers didn't understand though the stewardesses apparently did. In any event, the stewardesses backtracked, snatching trays from those they had just served. Food fell off the trays and the stewardesses kept chugging along frantically retrieving what they could get and ignoring that which fell on people's laps and the floor.

Around this time, several young girls got excited and began to wail. The cabin crew ignored them too. Soon others were alarmed as the common thought penetrated even the denser among us. It looked pretty clear to me that we were going down and I wondered if we were over France or the Bay of Biscay. The cabin crew went to their seats; the cabin was littered with food, drink and some trays and then the plane banked to the left, dropped smoothly and landed at Dublin Airport.

My wife and I had been holding hands; my prayers had been said and it certainly seemed that our time had come to an end. After our landing we all sat in stunned silence wondering what the hell had happened. How did a 2-1/2 hour flight get reduced to half that time and why, when pandemonium was about to break out, did the flight or cabin crew not explain what was happening? And finally, why did they start serving food minutes before making our approach to Dublin airport? After a few moments of reflection on the situation, we hurried off the plane. I didn't become a white knuckle flier but my entire attitude toward flying had undergone a radical shift. Since then I've flown a lot and don't absolutely require a gin and tonic to get started but I never refuse one either.

As I now reflect on the whole situation of flying it occurs to me that an even scarier activity bothers me: traveling on either of the two Interstate highways in Albuquerque, where the concepts of speed limits and safe driving are considered quaint.

The foregoing describes an extraordinarily uneventful thirty-five years of flying. I'd be very interested in reading about some of the experience of former colleagues who had some really hairy tales to relate.

Fire In Reproduction
by Will Naeher

The Reproduction section of the communications center was a large room situated outside the shielded enclosure, next to the cryptographic equipment room and the systems operations area. The section had nine off-set presses, together with a large collating machine, two high speed Shepherd printers, equipped with off-set master paper, and several work tables and work stations. This section was situated along an outside hallway (corridor two) with a pass-through window where messengers could come to pick up telegrams.

It was the custom on Friday afternoon to move large flats containing many reams of paper next to each off-set press, so that the operators would have enough paper to last them over the weekend. These flats were moved by dollies.

When the center was designed, we tried to locate each press, and other equipment, in such a way that movement of telegrams would be minimized and efficient. Because there was no raised floor in Reproduction, the electric power was put into floor molds along the surface of the floor. We had mis-located one of the presses. When it was relocated an electrical outlet was exposed, along with some of the floor molding.

Shortly after we became fully operational in this area, the supply man came to resupply the presses for the weekend, with his dolly full of paper. Unknown to him, he accidentally hit the outlet and tore up some of the floor molding, which caused and electrical short.

While sitting in my office at the end of the hall, I heard someone running. It was my Deputy, Bob Nichols, who burst into my office shouting, "There is a fire in Reproduction." I immediately ran to the section and saw smoke and sparks coming up around the paper. I quickly formed a chain gang of people to remove the paper from the skid, which was placed over the outlet.

Ernie Field, the ITT maintenance chief, was in the section. I told him to check the circuit beakers. No breaker had tripped. I told him to check the sparking outlet with his meter. He found 240 volts coming from the outlet. We then turned off each circuit breaker associated with that area until we found the one controlling this outlet and shut it off.

Later investigation revealed that the electrical grounds had been improperly installed causing some of the outlets to have a "floating" ground, which meant there was no ground on that outlet. No one could explain why a dead short failed to cause the circuit breaker to trip.

Another lesson learned and another day in the installation of the ATS.

Just call me "Billy"
by Herb Walden

I'm afraid nicknames are going out of style. You just don't hear them much anymore, and it's too bad. It's a nice custom.

Now, I'm not referring to shortened versions of given names such as Tom or Sam or even Herb. I'm talking about names entirely different than what is shown on birth certificates or VISA cards -- names like "Bud" and "Curley" and "Stub".

It seems to me the best nicknames are comprised of one syllable. Two is kind of pushing it. I went to school with a boy whose nickname was "Pineapple", but it was never widely used. Too many syllables, I think.

Some nicknames are for family use and rarely make it off the old homestead. For instance, I had an Uncle "Pete" whose real name was Stanley. But that's alright. My Cousin "Pete's" real name is Albert. Cousin Howard was "Butch" and Cousin Elizabeth was "Jill" and Aunt Rosamond was "Touts". I'm guessing you have a family full of nicknames, too.

Quite often, nicknames leave home with their owners and last a lifetime. Such was the case with my Dad. Dad's given name was Herbert, the same as mine. (Just a coincidence, I'm sure). But when Dad was born, a neighbor immediately tagged him with the nickname "Bill". It stuck with him for the rest of his life. I doubt if there were over a dozen people in my old hometown of Waterford, Pennsylvania who knew his real name.

In the "good old days" in Waterford, "Smiles" delivered ice, "Stub" had a hardware store, "Curley" had a cafe, and "Cap" owned a gas station. "Skip" and "Sonny" were still in school.

Some nicknames were rather unique. "A" (not an initial) had a store and coal yard, and "Shirt" worked for the telephone company. I don't know what "Cuddie" or "Dudge" or "Pealy" did, but "Hoot" worked for the borough.

Nicknames ran rampant in Waterford. There were, (and I'm not making this up), "Bunt", "Buck", "Bunk", "Bake", Bunny", and "Buster". I knew a Wink", a "Nink", a "Diz", and a "Duz". "Tuffy", "Fritz", and "Spanky" lived in Waterford, too. And so did "Nanny", "Tippy", and "Sis".

I haven't the slightest idea where most of these names came from. I never asked --- just took them for granted.

There were at least six "Bud's" in town, one of whom was my friend and neighbor when we were kids. His Dad was one of three or four "Red's". There were four or five "Junior's", some who were further nicknamed "Junie".

I always wanted a nickname, because I've disliked my name ever since I got it. I would have complained at the time, but I had to learn to talk first. It was too late by that time. I tried nicknaming myself, but that doesn't work. It has to come from someone else. I could have been a "Junior", but thankfully no one ever though of that, because as I mentioned, almost no one knew my Dad's name.

But because of Dad, I almost had a nickname. Ben VanCise was and old fellow who lived a block or so from us. He had known my Dad forever, and he knew me, too, but not by name. So, since I was Bill's boy, old Ben called me "Billy". I liked that. For one thing, it was kind of like my Dad's name, and for another, it fit. I looked like a "Billy". If you'd have passed me on the street when I was around twelve years old, you'd have said, "Hey, I'll bet that kid's name is Billy!" (Actually, it's more likely you would have said, "Kid? What Kid? I didn't see any kid." I wasn't exactly the flamboyant type).

Anyway, the name didn't stick, mostly because no one besides Ben and I ever heard it. He should have called me "Billy" in a large crowd sometime. Maybe then I could have hung onto it.

Nicknames happen to kids, and since I'm not exactly a kid anymore, I guess I'll have to do without one.

However, if you happen to run into me sometime, it would be just fine with me if you call me "Billy". But be advised --- I'll probably call you "Ben".

Paris assignment - 1962-1967
by Graham Lobb

From 1962 through 1967, I was assigned to communications at the Paris embassy. It was then the largest communications center overseas in the Foreign Service! We reached Paris in September, 1962. We arrived at Le Havre on the SS United States, then the fastest ocean liner afloat. It would be our last ocean trip and is fondly recalled in our memories. Our son David, accompanied us from Le Havre, as we crossed the French countryside to Paris. At Gard du Nord, we were met by Bill Weatherford, who took us to the Hotel Bedford, back of the Madelaine Church, a short walk to the embassy at 3 Avenue Gabriel. The Bedford would be our home, until we could rent and apartment and receive our household effects, which were en route from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

In 1962, Paris was a regional relay station in the DTS, under routing indicator RUFJ. Paris was charged with protecting off-line unencrypted diplomatic traffic to U.S. posts in North Africa, West Africa, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and the Far East, including Saigon.

The Relay was located in the Embassy and was staffed by 17 French PTT employees, under Chief Armand Colin. Years before, this arrangement was made by former Colonel William P. Richmond, the Regional Communications Officer and his staff at Paris.

The embassy communications officer was the late Donald (Don) Sedlacek.

The embassy communications center distributed embassy diplomatic telegraphic traffic, as well as that for NATO, OECD, UNESCO, USIA, and other U.S. Government agencies, attached to Paris.

The embassy communications center was headed by Lillian Godek, assisted by Helen Brown.

I was shift supervisor, after the departure of James Amidon. We were on three rotating shifts, providing 24-hour coverage, which changed hours every two weeks.

As I recall, there were 32 American positions in the communications center and two French typists. There was an embassy file room, with Frances Tochigi. Polly Worley and Richard Hamel were in Airgrams.

Fred Kadera, for a portion of my tour, supervised the pouch room which was located in the basement.

At the time of arrival, the ITT ADX (Automatic Data Exchange), the first State computer assisted electronic system was being installed. A U.S. Army Major Pelosi and two civilian technicians, one I recall was Dan Radnor, were involved in installing the ADX.

Felden McCloud (Mac), was the departing communications technician who was replaced by Anthony (Tony) Lapka, en route from Rome.

The Regional Communications Office was headed by Bill Richmond. His staff consisted of Harry Brown and Lucille Bushnell. A French secretary, Michelle Moine was in embassy communications.

The late Mel Roane, wrote in STATE Magazine, July 1974:"

"In the fall of 1962, over 200 State posts were dependent on service from host government PTT's. About 50 major posts had U.S. Government owned and operated radio stations."

Mr. Roane continued, "In 1963, Paris was equipped with a computer assisted message switching system (ADX) for sending, receiving, and relaying both unclassified and off-line encrypted five-letter code groups or scrambled tape traffic."

In October 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis took place which allowed State to update its world-wide facilities, with less reliance on PTT facilities.

Many changes took place in Paris. The communications center was relocated to the third floor. After the ADX there was a renovation, installing a secure room by Filtron was an American firm from Long Island.

The antiquated distribution system came last! We were using Hecto or the "Purple Plague," system. Then came APECO and A.B. Dick mimeograph. It was never satisfactory, until early XEROX was installed. Finally, when I left post we had a XEROX 2400.

This came about one day when Howard Brandli was communications officer. The old distribution system conked out, and no one had any idea who repaired the components.

Paris for many years had the only leased circuit to Washington. In the early 1960's the MEC rotor systems were replaced by KW-26s. Paris now had circuits to the Paris Blockhouse, and Army Station, via Orleans with STRATCOM.

Finally, the KW-7 enabled the Paris Relay to use French PTT circuits to the newly developed, once French, African nations.

In the back-room, we had progressed from pasting up off-line code groups on telegraph blanks using an old Western Union metal gummed tape guide sent to the wire room. I recall there was a pneumatic tube between the code room and the French wire room with a French tri-color flag across the opening to further prevent security violations.

Paris personnel 1962-1967

During my tour in Paris, there were three communications officers: Don Sedlacek, Bill Ewing, and Howard Brandli.

The shift supervisors and assistants were numerous. Upon arrival, I recall Richard Cram, Wilbert Roebuck, and Tom Mukai.

Others who come to mind after all these years were: L.B. Withers, Virginia Cafolla, Nick Mendoza, and Larry Webster.

The communications technicians were: Tony Lapka, Paul Arcand, with assistance by Garnett Thomas, Ron Bostock and Walt Swierczek.

Others I recall who were assigned to the communications center were: Moffett Smith, Ed Cvetan, Anna Marie Schloss, Jean Passalaqua, Vera Barone, An Price, Georgia Cowan, Audrey Burley, Juanita Cole, Jim Walsh, Les Mayo, Robert Hanlon, Kelly Hearney, Milt Cochran, Henry Kayoda, Commie Ramirez, Natalie Hull, Doris Berkey, Betty Branch, Ron Youngblood, Norman Weber, George Harris, Don Poland, Ken Plummer, Howard Carroll, Ron Wildermuth, Ruth Monday, Marie Guignard, Charlotte Stockman, Sid Reeves, Larry Materia, and Ralph Powers. Any omissions can be attributed to old age and failing memory!

Some resigned after one tour, others went on to climb through the ranks of OC; and, by 1999 many have passed away. All performed well and made many contributions to the Department of State.

The crisis weathered were:"

1962 - Cuban Missile Crisis
1963 - Assassination of John F. Kennedy
1964 - Cyprus Crisis - Turkey/Greece
1966-67 - Paris demonstrations against Vietnam War
1966 - Departure of U.S. military from France
1967 - Yom Kipper War - Israel-Egypt and the Arab States

Continual upgrades of the communications center took place, including the removal of long-time rotor systems and the MEC equipment and one-time pads. What followed was the use of KW-26s and KW-7s, followed by HW-28 systems.

Before NATO became on-line, the embassy ran a courier service from the Embassy to NATO. Some of the couriers were Harvey Bostock, Quentin Riggs, Eugene Swain, and others. I almost forgot, Ernie Booth.

Ever since the liberation of Paris in 1944, the U.S. Signal Corps had a communications center in the Blockhouse, not far from the Champs Elysee. The DoD Paris Relay was located in a concrete building, once used by the German Army. In November 1971, it caught fire and was destroyed. The Blockhouse was returned to the French, after the U.S. military departed.

In 1967, we left Paris for Accra. I was replaced by Joe Sparks.

In those days, Paris was a difficult post for housing, since many of the single communicators lived on the local economy. Finally, government housing was made available for many new employees with prior military experience and their families.

Years later, I learned that James Thurber, the famous writer was employed in Paris, as a code clerk at the embassy, following World War I. Code books were used to save telegraphic costs. In those days, James Thurber earned $40.00 a week, when the French Franc was work .25 cents.

Finally, a historic fact, the American code books had not been updated since the days of President Grant.

What do you remember?

1. On a standard traffic light, is the green on the top or bottom?
2. How many states are there? (don't laugh, some people don't know)
3. In which hand is the Statue of Liberty's torch?
4. What 6 colors are on the classic Campbell's soup label?
5. What 2 letters don't appear on the telephone dial? (no cheating!)
6. What 2 symbols don't have letters by them?
7. When you walk does your left arm swing with your right or left leg?
8. How many matches are in a standard pack?
9. On our flag, is the top stripe red or white?
10. What is the lowest number on the FM dial?
11. Which way does water go down the drain, counter - or clockwise?
12. Which way does a "no smoking" sign's slash run?
13. How many channels on a VHF TV dial?
14. Which side of a woman's blouse are the buttons on?
15. On an NY license plate, is New York on the top or bottom?
16. Which way do fans rotate?
17. Whose face is on a dime?
18. How many sides does a stop sign have?
19. Do books have even number pages on the right or left side?
20. How many lug nuts are on a standard car wheel?
21. How many sides are there on a standard pencil?
22. Sleepy, Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey, Doc. Who's missing?
23. How many hot dog buns are in a standard package?
25. On which card is the card maker's trademark?
26. On which side of a venetian blind is the cord that adjusts the opening between the slats?
27. On the back of a $1, what is in the center?
28. There are 12 buttons on a touch tone phone. What two symbols bear no digits?
29. How many curves are in a standard paper clip?
30. Does a merry-go-round turn counter- or clockwise?

Received from Barbara & Bernie Weinstein

Enjoy the warm flavors of southern France with this fabulous dinner of cod, tomatoes, peppers, onion, olives, thyme and just a touch of orange peel. Using a can of diced tomatoes with roasted garlic added helps make the sauce a cinch to pull together.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 13 to 15 minutes
Degree of difficulty: easy


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 yellow bell peppers, sliced
1 pound boneless, skinless cod fillet (1 inch thick), cut into 1 -inch chunks
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with roasted garlic
1/4 cup ripe olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell peppers and cook four minutes, stirring, until vegetables are lightly browned. Add cod, tomatoes, olives, thyme, orange peel, salt and pepper. Stir to combine; cover skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 9 to 11 minutes, gently turning fish once with a metal spatula, until cooked through.


Makes 4 servings.


Calories 185
Total Fat 5.5 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 49 mg
Sodium 453 mg
Carbohydrates 12 g
Protein 22 g
Calcium 70 mg
Fiber 2 g


Calories 2,000 (F), 2,500 (M)
Total Fat 60 g or less (F), 70 g or less (M)
Saturated Fat 20 g or less (F), 23 g or less (M)
Cholesterol 300 mg or less
Sodium 2,400 mg or less
Carbohydrates 250 g or more
Protein 55 g to 90 g
Calcium 1,000 mg (F), 1,000 mg (M)
Fiber 20 g to 35 g.


1. Bottom
2. 50 (please tell me you at least got this one!)
3. right
4. blue, red, white, yellow, black, and gold
5. Q, Z
6. 1,0
7. left
8. 20
9. red
10. 88
11. counter (unless you happen to be south of the equator)
12. towards bottom right
13. 12 (no #1)
14. left
15. top
16. clockwise as you look at it
17. F.D. Roosevelt
18. 8. What about the front side and back side? I think it also could be 10.
19. left
20. 5
21. 6
22. Bashful
23. 6
24. Did you notice there wasn't one?
25. Ace of spades
26. left
27. ONE
28. *, #
29. 3
30. counter


30-28 Mensa is calling, genius (Good job!)
25-27 Not too shabby : )
20-24 You could do better (but being average is ok)
16-19 McDonald's is calling (would you like fries w/that?)
15 or below - not being able to read wouldn't affect you one bit.


See you next month.
Issue Index    Issue 47