|Issue 48||December 1999||Volume 5 - 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
Nancy and I would like to wish all of you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Letters to the Editor
The following letter was received from Babe Martin in response to the check I sent him from the CANDOER Memorial fund and my personal check.
Sister Kathleen just advised me that two checks, one from the CANDOERs and one from you was received. She will be responding but I wanted to thank you for the CANDOERs and your generosity. It will go to good use. We will probably put it towards softball uniforms. Through local donations and fund raisings we were able to purchase uniforms for cross-country. I bought 10 sets of running uniforms and 10 sweats with nice lettering and logos for a real good price. I finally got the sweats yesterday (after the season ended) and some were the wrong size so they are giving me four extras, at no charge. So that part of it was nice. I also had my first basketball practice yesterday. I have three coaches for the girls and I will be head coach for the boys and I have two assistants. Our first practice went very good. We are all set for uniforms and we just purchased some new basketballs for both boys and girls through a very generous donation. (We don't know if this one was through the CANDOER newsletter or not as there was no forwarding address but it was from a place and organization in Pennsylvania). We should have four teams - Varsity and JV. Our high school volleyball team did great. They won regionals and came in second at State. That's all for now from St. Mikes. Thanks again to all of you for your donation. Believe me every dollar helps. Say hi to everyone. Order chicken fingers for me will ya! - Closest thing here is KFC. If I keep eating those, I'll be clotting, also.
The following e-mail message was received on November 10, from Jim Prosser.
Today I received the sad news about "Mac" Godley's death. I passed this on to a bunch of others who most likely knew him like I did. I also sent copies via snail-mail to about 20 other CANDOERs who I believe may have served with him. "Mac" Godley loved communicators. He asked a lot of you, but he paid you back handsomely with his affection and generosity (promotions, too). Paul Del Giudice and I could sit down and tell "Mac" Godley stories for a long time. If I get the time later this evening or tomorrow, perhaps I can work up a few for you to put in the next issue of CANDOER. You might even wish to dedicate an issue to him if you could collect enough "I remember 'Mac' Godley"anecdotes. They'd make good reading.
Ambassador Dick Matheron brought this NY Times obituary to my attention this morning. I thought I would pass it along in case you missed it in the print edition. He surely had a full life! Many of us had the good fortune to serve with him. It's too bad some of the legendary stories about him could not have been included. He was an unforgettable personality. The Foreign Service will mourn his loss.
November 10, 1999
G. McMurtrie Godley, a U.S. ambassador to Laos during the Vietnam War who played a central role in American efforts to defeat Communist forces there, died on Sunday in Fox Hospital in Oneonta, N.Y. He was 82.
His position in Laos, from 1969 to 1973, hampered his diplomatic career. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee rejected his nomination to be an assistant secretary of state for Far East Asian affairs when he returned from Laos as American troops were pulling out of Southeast Asia.
In an unusual statement, the committee chairman, J.W. Fulbright, said Godley had been too closely identified with a failed policy in Indochina to supervise American diplomatic efforts in Asia.
President Richard M. Nixon instead appointed him to be ambassador to Lebanon. He had earlier been ambassador to Congo as part of a 35-year career in the foreign service.
In Laos, Godley helped direct tens of thousands of Laotian and Thai guerrillas who were fighting the Communist Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese troops who used Laos as a base. Though Laos was officially neutral, the guerrillas were organized and financed by the Central Intelligence Agency.
His service there was examined again in August 1992, when the Senate Select Committee on P.O.W.-M.I.A. Affairs reviewed reports that the United States had pulled out of Indochina without accounting for all American prisoners of war. The Defense Department and Senate investigators said as many as 135 American service personnel might have still been held when the United States pulled out.
At the hearings, Godley and other former members of the Nixon administration insisted that they had all done their utmost to account for all POWs, and that they believed that none remained in 1973.
George McMurtrie Godley, known as Mac, was born in New York City on Aug. 23, 1917. He graduated from the Hotchkiss School and Yale and did graduate work at the University of Chicago before joining the Foreign Service in 1941. He served in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Cambodia and Congo before being named ambassador to Congo in 1964.
Soon after his service in Lebanon ended in 1976, Godley received a diagnosis of throat cancer, and his voice box was removed. Despite that, he went on to become a founder and president of the Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, N.Y., and was chairman emeritus when he died. He was also chairman of Hartwick College in Oneonta and Fox Hospital.
He married Livia Paravicini, a former sergeant major in the Swiss Army Ambulance Corps, in 1946. They were divorced in 1963. In 1966 he married Elizabeth McCray Johnson. She survives, as do their children, George, of London, and Nicholas, of Madagascar.
Also surviving are a brother, Frederick, of New Canaan, Conn., and a sister, Anne St. Goar of Brookline, Mass., and seven nieces and nephews.
On November 18, the following was received from Sister Kathleen, in regard to the donations mentioned sent to St Michael Indian School from the CANDOER Memorial fund:
Dear Mr. Catlin and the CANDOERs,
Wow! You made my day! Thank you for the contributions in the name of Lionel Martin, for the sports department. Lionel now finds himself busy coaching basketball - the sport of the reservation.
Thank you for investing in our youth at St. Michael Indian School! May God bless you all abundantly!
/s/ Sister Kathleen Kajer, Spt.
It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the death, on November 19, 1999, of Ron Carpenter.
Ron died peacefully at home with his wife, Christine, and his children, Allison and Glen, at his side.
Ron retired in October 1989.
A card in the name of the CANDOERs has been sent to Chris and a donation from the Memorial Fund will be sent to a charity in Ron's name.
On October 26, after publishing the November issue, I received an e-mail message from John Kennedy asking me to send information about the CANDOERs to Larry Limbaugh (IMTS/T Pretoria) and David Crowley, retired in Montana. Information has been sent to both individuals. Their e-mail addresses may be found on the last page of this and future issues and on the Web site.
On October 26, after publishing the November issue, I received an e-mail message from Chuck Scott, informing me that he has returned to Florida and his e-mail address is good again. His e-mail address may be found on the last page of this and future issues and on the Web site.
On October 30, Frank and Nancy Meyers joined the rank of CANDOERs doing it on-line. Their new e-mail address may be found on the last page of this issue and on the Web site.
On November 1, Gary Richardson, in an e-mail message, notified me that he had changed ISPs. His new e-mail address may be found on the last page of this issue and on the Web site.
On November 2, (for those of you who do not have e-mail), be advised, I suffered a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), caused by a small blood clot in the carotid artery. After hospitalization and having the blood clot dissolved, I have returned home to recuperate. I have no long-term effects from the TIA and was told if I watch my diet, exercise, and take my medicine, I should have no further problems.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many CANDOERs for their get well wishes and prayers, both Nancy and I really appreciate it.
On November 4, Jim Steeves notified me of a new e-mail address. This new address is in addition to his hotmail address. The new address may be found on the last page of this and future issues and on the Web site.
On November 8, I received a check and a Personal Data Form from Tom Mukai. This information may be found in the Directory of Members and on the Web site. Tom did not list an e-mail address.
In an e-mail message received from Bill Weatherford, he asked that his e-mail address be changed. This action has been taken on the last page of this issue and on the Web site.
On November 12, I received a letter with a bio and a check from Larry Limbaugh. Larry's bio may be found in the Directory of Members, his e-mail address on the last page of this and future issues, and both may be found on the Web site.
On November 12, I received bio information from Mitch Kolb. Mitch's bio may be found in the Directory of Members, his e-mail address on the last page of this and future issues, and both may be found on the Web site.
On November 14, Rich and Marie Grimes advised that they have changed ISPs and have a new e-mail address. This new address may be found on the last page of this and future issues and on the Web site.
On November 18, I received a Application Form from the Web site for John Davis. John's bio may be found in the Directory of Members, his e-mail address on the last page of this and future issues, and both may be found on the Web site.
On November 21, I received an e-mail application from Alan and June Bishop to join the CANDOERs. Alan's bio may be found in the Directory of Members, his e-mail address on the last page of this and future issues, and both may be found on the Web site.
We had a good turn out for the November luncheon at TGIFs. The following people were in attendance: Bob Campopiano, Bob Catlin, Lou Correri, Paul Del Giudice, Charlie Ditmeyer, Al Giovetti, Pete Gregorio, Charlie Hoffman, Joel Kleiman, Will Naeher, Tom Paolozzi, Ed Peters, Bob Scheller, Val Taylor, John Tyburski, and Tom Warren.
In attendance for his first luncheon, and we hope not his last, was Denis Combs. A big CANDOER WELCOME to Denis.
Elsewhere in this issue you will find the New York Times obituary on "Mac" Godley, who died November 7th, at the age of 82.
It's too bad it didn't reveal more fully the man I, and many other communicators, came to know so well. His effervescent personality was infectious upon all with whom he came in contact. His ubiquitous sense of humor was one of the qualities which endeared him to staff members of which he demanded so much.
He had a lot of Vince Lombardi qualities about him in his dealings with others, thereby gaining their respect and total loyalty. He worked harder than anyone else, pushing all around him to be their best. As a result, many eventually were later rewarded with assignments as Ambassadors.
Permit me to relate from personal experience several instances showing his down-to-earth side with everyone, but especially communicators and Marines, for "Mac" was a Marine in WW-II. He had a special feeling and appreciation for both groups. The Marines because he had been one, and the communicators for he knew that by having them do their absolute best, they would enable him to likewise do the same.
His physical presence was commanding. Tall, gregarious, he was affectionately known as the "big, friendly, bear". For he was a bear of a man. His deep baritone voice further emphasized his stature.
I first met "Mac" in Phnom Penh in 1955. He was a political officer in the newly established Embassy. I was there on TDY from Saigon. One day I was in the men's room washing my hands and about to depart. "Mac" Godley was in the single cabinet toilet. All of a sudden, into the men's room burst the newly arrived DCM. Finding the cabinet door bolted, he pounded on it saying, "Quick! Let me in, I've got the dysentery!" And from within the cabinet came this deep baritone voice, "So have I!"
Eight years later while I was posted at Leopoldville in the Congo, "Mac" was appointed Ambassador. He arrived at a moment when the country was in absolute chaos, with civil strife everywhere. I don't think another person could have achieved so much with the same resources "Mac" Godley had. His personality so positively affected those around him.
"Mac" was not married at the time. Much of what he did was "on the spur of the moment". It was very common for him to take an Embassy employee home for lunch with only about 30 minutes notice. This was particularly true for newly arrived people.
He loved playing poker and religiously reserved one night a week for this endeavor. It was the same group, a couple of communicators, a military attache and the Marine NCOIC. "Mac" Godley never fared well at the poker table, sometimes leaving his paycheck (he claimed).
Whenever possible, on Friday evenings he would stop at the Leopoldville Marine House for their TGIF. One time I was with him when he was joshing with the Marines, asking what their ranks were. They were all Lance Corporals, Corporals, Sergeants, etc. He said, "Do you know, you guys all outrank me? When I was a Marine in WW-II as a French translator in Paris, I never rose above the rank of Private First Class!"
In the Embassy, the communications center and Ambassador's office shared the entire top floor. The entrances to each were separated by a long corridor with marble floor. It was traversed several times a day by Godley, often at high speed shouting "open the door". Jean Elliott usually could see him coming through the wire grill gate and could open the door before the "big, friendly, bear" came flying in with his latest "flash" message. Once she was just a tad late opening the gate, and he bounced off of it and into a guy who was then knocked through the adjacent door into the men's room wondering what hit him.
As the Congo was almost continually in a crisis, the Leopoldville communications office worked around the clock every day. Godley respected the efforts put forth, spent a lot of time in the communications center and insisted the refrigerator always be kept stocked with refreshments. Yes, even including the famous Primus beer. During these periods, we never purchased any of the beverages.
Even in crisis situations, Godley cleverly found humor. With 1800-0600 curfews a regularity, he would intentionally schedule meetings with officials who were usually difficult to find during normal hours so that they would be arrested for curfew violations and held incommunicado in a police compound for several hours. He said he really got a lot of coordination done with government ministers and ambassadors that way.
Being awoke during the night by a communicator or duty officer to read a high precedence Washington directive was a frequent occurrence. He once chided me saying, "Prosser, why don't you send one of the female communicators to deliver messages to me at 0400 instead of Joe Gaffey or Jim Tuten!"
"Mac", we'll miss you.
I suspect that more family traditions have originated around Christmas than any other holiday or time of year. Many of these traditions were so much a part of our young lives that they followed us into adulthood. Of course, some of those traditions may be slightly modified due to circumstances beyond our control. In my case, getting the Christmas tree is a prime example.
When I was a kid, Mom, Dad, and I always went to a nearby Christmas tree plantation in late October or early November to pick out our tree. Now selecting a Christmas tree in even a small plantation can be an all-afternoon job. We were picky. Our tree had to be a Norway spruce. No pine, no fir --- spruce!. It had to reach the ceiling. Daylight should not penetrate the tree anywhere. If any part of the trunk could be seen, it was thumbs down.
It's hard to judge size outdoors. Mom and I would finally discover the perfect tree only to be discouraged by Dad. He would point out that our ceilings were only eight feet high, while the tree Mom and I wanted was at least 12 or 15 feet beyond that. It would take a small logging operation to get the tree out. Besides, there were a couple families of squirrels living in it.
Then he would show us some puny little thing saying that it was just right. Eventually Mom and I would relent and let Dad tie our name tag on his tiny, baby tree.
About a week before Christmas, we would the plantation to cut our tree and take it home. It seems like there was always a foot or two of snow by that time, and dragging the three to the car was a real workout.
Boosting the tree up on top of the car was quite a chore, too. We were surprised at how "un-puny" the tree really was. And when it took all three of us to wedge the tree through the door and into the living room, well, Mom and I had to admit hat Dad knew how to choose a tree. Until next year!
After Dad passed away, the tagging/cutting/hauling ritual became my responsibility.
It was getting late in the season a few years ago before I got around to the tree business. I had the job all to myself, and I left for the plantation right after school one day. It was about ten miles from home.
It was a cold, gray day. Really cold! There was no snow on the ground, but it was very cold, and there were flurries in the air. It was cold enough that the ground was frozen, and puddles in the plantation driveway were iced over. Did I mention it was cold?
I walked around through the trees for an hour or so. I had wandered quite a distance from the car before I finally discovered a couple of acceptable trees. A drainage ditch about three feet wide separated the two trees. It was frozen over, and I hopped back and forth across it looking at first one three and then the other.
After a dozen or so hops, I though to myself, "Why am I jumping this ditch? It's probably frozen solid, and besides, I'm wearing nice, warm, lined boots."
So on what wold prove to be the last trip, I stepped squarely in the middle of the ice. It turned out to be less than a half-inch thick, and the water underneath it, about six to eight inches above my boots!
I didn't fall, but I did step in with the other foot to prevent it.
Now we all know that water freezes at 32 degrees, but this water was at least 20 degrees below zero! I'm not sure how that can be, but I had two boots full of it, and I know!
Well, I dumped a couple of gallons out of each boot, but it didn't help much.. The fuzzy lining had soaked up several more quarts.
I made a quick decision and tagged a tree in a hurry! Then I started back to the car, which looked to be two or three miles away. My brisk walk changed to a jog which changed to a dead run as numbness progressed from toes to ankles to legs. It was a tough run, too. Each boot must have weighed ten pounds.
I started the car and got the heater going. I removed my boots and socks and check to see that I still had toes. There were all there. Sort of blue, but there nonetheless. My pants, evidently being made of some super-absorbent material, were wet with that super-cold water way up past my knees. So I removed them, too, since I didn't expect to see anybody.
I sat there until some feeling came back to my feet, It was snowing a little more earnestly now.
As I pulled out the driveway and started down the road, I was suddenly aware of the need of a restroom! I could have taken care of this almost anywhere back in the plantation, but I didn't have to go then. There were too many houses along the road to do anything about it now. I decided if I drove like Mario Andretti, I could make it home in time.
About half-way home, I saw something through the snow, (which was really come down hard now), in the road ahead of me. When I got closer, it turned out to be a fire truck. In fact, there were two fire trucks and some electric company trucks, too. They were getting ready to burn and old, abandoned house and had the road blocked off. Only for a few minutes, they hollered.
So there I sat, squirming, clad in stocking cap, heavy jacket, fur-lined gloves, and ... underwear!
I supposed my eyes were darting in every direction looking for a way out before disaster. At any rate, my gaze finally came to rest on the gas gauge, the needle of which as on "E"! In fact, it was a tad left of "E"!
"How ironic," I thought. "The car's tank is all but empty, and my own personal tank is about to overflow!"
Now I was really desperate! Watching the firemen squirt water all over wasn't helping my condition either!
I made up my mind that I was either going to have to ram the fire trucks and make a break for it or drive around the trucks through a cornfield and, if it could get up enough speed, make a "Dukes-of-Hazzard-jump" over the creek.
Then, just as I decided to get out of the car and run to the woods beyond, the fire trucks moved, and I was on my way!
Just in time, tool. I knew most of the firemen and they knew me as a respected school teacher. It would have been hard to maintain my decorum while running barefoot in my underwear through snow, flush, and fire hoses!
Well, to make a long story short, (which is impossible now), I made it home in time. I'm afraid I may have exceeded the speed limit a bit. Mario would never have kept up. I always drive fast when I'm really low on gas so I can get to my destination before I run out. You do that, too, don't you?
I went back to the plantation about a week later to get my tree only to find someone got there before me and took my tree, tag and all. My second choice as gone, too.
The next day, I went into the city and bought a tree, I still have it. It's not spruce, nor pine, nor fir. It is plastic!
So, I've modified the old Christmas tradition somewhat. Now I go down to the basement each December and harvest my Christmas tree from a cardboard box. There's a restroom just a few steps away, and you know, my feet hardly ever get cold at all!
The following joke was received from my oldest brother, Ernie.
A bear walks into a bar and sits down. He bangs on the bar with his paw and demands a beer.
The bartender approaches and says, "Bartenders don't serve beer to bears in bars in Billings."
The bear, becoming angry, demands again that he be served a beer.
The bartender tells him "Bartenders don't serve beer to belligerent bears in bars in Billings."
The bear, very angry now, says "If you don't serve me a beer, I'm going to eat that lady sitting at the end of the bar."
The bartender says "Sorry, bartenders don't serve beer to bellicose belligerent bears in bars in Billings."
The bear goes to the end of the bar, and as promised, eats the woman. He comes back to his seat and again demands a beer.
The bartender says "Sorry, bartenders don't serve beer to bellicose belligerent bears in bars in Billings that are on drugs."
The bear is shocked and says, "I'm not on drugs."
The bartender says "You are now, that was a barbitchyouate."