The Armadillo Chapter had a fantastic reunion in Bricktown, OKC, OK the weekend of September 27-29th. 24 adults and 4 children attended including two WWII veterans – Merrill Clark 85C and Hulin Robert 86C. We began the weekend Friday night at Toby Keiths I Love This Bar and Grill for dinner followed by meet and greet at the Hyatt Place Bricktown. On Saturday we toured the Alfred P Murrah bombing site and museum in the morning followed by lunch at the Bricktown Brewery. In the afternoon Michael Gonzales, the curator of the 45th Infantry museum, gave us a most educating tour of this great WWII museum. We had our banquet following the tour at the museum catered by Carinos along with our annual auction. After a business meeting Sunday morning we all departed for our homes. Our next reunion set for New Orleans the last week in January 2020. All are welcome to attend and room space is limited so reserve early! Contact Phebe Davol for more details!
Metro New York
Summary of Metro New York 2019 Activities to Date
Our April luncheon at Prato Trattoria in Carmel Hamlet, N.Y. was a big success and we enjoyed the company of 22 guests including WWII veterans John J. Heller (86-I), Ralph H. Tallmadge (604th F.A. HQ) and their families.
A big highlight also was the 10th Mountain Association’s Annual Reunion at Ft. Drum in June. Our Descendants Board of Directors meeting was held there too at the close of the long weekend on Sunday, 23 June that began with a relaxing reception in Watertown on 20 June followed by a bus tour of the Fort that included the honoring of the 10th’s Fallen (additionally, Gold Star families had gathered earlier in the week), tours by soldiers of their barracks, equipment and historical displays, a winery tour at Thousand Islands, Sackets Harbor (War of 1812 sites), an air show, battle reenactments, statuary and architecture that were all enlightening and most enjoyable events and scenery.
2019 has been a sobering year as well. After losing “original” 10th Mountaineer William J. Duncan (86-A) of Danbury, CT in March, we were further saddened by the sudden death of Anthony J. “Tony” Sileo (85-I) of Bristol, CT only days after the conclusion of the Ft. Drum Reunion. Tony had hoped to make the trip despite some unremarkable ailments not unusual for someone of his advanced years, but he chose to stay home. A postcard to him from me was found in his mailbox just feet from where he had fallen prior to his passing at a nearby hospital. Tony had had a remarkable “run”, leaving us at 96 and my brief friendship with him was rich in quality if not time. Descendant Roger Miller (Dad: Eugene Miller of 87-G) was a particularly special friend of Tony and they hit it off when first meeting at the May 2017 oratorio in Hartford written and composed by the daughters of the late Dr. John K. Meneely, Jr. (87-MED) in his memory. On 7 December 2018, the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Tony was inducted into the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame near the State Capitol. I was proud and honored to attend the event as I was, when early this past spring, Tony was also honored with the U.S. Army’s Infantry Association’s Order of St. Maurice at his hometown library in Bristol.
Later in the summer I had the opportunity to visit Descendant and disabled Vietnam Marine veteran Michael Ricci (Cousin: Prospero “Mike” Cucci of 86-I, KIA) at the Jersey Shore where he directs the non-profit summer program “Operation Beachhead.” Disabled veterans who join (and more recently, now open to anyone who is disabled) are aided and conducted by able-bodied volunteers into the ocean to go surfing, buggy-boarding, kayaking, or to relax in floating chairs. The events are joyous ones judging by my single day in attendance. John Heller, by the way, was a close friend of Michael’s cousin Prospero and was in fact, alongside him when the latter made the Supreme Sacrifice at the Battle of Monte della Torraccia, 23 February 1945 and where John was severely wounded the same day. It’s our fond hope to get John and Michael to finally meet in person.
Others we contacted and visited this year, as perhaps mentioned in the e-mail prior to the April luncheon, are Phil Selleroli of northwest NJ who served with the Cold War era 10th Division (shorn of its “Mountain” designation) (1956-7) and Adam Carbery also of northwest NJ and of the modern 10th Mtn (LI) who served in the Balkans ca.1999. We are very saddened to report that Adam’s wife Devon passed away in July after a very long battle with cancer. She leaves behind two young children.
One last sorrowful item to report and it is the passing of Werner Wolfgang “Chuck” Weiss of 85-L, on 9 September, inst. Rus had the pleasure of conversing with Mr. Weiss several times in the past two years, but a meeting was apparently never meant to be, as long-lasting infirmities kept him indisposed often. He did relate some interesting stories however, one in particular about him and his friend and company mate, the late Earl Norem, famed artist and cover artist for many a 10th Mountain Association magazine and roster. “Chuck’s” life was rich and varied and his love of skiing was legendary. Please see my post on the 10th Mountain Division Descendants and Friends Facebook group page (with obituary and comments about Mr. Weiss’ life). I was honored to be asked to speak at his funeral services at his synagogue in Manhattan on 11 September, a doubly solemn day, of course, especially for New Yorkers who knew him.
In conclusion, there are three more items to relate, one bittersweet but celebratory in spirit and finally, two truly of unalloyed good news. The passing of Charles Minot “Mint” Dole this past July (see original e-mail of 7 August 2019, below) has been followed by a gathering at the First Congregational Church in Old Lyme. CT just this past Sat., the 21st. “Mint” was a passionate member of a singing group called The Dissipated Eight at his alma mater, Middlebury College in Vermont. They are an all-male “a cappella” group co-founded by Mr. Dole in 1952. Members of several graduating classes totaling over 60 vocalists, including the Class of 2023, performed for a sentimental audience of family and friends in a memorial tribute to “Mint”, the son of the 10th Mountain Division’s visionary founder, Charles Minot “Minnie” Dole. It was a fitting and moving event that saw many laughing and crying in fond remembrance. The first “pure” good news is the image attached to the earlier e-mail below sent to recently retired “Blizzard” editor, Ms. F. Hallanan. This e-mail’s news was mistakenly NOT printed in the latest “Blizzard” so here’s an opportunity to catch up. Sydney Williams’ book “Dear Mary” was happily published earlier this year after several years of work and the labor of love included book signings (still ongoing) and one earlier this month by Sydney in his hometown in eastern CT that I was able to attend. The second piece of good news is the prospect of another author of 10th Mountain history possibly favoring us with his presence at our 26 October get-together. The publication of his book is still pending, I believe and….wait….the surprise is a double one and I’ll say no more. PLEASE JOIN US to find out, enjoy good food and drink and share some great company!
Here is contact information for the Metro New York Chapter Director, RUS SALEMI: (Tels. 718-932-5351 or 347-744-0121) or this e-mail address: (firstname.lastname@example.org) and PICCOLO SOGNO: (Tel.718-224-1717).
New England Chapter
March 13-15, 2020: Hannes Schnieder Meister Cup Weekend, Cranmore Resort, North Conway, NH (Contact: email@example.com)
March 14, 2020: 10th Mountain Cup, Cranmore Resort, North Conway, NH (Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rocky Mountain Chapter
10th Mountain Division Ski-In Daze February 26, 2020 through March 5, 2020
Save the Date!! Details to follow soon.