Joe Jordan's Report

From: "Joseph Jordan" <neptp2v@mindspring.com>

       Ed Arnold asked me to give him a report on our 2005, Cort Div 53 reunion, in San Diego, CA, held from Monday, Oct . 24, through Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005.

       Most of us had reservations at the Holiday Inn, on Sports Arena Boulevard. “Tin Can Ted” Hansen, was our host. He did an excellent job of planning, keeping us organized, and guiding us to places of interest, that I will try to recap, as I endeavor to make this report. Thanks Ted, We all appreciate the effort, and softspoken, kindness, that you showed us, throughout the reunion. May your treatments be succesful, and we look forward to seeing you next year in Branson.

       Attending were, Bob and Sarah Bunkall, Flo Contreras, Ted and Milly Hansen, David Jordan, Joe Jordan, Rod Warfield, Al and Jean Read, Leo and Collene Rushia, and their daughter, Victoria Curtis, and Son, Terry, Bill and Bonnie Steele, and son. In addition, Bill and Bonnie had three friends, attend for a short time, and Victoria had friends to attend our banquet. My brother, David, and I, arrived Sunday night, and Ted had posted a sign in the hotel lobby, so we knew we were on the right track.


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       On Monday morning, Ted Hansen met our group, at the Hotel restaurant, called "Bakers Square." We had a great Breakfast. The group then decided a tour the Naval Museum Ship, the USS Midway was in order. She is permanently moored in San Diego. So, the shipmates that had cars, invited us without cars, to ride with them. David and I rode with Flo the entire week. Thanks again Flo. So, we followed Ted down to the USS Midway, and went aboard. There were two elevators, one lifted us to the hangar deck. The Ship furnished earphones and a program, so that we could select a zone # of the Carrier, and listen to a self guided tour explaining the sights, and how they were utilized. There were many planes aboard that had been restored. There were also flight simulators, a ships store, and a snack bar.

       We then rode the other elevator, up to the flight deck. It was interesting to see the planes, arresting cables, catapults, and helicopters on display. There was a cold breeze blowing over the flight deck. Then after the tour, we met in the parking lot, and proceeded to a restaurant named, "Cocos," and had lunch. We were on our own for the rest of the day.

       Tuesday Morning we met at Bakers Square, had breakfast, and decided to visit "Old Town. We wound around impossible routes, till we arrived there, and parked. The Airport is in the center of the city, so to navigate from one place to another, one, most often, has to go around it. Anyway, we arrived at "Old Town" and toured the old buildings there. This is where the first Spanish settled in California. Old Town is an historical site, that is preserved in its original form. It was the first of the many California "Missions” and is denoted as the “Mother of Missions.” I expect that the San Diego Bay, "Mission Bay", was named after these "Missions." The old timers were predominately Catholic. There was also an "Old School" there that was very interesting.

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       Then we met as planned at 2:30 PM, in the parking lot. We proceeded on a long journey, that had me lost. But we ended up at Tom Hams, Lighthouse Restaurant, at a Yacht Club. We were seated in a large dining room, that has a great view of San Diego’s harbor, and Mission Bay. North Island Naval Air Station, was across the way, and the Coronado Bridge, was to our left. We had a good buffet lunch. A Retired Marine Aviator acquaintance of Bill Steeles, had lunch with us. He had attended flight school at Corpus Christie TX. back in the middle 1930s, and was involved in most of the Island campaigns in the Pacific. He also flew F9s in Korea.

       Man, this buffet lunch was first class. A great selection of food. Congrats to whoever brought us there. Didn’t cost an arm or leg either. Then David and I piled in Flo’s car and we took an unintentional tour of the city, darn near out to Sea World, and, at one time, I thought Flo was headed home, as the signs pointed to Los Angeles. But we turned off Interstate 5, and found ourselves in "La Jolla”. Flo told us an interesting story. He said they had dug up people buried there, in pots. Hence the name "La Jolla". Flo is quite a guy. Somehow, after a great sightseeing trip of the countryside, we wound up back at the hotel. I was tired, so David and I, lounged around the hotel room, caught a nap, and then ate dinner at Bakers square.

       Wednesday, we met at Bakers Square for breakfast. Then different people went to different places. Some went back to "Old Town" to ride the bus all day. For $30.00 one can ride the bus all over San Diego, get off, and back on, and wind up back where he or she started. . Some had seen the Maritime Museum exhibits previously, so Flo, David and I, decided to go there. We toured an old sailship, the "Star of India", and a Russian diesel submarine, "Foxtrot", class. It was very interesting. I still have the back ache from crawling through the little round hatches. Then we toured the Ferry Boat "Berkley" museum. Very interesting. They had on display many types of old steam engines, some were "cutaway" so that we could get a better idea how they worked. They also had a display of Navy Aircraft Carriers and Warship models. Then we had a light meal and returned to the hotel. I was exhausted. My diabetes had acted up and my blood sugar had dropped while on the ferry. David noticed it, and told me that I was sweating, and pale as a ghost. It had slipped up on me. I had sugar in my pocket. Took it, and snapped back. Thank you David.

       Thursday, we met at 8:30, as Ted had got us tickets for a harbor cruise starting at 12:30. So we had breakfast at Bakers Square, and proceeded to the "Village". It is a shopping village, for tourists, and especially cruise ship visitors. It is on the waterfront at Mission Bay, and very well kept. One dip of ice cream was $3.59 plus tax. Hey, I can buy a half gallon at home for $3.99. But, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in San Diego, do as the San Diego'ans do? We did, and enjoyed doing it.

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       So, we had a most enjoyable Harbor cruise. It was really two back to back one hour cruises. That way. we got to see the whole Mission Bay, We boarded the cruise boat, just across the way from The USS Midway, made a 90 degree right turn, and headed for Point Loma, and the bay entrance. I cant name all the points of interest, but we went past the airport, past the now extinct Navy recruit training depot, and the USS Neversail, and out to where we could see the ocean, then we turned to port 180 degrees and passed North Island Naval Air Station, battleship row, past Coronado, and the US Navy Seal training base, a hotel that Thomas Edison did the electricity wiring on, sailed under the Coronado 200 foot high bridge, and on around past the Navy shipyard and turned 180 again, and came by many floating drydocks, some "mothballed" Navy Cruisers and other ships, past the USNS Mercy, the hospital ship, that recently was in New Orleans, taking care of Katrina survivors. There were many other Navy ships there. Some being refurbished, while the crew was berthed in a "Living Barge" moored alongside the ship.

       Then as we passed the city, the narrator, told us to think of it as a "tool Box". Sure enough, some of the high rises were shaped like a regular screwdriver tip, one was like a phillips screwdriver tip, and twin buildings were shaped like cigarette lighters. He said that "Sly" Stallone owned the top three floors of one of the high rises. Then we returned to the dock, went back to the hotel ,and met later at 5:30 PM, to proceed to our Banquet. Ted had set up a banquet at a German cuisine restaurant. We had a great meal there. It was "order by menu" style. The menu featured roast pork, snitzel, sauteed shrimp, sauerkraut, and many other items. The food was great. Ted presented gifts to the man that had been on the DE 748 and DE 750 for the longest time. That was great of Ted. He also presented all Shipmates with a Calender, that featured scenes of San Diego. It includes scenes of most of the places we toured.

       After that, Ted passed out pencil and paper to each one and asked us to write down where we would like to meet next year and who would host the 2006 Reunion. So, our group decided that it would be in Branson, Missouri, Bill Steele consented to be our host. Bill and his wife, Bonnie, reside there. The date, and recommended hotel address, will be announced by Bill Steele later. It was suggested that we meet around the first week of October. Then, Shipmate Leo stood, and led us in a cheer for Ted. "Oh he's a jolly good fellow". and he is.

       So, Bill, I will work with you by computer, any way I can be of service. And Shipmates, when Bill sends out the name of the Hotel for us to make reservations, lets all see if we can let Bill know, as early as possible, whether we plan to attend or not. That way, he will have an idea how many to plan for. And, remember, the more, the merrier, so if you know Shipmates, or interested Friends, ask them to come along.

       Goodbyes were then said. A good time was had by all. I enjoyed being with each and every one of you. (I left before getting that hug, Collene, but, I hope to get it next year.)

       And, Rod Warfield, I am so sorry that your old motorcycle wound acted up and that you had to leave early. I wish you well, and let me hear how you are doing. I enjoyed conversing with you.

       And by the way, Al Read has a website for our group anyone is invited to visit. The web address is
www.CortDiv53.org
Thanks Al.   Al requests you send him more information suitable for including on the web site including pictures you may have taken at the reunion.  Visit the web site to see what pictures have already been added.

Best regards to all. See you next year.
Joe