LCDR Brian D. Perkins
280 Bahama Blvd.
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
(h) 407-868-1897 (w) (407) 853-7176/7
e-mail: perk81@aol.com
Class of '81 homepage: http://members.tripod.com/~USCGA81

One of the responsibilities of this job is passing on the sad news as well as the happy, and unfortunately, a shipís schedule doesnít always allow for the timely passing of information.

As many of you know by now, Connor Hill lost his battle with leukemia on the 27th of January. Dave and Claire Hill kept those of us on the "Connor Network News" continually updated on Connorís valiant fight for life. For such a little guy, he stood tall until the end, an inspiration to those of us who are supposedly "older and tougher."

Dave called me with the news the night before I got underway for my last patrol, too late for me to pass this information along through the column. Many classmates, their families, and friends were able to attend Connorís service, and Annie and I were there in spirit. Dave and Claire asked me to pass on a thanks to all the members of Class of í81 for their support during this long and painful ordeal, and I know all of us wish them the very best in days to come.

Mike Farrell got the ball rolling on a class memorial donation in Connorís name. Mary Ellen Collela, our class treasurer, has been collecting donations from the class for this. I believe there is still time to send donations. If you choose to do so, you may send your donation to Mary Ellen (30 Devonshire Rd., Gales Ferry, CT 06335-1110). Make your check payable to the Class of í81 and mark it for the "Connor Hill Memorial." Weíll update you on the results in the next issue.

This is not the first time that our class has seen such sadness, and I wish it could be the last. It would be great if we could continue to rally as a class if something like this happens again. I regret that we have not always been able to do so in the past. We wonít let that happen again..

On to happier news. Scott Eichelman sends that heís gotten hooked on marathons and now runs farther than the fridge for a beer! He says it is his way of raising funds for the Leukemia Society of America.

Because last patrol came at a tough time and was a bit long, Iím still catching up on news and sorting through notes and e-mail. One note from "BJS" announced the birth of Kaitlin Marie born at 0814 on 05 Jan 98 (8 lbs, 20 in.). Now unless I miss my guess, her last name would be Suchanek. Congratulations Bradley and Laura! I still have Zacharyís photo and Iím holding it hostage until I get Kaitlinís. (Just kidding, class, but please donít send me photos you canít live withoutÖI move frequently and travel extensively. I will try hard to return photos, but Speedy Delivery I ainít.)

Steve and Evelyn Minutolo dropped a line from Barbados! Very cool. They like it a lot and welcome classmates to visit (Iím trying, Iím tryingÖ). The kids are in a local Catholic school and Evelyn manages the nearby Commissary. They spend free time (lets see, that would be several minutes a yearÖ) hiking and scuba diving.

Jon Tingley also sent a note. He and Sue moved back from Hong Kong last fall and are now in their old house in New Jersey. Heís still with AT&T selling globes wholesaleÖor in charge of selling service to/from other US carriers and offshore phone companies (oops, there goes my future job with AT&TÖ). Sue and the girls are doing well, the family enjoys the increased space, and all have mixed feelings about leaving Hong Kong. He says drop-ins are welcome, gang, so letís all meet at Jonís house this weekend! Jon, whatís your address? I canít seem to find it here in the e-mail!

While I was underway, guess who I heard from, albeit indirectly? Maryanne Ruckes Watson! Her husband, CDR Mark Watson, is CO of VIGOROUS and I came up to speed on important info during a February strategy meeting on VIGILANT. They have three children now and live in Cape May, NJ. Hi, Maryanne!

Sly Y (Tim Youmans) met up with our Mountain Correspondent, Geoff Beausoleil, in Idaho recently, ostensibly for business, and as Dapper put it, "We didnít get into too much trouble, or at least didnít get caught." The festivities apparently involved beers and Mexican food followed by skiing, partying, and elk eating. After enjoying this western hospitality, Tim headed for San Diego for a trade show (swilling beers with Blinky/Dave Dunlevy). Our source says Slyís two kids qualified for Eastern Regionals in swimming but Iím waiting for the exact facts before I publish anything.

Our European Correspondent, Lance Bardo, checked in with a quick report just before he, Beth, and the kids zoomed off to tour Belgium and the Netherlands for a week. Lance has had a busy time of it with his recent travels to Africa and back and forth across the Pond. He is learning the ins and outs of geopolitics - makes him miss sea duty even more!.

Now comes the groveling part. These last two photos are from a mini-reunion held twenty years after the day Class of í81 reported to CGA. Astute classmates will recognize that some delay has occurred between when one or more letters may or may not have arrived at my house and this publishing date. Excuses for this possible delay will be posted separately and will come under the general theme of the first sentence in this paragraph. Sorry, Denise and Paul. In attendance were Denise Smith Carpentier, Jim Howe, Gary Fellicetti, Steve Minutolo, Will DuPriest, Jay Manik, Steve Duca, John Yaeger, Rich Rendon, and Paul Hansen and their wonderful families. Jay and Lori Manik hosted this party in Chesapeake, VirginiaÖexcellent!

As I said, I just recently returned from patrol (here's a picture of me in Aruba as proof - hey, I warned you to send photos of your own) and soon will be banished ashore. The old address is good for now and weíll keep you posted. One more patrol and then it's off to G-OCU. Casa Fiesta will pass into the hands of another snowbird. If anyone has a good lead on a house in Annapolis, let me know. Annie and the kids are looking forward to being back in lacrosse country. So am I. Did I mention SAILING?

Keep those notes, photos, and letters coming folks. Your underpaid correspondent will eventually publish them. And, as the Great Philosopher says, "Please donít say manana if you donít mean it!"

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