News Update

Last updated:  Saturday, September 25, 1999   

Hurricane Floyd visited the site of the 17th annual Coast Guard reunion on September 16, 1999 but, as is well known, the tenacity and endurance of the reunion attendees could not be swayed.  Although starting late, the reunion continued and a good time was had by all.

Below are accounts as emailed to me:

Frances Roberts writes:

Floyd was NOT a gentleman.  Although he didn't threaten Noble and me, he caused us inconvenience.  Trees were across the highway; at one point we followed big trucks down the wrong lane to avoid them.  Also we drove a short distance through water streaming across the highway.  Then when we were within 30 miles of our destination we were turned back because of major flooding and advised to get a motel and wait out the storm, which was about to arrive full force in Chesapeake.  Motels were full of evacuees from North Carolina (and probably Chesapeake), so we decided to approach from the north--in other words, meet the hurricane head on.  We agreed we weren't being very smart, but we knew the Casons, Art and Millie, the Davids and Bob and Mary were already there and we were determined to join them.  So we drove up to Richmond and took I-64.  At Williamsburg traffic was stopped and parked up and down the shoulders.  We finally gave up and stayed in a motel there Thursday night--with no electricity.  A lady with a cell phone in a nearby room called the Holiday Inn for us and we cancelled our room for that night.

The heavy rain had already fallen in the area before we arrived, and the wind wasn't as strong as expected.  In fact, Art was disappointed that after traveling that far to see a hurricane, it wasn't worth having a party for.  So when we started out on Friday morning, we expected to join the gang by nine a.m.  We weren't expecting a detour.  Our third attempt at an approach worked, though, and we had registered by 10:30, 24 hours late.  Ray Carter came in at noon.  Treva Cobb and her daughter, Linda, met us at the Coast Guard station we visited that afternoon.

The visit to Camp Bradford had to be cancelled on account of Floyd, but we went to Virginia Beach Saturday to go through a nice Coast Guard lighthouse museum on the beach and to walk along the boardwalk and enjoy seeing part of an airshow--precision flying that made us catch our breath at times.

The McGees decided not to come, and Ken and Marge, who were expected, didn't show up.  Russo was not there, and Wil and Eleanor were not heard from.   Wanda called to say she had broken her wrist; apparently she had meant to be there. But Herb and June Southgate were there and we all enjoyed them.  Alston White, who was at last year's reunion, came, too, and I enjoyed getting acquainted with him.

I know everyone was having a good time because we stayed in the hospitality room until nearly midnight on Saturday night.  Treva and Linda invited Ray and Noble and me to Linda's house for breakfast the next morning, which was a pleasant time.  They wanted Noble to show them how to get to the LST 793 site.  He'll write to you soon as a follow up to that and give you information about the business of the reunion.  I'll tell you, though, that the men (and ladies)  really liked the idea of going to Lafayette next year.

Noble writes:

When we went to Little Creek Coast Guard Station, a young crewman took us (LST 793 crew and ladies) into the communication room at the beginning of the tour. The young man on duty, at Noble's request, found our website on their computer, and it attracted a number of the coasties on duty.  Of course some of our men and women had not seen it, either, and everyone was gathered about looking at it.  Herb Southgate's name came up first, and he was thrilled.  He said, "My name was the last one in, how could it be the first one I see?"  When we came back through the building after looking at the various ships, the men on duty were still standing at the computer and reading the information.  A young lieutenant j. g., captain of a brand new 87 foot rescue vessel, who had been talking with Noble on the dock, asked him for the website address and for his name. Noble had also had the computer operator link with another LST site so he could see how much better ours was.


The year 2000 reunion will be held in Lafayette, Louisiana either the 2nd or 3rd weekend of September.  It will be hosted by Rita and Kathy Rhodes.

Don't forget the mini-reunion in Clearwater Beach, FL sometime in March, 2000.