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Newsletter VP-17 Alumni Association Newsletter

(Circa 1963-1969)
Contributed by Bob Ahern Graeagle5@aol.com

December, 2000

FROM:
VP-17 REUNION COMMITTEE
Bob Ahern Graeagle5@aol.com, Chairman

TO:
VP-17 SHIPMATES

SUBJECT:
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW! a.k.a., “THE REUNION BIBLE”

VP-17 REUNION, APRIL 2-4,2001
Naval Post Graduate School
Monterey, CA


1.  As many of you are aware, my search for VP-17 Shipmates began in September 1999. I started with an Internet search, which led me to a Navy Patrol Squadrons site:

http://www.vpnavy.org


2.  That was the start of my journey. Since then my research enabled me to make contact with many of you. I originally started to focus on the years 1962 - 1963, but my outreach gradually expanded and I found people ranging from 1950 to 1995. Along the way I determined that there had never been a Reunion focusing on the time frame of 1963 -1969.

3.  Paul Helland and I began “brainstorming” the idea of Reunion. Based on the responses I received from a great many of you, over the past several months, a Reunion Committee was formed. An asterisk on the Mailing Roster indicates each member of the Committee. Based on those responses, combined with moral and financial support, and their commitment to attend, I have reserved the Quarterdeck Lounge at NPGS, Monterey, CA, for a Reception on Monday, April 2, 2001 and the La Novia Room for Dinner on Wednesday, April 4, 2001. The Reunion will focus on the years 1963 -1969. but invitations will be extended to Shipmates on both ends of that spectrum. The NPGS will be the “hub” for all of our activities and will host all the attendees, including spouses and guests.

4.  Paul Helland has been in the travel business for many years and has provided some very useful information, about airline travel and accommodations, which I will pass on to everyone. It may not be too early to make airline reservations, now. They should be made as soon as possible! The key can be a Saturday night stay over which may reduce your airfare significantly. Accordingly, I would suggest you arrive in the San Francisco - San Jose Area on the Friday or Saturday preceding the reunion and drive to Monterey for the festivities. A rental car is mandatory!

5.  For those who would like to spend some time in San Francisco, before or after Monterey, it can be very expensive. BUT YOU CAN AVOID THE EXPENSIVE HOTELS! If you are eligible (retired USN or USNR), you can join the Marines Memorial Club, just two blocks from Union Square, and obtain rates in the $85 range (surrounding hotels are priced $250-500 per night). Call them at 415-673-667; 1-800-5-MARINE or see their Web Site:

http://www.marineclub.com


It is a fantastic deal!

6.  Some of you had the opportunity to attend the NPGS and are familiar with the local geography. Others may be coming to Monterey for the very first time. From SF0 it will take about 2 hours and about 75 minutes from San Jose International. Driving into the Monterey/NPGS area, imagine a normal intersection, Hwy 1 and Aquajito. The quadrant immediately to your right contains the NPGS. As you enter the intersection and turn left onto Aquajito, the Hilton would be on your right. Driving straight ahead, about 1/3 mile you will find the Hyatt Regency Monterey, on your left up the hill, and if you continue on Aquajito about 1/2 mile, the brand new Navy Lodge is located on your right, just up the hill.

7.  Lodging will be an individual responsibilty!

8.  I am providing some general information about accommodations in the Monterey area. I have tried to list a “range of properties”, yet keep them close to the NPGS. Hotel prices can be all over the place and vary depending upon the season. I make no representation for any hotel rate. You should contact the hotel directly. DO NOT USE 800 numbers for reservations with the large chains. You may not get the best price!

When calling, if you are qualified, ask if they have a “senior rate” for the dates you want. (If still available, the Hyatt will quote you $99, if age 62 or over. The Millennium VP Officer Reunion, in November 2000, quoted a reunion rate of $130 for the Hyatt for people attending their event. In the alternative, if qualified, ask for military/government rates. Or ask for the Airline Pilot rate - you guys know how to do that!

I would strongly urge you to make your reservations now! Your “rates will lock in” and you can always cancel!

HYATT REGENCY *** - (831) 372-1234; Advertised rate $200, Senior rate $99

HILTON MONTEREY *** - (831) 373-6141; Advertised rate for April $99

STAGE COACH LODGE *** - (831) 373-3632; 3A 2P Rate $55-169, 1 Block to Aquajito

MONTEREY BAY LODGE *** - (831) 372-8057; 3A 2P Rate $49-139, Aquajito & Del Monte

MONTEREY FAIRGROUNDS *** - (831) 372-8057; 3A 2P Rate $70-120 TRAVEL LODGE

MUNRAS LODGE *** - (831) 646-9696; 3A Advertised rate for winter $45-55

DOUBLETREE HOTEL *** - (831) 649-4511; Near Wharf; 3A Rate $145- 165

EMBASSY SUITES *** - (831) 393-1115; About 5 mm N to Seaside; 3A Rate $ 145-165

FOR A SECOND HONEYMOON - A REAL TREAT & SPLURGE CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:

HOTEL PACIFIC *** -(831) 373-5700; Downtown Monterey; $ 159-409

TICKLE PINK INN *** -(831) 624-1244; South of Carmel on Hwy 1, next to Highlands Inn; See Web Site (www.ticklepink.com) $239-299

HIGHLANDS INN *** -(831) 624-3801; South of Carmel on Hwy 1; $305-330

9.  For retired USN & USNR there is a wonderful alternative to the aforementioned commercial accommodations, i.e., The NAVY LODGE, which will have been open only one year when we have our reunion. Ordinarily, reservations can only be made 30 days in advance, but I will be the sponsor for a “GROUP RESERVATION” and make it 60 days in advance. The current rate is $58 per night!

In order to make a Group Reservation, I will need to submit a signed “Letter of Understanding” about 70 days in advance. The “Letter” must give the Group Name, the Rank, Name, SSN, and the Address of each person staying in the room.

SIXTY DAYS PRIOR TO APRIL 1st. THE INDIVIDUAL WOULD BE REOUIRED TO CALL AND CONFIRM HIS OWN RESERVATION. BY CREDIT CARD. THE NAVY LODGE WILL HAVE THE LIST I SUBMITTED. ONLY THOSE ON THAT LIST CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OPPORTUNITY. YOU WILL HAVE ONLY SEVEN DAYS TO CONFIRM. YOU SHOULD ALSO CONFIRM THE NAVY LODGE CANCELLATION POLICY WHEN YOU CALL.

THE GROUP RESERVATION WILL BE THE SAME FOR EVERYONE! The first night to be booked will be Sunday, April 1, 2001. Check out will be Thursday, April 5, 2001, a four day reservation, unless you make arrangements to stay longer. IN ORDER FOR THIS TO WORK, YOU MUST PROVIDE ME WITH RANK, NAME, SSN AND ADDRESS OF EACH PERSON WHO WILL STAY IN ROOM. PRIORITY WILL BE GIVEN BY DATE OF YOUR REGISTRATION & REOUEST. THE INFORMATION REQUIRED IS PART OF THE REUNION REGISTRATION FORM.

CALL NAVY LODGE RESERVATIONS: 800-628-9466 OR (831) 372-6133.

CAVEAT -- DO NOT RELY 100 % ON THE NAVY LODGE. THERE MAY NOT BE ENOUGH ROOMS AVAILABLE AT THE TIME OF OUR REUNION. MAKE AN EARLY COMMERCIAL RESERVATION TOO, WHICH YOU CAN CANCEL LATER, WHEN THE NAVY LODGE CONFIRMS YOUR CREDIT CARD RESERVATION.

10.  Many of you have asked about RV Parks. Here is the information for those who wish to drive their Motor Homes to Monterey:

MONTEREY PINES
Adjacent to the NPGS Golf Course, near the Fairgrounds.
Military - Retired USN & USNR
Cost: $12 - full hook-ups
General - Retirees may reserve space 4 months in advance; approximately 3 miles from NPGS
Phone: - (831) 656-4029

LAGUNA SECA RECREATION AREA
Public: Monterey County Facility
Reserve Fee: $3.50
Cost: $22 (seniors over 65 - $20) for water / electric; Dump station available
General: Approximately 9 miles E of NPGS on SR 68
Phone: (831) 558-2267

MARINA DUNES RV PARK
Private: Open to Public
Cost: $34 -$40 All full-hook-ups. Price based on RV size and site location.
General: Approximately 11 miles N of NPGS on SR 1
Phone: (831) 384-6914

CARMEL BY THE RIVER RV PARK
Private: Open to Public
Cost: $45 - Full hook-ups
General - Approximately 11 miles SE of NPGS Off Carmel Valley Road
Phone: - (831) 624-8416

SADDLE MOUNTAIN RECREATION PARK
Private - Open to Public
Cost: $45 - All full hook-ups
General - Approximately 11 miles SE of NPGS Off Carmel Valley Road
Phone: - (831) 624-1617

Each of the above RV Parks is known to be clean and well run.

11.  Paul Helland has volunteered to assist those attending the Reunion, with either airline reservations or hotel accommodations and waive any service fee normally charged. You may call him (or Judy) at 800-521-1322. Just identify yourself, as part of the VP-17 Reunion in Monterey, CA. If you are a 3A member, you can obtain a California Tour Book and plan your own trip, or in the alternative, check with your local travel agent.

12.  The catering department at the NPGS, the Club Del Monte, will be in charge of all of our food and beverage requirements. They offer a variety of functions, including served meals, buffets, and reception cocktail parties. The management and staff of the catering department take pride in making events, such as ours, joyous and memorable.

Some of the contract terms are: A 15% service charge will be added to all food and beverages and a $200 per hour labor charge will be added to the bill for all functions past the five hour time slot. All private parties must have a bartender (they cost $20 per hour each). No outside food or beverages may be brought into the facility, except ceremonial cakes. A guaranteed guest count is due 3 working days prior to the event. A predetermined non-refundable deposit has already been paid. Fifty percent of the bill is due four weeks prior to the date of the function and the final payment is due one week prior to the function. NO CANCELLATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER March 20, 2001.

In order to ensure quality service, complete menu and set up descriptions are required at least six weeks in advance and guaranteed attendance must be specified one week in advance, and cannot decrease thereafter. All prices quoted are considered estimates, due to market fluctuations, until the function is concluded. I have already been instructed to add 10% to current prices to cover inflationary increases in the new menus, which will be printed later this year. The menus will be ala Carte. Accordingly, PAYMENTS for food MUST BE RECEIVED NO LATER than March 1, 2001

On Monday. April 2. 2001 there will be a Reception Cocktail Party, as Julia Child would say, “were fit for peasants, fishermen, housewives and princes”, with a bounty of lavish Hot and Cold Hors D'oeuvres. Then on Wednesday night, there will be a dinner consisting of salad, a choice of Salmon, 12 oz Charbroiled Rib Eye Steak with Cabernet Mushroom sauce, a Vegetarian selection and dessert. All meat items must be cooked the same way; ours will specify “Medium”.

The total food cost to be charged would be $78.00 for each person attending, which will pay for both functions. For ease of accounting and contractual purposes there will not be any allocation of food costs. The $78.00 price shall be the same for everyone.

For comparison purposes, the Millennium VP Officer Reunion, which occurred earlier in November, charged $60 for a dinner at the Hyatt and $30 for a reception for each person attending. The prices being charged by the NPGS caterer, Club Del Monte, appear fair and reasonable when compared to other comparable events.

13.  GOLF TOURNAMENT: We have contracted for a tournament at Rancho Canada, East Course, for 20 players, on Tuesday. April 3. 2001. All VP-17 alumni, spouses and guests are invited to join in the fun. The course is located about 10 minutes south of the NPGS, at the mouth of Carmel Valley, just east of Highway 1. They have an excellent pro shop, restaurant and driving range. The East Course is Rated 68.7, Slope 120, Par 71, at 6109 yards off the Blue Tees and 69.4 / 114, and Par 72 at 5267 yards off the Red Tees. We are indebted to Chuck Wenger for arranging this tournament.

In order to provide exceptional putting surfaces to all golfers on Rancho Canada's golf courses, only non-metal “S0FT SPIKES” will be permitted. Rental clubs are available. Prizes will be awarded for closest to the pin on par three holes.

The first group will tee off at 0730, which ensures everyone will be able to go on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Group Tour at 1400, or participate in other activities that afternoon.

The cost will be $85 per player, which includes 1/2 cart. Payment will be by separate check, which will not be deposited until we get the required number of players. In case of a cancellation the checks will be destroyed and this will avoid the necessity of a refund. We are contractually obligated to provide a preliminary count 60 days prior to the event and a definite player count 14 days before the event. Accordingly. payment for golf must be received not later than March 1. 2001.

14.  Some of you have asked about the Pebble Beach Golf Links. It is both beautiful and tough! A once in a lifetime experience. If you call now for a weekday starting time, on one of the days of our Reunion, you would have a good chance of getting a starting time for a single or a twosome in the morning and a foursome in the afternoon. Your opportunities are enhanced if you stay at the Lodge at Pebble Beach. Currently green fees are $350 with cart (caddy extra). Call 831-624-6611 for more information.

15.  Chuck Wenger has also arranged a Group Tour of the now world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. The rate next year will be $13 each. We must finalize our count three weeks before the tour. Everyone must arrive at the same time. The group will enter the Aquarium at 1400 on Tuesday. Allow approximately two hours to complete a tour. After the group entry, you will have in and out privileges. Guided tours are also available for groups of 10 or more and cost $75 for the guide. The Aquarium closes at 1800.

Accordingly. payment must be received not later than March 1. 2001.

16.  On Tuesday, April 3rd “All Hands” will muster for a Happy Hour, at the Trident Room. Herrmann Hall. at 1600 hours.

17.  We are working on presentations by the Faculty of the Naval Post Graduate School.

This information will be included in your Welcome Packet which will be provided when you check-in. Check in at the NPGS Quarterdeck, Monday, April 2, 2000, between 1200 - 1500 hours.

18.  Obviously, this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity. the chance to renew old friendships and catch up on those forgotten Christmas cards. And, have a wonderful vacation at the same time. Monterey is one of the most beautiful places in the world! Some of the things it has to offer are: The now world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium; Cannery Row, made famous by John Steinbeck and the Steinbeck Museum which is only a short drive away in Salinas. Whale watching, Wine tasting and an abundance of Carmel Art Galleries. There are so many outstanding restaurants you could eat out every night for a month and still not satisfy all your discerning and diverse tastes. Shopping could consume several days. The beauty and grandeur of the California coast and Big Sur and the view from Nepenthe are without equal. Seventeen-mile drive - see how the rich live!

Sailing from the NPGS Bluewater Cove Marina, located at the Coast Guard Pier in historic downtown Monterey. For more information call the boathouse at 831-656-2159. The fleet, consisting of nine sailboats, ranges from a 22ft Capri, to 3Oft Shields and a Buccaneer. And lastly, the Monterey Navy Flying Club located at the Monterey Airport. For more information call the Navy Hying Club at 831-371-7033. Both the sailing and the aircraft rentals are available to military retirees and DOD employees. Call early and check the details.

19.  This Reunion will become the standard for future such events, a class act that you will be proud of having attended with your wife or guest. It will be an occasion, which will provide wonderful memories during many cold winters.

20.  UNIFORM OF THE DAY: For both the Reception and the Dinner will be sport coat and tie for gentleman and cocktail dresses for ladies.

21.  I need the assistance of every one who reads this material. Please look over the “Lost Souls” list and if you know the location of any of those shipmates send me their addresses ASAP, which will allow me to mail invitations to them too. And also add them to our database.

22.  You will also have the opportunity to read all of this material on the Web site for Navy Patrol Squadrons:

http://www.vpnavy.org


And more specifically, the “specialized pages” contained therein:

http://www.vpnavy.org/vpnewsletters.html


The Web posting is a result of the generosity of Nevins Frankel, who runs the site from Waldorf, MD. His explanation for providing the Reunion listing,”.., you guys made VPNAVY possible.., thanks for keeping the history alive. Good Hunting!” Thank you Nevins!

23.  THE CUT-OFF DATE, FOR RECEIPT OF ALL PAYMENTS. MUST BE NO LATER THAN FRIDAY. MARCH 1.2001, IN ORDER TO MEET CONTRACTURAL OBLIGATIONS. YOUR COOPERATION WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. WALK-IN'S CANNOT BE ACCOMODATED.

24.  In order to cover the costs of printing, postage, copy services, preparation of a Bio Book, Alumni Roster, related costs and to enhance the quality of the reunion, a Registration Fee/Donation of $20.00 is requested. This fee would only be for those who have not yet contributed. Recognition will be given to those who contribute but cannot attend and they will also receive copies of the Bio Book and Alumni Roster. Your generosity will help ensure a successful and memorable reunion.

25.  Whether you can attend or not please fill out the Registration Form and the Bio Book Form on reverse side. Again, Alumni Rosters and Bio Books will be provided to all attendees and those who send a monetary contribution.

26.  I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN MONTEREY!

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