Charleston SC - Reunion 1998
By Ken Hill, LCDR, UNSR-R
The 1998 reunion of the USS/USCGC Lansing convened on October 22, 1998, in Charleston SC. As has increasingly become the norm for our reunions, people began to gather a couple of days early. These early arrivals permit a more relaxed check-in at the hotel, as well as the opportunity for small groups to get together to socialize and/or take trips outside of those planned by the reunion. I wish to take this opportunity to squash the rumor that a van-load of former officers of the Lansing and some of their spouses had a discussion with the police in Savannah GA, concerning their driving habits. Besides , it was all Ken McKinney’s fault!
The first event of the reunion was a trip on Thursday, the 22nd, to Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor, the site of the beginning of the Civil War. It is about a 35 minute boat ride to the site. As usual, the National Park Service has done an outstanding job in maintaining and explaining the importance of the site. If you area Civil War buff, it was a memorable trip. The only glitch was the wind blowing like crazy, but for the veterans of the North Pacific, it was nothing.
That evening, the annual reception was held at the hotel. This is always a highlight of the reunion where we renew old acquaintances and reminisce over an impressive display of old photographs and artifacts from the Lansing. I renewed friendships with people that I had not seen in over 36 years, and I am sure that I am not unique. The years seemed to melt away in a moment. It was a most enjoyable evening.
Friday morning, we headed to Patriots’ Point where the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-10), the submarine USS Clamagore (SS-343), the destroyer USS Laffey (DD-724) and the Coast Guard Cutter USCG Ingham (WHEC-35) are permanent exhibits. Again, the wind was blowing hard across the flight deck. After touring the exhibits, and lunch at the local gedunk stand, we headed back to the hotel for our group photo, which has been featuring a growing number of smiling faces each year.
While the men held the annual business meeting, the women held a gift exchange, organized by Myrtle England. This is the first time the women have held a separate function at reunion, and it went very well. Well Done, Myrtle! The ladies are looking forward to repeating this next year.
At the business meeting it was voted to keep dues at their present level, $20.00 for full members and $10.00 for associate members. It was also decided that the next reunion would be held October 21-24, 1999, in New Orleans LA. (Terry has already booked a hotel and you will be receiving details shortly.)
Friday evening featured a delightful dinner cruise around Charleston Harbor. The food was excellent as was the company and the music. Needless to say, Charleston Harbor at night is a sight to remember.
Saturday featured a tour of Boone Plantation and the City of Charleston. The afternoon and evening were free time. Most got together in small groups to tell sea stories.
Sunday morning the reunion ended with a breakfast buffet and a memorial service in honor of our shipmates who passed away in the past year. All too quickly, the time came to go our separate ways.
We are looking forward to seeing you all in New Orleans next year.
Extracted from the USS / USCGC Lansing news letter ‘Lansing Vigilance’ Volume 3, Issue 2 December 1998