LA SALLE MILITARY ACADEMY CLASS OF 1964 4th ANNUAL WINTER REUNION COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA JANUARY 16-19, 2009
The attendance at our annual winter class reunion grew drastically this year.During the MLK/Inaugural holiday weekend, 16 classmates, 12 with spouses or significant others, traveled to Cocoa Beach, FL, for the 4th Annual LSMA Class Reunion.This year, we saw the return of all previous participants except one, plus six new faces.The participants included: John & SueEllen Calderazzo (Bellvue, CO); Gary & Faye O’Donnell (West Palm Beach); Pat & Jackie DeLorenzo (Tampa); Ron & Karen Pabian (Ponte Vedre, FL); Tony & Rosetta LaVeglia (Huntington, NY); Tom & Crystal Duxbury (Davie, FL); Donn & Maureen Githens (Tallahassee); Bob & Nancy Finan (McLean, VA); Ben & Linda Jacobellis (Lavallette, NJ); Frank & Lucille Scarpulla (Boca Raton); Bob Campbell & Sharon (Anchorage, AK); Jay & Cathy Costarino (Indialantic, FL); Rob Donno (Manhasset, NY); John Keenan (North Kingston, RI); John O’Shea (Edwards AFB, CA); and John Connors (Cocoa Beach.)This year, Ed & Norma Spode (Lower Gwynedd, PA) sent regrets based on conflicting commitments, but we hope to see them next January.We were close to getting Chip Coakley (Cleveland), Jeff Haworth (Bluffton, SC), Joe Batthany (Massapequa, LI), and Bob Coppotelli (Staten Island, NY) to make the trip.Bob cancelled at the last minute to deal with a medical condition diagnosed after Christmas.Likewise, Chip has had some medical challenges this year, but hopes to make it next year.Hopefully, they will all find time to get to Cocoa Beach next year for our 5th Annual Winter Reunion.John O’Shea, now employed by NASA, was fully prepared to claim the “longest distance traveled” award until Bob Campbell showed up from Anchorage, Alaska.Even if we had successfully coaxed Luis Conde to come up from the Dominican Republic, Bob still would have won the award (remember Dudack’s Geography class).
A few folks rolled in early, but most arrived Friday, a day that included lunch at the Shark Pit, cocktail hour at the Inn followed by a great dinner at Silvestro’s where the owners and chef paid special attention to our group.The weather was good throughout the weekend, a little too cold for the pool, but a nice respite for everyone who came from the north.An extended continental breakfast was provided by the hotel every morning in the dining room.The participants occupied their time on Saturday with miniature golf, shopping at Ron Jon’s Surf Shop, walking the beach, shipping oranges, kayaking on the Banana River, visiting the zoo, lunch at Milliken’s Reef in Port Canaveral, and other sightseeing activities. As in previous years, we stayed at the Inn At Cocoa Beach where, once again, Innkeeper Karen Sempler gave us a special room rate.She also hosted the entire group (28 of us) for cocktails in her hotel top-floor penthouse from where we had hoped to watch the NASA Communications Satellite launch on Saturday night.After several satellite equipment delays, we moved on to our dinner reservation at Café Margeaux in Old Cocoa Village for a gourmet meal (it finally successfully launched at 9:30pm).
Sunday was filled with more sightseeing, more kayaking, more beach walks, and some driving excursions.The afternoon event was viewing the first of the two play-off games in a private room provided by the hotel followed by a pizza party for the second playoff game for some strident football fans and another great dinner at The Mango Tree for the others.
Most folks made there way home on Monday, but for the stalwarts who stayed, there was one more dinner experience at the Fat Snook (it’s a lot better than it sounds!!)
As always, we did not let the weekend go by without raising a toast to the memory of those classmates, roommates, and old friends who are no longer with us: John Barker, Mike Bernhardt, Louie Catapano, John Dittmaier, Drew Geoly, Bill McCarthy, Larry Molloy, Tim Monahan, Joe Natale, Don Ogilvie, Joe Pastore, and Paul Statham.
Photos of all of the participants and events were memorialized by Faye O’Donnell and Frank Scarpulla.After considerable air-brushing, these pictures will eventually be available for viewing on a website to be provided.The enthusiasm of the participants was noticeable once again when most couples made their advance room reservations for next year as they were checking out.Yearbooks from all four years (1961-1964) were available for trips down memory lane.Storytelling (some embellished, some not) was rampant throughout the weekend.Pat DeLorenzo and Ben Jacobellis were cautious during the storytelling exercises since the statute of limitations has not yet run for some of their activities.For background noise, we had CDs playing the greatest hits of the early 60s.As has happened in the past, several of those attending this year had not seen one another for 45 years.It was a great experience.Our goal for next year is to add at least four more couples who have not participated in the past.Ron Pabian will be reaching out directly to some of those who have indicated a strong desire to play golf on Friday or Saturday at one of the local golf courses.We will also pursue an afternoon or evening cocktail cruise on the river.
For next year’s 5th Annual Winter Class Reunion, we have already confirmed the dates January 15-18, 2010, which is the MLK 3-day holiday weekend.If you need any more information about our plans for next year, send me an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call [h (703) 288-4744; w (202) 307-9707.]