Monday, November 12, 2012

Exploring West Point

Now that my travels are over for a bit and my scrapbooking is caught up, I think I will update you with what I have been up to the past few weeks. 

Reunion schedules end up being pretty predictable now that I have been to three of them.  Friday is always reserved for walk around time at the academy, a memorial service, and two class meetings--one taking care of class business and one to update the alumni on the state of the academy by the Superintendent, the Commandant and the Dean.  Then we head back to the hotel and have dinner together.

We took the early buses into West Point with our friends, Rob and Mindy Croskey and Fred and Mary Shambach.  Rob and Fred were in Bill's company and they were roommates.  Fred and Mary just got married in May and it was our first time meeting her.  We were so pleased to see Fred happy again and with such a wonderful woman.  So we set out exploring.

 Most of the places are familiar to all of us but it was all new to Mary.  We went down to Kosciuszko's Garden which was built in 1778, Flirtation Walk, Trophy Point, and various other monuments and locations.

 I love the look of Central Area at the academy.  Everything is built with military Gothic architecture in mind--gray granite, arches, and other castle like features. 

 And there are monuments and plaques at every turn.  We found a lot of ones we had never seen before on this trip--and they have been there for 11 years--on every other reunion trip we have been there for.  We have just never gotten that far down the street the other times. 

 And we were so pleased that the autumn leaves were still there for us to see.
 The new location that we were excited to see was the new library.  It was built in 2008--since the last time we were there.  It is a beautiful facility.  It is a mini-museum with some museum quality pieces from Thomas Jefferson, Omar Bradley, and Alexander Haig.  And also has an art gallery.  The views from the study areas and six floor patio are spectacular looking out onto the Plain and the Hudson River.

 Every time Bill and Fred get together, they have to reminisce about the time they almost killed each other over Bill's Patton poster.  Fred hid it so Bill hid Fred's textbooks--which he needed a lot more than Bill needed his poster.  They did a little reenactment for me so I could document it in my scrapbook.

 At the class meeting, our friend, Steve Croskrey announced that the class had raised $1.3 million to donate to the Superintendent's Endowment Fund.  In turn, the stage in Eisenhower Hall is now called the Class of 1982 Stage.
 Now it is back to the hotel to party.  All the women grads got together to get their picture taken.  And I took the picture of Debbie Hinton-Pawlowski and Margaret Burcham together.  They were in Bill's company.  I admire all these women so much.  They were not the first class of women at West Point but they came two years later so they endured the same struggles in trying to assimilate in to a traditionally all male school.  The guys were hard on them and isolated themselves from them a lot so it wasn't easy being there.  I remember watching the movie "Women at West Point" when I was in high school.  It was about the first class and a lot of the cadets were extras in the movie--including Bill.  He was in a parade scene.  Margaret was just promoted to Brigadier General so she has done the class and the company proud.

 The rest of the pictures are mostly from the Friday night dinner but also other parts of the weekend when I could manage to take their picture.
 I love going to the reunions because not only are they fun for Bill to reconnect with his classmates, friends and comrades, it is fun for me as well.  I have gotten to know many of his classmates and their spouses over the years in various ways--mostly from when we were stationed together.  And have enjoyed meeting the others at the reunions as well.

 So we had three days of wonderful times remembering old times and catching up with what is new.
Can't wait for 2017 so that we can see them again!


  1. Wow, Shannon! That's an impressive batch of layouts! You really covered all of the festivities, the architecture, the monuments, the women, even some modest hijinks! I'm very impressed that you created such a wonderful body of work. I hope this is going into a bound book! Great photos, too!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.