February 2005 Newsletter

Dear Shipmates,

It is hard to believe that it is 2005. The holidays are over and we are in February. There did 2004 go? It seems like we were just at the 4004 reunion in St. Louis. Gerry and I have done some traveling and have completed some construction at our home.

We certainly did enjoy ourselves at the Ship's Reunion held in late May. Bob and Brenda Paulter did a fantastic job in planning and the organization of the reunion. Chaplin John Thomas held a memorial service for the recently deceased shipmates on the banks of the Mississippi River. Bob and Brenda provided a wreath that was set afloat on the river at the end of the service. We had 44 shipmates attending the reunion. Family and friends added 40 for a total of 84.

During the business meeting it was recommended and approved for me to begin a web site. The web site can be accessed at www.ussjohnwthomason.com. (Editors note: The original web address shown here has been superseded with ) I have provided all the information I have for the web site including a list of shipmates that served on the Thomason. I ask each of you to review the data currently on the web site and provide me with any additional information or corrections that you might have. Please send me any items of interest that you may have. I am looking for any pictures of the Thomason and Buck when the Buck rammed the Thomason. I was aboard at the time and had pictures but cannot find them. The web site will require continuous attention and work from all of us. In fact there are several messages that need answering now. If anyone has the information needed please answer the messages. I wish to thank Oscar Boudreaux, the 2008 President, who supplied the pictures of the 2004 Reunion and William (Bill) Busching who supplied many of the names of shipmates who served aboard the Thomason. Oscar has informed me that on his trip to Washington he collected a lot of information that will be added to the web site when it is received. Each of us need to publish any information in the Ship's Log such as death, illnesses, change of address, change of e-mail or general interest items in order that we can all be informed. If we work the web site properly it should be a very useful tool for each of us.

The web site has two methods of communication which are:

1. Chat Room -- this is a chat room where two or more individuals can carry on a conversation by arranging an appointed time and beginning the conversation. This will save telephone expenses.

2. Ship's Log -- this is for posting information or asking/answering questions that have been posted on the Ship's Log.

The web page is in its infant stage as I have had limited time to work on it. It can be improved greatly. My son David is the webmaster and we have spent many hours in developing the site. (Editor's note: Shipmate Bob Soukup has taken over as webmaster.) I wish to thank David and I hope you do also. David can be reached at dshiver(at)eastman(dot)com. Good free labor is hard to find. Remember it is "our" site and I would like to hear from you as to what you would like to have on the site. Please let me know if you have any suggestions as well as if you have any material you would like to put on the site. Refer to the web site for further reunions under Reunion News and Officers.

Our next reunion is being hosted by Steve Petryck. It will be held in Detroit, MI sometime in September, 2006. Steve will start working on the reunion details shortly and will advise us on the web site and by letter when the information is available. If anyone is interested in out regarding the 2006 reunion, please notify Steve Petryck. Activities will commence shortly and I know he would appreciate your dedicated contribution.

Below is the schedule of future reunions.
YEAR PRESIDENT LOCATION DATES

2006 Steve Petryck Detroit, MI September

2008 Oscar Boudreaux Baton Rouge May

2010 Paul Steele Salt Lake City

I would like to thank Ken Bates for supplying the stationary and envelopes which we are using for this letter. This was very helpful and has saved us some bucks.

I am attaching a copy of the treasurer's report and at this time we have a balance of $XX.XX. All bills have been paid with the exception of the cost of mailing this letter.

Fellows, we need the help of each of you to advertise and promote our next reunion. This is one reason that we developed the web page hoping it would promote some interest and camaraderie. Please invite the guys that you know in order that we will have a good group at our next reunion.

T look forward to hearing from each of you and I look forward to seeing everyone in Detroit in 2006.

Sincerely,

Roy Shiver