June 2010 Newsletter

From the President’s Corner
By Paul Steele, Association President


Hope this finds everyone well and in good health!  The time is fast approaching for our 2010 Reunion.  Here is the information again:  Home Port will be in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The dates are as follows: Thursday, Sept. 30th, Friday October 1st, and Saturday October 2nd, with early arrivals coming in on Wednesday Sept. 29th and those wishing to stay longer, Oct. 3rd.  The Hotel will honor the reunion prices for three days before, and three days after the reunion for those wishing to enjoy a longer vacation.

We have a block of rooms reserved, but the Hotel will not hold these after the 28th of June.  Please get your reservations in to the Hotel before this date, as there will be no guarantee of room availability after the 28th of June.

This will also help my wife and me in the final stages of planning the reunion.  The reunion rates for the Shilo Inn will be $98.00 per night with approximately $15.00 tax added on to that.  This rate also includes a complimentary hot American breakfast, free covered parking, complimentary fruit, coffee and cookies in the lobby.  The Hotel is located within walking distance of over 50 restaurants, as well as clubs, theaters, shops, museums, Historic Temple Square, the Genealogy Library, and the Gateway shopping complex.

For those shipmates who might be driving an RV, there are two RV campgrounds close to the Shilo Inn.

They are:

Salt Lake City KOA Campground
1400 West North Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84116 Phone 800-562-9510

Pony Express RV Resort
1012 W. Recreation Way (630 So. Redwood Road) North Salt Lake, UT 84054, Phone: 800-780-0170

For those using the RV campgrounds, or staying elsewhere, free parking passes will be available from the Hotel. Ask for them at the front desk.

We will be having a raffle at our banquet.  We encourage everyone to bring something from their part of the country to be raffled off.  The proceeds from the raffle go into the Association Treasury for seed money for the next reunion.

We will be charging a registration fee of $60.00 for each individual attending the reunion.  The registration fee pays for the Banquet and the Goody bag with coffee cups and various other items.  The Banquet usually takes about half of the registration fee.

For this reunion we are planning a buffet style banquet dinner with beef, chicken, potatoes and gravy, veggies, and dessert.

All shipmates are encouraged to wear their uniform to the banquet Saturday evening.   Also, if you have your name tag lanyards from the last reunion please bring them along.

Entertainment and Tours
On Thursday evening, Olie (Brent Olsen) BTFN Cruise of ’69 and his sidekick Frankie will be entertaining us with music either in the lounge or Hospitality suite.  Also on Thursday, we are checking to see if the world renowned Mormon Tabernacle choir will be practicing.  If they are, we can sit in on the practice and they will honor us with the Navy Song.

We have a tour planned for Friday, the Heber Valley Railroad train ride thru the mountains east of Salt Lake City to see the beautiful fall colors, with a stop in Park City for shopping, site seeing, and lunch on your own.  The price of this tour is $40.00 per person. See the registration form to sign up for this tour.  

On Saturday, we have a short trip planned to the Hill Air Force Base Museum.  The museum is free, but we will have to pay for the bus. We have negotiated a price of $15.00 per person for this tour.  See registration the form to sign up.

For those wanting to stay over on Sunday night, a bus to Wendover, Nevada will be available for those who would like to go to Wendover for a day of gambling.  Let us know on Thursday if you would like to go to Wendover.

Things to do on your own
Located approximately 30 miles south west of downtown Salt Lake, is the Bingham Canyon Copper mine.  One of the largest open pit mines in the world.  It is 2 ¾ miles across and ¾ miles deep. It is indeed an impressive site. We will have maps and information available at registration.

Just two blocks from the Hotel, is the genealogy library where anyone can look up their ancestors or search for long lost relatives.
The Golden Spike Historical site is located about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City.  This is the site where the Central and Pacific railroads met for the completion of the first transcontinental railroad and the site of the driving of the golden spike.

Heritage Park, or better known as the “This is the Place Monument” is just east of downtown at the foot of the mountains.  This is where Brigham Young first stood after coming out of the mountains, and declared the valley as the place the early Mormon pioneers would settle.  There are a lot of unique homemade crafts available.

Association Officers
President: Paul Steele
1020 Gramercy Ave.
Ogden, UT. 84404
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1st Vice President: Howard Barrett
59565 County Rd. 13 S.
Elkhart, IN 46517
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Secretary: Bill Busching
2035 Majestic Pine Ct. NE
Palm Bay, FL    32905
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Treasurer: Jim Kulp
131 River Bend Park
Lancaster, PA   17602
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Please feel free to contact anyone of us with any information about shipmates, or contact me about any information you might need for the 2010 reunion.

Also, please check out our Web Site, at: http://dd760.org   Thanks to Bob Soukup who has done a great job on this site!!!

The following are instructions on how to book your rooms either by the internet or by telephone.  We encourage you to book early as that gives us more time to schedule buses for the tours.

On Line Hotel Reservation Procedure:
Step #1    Log onto web site: http://www.shiloinns.com

Step #2     Enter the Shilo location where you would like: (Salt Lake City) to check availability of rooms or book on line:

Step #3   Enter other information as applicable (check-in date, number of nights, how many adults and children) in the “Check room & availability section.

Step #4   next, enter the Special Rate Code: 092910US (as it read here)

Step #5    Press “Find your Hotel”  

Step #6     The Shilo Inn Suites Hotel, Salt Lake City will appear, press, “Book It”      

Step #7 The USS John W. Thomason preferred group rates will be automatically loaded for your choice on the computer screen.  Click “Book It” to choose and book you desired room type at the indicated costs.

Telephone Hotel Reservations Process:
Contact our Shilo Inn Suites Hotels reservation number at 1-800-222-2244.  Advise the Shilo reservation agents that you are reserving for the USS John W Thomason and they will assist in making your reservation for you.

Association News
Annual Dues
We ask that each shipmate contribute dues of at least $15.00 per year which helps offset the costs of publishing our newsletter, postage, the costs of maintaining the web site, and to provide additional seed money for future reunions.  You are not required to pay dues if you do not wish to. Your address will remain in our files and we will continue to send you a newsletter.  However, if you like what you see and enjoy the newsletter, and the website, we ask that you consider helping out by sending in your dues.  Many of our shipmates send along a few extra dollars with their dues as their way of saying “thanks for the memories.”  Dues can be paid by sending a check to our Treasurer at the following address:

USS John W Thomason Association
ATTN: Mr. James Kulp, Treasurer
131 River Bend Park
Lancaster, PA 17602-1293

E-mail address
Just a reminder, please let us know if you address or e-mail address changes so we can keep our address listing up to date.  Also, we now have over 600 shipmates that we send newsletters to.  This costs approximately $750 per letter for printing costs and postage.  At last check, there were over half of our shipmates who had e-mail address’s, so in the near future we are planning on still  mailing to those who don’t have e-mail, but just e-mailing the letter to those who have an e-mail address.  This will cut our mailing costs by over 50%. Please think about this, and let us know your thoughts.  This will be brought up at our business meeting in Salt Lake City.

Ship’s Store
Included in this newsletter, is a listing of the items we have in our ships store along with an order form.

All shipmates have the opportunity to pre-order items from the USS John W. Thomason’s ship store and pick them up in Salt Lake City at the reunion.   You can save $5.00 off the shipping cost compared to having the items shipped to your home.

The Hunt for “lost” shipmates
The search for lost shipmates still continues, thanks to the efforts of Skip Flippen!!  On the down side, we have found over 100 deceased shipmates since the last reunion.  These will be recognized in a short memorial service on Saturday following our business meeting.

Room Sharing
If you are coming by yourself and wish to share a room, please let us know.  The rooms at the Hotel, I think are as big as the “B” Division compartment, and sharing a bathroom is something we all did.  This is just a suggestion, as the cost of the rooms can be out of reach for some shipmates.

This reunion, we are going to have set hours for the registration and ships store.  This way our wives, who are a tremendous help, will have ample time to shop and do things also.  The hours will be posted at the registration and ship’s store tables.  However, the Hospitality Suite will be open all day and half the night!

Find enclosed a reunion registration form and a ships store order form.  You can register either with the form enclosed or on the web site.  We encourage the web site: http://dd760.org    Click on 2010 Reunion Info, then to registration, hotel, and tours.  Just follow the directions.

Please use the order form for the ships store with the photos on it if you are NOT going to attend the reunion but you wish to order from the ships store.

Important Information
The old http://ussjohnwthomason.com web address will no longer be valid.  Please use http://dd760.org .

The Shilo Inn has free shuttle service from the airport.  The number to call is: 801-521-9500. The wait will be about 15 minutes.

Please hang onto this newsletter, as it might be the last one before the reunion.  The cost to send these out has exceeded $700.  We would like to save the cost of another letter.