Sunday, September 08, 2013

Bittersweet Reunion

Farragut Navy reunion was a bittersweet experience as those that still survived from Worth War Two become fewer each year.

Brightening this year was Spokesman-Review photographer, Hawaiian, Jesse Tinsley who performed with his ukulele and sang Hawaiian songs. Most of the naval veterans served in the Pacific and either were stationed in the Islands or listened to the haunting Hawaiian tunes over short wave radio as they plowed through the water in search of the Japanese that had attacked Pearl Harbor without warning December 7, i941.

The bitter was the loss of several long time attendees from previous years. Al Sweetman, a favorite of all passed away since last year's event. He and Gene Cooper were fixtures at the flag raising ceremony. Sadly, Gene suffered a debilitating stroke and his wife, Lorraine, also a loyal member of the group, became blind.

Even so, several Farragut Vets, still hanging in there at age 90 plus, were in attendance.

L-R Gene Cooper, Al Sweetman and Park Ranger Errin Bair, circa 2010, who in attempting a eulogy for Sweetman, broke into tears and needed assistance from Ranger Dennis who read it for her. Al Sweetman was very special to Errin and for that matter many others. R.I.P, pal.

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