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Welcome & Hello to all:  Shipmates, Families, and Friends!!

The May reunion is coming up fast and will be here before you know it.  As I write this little bit, I am looking forward to seeing all of you in Charleston.   I believe we all will have a very enjoyable time there and I for one cannot wait to enjoy the late spring weather.  Our dates this year will be 4-8 May 2019, which should let us use our time off to explore the beauty of the city and its surrounding area.    I want to thank Ken Frost for his time and assistance on the site visit and discussions on tours, hotels etc.   We spent a few days there exploring the area and I think we found a great combination that all will enjoy.  Ken, thank you!! 

Our hotel this year will be: Crowne Plaza Charleston Airport Convention Center, 4831 Tanger Outlet Boulevard, North Charleston, SC 843-744-4422. Please make your reservations on line using the following website:   www.crowneplaza.com/charlestonsc

Once on the reservation page, you will need to put in the code for the Association.  The code is ALB and it will go into the Group Code Box.   If you phone your reservation in, please tell them you are with the USS Albemarle/USNS Corpus Christi Bay Reunion.  Room rates will be $138.00 per night, which includes two full breakfast buffets.  State tax is an additional 14%.  

The Crowne Plaza offers a complimentary shuttle to any location (airport, restaurants, stores, etc) within a three mile radius of the hotel. From the hotel, there is also the North Charleston Area Shuttle, known as NASH, which is a public transportation system that is located at the Fire Museum near our hotel and cost $3.00 per person.  NASH will take you to the airport AND downtown. It drops off at the Charleston Visitors Center downtown. Once dropped of there, you can then use the Downtown Area Shuttle, known as DASH.  DASH is a FREE transportation system to get people around the downtown area.

For anything outside of our hotels three mile radius, the hotel staff is more than happy to set up transportation via cabs or guests can use Uber as well. For local restaurants, please see the following page for locations near the Crowne Plaza. 

Parking at the hotel is FREE!  The Crowne Plaza is within 3 miles of the airport and is located very close to a number of restaurants (see the next page) and a large shopping mall. 

ALL ROOM RATES ARE SUBJECT TO LOCAL SALES TAX OF 14%.  RESERVATIONS MUST BE MADE PRIOR TO 1 APRIL 2019 TO GUARANTEE THIS RATE AND AVAILABLITY.

For our Saturday Early Bird Tour, I think Ken and I found something that is more than a bit unique.  Just outside of Charleston, is the only working tea plantation in the continental United States.  We will start by visiting and touring the Charleston Tea Plantation.  This is a working tea farm, which we値l be touring on their tour bus.  Following the tour, they have a wonderful gift shop to browse and we can even get a look at the production facility.  Afterwards, we値l enjoy a boxed lunch provided by the Plantation.  Loading onto our bus, we値l head back to Charleston.  On our way to Charleston, we will make one quick stop at the Angle Oak.  This huge tree is considered one of, if not the oldest, living tree east of the Mississippi and has been seen on a few resent TV ads.  Arriving in Charleston, we値l get a motor coach tour of the city and, if time permits, we値l get some time to wander the city.  A quick bus ride will follow getting us back to the hotel.

Sunday will kick off the 徹fficial Reunion, though the Hospitality Room will have been open on Saturday.  It will be stocked with snacks and drinks, with plenty of tables & chairs to sit and reminisce with fellow shipmates, family, and friends.  If you wish, bring a snack or two.

Monday, we値l be picked up by bus at the hotel and will head over to Patriots Point.    The 2010 Reunion visited Patriots Point.  However, after Ken and I visited, we both thought that this would still be a great place for our members to see and enjoy lunch.   Patriot痴 Point is home to the World War II aircraft carrier, USS YORKTOWN. It痴 also home to the Patriots Point Museum, the USS Laffey, and USS Clamagore.  It also houses the Cold War Memorial, the only Vietnam Experience Exhibit in the U.S., the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, and the agency's official Medal of Honor Museum.  We will have plenty of time to view all there is to see and have our lunch here also.  Though there is a bit of walking at Patriot痴 Point, they do offer a limited shuttle service with golf carts if needed.  Our day isn稚 done yet.  A quick bus ride will bring us over to the Citadel, where we will hold our Memorial Service at the Citadel痴 Summerall Chapel, where we値l have their organist playing for our service.  Afterwards, our wreath will be laid at the Citadel痴 memorial, next to the Summerall Chapel.  Once done, we値l be heading back to the hotel to enjoy the Hospitality Room.  A little note on our visit:  while visiting the Citadel, Ken and I were able to visit with General Lilley痴 grandson, who is a Professor at the Citadel.

I am planning to have the Board meeting on Monday afternoon, soon after we return from the Citadel.  As we get closer to the dates, I値l let the Board Members know the specifics.  Tuesday, we値l have the business meeting in the morning, followed by open time. 

Our Banquet will begin with a 6pm Social, followed by a 3 entr馥 buffet dinner.  Of course we値l have music to dance to and I致e asked Bruce Binns to again act as our Master of Ceremony for the evening.  Please don稚 forget to bring a small donation for our raffle.  Home made goods are always a favorite, as are gift cards, knick-knacks, or small gifts from the local area. 

Again, enjoy Charleston and the hotel痴 shuttle to get you downtown.  It痴 a very walk able city and our hotel is within a few blocks of a number of interesting spots.  A suggestion is to visit the H.L. Hunley museum.  The Hunley was a Confederate submarine that sunk after an attack on a U.S. Navy warship in 1864, with a loss of all hands.  The wreck was found in 1995 and raised in 2000.  The Hunley and artifacts are on display at the museum.  This was one of the spots that Ken and I visited and were very impressed.  Though there is a bit of walking and, to view the Hunley, a long staircase to climb, it was an extremely interesting place to visit.

In the newsletter, you値l find an Itinerary, Restaurant List, and a Registration Form for the Reunion. Please note that the Registration Form, with check, will be mailed to Darwin Ramker!  Please also note that not only does the hotel need your reservation by 1 April 2019, Darwin and I also need your reservation forms by 1 April 2019.  Please get these in as soon as possible, thank you all.

Pat and I are excited to see all of you in May.  We hope that you値l find Charleston as warm, welcoming, and interesting as Ken and I did.

ASSOCIATION BUSINESS:  This has been a tough year for our membership as we致e lost a few very good gentlemen.  I remind you all that membership is what keeps this Association moving forward.  Yes, we do have a finite number of members, active and potential.  We need those potential members and we need everyone to take on the task of searching for an old shipmate, an old friend, someone we haven稚 talked to or seen in 50 years or so!  When you have the time to daydream about those past years; what names come up, who brings a smile to your thoughts.  Well, how about seeing if you can find just one person from your days on the ship?!?!  You never know what you may find but I can promise, if you don稚 search then you will not find anything!  I have been lucky and found a few and I知 so very glad I did.   The Association By-Laws state that a member not paying dues in two years will be moved to the Inactive Roster and lose all privileges of membership.  However, dues maybe waived due to a financial, medical, or similar hardship.   If any member finds themselves in this type of situation, please contact Ken Frost, Darwin Ramker, or myself.   We all wish to keep our Association membership strong and viable.

Please note that dues are not due until June of each year but the Reunion Registration form is an easy way to pay your dues.

There is good news for those for those of you who are Albemarle I members.  A few years ago, you all were exempted from dues payment so please disregard any notification that you owe dues.  Thank you for your service, your time on the ship, and your dedication to the Association.

See You All in May

Be well and enjoy 

Steve

 

Site lasted updated:  03/04/2019 15:55:31