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 President's Corner

Published in the April 2004 Ragged Irregular

As we head into summer and glorious weather in the Great Northwest. I hope to spend less time on duty and more on play- including the gardening that I have talked about doing for the past six months. Our house looks out on a marsh next Tule (Native American for "reed") Lake. We have been blessed with daily visits of more than a dozen of those gorgeous Wood Ducks (shy though they are) in addition to our regular contingent of Mallards, red-wing blackbirds, blue jays, Rufous-sided towhees, juncos, chickadees, sparrows, etc. Even a few early hummingbirds have appeared occasionally. So much for the peace that helps to balance election campaign attacks and terrorist news.

In our 91st BGMA world, your Board helps our quarterly Conference Call on 14 Feb. Since I "forgot" that it was Valentine’s Day. Some of our board members chose "peace in our time at home" over participating and my wife forgave me-sort of- by now. In spite of my poor planning, we had six participants, including four of our elected officers.

Marv Goldberg was good enough to participate from his vacationing spot in Chicago. He updated us on the PX which is now working smoothly and generating significant income for your BGMA- more than replacing the slowly declining income form dues. He has supplied us with an inventory of items and plans to update it periodically.

We discussed ongoing matters, Ace gave his normal excellent Treasure’s report in spite of recent events in his life; take a look at his extensive report elsewhere in The Ragged Irregular and let him know one day how much you appreciate all he does for us. I advised the Board of Jake Howland’s progress in confirming our Roll of Honor as developed by Bud Evers work on which Curly Havelaar based his data and I copied in Turner’s book. Jake believes he has few discrepancies. We discussed the Chino Air show, scheduled for 15-16 May which Jim & Suzi Shepherd are going to sponsor as a Rally Round. I plan to stay a couple of days and talk with management about future 91st participation. Look for details elsewhere in the Ragged Irregular and do plan to attend!

Thanks to input from Ace and Paul Limm, we have a good feel for the possible impact of our overseas memorials by the recent act of Congress; which says the American Battle Monuments may solve any problems we might have had in maintaining the Prop memorial and other Bassingbourn area memorials, I have written to them to explore the matter.

In a related matter, we now have over $4,150 in the Memorial Maintenance Fund with receipt of the royalty check from Turner Pubs for Memoirs of the 91st Bomb Group. We still have copies of the litho of the "Ruhr Valley Raiders" at $85 for the unsigned version or $135 for the autographed one with brochure; proceeds to go to the Memorial Maintenance Fund. They make a great gift to your local library, school, and ROTC or service organization; call me or check your copy of the April or July Ragged Irregulars.

Peter Roberts advises us that the Tower Museum is reopened- though it is on a limited schedule (as always) during the winter. We deeply appreciate their efforts through these recent trying events and look forward to many rewarding visits in the future. Thanks to Paul Limm’s contact with David Crow, we have a nice article about the new Commander of Bassingbourn Barracks to whom I will be writing soon.

We discussed contact with the 91st Space Wing at Minot AFB, ND, and receipt of a history of the 91st from our days to the present which Mike Banta added to the "Ring". We dutifully await word from Col. Owens about how he wants to proceed- though somewhat impatiently. The Base historian has been most helpful. I have corrected the estimate of our combat casualties to "over 800" from a lower figure which he had.

The Reunion 2004 plans are moving along on schedule and information on it will be found on The Front Page of this issue.

Finally, we discussed By Laws revisions to make the BGMA more Board responsive and less an autocratic President’s show. We propose to also regularize broader officer participation. We will publicize them in the July or October Ragged Irregular for vote in November so that you can discuss them with me or any of the other officers at the Reunion, Copies will be available at the Reunion. Elsewhere in the RI, there is an item from the Nomination Committee Chairman, Joe Harlick, encouraging you to consider volunteering to serve as an officer. The more the merrier and it’s good name recognition for two years hence. Ed.