9th USS Perry
Highlights - Philadelphia
Just don't know where to begin with this spectacular
reunion. The planning of all our events went exactly according
to Hoyle and were interesting and fun doing. The Loews Hotel
and staff treated us like Kings and Queens even while the Green
Bay Packers were in the Hotel's limelight. Yes, the Packers stayed
at the Loews and autographed a lot of memorabilia for Loews guest.
Actually all NFL visiting teams stay at the Hotel. That in its
self tells you about the quality of the hotel. Yes, all our rooms
were beautiful and the weather throughout our Reunion cooperated
fully. It just doesn't get any better.
Philly is just a magnificent City and the Loews
Hotel was right in the heart of the city within and easy walk
to just about everything. While Philly is clearly very cosmopolitan,
the city continues to retain its small town flavor of warmth
and friendliness. It's no wonder Philly is known as the city
of brotherly love. More importantly, it's the city where our
nation began and has an unparallel history. While our tours of
the city didn't entitle us to History degrees, we now have a
far better understanding of our Nations History and true respect
for the wisdom of our Founding Fathers.
Just a few comments from some of our shipmates
that says it all.
· Just got home. What a great job you guys did for
us Perry vets. I was blown away and Lil had great time too. I'll
be keeping in touch. Carey
· We really enjoyed seeing you and all the Perry
family again. We had a GREAT time and thank you and the committee
for all your hard work. Looking forward to seeing you at the
· We had a magnificent time, the best reunion ever.
(Branson was also a top notch choice) Thank you and your committee
so much for all the work that was done; I know it had to be huge.
God bless and we will see you next year. Ernie
· This was the best one yet. Hope all is well with
both of you and looking forward to the next reunion. James
· I just want you to know how much we enjoyed the
reunion. It was our first visit to Philly. I had no idea how
much history they had right downtown. The hotel and its location
could not have been better. We both would like to thank you,
Martin, and everyone else who took the time and effort to make
this a great reunion. Again, we we appreciate all the work that
goes into putting a reunion like this one together. Thanks
again ..... Jack & Virginia
· Thanks for keeping after me and getting
me to my first reunion. It suprised me but I remembered all my
old shipmates. The reunion was teriffic and my hat is off to
everyone for making it happen. See you at the next one. Bravo
Wednesday 9/8/10 - The arrival of deck hands Bob Hales, Martin
Deeney and Seve Silk insured fair winds for our reunion and smooth
sailing all the way for another great reunion and 'Cruise Down
Should you be looking for a special
photo check out www.ussperryreunions.shutterfly.com Our Ship's photographer Mary Sittnick has taken
many great photos and posted them to this site. If you have a
problem logging into the site or setting up an account Mary can
be contacted at. firstname.lastname@example.org
Click this link to view the Perry's Reunion
Thursday 9/9/10 - As our shipmates arrived for the reunion
and gathered at our hospitality room to share sea stories and
a libation or two. We had a keg of Pennsylvania Yuengling beer,
assorted snacks and other refreshments ready for their enjoyment.
Did you know that Yuengling is Americas oldest brewery? It was
started in 1829 and still going strong. Now with its national
distribution Yuengling has become a favorite of many Americans
We kicked off our reunion with cocktail party on the 33rd floor
of the hotel sponsored by our Association. Between the friendship
and spectacular view overlooking the city we could have stayed
and partied the entire night. However, like all good things that
come to an end, we were off to Joe Pesce for a fine dinner. It
was a neat experience to have the entire restaurant of Joe Pesce
entirely for our group. After a few hours of some chow and grog
it was back to our hospitality room for more sea stories. As
we began to run out of gas, one by one we snuck out for our bunks
and much needed rest.
Click here to check out our slide shows
Friday 9/10/10 - We all mustered at the hospitality room to discuss
yesterdays events and enjoy some Starbucks coffee, bagels and
assorted pastries. For some needing something more substantial,
they had a full breakfast at the hotel or enjoyed an Amish breakfast
at the Reading Terminal Market just across the street. The market
is a very interesting place, it is fully enclosed and covers
a city block or more with hundreds of stores and numerous eateries
to satisfy every pallet. Here you will find a great Philly Cheese
Steak sandwich or a delicious ice cream cone by Bassett, Americas
oldest ice cream company.
After breakfast we boarded these cute
trolley cars and enjoyed a narrated tour of Philly with stops
at various historical sites. We then lunched on our own and went
back to the our hospitality room sea stories or plain old R&R.
The more adventurous went out to explore the city. Philly has
so much to off there just isn't time enough to take it all in
within the short time of our reunion.
Most everyone opted to take the Spirit
of Philadelphia Dinner Cruise. I can truly say the shipmates
opting for dinner on their own truly missed a great and fun filled
time. The dinner and service was excellent. I can't say enough
about entertainment. The ships crew put on fabulous show and
then came the armature show. The Perry crew had the best seats
aboard the ship. We were very near the stage and could enjoy
Then the real fun began with each table
being assigned a Captain by luck of the draw. In our case Joe
Jurewicz became our Captain and his job was to ensure our tables
participation in the festivities. Boy do you learn a lot about
someone when you're partying. Over the years Joe has told me
numerous times of his difficulty walking. What I couldn't understand
is he had no difficulty leading the Conga line all over the ship.
No mistake about it, table Captain Joe was the leader of the
Then it was dancing with the Perry stars.
The competition was fierce between the finalist; Deeneys, Flanagans,
Klingers, Archers, Bennetts, Moritzs and Moores. The judges stated
each couple was within a hundredth of a point of each other with
exception to Shaun Flanagan. 'Swivel Hips' Shaun was the only
contestant dancing with three ladies simultaneously. For a moment
I thought Joy had lost her son to a very exotic young lady who
very much liked his moves. I believe the evidence is in our Spirit
Cruise slide show. I'm sure we all slept well that night.
Saturday 9/11/10 - The Battleship New Jersey.
While we have visited many ships at our reunions, this is the
first time we actually had a guided tour of a ship. I think we
were all pleasantly surprised with the tour and got much more
out of the tour than we would have expected. Did you know the
New Jersey was the most decorated military ship? Did you know
one 16"gun and turret weighs almost as much as the Perry?
Did you know when firing the guns broadside the entire ship moved
back 3 feet? I know what you're thinking, what a smart you know
what a_ _.
What could be more appropriate than to have our Memorial Service
on 9/11 of our 9th reunion? We began our service by remembering
all the shipmates we lost since our last reunion. Sid Brown read
the names as Carey Moore rang our ship's bell in their honor.
We then wished them farewell and smooth sailing with Jim Archer
throwing a floral wreath overboard. As we watched the wreath
sail away we said our farewells and knew they will be 'gone but
As always, Master Chief Mike Vanderschaaf and his honor guard
did a superb job executing the flag folding ceremony. This service
was especially dear to Cathy and myself as we became the recipients
of the flags for the loss of our son Chris and granddaughter
Brittany. While a bittersweet ceremony for us, the flags and
thoughts behind the event will remain forever in our hearts.
We then sat back for lunch and enjoyed a great USO 40's Show.
Three (real) sisters, dressed in military garb of the times put
on an Andrew Sister review show and sang all the wonderful old
tunes that we know so well. They were just wonderful.
check out our reunion slide show
Sunday 9/12/10 - We had the morning to ourselves to Worship or
see a bit more of Philly using our free hop on hop off Trolley
pass. The hop on hop off Trolley is a narrated tour allowing
you get off or on at any of the 20 historical site stops. Many
of our shipmates did the Trolley to go to specific sites where
they wished to spend more time. At 1pm we had passes to take
a tour of Independence Hall where the Constitution was written
and where lawyers from opposing sides shared tables and law books.
Early on there was no centralized monetary system or system of
defense. Debates were bitter over having a strong central government
but the checks and balances provided by three branches of government
alleviated concerns. In 1787, the US Constitution was adopted.
The business meeting was held at 3PM.
In the absence of Secretary Sandi Pittenger, Steve Silk served
as Secretary and read the Pensacola business meeting minutes
and recorded the events of this meeting. Bob Hales presented
comprehensive report and explained the report in detail to all
present. Officers elected were Bob Noroski, President, Mike Vanderschaaf,
VP, Bob Hales, Treasure and Joan Guariniello, Secretary.
Mystic CT for 2011 was the favorite
city for our next reunion by all those attending the business
Raffle tickets were then sold for the
50/50 and also for items contributed by our shipmates such as
Books, Shirts, Golf Balls etc. to be drawn at our banquet.
Click this link to view the Minutes
Our farewell Banquet was held on the
33rd floor overlooking the beautiful Philadelphia. Here a professional
photographer took photos for our Memory Book and tried his best
to make us look our best. We must commend Charlie Kletz, CWO3
of the FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry who just couldn't get away from
the photo shoot. Everyone, especially the women love a man in
uniform. If you don't believe me just ask Charlie Kletz or Super
Chief Mike who attended in uniform and look as good as they did
when they served aboard the Perry.
The banquet commenced with Master Chief
Mike Vanderschaaf and his Honor Guard piping aboard our Honorary
Reunion Skipper, Rear Admiral Joseph Hare, USN ret. aboard the
reunion. The Admiral was accompanied by his beautiful and charming
finance, Kate Cellucci. Steve Silk then welcomed Kate aboard
with a bouquet of beautiful roses. With the Banquet officially
underway Steve Silk welcomed everyone else aboard for a great
time and hearty appetite. Bob Noroski followed with the invocation
and then recognized past presidents and past reunion chairmen.
Bob Hales acknowledged our Perry Plank
Owner, Hall of Fame Supporters, 1st Time attendees, Furthest
Travelers and Youngest & Oldest shipmates. Bob then presented
his personal gift to all reunion attendees; a beautiful and unique
3D USS Perry paper weight, which he personally designed with
the Liberty Bell pin. Thanks Bob, the energy of your efforts
and your outstanding contributions to your Perry mates are truly
appreciated by us all.
Steve then introduced Tim Lake, News
Anchor for NBC Channel 10 Philadelphia. Tim Lake prepared a video
tribute to his late dad Warren who served aboard the Perry in
'46 during the Perry's Goodwill Cruise. While the video was about
his dad, it easily could have been about any of us. The video
was very special to us all.
We then enjoyed an exquisite Southern Hospitality buffet dinner
of Bourbon Braised Short Ribs, Pecan Trout, Fried Chicken with
salads and sides to numerous to mention. At this time the Loews
was so moved by our event, they closed the cash bar and offered
free cocktails to our group. What a hotel!
After dinner, the Admiral gave a splendid talk regarding his
Navy experiences and how the Navy men of today compared to the
men of our era. Needless to say, today's men couldn't run a close
second to shipmates of our era. At the conclusion of his talk
he returned to his table and talked about the tradition of a
naval friendship coin that is given to a special friend and secured
with a handshake. We then shook hands and all I could say is
WOW. At dinner we learned of the Admiral's plan to save the aging
Spanish-American War Cruiser Olympia, a National Historic Landmark
and one-of-a-kind former U.S. Navy vessel. The ship is in need
of substantial and costly hull repairs to prevent her from sinking
and the Admiral has a sound proposal for keeping her afloat.
Tim Lake took a keen interest in the project and said it will
make a good human interest TV story and possibly help get the
Admirals project underway. We all wish Tim and Admiral much success
in this endeavor. http://www.phillyseaport.org/ships_olympia.shtml
I forgot to mention, Admiral Joe Hare, Charlie Kletz and Ultan
O'Sullivan all served aboard the Oliver Hazard Perry
and represent the next generation of shipmates that will grow
our Perry Association and continue the traditions of Oliver Hazard
Perry namesake ships.
Raffles and auction fun time. Our top prizes winners were Rosalie Bennett
who won the complimentary night stay at the Loews Hotel with
breakfast in their SoleFood restaurant. Tom Fedash won the navigation
system that he greatly needed according to Gerry.
The 50/50 was won by our Ray Sittnick
who then contributed ½ the prize money back to the Association.
Hopefully the other ½ will go to Ray's daughter in law
Mary's to cover the expense of the photos she printed for everyone.
There were many other raffle winners
far too numerous to mention.
Our auction was the envy of Sotheby.
Bidding began on a gift contributed by Joe Jurewicz. After much
bidding Steve Caldwell was the victorious bidder of a Mike Ditka
private label Pinot Noir and bottle holder for $126K. Steve then
gave the bottle of wine to shipmate Kevin Weir. Many thanks Joe
for your contribution.
Our final item was a one of a kind,
authentic Zippo lighter in mint condition bearing the USS Perry
Crest and contributed by Carey Moore. The final and winning bid
of $200K was made by Kevin Weir. Thanks Carey for your contribution
Long After They Are Gone Their
Our banquet was concluded with Martin
Deeney's superb Naval video and tribute to the children of the
On behalf of our Association Officers
and Board members a sincere thank you is extended to all our
prize contributors, our successful raffle winners and our successful
auction bidders for making this reunion special and bringing
much enjoyment to everyone attending the reunion. I would be
remiss not to mention the Kevin Weir's very special contribution
to our Association. We truly appreciate your continued support
I thank everyone for attending the reunion
and hope those of you who were unable to be with us this year
will be joining us at the next one.
Please excuse any errors or omissions