Alex and I dropped in on Trudy and Otto Schwarz at the end of November.
I told Otto " You look like you been rode hard and put away wet!"
.............It's been rugged. The illness, old age and being blind. He knows he is in a world of hurt. There is not much denying it.
Yet he keeps a very powerful presence regardless. He is a joy to visit with. Always something to share in news or happenings.
His son, John, made up a nice presentation box with his photo, medals and a photo of USS Houston. It is awesome. I had him go over what each one was for after I described it to him. It was a nice little history lesson for Alex. I expressed amazement and pride in the "good conduct" medal that Otto won. Otto was, from his own admission, quite a difficult ... or at least ... sassy kind of a kid in a sailor suit.
Alex was off from school today because he had a stomach ache (heard that before?) from some Chinese food he ate last night. He was OK by the time we dropped grandma off at the airport in Newark and was really up for the visit with Otto and Trudy.
Well, it was a great visit as usual. Such amazing folks (both of them). Otto is rightfully quite proud of what the Next Generation is doing. The news from the "Blue Bonnet" is always interesting, though the toll of time brings more sad notes with every issue. I was most impressed to read that Capt. Carter Conlin is now National CDR for The Naval Order of the United States! That is very good news! Not only is he a good guy, he is a great photographer! I think I can now make some points with my NYC NOUS Commandry (Hey guys! I know the National Commander!). I make the meetings nearly every month in NYC since another local fellow out here in the wilds of NJ became involved (Don Schuld is the Recorder/Secretary for the NYC Commandry). Recently we attended the Samuel Eliot Morison Award Dinner with our wives and had a great time. The award this year went to Michael G. Walling for "The Bloodstained Sea". A great story: Battle of the Atlantic. I was impressed that he talked about the "FBI" (Forgotton Bastards of Iceland). My Dad was a member, having flown with a PBY squadron (VP-84) out of Reykjavik in 1942 . Wallings book centers on the Coast Guard's roll in this battle. I can hardly wait for Hornfischer's next book about the Houston! Otto showed me Hornfischer's original manuscript today. What can I say? If you've read "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" you know what a great job he is doing with the USS Houston story.
I told Otto, "I still have a plan to get the "DEATH BECOMES THE GHOST" video into DVD soon". Once that is done, it will be much easier to distribute to many Educational and Public Access Stations. The better ones can even share programs online now .. by broadband internet. It is impressive how films are distributed now. (SEE COMMENT LINK BELOW FOR MORE NOTES ON OTTO)
www.me3tv.com www.ussocallahan.org www.usshouston.org www.chumuckla.blogspot.com