Aragon Class of ‘64
“Keep Your Fork” Newsletter


Classmates & Friends of Aragon 1964, Contributors of all Articles
Bonita Beck, Publisher                                         Bob Graham, Editor

NEWSLETTER #157                                                                                                             MAY  2017



How are you all doing?  I’m asking, so I genuinely would like to know; maybe I can assist with what might be bothering you.  If everything is going great, disregard the above.  Just remember, I give “great phone” and am a really good listener.

May’s “Keep Your Fork...’64” Newsletter will discuss what May is all about.  Then we will delve into Memorial Day and finish off with some Memories.  So, with the “previews” identified, get comfortable and let’s get started.

Take Care - Hooah, Hugs, Love & “MAY - MEMORIAL DAY - MEMORIES”



•        The Website for the “Fork” Home Page Is:   *If that doesn’t work for you, just contact me by e-mail at or phone (702) 656-1696.

•        The “Connections and Reconnections (C/R) Section” - Connected or Reconnected with a Classmate or just want to contact a Classmate, but don’t have any contact information? Let me know (see above). This section remains #1 in our “Special Section Group”. Contact me and I will get the needed information to you ASAP!

After Charlene and AlanX3 went back to Eureka and the rain; Peggy’s Brother (Jim) and Wife (Liz) dropped in for a fun filled ten days in Las Vegas and Palm Springs. We may hit the “Trifecta” during the last week of April. We are expecting a Classmate and husband coming...I will let you know that status in the June Newsletter. May’s Newsletter needs to get to Bonita ASAP, so it will be to you on the 1st of May. April - another Great Month in Las Vegas!

•        “Who Said That - Movie Quote Addition” (WST - MQA): - this site is a lot of fun to coordinate each month.  Many of you come up with correct answers, they just come in too late. The first week of a new month is the time for you to scan your monthly Newsletter and get your answer(s) to me - ASAP.


¨ THE APRIL ANSWER IS: “TOP GUN” and the actor(s) are
                   TOM CRUISE & ANTHONY EDWARDS.


OK - we only have May & June left to beat Gary! Come on Classmates it is time to strike! Anyone out there go to Movies? Step up before he goes “undefeated” for the “semi-annual” contest. Remember the “semi annual winner” receives the prize of $100.00 (in real money)!


          ¨¨    MAY’S QUOTE:                   “Fire the bitch!” *                   ¨¨

Send your answer to - ASAP!

•        “The Bucket List (B/L) Challenge:” - The B/L will have its “life support plug” pulled after the May Newsletter if no one can come forward and assist in this challenge for the June Newsletter of the “Keep Your Fork...’64.”


OK, what makes the month of MAY so special?  I’m glad you asked. Here we go:


“May is one of the most gorgeous months of the year. All winter long we’ve been hibernating from the cold and waiting for the sun to come out from behind the clouds. The bees are buzzing, the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping…it’s time to celebrate May!

•        WHY MAY?

There are a few stories about how the month of May was named. The most popular explanation is that it was named for Maia, the ancient Roman goddess of spring and fertility. In Latin (which is the language those old Ancient Romans spoke), “Maia” is connected to a word that means increase or growth. The Romans held special ceremonies in Maia’s honor on May 1, and again in the middle of the month, on May 15.

•        MAY CUSTOMS

Going back to ancient times again, May 1 was a day for outdoor festivities and celebration. In Rome, May 1 fell at a time that was considered sacred to the goddess Flora, who was responsible for flowers. People back then celebrated the day by marching in flower-decked parades (not unlike the colorful floats we see in modern-day parades).

In the U.K., British people also observed some magnificent May Day customs. They put up maypoles in their village parks and, on the morning of May 1, all the kids in each village would go to the woods, gather “mayflowers” (hawthorn blossoms) and decorate the maypole. The girls would wear their prettiest dresses, each hoping to be elected the May queen. Once a queen was chosen, she danced around the Maypole with her “royal subjects.”


There are quite a few special days North Americans observe during the month of May – some serious and others that are kind of silly and fun. Check them out!

• National Bike Month
• Asparagus Month
• Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month
• May is National Bike Month
• Flower Month
• National Egg Month
• National Duckling Month
• National Hamburger Month
• National Physical Fitness & Sports Month
• National Strawberry Month
• Teacher Appreciation Week: 1st Week In May
• National Pet Week: 2nd Week In May
• National Backyard Games Week: Last Week In May”

Now that you know some events that make up the Month of May, let’s move on to Memorial Day.

•        MEMORIAL DAY - MAY 29, 2017

“Honoring the many brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Americans celebrate Memorial Day on the last Monday in May so in 2017 it falls on May 29th. It's not just about a day off school and the beginning of summer. This holiday goes all the way back to the Civil War and is observed by millions of people, especially America's veterans. Memorial Day is a day to remember all those who died while serving their country.


The first Memorial Day was observed on May 30th, 1866 in Columbus, Georgia by women's groups who decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers. In 1868, General John Logan (a member of the Senate at the time), officially made Memorial Day a holiday to honor soldiers who had died in the Civil War. After World War I, the holiday didn't just honor those who died fighting in the Civil War but honored all Americans who died fighting in any war. Although the majority of the country celebrates Memorial Day on the last Monday in May, some southern states celebrate it on different days.


Since the late '50s, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3rd US Infantry put small American flags on every grave (there's 260,000 of them) at Arlington National Cemetery on the Thursday before Memorial Day. They then patrol the graveyard 24 hours a day during the weekend to make sure that every flag remains standing. On the Saturday before Memorial Day, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each grave (about 15,300 of 'em) at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye's Heights. They've been doing this since 1998.

          WHAT CAN YOU DO

•        Visit a graveyard and put a flag or flowers at a soldier's gravestone.
•        Visit a memorial.
•        Fly the US flag at half-staff until noon.
•        Participate in a National Moment of Remembrance.
•        At 3 pm have a moment of silence & think about the true meaning of       Memorial Day.
•        Don't forget to play Taps, the tune played on a trumpet during Memorial          services.
•        When Taps is played with the drumbeat, Muffled Ruffles, it is the highest         honor to give those who have died in war.

“Honoring the many brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Hooah, Hugs, Love & “MAY - MEMORIAL DAY - MEMORIES”
                   – Bob

Now to your articles, for the Memories of May:

“A Prayer for Our Troops”        #1

Contributed For all who have, are and will serve the United States Of America

“Lord hold our Troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them & their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. In Jesus name, AMEN!”

“Who’s Stepping Up”    #2

Contributed by Frank Schaeffer - Washington Post
[This was a great read in 1999 and even better in 2017.]

Before my son became a Marine, I never thought much about who was defending me. Now when I read of the war on terrorism or the coming conflict in Iraq, it cuts to my heart. When I see a picture of a member of our military who has been killed, I read his or her name very carefully. Sometimes I cry.
In 1999, when the barrel-chested Marine recruiter showed up in dress blues and bedazzled my son John, I did not stand in the way. John was headstrong, and he seemed to understand these stern, clean men with straight backs and flawless uniforms. I did not. I live in the Volvo-driving, higher education-worshiping North Shore of Boston. I write novels for a living. I have never served in the military.
It had been hard enough sending my two older children off to Georgetown and New York University. John's enlisting was unexpected, so deeply unsettling. I did not relish the prospect of answering the question, "So where is John going to college?" from the parents who were itching to tell me all about how their son or daughter was going to Harvard. At the private high school John attended, no other students were going into the military.
"But aren't the Marines terribly Southern?" (Says a lot about open-mindedness in the Northeast) asked one perplexed mother while standing next to me at the brunch following graduation. "What a waste, he was such a good student," said another parent. One parent (a professor at a nearby and rather famous university) spoke up at a school meeting and suggested that the school should “carefully evaluate what went wrong."
When John graduated from three months of boot camp on Paris Island, 3000 parents and friends were on the parade deck stands. We parents and our Marines not only were of many races, but also were representative of many economic classes. Many were poor. Some arrived crammed in the backs of pickups, others by bus. John told me that a lot of parents could not afford the trip.

We in the audience were white and Native American. We were Hispanic, Arab, and African American, and Asian. We were former Marines wearing the scars of battle, or at least baseball caps, emblazoned with “battles names.” We were Southern whites from Nashville and skinheads from New Jersey, black kids from Cleveland wearing ghetto rags and white ex-cons with ham-hock forearms defaced by jail house tattoos. We would not have been mistaken for the educated and well-heeled parents gathered on the lawns of John’s private school a half-year before.
After graduation one new Marine told John, "Before I was a Marine, if I had ever seen you on my block I would've probably killed you just because you were standing there." This was a serious statement from one of John’s good friends, a black ex-gang member from Detroit who, as John said, "would die for me now, just like I'd die for him."
My son has connected me to my country in a way that I was too selfish and insular to experience before. I feel closer to the waitress at our local diner than to some of my oldest friends. She has two sons in the Corps. They are facing the same dangers as my boy. When the guy who fixes my car asks me how John is doing, I know he means it. His younger brother is in the Navy.
Why were I and the other parents at my son's private school so surprised by his choice? During World War II, the sons and daughters of the most powerful and educated families did their bit. If the idea of the immorality of the Vietnam War was the only reason those lucky enough to go to college dodged the draft, why did we not encourage our children to volunteer for military service once that war was done?
Have we wealthy and educated Americans all become pacifists? Is the world a safe place? Or have we just gotten used to having somebody else defend us? What is the future of our democracy when the sons and daughters of the janitors at our elite universities are far more likely to be put in harm’s way than are any of the students whose dorms their parents clean?
I feel shame because it took my son's joining the Marine Corps to make me take notice of who is defending me. I feel hope because perhaps my son is part of a future "greatest generation.” As the storm clouds of war gather, at least I know that I can look the men and women in uniform in the eye. My son is one of them. He is the best I have to offer. He is my heart.

"Faith is not about everything turning out OK; Faith is about being OK no matter how things turn out."


Freedom Is Never Free”  #3  Contributed by Bob Graham   [Stronger together: Danielle Kelly and Taylor Morris a winning team!]

Kids Thank A Veteran”  #4  Contributed by Gary Rocklage  [Scroll down & check out what the kids had to say!]

Hallelujah”  #5   Contributed by Bruce Ahlvin  [A stunning tribute for today’s articles.]

More Than A Picture”  #6  Contributed by Linda (Wanke) Rapp  [Wow, these photos say a lot...what do you think?]
Combat Surgeon & Special Ops. Hero: Dr. John Holcomb”  #7  Contributed by Bruce Ahlvin  [A life saver!]

[The scene is the American Civil War, August of 1862, in Prince William County, Virginia. Confederate and Union armies numbering close to 100,000 total men engaged in a fierce three-day fight called the Second Battle of Bull Run, or the Battle of Second Manassas.  Upon the completion of the fighting on August 30th, thousands of wounded soldiers lay bleeding and dying on the field of battle.  They would lay there for over a week, hopelessly awaiting an evacuation that seemed to never come, thus consigning many to death].

Sniper”  #8  Contributed by Ted Dumke  [A look at a group of specialists that have saved many with a “one shot, one kill” ability.]

An Armada On The Move - W.W. II”  #9  Contributed by Gary Rocklage  [Go Navy!]

The B29...Old Doc”   #10   Contributed by Alan Swenson [Charlene’s Husband.  A rebuild of a classic, from W.W.II - outstanding story.]


“The Keepers”        #11
Contributed by Gary Rocklage
[Seems like getting “used up,” goes along with age...I still enjoy seeing stars, Bob]

I grew up with practical parents. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen before they had a name for it.

A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones. Their marriage was good, their dreams focused.  Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers, old shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, ladle in one hand, and dish towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep. It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence.  Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more.

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more. Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and  goes away...never to return. So...While we have's best we love it...And care for it ...And fix it when it's broken...And heal it when it's sick. This is true. For marriage...And old cars...And children with bad report cards...And dogs with bad hips...And aging parents...And grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.

Some things we keep. Like family, a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with. There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special...And so, we keep them close!

I received this from someone who thinks I am a 'keeper', so I've sent it to the people I think of in the same way...Now it's your turn to send this to those people that are "keepers" in your life.

Good friends are like stars...You don't always see them, but you know they are always there. Keep them close! God won't have to ask how many people you forwarded this to. He already knows your decision.

Thank You Veterans”        #12
Contributed by Justin  (Meek Elementary School - 5th Grade)

“Thank You for the Job Well Done
Thank You for the Battles Won
Thank You for the Battles Fought

Thank You for the Time You Served
Thank You for the Freedom Earned
Thank Your Families for Sharing You
I Know They Miss You, They Really Do

I’m Sorry for the Lives That Were Lost
Freedom Isn’t Cheap,
It comes at a Very High Cost”

“I Love My Freedom, My Red, White, Blue
Thank You Veterans For All That You Do.”


Tokyo Bay - September 1945”  #13  Contributed by Those Who Fought For Our Freedoms   [So many gave the ultimate sacrifice for us!]





1.       May Day - Loyalty Day - Mother Goose Day - Save the Rhino Day.

2.       Baby Day - Brothers and Sisters Day.
3.       Lumpy Rug Day - World Press Freedom Day.
4.       Bird Day - National Candied Orange Peel Day - Renewal Day
- Star Wars Day.
5.       International Tuba Day, first Friday in May - Space Day, first Friday in May - National Hoagie Day - Oyster Day - Cinco de Mayo.

6.       Beverage Day - National Tourist Appreciation Day - National Nurses Day - No Diet Day.
7.       National Tourism Day.
8.       V-E Day - Iris Day - No Socks Day - World Red Cross Day / World Red Crescent Day.
9.       Lost Sock Memorial Day - National Teachers Day.

10.     Clean up Your Room Day - National Receptionist Day - School Nurses Day.
11.     Eat What You Want Day - Twilight Zone Day.
12.     Military Spouses Day - Child Care Provider Day or Daycare Provider Day - Fatigue Syndrome Day - International Nurses Day - Limerick Day.
13.     Birth Mother's Day - Blame Someone Else Day - Frog Jumping Day
- International Migratory Bird Day - Leprechaun Day - National Train Day.
14.     Mother's Day - Dance Like a Chicken Day.
15.     Police Officer's Memorial Day - National Chocolate Chip Day.
16.     Wear Purple for Peace Day - National Sea Monkey Day - Love a Tree Day.
17. Pack Rat Day.

18.     Visit Your Relatives Day - International Museum Day
- No Dirty Dishes Day.
19.     Boy's Club Day - National Bike to Work Day.
20.     Armed Forces Day - Be a Millionaire Day - Pick Strawberries Day.
21.     National Memo Day - National Waiters and Waitresses Day.

22.     Buy a Musical Instrument Day - World Goth Day.
23.     Lucky Penny Day.
24.     Victoria Day (Canada) - National Escargot Day.
25.     National Wine Day - National Missing Children's Day - National Brown Bag It Day - Tap Dance Day.

26.     Sally Ride Day - Don't Fry Friday.
27.     International Jazz Day -  Sun Screen Day.
28.     Amnesty International Day.
29.     Memorial Day, last Monday of month.

30.     Water a Flower Day.
31.     Save Your Hearing Day - World No Tobacco Day - National Macaroon Day.

Classmates, Family and Friends of the Aragon Class of 1964...
once again, you kept the articles coming!  Take care and stay safe; we will get together again in June.

Hooah, Hugs & Love,


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