The 2015 MASSEY Association reunion was held at the Opryland/Airport Holiday Inn in Nashville, Tennessee, October 1st thru October 4 th , 2015 & was hosted by Phil Smith, assisted by Juan De la Cruz.

Thursday, 1 October. Check-in and registration was in the afternoon. Hospitality room was open. Thursday evening we had a mini buffet (Sandwiches & potato salad)

Friday, 2 Oct. a complimentary breakfast was enjoyed in the hotel dining area. We departed at 0830 for tour of the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s home. Our memorial service took place, in an old church on the grounds of Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, for our memorial service with bell ringing, remembering the passing of our Shipmates since our last reunion; Sydney Andrews, Plankowner; Thomas E. Bass; Robert E. Boyer; Edward Brezinski; Kenneth L. Careener; Ernst W. Dreyer; Thomas Kenny; David Sulkowski; Donald E. Quist; and Richard P. Umbel.

In fact, Teri and the Bertram’s sat in “Old Hickory’s” pew. We did not need a sound system as our bell rang loud and clear against the high ceiling. The Hermitage is unique as all the furnishings are 90% original with French wallpaper that looked more like a painted mural. After our memorial service, we enjoyed lunch (included) at the Hermitage House Smorgasbord, followed by a driving tour of the city, touring all of downtown Nashville stopping at their Centennial and Bicentennial parks, then a three hour stop at The Country Music Hall of Fame. As our sailors walked in, the country music turned to “Anchors Away,” with a good crowd reception.

At 1800 hrs, we departed on our Grand Ole Opry tour. The Grand Ole Opry was celebrating its 90th birthday that weekend. The Friday night program had a packed audience and was broadcast live. The announcer made a very nice tribute to the MASSEY and he even knew our war record and number of battle stars. He later paid tribute to Lance Massey and again to the ship which brought large cheers from the crowd. They are just as patriotic as Branson!

We were entertained for 2 hours of live, broadcast music at 7pm, with Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers and the Oak Ridge Boys; at 7:30pm, with Charles Esten, Chris Carmack, Sam Palladio & Aubrey Peeples; at 8pm, with Jeannie Seely, Trace Atkins & the Opry Square Dancers; at 8:30pm, with the Riders in the Sky and then with Carrie Underwood! WHAT A SHOW!

Saturday, Oct. 3, a complimentary breakfast was enjoyed in the hotel dining area. We departed at 0830 hrs., on our tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum and Fontanel, Barbara Mandrell’s spectacular 27,000 sq. ft. log home, with a complimentary lunch at Café’ Fontanel, returning to Hotel.

Upon arrival, we met in the hospitality room, for the annual USS MASSEY Association Executive Committee (EXCOMM) and the USS MASSEY business meeting, in accordance with the association bylaws. The executive committee (EXCOMM) presented its agenda for association discussion. A quorum was met with the following EXCOMM members present: Gordon Risk, President; Phil Smith, Vice President; Tom Norman, Secretary; Bernie Barilla, Chaplain; Bob Radziwon, Membership & Historian, with Tom Truesdale; Butch Walters, Supply & Procurement; and David Ford, Chief Master At Arms. Past President, Dick Pearsall, was absent.

The meeting was called to order by Gordon Risk, President, Chaplain, Bernie Barilla, opened the business meeting with a prayer and followed with the pledge of allegiance.

Gordon then thanked Phil Smith, the reunion host, for his efforts in developing and coordinating a superb schedule of events for the association. He also mentioned that we had 97 attendees, with 48 shipmates and 49 family members, 2 Plankowners, Jack Zagaros and Wendell Davis, who brought family members. Gordon noted that many family members attended this year’s reunion. He then acknowledged 6 first time MASSEY attendees, Sam Beck & wife Sue; Lewis Carlisle & Melissa McClune; Lee Elliott & wife Dorothy; Joe Glasscock & wife Billie; Charles (Tex) Groce & wife Laynell; Stuart D. Stull & wife Dorothy.

The reading of the minutes of the 2013 reunion were waived by the President as they were in the February and June newsletter and was 2nd. Gordon stated that “Our business meeting went very well as amendment three was added to our bylaws and the understanding that we must manage our financial and physical assets to the end. Each year, we look at our treasury position and set a course that can defray reunion expenses.

The Report of Officers was next on the agenda. Treasurer Don Heenan reported our bank account balance is solvent and able to handle any of the pending bills for this reunion. Tom Norman submitted his newsletter expense after the reunion of a balance of $2,733.66 for a 2 year period, 9/4/2013 to 11/1/2015 for an average of 1,366.83 a year. Tom stated that he did not realize it had been that long. Under new business, 2016 reunion was main thing on agenda. After little discussion and several liked Pensacola, a vote was taken and Pensacola was chosen. Motion was made and seconded to adjourn.

Saturday evening; Cocktails, 1800 Banquet, 1900 in Hotel Dining Room, the Banquet was lively, especially when Jack Zagaros came to the podium and described his adventure in hosting the first reunion in Minneapolis. His 15 minute talk ended with a standing ovation. Jack’s family was very pleased at the high degree of affection the Association has for him.

The Massey’s were introduced as well as the Plank Owners and First Timers. Phil Smith and Mary Lou Potoskie drew winning tickets for MASSEY labeled wine bottles.

Sunday, Oct. 4 A complimentary breakfast was enjoyed in the hotel dining area. We departed at 0830 hrs. for a day tour of the Jack Daniels Distillery. Lunch was on your own, with time to browse the shops on the quaint historic town square of Lynchburg, returning to Hotel.

Monday, Oct 5, a complimentary breakfast was enjoyed in the hotel dining area, afterwards, said our goodbye’s and set course to reunion #27 in Pensacola, Florida, being held, Sunday, 25 Sept thru Wednesday, 28 Sept.

Reunion Attendees: We had 48 Shipmates and 49 Guest with; Honored Guest, CDR Lance Massey, USN (Ret), & Wife, Judy

2 Plank owners
Wendell Davis, EM3, ‘44 – ‘45, & son, Rex Jack Zagaros, SN 1/C, ‘44 – ’46 with son, Bob & his wife, Linda Zagaros, & family Terry & Judy Faue;

SIX 1st Timers!
1 st Timers, We welcome; Sam Beck, IC3, ‘64 – ’67 & wife Sue; Lewis Carlisle, SK3, ’63 – ’64 & Melissa McClune; Lee Elliott, RD1, ‘53 – ’56 & wife Dorothy; Joe Glasscock, YN3, ‘52 – ’54 & wife Billie; Charles (Tex) Groce, GMG3, ’64 – ’66 & wife Laynell; Stuart D. Stull, BM3, ’55 –’56 & wife Dorothy

Others Attending
Bernie Barilla, GM3, ’54 – ’56 & wife Mary Jane; John Bertram, LTJG, ’62 – ’64, & wife Lynne; Joe Broussard, BM1,’60 – ’64 & guest Alice Cycyk; Jack Butler, ’48 – ’50, SN & wife June; Bob Ciosek, EM2, ’62 – ’64 & wife Phyllis; Les Clark, PC3, & wife Linda; John Curtis, QMSN, ’60 – ’63 & wife Judy; Juan De La Cruz, MM3, ’60 – ’62; & guest Loretta Zarate; Duane Edwards, MM2, ’66 – ’70 & wife Karen; Al Figaszewski, BT3, ’51 – ’55; Don Foley, MM2, ’66 – ’69; David Ford, BT3, ’61 – ’65 & wife Mary; Bill Frizzle, GMGSN, ’62 – ’64 & wife Dolly; Darrell Hanson, EM 2, ’70 – ’72 & wife Coleen; Tom Hartman, EM3, ’70 – ’71 & wife Susan; Buddy Hatchell, LTJG, ’61 – ’64; Don Heenan, LTJG, ’64 – ’66; Harold Hopler, SOG2, ’60 – ’62 & wife Pamela; Steve Jordan, RD2, ’61 – ’64 & wife Connie; Andy Kubishen, LT, ’63 – ’65; Joseph Milner, SK2, ’48 – ’52 with daughter Darlene & husband Hershel Spears; Tom Norman, BMSN, ’60 – ’62 & wife Carole; Jerry Owens, QM3, ’50 – ’53, & wife Lee; Tom Parker, RD3, ’57 – ’59 & wife Nancy; Paul Pavone, BT3, ’62 – ’66 & wife Kathy; Stanley Pekol, BT3, ‘46 – ’47; Mary Lou Potoskie, widow of Tom Potoskie; Bob Radziwon, EM 2, ’68 – ’71, & wife Sue, with guests, daughter Margie & husband Mike Talbot; Gordon Risk, LTJG, ’63 – ’65, & wife Terri; Adam Seid, BT2, ’66 – ’69; Jerry Sherbondy, ET3, ’56 – ’58 & wife Betsy; Phil K Smith, MM3, ’65 – ’67 & wife Dallas; Phil R. (Smitty) Smith, MM1, ’64 – ’66; Jack Smoak, SN, ’55 – ’60 & wife Diane; Gordon Speer, FCT3, ’50 – ’54 & wife Marilyn; Kerrah Stone, FN, ’64 – ’67 with guest Patsy Shaw; Cyrena Shows, Jamie Shows & Rachel Shows; Tom Truesdale, EM 2, ’70 – ’72 and wife Kathy; Butch Walters, FT2, ’59 – ’61 & wife Joan; Donald Wirt, MR3, ’70 – ’71 & wife Jo-Anne

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