Colorado Springs, CO - 7-10 September 2015
USS PICKING (DD-685) 27th
Mike and Nina Carmichael and Lindy and Ken McDonald, hosts of the Reunion
The 27th Reunion of the USS Picking was held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort, a very luxurious and welcoming establishment. The Hospitality Room opened to a large patio area that more than accommodated the large contingent at this year's reunion.
We had four first time attendees who were welcomed into the group. A few regulars missed this reunion because of personal issues and were missed. It was a great event. The hosts and hostesses did an absolutely superb job in making all of us feel welcome. Ken and Linda live in Colorado Springs and Mike and Nina live in Greeley, northern Colorado. Ken smoked 51 lbs. of pulled pork which provided excellent chow for the gang. Many thanks for their hard and successful work!
The first day's tour was to the Air Force Academy there in Colorado Springs and nearby Garden of the Gods.
The second day's trip was a tour of the Pueblo River Walk.
The final day's trip was taking the Manitou Springs Pike's Peak Cog Railway to the top of that famous mountain. The elevation at Manitou Springs is 6320 feet. The Peak's summit is 14110 feet ASL.
Our banquet guest speaker was surely the oldest sailor we have ever met, ex-Lt. John Downing. He is 102 years of age. He enlisted in 1932 and did duty as a Gunners Mate. He retired in 1956 as a Lieutenant. He was a crewmember of the USS West Virginia (BB-46) at Pearl Harbor on the Day of Infamy, 7 December 1941. He was ashore at the start of the attack but returned aboard during the attack. He told us that Pearl was very shallow and the battlewagons only had four feet of water under them and that everything above the waterline was burned. He gave a very interesting speech without the benefit of a PowerPoint presentation as we had no means to project it. An outstanding patriot and more mentally alert and a more eloquent speaker than many folks 30 years younger than him. We were greatly honored by his presence. He has a much longer version of the presentation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNt9zJ9XKGk
Thanks to Roberta Cox and Doyt Sheets for their photographs that are shared here.
We thank all hands who attended and we are pleased to welcome these first-timers to our fraternity - '
May God bless and keep you all until we next meet in October 2017 in St. Louis, MO!