New Orleans Registration Continues!


Ahoy Again!

    Reunion Registration is well underway and our hotel count has also increased. We now have approx. 40 rooms reserved and about 80+ attendees for our reunion. As we predicted, it's shaping up to be our biggest and best reunion yet.

    There are several items to mention in this newsletter. First of all, we have a change of riverboats for our Friday night cruise. Seems that the "Creole Queen" was a better boat for us and the cost was about the same. The "Creole Queen" will provide us with our own private deck, jazz band and a Cajun buffet with reserved seating throughout the evening. The "Natchez" could not provide us with reserved seating, as it is open to the general public and cannot accommodate our large group. Another consideration was the location of the boats: the "Creole Queen" is located closer to the hotel, at the foot of Canal Street, which makes for a very short walk from the hotel. So far it is about the only major change in our schedule. We'll have one more newsletter out in July, before the reunion. Kind of a "Last Call" for stragglers.

    There's an article I've included on Page  6 about selecting a reunion location and the considerations involved. During our business meeting in New Orleans we'll be discussing our next site, so I hope everyone reads the reunion article from TRN (The Reunion Network).

    Next week (June 9-12), Linda and I are attending a ConFam in Dallas/Ft. Worth, honing our reunion-organizing skills. After the conference, we're heading for New Orleans and staying at the DoubleTree on the 14th and 15th. By then, we should have most of the hotel reservations in and and any final reunion details made. I'll be checking my e-mail almost daily if any of you have questions or problems regarding the August Reunion.

    Already had one question about handicapped accommodations for our events. Every place is 100% on any special needs we might require, except for the Swamp Tour. It's difficult, but not impossible, if you're in a wheel-chair, or can't walk at least a few steps. Hell, it's getting harder for ME to board a small boat and not trip or fall! (And this is added by Tom, the webmaster: "I know from experience on the Swamp Tour....the alligators look for the "slow ones"!)

    Anyway, there's no problem on the "Creole Queen" and, of course, all other events are on the first floor or are elevator-friendly. The D-Day Museum is really accommodating, especially since the WWII Vets are now in their 80's.

    Lastly, we will have an election of Officers for 2005-2006 at our business meeting. Now's the time to think about who you'd like to lead our Association for the next two years. It would be great if we have a lot of volunteers, especially if we set up a "reunion committee" to help determine future reunion sites.

    Well, if I've overlooked any issues, I'll try to address them in the next newsletter. Write or call me with your questions or concerns.

    If you haven't made your hotel reservations, then I encourage you to do so NOW. We're nearing the end of our special rate of $89. Please note that it will be a little warm and humid in August for our reunion, so, dress casual and "loose" for all events and bring a hat.

    Will see MOST of you real soon!



The Following Crewmembers Have Indicated They Will attend The Reunion And Have Made Or Will Make Hotel Reservations:

Adametz, Tom - Hunt, Steve - Witt, Richard - Schinn, Duane - Hanna, Jimmy - Harris, Buddy - Shuttleworth, Gene

Turner, Del - Morrow, Billy - Kalaf, Dave - Hamling, Jerry (2 rooms) - Wasielewski, Robert - Precie, Tony (2 rooms)

Garoutte, Michael - Smithlin, Michael - Braccamonte, Jose - Beckius, Jerry - Columbo, George - Gale, Dennis

Prisock, Jesse - Mezzacappa, Carmine - Newman, Gunther - Dawson, Dale (2 rooms) - Rattigan, Jim - Dorow, Bill

Tzope, Ron - Elfiink, Kathleen - Hunt, Darryl - Swistok, William - Harding, Terry - Smith, Brian - Alexander, Cameron -

Purvis, Joe - Bynum, Cliff - Vickers, Steve - Lipham, Gerald

Approx 80+ Attendees! If you have not made your hotel reservations, then please do so in the next few weeks to guarantee your special hotel rate of $89 per night!


Our "Wannabee" Reunion Attendees

Include those members not personally contacted due to:

(1) Not home and we left a message.

(2) Number changed and new number unknown.

(3) Unlisted number.

(4) We don't have your phone number on file.

Allen, David - Apple, Cliff - Apter, Mark - Anderson, Russ - Anamosa, Pat - Atwood, Dusty - Baadte, John

Banks, Gary - Bingel, John - Bjelland, B.J. - Barnet, Ted - Bartlett, George - Benson, Gary

Colburn, Gary - Crooks, Bob - DeCastro, Victor - Esmele, Jamie - Eley, Duane

Farmer, William - Foster, Larry - Franck, Gene - Greybeck, Red - Grimes, Frank - Grover, Stan - Hancock, Bill

- Harvey, Jeff - Hickenbottom, C.H. - Hines, J.G. - Hixon, Frank - Houlahan, James - Hunt, William - Johnson, Bill

Kelly, Larry - Kelly, Patrick - Knight, Jerry - Lewis, Gerald - Limbaugh, John - Looker, Jim - Loveless, Jerry

- Mahaffey, Michael - McClain, John - McLaughlin, Patty - Mercer, Douglas C. III - Newkirk, Donald -

Nugent, Ed - Peebles, Myrom - Pennington, Jesse - Pesta, Thomas - Sanders, Dennis - Sarfaty, Dennis - Schaler, Ken

Schultz, LeRoy - Scott, Rex - Shumlas, John - Sopha, Robert - Stewart, Lloyd - Tandang, Joel

Townsend, A.T. - Tremont, Frank - Ulmer, Bill - Velasco, Pete - Walters, Jim - Williams, Pharis

Williams, Wayne - Winchell, Rodney - Wilson, Ed - Whitaker, Larry - Wolfe, Terry - Woolever, Rick




Steve and Linda Hunt

ConFam to Dallas/Ft. Worth

June 4 to 18

Houston - Galveston - San Antonio - Temple - Dallas/Fort Worth - Baton Rouge - New Orleans - Orange - Houston

June 4 Sat.    Depart SeaTac Arrive Houston 2:36 pm Rent SUV Depart Airport Arrive Galveston

                    Island 6 pm

June 4 Sat.    Overnight at Galveston Hotel Commodore or Victorian

June 5 Sun.    Visit Galveston

June 5 Sun.    Overnight at Galveston Hotel Commodore or Victorian

June 6 Mon.    Depart Galveston Arrive San Antonio approx. 2 pm

June 6 Mon.    Visit Alamo and the Riverwalk

June 6 Mon.    Overnight in San Antonio

June 7 Tues.    Depart San Antonio 8-9 am arrive Belton/Temple by 5 pm.

June 7 Tues.    Overnight in Temple. Dinner at Oxbow in Belton. Visit Tom

June 8 Wed.    Depart Belton/Temple 8-9 am. arrive in Dallas/Ft. Worth 3 pm

June 8 Wed.    Check in Sheraton Grand in Irvine one day early prior to ConFam.

                      Five nights at Sheraton Grand

June 9 Thurs.    ConFam begins at noon

June 10 Fri.    ConFam

June 11 Sat.    ConFam

June 12 Sun.    ConFam wrap-up at breakfast

June 12 Sun.    Stay an additional night at Sheraton

June 13 Mon.    Depart for New Orleans

June 13 Mon.    Overnight in Baton Rouge or Lafayette

June 14 Tues.    Depart Baton Rouge or Lafayette. Arrive New Orleans by 3 pm

June 14 Tues.    Overnight at DoubleTree Hotel

June 15 Wed.    Overnight at DoubleTree Hotel

June 16 Thurs.    Check out. Enroute to Orange Texas. Visit Orleck 2 hours

June 16 Thurs.    Overnight in Orange

June 17 Fri.        Depart Orange. Arrive in Houston (or close to airport)

June 18 Sat.        Check out hotel. Arrive airport by noon. Turn in rental car



USS Brooke Reunion

New Orleans

August 24th - 28th, 2005

DoubleTree Hotels

Room Rates: $89.00 Single or Dbl. + taxes

Note: Rates are honored 2 days prior and 2 days after reunion

So, come early and stay late! Hotel rates will NEVER be BETTER

For Reservations:

Call 1-800-967-6638 or 1-800-222 TREE (8733)

Space is limited......

Make your reservation TODAY!

Planned events:

Steamboat "Creole Queen"

Jazz/Dinner Cruise

D-Day Museum Tour

Cajun Swamp Tour

New Orleans School of Cooking

Court of Two Sisters

The DoubleTree Hotel is located in the HEART of New Orleans at the foot of Canal Street. The Riverfront Walk and Mall is next door (Plenty of walking and shopping). Harrah's Casino is right next door and the French Quarter is across the street. We believe it it the BEST location in New Orleans for our reunion!


How to Select A Reunion Destination

Editor's Note: The following article is form The Reunion Network (TRN), of which I am a member, benefiting from their expertise in setting up and coordinating our reunions. I thought it worthwhile to publish this for all hands, before our next business meeting (in New Orleans), when we consider our next reunion site in 2006.

- Steve

    From what many planners tell us, it seems that the majority of reunion groups have a committee that meets once a year to decide where the next reunion will be held.

    Often, one of the committee members will suggest a place where he and his wife had a great time. Then, several other suggestions are made on the same basis, and the reunion planner, on the basis of a vote, will go forth to "make the deal".

    What's wrong with this? Unfortunately, this is not the best way to pick a reunion destination. In order to see why, let's look at the reasons why you would want to pick a particular location. Certainly there's the matter of fairness. If you don't move around the country to different places, some people will never come. That's the heart of the matter! The purpose of choosing a location for your reunion is to get more people to come. If you don't get more people to come, you can look forward to gradual withering away of your attendee numbers.

    That place that the committee member recommended might have been a wonderful place for one or two couples, but is not necessarily a good reunion location.

What Makes a good Reunion Location?

    Over the years, we've come up with five solid factors for you to consider. Each of these factors can make an enormous differenced in the enjoyment and satisfaction a reunion brings, in addition to directly affecting the attendance numbers.

    The first factor is Atmosphere. This doesn't sound like a big deal, but the welcome that veterans get, the extent the local population feels about veterans, the strength of patriotic emotions, all play a direct part in the way you are received.

    Fortunately, TRN members, particularly CVBs (Convention/Visitor Bureaus) are warm and welcoming. They won't ignore you in favor of big corporations or associations, as many CVBs tend to do. Rely on that feeling you get as you make contact. It can be an indicator of how you will be treated by the community.

    The second item to consider is Affordability. A location may offer everything you've ever wanted, but if the folks in your group can't afford it, you've wasted your efforts. At your first contact with the CVB, you can get an idea of the local rate structure. When you are faced with a rate that you believe is beyond the means of many in your group, you only have a few choices. You can try elsewhere at the same destination, but here's a place where the CVB can really help. They can get you the rate range for every hotel in the area, so you know which hotels offer the best opportunity. You can also try (and this is probably the best way) to change the reunion date. Once again, the CVB can tell you what time of the year offers the best rates, and you can proceed accordingly. Just because you've always had your reunion the second week in September, doesn't mean that it always has to be the second week in September. As a last resort, you can go to another area, perhaps nearby, where the rates are more to your liking.

    Accessibility is the next factor and deals with three distinct elements. The first is getting to the destination. What percentage of your attendees fly? Drive? Take a train? Here again the CVB can provide the answers with maps and directions. The second is how close will you be to the places you want to tour? Bus rides of more than an hour are not only tedious, but they can be expensive, too. Once again, the CVB can provide answers. The final factor in accessibility is the hotel property of your choice. Hotels which are spread out and have gardens look better, but if you have a fair number of folks with walkers, artificial knees and hips, and wheelchairs, you'd probably be better off in a "vertical" hotel, where everything is near an elevator.

    The fourth item is Availability. This factor goes hand-in-hand with Affordability. There is a direct connection between the Time of the Year, Days of the Week, Occupancy Level and Price. When you book off-Season and off-Peak (days) you tend to get the best prices and find the rooms you need. Your business is more important to the community and the hotel at those times, and it's less expensive for your attendees.

    The last, and probably the single most important factor, is Activities. What do you plan to do with the group when they get there? If all you have arranged is to sit in the hospitality room, drink beer and swap the same old sea stories again, you are approaching an extreme level of boredom. Once they are bored, you'll have a hard time ever getting them back again. You need to provide a reason to come! What activities, tours and attractions have you planned? Activities are the key to maintaining interest in the reunions. The beauty of it all is that we live in such a wonderful country, it's hard to find a location that doesn't have attractions that will make people want to come. It's here, too, that the CVBs really shine, because the folks there know just about everything there is to do in that area. You can ask about a specific type of activity, or ask for everything. Either way, the CVB is your best friend. Give them a call for a better reunion.


The Paddlewheeler Creole Queen

Constructed in Moss Point, Mississippi, the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen took her maiden voyage on October 1, 1983. She is an authentic paddlewheeler powered by a 24 foot diameter paddlewheel and the most modern, fuel efficient GE diesel-electric system ever installed in a boat of this class. Even though the Creole Queen would have been right at home in the New Orleans of 1850, passengers of that era could never have conceived of a paddlewheeler with her luxury, comfort and safety. Ninety tons of air conditioning and heating keep the interior spaces pleasant all year round. Luxurious private rooms, stereo music and sound systems, modern restrooms and handicapped accessible facilities all combine to make the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen a true "floating palace."

The Creole Queen features outer decks with authentically patterned wrought iron trims inviting guests to stroll back in time as they settle into the mood of a bygone era. The interiors are richly appointed with plush Victorian style draperies, soft period lighting, wooden parquet dance floors, and Louisiana Cypress bars accented with brass railing for a warm and welcoming setting.

The Paddlewheeler Creole Queen has three private dining rooms giving her the "largest indoor capacity" on excursion vessels in New Orleans. Private room and full boat charters are available during our regularly scheduled cruises, as well as interim time frame. For dining, the King’s Room can accommodate up to 80 and the Queen’s Room up to 90.



Dinner Jazz Cruise

Boarding: 1900-2000

Cruising: 2000-2200

Creole Buffet Menu:

Caesar Salad with Croutons


Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya


Herbed Crawfish Pasta with Green Onions


Slow Roasted Beef Brisket


Cajun Smothered Chicken in a Garlic Sauce


Eggplant Parmesan


Smashed Cajun Potatoes


Green Beans with Sauteed Onions and Mushrooms


French Bread with Butter


Warm Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce


New Orleans Dark roast Coffee and Iced Tea



Regular Membership dues to the Association are $25 per year. Associate membership (no fee) is available for all surviving spouses of Brooke Crewmembers.

Your current membership expiration date is to the right of your name on the address label on the newsletter. To continue "Port & Starboard" please remit your dues payment in accordance with published dues schedule, payable to the USS Brooke Association and mail to our Treasurer at the address below:

Steve Hunt

USS Brooke DEG/FFG-1

P.O. Box 1692

Tacoma, WA 98401


For more information please visit our website @