USS Jallao SS-368
Wednesday May 21st
Early arrivers began showing up on Wednesday evening and immediately began to make use of the hospitality room. Jerry Pilger and Pete Amunrud were well prepared for the inrush of people. The beer and pop were cold and there were snacks for all. It was great to see old friends and to make new ones. We lit up the room with our smiles. Many pictures, scrap books and other Jallao memorabilia were left out for all to peruse. Boy the memories they brought back, I think that not a few tears were shed this wonderful weekend. Penny and I stopped in after dinner and the sea stories were already in full bloom. And we were just getting started. Fred Yadon regaled us with some wonderful stories from the Jallao and his of his days as a Merchant Marine skipper.
Frank Chandler got the reunion ball rolling, so it is only fitting that he be in the first picture! Our heartfelt thanks Frank!!!!!
Thursday May 22nd
Today was check-in day and people arrived and checked in through-out the day. A Jallao pin and hat were issued to all Jallao sailors, and extra Jallao hats were available for purchase. Only four sailors were no-shows. The hospitality room was open early with hot coffee and doughnuts available for all and was in full swing till the wee hours of the morning. Jerry, Pete and Frank kept the coffee hot and the beer and pop cold throughout the weekend. Penny and I, as did
others, took the opportunity to drive around the city of Manitowoc and enjoy the sites, the lake view from the hotel was spectacular and the city is a very warm and enchanting place, a lovely place to visit! We did some shopping for those few things that you always forget when you pack. There were some great restaurants available within walking distance of the hotel and the hotel itself had a fine restaurant. Penny and I had dinner with Sherman Harkins and his wife Linda there on Friday evening, but that is a story for later. Thursday was Len Santos’s night to regale us with stories, and he did a masterful job of it. Len is from the thriving metropolis of
Hummelstown PA, and this was the first time that I had the opportunity to meet him. I feel like I made a new friend, I hope to be able to visit him when I go back to PA for family functions. Hummelstown is in the midst of some of the worlds most famous chocolate factories such as Hershey Foods and Reese’s, and I have children and grandchildren living in the area. It will be a natural to see him there.
A big boat getting underway, as viewed from our hotel room
Our plankowner’s enjoying the breeze off of
the lake. They gave us a great boat, our hats are off to them.
A letter from my good friend Stan Crooks
to the crew of the Jallao
When Steve Marquis and his wife, Penny, came back from your reunion, they
talked and talked about all of you. So what! — You say!Well what came through more than the good times they had and the good people they met or became reacquainted with, was the remarkable Jallao. A steel fish big enough to live in, manned at any given time by a maximum crew of about 80 to 90, which for some strange reason can bring grown, tough, hardened men to tears.
Magic in the steel, magic in the engines, magic in the electronics, I don’t think so.
I think the magic was in the men and the moments of danger, moments of boredom, moments of heartbreak they all seemed to share no matter who it was that felt it. The magic was in the beat, the cadence, created by a group of men from a hundred or more different places, all working together for their own preservation and for the peace of the whole damn world.
It isn’t often a man gets to be a part of something many times bigger than himself, and when it happens, the connections that get made between the people involved are impossible to break. Years can’t break them; differences of lifestyle or political belief or religious belief can’t break them.
What I heard from Steve and Penny, was this. Those who lived on and with the Jallao will be together forever. Bonds beyond those forged by steel and duty and patriotism and belief have been formed and will not submit to any kind of destruction.
All of you are in wonderful place: you are immortal within this bond.
My hat’s off to all of you.
Stan Crooks, May 30, 2003
Stan, a former Army paratrooper, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
We adopted a new young Jallao sailor.
Cody came as the guest of his grandfather, Bob Sheldon and was an immediate hit, his bubbly personality lit up the reunion and he couldn’t keep the smile off of his face during the banquet where he functioned as the runner, passing out all of the prizes. What a delightful young man he is, a sub sailor in the making. Our best wishes to Cody.
Terry Parsons daughter Terri and his grandsons Zack on the
left and Spencer on the right