USS DAVIDSON Snipe Reunion – Matthews, NC Continued...
June 14-17, 2007
Report by Russell Crosby
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By the late hours in was time to turn in, as the next day was for tours of the area and fellowship. After all being treated to big meal by Bob Ferguson at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant our first tour was at the North Carolina Panthers Football Stadium with a personal guided tour by Billy Segarra who works there in management and promotions.
It was a special treat to be hosted by and see a fellow shipmate's son and be able to recall his dad at that age. What a fine young man. He treated us to the grand tour and like we were all kings. What a facility and what a “high bar” for accomplishment has been set for the athletes and all associated with the Charlotte , North Carolina Panthers. They now are my team, they exude success with the state of the art facilities they operate out of. Billy also had Panthers souvenirs for us all.
That afternoon we toured the Charlotte Lowe's Speedway , a beautiful NASCAR race track which all thoroughly enjoyed, and we made donations generously to the souvenir shop for loved ones back at home.
That evening we all dined at the Carraba's Italian Restaurant and enjoyed wonderful Italian dishes and wine in toast to our fellow Davidson snipes and shipmates. Michael Martucci headed the table up and kept the memories and conversation flowing of times long ago, along with the help of Jim Kelly and Willie Segarra.
It was again time to retire once again, all too soon. The next morning was visiting time back at the hotel. Michael and I even managed to have a liberty as he had some dry cleaning being done at the cleaners there and we drove down to pick it up, and see sights of the part of the downtown Matthews. We had a good time taking pictures of each other on cabooses, etc. reminded us both of being young sailors on liberty taking pictures of places we were in to send home.
About 3 p.m. we all met out at Elaine and Willie Segarra's lovely home for an outdoor BBQ that they hosted for us, along with Elaine's Dad who is now an honorary DAVIDSON Sailor. He has many distinctions in life, and very interesting to talk to. One of the more fascinating experiences he related to me was having seen General George Patton in person in WWII. Bill also has distinguished service to our country with a Bronze star and combat Infantryman's badge earned to his credit in WWII, plus he was a merchant seaman for awhile serving none other than as a snipe being a machinist mate.
Elaine and Willie laid out the red carpet for us all with a wonderful array of meats Willie personally bar-b-qued for us plus all the trimmings that go along with it. We all took pictures of each other and our sweet hearts who celebrated with us. Willie presented all of us with DEA hats and we had our group picture taken with them on. They were from various cities that Willie served in with the DEA over his career.
The evening was eclipsed by the presentation of the cake, our 40 th Anniversary of the CLASS OF 67 and our first Westpac together as BTs. It was an especially proud moment and a memorable occasion for us all. None of us could have imagined this occasion 40 years ago.
The evening unfortunately had to come to a close, as did our reunion, and we all headed back to the hotel with laughter and tears both, and wonderful memories. It was a time we all probably never in our wildest dreams would have thought would ever occur, but once it did, it went all too quickly, but it was such a wonderful treat for us all. It was made more sweet for
each of us as our wives shared the moment with us. Many of us there had not seen each other in 40 years, since we left the ship at different times. It felt good to the man and lady, to know that no matter how much time elapsed, we were all still brothers and sisters, and will remain so until our passing, bonded together by that ship and the fireroom. We all left with hopes and goals to make sure this would not be our last Snipe reunion, and with renewed enthusiasm to make contact with more of our brothers of the fireroom and engineroom for an even bigger “snipe” reunion in the future.
Every snipe, and our shipmates in general that we served with aboard the DAVIDSON can be assured …….your name was recalled with love and affection as we looked through the cruise books.
And also in pride in that we all served together so many years ago in a hot fireroom and engineroom, and the many other jobs and divisions on the good ship…………..the USS DAVIDSON DE-1045 on station and in service to our country.
2007 Reunion Photos coming soon!!
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