Back to Home Page   

I-2 Holds Successful Mini-Reunion May 12 - 15 at Eagle Lake in Racine County, Wisconsin

Front Row: Jim Oaks, Ed Jones, Tom Stone, Darius Gaskins
Back Row: Jack McLaughlin, Tom Cuthbert, Geo Henderson, Chas Randolph, Hal Gaither, Jim Goldstine, Dick Borden

At the urging of Jack McLaughlin and Chuck Randolph, members of Company I-2 held their second mini-reunion on May 12-15 at Eagle Lake in Racine County, Wisconsin, about 50 miles north of Chicago.

The group had first met at Williamsburg, VA in 2000. Even though most of those who attended that reunion came to the 40th Class Reunion in New York the next year, there was talk about having another small group gathering in the future.

This year “I-Dos” did it again.

Thanks to the wonderful facility offered by Tom and Cindy Stone at Tom’s parent’s former home on Eagle Lake near Kansasville, WI, eleven classmates, most with wives, met for three enjoyable days.

The Stones were able to secure three other houses on the lake that were not being used during the weekend and this allowed three couples to say in each while Jim and Lyn Goldstine stayed with the Stones. House assignments were: Chuck and Marilyn Randolph, Hal Gaither, Tom and Grace Cuthbert; Eddie and Jerry Jones, George Henderson, Jim and Ann Oaks; Dick and Joyce Borden, Jack and Donna McLaughlin, Darius and Stephanie Gaskins.

Everyone arrived by Thursday afternoon and the Stones treated us to the evening meal of bratwurst at their place. The store of Class 6 was greatly reduced in short order, necessitating an unscheduled resupply trip by Stone and Goldstine the following morning. After the meal there was some enthusiastic discussions with a few differing opinions expressed, but with the exception of a few raised voices from Gaither and Gaskins, most of the talk was civil.

This was the first time many of us had seen the Cuthberts in a long time and they seemed to enjoy being back with classmates as well as in their native state from their present home in Arlington, VA. But probably the most welcome former member was Dick Borden who was only in the company for the first semester of Plebe year before leaving for the University of Minnesota and going into the Naval Reserve where he eventually retired as a Captain. With both his former Plebe roommates – Gaskins and McLaughlin – there it was easy to get reacquainted and to recall some long forgotten memories of that glorious year. All three were in the same house so it was easy to spend time remembering. It also made it easier for Dick’s wife, Joyce, to more easily become familiar with all the “new” people she was meeting.

There was a small 9-hole golf around the group of houses where we were staying and although the weather was a little cool that weekend, a few ventured out for a round on Saturday. I understand that Grace Cuthbert showed the guys how the game should be played.

The only planned activities were dinner on Friday and Saturday night. The group was free to explore southern Wisconsin on their own during the day or simply to relax and enjoy the visit and renew friendships on the edge of the lake.

On Friday, the Gaskins, Bordens, McLaughlins and Oaks drove to Racine to tour the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Johnson Wax headquarters building. They followed the tour with a drive around town that included the harbor and the Wind Point Lighthouse, oddly enough designed by a West Point graduate Orland Poe, Class of 1832. They concluded the trip with an excellent lunch at a downtown Racine restaurant.

Friday night the group drove around to the other side of Eagle Lake to enjoy a Wisconsin tradition: Friday Night Fish Fry. According to the Stones, you really have not experienced a Friday Night Fish Fry unless you do it in a local tavern, so that’s where we headed. Cindy knew the owner and his wife and although reservations for a group our size was not the norm, we were accommodated. The Walleye and Cod were enjoyed by all.

Saturday some of the group headed to nearby Lake Geneva for sight seeing and a few others drove back toward Racine to tour a Jelly Belly factory. (It doesn’t take much to serve as entertainment for aging I-2er.)

Saturday afternoon the guys got together for a picture on the edge of the lake and with the help of a stiff breeze the flag unfurled perfectly as Chuck Randolph stood in the rear center wearing the proper “West Point” sweat shirt to identify the origin of the subjects. At a company meeting that followed the picture, a surprise phone call from company mate Ron Hannon was a special treat. Stone had left a message for Hannon that the group planned to meet in the afternoon and that a call would be welcomed. Each man gave a short greeting to Ron who said he would try to make the next mini gathering which was tentatively planned for Huntsville, Alabama in 2007.

The final dinner, a real crowning jewel to the whole time together, was held at the Cotton Picker’s, an area restaurant where the food was excellent and the service even better. After the meal Gaither and Oaks led the group through a couple of verses of Army Blue for the ladies and we all sang as if we were the Cadet Glee Club. The sound may not have been as good, but the effort was of the same quality.

A toast was raised to three fallen company mates, Doug Matthews, Dave Price and Steve Walker, then the Stones thanked all for coming. Tom recalled some of the family gatherings at the Lake when he was a young boy and hearing singing in the air outside his bedroom window. He said that he thought his parents would have been very pleased to know that our group had enjoyed Eagle Lake.

But the real thanks go to the Stones for coordinating the event. Again, Cindy and Tom, we all thank you deeply for your wonderful Wisconsin hospitality.

For some of us it was the first time we had been together for more than 40 years, but we left with an even deeper regard for each other and with thanks that circumstances had taken us all up the Hudson River in the summer of 1957 to form lasting friendships - friendships that we intend to renew more frequently in future years.

For pictures taken at the I-2 Mini-Reunion, please click here. This is a new format for showing pictures on the Class Web Site. Please click on a particular thumbnail picture to look at the full size picture. You can then click on the arrows to go forward or backward to look at the other pictures. A click on the thumbnail icon will take you back to the thumbnails. A click on the house icon will take you back to this page.














Last update: