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Witherspoon Hosted Football/Golf Weekend In New Orleans Successful For All Including The Army Team

The Class of 1961 did it again. All of us who attended the ARMY Vs Tulane Football / Golf long weekend feel as though we are the harbingers of good things for the ARMY Football Team. If I am not mistaken, I think we have an outstanding, if not unbeaten, record at our Class Reunion weekends, and now we have added an away Conference win to our credit. In this game, we were 19 – point underdogs and managed a 14-10 win.

Gene and Georgia Witherspoon hosted a fantastic golf, shopping, sightseeing and exquisite dining weekend in New Orleans built around the ARMY Vs Tulane Football game, which was played in the Superdome. This event was a carry over from our annual Golfing Grads of West Point Golf Tournament each Spring with added inspiration from Dan and Jan DiCarlos pre-reunion Golf Tournaments. I can tell you the Witherspoons and the DiCarlos have provided us with weekends we will all remember forever. We continue to build our numbers. We encourage all to come join us.

In New Orleans, Bill and Pat Griffiths, Don and Jo Sawtelle, Jerry and Cathy White, Jim and Wanda Lynch, Russ and Carolyn Cornelius, Bill and Chris Tobin, Frank and Barbara Gibson, Rusty and Donna Dyer, George and Karen Joulwan, Al and Carin Vanderbush, Hampy and Vicki Hodges, Rod and Jan Grannemann, Gene and Georgia Witherspoon, Jim and Kelly Scott, Bill and Linda Esselstein, Red Zaldo and Ron Hannon participated in a series of FANTASTIC EVENTS. Our bountiful THANKS to Gene and Georgia for all they did for us.

We had several cancellations: The Vallelys, McCanns, Hallenbecks and DiCarlos were missed. However, several golfers are on the record as saying that they felt they had won $100 or more because of Danny’s absence. Dan had the only legitimate excuse, and we all pray for Jan’s quick recovery. PV preferred to go to Israel, but he had Muffin donate conscience money which Gibby and others drank away at the hotel bar; McCann opted for his Yacht Club Party; and, Gil was reluctant to give any excuse lest he receive the same wrath of emails JJ received when he HONESTLY reported the reason for his absence.

Upon our arrival, we either joined Gene for a round of golf at his club or did the sight seeing bit. We then were treated to an elaborate buffet dinner at Gene and Georgia’s beautiful home near Audubon Park, just west of downtown New Orleans. It was a quiet evening of casual conversation as we all caught up with old friends and made fantastic new ones. Quiet, that is, until the buzz of the conversation was punctuated by the cry of FIRE, FIRE, FIRE as one of our classmates unknowingly dipped his black, gray and gold napkin into a candle and it immediately burst into flames. Huffing and puffing on the burning napkin while standing on a white rug, our classmate succeeded in extinguishing the flames with no damage to the home. Red Zaldo said: "I’m glad that wasn’t me!"

On the 1st day of golf competition we played the Eastover Country Club. We had four foursomes playing a modified Florida Scramble. Two teams tied for the lead. We offered several methods to determine the winner; however, Al Vanderbush would not accept the method proposed by Rusty Dyer and used a method which Al and Gene said they had predetermined to use. That method made the team of Tobin, Vanderbush, Witherspoon and Esselstein the winner over the team Dyer, Gibson, Hannon and Cornelius. The other two teams were only one and two strokes behind. They were: Zaldo, Joulwan, Griffiths and Hodges; and, Sawtelle, White, Grannemann and Scott.

That evening we all made our way to Mr. "B’s". Once again, Georgia, with the assistance of Jo Sawtelle, Barbara Gibson and others, set the scene with colorful decorations. This time balloons, flowers and napkins. We were allotted a private dinning room in what is a truly fantastic restaurant and the Witherspoons planned a special meal with several options for us all. The wine flowed freely and the night passed too quickly. A truly delicious meal.

On the 2nd day of competition the weather turned windy and cold and there was no doubt as to the winners. Only two teams made their way out to the Audubon Golf Club where The 1st Regiment Golfers (Sawtelle, Grannemann, Hodges and Zaldo) defeated the 2nd Regiment Golfers (Vanderbush, Hannon, Witherspoon and Scott). The others went sight seeing, with the D-Day Museum receiving more hits than the Casino. We then all hustled to the Game where Al Vanderbush had strategically placed us right behind the ARMY Team. I can tell you while there were many doubts as to the outcome of the game, it was George and Karen Joulwan who reminded us of the Class of 1961’s good fortune at our Class Reunion Football Games. George said he had a good feeling about this game and Frank Gibson and Dan DiCarlo put money on the ARMY Team. Needless to say we departed the SUPERDOME in a cheerful mood.

After the game, everyone scattered to different restaurants in the Quarter. I heard many stories which I will not repeat, but I am going to ask Tobin and While about their adventure when we are at the Spring event on the Palm Coast of Florida. Get out and join us.

Class of 1961: "SECOND TO NONE"















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