Back to Home Page   

1961 Mini-Reunion

Charleston, SC

Sunday 19 March – Friday 24 March 2017

Note – send all commo to Joe Fishburne ( )


    Attendance List
    1. Below is latest list of folks that indicated they are planning to attend.
    2. Very good group, up to 86 at this point.
    3. This is a busy time of year for the hotel, so if you have not registered you should read the info below and submit your online registration survey NOW!
  2. Master Plan
    1. Event schedule has been updated and modified.
    2. Main update are the entries for the House and Garden Tour
    3. Check below for the latest plan.
  1. Spring Festival of Houses and Gardens
    1. Festival of House Tours will begin at 1400 and homes are open until 1700. 
    2. Go to for info, to select tours and times, and to purchase tickets.
    3. If you want Joe to pick up your ticket, send a copy of your receipt to
    4. Tickets go on sale on 1 November and typically sell out by the end of December. 
    5. If you think you will want to go on one or more of the tours, buy your tickets NOW! 
    6. We can probably resell the tickets if you decide later that you will not attend or will not go on the tour


Mark your calendars for a great Mini in Charleston, SC.  You can come for all or any of the days.  Your hosts, Joe Fishburne and John Goldtrap, are coordinating a great get-together. 

To register for this fun event, simply use the following link to the on-line Registration Survey and complete your registration. 


List of folks that are planning to attend

First Name Last Name
Joe Amlong
Chuck Armstrong
Brendan Battle
George Bonville
Peter Boylan
Colleen ( wife of Mike) Brady
Ed Brown
Dick Buckner
Larry Budge
Larry Butterworth
Jack Campbell
Robert Chelberg
Will Conley
James Connolly
Dutch Coulter
Todd Counts
Mike Eiland
Bill Ford
Francis "Frank" "Hoot" Gibson
Bob Glass
John  Goldtrap
Mike Hale
Dan Halpin
Bob Hampton
Charlie Hansell
Bob Hardiman
Jim Harmon
Pat Hillier
H. Hampton Hodges
Pat C. Hoy
Hank Kenny
George Kopcsak
Don Landry
Barney Legge
Denny  Lenhart
Don Lionetti
William Mackie
Phil Mallory
jay mccann
Burke Mucho
Bruce Nichols
Hank Rennagel
Jim Stokes
Tom Stone
Mike Urette
Jack Veatch
David White
Gene Witherspoon
Woodie Woodward

Following is info for planning purposes and some things you need to do. 

1.    The Venue

Charleston, SC

Charleston is one of the most popular destinations in the World.  In Charleston you can expect to find a rich combination of hospitality and charm resonant of the "Old South."

Downtown District
Besides the historic churches, buildings, and landmarks that you'll want to see, there are plenty of opportunities for shopping.  Downtown is a convenient starting point for getting to know Charleston as it is a vibrant combination of old and new, offering diverse attractions.  The oldest part of town where a lot of the buildings and houses have been preserved, spark architectural interest. Tours, like the Historic Homes Walk, allow you to learn more about this amazing architecture dating back to the mid-18th century.  

Mount Pleasant District
Founded in 1680 and located to the East of Charleston, the Mount Pleasant District is known for its fine dining. Mount Pleasant is also the home of one of the biggest naval & maritime museums in the world, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum. Tour boats are available from Mount Pleasant to view Fort Sumter.


2.    Things to Do

The primary reasons for picking March dates are the Spring Festival of Houses and Gardens, beautiful spring flowers, and weather.  Here are a few of the main activities of interest with more details on each item printed below as you scroll down the page.  We will need to know if you are interested in any of these so we can make plans and arrange group tours, if appropriate.                                                                                            

·       Spring Festival of Houses and Gardens

·       Patriots Point

·       Ft Sumter

·       Ft Moultrie

·       Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley

·       The Gardens at Middleton Place

·       The Charleston Tea Plantation

·       The Original Firefly Distillery

·       Charleston Carriage Tour

·       Charleston Walking Tour (conducted by Joe Fishburne)

·       Charleston Boat Tour

·       Golf


3.    Daily Plan



Sun 19 Mar


Mon 20 Mar

Tues 21 Mar

Wed 22 Mar

Thur 23 Mar

Fri 24 Mar




Hotel Dining Room

Hotel Dining Room

Hotel Dining Room

Hotel Dining Room

Hotel Dining Room

Hospitality suite


61 Hosp Ste

3PM till

61 Hosp Ste

8AM til

61 Hosp Ste

8AM til

61 Hosp Ste

8AM til

61 Hosp Ste

8AM til




Day trips and

Group Tours*


Historic Charleston Walking Tour



Day Trip -

Middleton Gardens & Tea Plantation


Historic Charleston Walking Tour




Hunley Museum Tour 1400-1500


Festival of Houses and Gardens


Festival of Houses and Gardens


Festival of Houses and Gardens




Boat Cruise














Casual Dinner Private Room at Hotel


Your Choice

Your Choice

Casual Dinner Private Room at Hotel


Leftover - potluck dinner at Hotel or Pavilion at Simmons Pointe 1830-till



·       Spring Festival of Houses and Gardens. The Spring Festival of Houses and Gardens tour days have been announced.   The Festival of House Tours will begin at 1400 and homes are open until 1700.  Please go to for info and to purchase tickets.  The cost for the tour, self-guided, is $50 per person..  We can pick up tickets for you once you have purchased them.  We will need a copy of your receipt that you can e-mail to us at  Tickets for the Festival of Houses and Gardens go on sale on 1 November.  We are told the tickets are typically sold out by the end of December.  If you think you will want to go on one or more of the tours, buy your tickets NOW!  We can probably resell the tickets if you decide later that you will not attend or will not go on the tour. 

·       Golf.  Spring is a prime time for playing golf in the Charleston area.   If you are interested in playing golf, indicate that fact in your survey input ASAP so that we can start talking with the golf course management.  Game plan depends upon the number of individuals interested in playing. If there are fewer numbers of golfers, we will establish tee times for those interested in playing.   We would need at least eight to nine committed foursomes for a shotgun start.

·       The Hunley submarine Museum is typically open only over the weekend.  However, a special tour can be arranged for our group if we have at least 30 people interested.  Since our last visit, there has been considerable cleaning of the hull of the submarine and it is much more visible as is the interior. 

·       Sunset Boat Cruise.  We can schedule a sunset boat cruise on the Palmetto Breeze, a fifty foot catamaran, regardless of the number of individuals interested.  However, to reserve the whole boat, we need to have fifty people interested in going on the cruise.  If we have the entire boat, we can bring our own booze and snacks.  We did this the last time and it worked out well. 


4.    Our Hotel


Homewood Suites by Hilton Charleston - Mount Pleasant

We're all about Southern Hospitality here at the Homewood Suites by Hilton - Mount Pleasant!


Located close to Charleston hot spots and attractions, yet nestled in a quiet residential neighborhood, the newly renovated


Homewood Suites by Hilton Charleston - Mt. Pleasant hotel is a great home base for touring historic Charleston or relaxing on Isle of Palm beach. Walk to boutiques and local restaurants or take a short drive to the attractions of historic downtown Charleston.


Suites feature separate living areas and fully equipped kitchens with full-sized refrigerators, two-burner ranges, a microwave and dishwasher. If you'd like, we'll even stock the pantry and refrigerator with your favorite groceries. All suites include free WiFi and an additional full-sized sleeper.


Enjoy a workout in the fitness center or a swim in the pool. Join us for a daily hot full breakfast and complimentary evening social* served Monday through Thursday.



                      As a guest at the Homewood Suites, you will be treated to the following amenities:

  • Complimentary Wireless High-Speed Internet Access
  • Full Kitchenettes in every suite with Coffee Maker, Toaster, Microwave
  • Flat Screen HDTVs with Cable and Satellite Channels
  • Iron and Ironing Board
  • Complimentary Southern Breakfast 7 days a week, Complimentary Evening Social with beer and wine Monday- Thursday



Hotel Reservation Info


Homewood Suites by Hilton Charleston - Mount Pleasant

Group Name

West Point Mini Reunion


(843) 881-6950 (Hotel direct number)


$139.00 Sunday night - $144.00 Monday - Thursday night


Come early/stay late

Cancellation Policy

72 hours in advance

Reservation Cut-off date

February 19, 2017

Room Note

King Suites, 2 Handicapped Suites with Roll In Showers Available

Special Needs

Note when making reservation

Standard Check-in

1500 hrs


5.    Now here is what you need to do:

·       Have a look at the attractions and activities available and decide what you might like to do so we can plan tours, golf days, etc.

·       Complete the Registration Survey per the directions above.  Let us know if you are at all interested in joining us and what activities you might have an interest in so we can start getting headcount estimates.  Maybe’s are fine, you can always make changes later. 

·       If you think you will be coming, make your hotel reservation now.  You can always cancel up to 72 hours ahead if things change. 

·       To make a reservation you can call the hotel directly at 843-881-6950 and ask for the Reservations Department. Guests will need to mention the West Point Reunion as well as their desired check in and check out dates. Reservations can also be made by calling toll free 1-800-HILTONS.  If any guests are having trouble making a reservation, would like to request one of the two handicapped rooms, or would like to come in early or stay later than the contracted block, please direct all phone calls to Parke Shields at 843-881-6950.

·       Send any questions to Joe Fishburne <>.


6.    Here is some info on the many attractions in the area and group events we are considering.



Experience the charm found only beyond Charleston’s private garden gates and historic doorways.  The Festival is made possible by the dedication and generosity of more than 150 property owners and 650 volunteers.  Set amid the ambience of the city’s Old & Historic District, this series of award-winning tours and educational events showcase Charleston’s distinctive architecture, history, gardens and culture. The tours provide a rare opportunity for guests to go inside the private houses and gardens of some of America’s most beautiful historic residences. Tours and events vary by day. Tickets go on sale Nov. 1, 2016.  We are told tickets may be sold out by early December.  So if you are interested in this attraction you should purchase your tickets ASAP.



Patriots Point

USS Yorktown

The USS YORKTOWN (CV-10) was the tenth aircraft carrier to serve in the United States Navy.



USS Clamagore

CLAMAGORE is the only GUPPY III submarine preserved in the United States.



The LAFFEY (DD-724) was named for the first LAFFEY (DD-459), sunk at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal in November 1942.



The Medal of Honor Museum

The Congressional Medal of Honor Museum is located on board the historic aircraft carrier USS YORKTOWN.



This national museum is also home to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, the most unique, and perhaps the most exclusive, organization in the United States.  The Congressional Medal of Honor Museum features interactive exhibits that explain the origin of the Medal of Honor and its distinctions. The exhibits tell the stories of brave Americans who displayed remarkable courage such as Audie Murphy, Sergeant Alvin York and Jimmy Doolittle. The Congressional Medal of Honor Museum is included in the Patriots Point admission charge.


Vietnam Support Base

Patriots Point's Vietnam Naval Support Base Camp features many of the various craft used to combat the dangers of patrolling the jungle and rivers throughout the Vietnam War.



Ft Sumter

Where The American Civil War Began

Decades of growing strife between North and South erupted in civil war on April 12, 1861, when Confederate artillery opened fire on this Federal fort in Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Union forces would try for nearly four years to take it back.



Here, at the fort named for South Carolina Revolutionary War patriot Thomas Sumter, the opening shots of the Civil War were fired on April 12, 1861. The fort, shown above as it appeared on the eve of the war, was begun in 1829, one of a series of coastal fortifications built by the United

States after the War of 1812. As with many Federal projects, enslaved laborers and craftsmen were among the men who worked on this structure.




The fort was still unfinished when Maj. Robert Anderson moved his 85-man garrison into it the day after Christmas 1860, setting in motion events that would tear the nation asunder four months later. The flag is the one that flew over the fort during the 1861 bombardment.




Ft Moultrie


The first fort on Sullivan's Island was still incomplete when Commodore Sir Peter Parker and nine warships attacked it on June 28, 1776. After a nine-hour battle, the ships were forced to retire. Charleston was saved from British occupation, and the fort was named in honor of its commander, Colonel. William Moultrie. After the Revolution, Fort Moultrie was neglected, and by 1791 little of it remained.  A second Fort Moultrie was completed in 1798. It too suffered from neglect and was finally destroyed by a hurricane in 1804. By 1809 a new brick fort stood on Sullivan's Island.






In December 1860 South Carolina seceded from the Union, and the Federal garrison abandoned Fort Moultrie for the stronger Sumter. In April 1863, Federal iron-clads and shore batteries began a 20-month bombardment of Sumter and Moultrie, yet Charleston’s defenses held. In February 1865, Fort Moultrie lay hidden under the band of sand that protected its walls from Federal shells.


Today Fort Moultrie has been restored to portray the major periods of its history. A visitor to the fort moves steadily backwards in time from the World War II Harbor Entrance Control Post to the site of the Palmetto-log fort of 1776.



Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley



The Date: February 17, 1864.

The Location: Just outside Charleston Harbour approximately four miles off Breach Inlet in Sullivan's Island on the moonlit sea.

The Conditions: Cold. Bone chilling. Quiet.

The Situation: Desperate. Frightening. A turning point in history.

The Hunley making her way out to sea on the night of February 17th, 1864.
(Image courtesy of Dan Dowdey).


The Ship: A lookout aboard the Union Navy's largest ship was tired, cold -- but restless. Talk of a Confederate secret weapon was in and out of his thoughts. Suddenly he spotted something move in the chilly waters. A porpoise? There were certainly a lot of them around. But something about this one didn't seem right.


The USS Housatonic.



Contact: Below the waterline - as bullets bounced off its cylindrical body, the H.L. Hunley rammed her long metal spar into the stern area, planting a 135 pound torpedo into the Warship Housatonic. The men inside the Hunley lunged forward from the impact, then quickly backed their sub out as the 150-foot attached detonation rope played out. Within seconds, the world rocked and every man, above and below, became enveloped in a concussion of destruction.


Illustration of the H.L. Hunley
detonating its torpedo onside the hull of the USS Housatonic.
(Image courtesy of Dan Dowdey).


That night history was made. At the same moment, a mystery was born. The Hunley became the first submarine ever to sink an enemy ship. But why had she suddenly disappeared? What caused her to sink? And would she ever be found?


The Hunley Today:

The world would have to wait until the tools of modern technology could begin to unlock the secrets of the Hunley. In 1995, author and adventurer Clive Cussler found the Hunley resting on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. Intact and remarkably well preserved, the Hunley was found buried deep within the sand and silt just outside of Charleston Harbor.

The recovery of the Hunley has turned out to be one of the most important single events in the history of South Carolina. Today, well over a century after Lt. Dixon and his courageous crew vanished, the South Carolina Hunley Commission and a private, non-profit group called the Friends of the Hunley are solving the mystery of the Hunley like a puzzle that reveals new information one piece at a time. They are engaged in the single most important archaeological investigations of the century and are everyday coming closer to solving the mystery of why the Hunley never came home.






The Gardens at Middleton Place




Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark and home to America’s Oldest Landscaped Gardens. The Garden Club of America has called the 65 acres “the most important and most interesting garden in America”.  Centuries-old camellias bloom in the winter months and azaleas blaze on the hillside above the Rice Mill Pond in the spring. In summer, kalmia, magnolias, crepe myrtles and roses accent a landscape magnificent throughout the year.


House Museum

Built in 1755, the House Museum interprets four generations of Middleton Family, with extraordinary family furniture, silver, porcelain, rare books and portraits on display. Birthplace of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Middleton Place and the Middletons have played an important role in American history. The property has miraculously remained under the same family stewardship for some 320 years, and today, successfully preserves history for visitors to enjoy.

Plantation Stableyards

In the newly rejuvenated 18th and 19th century Plantation Stableyards costumed interpreters demonstrate the skills once performed by enslaved Africans. The Stableyards bring to life the sights and sounds of a Low Country rice plantation.  Craft artisans include a weaver, blacksmith, potter, and cooper/carpenter. Many heritage breeds are found in the living history Plantation Stableyards including Cashmere goats, Guinea Hogs, River Water Buffalo, Brown Swiss and Jersey cows, as well as Dominique and Rhode Island Red chickens.





The Charleston Tea Plantation



The Charleston Tea Plantation is located on historic Wadmalaw Island in the heart of the Lowcountry of South Carolina. 

Home to The Charleston Tea Plantation, Wadmalaw provides the perfect environment for propagating tea.  With its sandy soils, sub-tropical climate and average rainfall of 52 inches per year, Wadmalaw possess idyllic conditions for the Camellia Sinensis plant.  This plant is currently used to produce both black and green teas and exists in over 320 varieties on the 127 acre grounds of the Charleston Tea Plantation .  Open 7 days a week, with the exception of a few holidays.  You will learn first-hand how tea is made during an informative Factory Tour.  You can also take an enjoyable Trolley Ride through the tea fields, shop our unique Plantation Gift Shop and help yourself to all of the iced American Classic Tea you can drink. 



The Original Firefly Distillery

The Firefly Story

Nothing is better on a hot, lazy summer day than sittin’ on the front porch, sippin’ a glass of sweet tea.  Jim Irvin and Scott Newitt couldn’t agree more—as long as it’s sweet tea with a kick.  Firefly is the brainchild of Jim and Scott, southern gentlemen with a passion for the South and all that makes it unique.

“It doesn’t get more Southern than sweet tea,” that is 'genuinely Southern.'  Our vodka is distilled on Wadmalaw Island.  Our tea comes from our friends at the Charleston Tea Plantation.  The sugar we use is from Louisiana, it is pure cane sugar.  We do not use any artificial ingredients."

The Distillery

Firefly Distillery is largest micro-distillery in South Carolina.  Firefly Distillery has a tasting room, where people may taste Firefly products and purchase bottles. Visitors may partake in wine tastings and winery tours within the 11 acres of muscadine grapes.

Original Sweet Tea

Firefly is the world’s first hand-crafted sweet tea flavored vodka. Keeping true to its Southern roots, Firefly is distilled four times, infused with tea grown on a plantation five miles from the distillery and blended with real Louisiana sugar cane. It tastes just like real sweet tea, but with an even sweeter kick!




Typical Carriage Tours

  • How long does an Olde Towne Daytime Historic Carriage tour last?
    The ride lasts approximately one hour.
  • What exact areas do you visit?
    You will see the historic old market area where commerce has taken place for over 250 years, historical houses maintained in timeless fashion, beautiful gardens, artistic wrought iron gates and decorative entrances to the many mansions as the tour winds through the 25 - 30 block area.  In addition, you will see parts of the old walled city and several of the many churches that give Charleston its nickname of the “Holy City”. Your tour guide will acquaint you with the history and architecture which make Charleston one of the truly grand jewels of the South. Most importantly you will gain a better understanding of the people that lived and traversed over the past three hundred years, on the very streets you are traveling.
  • Is the carriage ride narrated?
    Yes, the carriage tour is fully narrated by a professional tour guide.

Typical Walking Tours

Charleston, South Carolina is a town of unimaginable beauty and is unrivaled in her preservation and historical significance. The Historic District - with its hidden alleys, majestic homes, manicured gardens, and tree canopied streets - is simply perfect for walking freely and discovering a bygone era.  Tour where carriages and motorcoaches are not allowed as you take a fascinating stroll with stories and traditions revealing Charleston’s rich history and colorful past.  This two hour tour through America’s most charming historical district is sure to be the highlight of your visit.  Some of the highlights include:

  • Rainbow Row
  • Historic Waterfront Battery
  • Antebellum Mansions
  • Four Corners of Law
  • A visual tour of Fort Sumter
  • Hidden Gardens & Courtyards
  • Historic Churches & Graveyards
  • The Revolutionary and Civil War

Sunset Harbor and Creek Tour

You will enjoy a cool coastal breeze while unwinding during our Sunset Cruise. You will relax and enjoy light hors d'oeuvres with a cash bar serving beer and wine as you cruise through the Charleston harbor. You will see a maritime forest as we meander down a salt-marsh creek or two depending on the tides. You will see sites such as the forts, the Battery, the islands, and the lighthouses. Charleston's church steeples add to its unique skyline as they come alive at this hour of the day. The harbor's abundant wildlife comes out to play during the "bluing hour". Dolphins and birds entertain us with their whimsy. With the Holy City as your backdrop, you will enjoy peaceful and breathtaking views of sunset-silhouetted steeples while cruising along its waterways.














Last update: