15th National Reunion – Alaskan Cruise (♫Anchors aweigh my boys, anchors aweigh.♫)
Throughout the first week of June the crew of the Statendam began arriving in
Vancouver, B.C., for the cruise of a lifetime. In all, 73 folks boarded on Sunday June,
5th and soon we were on our way. Most headed for the Lido deck for the first of
many, many visits to the infamous buffet. We ate, drank, and did a lot of catching-up,
before heading to the Promenade dinning room for dinner.
After dinner, Jim Miller and Dave Wrench officially welcomed all in attendance,
introduced the reunion first timers, the families, and friends of families, while the
official Association sweat shirts and ID badges were distributed. The party
continued into the night as many cocktails were consumed. (see page 4 for list of
Monday June 6th:
This day will be forever known as ”Green Monday.” Throughout the first night of
sailing we traveled through the straits between the mainland of Canada and Victoria
Island, and it was as calm as could be. However, early Monday we broke out into the
open sea and ran into some rather rough weather. With winds as high as 65 miles an
hour and seas up to 15 feet, people were popping Dramamine like Christmas candy,
buying those little sea sick preventing wristbands, and heading for their staterooms.
Needless to say the dining room had sparse attendance that night.
Tuesday June 7th:
After cruising all night we woke up in Ketchikan Alaska, our first of three port
stops on the cruise. Ketchikan is a small city, or a large town of 14,000 inhabitants,
half of which live there only 6 months a year. However, during the tourist season
when 3 or 4 cruise ships are in port, that population can almost double for that day.
The temperature was around 60º, so most of us got off the ship to investigate. Many
took tours offered by the cruise line, while some just walked around shopping, taking
pictures, or having a cool one or two at the local watering hole, the Sourdough Bar.
Ketchikan was founded in the late 1880’s as a salmon center, however now tourism is
the main industry. As evidence of this, all one needs to do is count the jewelry
boutiques that cover the main streets directly in front of where the ships come in.
We found this to be true of all three ports we visited.
Wednesday June 8th:
The Capital of Alaska was the next ”port-o-call.” Juneau has been the capital since
1906, when the government was moved from Sitka. It was named after a 1880’s gold
prospector name Joe Juneau, who started the gold rush that put the town on the
map. Other names were Rockwell, and Harrisburg (named after Joe Juneau’s co-
prospector, Richard Harris). The population is around 30,000, most of which work for
the state government.
Again the temperature was around 55º so most of us took bus tours offered by the
cruise line to local points of interest such as, fish hatcheries, salmon bakes, and the
local favorite, the Mendenhall Glacier. A few of the guys (Dave Wrench, Dave Black,
Peter Weinreich, and other friends) hiked to the top of a local mountain, while John
and Darlene Schwandke had an excellent adventure, which included a helicopter ride to
the top of Mendenhall Glacier, and a sled dog ride while there.mush! mush!
Thursday June 9th:
This day finds us in Skagway another really small town on the west coast of Alaska.
The town had it’s heyday in the late 1800’s when gold was discovered in the Klondike
region of the Yukon Territory, just 500 miles over the hill. The towns peek population
was around 8000 in 1898, however the population now is less then 1000, most of
which work in those flippin jewelry boutiques.
The temperature was not quite as warm, around 39º, with a rather strong breeze, so
we all bundled up as we headed to town. A good number of us took the White Pass and
Yukon Route (WP & YR) narrow gauge railroad to the top of White’s Pass. The train
winds around the local mountain passes, goes over some really scary bridges, seemly
hangs over a few cliffs before turning around and doing it all over again. It’s a
harrowing ”heart in your throat” kind of ride, but the scenery and wildlife are well
worth it.
Friday June 10th:
After leaving Skagway and cruising all night and most of the day, we arrived at
Glacier Bay in the afternoon. The Statendam, which is a mid-size ship, was able to
get ”up close and personal” with these massive chunks of ice, most of which are tens
of thousands of years old. The Captain stayed on station for several hours allowing
everyone on board to take pictures of this majestic place.
Later everyone got dressed up in their finest for the last of the ”formal”
Saturday June 11th:
Our last full day on board ship started with a brief Association meeting chaired by
Jim Miller. A Treasurers Report was given, followed by the installation of Officers.
Jim Miller was held over as President again (there was no other nominees), and John
Schwandke was named Vice President.
Then we got to the most important item on the agenda. .where we’ll be going in 2013.
Several guys put on good presentations for places like New York and Albuquerque, but
Charleston, South Carolina, hosted by John Herd and Jim Bell, won the day.
Obviously no details are currently available, but somewhere around the end of
March, or the first of April,
2013 seems to fit best.
The rest of the day was spent cruising around in the College Fjords, another very
scenic part of the coast of Alaska, with many more glaciers to Photograph.
Dinner followed and was quite fun, as the ships dinning room staff put on a little
show as the meal was served. Later, several folks congregated in the Garden Bar and
said goodbye to those who would be ending their reunion the next day.
It’s seemed impossible that it was almost 2 years ago in Lübeck that we voted to
take an Alaskan cruise. That two years really flew by, as I’m sure the next two
will. . .see ya all in Charleston in 2013.
Although the ”official” reunion was over, 41 of us, seemingly couldn’t get enough of
each other, so we continued on to Denali National Park to take in more of this
beautiful state. We loaded on a bus right at the docks in Seward and rode for 11
hours before arriving at our destination, the McKinley Chalet.
The next morning was spent in and around the Denali Visitors Center, taking in the
parks working sled dog kennel, and hiking along the several trails that meander
through the park.
Later in the afternoon most of us climbed aboard another bus for the 8 hour
Wilderness and Wildlife Tour. The tour took us to the far reaches of the park,
where we were able to see and photograph several of the ”big five,” moose, caribou,
bear, and mountain sheep.
On the final day we all loaded on to the McKinley Explorer Railway for a fantastic
trip from Denali to Anchorage. Our domed car was extremely comfortable, allowed
almost 360º viewing, and better yet had it’s own bar and dinning area. Later that
evening after checking into our hotel, there were the normal sad ”goodbyes” and ”see
you in Charleston,” as everyone headed for their rooms.
The reunion, by all measures, was a huge success, we had almost no rain, saw some
beautiful country, had a chance to meet new folks, and get reacquainted with our
”old” dear friends.
Those in attendance on the Alaskan cruise reunion - June 5th to June 12th & June 15th, 2011. Jim & Hildegard Bell (’57-’58) Dave & Marion Black (’58-’62) Frank & Terry Crane (’60-’62) Bil & Pam Delaittre (’64-’65) Robert & Judy Harris (’55-’56) Chuck & Pat Hartwig (’58-’59) John & Hannelore Herd (’57-’59) Joe Hewitt & Susan Nutter (’61-’62) Jon & Judy Hunter (’57-’59) Don & Norma Johnson (’57-’59) Mike Madore (’63-’64) Art & Jane McEldowney (’59-’62) Jim & Bonnie Miller (’60-’62) Tom & Judy Newhouse (’61-’62) Clarence & Nancy Parker (’60-’62) Lenny & Sue Pittman (’60-’62) John & Christa Rickels (’59-’64) Wes & Lily Roche (’57-’58) John & Darlene Schwandke (’62-’63) Joe & Sue Self (’57-’58) Dick Strader (’56-’57) Jerry & Cecilia Tyler (’60-’62) Peter & Patricia Weinreich (’64-’65) Dave & Barbara Wrench (’59-’62) Renate Setten & Pat Daigle (Renate is a Lübeck native) Ralph & Patti Myers (’61-’62) + Jon & Marie Ogur w/Gloria Schrager (friends of the Myer’s) Don & Patricia Dietz (’58-’59) + Sandy Dietz & Pat Ness (Don’s daughter and her lifelong friend) Fred & Jacqueline Dwight (’60-’62) + John & Peggy Rieger (The Dwight’s longtime friends) Phil Hanley & Linda Eastman (’58-’59) + Al, Monica, Warren & Danica Page (Phil’s daughter’s family) + Diane Hanley & Mike Dowe (Phil’s other daughter) + David, Jennifer, Emily & Megan O’Connor (Diane’s friends) In Memoriam:
Sadly the following fellow Lübeckers have passed on during the past two years:
2010 2011
Zebulon ”Zeb” Hadley Kenneth Ammerman
Allen Goldfine
William ”Bill” Averill
Eugene ”Gene” Ellis

All of the above have been proudly added to the Lübeck Association Memorial Plaque.
It’s that time of year again, if you get anything out of what the Association does,
Reunions, Newsletter, Web Site, etc. Please send your $25 check to me. Make your
check out to the Lübeck Association, and send it to Jim Miller, 341 Kentfield Dr.
San Marcos, CA 92069.
The following folks are exempt, having remitted there dues earlier this year, or
have prepaid for several years:
Bill Bessel, Dick Phegley, Bernie McCollum, Bucky Harris, Fess Parker, Leonard Nack,
Jesse Ellisor, Frank Crane, and Renate Setten.
Again dues are voluntary, but much appreciated. Some of the other uses of your
funds in the past few years are:
Charities - In the name(s) of Dennis Whelan, Bruce Clement, Zeb Hadley & Don Bean
Flowers – Troy Willson’s widow
Red Cross – Hurricane Katrina
Have a very safe summer, be well, and hopefully we’ll see many of you for the
reunion in 2013. . .it’s gonna be big!


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