The day before the social the hall was to be set up with the tables and chairs which is not as simple as it sounds. The Tuesday Tom went over and nothing was done so he set everything up himself. It was his fault for not asking for assistance. After three hours, he was done and the place was ready with just a few minor items to do.
Wednesday, the day of the social, those small items were finished by 4:30. The cake (half chocolate and half yellow with vanilla pudding filling) was brought in by John about 5:45 and placed on the table. The cake was topped with a buttercream icing - green with yellow markings and read, "We wish you a very Happy & Healthy New Year " The Slattery Detachment.
The two “catering” assistants arrived about 6pm and began arranging the set up. By 6:30, the first guest began to arrive and soon Mangianos arrive with the food. The menu consisted of Penne Vodka, Chicken Francaise, Veal Marsala, Shrimp Parmigiano, Egg Plant Parmigiano, Sausage. Peppers & Onions, Meatballs in Sauce, Antipasto & /Italian Grilled Chicken Salads with the cake, cookies and coffee off on a different table.
Jim was busy at the door greeting people and handling the fees. John was making sure that the girls were doing the needed jobs and greeting people and Tom was uncorking up wine bottles and a bit of greeting. As we said in the beginning, Marylou Panzano and her husband from Bayer were the first to arrive and immediately approached and greeted each of our “party team” on an individual basis. Soon after, the party line was steady and the wine and beer were flowing.
After approximately a half hour, Eddie Neas, the Commandant, called the meeting to order. There was a Pledge of Allegiance to the flag and prayer to start the meeting and then, a roll call of officers. The “Motion to Adjourn” was then made and seconded plus approved by all. So, the meeting was halted or officially ended and the Commandant began the Social part by first having a moment of silence for our four departed Slattery members who passed in 2019.
The Holiday Social then began it’s Holiday Program with the introduction of John Andrews as the Master of Ceremonies. There was an introduction of our special guests. The Certificates of Appreciation were handed out to these guests and the presentation of a check was made to the American Legion. Next, was Iris Hascup presenting a check to the detachment in honor of Jimmy Heine. Iris and Jimmy had been dating for many years prior to his passing. He left the money in his will for the detachment.
Then came a warm and heart felt “Thank You” from Dave Katz’s daughter, Sue Kotcher. She had a serious illness and it drained the families income savings. The Marine Care Foundation had made a check presentation to Dave to cover some of the expenses. Sue was there to thank Slattery which was very classy. She is on the mend. Dave, his wife, Carol, and Sue sat with the Bayer people.
Linda Neas honored our past member and historian Jack Gartenberg (who recently passed) He always gave us some kind of great entertainment at the previous socials. She read one of the poems Jack used to read at our annual detachment socials entitled “Forget” and here it is:
Under the scorching sun of Viet NamA boy becomes a manA dust off carries him from whereThis story began.He was my right arm, my buddy, my brother, my friend.I feel a wetness on my cheek and wonder if it will ever end.
As I listen to the rotor blades fade into the cloudless Sky, I look down at my worn fatigues…wondering why?Why you my friend? What will your last thoughts be?I know they are coming soon.Will they be loved ones, home and comfort,or the pain of your terrible wound?
I have been told the war is over and to forget the mistakes you say we have made! What about our missing in action and prisoners of war still in Viet Nam today!Do you think their war is over and that their memories fade?