Reunion 2015

Dayton, Ohio

September 21- 24, 2015

A recollection by Harry Hathhorn

One of the nice things about attending reunions is that you get to go to an area that you usually have not been to or to place that you never thought about visiting.  So we try to look around a little.


We flew to Cincinnati on September19 and rented a car.  We then drove south to Louisville, Kentucky and toured Churchill Downs and then continued east to Lexington enjoying the Kentucky horse farms and scenery.  From there we took the state highways east of Cincinnati and headed northwest to Dayton.  Lots of horses, tobacco farms, corn, and soybeans.


Arrived in Dayton on Monday, September 21  around 3pm and found our hotel, the Crown Plaza, in the city center. Nice accommodations and venue for our reunion. Found our hospitality room on the 13th floor which is the top floor with a panoramic view of the city and sat up our reunion banner that our daughter Julie made for us last year. The attendance is around 44 and small enough to get to visit with everyone. The hotel provided nice hor d’ourves for the evening so it was not necessary to go to dinner and we just sat around and visited.


Tuesday morning after a complimentary breakfast in the hospitality room it was on the bus to Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the Air Force Museum. Tight security getting in and the displays were unbelievable. Every type of production and experimental aircraft. Imagine a B-52 in a hangar with so many large planes that you hardly notice it!. I think walking around the B-2 stealth bomber was the most impressive to me as well as staring up into the bomb racks of the B-52. Then there was another hangar with the Presidential airplanes from Roosevelt on up (except for the 747’s) that you could walk through.  We did not have enough time to get through all of the hangars. Could spend a couple more days there.


 Had a nice evening in the hospitality room visiting and swapping stories (mostly true) of the old days. Everyone shows up and stays late.


Wednesday morning we were up and off again on the bus to the La Comedien theater for a noon buffet and theater production of the ”Basement Church Ladies and the Last Potluck Supper”, a rather humorous play. On the way back to the hotel we went by the airfield where the Wright Flyer replica will take you on a flight for a generous donation. Ready to sign up but they only do it on Tuesdays and Saturdays so that is out.


Spent the evening again in the hospitality room visiting and caught a late dinner in the hotel dining room next to our meeting room.


Had a chance to visit with Ken Bedient who registered late for the reunion. He was on my shift at Kirknewton. Turns out he was one of the key software developers at Control Data and I had a lot of interaction with that group when I was at Control Data and also on the customer side. So we had some things to talk about. I remember at the time I intended to get him aside at one of the user/Control Data conferences to see if he was the Kirknewton Ken Bedient but did not get it done.


Phillip Shackelford, a Kent State graduate student arrived on Thursday to conduct interviews for his thesis on the US Air Force Security Service. His grandfather Thomas Shackelford, served with us so he is taking special interest. Lot of guys nervous about how much they can say. What we did is generally now unclassified but some of the equipment utilized may still be classified according to some of our people.


Early Thursday afternoon LaRue and I took off to look around and found the Carrillon Historical Park. It is acres of buildings housing the Orville and Wilbur Wright Works and displays of all the important inventions that came out of Dayton such as the first automotive Cadillac starter and other stuff that the Dayton Engineering Laboratory Company (DELCO) and other companies produced. At one time NCR had 27 manufacturing plants in the Dayton area producing cash registers and later computers. There were rooms full of old cash registers, adding machines, bank posting machines, etc. Quite a place to visit.


Had lunch at the Carillon Brewing Company that brews beer like the beer produced in the 1850’s in the area.. We both had a sampler of 4 of the brews and bratwursts, saurkraut, red cabbage, and german potato salad.. Sure was good and the building and atmosphere was like the late 1800’s. Saw Fred, Carole, and Tim there.


Thursday evening was the traditional banquet.  It started with a VFW honor guard posting the colors, then  a bagpiper, and following that Fred Crawford gave the talk he gave to the RAF at our reunion in Scotland in 2013. I then presented Fred Crawford a Certificate of Appreciation for all that he did while our President and bestowed the title of President Emeritus. Music was provided by DJ Tim. It was a nice evening but since we are getting up in years it ended somewhere around 10:30pm..


Friday, it was breakfast with most everyone in the hospitality room and goodbyes until  next year. The thinking is that Seattle will be the location but it depends on what Don and Pat Ritter who are residents of the area can come up with.  


We then took the backroads to our hotel near the Cincinnati airport. It is only 50 miles but took a long time. In order to get across the Ohio River to the airport area we were on some streets in some pretty sleazy areas of city. We were glad to get to the hotel about 2pm. This pretty much ends it for this trip. We fly out at 9:30 in the morning and go through Minneapolis to Boise. hh