November 12, 2015
ISSUE | VETERANS DAY Keep our day I am a Vietnam veteran and proud off it. I honor and observe Veterans Day as a solemn day of prayer and remembrance. Now, Tom Taft, the chief operating officer at Germantown Academy, wants to make Veterans Day "our National Election Day" ("To honor service, move elections to Veterans Day," Nov. 4). One of the saddest statistics in America is the low voter turnout. In the 2012 presidential election, only 57.5 percent of eligible voters turned out. Last week, only 23.7 percent voted for Philadelphia mayor.
October 17, 2015 |
Fredric "Rick" Stevenson Wright, 67, of Ardmore, a surgical-equipment salesman and sailor, died Monday, Oct. 12, of cancer at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He lived with care, courage, and a fierce empathy for those around him, his wife and daughter said. After high school, the San Francisco-born Mr. Wright became a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War. Instead, he trained as a medic at Fort Houston in San Antonio and then served as an operating-room assistant at Fort Campbell in Kentucky from 1971 to 1973.
August 9, 2015 |
ATLANTIC CITY - The other day, Fran and Mary Gramkowski of Haddonfield came all the way to the Jersey Shore to go sailing . . . on land. Why stop at Bader Field a couple of blocks from the ocean, right on the bay, to sail a little go-kart-like sailing contraption - called a "Blokart" around the runways of the old municipal airport? Fran, 70, a retired carpenter and schoolteacher, is president of the North American Blokart Sailing Association (with a Facebook page), which was able to get permission from the city to use Bader Field (at $300 a day)
May 24, 2015 |
So passionate is Rick Baldt about the Jersey Shore that he claims to have spent 63 summers there. He's 62, but he counts when he was in utero. His parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents were all seashore lovers. Rick and wife Beth, who live in Moorestown, had never owned their own place, though. Instead, they had rented, almost always in Surf City on Long Beach Island. Beth Baldt, a speech pathologist, and Rick, a retired executive for an industrial-equipment company, were hoping to buy a Shore house at last.
March 6, 2015 |
THERE WAS something strange about that hair tonic Charlie Zebrowski was splashing on the heads of his fellow sailors aboard the destroyer USS Coughlin. A case of it had been sent to him by a cousin when he learned that Charlie was the ship's unofficial barber, keeping the other sailors trim for inspections. There was something different about the tonic all right. It was booze! An honest mistake? Or his cousin's idea of a good joke? Whatever, Charlie soon became the most popular man on a ship that often saw action in World War II. Even officers stopped into Charlie's makeshift barbershop for a cut - and a sip. There was one thing that Charlie Zebrowski appreciated and that was a good joke.
September 19, 2014 |
On the signal bridge of the USS Frank E. Evans, Steve Kraus was scanning the ocean about 3 a.m. as the destroyer made a long, sweeping starboard turn through the darkness. The watch was uneventful until - seemingly out of nowhere - the Australian aircraft carrier Melbourne came barreling toward the Evans at 22 knots. Kraus hurried into the ship's signal shack and got on the intercom to warn the pilot house below: "We're going to get hit!" Then came a mighty crash, and the screeching and shrieking of metal.
July 18, 2014 |
If preparing dishes in a cramped kitchen sounds daunting, imagine cooking in a small space hundreds of feet below the sea's surface for 170 of your closest friends. For Philadelphia native Petty Officer First Class Christopher Engman, the lead culinary specialist aboard the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Pennsylvania, whipping up macro recipes in a micro kitchen is the norm. Engman, 26, joined the Navy in August 2005 as a junior enlisted sailor after graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School in Northeast Philadelphia.
July 5, 2014 |
The Coast Guard has called off the search for a sailor missing since Wednesday evening in the Delaware River. Police declined to give the name of the man, 66, who was last seen clutching a cooler to stay afloat during a rainstorm. Coast Guard officials said there were no plans to reactivate the search. The man's 21-foot sailboat was not found during a search that resumed Thursday at 7:30 a.m. and stretched from Neshaminy Park to the Walt Whitman Bridge. Four other people on the boat swam to the Philadelphia Fire Department building on the west bank of the river and called 911 about 7:40 p.m. Wednesday.
July 3, 2014 |
When the Second World War ended, 20-year-old Navy technician Robert Cyliax just wanted to go home. After a flight from Iwo Jima to Japan, another to California, then a two-week drive back home to Philadelphia, Cyliax was tired and not concerned with collecting paperwork. Nearly seven decades later, in the crowded kitchen of a Philadelphia veterans' shelter, the 89-year-old former sailor belatedly picked up five medals for his service Tuesday, all earned but never received. Members of Cyliax's family - some of whom had journeyed to Philadelphia from St. Louis - waited in the Veterans' Group shelter as his younger son, Curt, drove him from his Horsham home to the surprise ceremony.
June 4, 2014 |
FOR THE PAST five years, Doylestown native Devon Butler has sailed the seas, exploring shipwrecks, helping scientists assess oil-spill damages, excavating sunken cargo - whatever enabled him to indulge his passion for diving. His mother, Rosemary Carroll, worried occasionally about pirates, storms and diving accidents but didn't dwell on the dangers of her son's profession, lest her concerns consume her. Still, she never imagined the predicament Butler, 27, now endures: Police in Honduras hurled him and five crewmates into a dilapidated coastal jail on May 5, claiming that they were smuggling guns into the poor, crime-plagued Central American country.