The PBA President’s Corner

A recap of the October 16th meeting:

There was no recap of the September meeting as I was in Puerto Vallarta with fellow members: George Padilla, Ted Vasquez, Danny Vasquez, Curtis Jackson and Armando Realyvasquez

This month’s meeting was attended by over 50 members.
• New member(s) signed up:
o John Low from Hawaii
Making an appearance after extended absences:
• Carlos (Chuck) Paredes, Carl Borbons, Mike Fox, Ernie Hernandez, Andy Lane

Jim Spence announced that the City’s medical plans and rates for retirees for 2020 were being sent out by Retirement Services. Please make sure you read up on your options carefully.

Margie Thompson announced the upcoming Keith Kelly Xmas Dinner/Dance for December 6th at the Hayes Mansion. A retiree reception will be provided and rides by Uber.

Nominations opened for the offices of President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Sgt at Arms.
Having received none; your current board will be running unopposed in next month’s voting.

Your board will be meeting on two motions and have responses on the following in November:
• To raise the current monthly dues from $8 to $12
• To raise the fee paid to the monthly caterer

Door prizes donated by: Dave Dulong, Ernie Hernandez, Bill Matos (in memory of), your PBA.
Thank you all for your generosity.

Much discussion was had on the topic of dwindling membership and the signing up of new members. I will be drafting an invitation letter and request its inclusion to new retirees at Retirement Services and the POA office.

Lastly, submissions to Farsider of articles, photos and information of interest for PBA members is highly encouraged; as is anyone or more who may want to take part in the production of the newsletter. Leroy Pyle (leroy@leroypyle.net) would be most appreciative.

The November meeting will be on the 20th, no conflicts with Thanksgiving the following week.

Thank you for your time,
Ernie Alcantar, President

The presentation of the PBA $1000 donation check at the Emerald Society fundraiser on 9-07-19.

Left to right: Ernie Alcantar (PBA President), Brian Hyland (Emerald Society President and PBA member), Larry Lundberg (PBA Treasurer)


AND FROM MARGIE: Reminder Keith Kelley Club Christmas Party

            Retirees:  please text or call Margie Thompson to reserve your tickets.  You can pay at the door. 

                                                                                 Guest ticket is $80.

                                                                                    (408) 421-3785



SJPD Retiree Breakfast Lincoln CA

Left to right:
Gary Hirata, Joe Ross, Rick Confer, Bill Silva, Craig Shuey, Rich Vizzusi, Ron Evans, Dave Samsel, Joe Wicker, Tuck Younis.

Here’s a picture of some good ole SJPD boys from years gone by having breakfast this morning.  Craig Shuey organizes a retirees breakfast on the first Saturday of each month 0900 hours at the Sterling Cafe in Lincoln CA.  Ron Evans organizes a retirees breakfast on the third Wednesday of each month 0900 hours at the Purple Place in El Dorado Hills CA.  If you’re retired or would like to retire, consider yourself invited.  
                                                                                             – Gary Hirata



109 Washington Blvd
Roseville, CA 95678
United States
Saturday November 9th, 11:00AM

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High tenor vocalist musician for the band

Mike. Amaral‘s California Beach Boys Experience is currently recruiting for a high tenor vocalist musician for the band. We are looking for a musician that likes Beach boys music that knows Beach boys music and easy to get along with. (A team player). We have played in numerous locations in California and other states we have been on PBS. We have gigs lined up for next year 2020 and a possible PBS return. We have all the vocal charts and arrangements to provide to the prospective player. For further information go to: cabeachboys . com . If interested .Please call: Mike. Amaral at 1-800-294-2677.

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The Great Escape Tunnel

Untouched for almost 7 decades, the tunnel used in the Great Escape has finally been unearthed. The 111 yard passage nicknamed ‘Harry’ by Allied prisoners, was sealed by the Germans after the audacious break-out from the POW camp Stalag Luft III in western Poland. Despite huge interest in the subject, encouraged by the film starring Steve McQueen, the tunnel was undisturbed over the decades because it was behind the Iron Curtain and the Soviets had no interest in its significance.

But at last British archaeologists have excavated it, and discovered its remarkable secrets.

Many of the bed boards which had been joined to stop it from collapsing were still in position. And the ventilation shaft, ingeniously crafted from used powdered milk containers known as Klim Tins, remained in working order.

Scattered throughout the tunnel, which is 30 feet below ground, were bits of old metal buckets, hammers and crowbars which were used to hollow out the route.

A total of 600 prisoners worked on 3 tunnels at the same time. They were nicknamed Tom, Dick, and Harry, and were just 2 feet square for most of their length. It was on the night of March 24 and 25, 1944, that 76 Allied airmen escaped through Harry.

1/3rd of the 200 prisoners, many in fake German uniforms and civilian outfits and carrying false ID papers, who were meant to slip away, managed to leave before the alarm was raised when escapee number 77 was spotted.

Tunnel vision: A tunnel reconstruction showing the trolley system.
Only 3 made it back to Britain. Another 50 were executed by firing squad on the orders of Adolf Hitler, who was furious after learning of the breach of security. In all, 90 boards from bunk beds, 62 tables, 34 chairs, and 76 benches, as well as 1000’s of items including knives, spoons, forks, towels and blankets, were squirreled away by Allied prisoners to aid the escape plan under the noses of their captors.
NO Americans were involved in the operation. Most were Brits and Canadians, (all the tunnelers were Canadian personnel with backgrounds in mining) Poland, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa.

The site of the tunnel, recently excavated by British archaeologists. The latest dig, over 3 weeks in August, located the entrance to Harry, which was originally concealed under a stove in Hut 104.

The team also found another tunnel, called George, whose exact position had not been charted. It was never used as the 2,000 prisoners were forced to march to other camps as the Red Army approached in January 1945.

Watching the excavation was Gordie King, 91, an RAF radio operator, who was 140th in line to use Harry and therefore missed out. ‘This brings back such bitter-sweet memories’, he said as he wiped away tears. ‘I’m amazed by what they’ve found. ’


Gordie King, 91, made an emotional return to Stalag Luft III.

In a related post:
Many recent generations have no true notion of the cost in lives and treasures that were paid for the liberties that we enjoy in the US. today. They also have no idea of the lengths that the “greatest generation” went to in order to preserve those liberties. Below is one true, small and entertaining story regarding those measures that is well worth reading, even if the only thing derived from the story is entertainment.

Escape from WWII POW Camps — starting in 1940, an increasing number of British and Canadian Air men found themselves as the involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the Crown was casting about for ways and means to facilitate their escape.

Now obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful and accurate map, one showing not only where stuff was, but also showing locations of ‘safe houses’ where a POW on-the-lam could go for food and shelter.

Paper maps had some real drawbacks — they make a lot of noise when you open and fold them, they wear out rapidly, and if they get wet, they turn into mush.

Someone in MI-5 (similar to America’s OSS) got the idea of printing escape maps on silk. It’s durable, can be scrunched-up into tiny wads and unfolded as many times as needed and makes no noise.
At that time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John Waddington Ltd. When approached by the govt. the firm was happy to do its bit for the war effort.

By pure coincidence, Waddington was also the U.K. Licensee for the popular American board game Monopoly. As it happened, ‘games and pastimes’ was a category of items qualified for insertion into ‘CARE packages’, dispatched by the International Red Cross to prisoners of war.

Under strict secrecy, in a guarded and inaccessible old workshop on the grounds of Waddington’s, a group of sworn-to-secrecy employees began mass producing maps, keyed to each region of Germany, Italy, and France, or wherever Allied POW camps were located. When processed, these maps could be folded into such tiny bits that they would fit inside a Monopoly playing piece.

As long as they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington’s also managed to add:

1. A playing token, containing a small magnetic compass
2. A two-part metal file that could easily be screwed together
3. Useful amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian, and French currency, hidden within the piles of Monopoly money!

British and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their first mission, how to identify a ‘rigged’ Monopoly set – by means of a tiny red dot, one cleverly rigged to look like an ordinary printing glitch, located in the corner of the Free Parking square.

Of the estimated 35,000 Allied POWs who escaped, an estimated 1/3rd were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets. Everyone who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely, since the British Govt. might want to use this highly successful ruse in still another, future war.

The story wasn’t declassified until 2007, when the surviving craftsmen from Waddington’s, as well as the firm itself, were finally honored in a public ceremony.

It’s always nice when you can play that ‘Get Out of Jail’ Free’ card!
Some readers of this email are probably too young to have any personal connection to WWII (Sep. ’39 to Aug. ’45), but this is still an interesting bit of history for everyone to know.

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Where do these phrases come from?





Charles R. Blackmore #1166

End of Watch     11/01/2019

Blackmore Family and Friends
(more info when available)



Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of
forgotten lore–While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As if some one gently rapping,
“rapping at my chamber door. “‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door–Only this and
nothing more. 

Pic of the Week

L.Pyle #1621 (Ret)