As I look back over my seventy seven years I realize that I have far more to be thankful for than most people I know in my parents, my wife, my child and my grandchildren, of all of whom I am proud and to all of whom I am grateful.
I have had a few close friends, instead of many casual ones, most of whom are no longer living, but whose friendship I have greatly enjoyed. I have been most fortunate in my assignments; I have always had good stations and I have always had a duty assignment that I found most interesting and that, at the time, I considered more desirable than any other that was available.
I have had a remarkably healthy life, never having been seriously ill and never having been in a hospital (except for retirement). I have had a busy life; rarely has there been an evening that I have not been absorbed with plans for the next day, and the days have never seemed long enough for me to accomplish all that I desired to do.
My life has been a quite uneventful one. In nearly 47 years of active service I have passed through both World Wars without hearing a hostile shot. This was not of my choosing; I should have preferred duty overseas.
Perhaps some satisfaction may be derived from the fact that the duties to which I was, in each case, assigned were deemed to be of sufficient importance to warrant the award of a Distinguished Service Medal in each War.
In a way my service in the Coast Artillery has been contemporaneous with the life of the Coast Artillery . When I entered it as a junior Lieutenant, in 1907, it was just emerging from the old smooth bore, muzzle loading, cast iron guns era. During the nearly forty years that I was associated with it it was developed to the point that it was undoubtedly the most efficient seacoast and antiaircraft Artillery in the world. I had witnessed all the developments made, and it was my good fortune to have had some small share in some of them.
When, at the height of its development, it became no longer required, due to the progress made in aviation, I, at the same time, was retired from further active service for age.
It is, to me, a regrettable thing that practically all of the contributions or accomplishments of my life time, which, at the time seemed important to me, should suddenly have become of no importance or permanent value, and that they shall soon be forgotten entirely. Such, however, I suppose, is life.
I do not anticipate that there will be many events in my future life in regard to which my recollections will be any more interesting to you than your own.
So I plan, during such time as remains to me, to devote my time chiefly to the upkeep of the place, to reading (mostly who-done-its, I fear), to enjoying the companionship of my family and of my few remaining old friends, to occasionally working in my shop, and to watching, with ever increasing pride and satisfaction, the progress and accomplishments of you, my children (in which I include Perry) and my grandchildren. I am sure that, in time, they will afford you all many satisfactory and pleasant reminiscences of your own.
I hope that I may have the good fortune to have you all here with us many times in the future. Perhaps I may then be able to subject you to further random recollections.