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Tributes to Members who have "Crossed the Bar"

                             Crossing The Bar

                                  Alfred Tennyson (1889)

                           Sunset and evening star,
     And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
     When I put out to sea,


But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
     Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
     Turns again home.


Twilight and evening bell,
     And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
     When I embark;


For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
      The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
     When I have crost the bar.
 


Fred Vickers - September 2014

Fast Fred Vickers! 
A tribute by Bill Oakland

Fast Fred, because I could call him when my scheduled observer couldn't show, and he would be at Ellington before I could get there, ready to go! And he loved to fly!! He especially loved to fly for a cause bigger than himself, which was, oddly, quite like him. Oddly, because he was so understated that he turned out, at least in my mind, to be larger than any of his individual contributions.

With thanks to his wife of 54 years, Nancy, Daughter Kelly Roberts, Niece Shelly Gerber and Grandson Justin Roberts, for their input

                             Always Ready! Semper Paratus!
Above the earth, on the earth, below the sea, Fast Fred made a difference! Never could quite stop contributing his knowledge, skill, ingenuity, giddy up!

In a tiny tube with 10 officers and 60 men making holes in the sea; In a Blimp, in a Coast guard Auxiliary Aircraft making holes in the sky; rebuilding the CGAS Ellington radio com racks

Husband, Father, Son, American Serviceman, Master in Telecommunications, and if you believe any of the folks who knew him, up for promotion to Saint!

As usual, I don't know all I might have known about someone till I do some research for promotions, birthdays, retirement, and, sadly, death! Such was the case with Fast Fred!

FLY WITH THE WIND
There's a memorial marker proclaiming that phrase, to young passers-by, still searching for ways
To live a full life and fill it with joy; to make life worthwhile for a girl or a boy!

It calls also to Fred, now free from his coil, from those left behind who were blessed by his toil
In vessels that made liquid holes in the sea, in service to all of us, keeping us free!

And service to mankind at NASAs great quest: a round trip to the Moon; a magnificent test
Of our need to do hard things, to learn what God wrought; to use what God gave him: to teach and be taught!

He challenged himself to achieve understanding the hard things, like Physics, (and small aircraft landing).
And if I should make a landing that's rusty, he'd always say: "yessiree captain, it's gusty!"

He relished the flights in Coast Guard Patrol, to search and report, the auxiliary roll.
Inspecting and teaching the watercraft sport, to save lives and help return safely to Port.

His church and his neighbors, his family and friends, bear witness to genius when usefulness ends
For all things electric, from wear or abuse, from animals digging, or limbs breaking loose.
And he could fix a rainy dark day! Make you laugh as he made his work seem more like play!

And using the knowledge he gained for his Masters, he modernized telecommunication disasters!
The station at Ellington sports his redo of the radio com racks. Now, all of them new!

Before there were iPhones, when we would patrol, he built a new method, achieving the goal
Of filming a threat to wildlife or fish, or fire or upset boat, just what you'd wish:

A dry erase board, to film and report location and time when we got back to port,
So commanders could analyze and make a decision on resources and timing with greater precision.

His love for the critters, from turtles to snakes, meant you must be on watch for his vehicles brakes! He loved every living thing, each precious life, from small things to big ones, His children, his wife!

His progeny suffer, some more and some less, but all of them stronger, I venture to guess,
For knowing his strength as he watched them grow; and not ever quitting, no matter the foe.

And for them each meeting begins with the quest: "how can I help you to be at your best?"
And ends with a wish that you have a great day, with the wind at your back as you go on your way!

And so we return to the marker that tells the young passer-by seeking wisdoms deep wells
Where Fred teaches child angels a-seat in his lap, of the joy found in making sweet syrup from sap.

It instructs Fast Fred Vickers from Nancy, his Mate, as Fred now approaches Heavens sweet gate:

"Fly with the Wind!"