By Fleet Capt. Dave Mason
NORTHRIDGE — Don’t take Jackie Freeman’s “Star Trek” towel!
Jackie defended the present, which she received during the annual gift exchange at the USS Angeles’ Winter Holiday Party. She held onto it despite Paul Szymborski jokingly encouraging others to steal it. Jackie left no doubt, with the look that she gave Paul, that she wanted to keep it. Paul laughed during the good-natured exchange during the party that Jackie, Paul and others enjoyed.
We could steal presents twice before they became locked and secure at the Dec. 1 event at Jeremy Kranz’s residential complex in Northridge, located in the Los Angeles area.
More than a dozen members gathered at the party. In addition to our enthusiastic gift exchange, we presented promotions and an award. We also took a moment to share our memories of Renee Wike, our incredible friend who passed away in November from kidney failure in Rocky Mount, Va.
First Officer Jennifer Cole, Founder and Second Officer Janice Willcocks, and I presented two promotions and an award. Jennifer read the certificates, developed by Command Staff member Gloria Rodriguez, and Janice and Jennifer took turns putting pips on members.
We promoted Lt. Jeremy Kranz, our recruitment officer, to lieutenant commander. We also promoted two ensigns — Lisa Sobien, one of our assistant chiefs of communications, and Kat Campbell, a longtime active member — to lieutenant junior grade.
And we presented the Order of Sarek to Kathy Carder for her volunteer work at the annual Loscon blood drive and AIDS Walk Los Angeles.
Congratulations, Jeremy, Lisa, Kat and Kathy!
During our gift exchange, we received presents varying from a detailed book on the history of spacecrafts to a “Doctor Who” mug, a “Star Trek” apron that doubles as a uniform and a tricorder pillow. We had fun giving and stealing. And in the end, we respected Jackie’s wish to hold onto her “Star Trek” towel. She went home with the towel and a smile.
We also recalled Renee’s kindness and dedication during our talk about our friend, who worked hard as a Command Staff member and our associate community service director. She was a true friend to all.
More details and photos from the party will appear in the March issue of Angels Flight, the newsletter sent to all USS Angeles members. To become part of our club, click on “Join us” on this page.