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The Old Guard

The Old Guard is a group of retired and semi-retired men dedicated to education, fellowship and community service. Weekly meetings feature guest speakers from government, education and business. Opportunities for fellowship include informal gathering before the meetings, excursions and athletic events, bowling, golf and luncheons. Committee chairmen work with civic groups to organize opportunities for member contributions, both financial and donation of time,some periodic, some ongoing. Old Guard members work with Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, Foodshare, Salvation Army, the West Hartford YMCA and the University of Connecticut Medical Center. Old Guard members provided leadership in the revitalization and ongoing administration of the West Hartford Seniors Job Bank.

Times are different.  In normal times, (for 55 years) the Old Guard has met weekly on Tuesdays from September through May. But, during this time, meetings are being held virtually twice a month.  Through the magic of video conferencing, it has been possible to enjoy guest presentations from here, around the country and even the world. A diverse lineup of speakers has participated this season including:

West Hartford Town historian – Tracey Wilson, “Slavery and Freedom in West Hartford”

Gerontologist – Ruth Mitman, “Driving Miss Ruth: Staying Safe on the Road”

YMCA President –  Harold Sparrow, “The YMCA and the Pandemic”

Hartford Yard Goats – Tim Restall, “Professional Baseball in Hartford”

Hartford Seminary – Joel Lohr, President “Hartford Seminary – Mission and History”

Frequent visitor to America – Peter Varden, “A Stranger in a Strange Land”

Epidemiologist – Dr. Ruvim Izikson, “Development of Corona Virus Vaccines”

Tax specialist – Andrew Lattimer, “Changes in the Tax Code”

Baseball scout – Rob Metzler, Tampa Bay Rays “Professional Baseball Scouting”

Election law – Douglas Spencer, UConn Law, “Election Law – What Just Happened?”

Gregory Smith, President and CEO, Connecticut Lottery

Genetics and Mice - Nadia Rosenthal, Ph.D., Jackson Labs "Genetic Research and COVID"

Connecticut Explored - Elizabeth Normen, Publisher

Nathan Grube - Executive Director, The Travelers Championship

Peter Varden - United Kingdom - "A Stranger in a Strange Land - Part II"

Rodney Barco - Asst. Chief, Hartford Fire Department

David Lesley, PhD - Archeological Historian

Old Guard Spring Board Meeting


In compliance with recommendations, the Board of Directors met on the patio of Westminster Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Old Guard Officers 

Ron Van Winkle - President

860 558-2794 (cel)

Don Kauke- Vice President

George Stephan - Secretary

Kevin Slane - Assistant Secretary

Stephen Guest - Treasurer

Paul Dean - Assistant Treasurer

Membership Information

Ron Robinson -

May Newsletter


“Good Morning Old Guard”

“Stay Positive and Test Negative”

2021 Our 56th Year


President’s Message

Good Morning Old Guard! Hopefully we have all made it to the LAST month of Zoom meetings.  I look forward to our in-person meetings in September.  There has been some discussion of having our last meeting of my tenure to be an in-person meeting but that is not in the cards.  

Our by-laws proscribe that we hold an annual meeting on the first Tuesday of May.  That would be our upcoming May 4th only.  At that meeting the by-laws require that we vote in the new leadership for the coming year.  As you, I am sure, remember from last month's newsletter, the nominating committee led by Bob Schaefer nominated a slate of officers for the program year June 2021 through May 2022.  Their recommendation was:

President                         Don Kauke

Vice President                Russ Jones

Secretary                        George Stephan

Treasurer                        Stephen Guest

Assistant Secretary        Kevin Slane

Assistant Treasurer        Paul Dean


As always we are blessed with a cadre of members who are willing to step forward and take the leadership helm of our organization.  

A sad note:  David Winfield Parmelee passed on April 20th at the age of 78.  David joined the Old Guard in 2012 and continued to be a member through this year.  He served his country in the Navy followed by a distinguished career in banking.  He will be missed.


The Board of Directors met at the end of March and voted to set the dues for the coming year at $75.  The same level it has been for several years.  We will enter the 2021-22 Old Guard year in excellent financial condition.  We expect to send out our dues notice around May 10th. 

Ron Van Winkle - President



Don Kauke - Vice President

Good Morning Old Guard

As you read this note, we will be finishing up the most challenging year for the Old Guard. Regulations for COVID required meetings to be remote and financial considerations impacted the YMCA local office. Our President Ron Van Winkle has done an amazing job of leadership throughout the year. Ron organized our response to the loss of administrative support provided by the West Hartford YMCA, provided the ability to meet virtually via Zoom with guests from across the U.S. and the United Kingdom and even organizing those guest presenters as our Vice-President was forced to relinquish his role. 

Your Board of Directors is looking forward to resuming our traditional meeting format on Tuesday mornings at Westminster Presbyterian Church as regulations continue to be loosened and risk of COVID infection is reduced. We have learned, without doubt and with much evidence, that weekly, in-person social meetings are a major benefit of Old Guard membership. They have been missed over the past year and a half! We are hoping that the resumption of traditional meeting format will lead to a robust reenlistment of members for the 2021-2022 season and look forward to your participation.

While the slate of officers for 2021-2022 was not yet formally approved, our in-coming Vice President Russ Jones has been very busy enlisting our presenters. He has organized a group of timely talks, in his words “all things considered”: State of the Town After COVID; Benedict Arnold and the Burning of New London; Eisenhower’s Monuments Men saving art in Europe; Environmental Status of the Connecticut River; the History of Beer Sales in Connecticut and many more! Paul Dean and team will be organizing activities, Meals on Wheels will continue, bowling and golf will resume along with our other activities.

The Old Guard Board and I sincerely hope that you will continue your membership and help us resume the unique opportunity for weekly camaraderie and stimulation that has been the story of the Old Guard.


Don Kauke, Vice President

Web Site

Remember to visit our website at WWW.CTOLDGUARD.Org and click on “More Information” and then “Members Only”.   You are now in our super secret area but you’ll need a password.   

Special Events - Paul Dean

It is springtime and that means BASEBALL!  

Our first outing of this pandemic year in the Sunday, May 16, Hartford Yard Goats baseball game vs the Portland Red Sox farm club at 1:05 PM

For those who are going tickets will be mailed to subscribers early next week.  If you haven’t paid for your ticket, please mail your check for $10 a seat to Paul Dean at  39 Woodpond Road, West Hartford, Ct 06107. 

COVID considerations: You must wear a mask, sit in either a two or four seat pod and can not carry in a bag


FoodShare - Bill Higgins and Don Himes

We are starting our volunteer food sorting efforts, and our first date is May 3.  This date is full but we have two new dates to choose from, see below.  The link below gets you to the Foodshare website to sign up for a date.  Again the number of volunteers that can sign up for each event is limited to 8 volunteers, and masks are required to gain access to the Foodshare facility.  Try to be at the Foodshare facility a little bit before 8:30 to allow for signing in and gathering. As we did before the pandemic we will rotate between Monday’s and Friday’s for our events to give our members a choice of days.  If you have any questions you are welcome to call me or email me, see below for my email and cellphone number.  Thanks to all of the volunteers ahead of time.  Here are the dates:


Friday         6/4     8:30 - 11:30

Monday      7/12   8:30 - 11:30


Foodshare link:


Bill Higgins



Golf - Hank Boulton and Bill Higgins


Change can be good.


The Old Guard has enjoyed golfing on Mondays at Tunxis Plantation for many years. But a change is in the works! Starting on Monday, May 3, Old Guard golf moves to Rockledge Golf Course in West Hartford. 

The format for Monday golf is for casual play:

Nine holes – playing the back nine. 

Tee times start at 8 :00 AM. 

Greens Fees: $16,  Cart Rental $13

Record your own score if you wish

Two-mulligan rule is used. 


This is ‘ drop-in’ golf – no commitment to play weekly. 

What do you do to play on Mondays?

Show up ready to play at 8:00 AM at the tenth tee. 

Those present will organize into foursomes and tee off. 


Have fun!

Hank and Bill


Membership – Ron Robinson

Summer is a great time to renew planting the Old Guard seed with prospective members, especially this summer when so many folks are anxious to safely get out and reconnect.  Please generously share your experiences, the Old Guard website ( and the membership one-pager, Old Guard At-A-Glance.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone again in the Fall when we will be inducting some new folks who have recently applied.  

Ron Robinson,, (860)965-3510


Habitat for Humanity - Ron Robinson

 Habitat has reserved Veteran’s Day for us to do another build.  I also want to thank the 8 people who have already responded with an interest in working at Restore in Bloomfield.  Habitat is looking at potentially scheduling a team of us (6 folks) for a morning (9:00 – 1:00) or an afternoon (1:00 – 5:00) shift on a Thursday or a Saturday in late May or early June.  Then if we find there is sufficient interest, we may be able to create a regular schedule, like Foodshare.  

Ron Robinson,, (860)965-351



The YMCA has had a tough year with many camps and programs undersubscribed.

They are hoping to fully recover this summer.  To that end they are asking if any Old Guard member would be willing to place the sign below in their yard to advertise their summer programs.  They, of course, would prefer properties on streets and corners that have high traffic.  If you are willing to help, please send an email noting your address to Laura Prisco,



May 4th - Zoom Meeting

Speaker: David Leslie, PhD

Connecticut Archeologist   

Introduced by: Ed Turbert



May 18th Zoom Meeting

Speaker: Don Kauke and Ron Van Winkle



May Birthdays              

We send Happy Birthday wishes to all those who have a birthday in May. 

 Eighteen Birthday Wishes.

Happy Birthday Guys

Bob Loomis          Russ Jones            Richard Lindberg

Jim Lyon              Hal Kraus             Bill Pickens

Tony Newman      Jim Betts              Bill Whedon

Doug Cooke          Bob Smith            Jim Lehmann

Charlie Shimkus   John Rhine           Bill Putt

Mike Feehan         John Zinn             George McGauley

Old Guard Information Request

Please complete the following and our Membership Chair will get back to you



Retired and semi-retired


Meetings &


Meet weekly on Tuesday mornings at 10:25 A.M., September-May

(current meeting Virtually via Zoom)



Social activities include trips, golf, bowling, UConn sports, Yard Goats games



Members support local non-profits with participation and leadership



Some additional information and contact details