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.
Now Meeting Virtually
Old Guard Officers
Ron Van Winkle - President
860 558-2794 (cel)
Richard Moffitt - Vice President
George Stephan - Secretary
Kevin Slane - Assistant Secretary
Stephen Guest - Treasurer
Paul Dean - Assistant Treasurer
Ron Robinson -
THE OLD GUARD
12 North Main Street
West Hartford CT 06107
The question is “Who is going to buy and eat a 24 pound turkey, if no one is coming to Thanksgiving dinner?” Well, the answer can be found below in our notes on Foodshare below. Our membership has fallen to 207 members in this time of pandemic and Zoom meetings. Seventy-six members participated in our last Zoom meeting. Don’t be afraid to give it a try, just click on that connection we send you and you too can be a Zoomer.
So stay low, keep away from the world and vote, if you haven’t already.
Ron Van Winkle
Last month's newsletter mentioned a special award that Tom Desmond received from the Salvation Army for his 35 years of service. Unfortunately Tom Desmond, 89, a former Old Guard President, passed away October 19th. We are also remembering the recent passing Old Guard members Ernest Wignall, 93, David Jackson, 83 and Jerome Casey, 90. All four men had extraordinary careers and served their country in the military. We have expressed the condolences of the Old Guard community to their family.
Don Kauke, Communications Chairman
You may remember an old saying...”way back here, out of sight”. Well, our web page: has an addition to the last page. If you place your cursor on the Additional Information box, you will see another small box under - Members Only. When you click on that box you will be invited to insert the password for the member only content.
That area includes information not available to the public including some rosters and now a video recording of our most recent Zoom meeting. The recording isn’t fancy, as a matter of fact, it is exactly what you would have seen and heard if present at the live Zoom meeting. If time permits, it also includes information from committee chairs on their respective areas.
You can access that recording whether you were present at the original or not. As a matter of fact, if you would want to share it with a prospective member, that is possible with the use of the password. The video will remain on our site until replaced by the following meeting.
Meetings and Speakers
Vice President, Richard Moffitt
We are always looking for good speakers especially this year with our Zoom meetings. If you have a suggestion please contact: Richard Moffitt at email@example.com.
November 3rd Zoom Meeting
Speaker: Dr. Joel Lohr, President Hartford Seminar
Introduced by Dick Moffitt
STORYTELLER: Tony Woodin
November 17th Zoom Meeting
Speaker: Peter Varden, “A Stranger in a Very Strange Land”
Introduced by Bernie Weiss
STORYTELLER: Stanley Fellman
Bill Higgins and Don Himes, CoChairmen
I hope you and your families are all safe and well.
This year has been extraordinarily challenging and painful for many. At Foodshare, we have remained committed to serving our neighbors in Greater Hartford who struggle with food insecurity; thanks to the overwhelming response of the community, we have risen to the challenge like never before. The emergency food distribution that we began in April at Rentschler Field in East Hartford has been an overwhelming success - as we have serviced to date more than 185,000 households and have given away over 6 million pounds of food at that site alone.
As an organization, we have taken extra precautions to be safe and strictly enforce social distancing. With the uncertainty of how the COVID crisis will continue to unfold, Foodshare has made the difficult decision to suspend community turkey drives this year. Instead, they intend to purchase the turkeys needed for their needy clients. They will accept individual donations of turkeys at a drive thru collection at their Bloomfield facility, and the schedule for those drive thru collections is the following:
* Wednesday, 11/18 - 4:30 am to 2:00 pm
* Thursday, 11/19 - 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
* Friday, 11/20 - 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
* Saturday, 11/21 - 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
This year, we are messaging that online financial donations rather than turkey donations will help us meet the needs of the community in as safe a way as possible and we urge you to stress that theme to your supporters. If you are interested in making a monetary donation to Foodshare you can send a check directly to Foodshare, 450 Woodland Ave, Bloomfield, CT 06002 and mark "T30" in the memo line or go to the Foodshare Website at and make a donation of your choosing.
Hank Bolton and Bill Higgins CoChairmen
At our last OG Zoom meeting we also paused to recognize Hank Boulton’s recent hole-in-one. The third hole-in-one in his golfing career! It seems a little greedy, but nonetheless congratulations Hank.
Bill Higgins will be the co-chair with Hank Boulton for the Annual Golf Tournament. Plans will begin at the start of the spring Old Guard Season. We will be reserving facilities to be prepared for the possibility of a “normal tournament”.
Special Events Report
Paul Dean, Chairman
A Reminder: Paul Dean is offering a special bargain purchase of Old Guard memorabilia including the Old Guard hat, lapel pin and auto magnet (also good for your refrigerator) all for a mere $20. You know your lapel pin is somewhere in that chest of drawers, it's time to give up searching and get a new one. Contact Paul at 860-521-0955 or email him at Paul.Dean@Comcast.net. He delivers!
Ron Robinson, Chairman
Please go through your list of friends and neighbors to think of folks who might benefit, as each of us has, from participating in the Old Guard, especially now that many other activities may be curtailed. They can hear speakers and story-tellers on many, varied topics from the comfort and safety of their own homes via ZOOM. Our website has a wealth of information you can also share. If you do invite a guest to join us, please let me know () so we can recognize both of you. And continue to reach out to existing members you may not be seeing at our meetings.
Habitat for Humanity
Ron Robinson, Tom Trumble, CoChairmen
We have been given Veteran’s Day (11/11/20) for our build out of respect for the fact that we have so many veterans among our membership. They recently increased the number of volunteers we can have from 8 back to 12. We currently have 10 so please consider joining us. They have CDC protocols in place and it is very rewarding work - the camaraderie is tremendous, too. In addition and/or in lieu of participating, please consider making a monetary donation to Hartford Habitat for Humanity and send it to me:
Ron Robinson, 22 Ten Acre Lane, West Hartford, CT 06107
Ed Turbert, Chair
Al Nweeia who is a former OG President and is an active supporter of Salvation Army, told me this story: There were 2,800 cars in line to go to Rentschler Field last Saturday, for tailgating of another kind. They were in line in hopes of getting a carton or a couple of bags of groceries of food for their families. Food Share delivered the food items and Salvation Army folk packed the assembly line of cars.
I did a little research, and I may be off a few dozen but consider, there are 2,400 parking spaces in Blue Back and West Hartford Center. I thought about this when I was paying homage to the parking meter kiosk. A few weeks ago on a Saturday night three or four cars were being driving up and down looking for an open space in the Brace Road lot. One driver was on his cell phone asking ‘where are you?’ and ‘is there parking there?’ So gentlemen I regret to say, the needy folk at the Rent are winning that race 2,800 to 2,400. That is How The Other Half Lives.
My friends, we should not ignore this condition. It is not the kids’ fault they are in a low income home. They are not to blame. Let us help out. I will be attempting to include a virtual Old Guard Red Kettle in the Zoom meetings. You will also receive an email with a link to the kettle so you may try it at home. I may ask Mr. Kauke to see if can we get it up on the Old Guard website. It’s anonymous if you want it that way. It’s very easy.
You have been so generous in past years, I ask you, give it a chance.
Old Guard Chairman
Salvation Army Bell Ringers
We send Happy Birthday wishes to all those who have a birthday in November.
Happy Birthday Guys
Tom Trumble Dick Moffitt Denny Hopper
Brian Pulito Jerry Rucci Stu Lewis
Arthur Riihimaki Jim Flaherty Leonard Albert