The Scuttlebutt: The Official Newsletter of the
USS ORLECK (DD886)
From 1993-2006, the SCUTTLEBUTT was published and served as the glue that kept our shipmates together even though they lived far apart. It had wonderful stories, great pictures, good information and it was big and detailed. Most of the editions were 48 pages in length and were in color. I know it has been a big disappointment that the newletter has not been published since then but there are reasons. I was the publisher of the newsletter and while the return of the USS ORLECK to the United States to be a museum was a great source of material for the newsletter, her presence in Orange, Texas under poor leadership there, led to difficulties that will be touched on below.
From 1993-2006, the SCUTTLEBUTT was published and served as the glue that kept our shipmates together even though they lived far apart. It had wonderful stories, great pictures, good information and it was big and detailed. Most of the editions were 48 pages in length and were in color. I know it has been a big disappointment that the newsletter has not been published since then but there are reasons. I was the publisher of the newsletter and while the return of the USS ORLECK to the United States to be a museum was a great source of material for the newsletter, her presence in Orange, Texas under poor leadership there, led to the eventual suspension of the writing of the newsletter. I do not need to go into detail but the unpleasant circumstance that led to her being forced from her birth home up to her move to Lake Charles required me to shift my energies (and exhausted them) in dealing with that situation and so the newsletter was put on hold. It became very difficult for me to carry on the production as it had been in the past. First it took many hours and was difficult at best even when all the news we reported was positive. But when there were major problems with the ship, it became even harder to know how to deal with it in writing. I needed to try to keep things on a positive note to our membership and that proved to be so hard that I just could not do it. Several years passed before things improved and the ship was in different hands, but by then other things had happened.
Costs had increased dramatically and when I explored the possibility of doing another major SCUTTLEBUTT, I found that it its production cost would be prohibitive for us. In the past I was able to produce a copy of the SCUTTLEBUTT from $0.35 to 0.75 each and that was with color. The cost of bulk mailing was only about $0.35. After two floods in Vermont that affected my printer, I lost the ability to use them and the costs of producing a like product was many times what it had been in the past. Service aboard USS ORLECK qualifies one for lifetime membership and dues were purely voluntary from the start and set at $15 and that has not changed. The dues were used to pay some of the costs of the newsletter as well as supplemented many of the things we did at the various reunions. Many members added extra dollars to their dues for the SCUTTLEBUTT. Since the SCUTTLEBUTT suspended production, dues payers dropped dramatically. That is understandable and an ailing economy does not help, but it has put a paper SCUTTLEBUTT further out of reach of possibility. Many of our members have died or they or their spouse are too ill to participate. Things change and that is the way life is, so we have to change in response. The question is how?
I have tried to do a SCUTTLEBUTT on-line in the Forum and you can check that out but that is hard for someone as technologically challenged as I am. I am continuing to work on that as the alternative but I am not certain how successful that will be. In the meantime I have tried to keep interest up in the Forum but many are not on-line and many of those that are do not participate by posting and that is a necessary element to the Forum working well. We need people to register and after that, log in each time they go to the Forum, and then post messages in the appropriate places or paste pictures or the like at the same time. That is not happening for one reason or another. I can help if you are confused as to how to do it but you have to contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org
So where does that leave us? Maybe a smaller paper newsletter in the future could be helpful. Maybe a regular SCUTTLEBUTT in the Forum might be the answer. Or can we get by without a newsletter at all. We do have means of communication. We have the Guestbook on the website. We have the Forum. I recently started a Facebook page for those on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/UssOrleck. I am open to suggestions as well.
In the last few years there has been little new information sent to the SCUTTLEBUTT and again that is understandable. But the information is needed if we are ever going to have a newsletter again. So continue to send your information and updates on your life to:
DESTROYER USS ORLECK D886 ASSN.
P.O. Box 213
Randolph, Vermont 05060
Thanks Bob Orleck