"The Lago Collection"

Good Works, People, Times and Events

Don Gray

Topic: The Lago Collection of Good Works, People, Times, and Events aka The Lago Collection.

Subject: Lagoites and friends of Lago who have contributed to the memory of a life we once knew on a distant shore.

Last December we got back from a six day trip up the Mississippi River on the Mississippi Queen paddlesteamer. If you want to get away awhile, we recommend the trip to our Lago friends. We also spent a few days in the French Quarter where I acquired a few  books on Governor Huey P. Long of Louisiana (one of my heroes and politcal stand-up guy) at the Faulkner House Books, 624 Pirate's Alley, New Orleans, La. 70116-3254. On a whim I asked store manager, Elisabeth R. Whitlock (thibooks@juno.com or erwbooks@juno.com), if she happened to have a copy of Dr. Johan Hartog's tome Aruba Past and Present---From the Time of The Indians Until Today, 1961, translated from Dutch into English by J.A. Verleun...the 451-page book-of-all-books on Aruba. Two days later, Ms. Whitlock forwards an e-mail describing the book's condition and its availability. Whoooorah! I'm in hog heaven!
A little about Dr. Hartog's historical masterpiece---Dr. Hartog wrote The History of The Netherlands Antilles in five volumes. However, I believe the only volume that has been translated from Dutch into English is Aruba Past and Present (Vol. 1.). There are several early photographs of Lago Colony and Aruba (mid-1800's to 1950's) in the book. The text is both informative and easy reading, in other words it won't bore you to death with minutia and ober dicta. An interesting and enlightening read! (Note: The full blown Aruba Past and Present will be reviewed by the Swashbuckler/Swashbucklette Book Review Club in the near future.)
In addition to Aruba Past and Present, Dr. Hartog authored This Is Aruba; Bonaire; The Retable of Noord And The Chapel of Alto Vista; and, The Old Fort---History of Fort Zoutman And The Tower of William III. A condensed version of Dr. Hartog's Aruba history, Aruba---Short History, 84-pages, may be purchased at any one of the DeWit and VanDorp bookstores on the island.
Dr. Hartog was Bibliteca di Oranjestad's principal librarian from 1952 to 1972. He later resettled in Austria
Personal comment: Of all the books in my library, I treasure Dr. Hartog's among the top ten. Why? It's readable. It's interesting. And for me, it strikes of "things I didn't know, but always wanted to know", about Aruba. Other exceedingly researched books on Aruba have been written by Bill Hochstuhl, Bob Schlageter, and Refus Rings, (see below), but people invaribly refer to Hartog.
Stan Norcom - The recording of all Lago Community High School year books on DVD. Count on Stan to pull-off something unique and worthwhile.
Also, if you're into geological information regarding the Rock, Stan is the man to see. He has done a much touted research paper on the geographical formation of Aruba,
Geology of Aruba, an informative 12-page study
Stan is also keeper of the Geological Map of Aruba, surveyed in 1956 and 1960 by P.H. de Buisonje'.
And finally, if you are looking for information on the February 16, 1942 German U-boat attack against the Lake Tankers anchored off San Nicolaas Harbor/Lago Refinery, Stan is an excellent source.
Dan Jensen - Short History of The Lago Oil & Transport Co., Ltd., 2003. Dan needs to reproduce this informative sketch of Lago Oil for a wider audience. I believe this is the first attempt of anyone to research the metamorphic rise of Lago Oil & Transport Co., Ltd., from its origins to its demise.
Another of Dan's works is Caribbean Memories, a true account of his exploits, while still a teenager, in the Colony. Some of us older citizens (I sure cleaned that one up) from the 1950's will be able to reminise and journey with Dan to the cunucu, Hospital Caves, old Esso Club, BB shooting matches, etc. In the book he also writes about his adult life in St. Croix and Barbados
The novel Aruba Gold is also authored by Dan about.....guess what? Aruba Gold was available for distribution to the public about the same time Caribbean Memories came to press.
Dan recently opened a Lago Colony/Lago Refinery web site titled "Esso-Lago Oil & Transport Co., Ltd., Aruba", address: www.lago-colony.com.  Leave it to Dan to add a little panache in our Lago "quest" to get things down in writing. Dan welcomes former Lagoites to provide photos, information on our folks, families, bungalow residence(s), etc., for inclusion in this ever expanding web site. Hang tough, Dan.
Tom Schindeler - Tom has taken on the unenviable task of matching all Colony bungalows to past residents. Now that's a time consuming and tedious task! Good luck, Tom
Al Warren Leak - Classmate Al co-founder of the Lago Spearfishing Society of Aruba (LSSA) has also produced an oversize detailed Lago Colony plat with familiar Colony highlighted in prominent locations. A good map to reminisce on "times and places long gone by". Al, and several other Lago High speafishermen "who have been there", tell hair raising tales in the LSSA e-mail newsletter of being beneath-the-blue-Caribbean in shark and barracuda infested territory.
Good 'ole Al. Always knew he had webbed feet.
Steve Fremgen - If there's a "gilled" tale to be told or you'd like to know the latest "hot spots" for SCUBA diving on this here planet, Steve is the person to contact. Jim Rosborough, Joe van Ogtrop and Ray Burson are also excellent sources for the latest happenings regarding oceanography and for keeping the aquatic world in pristine condition for future generations to enjoy.
Jerry Barnes/Fred & Alice Eaton - Have hosted most consecutive (45+ years!) annual Florida Lago Reunion, Hillsborough State Park, Zepherhills, Florida. Try that one at your son's/daughter's local high school reunion and you'll be rewarded with a one-night stay at the..... Burbank Holiday Inn.
Ronald ("Bubba") Kennerty - Originator, along with Tom Tucker (see below), of the 40's-50's Lago Reunion. Different geographical get-together for smoozing with your classmates over a long weekend, usually in September. Something on the order of a floating crap game. All former Lago High School attendees, graduates, and  spouses are welcome to this annual event. [Chicago, The Windy City, is the next (2005) city of choice. Make your reservations with Denny Dodge, Jd57@aol.com] 
Sue Humphreys/Ginger & Gene Bassett - The Aruba Chronicle. Without question the longest running consecutive publication originating in the Lago Community. This annual to bi-annual newsletter was originally titled The Church Chronicle, with its genesis at the Lago Community Church fifty plus years ago. There were earlier editors of this newsletter and perhaps readers will be able to provide their names.
Ginger has also been active in trying to find a suitable home for all the Lago/Aruba memorabilia (see below) we have stashed in our attics and gathering dust. Ginger is currently the repository for most Lago material donated to her for safe keeping.
Larry Riggs - Lago Bulletin Board: Lago News ~ Bits & Pieces. This e-mail publication is done in a most consistent, competent, professional manner. The man is dedicated and newsworthy in his reporting and opens the venue to any worthwhile news and project concerning Lago/Aruba's past, present, and future. Although the Lago news bulletin is only three years in the making as of this writing, it reaches a wide audience and is looked upon as the vehicle for journeying to past and present island events.
Larry periodically publishes the Lago E-Mail Address Directory, listing over 500 former Lagoites and friends with a common background---Lago and Aruba. Aforesaid Bulletin Board subscribers may be found in this Directory.
The Lago Community Memorial on the grounds of the Lago Community Church, June 19, 1994, commerates sixty-one years (1924-1985) of Lago Oil & Transport Co., Ltd. operations on a remote island in the Dutch West Indies, through the good works of its local and foreign staff employees. Lawrence and others were instrumental in organizing and dedicating the memorial to Lago Colony's former residents and local workers from Aruba and other parts of the West Indies.
[As an aside, I might add the man (L.R.) is a certified nut case heading full throttle towards the abyss. I can honestly say that because Sir Lawrence of Lockley thinks I play with toy U-boats and rubber duckies in the bathtub. I'm not nuts, rubber duckies tend to sink, and U-boat kapitanos smell of schnapps and stale green cheese....although my mother late in life thought I was a racketeer. What did she know. Nut cases, rubber duckies, newsletter editors, racketeers...heck they're all the same.
John Tully - Lago Spearfishing Society of Aruba (LSSA), co-founder John was also the initiator of those LSSA T-shirts and caps that so many Lagoites proudly wear. They're a great conversation piece, John.
Jack Wiley - Jack was an editorial columnist for the Smithsonian Magazine, Washington, D.C.. Several of Jack's columns were devoted to Lago/Aruba memories.
Don Blair & Bettina Steinke - Map of Aruba, 1946.  Map is highlighted by caricutures of donkeys, iguanas, goats, pelicans, etc. Probably the most popular map of Aruba of its kind. Get a copy while you can, they're getting difficult to find.
Henry Coffi - Collection of 8" X 10" glossy photographs of Lago Oil personnel and refinery from a bygone era.
Several years ago Larry Riggs and I were visiting with Henry in his temporary office in the old Industrial Relations Building, when Henry pulled out what seemed like hundreds of old Lago photographs. Where had Henry acquired the photographs? Get this----When Lago/Esso was about to close it doors in Aruba (1985), many old records, ledgers, etc., from past years met their fate via the Dempster Dumpster! Henry happened upon a stash of these old photographs one day on his way to work. Talk about fate! Talk about a treasure trove
Sandy (Springer) Jordan - Displayed her unique artistry on the sidewalks of Jackson Square, New Orleans. Sandy and her artistry are sorely missed.
Pat (Ciccarelli) Sams - Another Lago artist who is making a name for herself. Pat paints watercolor scenes of Aruba. Pat has had art shows in Florida and Aruba. If you're into paintings of Aruba scenery, check out Pat's work.
Lago Community Church Trust & Memorial Fund - Founded February, 1989 by the late Rev. Anthonie van den Doel and DDG in order to maintain the Lago Church (founded 1939) and Memorial (dedicated June 19, 1994) in the best possible manner for the foreseeable future, funds permitting. As of this writing there is considerable doubt regarding the future of the Lago Church as an ongoing non-denominational entity
Coach Jim Downey Appreciation Dinner - June 21, 2000, Wyndham Hotel, Aruba, N.A. Coach Jim Downey was honored at an appreciation dinner, June 21, 2000, Aruba Wyndham Hotel, Palm Beach, for his work with the Lago Colony and Aruba youths over a period spanning more than fifty years. Approximately 300+ former Lagoites, guests and friends were in attendance. Accolades were many. Accolades were well deserved. God bless you Coach!
Random Notes...Annual e-mail assessment of Aruba's economic status, political expectations, choice and not-so-choice restaurants, and "foiblic" minutia, indictiative of a tight little island. (DDG)
Bob Schlageter - Mr.Schlageter was photographer with the Aruba Esso News (although credits for stories and newsarticles are not evident in the early editions of the News); Public Relations Department, Assistant Manager, and publisher/editor of the Pan Aruban, a weekly newspaper founded in 1929 and circulated within Lago Colony and elsewhere on the island.
Few are aware that Bob was also authored A History of Aruba, 1932. This publication was one of the first, if not the first, condensed histories of Aruba. I recently re-read Bob's History and can tell you that he covered the waterfront. Chapters range from "Buccaneers of the Spanish Main" to "San Nicolaas Becomes a Storage Terminal" to "A Refining Center" to "Aruba Today"(c.1940).
Several Aruba histories came later, as you will see later in this Collection, but I believe Bob's was the first. Stan Norcom graciously sent me a copy of Bob's history publication 2-1/2 years ago. I have a feeling there are very few of this wonderfully written piece still available.
Pan-O-Ram Weekly. Lago Community High School's weekly Friday gossip and sport sheet. If you didn't make one the Pan-O-Ram columns at least once a quarter, you could probably be found either chained-to-the-wall in the principal's office or being fitted for a collar in Joe Leary's shop class. Editors and columnists for the Pan-O-Ram were either voted-in or volunteered for duty at the start of the class year.
Several former Lagoites who either attended or graduated from Lago HIgh have most, if not all, consecutive issues of the Pan-O-Ram from their freshmen through their senior year. I'm one of them, along with 90-95% of the issues of the Aruba Chronicle (see above). Great lithograph newpaper the Pan-O-Ram, if you wanted the latest dirt.
Pan-O-Ram Annual. Also known as the Lago High Annual. Not a gossip compilation, although by flipping through some of the random photographs you could tell who was going with whom or who was doing what to whom. A treasure trove of "who's most likely to...", to Al Leak and Stan Norcom holding up a speared Congo or Moray eel for the cameraman.
The Annuals featured each Lago Community High School class from Junior High (7th-8th grades) through Senior High (9th-12th grades), with emphasis on graduating Senior Class students and activities
Bill Hochstuhl - Editor of the Aruba Esso News; Manager, Public Relations Department. Bill also wrote German U-Boat 156 Brought War To Aruba, February 16, 1942, the reference book for researchers of this initial hostile Western Hemisphere WWII land bombardment attack. Bill originally wrote of the German U-boat action in the February 16, 1962 edition of the Aruba Esso News. In 2002 a 60th Anniversary Edition of German U-Boat 156...was published by the Aruba Scholarship Foundation, Clyde Harms, President. Bill was honored by the Aruba Government and presented the "Good Will Ambassador of Aruba" award for his good works on the island in October, 1964.
Jerry Casius - Author and WWII researcher without peer. Jerry has been a font of knowledge for the U-156/U-502 Roundtable. He is also author of History of Aviation in Aruba and The Netherlands Antilles, 2004. If anyone can bring the historic researcher/investigator back to the straight and narrow of recorded, unquestionable, historic fact, Jerry's the guy. Believer in documentation, documentation, documentation. (DDG has had a running discourse with Jerry concerning official documentation versus eyewitness accounts.)
Only guessing, but I would bet that Jerry is working on another WWII account.
The Economics of Aruba. Seven annual reports (1990-1995; 1998). Each report covers diverse subjects such as restaurants, timeshares/hotels, grocery store prices, politics, and the general condition of the island. What started out to be a fourteen page hardcopy report grew to sixty-seven pages, plus a seven page forward. The Economics report was discontinued with the advent of two specialized e-mail newsletters which have as their subjects past WWII events in Aruba, and piracy on the Spanish Main. (DDG)
Aruban Annals, 1943. Thirty-seven page report by Rev. William Refus Rings, Chaplin to the American Armed Services, Aruba, c. 1942-1943. Not much is known about Rev. Rings. In 2002 DDG attempted to contact the Rings' family in Plain City, Ohio (Annals was first published in Plain City), but telephone messages were not returned.
Rings' report parallels that of Bob Schlageter's History of Aruba (see above), although Schlageter's 1932 report is the first of its kind. Both are of quality reporting, worthy of reading.
Some interesting facts from Aruba Annals: Did you know that about the time of WWII, pink flamingos nested in Aruba? Today, the ABC islands' flamingos are only found in Bonaire. That the Colony's recreation club, dedicated January 1, 1930, was originally named the Pan Am Club and changed to Esso Club in 1939 when Standard Oil Company (N.J.) took control of the Lago refinery? That originally the Pan Am movie theatre area was open air, as was the second Esso Club (corrugated tin construction and adjacent to the Colony Commissary), but that later (1933) the Pan Am Club's movie area was enclosed upon the advent of "talkies"? (The second Esso Club's movie theatre area was never enlosed.) That the original Pan Am Club/Esso Club was lost to fire on June 7, 1942? The third, and last Esso Club, was built in 1949 on the promontory between the Little and Big Lagoons.
Little bits of "wisdom" that you ought to lay on your "you-can't-stump-me" bartender. And that leads me to a story (more like a bet) about the refinery's Cat Cracker...which, unfortunately, neither time nor space allows for the telling.
If wanting to get a good "handle" on Aruba's past history, I recommend the Reverend Rings' Aruban Annals, Bob Schlageter's History of Aruba, Bill Hochstuhl's German U-Boat 156 Brought War To Aruba, February 16, 1942, and Dr. Johan Hartog's Aruba Past and Present (unabridged, grand tome version).
The Lago Colony Legend---Our Stories, 2003, James L. Lopez
Undoubtedly the most comprehensive reference book on the experiences of a colony of expatriates over a sixty-year period. This 684-page book was long in the making. About 25 years to be exact. But considering the difficult task Jim had before him, it's understandable. Recorded interviews, telephone calls, notes, binders, one-on-ones, and the list goes on. Unfortunately, Jim died before the book was published by son Victor Lopez. This is a book that warrants much more attention than it has received. The Lago Legend...will be reviewed in a forthcoming issue of the Swashbuckler/Swashbucklette Book Review Club Newsletter.
Clyde Harms - My old basketball nemesis is recipient of The Order of Orange, successful entrepreneur, authored a book on baseball history in Aruba, played the role of a grandfather speaking to his grandson in a DVD telling of Aruba's history, and is currently President of The Aruba Scholarship Foundation....all in one lifetime!
Lago Archives. A work in progress. Frank Binetti has attempted to find a home for all those scrapbooks, photographs, and other Lago memorabilia gathering dust in Lagoite attics. Said archival material would be housed and exhibited in a safe location/structure open to the public. Frank has made several inquiries with Exxon, but nothing has materialized to date. Gail van den Doel, wife to the late Reverend Anthonie van den Doel, Lago Community Church, is accepting archival material, e.g. photographs, worship service programs, etc., solely related to the Lago Community Church. Gail has stated that Lago Church memorabilia will be housed in the Protestant Church of Oranjestad in a secured area and may be viewed upon request. Gail's address is Argentinastraat #2, Oranjestad, Aruba, N.A. (telephone #011-297-5827875).
Ships of The Esso Fleet in WWII, Standard Oil Company (N.J.), 534-pages, 1946. Copies of this reference book are getting hard to find, and copies that are available tend to be expensive. Stories of most, if not all, the ocean tankers under Standard Oil (N.J.) registry during the war. Vignettes by captains (names of which will be familiar to most Lagoites) of the trials and tribulations of being torpedoed by German U-boats on the high seas. (Note: The Lake Tanker Fleet, unfortunately, is not cited in Ships of The Esso Fleet...assumingly because the tankers were not under Esso's registry.)
The Neutrality Act of 1937. Controversial. Did Lago Oil & Transport Co. Ltd. adhere to the provisions of the Act during the period (1941-1945) the U.S. was engaged in WWII? If not, why not? Subject for future white paper. (DDG 05/15/04 private e-mail.)
U-156/U-502 Roundtable & Newsletter. Annual to bi-annual conferences devoted to discussing eye witness accounts of the February 16, 1942 German U-boat 156 sinking of Esso tankers anchored off San Nicolaas Harbor and subsequent attempted shelling of the Lago Oil Refinery; and, the February 17, 1942 sighting of U-502 in the vicinity of Oranjestad Harbor, Aruba. Conferences have been held in Aruba and San Antonio. A third conference is scheduled for Chicago, September 2005. E-mail newsletter forwarded semi-annually. New e-mail subscribers (gratis) are most welcome. (DDG)
John Geis - Attempting to locate a ten-foot, 1000-lb., c.1600's anchor and 700-pound cannon he discovered in 1957 off Indian Head Light and... "presented to the museum in Oranjestad (currently being organized).", Aruba Esso News (1957).
Fast forward to 2005: Still no anchor to be found anywhere on the island. In May 2005 John will journey back to Aruba for some vacation time and fun in the sun...and continue his quest for the elusive anchor (see Swashbuckler/Swashbucklette Newsletter #5 for more detail).
Bill Moyer - Has provided the English version of Kapitan Hartenstein's U-156 logbook in his 1991 twenty-one page paper Aruba Ships - Part 1., The Submarine; Part 2., The Tankers; and Postscript - More About.... In his paper Bill cites many Esso tankers familiar to Lagoites. The stories of what the tanker seamen faced and experienced during the war torn years on the high seas makes for interesting reading.
According to Bill, the original attack orders for U-156 were to sink ships first, which was subsequently changed to the "bombardment of oil farms...", which was changed for a third time back to "the principal assignment is to attack ship targets." Much debate over which target should have had priority of attack---the refinery or the ships. "Personality of command", or who Hitler favored most at a particular moment in the Kriegsmarine hierarchy, more than likely priortized targets.
"The Day Hitler Lost The War", American Legion Magazine, February 1978. Submitted by Xenia (Swarz) Sriberg. Probably the best informal condensed (5-page) version of Bill Hochstuhl's German U-Boat 156 Brought War To Aruba February 16, 1942 (see above), citing U-156's attack on Lake Tankers Oranjestad and Pedernales outside the Big Lagoon reef/San Nicolaas Harbor. The source of the article, Lee A. Dew, got his facts down fairly accurate.
(Amerigo Vespucci's) Letters From A New World, 1992, edited by Luciano Formissano. "From this island (Isla de los Gigantes or modern day Curacao) we went to a neighboring one ten leagues (30 land miles) off and found a very large village where they had houses built with great skill upon the sea as in Venice...(Under Notes, Letter 1, pg. 174): Here...the name Venezuela, or "Little Venice", applies not to the mainland but to the island of Aruba....; by 'mistake' the name will be transferred to a site on the (South American) coast in Juan de la Cosa's map (emphasis added).
Probably one of the world's best kept secrets. I would wager a $100 bill that 99.999% of the people residing in Aruba today are unaware that, by a cartographic fluke, Aruba lost its original name to the South America Republic of Venezuela.
The Cay, paperback, 1970, Theodore Taylor. Submitted by Shirley (Hewlett) Barton. A nostalgic account of WWII coming to neighboring Curacao. Although the story is fictitious, I believe it is based on an actual event. The story rings true, even after 63 years. An intriguing story of a young boy and an elderly man surviving the torpedoing of a ship, marooned on an island in the Bahamas, and facing the elements of isolation and an oncoming hurricane. Moralistic message.
Swashbuckler/Swashbucklette Book Review Club Newsletter. E-mail Newsletter devoted to book reviews of piracy on the Spanish Main and anything else of like nature between downtown Miami and Tierra del Fuego. Newsletter forwarded to Caribbean nautical archaeology buffs, those having an interest in the 1600-1750 era of piracy in the Caribbean, and to cite treasure trove findings and exploits of "unusual dimension" by past Lagoites. Distributed semi-annually to thrice annually. New e-mail subscribers (gratis) are most welcome. (DDG).
Jane Andringa - Jane is in the final galleys of a novel which takes place in Aruba.
Auke Visser - Lake Lake Tanker Fleet and Esso tankers web site http://visseraa.topcities.com/ For supertankers htt://supertankers.topcities.com/  Or, you can e-mail Auke at a.visser98@chello.nl
Auke's postal address is: Bennemastate 7, 8925DH Leeuwarden, Holland.
Much information and photos of the old Lake Tanker and Esso fleets and history of the Lago Oil Shipping Co. Ltd. This is the only site or "publication", of which I am aware, that has histories on the Lake Tanker Fleet.
Bear with Auke. He's attempting to get most of the information on his web site translated from Dutch into English, although a goodly part of the information on the Lake Tanker Fleet is in English.
Tom Tucker. On June 6, 1954, Tom was the first to discover several ancient cannons on the seabed floor off the Big Lagoon's Indian Head Light. Tom was leading a group of Sea Scouts for an overnight outing to the dredged manmade island off the southeast entrance to the Lago Refinery, and in so doing noticed several unusual elongated items on the seabed floor in shallow water, 100 yards out from the Light.  The following day Tom and several others juryrigged 55-gallon drums under a homemade raft and literary floated the cannons to Rodger's Beach. The cannons were later cleaned of coral encrustation in a refinery acid bath (see June 19, 1954 Aruba Esso News and Swashbuckler/Swashbucklette Book Review Club Newsletter #5 for more detail).
Yep, Tom was Aruba's first hands-on nautical archaeologist.
Tom unfortunately passed away in November 2004.
"Submarine In The Harbor!", by Ira V. Matthews, December 2001 issue of Memories, 40th Bomb Group Association, Wilmette, Ilinois. Either WWII co-pilot Matthews had the most vivid imagination this side of the Grand Canyon or he overdosed on hap-hap-happy pills.
 Matthew relates how his USAAF bomber (stationed on Aruba in the area abutting the old airport) depth charged U-502 as he and his airmen buddies supposedly spied it "in" Oranjestad Harbor, February 17, 1942. But, that's the easy part. Matthews claims the B-18 bomber was so close to the U-boat (assumingly U-502) that he could see "an officer in a white visored cap with a pair of binoculars hanging from his neck, crew members coming down the conning tower toward their deck gun, and (it appeared as though) the crew was intending to shell the tankers,  the town of Oranjestad, and perhaps the airport at point blank range" (note: there were no tankers in Oranjestad Harbor).
In order to have observed all the above, the B-18 would have to had its tail assembly nestled on U-502's forward deck, or Matthews would have to have been downing a schooner of bier with the kapitan on the afterdeck
There has been much debate surrounding airman Matthews' "Submarine In The Harbor!" tale. Was this a man who, fifty-nine years after the fact, let his imagination run wild, or did he actually see what he purports to have seen? Or, can this tale-of-tales be verified by other eyewitnesses accounts? Stay tuned.
The issues of embellishment "for effect", eyewitness accounts, and official documentation will be addressed in a forthcoming issue of U-156/U-502 Roundtable Newsletter.
Thelma Schoonmaker - Motion picture film editor nonpareil.
Thelma was film editor to the motion picture The Color of Money (1986) starring Paul Newman and Tom Cruise; nominated for an Oscar in The Gangs of New York (2002) starring Leonardo DiCaprio; and most recently nominated for an Oscar in The Aviator (2005), the story of entrepreneur and visionary Howard Hughes, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Thelma received an Oscar for Raging Bull (1980), the story of prize fighter Jake LaMotta starring Robert DeNiro.
If it's a film directed by Martin Scorsese, you can be certain that Thelma is film editor.
Cross Beneath The Sea - Two hundred pound,  7' X 4' cross placed beneath the sea, off the (New) Esso Club, by divers Tres Dunlap and Joe van Ogtrop in September, 1963. "The cross stands on a sixteen inch diameter base from which four legs extend horizonally...giving the cross its upright stability. The pieces of the cross (were lowered) in the Caribbean from the boat of A. Peterson of San Nicolaas.
"Prior to placing the cross on the ocean floor, Rev. B. van Baars of St. Theresa's Church blessed the cross and asked that there never be drowning, storms or turmoil in the waters surrounding the cross. The idea of placing a cross on the ocean floor was introduced to the boys (Dunlap and van Ogtrop) through a magazine article which referred to a cross in the Aegean Sea. An assist in the final operation was given by Steve Fremgen...", Aruba Esso News, September 7, 1963.
In a recent (February 2005) e-mail, Steve indicated that wave action from past nearby hurricanes had toppled the cross to the seabed floor, but that divers from the Esso Club's Dive Shop had brought the cross to its upright position. No good turn goes unnoticed.
Further Plats (Copies) of Aruba & Sources
Aruba, Netherlands Government Surveys, annotated, 1929 - 1933 - Steve Fremgen
Aruba, blueprint, Lago Oil, 1946 - E. Wayne Butler
Westkust Aruba, Paarden Baai (Oranjestad Harbor), Hr.Ms.Arend (Dutch navy ship surveyors), 1931 - Jerry Casius
San Nicolaas Harbor, Lago Refinery and Residential Area, 1970 - Doug Frazier
Island of Aruba With Gold Mines & Seventeen Island Districts, c.1915 - Doug Frazier
San Nicolaas, Esso, General Drafting Co., 1958 - Ray Burson
Elvira (Macrini) & Dick South - Originators of the triennial Lago/Aruba Reunion  with Aruba as site of the homecoming event. The longest consecutive overseas Lago reunion ever held. Initial Lago/Aruba reunion held in the mid-1970's
The Lago Collection of Good Works...in its present form, is obviously incomplete. If viewers of the Collection wish to added to, or correct entries in the text, please feel free to do so.
 I hope you enjoy reading The Lago Collection as much as I had putting it together. 
 Don D. Gray, Class of 1953.