Graduates Share Blissful Memories
By John Libby
Our last issue reported on the new Bliss Electrical School display area in The Commons building, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. Attendees at the opening reception shared memories of their Bliss days, and one—Jack Weisenburger ’52—also shared copies of news articles, photos, and postcards from the years when Montgomery Junior College offered the Bliss program for U.S. Navy radio trainees.
In the Navy, electrical hazards were not limited to touching the wrong wires. Weisenburger recounted his minesweeper duty aboard LST 209, later named the USS Bamberg County, when he climbed an antenna mast in rough seas to repair a connection. He found himself dangling over open water as his ship rolled in high waves.
Even Blissters who could not attend sent in their own memories. Perry Crabill ’39 provided his set of the brass nameplates Bliss students fastened to the generators and induction motors they built as part of their machine shop training. Images of the nameplates are posted on the Bliss Electrical Society Facebook page.
Crabill himself had two tours at Bliss, first as an Eastern High grad who had won a partial scholarship, and again when Navy service interrupted what became a 41-year career with the local telephone company. By his second graduation in 1945, Crabill was a new father. His parents and his wife attended the graduation ceremony with three-month-old David, who became restless and began crying. “The disturbance,” Crabill wrote, “apparently caused Lieutenant Miller, head of the Navy school, to end his address to the graduating class early.”
For information about ways to support the Louis D. Bliss Memorial Scholarship, contact Elana Lippa, director of gift planning, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo caption of Bliss memorabilia:
At a reception for the new Bliss display area, Jack Weisenburger ’52 shared a photo of himself as a U.S. Navy radio trainee, and an early postcard of Montgomery College’s Takoma Park Campus.
Photo caption of Jack Weisenburger and his wife:
Jack Weisenburger ’52 and his wife, Darlene, at last fall’s reception for the new Bliss suite.