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Newsmakers

Marines to Get Dressing Down

November 19, 1987|ANN CONNORS

Few Marines fighting in treacherous conditions in Chosin, North Korea, took the handout seriously saying that they would be served a sumptuous dinner that Thanksgiving in 1950. After all, Chosin was rapidly turning into the bloodiest battle in the war, with 15,000 U.N. troops, mostly of the 1st Marines, under attack by 120,000 Communist soldiers. So when the men saw the menu boasting of roasted stuffed olives, sweet pickles, roast young tom turkey with cranberry sauce, sage dressing, giblet gravy, green peas, buttered corn, mashed potatoes and candied sweet potatoes, they were less than credulous, describing it, in the words of one serviceman, as "the Last Supper before the Charge of the Light Brigade into the Valley of Death." But one member of the Chosin Few, the small group of U.S. Marine survivors of the battle, never forgot that promised meal. And on Saturday, Jim Gunn of Miami will sit down with about 100 former Leathernecks to finally bite down on that promised bird. "They're going to get that turkey dinner, just like it was on the menu," said Gunn, 56, a retired lobbyist who served as a supply sergeant during the war and who, for the sake of a meal never consumed, will turn mess sergeant for a day.

--It's three strikes and they're out, says Little League Baseball Inc. of a division in Brockton, Mass., that has three teams of physically and mentally handicapped youngsters. Indeed, the national officials have threatened to revoke the charter of all 32 teams in the Brockton Little League should the division fail to eliminate the three teams. The national officials contend that the physically and mentally handicapped players should be handled by professionals rather than local volunteers. Meanwhile, players like Marc Tucciarone, an 8-year-old boy with Down's syndrome, are hoping for another season of taking swings at a baseball. "All of a sudden they say, 'these kids can't play.' What right do they have to say that?" said Marc's mother, Lucille Tucciarone.

--A state legislator concerned over skiing accidents related to alcohol has introduced a bill in New Hampshire making it a $500 fine to schuss while sloshed. But the ski industry thinks it's a snow job. Dick Hamilton of the Ski the White Mountains Assn. said resorts, worried about insurance, have been policing the slopes themselves and that the bill "sounds to me like nuisance legislation." But state Rep. Eugene Ritzo, who said he has skied for more than 50 years, said his proposal is aimed at drunks who ski into sober skiers, and that ski patrol members have told him many accidents are related to drinking.

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