Bulletin Board

Books by SMA Alumni

Lover, Soldier, Reprobate

by Alexander DeVolpi, SMA ’49

SMA Bulletin Board ImageFive wives (at least), up to 13 military conflicts, eight children (at the very least). Lover, Soldier, Reprobate About the exciting and troublesome life and family of Paul Bonaventura Charles Alexander Weiss DeVolpi: shanghaied when he immigrated from Italy in 1890 to the United States; enlisted three times in the U.S. Army, initially serving in Oklahoma Indian Territory around 1893; fought as a mercenary in many nations; and left a handful of wives around the world. His wartime enlistments included the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, and the Canadian Army during World War I. Other combat engagements: the Boxer Rebellion, Mexican Revolution, and repatriation of Tripoli and the Dodecanese Islands. (However, his participation with the Italian Army in Abyssinia and the Cossacks in Russia are difficult to verify.) That’s the Soldier part. As for Lover, there are four well-documented marriages in the United States, Canada, and Italy; also at least one or two more not confirmed. As for Reprobate, that’s what a now-deceased half-brother from Canada called him – with good reason. No divorces. Plenty of children. This is an historically factual and authentic trip starting in the late 1800s, written as a dialog between his surviving son (me, Alexander DeVolpi) with curious parties and interested listeners. Particularly fascinating is Bonaventura’s role in the Boxer Rebellion and his documented heroism during the Philippine Insurrection, all of which represent a forgotten but curious period in American history.

A Warrior’s Guide to Psychology and Performance

by George Mastroianni, SMA ’73

SMA Bulletin Board ImageLt. Col. George R. Mastroianni, USAR (Ret.), served as an experimental psychologist in the U.S. Army and is currently a professor of psychology at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

This timely, well-organized, and practical guide for the warfighter offers the collaborative contributions of dedicated military and civilian experts. Each chapter examines specific demands of military life and service, such as nutrition and its role in physical and cognitive performance, including details about military rations like Meals Ready to Eat (MREs). It also explores sleep: why you need it, how much you need, what happens when you are deprived of it, and how to recognize deprivation’s effects. The authors also discuss various aspects of stress: what it is, what its effects are on your body and mind, and how to recognize it, prevent it, and handle it. The book devotes an extensive discussion to hardiness and resilience, focusing on preparing yourself and your family and friends for stressful military deployments in order to avoid or minimize their associated pressures. Finally, the authors address common problems experienced after a deployment and offer tips on how to make your transition back home as smooth as possible for yourself and your family.

In each case, the expert contributors have emphasized specific skills, strategies, behavior, and support measures that you can apply to benefit your own overall psychological health, performance, and longevity.

Pure Goldwater

by Barry M. Goldwater, Jr., SMA ’57 and John W. Dean, III, SMA ’57

SMA Bulletin Board ImageBarry and John, both 1957 alums, have released a new book that they jointly authored entitled “Pure Goldwater”.

Some reviews of the book:

Praise for Conservatives without Conscience

“A detailed . . . powerful case in a riveting book.”–Los Angeles Times

“Searing . . . an angry indictment.”–The Washington Post

“Dean has again amassed evidence of a cancer growing on the presidency.”–The New York Times Book Review

One reviewer (Concerned US Citizen) had this to say about the book: “Mr. Dean and Barry Jr. have culled from the late Senator Goldwater’s personal archive the most telling letters and journal entries imaginable. Barry Goldwater not only comes to life, he literally leaps off the pages, and his words are as relevant today as they were when he penned them. OF PARTICULAR note are the letters to Sen. John McCain, who actually took over Barry’s seat in the Senate. WOW – very interesting and VERY enlightening. Who should buy this book? EVERYONE loved Senator Goldwater as well as his critics and all WHO ARE CONCERNED with the upcoming election and beyond that, the place of the USA in general. I strongly recommend this work. It is brilliant. It is Pure Goldwater!”

Amazon.com Description:
Barry Goldwater was a defining figure in American public life, a firebrand politician associated with an optimistic brand of conservatism. In an era in which American conservatism has lost his way, his legacy is more important than ever. For over 50 years, in those moments when he was away from the political fray, Senator Goldwater kept a private journal, recording his reflections on a rich political and personal life. Here bestselling author John Dean combines analysis with Goldwater’s own words. With unprecedented access to his correspondence, interviews, and behind-the-scenes conversations, Dean sheds new light on this political figure. From the late Senator’s honest thoughts on Richard Nixon to his growing discomfort with the rise of the extreme right, Pure Goldwater offers a revelatory look at an American icon–and also reminds us of a more hopeful alternative to the dispiriting political landscape of today.

Black Gold Gray

by Richard D. Rosenblatt

1944 SMA alum Richard Rosenblatt has authored a new novel, “Black Gold Gray” and it is now available on Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.com.

SMA Bulletin Board Image

The book follows eight West Pointers, members of the Class of 1949, from their pre-West Point World War II days, to West Point, and then through Korea and Vietnam. The book culminates in an abduction in 2004 and a chase from Saudi Arabia, to Germany to Paris to Casablanca and south from Marrakech into the Sahara desert, ending with a funeral and a wedding at West Point. According to Richard Rosenblatt, “We are in conversation with a motion picture producer and, if the book sells, the chances of it being made into a movie are favorable.”

Editor Reviews:

Thrilling Action from WWII To Iraq
Gripping saga based on the actual lives of 8 outstanding West Point 1949 classmates who survived WWII, the Gripping saga based on the composite actual lives of 8 outstanding West Point 1949 classmates who survived WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam, and then went on a secret mission in 2004. The action moves from Saudi Arabia to Iraq, through Germany and into Paris, down to Morocco, and into the Sahara. This expose reveals conspiracies in Washington, London, and the Middle East and the reasons for American military involvement in Iraq.

Reader Comments:


I loved this book. Thrilling, eye-opening. Couldn’t put it down. Finished it in one day. Highly recommend. Fantastic ending. By Charles Gatewood

I bought this book because my father was a World War II veteran and a West Point Graduate. This is a powerful story about eight courageous men and the impact war had on their lives. I highly recommend this book. By Amy Warfield


Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune

There’s no place in this world where I’ll belong, when I’m gone, And I won’t know the right from the wrong, when I’m gone, And you won’t find me singin’ on this song, when I’m gone. So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here.

SMA Bulletin Board ImagePhil Ochs, SMA ’58. Phil Ochs (1940-1976) was a singer/songwriter who was known for his sharp wit, political activism, sardonic humor, and haunting voice. His music touched on some of the most difficult issues of the era, raising important social and political questions that few dared to ask. His career and life mirrored the arc of the 1960’s from the hopeful optimism of the early protest movement to the dark divisiveness at the end of that decade. Though he never achieved the same level of fame as his contemporary, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs nevertheless was one of the most important artists to emerge from the folk movement. While the inherent tension between his two conflicting goals, as activist and as star, plagued him throughout his career, his music continues to inspire and resonate to this day.

He was born in El Paso, TX, in December, 1940 to Jacob Ochs, a doctor who was born in the U.S., and Gertrude Phin Ochs, who was born in Scotland. The Ochs family moved frequently; from Far Rockaway,New York, to Upstate New York, and then to Ohio. As a boy, Phil was obsessed with movies and would often escape to watch his hero, John Wayne, on the big screen. At the age of 15, at his mother’s insistence, he took up another hobby – the clarinet – and began to nurture a natural musical talent.

Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune” reveals the biography of a conflicted truth seeking troubadour who, with a guitar in hand, stood up for what he believed in and challenged us all to do the same. Unyielding in his political principals and unbending in his artistic vision, Phil Ochs, though branded a traitor by his critics, was above all a fiercely patriotic American. This is his story.


SMA Bulletin Board ImageHow much do you love SMA? How dedicated are you to supporting the perpetuation of the SMA legacy? Well, we have one SMA cadet, Ed Smith, SMA ’76, that has gone the extra mile and had his devotion to SMA inked into his arm…take a look:

I’m impressed!!! Now, some of us have vanity license plates or frames with SMA on them, but this takes guts and true devotion to SMA. So, if you like it (or not) send an email to Ed to let him know how you feel or if you can top this as a demonstration of your devotion to SMA, send a jpeg picture to Webmaster@sma-alumni.org to prove it!!!

More Response Is Needed

…to our requests that you send in your annual dues of $50.00. The response this year has been good from 510 of our 3,000 members. That leaves 2,460 more alumni whose dues remittance could make an enormous difference in the financial stability of the SMA Alumni Association and the SMA Foundation. All it takes is a few minutes to write and mail a check. You benefit! The Kablegram, the SMA Alumni Office, the SMA-VWIL Museum, the SMAAA Web Site and many other programs are supported by your dues. Please honor your membership, your school, and the legacy of SMA, with your dues.

Your Story Is Important…

…to the SMA Alumni Association. Arlene Nicely, our dedicated Alumni Secretary, has suggested that we ask alumni to take the time to write down information about themselves and send it, with a few appropriate photographs, to the SMA Alumni Office in Staunton. Mrs. Nicely will begin compiling notebooks of these submissions for visiting alumni to view. Some may be periodically used in The Kablegram. We want to know what you have done since graduating from SMA, where your career took you, your military service (if you participated), and what you are doing now. With feedback from you, this could become one of the major features of the SMA-VWIL Museum next year and beyond. Your submission can be by e-mail (with photos sent as digital JPEG images) to SMAOffice@sma-alumn.org, or by regular mail to the office at P. O. Box 958, Woodrum Station, Staunton, Virginia 24402-0958. Every alumnus has a story to tell. We want to hear them, and publish a few. Click HERE for a downloadable PDF form to submit your inputs to the Kablegram.

SMA Class Rings Available!!!

Have you or a loved one lost an SMA Class ring? This has happened to many alumni, but not until now have we been able to offer a source for you to obtain a replacement “replica” of the class ring. If you are interested, click on the following link for additional information, example graphics, and an order form: SMA Class Ring

Colonel Edward “Bebo” Dodge Scholarship

The family of the late Col. Edward L. “Bebo” Dodge has established a scholarship fund in his name. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a graduating senior from Robert E. Lee High in Staunton. We hope that you will consider making a donation in his memory to help further his life’s work. Tax-deductible contributions may be sent to the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Community Foundation, c/o Debra Hutcheson, 6643 Tapps Ford Road, Amissville, VA 20106. Thank you for your support.

SMA Walk of Honor – HELP PAVE THE WAY!!!

SMA Bulletin Board ImageA brick “Walk of Honor” has been constructed in front of the SMA-VWIL Museum’s Memorial Wall. This provides a grand opportunity to leave your mark upon “The Hill.” The walk is currently in place and commemorative bricks are being installed in lots of one hundred. SMA alumni and friends are invited to have their names and the names of those they would like to honor or memorialize on the bricks in the “Walk of Honor” of the new SMA-VWIL Museum. Make a tax-deductible contribution to the SMA Foundation by buying a brick paver for the SMA Memorial Wall walkway. Bricks may be inscribed with up to three 20 character lines of text. Buy one or buy several to honor a teacher, classmate, team, class year, etc. Cost per brick is $60. Make checks payable to the “SMA Foundation/Brick Paver” and mail to the SMA Alumni Association office along with your desired inscription.

Use printable Brick Paver Order Form.


Operating Hours: Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday, 1:00 – 4:00 PM (NOTE: Please call or email SMAAA Office first to confirm operating hours)
Location: MBC campus (below the asphalt inside the former SMA Supply Room)
Telephone: (540) 885-1309
Email: Museum@sma-alumni.org
Admission: FREE