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John "Gumba" Carcioppolo - A Submariner's Submariner
Congratulations to John "Gumba" Carcioppolo on his receipt of the USSVI Joe Negri award for 2003. Gumba is the consumate "go to" guy to get all things submarine done. He has done much to increase membership both in his beloved Groton Base as well as USSVI-wide by his positive and heartfelt posts about USSVI membership benefits on the various submarine BBS's on this site and many others. Gumba is a proven and effective leader and is most deserving of this award. Congrats Gumba!!

A Very Special Evening for John Carcioppolo

Photo courtesy of Don Smith

by Robert "Dex" Armstrong

A friend of mine once defined a GOOD MAN as "a fellow who will volunteer to hold and comfort a worthless stray dog, while a Vet sets his broken leg."

Your first handshake with John Carcioppolo tells you that he is such a guy. Every sucessful organization has a small number of "workhorses". Without these individuals voluntarily sacrificing and foregoing pleasures, to don their heavy hauling harness to pull far more than a reasonably alotted share of the organizational load, you end up with something resembling the Leona Helmsley Appreciation Society.

Recently John...aka "Gumba" was presented with the Joe Negri Award. This was ironically fitting. Why?? Because Joe Negri, whose namesake award is at present tucked safely under Gumbas pillow, was the founding father of the organizational tent we all attend memory revivals in.... USSVI. Gumba's stewardship has provided the mastic that has held it together and strengthened it through his now hallmark, unselfish dedication.

John comes equipped with a natural lighthearted nature that instantly puts you at ease. My Dear Wife gave him one of the finest tributes that can be given a true gentleman....She said,"A woman immediately feels comfortable in his presence, because his goodness is that apparent." That trait honors John's Mother, for proper respect of that nature can always be traced to the gentle hand of a truly good Mother. She must surely be proud.

Gumba, a lot of us are proud of this long overdue recognition you have received. It certainly vindicates the faith we all have in the wisdom of our fine organizational leadership.....and it makes us honored to be able to call ourselves your Shipmate and Friend. There is a line in Kipling's "IF" that goes something like...(Forgive me Rudyard if I butcher it) "He can walk with Kings but never lose the common touch." That line could have been written specifically to fit our John Carcioppolo....but the best term for John, the one that fits him best is LEADER.... for the man exemplifies all of the finest qualities carried by the meaning of the term. He belongs to us. He is "one of us".

He honors The United States Submarine Force everyday by living an existence, that seemingly comes easy to men of his caliber and as yet undetermined capacity, in unselfish service to our Boatsailor Community. Someday, when we are all sitting in that "All Comers Bar" at the end of the Silver Pier, up in the Sky... you know the one....the place where they never run out of free ice cold beer and two foot long Slim-Jims...The gin mill with the hull numbers of every boat since Old Man Holland sold Uncle Sam his first smokeboat, carved in the table tops....The place where the Goddess of the Main Induction hustles pitchers to the tables and doesn't mind old Qualified men patting her fanny...Yeah, you know the place...

One day, all we old coots will be sitting there swapping worn out lies and some newly arrived Nuke kid is gonna come busting through the door yelling...."Some Sonuvabitch just won the First GUMBA Award."... and some of us will smile and say, "No Shit, I actually knew him and was his friend and Shipmate."

-- Dex

A Bizarre Conversation with Rose Negri

(What follows is part of a BBS post by Gumba in reponse to Dex Armstrong's message reproduced above)

Now here's a scary no shitter for all of you. This gave me the willies.

I just hung up the phone w/ Mrs. Rose Negri... Joe's widow. Friday night I was 2500 miles away from Groton out in Reno getting recognized with the most prestigious award in USSVI.. the Joe Negri award. Rose told me that she was sitting at her kitchen table and at about 11pm Friday night doing some reading when she heard a crash from Joe's study down the hall. When she went in there there was small picture of Joe and I taken at the 1984 convention that had some how gotten blown off it's normal shelf. The glass on the picture was cracked from the fall. Being Italian and very supersticious she feared the worst had happened to me.

Saturday morning she said she called my house, but since I was travelling there was no answer. Except she didn't know that. She tried again later in the day, and again the next morning. By then Dee and I were working at the club. So now she is really fearing the worst. By Monday she had forgotten about me.

She said early this afternoon her son was visiting and was looking through Sunday's New London Day and saw this article on the "Joe Negri Award" He shows it to her, and she instantly recognized my ugly mug. She was very relieved and excited that I won the award.

So in her eyes, and heart she knows that Friday night at around 11pm when our picture fell off of her shelf, that Joe was talking to her telling her something about the two of us.

Now I'm not a supersticious person or any thing. I don't believe in ghosts, and usually blow most of that stuff off as nonsence. But humor me and an old lady here and do a little math here.

If it's about 11pm Eastern time, what time is it in Reno. Well it's right about 8pm... right about the time that John Carcioppolo gets the "Joe Negri Award".

I don't know what you want to call it, but there's no telling her that it wasn't Joe.

-- Gumba

And In Closing...

Simply, in the act of accepting this award, John Carcioppolo has added to the very significance of it.

-- Don Gentry

Related Sources

Dominic "Joe" Negri Clubhouse
Why USSVI? by Gumba
Veteran Subculture

Photo Album
(click on photos for larger size)

  Gumba and Dee Carcioppolo

  Gumba at "the moment"

  A truly happy sub sailor

  The Joe Negri Award


Rear: Dee and John Carcioppolo, Dick Mendelson, Bud Atkins, Fran Atkins - - Front: Mr. & Mrs. Glenn Suttle, John Wynn

  Rear: Dick Mendelson, Bud Atkins, Fran Atkins, Louise and Doc McCance - - Front: Mrs. Suttle, John and Lynn Wynn

  At the Groton Base meeting following the Reno convention

  John Carcioppolo and Ben Bastura

  The Carcioppolo's puppies Buster and Bella or as John Wynn calls them, FANG AND RIPPER.

  According to John Wynn, Gumba REALLY loves his bike and is trying to adapt his "critters" to the "Easy Rider" way of life.

  Informal shot of Caring and Sharing presentation with new Base C.O. - - L to R: John Carcioppolo, Subase CMC Al Atkinson, Pat Hornick, John Wynn (representing Lockwood Internet Base at the time), CO Subase, Capt'n Ratte.


All photos, unless otherwise noted, are courtesy of John Wynn