| Clinton Prenzel and John Laubenheimer were absent when some former Sea Scouts held a reunion recently.
Yet they were present in the thoughts of the men who gathered at the City Club to remember the glory days of Greensboro Sea Scouting. On Dec. 29, 1946, Prenzel, 17, and Laubenheimer, 16, drowned at High Rock Lake.
The men who met at the City Club to remember the two Sea Scouts also reminisced about the late 1930s and early and mid-1940s.
Sea Scouting will never again be as it was then, Greensboro businessman Sol Kennedy said.
Kennedy is a former Sea Scout and former Sea Scout Skipper. A Sea Scout Skipper is roughly equivalent to a Boy Scout Scoutmaster.
It may be true that Sea Scouting will never again be as it was when Kennedy and the other men at the reunion were Scouts. But the men agreed that Sea Scouting in this area could recapture some of its former excitement as a result of a memorial established in Clinton Prenzels honor by his mother, the late Alberta Loeffler Prenzel.
The memorial was one reason Tom Ward arranged the reunion. Ward, president of the General Greene Boy Scout Council, wanted the men to hear details of the bequest.
It was the first word most of them had heard about the bequest from Alberta Prenzel, who died in June of 1985. Parts of her 1965 handwritten will were subject to different interpretations, and it took nearly three years to settle the estate.
Alberta Prenzels principal wish, however, was clear: She wanted her estate converted into cash and given to the Sea Scouts of the Greensboro Council of the Boy Scouts of America in memory of my son Clinton Erwin Prenzel.
Greensboro attorney John Hardy represented area Boy Scouts and Sea Scouts in the matter of the will. Ward asked him to come to the reunion and explain the details of the memorial. Hardy said that NCNB, executor of the estate, wanted to make sure it carried out Alberta Prenzels wishes. So the bank filed suit in Guilford County Superior Court, asking the court to clarify the will.
| Hardy said resident Superior Court Judge W. Douglas Albright ruled that money from the estate, which totals more than $130,000, should be held in trust with the income to be used to benefit of Sea Scout programs within the jurisdiction of the General Greene Council, Boy Scouts of America. All parties to the suit were happy with Albrights ruling, Hardy said.
Albright named Ward and Hardy trustees of this fund along with Alan Cone, Charles W. Cheek, Roger L. Searis and William S. Jones.
Ward named an advisory committee to make suggestions about what to do with the money. Sol Kennedy, chairperson, and Ed Alexander, Bill Craft, Buddy Toler, Jere Woltz and Charlie Jones.
The other reason Ward arranged for the reunion was to give the men an opportunity to reminisce about the hey-day of area Sea Scouting. Ward asked Kennedy to talk about some of the history of the Sea Scout ship sponsored by a Greensboro church. A ship is a Sea Scout unit comparable to a Boy Scout troop.
We were the social group at Greensboro Senior High School, now Grimsley, Kennedy said.
There were eleven Eagle Scouts, all of whom were also Sea Scouts, in the school at one time.
The Greensboro ship was named the top one in the United States in 1939 and Life Magazine sent a photographer and reporter to the ships base at High Rock Lake.
They spent four or five days there, and the story was supposed to be on the cover of the Sept. 1 issue, Kennedy recalled. Of course, you know what happened.
What happened was that Germany invaded Poland and the story was never used because war news took over so much of the magazines space after that.
But the magazine sent a set of the pictures to the ship, and Kennedy brought them to the reunion.
Several of the Sea Scouts pictured in a group picture, including Sol Kennedys brother Pernell Pink Kennedy, were killed in World War II. Several others who were active in the ship also are no longer living. Just about all of the Sea Scouts became successful business or professional people.