Class Scribe Foster Bitton: The following are some words from Mac McIntosh written on December 15th, 2015 during his fight with pancreatic cancer. He’s obviously in it for the long haul, and his attitude is world class.
Started the third three-week chemotherapy cycle Monday with encouraging blood tests and potential chemo radiation included in the fourth cycle.
Two cancer markers are decreasing, but still a little above normal and a recent CT scan reveals no growth/slight decrease in size of the pancreatic tumor(s).
Adjusting to the new normal that is our lives with cancer, trying to manage reactions to the increasingly predictable onset of side effects. We're keeping detailed logs of activities, caloric intake and exercise. Most frustrating has been inability to regain 30 pounds, with slight progress during last recovery week when we gained back 6. It's amazing how many calories the chemotherapy consumes. Muscles are responding to resistance training with hypertrophy, but there's no "filler" anywhere. I've always had skinny bowed legs, but they're now stringy chicken legs. Not pretty.
We remain thankful for all our blessings. We have a comfortable home, financial solvency, and a large community of supporters. Most thankful for that woman who's shared my life for nearly half a century. Last Friday, she packed Mom, her luggage, wheelchair and walker into the Toyota at 0400 and drove to Eugene for an 0800 flight to Arizona. Mom's settled with my sister in Mesa and they're beginning this phase of their lives together. After living with us as her caregivers for the past 11 years, it's hard to walk by Mom's favorite chair and realize she won't be there watching Samurai movies. Linnea raised kids who've become two outstanding Americans, is the hardest working person I've ever met and continues to out-produce two normal people. Having her as a partner is comforting, inspirational, and the greatest of His blessings.
I continue to draw inspiration from all of you; many have and continue to offer prayers, notes, letters, and other encouragement. I want to share a portion of a note from Alex Brown, a football and track team captain who's enrolled at SOU [Southern Oregon University]:
"I feel like the older I grow, the more I learn to appreciate the life lessons that past coaches and teachers have taught me over my high school career. I just finished my first term/football season at SOU, and I can honestly say that it was more difficult than I anticipated it to be. Yet, when times got tough, or when I was exhausted, I just thought back to our three standards. Marshfield's team standards; live with integrity, compete with class, and add to the legacy. Our head coach, coach Howard, is always preaching about being a man of character, strength, and honor. I just see that as being stacked on top of Marshfield's standards, and it gives me all the confidence in the world. At the end of every home game, we sing our alma mater in front of the entire crowd. It makes me feel at home. And as I sit here, and hundreds of track memories run (no pun intended) through my head, I can't help but to just say thank you. Thank you for devoting your valuable time in order to instill these standards into, not only myself, but all the athletes that compete in purple and gold. Thank you for teaching that discipline and hard work brings results. And thank you for the countless memories that I will cherish for a lifetime. And I can't wait to start hearing about all of your progress and how you will (apologize for my language) kick cancer's ass! Still sending prayers your way. And last but not least, Once a Pirate, always a Pirate!"
Educators know there is nothing more professionally or personally gratifying than feedback from former students that validates your effort, your devotion, and your persistence. Having the chance to work with many more young men and women like Alex is a continual source of inspiration.
Another is sharing success stories – John Gunther's article about Travis was insightful, moving and informative. We rejoice in his recovery and appreciate how hard he struggled to return to his coaching passion. One of our friends emerged from esophageal surgery after a chemo/radiation protocol at the Cancer Center with no sign of cancer. We chatted with a recent Marshfield graduate who's completed an extensive treatment protocol for Hodgkin's lymphoma and is in complete remission. I told her how good she looked, with that big smile I'd seen on campus so often. When I thought about her success that evening, I looked in the mirror at my bald head, freakishly large ears, and said aloud, "you've got it good, Mac, it's time to MAN UP!"
Contact Mac at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Laurie's history of Waldo F. Dumbsquat
40th Reunion Gallery Posted.
Special 40th Reunion Waldo F. Dumbsquat column by Tom Laurie.
September Checkpoints Column, expansion of GBNF, two new photo galleries plus more photos across many Checkpoints columns, a few new Memories of... entries, additions to the Early Academy Concepts under the History Tab.
Addition of a large number of photos to the Individual Awards Gallery under the Galleries tab.
June Checkpoints Column including links to select Extras, complete Charley Baby and Waldo F. Dumbsquat columns from 1971-1975 and a Drum & Bugle Corps entry, both under the Nostalgia tab, additional photos in many Checkpoints columns, ongoing format standardization throughout.
‘News’ tab changed to ‘Checkpoints’, Videos integrated into ‘Galleries’ page, ‘Video’ tab deleted, Coming Events button on Home Page, other minor changes.
Home Page refresh, March Checkpoints Column, Reunion updates, two new galleries, Prep School and 1975 Campus, relocation of Class of 2015 Legacy events to relevant Checkpoints columns as Extras, plus several additional Checkpoints Extras throughout.
December Checkpoints Column, addition of several Checkpoints Extras throughout; more as material becomes available
September Checkpoints Column, addition of a nascent Reunion Section, linked below, addition of Disqus comment feature on select pages, redesigned Home Page, ongoing minor format refresh and content update throughout
June Checkpoints Column, updated History entries on cadet uniforms and early Academy concepts, plus a new entry on Frank Lloyd Wright, refresh of Twitter and Facebook page formats, minor site-wide refresh and content update
March Checkpoints Column, minor redesign of individual GBNF pages, several new History entries, two new UPT galleries embedded in the 1976 Checkpoints archives
December Checkpoints Column and new Squadron Galleries
September Checkpoints Column, all new First Class galleries with nearly 200 new photos, new Falconews content, new Class Legacy Project content, new News links, numerous minor format updates
June Checkpoints Column, redesign of the GBNF Home Page and the addition of a chronological listing, a nascent Class History timeline, and a Class Pinterest page (linked below)
Minor format refresh, consolidation of Class Business and News sections into Class News
March Checkpoints Column, Checkpoints archives for 1989-1999, completing the archiving of ALL Checkpoints columns from 1975-2013, updated format and expanded content in the Nostalgia and Class Business sections, the Exemplar Dinner from the 40-Year Class Legacy Project, eight new photo galleries covering the Second and Third Class years, and a gallery of old USAFA postcards
Streamlined Checkpoints column format to better accommodate more photos, commencing with the 2012 column
December Checkpoints Column, Checkpoints archives for 1987, 1988 and 2000-2004, new photo galleries, new content in Memories of... and History, new Facebook Page, general ongoing content update
Checkpoints archives for 1986 and 2005-2009, general ongoing content and format update
September Checkpoints Column, Checkpoints archives for 1985
Refreshed 'look' of all icon directory pages, transition of all completed galleries to new format with many new photos and content, improved navigation features throughout
Completion of new and expanded gallery format for fourth class photo gallery, Checkpoints archives for 1984
June 2012 Checkpoints column, Checkpoints archives for 1983
General site tune-up, minor design and layout changes, additional navigation bars, additional and enlarged photos in recent Checkpoints columns, miscellaneous additional content, additional history timeline content, new photo gallery, initial transition to a new photo gallery format, Checkpoints archives for 1980-1982
Redesigned Home Page, Checkpoints Extra
Checkpoints archives for 1978 & 1979
A site-linked Twitter account. . Checkpoints archives for 1976-1977, additional Falconews articles, including some for the Prep Schoolers, reorganized Nostalgia directory page, with a separate directory for the Dodo and Talon magazines, several new issues of Dodo and the first Talon, links (below) to neighboring class web sites
March 2012 Checkpoints column
Graduation photo gallery
December 2011 Checkpoints column
Graduation parade video
Falconews articles from the Graduation edition
Checkpoints archives, commencing with 1975
Alan Krukowski on Medal of Honor Recipient William Crawford
REUNION XL is in the books, and along with the nearly 600 registered classmates, family and friends, all I can say is “WOW!” Hopefully this article can do a reasonable job of summarizing for those who could not attend.
Kent Traylor, golf tournament honcho, summarized the event: 12th Squadron dominated the 88 player golf field again. Longest drive was Mark Volcheff (13th) with a monster shot in excess of 315 yards. Closest to the Pin on the 7th hole of the Robert Trent Jones Blue Course was Jack Van Ryn (12th). And the big CS-12 winners, with a score of 13 under par, were Craig Naas, Jack Van Ryn, Craig Christen, and Steve Marino (handicap of 1), whose son is currently playing on the PGA Tour. Like father, like son! Greg “Yumper” Black and Lance Grace kept the field lubricated and supplied with other amenities.
Opening with the return of Col (Ret) Waldo F. Dumbsquat, alter ego of 75’s own Tom Laurie [See Extras for details], the entire program featured new, exciting things at every turn. Otto Dieffenbach dazzled the noon meal crowd with his flying Superman on Friday. For videos and more, find Otto on Facebook, or at FlyGuyPromotions. (This is an unpaid public service announcement.) Larry Bryant and Bill Murray put on a great memorial service for all our GBNF brethren—thank you both, and all others involved, for a very moving service. The promotion and retirement ceremony of Last Man Standing Mark Wells at a hangar on the airfield was well-attended and featured more than the usual family, friends, classmates, and well-wishers: There was a flyby almost every minute! Congratulations Mark—what’s next?
Read the Full Column HERE