Checkpoints 1983               Joe Stein

Winter 1983

Rogues Gallery: Here’s the mug shot I promised you last time. If you’re having trouble matching names with faces, the list of those pounding the halls of the Pentagon which appeared in the fall issue should help. If that still doesn’t give you a clue on one of those faces, don’t worry. You’ve just spotted the one non-’75 ASTRA who slipped into the shot while we were baring our pearlies for the photographer. Just one test of your powers of observation before we move on. Which of those pictured below are working legislative liaison (didn’t think I could spell that, did you)? If you picked Dale Meyerrose in that dapper civvie suit, deduct 10 points. He’s been hanging his hat on the OSD (MRA&L) rack (no, I won’t spell that one out). As an aside, I hear he may be using that same rack for another four years. The correct answer to the question is Dave Commons and Rick Layman. You should have no trouble with that one if you remembered that LL types never look you straight in the eye! Rick has gotten so good at this technique, that he’s sewn his eyelids shut (as the picture shows).

Rocky Mountain Resort: It seems like the Springs area is attracting more of our finest every day. Recently I was roaming the corridors of Fairchild Hall when I bumped into one each Dick Dye. Dick finished out his service career at USAFA and is now pressing on with civilian life in the Springs. He says that it can’t be beat, but he still hasn’t completely severed the umbilical cord. His company works on several high-level defense contracts. I also received a call from Bill Spencer. He’s been taking it easy in a cushy job in the airmanship shop out here, but the party will soon be over. Bill’s slated to don his AOC black hat this summer. John Wolter is another possible for an AOC job. At last word, J.T. was torn between that and a headquarters slot at MAC. And finally, I just received a change-of-address card from Bill and Roni O’Connell. They made it into town just before the Christmas blizzard.

The $43 Million Man: While most of us have been wallowing in the humdrum of everyday life, one of our number has been saving megabucks (for the Air Force, that is). Dave Hickman has been working as a system contract negotiator at Hanscom, and recently pushed through a multi-year contract with Raytheon which saved $43 million for Uncle Sam. His efforts earned him executive company grade officer of the quarter honors at Hanscom and the ESD nomination for AFSC Officer of the Year. I wonder if he would be available to help when I buy my next house?

On The Road Again: Santa brought more than presents during the Christmas season. He blessed many of us with winter moves. The AOG change-of-address box was overflowing. The list includes Marv Cox to Mather, Mark Posthumus to Offutt, the Johnsons to Reese, Charles Schmitz to Shaw, Fred Whitican to Wright-Pat, Rod Reay and Sam Edgar to Eglin, Bill Carrothers to D-M, Mike Gill to Nellis, Dave Defoliart to March, and Mark McConnell overseas. By the way, Chip Diehl did make it to Hickam (what am I doing wrong?). Other cards place Jim McBride in Livonia, MI; Tom Summers in San Francisco; John MacDonnell in Warren, ME; and Don Novak in Belle Plains, KS. To complete the list, Doug Nelson is finishing some grad work at the University of Washington, with a follow-on assignment to (you guessed it) USAFA.

I thought you might get a kick out of this photo. I sure did! The obvious question is: “What is it?” I’ll give you a choice of three answers:

  1. A crazy Army doctor.
  2. A model of the suit used in the movie “E.T.”
  3. Our own Bill Lyerly.

Well, no matter which answer you chose, you were right. Bill is working in the Army’s Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. I got a letter from him which just missed the last issue. He staked a claim on being the only Army officer to wear a “Beat Army” button and sit on the Air Force side during this year’s USAFA-West Point game. Another ‘75er says Bill is also our best bet to win the “Man of Steel” award. Between football games and his Army work in spacesuits, Bill squeezes in just a few extra things–like attending John Hopkins (full time) working on his Ph.D., spending his spare time at another university picking up a second master’s degree, and commuting 60 miles to his home in Annapolis. Who ever said Army life was tough?

The Grapevine: I bumped into Rick Layman at the Hall of Fame Bowl, of all places. As an aside, the football team’s victory there was the perfect finishing touch to a record-breaking season–and next year will be better yet! Rick mentioned that Dale Meyerrose and Dan Burkett will be staying at the Pentagon when their ASTRA tours end. He also said that the handwriting on the wall regarding his next assignment is all in German. Jed Vanden Dries also crossed paths with me recently. He and three other eagle drivers flew by at one of those noon-meal formations. Jed is stationed at Holloman, and rumor has it that he’s starring in pictures these days (gun camera film). At least that’s what the first guy he met at the USAFA club said.

In the “voice from the past” department, I just received a card from Foster Bitton. Foster is also at Holloman, but he’s on the AT-38 side. In the years since graduation, he’s married a lovely Arizona lady, Debbie, and now has three (redhead?) bambinos: Becky, Luke, and Joshua. Word of Steve Schiemann’s whereabouts also reached me in a roundabout way. He got out in ’80 and is now a wheeler-dealer in Ft Lauderdale. Closing out this section, a short note from Jack Storer places him in Madison, WI. He hung up his blue coat last August.

Well, I think you’ve probably had all you can stand from me for another three months, so I’ll sign off. Keep those cards and letters flowing and enjoy the new year!

 


 

Spring 1983

Spring started on a sad note this year with the news of Bruce Dodds’ death. For those who lost track of him after graduation, Bruce spent a few years working for Northrup Aviation before picking up his law degree from Notre Dame. He then worked for Leon Jaworski’s Houston law firm. We’ll all miss him, and the memory or his courage in the face of adversity will live on for all of us.

On The Road Again: The change of address box at the AOG was underflowing this time. Only four ‘75ers sent word of their blood-curdling adventures with the moving industry. Dan Burkett was least affected–he only moved down the street a few doors in Arlington. I suppose he’s preparing for a homesteading act at the Pentagon. Lucky him!?? Dave and Melanie Hickman also packed up their tent recently. If you remember back to the last issue, his negotiating skills saved Uncle $41 million last year. And, by the way, he did win the AFSC Officer of the Year award. However, opportunity started knocking louder and louder, and Dave decided to put his many talents to work for him and his family. He’s just left the service and accepted a vice-president’s job with MRM, Inc., a Peoria commercial insurance company. I’m sure he’ll do very well at it. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was one of the first of our class to reach “high roller” status! Incidentally, Dave hasn’t completely abandoned the blue suit. He plans to work in the Reserves as a liaison officer for USAFA.

Our other two travelers became part of the international crowd. Larry McGirr is now calling the Philippines home, and Chris and Karen Glaeser are setting up house in merry old England. Although these last few months were a rather stable period (in terms of moves) for our class, I’m sure the summer rush will fill the AOG box with cards (and probably the JAG box with household goods damage claims) by the time the next issue comes out.

The Mailbox: Oh, the shame! I received a letter from Curt Osterheld just before press time. It seems I inadvertently overlooked the guys at MPC when I did my piece on ’75 ASTRAs last issue. Sorry guys! Curt and Barry Abbott were working hard as resource managers while the rest of us clowns were eating quiche in the POAC (Pentagon Officer’s Athletic Club). Since that time, Barry has moved on to Little Rock and the C-130, and Curt is playing Clint Eastwood (of Firefox fame) in the SR-71 at Beale. Curt did remind me, too, that personnel guys never get mad. If I remember right, the last time I got him mad at me was at Mather in 1976. I spent the next four and a half years at Loring, Maine. Hmmmmm??

Gil Braun also took time to take pen in hand. He’s now basking in the Florida sun at MacDill, and flying the F-16 in his spare time. Gil says the electric jet is the closest thing to heaven yet! For those who remember tales of his jogging exploits, Gil tried to go a little too far too fast. He hurt himself and is gradually building back up to Olympic form. He says he’ll be a “jogging participant” in the Gasparilla classic, a minor running event with such lightweights as Salazar and Waite. In between running and flying, Gil also finds time to do a little golfing–he’s lowered his handicap to 8.

And finally, I received a letter from two very dear friends, Jim and Naomi Marshall. Since last contact, they’ve been working on the size of their family. They have one beautiful daughter, Sarah (who’ll be 21 months when this is published), and another is on the way. I always knew Jim had some great spiritual powers working for him. He’s the only one I know who’s been able to slip out of an ALO assignment. It looks like they’ll be staying in England for a little while longer.

Whatever Happened To…Did you ever sit back and think of the old days, and say to yourself, “I wonder what ever happened to old…!!? Well, I have. In the interest of providing answers to all of those questions I decided to start a locator section in the column. Anyone who lost track of someone (and wants to find him) can write in, and I’ll include the name in the column. Hopefully, one of our classmates with time to write will bring us up to speed on the mystery people. In fact, I’ll even offer a reward to the first ones to respond. They’ll receive a free pitcher of beer and all the tacos they can eat the next time they pass through the Springs. How can you beat that?

Since this idea has been nothing more than a seed in the arid soil of my mind before this point, I suppose I ought to come up with the first list of names. So here they are: Randy Caraway, Bruce Edstrom, Chris Goetsch, Felix Grieder, Art Leiker, Mike (Fig) McClendon, Rich Ruth, Joe Siniscalchi, and George Walrond. I’ll announce their whereabouts, and the winners of the gas and beer in a later issue.

One more point before I leave. If we have any shutterbugs in the class, please keep a steady stream of pictures flowing in. They make the issue look a lot nicer, and they’re probably a lot more interesting than my column. If we don’t get some soon, Kro (the editor) will make me throw in some of my old baby pictures. Yuk! Until next issue, here’s hoping for good luck and a great summer for all of ’75.

 


 

Summer 1983

All Around The Town: It seems lie every day a few more of the old ’75 crowd break the code and discover that the Springs is not too shabby a place to hang your hat and earn your daily bread (even on spite of the pictures of the rear view mirrors and the solemn blood oaths we took to return just after the next ice age). It’s getting so crowded around here a fellow can’t even go shopping without bumping into a familiar face. For example, just a few days ago while elbowing my way through the payday stampede in the commissary, I turned and stumbled into none other than Mitch McVay. Mitch has just gotten in from the Pentagon, and he’ll either be teaching econ or putting all of his Pentagon expertise to use in the Academy programming office. In another shopping rendezvous, I ran into Al Piotter in the parking lot of a local lumber store. Al has also just arrived to join the faculty. And in case I forgot to recognize some of the older USAFA types in recent issues, Jerry Levesque and Mike Rosebush have been around the area for a while. Jerry is working in the Math Department, and Mike is lending a sympathetic ear to several of the new basics in the Class of ’87. He earns his pay as a top-notch counselor in the Cadet Counseling Center.

Movin' On: As predicted earlier, many of us ended up the summer living at an address different from what is listed on the front of the 3000 checks we had printed six months ago. To start off the list, Rick Benbow is now an IP in the C-5A at Dover AFB. But changing addresses wasn’t the biggest move he’s made within the last year. Rick had to change the wording on his mailbox to “Mr. and Mrs.” When he married the former Clair Teare last Dec 31. Some of our other summer moves include John Woodward to Williams, Jeff Krumeich to Offutt, Rich Douglas to Wright-pat, John Sutton to Scott, and Billy and Wendy Stephan to Raeford, NC. And to make our list of relocated classmates a coast-to-coast happening, Steve Keen is holding down the west side as a KC-135 IP at Castle, and John MacDonnell is guarding the east end in Burlington, MA. For those of you flying the friendly skies over Reno, don’t be surprised if you hear a familiar voice every now and then. Pete Marcuzzo has just moved out there and is now working for the FAA. And to close out this section, I suppose it’s appropriate to include some words on one of our number who didn’t get to move. Contrary to what I’d seen in the tea leaves earlier, Rick Layman is still living the fast life in the D.C. area. He’s had two recent assignments fall through on him–one to Germany, and one to Offutt. However, my somewhat questionable fortune-telling abilities now allow me to predict he still may make it to Offutt next January.

The Mailbox: My sincere thanks to those who took pen in hand to fill all of us in on their recent adventures. Joe Dowdy’s was the first letter I received. He’s now toughing it through a tour in the Eagle jet at Soesteberg, Netherlands (Camp New Amsterdam). Apparently the life is so rough over there that he had to marry a nurse, Vonda Galpin, to help him make it through. Another patriot who really had to have his arm twisted is Steve Barber. Steve is currently a U-2 pilot with the 99th Strat Wing at Beale. Now that we’ve got the painful ones over with, we can turn to my favorite (?) aircraft, the BUFF. In it we once again find Al Krukowski. Al and Ann just returned from pre-med training at Northwestern and are waiting words on med school in ’84. In the meantime, Al will continue to roam the skies in his B052 while finishing out their seventh year at Loring (and I thought four and a half was bad). By the way, their family includes two wonderful children: Kathryn (6), and Michael (1). My final note came from Duane Lodridge who has joined the USAir (force) and is a first officer on DC-9s. Duane now calls Kenner, LA home, and spends his spare time flying the RF-4C in the Mississippi ANG.

Whatever Happened To… Well, our first try at this column ended with a little success. Of the nine folks we started searching for, three were resurrected from the woodwork. That’s 33 percent–sounds like a typical GR score for me from long ago. Interestingly enough, the first words on one of our long lost compadres came from a cadet at USAFA. It seems that Felix Greider has been hiding at the American Liaison Office for the E’cole de l’Air in Salon de Provence, France (in words we can all understand, the French Zoo). I was even able to obtain a picture of Felix, his wife Donna, and their two children, Erica (1) and Danny (3). And here it is. Maybe some day Felix will write us about some of his hair-raising adventures in the Monte Carlo casinos.

Next on the list is Mike McClendon. Mike and Adrienne are now down at Eglin. He claims to be an experimental test pilot (F/RF-4C/D/E, A-10), but we all know “Fig” better than that. I’m sure we’ll be able to find out the true story when Brian Duffy, Steve Pitotti, and Roger Keith get there this summer. Bill Buchta supplied the info on our last “resurfaced” ‘75er, Bruce Edstrom. Bruce has hung up his G-suit and is now a real Navigator (Christian-type) in Del Rio, TX. By the way, Bill is starting his fourth year of med school and should have recently tied the knot with one of his doctor-type classmates, Lori. He’s looking for a three-year family practice residency in the Midwest and may delay his return to active duty. Bill almost sent a picture, but decided at the last moment that we’d be too jealous of his really fine hairs.

Are you ready for the next list of “lost” sheep? I’m hoping for a 50 percent recovery rate on these, so here goes: John Barrowclough, Marinus Bosma, Paul Desisto, Mike Gill, Alex Limanni, Bob Miglin, Bill Penny, Bob Ryan, Lenny Salvemini, and Steve Tibbits. Well, I guess that’s just about enough for this issue. Until next time, may the force be with you.

P.S. I was able to catch a quick look at the major’s list just prior to press time. If I read my lists right, the following guys ought to be flying at about 50,000 feet right now: Bill Davis, Pete Hennessey, Mark Jefferson, Bran McAllister, Dale Meyerrose, Bentley Rayburn, Dave Tillotson, Bob Walden, and Rich Webber. Congratulations from all of us. If they have any real class, we should all be receiving some beer or Scotch in the mail pretty soon.

 


 

Fall 1983

Tidbits: You’d be surprised at the things you can pick up as an AOC. Why, just the other day, I learned that one of the third classmen in my squadron is dating Bentley Rayburn’s sister-in-law. After I retrieved my jaw from the floor, I learned Bentley is doing super at Hill in the F-16. He’s also thrilled (obviously) to have been picked up on the last major’s list. Maybe one of these days Bentley will write and let me know what the cadets really think of their old AOC!

One thing I do know, though, is that cadet ingenuity hasn’t disappeared. This past weekend I staggered in at oh-dark-thirty for a morning run my cadets had planned for a non-training Saturday (about the first one we’ve had so far this year), only to run into problems getting into my office. It seems that all the furniture in the room positioned itself just behind the door, and an almost endless sea of balloons filled the rest of the usable space in the office. I’d forgotten about that old course, HUMAN FLY 101, which teaches cadets how to move along the outside of the building from window to window when faced with locked doors on a birthday. Oh, well–anybody want a balloon?

One last bit of news from this area is that Duane Jones (and more importantly, his lovely wife Laura) has recently joined those of us who have returned to the nest. Duane is now working (?) as a group executive officer, and he’s scheduled to join the AOC ranks next June. He’s already picked up his standard issue of Grecian formula in anticipation of that joyous day.

Movin' Along: The passing of summer hasn’t slowed our class down one bit. We still had many of our number pack up their bags and head down the road to bigger and better things. George McClain started things off with a small move within the city limits of Apple Valley, CA. In the long-distance department, Larry McGirr ended up measuring the mileage from Fayetteville, NC to Luzon in the Phillipines. Our intermediate distance movers included Don Snelgrove to Nellis, Mark McConnell to Hill, Mark Schoning to Offutt, Dave Haugen (pilot in 1550 TCHTS) to Kirtland, and Mike Anderson to Wright-Pat as the B-1B flight manuals manager for ASD. Jeff Prater is also starting over again: this time as an EF-111 EWO at Mountain Home. Finally, Greg White (Doctor) has moved his shingle to Upper Heyford in the Department of Radiology.

From The Desk Of Jim Burling: My only letter this time came from Jim Burling. But he more than made up for the rest of the slim pickings for the column. To start with, he writes that he’s been spending the last two years training astronauts at the Johnson space Center in Houston. He’s also one of the folks who will be setting up the Consolidated Space Operations center back here in the Springs, so I expect to be seeing him in the not-too-distant future. His wife, Micci, and a brand new son (Jan 83) take up his time when his head isn’t up in space.

Jim also sent word on a whole host of ’75 Zoo escapees. John and Becky Gaughan now have three children and they call Grissom home. John earns his daily bread as a KC-135 instructor. Bruce Fritzsche is flying 106s at Minot, but manages to thaw out every now and then during TDY visits to Tucson. He and his wife, Nancy, have also been building a family, and they now have two little girls. Bob Thompson enjoys the hot weather all year long. He’s flying with the aggressors at Nellis, and spends his spare time running marathons and entering Iron Man competitions. Watch out Gil Braun!

Bill and Peggy Hughes are back in D.C. for the Air Force Legal Procurement Contracting School, and Chuck and Judy Demoisy are on their second straight overseas tour (C-130s in Germany). As reported earlier, Jack Storer really has left behind the fold. He can be found flying for a commuter airline in the wilds of northern Michigan. Charlie Beam, Dan Woock, and Ed Zerambo are also members of our civilian flying corps. They all pick up their checks from Southwest Airliines. Finally, Brian Duffy and Steve Pitotti have just finished Test Pilot School at Edwards. Brian went to Eglin; however at this moment we’ve lost contact with Steve. We’ll probably see him one of these days on TV in a spacesuit. That just about finishes the list–whew. My hat’s off to Jim for all his help.

Whatever Happened To…The results in this department aren’t so good this time. I only received word on one of our missing men–J.D. Barrowclough. His father happened to be reading the magazine and sent us words on J.D.’s whereabouts. He’s now flying the weather birds on Guam. J.D also had some good news on the family side. He’s celebrating the birth of his first child, a baby girl, on 29 June. Since we did so poorly on the last batch, I decided to keep the manhunt alive on those folks for another three months. If you need their names again, here they are: Marinus Bosma, Paul Desisto, Mike Gill, Alex Limanni, Bob Miglin, Bill Penny, Bob Ryan, Lenny Salvemini, and Steve Tibbits. If you know of their location, (or of any skeletons in their closet), please write. Even if you don’t know squat about them, write anyway–I need the help. Just remember, my penalty for only taking pen in hand three times in the eight-plus years since graduation was having to write this column. Something equally gruesome could happen to you!

P.S. I didn’t have any pictures this time, so congratulations for muddling through the article anyway. Most of us are only picture-capable when it comes to reading magazines. Maybe someone will send us some to spice things up next time. Until then, fly safe and remember the Dodo!


1983 Album

     
 

1. Captain Steve Duresky and Mom at brother Jon's USAFA graduation. (Steve Duresky)  

2. Beth & Dave Herlong, June 1983. (Beth Herlong)

3. Dave Williamson and his OA-37 at Suwon AB, Republic of Korea.

4. Tom Calhoun and members of the 3rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Clark AB, Phillipines (Tom is the mustachioed gentleman 3rd from the right). (Robert Stratford, July 2016)

 


Checkpoints